Chiara F. Sambo
Full Text Available Sustained attention to a body location results in enhanced processing of tactile stimuli presented at that location compared to another unattended location. In this paper, we review studies investigating the neural correlates of sustained spatial attention in touch. These studies consistently show that activity within modality-specific somatosensory areas (SI and SII is modulated by sustained tactile-spatial attention. Recent evidence suggests that these somatosensory areas may be recruited as part of a larger cortical network,also including higher-level multimodal regions involved in spatial selection across modalities. We discuss, in turn, the following multimodal effects in sustained tactile-spatial attention tasks. First, cross-modal attentional links between touch and vision, reflected in enhanced processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli at tactuallyattended locations, are mediated by common (multimodal representations of external space. Second, vision of the body modulates activity underlying sustained tactile-spatial attention, facilitating attentional modulation of tactile processing in between-hand (when hands are sufficiently far apart and impairing attentional modulation in within-hand selection tasks. Finally, body posture influences mechanisms of sustained tactile-spatial attention, relying, at least partly, on remapping of tactile stimuli in external, visuallydefined, spatial coordinates. Taken together, the findings reviewed in this paper indicate that sustained spatial attention in touch is subserved by both modality-specific and multimodal mechanisms. The interplay between these mechanisms allows flexible and efficient spatial selection within and across sensory modalities.
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
DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD/2 RPD) performed a v...
DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice
Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention, whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD, 2 RPD) performed a visual search task before and after 1 month of computer training. Before training, all participants showed a significant spatial bias and after training, all participants' spatial bias was eliminated.
Wang, Shuo; Fukuchi, Masaki; Koch, Christof; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu
While a single approaching object is known to attract spatial attention, it is unknown how attention is directed when the background looms towards the observer as s/he moves forward in a quasi-stationary environment. In Experiment 1, we used a cued speeded discrimination task to quantify where and how spatial attention is directed towards the target superimposed onto a cloud of moving dots. We found that when the motion was expansive, attention was attracted towards the singular point of the optic flow (the focus of expansion, FOE) in a sustained fashion. The effects were less pronounced when the motion was contractive. The more ecologically valid the motion features became (e.g., temporal expansion of each dot, spatial depth structure implied by distribution of the size of the dots), the stronger the attentional effects. Further, the attentional effects were sustained over 1000 ms. Experiment 2 quantified these attentional effects using a change detection paradigm by zooming into or out of photographs of natural scenes. Spatial attention was attracted in a sustained manner such that change detection was facilitated or delayed depending on the location of the FOE only when the motion was expansive. Our results suggest that focal attention is strongly attracted towards singular points that signal the direction of forward ego-motion. PMID:22905096
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 STATEMENT Working memory plays a key role in cognition, and working memory is impaired in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Previous research has suggested that human scalp EEG recordings contain signals that reflect the neural representation of information in working memory. However, to conclude that a neural signal actually represents the object being remembered, it is necessary to show that the signal contains fine-grained information about that object. Here, we show that sustained voltages in human EEG recordings contain fine-grained information about the
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
Walter, Sabrina; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
Visual attention can be focused concurrently on two stimuli at noncontiguous locations while intermediate stimuli remain ignored. Nevertheless, behavioral performance in multifocal attention tasks falters when attended stimuli fall within one visual hemifield as opposed to when they are distributed across left and right hemifields. This "different-hemifield advantage" has been ascribed to largely independent processing capacities of each cerebral hemisphere in early visual cortices. Here, we investigated how this advantage influences the sustained division of spatial attention. We presented six isoeccentric light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the lower visual field, each flickering at a different frequency. Participants attended to two LEDs that were spatially separated by an intermediate LED and responded to synchronous events at to-be-attended LEDs. Task-relevant pairs of LEDs were either located in the same hemifield ("within-hemifield" conditions) or separated by the vertical meridian ("across-hemifield" conditions). Flicker-driven brain oscillations, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), indexed the allocation of attention to individual LEDs. Both behavioral performance and SSVEPs indicated enhanced processing of attended LED pairs during "across-hemifield" relative to "within-hemifield" conditions. Moreover, SSVEPs demonstrated effective filtering of intermediate stimuli in "across-hemifield" condition only. Thus, despite identical physical distances between LEDs of attended pairs, the spatial profiles of gain effects differed profoundly between "across-hemifield" and "within-hemifield" conditions. These findings corroborate that early cortical visual processing stages rely on hemisphere-specific processing capacities and highlight their limiting role in the concurrent allocation of visual attention to multiple locations.
Zhang, Dan; Hong, Bo; Gao, Shangkai; Röder, Brigitte
While the behavioral dynamics as well as the functional network of sustained and transient attention have extensively been studied, their underlying neural mechanisms have most often been investigated in separate experiments. In the present study, participants were instructed to perform an audio-visual spatial attention task. They were asked to attend to either the left or the right hemifield and to respond to deviant transient either auditory or visual stimuli. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by two task irrelevant pattern reversing checkerboards flickering at 10 and 15 Hz in the left and the right hemifields, respectively, were used to continuously monitor the locus of spatial attention. The amplitude and phase of the SSVEPs were extracted for single trials and were separately analyzed. Sustained attention to one hemifield (spatial attention) as well as to the auditory modality (intermodal attention) increased the inter-trial phase locking of the SSVEP responses, whereas briefly presented visual and auditory stimuli decreased the single-trial SSVEP amplitude between 200 and 500 ms post-stimulus. This transient change of the single-trial amplitude was restricted to the SSVEPs elicited by the reversing checkerboard in the spatially attended hemifield and thus might reflect a transient re-orienting of attention towards the brief stimuli. Thus, the present results demonstrate independent, but interacting neural mechanisms of sustained and transient attentional orienting.
Mangun, G R; Buck, L A
This study investigated the simple reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of biasing attention towards a location in the visual field. RTs and ERPs were recorded to stimuli flashed randomly and with equal probability to the left and right visual hemifields in the three blocked, covert attention conditions: (i) attention divided equally to left and right hemifield locations; (ii) attention biased towards the left location; or (iii) attention biased towards the right location. Attention was biased towards left or right by instructions to the subjects, and responses were required to all stimuli. Relative to the divided attention condition, RTs were significantly faster for targets occurring where more attention was allocated (benefits), and slower to targets where less attention was allocated (costs). The early P1 (100-140 msec) component over the lateral occipital scalp regions showed attentional benefits. There were no amplitude modulations of the occipital N1 (125-180 msec) component with attention. Between 200 and 500 msec latency, a late positive deflection (LPD) showed both attentional costs and benefits. The behavioral findings show that when sufficiently induced to bias attention, human observers demonstrate RT benefits as well as costs. The corresponding P1 benefits suggest that the RT benefits of spatial attention may arise as the result of modulations of visual information processing in the extrastriate visual cortex.
Jonikaitis, Donatas; Klapetek, Anna; Deubel, Heiner
Behavioral measures of decision making are usually limited to observations of decision outcomes. In the present study, we made use of the fact that oculomotor and sensory selection are closely linked to track oculomotor decision making before oculomotor responses are made. We asked participants to make a saccadic eye movement to one of two memorized target locations and observed that visual sensitivity increased at both the chosen and the nonchosen saccade target locations, with a clear bias toward the chosen target. The time course of changes in visual sensitivity was related to saccadic latency, with the competition between the chosen and nonchosen targets resolved faster before short-latency saccades. On error trials, we observed an increased competition between the chosen and nonchosen targets. Moreover, oculomotor selection and visual sensitivity were influenced by top-down and bottom-up factors as well as by selection history and predicted the direction of saccades. Our findings demonstrate that saccade decisions have direct visual consequences and show that decision making can be traced in the human oculomotor system well before choices are made. Our results also indicate a strong association between decision making, saccade target selection, and visual sensitivity. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that saccadic decisions can be tracked by measuring spatial attention. Spatial attention is allocated in parallel to the two competing saccade targets, and the time course of spatial attention differs for fast-slow and for correct-erroneous decisions. Saccade decisions take the form of a competition between potential saccade goals, which is associated with spatial attention allocation to those locations. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
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.
Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Allison, Pamela
The sustained attention of 23 young adults with mild mental retardation and nonretarded subjects was assessed. Findings suggested that the sustained attention of the retarded differs from that of the nonretarded on those vigilance tasks that place demands on memory abilities. (Author/DB)
Föcker, J.; Hötting, K.; Gondan, Matthias
Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that spatial attention is gradually distributed around the center of the attentional focus. The present study compared uni- and crossmodal gradients of spatial attention to investigate whether the orienting of auditory and visual...... spatial attention is based on modality specific or supramodal representations of space. Auditory and visual stimuli were presented from five speaker locations positioned in the right hemifield. Participants had to attend to the innermost or outmost right position in order to detect either visual...... or auditory deviant stimuli. Detection rates and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicated that spatial attention is distributed as a gradient. Unimodal spatial ERP gradients correlated with the spatial resolution of the modality. Crossmodal spatial gradients were always broader than the corresponding...
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 ...
Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64%) showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5%) showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23%) showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9%) showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function. PMID:26075234
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.
Refereed articles Schwartz A and BG Shinn-Cunningham (2013). Dynamic range compression effects spatial selection of speech sounds in normal-hearing...34Foundations of binaural hearing: Why does spatial hearing matter?," Annual Meeting of the Academy of Audiology , Anaheim, CA, 3 April 2013 [invited keynote...Keynote Speaker, Binaural Active Audition Symposium, Kyoto Japan, March 2013 Keynote Speaker, Annual Meeting of the Academy of Audiology , Anaheim, CA
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.
Huang, Dan; Liang, Huilou; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Meijian; Hu, Qiyi; Chen, Yao
Uncertainty regarding the target location is an influential factor for spatial attention. Modulation in spatial uncertainty can lead to adjustments in attention scope and variations in attention effects. Hence, investigating spatial uncertainty modulation is important for understanding the underlying mechanism of spatial attention. However, the temporal dynamics of this modulation remains unclear. To evaluate the time course of spatial uncertainty modulation, we adopted a Posner-like attention orienting paradigm with central or peripheral cues. Different numbers of cues were used to indicate the potential locations of the target and thereby manipulate the spatial uncertainty level. The time interval between the onsets of the cue and the target (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA) varied from 50 to 2000ms. We found that under central cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation could be detected from 200 to 2000ms after the presence of the cues. Under peripheral cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation was observed from 50 to 2000ms after cueing. Our results demonstrate that spatial uncertainty modulation produces robust and sustained effects on target detection speed. The time course of this modulation is influenced by the cueing method, which suggests that discrepant processing procedures are involved under different cueing conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Carriere, Jonathan S A; Cheyne, J Allan; Solman, Grayden J F; Smilek, Daniel
Recent research has revealed an age-related reduction in errors in a sustained attention task, suggesting that sustained attention abilities improve with age. Such results seem paradoxical in light of the well-documented age-related declines in cognitive performance. In the present study, performance on the sustained attention to response task (SART) was assessed in a supplemented archival sample of 638 individuals between 14 and 77 years old. SART errors and response speed appeared to decline in a linear fashion as a function of age throughout the age span studied. In contrast, other measures of sustained attention (reaction time coefficient of variation), anticipation, and omissions) showed a decrease early in life and then remained unchanged for the rest of the life span. Thus, sustained attention shows improvements with maturation in early adulthood but then does not change with aging in older adults. On the other hand, aging across the entire life span leads to a more strategic (i.e., slower) response style that reduces the overt and critical consequences (i.e., SART errors) of momentary task disengagement. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.
Coventry, Kenny R.; Lynott, Dermot; Cangelosi, Angelo; Monrouxe, Lynn; Joyce, Dan; Richardson, Daniel C.
Spatial language descriptions, such as "The bottle is over the glass", direct the attention of the hearer to particular aspects of the visual world. This paper asks how they do so, and what brain mechanisms underlie this process. In two experiments employing behavioural and eye tracking methodologies we examined the effects of spatial language on…
Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Garcia, Javier O; Serences, John T
In naturalistic settings, observers often have to monitor multiple objects dispersed throughout the visual scene. However, the degree to which spatial attention can be divided across spatially noncontiguous objects has long been debated, particularly when those objects are in close proximity. Moreover, the temporal dynamics of divided attention are unclear: is the process of dividing spatial attention gradual and continuous, or does it onset in a discrete manner? To address these issues, we recorded steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) as subjects covertly monitored two flickering targets while ignoring an intervening distractor that flickered at a different frequency. All three stimuli were clustered within either the lower left or the lower right quadrant, and our dependent measure was SSVEP power at the target and distractor frequencies measured over time. In two experiments, we observed a temporally discrete increase in power for target- vs. distractor-evoked SSVEPs extending from ∼350 to 150 ms prior to correct (but not incorrect) responses. The divergence in SSVEP power immediately prior to a correct response suggests that spatial attention can be divided across noncontiguous locations, even when the targets are closely spaced within a single quadrant. In addition, the division of spatial attention appears to be relatively discrete, as opposed to slow and continuous. Finally, the predictive relationship between SSVEP power and behavior demonstrates that these neurophysiological measures of divided attention are meaningfully related to cognitive function.
Girardi, Giovanna; Antonucci, Gabriella; Nico, Daniele
Even when focused on an effortful task we retain the ability to detect salient environmental information, and even irrelevant visual stimuli can be automatically detected. However, to which extent unattended information affects attentional control is not fully understood. Here we provide evidences of how the brain spontaneously organizes its cognitive resources by shifting attention between a selective-attending and a stimulus-driven modality within a single task. Using a spatial cueing paradigm we investigated the effect of cue-target asynchronies as a function of their probabilities of occurrence (i.e., relative frequency). Results show that this accessory information modulates attentional shifts. A valid spatial cue improved participants' performance as compared to an invalid one only in trials in which target onset was highly predictable because of its more robust occurrence. Conversely, cuing proved ineffective when spatial cue and target were associated according to a less frequent asynchrony. These patterns of response depended on asynchronies' probability and not on their duration. Our findings clearly demonstrate that through a fine decision-making, performed trial-by-trial, the brain utilizes implicit information to decide whether or not voluntarily shifting spatial attention. As if according to a cost-planning strategy, the cognitive effort of shifting attention depending on the cue is performed only when the expected advantages are higher. In a trade-off competition for cognitive resources, voluntary/automatic attending may thus be a more complex process than expected. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The role of attention in visual word recognition and reading aloud is a long debated issue. Studies of both developmental and acquired reading disorders provide growing evidence that spatial attention is critically involved in word reading, in particular for the phonological decoding of unfamiliar letter strings. However, studies on healthy participants have produced contrasting results. The aim of this study was to investigate how the allocation of spatial attention may influence the perception of letter strings in skilled readers. High frequency words, low frequency words and pseudowords were briefly and parafoveally presented either in the left or the right visual field. Attentional allocation was modulated by the presentation of a spatial cue before the target string. Accuracy in reporting the target string was modulated by the spatial cue but this effect varied with the type of string. For unfamiliar strings, processing was facilitated when attention was focused on the string location and hindered when it was diverted from the target. This finding is consistent the assumptions of the CDP+ model of reading aloud, as well as with familiarity sensitivity models that argue for a flexible use of attention according with the specific requirements of the string. Moreover, we found that processing of high-frequency words was facilitated by an extra-large focus of attention. The latter result is consistent with the hypothesis that a broad distribution of attention is the default mode during reading of familiar words because it might optimally engage the broad receptive fields of the highest detectors in the hierarchical system for visual word recognition.
Montani, Veronica; Facoetti, Andrea; Zorzi, Marco
The role of attention in visual word recognition and reading aloud is a long debated issue. Studies of both developmental and acquired reading disorders provide growing evidence that spatial attention is critically involved in word reading, in particular for the phonological decoding of unfamiliar letter strings. However, studies on healthy participants have produced contrasting results. The aim of this study was to investigate how the allocation of spatial attention may influence the perception of letter strings in skilled readers. High frequency words (HFWs), low frequency words and pseudowords were briefly and parafoveally presented either in the left or the right visual field. Attentional allocation was modulated by the presentation of a spatial cue before the target string. Accuracy in reporting the target string was modulated by the spatial cue but this effect varied with the type of string. For unfamiliar strings, processing was facilitated when attention was focused on the string location and hindered when it was diverted from the target. This finding is consistent the assumptions of the CDP+ model of reading aloud, as well as with familiarity sensitivity models that argue for a flexible use of attention according with the specific requirements of the string. Moreover, we found that processing of HFWs was facilitated by an extra-large focus of attention. The latter result is consistent with the hypothesis that a broad distribution of attention is the default mode during reading of familiar words because it might optimally engage the broad receptive fields of the highest detectors in the hierarchical system for visual word recognition.
Full Text Available Sustainable development is not only a great challenge for society as a whole, but also for higher education institutions, which have been rapidly including sustainable development in their educational process in the last two decades. Directly or indirectly, education for sustainable spatial development includes all aspects of sustainable development: environmental, economic, social and cultural. Space is a junction of various interests, which requires coordinating the entire process of spatial planning, taking into account the goal of sustainable spatial development. The existing values of space are insufficient for the rapid implementation of a sustainable spatial development paradigm. Suitable education is needed by both individuals and spatial planning professionals and at all levels of education. It is therefore necessary to transform some of the academic programs in the higher education curriculum by integrating teaching content and methods that include long-term knowledge and holistic thinking, taking into account the importance of interdisciplinary integration. This article reviews literature in sustainable development in higher education from 2002 to 2013. Topics discussed include students’ and teachers’ conceptions of sustainable development, the presence of sustainable development and sustainable spatial development in higher education and the reasons for the slow introduction of this material into the curriculum. Based on a literature analysis, the last section identifies important drivers that can contribute to a more rapid integration of a sustainable spatial development paradigm into higher education.
Spencer, Kevin M; Nestor, Paul G; Valdman, Olga; Niznikiewicz, Margaret A; Shenton, Martha E; McCarley, Robert W
While attentional functions are usually found to be impaired in schizophrenia, a review of the literature on the orienting of spatial attention in schizophrenia suggested that voluntary attentional orienting in response to a valid cue might be paradoxically enhanced. We tested this hypothesis with orienting tasks involving the cued detection of a laterally presented target stimulus. Subjects were chronic schizophrenia patients (SZ) and matched healthy control subjects (HC). In Experiment 1 (15 SZ, 16 HC), cues were endogenous (arrows) and could be valid (100% predictive) or neutral with respect to the subsequent target position. In Experiment 2 (16 SZ, 16 HC), subjects performed a standard orienting task with unpredictive exogenous cues (brightening of the target boxes). In Experiment 1, SZ showed a larger attentional facilitation effect on reaction time than HC. In Experiment 2, no clear sign of enhanced attentional facilitation was found in SZ. The voluntary, facilitatory shifting of spatial attention may be relatively enhanced in individuals with schizophrenia in comparison to healthy individuals. This effect bears resemblance to other relative enhancements of information processing in schizophrenia such as saccade speed and semantic priming. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.
Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms are marginal. We hypothesize that basic deficits in sustaining attention explain more complex attentional dysfunction in persons with ADHD and relate to ADHD symptoms. Attentional function was analyzed by computing ex-Gaussian parameters for 3 time Blocks in a 20 min test of sustained alertness. Changes in performance across these blocks were analyzed by comparing adult persons with ADHD (n = 24) with healthy matched controls (n = 24) and correlated with neuropsychological measures of selective and divided attention as well as self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. We found a significantly steeper increase in the number of slow responses (ex-Gaussian parameter τ) in persons with ADHD with time on task in basic sustained alertness. They also performed significantly worse in tasks of sustained selective and divided attention. However, after controlling for an increase in τ during the alertness task, significant differences between groups disappeared for divided and partly selective attention. Increases in τ in the sustained alertness task correlated significantly with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. Our results provide evidence that very basic deficits in sustaining attention in adults with ADHD are related to infrequent slow responses (=attentional lapses), with changes over time being relevant for more complex attentional function and experienced ADHD symptoms in everyday life. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, Pvisual spatial training could
Chica, Ana B; Christie, John
It has recently been stated that exogenous attention impairs temporal-resolution tasks (Hein, Rolke, & Ulrich, 2006; Rolke, Dinkelbach, Hein, & Ulrich, 2008; Yeshurun, 2004; Yeshurun & Levy, 2003). In comparisons of performance on spatially cued trials versus neutral cued trials, the results have suggested that spatial attention decreases temporal resolution. However, when performance on cued and uncued trials has been compared in order to equate for cue salience, typically speed-accuracy trade-offs (SATs) have been observed, making the interpretation of the results difficult. In the present experiments, we aimed at studying the effect of spatial attention in temporal resolution while using a procedure to control for SATs. We controlled reaction times (RTs) by constraining the time to respond, so that response decisions would be made within comparable time windows. The results revealed that when RT was controlled, performance was impaired for cued trials as compared with neutral trials, replicating previous findings. However, when cued and uncued trials were compared, performance was actually improved for cued trials as compared with uncued trials. These results suggest that SAT effects may have played an important role in the previous studies, because when they were controlled and measured, the results reversed, revealing that exogenous attention does improve performance on temporal-resolution tasks.
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.
patterns of vacation homes are highly relevant to environmental sustainability. Unlike the spatial planning for urban areas where the urban environmental problamatique has been highly recognized and theories of sustainable urban development and planning relatively fully developed, vacation home has been...... a missing component in sustainable spatial development and planning both in theories and practice. Moreover, spatial planning for urban areas and vacation homes cannot be separated as they mutually influence each other. Against this background, the paper is concerned with how and to what extent concerns...... on sustainability of vacation homes is integrated into the spatial planning in the Danish context. The lack of ontological and theoretical debates on the environmental sustainability of vacation homes will be reflected upon before investigating the Danish case. A deep realist approach is adopted to explore...
Chun, Marvin M
Visual working memory and visual attention are intimately related, such that working memory encoding and maintenance reflects actively sustained attention to a limited number of visual objects and events important for ongoing cognition and action. Although attention is typically considered to operate over perceptual input, a recent taxonomy proposes to additionally consider how attention can be directed to internal perceptual representations in the absence of sensory input, as well as other internal memories, choices, and thoughts (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Such internal attention enables prolonged binding of features into integrated objects, along with enhancement of relevant sensory mechanisms. These processes are all limited in capacity, although different types of working memory and attention, such as spatial vs. object processing, operate independently with separate capacity. Overall, the success of maintenance depends on the ability to inhibit both external (perceptual) and internal (cognitive) distraction. Working memory is the interface by which attentional mechanisms select and actively maintain relevant perceptual information from the external world as internal representations within the mind. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael
Models of attention often distinguish between attention subtypes, with classic models separating orienting, switching, and sustaining functions. Compared to other forms of attention, the neurophysiological basis of sustaining attention has received far less attention yet it is known that momentary failures of sustained attention can have far ranging negative impacts in healthy individuals and lasting sustained attention deficits are pervasive in clinical populations. In recent years, however, there has been increased interest in characterizing moment-to-moment fluctuations in sustained attention in addition to the overall vigilance decrement and understanding how these neurocognitive systems change over the lifespan and across various clinical populations. The use of novel neuroimaging paradigms and statistical approaches has allowed for better characterization of the neural networks supporting sustained attention, and highlighted dynamic interactions within and across multiple distributed networks that predict behavioral performance. These advances have also provided potential biomarkers to identify individuals with sustained attention deficits. These findings have led to new theoretical models of why sustaining focused attention is a challenge for individuals and form the basis for the next generation of sustained attention research, which seeks to accurately diagnose and develop theoretically-driven treatments for sustained attention deficits that affect a variety of clinical populations. PMID:28260249
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.
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 visuo-spatial cognition (e.g., visual search, enumeration tasks, tracking multiple objects). Although playing action video games can improve several cognitive functions, the intensive interaction with the exciting, challenging, intrinsically stimulating and perceptually appealing game environments may adversely affect other functions, including the ability to maintain attention when the level of stimulation is not as intense. This study investigated whether a relationship existed between action video gaming and sustained attention performance in a sample of 45 Italian teenagers. After completing a questionnaire about their video game habits, participants were divided into Action Video Game Player (AVGP) and Non-Action Video Game Player (NAVGP) groups and underwent cognitive tests. The results confirm previous findings of studies of AVGPs as they had significantly enhanced performance for instantly enumerating a set of items. Nevertheless, we found that the drop in performance over time, typical of a sustained attention task, was significantly greater in the AVGP compared with the NAVGP group. This result is consistent with our hypothesis and demonstrates a negative effect of playing action video games.
Marco A. Petilli
Full Text Available Sustained attention is a fundamental prerequisite for all cognitive functions and its impairment is a common aftermath of both developmental and acquired neurological disorders. To date, all the sustained attention tasks rely heavily on selective attention to external stimuli. The interaction between selective and sustained attention represents a limit in the field of assessment and may mislead researchers or distort conclusions. The aim of the present perspective study was to propose a sustained version of the Paced Finger Tapping (S-PFT test as a novel approach to measure sustained attention that does not leverage external stimuli. Here, we administered S-PFT and other attentional tasks (visual sustained attention, visuospatial attention capacity, selective attention, and divided attention tasks to 85 adolescents. Thus, we provide evidence suggesting that S-PFT is effective in causing performance decrement over time, an important trademark of sustained attention tasks. We also present descriptive statistics showing the relationship between S-PFT and the other attentional tasks. These analyses show that, unlike visual sustained attention tests, performances to our task of internal sustained attention were not correlated to measures of selective attention and visuospatial attention capacity. Our results suggest that S-PFT could represent a promising and alternative tool both for empirical research and clinical assessment of sustained attention.
Chan, L.K.; Hayward, W.G.; Theeuwes, J.
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
Hutchings, Elizabeth J.; Waller, Jennifer L.
A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15–60 and 84–320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non–match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility. PMID:24042161
Hutchings, Elizabeth J; Waller, Jennifer L; Terry, Alvin V
A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15-60 and 84-320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non-match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility.
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
Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Spencer, John P.
Studies examining the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory (SWM) have shown that discrimination responses are faster for targets appearing at locations that are being maintained in SWM, and that location memory is impaired when attention is withdrawn during the delay. These observations support the proposal that sustained attention is required for successful retention in SWM: if attention is withdrawn, memory representations are likely to fail, increasing errors. In the present study, this proposal is reexamined in light of a neural process model of SWM. On the basis of the model's functioning, we propose an alternative explanation for the observed decline in SWM performance when a secondary task is performed during retention: SWM representations drift systematically toward the location of targets appearing during the delay. To test this explanation, participants completed a color-discrimination task during the delay interval of a spatial recall task. In the critical shifting attention condition, the color stimulus could appear either toward or away from the memorized location relative to a midline reference axis. We hypothesized that if shifting attention during the delay leads to the failure of SWM representations, there should be an increase in the variance of recall errors but no change in directional error, regardless of the direction of the shift. Conversely, if shifting attention induces drift of SWM representations—as predicted by the model—there should be systematic changes in the pattern of spatial recall errors depending on the direction of the shift. Results were consistent with the latter possibility—recall errors were biased toward the location of discrimination targets appearing during the delay. PMID:26810574
Johnson, Jeffrey S; Spencer, John P
Studies examining the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory (SWM) have shown that discrimination responses are faster for targets appearing at locations that are being maintained in SWM, and that location memory is impaired when attention is withdrawn during the delay. These observations support the proposal that sustained attention is required for successful retention in SWM: If attention is withdrawn, memory representations are likely to fail, increasing errors. In the present study, this proposal was reexamined in light of a neural-process model of SWM. On the basis of the model's functioning, we propose an alternative explanation for the observed decline in SWM performance when a secondary task is performed during retention: SWM representations drift systematically toward the location of targets appearing during the delay. To test this explanation, participants completed a color discrimination task during the delay interval of a spatial-recall task. In the critical shifting-attention condition, the color stimulus could appear either toward or away from the midline reference axis, relative to the memorized location. We hypothesized that if shifting attention during the delay leads to the failure of SWM representations, there should be an increase in the variance of recall errors, but no change in directional errors, regardless of the direction of the shift. Conversely, if shifting attention induces drift of SWM representations-as predicted by the model-systematic changes in the patterns of spatial-recall errors should occur that would depend on the direction of the shift. The results were consistent with the latter possibility-recall errors were biased toward the locations of discrimination targets appearing during the delay.
Local natural resources (LNRs) are essential for the socioeconomy of rural societies. The United Nations (UN) Agenda 21 and “Our Common Future” state that local spatial planning is central for the prospect of balancing ecological, social and economic sustainable development (SuD). Stakeholder participation in spatial planning enhances acceptance and improves preconditions for successful planning outcomes. Consequently, it is important to increase knowledge about LNRs and the use of them and t...
Sanabria, Daniel; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Spence, Charles
In this study, the authors combined the cross-modal dynamic capture task (involving the horizontal apparent movement of visual and auditory stimuli) with spatial cuing in the vertical dimension to investigate the role of spatial attention in cross-modal interactions during motion perception. Spatial attention was manipulated endogenously, either…
Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Bentin, Shlomo; Robertson, Lynn C.
Ample evidence suggests that global perception may involve low spatial frequency (LSF) processing and that local perception may involve high spatial frequency (HSF) processing (Shulman, Sullivan, Gish, & Sakoda, 1986; Shulman & Wilson, 1987; Robertson, 1996). It is debated whether SF selection is a low-level mechanism associating global…
Marco A. Petilli; Marco A. Petilli; Daniela C. Trisolini; Roberta Daini; Roberta Daini; Roberta Daini
Sustained attention is a fundamental prerequisite for all cognitive functions and its impairment is a common aftermath of both developmental and acquired neurological disorders. To date, all the sustained attention tasks rely heavily on selective attention to external stimuli. The interaction between selective and sustained attention represents a limit in the field of assessment and may mislead researchers or distort conclusions. The aim of the present perspective study was to propose a susta...
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.
Full Text Available The spatial behavior of tourists is an important part of the research on congestion management and sustainable planning of tourism destinations. Combined with user-generated content (UGC and site-based survey data, this study conducted an overlaying analysis between street network configurations that resulted from space syntax and tourist preferences. Based on space syntax, tourist movement is influenced by the distribution of scenic spots and the structure of tourist trails in scenic mountain areas. The results reveal that the distribution of scenic spots has a significant impact on tourist flow and visitors’ choices of entrance to the mountain; the volume of online sign-ins is highly correlated with landscape attention, axial control values and the local integration value of the trails; and tourists’ attention focuses on the entrance area and the few tourist-sight markers. This study advances the understanding of the spatial patterns of within-destination tourist behavior; this knowledge will be helpful in alleviating congestion in mountain scenic areas and providing effective guidance for tourists to plan an ideal tour route.
Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.
Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal…
Benitez, Viridiana L; Vales, Catarina; Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B
Stability and flexibility are fundamental to an intelligent cognitive system. Here, we examined the relationship between stability in selective attention and explicit control of flexible attention. Preschoolers were tested on the Dimension Preference (DP) task, which measures the stability of selective attention to an implicitly primed dimension, and the Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS) task, which measures flexible attention switching between dimensions. Children who successfully switched on the DCCS task were more likely than those who perseverated to sustain attention to the primed dimension on the DP task across trials. We propose that perseverators have less stable attention and distribute their attention between dimensions, whereas switchers can successfully stabilize attention to individual dimensions and, thus, show more enduring priming effects. Flexible attention may emerge, in part, from implicit processes that stabilize attention even in tasks not requiring switching. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Jongman, Suzanne R; Roelofs, Ardi; Meyer, Antje 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 over time. In Experiment 1, participants' sustained attention ability was measured using auditory and visual continuous performance tasks. Subsequently, employing a dual-task procedure, participants described pictures using simple noun phrases and performed an arrow-discrimination task while their vocal and manual response times (RTs) and the durations of their gazes to the pictures were measured. Earlier research has demonstrated that gaze duration reflects language planning processes up to and including phonological encoding. The speakers' sustained attention ability correlated with the magnitude of the tail of the vocal RT distribution, reflecting the proportion of very slow responses, but not with individual differences in gaze duration. This suggests that sustained attention was most important after phonological encoding. Experiment 2 showed that the involvement of sustained attention was significantly stronger in a dual-task situation (picture naming and arrow discrimination) than in simple naming. Thus, individual differences in maintaining attention on the production processes become especially apparent when a simultaneous second task also requires attentional resources.
Dixon, Matthew L; Ruppel, Justin; Pratt, Jay; De Rosa, Eve
We examined whether the selection mechanisms committed to the suppression of ignored stimuli can be modified by experience to produce a sustained, rather than transient, change in behavior. Subjects repeatedly ignored the shape of stimuli, while attending to their color. On subsequent attention to shape, there was a robust and sustained decrement in performance that was selective to when shape was ignored across multiple-color-target contexts, relative to a single-color-target context. Thus, amount of time ignored was not sufficient to induce a sustained performance decrement. Moreover, in this group, individual differences in initial color target selection were associated with the subsequent performance decrement when attending to previously ignored stimuli. Accompanying this sustained decrement in performance was a transfer in the locus of suppression from an exemplar (e.g., a circle) to a feature (i.e., shape) level of representation. These data suggest that learning can influence attentional selection by sustained attentional suppression of ignored stimuli.
Markant, Julie; Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Thomas, Kathleen M.
Early selective attention skills are a crucial building block for cognitive development, as attention orienting serves as a primary means by which infants interact with and learn from the environment. Although several studies have examined infants' attention orienting using the spatial cueing task, relatively few studies have examined…
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.
Mehta, Mitul A.; Simmons, Andrew; Mirza, Kah; Rubia, Katya
Childhood maltreatment is associated with adverse affective and cognitive consequences including impaired emotion processing, inhibition and attention. However, the majority of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in childhood maltreatment have examined emotion processing, while very few studies have tested the neurofunctional substrates of cognitive functions and none of attention. This study investigated the association between severe childhood abuse and fMRI brain activation during a parametric sustained attention task with a progressively increasing load of sustained attention in 21 medication-naïve, drug-free young people with a history of childhood abuse controlling for psychiatric comorbidities by including 19 psychiatric controls matched for psychiatric diagnoses, and 27 healthy controls. Behaviorally, the participants exposed to childhood abuse showed increased omission errors in the task which correlated positively trend-wise with the duration of their abuse. Neurofunctionally, the participants with a history of childhood abuse, but not the psychiatric controls, displayed significantly reduced activation relative to the healthy controls during the most challenging attention condition only in typical attention regions including left inferior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, insula and temporal areas. We therefore show for the first time that severe childhood abuse is associated with neurofunctional abnormalities in key ventral frontal-temporal sustained attention regions. The findings represent a first step towards the delineation of abuse-related neurofunctional abnormalities in sustained attention, which may help in the development of effective treatments for victims of childhood abuse. PMID:27832090
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…
Yeshurun, Yaffa; Carrasco, Marisa
It has been shown that transient attention enhances spatial resolution, but is the effect of transient attention on spatial resolution modulated by the size of the attentional cue? Would a gradual increase in the size of the cue lead to a gradual decrement in spatial resolution? To test these hypotheses, we used a texture segmentation task in which performance depends on spatial resolution, and systematically manipulated the size of the attentional cue: A bar of different lengths (Experiment 1) or a frame of different sizes (Experiments 2-3) indicated the target region in a texture segmentation display. Observers indicated whether a target patch region (oriented line elements in a background of an orthogonal orientation), appearing at a range of eccentricities, was present in the first or the second interval. We replicated the attentional enhancement of spatial resolution found with small cues; attention improved performance at peripheral locations but impaired performance at central locations. However, there was no evidence of gradual resolution decrement with large cues. Transient attention enhanced spatial resolution at the attended location when it was attracted to that location by a small cue but did not affect resolution when it was attracted by a large cue. These results indicate that transient attention cannot adapt its operation on spatial resolution on the basis of the size of the attentional cue.
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.
Vecera, Shaun P; Flevaris, Anastasia V; Filapek, Joseph C
In a hierarchical stage account of vision, figure-ground assignment is thought to be completed before the operation of focal spatial attention. Results of previous studies have supported this account by showing that unpredictive, exogenous spatial precues do not influence figure-ground assignment, although voluntary attention can influence figure-ground assignment. However, in these studies, attention was not summoned directly to a region in a figure-ground display. In three experiments, we addressed the relationship between figure-ground assignment and visuospatial attention. In Experiment 1, we replicated the finding that exogenous precues do not influence figure-ground assignment when they direct attention outside of a figure-ground stimulus. In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that exogenous attention can influence figure-ground assignment if it is directed to one of the regions in a figure-ground stimulus. In Experiment 3, we demonstrated that exogenous attention can influence figure-ground assignment in displays that contain a Gestalt figure-ground cue; this result suggests that figure-ground processes are not entirely completed prior to the operation of focal spatial attention. Exogenous spatial attention acts as a cue for figure-ground assignment and can affect the outcome of figure-ground processes.
Pearce, Samuel C; Stolwyk, Renerus J; New, Peter W; Anderson, Clare
To simultaneously investigate the prevalence of and impact that the poststroke complications of daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality, depression, and fatigue may be having upon deficits of sustained attention, as assessed using the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT). Twenty-two patients with stroke (mean age: 68.23 ± 12.17 years) and 20 healthy control participants (mean age: 68.1 ± 9.5 years) completed subjective measures of daytime sleepiness, sleep quality, fatigue, and depression and an objective measure of sustained attention as assessed using the PVT. Patients with stroke compared to controls showed heightened levels of fatigue (p = .001, η(2) = .29) and depression (p = .002, η(2) = .23), plus greater deficits of sustained attention as reflected by poorer performance across all PVT outcome measures including: slower mean reaction times (p = .002, η(2) = .22); increased number of lapses (p = .002, η(2) = .24); and greater variability in reaction time (RT) responses (p = .016, η(2) = .15). Reaction time distribution analysis suggested that daytime sleepiness and sleep quality had little influence across PVT performance; however, depressive symptomology was associated with longer RT responses, indicative of inattention, and fatigue impacted upon the entire distribution of PVT responses. PVT performance illustrated significant deficits across the domain of sustained attention for patients with stroke in comparison to healthy controls, in terms of inattention as well as slower sensory-motor speed. The common poststroke complications of depressive symptomology and fatigue appear to be associated with these deficits in sustained attention, warranting further investigation.
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.
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
Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely
Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely
Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely
Ciaramelli, Elisa; Lin, Olivia; Moscovitch, Morris
The study explores the bottom-up attentional consequences of episodic memory retrieval. Individuals studied words (Experiment 1) or pictures (Experiment 2) presented on the left or on the right of the screen. They then viewed studied and new stimuli in the centre of the screen. One-second after the appearance of each stimulus, participants had to respond to a dot presented on the left or on the right of the screen. The dot could follow a stimulus that had been presented, during the study phase, on the same side as the dot (congruent condition), a stimulus that had been presented on the opposite side (incongruent condition), or a new stimulus (neutral condition). Subjects were faster to respond to the dot in the congruent compared to the incongruent condition, with an overall right visual field advantage in Experiment 1. The memory-driven facilitation effect correlated with subjects' re-experiencing of the encoding context (R responses; Experiment 1), but not with their explicit memory for the side of items' presentation (source memory; Experiment 2). The results indicate that memory contents are attended automatically and can bias the deployment of attention. The degree to which memory and attention interact appears related to subjective but not objective indicators of memory strength.
Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.
Our visual system is highly sensitive to regularities in the environment. Locations that were important in one's previous experience are often prioritized during search, even though observers may not be aware of the learning. In this study we characterized the guidance of spatial attention by incidental learning of a target's spatial probability,…
Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas
distinguish perceptual from response-related components of attention. We used a verbal-report paradigm based on the Theory of Visual Attention (Bundesen, 1990) and a new continuous performance test, the Dual Attention to Response Task (Dockree et al., 2006), for measuring parameters of selective and sustained......Spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM) is a neural tube defect that has been related to deficits in several cognitive domains including attention. Attention function in children with SBM has often been studied using tasks that are confounded by complex motor demands or tasks that do not clearly...... attention in 6 children with SBM and 18 healthy control children. The two tasks had minimal motor demands, were functionally specific and were sensitive to minor deficits. As a group, the children with SBM were significantly less efficient at filtering out irrelevant stimuli. Moreover, they exhibited...
Hulme, Oliver J; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Shipp, Stewart
/central-intralaminar (oculomotor thalamus), caudal intralaminar/parafascicular, suprageniculate/limitans, and medial pulvinar/lateral posterior. Hence, the cortical network generating a top-down control signal for relocating attention acts in concert with a spatially selective thalamic apparatus-the set of active nuclei mirroring...... the thalamic territory of cortical "eye-field" areas, thus supporting theories which propose the visuomotor origins of covert attentional selection.......Spatial attention modulates signal processing within visual nuclei of the thalamus--but do other nuclei govern the locus of attention in top-down mode? We examined functional MRI (fMRI) data from three subjects performing a task requiring covert attention to 1 of 16 positions in a circular array...
Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W.; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of
Baghdadi, G.; Jafari, S.; Sprott, J. C.; Towhidkhah, F.; Hashemi Golpayegani, M. R.
The problem of keeping an attention level is one of the common symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Dopamine deficiency is introduced as one of the causes of this disorder. Based on some physiological facts about the attention control mechanism and chaos intermittency, a behavioral model is presented in this paper. This model represents the problem of undesired alternation of attention level, and can also suggest different valuable predictions about a possible cause of attention deficit disorder. The proposed model reveals that there is a possible interaction between different neurotransmitters which help the individual to adaptively inhibit the attention switching over time. The result of this study can be used to examine and develop a new practical and more appropriate treatment for the problem of sustaining attention.
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
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.
Roebuck, Hettie; Freigang, Claudia; Barry, Johanna G.
Purpose: Continuous performance tasks (CPTs) are used to measure individual differences in sustained attention. Many different stimuli have been used as response targets without consideration of their impact on task performance. Here, we compared CPT performance in typically developing adults and children to assess the role of stimulus processing…
Kooistra, L.; Van der Meere, J.J.; Vulsma, T.; Kalverboer, A.F.
Sustained attention was studied in 48 children with early treated congenital hypothyroidism and 35 healthy controls, using a computer-paced and a self-paced continuous performance task. The performance of the patients, particularly those in the low T4 group (38 patients with T4 levels 50 nmol/l at
Esterman, Michael; Poole, Victoria; Liu, Guanyu; DeGutis, Joseph
Reward and motivation have powerful effects on cognition and brain activity, yet it remains unclear how they affect sustained cognitive performance. We have recently shown that a variety of motivators improve accuracy and reduce variability during sustained attention. In the current study, we investigate how neural activity in task-positive networks supports these sustained attention improvements. Participants performed the gradual-onset continuous performance task with alternating motivated (rewarded) and unmotivated (unrewarded) blocks. During motivated blocks, we observed increased sustained neural recruitment of task-positive regions, which interacted with fluctuations in task performance. Specifically, during motivated blocks, participants recruited these regions in preparation for upcoming targets, and this activation predicted accuracy. In contrast, during unmotivated blocks, no such advanced preparation was observed. Furthermore, during motivated blocks, participants had similar activation levels during both optimal (in-the-zone) and suboptimal (out-of-the-zone) epochs of performance. In contrast, during unmotivated blocks, task-positive regions were only engaged to a similar degree as motivated blocks during suboptimal (out-of-the-zone) periods. These data support a framework in which motivated individuals act as "cognitive investors," engaging task-positive resources proactively and consistently during sustaining attention. When unmotivated, however, the same individuals act as "cognitive misers," engaging maximal task-positive resources only during periods of struggle. Published by Oxford University Press 2016.
Mulet, B; Valero, J; Gutiérrez-Zotes, A; Montserrat, C; Cortés, M J; Jariod, M; Martorell, L; Vilella, E; Labad, A
The first descriptions of schizophrenia emphasized attention problems patients with schizophrenia have but recent results evidence that other psychotic disorders share them. We compared the performance in sustained and selective attention between psychotic patients (P), their healthy first degree relatives (R) and healthy volunteers (C) to prove whether these alterations could be an endophenotype of vulnerability to psychosis. We also compared the performance of schizophrenic patients (SZP) and that of patients with other functional psychoses (OP) in order to prove whether these alterations are specific of any psychotic disorder. Seventy-six P, 70 R and 39 C were included in the study. A selective attention index, comprising TMT A and B and Stroop Test, and a sustained attention index comprising the Continuous Performance Test were calculated. We conducted an univariant general linear model to compare three group performances in these indexes, with age, sex and years of education as a covariables. We found significant differences between the indexes when we compared P, R and C. No differences in performance were found between SZP and OP. Our data showed that sustained and selective attention alterations could be a vulnerability factor to psychotic disorders in general, but they were not specific of schizophrenia.
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.
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. PMID:24355653
Full Text Available Objective: Present study compares relationship between motor performance, sustained attention and impulse control in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and normal children. Materials & Methods: In this descriptive-analytic study, 21 boys with ADHD and 21 normal boys in the age range of 7- 10 years old were participated. Motor performance by using Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency and sustained attention and impulse control by using Continuous Performance Test were evaluated. Results: Analysis by T-Test and Mann-Whitney revealed significant difference between ADHD group and normal group in gross, fine and battery motor performance also sustained attention and impulse control (P<0.0001. Analysis by Z-Fisher test indicated no significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and gross motor performance in two groups (P=0.276 but significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and fine (P<0.0001 and battery (P<0.0001 motor performance were shown. Correlation Coefficient impulsivity and gross (P=0.379, fine (P=0.92 and battery (P=0.562 motor performance shown no significant difference between two groups. Conclusion: According to study results there was a positive relation between sustained attention and impulse control and most of motor performance in both groups. Therefore these findings help Occupational Therapist to determine rehabilitation priorities and to use exact strategies in order to enhance motor performance in children.
Gondan, Matthias; Blurton, Steven Paul; Hughes, F.
underlying the RSE. We investigated the role of spatial and selective attention on the RSE in audiovisual redundant signals tasks. In Experiment 1, stimuli were presented either centrally (narrow attentional focus) or at 1 of 3 unpredictable locations (wide focus). The RSE was accurately described...... task) or to central stimuli only (selective attention task). The RSE was consistent with task-specific coactivation models; accumulation of evidence, however, differed between the 2 tasks....... by a coactivation model assuming linear superposition of modality-specific activation. Effects of spatial attention were explained by a shift of the evidence criterion. In Experiment 2, stimuli were presented at 3 locations; participants had to respond either to all signals regardless of location (simple response...
Valdés-Conroy, Berenice; Hinojosa, José A; Román, Francisco J; Romero-Ferreiro, Verónica
Building on evidence for embodied representations, we investigated whether Spanish spatial terms map onto the NEAR/FAR perceptual division of space. Using a long horizontal display, we measured congruency effects during the processing of spatial terms presented in NEAR or FAR space. Across three experiments, we manipulated the task demands in order to investigate the role of endogenous attention in linguistic and perceptual space mapping. We predicted congruency effects only when spatial properties were relevant for the task (reaching estimation task, Experiment 1) but not when attention was allocated to other features (lexical decision, Experiment 2; and color, Experiment 3). Results showed faster responses for words presented in Near-space in all experiments. Consistent with our hypothesis, congruency effects were observed only when a reaching estimate was requested. Our results add important evidence for the role of top-down processing in congruency effects from embodied representations of spatial terms. Copyright © 2017 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Full Text Available The auditory stimuli provide information about the objects and events around us. They can also carry biologically significant emotional information (such as unseen dangers and conspecific vocalizations, which provides cues for allocation of attention and mental resources. Here, we investigated whether task-irrelevant auditory emotional information can provide cues for orientation of auditory spatial attention. We employed a covert spatial orienting task: the dot-probe task. In each trial, two task irrelevant auditory cues were simultaneously presented at two separate locations (left-right or front-back. Environmental sounds were selected to form emotional vs. neutral, emotional vs. emotional, and neutral vs. neutral cue pairs. The participants’ task was to detect the location of an acoustic target that was presented immediately after the task-irrelevant auditory cues. The target was presented at the same location as one of the auditory cues. The results indicated that participants were significantly faster to locate the target when it replaced the negative cue compared to when it replaced the neutral cue. The positive cues did not produce a clear attentional bias. Further, same valence pairs (emotional-emotional or neutral-neutral did not modulate reaction times due to a lack of spatial attention capture by one cue in the pair. Taken together, the results indicate that negative affect can provide cues for the orientation of spatial attention in the auditory domain.
Myers, Nicholas E; Stokes, Mark G; Nobre, Anna C
Working memory (WM) has limited capacity. This leaves attention with the important role of allowing into storage only the most relevant information. It is increasingly evident that attention is equally crucial for prioritizing representations within WM as the importance of individual items changes. Retrospective prioritization has been proposed to result from a focus of internal attention highlighting one of several representations. Here, we suggest an updated model, in which prioritization acts in multiple steps: first orienting towards and selecting a memory, and then reconfiguring its representational state in the service of upcoming task demands. Reconfiguration sets up an optimized perception-action mapping, obviating the need for sustained attention. This view is consistent with recent literature, makes testable predictions, and links WM with task switching and action preparation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Spaulding, Tammie J.; Plante, Elena; Vance, Rebecca
Purpose: The present study was designed to investigate the performance of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing (TD) peers on sustained selective attention tasks. Method: This study included 23 children diagnosed with SLI and 23 TD children matched for age, gender, and maternal education level.…
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F.; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants…
Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles
We compared the ability of auditory, visual, and audiovisual (bimodal) exogenous cues to capture visuo-spatial attention under conditions of no load versus high perceptual load. Participants had to discriminate the elevation (up vs. down) of visual targets preceded by either unimodal or bimodal cues under conditions of high perceptual load (in…
Golomb, Julie D
Spatial attention is thought to play a critical role in feature binding. However, often multiple objects or locations are of interest in our environment, and we need to shift or split attention between them. Recent evidence has demonstrated that shifting and splitting spatial attention results in different types of feature-binding errors. In particular, when two locations are simultaneously sharing attentional resources, subjects are susceptible to feature-mixing errors; that is, they tend to report a color that is a subtle blend of the target color and the color at the other attended location. The present study was designed to test whether these feature-mixing errors are influenced by target-distractor similarity. Subjects were cued to split attention across two different spatial locations, and were subsequently presented with an array of colored stimuli, followed by a postcue indicating which color to report. Target-distractor similarity was manipulated by varying the distance in color space between the two attended stimuli. Probabilistic modeling in all cases revealed shifts in the response distribution consistent with feature-mixing errors; however, the patterns differed considerably across target-distractor color distances. With large differences in color, the findings replicated the mixing result, but with small color differences, repulsion was instead observed, with the reported target color shifted away from the other attended color.
Burnett, Katherine E; Close, Alex C; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet
A commonly held view in both exogenous and endogenous orienting is that spatial attention is associated with enhanced processing of all stimuli at the attended location. However, we often search for a specific target at a particular location, so an observer should be able to jointly specify the target identity and expected location. Whether attention can bias dimension-specific processes at a particular location is not yet clear. We used a dual task to examine the effects of endogenous spatial cues on the accuracy of perceptual judgments of different dimensions. Participants responded to a motion target and a colour target, presented at the same or different locations. We manipulated a central cue to predict the location of the motion or colour target. While overall performance in the two tasks was comparable, cueing effects were larger for the target whose location was predicted by the cue, implying that when attending a particular location, processing of the likely dimension was preferentially enhanced. Additionally, an asymmetry between the motion and colour tasks was seen; motion was modulated by attention, and colour was not. We conclude that attention has some ability to select a dimension at a particular location, indicating integration of spatial and feature-based attention.
Patel, Saumil S.; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B.
Many neurons in the dorsal and ventral visual stream have the property that after a brief visual stimulus presentation in their receptive field, the spiking activity in these neurons persists above their baseline levels for several seconds. This maintained activity is not always correlated with the monkey’s task and its origin is unknown. We have previously proposed a simple neural network model, based on shape selective neurons in monkey lateral intraparietal cortex, which predicts the valence and time course of reflexive (bottom-up) spatial attention. In the same simple model, we demonstrate here that passive maintained activity or short-term memory of specific visual events can result without need for an external or top-down modulatory signal. Mutual inhibition and neuronal adaptation play distinct roles in reflexive attention and memory. This modest 4-cell model provides the first simple and unified physiologically plausible mechanism of reflexive spatial attention and passive short-term memory processes. PMID:26493949
Patel, Saumil S; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B
Many neurons in the dorsal and ventral visual stream have the property that after a brief visual stimulus presentation in their receptive field, the spiking activity in these neurons persists above their baseline levels for several seconds. This maintained activity is not always correlated with the monkey's task and its origin is unknown. We have previously proposed a simple neural network model, based on shape selective neurons in monkey lateral intraparietal cortex, which predicts the valence and time course of reflexive (bottom-up) spatial attention. In the same simple model, we demonstrate here that passive maintained activity or short-term memory of specific visual events can result without need for an external or top-down modulatory signal. Mutual inhibition and neuronal adaptation play distinct roles in reflexive attention and memory. This modest 4-cell model provides the first simple and unified physiologically plausible mechanism of reflexive spatial attention and passive short-term memory processes.
Ni, Amy M; Maunsell, John H R
Spatial attention improves perception of attended parts of a scene, a behavioral enhancement accompanied by modulations of neuronal firing rates. These modulations vary in size across neurons in the same brain area. Models of normalization explain much of this variance in attention modulation with differences in tuned normalization across neurons (Lee J, Maunsell JHR. PLoS One 4: e4651, 2009; Ni AM, Ray S, Maunsell JHR. Neuron 73: 803-813, 2012). However, recent studies suggest that normalization tuning varies with spatial location both across and within neurons (Ruff DA, Alberts JJ, Cohen MR. J Neurophysiol 116: 1375-1386, 2016; Verhoef BE, Maunsell JHR. eLife 5: e17256, 2016). Here we show directly that attention modulation and normalization tuning do in fact covary within individual neurons, in addition to across neurons as previously demonstrated. We recorded the activity of isolated neurons in the middle temporal area of two rhesus monkeys as they performed a change-detection task that controlled the focus of spatial attention. Using the same two drifting Gabor stimuli and the same two receptive field locations for each neuron, we found that switching which stimulus was presented at which location affected both attention modulation and normalization in a correlated way within neurons. We present an equal-maximum-suppression spatially tuned normalization model that explains this covariance both across and within neurons: each stimulus generates equally strong suppression of its own excitatory drive, but its suppression of distant stimuli is typically less. This new model specifies how the tuned normalization associated with each stimulus location varies across space both within and across neurons, changing our understanding of the normalization mechanism and how attention modulations depend on this mechanism. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Tuned normalization studies have demonstrated that the variance in attention modulation size seen across neurons from the same cortical
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
Full Text Available The eye movement system is sensitive to reward. However, whilst the eye movement system is extremely flexible, the extent to which changes to oculomotor behaviour induced by reward paradigms persist beyond the training period or transfer to other oculomotor tasks is unclear. To address these issues we examined the effects of presenting feedback that represented small monetary rewards to spatial locations on the latency of saccadic eye movements, the time-course of learning and extinction of the effects of rewarding saccades on exogenous spatial attention and oculomotor IOR. Reward feedback produced a relative facilitation of saccadic latency in a stimulus driven saccade task which persisted for 3 blocks of extinction trials. However this hemifield-specific effect failed to transfer to peripheral cueing tasks. We conclude that rewarding specific spatial locations is unlikely to induce long-term, systemic changes to the human oculomotor or attention systems.
Dunne, Stephen; Ellison, Amanda; Smith, Daniel T
The eye movement system is sensitive to reward. However, whilst the eye movement system is extremely flexible, the extent to which changes to oculomotor behavior induced by reward paradigms persist beyond the training period or transfer to other oculomotor tasks is unclear. To address these issues we examined the effects of presenting feedback that represented small monetary rewards to spatial locations on the latency of saccadic eye movements, the time-course of learning and extinction of the effects of rewarding saccades on exogenous spatial attention and oculomotor inhibition of return. Reward feedback produced a relative facilitation of saccadic latency in a stimulus driven saccade task which persisted for three blocks of extinction trials. However, this hemifield-specific effect failed to transfer to peripheral cueing tasks. We conclude that rewarding specific spatial locations is unlikely to induce long-term, systemic changes to the human oculomotor or attention systems.
Casarotti, Marco; Lisi, Matteo; Umiltà, Carlo; Zorzi, Marco
Growing evidence indicates that planning eye movements and orienting visuospatial attention share overlapping brain mechanisms. A tight link between endogenous attention and eye movements is maintained by the premotor theory, in contrast to other accounts that postulate the existence of specific attention mechanisms that modulate the activity of information processing systems. The strong assumption of equivalence between attention and eye movements, however, is challenged by demonstrations that human observers are able to keep attention on a specific location while moving the eyes elsewhere. Here we investigate whether a recurrent model of saccadic planning can account for attentional effects without requiring additional or specific mechanisms separate from the circuits that perform sensorimotor transformations for eye movements. The model builds on the basis function approach and includes a circuit that performs spatial remapping using an "internal forward model" of how visual inputs are modified as a result of saccadic movements. Simulations show that the latter circuit is crucial to account for dissociations between attention and eye movements that may be invoked to disprove the premotor theory. The model provides new insights into how spatial remapping may be implemented in parietal cortex and offers a computational framework for recent proposals that link visual stability with remapping of attention pointers.
Yashar, Amit; White, Alex L; Fang, Wanghaoming; Carrasco, Marisa
People perform better in visual search when the target feature repeats across trials (intertrial feature priming [IFP]). Here, we investigated whether repetition of a feature singleton's color modulates stimulus-driven shifts of spatial attention by presenting a probe stimulus immediately after each singleton display. The task alternated every two trials between a probe discrimination task and a singleton search task. We measured both stimulus-driven spatial attention (via the distance between the probe and singleton) and IFP (via repetition of the singleton's color). Color repetition facilitated search performance (IFP effect) when the set size was small. When the probe appeared at the singleton's location, performance was better than at the opposite location (stimulus-driven attention effect). The magnitude of this attention effect increased with the singleton's set size (which increases its saliency) but did not depend on whether the singleton's color repeated across trials, even when the previous singleton had been attended as a search target. Thus, our findings show that repetition of a salient singleton's color affects performance when the singleton is task relevant and voluntarily attended (as in search trials). However, color repetition does not affect performance when the singleton becomes irrelevant to the current task, even though the singleton does capture attention (as in probe trials). Therefore, color repetition per se does not make a singleton more salient for stimulus-driven attention. Rather, we suggest that IFP requires voluntary selection of color singletons in each consecutive trial.
Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika; Elford, Joanna
Accumulating evidence shows that cognitive bias modification produces immediate changes in attentional bias for, and consumption of, rewarding substances including food. This study examined the longevity of these attentional bias modification effects. A modified dot probe paradigm was used to determine whether alterations in biased attentional processing of food cues, and subsequent effects on consumption, were maintained at 24-h and one-week follow-up. One hundred and forty-nine undergraduate women were trained to direct their attention toward ('attend') or away from ('avoid') food cues (i.e., pictures of chocolate). Within each group, half received a single training session, the other half completed 5 weekly training sessions. Attentional bias for chocolate cues increased in the 'attend' group, and decreased in the 'avoid' group immediately post training. Participants in the 'avoid' group also ate disproportionately less of a chocolate food product in a so-called taste test than did those in the 'attend' group. Importantly, the observed re-training effects were maintained 24 h later and also one week later, but only following multiple training sessions. There are a number of limitations that could be addressed in future research: (a) the inclusion of a no-training control group, (b) the inclusion of a suspicion probe to detect awareness of the purpose of the taste test, and (c) the use of different tasks to assess and re-train attentional bias. The results showed sustained effects of attentional re-training on attentional bias and consumption. They further demonstrate the importance of administering multiple re-training sessions in attentional bias modification protocols. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Goodhew, Stephanie C; Shen, Elizabeth; Edwards, Mark
An important but often neglected aspect of attention is how changes in the attentional spotlight size impact perception. The zoom-lens model predicts that a small ("focal") attentional spotlight enhances all aspects of perception relative to a larger ("diffuse" spotlight). However, based on the physiological properties of the two major classes of visual cells (magnocellular and parvocellular neurons) we predicted trade-offs in spatial and temporal acuity as a function of spotlight size. Contrary to both of these accounts, however, across two experiments we found that attentional spotlight size affected spatial acuity, such that spatial acuity was enhanced for a focal relative to a diffuse spotlight, whereas the same modulations in spotlight size had no impact on temporal acuity. This likely reflects the function of attention: to induce the high spatial resolution of the fovea in periphery, where spatial resolution is poor but temporal resolution is good. It is adaptive, therefore, for the attentional spotlight to enhance spatial acuity, whereas enhancing temporal acuity does not confer the same benefit.
Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.
Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal that working memory is attention directed toward internal representations. Here we show that the close relationship between these two constructs is limited to some but not all forms of spatial attention. In five experiments, participants held color arrays, dot locations, or a sequence of dots in working memory. During the memory retention interval they performed a T-among-L visual search task. Crucially, the probable target location was cued either implicitly through location probability learning, or explicitly with a central arrow or verbal instruction. Our results showed that whereas imposing a visual working memory load diminished the effectiveness of explicit cuing, it did not interfere with probability cuing. We conclude that spatial working memory shares similar mechanisms with explicit, goal-driven attention but is dissociated from implicitly learned attention. PMID:25401460
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre-attentive b......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre...... from each of the faces and from the voice on the auditory speech percept. We found that directing visual spatial attention towards a face increased the influence of that face on auditory perception. However, the influence of the voice on auditory perception did not change suggesting that audiovisual...... integration did not change. Visual spatial attention was also able to select between the faces when lip reading. This suggests that visual spatial attention acts at the level of visual speech perception prior to audiovisual integration and that the effect propagates through audiovisual integration...
Full Text Available Objectives: The purpose of the present study was comparing visuo-spatial attention between children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Inattentive (ADHD-I type and normal children. Methods: In this cross-sectional study fifteen (7-10 years of age children were classified with ADHD-I type and 15 normal children were matched for age, sex, and IQ. They were selected trough simple random sampling. Measurement tools were Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children 4th edition (WISC-IV, the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory and the Star Cancellation Test. Results: The results suggest that there is no significant difference between ADHD-I and normal children from the visuo-spatial standpoint (P>0.05. But three ADHD-I children exhibited signs of unilateral neglect. Discussion: Although, in this study the visuo-spatial attention was not different between ADHD-I group and normal group, considering this form of attention as an item in assessment and therapeutic interventions should not be neglected.
Dorrian, Jillian; McLean, Benjamin; Banks, Siobhan; Loetscher, Tobias
There is evidence that a decrease in alertness is associated with a rightward shift of attention. Alertness fluctuates throughout the day and peak times differ between individuals. Some individuals feel most alert in the morning; others in the evening. Our aim was to investigate the influence of morningness/eveningness and time of testing on spatial attention. It was predicted that attention would shift rightwards when individuals were tested at their non-optimal time as compared to tests at peak times. A crowdsourcing internet marketplace, Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) was used to collect data. Given questions surrounding the quality of data drawn from such virtual environments, this study also investigated the sensitivity of data to demonstrate known effects from the literature. Five-hundred and thirty right-handed participants took part between 6 am and 11 pm. Participants answered demographic questions, completed a question from the Horne and Östberg Morningness/Eveningness Scale, and performed a spatial attentional task (landmark task). For the landmark task, participants indicated whether the left or right segment of each of 72 pre-bisected lines was longer (longer side counterbalanced). Response bias was calculated by subtracting the 'number of left responses' from the 'number of right responses', and dividing by the number of trials. Negative values indicate a leftward attentional bias, and positive values a rightward bias. Well-supported relationships between variables were reflected in the dataset. Controlling for age, there was a significant interaction between morningness/eveningness and time of testing (morning=6 am-2.30 pm, evening=2.30 pm-11 pm) (pattention from peak to off-peak times of testing for those identifying as morning types, but not evening types. Findings support the utility of crowdsourcing internet marketplaces as data collection vehicles for research. Results also suggest that the deployment of spatial attention is modulated by an
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants heard audio clips, some of which included a lateralized target (p = 50%). On each trial participants indicated whether the target was presented from the left, right, or was absent. Following a 1 hr retention interval, participants were presented with the same audio clips, which now all included a target. In Experiment 1, participants showed memory-based gains in response time and d'. Experiment 2 showed that temporal expectations modulate attention, with greater memory-guided attention effects on performance when temporal context was reinstated from learning (i.e., when timing of the target within audio clips was not changed from initially learned timing). Experiment 3 showed that while conscious recall of target locations was modulated by exposure to target-context associations during learning (i.e., better recall with higher number of learning blocks), the influence of LTM associations on spatial attention was not reduced (i.e., number of learning blocks did not affect memory-guided attention). Both Experiments 2 and 3 showed gains in performance related to target-context associations, even for associations that were not explicitly remembered. Together, these findings indicate that memory for audio clips is acquired quickly and is surprisingly robust; both implicit and explicit LTM for the location of a faint target tone modulated auditory spatial attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Robertson, Caroline E; Kravitz, Dwight J; Freyberg, Jan; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Baker, Chris I
Enhanced perception of detail has long been regarded a hallmark of autism spectrum conditions (ASC), but its origins are unknown. Normal sensitivity on all fundamental perceptual measures-visual acuity, contrast discrimination, and flicker detection-is strongly established in the literature. If individuals with ASC do not have superior low-level vision, how is perception of detail enhanced? We argue that this apparent paradox can be resolved by considering visual attention, which is known to enhance basic visual sensitivity, resulting in greater acuity and lower contrast thresholds. Here, we demonstrate that the focus of attention and concomitant enhancement of perception are sharper in human individuals with ASC than in matched controls. Using a simple visual acuity task embedded in a standard cueing paradigm, we mapped the spatial and temporal gradients of attentional enhancement by varying the distance and onset time of visual targets relative to an exogenous cue, which obligatorily captures attention. Individuals with ASC demonstrated a greater fall-off in performance with distance from the cue than controls, indicating a sharper spatial gradient of attention. Further, this sharpness was highly correlated with the severity of autistic symptoms in ASC, as well as autistic traits across both ASC and control groups. These findings establish the presence of a form of "tunnel vision" in ASC, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of the social and neurobiological aspects of autism.
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
Golob, Edward J; Winston, Jenna; Mock, Jeffrey R
Short-term memory load can impair attentional control, but prior work shows that the extent of the effect ranges from being very general to very specific. One factor for the mixed results may be reliance on point estimates of memory load effects on attention. Here we used auditory attention gradients as an analog measure to map-out the impact of short-term memory load over space. Verbal or spatial information was maintained during an auditory spatial attention task and compared to no-load. Stimuli were presented from five virtual locations in the frontal azimuth plane, and subjects focused on the midline. Reaction times progressively increased for lateral stimuli, indicating an attention gradient. Spatial load further slowed responses at lateral locations, particularly in the left hemispace, but had little effect at midline. Verbal memory load had no (Experiment 1), or a minimal (Experiment 2) influence on reaction times. Spatial and verbal load increased switch costs between memory encoding and attention tasks relative to the no load condition. The findings show that short-term memory influences the distribution of auditory attention over space; and that the specific pattern depends on the type of information in short-term memory.
Edward J. Golob
Full Text Available Short-term memory load can impair attentional control, but prior work shows that the extent of the effect ranges from being very general to very specific. One factor for the mixed results may be reliance on point estimates of memory load effects on attention. Here we used auditory attention gradients as an analog measure to map-out the impact of short-term memory load over space. Verbal or spatial information was maintained during an auditory spatial attention task and compared to no-load. Stimuli were presented from five virtual locations in the frontal azimuth plane, and subjects focused on the midline. Reaction times progressively increased for lateral stimuli, indicating an attention gradient. Spatial load further slowed responses at lateral locations, particularly in the left hemispace, but had little effect at midline. Verbal memory load had no (Experiment 1, or a minimal (Experiment 2 influence on reaction times. Spatial and verbal load increased switch costs between memory encoding and attention tasks relative to the no load condition. The findings show that short-term memory influences the distribution of auditory attention over space; and that the specific pattern depends on the type of information in short-term memory.
Faught, Gayle G; Conners, Frances A; Himmelberger, Zachary M
Sustained attention (SA) is important to task performance and development of higher functions. It emerges as a separable component of attention during preschool and shows incremental improvements during this stage of development. The current study investigated if auditory and visual SA match developmental level or are particular challenges for youth with DS. Further, we sought to determine if there were modality effects in SA that could predict those seen in short-term memory (STM). We compared youth with DS to typically developing youth matched for nonverbal mental age and receptive vocabulary. Groups completed auditory and visual sustained attention to response tests (SARTs) and STM tasks. Results indicated groups performed similarly on both SARTs, even over varying cognitive ability. Further, within groups participants performed similarly on auditory and visual SARTs, thus SA could not predict modality effects in STM. However, SA did generally predict a significant portion of unique variance in groups' STM. Ultimately, results suggested both auditory and visual SA match developmental level in DS. Further, SA generally predicts STM, though SA does not necessarily predict the pattern of poor auditory relative to visual STM characteristic of DS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rebecca E Paladini
Full Text Available Cross-modal spatial cueing can affect performance in a visual search task. For example, search performance improves if a visual target and an auditory cue originate from the same spatial location, and it deteriorates if they originate from different locations. Moreover, it has recently been postulated that multisensory settings, i.e., experimental settings, in which critical stimuli are concurrently presented in different sensory modalities (e.g., visual and auditory, may trigger asymmetries in visuospatial attention. Thereby, a facilitation has been observed for visual stimuli presented in the right compared to the left visual space. However, it remains unclear whether auditory cueing of attention differentially affects search performance in the left and the right hemifields in audio-visual search tasks. The present study investigated whether spatial asymmetries would occur in a search task with cross-modal spatial cueing. Participants completed a visual search task that contained no auditory cues (i.e., unimodal visual condition, spatially congruent, spatially incongruent, and spatially non-informative auditory cues. To further assess participants' accuracy in localising the auditory cues, a unimodal auditory spatial localisation task was also administered. The results demonstrated no left/right asymmetries in the unimodal visual search condition. Both an additional incongruent, as well as a spatially non-informative, auditory cue resulted in lateral asymmetries. Thereby, search times were increased for targets presented in the left compared to the right hemifield. No such spatial asymmetry was observed in the congruent condition. However, participants' performance in the congruent condition was modulated by their tone localisation accuracy. The findings of the present study demonstrate that spatial asymmetries in multisensory processing depend on the validity of the cross-modal cues, and occur under specific attentional conditions, i.e., when
Patai, Eva Zita; Buckley, Alice; Nobre, Anna Christina
A popular model of visual perception states that coarse information (carried by low spatial frequencies) along the dorsal stream is rapidly transmitted to prefrontal and medial temporal areas, activating contextual information from memory, which can in turn constrain detailed input carried by high spatial frequencies arriving at a slower rate along the ventral visual stream, thus facilitating the processing of ambiguous visual stimuli. We were interested in testing whether this model contributes to memory-guided orienting of attention. In particular, we asked whether global, low-spatial frequency (LSF) inputs play a dominant role in triggering contextual memories in order to facilitate the processing of the upcoming target stimulus. We explored this question over four experiments. The first experiment replicated the LSF advantage reported in perceptual discrimination tasks by showing that participants were faster and more accurate at matching a low spatial frequency version of a scene, compared to a high spatial frequency version, to its original counterpart in a forced-choice task. The subsequent three experiments tested the relative contributions of low versus high spatial frequencies during memory-guided covert spatial attention orienting tasks. Replicating the effects of memory-guided attention, pre-exposure to scenes associated with specific spatial memories for target locations (memory cues) led to higher perceptual discrimination and faster response times to identify targets embedded in the scenes. However, either high or low spatial frequency cues were equally effective; LSF signals did not selectively or preferentially contribute to the memory-driven attention benefits to performance. Our results challenge a generalized model that LSFs activate contextual memories, which in turn bias attention and facilitate perception.
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 (pAttention Capacity test has good validity and reliability, that matches other reliable tests, and it can be used for the identification of children with attention deficits and if they suspected to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.
Summary Visual attention affects both perception and neuronal responses. Whether the same neuronal mechanisms mediate spatial attention, which improves perception of attended locations, and non-spatial forms of attention has been a subject of considerable debate. Spatial and feature attention have similar effects on individual neurons. Because visual cortex is retinotopically organized, however, spatial attention can co-modulate local neuronal populations, while feature attention generally requires more selective modulation. We compared the effects of feature and spatial attention on local and spatially separated populations by recording simultaneously from dozens of neurons in both hemispheres of V4. Feature and spatial attention affect the activity of local populations similarly, modulating both firing rates and correlations between pairs of nearby neurons. However, while spatial attention appears to act on local populations, feature attention is coordinated across hemispheres. Our results are consistent with a unified attentional mechanism that can modulate the responses of arbitrary subgroups of neurons. PMID:21689604
Collis, Nathan L; Kohnen, Saskia; Kinoshita, Sachiko
The present study investigated the nature of visual spatial attention deficits in adults with developmental dyslexia, using a partial report task with five-letter, digit, and symbol strings. Participants responded by a manual key press to one of nine alternatives, which included other characters in the string, allowing an assessment of position errors as well as intrusion errors. The results showed that the dyslexic adults performed significantly worse than age-matched controls with letter and digit strings but not with symbol strings. Both groups produced W-shaped serial position functions with letter and digit strings. The dyslexics' deficits with letter string stimuli were limited to position errors, specifically at the string-interior positions 2 and 4. These errors correlated with letter transposition reading errors (e.g., reading slat as "salt"), but not with the Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) task. Overall, these results suggest that the dyslexic adults have a visual spatial attention deficit; however, the deficit does not reflect a reduced span in visual-spatial attention, but a deficit in processing a string of letters in parallel, probably due to difficulty in the coding of letter position.
Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Lupiáñez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti
In this study, we investigate how exogenous and endogenous orienting of spatial attention affect visuospatial working memory (VSWM). Specifically, we focused on two attentional effects and their consequences on storage in VSWM, when exogenous (Experiment 1) or endogenous (Experiment 2) orienting cues were used. The first effect, known as the meridian effect, is given by a decrement in behavioural performance when spatial cues and targets are presented in locations separated by vertical and/or horizontal meridians. The second effect, known as the distance effect, is given by a decrement in the orienting effects as a function of the spatial distance between cues and targets. Our results revealed a dissociation between exogenous and endogenous orienting mechanisms in terms of both meridian and distance effects. We found that meridian crossing affects performance only when endogenous cues were used. Specifically, VSWM performance with endogenous cueing depended more on the number of meridian crossings than on distance between cue and target. By contrast, a U-shaped distance dependency was observed using exogenous cues. Our findings therefore suggest that exogenous and endogenous orienting mechanisms lead to different forms of attentional bias for storage in VSWM.
Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.
Visual scenes have enormous spatial and temporal information that are transduced into neural spike trains. Psychophysical experiments indicate that only a small portion of a spatial image is consciously accessible. Electrophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have revealed a number of modulations of the neural activity in special visual area known as V4, when the animal is paying attention directly towards a particular stimulus location. The nature of the attentional input to V4, however, remains unknown as well as to the mechanisms responsible for these modulations. We use a biophysical neural network model of V4 to address these issues. We first constrain our model to reproduce the experimental results obtained for different external stimulus configurations and without paying attention. To reproduce the known neuronal response variability, we found that the neurons should receive about equal, or balanced, levels of excitatory and inhibitory inputs and whose levels are high as they are in in vivo conditions. Next we consider attentional inputs that can induce and reproduce the observed spiking modulations. We also elucidate the role played by the neural network to generate these modulations
Full Text Available The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the ventral fronto-parietal networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions.
Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio
The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions. PMID:24155707
Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio
The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions.
Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin
The maintenance of sensory information in working memory (WM) is mediated by the attentional activation of stimulus representations that are stored in perceptual brain regions. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we measured tactile and visual contralateral delay activity (tCDA/CDA components) in a bimodal WM task to concurrently track the attention-based maintenance of information stored in anatomically segregated (somatosensory and visual) brain areas. Participants received tactile and visual sample stimuli on both sides, and in different blocks, memorized these samples on the same side or on opposite sides. After a retention delay, memory was unpredictably tested for touch or vision. In the same side blocks, tCDA and CDA components simultaneously emerged over the same hemisphere, contralateral to the memorized tactile/visual sample set. In opposite side blocks, these two components emerged over different hemispheres, but had the same sizes and onset latencies as in the same side condition. Our results reveal distinct foci of tactile and visual spatial attention that were concurrently maintained on task-relevant stimulus representations in WM. The independence of spatially-specific biasing mechanisms for tactile and visual WM content suggests that multimodal information is stored in distributed perceptual brain areas that are activated through modality-specific processes that can operate simultaneously and largely independently of each other. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus
Previous studies have shown that cross-modal processing affects perception at a variety of neuronal levels. In this study, event-related brain responses were recorded via whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Spatial auditory attention was directed via tactile pre-cues (primes) to one of four locations in the peripersonal space (left and right hand versus face). Auditory stimuli were white noise bursts, convoluted with head-related transfer functions, which ensured spatial perception of the four locations. Tactile primes (200-300 ms prior to acoustic onset) were applied randomly to one of these locations. Attentional load was controlled by three different visual distraction tasks. The auditory P50m (about 50 ms after stimulus onset) showed a significant "proximity" effect (larger responses to face stimulation as well as a "contralaterality" effect between side of stimulation and hemisphere). The tactile primes essentially reduced both the P50m and N100m components. However, facial tactile pre-stimulation yielded an enhanced ipsilateral N100m. These results show that earlier responses are mainly governed by exogenous stimulus properties whereas cross-sensory interaction is spatially selective at a later (endogenous) processing stage.
Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian K C
Switching attention between different stimuli of interest based on particular task demands is important in many everyday settings. In audition in particular, switching attention between different speakers of interest that are talking concurrently is often necessary for effective communication. Recently, it has been shown by multiple studies that auditory selective attention suppresses the representation of unwanted streams in auditory cortical areas in favor of the target stream of interest. However, the neural processing that guides this selective attention process is not well understood. Here we investigated the cortical mechanisms involved in switching attention based on two different types of auditory features. By combining magneto- and electro-encephalography (M-EEG) with an anatomical MRI constraint, we examined the cortical dynamics involved in switching auditory attention based on either spatial or pitch features. We designed a paradigm where listeners were cued in the beginning of each trial to switch or maintain attention halfway through the presentation of concurrent target and masker streams. By allowing listeners time to switch during a gap in the continuous target and masker stimuli, we were able to isolate the mechanisms involved in endogenous, top-down attention switching. Our results show a double dissociation between the involvement of right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) and the left inferior parietal supramarginal part (LIPSP) in tasks requiring listeners to switch attention based on space and pitch features, respectively, suggesting that switching attention based on these features involves at least partially separate processes or behavioral strategies. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe
Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an ‘all-or-nothing’ manner. PMID:25203102
Full Text Available Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.
Kristin K. Sellers
Full Text Available Sustained attention requires the coordination of neural activity across multiple cortical areas in the frontoparietal network, in particular the prefrontal cortex (PFC and posterior parietal cortex (PPC. Previous work has demonstrated that activity in these brain regions is coordinated by neuronal oscillations of the local field potential (LFP. However, the underlying coordination of activity in terms of organization of single unit (SU spiking activity has remained poorly understood, particularly in the freely moving animal. We found that long-range functional connectivity between anatomically connected PFC and PPC was mediated by oscillations in the theta frequency band. SU activity in PFC was phase locked to theta oscillations in PPC, and spiking activity in PFC and PPC was locked to local high-gamma activity. Together, our results support a model in which frequency-specific synchronization mediates functional connectivity between and within PFC and PPC of the frontoparietal attention network in the freely moving animal.
Chen, Chih-Ming; Wang, Jung-Ying
Many studies have shown that learners' sustained attention strongly affects e-learning performance, particularly during online synchronous instruction. This work thus develops a novel attention monitoring and alarm mechanism (AMAM) based on brainwave signals to improve learning performance via monitoring the attention state of individual learners…
Andrade, Brendan F.; Brodeur, Darlene A.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.; Stewart, Sherry H.; McGee, Robin
Objective: Investigated the relationship between selective and sustained attention and social behavior in children with different degrees of attentional disturbance. Method: Participants were 101 6- to 12-year-old children, including 18 who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), 61 who were clinically referred for…
Howard, Christina J; Rollings, Victoria; Hardie, Amy
In tasks where people monitor moving objects, such the multiple object tracking task (MOT), observers attempt to keep track of targets as they move amongst distracters. The literature is mixed as to whether observers make use of motion information to facilitate performance. We sought to address this by two means: first by superimposing arrows on objects which varied in their informativeness about motion direction and second by asking observers to attend to motion direction. Using a position monitoring task, we calculated mean error magnitudes as a measure of the precision with which target positions are represented. We also calculated perceptual lags versus extrapolated reports, which are the times at which positions of targets best match position reports. We find that the presence of motion information in the form of superimposed arrows made no difference to position report precision nor perceptual lag. However, when we explicitly instructed observers to attend to motion, we saw facilitatory effects on position reports and in some cases reports that best matched extrapolated rather than lagging positions for small set sizes. The results indicate that attention to changing positions does not automatically recruit attention to motion, showing a dissociation between sustained attention to changing positions and attention to motion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fabius, J. H.; Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Schut, M. J.; Nijboer, T. C.W.; Van der Stigchel, S.
In this experiment, we demonstrate modulation of the pupillary light response by spatial working memory (SWM). The pupillary light response has previously been shown to reflect the focus of covert attention, as demonstrated by smaller pupil sizes when a subject covertly attends a location on a
Full Text Available Given that both auditory and visual systems have anatomically separate object identification ("what" and spatial ("where" pathways, it is of interest whether attention-driven cross-sensory modulations occur separately within these feature domains. Here, we investigated how auditory "what" vs. "where" attention tasks modulate activity in visual pathways using cortically constrained source estimates of magnetoencephalograpic (MEG oscillatory activity. In the absence of visual stimuli or tasks, subjects were presented with a sequence of auditory-stimulus pairs and instructed to selectively attend to phonetic ("what" vs. spatial ("where" aspects of these sounds, or to listen passively. To investigate sustained modulatory effects, oscillatory power was estimated from time periods between sound-pair presentations. In comparison to attention to sound locations, phonetic auditory attention was associated with stronger alpha (7-13 Hz power in several visual areas (primary visual cortex; lingual, fusiform, and inferior temporal gyri, lateral occipital cortex, as well as in higher-order visual/multisensory areas including lateral/medial parietal and retrosplenial cortices. Region-of-interest (ROI analyses of dynamic changes, from which the sustained effects had been removed, suggested further power increases during Attend Phoneme vs. Location centered at the alpha range 400-600 ms after the onset of second sound of each stimulus pair. These results suggest distinct modulations of visual system oscillatory activity during auditory attention to sound object identity ("what" vs. sound location ("where". The alpha modulations could be interpreted to reflect enhanced crossmodal inhibition of feature-specific visual pathways and adjacent audiovisual association areas during "what" vs. "where" auditory attention.
Klein, Barrie P.; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A.; Paffen, Chris L.E.; te Pas, Susan F.; Dumoulin, Serge O.
Visual spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Recently, we demonstrated that voluntary spatial attention attracts population receptive fields (pRFs) toward its location throughout the visual hierarchy. Theoretically, both a feed forward or feedback mechanism could
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.
Dragone, Alessio; Lasaponara, Stefano; Pinto, Mario; Rotondaro, Francesca; De Luca, Maria; Doricchi, Fabrizio
fMRI investigations in healthy humans have documented phasic changes in the level of activation of the right temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) during cued voluntary orienting of spatial attention. Cues that correctly predict the position of upcoming targets in the majority of trials, i.e., predictive cues, produce higher deactivation of the right TPJ as compared with non-predictive cues. Since the right TPJ is the recipient of noradrenergic (NE) innervation, it has been hypothesised that changes in the level of TPJ activity are matched with changes in the level of NE activity. Based on aforementioned fMRI findings, this might imply that orienting with predictive cues is matched with different levels of NE activity as compared with non-predictive cues. To test this hypothesis, we measured changes in pupil dilation, an indirect index of NE activity, during voluntary orienting of attention with highly predictive (80% validity) or non-predictive (50% validity) cues. In agreement with current interpretations of the tonic/phasic activity of the Locus Coeruleus-Norepinephrinic system (LC-NE), we found that the steady level of cue predictiveness that characterised both the predictive and non-predictive conditions caused, across consecutive blocks of trials, a progressive decrement in pupil dilation during the baseline-fixation period that anticipated the cue period. With predictive cues we observed increased pupil dilation as compared with non-predictive cues. In addition, the relative reduction in pupil size observed with non-predictive cues increased as a function of cue-duration. These results show that changes in the predictiveness of cues that guide voluntary orienting of spatial attention are matched with changes in pupil dilation and, putatively, with corresponding changes in LC-NE activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tosoni, Annalisa; Shulman, Gordon L; Pope, Anna L W; McAvoy, Mark P; Corbetta, Maurizio
Success in a dynamically changing world requires both rapid shifts of attention to the location of important objects and the detection of changes in motivational contingencies that may alter future behavior. Here we addressed the relationship between these two processes by measuring the blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during a visual search task in which the location and the color of a salient cue respectively indicated where a rewarded target would appear and the monetary gain (large or small) associated with its detection. While cues that either shifted or maintained attention were presented every 4 to 8 sec, the reward magnitude indicated by the cue changed roughly every 30 sec, allowing us to distinguish a change in expected reward magnitude from a maintained state of expected reward magnitude. Posterior cingulate cortex was modulated by cues signaling an increase in expected reward magnitude, but not by cues for shifting versus maintaining spatial attention. Dorsal fronto-parietal regions in precuneus and frontal eye field (FEF) also showed increased BOLD activity for changes in expected reward magnitude from low to high, but in addition showed large independent modulations for shifting versus maintaining attention. In particular, the differential activation for shifting versus maintaining attention was not affected by expected reward magnitude. These results indicate that BOLD activations for shifts of attention and increases in expected reward magnitude are largely separate. Finally, visual cortex showed sustained spatially selective signals that were significantly enhanced when greater reward magnitude was expected, but this reward-related modulation was not observed in spatially selective regions of dorsal fronto-parietal cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Banks, Jonathan B; Tartar, Jaime L; Welhaf, Matthew S
The impact of stress on cognitive functioning has been examined across multiple domains. However, few studies investigate both physical and psychological factors that impact cognitive performance. The current study examined the impact of a physical and psychosocial stressor on sustained attention and identified factors related to sustained attention, including cortisol, salivary alpha amylase (sAA) and mind wandering. A total of 53 participants completed either the socially evaluated cold pressor task or a control task followed by the sustained attention to response task with mind wandering measures. Participants also provided saliva samples following the attention task. Results indicate the stressor task did not impact mind wandering or sustained attention but increased cortisol and sAA. Mind wandering was negatively related to sustained attention and mediated the relationship between cortisol and sustained attention. The findings highlight the importance of examining multiple sources of stress-related cognitive impairments.
Kornrumpf, Benthe; Dimigen, Olaf; Sommer, Werner
Visuospatial attention is an important mechanism in reading that governs the uptake of information from foveal and parafoveal regions of the visual field. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of how attention is allocated during eye fixations are not completely understood. The current study explored the use of EEG alpha-band oscillations to investigate the spatial distribution of attention during reading. We reanalyzed two data sets, focusing on the lateralization of alpha activity at posterior scalp sites. In each experiment, participants read short lists of German nouns in two paradigms: either by freely moving their eyes (saccadic reading) or by fixating the screen center while the text moved passively from right to left at the same average speed (RSVP paradigm). In both paradigms, upcoming words were either visible or masked, and foveal processing load was manipulated by varying the words' lexical frequencies. Posterior alpha lateralization revealed a sustained rightward bias of attention during saccadic reading, but not in the RSVP paradigm. Interestingly, alpha lateralization was not influenced by word frequency (foveal load) or preview during the preceding fixation. Hence, alpha did not reflect transient attention shifts within a given fixation. However, in both experiments, we found that in the saccadic reading condition a stronger alpha lateralization shortly before a saccade predicted shorter fixations on the subsequently fixated word. These results indicate that alpha lateralization can serve as a measure of attention deployment and its link to oculomotor behavior in reading. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
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.
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. PMID:27802294
Bocanegra, Bruno R; Zeelenberg, René
In the present study, we demonstrated that the emotional significance of a spatial cue enhances the effect of covert attention on spatial and temporal resolution (i.e., our ability to discriminate small spatial details and fast temporal flicker). Our results indicated that fearful face cues, as compared with neutral face cues, enhanced the attentional benefits in spatial resolution but also enhanced the attentional deficits in temporal resolution. Furthermore, we observed that the overall magnitudes of individuals' attentional effects correlated strongly with the magnitude of the emotion × attention interaction effect. Combined, these findings provide strong support for the idea that emotion enhances the strength of a cue's attentional response.
Hansen, Henning Sten; Schrøder, Anne Lise
in the marine and maritime sectors with great potential for innovation and economic growth. Holistic spatial planning systems supporting sustainable development have proved themselves in terrestrial planning and are also needed at sea. Due to this reason, the BONUS BASMATI project is based on the ecosystem...... services approach to assist in assessing sustainable solutions corresponding to policy goals.......The current and potential use of the seas and oceans is often called the ‘Blue Economy’. Recently, the European Commission launched its Blue Growth Strategy on the opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth. The European Commission considers that Blue Growth is a long-term strategy...
Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spapé, Michiel M.
Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver’s body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands, and one VR-free control with hands in view. Participants were required to silently count one type of stimulus and ignore all other stimuli presented in irrelevant modality or location. The presence of hands was found to modulate early and late components of somatosensory and visual evoked potentials. For sensory-perceptual stages, the presence of virtual or real hands was found to amplify attention-related negativity on the somatosensory N140 and cross-modal interaction in somatosensory and visual P200. For postperceptual stages, an amplified N200 component was obtained in somatosensory and visual evoked potentials, indicating increased response inhibition in response to non-target stimuli. The effect of somatosensory, but not visual, N200 enhanced when the virtual hands were present. The findings suggest that bodily presence affects sustained cross-modal spatial attention between vision and touch and that this effect is specifically present in ERPs related to early- and late-sensory processing, as well as response inhibition, but do not affect later attention and memory-related P3 activity. Finally, the experiments provide commeasurable scenarios for the estimation of the signal and noise ratio to quantify effects related to the use of a head mounted display (HMD). However, despite valid a-priori reasons for fearing signal interference due to a HMD, we observed no significant drop in the robustness of our ERP measurements. PMID:28275346
Harjunen, Ville J; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spapé, Michiel M
Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver's body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands, and one VR-free control with hands in view. Participants were required to silently count one type of stimulus and ignore all other stimuli presented in irrelevant modality or location. The presence of hands was found to modulate early and late components of somatosensory and visual evoked potentials. For sensory-perceptual stages, the presence of virtual or real hands was found to amplify attention-related negativity on the somatosensory N140 and cross-modal interaction in somatosensory and visual P200. For postperceptual stages, an amplified N200 component was obtained in somatosensory and visual evoked potentials, indicating increased response inhibition in response to non-target stimuli. The effect of somatosensory, but not visual, N200 enhanced when the virtual hands were present. The findings suggest that bodily presence affects sustained cross-modal spatial attention between vision and touch and that this effect is specifically present in ERPs related to early- and late-sensory processing, as well as response inhibition, but do not affect later attention and memory-related P3 activity. Finally, the experiments provide commeasurable scenarios for the estimation of the signal and noise ratio to quantify effects related to the use of a head mounted display (HMD). However, despite valid a-priori reasons for fearing signal interference due to a HMD, we observed no significant drop in the robustness of our ERP measurements.
Abstract Single neurons in the primate lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) encode information about the allocation of visual attention and the features of visual stimuli. However, how this compares to the performance of neuronal ensembles at encoding the same information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded the responses of neuronal ensembles in the LPFC of two macaque monkeys while they performed a task that required attending to one of two moving random dot patterns positioned in different hemifields and ignoring the other pattern. We found single units selective for the location of the attended stimulus as well as for its motion direction. To determine the coding of both variables in the population of recorded units, we used a linear classifier and progressively built neuronal ensembles by iteratively adding units according to their individual performance (best single units), or by iteratively adding units based on their contribution to the ensemble performance (best ensemble). For both methods, ensembles of relatively small sizes (n decoding performance relative to individual single units. However, the decoder reached similar performance using fewer neurons with the best ensemble building method compared with the best single units method. Our results indicate that neuronal ensembles within the LPFC encode more information about the attended spatial and nonspatial features of visual stimuli than individual neurons. They further suggest that efficient coding of attention can be achieved by relatively small neuronal ensembles characterized by a certain relationship between signal and noise correlation structures. PMID:29568798
Ekkel, M R; van Lier, R; Steenbergen, B
Echolocation can be beneficial for the orientation and mobility of visually impaired people. Research has shown considerable individual differences for acquiring this skill. However, individual characteristics that affect the learning of echolocation are largely unknown. In the present study, we examined individual factors that are likely to affect learning to echolocate: sustained and divided attention, working memory, and spatial abilities. To that aim, sighted participants with normal hearing performed an echolocation task that was adapted from a previously reported size-discrimination task. In line with existing studies, we found large individual differences in echolocation ability. We also found indications that participants were able to improve their echolocation ability. Furthermore, we found a significant positive correlation between improvement in echolocation and sustained and divided attention, as measured in the PASAT. No significant correlations were found with our tests regarding working memory and spatial abilities. These findings may have implications for the development of guidelines for training echolocation that are tailored to the individual with a visual impairment.
Kasai, Tetsuko; Moriya, Hiroki; Hirano, Shingo
It has been proposed that the most fundamental units of attentional selection are "objects" that are grouped according to Gestalt factors such as similarity or connectedness. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have shown that object-based attention is associated with modulations of the visual-evoked N1 component, which reflects an early cortical mechanism that is shared with spatial attention. However, these studies only examined the case of perceptually continuous objects. The present study examined the case of separate objects that are grouped according to feature similarity (color, shape) by indexing lateralized potentials at posterior sites in a sustained-attention task that involved bilateral stimulus arrays. A behavioral object effect was found only for task-relevant shape similarity. Electrophysiological results indicated that attention was guided to the task-irrelevant side of the visual field due to achromatic-color similarity in N1 (155-205 ms post-stimulus) and early N2 (210-260 ms) and due to shape similarity in early N2 and late N2 (280-400 ms) latency ranges. These results are discussed in terms of selection mechanisms and object/group representations. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In a crowded visual scene, attention must be distributed efficiently and flexibly over time and space to accommodate different contexts. It is well established that selective attention enhances the corresponding neural responses, presumably implying that attention would persistently dwell on the task-relevant item. Meanwhile, recent studies, mostly in divided attentional contexts, suggest that attention does not remain stationary but samples objects alternately over time, suggesting a rhythmic view of attention. However, it remains unknown whether the dynamic mechanism essentially mediates attentional processes at a general level. Importantly, there is also a complete lack of direct neural evidence reflecting whether and how the brain rhythmically samples multiple visual objects during stimulus processing. To address these issues, in this study, we employed electroencephalography (EEG and a temporal response function (TRF approach, which can dissociate responses that exclusively represent a single object from the overall neuronal activity, to examine the spatiotemporal characteristics of attention in various attentional contexts. First, attention, which is characterized by inhibitory alpha-band (approximately 10 Hz activity in TRFs, switches between attended and unattended objects every approximately 200 ms, suggesting a sequential sampling even when attention is required to mostly stay on the attended object. Second, the attentional spatiotemporal pattern is modulated by the task context, such that alpha-mediated switching becomes increasingly prominent as the task requires a more uniform distribution of attention. Finally, the switching pattern correlates with attentional behavioral performance. Our work provides direct neural evidence supporting a generally central role of temporal organization mechanism in attention, such that multiple objects are sequentially sorted according to their priority in attentional contexts. The results suggest
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Sotoudeh, Gity; Qorbani, Mostafa; Rostami, Reza; Sadeghi-Firoozabadi, Vahid; Narmaki, Elham
A low antioxidants status has been shown to result in oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. Because antioxidants can protect the nervous system, it is expected that a better blood antioxidant status might be related to sustained attention. However, the relationship between the blood antioxidant status and visual and auditory sustained attention has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of fruits and vegetables intake and the blood antioxidant status with visual and auditory sustained attention in women. This cross-sectional study was performed on 400 healthy women (20-50 years) who attended the sports clubs of Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using the Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) software. The 24-hour food recall questionnaire was used for estimating fruits and vegetables intake. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were measured in 90 participants. After adjusting for energy intake, age, body mass index (BMI), years of education and physical activity, higher reported fruits, and vegetables intake was associated with better visual and auditory sustained attention (P attention (P visual and auditory sustained attention after adjusting for age, years of education, physical activity, energy, BMI, and caffeine intake (P visual and auditory sustained attention is associated with a better blood antioxidant status. Therefore, improvement of the antioxidant status through an appropriate dietary intake can possibly enhance sustained attention.
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Qorbani, Mostafa; Sotoudeh, Gity; Rostami, Reza; Narmaki, Elham; Yavari, Parvaneh; Aghasi, Mohadeseh; Shaibu, Osman Mohammed
Attention is a complex cognitive function that is necessary for learning, for following social norms of behaviour and for effective performance of responsibilities and duties. It is especially important in sensitive occupations requiring sustained attention. Improvement of dietary diversity (DD) is recognised as an important factor in health promotion, but its association with sustained attention is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the association between auditory and visual sustained attention and DD. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 400 women aged 20-50 years who attended sports clubs at Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated on the basis of the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using Integrated Visual and Auditory software. A single 24-h dietary recall questionnaire was used for DD assessment. Dietary diversity scores (DDS) were determined using the FAO guidelines. The mean visual and auditory sustained attention scores were 40·2 (sd 35·2) and 42·5 (sd 38), respectively. The mean DDS was 4·7 (sd 1·5). After adjusting for age, education years, physical activity, energy intake and BMI, mean visual and auditory sustained attention showed a significant increase as the quartiles of DDS increased (P=0·001). In addition, the mean subscales of attention, including auditory consistency and vigilance, visual persistence, visual and auditory focus, speed, comprehension and full attention, increased significantly with increasing DDS (Pvisual and auditory sustained attention.
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
Foley, Nicholas C; Grossberg, Stephen; Mingolla, Ennio
How are spatial and object attention coordinated to achieve rapid object learning and recognition during eye movement search? How do prefrontal priming and parietal spatial mechanisms interact to determine the reaction time costs of intra-object attention shifts, inter-object attention shifts, and shifts between visible objects and covertly cued locations? What factors underlie individual differences in the timing and frequency of such attentional shifts? How do transient and sustained spatial attentional mechanisms work and interact? How can volition, mediated via the basal ganglia, influence the span of spatial attention? A neural model is developed of how spatial attention in the where cortical stream coordinates view-invariant object category learning in the what cortical stream under free viewing conditions. The model simulates psychological data about the dynamics of covert attention priming and switching requiring multifocal attention without eye movements. The model predicts how "attentional shrouds" are formed when surface representations in cortical area V4 resonate with spatial attention in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC), while shrouds compete among themselves for dominance. Winning shrouds support invariant object category learning, and active surface-shroud resonances support conscious surface perception and recognition. Attentive competition between multiple objects and cues simulates reaction-time data from the two-object cueing paradigm. The relative strength of sustained surface-driven and fast-transient motion-driven spatial attention controls individual differences in reaction time for invalid cues. Competition between surface-driven attentional shrouds controls individual differences in detection rate of peripheral targets in useful-field-of-view tasks. The model proposes how the strength of competition can be mediated, though learning or momentary changes in volition, by the basal ganglia. A new explanation of
Sahan, Muhammet Ikbal; Verguts, Tom; Boehler, Carsten Nicolas; Pourtois, Gilles; Fias, Wim
Selective attention is not limited to information that is physically present in the external world, but can also operate on mental representations in the internal world. However, it is not known whether the mechanisms of attentional selection operate in similar fashions in physical and mental space. We studied the spatial distributions of attention for items in physical and mental space by comparing how successfully distractors were rejected at varying distances from the attended location. The results indicated very similar distribution characteristics of spatial attention in physical and mental space. Specifically, we found that performance monotonically improved with increasing distractor distance relative to the attended location, suggesting that distractor confusability is particularly pronounced for nearby distractors, relative to distractors farther away. The present findings suggest that mental representations preserve their spatial configuration in working memory, and that similar mechanistic principles underlie selective attention in physical and in mental space.
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
Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M
According to the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis, maintenance of spatial information is mediated by covert orienting towards memorized locations. In a somatosensory memory task, participants simultaneously received bilateral pairs of mechanical sample pulses. For each hand, sample stimuli were randomly assigned to one of three locations (fingers). A subsequent visual retro-cue determined whether the left or right hand sample was to be memorized. The retro-cue elicited lateralized activity reflecting the location of the relevant sample stimulus. Sensory processing during the retention period was probed by task-irrelevant pulses randomized to locations at the cued and uncued hand. The somatosensory N140 was enhanced for probes delivered to the cued hand, relative to uncued. Probes presented shortly after the retro-cue showed greatest attentional modulations. This suggests that transient contributions from retrospective selection overlapped with the sustained effect of attention-based rehearsal. In conclusion, focal attention shifts within tactile mnemonic content occurred after retro-cues and guided sensory processing during retention. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Grubb, Michael A.; Behrmann, Marlene; Egan, Ryan; Minshew, Nancy J.; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J.
Lay Abstract Attention allows us to selectively process the vast amount of information with which we are confronted. Focusing on a certain location of the visual scene (visual spatial attention) enables the prioritization of some aspects of information while ignoring others. Rapid manipulation of the attention field (i.e., the location and spread of visual spatial attention) is a critical aspect of human cognition, and previous research on spatial attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has produced inconsistent results. In a series of three experiments, we evaluated claims in the literature that individuals with ASD exhibit a deficit in voluntarily controlling the deployment and size of the spatial attention field. We measured how well participants perform a visual discrimination task (accuracy) and how quickly they do so (reaction time), with and without spatial uncertainty (i.e., the lack of predictability concerning the spatial position of the upcoming stimulus). We found that high–functioning adults with autism exhibited slower reactions times overall with spatial uncertainty, but the effects of attention on performance accuracies and reaction times were indistinguishable between individuals with autism and typically developing individuals, in all three experiments. These results provide evidence of intact endogenous spatial attention function in high–functioning adults with ASD, suggesting that atypical endogenous spatial attention cannot be a latent characteristic of autism in general. Scientific Abstract Rapid manipulation of the attention field (i.e., the location and spread of visual spatial attention) is a critical aspect of human cognition, and previous research on spatial attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has produced inconsistent results. In a series of three psychophysical experiments, we evaluated claims in the literature that individuals with ASD exhibit a deficit in voluntarily controlling the
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy. PMID:24939234
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy.
Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B
The ability to sustain attention is a major achievement in human development and is generally believed to be the developmental product of increasing self-regulatory and endogenous (i.e., internal, top-down, voluntary) control over one's attention and cognitive systems [1-5]. Because sustained attention in late infancy is predictive of future development, and because early deficits in sustained attention are markers for later diagnoses of attentional disorders , sustained attention is often viewed as a constitutional and individual property of the infant [6-9]. However, humans are social animals; developmental pathways for seemingly non-social competencies evolved within the social group and therefore may be dependent on social experience [10-13]. Here, we show that social context matters for the duration of sustained attention episodes in one-year-old infants during toy play. Using head-mounted eye tracking to record moment-by-moment gaze data from both parents and infants, we found that when the social partner (parent) visually attended to the object to which infant attention was directed, infants, after the parent's look, extended their duration of visual attention to the object. Looks to the same object by two social partners is a well-studied phenomenon known as joint attention, which has been shown to be critical to early learning and to the development of social skills [14, 15]. The present findings implicate joint attention in the development of the child's own sustained attention and thus challenge the current understanding of the origins of individual differences in sustained attention, providing a new and potentially malleable developmental pathway to the self-regulation of attention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Johnson, A.J.; Muneem, M.; Miles, C.
OBJECTIVES: The present study examined the effect of chewing gum on sustained attention and associated changes in subjective alertness. METHODS: In a within-participants design, 20 participants completed an extended version of the sustained attention response task (SART: Robertson et al., 1997), both with and without chewing gum. Self-rated measures of alertness, contentedness, and calmness were taken before and after the SART. RESULTS: Chewing gum was associated with improved attentional tas...
Rolle, Camarin E; Anguera, Joaquin A; Skinner, Sasha N; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam
Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age.
Rolle, Camarin E.; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Skinner, Sasha N.; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam
Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age. PMID:28654361
Huang, Dan; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Xin; Chen, Yao
Preferentially processing behaviorally relevant information is vital for primate survival. In visuospatial attention studies, manipulating the spatial extent of attention focus is an important question. Although many studies have claimed to successfully adjust attention field size by either varying the uncertainty about the target location (spatial uncertainty) or adjusting the size of the cue orienting the attention focus, no systematic studies have assessed and compared the effectiveness of...
Chan, Edgar; Mattingley, Jason B.; Huang-Pollock, Cynthia; English, Therese; Hester, Robert; Vance, Alasdair; Bellgrove, Mark A.
Background: Evidence for a selective attention abnormality in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been hard to identify using conventional methods from cognitive science. This study tested whether the presence of selective attention abnormalities in ADHD may vary as a function of perceptual load and target…
Stephenne, N.; Beaumont, B.; Hallot, E.; Wolff, E.; Poelmans, L.; Baltus, C.
Simulating population distribution and land use changes in space and time offer opportunities for smart city planning. It provides a holistic and dynamic vision of fast changing urban environment to policy makers. Impacts, such as environmental and health risks or mobility issues, of policies can be assessed and adapted consequently. In this paper, we suppose that "Smart" city developments should be sustainable, dynamic and participative. This paper addresses these three smart objectives in the context of urban risk assessment in Wallonia, Belgium. The sustainable, dynamic and participative solution includes (i) land cover and land use mapping using remote sensing and GIS, (ii) population density mapping using dasymetric mapping, (iii) predictive modelling of land use changes and population dynamics and (iv) risk assessment. The comprehensive and long-term vision of the territory should help to draw sustainable spatial planning policies, to adapt remote sensing acquisition, to update GIS data and to refine risk assessment from regional to city scale.
Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard
Active sensing behaviors reveal what an animal is attending to and how it changes with learning. Gymnotus sp, a gymnotiform weakly electric fish, generates an electric organ discharge (EOD) as discrete pulses to actively sense its surroundings. We monitored freely behaving gymnotid fish in a large dark "maze" and extracted their trajectories and EOD pulse pattern and rate while they learned to find food with electrically detectable landmarks as cues. After training, they more rapidly found food using shorter, more stereotyped trajectories and spent more time near the food location. We observed three forms of active sensing: sustained high EOD rates per unit distance (sampling density), transient large increases in EOD rate (E-scans) and stereotyped scanning movements (B-scans) were initially strong at landmarks and food, but, after learning, intensified only at the food location. During probe (no food) trials, after learning, the fish's search area and intense active sampling was still centered on the missing food location, but now also increased near landmarks. We hypothesize that active sensing is a behavioral manifestation of attention and essential for spatial learning; the fish use spatial memory of landmarks and path integration to reach the expected food location and confine their attention to this region. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V
The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.
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 endogenous and exogenous factors to selective sustained attention within the same task. Behavioral accuracy and eye-tracking data on the Track-It task were correlated with performance on an explicit learning task. Behavioral accuracy and fixations to distractors during the Track-It task did not predict learning when exogenous factors supported selective sustained attention. In contrast, when endogenous factors supported selective sustained attention, fixations to distractors were negatively correlated with learning. Similarly, when endogenous factors supported selective sustained attention, higher behavioral accuracy was correlated with greater learning. These findings suggest that endogenously and exogenously driven selective sustained attention, as measured through different conditions of the Track-It task, may support different kinds of learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vivanti, Giacomo; Fanning, Peter A. J.; Hocking, Darren R.; Sievers, Stephanie; Dissanayake, Cheryl
There is limited knowledge on shared and syndrome-specific attentional profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS). Using eye-tracking, we examined attentional profiles of 35 preschoolers with ASD, 22 preschoolers with WS and 20 typically developing children across social and non-social dimensions of attention. Children…
Bul, Kim C. M.; van Baar, Anneloes L.
Attention skills may form an important developmental mechanism. A mediation model was examined in which behavioral problems of moderately preterm and term children at school age are explained by attention performance. Parents and teachers completed behavioral assessments of 348 moderately preterm children and 182 term children at 8 years of age. Children were administered a test of sustained selective attention. Preterm birth was associated with more behavioral and attention difficulties. Ges...
Slagter, H.A.; Kok, A.; Mol, N.; Talsma, D.; Kenemans, J.L.
The present study used event-related potentials and dipole source modeling to investigate dimension specificity in attentional control. Subjects performed cued attention tasks in which the task-relevant information (a) was always the same, (b) varied between features within the same dimension, or
Velzen, José Lucia van
ln recent years the there has been growing interest in the topic of attentional control in the field of cognitive neuroscience. The first chapter of this thesis introduces the relevant theoretical concepts in the study of selective attention and gives an overview of what has become known from
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…
Chun, Marvin M.; Jiang, Yuhong
Six experiments involving a total of 112 college students demonstrate that a robust memory for visual context exists to guide spatial attention. Results show how implicit learning and memory of visual context can guide spatial attention toward task-relevant aspects of a scene. (SLD)
Belopolsky, A.V.; Theeuwes, J.
The present study systematically examined the role of attention in maintenance of spatial representations in working memory as proposed by the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental
Linnell, Karina J.; Caparos, Serge
Caparos and Linnell (2009, 2010) used a variable-separation flanker paradigm to show that (a) when cognitive load is low, increasing perceptual load causes spatial attention to focus and (b) when perceptual load is high, decreasing cognitive load causes spatial attention to focus. Here, we tested whether the effects of perceptual and cognitive…
Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J
Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.
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.
Head, James; Helton, William S
We conducted two studies using a modified sustained attention to response task (SART) to investigate the developmental process of SART performance and the role of cognitive load on performance when the speed-accuracy trade-off is controlled experimentally. In study 1, 23 participants completed the modified SART (target stimuli location was not predictable) and a subjective thought content questionnaire 4 times over the span of 4 weeks. As predicted, the influence of speed-accuracy trade-off was significantly mitigated on the modified SART by having target stimuli occur in unpredictable locations. In study 2, 21 of the 23 participants completed an abridged version of the modified SART with a verbal free-recall memory task. Participants performed significantly worse when completing the verbal memory task and SART concurrently. Overall, the results support a resource theory perspective with concern to errors being a result of limited mental resources and not simply mindlessness per se. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Wijers, A A; Okita, T; Mulder, G; Mulder, L J; Lorist, M M; Poiesz, R; Scheffers, M K
ERPs and performance were measured in divided and focussed attention visual search tasks. In focussed attention tasks, to-be-attended and to-be-ignored letters were presented simultaneously. We varied display load, mapping conditions and display size. RT, P3b-latency and negativity in the ERP associated with controlled search all increased with display load. Each of these measures showed selectivity of controlled search, in that they decreased with focussing of attention. An occipital N230, on the other hand, was not sensitive to focussing of attention, but was primarily affected by display load. ERPs to both attended and unattended targets in focussed attention conditions showed and N2 compared to nontargets, suggesting that both automatic and controlled letter classifications are possible. These effects were not affected by display size. Consistent mapping resulted in shorter RT and P3b-latency in divided attention conditions, compared to varied mapping conditions, but had no effect in focussed attention conditions.
Kurtz, Phillipp; Shapcott, Katharine A.; Kaiser , Jochen; Schmiedt, Joscha T.; Schmid, Michael C.
Spatial attention allows us to make more accurate decisions about events in our environment. Decision confidence is thought to be intimately linked to the decision making process as confidence ratings are tightly coupled to decision accuracy. While both spatial attention and decision confidence have been subjected to extensive research, surprisingly little is known about the interaction between these two processes. Since attention increases performance it might be expected that confidence wou...
Jiang, Yi; Costello, Patricia; Fang, Fang; Huang, Miner; He, Sheng
Human observers are constantly bombarded with a vast amount of information. Selective attention helps us to quickly process what is important while ignoring the irrelevant. In this study, we demonstrate that information that has not entered observers' consciousness, such as interocularly suppressed (invisible) erotic pictures, can direct the distribution of spatial attention. Furthermore, invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers' spatial attention depending on their ...
Kurtz, Phillipp; Shapcott, Katharine A; Kaiser, Jochen; Schmiedt, Joscha T; Schmid, Michael C
Spatial attention allows us to make more accurate decisions about events in our environment. Decision confidence is thought to be intimately linked to the decision making process as confidence ratings are tightly coupled to decision accuracy. While both spatial attention and decision confidence have been subjected to extensive research, surprisingly little is known about the interaction between these two processes. Since attention increases performance it might be expected that confidence would also increase. However, two studies investigating the effects of endogenous attention on decision confidence found contradictory results. Here we investigated the effects of two distinct forms of spatial attention on decision confidence; endogenous attention and exogenous attention. We used an orientation-matching task, comparing the two attention conditions (endogenous and exogenous) to a control condition without directed attention. Participants performed better under both attention conditions than in the control condition. Higher confidence ratings than the control condition were found under endogenous attention but not under exogenous attention. This finding suggests that while attention can increase confidence ratings, it must be voluntarily deployed for this increase to take place. We discuss possible implications of this relative overconfidence found only during endogenous attention with respect to the theoretical background of decision confidence.
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).…
Green, C. Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne
The authors investigated the effect of action gaming on the spatial distribution of attention. The authors used the flanker compatibility effect to separately assess center and peripheral attentional resources in gamers versus nongamers. Gamers exhibited an enhancement in attentional resources compared with nongamers, not only in the periphery but…
Maunsell, John H. R.
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally
Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral
Miller, Hilary E; Simmering, Vanessa R
Children's spatial language reliably predicts their spatial skills, but the nature of this relation is a source of debate. This investigation examined whether the mechanisms accounting for such relations are specific to language use or reflect a domain-general mechanism of selective attention. Experiment 1 examined whether 4-year-olds' spatial skills were predicted by their selective attention or their adaptive language use. Children completed (a) an attention task assessing attention to task-relevant color, size, and location cues; (b) a description task assessing adaptive language use to describe scenes varying in color, size, and location; and (c) three spatial tasks. There was correspondence between the cue types that children attended to and produced across description and attention tasks. Adaptive language use was predicted by both children's attention and task-related language production, suggesting that selective attention underlies skills in using language adaptively. After controlling for age, gender, receptive vocabulary, and adaptive language use, spatial skills were predicted by children's selective attention. The attention score predicted variance in spatial performance previously accounted for by adaptive language use. Experiment 2 followed up on the attention task (Experiment 2a) and description task (Experiment 2b) from Experiment 1 to assess whether performance in the tasks related to selective attention or task-specific demands. Performance in Experiments 2a and 2b paralleled that in Experiment 1, suggesting that the effects in Experiment 1 reflected children's selective attention skills. These findings show that selective attention is a central factor supporting spatial skill development that could account for many effects previously attributed to children's language use. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roberts, Mariel; Cymerman, Rachel; Smith, R. Theodore; Kiorpes, Lynne; Carrasco, Marisa
Certain abnormalities in behavioral performance and neural signaling have been attributed to a deficit of visual attention in amblyopia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a diverse array of visual deficits following abnormal binocular childhood experience. Critically, most have inferred attention's role in their task without explicitly manipulating and measuring its effects against a baseline condition. Here, we directly investigate whether human amblyopic adults benefit from cov...
DiCarlo, Cynthia F.; Baumgartner, Jennifer J.; Ota, Carrie; Geary, Kelly
This study examined the mean duration of child attention across three teaching conditions (child choice, adult choice, or adult presentation) of 63 preschool-age children. A repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare the means across the three teaching conditions, indicating a statistically significant difference between the teaching conditions.…
Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M
Orienting attention to locations in mnemonic representations engages processes that functionally and anatomically overlap the neural circuitry guiding prospective shifts of spatial attention. The attention-based rehearsal account predicts that the requirement to withdraw attention from a memorized location impairs memory accuracy. In a dual-task study, we simultaneously presented retro-cues and pre-cues to guide spatial attention in short-term memory (STM) and perception, respectively. The spatial direction of each cue was independent of the other. The locations indicated by the combined cues could be compatible (same hand) or incompatible (opposite hands). Incompatible directional cues decreased lateralized activity in brain potentials evoked by visual cues, indicating interference in the generation of prospective attention shifts. The detection of external stimuli at the prospectively cued location was impaired when the memorized location was part of the perceptually ignored hand. The disruption of attention-based rehearsal by means of incompatible pre-cues reduced memory accuracy and affected encoding of tactile test stimuli at the retrospectively cued hand. These findings highlight the functional significance of spatial attention for spatial STM. The bidirectional interactions between both tasks demonstrate that spatial attention is a shared neural resource of a capacity-limited system that regulates information processing in internal and external stimulus representations.
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; DeGutis, Joseph; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; 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 lifespan. Here, we fill this gap in two ways. First, powered by an unprecedentedly large, 10,430-person sample, we model age-related differences with substantially greater precision than prior efforts. Second, using the recently developed g...
Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W
This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention.
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.
Rangan, R; Nagendra, H R; Bhatt, Ramachandra
Sustained attention is a vital function mediated by the right frontoparietal cortex. The Six Letter Cancellation Task (SLCT) measures sustained attention. Development of sustained attention in a yoga-based education system compared to a modern one is the theme of the present study. To compare the effectiveness of the Modern Education System (MES) and the Gurukula Education System (GES) in developing sustained attention. Forty nine boys (11-13 years) were selected from two residential schools, one MES and the other GES, providing similar ambiance and daily routines. The boys were matched for age and socioeconomic status. The GES educational program is based around integrated yoga modules while the MES provides a conventional modern education program. Sustained attention was assessed using the SLCT at the start and end of an academic year. Within groups, the pre-post test differences were significant for both groups. However, the between groups result showed improvement in the GES group compared to the MES group at a P < 0.001 significance level. The study suggests that both MES and GES improve sustained attention in school boys, but GES is more effective.
Hoonakker, Marc; Doignon-Camus, Nadège; Bonnefond, Anne
Impairments in sustained attention, that is, the ability to achieve and maintain the focus of cognitive activity on a given stimulation source or task, have been described as central to schizophrenia. Today, sustained attention deficit is still considered as a hallmark of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, current findings on this topic are not consistent. To clarify these findings, we attempt to put these results into perspective according to the type of assessment (i.e., overall and over time assessment), the participants' characteristics (i.e., clinical and demographic characteristics), and the paradigms (i.e., traditionally formatted tasks, go/no-go tasks, and the sustained attention task) and measures used. Two types of assessment lead to opposite findings; they do not evaluate sustained attention the same way. Studies using overall assessments of sustained attention ability tend to reveal a deficit, whereas studies using over time assessments do not. Therefore, further research is needed to investigate the underlying cognitive control mechanisms of changes in sustained attention in schizophrenia. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.
Chica, Ana B; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Lupiáñez, Juan
Orienting of spatial attention is a family of phylogenetically old mechanisms developed to select information for further processing. Information can be selected via top-down or endogenous mechanisms, depending on the goals of the observers or on the task at hand. Moreover, salient and potentially dangerous events also attract spatial attention via bottom-up or exogenous mechanisms, allowing a rapid and efficient reaction to unexpected but important events. Fronto-parietal brain networks have been demonstrated to play an important role in supporting spatial attentional orienting, although there is no consensus on whether there is a single attentional system supporting both endogenous and exogenous attention, or two anatomical and functionally different attentional systems. In the present paper we review behavioral evidence emphasizing the differential characteristics of both systems, as well as their possible interactions for the control of the final orienting response. Behavioral studies reporting qualitative differences between the effects of both systems as well as double dissociations of the effects of endogenous and exogenous attention on information processing, suggest that they constitute two independent attentional systems, rather than a single one. Recent models of attentional orienting in humans have put forward the hypothesis of a dorsal fronto-parietal network for orienting spatial attention, and a more ventral fronto-parietal network for detecting unexpected but behaviorally relevant events. Non-invasive neurostimulation techniques, as well as neuropsychological data, suggest that endogenous and exogenous attention are implemented in overlapping, although partially segregated, brain circuits. Although more research is needed in order to refine our anatomical and functional knowledge of the brain circuits underlying spatial attention, we conclude that endogenous and exogenous spatial orienting constitute two independent attentional systems, with
Bul, Kim C M; van Baar, Anneloes L
Attention skills may form an important developmental mechanism. A mediation model was examined in which behavioral problems of moderately preterm and term children at school age are explained by attention performance. Parents and teachers completed behavioral assessments of 348 moderately preterm children and 182 term children at 8 years of age. Children were administered a test of sustained selective attention. Preterm birth was associated with more behavioral and attention difficulties. Gestational age, prenatal maternal smoking, and gender were associated with mothers', fathers', and teachers' reports of children's problem behavior. Sustained selective attention partially mediated the relationship between birth status and problem behavior. Development of attention skills should be an important focus for future research in moderately preterm children.
Bosworth, Rain G; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Dobkins, Karen R
In order to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the left visual field (LVF) and the right visual field (RVF), we employed a full/poor attention paradigm using stimuli presented in the LVF vs. RVF. In addition, to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the dorsal and ventral processing streams, we obtained motion thresholds (motion coherence thresholds and fine direction discrimination thresholds) and orientation thresholds, respectively. The results of this study showed negligible effects of attention on the orientation task, in either the LVF or RVF. In contrast, for both motion tasks, there was a significant effect of attention in the LVF, but not in the RVF. These data provide psychophysical evidence for greater effects of spatial attention in the LVF/right hemisphere, specifically, for motion processing in the dorsal stream. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Scholte, H. S.; Spekreijse, H.; Roelfsema, P. R.
In a curve-tracing task, subjects have to judge whether items are located on a single, continuous curve. Spatially separate segments of such a curve are related to each other through grouping criteria, like collinearity and connectedness. These grouping cues need to be exploited during curve
Johnson, Andrew J; Muneem, Mohammed; Miles, Christopher
The present study examined the effect of chewing gum on sustained attention and associated changes in subjective alertness. In a within-participants design, 20 participants completed an extended version of the sustained attention response task (SART: Robertson et al., 1997), both with and without chewing gum. Self-rated measures of alertness, contentedness, and calmness were taken before and after the SART. Chewing gum was associated with improved attentional task performance. This finding was not contingent upon a general decrease in attentional performance and was apparent at all stages of the task. Subjective measures of alertness, contentedness, and calmness were higher following the chewing of gum. Changes in sustained attention co-varied with subjective alertness. The effects of chewing gum on attention and alertness are consistent with past literature and were not contingent on declines in attention. Additionally, we found evidence that gum-induced changes in self-rated alertness and attention are related. We found no support for the proposition that chewing gum can impair attention due to the division of resources.
Simon G Gosling
Full Text Available Spatial attention enables us to enhance the processing of items at target locations, at the expense of items presented at irrelevant locations. Many studies have explored the neural correlates of these spatial biases using event-related potentials. More recently some studies have shown that these ERP correlates are also present when subjects search visual short-term memory. This suggests firstly that this type of mental representation retains a spatial organisation that is based upon that of the original percept, and secondly that these attentional biases are flexible and can act to modulate remembered as well as perceptual representations. We aimed to test whether it was necessary for subjects to have actually seen the memoranda at those spatial locations, or whether simply imagining the spatial layout was sufficient to elicit the spatial attention effects. On some trials subjects performed a ‘visual’ search of an array held in visual short-term memory, and upon other trials subjects imagined the items at those spatial locations. We found ERP markers of spatial attention in both the memory-search and the imagery-search conditions. However, there were differences between the conditions, the effect in the memory-search began earlier and included posterior electrode sites. By contrast the ERP effect in the imagery-search condition was apparent only over fronto-central electrode sites and emerged slightly later. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that it is not necessary for subjects to have ever seen the items at spatial locations for neural markers of spatial attention to be elicited; searching an imaginary spatial layout also triggers spatially-specific attention effects in the ERP data.
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.
Chen, Yi-Chuan; Spence, Charles
The extent to which attention modulates multisensory processing in a top-down fashion is still a subject of debate among researchers. Typically, cognitive psychologists interested in this question have manipulated the participants' attention in terms of single/dual tasking or focal/divided attention between sensory modalities. We suggest an alternative approach, one that builds on the extensive older literature highlighting hemispheric asymmetries in the distribution of spatial attention. Specifically, spatial attention in vision, audition, and touch is typically biased preferentially toward the right hemispace, especially under conditions of high perceptual load. We review the evidence demonstrating such an attentional bias toward the right in extinction patients and healthy adults, along with the evidence of such rightward-biased attention in multisensory experimental settings. We then evaluate those studies that have demonstrated either a more pronounced multisensory effect in right than in left hemispace, or else similar effects in the two hemispaces. The results suggest that the influence of rightward-biased attention is more likely to be observed when the crossmodal signals interact at later stages of information processing and under conditions of higher perceptual load-that is, conditions under which attention is perhaps a compulsory enhancer of information processing. We therefore suggest that the spatial asymmetry in attention may provide a useful signature of top-down attentional modulation in multisensory processing.
Anderson, Brian A; Kim, Haena
The role of associative reward learning in the guidance of feature-based attention is well established. The extent to which reward learning can modulate spatial attention has been much more controversial. At least one demonstration of a persistent spatial attention bias following space-based associative reward learning has been reported. At the same time, multiple other experiments have been published failing to demonstrate enduring attentional biases towards locations at which a target, if found, yields high reward. This is in spite of evidence that participants use reward structures to inform their decisions where to search, leading some to suggest that, unlike feature-based attention, spatial attention may be impervious to the influence of learning from reward structures. Here, we demonstrate a robust bias towards regions of a scene that participants were previously rewarded for selecting. This spatial bias relies on representations that are anchored to the configuration of objects within a scene. The observed bias appears to be driven specifically by reinforcement learning, and can be observed with equal strength following non-reward corrective feedback. The time course of the bias is consistent with a transient shift of attention, rather than a strategic search pattern, and is evident in eye movement patterns during free viewing. Taken together, our findings reconcile previously conflicting reports and offer an integrative account of how learning from feedback shapes the spatial attention system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ferrazzoli, Davide; Ortelli, Paola; Maestri, Roberto; Bera, Rossana; Gargantini, Roberto; Palamara, Grazia; Zarucchi, Marianna; Giladi, Nir; Frazzitta, Giuseppe
Rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is based on cognitive strategies that exploit attention. Parkinsonians exhibit impairments in divided attention and interference control. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of specific rehabilitation treatments based on attention suggests that other attentional functions are preserved. Data about attention are conflicting in PD, and it is not clear whether rehabilitative treatments that entail attentional strategies affect attention itself. Reaction times (RTs) represent an instrument to explore attention and investigate whether changes in attentional performances parallel rehabilitation induced-gains. RTs of 103 parkinsonian patients in "on" state, without cognitive deficits, were compared with those of a population of 34 healthy controls. We studied those attentional networks that subtend the use of cognitive strategies in motor rehabilitation: alertness and focused and sustained attention, which is a component of the executive system. We used visual and auditory RTs to evaluate alertness and multiple choices RTs (MC RTs) to explore focused and sustained attention. Parkinsonian patients underwent these tasks before and after a 4-week multidisciplinary, intensive and goal-based rehabilitation treatment (MIRT). Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) III and Timed Up and Go test (TUG) were assessed at the enrollment and at the end of MIRT to evaluate the motor-functional effectiveness of treatment. We did not find differences in RTs between parkinsonian patients and controls. Further, we found that improvements in motor-functional outcome measures after MIRT ( p attention, are preserved in "on" state. This explains why Parkinsonians benefit from a goal-based rehabilitation that entails the use of attention. The reduction in MC RTs suggests a positive effect of MIRT on the executive component of attention and indicates that this type of rehabilitation provides benefits by exploiting executive functions
Souza, Alessandra S; Thalmann, Mirko; Oberauer, Klaus
Attention helps manage the information held in visual working memory (vWM). Perceptual attention selects the stimuli to be represented in vWM, whereas internal attention prioritizes information already in vWM. In the present study we assessed the spatial precision of perceptual and internal attention in vWM. Participants encoded eight colored dots for a local-recognition test. To manipulate attention, a cue indicated the item most likely to be tested (~65% validity). The cue appeared either before the onset of the memory array (precue) or during the retention interval (retrocue). The precue guides perceptual attention to gate encoding into vWM, whereas the retrocue guides internal attention to prioritize the cued item within vWM. If attentional selection is spatially imprecise, attention should be preferentially allocated to the cued location, with a gradual drop-off of attention over space to nearby uncued locations. In this case, memory for uncued locations should vary as a function of their distance from the cued location. As compared to a no-cue condition, memory was better for validly cued items but worse for uncued items. The spatial distance between the uncued and cued locations modulated the cuing costs: Items close in space to the cued location were insulated from cuing costs. The extension of this spatial proximity effect was larger for precues than for retrocues, mostly because the benefits of attention were larger for precues. These results point to similar selection principles between perceptual and internal attention and to a critical role of spatial distance in the selection of visual representations.
Ruff, Christian C; Kristjánsson, Arni; Driver, Jon
Iconic memory and spatial attention are often considered separately, but they may have functional similarities. Here we provide functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence for some common underlying neural effects. Subjects judged three visual stimuli in one hemifield of a bilateral array comprising six stimuli. The relevant hemifield for partial report was indicated by an auditory cue, administered either before the visual array (precue, spatial attention) or shortly after the array (postcue, iconic memory). Pre- and postcues led to similar activity modulations in lateral occipital cortex contralateral to the cued side. This finding indicates that readout from iconic memory can have some neural effects similar to those of spatial attention. We also found common bilateral activation of a fronto-parietal network for postcue and precue trials. These neuroimaging data suggest that some common neural mechanisms underlie selective spatial attention and readout from iconic memory. Some differences were also found; compared with precues, postcues led to higher activity in the right middle frontal gyrus.
Vlemincx, Elke; Taelman, Joachim; De Peuter, Steven; Van Diest, Ilse; Van den Bergh, Omer
Spontaneous breathing consists of substantial correlated variability: Parameters characterizing a breath are correlated with parameters characterizing previous and future breaths. On the basis of dynamic system theory, negative emotion states are predicted to reduce correlated variability whereas sustained attention is expected to reduce total respiratory variability. Both are predicted to evoke sighing. To test this, respiratory variability and sighing were assessed during a baseline, stressful mental arithmetic task, nonstressful sustained attention task, and recovery in between tasks. For respiration rate (excluding sighs), reduced total variability was found during the attention task, whereas correlated variation was reduced during mental load. Sigh rate increased during mental load and during recovery from the attention task. It is concluded that mental load and task-related attention show specific patterns in respiratory variability and sigh rate. Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
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...... and auditory stimuli were good. In a factor analysis, the two TEA-Ch(J) selective attention tasks (one visual, one auditory) loaded onto a common factor and diverged from the two sustained attention tasks (one auditory, one motor), which shared a common loading on the second factor. This pattern, which...... suggests that the tests are indeed sensitive to underlying attentional capacities, was supported by the relationships between the TEA-Ch(J) factors and Test of Everyday Attention for Children subtests in the older children in the sample. It is possible to gain convincing performance-based estimates...
Mills, Mark; Smith, Kevin B; Hibbing, John R; Dodd, Michael D
Processing an abstract concept such as political ideology by itself is difficult but becomes easier when a background situation contextualizes it. Political ideology within American politics, for example, is commonly processed using space metaphorically, i.e., the political "left" and "right" (referring to Democrat and Republican views, respectively), presumably to provide a common metric to which abstract features of ideology can be grounded and understood. Commonplace use of space as metaphor raises the question of whether an inherently non-spatial stimulus (e.g., picture of the political "left" leader, Barack Obama) can trigger a spatially-specific response (e.g., attentional bias toward "left" regions of the visual field). Accordingly, pictures of well-known Democrats and Republicans were presented as central cues in peripheral target detection (Experiment 1) and saccadic free-choice (Experiment 2) tasks to determine whether perception of stimuli lacking a direct association with physical space nonetheless induce attentional and oculomotor biases in the direction compatible with the ideological category of the cue (i.e., Democrat/left and Republican/right). In Experiment 1, target detection following presentation of a Democrat (Republican) was facilitated for targets appearing to the left (right). In Experiment 2, participants were more likely to look left (right) following presentation of a Democrat (Republican). Thus, activating an internal representation of political ideology induced a shift of attention and biased choice of gaze direction in a spatially-specific manner. These findings demonstrate that the link between conceptual processing and spatial attention can be totally arbitrary, with no reference to physical or symbolic spatial information. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Petrov, Laura Oana; Shahumyan, Harutyun; Williams, Brendan
structural analysis, FRAGSTATS, and ArcGIS software packages. The developed indicators form a valuable and complementary addition to the planning and policy process due to their interdisciplinary and practical nature. They were elaborated based on discussions with scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders......Indicators are helpful tools for land use management, particularly in the context of sustainable urban development. Together with scenarios they are a key requirement in order to produce information for stakeholders and policy-makers and aid their understanding of development processes. Using...... these information products and tools, policy-makers can be given the opportunity to spatially interrogate the driving forces and the current state of urban development. Understanding how trends will develop in the future and the possible impacts of their decisions on the development process is vital...
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
Representations of target-defining features (attentional templates) guide the selection of target objects in visual search. We used behavioural and electrophysiological measures to investigate how such search templates control the allocation of attention in search tasks where targets are defined by the combination of two colours or by a specific spatial configuration of these colours. Target displays were preceded by spatially uninformative cue displays that contained items in one or both tar...
Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spap?, Michiel M.
Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver’s body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands...
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). Our present experiments demonstrate the efficacy of such training using a first-person perspective movement videogame-based platform in samples of students and Soldiers. Effectiveness was assessed by manipulating KR during a training phase and withdrawing it in a subsequent transfer phase. Relative to a no KR control condition, KR systematically improved performance for both Soldiers and students. These results build upon our previous findings that demonstrated that a video game-based platform can be used to create a movement-centred sustained attention task with important elements of traditional vigilance. The results indicate that KR effects in sustained attention extend to a first person perspective movement based paradigm, and that these effects occur in professional military as well as a more general population. Such sustained attention training can save lives and the present findings demonstrate one particular avenue to achieve this goal. Practitioner Summary: Sustained attention can be trained by means of knowledge of results using a videogame-based platform with samples of students and Soldiers. Four experiments demonstrate that a dynamic, first-person perspective video game environment can serve to support effective sustained attention training in professional military as well as a more general population.
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.
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.
Ciria, Luis F; Perakakis, Pandelis; Luque-Casado, Antonio; Morato, Cristina; Sanabria, Daniel
A growing set of studies has shown a positive relationship between aerobic fitness and a broad array of cognitive functions. However, few studies have focused on sustained attention, which has been considered a fundamental cognitive process that underlies most everyday activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of aerobic fitness as a key factor in sustained attention capacities in young adults. Forty-four young adults (18-23 years) were divided into two groups as a function of the level of aerobic fitness (high-fit and low-fit). Participants completed the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) and an oddball task where they had to detect infrequent targets presented among frequent non-targets. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed faster responses for the high-fit group than for the low-fit group in the PVT, replicating previous accounts. In the oddball task, the high-fit group maintained their accuracy (ACC) rate of target detection over time, while the low-fit group suffered a significant decline of response ACC throughout the task. Importantly, the results show that the greater sustained attention capacity of high-fit young adults is not specific to a reaction time (RT) sustained attention task like the PVT, but it is also evident in an ACC oddball task. In sum, the present findings point to the important role of aerobic fitness on sustained attention capacities in young adults.
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.
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
Gherri, Elena; Berreby, Fiona
To investigate whether tactile spatial attention is modulated by perceptual load, behavioural and electrophysiological measures were recorded during two spatial cuing tasks in which the difficulty of the target/non-target discrimination was varied (High and Low load tasks). Moreover, to study whether attentional modulations by load are sensitive to the availability of visual information, the High and Low load tasks were carried out under both illuminated and darkness conditions. ERPs to cued and uncued non-targets were compared as a function of task (High vs. Low load) and illumination condition (Light vs. Darkness). Results revealed that the locus of tactile spatial attention was determined by a complex interaction between perceptual load and illumination conditions during sensory-specific stages of processing. In the Darkness, earlier effects of attention were present in the High load than in the Low load task, while no difference between tasks emerged in the Light. By contrast, increased load was associated with stronger attention effects during later post-perceptual processing stages regardless of illumination conditions. These findings demonstrate that ERP correlates of tactile spatial attention are strongly affected by the perceptual load of the target/non-target discrimination. However, differences between illumination conditions show that the impact of load on tactile attention depends on the presence of visual information. Perceptual load is one of the many factors that contribute to determine the effects of spatial selectivity in touch. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Huang, Dan; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Xin; Chen, Yao
Preferentially processing behaviorally relevant information is vital for primate survival. In visuospatial attention studies, manipulating the spatial extent of attention focus is an important question. Although many studies have claimed to successfully adjust attention field size by either varying the uncertainty about the target location (spatial uncertainty) or adjusting the size of the cue orienting the attention focus, no systematic studies have assessed and compared the effectiveness of these methods. We used a multiple cue paradigm with 2.5° and 7.5° rings centered around a target position to measure the cue size effect, while the spatial uncertainty levels were manipulated by changing the number of cueing positions. We found that spatial uncertainty had a significant impact on reaction time during target detection, while the cue size effect was less robust. We also carefully varied the spatial scope of potential target locations within a small or large region and found that this amount of variation in spatial uncertainty can also significantly influence target detection speed. Our results indicate that adjusting spatial uncertainty is more effective than varying cue size when manipulating attention field size.
Mulckhuyse, Manon; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, Jan
The present study shows that an abrupt onset cue that is not consciously perceived can cause attentional facilitation followed by inhibition at the cued location. The observation of this classic biphasic effect of facilitation followed by inhibition of return (IOR) suggests that the subliminal cue
Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min
Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.
Full Text Available Several studies have addressed the question of the time it takes for attention to shift from one position in space to another. Here we present a behavioural paradigm which offers a direct access to an estimate of voluntary shift time by comparing, in the same task, a situation in which subjects are required to re-engage their attention at the same spatial location with a situation in which they need to shift their attention to another location, all other sensory, cognitive and motor parameters being equal. We show that spatial attention takes on average 55 ms to voluntarily shift from one hemifield to the other and 38 ms to shift within the same hemifield. In addition, we show that across and within hemifields attentional processes are different. In particular, attentional spotlight division appears to be more difficult to operate within than across hemifields.
Postle, B R; Awh, E; Jonides, J; Smith, E E; D'Esposito, M
Rehearsal in human spatial working memory is accomplished, in part, via covert shifts of spatial selective attention to memorized locations ("attention-based rehearsal"). We addressed two outstanding questions about attention-based rehearsal: the topography of the attention-based rehearsal effect, and the mechanism by which it operates. Using event-related fMRI and a procedure that randomized the presentation of trials with delay epochs that were either filled with a flickering checkerboard or unfilled, we localized the effect to extrastriate areas 18 and 19, and confirmed its absence in striate cortex. Delay-epoch activity in these extrastriate regions, as well as in superior parietal lobule and intraparietal sulcus, was also lateralized on unfilled trials, suggesting that attention-based rehearsal produces a baseline shift in areas representing the to-be-remembered location in space. No frontal regions (including frontal eye fields) demonstrated lateralized activity consistent with a role in attention-based rehearsal.
Henderickx, David; Maetens, Kathleen; Soetens, Eric
Briand (J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 24:1243-1256, 1998) and Briand and Klein (J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 13:228-241, 1987) demonstrated that spatial cueing effects are larger for detecting conjunction of features than for detecting simple features when spatial attention is oriented exogenously, and not when attention is oriented endogenously. Their results were interpreted as if only exogenous attention affects the posterior spatial attention system that performs the feature binding function attributed to spatial attention by Treisman's feature integration theory (FIT; 1980). In a series of 6 experiments, we attempted to replicate Briand's findings. Manipulations of distractor string size and symmetry of stimulus presentation left and right from fixation were implemented in Posner's cueing paradigm. The data indicate that both exogenous and endogenous cueing address the same attentional mechanism needed for feature binding. The results also limit the generalisability of Briand's proposal concerning the role of exogenous attention in feature integration. Furthermore, the importance to control the effect of unintended attentional capture in a cueing task is demonstrated.
Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.
Facial expressions are a basic form of non-verbal communication that convey important social information to others. The relevancy of this information is highlighted by findings that backward masked facial expressions facilitate spatial attention. This attention effect appears to be mediated through a neural network consisting of the amygdala,…
Elisa Conticelli and Simona Tondelli
Full Text Available The definition and the subsequent development of eco-industrial parks (EIPs have been deeply based on the application of industrial ecology theory, which pays specific attention to metabolic exchanges within industrial processes to address a deep reduction of limited resource consumption and a minimization of waste production in the framework of a sustainable development approach. Despite the EIPs configurations being essentially based on the overall idea of sustainability, the problem of defining their proper location inside the territory and the consequent land use model, to minimize land consumption, have not always been central in the wide range of studies and practices concerning the EIPs. Nevertheless, the specific problem of a drastic reduction of land consumption at the EIP planning stage acquires a crucial role and, therefore, needs to be carefully assessed inside the perspective of sustainable urban development. In this framework, the paper firstly aims at facing the nontrivial relationship between the EIPs’ theorizations and implementations and the reduction of land consumption by referencing specific studies and shared tools, where new developments have been favored despite the conversion and redevelopment of existing industrial parks; secondly, it focus on an Italian case study and its emblematic EIP planning processes, in order to deepen the contradictions between sustainable spatial planning and eco-industrial parks. Finally, some final conclusions will be presented, in order to integrate some main issues concerning the reduction of land consumption inside the more traditional EIP design processes.
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.
Roach, Victoria A.; Fraser, Graham M.; Kryklywy, James H.; Mitchell, Derek G. V.; Wilson, Timothy D.
Individuals with an aptitude for interpreting spatial information (high mental rotation ability: HMRA) typically master anatomy with more ease, and more quickly, than those with low mental rotation ability (LMRA). This article explores how visual attention differs with time limits on spatial reasoning tests. Participants were assorted to two…
de Ruiter, MB; Snel, J; Lorist, MM; Ruijter, J
Objectives: Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Methods:
Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary
Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…
Kasai, Tetsuko; Takeya, Ryuji
Attention selects objects/groups as the most fundamental units, and this may be achieved by an attention-spreading mechanism. Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies have found that attention-spreading is reflected by a decrease in the N1 spatial attention effect. The present study tested whether the electrophysiological attention effect is associated with the perception of object unity or amodal completion through the use of partly-occluded objects. ERPs were recorded in 14 participants who were required to pay attention to their left or right visual field and to press a button for a target shape in the attended field. Bilateral stimuli were presented rapidly, and were separated, connected, or connected behind an occluder. Behavioral performance in the connected and occluded conditions was worse than that in the separated condition, indicating that attention spread over perceptual object representations after amodal completion. Consistently, the late N1 spatial attention effect (180-220 ms post-stimulus) and the early phase (230-280 ms) of feature selection effects (target N2) at contralateral sites decreased, equally for the occluded and connected conditions, while the attention effect in the early N1 latency (140-180 ms) shifted most positively for the occluded condition. These results suggest that perceptual organization processes for object recognition transiently modulate spatial and feature selection processes in the visual cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Beula M. Magimairaj; James W. Montgomery
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...
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
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.
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.
Full Text Available Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate if a breathing technique could counteract the effects of hyperventilation due to a sustained attention task on shoulder muscle activity. Background: The trend towards higher levels of automation in industry is increasing. Consequently, manufacturing operators often monitor automated process for long periods of their work shift. Prolonged monitoring work requires sustained attention, which is a cognitive process that humans are typically poor at and find stressful. As sustained attention becomes an increasing requirement of manufacturing operators’ job content, the resulting stress experienced could contribute to the onset of many health problems, including work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs. Methods: The SART attention test was completed by a group of participants before and after a breathing intervention exercise. The effects of the abdominal breathing intervention on breathing rate, upper trapezius muscle activity and end-tidal CO2 were evaluated. Results: The breathing intervention reduced the moderation effect of end-tidal CO2 on upper trapezius muscle activity. Conclusions: Abdominal breathing could be a useful technique in reducing the effects of sustained attention work on muscular activity. Application: This research can be applied to highly-automated manufacturing industries, where prolonged monitoring of work is widespread and could, in its role as a stressor, be a potential contributor to WRMSDs.
Wixted, Fiona; O'Riordan, Cliona; O'Sullivan, Leonard
The objective of this study was to investigate if a breathing technique could counteract the effects of hyperventilation due to a sustained attention task on shoulder muscle activity. The trend towards higher levels of automation in industry is increasing. Consequently, manufacturing operators often monitor automated process for long periods of their work shift. Prolonged monitoring work requires sustained attention, which is a cognitive process that humans are typically poor at and find stressful. As sustained attention becomes an increasing requirement of manufacturing operators' job content, the resulting stress experienced could contribute to the onset of many health problems, including work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs). The SART attention test was completed by a group of participants before and after a breathing intervention exercise. The effects of the abdominal breathing intervention on breathing rate, upper trapezius muscle activity and end-tidal CO₂ were evaluated. The breathing intervention reduced the moderation effect of end-tidal CO₂ on upper trapezius muscle activity. Abdominal breathing could be a useful technique in reducing the effects of sustained attention work on muscular activity. This research can be applied to highly-automated manufacturing industries, where prolonged monitoring of work is widespread and could, in its role as a stressor, be a potential contributor to WRMSDs.
Johansson, Maria; Marciszko, Carin; Gredebäck, Gustaf; Nyström, Pär; Bohlin, Gunilla
Previous literature suggests that attention processes such as sustained attention would constitute a developmental foundation for the self-regulatory functions executive functioning and effortful control (e.g., Garon, Bryson, & Smith, 2008; Rothbart, Derryberry, & Posner, 1994). Our main aim was to test this hypothesis by studying whether sustained attention at age 1 year can predict individual differences in self-regulatory functions at age 2 years. Longitudinal data from 66 infants and their parents were included in the study. Sustained attention was assessed during free play at age 1 year; executive functioning, measured using an eye-tracking version of the A-not-B task, and effortful control, measured using parental ratings, were assessed at both age 1 and age 2 years. The results did support a longitudinal prediction of individual differences in 2-year-olds' self-regulatory functions as a function of sustained attention at age 1 year. We also found significant improvement in both executive functioning and effortful control over time, and the two self-regulatory constructs were related in toddlerhood but not in infancy. The study helps increase our understanding of the early development of self-regulatory functions necessary for identifying developmental risks and, in the future, for developing new interventions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Masse, Nicolas Y; Herrington, Todd M; Cook, Erik P
Distinguishing which of the many proposed neural mechanisms of spatial attention actually underlies behavioral improvements in visually guided tasks has been difficult. One attractive hypothesis is that attention allows downstream neural circuits to selectively integrate responses from the most informative sensory neurons. This would allow behavioral performance to be based on the highest-quality signals available in visual cortex. We examined this hypothesis by asking how spatial attention affects both the stimulus sensitivity of middle temporal (MT) neurons and their corresponding correlation with behavior. Analyzing a data set pooled from two experiments involving four monkeys, we found that spatial attention did not appreciably affect either the stimulus sensitivity of the neurons or the correlation between their activity and behavior. However, for those sessions in which there was a robust behavioral effect of attention, focusing attention inside the neuron's receptive field significantly increased the correlation between these two metrics, an indication of selective integration. These results suggest that, similar to mechanisms proposed for the neural basis of perceptual learning, the behavioral benefits of focusing spatial attention are attributable to selective integration of neural activity from visual cortical areas by their downstream targets.
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.
Gannon, Matthew A; Knapp, Ashley A; Adams, Thomas G; Long, Stephanie M; Parks, Nathan A
Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load) and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°). Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.
Matthew A Gannon
Full Text Available Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°. Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.
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.
Jiang, Yi; Costello, Patricia; Fang, Fang; Huang, Miner; He, Sheng
Human observers are constantly bombarded with a vast amount of information. Selective attention helps us to quickly process what is important while ignoring the irrelevant. In this study, we demonstrate that information that has not entered observers' consciousness, such as interocularly suppressed (invisible) erotic pictures, can direct the distribution of spatial attention. Furthermore, invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers' spatial attention depending on their gender and sexual orientation. While unaware of the suppressed pictures, heterosexual males' attention was attracted to invisible female nudes, heterosexual females' attention was attracted to invisible male nudes, gay males behaved similarly to heterosexual females, and gay/bisexual females performed in-between heterosexual males and females.
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
Heinen, Klaartje; Feredoes, Eva; Ruff, Christian C; Driver, Jon
It is well established that the frontal eye-fields (FEF) in the dorsal attention network (DAN) guide top-down selective attention. In addition, converging evidence implies a causal role for the FEF in attention shifting, which is also known to recruit the ventral attention network (VAN) and fronto-striatal regions. To investigate the causal influence of the FEF as (part of) a central hub between these networks, we applied thetaburst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TBS) off-line, combined with functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) during a cued visuo-spatial attention shifting paradigm. We found that TBS over the right FEF impaired performance on a visual discrimination task in both hemifields following attention shifts, while only left hemifield performance was affected when participants were cued to maintain the focus of attention. These effects recovered ca. 20min post stimulation. Furthermore, particularly following attention shifts, TBS suppressed the neural signal in bilateral FEF, right inferior and superior parietal lobule (IPL/SPL) and bilateral supramarginal gyri (SMG). Immediately post stimulation, functional connectivity was impaired between right FEF and right SMG as well as right putamen. Importantly, the extent of decreased connectivity between right FEF and right SMG correlated with behavioural impairment following attention shifts. The main finding of this study demonstrates that influences from right FEF on SMG in the ventral attention network causally underly attention shifts, presumably by enabling disengagement from the current focus of attention. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Uttal, David; Franconeri, Steven
Perceiving not just values, but relations between values, is critical to human cognition. We tested the predictions of a proposed mechanism for processing categorical spatial relations between two objects—the shift account of relation processing—which states that relations such as ‘above’ or ‘below’ are extracted by shifting visual attention upward or downward in space. If so, then shifts of attention should improve the representation of spatial relations, compared to a control condition of identity memory. Participants viewed a pair of briefly flashed objects and were then tested on either the relative spatial relation or identity of one of those objects. Using eye tracking to reveal participants’ voluntary shifts of attention over time, we found that when initial fixation was on neither object, relational memory showed an absolute advantage for the object following an attention shift, while identity memory showed no advantage for either object. This result is consistent with the shift account of relation processing. When initial fixation began on one of the objects, identity memory strongly benefited this fixated object, while relational memory only showed a relative benefit for objects following an attention shift. This result is also consistent, although not as uniquely, with the shift account of relation processing. Taken together, we suggest that the attention shift account provides a mechanistic explanation for the overall results. This account can potentially serve as the common mechanism underlying both linguistic and perceptual representations of spatial relations. PMID:27695104
Kit K. Elam
Full Text Available Emotional facial expressions are important social cues that convey salient affective information. Infants, younger children, and adults all appear to orient spatial attention to emotional faces with a particularly strong bias to fearful faces. Yet in young children it is unclear whether or not both happy and fearful faces extract attention. Given that the processing of emotional faces is believed by some to serve an evolutionarily adaptive purpose, attentional biases to both fearful and happy expressions would be expected in younger children. However, the extent to which this ability is present in young children and whether or not this ability is genetically mediated is untested. Therefore, the aims of the current study were to assess the spatial-attentional properties of emotional faces in young children, with a preliminary test of whether this effect was influenced by genetics. Five-year-old twin pairs performed a dot-probe task. The results suggest that children preferentially direct spatial attention to emotional faces, particularly right visual field faces. The results provide support for the notion that the direction of spatial attention to emotional faces serves an evolutionarily adaptive function and may be mediated by genetic mechanisms.
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control.
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control. PMID:25259525
Gardner-Neblett, Nicole; Holochwost, Steven J.; Gallagher, Kathleen Cranley; Iruka, Iheoma U.; Odom, Samuel L.; Pungello, Elizabeth P.
Rapid development of sustained attention occurs during infancy and toddlerhood, as neurological maturation allows children to increasingly attend to objects and events in the environment (Ruff & Rothbart, 1996). Play experiences during this period can serve as a context during which children's ability to attend can provide an opportunity for…
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…
O'Connell, Redmond G.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Dockree, Paul M.; Lau, Adam; Fitzgerald, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.
The present study examines a new alertness training strategy (Self-Alert Training, SAT) designed to explore the relationship between the top-down control processes governing arousal and sustained attention. In order to maximally target frontal control systems SAT combines a previously validated behavioural self-alerting technique [Robertson, I.…
Curtindale, Lori; Laurie-Rose, Cynthia; Bennett-Murphy, Laura; Hull, Sarah
Applying optimal stimulation theory, the present study explored the development of sustained attention as a dynamic process. It examined the interaction of modality and temperament over time in children and adults. Second-grade children and college-aged adults performed auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Using the Carey temperament…
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.
The aliphatic hydrocarbon perchloroethyelene (PCE) has been associated with neurobehavioral dysfunction including reduced attention in humans. The current study sought to assess the effects of inhaled PCE on sustained attention in rats performing a visual signal detection task (S...
Dai, Lengshi; Best, Virginia; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.
Listeners with sensorineural hearing loss often have trouble understanding speech amid other voices. While poor spatial hearing is often implicated, direct evidence is weak; moreover, studies suggest that reduced audibility and degraded spectrotemporal coding may explain such problems. We hypothesized that poor spatial acuity leads to difficulty deploying selective attention, which normally filters out distracting sounds. In listeners with normal hearing, selective attention causes changes in the neural responses evoked by competing sounds, which can be used to quantify the effectiveness of attentional control. Here, we used behavior and electroencephalography to explore whether control of selective auditory attention is degraded in hearing-impaired (HI) listeners. Normal-hearing (NH) and HI listeners identified a simple melody presented simultaneously with two competing melodies, each simulated from different lateral angles. We quantified performance and attentional modulation of cortical responses evoked by these competing streams. Compared with NH listeners, HI listeners had poorer sensitivity to spatial cues, performed more poorly on the selective attention task, and showed less robust attentional modulation of cortical responses. Moreover, across NH and HI individuals, these measures were correlated. While both groups showed cortical suppression of distracting streams, this modulation was weaker in HI listeners, especially when attending to a target at midline, surrounded by competing streams. These findings suggest that hearing loss interferes with the ability to filter out sound sources based on location, contributing to communication difficulties in social situations. These findings also have implications for technologies aiming to use neural signals to guide hearing aid processing. PMID:29555752
Delvenne, Jean-François; Cleeremans, Axel; Laloyaux, Cédric
Does the maintenance of feature bindings in visual short-term memory (VSTM) require sustained focused attention? This issue was investigated in three experiments, in which memory for single features (i.e., colors or shapes) was compared with memory for feature bindings (i.e., the link between the color and shape of an object). Attention was manipulated during the memory retention interval with a retro-cue, which allows attention to be directed and focused on a subset of memory items. The retro-cue was presented 700 ms after the offset of the memory display and 700 ms before the onset of the test display. If the maintenance of feature bindings - but not of individual features - in memory requires sustained focused attention, the retro-cue should not affect memory performance. Contrary to this prediction, we found that both memory for feature bindings and memory for individual features were equally improved by the retro-cue. Therefore, this finding does not support the view that the sustained focused attention is needed to properly maintain feature bindings in VSTM.
Prediger, Rui D S; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Fernandes, Daniel; Takahashi, Reinaldo N
The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is generally considered to be a suitable genetic model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), since it displays hyperactivity, impulsivity, poorly sustained attention, and deficits in learning and memory processes. Converging evidence suggests a primary role of disturbance in the dopaminergic neurotransmission in ADHD patients and in SHR, and in addition, some studies have also demonstrated alterations in adenosinergic neurotransmission in SHR. In the present study, adult female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats received caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before training, immediately after training, or 30 min before a test session in the spatial version of the Morris water maze. The effect of caffeine administration on WIS and SHR blood pressure was also measured. SHR needed significantly more trials in the training session to acquire the spatial information, but they displayed a similar profile to that of WIS rats in the test session (48 h later), demonstrating a selective deficit in spatial learning. Pre-training administration of caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) improved this spatial learning deficit in SHR, but did not alter the WIS performance. In contrast, post-training administration of caffeine (3 mg/kg i.p.) did not alter the SHR test performance, but increased memory retention in WIS rats. No dose of caffeine tested altered the mean blood pressure of WIS or SHR. These results demonstrate a selective spatial learning deficit in SHR which can be attenuated by pre-training administration of caffeine. In addition, the present findings indicate that the spatial learning deficit in SHR is not directly related to hypertension.
Higher-order cognitive processes were shown to rely on the interplay between large-scale neural networks. However, brain networks involved with the capability to split attentional resource over multiple spatial locations and multiple stimuli or sensory modalities have been largely unexplored to date. Here I re-analyzed data from Santangelo et al. (2010) to explore the causal interactions between large-scale brain networks during divided attention. During fMRI scanning, participants monitored streams of visual and/or auditory stimuli in one or two spatial locations for detection of occasional targets. This design allowed comparing a condition in which participants monitored one stimulus/modality (either visual or auditory) in two spatial locations vs. a condition in which participants monitored two stimuli/modalities (both visual and auditory) in one spatial location. The analysis of the independent components (ICs) revealed that dividing attentional resources across two spatial locations necessitated a brain network involving the left ventro- and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex plus the posterior parietal cortex, including the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the angular gyrus, bilaterally. The analysis of Granger causality highlighted that the activity of lateral prefrontal regions were predictive of the activity of all of the posteriors parietal nodes. By contrast, dividing attention across two sensory modalities necessitated a brain network including nodes belonging to the dorsal frontoparietal network, i.e., the bilateral frontal eye-fields (FEF) and IPS, plus nodes belonging to the salience network, i.e., the anterior cingulated cortex and the left and right anterior insular cortex (aIC). The analysis of Granger causality highlights a tight interdependence between the dorsal frontoparietal and salience nodes in trials requiring divided attention between different sensory modalities. The current findings therefore highlighted a dissociation among brain networks
Full Text Available Higher-order cognitive processes were shown to rely on the interplay between large-scale neural networks. However, brain networks involved with the capability to split attentional resource over multiple spatial locations and multiple stimuli or sensory modalities have been largely unexplored to date. Here I re-analyzed data from Santangelo et al. (2010 to explore the causal interactions between large-scale brain networks during divided attention. During fMRI scanning, participants monitored streams of visual and/or auditory stimuli in one or two spatial locations for detection of occasional targets. This design allowed comparing a condition in which participants monitored one stimulus/modality (either visual or auditory in two spatial locations vs. a condition in which participants monitored two stimuli/modalities (both visual and auditory in one spatial location. The analysis of the independent components (ICs revealed that dividing attentional resources across two spatial locations necessitated a brain network involving the left ventro- and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex plus the posterior parietal cortex, including the intraparietal sulcus (IPS and the angular gyrus, bilaterally. The analysis of Granger causality highlighted that the activity of lateral prefrontal regions were predictive of the activity of all of the posteriors parietal nodes. By contrast, dividing attention across two sensory modalities necessitated a brain network including nodes belonging to the dorsal frontoparietal network, i.e., the bilateral frontal eye-fields (FEF and IPS, plus nodes belonging to the salience network, i.e., the anterior cingulated cortex and the left and right anterior insular cortex (aIC. The analysis of Granger causality highlights a tight interdependence between the dorsal frontoparietal and salience nodes in trials requiring divided attention between different sensory modalities. The current findings therefore highlighted a dissociation among
van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Majerus, Steve; Fias, Wim
The ability to maintain the serial order of events is recognized as a major function of working memory. Although general models of working memory postulate a close link between working memory and attention, such a link has so far not been proposed specifically for serial-order working memory. The present study provided the first empirical demonstration of a direct link between serial order in verbal working memory and spatial selective attention. We show that the retrieval of later items of a sequence stored in working memory-compared with that of earlier items-produces covert attentional shifts toward the right. This observation suggests the conceptually surprising notion that serial-order working memory, even for nonspatially defined verbal items, draws on spatial attention.
Van der Stoep, N; Spence, C; Nijboer, T C W; Van der Stigchel, S
Two processes that can give rise to multisensory response enhancement (MRE) are multisensory integration (MSI) and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention. It is, however, currently unclear what the relative contribution of each of these is to MRE. We investigated this issue using two tasks that are generally assumed to measure MSI (a redundant target effect task) and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention (a spatial cueing task). One block of trials consisted of unimodal auditory and visual targets designed to provide a unimodal baseline. In two other blocks of trials, the participants were presented with spatially and temporally aligned and misaligned audiovisual (AV) targets (0, 50, 100, and 200ms SOA). In the integration block, the participants were instructed to respond to the onset of the first target stimulus that they detected (A or V). The instruction for the cueing block was to respond only to the onset of the visual targets. The targets could appear at one of three locations: left, center, and right. The participants were instructed to respond only to lateral targets. The results indicated that MRE was caused by MSI at 0ms SOA. At 50ms SOA, both crossmodal exogenous spatial attention and MSI contributed to the observed MRE, whereas the MRE observed at the 100 and 200ms SOAs was attributable to crossmodal exogenous spatial attention, alerting, and temporal preparation. These results therefore suggest that there may be a temporal window in which both MSI and exogenous crossmodal spatial attention can contribute to multisensory response enhancement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Edward S. Redhead
Full Text Available In this paper a series of studies and theoretical proposals about how preexposure to environmental cues affects subsequent spatial learning are reviewed. Traditionally, spatial learning had been thought to depend on gestaltic non-associative processes, and well established phenomena such as latent learning or instantaneous transfer have been taken to provide evidence for this sort of cognitive mapping. However, reviewing the literature examining these effects reveals that there is no need to advocate for gestaltic processes since standard associative learning theory provides an adequate framework for accounting for navigation skills. Recent studies reveal that attentional processes play a role in spatial learning. The need for an integrated attentional and associative approach to explain spatial learning is discussed.
Keil, Andreas; Moratti, Stephan; Sabatinelli, Dean; Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J
Affectively arousing visual stimuli have been suggested to automatically attract attentional resources in order to optimize sensory processing. The present study crosses the factors of spatial selective attention and affective content, and examines the relationship between instructed (spatial) and automatic attention to affective stimuli. In addition to response times and error rate, electroencephalographic data from 129 electrodes were recorded during a covert spatial attention task. This task required silent counting of random-dot targets embedded in a 10 Hz flicker of colored pictures presented to both hemifields. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEPs) were obtained to determine amplitude and phase of electrocortical responses to pictures. An increase of ssVEP amplitude was observed as an additive function of spatial attention and emotional content. Statistical parametric mapping of this effect indicated occipito-temporal and parietal cortex activation contralateral to the attended visual hemifield in ssVEP amplitude modulation. This difference was most pronounced during selection of the left visual hemifield, at right temporal electrodes. In line with this finding, phase information revealed accelerated processing of aversive arousing, compared to affectively neutral pictures. The data suggest that affective stimulus properties modulate the spatiotemporal process along the ventral stream, encompassing amplitude amplification and timing changes of posterior and temporal cortex.
Plamondon, André; Akbari, Emis; Atkinson, Leslie; Steiner, Meir; Meaney, Michael J; Fleming, Alison S
Experimental evidence in rodents shows that maternal stress during pregnancy (MSDP) negatively impacts spatial learning and memory in the offspring. We aim to investigate the association between MSDP (i.e., life events) and spatial working memory, as well as attention skills (attention shifting and attention focusing), in humans. The moderating roles of child sex, maternal anxiety during pregnancy and postnatal care are also investigated. Participants were 236 mother-child dyads that were followed from the second trimester of pregnancy until 4 years postpartum. Measurements included questionnaires and independent observations. MSDP was negatively associated with attention shifting at 18 months when concurrent maternal anxiety was low. MSDP was associated with poorer spatial working memory at 4 years of age, but only for boys who experienced poorer postnatal care. Consistent with results observed in rodents, MSDP was found to be associated with spatial working memory and attention skills. These results point to postnatal care and maternal anxiety during pregnancy as potential targets for interventions that aim to buffer children from the detrimental effects of MSDP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ruijter, J; de Ruiter, M B; Snel, J; Lorist, M M
Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 11 participants under conditions of caffeine (250 mg) and placebo. Spatial-selective attention effects were reflected in the ERPs as more positive going occipital P1 and broadly distributed P2 components, and more negative going occipital-temporal N1 and broadly distributed N2 components. A treatment effect was found as a more positive going frontal P2 component in the caffeine condition, whereas interactions between treatment and attention were observed for P2 and N2 components, but not for P1 and N1 components. This pattern of results suggests that caffeine has no specific influence on spatial-selective attention, but rather, has a more general facilitating effect on perceptual processing, as well as a possible effect on the frontal control mechanisms, i.e. focusing attention and increasing selectivity.
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.
Miles, Eleanor; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J
Peripheral cues are thought to facilitate responses to stimuli presented at the same location because they lead to exogenous attention shifts. Facilitation has been observed in numerous studies of visual and auditory attention, but there have been only four demonstrations of tactile facilitation, all in studies with potential confounds. Three studies used a spatial (finger versus thumb) discrimination task, where the cue could have provided a spatial framework that might have assisted the discrimination of subsequent targets presented on the same side as the cue. The final study circumvented this problem by using a non-spatial discrimination; however, the cues were informative and interspersed with visual cues which may have affected the attentional effects observed. In the current study, therefore, we used a non-spatial tactile frequency discrimination task following a non-informative tactile white noise cue. When the target was presented 150 ms after the cue, we observed faster discrimination responses to targets presented on the same side compared to the opposite side as the cue; by 1000 ms, responses were significantly faster to targets presented on the opposite side to the cue. Thus, we demonstrated that tactile attentional facilitation can be observed in a non-spatial discrimination task, under unimodal conditions and with entirely non-predictive cues. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of significant tactile facilitation and tactile inhibition of return within a single experiment.
Gendle, Mathew H; Strawderman, Myla S; Mactutus, Charles F; Booze, Rosemarie M; Levitsky, David A; Strupp, Barbara J
Although correlations have been reported between maternal cocaine use and impaired attention in exposed children, interpretation of these findings is complicated by the many risk factors that differentiate cocaine-exposed children from SES-matched controls. For this reason, the present dose-response study (0, 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 mg/kg cocaine HCl) was designed to explore the effect of prenatal cocaine exposure on visual attention in a rodent model, using an intravenous injection protocol that closely mimics the pharmacokinetic profile and physiological effects of human recreational cocaine use. In adulthood, animals were tested on an attention task in which the duration, location, and onset time of a brief visual cue varied randomly between trials. The 3.0 mg/kg exposed males committed significantly more omission errors than control males during the final 1/3 of each testing session, specifically on trials that followed an error, which implicates impaired sustained attention and increased reactivity to committing an error. During the final 1/3 of each testing session, the 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg exposed females took longer to enter the testing alcove at trial onset, and failed to enter the alcove more frequently than control females. Because these effects were not seen in other tasks of similar duration and reinforcement density, these findings suggest an impairment of sustained attention. This inference is supported by the finding that the increase in omission errors in the final block of trials in each daily session (relative to earlier in the session) was significantly greater for the 1.0 mg/kg females than for controls, a trend also seen for the 0.5 mg/kg group. Unlike the cocaine-exposed males, who remain engaged in the task when attention is waning, the cocaine-exposed females appear to opt for another strategy; namely, refusing to participate when their ability to sustain attention is surpassed.
Takeya, Ryuji; Kasai, Tetsuko
Attention directed to a part of an object tends to obligatorily spread over all of the spatial regions that belong to the object, which may be critical for rapid object-recognition in cluttered visual scenes. Previous studies have generally used simple rectangles as objects and have shown that attention spreading is reflected by amplitude modulation in the posterior N1 component (150-200 ms poststimulus) of event-related potentials, while other interpretations (i.e., rectangular holes) may arise implicitly in early visual processing stages. By using modified Kanizsa-type stimuli that provided less ambiguity of depth ordering, the present study examined early event-related potential spatial-attention effects for connected and separated objects, both of which were perceived in front of (Experiment 1) and in back of (Experiment 2) the surroundings. Typical P1 (100-140 ms) and N1 (150-220 ms) attention effects of ERP in response to unilateral probes were observed in both experiments. Importantly, the P1 attention effect was decreased for connected objects compared to separated objects only in Experiment 1, and the typical object-based modulations of N1 were not observed in either experiment. These results suggest that spatial attention spreads over a figural object at earlier stages of processing than previously indicated, in three-dimensional visual scenes with multiple depth cues.
Full Text Available Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one's attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues.
Redel, P; Bublak, P; Sorg, C; Kurz, A; Förstl, H; Müller, H J; Schneider, W X; Perneczky, R; Finke, K
Visual selective attention was assessed with a partial-report task in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy elderly controls. Based on Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA), two parameters were derived: top-down control of attentional selection, representing task-related attentional weighting for prioritizing relevant visual objects, and spatial distribution of attentional weights across the left and the right hemifield. Compared with controls, MCI patients showed significantly reduced top-down controlled selection, which was further deteriorated in AD subjects. Moreover, attentional weighting was significantly unbalanced across hemifields in MCI and tended to be more lateralized in AD. Across MCI and AD patients, carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4) displayed a leftward spatial bias, which was the more pronounced the younger the ApoE4-positive patients and the earlier disease onset. These results indicate that impaired top-down control may be linked to early dysfunction of fronto-parietal networks. An early temporo-parietal interhemispheric asymmetry might cause a pathological spatial bias which is associated with ApoE4 genotype and may therefore function as early cognitive marker of upcoming AD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Storbeck, Justin; Watson, Philip
Prior research has suggested that emotion and working memory domains are integrated, such that positive affect enhances verbal working memory, whereas negative affect enhances spatial working memory (Gray, 2004; Storbeck, 2012). Simon (1967) postulated that one feature of emotion and cognition integration would be reciprocal connectedness (i.e., emotion influences cognition and cognition influences emotion). We explored whether affective judgments and attention to affective qualities are biased by the activation of verbal and spatial working memory mind-sets. For all experiments, participants completed a 2-back verbal or spatial working memory task followed by an endorsement task (Experiments 1 & 2), word-pair selection task (Exp. 3), or attentional dot-probe task (Exp. 4). Participants who had an activated verbal, compared with spatial, working memory mind-set were more likely to endorse pictures (Exp. 1) and words (Exp. 2) as being more positive and to select the more positive word pair out of a set of word pairs that went 'together best' (Exp. 3). Additionally, people who completed the verbal working memory task took longer to disengage from positive stimuli, whereas those who completed the spatial working memory task took longer to disengage from negative stimuli (Exp. 4). Interestingly, across the 4 experiments, we observed higher levels of self-reported negative affect for people who completed the spatial working memory task, which was consistent with their endorsement and attentional bias toward negative stimuli. Therefore, emotion and working memory may have a reciprocal connectedness allowing for bidirectional influence.
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.
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.
Chu, Richard; Shumsky, Jed; Waterhouse, Barry D.
Methyphenidate (MPH) is the primary drug treatment of choice for ADHD. It is also frequently used off-label as a cognitive enhancer by otherwise healthy individuals from all age groups and walks of life. Military personnel, students, and health professionals use MPH illicitly to increase attention and improve workplace performance over extended periods of work activity. Despite the frequency of its use, the efficacy of MPH to enhance cognitive function across individuals and in a variety of circumstances is not well characterized. We sought to better understand MPH’s cognitive enhancing properties in two different rodent models of attention. We found that MPH could enhance performance in a sustained attention task, but that its effects in this test were subject dependent. More specifically, MPH increased attention in low baseline performing rats but had little to no effect on high performing rats. MPH exerted a similar subject specific effect in a test of flexible attention, i.e. the attention set shifting task. In this test MPH increased behavioral flexibility in animals with poor flexibility but impaired performance in more flexible animals. Overall, our results indicate that the effects of MPH are subject-specific and depend on the baseline level of performance. Furthermore, good performance in in the sustained attention task was correlated with good performance in the flexible attention task; i.e. animals with better vigilance exhibited greater behavioral flexibility. The findings are discussed in terms of potential neurobiological substrates, in particular noradrenergic mechanisms, that might underlie subject specific performance and subject specific responses to MPH. PMID:26688113
Nordfang, Maria; Staugaard, Camilla; Bundesen, Claus
The relationship between visual attentional selection of items in particular spatial locations and selection by nonspatial criteria was investigated in a partial report experiment with report of letters (as many as possible) from brief postmasked exposures of circular arrays of letters and digits....... The data were fitted by mathematical models based on Bundesen's (Psychological Review, 97, 523-547, 1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). Both attentional weights of targets (letters) and attentional weights of distractors (digits) showed strong variations across the eight possible target locations......, but for each of the ten participants, the ratio of the weight of a distractor at a given location to the weight of a target at the same location was approximately constant. The results were accommodated by revising the weight equation of TVA such that the attentional weight of an object equals a product...
A few studies have examined selective attention in Stroop task performance through ex-Gaussian analyses of response time (RT) distributions. It has remained unclear whether the tail of the RT distribution in vocal responding reflects spatial integration of relevant and irrelevant attributes, as
Matthias, Ellen; Bublak, Peter; Muller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Krummenacher, Joseph; Finke, Kathrin
Three experiments investigated whether spatial and nonspatial components of visual attention would be influenced by changes in (healthy, young) subjects' level of alertness and whether such effects on separable components would occur independently of each other. The experiments used a no-cue/alerting-cue design with varying cue-target stimulus…
Lange, J.J.; Wijers, A.A.; Mulder, L.J.M.; Mulder, G.
Two experiments were performed in which the effects of selective spatial attention on the ERPs elicited by unilateral and bilateral stimulus arrays were compared. In Experiment 1, subjects received a series of grating patterns. In the unilateral condition these gratings were presented one at a time,
Santangelo, Valerio; van der Lubbe, Robert Henricus Johannes; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Postma, Albert
The aim of this study was to establish whether spatial attention triggered by bimodal exogenous cues acts differently as compared to unimodal and crossmodal exogenous cues due to crossmodal integration. In order to investigate this issue, we examined cuing effects in discrimination tasks and
Close, Alex; Sapir, Ayelet; Burnett, Katherine; d'Avossa, Giovanni
What limits the ability to attend several locations simultaneously? There are two possibilities: Either attention cannot be divided without incurring a cost, or spatial memory is limited and observers forget which locations to monitor. We compared motion discrimination when attention was directed to one or multiple locations by briefly presented central cues. The cues were matched for the amount of spatial information they provided. Several random dot kinematograms (RDKs) followed the spatial cues; one of them contained task-relevant, coherent motion. When four RDKs were presented, discrimination accuracy was identical when one and two locations were indicated by equally informative cues. However, when six RDKs were presented, discrimination accuracy was higher following one rather than multiple location cues. We examined whether memory of the cued locations was diminished under these conditions. Recall of the cued locations was tested when participants attended the cued locations and when they did not attend the cued locations. Recall was inaccurate only when the cued locations were attended. Finally, visually marking the cued locations, following one and multiple location cues, equalized discrimination performance, suggesting that participants could attend multiple locations when they did not have to remember which ones to attend. We conclude that endogenously dividing attention between multiple locations is limited by inaccurate recall of the attended locations and that attention poses separate demands on the same central processes used to remember spatial information, even when the locations attended and those held in memory are the same. © 2014 ARVO.
Pauszek, Joseph R; Gibson, Bradley S
Previous research suggests that the use of valid symbolic cues is sufficient to elicit voluntary shifts of attention. The present study interpreted this previous research within a broader theoretical context which contends that observers will voluntarily use symbolic cues to orient their attention in space when the temporal costs of using the cues are perceived to be less than the temporal costs of searching without the aid of the cues. In this view, previous research has not addressed the sufficiency of valid symbolic cues, because the temporal cost of using the cues is usually incurred before the target display appears. To address this concern, 70%-valid spatial word cues were presented simultaneously with a search display. In addition, other research suggests that opposing cue-dependent and cue-independent spatial biases may operate in these studies and alter standard measures of orienting. After identifying and controlling these opposing spatial biases, the results of two experiments showed that the word cues did not elicit voluntary shifts of attention when the search task was relatively easy but did when the search task was relatively difficult. Moreover, the findings also showed that voluntary use of the word cues changed over the course of the experiment when the task was difficult, presumably because the temporal cost of searching without the cue lessened as the task got easier with practice. Altogether, the present findings suggested that the factors underlying voluntary control are multifaceted and contextual, and that spatial validity alone is not sufficient to elicit voluntary shifts of attention.
Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel
Audiovisual links in spatial attention have been reported in many previous studies. However, the effectiveness of auditory spatial cues in biasing the information encoding into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) is still relatively unknown. In this study, we addressed this issue by combining a cuing paradigm with a change detection task in VSWM. Moreover, we manipulated the perceptual organization of the to-be-remembered visual stimuli. We hypothesized that the auditory effect on VSWM would depend on the perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual probe. Results showed, for the first time, a significant auditory attentional bias in VSWM. However, the effect was observed only when the to-be-remembered visual stimuli were organized in two distinctive visual objects. We propose that these results shed new light on audio-visual crossmodal links in spatial attention suggesting that, apart from the spatio-temporal contingency, the likelihood of perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual target can have a large impact on crossmodal attentional biases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Tapia, Evelina; Breitmeyer, Bruno G.; Jacob, Jane; Broyles, Elizabeth C.
Flanker congruency effects were measured in a masked flanker task to assess the properties of spatial attention during conscious and nonconscious processing of form, color, and conjunctions of these features. We found that (1) consciously and nonconsciously processed colored shape distractors (i.e., flankers) produce flanker congruency effects;…
Liu, Sisi; Liu, Duo; Pan, Zhihui; Xu, Zhengye
A growing body of research suggests that visual-spatial attention is important for reading achievement. However, few studies have been conducted in non-alphabetic orthographies. This study extended the current research to reading development in Chinese, a logographic writing system known for its visual complexity. Eighty Hong Kong Chinese children were selected and divided into poor reader and typical reader groups, based on their performance on the measures of reading fluency, Chinese character reading, and reading comprehension. The poor and typical readers were matched on age and nonverbal intelligence. A Posner's spatial cueing task was adopted to measure the exogenous and endogenous orienting of visual-spatial attention. Although the typical readers showed the cueing effect in the central cue condition (i.e., responses to targets following valid cues were faster than those to targets following invalid cues), the poor readers did not respond differently in valid and invalid conditions, suggesting an impairment of the endogenous orienting of attention. The two groups, however, showed a similar cueing effect in the peripheral cue condition, indicating intact exogenous orienting in the poor readers. These findings generally supported a link between the orienting of covert attention and Chinese reading, providing evidence for the attentional-deficit theory of dyslexia. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pierce, Russell S; Andersen, George J
In the present study we assessed whether the limits in visual-spatial attention associated with aging affect the spatial extent of attention in depth during driving performance. Drivers in the present study performed a car-following and light-detection task. To assess the extent of visual-spatial attention, we compared reaction times and accuracy to light change targets that varied in horizontal position and depth location. In addition, because workload has been identified as a factor that can change the horizontal and vertical extent of attention, we tested whether variability of the lead car speed influenced the extent of spatial attention for younger or older drivers. For younger drivers, reaction time (RT) to light-change targets varied as a function of distance and horizontal position. For older drivers RT varied only as a function of distance. There was a distance by horizontal position interaction for younger drivers but not for older drivers. Specifically, there was no effect of horizontal position at any given level of depth for older drivers. However, for younger drivers there was an effect of horizontal position for targets further in depth but not for targets nearer in depth. With regards to workload, we found no statistically reliable evidence that variability of the lead car speed had an effect on the spatial extent of attention for younger or older drivers. In a control experiment, we examined the effects of depth on light detection when the projected size and position of the targets was constant. Consistent with our previous results, we found that drivers' reaction time to light-change targets varied as a function of distance even when 2D position and size were controlled. Given that depth is an important dimension in driving performance, an important issue for assessing driving safety is to consider the limits of attention in the depth dimension. Therefore, we suggest that future research should consider the importance of depth as a dimension of
Leszczyński, Marcin; Wykowska, Agnieszka; Perez-Osorio, Jairo; Müller, Hermann J
Recalling information from visual short-term memory (VSTM) involves the same neural mechanisms as attending to an actually perceived scene. In particular, retrieval from VSTM has been associated with orienting of visual attention towards a location within a spatially-organized memory representation. However, an open question concerns whether spatial attention is also recruited during VSTM retrieval even when performing the task does not require access to spatial coordinates of items in the memorized scene. The present study combined a visual search task with a modified, delayed central probe protocol, together with EEG analysis, to answer this question. We found a temporal contralateral negativity (TCN) elicited by a centrally presented go-signal which was spatially uninformative and featurally unrelated to the search target and informed participants only about a response key that they had to press to indicate a prepared target-present vs. -absent decision. This lateralization during VSTM retrieval (TCN) provides strong evidence of a shift of attention towards the target location in the memory representation, which occurred despite the fact that the present task required no spatial (or featural) information from the search to be encoded, maintained, and retrieved to produce the correct response and that the go-signal did not itself specify any information relating to the location and defining feature of the target.
Full Text Available Recalling information from visual short-term memory (VSTM involves the same neural mechanisms as attending to an actually perceived scene. In particular, retrieval from VSTM has been associated with orienting of visual attention towards a location within a spatially-organized memory representation. However, an open question concerns whether spatial attention is also recruited during VSTM retrieval even when performing the task does not require access to spatial coordinates of items in the memorized scene. The present study combined a visual search task with a modified, delayed central probe protocol, together with EEG analysis, to answer this question. We found a temporal contralateral negativity (TCN elicited by a centrally presented go-signal which was spatially uninformative and featurally unrelated to the search target and informed participants only about a response key that they had to press to indicate a prepared target-present vs. -absent decision. This lateralization during VSTM retrieval (TCN provides strong evidence of a shift of attention towards the target location in the memory representation, which occurred despite the fact that the present task required no spatial (or featural information from the search to be encoded, maintained, and retrieved to produce the correct response and that the go-signal did not itself specify any information relating to the location and defining feature of the target.
Full Text Available Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female. The whole participants performed computerized CPT, STROOP and TOL tests after being content and trained. Results: The obtained data indicate that there is a significant correlation coefficient between age, sex and education variables (p<0.05. Discussion: The above-mentioned tests can be used to assess selective, sustained attention and planning.
Full Text Available Following a multi-talker conversation relies on the ability to rapidly and efficiently shift the focus of spatial attention from one talker to another. The current study investigated the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention during conversational turn-taking in 16 normally-hearing listeners using a novel sentence recall task. Three pairs of syntactically fixed but semantically unpredictable matrix sentences, recorded from a single male talker, were presented concurrently through an array of three loudspeakers (directly ahead and +/-30° azimuth. Subjects attended to one spatial location, cued by a tone, and followed the target conversation from one sentence to the next using the call-sign at the beginning of each sentence. Subjects were required to report the last three words of each sentence (speech recall task or answer multiple choice questions related to the target material (speech comprehension task. The reading span test, attention network test, and trail making test were also administered to assess working memory, attentional control, and executive function. There was a 10.7 ± 1.3% decrease in word recall, a pronounced primacy effect, and a rise in masker confusion errors and word omissions when the target switched location between sentences. Switching costs were independent of the location, direction, and angular size of the spatial shift but did appear to be load dependent and only significant for complex questions requiring multiple cognitive operations. Reading span scores were positively correlated with total words recalled, and negatively correlated with switching costs and word omissions. Task switching speed (Trail-B time was also significantly correlated with recall accuracy. Overall, this study highlights i the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention and ii the important role of working memory in maintaining goal relevant information and extracting meaning from dynamic multi
Afsaneh Zarghi; Zali; A; Tehranidost; M; Mohammad Reza Zarindast; Ashrafi; F; Doroodgar; Khodadadi
Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female). The whole part...
Full Text Available With the growing popularity of personal digital assistant devices and smart phones, more and more consumers are becoming quite enthusiastic to appreciate videos via mobile devices. However, limited display size of the mobile devices has been imposing significant barriers for users to enjoy browsing high-resolution videos. In this paper, we present an attention-information-based spatial adaptation framework to address this problem. The whole framework includes two major parts: video content generation and video adaptation system. During video compression, the attention information in video sequences will be detected using an attention model and embedded into bitstreams with proposed supplement-enhanced information (SEI structure. Furthermore, we also develop an innovative scheme to adaptively adjust quantization parameters in order to simultaneously improve the quality of overall encoding and the quality of transcoding the attention areas. When the high-resolution bitstream is transmitted to mobile users, a fast transcoding algorithm we developed earlier will be applied to generate a new bitstream for attention areas in frames. The new low-resolution bitstream containing mostly attention information, instead of the high-resolution one, will be sent to users for display on the mobile devices. Experimental results show that the proposed spatial adaptation scheme is able to improve both subjective and objective video qualities.
Szalma, J L; Schmidt, T N; Teo, G W L; Hancock, P A
Vigilance represents the capacity to sustain attention to any environmental source of information over prolonged periods on watch. Most stimuli used in vigilance research over the previous six decades have been relatively simple and often purport to represent important aspects of detection and discrimination tasks in real-world settings. Such displays are most frequently composed of single stimulus presentations in discrete trials against a uniform, often uncluttered background. The present experiment establishes a dynamic, first-person perspective vigilance task in motion using a video-game environment. 'Vigilance on the move' is thus a new paradigm for the study of sustained attention. We conclude that the stress of vigilance extends to the new paradigm, but whether the performance decrement emerges depends upon specific task parameters. The development of the task, the issues to be resolved and the pattern of performance, perceived workload and stress associated with performing such dynamic vigilance are reported. The present experiment establishes a dynamic, first-person perspective movement-based vigilance task using a video-game environment. 'Vigilance on the move' is thus a new paradigm for the evaluation of sustained attention in operational environments in which individuals move as they monitor their environment. Issues addressed in task development are described.
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.
Florax, Mareike; Ploetzner, Rolf
In the split-attention effect spatial proximity is frequently considered to be pivotal. The transition from a spatially separated to a spatially integrated format not only involves changes in spatial proximity, but commonly necessitates text segmentation and picture labelling as well. In an experimental study, we investigated the influence of…
Mongillo, Paolo; Pitteri, Elisa; Marinelli, Lieta
Adaptation in human societies requires dogs to pay attention to socially relevant human beings, in contexts that may greatly vary in social complexity. In turn, such selective attention may depend on the dog's training and involvement in specific activities. Therefore, we recruited untrained pet dogs (N=32), dogs trained for agility (N=32) and for animal assisted interventions (N=32) to investigate differences in attention to the owner in relation to the dogs' training/working experience. Average gaze length and frequency of gaze shifting towards the owner were measured in a 'baseline attention test', where dogs were exposed to the owner walking in and out of the experimental room and in a 'selective attention test', where the owner's movements were mirrored by an unfamiliar figurant. In baseline, gazes to the owner by assistance dogs were longer than gazes by untrained dogs, which were longer than gazes by agility dogs. The latter shifted gaze to the owner more frequently than assistance and untrained dogs. In the selective attention test, assistance dogs showed longer and less frequent gazes towards the owner than untrained dogs, with intermediate values for agility dogs. Correlations were found for gaze length between the baseline and selective attention test for untrained and assistance dogs, but not for agility dogs. Therefore, dogs trained for Animal Assisted Interventions express enhanced sustained attention to their owners, and the lack of similar effects in agility dogs suggests that involvement in specific activities is associated with large differences in the patterns of attention paid by dogs to their handler/owner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The paper presents an overview of the expected role of spatial and environmental planning in coordination and integration with strategic planning for sustainable spatial/territorial, landscape and tourism development. The application of an integrated approach to sustainable territorial development planning and management in the European Union is also analyzed in the context of problems associated with and possibilities to enhance the European Landscape Convention and Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism implementation. We have analyzed the contributions of reforms that have so far been implemented in current legislation and of planning bases to the establishment of coordinated sustainable territorial development planning and management in Serbia and to the procurement of support for the integration of sustainable tourism development and landscape planning and management into the process of spatial, environmental and sectoral planning. The approach to and problems of landscape protection and sustainable tourism development occurring in the practice in spatial planning are analyzed through examples of a new generation of spatial plans - the Spatial Plan of the Republic of Serbia, and a spatial plan of the special-purpose area for the Nature Park and Tourism Region of Stara Planina Mountain. Through the example of Mt Stara Planina, the role of strategic environmental assessment in coordination with spatial and sectoral planning is analyzed, as well as potential contribution to landscape integration and sustainable tourism development in the process of planning. The possibilities for better coordination of Serbian strategic planning in achieving the sustainable spatial and tourism development, and possibilities to integrate landscapes into the planning process are indicated.
Sharma, Jitendra; Sugihara, Hiroki; Katz, Yarden; Schummers, James; Tenenbaum, Joshua; Sur, Mriganka
The brain uses attention and expectation as flexible devices for optimizing behavioral responses associated with expected but unpredictably timed events. The neural bases of attention and expectation are thought to engage higher cognitive loci; however, their influence at the level of primary visual cortex (V1) remains unknown. Here, we asked whether single-neuron responses in monkey V1 were influenced by an attention task of unpredictable duration. Monkeys covertly attended to a spot that remained unchanged for a fixed period and then abruptly disappeared at variable times, prompting a lever release for reward. We show that monkeys responded progressively faster and performed better as the trial duration increased. Neural responses also followed monkey's task engagement—there was an early, but short duration, response facilitation, followed by a late but sustained increase during the time monkeys expected the attention spot to disappear. This late attentional modulation was significantly and negatively correlated with the reaction time and was well explained by a modified hazard function. Such bimodal, time-dependent changes were, however, absent in a task that did not require explicit attentional engagement. Thus, V1 neurons carry reliable signals of attention and temporal expectation that correlate with predictable influences on monkeys' behavioral responses. PMID:24836689
Hedge, Craig; Oberauer, Klaus; Leonards, Ute
We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.
Hagh-Shenas, H; Toobai, S; Makaremi, A
Attentional deficits are a prominent aspect of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The present study was designed to investigate attention deficit in a group of patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia. According to the segmental set theory suggested by Hogarty and Flesher, three aspects of attention problems, selective, sustained, and shift in attention, were studied. The 30 patients hospitalized on three psychiatric wards at Shiraz and Isfahan and 30 normal healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and years of education were administered a computerized Continuous Performance Test, Stroop Color-word Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting test. Analysis showed patients performed more poorly than control subjects on measured aspects of attention. The acute/chronic classification did not predict differences in attention scores between subtypes of schizophrenia, while the positive/negative classification did. Paranoid, undifferentiated, and residual groups by subtypes of schizophrenia showed similar performance on the Continuous Performance Test, but were significantly different on errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting test and on reaction time to Stroop stimuli in the incongruent color-word condition. Patients with paranoid diagnosis performed better than other subtypes on these tasks. Present results suggest that the Continuous Performance Test is valuable for differentiating of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, while scores on Stroop and Wisconsin card sorting may have better diagnostic value for differentiating subtypes of the disorder.
Towler, John; Kelly, Maria; Eimer, Martin
The capacity of visual working memory for faces is extremely limited, but the reasons for these limitations remain unknown. We employed event-related brain potential measures to demonstrate that individual faces have to be focally attended in order to be maintained in working memory, and that attention is allocated to only a single face at a time. When 2 faces have to be memorized simultaneously in a face identity-matching task, the focus of spatial attention during encoding predicts which of these faces can be successfully maintained in working memory and matched to a subsequent test face. We also show that memory representations of attended faces are maintained in a position-dependent fashion. These findings demonstrate that the limited capacity of face memory is directly linked to capacity limits of spatial attention during the encoding and maintenance of individual face representations. We suggest that the capacity and distribution of selective spatial attention is a dynamic resource that constrains the capacity and fidelity of working memory for faces. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
This project addressed sustainable transportation in the Texas Urban Triangle (TUT) by conducting a pilot : project at the county scale. The project tested and developed the multi-attribute Spatial Decision Support : System (SDSS) developed in 2009 u...
Full Text Available We measured activity in the dorsal system of the human cortex with magnetoencephalography (MEG during a matching-to-sample plus cueing paradigm, where participants judged the occurrence of changes in either categorical or coordinate spatial relations (e.g., exchanges of left versus right positions or changes in the relative distances between images of pairs of animals. The attention window was primed in each trial to be either small or large by using cues that immediately preceded the matching image. In this manner, we could assess the modulatory effects of the scope of attention on the activity of the dorsal system of the human cortex during spatial relations processing. The MEG measurements revealed that large spatial cues yielded greater activations and longer peak latencies in the right inferior parietal lobe for coordinate trials, whereas small cues yielded greater activations and longer peak latencies in the left inferior parietal lobe for categorical trials. The activity in the superior parietal lobe, middle frontal gyrus, and visual cortex, was also modulated by the size of the spatial cues and by the type of spatial relation change. The present results support the theory that the lateralization of each kind of spatial processing hinges on differences in the sizes of regions of space attended to by the two hemispheres. In addition, the present findings are inconsistent with the idea of a right-hemispheric dominance for all kinds of challenging spatial tasks, since response times and accuracy rates showed that the categorical spatial relation task was more difficult than the coordinate task and the cortical activations were overall greater in the left hemisphere than in the right hemisphere.
Jefferies, Lisa N; Enns, James T; Di Lollo, Vincent
The distribution of visual attention has been the topic of much investigation, and various theories have posited that attention is allocated either as a single unitary focus or as multiple independent foci. In the present experiment, we demonstrate that attention can be flexibly deployed as either a unitary or a divided focus in the same experimental task, depending on the observer's goals. To assess the distribution of attention, we used a dual-stream Attentional Blink (AB) paradigm and 2 target pairs. One component of the AB, Lag-1 sparing, occurs only if the second target pair appears within the focus of attention. By varying whether the first-target-pair could be expected in a predictable location (always in-stream) or not (unpredictably in-stream or between-streams), observers were encouraged to deploy a divided or a unitary focus, respectively. When the second-target-pair appeared between the streams, Lag-1 sparing occurred for the Unpredictable group (consistent with a unitary focus) but not for the Predictable group (consistent with a divided focus). Thus, diametrically different outcomes occurred for physically identical displays, depending on the expectations of the observer about where spatial attention would be required.
Opoku, Ernest Cudjoe; Olsen, Annette; Browne, Edmund
albendazole plus praziquantel compared to albendazole plus praziquantel on anaemia, sustained attention, and recall in schoolchildren. DESIGN: This three-arm, open-label intervention study was carried out in Ghana among class three schoolchildren. Artemether-lumefantrine and albendazole were co...... to measure haemoglobin (Hb), while the code transmission test (CTT), adapted from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch), was used to measure sustained attention and recall before-and-after interventions in June 2011 and June 2012. RESULTS: We observed significant malaria parasite prevalence...... and deworming reduced prevalence of anaemia and improved sustained attention and recall in schoolchildren. Best results for sustained attention and recall were seen in Study Arm 2....
Sanders, Lisa D; Zobel, Benjamin H
Under some conditions 4- and 5-year-old children can differentially process sounds from attended and unattended locations. In fact, the latency of spatially selective attention effects on auditory processing as measured with event-related potentials (ERPs) is quite similar in young children and adults. However, it is not clear if developmental differences in the polarity, distribution, and duration of attention effects are best attributed to acoustic characteristics, availability of non-spatial attention cues, task demands, or domain. In the current study adults and children were instructed to attend to one of two simultaneously presented soundscapes (e.g., city sounds or night sounds) to detect targets (e.g., car horn or owl hoot) in the attended channel only. Probes presented from the same location as the attended soundscape elicited a larger negativity by 80 ms after onset in both adults and children. This initial negative difference (Nd) was followed by a larger positivity for attended probes in adults and another negativity for attended probes in children. The results indicate that the neural systems by which attention modulates early auditory processing are available for young children even when presented with nonverbal sounds. They also suggest important interactions between attention, acoustic characteristics, and maturity on auditory evoked potentials. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bonato Felix, Leonardo; de Souza Ranaudo, Fernando; D'affonseca Netto, Aluizio; Ferreira Leite Miranda de Sá, Antonio Mauricio
Auditory selective attention is the human ability of actively focusing in a certain sound stimulus while avoiding all other ones. This ability can be used, for example, in behavioral studies and brain-machine interface. In this work we developed an objective method - called Spatial Coherence - to detect the side where a subject is focusing attention to. This method takes into consideration the Magnitude Squared Coherence and the topographic distribution of responses among electroencephalogram electrodes. The individuals were stimulated with amplitude-modulated tones binaurally and were oriented to focus attention to only one of the stimuli. The results indicate a contralateral modulation of ASSR in the attention condition and are in agreement with prior studies. Furthermore, the best combination of electrodes led to a hit rate of 82% for 5.03 commands per minute. Using a similar paradigm, in a recent work, a maximum hit rate of 84.33% was achieved, but with a greater a classification time (20s, i.e. 3 commands per minute). It seems that Spatial Coherence is a useful technique for detecting focus of auditory selective attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T
Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.
Dieterich, Raoul; Endrass, Tanja; Kathmann, Norbert
Uncertainty about future threat has been found to be associated with an overestimation of threat probability and is hypothesized to elicit additional allocation of attention. We used event-related potentials to examine uncertainty-related dynamics in attentional allocation, exploiting brain potentials' high temporal resolution and sensitivity to attention. Thirty participants performed a picture-viewing task in which cues indicated the subsequent picture valence. A certain-neutral and a certain-aversive cue accurately predicted subsequent picture valence, whereas an uncertain cue did not. Participants overestimated the effective frequency of aversive pictures following the uncertain cue, both during and after the task, signifying expectancy and covariation biases, and they tended to express lower subjective valences for aversive pictures presented after the uncertain cue. Pictures elicited increased P2 and LPP amplitudes when their valence could not be predicted from the cue. For the LPP, this effect was more pronounced in response to neutral pictures. Uncertainty appears to enhance the engagement of early phasic and sustained attention for uncertainly cued targets. Thus, defensive motivation related to uncertainty about future threat elicits specific attentional dynamics implicating prioritization at various processing stages, especially for nonthreatening stimuli that tend to violate expectations.
Twedell, Emily L; Koutstaal, Wilma; Jiang, Yuhong V
Visual clutter imposes significant challenges to older adults in everyday tasks and often calls on selective processing of relevant information. Previous research has shown that both visual search habits and task goals influence older adults' allocation of spatial attention, but has not examined the relative impact of these two sources of attention when they compete. To examine how aging affects the balance between goal-driven and habitual attention, and to inform our understanding of different attentional subsystems, we tested young and older adults in an adapted visual search task involving a display laid flat on a desk. To induce habitual attention, unbeknownst to participants, the target was more often placed in one quadrant than in the others. All participants rapidly acquired habitual attention toward the high-probability quadrant. We then informed participants where the high-probability quadrant was and instructed them to search that screen location first-but pitted their habit-based, viewer-centered search against this instruction by requiring participants to change their physical position relative to the desk. Both groups prioritized search in the instructed location, but this effect was stronger in young adults than in older adults. In contrast, age did not influence viewer-centered search habits: the two groups showed similar attentional preference for the visual field where the target was most often found before. Aging disrupted goal-guided but not habitual attention. Product, work, and home design for people of all ages--but especially for older individuals--should take into account the strong viewer-centered nature of habitual attention.
Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob
Previous research has demonstrated that threatening, compared to neutral pictures, can bias attention towards non-emotional auditory targets. Here we investigated which subcomponents of attention contributed to the influence of emotional visual stimuli on auditory spatial attention. Participants indicated the location of an auditory target, after brief (250 ms) presentation of a spatially non-predictive peripheral visual cue. Responses to targets were faster at the location of the preceding visual cue, compared to at the opposite location (cue validity effect). The cue validity effect was larger for targets following pleasant and unpleasant cues compared to neutral cues, for right-sided targets. For unpleasant cues, the crossmodal cue validity effect was driven by delayed attentional disengagement, and for pleasant cues, it was driven by enhanced engagement. We conclude that both pleasant and unpleasant visual cues influence the distribution of attention across modalities and that the associated attentional mechanisms depend on the valence of the visual cue.
I Putu Sriartha
Full Text Available This study was aimed at designing a spatial zonation model of a subak sustainability type based on the internal and external dimentions from 69 subaks in three districts in Badung regency. The internal dimention was measured based on subak capability index in implementing Tri Hita Karana (THK philosophy. The external dimention was measured by using index of four variables, namely: road density, population density, social economic facilities, and number of nonfarmer families.The data were analyzed using descriptive quantitative technique and spatial analysis using Geographical Information System (GIS software. The results found three zones of subak sustainability type, spatially follows the principle of distance decay of the growth of tourism and city center. Unsustainable - less sustainable subak zone dominates short distance zone, sustainable - less sustainable subak zone dominates transitional zone, while sustainable subak zone dominates long distance zone. To protect subak from destruction, less sustainable subaks have to be restored into sustainable ones and the sustainable subaks should be made eternal/exclusive subaks
Farzin, Faraz; Rivera, Susan M.; Whitney, David
Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited intellectual impairment and the most common single-gene cause of autism. Individuals with fragile X syndrome present with a neurobehavioural phenotype that includes selective deficits in spatiotemporal visual perception associated with neural processing in frontal–parietal networks of the brain. The goal of the current study was to examine whether reduced resolution of spatial and/or temporal visual attention may underlie perceptual def...
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.
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
During the retention of visual information in working memory, event-related brain potentials show a sustained negativity over posterior visual regions contralateral to the side where memorized stimuli were presented. This contralateral delay activity (CDA) is generally believed to be a neural marker of working memory storage. In two experiments, we contrasted this storage account of the CDA with the alternative hypothesis that the CDA reflects the current focus of spatial attention on a subset of memorized items set up during the most recent encoding episode. We employed a sequential loading procedure where participants memorized four task-relevant items that were presented in two successive memory displays (M1 and M2). In both experiments, CDA components were initially elicited contralateral to task-relevant items in M1. Critically, the CDA switched polarity when M2 displays appeared on the opposite side. In line with the attentional activation account, these reversed CDA components exclusively reflected the number of items that were encoded from M2 displays, irrespective of how many M1 items were already held in working memory. On trials where M1 and M2 displays were presented on the same side and on trials where M2 displays appeared nonlaterally, CDA components elicited in the interval after M2 remained sensitive to a residual trace of M1 items, indicating that some activation of previously stored items was maintained across encoding episodes. These results challenge the hypothesis that CDA amplitudes directly reflect the total number of stored objects and suggest that the CDA is primarily sensitive to the activation of a subset of working memory representations within the current focus of spatial attention.
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
Belopolsky, Artem V; Theeuwes, Jan
The present study systematically examined the role of attention in maintenance of spatial representations in working memory as proposed by the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology--Human Perception and Performance, 24(3), 780-790]. Three main issues were examined. First, Experiments 1-3 demonstrated that inhibition and not facilitation of visual processing is often observed at the memorized location during the retention interval. This inhibition was caused by keeping a location in memory and not by the exogenous nature of the memory cue. Second, Experiment 4 showed that inhibition of the memorized location does not lead to any significant impairment in memory accuracy. Finally, Experiment 5 connected current results to the previous findings and demonstrated facilitation of processing at the memorized location. Importantly, facilitation of processing did not lead to more accurate memory performance. The present results challenge the functional role of attention in maintenance of spatial working memory representations.
Klein, Barrie P; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A; Paffen, Chris L E; Te Pas, Susan F; Dumoulin, Serge O
Visual spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Recently, we demonstrated that voluntary spatial attention attracts population receptive fields (pRFs) toward its location throughout the visual hierarchy. Theoretically, both a feed forward or feedback mechanism could underlie pRF attraction in a given cortical area. Here, we use sub-millimeter ultra-high field functional MRI to measure pRF attraction across cortical depth and assess the contribution of feed forward and feedback signals to pRF attraction. In line with previous findings, we find consistent attraction of pRFs with voluntary spatial attention in V1. When assessed as a function of cortical depth, we find pRF attraction in every cortical portion (deep, center and superficial), although the attraction is strongest in deep cortical portions (near the gray-white matter boundary). Following the organization of feed forward and feedback processing across V1, we speculate that a mixture of feed forward and feedback processing underlies pRF attraction in V1. Specifically, we propose that feedback processing contributes to the pRF attraction in deep cortical portions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Anna C Nobre
Full Text Available Whereas top-down attentional control is known to bias perceptual functions at many levels of stimulus analysis, its possible influence over memory-related functions remains uncharted. Our experiment combined behavioral measures and event-related potentials (ERPs to test the ability of spatial orienting to bias functions associated with visual short-term memory (VSTM, and to shed light on the neural mechanisms involved. In particular, we investigated whether orienting attention to a spatial location within an array maintained in VSTM could facilitate the search for a specific remembered item. Participants viewed arrays of one, two or four differently colored items, followed by an informative spatial (100% valid or uninformative neutral retro-cue (1500–2500 ms after the array, and later by a probe stimulus (500–1000 ms after the retro-cue. The task was to decide whether the probe stimulus had been present in the array. Behavioral results showed that spatial retro-cues improved both accuracy and response times for making decisions about the presence of the probe item in VSTM, and significantly attenuated performance decrements caused by increasing VSTM load. We also identified a novel ERP component (N3RS specifically associated with searching for an item within VSTM. Paralleling the behavioral results, the amplitude and duration of the N3RS systematically increased with VSTM load in neutral retro-cue trials. When spatial retro-cues were provided, this “retro-search” component was absent. Our findings clearly show that the infl uence of top-down attentional biases extends to mnemonic functions, and, specifically, that searching for items within VSTM can be under flexible voluntary control.
Robidoux, Serje; Rauwerda, Derek; Besner, Derek
Whether or not lexical access from print requires spatial attention has been debated intensively for the last 30 years. Studies involving colour naming generally find evidence that "unattended" words are processed. In contrast, reading-based experiments do not find evidence of distractor processing. One theory ascribes the discrepancy to weaker attentional demands for colour identification. If colour naming does not capture all of a subject's attention, the remaining attentional resources can be deployed to process the distractor word. The present study combined exogenous spatial cueing with colour naming and reading aloud separately and found that colour naming is less sensitive to the validity of a spatial cue than is reading words aloud. Based on these results, we argue that colour naming studies do not effectively control attention so that no conclusions about unattended distractor processing can be drawn from them. Thus we reiterate the consistent conclusion drawn from reading aloud and lexical decision studies: There is no word identification without (spatial) attention.
Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B
Recent studies have consistently demonstrated that conscious perception interacts with exogenous attentional orienting, but it can be dissociated from endogenous attentional orienting (Chica Lasaponara, et al., 2011; Wyart & Tallon-Baudry, 2008). It has been hypothesized that enhanced conscious processing at exogenously attended locations results from a synergistic action of spatial orienting, bottom-up activation, and phasic alerting induced by the abrupt onset of the exogenous cue (Chica, Lasaponara, et al., 2011). Instead, as endogenous cues need more time to be interpreted, the phasic alerting they produce may have dissipated when the target appears. Furthermore, endogenous cues presumably elicit a weak bottom-up activation at the cued location. Consistent with these hypotheses, we observed that endogenous attention modulated conscious perception, but only when phasic alerting or bottom-up activation was increased. Results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical models of consciousness (Dehaene, Changeux, Naccache, Sackur, & Sergent, 2006). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Olver, James S; Pinney, Myra; Maruff, Paul; Norman, Trevor R
Few studies have investigated the effect of an acute psychosocial stress paradigm on impaired attention and working memory in humans. Further, the duration of any stress-related cognitive impairment remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an acute psychosocial stress paradigm, the Trier Social Stress, on cognitive function in healthy volunteers. Twenty-three healthy male and female subjects were exposed to an acute psychosocial stress task. Physiological measures (salivary cortisol, heart rate and blood pressure) and subjective stress ratings were measured at baseline, in anticipation of stress, immediately post-stress and after a period of rest. A neuropsychological test battery including spatial working memory and verbal memory was administered at each time point. Acute psychosocial stress produced significant increases in cardiovascular and subjective measures in the anticipatory and post-stress period, which recovered to baseline after rest. Salivary cortisol steadily declined over the testing period. Acute psychosocial stress impaired delayed verbal recall, attention and spatial working memory. Attention remained impaired, and delayed verbal recall continued to decline after rest. Acute psychosocial stress is associated with an impairment of a broad range of cognitive functions in humans and with prolonged abnormalities in attention and memory. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Drago, Valeria; Finney, Glen R; Foster, Paul S; Amengual, Alejandra; Jeong, Yong; Mizuno, Tomoiuki; Crucian, Gregory P; Heilman, Kenneth M
Lesion studies demonstrate that the right temporal-parietal region (RTP) is important for mediating spatial attention. The RTP is also involved in emotional experiences that can be evoked by art. Normal people vary in their ability to allocate spatial attention, thus, people who can better allocate attention might also be more influenced by the emotional messages of the paintings (evocative impact). Seventeen healthy participants bisected an unlabeled 100mm line and their performance on this task was used to create two groups, individuals who were more (mALB) and less accurate (lALB). These participants also judged 10 paintings on five qualities, Evocative Impact, Aesthetics, Novelty, Technique, and Closure by marking a 100mm line from 1 (low degree) to 10 (high degree). An ANOVA indicated differences in accuracy on the line bisection (LB) between the two groups. Additional ANOVAs, using the quality ratings as the dependent measure, revealed that the mALB group scored the Evocative Impact greater than the lALB group. These results suggest that the differences in attentional bias between the two groups, as indicated by their LB performance, might influence their evocative impact or reactions and also be a 'barometer' of other RTP functions, including emotional processing.
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.
Ducrot, Stéphanie; Grainger, Jonathan
Four perceptual identification experiments examined the influence of spatial cues on the recognition of words presented in central vision (with fixation on either the first or last letter of the target word) and in peripheral vision (displaced left or right of a central fixation point). Stimulus location had a strong effect on word identification accuracy in both central and peripheral vision, showing a strong right visual field superiority that did not depend on eccentricity. Valid spatial cues improved word identification for peripherally presented targets but were largely ineffective for centrally presented targets. Effects of spatial cuing interacted with visual field effects in Experiment 1, with valid cues reducing the right visual field superiority for peripherally located targets, but this interaction was shown to depend on the type of neutral cue. These results provide further support for the role of attentional factors in visual field asymmetries obtained with targets in peripheral vision but not with centrally presented targets.
Pavlos Marinos Delladetsima
Full Text Available The paper aims to elaborate on the notion of sustainable development in relation to spatial planning and to question its applicability based on the experience arising from the distinct socio-economic situation in Greece. Experience accumulated in the country with the adoption of sustainable development as a spatial policy concept proves to be in contradiction with perceptions that consider it as a basis for improving the plan making process and the planning system as whole. In this respect, it is argued that sustainable development is not a feasible proposition for planning in Greece and offers little to alleviate urban development and sprawl problems. Further, the paper highlights how a globalised approach to sustainable development and planning in Greece has made a negligible contribution to reinvigorating a weak and disjointed system, while also creating significant adverse effects in spatial policymaking.
Asanowicz, Dariusz; Kruse, Lena; Śmigasiewicz, Kamila; Verleger, Rolf
In bilateral rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), the second of two targets, T1 and T2, is better identified in the left visual field (LVF) than in the right visual field (RVF). This LVF advantage may reflect hemispheric asymmetry in temporal attention or/and in spatial orienting of attention. Participants performed two tasks: the "standard" bilateral RSVP task (Exp.1) and its unilateral variant (Exp.1 & 2). In the bilateral task, spatial location was uncertain, thus target identification involved stimulus-driven spatial orienting. In the unilateral task, the targets were presented block-wise in the LVF or RVF only, such that no spatial orienting was needed for target identification. Temporal attention was manipulated in both tasks by varying the T1-T2 lag. The results showed that the LVF advantage disappeared when involvement of stimulus-driven spatial orienting was eliminated, whereas the manipulation of temporal attention had no effect on the asymmetry. In conclusion, the results do not support the hypothesis of hemispheric asymmetry in temporal attention, and provide further evidence that the LVF advantage reflects right hemisphere predominance in stimulus-driven orienting of spatial attention. These conclusions fit evidence that temporal attention is implemented by bilateral parietal areas and spatial attention by the right-lateralized ventral frontoparietal network. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Full Text Available The impairing effects of mental fatigue on visual sustained attention were assessed by event-related potentials (ERPs. Subjects performed a dual visual task, which includes a continuous tracking task (primary task and a random signal detection task (secondary task, for 63 minutes nonstop in order to elicit ERPs. In this period, the data such as subjective levels of mental fatigue, behavioral performance measures, and electroencephalograms were recorded for each subject. Comparing data from the first interval (0-25 min to that of the second, the following phenomena were observed: the subjective fatigue ratings increased with time, which indicates that performing the tasks leads to increase in mental fatigue levels; reaction times prolonged and accuracy rates decreased in the second interval, which indicates that subjects' sustained attention decreased.; In the ERP data, the P3 amplitudes elicited by the random signals decreased, while the P3 latencies increased in the second interval. These results suggest that mental fatigue can modulate the higher-level cognitive processes, in terms of less attentional resources allocated to the random stimuli, which leads to decreased speed in information evaluating and decision making against the stimuli. These findings provide new insights into the question that how mental fatigue affects visual sustained attention and, therefore, can help to design countermeasures to prevent accidents caused by low visual sustained attention.
Soskey, Laura N; Allen, Paul D; Bennetto, Loisa
One of the earliest observable impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a failure to orient to speech and other social stimuli. Auditory spatial attention, a key component of orienting to sounds in the environment, has been shown to be impaired in adults with ASD. Additionally, specific deficits in orienting to social sounds could be related to increased acoustic complexity of speech. We aimed to characterize auditory spatial attention in children with ASD and neurotypical controls, and to determine the effect of auditory stimulus complexity on spatial attention. In a spatial attention task, target and distractor sounds were played randomly in rapid succession from speakers in a free-field array. Participants attended to a central or peripheral location, and were instructed to respond to target sounds at the attended location while ignoring nearby sounds. Stimulus-specific blocks evaluated spatial attention for simple non-speech tones, speech sounds (vowels), and complex non-speech sounds matched to vowels on key acoustic properties. Children with ASD had significantly more diffuse auditory spatial attention than neurotypical children when attending front, indicated by increased responding to sounds at adjacent non-target locations. No significant differences in spatial attention emerged based on stimulus complexity. Additionally, in the ASD group, more diffuse spatial attention was associated with more severe ASD symptoms but not with general inattention symptoms. Spatial attention deficits have important implications for understanding social orienting deficits and atypical attentional processes that contribute to core deficits of ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1405-1416. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Attention selects objects or groups as the most fundamental unit, and this may be achieved through a process in which attention automatically spreads throughout their entire region. Previously, we found that a lateralized potential relative to an attended hemifield at occipito-temporal electrode sites reflects attention-spreading in response to connected bilateral stimuli [Kasai, T., & Kondo, M. Electrophysiological correlates of attention-spreading in visual grouping. NeuroReport, 18, 93-98, 2007]. The present study examined the nature of object representations by manipulating the extent of grouping through connectedness, while controlling the symmetrical structure of bilateral stimuli. The electrophysiological results of two experiments consistently indicated that attention was guided twice in association with perceptual grouping in the early phase (N1, 150-200 msec poststimulus) and with the unity of an object in the later phase (N2pc, 310/330-390 msec). This suggests that there are two processes in object-based spatial selection, and these are discussed with regard to their cognitive mechanisms and object representations.
Lisi, Matteo; Cavanagh, Patrick; Zorzi, Marco
Recent studies have shown that attentional facilitation lingers at the retinotopic coordinates of a previously attended position after an eye movement. These results are intriguing, because the retinotopic location becomes behaviorally irrelevant once the eyes have moved. Critically, in these studies participants were asked to maintain attention on a blank location of the screen. In the present study, we examined whether the continuing presence of a visual object at the cued location could affect the allocation of attention across eye movements. We used a trans-saccadic cueing paradigm in which the relevant positions could be defined or not by visual objects (simple square outlines). We find an attentional benefit at the spatiotopic location of the cue only when the object (the placeholder) has been continuously present at that location. We conclude that the presence of an object at the attended location is a critical factor for the maintenance of spatial constancy of attention across eye movements, a finding that helps to reconcile previous conflicting results.
Full Text Available Using event-related potentials (ERPs of the electroencephalogram, we investigated how cognitive control is altered by the scope of an attentional template currently activated in visual working memory. Participants performed a spatial cuing task where an irrelevant color singleton cue was presented prior to a target array. Blockwise, the target was either a red circle or a gray square and had to be searched within homogenous (gray circles or heterogeneous non-targets (differently colored circles or various shapes. Thereby we aimed to trigger the adoption of different attentional templates: a broader singleton or a narrower, more specific feature template. ERP markers of attentional selection and inhibitory control showed that the amount of cognitive control was overall enhanced when participants searched on the basis of a feature-specific template: the analysis revealed reduced selection (N2pc, frontal P2 and pronounced inhibition (negative shift of frontal N2 of the irrelevant color cue when participants searched for a feature target. On behavioral level attentional capture was most pronounced in the color condition with no differentiation between the task-induced scopes of the attentional template.
Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Mundhenk, T Nathan; Baldi, Pierre; Koch, Christof; Itti, Laurent
Humans demonstrate a peculiar ability to detect complex targets in rapidly presented natural scenes. Recent studies suggest that (nearly) no focal attention is required for overall performance in such tasks. Little is known, however, of how detection performance varies from trial to trial and which stages in the processing hierarchy limit performance: bottom-up visual processing (attentional selection and/or recognition) or top-down factors (e.g., decision-making, memory, or alertness fluctuations)? To investigate the relative contribution of these factors, eight human observers performed an animal detection task in natural scenes presented at 20 Hz. Trial-by-trial performance was highly consistent across observers, far exceeding the prediction of independent errors. This consistency demonstrates that performance is not primarily limited by idiosyncratic factors but by visual processing. Two statistical stimulus properties, contrast variation in the target image and the information-theoretical measure of "surprise" in adjacent images, predict performance on a trial-by-trial basis. These measures are tightly related to spatial attention, demonstrating that spatial attention and rapid target detection share common mechanisms. To isolate the causal contribution of the surprise measure, eight additional observers performed the animal detection task in sequences that were reordered versions of those all subjects had correctly recognized in the first experiment. Reordering increased surprise before and/or after the target while keeping the target and distractors themselves unchanged. Surprise enhancement impaired target detection in all observers. Consequently, and contrary to several previously published findings, our results demonstrate that attentional limitations, rather than target recognition alone, affect the detection of targets in rapidly presented visual sequences.
Rubia, Katya; Hyde, Zoe; Halari, Rozmin; Giampietro, Vincent; Smith, Anna
Compared to our understanding of the functional maturation of brain networks underlying complex cognitive abilities, hardly anything is known of the neurofunctional development of simpler cognitive abilities such as visuo-spatial attention allocation. Furthermore, nothing is known on the effect of gender on the functional development of attention allocation. This study employed event related functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate effects of age, sex, and sex by age interactions on the brain activation of 63 males and females, between 13 to 38years, during a visual-spatial oddball task. Behaviourally, with increasing age, speed was traded for accuracy, indicative of a less impulsive performance style in older subjects. Increasing age was associated with progressively increased activation in typical areas of selective attention of lateral fronto-striatal and temporo-parietal brain regions. Sex difference analysis showed enhanced activation in right-hemispheric inferior frontal and superior temporal regions in females, and in left-hemispheric inferior temporo-parietal regions in males. Importantly, the age by sex interaction findings showed that these sex-dimorphic patterns of brain activation may be the result of underlying sex differences in the functional maturation of these brain regions, as females had sex-specific progressive age-correlations in the same right inferior fronto-striato-temporal areas, while male-specific age-correlations were in left medial temporal and parietal areas. The findings demonstrate progressive functional maturation of fronto-striato-parieto-temporal networks of the relatively simple function of attention allocation between early adolescence and mid-adulthood. They furthermore show that sex-dimorphic patterns of enhanced reliance on right inferior frontal, striatal and superior temporal regions in females and of left temporo-parietal regions in males during attention allocation may be the result of underlying sex
HAGEN C. FLEHMIG
Full Text Available We investigated the psychometric properties of competing measures of sustained attention. 179 subjects were assessed twice within seven day's time with a test designed to measure sustained attention, or concentration, respectively. In addition to traditional performance indices [i.e., speed (MRT and accuracy (E%], we evaluated two intraindividual response time (RT variability measures: standard deviation (SDRT and coefficient of variation (CVRT. For the overall test, both indices were reliable. SDRT showed good to acceptable retest reliability for all subtests. For CVRT, retest reliability coefficients ranged from very good to not satisfactory. While the reversed-word recognition test proved highly reliable, the mental calculation test and the arrows test were not sufficiently reliable. CVRT was only slightly correlated but SDRT was highly correlated with MRT. In contrast to substantial practice gains for MRT, SDRT and E%, only CVRT proved to be stable. In conclusion, CVRT appears to be a potential index for assessing performance variability: it is reliable for the overall test, only moderately correlated with speed, and virtually not affected by practice. However, before applying CVRT in practical assessment settings, additional research is required to elucidate the impact of task-specific factors on the reliability of this performance measure.
Falasca, N W; D'Ascenzo, S; Di Domenico, A; Onofrj, M; Tommasi, L; Laeng, B; Franciotti, R
Magnetoencephalography was recorded during a matching-to-sample plus cueing paradigm, in which participants judged the occurrence of changes in either categorical (CAT) or coordinate (COO) spatial relations. Previously, parietal and frontal lobes were identified as key areas in processing spatial relations and it was shown that each hemisphere was differently involved and modulated by the scope of the attention window (e.g. a large and small cue). In this study, Granger analysis highlighted the patterns of causality among involved brain areas--the direction of information transfer ran from the frontal to the visual cortex in the right hemisphere, whereas it ran in the opposite direction in the left side. Thus, the right frontal area seems to exert top-down influence, supporting the idea that, in this task, top-down signals are selectively related to the right side. Additionally, for CAT change preceded by a small cue, the right frontal gyrus was not involved in the information transfer, indicating a selective specialization of the left hemisphere for this condition. The present findings strengthen the conclusion of the presence of a remarkable hemispheric specialization for spatial relation processing and illustrate the complex interactions between the lateralized parts of the neural network. Moreover, they illustrate how focusing attention over large or small regions of the visual field engages these lateralized networks differently, particularly in the frontal regions of each hemisphere, consistent with the theory that spatial relation judgements require a fronto-parietal network in the left hemisphere for categorical relations and on the right hemisphere for coordinate spatial processing. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Hansen, Henning Sten
as the need for open spaces and green areas, and the protection of sensitive ecosystems. With on average 117.5 people per square kilometre in Europe, it is easy to see why land use planning and management is such an important environmental issue for the EU. SENSOR (http://www.sensor-ip.org/) is funded under...... of its policies on multifunctional and sustainable land-use. Access to reliable and harmonised data across Europe is a fundamental precondition for realisation of the SENSOR project. Interoperability and open architectures are core requirements for state of the art implementations of IT solutions...
Vossel, Simone; Mathys, Christoph; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J
The deployment of visuospatial attention and the programming of saccades are governed by the inferred likelihood of events. In the present study, we combined computational modeling of psychophysical data with fMRI to characterize the computational and neural mechanisms underlying this flexible attentional control. Sixteen healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing paradigm in which the percentage of cue validity varied in time and the targets required saccadic responses. Trialwise estimates of the certainty (precision) of the prediction that the target would appear at the cued location were derived from a hierarchical Bayesian model fitted to individual trialwise saccadic response speeds. Trial-specific model parameters then entered analyses of fMRI data as parametric regressors. Moreover, dynamic causal modeling (DCM) was performed to identify the most likely functional architecture of the attentional reorienting network and its modulation by (Bayes-optimal) precision-dependent attention. While the frontal eye fields (FEFs), intraparietal sulcus, and temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of both hemispheres showed higher activity on invalid relative to valid trials, reorienting responses in right FEF, TPJ, and the putamen were significantly modulated by precision-dependent attention. Our DCM results suggested that the precision of predictability underlies the attentional modulation of the coupling of TPJ with FEF and the putamen. Our results shed new light on the computational architecture and neuronal network dynamics underlying the context-sensitive deployment of visuospatial attention. Spatial attention and its neural correlates in the human brain have been studied extensively with the help of fMRI and cueing paradigms in which the location of targets is pre-cued on a trial-by-trial basis. One aspect that has so far been neglected concerns the question of how the brain forms attentional expectancies when no a priori probability
Eger, E; Henson, R N A; Driver, J; Dolan, R J
Functional imaging studies of priming-related repetition phenomena have become widely used to study neural object representation. Although blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) repetition decreases can sometimes be observed without awareness of repetition, any role for spatial attention in BOLD repetition effects remains largely unknown. We used fMRI in 13 healthy subjects to test whether BOLD repetition decreases for repeated objects in ventral visual cortices depend on allocation of spatial attention to the prime. Subjects performed a size-judgment task on a probe object that had been attended or ignored in a preceding prime display of 2 lateralized objects. Reaction times showed faster responses when the probe was the same object as the attended prime, independent of the view tested (identical vs. mirror image). No behavioral effect was evident from unattended primes. BOLD repetition decreases for attended primes were found in lateral occipital and fusiform regions bilaterally, which generalized across identical and mirror-image repeats. No repetition decreases were observed for ignored primes. Our results suggest a critical role for attention in achieving visual representations of objects that lead to both BOLD signal decreases and behavioral priming on repeated presentation.
Full Text Available Many studies have shown that solving addition and subtraction problems can induce overt shifts of spatial attention. In particular, right-side targets are detected faster than left-side targets when preceded by an addition operation, while left-side targets are detected faster than right-side targets when preceded by a subtraction operation. However, the interaction between space and arithmetic in multiplication or division is hardly studied and remains controversial. In order to make a strong case for the interaction between space and mental arithmetic, we attempted to replicate the spatial-arithmetic association in addition and subtraction (Experiment 1, and at the same time investigated whether shift of spatial attention would also be induced by multiplication or division operations (Experiment 2. We found that solving addition problems facilitated the detection of right-side targets, whereas left-side targets were detected faster after solving subtraction problems. However, no interaction between space and arithmetic operation was observed in multiplication or division. The implication of these findings is discussed.
Ljiljana Stošić Mihajlović
Full Text Available A fundamental prerequisite for the existence, growth and development of each social community is environmental safety. In modern conditions of environmental degradation as a global process, it is bound to increase social stratification, ethnic and even religious conflict, conflict and intolerance that threatens the safety of society. It is a notorious fact that the world of Simply is no longer in a position to deal with new shocks. The financial crisis has reduced global economic resilience, while geopolitical tensions and increased social concerns point to the fact that the state and society less able than ever to cope with global challenges, among which is the primary problem of environmental security. In modern countries, political, security and other interests of the citizens' day-to-day modeling, transform, get the content, in accordance with the general civilization changes. In this connection, sustainable local spatial development is crucial conditioned ecological without security region and aims to achieve a balance between current consumption of natural resources and the ability of the system to maintain the level at which future generations will be able to use them. The work represents a contribution to the achievement of environmental security as a new, modern forms of security, and originated from the need to once again draw attention to the evident environmental degradation as an integral part of human security. Ecological security of the region protects the basic components of the environment and determinants of the local spatial development. In fact, safety in the field of protection and preservation of the environment is one of the most important factors Security Council shall contemporary world. In doing so, it is important to emphasize, however, that environmental security has no borders and is a global problem, a task and an obligation.
Lucke, Ilse M; Lin, Charlotte; Conteh, Fatmata; Federline, Amanda; Sung, Huyngmo; Specht, Matthew; Grados, Marco A
Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorders (TD) are often associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In order to clarify the role of attention and inhibitory control in pediatric OCD and TD, a continuous performance test (CPT) was administered to a cohort of children and adolescents with OCD alone, TD alone, and OCD+TD. A clinical cohort of 48 children and adolescents with OCD alone (n=20), TD alone (n=15), or OCD+TD (n=13) was interviewed clinically and administered the Conners Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II). The Conners CPT-II is a 14-minute normed computerized test consisting of 6 blocks. It taps into attention, inhibitory control, and sustained attention cognitive domains. Key parameters include errors of omission (distractability), commission (inhibitory control), and variable responding over time (sustained attention). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) criteria were applied in a best-estimate process to diagnose OCD, TD, ADHD, and anxiety disorders. Children with OCD+TD had more errors of omission (p=0.03), and more hit RT block change (p=0.003) and hit SE block change (p=0.02) than subjects with OCD alone and TD alone. These deficits in sustained attention were associated with younger age and hoarding tendencies. A clinical diagnosis of ADHD in the OCD+TD group also determined worse sustained attention. A deficit in sustained attention, a core marker of ADHD, is also a marker of OCD+TD, compared to OCD alone and TD alone. Biological correlates of sustained attention may serve to uncover the pathophysiology of OCD and TD through genetic and imaging studies.
Full Text Available The neural substrate of the phenomenological experience of a stable visual world remains obscure. One possible mechanism would be to construct spatiotopic neural maps where the response is selective to the position of the stimulus in external space, rather than to retinal eccentricities, but evidence for these maps has been inconsistent. Here we show, with fMRI, that when human subjects perform concomitantly a demanding attentive task on stimuli displayed at the fovea, BOLD responses evoked by moving stimuli irrelevant to the task were mostly tuned in retinotopic coordinates. However, under more unconstrained conditions, where subjects could attend easily to the motion stimuli, BOLD responses were tuned not in retinal but in external coordinates (spatiotopic selectivity in many visual areas, including MT, MST, LO and V6, agreeing with our previous fMRI study. These results indicate that spatial attention may play an important role in mediating spatiotopic selectivity.
Vossel, Simone; Bauer, Markus; Mathys, Christoph; Adams, Rick A; Dolan, Raymond J; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J
The exact mechanisms whereby the cholinergic neurotransmitter system contributes to attentional processing remain poorly understood. Here, we applied computational modeling to psychophysical data (obtained from a spatial attention task) under a psychopharmacological challenge with the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine (Reminyl). This allowed us to characterize the cholinergic modulation of selective attention formally, in terms of hierarchical Bayesian inference. In a placebo-controlled, within-subject, crossover design, 16 healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing task in which the proportion of validly and invalidly cued targets (percentage of cue validity, % CV) changed over time. Saccadic response speeds were used to estimate the parameters of a hierarchical Bayesian model to test whether cholinergic stimulation affected the trial-wise updating of probabilistic beliefs that underlie the allocation of attention or whether galantamine changed the mapping from those beliefs to subsequent eye movements. Behaviorally, galantamine led to a greater influence of probabilistic context (% CV) on response speed than placebo. Crucially, computational modeling suggested this effect was due to an increase in the rate of belief updating about cue validity (as opposed to the increased sensitivity of behavioral responses to those beliefs). We discuss these findings with respect to cholinergic effects on hierarchical cortical processing and in relation to the encoding of expected uncertainty or precision. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415735-08$15.00/0.
Ricci, Raffaella; Salatino, Adriana; Siebner, Hartwig R
We report the following case to highlight the possible relevance of biased spatial attention in focal hand dystonia (FHD). Deficient sensorimotor inhibition is a prominent pathophysiological feature of FHD [1,2]. Low-frequency repetitive Trascranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) over contralateral...... premotor cortex (PMC) can reinforce cortical inhibition and improve motor performance and dystonic symptoms in some patients [3,4]. Here we report the case of a 41-year-old right-handed man (23 years of education) with severe task-dependent FHD, affecting the right hand index and middle fingers....
Learmonth, Gemma; Benwell, Christopher S Y; Thut, Gregor; Harvey, Monika
A group-level visuospatial attention bias towards the left side of space (pseudoneglect) is consistently observed in young adults, which is likely to be a consequence of right parieto-occipital dominance for spatial attention. Conversely, healthy older adults demonstrate a rightward shift of this behavioural bias, hinting that an age-related reduction of lateralised neural activity may occur within visuospatial attention networks. We compared young (aged 18-25) and older (aged 60-80) adults on a computerised line bisection (landmark) task whilst recording event-related potentials (ERPs). Full-scalp cluster mass permutation tests identified a larger right parieto-occipital response for long lines compared to short in young adults (confirming Benwell et al., 2014a) which was not present in the older group. To specifically investigate age-related differences in hemispheric lateralisation, cluster mass permutation tests were then performed on a lateralised EEG dataset (RH-LH electrodes). A period of right lateralisation was identified in response to long lines in young adults, which was not present for short lines. No lateralised clusters were present for either long or short lines in older adults. Additionally, a reduced P300 component amplitude was observed for older adults relative to young. We therefore report here, for the first time, an age-related and stimulus-driven reduction of right hemispheric control of spatial attention in older adults. Future studies will need to determine whether this is representative of the normal aging process or an early indicator of neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Guidi, Michael; Rani, Asha; Karic, Semir; Severance, Barrett; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C
A decrease in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function is associated with age-related cognitive impairments. However, NMDAR antagonists are prescribed for cognitive decline associated with age-related neurodegenerative disease, raising questions as to the role of NMDAR activity in cognitive function during aging. The current studies examined effects of NMDAR blockade on cognitive task that are sensitive to aging. Young and middle-age rats were trained on the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and challenged with MK-801 (0.025, 0.05, and 0.1mg/kg or vehicle). Attention deficits were apparent in middle-age and performance of young and middle-age rats was enhanced for low doses of MK-801 (0.025 and 0.05). The beneficial effects on attention were reversed by the highest dose of MK-801. Older animals exhibited a delay-dependent impairment of episodic spatial memory examined on a delayed-matching to place water maze task. Similarly, a low dose of MK-801 (0.05mg/kg) impaired performance with increasing delay and aged animals were more susceptible to disruption by NMDAR blockade. Despite MK-801 impairment of episodic spatial memory, MK-801 had minimal effects on spatial reference memory. Our results confirm that NMDARs contribute to rapidly acquired and flexible spatial memory and support the idea that a decline in NMDAR function contributes to the age-related impairments in cognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Caparros-Midwood, Daniel; Barr, Stuart; Dawson, Richard
Future development in cities needs to manage increasing populations, climate-related risks, and sustainable development objectives such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Planners therefore face a challenge of multidimensional, spatial optimization in order to balance potential tradeoffs and maximize synergies between risks and other objectives. To address this, a spatial optimization framework has been developed. This uses a spatially implemented genetic algorithm to generate a set of Pareto-optimal results that provide planners with the best set of trade-off spatial plans for six risk and sustainability objectives: (i) minimize heat risks, (ii) minimize flooding risks, (iii) minimize transport travel costs to minimize associated emissions, (iv) maximize brownfield development, (v) minimize urban sprawl, and (vi) prevent development of greenspace. The framework is applied to Greater London (U.K.) and shown to generate spatial development strategies that are optimal for specific objectives and differ significantly from the existing development strategies. In addition, the analysis reveals tradeoffs between different risks as well as between risk and sustainability objectives. While increases in heat or flood risk can be avoided, there are no strategies that do not increase at least one of these. Tradeoffs between risk and other sustainability objectives can be more severe, for example, minimizing heat risk is only possible if future development is allowed to sprawl significantly. The results highlight the importance of spatial structure in modulating risks and other sustainability objectives. However, not all planning objectives are suited to quantified optimization and so the results should form part of an evidence base to improve the delivery of risk and sustainability management in future urban development. © 2017 The Authors Risk Analysis published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Risk Analysis.
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.
Jacobson, Mark W; Delis, Dean C; Bondi, Mark W; Salmon, David P
Some studies of elderly individuals with the ApoE-e4 genotype noted subtle deficits on tests of attention such as the WAIS-R Digit Span subtest, but these findings have not been consistently reported. One possible explanation for the inconsistent results could be the presence of subgroups of e4+ individuals with asymmetric cognitive profiles (i.e., significant discrepancies between verbal and visuospatial skills). Comparing genotype groups with individual, modality-specific tests might obscure subtle differences between verbal and visuospatial attention in these asymmetric subgroups. In this study, we administered the WAIS-R Digit Span and WMS-R Visual Memory Span subtests to 21 nondemented elderly e4+ individuals and 21 elderly e4- individuals matched on age, education, and overall cognitive ability. We hypothesized that a) the e4+ group would show a higher incidence of asymmetric cognitive profiles when comparing Digit Span/Visual Memory Span performance relative to the e4- group; and (b) an analysis of individual test performance would fail to reveal differences between the two subject groups. Although the groups' performances were comparable on the individual attention span tests, the e4+ group showed a significantly larger discrepancy between digit span and spatial span scores compared to the e4- group. These findings suggest that contrast measures of modality-specific attentional skills may be more sensitive to subtle group differences in at-risk groups, even when the groups do not differ on individual comparisons of standardized test means. The increased discrepancy between verbal and visuospatial attention may reflect the presence of "subgroups" within the ApoE-e4 group that are qualitatively similar to asymmetric subgroups commonly associated with the earliest stages of AD.
Tihanyi, Benedek T; Ferentzi, Eszter; Köteles, Ferenc
This study investigated the temporal stability and correlates of attention-related body sensations that emerge without external stimulation during rest and due to focused attention on a body part. To assess attention-related body sensations, participants were asked to focus on a freely chosen body area with closed eyes, and had to report whether the sensation of that area had changed. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess various aspects of body focus (body awareness, body responsiveness, somatosensory amplification, subjective somatic symptoms), and positive and negative affectivity. Previous experiences in body-mind therapies were also measured. PEBL Continuous Performance Test was used to assess sustained attention. Heart rate variability scores were based on a 3-minute long resting heart rate measurement. Fifty-eight university students (22.3 ± 3.95 years; 34 females) participated in the study. The stability of attention-related body sensations was measured 8 weeks later on a randomly chosen sub-group (n = 28). Attention-related body sensations showed a mediocre temporal stability (r ρ = 0.47, p = 0.012). People reporting attention-related body sensations showed significantly higher body awareness, somatosensory amplification, and resting heart rate; and marginally higher somatic symptoms. No relation was found with body-mind practice, body responsiveness, positive and negative affect, the vagal component of heart rate variability, and performance in the sustained attention task. Attention-related sensations are relatively stable over time. They are connected to some, but not to all of the aspects of body focus. Further studies are needed to elaborate the influencing stable and situational factors.
Jefferies, Lisa N; Di Lollo, Vincent
The main question examined in the present work was whether spatial attention can be deployed to an appropriate structural framework not only endogenously when the framework is displayed continuously, as in previous work, but also exogenously, when it is displayed transiently 100 ms before the target. The results of five experiments answered that question in the negative. We found that the onset transient triggered by a brief presentation of the structural framework did enhance the response to the upcoming target. That enhancement, however, was due not to the framework itself but to the alerting effect produced by its sudden onset, witness the finding that the same enhancement was produced by an onset transient triggered by a featureless stimulus (i.e., by a brief dimming of the entire screen, in the absence of a structural framework). We conclude that spatial attention can be deployed to the region demarcated by a structural framework when it is deployed endogenously but not when it is deployed exogenously. A theoretical account of the results is proposed in terms of the temporal dynamics of the locus cœruleus/norepinephrine neuromodulatory system.
Meinke, A; Thiel, C M; Fink, G R
Nicotine has been shown to specifically reduce reaction times to invalidly cued targets in spatial cueing paradigms. In two experiments, we used event-related potentials to test whether the facilitative effect of nicotine upon the detection of invalidly cued targets is due to a modulation of perceptual processing, as indexed by early attention-related event-related potential components. Furthermore, we assessed whether the effect of nicotine on such unattended stimuli depends upon the use of exogenous or endogenous cues. In both experiments, the electroencephalogram was recorded while non-smokers completed discrimination tasks in Posner-type paradigms after chewing a nicotine polacrilex gum (Nicorette 2 mg) in one session and a placebo gum in another session. Nicotine reduced reaction times to invalidly cued targets when cueing was endogenous. In contrast, no differential effect of nicotine on reaction times was observed when exogenous cues were used. Electrophysiologically, we found a similar attentional modulation of the P1 and N1 components under placebo and nicotine but a differential modulation of later event-related potential components at a frontocentral site. The lack of a drug-dependent modulation of P1 and N1 in the presence of a behavioral effect suggests that the effect of nicotine in endogenous visuo-spatial cueing tasks is not due to an alteration of perceptual processes. Rather, the differential modulation of frontocentral event-related potentials suggests that nicotine acts at later stages of target processing.
Full Text Available This article is concerned with the description of rehabilitative training aimed at severely and moderately preterm children at preschool age who display impairments of processes of selective attention, self-control and problem solving and who are at risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. In line with a perspective of field study suggested by pediatric psychology, the treatment calls for the involvement of parents, teachers, neonatologists and children’s reference pediatricians. To be more precise, it is a study aimed at investigating the sustainability of the training path in terms of impact and transformative valence of the focalised processes. Involved in the study was a group of 55 healthy preterm children (35 moderately preterm children and 20 severely preterm children at mean age of 5.2 years attending the third year of infancy school; a group of 55 mothers; a group of 15 pediatricians; a group of 5 neonatologists and one of 10 teachers. Specific questionnaires (the IPDAG and IPDDAI were administered to parents and teachers before and after the training sessions to detect the transformation of the focalised processes. According to a modality of continuous observation during the activities, the trainer used techniques of narrative (the critical incident technique and descriptive (encoding scheme observation. A checklist to detect the participation of adults was used. It was structured as follows: presence, production and aftermath of the effects of the personal intervention with child. A telephone follow-up was performed three months after the end of training to detect the involved adults’ considerations about the stability of promoted changes. Data show good levels of sustainability of the proposed training.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Resting state (RS functional MRI recently identified default network abnormalities related to cognitive impairment in MS. fMRI can also be used to map functional connectivity (FC while the brain is at rest and not adhered to a specific task. Given the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for higher executive functioning in MS, we here used the ACC as seed-point to test for differences and similarities in RS-FC related to sustained attention between MS patients and controls. DESIGN: Block-design rest phases of 3 Tesla fMRI data were analyzed to assess RS-FC in 31 patients (10 clinically isolated syndromes, 16 relapsing-remitting, 5 secondary progressive MS and 31 age- and gender matched healthy controls (HC. Participants underwent extensive cognitive testing. OBSERVATIONS: In both groups, signal changes in several brain areas demonstrated significant correlation with RS-activity in the ACC. These comprised the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, insular cortices, the right caudate, right middle temporal gyrus, angular gyri, the right hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Compared to HC, patients showed increased FC between the ACC and the left angular gyrus, left PCC, and right postcentral gyrus. Better cognitive performance in the patients was associated with increased FC to the cerebellum, middle temporal gyrus, occipital pole, and the angular gyrus. CONCLUSION: We provide evidence for adaptive changes in RS-FC in MS patients compared to HC in a sustained attention network. These results extend and partly mirror findings of task-related fMRI, suggesting FC may increase our understanding of cognitive dysfunction in MS.
Toba, Monica N; Rabuffetti, Marco; Duret, Christophe; Pradat-Diehl, Pascale; Gainotti, Guido; Bartolomeo, Paolo
Visual neglect is a disabling consequence of right hemisphere damage, whereby patients fail to detect left-sided objects. Its precise mechanisms are debated, but there is some consensus that distinct component deficits may variously associate and interact in different patients. Here we used a touch-screen based procedure to study two putative component deficits of neglect, rightward "magnetic" attraction of attention and impaired spatial working memory, in a group of 47 right brain-damaged patients, of whom 33 had signs of left neglect. Patients performed a visual search task on three distinct conditions, whereby touched targets could (1) be tagged, (2) disappear or (3) show no change. Magnetic attraction of attention was defined as more left neglect on the tag condition than on the disappear condition, where right-sided disappeared targets could not capture patients' attention. Impaired spatial working memory should instead produce more neglect on the no change condition, where no external cue indicated that a target had already been explored, than on the tag condition. Using a specifically developed analysis algorithm, we identified significant differences of performance between the critical conditions. Neglect patients as a group performed better on the disappear condition than on the no change condition and also better in the tag condition comparing with the no change condition. No difference was found between the tag condition and the disappear condition. Some of our neglect patients had dissociated patterns of performance, with predominant magnetic attraction or impaired spatial working memory. Anatomical results issued from both grey matter analysis and fiber tracking were consistent with the typical patterns of fronto-parietal and occipito-frontal disconnection in neglect, but did not identify lesional patterns specifically associated with one or another deficit, thus suggesting the possible co-localization of attentional and working memory processes in
Bengson, Jesse J.; Mangun, George R.
A growing literature suggests that working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Both involve the selection of task-relevant information, and both are characterized by capacity limits. Furthermore, studies using a variety of methodological approaches have demonstrated convergent working memory and attention-related processing at the individual, neural and behavioral level. Given the varieties of both constructs, the specific kinds of attention and WM must be considered. We find...
Beula M. Magimairaj
Full Text Available Whereas considerable developmental memory research has examined the contributions of short-term memory, processing efficiency, retention duration, and scope of attention to complex memory span, little is known about the influence of controlled attention. The present study investigated the relative influence of three understudied attention mechanisms on the verbal working memory span of school-age children: memory updating; attention focus switching; and sustained attention. Results of general linear modeling revealed that, after controlling for age, only updating accuracy emerged as a significant predictor of verbal working memory span. Memory updating speed (that subsumed attention focus switching speed also contributed but was mediated by age. The results extend the developmental memory literature by implicating the mechanism of memory updating and developmental improvement in speed of attention focus switching and updating as critical contributors to children’s verbal working memory. Theoretically, the results provide substantively new information about the role of domain-general executive attention in children’s verbal working memory.
Anelli, Filomena; Avanzi, Stefano; Arzy, Shahar; Mancuso, Mauro; Frassinetti, Francesca
Numerous studies agree that time is represented in spatial terms in the brain. Here we investigate how a deficit in orienting attention in space influences the ability to mentally travel in time, that is to recall the past and anticipate the future. Right brain-damaged patients, with (RBD-N+) and without neglect (RBD-N-), and healthy controls (HC) were subjected to a Mental Time Travel (MTT) task. Participants were asked to project themselves in time to past, present or future (i.e., self-projection) and, for each self-projection, to judge whether events were located relatively in the past or the future (i.e., self-reference). The MTT-task was performed before and after a manipulation, through prismatic adaptation (PA), inducing a leftward shift of spatial attention. Before PA, RBD-N+ were slower for future than for past events, whereas RBD-N- and HC responded similarly to past and future events. A leftward shift of spatial attention by PA reduced the difference in past/future processing in RBD-N+ and fastened RBD-N- and HC's response to past events. Assuming that time concepts, such as past/future, are coded with a left-to-right order on a mental time line (MTL), a recursive search of future-events can explain neglect patients' performance. Improvement of the spatial deficit following PA reduces the recursive search of future events on the rightmost part of the MTL, facilitating exploration of past events on the leftmost part of the MTL, finally favoring the correct location of past and future events. In addition, the study of the anatomical correlates of the temporal deficit in mental time travel through voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping showed a correlation with a lesion located in the insula and in the thalamus. These findings provide new insights about the inter-relations of space and time, and can pave the way to a procedure to rehabilitate a deficit in these cognitive domains. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Duecker, Felix; Formisano, Elia; Sack, Alexander T
Lesion studies in neglect patients have inspired two competing models of spatial attention control, namely, Heilman's "hemispatial" theory and Kinsbourne's "opponent processor" model. Both assume a functional asymmetry between the two hemispheres but propose very different mechanisms. Neuroimaging studies have identified a bilateral dorsal frontoparietal network underlying voluntary shifts of spatial attention. However, lateralization of attentional processes within this network has not been consistently reported. In the current study, we aimed to provide direct evidence concerning the functional asymmetry of the right and left FEF during voluntary shifts of spatial attention. To this end, we applied fMRI-guided neuronavigation to disrupt individual FEF activation foci with a longer-lasting inhibitory patterned TMS protocol followed by a spatial cueing task. Our results indicate that right FEF stimulation impaired the ability of shifting spatial attention toward both hemifields, whereas the effects of left FEF stimulation were limited to the contralateral hemifield. These results provide strong direct evidence for right-hemispheric dominance in spatial attention within frontal cortex supporting Heilman's "hemispatial" theory. This complements previous TMS studies that generally conform to Kinsbourne's "opponent processor" model after disruption of parietal cortex, and we therefore propose that both theories are not mutually exclusive.
Chen, X; Zhang, Z H; Song, Y; Yuan, W; Liu, Z X; Tang, M Q
Cognitive impairment is one of the main targets of the treatment to schizophrenia.The atypical antipsychotic was proved to improve the cognition function of the patients. There were a few of clinical trials to detect the effect of medicine treatment on attention function. But the respective changes of sustained and selective attention in the patients with treatment of ziprasidone were rarely investigated. This present study was to explore the effect of ziprasidone on visual sustained and selective attention in schizophrenia. There were 81 patients who were treated with ziprasidone and matched with 81 healthy controls in this open-label trial. The functions were evaluated by Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and Color Word Test (CWT) at baseline and eight weeks later. Between two groups the functions were compared at the two time points, and in patients group those were compared prior to and post treatment. As compared with healthy controls, the functions of the patients were worse. But after 8 weeks treatment of ziprasidone the functions improved in some degree, which were indicated by the change of CPT and CWT indexes. Furthermore, those of patients post treatment were better than prior to treatment. Patients with paranoid schizophrenia have visual sustained and selective attention deficits. The deficits can be improved partly with ziprasidone treatment.
Kehrer, Stefanie; Kraft, Antje; Irlbacher, Kerstin; Koch, Stefan P; Hagendorf, Herbert; Kathmann, Norbert; Brandt, Stephan A
Event-related potentials were measured to investigate the role of visual spatial attention mechanisms in conflict processing. We suggested that a more difficult target selection leads to stronger attentional top-down control, thereby reducing the effects of arising conflicts. This hypothesis was tested by varying the selection difficulty in a location negative priming (NP) paradigm. The difficult task resulted in prolonged responses as compared to the easy task. A behavioral NP effect was only evident in the easy task. Psychophysiologically the easy task was associated with reduced parietal N1, enhanced frontocentral N2 and N2pc components and a prolonged P3 latency for the conflict as compared to the control condition. The N2pc effect was also obvious in the difficult task. Additionally frontocentral N2 amplitudes increased and latencies of N2pc and P3 were delayed compared to the easy task. The differences at frontocentral and parietal electrodes are consistent with previous studies ascribing activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortex as the source of top-down attentional control. Thus, we propose that stronger cognitive control is involved in the difficult task, resulting in a reduced behavioral NP conflict.
van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Acar, Freya; Ketels, Boris; Fias, Wim
Rather than reflecting the long-term memory construct of a mental number line, it has been proposed that the relation between numbers and space is of a more temporary nature and constructed in working memory during task execution. In three experiments we further explored the viability of this working memory account. Participants performed a speeded dot detection task with dots appearing left or right, while maintaining digits or letters in working memory. Just before presentation of the dot, these digits or letters were used as central cues. These experiments show that the "attentional SNARC-effect" (where SNARC is the spatial-numerical association of response codes) is not observed when only the lastly perceived number cue--and no serially ordered sequence of cues--is maintained in working memory (Experiment 1). It is only when multiple items (numbers in Experiment 2; letters in Experiment 3) are stored in working memory in a serially organized way that the attentional cueing effect is observed as a function of serial working memory position. These observations suggest that the "attentional SNARC-effect" is strongly working memory based. Implications for theories on the mental representation of numbers are discussed.
Sweeti; Joshi, Deepak; Panigrahi, B K; Anand, Sneh; Santhosh, Jayasree
Selective visual attention is the ability to selectively pay attention to the targets while inhibiting the distractors. This paper aims to study the targets and non-targets interplay in spatial attention task while subject attends to the target object present in one visual hemifield and ignores the distractor present in another visual hemifield. This paper performs the averaged evoked response potential (ERP) analysis and time-frequency analysis. ERP analysis agrees to the left hemisphere superiority over late potentials for the targets present in right visual hemifield. Time-frequency analysis performed suggests two parameters i.e. event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) and inter-trial coherence (ITC). These parameters show the same properties for the target present in either of the visual hemifields but show the difference while comparing the activity corresponding to the targets and non-targets. In this way, this study helps to visualise the difference between targets present in the left and right visual hemifields and, also the targets and non-targets present in the left and right visual hemifields. These results could be utilised to monitor subjects' performance in brain-computer interface (BCI) and neurorehabilitation.
Zhang, Dan; Maye, Alexander; Gao, Xiaorong; Hong, Bo; Engel, Andreas K.; Gao, Shangkai
In this paper, a novel independent brain-computer interface (BCI) system based on covert non-spatial visual selective attention of two superimposed illusory surfaces is described. Perception of two superimposed surfaces was induced by two sets of dots with different colors rotating in opposite directions. The surfaces flickered at different frequencies and elicited distinguishable steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) over parietal and occipital areas of the brain. By selectively attending to one of the two surfaces, the SSVEP amplitude at the corresponding frequency was enhanced. An online BCI system utilizing the attentional modulation of SSVEP was implemented and a 3-day online training program with healthy subjects was carried out. The study was conducted with Chinese subjects at Tsinghua University, and German subjects at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) using identical stimulation software and equivalent technical setup. A general improvement of control accuracy with training was observed in 8 out of 18 subjects. An averaged online classification accuracy of 72.6 ± 16.1% was achieved on the last training day. The system renders SSVEP-based BCI paradigms possible for paralyzed patients with substantial head or ocular motor impairments by employing covert attention shifts instead of changing gaze direction.
Brynne Catherine DiMenichi
Full Text Available Competition has often been implicated as a means to improve effort-based learning and attention. Two experiments examined the effects of competition on effort and memory. In Experiment 1, participants completed a physical effort task in which they were rewarded for winning an overall percentage, or for winning a competition they believed was against another player. In Experiment 2, participants completed a memory task in which they were rewarded for remembering an overall percentage of shapes, or more shapes than a competitor. We found that, in the physical effort task, participants demonstrated faster reaction times—a previous indicator of increased attention— in the competitive environment. Moreover, individual differences predicted the salience of competition’s effect. Furthermore, male participants showed faster reaction times and greater sustained effort as a result of a competitive environment, suggesting that males may be more affected by competition in physical effort tasks. However, in Experiment 2, participants remembered fewer shapes when competing, and later recalled less of these shapes during a post-test, suggesting that competition was harmful in our memory task. The different results from these two experiments suggest that competition can improve attention in a physical effort task, yet caution the use of competition in memory tasks.
DiMenichi, Brynne C.; Lempert, Karolina M.; Bejjani, Christina; Tricomi, Elizabeth
Acute stress can harm performance. Paradoxically, writing about stressful events—such as past failures—has been shown to improve cognitive functioning and performance, especially in tasks that require sustained attention. Yet, there is little physiological evidence for whether writing about past failures or other negative events improves performance by reducing stress. In this experiment, we studied the effects of an acute psychosocial stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, on attentional performance and salivary cortisol release in humans. Additionally, we investigated whether an expressive writing task could reduce the detrimental effects of stress, both on performance and physiological response. We found that when individuals were asked to write about a past failure before experiencing a stressor, they exhibited attenuated stress responses. Moreover, those who wrote about a past failure before being exposed to stress also exhibited better behavioral performance. Our results suggest that writing about a previous failure may allow an individual to experience a new stressor as less stressful, reducing its physiological and behavioral effects. PMID:29628878
Brynne C. DiMenichi
Full Text Available Acute stress can harm performance. Paradoxically, writing about stressful events—such as past failures—has been shown to improve cognitive functioning and performance, especially in tasks that require sustained attention. Yet, there is little physiological evidence for whether writing about past failures or other negative events improves performance by reducing stress. In this experiment, we studied the effects of an acute psychosocial stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, on attentional performance and salivary cortisol release in humans. Additionally, we investigated whether an expressive writing task could reduce the detrimental effects of stress, both on performance and physiological response. We found that when individuals were asked to write about a past failure before experiencing a stressor, they exhibited attenuated stress responses. Moreover, those who wrote about a past failure before being exposed to stress also exhibited better behavioral performance. Our results suggest that writing about a previous failure may allow an individual to experience a new stressor as less stressful, reducing its physiological and behavioral effects.
Luz, Gabriela Pontes; Guimarães, Thais Moura; Weaver, Terri E; Nery, Luiz E; E Silva, Luciana Oliveira; Badke, Luciana; Coelho, Glaury; Millani-Carneiro, Aline; Tufik, Sergio; Bittencourt, Lia
Severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) directly affects the quality of life, mood, and sustained attention of individuals, but it has not yet been established in the literature, if these changes also affect patients with mild OSA. The purpose of this study was to investigate such negative effects on the parameters described above. A controlled study was held at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Department of Psychobiology. Thirty-nine mild OSA patients and 25 controls were included. Volunteers could be of both genders with body mass index (BMI) ≤35 kg/m(2) and age between 18 and 65 years. Both groups were subjected to full-night polysomnography (PSG), the subjective assessment of mood (Beck Inventory of Anxiety and Depression), Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ), and the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) five times during the day. We considered mild OSA patients those with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) score between 5 and 15. The control group included subjects with AHI scores attention lapses compared with normal subjects.
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. PMID:25136323
van Moorselaar, Dirk; Foster, Joshua J.; Sutterer, David W.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Awh, Edward
Current theories assume a functional role for covert attention in the maintenance of spatial information in working memory. Consistent with this view, both the locus of attention and positions stored in working memory can be decoded based on the topography of oscillatory alpha-band (8-12 Hz)
Schubert, Ruth; Ritter, Petra; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Preuschhof, Claudia; Curio, Gabriel; Sommer, Werner; Villringer, Arno
Recent studies investigating the influence of spatial-selective attention on primary somatosensory processing have produced inconsistent results. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of tactile spatial-selective attention on spatiotemporal aspects of evoked neuronal activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). We employed simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG)-functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 14 right-handed subjects during bilateral index finger Braille stimulation to investigate the relationship between attentional effects on somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) components and the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal. The 1st reliable EEG response following left tactile stimulation (P50) was significantly enhanced by spatial-selective attention, which has not been reported before. FMRI analysis revealed increased activity in contralateral S1. Remarkably, the effect of attention on the P50 component as well as long-latency SEP components starting at 190 ms for left stimuli correlated with attentional effects on the BOLD signal in contralateral S1. The implications are 2-fold: First, the correlation between early and long-latency SEP components and the BOLD effect suggest that spatial-selective attention enhances processing in S1 at 2 time points: During an early passage of the signal and during a later passage, probably via re-entrant feedback from higher cortical areas. Second, attentional modulations of the fast electrophysiological signals and the slow hemodynamic response are linearly related in S1.
Dunn, Stephanie A.; Freeth, Megan; Milne, Elizabeth
Selective attention is atypical in individuals with autism spectrum conditions. Evidence suggests this is also the case for those with high levels of autistic traits. Here we investigated the neural basis of spatial attention in those with high and low levels of self-reported autistic traits via analysis of ERP deflections associated with covert…
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…
Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin
To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20 dB improvement in speech reception threshold; 40% of which was attributed to a release from informational masking. When across frequency temporal modulations in the masker talkers are decorrelated the speech is unintelligible, although the within frequency modulation characteristics remains identical. Used as a masker as above, the information masking accounted for 37% of the spatial unmasking seen with this masker. This unintelligible and highly differentiable masker is unlikely to involve top-down processes. These data provides strong evidence of bottom-up masking involving speech-like, within-frequency modulations and that this, presumably low level process, can be modulated by selective spatial attention.
Moore, C M; Elsinger, C L; Lleras, A
Several studies have shown that targets defined on the basis of the spatial relations between objects yield highly inefficient visual search performance (e.g., Logan, 1994; Palmer, 1994), suggesting that the apprehension of spatial relations may require the selective allocation of attention within the scene. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that depth relations might be different in this regard and might support efficient visual search. This hypothesis was based, in part, on the fact that many perceptual organization processes that are believed to occur early and in parallel, such as figure-ground segregation and perceptual completion, seem to depend on the assignment of depth relations. Despite this, however, using increasingly salient cues to depth (Experiments 2-4) and including a separate test of the sufficiency of the most salient depth cue used (Experiment 5), no evidence was found to indicate that search for a target defined by depth relations is any different than search for a target defined by other types of spatial relations, with regard to efficiency of search. These findings are discussed within the context of the larger literature on early processing of three-dimensional characteristics of visual scenes.
Stephan de Beer
Full Text Available A spatial turn has occurred in various disciplines over the past decades. This article holds that it has not occurred in a similar decisive manner in theological discourse and not in South Africa in particular. After considering the necessity of a spatial turn and spatial consciousness, the article examines the concept of spatial justice against the backdrop of how injustice was and is spatially expressed in South African cities. Considering the way in which South African cities have evolved since the Native Land Act of 1913 – the segregated and apartheid city and the (postapartheid city – the article then argues that deep and sustained reconciliation will be impossible should current spatial patterns of segregation, exclusion and injustice continue. It advocates theological and ecclesial participation in a national agenda for spatial transformation, to be fleshed out in relation to four interconnected challenges: land, landlessness, housing and home; the ‘creative destruction’ of neighbourhoods, gentrification and the displacement of the poor; participation in city-making (from below and transformative spatial interventions; and close collaboration with social movements working for spatial justice. It concludes by asserting that such a trans- and/or postdisciplinary agenda for spatial justice would participate with the Spirit to mend the oikos of God.
Kurt Riitters; Christine Estreguil
Presentations from the symposium "International Research to Monitor Sustainable Forest Spatial Patterns," which was organized as part of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress in August 2005, are summarized in this report. The overall theme of the World Congress was "Forests in the Balance: Linking Tradition and...
Davidesco, Ido; Harel, Michal; Ramot, Michal; Kramer, Uri; Kipervasser, Svetlana; Andelman, Fani; Neufeld, Miri Y; Goelman, Gadi; Fried, Itzhak; Malach, Rafael
One of the puzzling aspects in the visual attention literature is the discrepancy between electrophysiological and fMRI findings: whereas fMRI studies reveal strong attentional modulation in the earliest visual areas, single-unit and local field potential studies yielded mixed results. In addition, it is not clear to what extent spatial attention effects extend from early to high-order visual areas. Here we addressed these issues using electrocorticography recordings in epileptic patients. The patients performed a task that allowed simultaneous manipulation of both spatial and object-based attention. They were presented with composite stimuli, consisting of a small object (face or house) superimposed on a large one, and in separate blocks, were instructed to attend one of the objects. We found a consistent increase in broadband high-frequency (30-90 Hz) power, but not in visual evoked potentials, associated with spatial attention starting with V1/V2 and continuing throughout the visual hierarchy. The magnitude of the attentional modulation was correlated with the spatial selectivity of each electrode and its distance from the occipital pole. Interestingly, the latency of the attentional modulation showed a significant decrease along the visual hierarchy. In addition, electrodes placed over high-order visual areas (e.g., fusiform gyrus) showed both effects of spatial and object-based attention. Overall, our results help to reconcile previous observations of discrepancy between fMRI and electrophysiology. They also imply that spatial attention effects can be found both in early and high-order visual cortical areas, in parallel with their stimulus tuning properties.
Klarborg, Brith; Skak Madsen, Kathrine; Vestergaard, Martin
Sustained attention develops during childhood and has been linked to the right fronto-parietal cortices in functional imaging studies; however, less is known about its relation to white matter (WM) characteristics. Here we investigated whether the microstructure of the WM underlying and connecting...... the right fronto-parietal cortices was associated with sustained attention performance in a group of 76 typically developing children aged 7-13 years. Sustained attention was assessed using a rapid visual information processing paradigm. The two behavioral measures of interest were the sensitivity index d......' and the coefficient of variation in reaction times (RT(CV) ). Diffusion-weighted imaging was performed. Mean fractional anisotropy (FA) was extracted from the WM underlying right dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and parietal cortex (PC), and the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), as well as equivalent...
Shulman, Gordon L.; Pope, Daniel L. W.; Astafiev, Serguei V.; McAvoy, Mark P.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Corbetta, Maurizio
Spatial selective attention is widely considered to be right hemisphere dominant. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, however, have reported bilateral blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions during anticipatory shifts of attention to a location (Kastner et al., 1999; Corbetta et al., 2000; Hopfinger et al., 2000). Right-lateralized activity has mainly been reported in ventral fronto-parietal regions for shifts of attention to an unattended target stimulus (Arrington et al., 2000; Corbetta et al., 2000). However, clear conclusions cannot be drawn from these studies because hemispheric asymmetries were not assessed using direct voxel-wise comparisons of activity in left and right hemispheres. Here, we used this technique to measure hemispheric asymmetries during shifts of spatial attention evoked by a peripheral cue stimulus and during target detection at the cued location. Stimulus-driven shifts of spatial attention in both visual fields evoked right-hemisphere dominant activity in temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). Target detection at the attended location produced a more widespread right hemisphere dominance in frontal, parietal, and temporal cortex, including the TPJ region asymmetrically activated during shifts of spatial attention. However, hemispheric asymmetries were not observed during either shifts of attention or target detection in the dorsal fronto-parietal regions (anterior precuneus, medial intraparietal sulcus, frontal eye fields) that showed the most robust activations for shifts of attention. Therefore, right hemisphere dominance during stimulus-driven shifts of spatial attention and target detection reflects asymmetries in cortical regions that are largely distinct from the dorsal fronto-parietal network involved in the control of selective attention. PMID:20219998
Full Text Available The transition to a sustainable energy system faces more challenges than a simple replacement of fossil energy sources by renewable ones. Since current structures do not favor sustainable energy generation and use, it is indispensable to change the existing infrastructure. A fundamental change of the energy system also requires re-organizing spatial structures and their respective institutions and governance structures. Especially in Austria, urban sprawl and unsustainable settlement structures are regarded as one of the main developments leading to increased energy demand. One of the aims within the project E-Trans 2050 was to identify socio-economic constellations that are central to the further transformation of the energy system and to focus on actors and their socio-technical framework conditions. Based on a sustainable future vision for the year 2050 a backcasting workshop was conducted to identify necessary steps for the envisaged transition to a more sustainable energy system. The results shed light on the necessary changes for a transformation towards sustainability in the specific Austrian situation. Critical issues are region-specific production of energy and its use, settlement and regional structures and values and role models, which all have a determining influence on energy demand. Combining the knowledge of extensive energy use with available energy resources in spatial planning decisions is a main challenge towards a long term sustainable energy system.
Full Text Available The following article is targeted at the comprehensive co-shaping of the conditions required for the active education on the effective and concrete contributions to sustainable development, with the emphasis based on the built environment or architecture. It defines the role of education on the built environment or architecture within the concept of sustainable development, determines the grounds for adjusting the methods of delivering architectural contents and defines the educational contents along with their presentations with regards to the developmental abilities of the public, which is targeted. It presents the deliberation on objectifying the term sustainable spatial development, for the assessment of child and juvenile awareness of “sustainable architecture” topics as well as determining childcare workers and teachers adequate qualifications to provide the knowledge in the field of the built environment, in relation to sustainable environment. Concretisation signifies the selection and visualisation of actual topical occurrences in physical space for a specific targeted public (the article provides representative models. It also contributes to the development of “cultural” dimension of spatial development sustainability. The efforts made to strive towards the lifelong learning of architecture and its influence on our everyday lives and our future.
SUMMARY Arguably sound land governance is the key to achieve sustainable development and to support the global agenda set by adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The operational component of land governance is the country specific land administration systems dealing with the four...... then be incrementally improved over time when relevant and justified by serving the needs of citizen, business and society in general. Such a fit-for-purpose approach is fundamental for building adequate land administration systems in developing regions in support of sustainable land governance. In most developed...... key functions of land tenure, land value, land, and land development. Land administration systems, whether highly advanced or very basic, require a spatial framework to operate. Spatial frameworks identify the spatial units such as land parcels, as a basis for dealing with land administration...
Narges bahmany; Karamatollah Zandi ghashghaee; Sadrollah Khosravi
Background: schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder in which a lot of cognitive functions including memory, attention, motor skills, executive functions and intelligence are compromised. Numerous empirical studies showed that schizophrenic patients have problem in sustain retention and memory activity. The objective of this study was a comparison between effectiveness of three types of music on memory activity and sustain retention in schizophrenic patients. Material and Methods: A total of 6...
Weng, Lingyan; Han, Xugao
Understanding the spatial-temporal distribution pattern of fog and haze is the base to deal with them by adjusting measures to local conditions. Taking 31 provinces in China mainland as the research areas, this paper collected data from Baidu index on the network attention of fog and haze in relevant areas from 2011 to 2016, and conducted an analysis of their spatial-temporal distribution pattern by using autocorrelation analysis. The results show that the network attention of fog and haze has an overall spatial distribution pattern of “higher in the eastern and central, lower in the western China”. There are regional differences in different provinces in terms of network attention. Network attention of fog and haze indicates an obvious geographical agglomeration phenomenon, which is a gradual enlargement of the agglomeration area of higher value with a slight shrinking of those lower value agglomeration areas.
Kumlu, Kadriye Burcu Yavuz; Tüdeş, Şule
The sustainability agenda has maintained its importance since the days, when the production system took its capitalist form, as well as the population in the urban areas started to rise. Increasing number of both goods and the people have caused the degradation of the certain systems, which generate the urban areas. These systems could mainly be classified as social, environmental, physical and economical systems. Today, urban areas still have difficulty to protect those systems, due to the significant demand of the population. Therefore, studies related with the sustainable issues are significant in the sense of continuity of the urban systems. Therefore, in this paper, those studies in the context of the effects of physical decisions taken in the spatial planning process on urban sustainability, will be examined. The components of the physical decisions are limited to land use, density and design. Land use decisions will be examined in the context of mixed land use. On the other hand, decisions related with density will be analyzed in the sense of population density and floor area ratio (FAR). Besides, design decisions will be examined, by linking them with neighborhood design criteria. Additionally, the term of urban sustainability will only be limited to its social and environmental contexts in this study. Briefly stated, studies in the sustainable literature concerned with the effects of land use, density and design decisions taken in the spatial planning process on the social and environmental sustainability will be examined in this paper. After the compilation and the analyze of those studies, a theoretical approach will be proposed to determine social and environmental sustainability in the context of land use, density and design decisions, taken in the spatial planning process.
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.
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
Full Text Available In an effort to achieve of state responsibility, national development carried out by all components of the nation. National development formulated and established by the government through a system of national development planning. In the implementation of development activities that use natural resources, legislation in the field of environment and spatial planning is an important aspect as the legal basis, in which the substance and purpose of the rules is not only derived from legal aspect, but also derived from sciences field environment and spatial planning. This research uses normative juridical approach, through the method of approach to legislation, the conceptual approach and an analytical approach. The scope of this normative juridical research includes a study of the principles of law, an inventory study of positive law and legal research on systematic. Regulatory issues in the field of environment and spatial planning in Indonesia in the context of sustainable development was originally rooted in the process of establishing legislation. In terms of the substance of which is set to have a tendency no longer rooted in the sciences that underlie environmental law and spatial. Concept of reform and harmonization of legislation field of environment and spatial planning in Indonesia in the context of sustainable development must be assessed in terms of the scientific approach to the whole holistic, inter and multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral to harmonize science related to the environment and spatial planning with the principles, theory and philosophy in Legal studies.
Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G
Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics
Full Text Available Listeners with normal hearing thresholds differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding, onset event-related potentials from the scalp (ERPs, reflecting cortical responses to sound, and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones; however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance, inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with normal hearing thresholds can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on
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.
Kristjánsson, Tómas; Thorvaldsson, Tómas Páll; Kristjánsson, Arni
Previous research involving both unimodal and multimodal studies suggests that single-response change detection is a capacity-free process while a discriminatory up or down identification is capacity-limited. The trace/context model assumes that this reflects different memory strategies rather than inherent differences between identification and detection. To perform such tasks, one of two strategies is used, a sensory trace or a context coding strategy, and if one is blocked, people will automatically use the other. A drawback to most preceding studies is that stimuli are presented at separate locations, creating the possibility of a spatial confound, which invites alternative interpretations of the results. We describe a series of experiments, investigating divided multimodal attention, without the spatial confound. The results challenge the trace/context model. Our critical experiment involved a gap before a change in volume and brightness, which according to the trace/context model blocks the sensory trace strategy, simultaneously with a roaming pedestal, which should block the context coding strategy. The results clearly show that people can use strategies other than sensory trace and context coding in the tasks and conditions of these experiments, necessitating changes to the trace/context model.
MacNamara, Annmarie; Hajcak, Greg
Aversive stimuli capture attention and elicit increased neural activity, as indexed by behavioral, electrocortical and hemodynamic measures; moreover, individual differences in anxiety relate to a further increased sensitivity to threatening stimuli. Evidence has been mixed, however, as to whether aversive pictures elicit increased neural response when presented in unattended spatial locations. In the current study, ERP and behavioral data were recorded from 49 participants as aversive and neutral pictures were simultaneously presented in spatially attended and unattended locations; on each trial, participants made same/different judgments about pictures presented in attended locations. Aversive images presented in unattended locations resulted in increased error rate and reaction time. The late positive potential (LPP) component of the ERP was only larger when aversive images were presented in attended locations, and this increase was positively correlated with self-reported state anxiety. Findings are discussed in regard to the sensitivity of ERP and behavioral responses to aversive distracters, and in terms of increased neural processing of threatening stimuli in anxiety.
Charlotte J W Connell
Full Text Available Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention-a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function.
Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas
Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention-a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired) after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved) with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function.
Karns, Christina M; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J; Neville, Helen J
Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) across five age groups: 3-5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults. Using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, we characterized the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Karns, Christina M.; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J.; Neville, Helen J.
Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in human children across five age groups: 3–5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, characterizing the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. PMID:26002721
but small in size. Cold-spot areas present a ring-shaped structure in space with Henan Province as the core. Counties in hot-spot areas (clusters of weak spatial accessibility are not as numerous, but most are large in size; hot-spot areas are mainly in the northwest regions, characterized by complex terrain and severe economic difficulty. This study can provide significant information to aid policy making related to compulsory education sustainability in China and can facilitate research on the equality and sustainable development of compulsory education.
Bartés-Serrallonga, M; Adan, A; Solé-Casals, J; Caldú, X; Falcón, C; Pérez-Pàmies, M; Bargalló, N; Serra-Grabulosa, J M
One of the most used paradigms in the study of attention is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). The identical pairs version (CPT-IP) has been widely used to evaluate attention deficits in developmental, neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the specific locations and the relative distribution of brain activation in networks identified with functional imaging, varies significantly with differences in task design. To design a task to evaluate sustained attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and thus to provide data for research concerned with the role of these functions. Forty right-handed, healthy students (50% women; age range: 18-25 years) were recruited. A CPT-IP implemented as a block design was used to assess sustained attention during the fMRI session. The behavioural results from the CPT-IP task showed a good performance in all subjects, higher than 80% of hits. fMRI results showed that the used CPT-IP task activates a network of frontal, parietal and occipital areas, and that these are related to executive and attentional functions. In relation to the use of the CPT to study of attention and working memory, this task provides normative data in healthy adults, and it could be useful to evaluate disorders which have attentional and working memory deficits.
Bédard, Anne-Claude V; Stein, Mark A; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Krone, Beth; Rajwan, Estrella; Newcorn, Jeffrey H
This study examined the effects of atomoxetine (ATX) and OROS methylphenidate (MPH) on laboratory measures of inhibitory control and attention in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It was hypothesized that performance would be improved by both treatments, but response profiles would differ because the medications work via different mechanisms. One hundred and two youth (77 male; mean age = 10.5 ± 2.7 years) with ADHD received ATX (1.4 ± 0.5 mg/kg) and MPH (52.4 ± 16.6 mg) in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Medication was titrated in 4-6-week blocks separated by a 2-week placebo washout. Inhibitory control and attention measures were obtained at baseline, following washout, and at the end of each treatment using Conners' Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II), which provided age-adjusted T-scores for reaction time (RT), reaction time variability (RT variability), and errors. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were performed, with Time (premedication, postmedication) and Treatment type (ATX, MPH) entered as within-subject factors. Data from the two treatment blocks were checked for order effects and combined if order effects were not present. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00183391. Main effects for Time on RT (p = .03), RTSD (p = .001), and omission errors (p = .01) were significant. A significant Drug × Time interaction indicated that MPH improved RT, RTSD, and omission errors more than ATX (p attention in youth with ADHD. However, the dissociation of cognitive and behavioral change with treatment indicates that CPT measures cannot be considered proxies for symptomatic improvement. Further research on the dissociation of cognitive and behavioral endpoints for ADHD is indicated. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
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.
Wang, Yiji; Dix, Theodore
On the basis of longitudinal data across 9 years, this study examined the contribution of sustained attention and executive function to the poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment of school-age children whose mothers had depressive symptoms during the child's infancy. Mothers (N = 1,364) reported depressive symptoms across their child's infancy and early childhood. Maternal sensitivity was observed during laboratory interactions at 36 months. At school entry children's sustained attention and executive function were measured with computer-generated tasks. In third grade, cognitive and socioemotional adjustment was assessed with standardized tests and the reports of fathers and teachers. Using structural equation modeling, findings showed that (a) exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms during the child's infancy, independent of later exposure, uniquely predicted children's poor sustained attention and executive function at school entry; (b) deficits in children's sustained attention and executive function occurred because of depressed mothers' tendencies to display insensitive parenting behavior; and (c) these deficits explained in part relations between exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy and children's poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment in third grade. Findings highlight the potential importance of children's exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms specifically during the child's infancy for disrupting the development of fundamental cognitive processes that may underlie the adjustment problems children of depressed mothers display in middle childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Fisher, Anna; Thiessen, Erik; Godwin, Karrie; Kloos, Heidi; Dickerson, John
Selective sustained attention (SSA) is crucial for higher order cognition. Factors promoting SSA are described as exogenous or endogenous. However, there is little research specifying how these factors interact during development, due largely to the paucity of developmentally appropriate paradigms. We report findings from a novel paradigm designed…
Schie, M.K.M. van; Alblas, E.E.; Thijs, R.D.; Fronczek, R.; Lammers, G.J.; Dijk, J.G. van
Introduction: The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) helps to quantify vigilance impairments. Previous studies, in which five SART sessions on one day were administered, demonstrated worse performance during the first session than during the others. The present study comprises two
Full Text Available A spatial optimization framework has been developed to help urban areas mitigate climate risks such as flooding and to curb resource use and greenhouse gas emissions. Measures required to address these issues often conflict with each other, for example more compact cities typically use less energy for transportation but increase runoff from high intensity rainfall events. Balancing potential trade-offs and maximizing synergies between these risks and vulnerabilities is therefore a multi-dimensional, spatial, challenge for urban planners. A spatial optimization framework is used to optimize the following objectives to minimize: (1 risk from heat waves; (2 risk from flooding; (3 the distance of new development to the current central business district; (4 urban sprawl to prevent increased travel costs; and (5 the development of green-space. The framework is applied to a real case study in the North East of England. From an initial configuration, alternative spatial configurations are tested against these objectives and the spatial pattern is evolved over successive generations to search for spatially optimum configurations. The resulting solutions provide planners with a range of robust spatial development patterns known to be best trade-offs which mitigate conflicts between risk and sustainability objectives.
Talsma, D.; Kok, A.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.
To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies
Talsma, D.; Kok, Albert; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard
To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies
Song, Wei; Zhang, Kai; Sun, Jinhua; Ma, Lina; Jesse, Forrest Fabian; Teng, Xiaochun; Zhou, Ying; Bao, Hechen; Chen, Shiqing; Wang, Shuai; Yang, Beimeng; Chu, Xixia; Ding, Wenhua; Du, Yasong; Cheng, Zaohuo; Wu, Bin; Chen, Shanguang; He, Guang; He, Lin; Chen, Xiaoping; Li, Weidong
People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer's judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS). It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time) reached a peak in the 20-27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas
Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention—a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired) after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved) with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function. PMID:27768747
Full Text Available People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer’s judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS. It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time reached a peak in the 20–27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Full Text Available Maziyar Molavi, Jasmy Yunus, Nugraha P Utama Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering (FBME, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM, Johor Bahru, Johor, MalaysiaAbstract: Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants
Palmisano, Giovanni Ottomano; Govindan, M.E., PhD.,, Kannan; Boggia, Antonio
Local Action Groups in order to promote the objectives of Rural Sustainable Development within rural municipalities. Each Local Action Group applies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis in order to identify for its own rural municipalities the strategic elements to which...... and a Weakness factors and decision alternatives, as well as impossibility of ranking the decision alternatives. Thus, this research aims to overcome the drawbacks of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis and to support Local Action Group partnerships in the sustainability evaluation...... of their rural municipalities, and therefore to aid the identification of a common Rural Sustainable Development strategy to allocate the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development budget. This decision problem was tackled by applying a Multiple Criteria Spatial Decision Support System that integrates...
Chiang, Huey-Ling; Chen, Yu-Jen; Lo, Yu-Chun; Tseng, Wen-Yih I; Gau, Susan S
The neural substrate for clinical symptoms and neuropsychological performance in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has rarely been studied and has yielded inconsistent results. We sought to compare the microstructural property of fibre tracts associated with the prefrontal cortex and its association with ADHD symptoms and a wide range of attention performance in youth with ADHD and healthy controls. We assessed youths with ADHD and age-, sex-, handedness-, coil- and intelligence-matched controls using the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT) for attention performance and MRI. The 10 target tracts, including the bilateral frontostriatal tracts (caudate to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex), superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and cingulum bundle were reconstructed using diffusion spectrum imaging tractography. We computed generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) values to indicate tract-specific microstructural property. We included 50 youths with ADHD and 50 healthy controls in our study. Youths with ADHD had lower GFA in the left frontostriatal tracts, bilateral SLF and right cingulum bundle and performed worse in the CCPT than controls. Furthermore, alteration of the right SLF GFA was most significantly associated with the clinical symptom of inattention in youths with ADHD. Finally, youths with ADHD had differential association patterns of the 10 fibre tract GFA values with attention performance compared with controls. Ten of the youths with ADHD were treated with methylphenidate, which may have long-term effects on microstructural property. Our study highlights the importance of the SLF, cingulum bundle and frontostriatal tracts for clinical symptoms and attention performance in youths with ADHD and demonstrates the involvement of different fibre tracts in attention performance in these individuals.
Pagliaccio, David; Wiggins, Jillian Lee; Adleman, Nancy E; Curhan, Alexa; Zhang, Susan; Towbin, Kenneth E; Brotman, Melissa A; Pine, Daniel S; Leibenluft, Ellen
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), characterized by severe irritability, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are highly comorbid. This is the first study to characterize neural and behavioral similarities and differences in attentional functioning across these disorders. Twenty-seven healthy volunteers, 31 patients with DMDD, and 25 patients with ADHD (8 to 18 years old) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging attention task. Group differences in intra-subject variability in reaction time (RT) were examined. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging analytic approach precisely quantified trial-wise associations between RT and brain activity. Group differences manifested in the relation between RT and brain activity (all regions: p 2.54, partial eta-squared [η p 2 ] > 0.06). Patients with DMDD showed specific alterations in the right paracentral lobule, superior parietal lobule, fusiform gyrus, and cerebellar culmen. In contrast, patients with DMDD and those with ADHD exhibited blunted compensatory increases in activity on long RT trials. In addition, youth with DMDD exhibited increased activity in the postcentral gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, and cerebellar tonsil and declive (all regions: p 2.46, η p 2 > 0.06). Groups in the imaging sample did not differ significantly in intra-subject variability in RT (F 2,79 = 2.664, p = .076, η p 2 = 0.063), although intra-subject variability in RT was significantly increased in youth with DMDD and ADHD when including those not meeting strict motion and accuracy criteria for imaging analysis (F 2,96 = 4.283, p = .017, η p 2 = 0.083). Patients with DMDD exhibited specific alterations in the relation between pre-stimulus brain activity and RT. Patients with DMDD and those with ADHD exhibited similar blunting of compensatory neural activity in frontal, parietal, and other regions. In addition, patients with DMDD showed increased RT variability compared with healthy
Roohollah Zahedian Nasb
Full Text Available Background: Sustained visual attention is a prerequisite for learning and memory. The early evaluation of attention in childhood is essential for their school and career success in the future. The aim of this study was to design, development and investigation of psychometric properties (content, face and convergent validity and test-retest and internal consistency reliability of the computer - based sustained visual attention test (SuVAT for healthy preschool children aged 4-6 with their special needs. Methods: This study was carried out in two stages: in the first stage computerbased SuVAT in two versions original and parallel were developed. Then the test-retest and internal consistency reliability using intra-class correlation and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients respectively were examined; Face validity was calculated through ideas gathering from 10 preschool children and content validity evaluated using CVI and CVR method and convergent validity of SuVAT with CPT was assessed using Pearson correlation. Results: The developed test showed a good content and faces validity, and also had excellent test-retest reliability. In addition, the assessment of internal consistency indicated the high internal consistency of the test (Cronbach’s alpha=0.869. SuVAT and CPT test demonstrated a positive correlation upon the convergent validity testing. Conclusion: SuVAT with good reliability and validity could be used as an acceptable sustained attention assessment in preschool children.
Dong, X; Zeng, S; Chen, J
Design of a sustainable city has changed the traditional centralized urban wastewater system towards a decentralized or clustering one. Note that there is considerable spatial variability of the factors that affect urban drainage performance including urban catchment characteristics. The potential options are numerous for planning the layout of an urban wastewater system, which are associated with different costs and local environmental impacts. There is thus a need to develop an approach to find the optimal spatial layout for collecting, treating, reusing and discharging the municipal wastewater of a city. In this study, a spatial multi-objective optimization model, called Urban wastewateR system Layout model (URL), was developed. It is solved by a genetic algorithm embedding Monte Carlo sampling and a series of graph algorithms. This model was illustrated by a case study in a newly developing urban area in Beijing, China. Five optimized system layouts were recommended to the local municipality for further detailed design.
Lu, Aitao; Zhang, Honghong; He, Guanghui; Zheng, Dongping; Hodges, Bert H
Two experiments were carried out to investigate whether social status encoded in Chinese honorifics has metaphorical effects on up-down spatial orientation. In Experiment 1, participants judged whether a word was an elevating or denigrating term immediately prior to judging whether an arrow was pointing up or down. Arrow orientation was identified faster when its direction was congruent with the perceived social status of the preceding honorific (e.g., elevating word and up arrow). In Experiment 2, participants identified the letter p or q after judging whether honorifics were elevating or denigrating terms. Letters were identified faster when placed at the top of the screen following elevating terms, and faster at the bottom following denigrating terms. These results suggest that the mere activation of social status differences by honorific terms orients attention toward schema-congruent space. Social status appears to have pragmatic effects, not only for lexical decision-making, but also in where Chinese speakers are most likely to look.
Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. van den
In an effort to develop 'sustainability economics' Baumgaertner and Quaas (2010) neglect the central concept of environmental economics-'environmental externality'. This note proposes a possible connection between the concepts of environmental externality and sustainability. In addition, attention is asked for other aspects of 'sustainability economics', namely the distinction weak/strong sustainability, spatial sustainability and sustainable trade, distinctive sustainability policy, and the ideas of early 'sustainability economists'. I argue that both sustainability and externalities reflect a systems perspective and propose that effective sustainability solutions require that more attention is given to system feedbacks, notably other-regarding preferences and social interactions, and energy and environmental rebound. The case of climate change and policy is used to illustrate particular statements. As a conclusion, a list of 20 insights and suggestions for research is offered. (author)
Full Text Available Selective attention to a spatial location has shown enhance perception and facilitate behaviour for events at attended locations. However, selection relies not only on where but also when an event occurs. Recently, interest has turned to how intrinsic neural oscillations in the brain entrain to rhythms in our environment, and, stimuli appearing in or out of synch with a rhythm have shown to modulate perception and performance. Temporal expectations created by rhythms and spatial attention are two processes which have independently shown to affect stimulus processing but it remains largely unknown how, and if, they interact. In four separate tasks, this study investigated the effects of voluntary spatial attention and bottom-up temporal expectations created by rhythms in both unimodal and crossmodal conditions. In each task the participant used an informative cue, either colour or pitch, to direct their covert spatial attention to the left or right, and respond as quickly as possible to a target. The lateralized target (visual or auditory was then presented at the attended or unattended side. Importantly, although not task relevant, the cue was a rhythm of either flashes or beeps. The target was presented in or out of sync (early or late with the rhythmic cue. The results showed participants were faster responding to spatially attended compared to unattended targets in all tasks. Moreover, there was an effect of rhythmic cueing upon response times in both unimodal and crossmodal conditions. Responses were faster to targets presented in sync with the rhythm compared to when they appeared too early in both crossmodal tasks. That is, rhythmic stimuli in one modality influenced the temporal expectancy in the other modality, suggesting temporal expectancies created by rhythms are crossmodal. Interestingly, there was no interaction between top-down spatial attention and rhythmic cueing in any task suggesting these two processes largely influenced
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 previous psychophysical study, namely, the attentional resources for the left and right visual hemifields are distinct. Increasing the attentional load asymmetrically increased the brain activity. Increase in attentional load produced a greater increase in brain activity in the case of the left visual hemifield than in the case of the right visual hemifield. This asymmetry was observed in all the examined brain areas, including the right and left occipital and parietal cortices. These results suggest the existence of asymmetrical inhibitory interactions between the hemispheres and the presence of an extensive inhibitory network. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pardini, Dustin; White, Helene R; Xiong, Shuangyan; Bechtold, Jordan; Chung, Tammy; Loeber, Rolf; Hipwell, Alison
There is some suggestion that heavy marijuana use during early adolescence (prior to age 17) may cause significant impairments in attention and academic functioning that remain despite sustained periods of abstinence. However, no longitudinal studies have examined whether both male and female adolescents who engage in low (less than once a month) to moderate (at least once a monthly) marijuana use experience increased problems with attention and academic performance, and whether these problems remain following sustained abstinence. The current study used within-individual change models to control for all potential pre-existing and time-stable confounds when examining this potential causal association in two gender-specific longitudinal samples assessed annually from ages 11 to 16 (Pittsburgh Youth Study N = 479; Pittsburgh Girls Study N = 2296). Analyses also controlled for the potential influence of several pertinent time-varying factors (e.g., other substance use, peer delinquency). Prior to controlling for time-varying confounds, analyses indicated that adolescents tended to experience an increase in parent-reported attention and academic problems, relative to their pre-onset levels, during years when they used marijuana. After controlling for several time-varying confounds, only the association between marijuana use and attention problems in the sample of girls remained statistically significant. There was no evidence indicating that adolescents who used marijuana experienced lingering attention and academic problems, relative to their pre-onset levels, after abstaining from use for at least a year. These results suggest that adolescents who engage in low to moderate marijuana use experience an increase in observable attention and academic problems, but these problems appear to be minimal and are eliminated following sustained abstinence.
Alomari, Rima A; Fernandez, Mercedes; Banks, Jonathan B; Acosta, Juliana; Tartar, Jaime L
Stress can increase emotional vigilance at the cost of a decrease in attention towards non-emotional stimuli. However, the time-dependent effects of acute stress on emotion processing are uncertain. We tested the effects of acute stress on subsequent emotion processing up to 40 min following an acute stressor. Our measure of emotion processing was the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual event-related potential (ERP), and our measure of non-emotional attention was the sustained attention to response task (SART). We also measured cortisol levels before and after the socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT) induction. We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive. Specifically, the LPP ERP was only altered in the late time-point (30-40 min post-stress) when cortisol was at its highest level. Here, the LPP no longer discriminated between the emotional and non-emotional picture categories, most likely because neutral pictures were perceived as emotional. Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART. Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.
Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Lysczek, Cynthia L.; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Spencer, Sarah V.; Gangloff, Brian P.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.
Working memory is one of several putative core neurocognitive processes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present work seeks to determine whether visual-spatial working memory is sensitive to motivational incentives, a laboratory analogue of behavioral treatment. Participants were 21 children (ages 7-10) with a diagnosis of…
Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Munkacsy, Michelle; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C.
Executive cognitive functions play a critical role in falls risk – a pressing health care issue in seniors. In particular, intact attentional processing is integral for safe mobility and navigation. However, the specific contribution of impaired visual-spatial attention in falls remains unclear. In this study, we examined the association between visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant stimuli and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed a visual target discrimination task at fixation while task-irrelevant probes were presented in both visual fields. We assessed attention to left and right peripheral probes using event-related potentials (ERPs). Falls risk was determined using the valid and reliable Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA). We found a significantly positive association between reduced attentional facilitation, as measured by the N1 ERP component, and falls risk. This relationship was specific to probes presented in the left visual field and measured at ipsilateral electrode sites. Our results suggest that fallers exhibit reduced attention to the left side of visual space and provide evidence that impaired right hemispheric function and/or structure may contribute to falls. PMID:24436970
Drisdelle, Brandi Lee; Aubin, Sébrina; Jolicoeur, Pierre
The objective of the present study was to assess the robustness and reliability of independent component analysis (ICA) as a method for ocular artifact correction in electrophysiological studies of visual-spatial attention and memory. The N2pc and sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), electrophysiological markers of visual-spatial attention and memory, respectively, are lateralized posterior ERPs typically observed following the presentation of lateral stimuli (targets and distractors) along with instructions to maintain fixation on the center of the visual search for the entire trial. Traditionally, trials in which subjects may have displaced their gaze are rejected based on a cutoff threshold, minimizing electrophysiological contamination by saccades. Given the loss of data resulting from rejection, we examined ocular correction by comparing results using standard fixation instructions against a condition where subjects were instructed to shift their gaze toward possible targets. Both conditions were analyzed using a rejection threshold and ICA correction for saccade activity management. Results demonstrate that ICA conserves data that would have otherwise been removed and leaves the underlying neural activity intact, as demonstrated by experimental manipulations previously shown to modulate the N2pc and the SPCN. Not only does ICA salvage and not distort data, but also large eye movements had only subtle effects. Overall, the findings provide convincing evidence for ICA correction for not only special cases (e.g., subjects did not follow fixation instruction) but also as a candidate for standard ocular artifact management in electrophysiological studies interested in visual-spatial attention and memory. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Uebel-von Sandersleben, Henrik; Albrecht, Björn; Rothenberger, Aribert; Fillmer-Heise, Anke; Roessner, Veit; Sergeant, Joseph; Tannock, Rosemary; Banaschewski, Tobias
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD) are two common and frequently co-existing disorders, probably following an additive model. But this is not yet clear for the basic sensory function of colour processing sensitive to dopaminergic functioning in the retina and higher cognitive functions like attention and interference control. The latter two reflect important aspects for psychoeducation and behavioural treatment approaches. Colour discrimination using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue Test, sustained attention during the Frankfurt Attention Inventory (FAIR), and interference liability during Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests were assessed to further clarify the cognitive profile of the co-existence of ADHD and CTD. Altogether 69 children were classified into four groups: ADHD (N = 14), CTD (N = 20), ADHD+CTD (N = 20) and healthy Controls (N = 15) and compared in cognitive functioning in a 2×2-factorial statistical model. Difficulties with colour discrimination were associated with both ADHD and CTD factors following an additive model, but in ADHD these difficulties tended to be more pronounced on the blue-yellow axis. Attention problems were characteristic for ADHD but not CTD. Interference load was significant in both Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests and unrelated to colour discrimination. Compared to Controls, interference load in the Colour-Stroop was higher in pure ADHD and in pure CTD, but not in ADHD+CTD, following a sub-additive model. In contrast, interference load in the Counting-Stroop did not reveal ADHD or CTD effects. The co-existence of ADHD and CTD is characterized by additive as well as sub-additive performance impairments, suggesting that their co-existence may show simple additive characteristics of both disorders or a more complex interaction, depending on demand. The equivocal findings on interference control may indicate limited validity of the Stroop-Paradigm for clinical assessments.
Rothenberger, Aribert; Fillmer-Heise, Anke; Roessner, Veit; Sergeant, Joseph; Tannock, Rosemary; Banaschewski, Tobias
Objective Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD) are two common and frequently co-existing disorders, probably following an additive model. But this is not yet clear for the basic sensory function of colour processing sensitive to dopaminergic functioning in the retina and higher cognitive functions like attention and interference control. The latter two reflect important aspects for psychoeducation and behavioural treatment approaches. Methods Colour discrimination using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue Test, sustained attention during the Frankfurt Attention Inventory (FAIR), and interference liability during Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests were assessed to further clarify the cognitive profile of the co-existence of ADHD and CTD. Altogether 69 children were classified into four groups: ADHD (N = 14), CTD (N = 20), ADHD+CTD (N = 20) and healthy Controls (N = 15) and compared in cognitive functioning in a 2×2-factorial statistical model. Results Difficulties with colour discrimination were associated with both ADHD and CTD factors following an additive model, but in ADHD these difficulties tended to be more pronounced on the blue-yellow axis. Attention problems were characteristic for ADHD but not CTD. Interference load was significant in both Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests and unrelated to colour discrimination. Compared to Controls, interference load in the Colour-Stroop was higher in pure ADHD and in pure CTD, but not in ADHD+CTD, following a sub-additive model. In contrast, interference load in the Counting-Stroop did not reveal ADHD or CTD effects. Conclusion The co-existence of ADHD and CTD is characterized by additive as well as sub-additive performance impairments, suggesting that their co-existence may show simple additive characteristics of both disorders or a more complex interaction, depending on demand. The equivocal findings on interference control may indicate limited validity of the Stroop-Paradigm for
Gunter, TC; Jackson, JL; Mulder, G
Three types of selective attention tasks were presented to 24 young (20.5 years) and 24 middle-aged (57.5 years) participants. The major aim of the experiment was to explore three different aspects of selective attention, namely a pre-attentive level (i.e. auditory passive oddball task), an
Molavi, Maziyar; Yunus, Jasmy; Utama, Nugraha P
Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants tended to react faster and prefer to relay on the type of facial emotions than to gaze direction while doing the task. Because of happy facial expression stimuli, right hemisphere activation was more than that of the left
Tao, Ting; Wang, Ligang; Fan, Chunlei; Gao, Wenbin; Shi, Jiannong
We explored the development of attention among elementary school children. Three hundred and sixty-five primary school children aged 7–12 years completed seven attention tests (alertness, focused attention, divided attention, attentional switching, sustained attention, spatial attention, and supervisory attention). A factor analysis indicated that there was no stable construct of attention among 7- to 8-year-old children. However, from 9 years on, children’s attention could be separated into ...
Trigunasih, N. M.; Lanya, I.; Subadiyasa, N. N.; Hutauruk, J.
Increasing number and activity of the population to meet the needs of their lives greatly affect the utilization of land resources. Land needs for activities of the population continue to grow, while the availability of land is limited. Therefore, there will be changes in land use. As a result, the problems faced by land degradation and conversion of agricultural land become non-agricultural. The objectives of this research are: (1) to determine parameter of spatial numerical classification of sustainable food agriculture in Badung Regency and Denpasar City (2) to know the projection of food balance in Badung Regency and Denpasar City in 2020, 2030, 2040, and 2050 (3) to specify of function of spatial numerical classification in the making of zonation model of sustainable agricultural land area in Badung regency and Denpasar city (4) to determine the appropriate model of the area to protect sustainable agricultural land in spatial and time scale in Badung and Denpasar regencies. The method used in this research was quantitative method include: survey, soil analysis, spatial data development, geoprocessing analysis (spatial analysis of overlay and proximity analysis), interpolation of raster digital elevation model data, and visualization (cartography). Qualitative methods consisted of literature studies, and interviews. The parameters observed for a total of 11 parameters Badung regency and Denpasar as much as 9 parameters. Numerical classification parameter analysis results used the standard deviation and the mean of the population data and projections relationship rice field in the food balance sheet by modelling. The result of the research showed that, the number of different numerical classification parameters in rural areas (Badung) and urban areas (Denpasar), in urban areas the number of parameters is less than the rural areas. The based on numerical classification weighting and scores generate population distribution parameter analysis results of a standard
Harakas, P; Foulds, J
Glucose administration may decrease desire to smoke in abstinent smokers. Moreover, glucose administration has been associated with improved performance on measures of attention in healthy humans but evidence remains modest. The present study aimed to determine whether reported craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be relieved, and sustained attention on the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task improved, with the administration of 12 g oral glucose in nicotine-deprived smokers. Forty-one smokers, abstinent for 12 h, participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study to examine the effect of glucose on desire to smoke, withdrawal symptoms, and attention. Participants completed the RVIP task once and then rated craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms before chewing four 3 g glucose tablets (experimental group) or four matched placebo tablets (control group). Following tablet consumption participants rated craving and withdrawal symptoms at 5-min intervals for 20 min. Subsequently a second RVIP task was performed, followed by a final rating of craving and withdrawal symptoms. Any effect of glucose across time was not statistically significant on craving, withdrawal symptoms, or performance on the RVIP task. There were no differences between the groups in measures of 'satisfaction' or 'sickness'. The present study failed to find a significant effect of 12 g oral glucose on tobacco craving, withdrawal symptoms, or sustained attention in relatively young tobacco smokers after 12 h of tobacco abstinence.
Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Fernandez, Thalia
Background. Research on sports has revealed that behavioral responses and event-related brain potentials (ERP) are better in expert than in novice athletes for sport-related tasks. Focused attention is essential for optimal athletic performance across different sports but mainly in combat disciplines. During combat, long periods of focused attention (i.e., sustained attention) are required for a good performance. Few investigations have reported effects of expertise on brain electrical activity and its neural generators during sport-unrelated attention tasks. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of expertise (i.e., skilled and novice martial arts athletes) analyzing the ERP during a sustained attention task (Continuous Performance Task; CPT) and the cortical three-dimensional distribution of current density, using the sLORETA technique. Methods. CPT consisted in an oddball-type paradigm presentation of five stimuli (different pointing arrows) where only one of them (an arrow pointing up right) required a motor response (i.e., target). CPT was administered to skilled and novice martial arts athletes while EEG were recorded. Amplitude ERP data from target and non-target stimuli were compared between groups. Subsequently, current source analysis for each ERP component was performed on each subject. sLORETA images were compared by condition and group using Statistical Non-Parametric Mapping analysis. Results. Skilled athletes showed significant amplitude differences between target and non-target conditions in early ERP components (P100 and P200) as opposed to the novice group; however, skilled athletes showed no significant effect of condition in N200 but novices did show a significant effect. Current source analysis showed greater differences in activations in skilled compared with novice athletes between conditions in the frontal (mainly in the Superior Frontal Gyrus and Medial Frontal Gyrus) and limbic (mainly in the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus) lobes
Simione, Luca; Raffone, Antonino; Wolters, Gezinus; Salmas, Paola; Nakatani, Chie; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; van Leeuwen, Cees
Two separate lines of study have clarified the role of selectivity in conscious access to visual information. Both involve presenting multiple targets and distracters: one simultaneously in a spatially distributed fashion, the other sequentially at a single location. To understand their findings in a unified framework, we propose a neurodynamic model for Visual Selection and Awareness (ViSA). ViSA supports the view that neural representations for conscious access and visuo-spatial working memory are globally distributed and are based on recurrent interactions between perceptual and access control processors. Its flexible global workspace mechanisms enable a unitary account of a broad range of effects: It accounts for the limited storage capacity of visuo-spatial working memory, attentional cueing, and efficient selection with multi-object displays, as well as for the attentional blink and associated sparing and masking effects. In particular, the speed of consolidation for storage in visuo-spatial working memory in ViSA is not fixed but depends adaptively on the input and recurrent signaling. Slowing down of consolidation due to weak bottom-up and recurrent input as a result of brief presentation and masking leads to the attentional blink. Thus, ViSA goes beyond earlier 2-stage and neuronal global workspace accounts of conscious processing limitations. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li
This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management.
Opmeer, M.; Dias, E.; De Vogel, B.; Tangerman, L.; Scholten, H. J.
In this article, we have assessed the educational affordances of Minecraft to teach school children about sustainable spatial planning. Specifically, we carefully examined the expectations and experiences of the learners and the teachers of this digital game as an educational tool for spatial
Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Xu, Xinliang; Fan, Jiangwen; Wang, Junbang
The maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau are critical for national ecological security in China and are core objectives of ecological conservation in this region. In this paper, ecosystem service benefits of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project were comprehensively assessed by estimating and mapping the spatiotemporal variation patterns of critical ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau from 2000 to 2015. Furthermore, we linked the benefit assessment to the sustainable spatial planning of future ecological conservation strategies. Comparing the 8 years before and after the project, the water retention and carbon sink services of the forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems were slightly increased after the project, and the ecosystem sand fixation service has been steadily enhanced. The increasing forage supply service of grassland significantly reduced the grassland carrying pressure and eased the conflict between grassland and livestock. However, enhanced rainfall erosivity occurred due to increased rainfall, and root-layer soils could not recover in a short period of time, both factors have led to a decline in soil conservation service. The warm and humid climate is beneficial for the restoration of ecosystems on the Tibet Plateau, and the implementation of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project has had a positive effect on the local improvement of ecosystem services. A new spatial planning strategy for ecological conservation was introduced and aims to establish a comprehensive, nationwide system to protect important natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
Wiryananda, N. G. A. K.; Hasibuan, H. S.; Madiasworo, T.
The rapid development of tourism and population growth in Denpasar City stimulated the dynamic changes in the spatial utilization. This study aims to analyse the impact of spatial utilization on sociocultural and environment and formulate the sustainable spatial utilization that accommodate both social and environmental aspects. This research uses methods of spatial analysis and sustainability index. The results showed that during the period of 2011 to 2015 there was an increase of settlement and tourism land uses, meanwhile at the same period the paddy field decreased. The impact of spatial utilization on sociocultural leads to unsustainable, that showed by the decreasing of the sociocultural index from 1.038 in 2011 to 1.036 in 2015. The low of sociocultural index was stated by the increasing poverty, the obedience of traditional rules of purity radius of Temple and the height limit of the building. The impact of spatial utilization on environmental leads to unsustainable, with the environmental index of 1.065 in 2011 decreased to 1.056 in 2015. The decline of environmental index is due to reduced green open space and paddy field. The strategy formulation of sustainable spatial utilization is done by integrating traditional rules into spatial planning, plan the vertical building, strengthening implementation of traditional rules, implementation of perennial paddy field, and the establishment of traditional task control unit of spatial control.
Musyawaroh, M.; Pitana, T. S.; Masykuri, M.; Nandariyah
Revitalization is a much-needed for a historic kampong as a settlement, place of business, and as tourist destinations. The research was conducted in Kauman as one of the cultural heritage kampong which was formerly as a residence of abdidalemulamaKeraton who also work as batik entrepreneurs. This study aims to formulate a sustainable revitalization step based on the character of the area and the building. Aspects of sustainable revitalization that analyzed are the physical and non-physical condition of the environment. This research is an applied research with qualitative rationalistic approach supported with spatial distribution analysis through satellite imagery and Arch-GIS. The results revealed that sustainable revitalization for Kaumancan be done through: 1) Physical condition of the environment consists of land and building use, green open space, recreational park and sport activities, streets, drainage network, sewer network, the garbage disposal network; 2) Non-physical of the environment consists of economy, heritage socio-cultural, and the engagement of relevant stakeholders. The difference of this study with others is, this study is a continuation of the Kauman revitalization assistance program which involves community participation to produce a more appropriate solution for the problem of kampong.
Bruce, Steven E; Werner, Kimberly B; Preston, Brittany F; Baker, Laurie M
This study examined the neurocognitive and electrophysiological effects of a citicoline-caffeine-based beverage in 60 healthy adult participants enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Measures of electrical brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuropsychological measures examining attention, concentration and reaction time were administered. Compared to placebo, participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited significantly faster maze learning times and reaction times on a continuous performance test, fewer errors in a go/no-go task and better accuracy on a measure of information processing speed. EEG results examining P450 event-related potentials revealed that participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited higher P450 amplitudes than controls, suggesting an increase in sustained attention. Overall, these findings suggest that the beverage significantly improved sustained attention, cognitive effort and reaction times in healthy adults. Evidence of improved P450 amplitude indicates a general improvement in the ability to accommodate new and relevant information within working memory and overall enhanced brain activation.
Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael
By using event-related potentials (ERPs) the present study examines if age-related differences in preparation and processing especially emerge during divided attention. Binaurally presented auditory cues called for focused (valid and invalid) or divided attention to one or both ears. Responses were required to subsequent monaurally presented valid targets (vowels), but had to be suppressed to non-target vowels or invalidly cued vowels. Middle-aged participants were more impaired under divided attention than young ones, likely due to an age-related decline in preparatory attention following cues as was reflected in a decreased CNV. Under divided attention, target processing was increased in the middle-aged, likely reflecting compensatory effort to fulfill task requirements in the difficult condition. Additionally, middle-aged participants processed invalidly cued stimuli more intensely as was reflected by stimulus ERPs. The results suggest an age-related impairment in attentional preparation after auditory cues especially under divided attention and latent difficulties to suppress irrelevant information.
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.
Snowden, Robert J; Curl, Catriona; Jobbins, Katherine; Lavington, Chloe; Gray, Nicola S
Abundant research has shown that men's sexual attractions are more category-specific in relation to gender than women's are. We tested whether the early automatic allocation of spatial attention reflects these sexual attractions. The dot-probe task was used to assess whether spatial attention was attracted to images of either male or female models that were naked or partially clothed. In Experiment 1, men were faster if the target appeared after the female stimulus, whereas women were equally quick to respond to targets after male or female stimuli. In Experiment 2, neutral cues were introduced. Men were again faster to female images in comparison to male or neutral images, but showed no bias on the male versus neutral test. Women were faster to both male and female pictures in comparison to neutral pictures. However, in this experiment they were also faster to female pictures than to male pictures. The results suggest that early attentional processes reveal category-specific interest to the preferred sexual category for heterosexual men, and suggest that heterosexual women do not have category-specific guidance of attentional mechanisms. The technique may have promise in measuring sexual interest in other situations where participants may not be able, or may not be willing, to report upon their sexual interests (e.g., assessment of paedophilic interest).
Schwartz, Andrew H; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G
Many hearing aids introduce compressive gain to accommodate the reduced dynamic range that often accompanies hearing loss. However, natural sounds produce complicated temporal dynamics in hearing aid compression, as gain is driven by whichever source dominates at a given moment. Moreover, independent compression at the two ears can introduce fluctuations in interaural level differences (ILDs) important for spatial perception. While independent compression can interfere with spatial perception of sound, it does not always interfere with localization accuracy or speech identification. Here, normal-hearing listeners reported a target message played simultaneously with two spatially separated masker messages. We measured the amount of spatial separation required between the target and maskers for subjects to perform at threshold in this task. Fast, syllabic compression that was independent at the two ears increased the required spatial separation, but linking the compressors to provide identical gain to both ears (preserving ILDs) restored much of the deficit caused by fast, independent compression. Effects were less clear for slower compression. Percent-correct performance was lower with independent compression, but only for small spatial separations. These results may help explain differences in previous reports of the effect of compression on spatial perception of sound.
This research explores the impact of coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphic pressures on the coverage and offering of courses addressing ethical, social, and sustainability issues (ESSI) in business schools' graduate marketing curricula. Data from the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes program are analyzed to detect if significant…
Oberem, Josefa; Koch, Iring; Fels, Janina
Using a binaural-listening paradigm, age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory selective attention between two speakers, defined by their spatial location, were examined. Therefore 40 normal-hearing participants (20 young, Ø 24.8years; 20 older Ø 67.8years) were tested. The spatial reproduction of stimuli was provided by headphones using head-related-transfer-functions of an artificial head. Spoken number words of two speakers were presented simultaneously to participants from two out of eight locations on the horizontal plane. Guided by a visual cue indicating the spatial location of the target speaker, the participants were asked to categorize the target's number word into smaller vs. greater than five while ignoring the distractor's speech. Results showed significantly higher reaction times and error rates for older participants. The relative influence of the spatial switch of the target-speaker (switch or repetition of speaker's direction in space) was identical across age groups. Congruency effects (stimuli spoken by target and distractor may evoke the same answer or different answers) were increased for older participants and depend on the target's position. Results suggest that the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention to a new cued location was unimpaired whereas it was generally harder for older participants to suppress processing the distractor's speech. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: In idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE, a normal electroencephalogram between generalized spike and wave (GSW discharges is believed to reflect normal brain function. However, some studies indicate that even excluding GSW-related errors, IGE patients perform poorly on sustained attention task, the deficit being worse as a function of disease duration. We hypothesized that at least in a subset of structures which are normally involved in sustained attention, resting-state functional connectivity (FC is different in IGE patients compared to controls and that some of the changes are related to disease duration. METHOD: Seeds were selected based on a sustained attention study in controls. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data was obtained from 14 IGE patients and 14 matched controls. After physiological noise removal, the mean time-series of each seed was used as a regressor in a general linear model to detect regions that showed correlation with the seed. In patients, duration factor was defined based on epilepsy duration. Between-group differences weighted by the duration factor were evaluated with mixed-effects model. Correlation was then evaluated in IGE patients between the FC, averaged over each significant cluster, and the duration factor. RESULTS: Eight of 18 seeds showed significant difference in FC across groups. However, only for seeds in the medial superior frontal and precentral gyri and in the medial prefrontal area, average FC taken over significant clusters showed high correlation with the duration factor. These 3 seeds showed changes in FC respectively with the premotor and superior frontal gyrus, the dorsal premotor, and the supplementary motor area plus precentral gyrus. CONCLUSION: Alterations of FC in IGE patients are not limited to the frontal areas. However, as indicated by specificity analysis, patients with long history of disease show changes in FC mainly within the frontal areas.
Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Jobard, Gael; Hay, Julien; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie; Karnath, Hans-Otto; Mellet, Emmanuel
The objective of this study was to validate a line bisection judgement (LBJ) task for use in investigating the lateralized cerebral bases of spatial attention in a sample of 51 right-handed healthy participants. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the participants performed a LBJ task that was compared to a visuomotor control task during which the participants made similar saccadic and motoric responses. Cerebral lateralization was determined using a voxel-based functional asymmetry analysis and a hemispheric functional lateralization index (HFLI) computed from fMRI contrast images. Behavioural attentional deviation biases were assessed during the LBJ task and a "paper and pencil" symbol cancellation task (SCT). Individual visuospatial skills were also evaluated. The results showed that both the LBJ and SCT tasks elicited leftward spatial biases in healthy subjects, although the biases were not correlated, which indicated their independence. Neuroimaging results showed that the LBJ task elicited a right hemispheric lateralization, with rightward asymmetries found in a large posterior occipito-parietal area, the posterior calcarine sulcus (V1p) and the temporo-occipital junction (TOJ) and in the inferior frontal gyrus, the anterior insula and the superior medial frontal gyrus. The comparison of the LBJ asymmetry map to the lesion map of neglect patients who suffer line bisection deviation demonstrated maximum overlap in a network that included the middle occipital gyrus (MOG), the TOJ, the anterior insula and the inferior frontal region, likely subtending spatial LBJ bias. Finally, the LBJ task-related cerebral lateralization was specifically correlated with the LBJ spatial bias but not with the SCT bias or with the visuospatial skills of the participants. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the LBJ task is adequate for investigating spatial lateralization in healthy subjects and is suitable for determining the factors underlying the
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…
Nako, Rebecca; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin
The question whether alphanumerical category is involved in the control of attentional target selection during visual search remains a contentious issue. We tested whether category-based attentional mechanisms would guide the allocation of attention under conditions where targets were defined by a combination of alphanumerical category and a basic visual feature, and search displays could contain both targets and partially matching distractor objects. The N2pc component was used as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection in tasks where target objects were defined by a conjunction of color and category (Experiment 1) or shape and category (Experiment 2). Some search displays contained the target or a nontarget object that matched either the target color/shape or its category among 3 nonmatching distractors. In other displays, the target and a partially matching nontarget object appeared together. N2pc components were elicited not only by targets and by color- or shape-matching nontargets, but also by category-matching nontarget objects, even on trials where a target was present in the same display. On these trials, the summed N2pc components to the 2 types of partially matching nontargets were initially equal in size to the target N2pc, suggesting that attention was allocated simultaneously and independently to all objects with target-matching features during the early phase of attentional processing. Results demonstrate that alphanumerical category is a genuine guiding feature that can operate in parallel with color or shape information to control the deployment of attention during visual search. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
This paper is dedicated to analysis of international ecological projects carried out by ISTC. The project to a greater or lesser extent touch upon Semipalatinsk nuclear test site from the point of view of sustainable development. The report provides us with statistics on ISTC projects and projects managed by scientists of National Nuclear Center of Republic of Kazakhstan as well. There is also brief description of the given projects. (author)
Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Mellet, Emmanuel; Jobard, Gaël; Crivello, Fabrice; Joliot, Marc; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie
Cerebral lateralization for language production and spatial attention and their relationships with manual preference strength (MPS) were assessed in a sample of 293 healthy volunteers, including 151 left-handers, using fMRI during covert sentence production (PROD) and line bisection judgment (LBJ) tasks, as compared to high- and low-level reference tasks. At the group level, we found the expected complementary hemispheric specialization (HS) with leftward asymmetries for PROD within frontal and temporal regions and rightward asymmetries for LBJ within frontal and posterior occipito-parieto-temporal regions. Individual hemispheric (HLI) and regional (frontal and occipital) lateralization indices (LI) were then calculated on the activation maps for PROD and LBJ. We found a correlation between the degree of rightward cerebral asymmetry and the leftward behavioral attentional bias recorded during LBJ task. This correlation was found when LBJ-LI was computed over the hemispheres, in the frontal lobes, but not in the occipital lobes. We then investigated whether language production and spatial attention cerebral lateralization relate to each other, and whether manual preference was a variable that impacted the complementary HS of these functions. No correlation was found between spatial and language LIs in the majority of our sample of participants, including right-handers with a strong right-hand preference (sRH, n=97) and mixed-handers (MH, n=97), indicating that these functions lateralized independently. By contrast, in the group of left-handers with a strong left-hand preference (sLH, n= 99), a negative correlation was found between language and spatial lateralization. This negative correlation was found when LBJ-LI and PROD-LI were computed over the hemispheres, in the frontal lobes and between the occipital lobes for LBJ and the frontal lobes for PROD. These findings underline the importance to include sLH in the study sample to reveal the underlying mechanisms of
Full Text Available Background: schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder in which a lot of cognitive functions including memory, attention, motor skills, executive functions and intelligence are compromised. Numerous empirical studies showed that schizophrenic patients have problem in sustain retention and memory activity. The objective of this study was a comparison between effectiveness of three types of music on memory activity and sustain retention in schizophrenic patients. Material and Methods: A total of 60 schizophrenic patients (30 males , 30 females 18-48 years old were selected from available sampling frame. Participants were otherwise healthy except for schizophrenia. Wechsler Memory Scale and cognitive diagnostic battery Kay test were taken from all subjects. Then patients were randomly divided into three experimental groups (Iranian classic, western classic and pop music and three control groups. There were 10 participants (5 male, 5 female in each group. After taking these tests, music therapy course was performed on experimental groups. After music therapy sessions were completed, tests were taken again from groups. Results: Covariance analysis results indicated that music therapy is overall effective on memory activity. But type of music had no effect in improving memory activity. There wasn’t significant difference between groups considering type of music. Furthermore, covariance analysis showed that music therapy is totally effective on sustain retention and type of music is effective in this intervention. Pop music had the most effectiveness on schizophrenic patients in improving sustain retention. Conclusion: Performing music therapy improves memory and retention. More over, using pop music particularly has the most effect in improving sustain retention in schizophrenic patients.