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.
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; 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.
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 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.
Richman, J E
Use of a sustained visual attention task to determine children "at risk" for learning problems. The purpose in the study was to compare the sustained visual attention performance of 42 first grade children on a 9.5 minute continuous performance test, as measured by error rate and off-task visual behaviors, e.g., off-task looking time and number of fixations off the task, with a measure of impulsivity and a teacher rating scale of classroom behavior designed to identify children with potential learning disabilities. The present findings suggest that the measurement of "off-task looking time" and "off-task fixations" during a sustained visual attention test are significantly related to the classroom teacher's observation of personal-social behavior and the child's decision making style. This approach for measuring sustained attention has potential use as a clinical tool in identifying and monitoring treatment methodologies for children considered "at risk" for attention and learning problems.
Chien, Y-L; Gau, S S-F; Shang, C-Y; Chiu, Y-N; Tsai, W-C; Wu, Y-Y
An uneven neurocognitive profile is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies focusing on the visual memory performance in ASD have shown controversial results. We investigated visual memory and sustained attention in youths with ASD and typically developing (TD) youths. We recruited 143 pairs of youths with ASD (males 93.7%; mean age 13.1, s.d. 3.5 years) and age- and sex-matched TD youths. The ASD group consisted of 67 youths with autistic disorder (autism) and 76 with Asperger's disorder (AS) based on the DSM-IV criteria. They were assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery involving the visual memory [spatial recognition memory (SRM), delayed matching to sample (DMS), paired associates learning (PAL)] and sustained attention (rapid visual information processing; RVP). Youths with ASD performed significantly worse than TD youths on most of the tasks; the significance disappeared in the superior intelligence quotient (IQ) subgroup. The response latency on the tasks did not differ between the ASD and TD groups. Age had significant main effects on SRM, DMS, RVP and part of PAL tasks and had an interaction with diagnosis in DMS and RVP performance. There was no significant difference between autism and AS on visual tasks. Our findings implied that youths with ASD had a wide range of visual memory and sustained attention impairment that was moderated by age and IQ, which supports temporal and frontal lobe dysfunction in ASD. The lack of difference between autism and AS implies that visual memory and sustained attention cannot distinguish these two ASD subtypes, which supports DSM-5 ASD criteria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi
Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity...
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas
The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...
Mathot, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan
In the present review, we address the relationship between attention and visual stability. Even though with each eye, head and body movement the retinal image changes dramatically, we perceive the world as stable and are able to perform visually guided actions. However, visual stability is not as
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas
The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention res....... The book explains the TVA model and shows how it accounts for attentional effects observed across all the research areas described. Principles of Visual Attention offers a uniquely integrated view on a central topic in cognitive neuroscience....
Jung, Christopher M; Ronda, Joseph M; Czeisler, Charles A; Wright, Kenneth P
To date, no detailed examination of the pattern of change in reaction time performance for different sensory modalities has been conducted across the circadian cycle during sleep deprivation. Therefore, we compared sustained auditory and visual attention performance during 40h of sleep deprivation assessing multiple metrics of auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tasks (PVT). Forty healthy participants (14 women) aged 30.8±8.6years were studied. Subjects were scheduled for an ∼8h sleep schedule at home prior to three-six laboratory baseline days with an 8 h sleep schedule followed by 40h sleep deprivation. Visual and auditory PVTs were 10min in duration, and were administered every 2h during sleep deprivation. Data were analysed with mixed-model anova. Sleep deprivation and circadian phase increased response time, lapses, anticipations, standard deviation of response times and time on task decrements for visual and auditory PVTs. In general, auditory vigilance was faster and less variable than visual vigilance, with larger differences between auditory and visual PVT during sleep deprivation versus baseline. Failures to respond to stimuli within 10s were four times more likely to occur to visual versus auditory stimuli. Our findings highlight that lapses during sleep deprivation are more than just long responses due to eye closure or visual distraction. Furthermore, our findings imply that the general pattern of change in attention during sleep deprivation (e.g. circadian variation, response slowing, lapsing and anticipations, time on task decrements and state instability) is similar among sensory-motor behavioral response modalities. © 2010 European Sleep Research Society.
Arrabito, G Robert; Ho, Geoffrey; Aghaei, Behzad; Burns, Catherine; Hou, Ming
Performance and mental workload were observed for the administration of a rest break or exogenous vibrotactile signals in auditory and visual monitoring tasks. Sustained attention is mentally demanding. Techniques are required to improve observer performance in vigilance tasks. Participants (N = 150) monitored an auditory or a visual display for changes in signal duration in a 40-min watch. During the watch, participants were administered a rest break or exogenous vibrotactile signals. Detection accuracy was significantly greater in the auditory than in the visual modality. A short rest break restored detection accuracy in both sensory modalities following deterioration in performance. Participants experienced significantly lower mental workload when monitoring auditory than visual signals, and a rest break significantly reduced mental workload in both sensory modalities. Exogenous vibrotactile signals had no beneficial effects on performance, or mental workload. A rest break can restore performance in auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Although sensory differences in vigilance tasks have been studied, this study is the initial effort to investigate the effects of a rest break countermeasure in both auditory and visual vigilance tasks, and it is also the initial effort to explore the effects of the intervention of a rest break on the perceived mental workload of auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Further research is warranted to determine exact characteristics of effective exogenous vibrotactile signals in vigilance tasks. Potential applications of this research include procedures for decreasing the temporal decline in observer performance and the high mental workload imposed by vigilance tasks. © 2015, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of National Defence.
Ackerman, John P; Llorente, Antolin M; Black, Maureen M; Ackerman, Claire S; Mayes, Lacy A; Nair, Prasanna
Three groups of children from low-income, urban environments were examined to determine the effects of prenatal drug exposure (PDE) and caregiving environment on sustained visual attention (SVA) at 7 years of age. Drug-exposed children remaining in maternal care (n = 43), drug-exposed children placed in nonmaternal care (n = 45), and community comparison (CC) children (n = 56) were administered a battery of neurocognitive tests, including the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT). PDE children remaining in maternal care displayed more omission errors than CC children. PDE children in nonmaternal care had intermediate scores that did not differ significantly from PDE children in maternal care or CC children. There were no group differences with respect to commission errors or reaction time. CPT errors of omission and commission were significantly correlated with parent-reported attention problems and academic achievement scores. PDE in the context of care provided by a maternal caregiver with persistent drug use patterns may contribute to problems in children's SVA at school-age. As parental drug abuse can interfere with the provision of early care, children raised in a drug-using context may be highly vulnerable to problems with self-regulation, including sustained attention. SVA problems may contribute to subsequent academic and behavioral problems as demands for concentration and sustained effort increase throughout childhood. Children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs or raised in a drug-using household may benefit from early intervention services to avoid problems in SVA that may interfere with subsequent neurocognitive functioning and academic performance.
Bosse, T.; Lambalgen, R. van; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a system for visual attention manipulation is introduced and formally described. This system is part of the design of a software agent that supports naval crew in her task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in hich the system is used
Wang, Wenguan; Shen, Jianbing
In this work, we aim to predict human eye fixation with view-free scenes based on an end-to-end deep learning architecture. Although Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have made substantial improvement on human attention prediction, it is still needed to improve CNN based attention models by efficiently leveraging multi-scale features. Our visual attention network is proposed to capture hierarchical saliency information from deep, coarse layers with global saliency information to shallow, fine layers with local saliency response. Our model is based on a skip-layer network structure, which predicts human attention from multiple convolutional layers with various reception fields. Final saliency prediction is achieved via the cooperation of those global and local predictions. Our model is learned in a deep supervision manner, where supervision is directly fed into multi-level layers, instead of previous approaches of providing supervision only at the output layer and propagating this supervision back to earlier layers. Our model thus incorporates multi-level saliency predictions within a single network, which significantly decreases the redundancy of previous approaches of learning multiple network streams with different input scales. Extensive experimental analysis on various challenging benchmark datasets demonstrate our method yields state-of-the-art performance with competitive inference time.
Gvozdenović Vasilije P.
Full Text Available The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT, based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constructs of FIT, like types of visual search and the role of the attention. The following review describes the main studies of early vision and visual attention.
Fabricius, Charlotte; Petersen, Anders; Iversen, Helle K
Objective: Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere. However, attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed...... and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. We also relate these attentional parameters to visual word recognition, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Methods: Nine patients with MR-verified focal lesions in the PCA......-territory (four left PCA; four right PCA; one bilateral, all >1 year post stroke) were compared to 25 controls using single case statistics. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific speed and span measurements. We also characterized visual field defects...
Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a
Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a
Wang, Lupeng; Krauzlis, Richard J
Visual selective attention is a fundamental cognitive ability that allows us to process relevant visual stimuli while ignoring irrelevant distracters and has been extensively studied in human and non-human primate subjects. Mice have emerged as a powerful animal model for studying aspects of the visual system but have not yet been shown to exhibit visual selective attention. Differences in the organization of the visual systems of primates and mice raise the possibility that selective visual attention might not be present in mice, at least not in the forms that are well established in primates. Here, we tested for selective visual attention in mice by using three behavioral paradigms adapted from classic studies of attention. In a Posner-style cueing task, a spatial cue indicated the probable location of the relevant visual event, and we found that accuracy was higher and reaction times were shorter on validly cued trials. In a cue versus no-cue task, an informative spatial cue was provided on half the trials, and mice had higher accuracy and shorter reaction times with spatial cues and also lower detection thresholds measured from psychometric curves. In a filter task, the spatial cue indicated the location of the relevant visual event, and we found that mice could be trained to ignore irrelevant but otherwise identical visual events at uncued locations. Together, these results demonstrate that mice exhibit visual selective attention, paving the way to use classic attention paradigms in mice to study the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms of selective attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
MacLean, Katherine A; Ferrer, Emilio; Aichele, Stephen R; Bridwell, David A; Zanesco, Anthony P; Jacobs, Tonya L; King, Brandon G; Rosenberg, Erika L; Sahdra, Baljinder K; Shaver, Phillip R; Wallace, B Alan; Mangun, George R; Saron, Clifford D
The ability to focus one's attention underlies success in many everyday tasks, but voluntary attention cannot be sustained for extended periods of time. In the laboratory, sustained-attention failure is manifest as a decline in perceptual sensitivity with increasing time on task, known as the vigilance decrement. We investigated improvements in sustained attention with training (approximately 5 hr/day for 3 months), which consisted of meditation practice that involved sustained selective attention on a chosen stimulus (e.g., the participant's breath). Participants were randomly assigned either to receive training first (n = 30) or to serve as waiting-list controls and receive training second (n = 30). Training produced improvements in visual discrimination that were linked to increases in perceptual sensitivity and improved vigilance during sustained visual attention. Consistent with the resource model of vigilance, these results suggest that perceptual improvements can reduce the resource demand imposed by target discrimination and thus make it easier to sustain voluntary attention.
Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.
Wyble, Brad; Potter, Mary C.; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
Is one's temporal perception of the world truly as seamless as it appears? This article presents a computationally motivated theory suggesting that visual attention samples information from temporal episodes (episodic simultaneous type/serial token model; Wyble, Bowman, & Nieuwenstein, 2009). Breaks
Finneran, Denise A; Francis, Alexander L; Leonard, Laurence B
Information-processing limitations have been associated with language problems in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These processing limitations may be associated with limitations in attentional capacity, even in the absence of clinically significant attention deficits. In this study, the authors examined the performance of 4- to 6-year-old children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers on a visual sustained attention task. It was predicted that the children with SLI would demonstrate lower levels of performance in the absence of clinically significant attention deficits. A visual continuous performance task (CPT) was used to assess sustained attention in 13 children with SLI (M = 62.07 months) and 13 TD age-matched controls (M = 62.92 months). All children were screened for normal vision, hearing, and attention. Accuracy (d') and response time were analyzed to see if this sustained attention task could differentiate between the 2 groups. The children with SLI were significantly less accurate but not significantly slower than the TD children on this test of visual sustained attention. Children with SLI may have reduced capacity for sustained attention in the absence of clinically significant attention deficits that, over time, could contribute to language learning difficulties.
Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas
frequent failures of sustained attention and response control in terms of omission errors, premature responses, and prolonged inhibition responses. All 6 children with SBM showed deficits in one or more parameters of attention; for example, three patients had elevated visual perception thresholds......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...... 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...
Suzanne R. Jongman
Full Text Available Sustained attention has previously been shown as a requirement for language production. However, this is mostly evident for difficult conditions, such as a dual-task situation. The current study provides corroborating evidence that this relationship holds even for simple picture naming. Sustained attention ability, indexed both by participants’ reaction times and individuals’ hit rate (the proportion of correctly detected targets on a digit discrimination task, correlated with picture naming latencies. Individuals with poor sustained attention were consistently slower and their RT distributions were more positively skewed when naming pictures compared to individuals with better sustained attention. Additionally, the need to sustain attention was manipulated by changing the speed of stimulus presentation. Research has suggested that fast event rates tax sustained attention resources to a larger degree than slow event rates. However, in this study the fast event rate did not result in increased difficulty, neither for the picture naming task nor for the sustained attention task. Instead, the results point to a speed-accuracy trade-off in the sustained attention task (lower accuracy but faster responses in the fast than in the slow event rate, and to a benefit for faster rates in the picture naming task (shorter naming latencies with no difference in accuracy. Performance on both tasks was largely comparable, supporting previous findings that sustained attention is called upon during language production.
Healey, Christopher G; Enns, James T
A fundamental goal of visualization is to produce images of data that support visual analysis, exploration, and discovery of novel insights. An important consideration during visualization design is the role of human visual perception. How we "see" details in an image can directly impact a viewer's efficiency and effectiveness. This paper surveys research on attention and visual perception, with a specific focus on results that have direct relevance to visualization and visual analytics. We discuss theories of low-level visual perception, then show how these findings form a foundation for more recent work on visual memory and visual attention. We conclude with a brief overview of how knowledge of visual attention and visual memory is being applied in visualization and graphics. We also discuss how challenges in visualization are motivating research in psychophysics.
Full Text Available Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.
Skogsberg, KatieAnn; Grabowecky, Marcia; Wilt, Joshua; Revelle, William; Iordanescu, Lucica; Suzuki, Satoru
Many studies have examined attention mechanisms involved in specific behavioral tasks (e.g., search, tracking, distractor inhibition). However, relatively little is known about the relationships among those attention mechanisms. Is there a fundamental attention faculty that makes a person superior or inferior at most types of attention tasks, or do relatively independent processes mediate different attention skills? We focused on individual differences in voluntary visual-attention abilities using a battery of eleven representative tasks. An application of parallel analysis, hierarchical-cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling to the inter-task correlation matrix revealed four functional clusters, representing spatiotemporal attention, global attention, transient attention, and sustained attention, organized along two dimensions, one contrasting spatiotemporal and global attention and the other contrasting transient and sustained attention. Comparison with the neuroscience literature suggests that the spatiotemporal-global dimension corresponds to the dorsal frontoparietal circuit and the transient-sustained dimension corresponds to the ventral frontoparietal circuit, with distinct sub-regions mediating the separate clusters within each dimension. We also obtained highly specific patterns of gender difference, and of deficits for college students with elevated ADHD traits. These group differences suggest that different mechanisms of voluntary visual attention can be selectively strengthened or weakened based on genetic, experiential, and/or pathological factors. PMID:25867505
Olivers, C.N.L.; Meijer, F.; Theeuwes, J.
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly
Full Text Available In this article, we describe a tool for visualizing the output and attention weights of neural machine translation systems and for estimating confidence about the output based on the attention.
Van der Burg, Erik; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.
In the present study we investigated whether a task-irrelevant distractor can induce a visual attentional blink pattern. Participants were asked to detect only a visual target letter (A, B, or C) and to ignore the preceding auditory, visual, or audiovisual distractor. An attentional blink was
Mayo, J Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the "guardian" of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visual processing.
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.
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a
Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Sudden changes in our visual field capture our attention so that we are faster and more accurate in our responses to that region of space. The underlying mechanisms by which these behavioral improvements occur are unknown. Here we investigate the level of the visual system at which attentional
Mayo, J. Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the “guardian” of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visu...
Seo, Han-Seok; Roidl, Ernst; Müller, Friedrich; Negoias, Simona
Although it is well known that visual stimuli affect olfactory performance, little is known about the reverse case: the influence of odor on visual performance. This study aimed to determine whether odors can enhance attention towards visually presented objects congruent with the odors. Sixty healthy participants were presented with four odors (orange, lavender, coffee, and liquorice) before and during the presentation of photographic slides containing one congruent and three incongruent objects with the presented odors. The participants' visual attention was assessed as the total number and time of eye fixations by using an eye tracking system. When the participants smelled an odor, they looked more frequently and longer at a corresponding object as compared to the odorless condition. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate for the first time an olfactory priming effect on visual selective attention: odor can increase attention towards a congruent visual object as compared to a non-odor condition. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
for both VSTM capacity and ipsilesional processing speed. The study also showed that lesions in a large region of the right hemisphere, including the putamen, insula, and inferior frontal cortex, do not lead to general deficits in the capacity of visual attention. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Apr-8......Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...
Moore, Tirin; Zirnsak, Marc
Selective visual attention describes the tendency of visual processing to be confined largely to stimuli that are relevant to behavior. It is among the most fundamental of cognitive functions, particularly in humans and other primates for whom vision is the dominant sense. We review recent progress in identifying the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. We discuss evidence from studies of different varieties of selective attention and examine how these varieties alter the processing of stimuli by neurons within the visual system, current knowledge of their causal basis, and methods for assessing attentional dysfunctions. In addition, we identify some key questions that remain in identifying the neural mechanisms that give rise to the selective processing of visual information.
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...... for both VSTM capacity and ipsilesional processing speed. The study also showed that lesions in a large region of the right hemisphere, including the putamen, insula, and inferior frontal cortex, do not lead to general deficits in the capacity of visual attention. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Apr-8...
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.
Spaulding, Tammie J; Plante, Elena; Vance, Rebecca
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. This study included 23 children diagnosed with SLI and 23 TD children matched for age, gender, and maternal education level. The children's sustained selective attention skills were assessed with different types of stimuli (visual, nonverbal-auditory, linguistic) under 2 attentional load conditions (high, low) using computerized tasks. A mixed design was used to compare children across groups and performance across tasks. The SLI participants exhibited poorer performance than their peers on the sustained selective attention tasks presented in the auditory modality (linguistic and nonverbal-auditory) under the high attentional load conditions. Performance was comparable with their peers under the low attentional load conditions. The SLI group exhibited similar performance to their peers on the visual tasks regardless of attentional load. These results support the notion of attention difficulties in preschool children with SLI and suggest separate attentional capacities for different stimulus modalities.
Lin, Hung-Yu; Hsieh, Hsieh-Chun; Lee, Posen; Hong, Fu-Yuan; Chang, Wen-Dien; Liu, Kuo-Cheng
This study explored auditory and visual attention in children with ADHD. In a randomized, two-period crossover design, 50 children with ADHD and 50 age- and sex-matched typically developing peers were measured with the Test of Various Attention (TOVA). The deficiency of visual attention is more serious than that of auditory attention in children with ADHD. On the auditory modality, only the deficit of attentional inconsistency is sufficient to explain most cases of ADHD; however, most of the children with ADHD suffered from deficits of sustained attention, response inhibition, and attentional inconsistency on the visual modality. Our results also showed that the deficit of attentional inconsistency is the most important indicator in diagnosing and intervening in ADHD when both auditory and visual modalities are considered. The findings provide strong evidence that the deficits of auditory attention are different from those of visual attention in children with ADHD.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing...... resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally important objects than to less important ones. By use of the same basic equations used in TVA, NTVA accounts for a wide range of known attentional effects in human performance (reaction times and error rates) and a wide range of effects observed in firing rates...
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...... statistically to lesion location and size measured by MRI. Visual processing speed was impaired in the contralesional hemifield for most patients, but typically preserved ipsilesionally, even after large cortico-subcortical lesions. When bilateral deficits in processing speed occurred, they were related...
Zhu, Chen; Zhao, Yanpeng; Huang, Shuaiyi; Tu, Kewei; Ma, Yi
Visual attention, which assigns weights to image regions according to their relevance to a question, is considered as an indispensable part by most Visual Question Answering models. Although the questions may involve complex relations among multiple regions, few attention models can effectively encode such cross-region relations. In this paper, we demonstrate the importance of encoding such relations by showing the limited effective receptive field of ResNet on two datasets, and propose to mo...
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.
Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F
Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
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
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 with ASD and those with WS presented with overlapping deficits in spontaneous visual engagement with the target of others' attention and in sustained attention. Children with ASD showed syndrome-specific abnormalities in monitoring and following a person's referential gaze, as well as a lack of preferential attention to social stimuli. Children with ASD and WS present with shared as well as syndrome-specific abnormalities across social and non-social dimensions of attention.
Full Text Available Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2 was impaired when a first target (T1 was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms SOA; identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention.
Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
nucleus. Frontal activations were found in a region that seems implicated in visual short-term memory (posterior parts of the superior sulcus and the middle gyrus). The reverse, color-shape comparison showed bilateral increases in rCBF in the anterior cingulate gyri, superior frontal gyri, and superior...... and middle temporal gyri. The attentional effects found by the shape-color comparison in the thalamus and the primary visual cortex may have been generated by feedback signals preserving visual representations of selected stimuli in short-term memory.......Attentional effects in the visual pathways were investigated by contrasting the distribution of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured by H(2)(15)O positron emission tomography (PET) during performance of a shape-matching task with the distribution of rCBF during a less demanding color...
Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response-aver...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations.......Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response......-averaging or a probability-mixing model. Second, we discuss how stimuli are processed during visual search, explained by either a serial or a parallel mechanism. Here we present novel mathematical methods to answer the psychology questions from a neural perspective, combining the formulation of neural explanations...
Dyrholm, Mads; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup
In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...... Report trial. This result retrodicts a latent attentional state of the subject using the observed response from that particular trial and thus differs from other predictions made with TVA which are based on expected values of observed variables. We show an example of the result in single-trial analysis...
Full Text Available It is known that faces are rapidly and even unconsciously categorized into social groups (black vs. white, male vs. female. Here, I test whether preferences for specific social groups guide attention, using a visual search paradigm. In Experiment 1 participants searched displays of neutral faces for an angry or frightened target face. Black target faces were detected more efficiently than white targets, indicating that black faces attracted more attention. Experiment 2 showed that attention differences between black and white faces were correlated with individual differences in automatic race preference. In Experiment 3, using happy target faces, the attentional preference for black over white faces was eliminated. Taken together, these results suggest that automatic preferences for social groups guide attention to individuals from negatively valenced groups, when people are searching for a negative emotion such as anger or fear.
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…
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a simulation model for visual attention is discussed and formally analysed. The model is part of the design of an agent-based system that supports a naval officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in which the model is
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.
Anderson, Brian A.; Wampler, Emma K.; Laurent, Patryk A.
It has long been known that the control of attention in visual search depends both on voluntary, top-down deployment according to context-specific goals, and on involuntary, stimulus-driven capture based on the physical conspicuity of perceptual objects. Recent evidence suggests that pairing target stimuli with reward can modulate the voluntary deployment of attention, but there is little evidence that reward modulates the involuntary deployment of attention to task-irrelevant distractors. We report several experiments that investigate the role of reward learning on attentional control. Each experiment involved a training phase and a test phase. In the training phase, different colors were associated with different amounts of monetary reward. In the test phase, color was not task-relevant and participants searched for a shape singleton; in most experiments no reward was delivered in the test phase. We first show that attentional capture by physically salient distractors is magnified by a previous association with reward. In subsequent experiments we demonstrate that physically inconspicuous stimuli previously associated with reward capture attention persistently during extinction—even several days after training. Furthermore, vulnerability to attentional capture by high-value stimuli is negatively correlated across individuals with working memory capacity and positively correlated with trait impulsivity. An analysis of intertrial effects reveals that value-driven attentional capture is spatially specific. Finally, when reward is delivered at test contingent on the task-relevant shape feature, recent reward history modulates value-driven attentional capture by the irrelevant color feature. The influence of learned value on attention may provide a useful model of clinical syndromes characterized by similar failures of cognitive control, including addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and obesity. PMID:23437631
Full Text Available Many critical activities require visual attention to be distributed simultaneously among distinct tasks where the attended foci are not spatially separated. In our two experiments, participants performed a large number of trials where both a primary task (enumeration of spots and a secondary task (reporting the presence/absence or identity of a distinctive shape required the division of visual attention. The spots and the shape were commingled spatially and the shape appeared unpredictably on a relatively small fraction of the trials. The secondary task stimulus (the shape was reported in inverse proportion to the attentional load imposed by the primary task (enumeration of spots. When the shape did appear, performance on the primary task (enumeration suffered relative to when the shape was absent; both speed and accuracy were compromised. When the secondary task required identification in addition to detection, reaction times increased by about 200 percent. These results are broadly compatible with biased competition models of perceptual processing. An important area of application, where the commingled division of visual attention is required, is the augmented reality head-up display (AR-HUD. This innovation has the potential to make operating vehicles safer but our data suggest that there are significant concerns regarding driver distraction.
Rishabh Gupta; M.R.Vimala Devi; M. Devi
To develop an efficient image fusion algorithm based on visual attention model for images with distinct objects. Image fusion is a process of combining complementary information from multiple images of the same scene into an image, so that the resultant image contains a more accurate description of the scene than any of the individual source images. The two basic fusion techniques are pixel level and region level fusion. Pixel level fusion deals with the operations on each and every pixel sep...
Jongman, Suzanne R; Roelofs, Ardi; Scheper, Annette R; Meyer, Antje S
Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have problems not only with language performance but also with sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over an extended period of time. Although there is consensus that this ability is impaired with respect to processing stimuli in the auditory perceptual modality, conflicting evidence exists concerning the visual modality. To address the outstanding issue whether the impairment in sustained attention is limited to the auditory domain, or if it is domain-general. Furthermore, to test whether children's sustained attention ability relates to their word-production skills. Groups of 7-9 year olds with SLI (N = 28) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 22) performed a picture-naming task and two sustained attention tasks, namely auditory and visual continuous performance tasks (CPTs). Children with SLI performed worse than TD children on picture naming and on both the auditory and visual CPTs. Moreover, performance on both the CPTs correlated with picture-naming latencies across developmental groups. These results provide evidence for a deficit in both auditory and visual sustained attention in children with SLI. Moreover, the study indicates there is a relationship between domain-general sustained attention and picture-naming performance in both TD and language-impaired children. Future studies should establish whether this relationship is causal. If attention influences language, training of sustained attention may improve language production in children from both developmental groups. © 2016 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben
Attention to a spatial location or feature in a visual scene can modulate the responses of cortical neurons and affect perceptual biases in illusions. We add attention to a cortical model of spatial context based on a well-founded account of natural scene statistics. The cortical model amounts to a generalized form of divisive normalization, in which the surround is in the normalization pool of the center target only if they are considered statistically dependent. Here we propose that attention influences this computation by accentuating the neural unit activations at the attended location, and that the amount of attentional influence of the surround on the center thus depends on whether center and surround are deemed in the same normalization pool. The resulting form of model extends a recent divisive normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). We simulate cortical surround orientation experiments with attention and show that the flexible model is suitable for capturing additional data and makes nontrivial testable predictions. PMID:23345413
Gozli, Davood G; Moskowitz, Joshua B; Pratt, Jay
Expecting a particular stimulus can facilitate processing of that stimulus over others, but what is the fate of other stimuli that are known to co-occur with the expected stimulus? This study examined the impact of learned association on feature-based attention. The findings show that the effectiveness of an uninformative color transient in orienting attention can change by learned associations between colors and the expected target shape. In an initial acquisition phase, participants learned two distinct sequences of stimulus-response-outcome, where stimuli were defined by shape ('S' vs. 'H'), responses were localized key-presses (left vs. right), and outcomes were colors (red vs. green). Next, in a test phase, while expecting a target shape (80% probable), participants showed reliable attentional orienting to the color transient associated with the target shape, and showed no attentional orienting with the color associated with the alternative target shape. This bias seemed to be driven by learned association between shapes and colors, and not modulated by the response. In addition, the bias seemed to depend on observing target-color conjunctions, since encountering the two features disjunctively (without spatiotemporal overlap) did not replicate the findings. We conclude that associative learning - likely mediated by mechanisms underlying visual object representation - can extend the impact of goal-driven attention to features associated with a target stimulus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
Uchikawa, Keiji; Sato, Masayuki; Kuwamura, Keiko
Visual attention has a significant effect on various visual functions, such as response time, detection and discrimination sensitivity, and color appearance. It has been suggested that visual attention may affect visual functions in the early visual pathways. In this study we examined selective effects of visual attention on sensitivities of the chromatic and achromatic pathways to clarify whether visual attention modifies responses in the early visual system. We used a dual task paradigm in which the observer detected a peripheral test stimulus presented at 4 deg eccentricities while the observer concurrently carried out an attention task in the central visual field. In experiment 1, it was confirmed that peripheral spectral sensitivities were reduced more for short and long wavelengths than for middle wavelengths with the central attention task so that the spectral sensitivity function changed its shape by visual attention. This indicated that visual attention affected the chromatic response more strongly than the achromatic response. In experiment 2 it was obtained that the detection thresholds increased in greater degrees in the red-green and yellow-blue chromatic directions than in the white-black achromatic direction in the dual task condition. In experiment 3 we showed that the peripheral threshold elevations depended on the combination of color-directions of the central and peripheral stimuli. Since the chromatic and achromatic responses were separately processed in the early visual pathways, the present results provided additional evidence that visual attention affects responses in the early visual pathways.
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.
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
Kulp, Marjean Taylor; Ciner, Elise; Maguire, Maureen; Pistilli, Maxwell; Candy, T Rowan; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Quinn, Graham; Cyert, Lynn; Moore, Bruce
Among 4- and 5-year-old children, deficits in measures of attention, visual-motor integration (VMI) and visual perception (VP) are associated with moderate, uncorrected hyperopia (3 to 6 diopters [D]) accompanied by reduced near visual function (near visual acuity worse than 20/40 or stereoacuity worse than 240 seconds of arc). To compare attention, visual motor, and visual perceptual skills in uncorrected hyperopes and emmetropes attending preschool or kindergarten and evaluate their associations with visual function. Participants were 4 and 5 years of age with either hyperopia (≥3 to ≤6 D, astigmatism ≤1.5 D, anisometropia ≤1 D) or emmetropia (hyperopia ≤1 D; astigmatism, anisometropia, and myopia each attention (sustained, receptive, and expressive), VMI, and VP. Binocular visual acuity, stereoacuity, and accommodative accuracy were also assessed at near. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and parent's/caregiver's education. Two hundred forty-four hyperopes (mean, +3.8 ± [SD] 0.8 D) and 248 emmetropes (+0.5 ± 0.5 D) completed testing. Mean sustained attention score was worse in hyperopes compared with emmetropes (mean difference, -4.1; P Attention score was worse in 4 to 6 D hyperopes compared with emmetropes (by -2.6, P = .01). Hyperopes with reduced near visual acuity (20/40 or worse) had worse scores than emmetropes (-6.4, P attention; -3.0, P = .004 for Receptive Attention; -0.7, P = .006 for VMI; -1.3, P = .008 for VP). Hyperopes with stereoacuity of 240 seconds of arc or worse scored significantly worse than emmetropes (-6.7, P attention; -3.4, P = .03 for Expressive Attention; -2.2, P = .03 for Receptive Attention; -0.7, P = .01 for VMI; -1.7, P attention. Hyperopic children with reduced near visual function also had lower scores on VMI and VP than emmetropic children.
Tadic, Valerie; Pring, Linda; Dale, Naomi
The study investigated attentional processes of 32 preschool children with congenital visual impairment (VI). Children with profound visual impairment (PVI) and severe visual impairment (SVI) were compared to a group of typically developing sighted children in their ability to respond to adult directed attention in terms of establishing,…
Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk
We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Full Text Available The brain shifts attention by selectively modulating sensory information about relevant environmental features. It has been shown that eye, head, trunk and limb position can bias spatial attention. This leads to the interesting question: Does the brain only recruit bodily information that is explicitly related to orienting behaviour to direct attention, or more generally? We tested whether tongue position, which does not explicitly functionally relate to orienting behaviour, biases attention in a visual search task. Thirty-six participants completed three visual search trial blocks of increased difficulty each consisting of three tongue positions for 50 trials. Response times and error rates were used to assess whether tongue position modulates visual attention. Results show that sensorimotor information from the tongue modulates attention in a difficult visual search task: faster responses to visual search targets presented ipsilateral with the tongue; slower responses when contralateral. In line with cognition being generally embodied, the tongue plays a surprising role in directing attention.
Reck, Sarah G.; Hund, Alycia M.
Executive functioning skills develop rapidly during early childhood. Recent research has focused on specifying this development, particularly predictors of executive functioning skills. Here we focus on sustained attention as a predictor of inhibitory control, one key executive functioning component. Although sustained attention and inhibitory…
Clutter can slow visual search. However, experts may develop attention strategies that alleviate the effects of clutter on search performance. In the current study we examined the effects of global and local clutter on visual search performance and a...
Mulligan, Jeffrey B.; Gontar, Patrick
Multi-person teams are sometimes responsible for critical tasks, such as flying an airliner. Here we present a method using gaze tracking data to assess shared visual attention, a term we use to describe the situation where team members are attending to a common set of elements in the environment. Gaze data are quantized with respect to a set of N areas of interest (AOIs); these are then used to construct a time series of N dimensional vectors, with each vector component representing one of the AOIs, all set to 0 except for the component corresponding to the currently fixated AOI, which is set to 1. The resulting sequence of vectors can be averaged in time, with the result that each vector component represents the proportion of time that the corresponding AOI was fixated within the given time interval. We present two methods for comparing sequences of this sort, one based on computing the time-varying correlation of the averaged vectors, and another based on a chi-square test testing the hypothesis that the observed gaze proportions are drawn from identical probability distributions. We have evaluated the method using synthetic data sets, in which the behavior was modeled as a series of "activities," each of which was modeled as a first-order Markov process. By tabulating distributions for pairs of identical and disparate activities, we are able to perform a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, allowing us to choose appropriate criteria and estimate error rates. We have applied the methods to data from airline crews, collected in a high-fidelity flight simulator (Haslbeck, Gontar & Schubert, 2014). We conclude by considering the problem of automatic (blind) discovery of activities, using methods developed for text analysis.
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T.
or a placebo gum. The experimental paradigm was a letter recognition task with varied stimulus durations terminated by pattern masks. The temporal threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K), and attentional selectivity (alpha) were...... encoding of information into visual short-term memory is begun, but (b) decreases the rate of encoding and possibly also the attentional selectivity....... measured by use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention. Results: As compared with placebo, nicotine caused a significant 40% decrease in the t0-parameter (t = 6.06, p
Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte
that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm......Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual...... agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested...
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.
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T.
or a placebo gum. The experimental paradigm was a letter recognition task with varied stimulus durations terminated by pattern masks. The temporal threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K), and attentional selectivity (alpha) were...... encoding of information into visual short-term memory is begun, but (b) decreases the rate of encoding and possibly also the attentional selectivity....
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
Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.
Examined contributions of cognitive processing speed, short-term memory capacity, and attention to infant visual recognition memory. Found that infants who showed better attention and faster processing had better recognition memory. Contributions of attention and processing speed were independent of one another and similar at all ages studied--5,…
Willeford, Kevin T; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J; Yadav, Naveen K; Ludlam, Diana P
The purpose of this study was to develop an objective way to assess human visual attention using the alpha-band component of the visual-evoked potential (VEP). Six different attentional conditions were tested: eyes-open, eyes-closed, eyes-closed with backwards number counting, and three rapid-serial visual presentation (RSVP) tasks. Eighteen visually normal, young-adult subjects (ages 21-28 years) were tested binocularly at 1 m for each condition on two separate days. The Diopsys™ NOVA-TR system was used to obtain the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and extracted alpha wave and its related power spectrum. Additionally, the Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) was administered as a subjective measure of visual attention. Subjects exhibited significant decreases in power in the alpha band when comparing the eyes-closed with the eyes-open conditions, with power in the eyes-closed condition being, on average, twice as large. The response from the other four conditions did not reflect the differential attentional demands. The ratio of the power in the eyes-closed condition to the eyes-open condition in the lower-alpha frequencies (8-10 Hz) was found to be significantly correlated with the group's performance on the VSAT, especially the 10-Hz component. An individual's ability to attenuate their alpha component during visual processing may be a predictor of their visual attentional state. These findings solidify the role of the VEP alpha subcomponent as an objective electrophysiological correlate of visual attention, which may be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of human visual attention disorders in the future.
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.
Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel......, and that there is a ‘race’ for selection and representation in visual short term memory (VSTM). In the basic TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of the letters (e.g., the red letters; partial report). Fitting the model...... been used to model normal visual attention, as well as identifying how the different parameters are affected by changes across the lifespan (McAvinue et al., 2012) and by attentional deficits such as neglect (Duncan et al., 1999). An auditory analogue would allow these same parameters to be measured...
Roberts, Katherine L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
Mathematical and computational models have provided useful insights into normal and impaired visual attention, but less progress has been made in modelling auditory attention. We are developing a Theory of Auditory Attention (TAA), based on an influential visual model, the Theory of Visual...... Attention (TVA). We report that TVA provides a good fit to auditory data when the stimuli are closely matched to those used in visual studies. In the basic visual TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of letters (e.......g., the red letters; partial report). For the auditory task, we used dichotic, concurrently-presented synthesised vowels. These auditory stimuli are closely-matched to the visual stimuli, in that they are simultaneous, separated in space, and unchanging over time. We found that TVA could successfully model...
Full Text Available Background: The language profiles of children with language impairment (LI and bilingual children can show partial, and possibly temporary, overlap. The current study examined the persistence of this overlap over time. Furthermore, we aimed to better understand why the language profiles of these two groups show resemblance, testing the hypothesis that the language difficulties of children with LI reflect a weakened ability to maintain attention to the stream of linguistic information. Consequent incomplete processing of language input may lead to delays that are similar to those originating from reductions in input frequency.Methods: Monolingual and bilingual children with and without LI (N = 128, aged 5–8 years old, participated in this study. Dutch receptive vocabulary and grammatical morphology were assessed at three waves. In addition, auditory and visual sustained attention were tested at wave 1. Mediation analyses were performed to examine relationships between LI, sustained attention, and language skills.Results: Children with LI and bilingual children were outperformed by their typically developing (TD and monolingual peers, respectively, on vocabulary and morphology at all three waves. The vocabulary difference between monolinguals and bilinguals decreased over time. In addition, children with LI had weaker auditory and visual sustained attention skills relative to TD children, while no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals emerged. Auditory sustained attention mediated the effect of LI on vocabulary and morphology in both the monolingual and bilingual groups of children. Visual sustained attention only acted as a mediator in the bilingual group.Conclusion: The findings from the present study indicate that the overlap between the language profiles of children with LI and bilingual children is particularly large for vocabulary in early (preschool years and reduces over time. Results furthermore suggest that the overlap may be
Boerma, Tessel; Leseman, Paul; Wijnen, Frank; Blom, Elma
Background: The language profiles of children with language impairment (LI) and bilingual children can show partial, and possibly temporary, overlap. The current study examined the persistence of this overlap over time. Furthermore, we aimed to better understand why the language profiles of these two groups show resemblance, testing the hypothesis that the language difficulties of children with LI reflect a weakened ability to maintain attention to the stream of linguistic information. Consequent incomplete processing of language input may lead to delays that are similar to those originating from reductions in input frequency. Methods: Monolingual and bilingual children with and without LI (N = 128), aged 5–8 years old, participated in this study. Dutch receptive vocabulary and grammatical morphology were assessed at three waves. In addition, auditory and visual sustained attention were tested at wave 1. Mediation analyses were performed to examine relationships between LI, sustained attention, and language skills. Results: Children with LI and bilingual children were outperformed by their typically developing (TD) and monolingual peers, respectively, on vocabulary and morphology at all three waves. The vocabulary difference between monolinguals and bilinguals decreased over time. In addition, children with LI had weaker auditory and visual sustained attention skills relative to TD children, while no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals emerged. Auditory sustained attention mediated the effect of LI on vocabulary and morphology in both the monolingual and bilingual groups of children. Visual sustained attention only acted as a mediator in the bilingual group. Conclusion: The findings from the present study indicate that the overlap between the language profiles of children with LI and bilingual children is particularly large for vocabulary in early (pre)school years and reduces over time. Results furthermore suggest that the overlap may be explained by
Bruno van Swinderen
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective attention and memory seem to be related in human experience. This appears to be the case as well in simple model organisms such as the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations affecting olfactory and visual memory formation in Drosophila, such as in dunce and rutabaga, also affect short-term visual processes relevant to selective attention. In particular, increased optomotor responsiveness appears to be predictive of visual attention defects in these mutants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further explore the possible overlap between memory and visual attention systems in the fly brain, we screened a panel of 36 olfactory long term memory (LTM mutants for visual attention-like defects using an optomotor maze paradigm. Three of these mutants yielded high dunce-like optomotor responsiveness. We characterized these three strains by examining their visual distraction in the maze, their visual learning capabilities, and their brain activity responses to visual novelty. We found that one of these mutants, D0067, was almost completely identical to dunce(1 for all measures, while another, D0264, was more like wild type. Exploiting the fact that the LTM mutants are also Gal4 enhancer traps, we explored the sufficiency for the cells subserved by these elements to rescue dunce attention defects and found overlap at the level of the mushroom bodies. Finally, we demonstrate that control of synaptic function in these Gal4 expressing cells specifically modulates a 20-30 Hz local field potential associated with attention-like effects in the fly brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study uncovers genetic and neuroanatomical systems in the fly brain affecting both visual attention and odor memory phenotypes. A common component to these systems appears to be the mushroom bodies, brain structures which have been traditionally associated with odor learning but which we propose might be also involved in generating oscillatory brain activity
Peters, II, Richard A. (Inventor)
A method is described for mapping dense sensory data to a Sensory Ego Sphere (SES). Methods are also described for finding and ranking areas of interest in the images that form a complete visual scene on an SES. Further, attentional processing of image data is best done by performing attentional processing on individual full-size images from the image sequence, mapping each attentional location to the nearest node, and then summing all attentional locations at each node.
Richard, Annette E; Hodges, Elise K; Heinrich, Kimberley P
Attentional and academic difficulties, particularly in math, are common in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Of cognitive deficits experienced by survivors of childhood ALL, attention deficits may be particularly responsive to intervention. However, it is unknown whether deficits in particular aspects of attention are associated with deficits in math skills. The current study investigated relationships between math calculation skills, performance on an objective measure of sustained attention, and parent- and teacher-reported attention difficulties. Twenty-four survivors of childhood ALL (Mage = 13.5 years, SD= 2.8 years) completed a computerized measure of sustained attention and response control and a written measure of math calculation skills in the context of a comprehensive clinical neuropsychological evaluation. Parent and teacher ratings of inattention and impulsivity were obtained. Visual response control and visual attention accounted for 26.4% of the variance observed among math performance scores after controlling for IQ (p attention is a unique predictor of variance in math performance among survivors of childhood ALL. Objective testing of visual response control, rather than parent-rated attentional problems, may have clinical utility in identifying ALL survivors at risk for math difficulties. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
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…
Lim, Lena; Hart, Heledd; 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.
Yao, Zhenjie; Yi, Weidong
License plate recognition (LPR) system play an important role in intelligent transportation systems (ITSs). It is difficult to locate a license plate in complex scene. Our location strategy integrates blue region, vertical texture and contrast features of LP in the framework of improved visual attention model. We improve visual attention model by changing normalization and linear combination into feature image binarization and logical operation. Multi-scale center-surround differences mechanism in visual attention model make the feature extraction robust. Tests on pictures captured by different equipments under different environments give delightful result, the success rate for location is as high as 95.28%.
Kirk, Hannah E.; Gray, Kylie; Riby, Deborah M.; Taffe, John; Cornish, Kim M.
Despite well-documented attention deficits in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), distinctions across types of attention problems and their association with academic attainment has not been fully explored. This study examines visual attention capacities and inattentive/hyperactive behaviours in 77 children aged 4 to…
Fougnie, Daryl; Cockhren, Jurnell; Marois, René
Tasks that require tracking visual information reveal the severe limitations of our capacity to attend to multiple objects that vary in time and space. Although these limitations have been extensively characterized in the visual domain, very little is known about tracking information in other sensory domains. Does tracking auditory information exhibit characteristics similar to those of tracking visual information, and to what extent do these two tracking tasks draw on the same attention resources? We addressed these questions by asking participants to perform either single or dual tracking tasks from the same (visual-visual) or different (visual-auditory) perceptual modalities, with the difficulty of the tracking tasks being manipulated across trials. The results revealed that performing two concurrent tracking tasks, whether they were in the same or different modalities, affected tracking performance as compared to performing each task alone (concurrence costs). Moreover, increasing task difficulty also led to increased costs in both the single-task and dual-task conditions (load-dependent costs). The comparison of concurrence costs between visual-visual and visual-auditory dual-task performance revealed slightly greater interference when two visual tracking tasks were paired. Interestingly, however, increasing task difficulty led to equivalent costs for visual-visual and visual-auditory pairings. We concluded that visual and auditory tracking draw largely, though not exclusively, on common central attentional resources.
What is the relation between visual attention and visual awareness? It is difficult to imagine being aware of something without attending to it, and by some, visual consciousness is simply equated to what is in the focus of attention. However, findings from psychological as well as from
Huynh-Thu, Quan; Vienne, Cyril; Blondé, Laurent
Visual attention is an inherent mechanism that plays an important role in the human visual perception. As our visual system has limited capacity and cannot efficiently process the information from the entire visual field, we focus our attention on specific areas of interest in the image for detailed analysis of these areas. In the context of media entertainment, the viewers' visual attention deployment is also influenced by the art of visual storytelling. To this date, visual editing and composition of scenes in stereoscopic 3D content creation still mostly follows those used in 2D. In particular, out-of-focus blur is often used in 2D motion pictures and photography to drive the viewer's attention towards a sharp area of the image. In this paper, we study specifically the impact of defocused foreground objects on visual attention deployment in stereoscopic 3D content. For that purpose, we conducted a subjective experiment using an eyetracker. Our results bring more insights on the deployment of visual attention in stereoscopic 3D content viewing, and provide further understanding on visual attention behavior differences between 2D and 3D. Our results show that a traditional 2D scene compositing approach such as the use of foreground blur does not necessarily produce the same effect on visual attention deployment in 2D and 3D. Implications for stereoscopic content creation and visual fatigue are discussed.
Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten; Leenders, Klaus Leonard; van Laar, Teus
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are hypothesized to be due to impaired visual perception and attention deficits. We investigated whether PD patients with VH showed attention deficits a more specific impairment of higher order visual perception or both. Forty-two
Cohen, Marlene R.
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously
Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.
Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and
Buhmann, Carsten; Kraft, Stefanie; Hinkelmann, Kim; Krause, Sven; Gerloff, Christian; Zangemeister, Wolfgang H
In patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) we aimed at differentiating the relation between selective visual attention, deficits of programming and dynamics of saccadic eye movements while searching for a target and hand-reaction time as well as hand-movement time. Visual attention is crucial for concentrating selectively on one aspect of the visual field while ignoring other aspects. Eye movements are anatomically and functionally related to mechanisms of visual attention. Saccadic dysfunction might confound selective visual attention in PD. We studied visual selective attention in 22 medicated PD patients (clinical ON status, mild to moderate disease severity) and 22 age matched controls. We looked for possible interferences through oculomotor deficits. Two tasks were compared: free viewing of photographs and time optimal visual search of a hidden target. Visual search times (VST), task related dynamics of saccades, and hand-reaction and hand-movement times were analyzed. In the free viewing task mild to moderately affected PD patients did not differ statistically from healthy subjects with respect to saccade dynamics. However, patients differed significantly from healthy subjects in the time optimal visual search task with 25% lower rates of successful searches. Hand movement reaction time did not differ in both groups, whereas hand movement execution time was significantly prolonged in PD patients. Saccadic oculomotor control and hand movement reaction times were intact, whereas in our less severely affected treated PD patients, visual selective attention was not. The highly reduced successful search rate might be related to disturbed programming and delayed execution of saccades during time optimal visual search due to decreased execution of serial-order sequential generation of saccades. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Jaworski, Jessica L Bean; Eigsti, Inge-Marie
Visual attention is integral to social interaction and is a critical building block for development in other domains (e.g., language). Furthermore, atypical attention (especially joint attention) is one of the earliest markers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study assesses low-level visual attention and its relation to social attentional processing in youth with ASD and typically developing (TD) youth, aged 7 to 18 years. The findings indicate difficulty overriding incorrect attentional cues in ASD, particularly with non-social (arrow) cues relative to social (face) cues. The findings also show reduced competition in ASD from cues that remain on-screen. Furthermore, social attention, autism severity, and age were all predictors of competing cue processing. The results suggest that individuals with ASD may be biased towards speeded rather than accurate responding, and further, that reduced engagement with visual information may impede responses to visual attentional cues. Once attention is engaged, individuals with ASD appear to interpret directional cues as meaningful. These findings from a controlled, experimental paradigm were mirrored in results from an ecologically valid measure of social attention. Attentional difficulties may be exacerbated during the complex and dynamic experience of actual social interaction. Implications for intervention are discussed.
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...
Gabrieli, John D E; Norton, Elizabeth S
Children with dyslexia may read poorly for several reasons. Recent research suggests that in addition to skills with language sounds, visual-spatial attention may be an important predictor of reading abilities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sheremata, Summer L; Somers, David C; Shomstein, Sarah
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and attention are distinct yet interrelated processes. While both require selection of information across the visual field, memory additionally requires the maintenance of information across time and distraction. VSTM recruits areas within human (male and female) dorsal and ventral parietal cortex that are also implicated in spatial selection; therefore, it is important to determine whether overlapping activation might reflect shared attentional demands. Here, identical stimuli and controlled sustained attention across both tasks were used to ask whether fMRI signal amplitude, functional connectivity, and contralateral visual field bias reflect memory-specific task demands. While attention and VSTM activated similar cortical areas, BOLD amplitude and functional connectivity in parietal cortex differentiated the two tasks. Relative to attention, VSTM increased BOLD amplitude in dorsal parietal cortex and decreased BOLD amplitude in the angular gyrus. Additionally, the tasks differentially modulated parietal functional connectivity. Contrasting VSTM and attention, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) 1-2 were more strongly connected with anterior frontoparietal areas and more weakly connected with posterior regions. This divergence between tasks demonstrates that parietal activation reflects memory-specific functions and consequently modulates functional connectivity across the cortex. In contrast, both tasks demonstrated hemispheric asymmetries for spatial processing, exhibiting a stronger contralateral visual field bias in the left versus the right hemisphere across tasks, suggesting that asymmetries are characteristic of a shared selection process in IPS. These results demonstrate that parietal activity and patterns of functional connectivity distinguish VSTM from more general attention processes, establishing a central role of the parietal cortex in maintaining visual information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and
Kirk, Hannah E; Gray, Kylie; Riby, Deborah M; Taffe, John; Cornish, Kim M
Despite well-documented attention deficits in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), distinctions across types of attention problems and their association with academic attainment has not been fully explored. This study examines visual attention capacities and inattentive/hyperactive behaviours in 77 children aged 4 to 11 years with IDD and elevated behavioural attention difficulties. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; n = 23), Down syndrome (DS; n = 22), and non-specific intellectual disability (NSID; n = 32) completed computerized visual search and vigilance paradigms. In addition, parents and teachers completed rating scales of inattention and hyperactivity. Concurrent associations between attention abilities and early literacy and numeracy skills were also examined. Children completed measures of receptive vocabulary, phonological abilities and cardinality skills. As expected, the results indicated that all groups had relatively comparable levels of inattentive/hyperactive behaviours as rated by parents and teachers. However, the extent of visual attention deficits varied as a result of group; namely children with DS had poorer visual search and vigilance abilities than children with ASD and NSID. Further, significant associations between visual attention difficulties and poorer literacy and numeracy skills were observed, regardless of group. Collectively the findings demonstrate that in children with IDD who present with homogenous behavioural attention difficulties, at the cognitive level, subtle profiles of attentional problems can be delineated. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Swartwout, Maegan D.; Cirino, Paul T.; Hampson, Amy W.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Brandt, Michael E.; Dennis, Maureen
Several studies have shown that children with spina bifida meningomyelocele (SBM) and hydrocephalus have attention problems on parent ratings and difficulties in stimulus orienting associated with a posterior brain attention system. Less is known about response control and inhibition associated with an anterior brain attention system. Using the Gordon Vigilance Task (Gordon, 1983), we studied error rate, reaction time, and performance over time for sustained attention, a key anterior attention function, in 101 children with SBM, 17 with aqueductal stenosis (AS; another condition involving congenital hydrocephalus), and 40 typically developing controls (NC). In SBM, we investigated the relation between cognitive attention and parent ratings of inattention and hyperactivity and explored the impact of medical variables. Children with SBM did not differ from AS or NC groups on measures of sustained attention, but they committed more errors and responded more slowly. Approximately one-third of the SBM group had attention symptoms, although parent attention ratings were not associated with task performance. Hydrocephalus does not account for the attention profile of children with SBM, which also reflects the distinctive brain dysmorphologies associated with this condition. PMID:18999350
Schneider, Darryl W
Previous studies have shown that interference effects in the flanker task are reduced when physical barriers (e.g., hands) are placed around rather than below a target flanked by distractors. One explanation of this finding is the referential coding hypothesis, whereby the barriers serve as reference objects for allocating attention. In five experiments, the generality of the referential coding hypothesis was tested by investigating whether interference effects are modulated by the placement of virtual barriers (e.g., parentheses). Modulation of flanker interference was found only when target and distractors differed in size and the virtual barriers were beveled wood-grain objects. Under these conditions and those of previous studies, the author conjectures that an impression of depth was produced when the barriers were around the target, such that the target was perceived to be on a different depth plane than the distractors. Perception of depth in the stimulus display might have led to referential coding of the stimuli in three-dimensional (3-D) space, influencing the allocation of attention beyond the horizontal and vertical dimensions. This 3-D referential coding hypothesis is consistent with research on selective attention in 3-D space that shows flanker interference is reduced when target and distractors are separated in depth.
Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie
Various studies suggested that attentional difficulties cause toddlers' failure in some spatial search tasks. However, attention is not a unitary construct and this study investigated two attentional mechanisms: location selection (space-based attention) and object selection (object-based attention). We investigated how toddlers' attention is distributed in the visual field during a manual search task for objects moving out of sight, namely the moving boxes task. Results show that 2.5-year-olds who failed this task allocated more attention to the location of the relevant object than to the object itself. These findings suggest that in some manual search tasks the primacy of space-based attention over object-based attention could be a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Berwid, Olga G.; Curko Kera, Elizabeth A.; Marks, David J.; Santra, Amita; Bender, Heidi A.; Halperin, Jeffrey M.
Background: Studies of school-aged children, adolescents, and adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have variably shown ADHD-related impairment in both inhibitory control and sustained attention. However, few studies have examined ADHD-associated patterns of performance on these tasks among younger children (below age 7…
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
Huntley, Jonathan D; Hampshire, Adam; Bor, Daniel; Owen, Adrian M; Howard, Robert J
There is conflicting evidence regarding impairment of sustained attention in early Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examine whether sustained attention is impaired and predicts deficits in other cognitive domains in early AD. Fifty-one patients with early AD (MMSE > 18) and 15 healthy elderly controls were recruited. The sustained attention to response task (SART) was used to assess sustained attention. A subset of 25 patients also performed tasks assessing general cognitive function (ADAS-Cog), episodic memory (Logical memory scale, Paired Associates Learning), executive function (verbal fluency, grammatical reasoning) and working memory (digit and spatial span). AD patients were significantly impaired on the SART compared to healthy controls (total error β = 19.75, p = 0.027). SART errors significantly correlated with MMSE score (Spearman's rho = -0.338, p = 0.015) and significantly predicted deficits in ADAS-Cog (β = 0.14, p = 0.004). Patients with early AD have significant deficits in sustained attention, as measured using the SART. This may impair performance on general cognitive testing, and therefore should be taken into account during clinical assessment, and everyday management of individuals with early AD. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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.
Melanie J. Murphy
Full Text Available Understanding the nature of attentional processing in children with Down Syndrome (DS is imperative for developing effective education practices. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether children with DS exhibit impairment in sustained, transient, single-, or dual-target continuous performance tasks. Target detection time and accuracy was compared in children with DS to Typically Developing (TD children of similar nonverbal mental age (as measured by the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, on single and dual- target continuous performance tasks measuring sustained attention, a visual change detection task measuring transient attention, and feature and conjunctive visual search tasks measuring both sustained and transient attention. Results showed that children with DS performed similarly to TD children on sustained and transient attention tasks that only required the detection of a single unique target, but were impaired in overall accuracy on tasks that required dual-target detection. Findings suggest a possible impairment in attention and working memory in children with DS. Error analysis of task responses revealed differences in problem solving strategy between children with DS and TD children, despite similar overall performance. Findings have implications for the education of children with DS and understanding of the nature of intellectual disability per se.
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.
Bosse, Marie-Line; Tainturier, Marie Josephe; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span is defined as the amount of distinct visual elements which can be processed in parallel in a multi-element array. Both recent empirical data and theoretical accounts suggest that a VA span deficit might contribute to developmental dyslexia, independently of a phonological disorder. In this study, this hypothesis was…
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M.; Luck, Steven J.
Two experiments examined the hypothesis that developing visual attentional mechanisms influence infants' Visual Short-Term Memory (VSTM) in the context of multiple items. Five- and 10-month-old infants (N = 76) received a change detection task in which arrays of three differently colored squares appeared and disappeared. On each trial one square…
Bundesen, C; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Houmann, K J
Subjects were presented with briefly exposed visual displays of words that were common first names with a length of four to six letters. In the main experiment, each display consisted of four words: two names shown in red and two shown in white. The subject's task was to report the red names (tar......, visual attention was not automatically attracted by the subject's own name....
Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.
How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found…
Neimeijer, Renate A.M.; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J.
The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent
Morey, Candice C.; Bieler, Malte
The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants’ early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n=325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at four centers of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, included high-risk (cocaine exposed) and matched non-cocaine exposed infants. Hierarchical regressions revealed that infants’ attention orienting at 1 month significantly predicted more frequent initiating joint attention at 12 (but not 18) months of age. Social engagement at 4 months predicted initiating joint attention at 18 months. Results provide the first empirical evidence for the role of visual attention and social engagement behaviors as developmental precursors for later joint attention outcome. PMID:27786527
Harmell, Alexandrea L; Mausbach, Brent T; Moore, Raeanne C; Depp, Colin A; Jeste, Dilip V; Palmer, Barton W
Individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) may exhibit attentional deficits, however, the extent of impairment and long-term fluctuations in performance in attention are relatively unknown. We investigated the relationship between sustained attention and affective symptoms over time among BD patients. We also examined whether global differences in attentional capacity differed among BD versus normal comparison (NC) subjects. Participants included 106 outpatients with BD and 66 NC subjects who were administered symptom rating scales and a measure of sustained attention (Continuous Performance Test- Identical Pairs). Measures were repeated 6, 12, and 26 weeks post-baseline. Compared to NC subjects, participants with BD showed impairment in sustained attention across time. Within patient increases in manic symptoms were associated with increased false alarms; both manic and depressive symptoms were associated with worse discrimination. Neither manic nor depressive symptoms were related to hit rates. Our results indicate that the ability to inhibit a response to near miss stimuli (i.e., those that are close to but not identical to the target) is globally impaired among BD patients relative to NC subjects, as well as state-dependent, covarying with affective symptoms. Psychosocial interventions requiring high levels of attentional capacity may need to be adapted according to patients' current symptomatology.
Widjaja, Devy; Montalto, Alessandro; Vlemincx, Elke; Marinazzo, Daniele; Van Huffel, Sabine; Faes, Luca
An analysis of cardiorespiratory dynamics during mental arithmetic, which induces stress, and sustained attention was conducted using information theory. The information storage and internal information of heart rate variability (HRV) were determined respectively as the self-entropy of the tachogram, and the self-entropy of the tachogram conditioned to the knowledge of respiration. The information transfer and cross information from respiration to HRV were assessed as the transfer and cross-entropy, both measures of cardiorespiratory coupling. These information-theoretic measures identified significant nonlinearities in the cardiorespiratory time series. Additionally, it was shown that, although mental stress is related to a reduction in vagal activity, no difference in cardiorespiratory coupling was found when several mental states (rest, mental stress, sustained attention) are compared. However, the self-entropy of HRV conditioned to respiration was very informative to study the predictability of RR interval series during mental tasks, and showed higher predictability during mental arithmetic compared to sustained attention or rest.
Slotboom, Jantine; Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Bouman, Yvonne H A; In 't Hout, Willem; Sergiou, Carmen; van der Stigchel, Stefan; Theeuwes, Jan
Impairments in executive functioning give rise to reduced control of behavior and impulses, and are therefore a risk factor for violence and criminal behavior. However, the contribution of specific underlying processes remains unclear. A crucial element of executive functioning, and essential for cognitive control and goal-directed behavior, is visual attention. To further elucidate the importance of attentional functioning in the general offender population, we employed an attentional capture task to measure visual attention. We expected offenders to have impaired visual attention, as revealed by increased attentional capture, compared to healthy controls. When comparing the performance of 62 offenders to 69 healthy community controls, we found our hypothesis to be partly confirmed. Offenders were more accurate overall, more accurate in the absence of distracting information, suggesting superior attention. In the presence of distracting information offenders were significantly less accurate compared to when no distracting information was present. Together, these findings indicate that violent offenders may have superior attention, yet worse control over attention. As such, violent offenders may have trouble adjusting to unexpected, irrelevant stimuli, which may relate to failures in self-regulation and inhibitory control. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph
inferior parietal lesion showed a pattern of non-spatially and spatially lateralized attention deficits that is typically found in neglect patients. Results from the second patient supported the decisive role of superior frontal brain structures for top-down control of visual attention. This double......Based on a 'Theory of Visual Attention' (TVA), whole and partial report of brief letter arrays is presented as a diagnostic tool to estimate four clinically significant attentional components: perceptual processing speed, visual working memory storage capacity, efficiency of top-down control...... dissociation supports the hypothesis that, even with a short version of whole and partial report, valid and meaningful results can be obtained in the neuropsychological assessment of attention deficits. The potential and constraints of TVA-based parameter estimation for the clinical application are discussed....
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
McLaughlin, Paula M; Anderson, Nicole D; Rich, Jill B; Chertkow, Howard; Murtha, Susan J E
Subtle deficits in visual selective attention have been found in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, few studies have explored performance on visual search paradigms or the Simon task, which are known to be sensitive to disease severity in Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, there is limited research investigating how deficiencies can be ameliorated with exogenous support (auditory cues). Sixteen individuals with aMCI and 14 control participants completed 3 experimental tasks that varied in demand and cue availability: visual search-alerting, visual search-orienting, and Simon task. Visual selective attention was influenced by aMCI, auditory cues, and task characteristics. Visual search abilities were relatively consistent across groups. The aMCI participants were impaired on the Simon task when working memory was required, but conflict resolution was similar to controls. Spatially informative orienting cues improved response times, whereas spatially neutral alerting cues did not influence performance. Finally, spatially informative auditory cues benefited the aMCI group more than controls in the visual search task, specifically at the largest array size where orienting demands were greatest. These findings suggest that individuals with aMCI have working memory deficits and subtle deficiencies in orienting attention and rely on exogenous information to guide attention. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kellermann, Thilo; Reske, Martina; Jansen, Andreas; Satrapi, Peyman; Shah, N Jon; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute
One well-investigated division of attentional processes focuses on alerting, orienting and executive control, which can be assessed applying the attentional network test (ANT). The goal of the present study was to add further knowledge about the temporal dynamics of relevant neural correlates. As a right hemispheric dominance for alerting and orienting has previously been reported for intrinsic but not for phasic alertness, we additionally addressed a potential impact of this lateralization of attention by employing a lateralized version of the ANT, capturing phasic alertness processes. Sixteen healthy subjects underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing the ANT. Analyses of BOLD magnitude replicated the engagement of a fronto-parietal network in the attentional subsystems. The amplitudes of the attentional contrasts interacted with visual field presentation in the sense that the thalamus revealed a greater involvement for spatially cued items presented in the left visual field. Comparisons of BOLD latencies in visual cortices, first, verified faster BOLD responses following contra-lateral stimulus presentation. Second and more importantly, we identified attention-modulated activation in secondary visual and anterior cingulate cortices. Results are discussed in terms of bottom-up and lateralization processes. Although intrinsic and phasic alertness are distinct cognitive processes, we propose that neural substrates of intrinsic alertness may be accessed by phasic alertness provided that the attention-dominant (i.e., the right) hemisphere is activated directly by a warning stimulus. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
Haroz, S; Whitney, D
In this paper, we explore how the capacity limits of attention influence the effectiveness of information visualizations. We conducted a series of experiments to test how visual feature type (color vs. motion), layout, and variety of visual elements impacted user performance. The experiments tested users' abilities to (1) determine if a specified target is on the screen, (2) detect an odd-ball, deviant target, different from the other visible objects, and (3) gain a qualitative overview by judging the number of unique categories on the screen. Our results show that the severe capacity limits of attention strongly modulate the effectiveness of information visualizations, particularly the ability to detect unexpected information. Keeping in mind these capacity limits, we conclude with a set of design guidelines which depend on a visualization's intended use.
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants' early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n = 325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at 4 centers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human…
Wendt, Mike; Garling, Marco; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas
Intermixing trials of a visual search task with trials of a modified flanker task, the authors investigated whether the presentation of conflicting distractors at only one side (left or right) of a target stimulus triggers shifts of visual attention towards the contralateral side. Search time patterns provided evidence for lateral attention shifts only when participants performed the flanker task under an instruction assumed to widen the focus of attention, demonstrating that instruction-based control settings of an otherwise identical task can impact performance in an unrelated task. Contrasting conditions with response-related and response-unrelated distractors showed that shifting attention does not depend on response conflict and may be explained as stimulus-conflict-related withdrawal or target-related deployment of attention.
Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
constrained by a limited processing capacity or rate, which is distributed among target and distractor objects with distractor objects receiving a smaller proportion of resources due to attentional filtering. Encoding into a limited visual short-term memory is implemented as a race model. Given its major......The Theory of Visual Attention (TVA; Bundesen, 1990) is a comprehensive quantitative account of visual attention, which accounts for many empirical findings and has been extensively applied to clinical studies of attention. According to TVA, perceptual processing of objects occurs in parallel...
Nakashima, Ryoichi; Kumada, Takatsune
This study proposed and verified a new hypothesis on the relationship between gaze direction and visual attention: attentional bias by default gaze direction based on eye-head coordination. We conducted a target identification task in which visual stimuli appeared briefly to the left and right of a fixation cross. In Experiment 1, the direction of the participant's head (aligned with the body) was manipulated to the left, front, or right relative to a central fixation point. In Experiment 2, head direction was manipulated to the left, front, or right relative to the body direction. This manipulation was based on results showing that bias of eye position distribution was highly correlated with head direction. In both experiments, accuracy was greater when the target appeared at a position where the eyes would potentially be directed. Consequently, eye-head coordination influences visual attention. That is, attention can be automatically biased toward the location where the eyes tend to be directed.
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
Ren, Xuezhu; Schweizer, Karl; Xu, Fen
Although a substantial relationship of sustained attention and reasoning was consistently found, little is known about what drives this relationship. The present study aims at revealing the underlying sources that are responsible for the relationship by means of an integrative approach combining experimental manipulation and psychometric modeling.…
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
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.
Culibrk, Dubravko; Sladojevic, Srdjan; Riche, Nicolas; Mancas, Matei; Crnojevic, Vladimir
Visual attention deployment mechanisms allow the Human Visual System to cope with an overwhelming amount of visual data by dedicating most of the processing power to objects of interest. The ability to automatically detect areas of the visual scene that will be attended to by humans is of interest for a large number of applications, from video coding, video quality assessment to scene understanding. Due to this fact, visual saliency (bottom-up attention) models have generated significant scientific interest in recent years. Most recent work in this area deals with dynamic models of attention that deal with moving stimuli (videos) instead of traditionally used still images. Visual saliency models are usually evaluated against ground-truth eye-tracking data collected from human subjects. However, there are precious few recently published approaches that try to learn saliency from eyetracking data and, to the best of our knowledge, no approaches that try to do so when dynamic saliency is concerned. The paper attempts to fill this gap and describes an approach to data-driven dynamic saliency model learning. A framework is proposed that enables the use of eye-tracking data to train an arbitrary machine learning algorithm, using arbitrary features derived from the scene. We evaluate the methodology using features from a state-of-the art dynamic saliency model and show how simple machine learning algorithms can be trained to distinguish between visually salient and non-salient parts of the scene.
Cohen-Maitre, Stacey Ann; Haerich, Paul
This study investigated the ability of color and motion to elicit and maintain visual attention in a sample of children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). It found that colorful and moving objects may be used to engage children with CVI, increase their motivation to use their residual vision, and promote visual learning.
Waldner, Manuela; Le Muzic, Mathieu; Bernhard, Matthias; Purgathofer, Werner; Viola, Ivan
Focus+context techniques provide visual guidance in visualizations by giving strong visual prominence to elements of interest while the context is suppressed. However, finding a visual feature to enhance for the focus to pop out from its context in a large dynamic scene, while leading to minimal visual deformation and subjective disturbance, is challenging. This paper proposes Attractive Flicker, a novel technique for visual guidance in dynamic narrative visualizations. We first show that flicker is a strong visual attractor in the entire visual field, without distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene elements. The novel aspect of our Attractive Flicker technique is that it consists of two signal stages: The first "orientation stage" is a short but intensive flicker stimulus to attract the attention to elements of interest. Subsequently, the intensive flicker is reduced to a minimally disturbing luminance oscillation ("engagement stage") as visual support to keep track of the focus elements. To find a good trade-off between attraction effectiveness and subjective annoyance caused by flicker, we conducted two perceptual studies to find suitable signal parameters. We showcase Attractive Flicker with the parameters obtained from the perceptual statistics in a study of molecular interactions. With Attractive Flicker, users were able to easily follow the narrative of the visualization on a large display, while the flickering of focus elements was not disturbing when observing the context.
Bur, A.; Wurtz, P.; Müri, R. M.; Hügli, H.
Defined as an attentive process in the context of visual sequences, dynamic visual attention refers to the selection of the most informative parts of video sequence. This paper investigates the contribution of motion in dynamic visual attention, and specifically compares computer models designed with the motion component expressed either as the speed magnitude or as the speed vector. Several computer models, including static features (color, intensity and orientation) and motion features (magnitude and vector) are considered. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations are performed by comparing the computer model output with human saliency maps obtained experimentally from eye movement recordings. The model suitability is evaluated in various situations (synthetic and real sequences, acquired with fixed and moving camera perspective), showing advantages and inconveniences of each method as well as preferred domain of application.
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 but recent reports have challenged this view. Here we study the effect of visual spatial attention on the McGurk effect. By presenting a movie of two faces symmetrically displaced to each side of a central fixation point and dubbed with a single auditory speech track, we were able to discern the influences...... 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...
Attention is a key neural function for choosing certain information to receive more processing than others. Attention is allocated either by directly looking at the target (overt) or without eye movement towards the target (covert). The current study was designed to extract relevant features...... by using steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) task. SSVEP task was presented to subjects at the same time that the electroencephalography (EEG) signals were recorded by the scalp electrodes. Subjects were instructed to respond to a certain stimulus by pressing a button. This way attention...... was measure in continuous manner. Results showed that the amplitude of SSVEP frequencies is higher in overt than covert attention. This indicates that by overt attention events are registered with larger power. However, exploring the harmonics of frequencies showed that covert attention generates larger 2nd...
Olivers, Christian N L
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a grayscale version of a known traffic sign. On each trial, a distractor sign was drawn in full color. This color could either be related or unrelated to the target sign. Distractors interfered more with search when their color was related (e.g. red when the target was a stop sign), implying that long-term color associations resulted in inadvertent attentional guidance, even though color was irrelevant to the task. The results add to the growing body of evidence that long-term memory representations automatically affect attentional orienting. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vurpillot , Damien
How does one interpret remains of the past without projecting one's cultural baggage in the process? This is a daily concern both for historians and archaeologists. In the present study, we investigate the possibility that a careful analysis of visual attention can provide invaluable hints leading us toward a better understanding of symbolic space. Through the examination of low level visual inputs we are able to explore the spatial composition of an archaeological landscape as it was origina...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Nearly all information processing during cognitive processing takes place during periods of sustained attention. Sustained attention deficit is among the most commonly reported impairments in bipolar disorder (BP. The majority of previous studies have only focused on bipolar I disorder (BP I, owing to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of bipolar II disorder (BP II. With the refinement of the bipolar spectrum paradigm, the goal of this study was to compare the sustained attention of interepisode patients with BP I to those with BP II. Methods In all, 51 interepisode BP patients (22 with BP I and 29 with BP II and 20 healthy controls participated in this study. The severity of psychiatric symptoms was assessed by the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Young Mania Rating Scale. All participants undertook Conners' Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II to evaluate sustained attention. Results After controlling for the severity of symptoms, age and years of education, BP I patients had a significantly longer reaction times (F(2,68 = 7.648, P = 0.001, worse detectability (d' values (F(2,68 = 6.313, P = 0.003 and more commission errors (F(2,68 = 6.182, P = 0.004 than BP II patients and healthy controls. BP II patients and controls scored significantly higher than BP I patients for d' (F = 6.313, P = 0.003. No significant difference was found among the three groups in omission errors and no significant correlations were observed between CPT-II performance and clinical characteristics in the three groups. Conclusions These findings suggested that impairments in sustained attention might be more representative of BP I than BP II after controlling for the severity of symptoms, age, years of education and reaction time on the attentional test. A longitudinal follow-up study design with a larger sample size might be needed to provide more information on chronological sustained attention deficit in BP patients, and to illustrate
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention. PMID:24732070
Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P
Perceptual load theory accounts for many attentional phenomena; however, its mechanism remains elusive because it invokes underspecified attentional resources. Recent dual-task evidence has revealed that a concurrent visual short-term memory (VSTM) load slows visual search and reduces contrast sensitivity, but it is unknown whether a VSTM load also constricts attention in a canonical perceptual load task. If attentional selection draws upon VSTM resources, then distraction effects-which measure attentional "spill-over"-will be reduced as competition for resources increases. Observers performed a low perceptual load flanker task during the delay period of a VSTM change detection task. We observed a reduction of the flanker effect in the perceptual load task as a function of increasing concurrent VSTM load. These findings were not due to perceptual-level interactions between the physical displays of the two tasks. Our findings suggest that perceptual representations of distractor stimuli compete with the maintenance of visual representations held in memory. We conclude that access to VSTM determines the degree of attentional selectivity; when VSTM is not completely taxed, it is more likely for task-irrelevant items to be consolidated and, consequently, affect responses. The "resources" hypothesized by load theory are at least partly mnemonic in nature, due to the strong correspondence they share with VSTM capacity.
Dieter, Kevin C; Brascamp, Jan; Tadin, Duje; Blake, Randolph
How does attention interact with incoming sensory information to determine what we perceive? One domain in which this question has received serious consideration is that of bistable perception: a captivating class of phenomena that involves fluctuating visual experience in the face of physically unchanging sensory input. Here, some investigations have yielded support for the idea that attention alone determines what is seen, while others have implicated entirely attention-independent processes in driving alternations during bistable perception. We review the body of literature addressing this divide and conclude that in fact both sides are correct-depending on the form of bistable perception being considered. Converging evidence suggests that visual attention is required for alternations in the type of bistable perception called binocular rivalry, while alternations during other types of bistable perception appear to continue without requiring attention. We discuss some implications of this differential effect of attention for our understanding of the mechanisms underlying bistable perception, and examine how these mechanisms operate during our everyday visual experiences.
Walsh, Kyle P; Pasanen, Edward G; McFadden, Dennis
Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing-the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2-3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing—the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2–3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater. PMID:25994703
Scholderer, Joachim; Jeppesen, Heine
the processing of conceptual information would be impaired. The results indicate that the visual salience of logos (either brand and corporate) is selectively increased under the influence of alcohol whilst other pictorial elements (representations of products or human models) are unaffected. Processing......An eye-tracking experiment is reported in which the effects of alcohol intoxication on visual attention were tested. Based on findings from the psychopharmacological literature, it was hypothesised that the salience of visual elements in complex advertisements would be amplified, whereas...... of textual elements (headlines, text blocks) is impaired....
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
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.…
Hong, Xiangfei; Sun, Junfeng; Bengson, Jesse J; Mangun, George R; Tong, Shanbao
EEG studies of cue-induced visual alpha power (8-13 Hz) lateralization have been conducted on young adults without examining differences that may develop as a consequence of normal aging. Here, we examined age-related differences in spatial attention by comparing healthy older and younger adults. Our key finding is that cue-induced alpha power lateralization was observed in younger, but not older adults, even though both groups exhibited classic event-related potential signatures of spatial orienting. Specifically, both younger and older adults showed significant early directing-attention negativity (EDAN), anterior directing-attention negativity (ADAN), late directing-attention positivity (LDAP) and contingent negative variation (CNV). Furthermore, target-evoked sensory components were enhanced for attended relative to unattended targets in both younger and older groups. This pattern of results suggests that although older adults can successfully allocate spatial attention, they do so without the lateralization of alpha power that is commonly observed in younger adults. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that younger and older adults might engage different neural mechanisms for attentional orienting, and that alpha power lateralization during visual spatial attention is a phenomenon that diminishes during normal aging. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Remington, R.; Pierce, L.
Two experiments measured the time to shift spatial selective attention across the visual field to targets 2 or 10 deg from central fixation. A central arrow cued the most likely target location. The direction of attention was inferred from reaction times to expected, unexpected, and neutral locations. The development of a spatial attentional set with time was examined by presenting target probes at varying times after the cue. There were no effects of distance on the time course of the attentional set. Reaction times for far locations were slower than for near, but the effects of attention were evident by 150 msec in both cases. Spatial attention does not shift with a characteristic, fixed velocity. Rather, velocity is proportional to distance, resulting in a movement time that is invariant over the distances tested.
Rosbergen, E; Pieters, R; Wedel, M
We propose a methodology to study the effects of physical ad properties on consumers' Visual attention to advertising that accounts for heterogeneity in these effects across consumers. In an illustrative experiment, we monitor consumers' eye movements during naturalistic exposure to a consumer
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a simulation model for visual attention is discussed and formally analysed. The model is part of the design of a cognitive system which comprises an agent that supports a naval officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a cognitive model for visual attention is introduced. The cognitive model is part of the design of a software agent that supports a naval warfare officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. An executable formal specification of the cognitive model
Jensen, Rasmus Ramsbøl; Stets, Jonathan Dyssel; Suurmets, Seidi
The study of visual attention in humans relates to a wide range of areas such as: psychology, cognition, usability, and marketing. These studies have been limited to fixed setups with respondents sitting in front of a monitor mounted with a gaze tracking device. The introduction of wearable mobile...
Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph
Based on a 'Theory of Visual Attention' (TVA), whole and partial report of brief letter arrays is presented as a diagnostic tool to estimate four clinically significant attentional components: perceptual processing speed, visual working memory storage capacity, efficiency of top-down control......, and spatial distribution of attention. The procedure used was short enough to be applicable within a standard clinical setting. Two brain-damaged patients, selected based on lesion location and neuropsychological test profile, were compared to a control group of 22 healthy subjects. One patient with a right...... dissociation supports the hypothesis that, even with a short version of whole and partial report, valid and meaningful results can be obtained in the neuropsychological assessment of attention deficits. The potential and constraints of TVA-based parameter estimation for the clinical application are discussed....
De Voogd, E L; Wiers, R W; Prins, P J M; Salemink, E
An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of emotional disorders. The current study investigated whether visual search ABM might affect attentional bias and emotional functioning in adolescents. A visual search task was used as a training paradigm; participants (n = 16 adolescents, aged 13-16) had to repeatedly identify the only smiling face in a 4 × 4 matrix of negative emotional faces, while participants in the control condition (n = 16) were randomly allocated to one of three placebo training versions. An assessment version of the task was developed to directly test whether attentional bias changed due to the training. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-esteem were measured pre- and post-training. After two sessions of training, the ABM group showed a significant decrease in attentional bias for negative information and self-reported social phobia, while the control group did not. There were no effects of training on depressive mood or self-esteem. No correlation between attentional bias and social phobia was found, which raises questions about the validity of the attentional bias assessment task. Also, the small sample size precludes strong conclusions. Visual search ABM might be beneficial in changing attentional bias and social phobia in adolescents, but further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees
Despite the acknowledged relationship between consciousness and attention, theories of the two have mostly been developed separately. Moreover, these theories have independently attempted to explain phenomena in which both are likely to interact, such as the attentional blink (AB) and working memory (WM) consolidation. Here, we make an effort to bridge the gap between, on the one hand, a theory of consciousness based on the notion of global workspace (GW) and, on the other, a synthesis of theories of visual attention. We offer a theory of attention and consciousness (TAC) that provides a unified neurocognitive account of several phenomena associated with visual search, AB and WM consolidation. TAC assumes multiple processing stages between early visual representation and conscious access, and extends the dynamics of the global neuronal workspace model to a visual attentional workspace (VAW). The VAW is controlled by executive routers, higher-order representations of executive operations in the GW, without the need for explicit saliency or priority maps. TAC leads to newly proposed mechanisms for illusory conjunctions, AB, inattentional blindness and WM capacity, and suggests neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Finally, the theory reconciles the all-or-none and graded perspectives on conscious representation.
Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.
Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded to sequences of flashes delivered to the right and left visual fields while subjects responded promptly to designated stimuli in one field at a time (focused attention), in both fields at once (divided attention), or to neither field (passive). Three stimulus schedules were used: the first was a replication of a previous study (Eason, Harter, and White, 1969) where left- and right-field flashes were delivered quasi-independently, while in the other two the flashes were delivered to the two fields in random order (Bernoulli sequence). VEPs to attended-field stimuli were enhanced at both occipital (O2) and central (Cz) recording sites under all stimulus sequences, but different components were affected at the two scalp sites. It was suggested that the VEP at O2 may reflect modality-specific processing events, while the response at Cz, like its auditory homologue, may index more general aspects of selective attention.
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 dimensio...
Full Text Available An analysis of cardiorespiratory dynamics during mental arithmetic, which induces stress, and sustained attention was conducted using information theory. The information storage and internal information of heart rate variability (HRV were determined respectively as the self-entropy of the tachogram, and the self-entropy of the tachogram conditioned to the knowledge of respiration. The information transfer and cross information from respiration to HRV were assessed as the transfer and cross-entropy, both measures of cardiorespiratory coupling. These information-theoretic measures identified significant nonlinearities in the cardiorespiratory time series. Additionally, it was shown that, although mental stress is related to a reduction in vagal activity, no difference in cardiorespiratory coupling was found when several mental states (rest, mental stress, sustained attention are compared. However, the self-entropy of HRV conditioned to respiration was very informative to study the predictability of RR interval series during mental tasks, and showed higher predictability during mental arithmetic compared to sustained attention or rest.
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.
Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo
Many studies have suggested that structural and functional cerebral neuroplastic processes result from long-term musical training, which in turn may produce cognitive differences between musicians and non-musicians. We aimed to investigate whether intensive, long-term musical practice is associated with improvements in three different forms of visual attention ability: selective, divided and sustained attention. Musicians from symphony orchestras (n=38) and non-musicians (n=38), who were comparable in age, gender and education, were submitted to three neuropsychological tests, measuring reaction time and accuracy. Musicians showed better performance relative to non-musicians on four variables of the three visual attention tests, and such an advantage could not solely be explained by better sensorimotor integration. Moreover, in the group of musicians, significant correlations were observed between the age at the commencement of musical studies and reaction time in all visual attention tests. The results suggest that musicians present augmented ability in different forms of visual attention, thus illustrating the possible cognitive benefits of long-term musical training. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois
Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism
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.
Balslev, Daniela; Gowen, Emma; Miall, R Chris
The oculomotor and spatial attention systems are interconnected. Whereas a link between motor commands and spatial shifts in visual attention is demonstrated, it is still unknown whether the recently discovered proprioceptive signal in somatosensory cortex impacts on visual attention, too...
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes
Wendy E. Huddleston
Full Text Available Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years and 20 older (60–90 years participants performed a cued saccade task under two conditions. We challenged motor attention by changing the number of possible saccade targets (1 or 6. Results. Older adults had difficulty in inhibiting unwanted eye movements and had greater eye movement inaccuracy in the hard condition when compared to the younger adults and to the easy condition. Also, an inverse relation existed between performance on the visual and motor components of the task in older adults, unlike younger adults. Conclusions. Older adults demonstrated difficulty in both inhibiting irrelevant saccade targets and selecting correct saccade endpoints during more complex tasks. The shift in relations among attention measures between the younger and older participants may indicate a need to prioritize attentional resources with age. These changes may impact an older adult’s ability to function in complex environments.
Neimeijer, Renate A M; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J
The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent generation of craving, which might enable AN patients to maintain their strict diet. Participants were 66 restrictive AN spectrum patients and 55 healthy controls. A single-target rapid serial visual presentation task was used with food and disorder-neutral cues as critical distracter stimuli and disorder-neutral pictures as target stimuli. AN spectrum patients showed diminished task performance when visual food cues were presented in close temporal proximity of the to-be-identified target. In contrast to our hypothesis, results indicate that food cues automatically capture AN spectrum patients' attention. One explanation could be that the enhanced attentional capture of food cues in AN is driven by the relatively high threat value of food items in AN. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M
In an attempt to investigate the impact of positive emotions on visual attention within the context of Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build model, eye tracking was used in two studies to measure visual attentional preferences of college students (n=58, n=26) to emotional pictures. Half of each sample experienced induced positive mood immediately before viewing slides of three similarly-valenced images, in varying central-peripheral arrays. Attentional breadth was determined by measuring the percentage viewing time to peripheral images as well as by the number of visual saccades participants made per slide. Consistent with Fredrickson's theory, the first study showed that individuals induced into positive mood fixated more on peripheral stimuli than did control participants; however, this only held true for highly-valenced positive stimuli. Participants under induced positive mood also made more frequent saccades for slides of neutral and positive valence. A second study showed that these effects were not simply due to differences in emotional arousal between stimuli. Selective attentional broadening to positive stimuli may act both to facilitate later building of resources as well as to maintain current positive affective states.
Toet, Alexander; van Schaik, Martin G
In the current study participants explored a desktop virtual environment (VE) representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism, and crime), while being exposed to either room air (control group), or subliminal levels of tar (unpleasant; typically associated with burned or waste material) or freshly cut grass (pleasant; typically associated with natural or fresh material) ambient odor. They reported all signs of disorder they noticed during their walk together with their associated emotional response. Based on recent evidence that odors reflexively direct visual attention to (either semantically or affectively) congruent visual objects, we hypothesized that participants would notice more signs of disorder in the presence of ambient tar odor (since this odor may bias attention to unpleasant and negative features), and less signs of disorder in the presence of ambient grass odor (since this odor may bias visual attention toward the vegetation in the environment and away from the signs of disorder). Contrary to our expectations the results provide no indication that the presence of an ambient odor affected the participants' visual attention for signs of disorder or their emotional response. However, the paradigm used in present study does not allow us to draw any conclusions in this respect. We conclude that a closer affective, semantic, or spatiotemporal link between the contents of a desktop VE and ambient scents may be required to effectively establish diagnostic associations that guide a user's attention. In the absence of these direct links, ambient scent may be more diagnostic for the physical environment of the observer as a whole than for the particular items in that environment (or, in this case, items represented in the VE).
Saksida, Amanda; Iannuzzi, Stéphanie; Bogliotti, Caroline; Chaix, Yves; Démonet, Jean-François; Bricout, Laure; Billard, Catherine; Nguyen-Morel, Marie-Ange; Le Heuzey, Marie-France; Soares-Boucaud, Isabelle; George, Florence; Ziegler, Johannes C.; Ramus, Franck
In this study, we concurrently investigated 3 possible causes of dyslexia--a phonological deficit, visual stress, and a reduced visual attention span--in a large population of 164 dyslexic and 118 control French children, aged between 8 and 13 years old. We found that most dyslexic children showed a phonological deficit, either in terms of…
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.
Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B
Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.
Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna
Human brains spontaneously differentiate between various emotional and neutral stimuli, including written words whose emotional quality is symbolic. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), emotional-neutral processing differences are typically reflected in the early posterior negativity (EPN, 200-300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP, 400-700 ms). These components are also enlarged by task-driven visual attention, supporting the assumption that emotional content naturally drives attention. Still, the spatio-temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional stimulus content and task-driven attention remain to be specified. Here, we examine this issue in visual word processing. Participants attended to negative, neutral, or positive nouns while high-density EEG was recorded. Emotional content and top-down attention both amplified the EPN component in parallel. On the LPP, by contrast, emotion and attention interacted: Explicit attention to emotional words led to a substantially larger amplitude increase than did explicit attention to neutral words. Source analysis revealed early parallel effects of emotion and attention in bilateral visual cortex and a later interaction of both in right visual cortex. Distinct effects of attention were found in inferior, middle and superior frontal, paracentral, and parietal areas, as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Results specify separate and shared mechanisms of emotion and attention at distinct processing stages. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3575-3587, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja
The use of colour is an integral component in visual interface design for creating separation between objects and for conveying meaning. It has previously been established that colours can be separated in a hierarchy of primary colours and secondary colours, and that colours are consistently...... associated with specific mood tones. However, it has thus far not been investigated whether these two factors, which we refer to as the perception-primacy and emotion-conveyance, are associated with attentional capture in a congruent manner. To investigate this, we conducted a visual search task study...... in a controlled environment, in which 11 participants scanned a 20 item display for a coloured target amongst coloured distractors. We found evidence to support that primary colours capture attention significantly more than secondary colours, and inconclusive evidence that colours convey their meaning...
Full Text Available Individuals who have sustained a mild brain injury (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury or mild cerebrovascular stroke are at risk to show persistent cognitive symptoms (attention and memory after the acute postinjury phase. Although studies have shown that those patients perform normally on neuropsychological tests, cognitive symptoms remain present, and there is a need for more precise diagnostic tools. The aim of this study was to develop precise and sensitive markers for the diagnosis of post brain injury deficits in visual and attentional functions which could be easily translated in a clinical setting. Using electrophysiology, we have developed a task that allows the tracking of the processes involved in the deployment of visual spatial attention from early stages of visual treatment (N1, P1, N2, and P2 to higher levels of cognitive processing (no-go N2, P3a, P3b, N2pc, SPCN. This study presents a description of this protocol and its validation in 19 normal participants. Results indicated the statistically significant presence of all ERPs aimed to be elicited by this novel task. This task could allow clinicians to track the recovery of the mechanisms involved in the deployment of visual-attentional processing, contributing to better diagnosis and treatment management for persons who suffer a brain injury.
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.
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen’s (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values....
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Observers respond more accurately to targets in visual search tasks that share properties with previously presented items, and transient attention can learn featural consistencies on a precue, irrespective of its absolute location. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated whether such attentional benefits also apply to temporal consistencies. Would performance on a precued Vernier acuity discrimination task, followed by a mask, improve if the cue-lead times (CLTs; 50, 100, 150 or 200 ms remained constant between trials compared to when they changed? The results showed that if CLTs remained constant for a few trials in a row, Vernier acuity performance gradually improved while changes in CLT from one trial to the next led to worse than average discrimination performance. The results show that transient attention can quickly adjust to temporal regularities, similarly to spatial and featural regularities. Further experiments show that this form of learning is not under voluntary control. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results add to a growing literature showing how consistency in visual presentation improves visual performance, in this case temporal consistency.
Ellis, Kyle K.; Arthur, J. J.; Latorella, Kara A.; Kramer, Lynda J.; Shelton, Kevin J.; Norman, Robert M.; Prinzel, Lawrence J.
Quantifying pilot visual behavior allows researchers to determine not only where a pilot is looking and when, but holds implications for specific behavioral tracking when these data are coupled with flight technical performance. Remote eye tracking systems have been integrated into simulators at NASA Langley with effectively no impact on the pilot environment. This paper discusses the installation and use of a remote eye tracking system. The data collection techniques from a complex human-in-the-loop (HITL) research experiment are discussed; especially, the data reduction algorithms and logic to transform raw eye tracking data into quantified visual behavior metrics, and analysis methods to interpret visual behavior. The findings suggest superior performance for Head-Up Display (HUD) and improved attentional behavior for Head-Down Display (HDD) implementations of Synthetic Vision System (SVS) technologies for low visibility terminal area operations. Keywords: eye tracking, flight deck, NextGen, human machine interface, aviation
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
Laasonen, Marja; Salomaa, Jonna; Cousineau, Denis; Leppamaki, Sami; Tani, Pekka; Hokkanen, Laura; Dye, Matthew
In this study of the project DyAdd, three aspects of visual attention were investigated in adults (18-55 years) with dyslexia (n = 35) or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, n = 22), and in healthy controls (n = 35). Temporal characteristics of visual attention were assessed with Attentional Blink (AB), capacity of visual attention…
de Heering, Adélaïde; Dormal, Giulia; Pelland, Maxime; Lewis, Terri; Maurer, Daphne; Collignon, Olivier
Is a short and transient period of visual deprivation early in life sufficient to induce lifelong changes in how we attend to, and integrate, simple visual and auditory information [1, 2]? This question is of crucial importance given the recent demonstration in both animals and humans that a period of blindness early in life permanently affects the brain networks dedicated to visual, auditory, and multisensory processing [1-16]. To address this issue, we compared a group of adults who had been treated for congenital bilateral cataracts during early infancy with a group of normally sighted controls on a task requiring simple detection of lateralized visual and auditory targets, presented alone or in combination. Redundancy gains obtained from the audiovisual conditions were similar between groups and surpassed the reaction time distribution predicted by Miller's race model. However, in comparison to controls, cataract-reversal patients were faster at processing simple auditory targets and showed differences in how they shifted attention across modalities. Specifically, they were faster at switching attention from visual to auditory inputs than in the reverse situation, while an opposite pattern was observed for controls. Overall, these results reveal that the absence of visual input during the first months of life does not prevent the development of audiovisual integration but enhances the salience of simple auditory inputs, leading to a different crossmodal distribution of attentional resources between auditory and visual stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lobier, Muriel; Zoubrinetzky, Rachel; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis of dyslexia posits that letter string deficits are a consequence of impaired visual processing. Alternatively, some have interpreted this deficit as resulting from a visual-to-phonology code mapping impairment. This study aims to disambiguate between the two interpretations by investigating performance in a non-verbal character string visual categorization task with verbal and non-verbal stimuli. Results show that VA span ability predicts performance for the non-verbal visual processing task in normal reading children. Furthermore, VA span impaired dyslexic children are also impaired for the categorization task independently of stimuli type. This supports the hypothesis that the underlying impairment responsible for the VA span deficit is visual, not verbal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available When subjects are asked to perceptually bind rapidly alternating colour and motion stimuli, the pairings they report are different from the ones actually occurring in physical reality. A possible explanation for this misbinding is that the time necessary for perception is different for different visual attributes. Such an explanation is in logical harmony with the fact that the visual brain is characterized by different, functionally specialized systems, with different processing times for each; this type of organization naturally leads to different perceptual times for the corresponding attributes. In the present review, the experimental findings supporting perceptual asynchrony are presented, together with the original theoretical explanation behind the phenomenon and its implication for visual consciousness. Alternative theoretical views and additional experimental facts concerning perceptual misbinding are also reviewed, with a particular emphasis given to the role of attention. With few exceptions, most theories converge on the idea that the observed misbinding reflects a difference in perception times, which is in turn due to differences in neuronal processing times for different attributes within the brain. These processing-time differences have been attributed to several different factors, attention included, with the possibility of co-existence between them.
Fink, Bernhard; Matts, Paul J; Klingenberg, Heiner; Kuntze, Sebastian; Weege, Bettina; Grammer, Karl
Visible skin condition of women is argued to influence human physical attraction. Recent research has shown that people are sensitive to variation in skin color distribution, and such variation affects visual perception of female facial attractiveness, healthiness, and age. The eye gaze of 39 males and females, aged 13 to 45 years, was tracked while they viewed images of shape- and topography-standardized stimulus faces that varied only in terms of skin color distribution. The number of fixations and dwell time were significantly higher when viewing stimulus faces with the homogeneous skin color distribution of young people, compared with those of more elderly people. In accordance with recent research, facial stimuli with even skin tones were also judged to be younger and received higher attractiveness ratings. Finally, visual attention measures were negatively correlated with perceived age, but positively associated with attractiveness judgments. Variation in visible skin color distribution (independent of facial form and skin surface topography) is able to selectively attract people's attention toward female faces, and this higher attention results in more positive statements about a woman's face.
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan
Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
Our brain relies on neural mechanisms of selective attention and converging sensory processing to efficiently cope with rich and unceasing multisensory inputs. One prominent assumption holds that audio-visual synchrony can act as a strong attractor for spatial attention. Here, we tested for a similar effect of audio-visual synchrony on feature-selective attention. We presented two superimposed Gabor patches that differed in colour and orientation. On each trial, participants were cued to selectively attend to one of the two patches. Over time, spatial frequencies of both patches varied sinusoidally at distinct rates (3.14 and 3.63 Hz), giving rise to pulse-like percepts. A simultaneously presented pure tone carried a frequency modulation at the pulse rate of one of the two visual stimuli to introduce audio-visual synchrony. Pulsed stimulation elicited distinct time-locked oscillatory electrophysiological brain responses. These steady-state responses were quantified in the spectral domain to examine individual stimulus processing under conditions of synchronous versus asynchronous tone presentation and when respective stimuli were attended versus unattended. We found that both, attending to the colour of a stimulus and its synchrony with the tone, enhanced its processing. Moreover, both gain effects combined linearly for attended in-sync stimuli. Our results suggest that audio-visual synchrony can attract attention to specific stimulus features when stimuli overlap in space.
Stern, Pnina; Shalev, Lilach
Difficulties in reading comprehension are common in children and adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The current study aimed at investigating the relation between sustained attention and reading comprehension among adolescents with and without ADHD. Another goal was to examine the impact of two manipulations of the text on the efficiency of reading comprehension: Spacing (standard- vs. double-spacing) and Type of presentation (computer screen vs. hard copy). Reading comprehension of two groups of adolescents (participants with ADHD and normal controls) was assessed and compared in four different conditions (standard printed, spaced printed, standard on computer screen, spaced on computer screen). In addition, participants completed a visual sustained attention task. Significant differences in reading comprehension and in sustained attention were obtained between the two groups. Also, a significant correlation was obtained between sustained attention and reading comprehension. Moreover, a significant interaction was revealed between presentation-type, spacing and level of sustained attention on reading comprehension. Implications for reading intervention and the importance of early assessment of attention functioning are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
Stentiford, Fred W. M.
This paper provides a brief outline of the approaches to modeling human visual attention. Bottom-up and top-down mechanisms are described together with some of the problems that they face. It has been suggested in brain science that memory functions by trading measurement precision for associative power; sensory inputs from the environment are never identical on separate occasions, but the associations with memory compensate for the differences. A graphical representation for image similarity is described that relies on the size of maximally associative structures (cliques) that are found to reflect between pairs of images. This is applied to the recognition of movie posters, the location and recognition of characters, and the recognition of faces. The similarity mechanism is shown to model popout effects when constraints are placed on the physical separation of pixels that correspond to nodes in the maximal cliques. The effect extends to modeling human visual behaviour on the Poggendorff illusion.
somatosensory attention (Kaufmann et al. 2013, Müller-‐Putz et al. 2006...These include frontal-‐eye-‐field (FEF), occipital and parietal cortex , specifically intraparietal sulcus (IPS...C. M., Shulman, G. L., & Corbetta, M. (2008). Top-‐ Down Control of Human Visual Cortex by
Klein, Raymond M; Ivanoff, Jason
Spatial responding is influenced by the degree of correspondence between the stimulus-response (S-R) code activated by the target's task-irrelevant location and the S-R code activated by the target's non-spatial, task-relevant feature. A generally accepted explanation of this "Simon effect," named after its discoverer, is that there is a natural tendency to respond towards the source of stimulation. First we will review the ubiquity of the Simon effect. Then we will review the literature, including our own studies when appropriate, that has explored the relationship between the Simon effect and the components of attention: alertness, orienting and executive control, with an emphasis on visual orienting. The Simon effect is reduced when participants are not alert and when executive control is effective in filtering out the irrelevant location information. When attention is oriented endogenously, or is captured exogenously by uninformative peripheral stimulation, the Simon effect is additive with attentional facilitation (i.e., the Simon effect is the same magnitude for targets presented at attended and unattended locations). Yet, some forms of orienting, such as orienting directed by gaze and biased by inhibition of return, modulate the Simon effect. We will explore the implications of these patterns of additivity and interaction for our understanding of both the Simon effect and spatial attention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting IAPS images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using Early Posterior Negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms as well as P3-like (P3, 300 – 500 ms and Slow Wave (SW, 500 – 1500 ms portions of the Late Positive Potential. All analysed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.
Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Carrasco, Ximena; Anllo-Vento, Lourdes; Aboitiz, Francisco
Visual spatial orienting of attention towards exogenous cues has been one of the attentional functions considered to be spared in ADHD. Here we present a design in which 60 (30 ADHD) children, age: 10.9±1.4, were asked to covertly orient their attention to one or two (out of four) cued locations, and search for a target stimulus in one of these locations, while recording behavioral responses and EEG/ERP. In all conditions, ADHD children showed delayed reaction times and poorer behavioral performance. They also exhibited larger cue-elicited P2 but reduced CNV in the preparation stage. Larger amplitude of CNV predicted better performance in the task. Target-elicited N1 and selection negativity were also reduced in the ADHD group compared to non-ADHD. Groups also differed in the early and late P3 time-windows. The present results suggest that exogenous orienting of attention could be dysfunctional in ADHD under certain conditions. This limitation is not necessarily caused by an impairment of the orienting process itself, but instead by a difficulty in maintaining the relevant information acquired during the early preparation stage through the target processing stage, when it is really needed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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…
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…
Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F
People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research suggests that in addition, an intermediate stage of memory in between iconic memory and visual working memory exists. This intermediate stage has a large capacity and a lifetime of several seconds, but is easily overwritten by new stimulation. We therefore termed it fragile VSTM. In previous studies, fragile VSTM has been dissociated from iconic memory by the characteristics of the memory trace. In the present study, we dissociated fragile VSTM from visual working memory by showing a differentiation in their dependency on attention. A decrease in attention during presentation of the stimulus array greatly reduced the capacity of visual working memory, while this had only a small effect on the capacity of fragile VSTM. We conclude that fragile VSTM is a separate memory store from visual working memory. Thus, a tripartite division of VSTM appears to be in place, comprising iconic memory, fragile VSTM and visual working memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Vernet, Marine; Japee, Shruti; Lokey, Savannah; Ahmed, Sara; Zachariou, Valentinos; Ungerleider, Leslie G
Visuospatial attention often improves task performance by increasing signal gain at attended locations and decreasing noise at unattended locations. Attention is also believed to be the mechanism that allows information to enter awareness. In this experiment, we assessed whether orienting endogenous visuospatial attention with cues differentially affects visual discrimination sensitivity (an objective task performance) and visual awareness (the subjective feeling of perceiving) during the same discrimination task. Gabor patch targets were presented laterally, either at low contrast (contrast stimuli) or at high contrast embedded in noise (noise stimuli). Participants reported their orientation either in a 3-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise, unknown) that allowed for both objective and subjective reports, or in a 2-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise) that provided a control for objective reports. Signal detection theory models were fit to the experimental data: estimated perceptual sensitivity reflected objective performance; decision criteria, or subjective biases, were a proxy for visual awareness. Attention increased sensitivity (i.e., improved objective performance) for the contrast, but not for the noise stimuli. Indeed, with the latter, attention did not further enhance the already high target signal or reduce the already low uncertainty on its position. Interestingly, for both contrast and noise stimuli, attention resulted in more liberal criteria, i.e., awareness increased. The noise condition is thus an experimental configuration where people think they see the targets they attend to better, even if they do not. This could be explained by an internal representation of their attentional state, which influences awareness independent of objective visual signals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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
Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Effective interaction between a human and a robot requires the bidirectional perception and interpretation of actions and behavior. While actions can be identified as a directly observable activity, this might not be sufficient to deduce actions in a scene. For example, orienting our face toward a book might suggest the action toward “reading.” For a human observer, this deduction requires the direction of gaze, the object identified as a book and the intersection between gaze and book. With this in mind, we aim to estimate and map human visual attention as directed to a scene, and assess how this relates to the detection of objects and their related actions. In particular, we consider human head pose as measurement to infer the attention of a human engaged in a task and study which prior knowledge should be included in such a detection system. In a user study, we show the successful detection of attention to objects in a typical office task scenario (i.e., reading, working with a computer, studying an object. Our system requires a single external RGB camera for head pose measurements and a pre-recorded 3D point cloud of the environment.
Corbett, Blythe A; Constantine, Laura J
Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been widely reported in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study investigated attention and response control in children with ASD, ADHD, and typical development using the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test. Results indicate that many children with ASD show significant deficits in visual and auditory attention and greater deficits in impulsivity than children with ADHD or typical dev...
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.
Perry, Richard J; Hodges, John R
Studies of the time course of visual attention have identified a temporary functional blindness to the second of sequentially presented stimuli in that the attentional cost of attending to one visual stimulus may lead to impairments in identifying a second stimulus presented within 500 ms of the first. This phenomenon is known as the attentional blink or attentional dwell time. The neural correlates of the attentional blink and its relationship to mechanisms that control attention are unknown. To examine this relationship we tested healthy controls and subjects in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer's disease, known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), on a paradigm which affords quantification of both the attentional blink and the top-down control of attention. When subjects were asked to identify both a number and a letter that were rapidly and sequentially presented on a visual display, the detrimental effect that identifying the first stimulus had on the ability to identify the second served as a measure of the attentional blink. When asked to identify only one of the two stimuli, the ability to ignore the first stimulus was a function of their top-down attentional control. The MCI subjects demonstrated a normal attentional dwell time but in contrast they showed impaired top-down attentional control within the same paradigm. This dissociation suggests that these two aspects of visual attention are subserved by different neural systems. The possible neural correlates of these two attentional functions are discussed.
Jongman, Suzanne R.; Meyer, Antje S.; Roelofs, Ardi
It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon sustained attention when they plan single noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot") and perform a manual arrow categorization task. In addition, we investigated whether speakers also recruit sustained attention when they produce conjoined noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot and the bucket") describing two pictures, that is, when both the first and second task are linguistic. We found that sustained attention correlated with the proportion of abnormally slow phrase-production responses. Individuals with poor sustained attention displayed a greater number of very slow responses than individuals with better sustained attention. Importantly, this relationship was obtained both for the production of single phrases while performing a nonlinguistic manual task, and the production of noun phrase conjunctions in referring to two spatially separated objects. Inhibition and updating abilities were also measured. These scores did not correlate with our measure of sustained attention, suggesting that sustained attention and executive control are distinct. Overall, the results suggest that planning conjoined noun phrases involves sustained attention, and that language production happens less automatically than has often been assumed. PMID:26335441
Hoyniak, Caroline P.; Petersen, Isaac T.; McQuillan, Maureen E.; Staples, Angela D.; Bates, John E.
The current study used event-related potentials to examine a candidate process through which sleep difficulties affect attentional processing in toddlers. Fifteen toddlers participated in an auditory Oddball Task while neurophysiological data were collected. Sleep deficits were assessed using actigraphs, and attention was examined with a sustained attention task. A P3-like component was elicited from the toddlers, and longer target P3 latencies were associated with poorer sustained attention and irregular sleep. Findings suggest that irregular sleep is associated with less efficient attentional processing as reflected by the P3 component, and that longer target P3 latencies are associated with poorer sustained attention. PMID:26151613
Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S
Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: 'overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and 'fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a 'classical' experimental attention test the 'five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.
Barraza-Bernal, Maria J; Ivanov, Iliya V; Nill, Svenja; Rifai, Katharina; Trauzettel-Klosinski, Susanne; Wahl, Siegfried
The sustained component of visual attention lowers the perceptual threshold of stimuli located at the attended region. Attentional performance is not equal for all eccentric positions, leading to variations in perception. The location of the preferred retinal locus (PRL) for fixation might be influenced by these attentional variations. This study investigated the relation between the placement of sustained attention and the location of a developed PRL using simulations of central scotoma. Thirteen normally sighted subjects participated in the study. Monocular sustained attention was measured in discrete eccentric locations of the visual field using the dominant eye. Subsequently, a six degrees macular scotoma was simulated and PRL training was performed during eight ten-minutes blocks of trials. After training, every subject developed a PRL. Subjects with high attentional capabilities in the lower hemifield generally developed PRLs in the lower hemifield (n=10), subjects with high attentional capabilities in the upper hemifield developed PRLs in the upper hemifield (n=2) and one subject with similar attentional capabilities in the upper and lower hemifield developed the PRL on the upper hemifield. Analyzed individually, the results showed that 70% of the subjects had a PRL location in the hemifield where high attentional performance was achieved. These results suggest that attentional capabilities can be used as a predictor for the development of the PRL and are of significance for low vision rehabilitation and for the development of new PRL training procedures, with the option for a preventive attentional training in early macular disease to develop a favorable PRL. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver
The development of attention is critical for the young child's competence in dealing with the demands of everyday life. Here we review evidence from infants and preschool children regarding the development of three neural subsystems of attention: selective attention, sustained attention, and attentional (executive) control. These systems overlap…
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.
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.
Ballester, Rafael; Huertas, Florentino; Uji, Makoto; Bennett, Simon J
We compared coincidence-anticipation performance in normal vision and stroboscopic vision as a function of time-on-task. Participants estimated the arrival time of a real object that moved with constant acceleration (-0.7, 0, +0.7 m/s 2 ) in a pseudo-randomised order across 4 blocks of 30 trials in both vision conditions, received in a counter-balanced order. Participants (n = 20) became more errorful (accuracy and variability) in the normal vision condition as a function of time-on-task, whereas performance was maintained in the stroboscopic vision condition. We interpret these data as showing that participants failed to maintain coincidence-anticipation performance in the normal vision condition due to monotony and attentional underload. In contrast, the stroboscopic vision condition placed a greater demand on visual-spatial memory for motion extrapolation, and thus participants did not experience the typical vigilance decrement in performance. While short-term adaptation effects from practicing in stroboscopic vision are promising, future work needs to consider for how long participants can maintain effortful processing, and whether there are negative carry-over effects from cognitive fatigue when transferring to normal vision.
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Habekost, Thomas
threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), and storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K) are estimated by use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention, and the standard error of each estimate is calculated using a bootstrapping procedure. The results from the first......Measuring different attentional processes in a fast and reliable way is important in both clinical and experimental settings. However, most tests of visual attention are either lengthy or lack sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. To address this we developed a ten minute test procedure...... precise and stable estimates of visual attention using only a very brief test....
Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.
Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: `overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and `fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.
Pieters, F.G.M.; Rosbergen, E.; Wedel, M.
The authors examine consumers' visual attention during repeated exposures to print advertisements using eye-tracking methodology. The authors propose a statistical model comprising submodels for two key measures of visual attention to elements of the advertisement: attention duration and inter- and
Schubert, Torsten; Finke, Kathrin; Redel, Petra; Kluckow, Steffen; Müller, Hermann; Strobach, Tilo
Experts with video game experience, in contrast to non-experienced persons, are superior in multiple domains of visual attention. However, it is an open question which basic aspects of attention underlie this superiority. We approached this question using the framework of Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) with tools that allowed us to assess various parameters that are related to different visual attention aspects (e.g., perception threshold, processing speed, visual short-term memory storage capacity, top-down control, spatial distribution of attention) and that are measurable on the same experimental basis. In Experiment 1, we found advantages of video game experts in perception threshold and visual processing speed; the latter being restricted to the lower positions of the used computer display. The observed advantages were not significantly moderated by general person-related characteristics such as personality traits, sensation seeking, intelligence, social anxiety, or health status. Experiment 2 tested a potential causal link between the expert advantages and video game practice with an intervention protocol. It found no effects of action video gaming on perception threshold, visual short-term memory storage capacity, iconic memory storage, top-down control, and spatial distribution of attention after 15 days of training. However, observations of a selected improvement of processing speed at the lower positions of the computer screen after video game training and of retest effects are suggestive for limited possibilities to improve basic aspects of visual attention (TVA) with practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Harris, Jill; Kamke, Marc R
Selective attention fundamentally alters sensory perception, but little is known about the functioning of attention in individuals who use a cochlear implant. This study aimed to investigate visual and auditory attention in adolescent cochlear implant users. Event related potentials were used to investigate the influence of attention on visual and auditory evoked potentials in six cochlear implant users and age-matched normally-hearing children. Participants were presented with streams of alternating visual and auditory stimuli in an oddball paradigm: each modality contained frequently presented 'standard' and infrequent 'deviant' stimuli. Across different blocks attention was directed to either the visual or auditory modality. For the visual stimuli attention boosted the early N1 potential, but this effect was larger for cochlear implant users. Attention was also associated with a later P3 component for the visual deviant stimulus, but there was no difference between groups in the later attention effects. For the auditory stimuli, attention was associated with a decrease in N1 latency as well as a robust P3 for the deviant tone. Importantly, there was no difference between groups in these auditory attention effects. The results suggest that basic mechanisms of auditory attention are largely normal in children who are proficient cochlear implant users, but that visual attention may be altered. Ultimately, a better understanding of how selective attention influences sensory perception in cochlear implant users will be important for optimising habilitation strategies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lobier, Muriel; Palva, J Matias; Palva, Satu
Visuospatial attention prioritizes processing of attended visual stimuli. It is characterized by lateralized alpha-band (8-14 Hz) amplitude suppression in visual cortex and increased neuronal activity in a network of frontal and parietal areas. It has remained unknown what mechanisms coordinate neuronal processing among frontoparietal network and visual cortices and implement the attention-related modulations of alpha-band amplitudes and behavior. We investigated whether large-scale network synchronization could be such a mechanism. We recorded human cortical activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) during a visuospatial attention task. We then identified the frequencies and anatomical networks of inter-areal phase synchronization from source localized MEG data. We found that visuospatial attention is associated with robust and sustained long-range synchronization of cortical oscillations exclusively in the high-alpha (10-14 Hz) frequency band. This synchronization connected frontal, parietal and visual regions and was observed concurrently with amplitude suppression of low-alpha (6-9 Hz) band oscillations in visual cortex. Furthermore, stronger high-alpha phase synchronization was associated with decreased reaction times to attended stimuli and larger suppression of alpha-band amplitudes. These results thus show that high-alpha band phase synchronization is functionally significant and could coordinate the neuronal communication underlying the implementation of visuospatial attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wilson, Kyle M; Head, James; de Joux, Neil R; Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Helton, William S
We investigated whether losses of inhibitory control could be responsible for some friendly-fire incidents. Several factors are commonly cited to explain friendly-fire incidents, but failure of inhibitory control has not yet been explored. The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) could be a valid model for inhibition failures in some combat scenarios. Participants completed small-arms simulations using near infrared emitter guns, confronting research assistants acting as friends or foes. In Experiment 1, seven participants completed three conditions with three different proportions of foes (high, medium, low). In Experiment 2, 13 participants completed high-foe (high-go) and low-foe (low-go) versions of a small-arms simulation as well as comparative computer tasks. Participants made more friendly-fire errors (errors of commission) when foe proportion was high. A speed-accuracy trade-off was apparent, with participants who were faster to fire on foes also more likely to accidentally shoot friends. When foe proportion was higher, response times to foe stimuli were faster, and subjective workload ratings were higher. Failures of inhibitory control may be responsible for some friendly-fire incidents and the SART could be a suitable empirical model for some battlefield environments. The effect appears to be disproportionately greater at higher foe proportions. The exact nature of performance reductions associated with high-foe proportions requires further investigation. The SART may be a useful model of friendly-fire scenarios. It could be used to indicate a soldier's likelihood to commit a friendly-fire mistake and to identify high-risk environments. © 2015, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.
Pilling, Michael; Barrett, Doug J K
We investigated how dimension-based attention influences visual short-term memory (VSTM). This was done through examining the effects of cueing a feature dimension in two perceptual comparison tasks (change detection and sameness detection). In both tasks, a memory array and a test array consisting of a number of colored shapes were presented successively, interleaved by a blank interstimulus interval (ISI). In Experiment 1 (change detection), the critical event was a feature change in one item across the memory and test arrays. In Experiment 2 (sameness detection), the critical event was the absence of a feature change in one item across the two arrays. Auditory cues indicated the feature dimension (color or shape) of the critical event with 80 % validity; the cues were presented either prior to the memory array, during the ISI, or simultaneously with the test array. In Experiment 1, the cue validity influenced sensitivity only when the cue was given at the earliest position; in Experiment 2, the cue validity influenced sensitivity at all three cue positions. We attributed the greater effectiveness of top-down guidance by cues in the sameness detection task to the more active nature of the comparison process required to detect sameness events (Hyun, Woodman, Vogel, Hollingworth, & Luck, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35; 1140-1160, 2009).
Jiawei Xu; Shigang Yue
Human vision system can optionally process the visual information and adjust the contradiction between the limited resources and the huge visual information. Building attention models similar to human visual attention system should be very beneficial to computer vision and machine intelligence; meanwhile, it has been a challenging task due to the complexity of human brain and limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying the human attention system. Previous studies emphasized on static a...
van Dijk, Marieke [Leiden Univ., LUMC; Donga, Esther; van Schie, Mojca K. M.; Lammers, Gert Jan; van Zwet, Erik W.; Corssmit, Eleonora P. M.; Romijn, Johannes A.; van Dijk, J. Gert
BackgroundPatients with type 1 diabetes have altered sleep characteristics and are thought to have deficits in sustained attention. We compared the sustained attention to response task (SART) of patients with type 1 diabetes to that of healthy controls, and related results with sleep characteristics
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
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…
Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi; Lebedev, Mikhail A; Sørensen, Helge Bjarup Dissing
we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs) or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive...
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were
Christian H. Poth
Full Text Available Monitoring the environment for visual events while performing a concurrent task requires adjustment of visual processing priorities. By use of Bundesen's (1990 Theory of Visual Attention (TVA, we investigated how monitoring for an object-based brief event affected distinct components of visual attention in a concurrent task. The perceptual salience of the event was varied. Monitoring reduced the processing speed in the concurrent task, and the reduction was stronger when the event was less salient. The monitoring task neither affected the temporal threshold of conscious perception nor the storage capacity of visual short-term memory nor the efficiency of top-down controlled attentional selection.
Yadav, Naveen K; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
To quantify visual attention objectively using the visual-evoked potential (VEP) in those having mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with and without a self-reported attentional deficit. Subjects were comprised of 16 adults with mTBI: 11 with an attentional deficit and five without. Three test conditions were used to assess the visual attentional state to quantify objectively the VEP alpha band attenuation ratio (AR) related to attention: (1) pattern VEP; (2) eyes-closed; and (3) eyes-closed number counting. The AR was calculated for both the individual and combined alpha frequencies (8-13 Hz). The objective results were compared to two subjective tests of visual and general attention (i.e. the VSAT and ASRS, respectively). The AR for both the individual and combined alpha frequencies was found to be abnormal in those with mTBI having an attentional deficit. In contrast, the AR was normal in those with mTBI but without an attentional deficit. The AR correlated with the ASRS, but not with the VSAT, test scores. The objective and subjective tests were able to differentiate between those having mTBI with and without an attentional deficit. The proposed VEP protocol can be used in the clinic to detect and assess objectively and reliably a visual attentional deficit in the mTBI population.
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…
Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo
Full Text Available Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality. However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable
Smith, Linda B.; Quittner, Alexandra L.; Osberger, Mary Joe; Miyamoto, Richard
Two experiments examined visual attention in 5- to 13-year olds who were hearing or deaf with or without cochlear implants. Findings indicated that visual selective attention changes occurred around 8 years for all groups, with deaf children without cochlear implants performing less well than others. Differences between deaf children with and…
Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying
The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…
Shimi, Andria; Nobre, Anna C.; Astle, Duncan; Scerif, Gaia
How does developing attentional control operate within visual short-term memory (VSTM)? Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (total n = 205) were asked to report whether probe items were part of preceding visual arrays. In Experiment 1, central or peripheral cues oriented attention to the location of to-be-probed items either prior to…
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
The present study examined the moderating effect of men's visual attention toward male images on the relationship between idealized media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Of particular interest was men's visual attention to the abdomens and upper bodies of male images. Fifty male undergraduate
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, P.T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
The present study examined the moderating effect of men's visual attention toward male images on the relationship between idealized media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Of particular interest was men's visual attention to the abdomens and upper bodies of male images. Fifty male undergraduate
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.
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.
Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an automatic spread of attention to image elements outside of the attentional focus when they were bound to an attended stimulus by Gestalt criteria. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with different postures, emotions, ages, and genders) and non-social stimuli (e.g., electronics, food, and utensils). We first conducted trial-wise analyses of fixation properties and elucidated visual search mechanisms. We found that an attentional mechanism of initial orientation could explain the detection advantage of non-social targets. We then zoomed into fixation-wise analyses. We defined target-relevant effects as the difference in the percentage of fixations that fell on target-congruent vs. target-incongruent items in the array. In Experiment 1, we tested 8 high-functioning adults with ASD, 3 adults with focal bilateral amygdala lesions, and 19 controls. Controls rapidly oriented to target-congruent items and showed a strong and sustained preference for fixating them. Strikingly, people with ASD oriented significantly less and more slowly to target-congruent items, an attentional deficit especially with social targets. By contrast, patients with amygdala lesions performed indistinguishably from controls. In Experiment 2, we recruited a different sample of 13 people with ASD and 8 healthy controls, and tested them on the same search arrays but with all array items equalized for low-level saliency. The results replicated those of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, we recruited 13 people with ASD, 8 healthy controls, 3 amygdala lesion patients and another group of 11 controls and tested them on a simpler array. Here our group effect for ASD strongly diminished and all four subject
Lim, Lena; Hart, Heledd; 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 activatio...
Full Text Available Following moving visual stimuli (conditioning stimuli, CS, many organisms perceive, in the absence of physical stimuli, illusory motion in the opposite direction. This phenomenon is known as the motion aftereffect (MAE. Here, we use MAE as a tool to study the neuronal basis of visual motion perception in zebrafish larvae. Using zebrafish eye movements as an indicator of visual motion perception, we find that larvae perceive MAE. Blocking eye movements using optogenetics during CS presentation did not affect MAE, but tectal ablation significantly weakened it. Using two-photon calcium imaging of behaving GCaMP3 larvae, we find post-stimulation sustained rhythmic activity among direction-selective tectal neurons associated with the perception of MAE. In addition, tectal neurons tuned to the CS direction habituated, but neurons in the retina did not. Finally, a model based on competition between direction-selective neurons reproduced MAE, suggesting a neuronal circuit capable of generating perception of visual motion.
Kim, Gho; Lee, Jang-Han
This research was conducted to examine the level of consumers' visual attention to Internet advertising. It was predicted that consumers' search type would influence visual attention to advertising. Specifically, it was predicted that more attention to advertising would be attracted in the exploratory search condition than in the goal-directed search condition. It was also predicted that there would be a difference in visual attention depending on the advertisement type (advertising type: text vs. pictorial advertising). An eye tracker was used for measurement. Results revealed that search condition and advertising type influenced advertising effectiveness.
Fitzpatrick, C. M.; Caballero-Puntiverio, M.; Gether, U.
modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. Results The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis......Rationale The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds...... on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual...
Matsukura, Michi; Luck, Steven J.; Vecera, Shaun P.
Interactions between visual attention and visual short-term memory (VSTM) play a central role in cognitive processing. For example, attention can assist in selectively encoding items into visual memory. Attention appears to be able to influence items already stored in visual memory as well; cues that appear long after the presentation of an array of objects can affect memory for those objects (Griffin & Nobre, 2003). In five experiments, we distinguished two possible mechanisms for the effects of cues on items currently stored in VSTM. A protection account proposes that attention protects the cued item from becoming degraded during the retention interval. By contrast, a prioritization account suggests that attention increases a cued item’s priority during the comparison process that occurs when memory is tested. The results of the experiments were consistent with the first of these possibilities, suggesting that attention can serve to protect VSTM representations while they are being maintained. PMID:18078232
Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon
Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... of Visual Attention (TVA). In addition to the estimates themselves, we present correlational data on between the estimates and self-reported demographic data and activities of daily living. The correlates suggests that age, video gaming activity and employment status may significantly impact the encoding...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...
the CT scan findings at the time of initial testing seven weeks after the ictus . At that time he still manifested some psychomotor retardation and mild...visual neglect. At the time of retesting six months after the ictus , he was alert, lucid and subtle visual neglect was evident only on a letter
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…
Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
Participants performed an attentional blink (AB) task including digits as targets and letters as distractors within the visual and auditory domains. Prior to the rapid serial visual presentation, a visual or auditory prime was presented in the form of a digit that was identical to the second target
Ahmetoglu, Emine; Aral, Neriman; Butun Ayhan, Aynur
This study was conducted in order to (a) compare the visual perceptions of seven-year-old children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with those of normally developing children of the same age and development level and (b) determine whether the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder vary with respect to gender, having received preschool education and parents` educational level. A total of 60 children, 30 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 30 with normal development, were assigned to the study. Data about children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and their families was collected by using a General Information Form and the visual perception of children was examined through the Frostig Developmental Test of Visual Perception. The Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis variance analysis was used to determine whether there was a difference of between the visual perceptions of children with normal development and those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to discover whether the variables of gender, preschool education and parents` educational status affected the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results showed that there was a statistically meaningful difference between the visual perceptions of the two groups and that the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were affected meaningfully by gender, preschool education and parents` educational status.
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
Doolan, K J; Breslin, G; Hanna, D; Gallagher, A M
The incentive sensitisation model of obesity suggests that modification of the dopaminergic associated reward systems in the brain may result in increased awareness of food-related visual cues present in the current food environment. Having a heightened awareness of these visual food cues may impact on food choices and eating behaviours with those being most aware of or demonstrating greater attention to food-related stimuli potentially being at greater risk of overeating and subsequent weight gain. To date, research related to attentional responses to visual food cues has been both limited and conflicting. Such inconsistent findings may in part be explained by the use of different methodological approaches to measure attentional bias and the impact of other factors such as hunger levels, energy density of visual food cues and individual eating style traits that may influence visual attention to food-related cues outside of weight status alone. This review examines the various methodologies employed to measure attentional bias with a particular focus on the role that attentional processing of food-related visual cues may have in obesity. Based on the findings of this review, it appears that it may be too early to clarify the role visual attention to food-related cues may have in obesity. Results however highlight the importance of considering the most appropriate methodology to use when measuring attentional bias and the characteristics of the study populations targeted while interpreting results to date and in designing future studies.
Roberts, Jane E.; Hatton, Deborah D.; Long, Anna C. J.; Anello, Vittoria; Colombo, John
Aberrant attention is a core feature of fragile X syndrome (FXS), however, little is known regarding the developmental trajectory and underlying physiological processes of attention deficits in FXS. Atypical visual attention is an early emerging and robust indicator of autism in idiopathic (non-FXS) autism. Using a biobehavioral approach with gaze…
Tummeltshammer, Kristen Swan; Mareschal, Denis; Kirkham, Natasha Z.
With many features competing for attention in their visual environment, infants must learn to deploy attention toward informative cues while ignoring distractions. Three eye tracking experiments were conducted to investigate whether 6- and 8-month-olds (total N = 102) would shift attention away from a distractor stimulus to learn a cue-reward…
Guzman-Martinez, Emmanuel; Grabowecky, Marcia; Palafox, German; Suzuki, Satoru
Visual spatial attention can be exogenously captured by a salient stimulus or can be endogenously allocated by voluntary effort. Whether these two attention modes serve distinctive functions is debated, but for processing of single targets the literature suggests superiority of exogenous attention (it is faster acting and serves more functions).…
Olivers, C.N.L.; Peters, J.; Houtkamp, R.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between visual working memory and selective attention, such that attention is biased by what is currently on our mind. However, other data show that not all memorized items influence the deployment of attention, thus calling for a distinction within
Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an
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
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.
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.…
While the richness of our visual perceptions is nearly boundless, the rate with which we can perceive information is limited. For instance when we are required to perceive two consecutive target objects following briefly after each other, the accuracy with which we can report the second target...... is often reduced in the first half second. This phenomenon is known as the attentional blink (Raymond, Shapiro & Arnell, 1992) and as suggests by the name is assumed to pertain to how fast attention can be reallocated. Bottleneck models suggest that the attentional blink is caused by limited capacity...... in processing targets, which effectively causes a perceptual bottleneck (Chun & Potter, 1995). According to bottleneck models, making the first target easier to perceive should improve processing in the bottleneck and reduce the attentional blink. However, recent studies suggest that an attentional blink may...
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... of these parameters. The present study was designed to examine whether (a) a shortened procedure bears sufficient accuracy and reliability, (b) whether the procedures reveal attentional constructs with clinical relevance, and (c) whether the mathematically independent parameters are also empirically independent...
Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph
Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353360-10$15.00/0.
Duncan, Lesley A.; Park, Justin H.; Faulkner, Jason; Schaller, Mark; Neuberg, Steven L.; Kenrick, Douglas T.
We tested the hypothesis that, compared with sociosexually restricted individuals, those with an unrestricted approach to mating would selectively allocate visual attention to attractive opposite-sex others. We also tested for sex differences in this effect. Seventy-four participants completed the
Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre
The emotional enhancement of memory is often thought to be determined by attention. However, recent evidence using divided attention paradigms suggests that attention does not play a significant role in the formation of memories for aversive pictures. We report a study that investigated this question using a paradigm in which participants had to encode lists of randomly intermixed negative and neutral pictures under conditions of full attention and divided attention followed by a free recall test. Attention was divided by a highly demanding concurrent task tapping visual processing resources. Results showed that the advantage in recall for aversive pictures was still present in the DA condition. However, mediation analyses also revealed that concurrent task performance significantly mediated the emotional enhancement of memory under divided attention. This finding suggests that visual attentional processes play a significant role in the formation of emotional memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved
Bergerbest, Dafna; Shilkrot, Orit; Joseph, Michal; Salti, Moti
When two targets are presented in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), recognition of the second target (T2) is usually reduced when presented 150-500 ms after the first target, demonstrating an attentional blink (AB). Previous studies have shown a left visual-field (LVF) advantage in T2 recognition, when T2 was embedded in one of two streams, demanding top-down attention for its recognition. Here, we explored the impact of bottom-up saliency on spatial asymmetry in the AB. When T2 was spatially shifted outside from the RSVP, creating an abrupt onset of T2, right T2s showed a right visual-field (RVF) advantage. In lag-1 trials, right T2s were not only better recognized, but also showed a low T1-T2 order error rate. In contrast, recognized left T2s exhibited high order error rate. Without abrupt onset, symmetrical AB was found and order error rate was similarly low in both sides. Follow-up experiments showed that, while RVF advantage was related to bottom-up saliency, order errors were affected by T1 mask. The discrepancy between LVF and RVF advantage in the AB could be resolved in terms of two mechanisms of attentional gating: top-down attentional gating, which is biased towards LVF, and bottom-up attentional gating, which is biased towards RVF.
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.
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
with visual attributes, or as product mock-ups simulating realistic products as close as possible. So far little is known about how presentation formats affect visual attention patterns and choice behavior. This study addresses the question by analysing visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice...... the presentation format varied between a verbal information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Results. A strong relationship between attention and choice was observed so that attributes with a higher importance for participant choices also received a higher...... in the product mock-up presentation required significantly fewer fixations and less decision time, and more within-alternative transitions were observed compared to the verbal and visual presentation formats. Attributes presented visually or at larger size had a higher impact on participants’ choices...
Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W
How do animals determine when others are able and disposed to receive their communicative signals? In particular, it is futile to make a silent gesture when the intended audience cannot see it. Some non-human primates use the head and body orientation of their audience to infer visual attentiveness when signalling, but whether species relying less on visual information use such cues when producing visual signals is unknown. Here, we test whether African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are sensitive to the visual perspective of a human experimenter. We examined whether the frequency of gestures of head and trunk, produced to request food, was influenced by indications of an experimenter's visual attention. Elephants signalled significantly more towards the experimenter when her face was oriented towards them, except when her body faced away from them. These results suggest that elephants understand the importance of visual attention for effective communication. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Wilson, Kyle M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S
Performance on the sustained attention to response task (SART) is often characterized by a speed-accuracy trade-off, and SART performance may be influenced by strategic factors (Head and Helton Conscious Cogn 22: 913-919, 2013). Previous research indicates a significant difference between reliable and unreliable warning cues on response times and errors (commission and omission), suggesting that SART tasks are influenced by strategic factors (Helton et al. Conscious Cogn 20: 1732-1737, 2011; Exp Brain Res 209: 401-407, 2011). With regards to warning stimuli, we chose to use cute images (exhibiting infantile features) during a SART, as previous literature indicates cute images cause participants to engage attention. If viewing cute things makes the viewer exert more attention than normal, then exposure to cute stimuli during the SART should improve performance if SART performance is a measure of perceptual coupling. Reliable warning cues were shown to reduce both response time and errors of commission, and increase errors of omission, relative to unreliable warning cues. Cuteness of the warning stimuli, however, had no significant effect on SART performance. These results suggest the importance of strategic factors in SART performance, not increased attention, and add to the growing literature which suggests the SART is not a good measure of sustained attention, vigilance or perceptual coupling.
Han, Suk Won
Attention, the mechanism by which a subset of sensory inputs is prioritized over others, operates at multiple processing stages. Specifically, attention enhances weak sensory signal at the perceptual stage, while it serves to select appropriate responses or consolidate sensory representations into short-term memory at the central stage. This study investigated the independence and interaction between perceptual and central attention. To do so, I used a dual-task paradigm, pairing a four-alternative choice task with a visual search task. The results showed that central attention for response selection was engaged in perceptual processing for visual search when the number of search items increased, thereby increasing the demand for serial allocation of focal attention. By contrast, central attention and perceptual attention remained independent as far as the demand for serial shifting of focal attention remained constant; decreasing stimulus contrast or increasing the set size of a parallel search did not evoke the involvement of central attention in visual search. These results suggest that the nature of concurrent visual search process plays a crucial role in the functional interaction between two different types of attention.
Stuart, Samuel; Lord, Sue; Galna, Brook; Rochester, Lynn
Gait impairment is a core feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) with implications for falls risk. Visual cues improve gait in PD, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Evidence suggests that attention and vision play an important role; however, the relative contribution from each is unclear. Measurement of visual exploration (specifically saccade frequency) during gait allows for real-time measurement of attention and vision. Understanding how visual cues influence visual exploration may allow inferences of the underlying mechanisms to response which could help to develop effective therapeutics. This study aimed to examine saccade frequency during gait in response to a visual cue in PD and older adults and investigate the roles of attention and vision in visual cue response in PD. A mobile eye-tracker measured saccade frequency during gait in 55 people with PD and 32 age-matched controls. Participants walked in a straight line with and without a visual cue (50 cm transverse lines) presented under single task and dual-task (concurrent digit span recall). Saccade frequency was reduced when walking in PD compared to controls; however, visual cues ameliorated saccadic deficit. Visual cues significantly increased saccade frequency in both PD and controls under both single task and dual-task. Attention rather than visual function was central to saccade frequency and gait response to visual cues in PD. In conclusion, this study highlights the impact of visual cues on visual exploration when walking and the important role of attention in PD. Understanding these complex features will help inform intervention development. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Zhao, Jing; Liu, Menglian; Liu, Hanlong; Huang, Chen
With reading development, some children fail to learn to read fluently. However, reading fluency difficulty (RFD) has not been fully investigated. The present study explored the underlying mechanism of RFD from the aspect of visual attention span. Fourteen Chinese children with RFD and fourteen age-matched normal readers participated. The visual 1-back task was adopted to examine visual attention span. Reaction time and accuracy were recorded, and relevant d-prime (d') scores were computed. Results showed that children with RFD exhibited lower accuracy and lower d' values than the controls did in the visual 1-back task, revealing a visual attention span deficit. Further analyses on d' values revealed that the attention distribution seemed to exhibit an inverted U-shaped pattern without lateralization for normal readers, but a W-shaped pattern with a rightward bias for children with RFD, which was discussed based on between-group variation in reading strategies. Results of the correlation analyses showed that visual attention span was associated with reading fluency at the sentence level for normal readers, but was related to reading fluency at the single-character level for children with RFD. The different patterns in correlations between groups revealed that visual attention span might be affected by the variation in reading strategies. The current findings extend previous data from alphabetic languages to Chinese, a logographic language with a particularly deep orthography, and have implications for reading-dysfluency remediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Poltoratski, Sonia; Ling, Sam; McCormack, Devin; Tong, Frank
The visual system employs a sophisticated balance of attentional mechanisms: salient stimuli are prioritized for visual processing, yet observers can also ignore such stimuli when their goals require directing attention elsewhere. A powerful determinant of visual salience is local feature contrast: if a local region differs from its immediate surround along one or more feature dimensions, it will appear more salient. We used high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) at 7T to characterize the modulatory effects of bottom-up salience and top-down voluntary attention within multiple sites along the early visual pathway, including visual areas V1-V4 and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Observers viewed arrays of spatially distributed gratings, where one of the gratings immediately to the left or right of fixation differed from all other items in orientation or motion direction, making it salient. To investigate the effects of directed attention, observers were cued to attend to the grating to the left or right of fixation, which was either salient or nonsalient. Results revealed reliable additive effects of top-down attention and stimulus-driven salience throughout visual areas V1-hV4. In comparison, the LGN exhibited significant attentional enhancement but was not reliably modulated by orientation- or motion-defined salience. Our findings indicate that top-down effects of spatial attention can influence visual processing at the earliest possible site along the visual pathway, including the LGN, whereas the processing of orientation- and motion-driven salience primarily involves feature-selective interactions that take place in early cortical visual areas. NEW & NOTEWORTHY While spatial attention allows for specific, goal-driven enhancement of stimuli, salient items outside of the current focus of attention must also be prioritized. We used 7T fMRI to compare salience and spatial attentional enhancement along the early visual hierarchy. We report additive effects of
van der Heijden, A.H.C.; la Heij, W.; Phaf, R.H.; Buijs, D.A.
Examined how different attributes of objects control different functions in selective attention tasks. In filtering tasks, the criterion attribute determines which object is relevant, and the response attribute specifies the action. It is argued that a 3rd type of attribute and a 3rd function have
Rohlfing, Katharina J.; Longo, Matthew R.; Bertenthal, Bennett I.
Pointing, like eye gaze, is a deictic gesture that can be used to orient the attention of another person towards an object or an event. Previous research suggests that infants first begin to follow a pointing gesture between 10 and 13 months of age. We investigated whether sensitivity to pointing could be seen at younger ages employing a technique…
The present study examines how various types of attention cueing and cognitive preference affect learners' comprehension of a cardiovascular system and cognitive load. EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: non-signal, static-blood-signal, static-blood-static-arrow-signal, and animation-signal. The results indicated that…
Grandgeorge, Marine; Gautier, Yentl; Brugaillères, Pauline; Tiercelin, Inès; Jacq, Carole; Lebret, Marie-Claude; Hausberger, Martine
Visual social attention is central to social functioning and learning and may act as a reinforcer. Social rivalry, which occurs when an individual is excluded from dyadic interactions, can promote interspecific learning by triggering attention. We applied it to an animal-assisted intervention, where the behaviour of ASD children was compared between an experimental (attention shift of the animal trainer from the dog-child to the dog only) and a control (attention maintained on the dyad) groups (study 1). The results show that ASD children are sensitive to the direction of (visual) social attention and may act, physically and visually, in order to regain it. When the animal trainer concentrated on the dog, the overall visual attention of the ASD children increased, suggesting a heightened awareness towards their environment. They oriented more towards the animal trainer and the dog, contrarily to the control group. The repetition of the procedure was even associated with increased joint attention with the animal trainer (study 2). Thus, ASD children do care about and seek human visual attention. They show an ability to adapt their social behaviour, which questions whether their known deficits in social competencies are hard wired or whether the deficits are in their expression.
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values....
Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon
Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... perceptual encoding/decoding speed (processing speed) of visual short-term memory based on an assessment of 94 healthy subjects aged 60-75. The estimates are presented at total sample level as well as at gender level. The estimates were modelled from input from a whole-report assessment based on A Theory...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...
Itti, L; Dhavale, N; Pighin, F
We describe a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates, and its application to the automatic animation of a realistic virtual human head watching an unconstrained...
Full Text Available Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924, a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of “Gaze”. In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources.
Mccann, Robert S.; Folk, Charles L.; Johnston, James C.
Subjects made lexical decisions on a target letter string presented above or below fixation. In Experiments 1 and 2, target location was cued 100 ms in advance of target onset. Responses were faster on validly than on invalidly cued trials. In Experiment 3, the target was sometimes accompanied by irrelevant stimuli on the other side of fixation; in such cases, responses were slowed (a spatial filtering effect). Both cuing and filtering effects on response time were additive with effects of word frequency and lexical status (words vs. nonwords). These findings are difficult to reconcile with claims that spatial attention is less involved in processing familiar words than in unfamiliar words and nonwords. The results can be reconciled with a late-selection locus of spatial attention only with difficulty, but are easily explained by early-selection models.
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Evatte T. Sciberras-Lim
Full Text Available Every day we are faced with an overwhelming influx of visual information. Visual attention acts as the filtering mechanism that enables us to focus our limited neural resources, by selectively processing only the most relevant and/or salient aspects of our visual environment. The ability to shift attention to the most behaviorally relevant items enables us to successfully navigate and interact with our surroundings. The dorsal visual stream is important for the rapid and efficient visuospatial orienting of attention. Unfortunately, recent evidence suggests that the dorsal visual stream may be especially vulnerable to age-related decline, with significant deterioration becoming evident quite early in the aging process. Yet, despite the significant age-related declines to the dorsal visual stream, the visuospatial orienting of attention appears relatively well preserved in older adults, at least in the early stages of aging. The maintenance of visuospatial orienting of attention in older adults appears to be facilitated by the engagement of compensatory neural mechanisms. In particular, older adults demonstrate heightened activity in the frontal regions to compensate for the reduced activity in the posterior sensory regions. These findings suggest that older adults are more reliant on control processes mediated by the anterior regions of the frontoparietal attention network to compensate for less efficient sensory processing within the posterior sensory cortices.
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…
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.
We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of…
Dombrowe, I.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Donk, M.
Previous work has generated inconsistent results with regard to what extent working memory (WM) content guides visual attention. Some studies found effects of easy to verbalize stimuli, whereas others only found an influence of visual memory content. To resolve this, we compared the time courses of
Kastner, Anna K; Pauli, Paul; Wieser, Matthias J
In classical fear conditioning an aversive event is paired repeatedly with a predictive stimulus, which later elicits fear. Repeated presentation of an aversive event in the absence of a predictive cue however may induce anxiety, and the context may gain a threatening value. As such conditioned anxiety can be considered a sustained reaction compared to phasic fear, it would be interesting to track continuous cortical responses during context conditioning. The present study realized a differential context conditioning paradigm and assessed sustained cortical activations to the threatening and the safe context and how neutral cues are processed within both contexts. Two pictures of different office rooms presented for 20s served as contexts. One room became associated with an unpleasant noise that was presented unpredictably (CTX+) while the other office (CTX-) was never associated with this unpleasant noise. After acquisition, a social agent or an object was presented as a distractor in both contexts. Cortical activations in response to contexts and distractors were assessed separately by steady-state visually evoked potentials (ssVEPs) using frequency tagging. Results revealed enhanced ssVEP-amplitudes for CTX+ compared to CTX- in a lateral occipital cluster during acquisition. Similarly, CTX+ elicited higher ssVEP-amplitudes during the test phase, and these context conditioning effects were not reduced by the simultaneous presentation of novel distractors. These results indicate that context conditioning was successfully implemented and that the anxiety context received facilitated cortical processing across the whole viewing time. We conclude that threatening contexts capture attention over a longer period of time, and are immune to distraction by new objects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Shook, Natalie J; Ford, Cameron
Considerable evidence suggests that political liberals and conservatives vary in the way they process and respond to valenced (i.e., negative versus positive) information, with conservatives generally displaying greater negativity biases than liberals. Less is known about whether liberals and conservatives differentially prioritize certain forms of negative information over others. Across two studies using eye-tracking methodology, we examined differences in visual attention to negative scenes and facial expressions based on self-reported political ideology. In Study 1, scenes rated high in fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with less attentional engagement (i.e., lower dwell time) of disgust scenes and more attentional engagement toward neutral scenes. Socially conservative political attitudes were not significantly associated with visual attention to fear or sad scenes. In Study 2, images depicting facial expressions of fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with greater attentional engagement with facial expressions depicting disgust and less attentional engagement toward neutral faces. Visual attention to fearful or sad faces was not related to social conservatism. Endorsement of economically conservative political attitudes was not consistently associated with biases in visual attention across both studies. These findings support disease-avoidance models and suggest that social conservatism may be rooted within a greater sensitivity to disgust-related information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stuart, Geoffrey W.; Lambeth, Sandra E.; Day, Ross H.; Gould, Ian C.; Castles, Anne E.
Visual attention has temporal limitations. In the attentional blink (AB) a stream of stimuli such as letters or digits are presented to a participant on a computer monitor at a rapid rate. Embedded in the stream are two targets that the participant must try to identify. Identification of the second target is severely impaired if it is presented…
Piech, Richard M; Pastorino, Michael T; Zald, David H
While effects of hunger on motivation and food reward value are well-established, far less is known about the effects of hunger on cognitive processes. Here, we deployed the emotional blink of attention paradigm to investigate the impact of visual food cues on attentional capture under conditions of hunger and satiety. Participants were asked to detect targets which appeared in a rapid visual stream after different types of task irrelevant distractors. We observed that food stimuli acquired increased power to capture attention and prevent target detection when participants were hungry. This occurred despite monetary incentives to perform well. Our findings suggest an attentional mechanism through which hunger heightens perception of food cues. As an objective behavioral marker of the attentional sensitivity to food cues, the emotional attentional blink paradigm may provide a useful technique for studying individual differences, and state manipulations in the sensitivity to food cues. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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.
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.
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.
Frischen, Alexandra; Bayliss, Andrew P.; Tipper, Steven P.
During social interactions, people's eyes convey a wealth of information about their direction of attention and their emotional and mental states. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of past and current research into the perception of gaze behavior and its effect on the observer. This encompasses the perception of gaze direction…
Francesco Marini; Francesco Marini; Carlo Alberto Marzi
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...
Yadav, Naveen K; Thiagarajan, Preethi; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the effect of oculomotor vision rehabilitation (OVR) on the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and visual attention in the mTBI population. Subjects (n = 7) were adults with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Each received 9 hours of OVR over a 6-week period. The effects of OVR on VEP amplitude and latency, the attention-related alpha band (8-13 Hz) power (µV(2)) and the clinical Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) were assessed before and after the OVR. After the OVR, the VEP amplitude increased and its variability decreased. There was no change in VEP latency, which was normal. Alpha band power increased, as did the VSAT score, following the OVR. The significant changes in most test parameters suggest that OVR affects the visual system at early visuo-cortical levels, as well as other pathways which are involved in visual attention.
Carlos E. Agüero
Full Text Available Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. One challenge with them is to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. A method of coping with this, similar to the attention systems in humans, is to use mobile cameras to cover all the robot surroundings and to perceive all the objects of interest to the robot tasks even if they do not lie in the same snapshot. A gaze control algorithm is then required that continuously selects where the camera should look. This paper presents three different covert attention mechanisms that have been designed and compared: one based on round-Robin sharing, another based on dynamic salience and one with fixed pattern camera movements. Several experiments have been performed with a humanoid robot in order to validate them and to give an objective comparison in the context of RoboCup, where the robots have several perceptive needs like localization and object tracking that must be satisfied and may not be fully compatible.
Bays, Paul M; Taylor, Robert
An informative cue that directs attention to one of several items in working memory improves subsequent recall of that item. Here we examine the mechanism of this retro-cue effect using a model of short-term memory based on neural population coding. Our model describes recalled feature values as the output of an optimal decoding of spikes generated by a tuned population of neurons. This neural model provides a better account of human recall data than an influential model that assumes errors can be described as a mixture of normally distributed noise and random guesses. The retro-cue benefit is revealed to be consistent with a higher firing rate of the population encoding the cued versus uncued items, with no difference in tuning specificity. Additionally, a retro-cued item is less likely to be swapped with another item in memory, an effect that can also be explained by greater activity of the underlying population. These results provide a parsimonious account of the effects of retrospective attention on recall and demonstrate a principled method for investigating neural representations with behavioral tasks. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Magazzini, Lorenzo; Singh, Krish D
Oscillatory synchronization in the gamma frequency range has been proposed as a neuronal mechanism to prioritize processing of relevant stimuli over competing ones. Recent studies in animals found that selective spatial attention enhanced gamma-band synchronization in high-order visual areas (V4) and increased the gamma peak frequency in V1. The existence of such mechanisms in the human visual system is yet to be fully demonstrated. In this study, we used MEG, in combination with an optimised stimulus design, to record visual gamma oscillations from human early visual cortex, while participants performed a visuospatial attention cueing task. First, we reconstructed virtual sensors in V1/V2, where gamma oscillations were strongly induced by visual stimulation alone. Second, following the results of a statistical comparison between conditions of attention, we reconstructed cortical activity also in inferior occipital-temporal regions (V4). The results indicated that gamma amplitude was modulated by spatial attention across the cortical hierarchy, both in the early visual cortex and in higher-order regions of the ventral visual pathway. In contrast, we found no evidence for an increase in the gamma peak frequency in V1/V2 with attention. The gamma response tended to peak earlier in V1/V2 than in V4 by approximately 70 ms, consistent with a feed-forward role of gamma-band activity in propagating sensory representations across the visual cortical hierarchy. Together, these findings suggest that differences in experimental design or methodology can account for the inconsistencies in previous animal and human studies. Furthermore, our results are in line with the hypothesis of enhanced gamma-band synchronization as an attentional mechanism in the human visual cortex. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Simpson, Claire; Pinkham, Amy E; Kelsven, Skylar; Sasson, Noah J
Emotion can be expressed by both the voice and face, and previous work suggests that presentation modality may impact emotion recognition performance in individuals with schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of stimulus modality on emotion recognition accuracy and the potential role of visual attention to faces in emotion recognition abilities. Thirty-one patients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia (n=8) or schizoaffective disorder (n=23) and 30 non-clinical control individuals participated. Both groups identified emotional expressions in three different conditions: audio only, visual only, combined audiovisual. In the visual only and combined conditions, time spent visually fixating salient features of the face were recorded. Patients were significantly less accurate than controls in emotion recognition during both the audio and visual only conditions but did not differ from controls on the combined condition. Analysis of visual scanning behaviors demonstrated that patients attended less than healthy individuals to the mouth in the visual condition but did not differ in visual attention to salient facial features in the combined condition, which may in part explain the absence of a deficit for patients in this condition. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that patients benefit from multimodal stimulus presentations of emotion and support hypotheses that visual attention to salient facial features may serve as a mechanism for accurate emotion identification. © 2013.
Cross-Villasana, Fernando; Finke, Kathrin; Hennig-Fast, Kristina
Abstract Background: Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exhibit slowed reaction times (RTs) in various attention tasks. The exact origins of this slowing, however, have not been yet established. Potential candidates are early sensory processes mediating the deployment...... of focal-attention, stimulus-response translation processes deciding upon the appropriate motor-response, and motor processes generating the response. Methods: We combined mental chronometry (RT) measures of adult ADHD (n = 15) and healthy control (n = 15) participants with their lateralized event......-related potentials (ERP) during the performance of a visual-search task to differentiate potential sources of slowing at separable levels of processing: the posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) was used to index focalattentional selection times, while the lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to stimulus...
Chelnokova, Olga; Laeng, Bruno; Løseth, Guro; Eikemo, Marie; Willoch, Frode; Leknes, Siri
Paying attention to others' faces and eyes is a cornerstone of human social behavior. The µ-opioid receptor (MOR) system, central to social reward-processing in rodents and primates, has been proposed to mediate the capacity for affiliative reward in humans. We assessed the role of the human MOR system in visual exploration of faces and eyes of conspecifics. Thirty healthy males received a novel, bidirectional battery of psychopharmacological treatment (an MOR agonist, a non-selective opioid antagonist, or placebo, on three separate days). Eye-movements were recorded while participants viewed facial photographs. We predicted that the MOR system would promote visual exploration of faces, and hypothesized that MOR agonism would increase, whereas antagonism decrease overt attention to the information-rich eye region. The expected linear effect of MOR manipulation on visual attention to the stimuli was observed, such that MOR agonism increased while antagonism decreased visual exploration of faces and overt attention to the eyes. The observed effects suggest that the human MOR system promotes overt visual attention to socially significant cues, in line with theories linking reward value to gaze control and target selection. Enhanced attention to others' faces and eyes represents a putative behavioral mechanism through which the human MOR system promotes social interest. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute
Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
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...
Full Text Available Background: The relationship between awareness and attention is complex and controversial. A growing body of literature has shown that the neural bases of consciousness and endogenous attention (voluntary attention are independent. The important role of exogenous attention (reflexive attention on conscious experience has been noted in several studies. However, exogenous attention can also modulate subliminal processing, suggesting independence between the two processes. The question of whether visual awareness and exogenous attention rely on independent mechanisms under certain circumstances remains unanswered.Methods: In the current study, electroencephalograph recordings were conducted using 64 channels from 16 subjects while subjects attempted to detect faint speed changes of colored rotating dots. Awareness and attention were manipulated throughout trials in order to test whether exogenous attention and visual awareness rely on independent mechanisms.Results: Neural activity related to consciousness was recorded in the following cue-locked time-windows (event related potential, cluster- based permutation test: 0–50, 150–200, and 750–800 ms. With a more liberal threshold, the inferior occipital lobe was found to be the source of awareness-related activity in the 0–50 ms range. In the later 150–200 ms range, activity in the fusiform and post-central gyrus was related to awareness. Awareness-related activation in the later 750–800 ms range was more widely distributed. This awareness-related activation pattern was quite different from that of attention. Attention-related neural activity was emphasized in the 750–800 ms time window and the main source of attention-related activity was localized to the right angular gyrus. These results suggest that exogenous attention and visual consciousness correspond to different and relatively independent neural mechanisms and are distinct processes under certain conditions.
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
Ponthieu, L.; Wolfe, J.M.
This work has been carried out while the author was visiting the Visual Psychophysics lab at the Center for Ophthalmic Research, Harvard Medical School. The general framework is the design of a wiring diagrams visualization system for maintenance operators in electric plants. This study concentrates on how knowledge and experimental techniques from visual attention can help this goal. From this standpoint, the visualization system must best exploit the human visual system abilities. As electronic databases containing all the diagrams will soon be available, it is important to think in advance the display techniques. Presently, maintenance operators favor working with paper printouts even where such databases are already available. The study shows why such an approach is valuable for the design of a display that fits the operator's tasks. Beyond that, this work has been a mean to learn the experimental techniques of cognitive sciences in an applied frame. (authors). 9 figs., 5 annexes
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
in the product mock-up presentation required significantly fewer fixations and less decision time, and more within-alternative transitions were observed compared to the verbal and visual presentation formats. Attributes presented visually or at larger size had a higher impact on participants’ choices......Objectives. Discrete choice experiments in which participants choose between alternatives differing on attribute levels are an important research method for preference elicitation. In such experiments choice stimuli is typically presented in tables with verbally described attributes, in tables...... with visual attributes, or as product mock-ups simulating realistic products as close as possible. So far little is known about how presentation formats affect visual attention patterns and choice behavior. This study addresses the question by analysing visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice...
Kimura, Motohiro; Widmann, Andreas; Schröger, Erich
Recent neuroscience studies using visual mismatch negativity (visual MMN), an event-related brain potential (ERP) index of memory-mismatch processes in the visual sensory system, have shown that although sequential regularities embedded in successive visual stimuli can be automatically represented in the visual sensory system, an existence of sequential regularity itself does not guarantee that the sequential regularity will be automatically represented. In the present study, we investigated the effects of top-down attention on sequential regularity representation in the visual sensory system. Our results showed that a sequential regularity (SSSSD) embedded in a modified oddball sequence where infrequent deviant (D) and frequent standard stimuli (S) differing in luminance were regularly presented (SSSSDSSSSDSSSSD...) was represented in the visual sensory system only when participants attended the sequential regularity in luminance, but not when participants ignored the stimuli or simply attended the dimension of luminance per se. This suggests that top-down attention affects sequential regularity representation in the visual sensory system and that top-down attention is a prerequisite for particular sequential regularities to be represented. Copyright 2010 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.
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.
Awh, Edward; Sgarlata, Antoinette Marie; Kliestik, John
Models of attentional control usually describe online shifts in control settings that accommodate changing task demands. The current studies suggest that online control over distractor exclusion--a core component of visual selection--can be accomplished without online shifts in top-down settings. Measurements of target discrimination accuracy…
Mo, Ce; He, Dongjun; Fang, Fang
Attention priority maps are topographic representations that are used for attention selection and guidance of task-related behavior during visual processing. Previous studies have identified attention priority maps of simple artificial stimuli in multiple cortical and subcortical areas, but investigating neural correlates of priority maps of natural stimuli is complicated by the complexity of their spatial structure and the difficulty of behaviorally characterizing their priority map. To overcome these challenges, we reconstructed the topographic representations of upright/inverted face images from fMRI BOLD signals in human early visual areas primary visual cortex (V1) and the extrastriate cortex (V2 and V3) based on a voxelwise population receptive field model. We characterized the priority map behaviorally as the first saccadic eye movement pattern when subjects performed a face-matching task relative to the condition in which subjects performed a phase-scrambled face-matching task. We found that the differential first saccadic eye movement pattern between upright/inverted and scrambled faces could be predicted from the reconstructed topographic representations in V1-V3 in humans of either sex. The coupling between the reconstructed representation and the eye movement pattern increased from V1 to V2/3 for the upright faces, whereas no such effect was found for the inverted faces. Moreover, face inversion modulated the coupling in V2/3, but not in V1. Our findings provide new evidence for priority maps of natural stimuli in early visual areas and extend traditional attention priority map theories by revealing another critical factor that affects priority maps in extrastriate cortex in addition to physical salience and task goal relevance: image configuration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prominent theories of attention posit that attention sampling of visual information is mediated by a series of interacting topographic representations of visual space known as
Treder Matthias S
Full Text Available Abstract Background In a visual oddball paradigm, attention to an event usually modulates the event-related potential (ERP. An ERP-based brain-computer interface (BCI exploits this neural mechanism for communication. Hitherto, it was unclear to what extent the accuracy of such a BCI requires eye movements (overt attention or whether it is also feasible for targets in the visual periphery (covert attention. Also unclear was how the visual design of the BCI can be improved to meet peculiarities of peripheral vision such as low spatial acuity and crowding. Method Healthy participants (N = 13 performed a copy-spelling task wherein they had to count target intensifications. EEG and eye movements were recorded concurrently. First, (covert attention was investigated by way of a target fixation condition and a central fixation condition. In the latter, participants had to fixate a dot in the center of the screen and allocate their attention to a target in the visual periphery. Second, the effect of visual speller layout was investigated by comparing the symbol Matrix to an ERP-based Hex-o-Spell, a two-levels speller consisting of six discs arranged on an invisible hexagon. Results We assessed counting errors, ERP amplitudes, and offline classification performance. There is an advantage (i.e., less errors, larger ERP amplitude modulation, better classification of overt attention over covert attention, and there is also an advantage of the Hex-o-Spell over the Matrix. Using overt attention, P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3 components are enhanced by attention. Using covert attention, only N2 and P3 are enhanced for both spellers, and N1 and P2 are modulated when using the Hex-o-Spell but not when using the Matrix. Consequently, classifiers rely mainly on early evoked potentials in overt attention and on later cognitive components in covert attention. Conclusions Both overt and covert attention can be used to drive an ERP-based BCI, but performance is markedly lower
Bettencourt, Katherine C; Michalka, Samantha W; Somers, David C
Both visual attention and visual short-term memory (VSTM) have been shown to have capacity limits of 4 ± 1 objects, driving the hypothesis that they share a visual processing buffer. However, these capacity limitations also show strong individual differences, making the degree to which these capacities are related unclear. Moreover, other research has suggested a distinction between attention and VSTM buffers. To explore the degree to which capacity limitations reflect the use of a shared visual processing buffer, we compared individual subject's capacities on attentional and VSTM tasks completed in the same testing session. We used a multiple object tracking (MOT) and a VSTM change detection task, with varying levels of distractors, to measure capacity. Significant correlations in capacity were not observed between the MOT and VSTM tasks when distractor filtering demands differed between the tasks. Instead, significant correlations were seen when the tasks shared spatial filtering demands. Moreover, these filtering demands impacted capacity similarly in both attention and VSTM tasks. These observations fail to support the view that visual attention and VSTM capacity limits result from a shared buffer but instead highlight the role of the resource demands of underlying processes in limiting capacity.
Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate whether an impairment of visual attentional functions constitutes an additional or even an isolated deficit of developmental dyslexia (DD. Especially performance in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel has been reported to be impaired in DD. We review studies that used parameter-based assessment for identifying and quantifying impaired aspect(s of visual attention that underlie this multi-element-processing deficit in DD. These studies used the mathematical framework provided by the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990 to derive quantitative measures of general attentional resources and attentional weighting aspects on the basis of behavioral performance in whole- and partial-report tasks. Based on parameter estimates in children and adults with DD, the reviewed studies support a slowed perceptual processing speed as an underlying primary deficit in DD. Moreover, a reduction in visual short term memory storage capacity seems to present a modulating component, contributing to difficulties in written language processing. Furthermore, comparing the spatial distributions of attentional weights in children and adults suggest that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers.
Doolan, Katy J; Breslin, Gavin; Hanna, Donncha; Murphy, Kate; Gallagher, Alison M
Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the aim of this study was to investigate differences in attentional processing of food-related visual cues between normal-weight and overweight/obese males and females. Twenty-six normal-weight (14M, 12F) and 26 overweight/obese (14M, 12F) adults completed a visual probe task and an eye-tracking paradigm. Reaction times and eye movements to food and control images were collected during both a fasted and fed condition in a counterbalanced design. Participants had greater visual attention towards high-energy-density food images compared to low-energy-density food images regardless of hunger condition. This was most pronounced in overweight/obese males who had significantly greater maintained attention towards high-energy-density food images when compared with their normal-weight counterparts however no between weight group differences were observed for female participants. High-energy-density food images appear to capture visual attention more readily than low-energy-density food images. Results also suggest the possibility of an altered visual food cue-associated reward system in overweight/obese males. Attentional processing of food cues may play a role in eating behaviors thus should be taken into consideration as part of an integrated approach to curbing obesity. © 2014 The Obesity Society.
Eimer, Martin; van Velzen, José
We investigated whether covert unimanual response preparation triggers attention shifts, as postulated by the premotor theory of attention, and whether these result in spatially specific modulations of visual and auditory processing. Visual response cues instructed participants to prepare to lift their left or right index finger in response to a subsequent target stimulus. Irrelevant visual or auditory probes were delivered to the left or right hand during the response preparation interval. ERPs were measured time-locked to cue onset, and time-locked to probe stimulus onset. Lateralised ERP components triggered during covert response preparation (ADAN, LDAP) were similar to components previously found during attention shifts. N1 components were enhanced to visual probes delivered adjacent to the cued response relative to those delivered to the opposite hand. Auditory probe ERPs were unaffected by manual response preparation. Shifts of spatial attention that are triggered during covert unimanual response preparation result in spatially specific modulations of visual but not auditory processing. Results support the claim of the premotor theory that the preparation of manual responses is associated with attention shifts. However, such shifts are not based on purely supramodal processes, as they result in a modality-specific pattern of sensory modulations.
Lansu, Tessa A M; Troop-Gordon, Wendy
Visual attention to high-status peers is well documented, but whether this attentional bias is due to high-status individuals' leadership and prosocial characteristics or due to their more agonistic behaviors has yet to be examined. To identify the affective associations that may underlie visual attention for high-status versus low-status peers, 122 early adolescents (67 girls; M age =11.0years, SD=0.7) completed a primed attention paradigm. Visual attention was measured using eye tracking as participants looked simultaneously at photographs of two classmates: one nominated by peers as popular and one nominated by peers as unpopular. Prior to each trial, the early adolescents were presented with a positive prime, the word "nice"; a negative prime, the word "stupid"; or no prime. Primary analyses focused on first-gaze preference and total gaze time The results showed a stronger first gaze preference for popular peers than for unpopular peers in the no-prime and negative prime trials than in the positive prime trials. The visual preference for a popular peer, thus, was attenuated by the positive prime. These findings are consistent with the notion that youths may visually attend to high-status peers due to their association with more negative characteristics and the threat they may pose to youths' own social standing and ability to gain interpersonal resources. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tsujimura, Akira; Miyagawa, Yasushi; Takada, Shingo; Matsuoka, Yasuhiro; Takao, Tetsuya; Hirai, Toshiaki; Matsushita, Masateru; Nonomura, Norio; Okuyama, Akihiko
Although men appear to be more interested in sexual stimuli than women, this difference is not completely understood. Eye-tracking technology has been used to investigate visual attention to still sexual images; however, it has not been applied to moving sexual images. To investigate whether sex difference exists in visual attention to sexual videos. Eleven male and 11 female healthy volunteers were studied by our new methodology. The subjects viewed two sexual videos (one depicting sexual intercourse and one not) in which several regions were designated for eye-gaze analysis in each frame. Visual attention was measured across each designated region according to gaze duration. Sex differences, the region attracting the most attention, and visually favored sex were evaluated. In the nonintercourse clip, gaze time for the face and body of the actress was significantly shorter among women than among men. Gaze time for the face and body of the actor and nonhuman regions was significantly longer for women than men. The region attracting the most attention was the face of the actress for both men and women. Men viewed the opposite sex for a significantly longer period than did women, and women viewed their own sex for a significantly longer period than did men. However, gaze times for the clip showing intercourse were not significantly different between sexes. A sex difference existed in visual attention to a sexual video without heterosexual intercourse; men viewed the opposite sex for longer periods than did women, and women viewed the same sex for longer periods than did men. There was no statistically significant sex difference in viewing patterns in a sexual video showing heterosexual intercourse, and we speculate that men and women may have similar visual attention patterns if the sexual stimuli are sufficiently explicit.
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.
Priming of visual search strongly affects visual function, releasing items from crowding and during free-choice primed targets are chosen over unprimed ones. Two accounts of priming have been proposed: attentional facilitation of primed features and postperceptual episodic memory retrieval that involves mapping responses to visual events. Here, well-known masking effects were used to assess the two accounts. Object-substitution masking has been considered to reflect attentional processing: It does not occur when a target is precued and is strengthened when distractors are present. Conversely, metacontrast masking has been connected to lower level processing where attention exerts little effect. If priming facilitates attention shifts, it should mitigate object-substitution masking, while lower level masking might not be similarly influenced. Observers searched for an odd-colored target among distractors. Unpredictably (on 20% of trials), object-substitution masks or metacontrast masks appeared around the target. Object-substitution masking was strongly mitigated for primed target colors, while metacontrast masking was mostly unaffected. This argues against episodic retrieval accounts of priming, placing the priming locus firmly within the realm of attentional processing. The results suggest that priming of visual search facilitates attention shifts to the target, which allows better spatiotemporal resolution that overcomes object-substitution masking. © The Author(s) 2015.
Thiessen, Amber; Beukelman, David; Hux, Karen; Longenecker, Maria
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement. Method: Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and 10 adults without neurological…
Jorrit Steven Montijn
Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.
Remmele, Martin; Schmidt, Elena; Lingenfelder, Melissa; Martens, Andreas
Gross anatomy is located in a three-dimensional space. Visualizing aspects of structures in gross anatomy education should aim to provide information that best resembles their original spatial proportions. Stereoscopic three-dimensional imagery might offer possibilities to implement this aim, though some research has revealed potential impairments that may result from observing stereoscopic visualizations, such as discomfort. However, possible impairments of working memory such as decreased visual attention performance due to applying this technology in gross anatomy education have not yet been investigated. Similarly, in gross anatomy education the impact of stereoscopic imagery on learners' recognition of anatomical-spatial relationships and the impact of different presentation formats have only been investigated in a small number of studies. In this study, the performance of 171 teacher trainees working on the anatomy of hearing was examined, either with non-stereoscopic or stereoscopic imagery. Static and dynamic picture presentations were applied. Overall, benefits for stereoscopic imagery on estimating anatomical-spatial relations were found. The performance on a visual attention test indicates that the impact of stereoscopic visualizations on the human cognitive system varies more from person to person compared to non-stereoscopic visualizations. In addition, combinations of temporarily moving pictures and stereoscopic imagery lead to decreased visual attention performance compared to combinations of moving pictures and non-stereoscopic imagery. Anat Sci Educ 11: 15-24. © 2017 American Association of Anatomists. © 2017 American Association of Anatomists.
Hecht, Marcus; Thiemann, Ulf; Freitag, Christine M; Bender, Stephan
Post-perceptual cues can enhance visual short term memory encoding even after the offset of the visual stimulus. However, both the mechanisms by which the sensory stimulus characteristics are buffered as well as the mechanisms by which post-perceptual selective attention enhances short term memory encoding remain unclear. We analyzed late post-perceptual event-related potentials (ERPs) in visual change detection tasks (100ms stimulus duration) by high-resolution ERP analysis to elucidate these mechanisms. The effects of early and late auditory post-cues (300ms or 850ms after visual stimulus onset) as well as the effects of a visual interference stimulus were examined in 27 healthy right-handed adults. Focusing attention with post-perceptual cues at both latencies significantly improved memory performance, i.e. sensory stimulus characteristics were available for up to 850ms after stimulus presentation. Passive watching of the visual stimuli without auditory cue presentation evoked a slow negative wave (N700) over occipito-temporal visual areas. N700 was strongly reduced by a visual interference stimulus which impeded memory maintenance. In contrast, contralateral delay activity (CDA) still developed in this condition after the application of auditory post-cues and was thereby dissociated from N700. CDA and N700 seem to represent two different processes involved in short term memory encoding. While N700 could reflect visual post processing by automatic attention attraction, CDA may reflect the top-down process of searching selectively for the required information through post-perceptual attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.
People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research
De Joux, Neil; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.
Despite a long history of vigilance research, the role of global and local feature discrimination in vigilance tasks has been relatively neglected. In this experiment participants performed a sustained attention task requiring either global or local shape stimuli discrimination. Reaction time to local feature discriminations was characterized by a…
Jongman, S.R.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Scheper, A.R.; Meyer, A.S.
Background: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have problems not only with language performance but also with sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over an extended period of time. Although there is consensus that this ability is impaired with respect to
Lahera, Guillermo; Ruiz, Alicia; Brañas, Antía; Vicens, María; Orozco, Arantxa
Previous studies have linked processing speed with social cognition and functioning of patients with schizophrenia. A discriminant analysis is needed to determine the different components of this neuropsychological construct. This paper analyzes the impact of processing speed, reaction time and sustained attention on social functioning. 98 outpatients between 18 and 65 with DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, with a period of 3 months of clinical stability, were recruited. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected, and the following variables were measured: processing speed (Trail Making Test [TMT], symbol coding [BACS], verbal fluency), simple and elective reaction time, sustained attention, recognition of facial emotions and global functioning. Processing speed (measured only through the BACS), sustained attention (CPT) and elective reaction time (but not simple) were associated with functioning. Recognizing facial emotions (FEIT) correlated significantly with scores on measures of processing speed (BACS, Animals, TMT), sustained attention (CPT) and reaction time. The linear regression model showed a significant relationship between functioning, emotion recognition (P=.015) and processing speed (P=.029). A deficit in processing speed and facial emotion recognition are associated with worse global functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 SEP y SEPB. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Jongman, Suzanne R.; Roelofs, Ardi; Scheper, Annette R.; Meyer, Antje S.
Background: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have problems not only with language performance but also with sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over an extended period of time. Although there is consensus that this ability is impaired with respect to processing stimuli in the auditory perceptual…
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…
Clement, Jesper; Kokkoli, Maria
Buying behaviour theory goes back to the start of the 50’s and over the years different models have been developed influenced by different sociological views and trends. In the age of digitalization and e-commerce these theories seem to be less useful and need revision. In the early days of the Web...... in studying relations between human visual attention and intention to purchase (Clement, 2013). Several companies have found an additional market place on-line, whereas the appearance of the products is often very similar to the physical shop. This goes especially for pharmaceutical products, where pictures...... across culture and national borders it also challenges marketer to make the right set-up for a web-shop. In this paper customers’ visual attention during search for drugs on-line is investigated, relating visual attention and evaluation to a particular web-design....
Clement, Jesper; Kokkoli, Maria
in studying relations between human visual attention and intention to purchase (Clement, 2013). Several companies have found an additional market place on-line, whereas the appearance of the products is often very similar to the physical shop. This goes especially for pharmaceutical products, where pictures...... across culture and national borders it also challenges marketer to make the right set-up for a web-shop. In this paper customers’ visual attention during search for drugs on-line is investigated, relating visual attention and evaluation to a particular web-design......., research argues for a broader view on the complex decision process (Bettman et al., 1998; Hansen, 2005) and regards consumers having constructive decision processes. In the light of on-line sale additional perspectives on decision-models are still needed and recent research emphasizes the important...
Full Text Available We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention.
Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi; Lebedev, Mikhail A; Sorensen, Helge B D; Puthusserypady, Sadasivan
We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs) or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention.
Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads
participants. In both age groups, the same distinct components indexed performance levels of TVA parameters visual processing speed C and visual short-term memory (vSTM) storage capacity K: The posterior N1 marked interindividual differences in C and the contralateral delay activity (CDA) marked inter......We identified neural correlates of declined and preserved basic visual attention functions in aging individuals based on Bundesen’s ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA). In an inter-individual difference approach, we contrasted electrophysiology of higher- and lower-performing younger and older......-individual differences in K. Moreover, both parameters were selectively related to two further ERP waves in older age: The anterior N1 was reduced for older participants with lower processing speed, indicating that age-related loss of attentional resources slows encoding. An enhanced right-central positivity (RCP...
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory-but not necessarily other aspects of working memory.
Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory—but not necessarily other aspects of working memory. PMID:24266343
Bogon, Johanna; Finke, Kathrin; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Stenneken, Prisca
People with developmental dyslexia (DD) have been shown to be impaired in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel. It has been suggested that this deficit originates from disturbed visual attentional functions. The parameter-based assessment of visual attention based on Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual…
Full Text Available Onset stimulus can capture attention and then transfer into visual short-term memory. It remains unknown whether two sudden onsets also capture attention and are stored in vSTM. We modified Belopolsky, Kramer, and Godijn's (2008 visual search paradigm to test this issue. Experiment 1 using one onset and replicated Belopolsky et al's results. Two onsets in Experiment 2 were found to capture attention; however, recognition performance for the onsets was only at chance level, showing poor memory. Experiment 3 used a retro-cue to test whether only one of these two onsets can be stored in vSTM. Experiment 4 tested whehter this poor recognition was caused by interference from meory probe. This study has important insights on how attention interacts with memory.
Peschel, Anne Odile; Orquin, Jacob Lund
in the literature: a linear model based on the assumption of random fixations (Lohse, 1997), a theory of surface size as visual saliency (Pieters et al., 2007), and a theory based on competition for attention (CA; Janiszewski, 1998). We furthermore suggest a fourth model – demand for attention – which we derive...... from the theory of CA by revising the underlying model assumptions. In order to test the models against each other, we reanalyze data from an eye tracking study investigating surface size and saliency effects on attention. The reanalysis revealed little support for the first three theories while...... the demand for attention model showed a much better alignment with the data. We conclude that surface size effects may best be explained as an increase in object signal strength which depends on object size, number of objects in the visual scene, and object distance to the center of the scene. Our findings...
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.
Full Text Available In recent years the spatial resolutions of remote sensing images have been improved greatly. However, a higher spatial resolution image does not always lead to a better result of automatic scene classification. Visual attention is an important characteristic of the human visual system, which can effectively help to classify remote sensing scenes. In this study, a novel visual attention feature extraction algorithm was proposed, which extracted visual attention features through a multiscale process. And a fuzzy classification method using visual attention features (FC-VAF was developed to perform high resolution remote sensing scene classification. FC-VAF was evaluated by using remote sensing scenes from widely used high resolution remote sensing images, including IKONOS, QuickBird, and ZY-3 images. FC-VAF achieved more accurate classification results than the others according to the quantitative accuracy evaluation indices. We also discussed the role and impacts of different decomposition levels and different wavelets on the classification accuracy. FC-VAF improves the accuracy of high resolution scene classification and therefore advances the research of digital image analysis and the applications of high resolution remote sensing images.
Son, Seung-Hee Claire; Tineo, Maria F.
This study examined associations among low-income mothers' use of attention-getting utterances during shared book reading, preschoolers' verbal engagement and visual attention to reading, and their early literacy skills (N = 51). Mother-child shared book reading sessions were videotaped and coded for each utterance, including attention talk,…
Fernanda Machado Lopes
Full Text Available Introduction: Attentional bias, the tendency that a person has to drive or maintain attention to a specific class of stimuli, may play an important role in the etiology and persistence of mental disorders. Attentional bias modification has been studied as a form of additional treatment related to automatic processing. Objectives: This systematic literature review compared and discussed methods, evidence of success and potential clinical applications of studies about attentional bias modification (ABM using a visual probe task. Methods: The Web of Knowledge, PubMed and PsycInfo were searched using the keywords attentional bias modification, attentional bias manipulation and attentional bias training. We selected empirical studies about ABM training using a visual probe task written in English and published between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most (78% succeeded in training attention in the predicted direction, and in 71% results were generalized to other measures correlated with the symptoms. Conclusions: ABM has potential clinical utility, but to standardize methods and maximize applicability, future studies should include clinical samples and be based on findings of studies about its effectiveness.
Elena Aleksandrovna Makarova
Full Text Available The article reflects on the role of visualization in education. Modern society is characterized by rapid growth of information that people have to process in order to maintain progress and sustainability in science and development of education. The amount of information is growing so quickly that a person is no longer able to perceive actual data about the outside world and process it using traditional methods. The basis of the “image of the world” contains not only concepts, but the semantic images created with the help of visual thinking. In our study we assume that students are quite limited in their knowledge about cognitive phenomena or in their meta-cognition and do relatively little monitoring of their own memory, comprehension, and other cognitive enterprises. But we also assume that every student is potentially capable of meta-cognition, which is thinking of how better to perform cognitive actions and to be aware of how to learn. Developing meta-cognitive awareness is important because it helps learners become more efficacious and more autonomous. For many of them it can be identified as the most effective way of acquiring knowledge. Visualizing the very process of learning can help see how well it is going. Schema theory offers different ways of using schemas, especially in education. So far, there have been researches on schema as a tool for particular skills such as better comprehension, memorizing and retrieval of the knowledge received. It means students can use schemas to better understand the process of learning and skills acquired.
Langley, Linda K.; Rokke, Paul D.; Stark, Atiana C.; Saville, Alyson L.; Allen, Jaryn L.; Bagne, Angela G.
To assess age differences in attention-emotion interactions, younger adults (ages 18–33 yrs) and older adults (ages 60–80 yrs) identified target words in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task. The second of two target words was neutral or emotional in content (positive in Experiment 1, negative in Experiment 2). In general, the ability to identify targets from a word stream declined with age. Age differences specific to the attentional blink were greatly reduced when baseline detecti...
Full Text Available The pupillary light response is often assumed to be a reflex that is not susceptible to cognitive influences. In line with recent converging evidence, we show that this reflexive view is incomplete, and that the pupillary light response is modulated by covert visual attention: Covertly attending to a bright area causes a pupillary constriction, relative to attending to a dark area under identical visual input. This attention-related modulation of the pupillary light response predicts cuing effects in behavior, and can be used as an index of how strongly participants attend to a particular location. Therefore, we suggest that pupil size may offer a new way to continuously track the focus of covert visual attention, without requiring a manual response from the participant. The theoretical implication of this finding is that the pupillary light response is neither fully reflexive, nor under complete voluntary control, but is instead best characterized as a stereotyped response to a voluntarily selected target. In this sense, the pupillary light response is similar to saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements. Together, eye movements and the pupillary light response maximize visual acuity, stabilize visual input, and selectively filter visual information as it enters the eye.
Yang, Xiuxian; Yu, Yunmiao; Chen, Lu; Sun, Hailian; Qiao, Zhengxue; Qiu, Xiaohui; Zhang, Congpei; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Xiongzhao; He, Jincai; Zhao, Lun; Yang, Yanjie
Despite ongoing debate about gender differences in pre-attention processes, little is known about gender effects on change detection for auditory and visual stimuli. We explored gender differences in change detection while processing duration information in auditory and visual modalities. We investigated pre-attentive processing of duration information using a deviant-standard reverse oddball paradigm (50 ms/150 ms) for auditory and visual mismatch negativity (aMMN and vMMN) in males and females (n=21/group). In the auditory modality, decrement and increment aMMN were observed at 150-250 ms after the stimulus onset, and there was no significant gender effect on MMN amplitudes in temporal or fronto-central areas. In contrast, in the visual modality, only increment vMMN was observed at 180-260 ms after the onset of stimulus, and it was higher in males than in females. No gender effect was found in change detection for auditory stimuli, but change detection was facilitated for visual stimuli in males. Gender effects should be considered in clinical studies of pre-attention for visual stimuli. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion, have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low. Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal.
Bayer, Mareike; Rossi, Valentina; Vanlessen, Naomi; Grass, Annika; Schacht, Annekathrin; Pourtois, Gilles
Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses. Motivational relevance increased the amplitudes of the C1 component at ∼70 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation occurred independently of spatial attention effects, which were evident at the P1 level. Furthermore, motivation and spatial attention had independent effects on preparatory activation as measured by the contingent negative variation; and pupil data showed increased activation in response to incentive targets. Taken together, these findings suggest independent pathways for the influence of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human visual cortex. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.
Meyerhoff, Hauke S; Papenmeier, Frank; Huff, Markus
Human observers are capable of tracking multiple objects among identical distractors based only on their spatiotemporal information. Since the first report of this ability in the seminal work of Pylyshyn and Storm (1988, Spatial Vision, 3, 179-197), multiple object tracking has attracted many researchers. A reason for this is that it is commonly argued that the attentional processes studied with the multiple object paradigm apparently match the attentional processing during real-world tasks such as driving or team sports. We argue that multiple object tracking provides a good mean to study the broader topic of continuous and dynamic visual attention. Indeed, several (partially contradicting) theories of attentive tracking have been proposed within the almost 30 years since its first report, and a large body of research has been conducted to test these theories. With regard to the richness and diversity of this literature, the aim of this tutorial review is to provide researchers who are new in the field of multiple object tracking with an overview over the multiple object tracking paradigm, its basic manipulations, as well as links to other paradigms investigating visual attention and working memory. Further, we aim at reviewing current theories of tracking as well as their empirical evidence. Finally, we review the state of the art in the most prominent research fields of multiple object tracking and how this research has helped to understand visual attention in dynamic settings.
Full Text Available Childhood maltreatment is associated with attention deficits. We examined the effect of childhood abuse and abuse-by-gene (5-HTTLPR, MAOA, FKBP5 interaction on functional brain connectivity during sustained attention in medication/drug-free adolescents. Functional connectivity was compared, using generalised psychophysiological interaction (gPPI analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data, between 21 age-and gender-matched adolescents exposed to severe childhood abuse and 27 healthy controls, while they performed a parametrically modulated vigilance task requiring target detection with a progressively increasing load of sustained attention. Behaviourally, participants exposed to childhood abuse had increased omission errors compared to healthy controls. During the most challenging attention condition abused participants relative to controls exhibited reduced connectivity, with a left-hemispheric bias, in typical fronto-parietal attention networks, including dorsolateral, rostromedial and inferior prefrontal and inferior parietal regions. Abuse-related connectivity abnormalities were exacerbated in individuals homozygous for the risky C-allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs3800373 of the FK506 Binding Protein 5 (FKBP5 gene. Findings suggest that childhood abuse is associated with decreased functional connectivity in fronto-parietal attention networks and that the FKBP5 genotype moderates neurobiological vulnerability to abuse. These findings represent a first step towards the delineation of abuse-related neurofunctional connectivity abnormalities, which hopefully will facilitate the development of specific treatment strategies for victims of childhood maltreatment.
Full Text Available 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
Full Text Available The visual sense has outstanding significance for human perception and behavior, and visual attention plays a central role in the processing of the sensory input. Thereby, multiple low- and high-level factors contribute to the guidance of attention. The present review focuses on two neglected high-level factors: emotion and personality. The review starts with an overview of different models of attention, providing a conceptual framework and illustrating the nature of low- and high-level factors in visual attention. Then, the ambiguous concept of emotion is described, and recommendations are made for the experimental practice. In the following, we present several studies showing the influence of emotion on overt attention, whereby the distinction between internally and externally located emotional impacts is emphasized. We also provide evidence showing that emotional stimuli influence perceptual processing outside of the focus of attention, whereby results in this field are mixed. Then, we present some detached studies showing the reversed causal effect: attention can also affect emotional responses. The final section on emotion–attention interactions addresses the interplay on the neuronal level, which has been neglected for a long time in neuroscience. In this context, several conceptual recommendations for future research are made. Finally, based on findings showing inter-individual differences in human sensitivity to emotional items, we introduce the wide range of time-independent personality traits that also influence attention, and in this context we try to raise awareness of the consideration of inter-individual differences in the field of neuroscience.
Full Text Available Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people’s homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios.
Vega, Julio; Perdices, Eduardo; Cañas, José M.
Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people's homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios. PMID:23337333
Germano, Giseli Donadon; Pinheiro, Fábio Henrique; Okuda, Paola Matiko Martins; Capellini, Simone Aparecida
The aim of this study was to characterize and to compare the visual-motor perception of students with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with students with good academic performance. Forty students from 2nd to 5th grades of an elementary public school, male gender (100%), aged between 7 and 10 years and 8 months old participated, divided into: GI (20 students with ADHD) and GII (20 students with good academic performance), paired according to age, schooling and gender with GI. The students were submitted to Developmental Test of Visual Perception (DTVP-2). The students of GI presented low performance in spatial position and visual closure (reduced motor) and inferior age equivalent in reduced motor perception, when compared to GII. The difficulties in visual-motor perception presented by students of GI cannot be attributed to a primary deficit, but to a secondary phenomenon of inattention that interferes directly in their visual-motor performance.
Frische, F.; Osterloh, J.-P.; Luedtke, A.
This paper describes the results of experiments conducted with human line pilots and a cognitive pilot model during interaction with a new 40 Flight Management System (FMS). The aim of these experiments was to gather human pilot behavior data in order to calibrate the behavior of the model. Human behavior is mainly triggered by visual perception. Thus, the main aspect was to setup a profile of human pilots' visual attention allocation in a cockpit environment containing the new FMS. We first performed statistical analyses of eye tracker data and then compared our results to common results of familiar analyses in standard cockpit environments. The comparison has shown a significant influence of the new system on the visual performance of human pilots. Further on, analyses of the pilot models' visual performance have been performed. A comparison to human pilots' visual performance revealed important improvement potentials.
Knott, Verner; Shah, Dhrasti; Millar, Anne; McIntosh, Judy; Fisher, Derek; Blais, Crystal; Ilivitsky, Vadim
The procognitive actions of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist nicotine are believed, in part, to motivate the excessive cigarette smoking in schizophrenia, a disorder associated with deficits in multiple cognitive domains, including low-level auditory sensory processes and higher-order attention-dependent operations. As N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction has been shown to contribute to these cognitive impairments, the primary aims of this healthy volunteer study were to: (a) to shed light on the separate and interactive roles of nAChR and NMDAR systems in the modulation of auditory sensory memory (and sustained attention), as indexed by the auditory event-related brain potential - mismatch negativity (MMN), and (b) to examine how these effects are moderated by a predisposition to auditory hallucinations/delusions (HD). In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design involving a low intravenous dose of ketamine (0.04 mg/kg) and a 4 mg dose of nicotine gum, MMN, and performance on a rapid visual information processing (RVIP) task of sustained attention were examined in 24 healthy controls psychometrically stratified as being lower (L-HD, n = 12) or higher (H-HD) for HD propensity. Ketamine significantly slowed MMN, and reduced MMN in H-HD, with amplitude attenuation being blocked by the co-administration of nicotine. Nicotine significantly enhanced response speed [reaction time (RT)] and accuracy (increased % hits and d' and reduced false alarms) on the RVIP, with improved performance accuracy being prevented when nicotine was administered with ketamine. Both % hits and d', as well as RT were poorer in H-HD (vs. L-HD) and while hit rate and d' was increased by nicotine in H-HD, RT was slowed by ketamine in L-HD. Nicotine alleviated ketamine-induced sensory memory impairment and improved attention, particularly in individuals prone to HD.
Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika
To examine whether prenatal exposure to opioid agonist medication is associated with visual selective attention and general attention problems in early childhood. Twenty-two children (mean age = 52.17 months, SD = 1.81) prenatally exposed to methadone, 9 children (mean age = 52.41 months, SD = 1.42) prenatally exposed to buprenorphine and 25 nonexposed comparison children (mean age = 51.44 months, SD = 1.31) were tested. Visual selective attention was measured with a Tobii 1750 Eye Tracker using a spatial negative priming paradigm. Attention problems were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist. The comparison group demonstrated a larger spatial negative priming effect (mean = 23.50, SD = 45.50) than the exposed group [mean = -6.84, SD = 86.39, F(1,50) = 5.91, p = 0.019, η(2) = 0.11]. No difference in reported attention problems was found [F(1,51) = 1.63, p = 0.21, η(2) = 0.03]. Neonatal abstinence syndrome and prenatal exposure to marijuana were found to predict slower saccade latencies in the exposed group (b = 54.55, SE = 23.56, p = 0.03 and b = 88.86, SE = 32.07, p = 0.01, respectively). Although exposed children did not appear to have attention deficits in daily life, lower performance on the SNP task indicates subtle alteration in the attention system. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Navajas, Joaquin; Nitka, Aleksander W; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo
Given the higher chance to recognize attended compared to unattended stimuli, the specific neural correlates of these two processes, attention and awareness, tend to be intermingled in experimental designs. In this study, we dissociated the neural correlates of conscious face perception from the effects of visual attention. To do this, we presented faces at the threshold of awareness and manipulated attention through the use of exogenous prestimulus cues. We show that the N170 component, a scalp EEG marker of face perception, was modulated independently by attention and by awareness. An earlier P1 component was not modulated by either of the two effects and a later P3 component was indicative of awareness but not of attention. These claims are supported by converging evidence from (a) modulations observed in the average evoked potentials, (b) correlations between neural and behavioral data at the single-subject level, and (c) single-trial analyses. Overall, our results show a clear dissociation between the neural substrates of attention and awareness. Based on these results, we argue that conscious face perception is triggered by a boost in face-selective cortical ensembles that can be modulated by, but are still independent from, visual attention. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
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.
Chen, C.; Schneps, M.; Masyn, K.; Thomson, J.
Increasing evidence has shown visual attention span to be a factor, distinct from phonological skills, that explains single-word identification (pseudo-word/word reading) performance in dyslexia. Yet, little is known about how well visual attention span explains text comprehension. Observing reading comprehension in a sample of 105 high school students with dyslexia, we used a pathway analysis to examine the direct and indirect path between visual attention span and reading comprehension whil...
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
Ziegler, Johannes C.; Pech-Georgel, Catherine; Dufau, Stephane; Grainger, Jonathan
Visual-attentional theories of dyslexia predict deficits for dyslexic children not only for the perception of letter strings but also for non-alphanumeric symbol strings. This prediction was tested in a two-alternative forced-choice paradigm with letters, digits, and symbols. Children with dyslexia showed significant deficits for letter and digit…
Yang, Fang-Ying; Chang, Chun-Yen; Chien, Wan-Ru; Chien, Yu-Ta; Tseng, Yuen-Hsien
The purpose of the study was to investigate university learners' visual attention during a PowerPoint (PPT) presentation on the topic of "Dinosaurs" in a real classroom. The presentation, which lasted for about 12-15 min, consisted of 12 slides with various text and graphic formats. An instructor gave the presentation to 21 students…
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.
Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…
Weijkamp, J.; Sadakata, M.
Individuals with more musical training repeatedly demonstrate enhanced auditory perception abilities. The current study examined how these enhanced auditory skills interact with attention to affective audio-visual stimuli. A total of 16 participants with more than 5 years of musical training
Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Hollingworth, Andrew; Luck, Steven J.
This study examined the role of attention in maintaining feature bindings in visual short-term memory. In a change-detection paradigm, participants attempted to detect changes in the colors and orientations of multiple objects; the changes consisted of new feature values in a feature-memory condition and changes in how existing feature values were…
Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Lommel, Sven Van; Bundesen, Claus
, performance (d’) degraded on trials in which former targets were present, suggesting that the former targets automatically drew processing resources away from the current targets. Apparently, the two experiments showed automatic attraction of visual attention by supraletter features of former target strings....
Bahramisharif et al., 2010; Treder et al., 2011). For instance, detection of the locus of visual attention may assist in alerting dur- ing vehicle operation...credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with. Treder , M. S., Bahramisharif, A., Schmidt, N. M., van Gerven, M. A., and Blankertz, B
OTTEN, LJ; RUGG, MD; DOYLE, MC
Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects viewed visually presented words, some of which occurred twice. Each trial consisted of two colored letter strings, the requirement being to attend to and make a word/nonword discrimination for one of the strings. Attention was manipulated
Lallier, Marie; Abu Mallouh, Reem; Mohammed, Ahmed M.; Khalifa, Batoul; Perea, Manuel; Carreiras, Manuel
It is unclear whether the association between the visual attention (VA) span and reading differs across languages. Here we studied this relationship in Arabic, where the use of specific reading strategies depends on the amount of diacritics on words: reading vowelized and nonvowelized Arabic scripts favor sublexical and lexical strategies,…
Boyer, Ty W; Maouene, Josita; Sethuraman, Nitya
Theories of embodied conceptual meaning suggest fundamental relations between others' actions, language, and our own actions and visual attention processes. Prior studies have found that when people view an image of a neutral body in a scene they first look toward, in order, the head, torso, hands, and legs. Other studies show associations between action verbs and the body-effectors used in performing the action (e.g., "jump" with feet/legs; "talk" with face/head). In the present experiment, the visual attention of participants was recorded with a remote eye-tracking system while they viewed an image of an actor pantomiming an action and heard a concrete action verb. Participants manually responded whether or not the action image was a good example of the verb they heard. The eye-tracking results confirmed that participants looked at the head most, followed by the hands, and the feet least of all; however, visual attention to each of the body-parts also varied as a function of the effector associated with the spoken verb on image/verb congruent trials, particularly for verbs associated with the legs. Overall, these results suggest that language influences some perceptual processes; however, hearing auditory verbs did not alter the previously reported fundamental hierarchical sequence of directed attention, and fixations on specific body-effectors may not be essential for verb comprehension as peripheral visual cues may be sufficient to perform the task.
Kiss, Monika; Grubert, Anna; Petersen, Anders
The question whether attentional capture by salient but taskirrelevant visual stimuli is triggered in a bottom–up fashion or depends on top–down task settings is still unresolved. Strong support for bottom–up capture was obtained in the additional singleton task, in which search arrays were visible...
McClure, Elisabeth R.; Chentsova-Dutton, Yulia E.; Holochwost, Steven J.; Parrott, W. G.; Barr, Rachel
Although many relatives use video chat to keep in touch with toddlers, key features of adult-toddler interaction like joint visual attention (JVA) may be compromised in this context. In this study, 25 families with a child between 6 and 24 months were observed using video chat at home with geographically separated grandparents. We define two types…
Russell, Tamara A; Green, Melissa J; Simpson, Ian; Coltheart, Max
The study examined changes in visual attention in schizophrenia following training with a social-cognitive remediation package designed to improve facial emotion recognition (the Micro-Expression Training Tool; METT). Forty out-patients with schizophrenia were randomly allocated to active training (METT; n=26), or repeated exposure (RE; n=14); all completed an emotion recognition task with concurrent eye movement recording. Emotion recognition accuracy was significantly improved in the METT group, and this effect was maintained after one week. Immediately following training, the METT group directed more eye movements within feature areas of faces (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth) compared to the RE group. The number of fixations directed to feature areas of faces was positively associated with emotion recognition accuracy prior to training. After one week, the differences between METT and RE groups in viewing feature areas of faces were reduced to trends. However, within group analyses of the METT group revealed significantly increased number of fixations to, and dwell time within, feature areas following training which were maintained after one week. These results provide the first evidence that improvements in emotion recognition following METT training are associated with changes in visual attention to the feature areas of emotional faces. These findings support the contribution of visual attention abnormalities to emotion recognition impairment in schizophrenia, and suggest that one mechanism for improving emotion recognition involves re-directing visual attention to relevant features of emotional faces.
Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.
The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg
Full Text Available Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and 20 women took part in our controlled experimental study. We examined transfer effects from a four-week driving training (three times per week on visual attention, executive function, and motor skill. Effects were analyzed using an analysis of variance with repeated measurements. Therefore, main factors were group and time to show training-related benefits of our intervention. Results revealed improvements for the intervention group in divided visual attention; however, there were benefits neither in the other cognitive domains nor in the additional motor task. Thus, there are no broad training-induced transfer effects from such an ecologically valid training regime. This lack of findings could be addressed to insufficient training intensities or a participant-induced bias following the cancelled randomization process.
Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM…
Van Den Boer, Madelon; Van Bergen, Elsje; de Jong, Peter F.
Visual attention span, the number of orthographic units that can be processed at a glance, has been shown to predict reading performance in orthographically opaque languages (i.e., French and English), independent from phonological awareness. Whether this relation is also found in Dutch, a more
Bosse, Marie-Line; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis was found successfully to account for variability in developmental dyslexia (Bosse, Tainturier & Valdois, 2007). We conducted a cross-sectional study on 417 typically developing children from first, third and fifth grades examining the role of VA span on the development of reading skills. A battery…
Bosse, Marie-Line; Kandel, Sonia; Prado, Chloé; Valdois, Sylviane
This research investigated whether text reading and copying involve visual attention-processing skills. Children in grades 3 and 5 read and copied the same text. We measured eye movements while reading and the number of gaze lifts (GL) during copying. The children were also administered letter report tasks that constitute an estimation of the…
Holmes, Virginia M.; Dawson, Georgia
The goal of the study was to examine the association between visual-attentional span and lexical decision in skilled adult readers. In the span tasks, an array of letters was presented briefly and recognition or production of a single cued letter (partial span) or production of all letters (whole span) was required. Independently of letter…
Tillmanns, Tanja; Holland, Charlotte; Filho, Alfredo Salomão
This paper presents the design criteria for Visual Cues--visual stimuli that are used in combination with other pedagogical processes and tools in Disruptive Learning interventions in sustainability education--to disrupt learners' existing frames of mind and help re-orient learners' mind-sets towards sustainability. The theory of Disruptive…
Full Text Available Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD responses were measured in parts of primary visual cortex that represented unstimulated visual field regions at different distances from a stimulated central target location. The composition of the visual scene varied by the presence or absence of additional peripheral distracter stimuli. Bottom-up effects were assessed by comparing peripheral activity during central stimulation vs. no stimulation. Top-down effects were assessed by comparing active vs. passive conditions. In passive conditions subjects simply watched the central letter stimuli and in active conditions they had to report occurrence of pre-defined targets in a rapid serial letter stream. Onset of the central letter stream enhanced activity in V1 representations of the stimulated region. Within representations of the periphery activation decreased and finally turned into deactivation with increasing distance from the stimulated location. This pattern was most pronounced in the active conditions and during the presence of peripheral stimuli. Active search for a target did not lead to additional enhancement at areas representing the attentional focus but to a stronger deactivation in the vicinity. Suppressed neuronal activity was also found in the non distracter condition suggesting a top-down attention driven effect. Our observations suggest that BOLD signal decreases in primary visual cortex are modulated by bottom-up sensory-driven factors such as the presence of distracters in the visual field as well as by top-down attentional processes.
Full Text Available Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-minute intervals over a 2 hour 16 minute test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.
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.
Heaton, Kristin J; Maule, Alexis L; Maruta, Jun; Kryskow, Elisabeth M; Ghajar, Jamshid
Fatigue due to sleep restriction places individuals at elevated risk for accidents, degraded health, and impaired physical and mental performance. Early detection of fatigue-related performance decrements is an important component of injury prevention and can help to ensure optimal performance and mission readiness. This study used a predictive visual tracking task and a computer-based measure of attention to characterize fatigue-related attention decrements in healthy Army personnel during acute sleep deprivation. Serving as subjects in this laboratory-based study were 87 male and female service members between the ages of 18 and 50 with no history of brain injury with loss of consciousness, substance abuse, or significant psychiatric or neurologic diagnoses. Subjects underwent 26 h of sleep deprivation, during which eye movement measures from a continuous circular visual tracking task and attention measures (reaction time, accuracy) from the Attention Network Test (ANT) were collected at baseline, 20 h awake, and between 24 to 26 h awake. Increases in the variability of gaze positional errors (46-47%), as well as reaction time-based ANT measures (9-65%), were observed across 26 h of sleep deprivation. Accuracy of ANT responses declined across this same period (11%). Performance measures of predictive visual tracking accurately reflect impaired attention due to acute sleep deprivation and provide a promising approach for assessing readiness in personnel serving in diverse occupational areas, including flight and ground support crews.
Hao Jing; Li Kuncheng; Wang Wei; Yang Yanhui; Zhang Dexuan; Wang Yan; Li Ke; Yan Bin
Objective: To investigate the attention level and p robe the neuro-anatomic basis of visual attention deficits, and to identify its essential causes in AD patients by using functional MRI. Methods: Thirteen patients with AD and 13 healthy subjects of similar age and gender ratio participated in the experiment designed with two visual search tasks. The first was a conjunction task, where two features were presented in the array and spatial attention and feature binding were required. The second task was subset search, where two features were also presented but only one of them was needed in order to group stimuli together (the subset) without the need for feature binding. The fMRI data were collected on a Siemens 1.5 T Sonata MRI system and analyzed by statistical parametric mapping software (SPM 99) to generate the activation map. Results: Although two groups revealed similar networks engaged in different search tasks, including the parietal lobe, frontal lobe, occipital regions, primary visual cortex, and some subcortical structures, there were remarkable differences in the extent of activation of these brain regions between patients and controls. The less activation was demonstrated in the bilateral parietal lobes and left frontal regions, especially in the subset search, in AD patients. Conclusion: The attention deficits in AD patients were caused by 'feature binding' problem and 'grouping' inefficiency. The less activation mainly located in the parietal cortex (unable to switch the focus of their attention 'window' in different spatial locations) , with anterior cingulate and the frontal lobes dysfunction. (authors)
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.
Soto, David; Llewelyn, Dafydd; Silvanto, Juha
Human attention may be guided by representations held in working memory (WM) and also by priming from implicit memory. Neurophysiological data suggest that WM and priming may be associated with distinct neural mechanisms, but this prior evidence is only correlative. Furthermore, the role of the visual cortex in attention biases from memory remains unclear, because most previous studies conflated memory and selection processes. Here, we manipulated memory and attention in an orthogonal fashion and used an interventional approach to demonstrate the functional significance of WM and priming states in visual cortex for attentional biasing. Observers searched for a Landolt target that was preceded by a nonpredictive color cue that either had to be held in WM for a later recognition test or merely attended (priming counterpart). The application of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the occipital cortex modulated the impact of memory on search. Critically, the direction of this modulation depended on the memory state. In the WM condition, the application of TMS on validly cued trials (when the cue surrounded the sought target) enhanced search accuracy relative to the invalid trials (when the cue surrounded a distracter); the opposite pattern was observed in the priming condition. That the effects of occipital TMS on selection were contingent on memory context demonstrates that WM and priming represent distinct states in the early visual cortex that play a causal role in memory-based guidance of attention.
Full Text Available Os autores apresentam os dados normativos de um teste computadorizado de atenção visual (TAVIS para crianças e adolescentes, que representa o primeiro instrumento neuropsicológico deste tipo projetado e desenvolvido no Brasil. Três tarefas diferentes avaliam os apectos de seletividade, alternância e sustentação da atenção. Erros de omissão e ação, bem como o tempo de reação, são avaliados. São comentadas as vantagens e limitações do teste.The authors present the normative data of a computerized test (TAVIS that address visual attention in children and adolescents being the first neuropsychological instrument as such devised and developed in Brazil. Selective, alternate and sustained attention aspects are evaluated through three different tasks. Omission and action errors as well as time reaction are evaluated. The advantages and limitations of the test are commented.
Harris, Irina M; Benito, Claire T; Dux, Paul E
We investigated distractor processing in a dual-target rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task containing familiar objects, by measuring repetition priming from a priming distractor (PD) to Target 2 (T2). Priming from a visually identical PD was contrasted with priming from a PD in a different orientation from T2. We also tested the effect of attention on distractor processing, by placing the PD either within or outside the attentional blink (AB). PDs outside the AB induced positive priming when they were in a different orientation to T2 and no priming, or negative priming, when they were perceptually identical to T2. PDs within the AB induced positive priming regardless of orientation. These findings demonstrate (1) that distractors are processed at multiple levels of representation; (2) that the view-specific representations of distractors are actively suppressed during RSVP; and (3) that this suppression fails in the absence of attention.
Cross-Villasana, Fernando; Finke, Kathrin; Hennig-Fast, Kristina; Kilian, Beate; Wiegand, Iris; Müller, Hermann Joseph; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Töllner, Thomas
Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit slowed reaction times (RTs) in various attention tasks. The exact origins of this slowing, however, have not been established. Potential candidates are early sensory processes mediating the deployment of focal attention, stimulus response translation processes deciding upon the appropriate motor response, and motor processes generating the response. We combined mental chronometry (RT) measures of adult ADHD (n = 15) and healthy control (n = 15) participants with their lateralized event-related potentials during the performance of a visual search task to differentiate potential sources of slowing at separable levels of processing: the posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) was used to index focal-attentional selection times, while the lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to stimulus and response events were used to index the times taken for response selection and production, respectively. To assess the clinical relevance of event-related potentials, a correlation analysis between neural measures and subjective current and retrospective ADHD symptom ratings was performed. ADHD patients exhibited slower RTs than control participants, which were accompanied by prolonged PCN and lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to stimulus, but not lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to response events, latencies. Moreover, the PCN timing was positively correlated with ADHD symptom ratings. The behavioral RT slowing of adult ADHD patients was based on a summation of internal processing delays arising at perceptual and response selection stages; motor response production, by contrast, was not impaired. The correlation between PCN times and ADHD symptom ratings suggests that this brain signal may serve as a potential candidate for a neurocognitive endophenotype of ADHD. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Knoeferle, Klemens M; Knoeferle, Pia; Velasco, Carlos; Spence, Charles
Building on models of crossmodal attention, the present research proposes that brand search is inherently multisensory, in that the consumers' visual search for a specific brand can be facilitated by semantically related stimuli that are presented in another sensory modality. A series of 5 experiments demonstrates that the presentation of spatially nonpredictive auditory stimuli associated with products (e.g., usage sounds or product-related jingles) can crossmodally facilitate consumers' visual search for, and selection of, products. Eye-tracking data (Experiment 2) revealed that the crossmodal effect of auditory cues on visual search manifested itself not only in RTs, but also in the earliest stages of visual attentional processing, thus suggesting that the semantic information embedded within sounds can modulate the perceptual saliency of the target products' visual representations. Crossmodal facilitation was even observed for newly learnt associations between unfamiliar brands and sonic logos, implicating multisensory short-term learning in establishing audiovisual semantic associations. The facilitation effect was stronger when searching complex rather than simple visual displays, thus suggesting a modulatory role of perceptual load. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Goldberg, Michael E; Bisley, James W; Powell, Keith D; Gottlieb, Jacqueline
Neural activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) has been associated with attention to a location in visual space, and with the intention to make saccadic eye movement. In this study we show that neurons in LIP respond to recently flashed task-irrelevant stimuli and saccade targets brought into the receptive field by a saccade, although they respond much to the same stimuli when they are stable in the environment. LIP neurons respond to the appearance of a flashed distractor even when a monkey is planning a memory-guided delayed saccade elsewhere. We then show that a monkey's attention, as defined by an increase in contrast sensitivity, is pinned to the goal of a memory-guided saccade throughout the delay period, unless a distractor appears, in which case attention transiently moves to the site of the distractor and then returns to the goal of the saccade. LIP neurons respond to both the saccade goal and the distractor, and this activity correlates with the monkey's locus of attention. In particular, the activity of LIP neurons predicts when attention migrates from the distractor back to the saccade goal. We suggest that the activity in LIP provides a salience map that is interpreted by the oculomotor system as a saccade goal when a saccade is appropriate, and simultaneously is used by the visual system to determine the locus of attention.
Kim, Soyeon; Chen, Samantha; Tannock, Rosemary
Color vision and self-reported visual function in everyday life in young adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were investigated. Participants were 30 young adults with ADHD and 30 controls matched for age and gender. They were tested individually and completed the Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ), Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test (FMT) and A Quick Test of Cognitive Speed (AQT). The ADHD group reported significantly more problems in 4 of 8 areas on the VAQ: depth perception, peripheral vision, visual search and visual processing speed. Further analyses of VAQ items revealed that the ADHD group endorsed more visual problems associated with driving than controls. Color perception difficulties on the FMT were restricted to the blue spectrum in the ADHD group. FMT and AQT results revealed slower processing of visual stimuli in the ADHD group. A comprehensive investigation of mechanisms underlying visual function and color vision in adults with ADHD is warranted, along with the potential impact of these visual problems on driving performance. Copyright © 2013 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention. PMID:25745395
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention.
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.
Maqbool, Masood; Sinha, Vinod Kumar; Vikas
Neuro-cognitive functions have not been extensively studied among young bipolar disorder patients. Researchers have found cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder and many have found such deficits even in euthymic states of the disorder but results are still inconclusive. To study sustained attention and executive functioning in remitted adolescents with bipolar disorder. Present study was a hospital-based cross-sectional study. Twenty adolescents, aged 14-17 years with bipolar disorder, were selected for the study. Subjects were euthymic for at least 2 months. The performance of patients was matched with normal controls. Sustained attention was primarily measured by Letter Cancellation Test (LCT) and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Trail Making Test (TMT) and Stroop Colour Word Test were used to assess executive functions. Two groups differed significantly on level of education and thus multivariate linear model was used and education was put as a covariate. Results revealed that patients preformed less well than control. Significant poor performance was reported on LCT (omission scores), TMT, Stroop and WCST. The study confirmed previous findings stating that cognitive deficits like sustained attention and executive functions continue to be present in adolescent bipolar patients even in euthymic states.
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.
Chechile, R. A.; Butler, K.; Gutowski, W.; Palmer, E. A.
The effects on divided attention of visual shifts and long-term memory retrieval during a monitoring task are considered. A concurrent vigilance task was standardized under all experimental conditions. The results show that subjects can perform nearly perfectly on all of the time-shared tasks if long-term memory retrieval is not required for monitoring. With the requirement of memory retrieval, however, there was a large decrease in accuracy for all of the time-shared activities. It was concluded that the attentional demand of longterm memory retrieval is appreciable (even for a well-learned motor sequence), and thus memory retrieval results in a sizable reduction in the capability of subjects to divide their attention. A selected bibliography on the divided attention literature is provided.
Alastair Charles Smith
Full Text Available Language-mediated visual attention describes the interaction of two fundamental components of the human cognitive system, language and vision. Within this paper we present an amodal shared resource model of language-mediated visual attention that offers a description of the information and processes involved in this complex multimodal behaviour and a potential explanation for how this ability is acquired. We demonstrate that the model is not only sufficient to account for the experimental effects of Visual World Paradigm studies but also that these effects are emergent properties of the architecture of the model itself, rather than requiring separate information processing channels or modular processing systems. The model provides an explicit description of the connection between the modality-specific input from language and vision and the distribution of eye gaze in language mediated visual attention. The paper concludes by discussing future applications for the model, specifically its potential for investigating the factors driving observed individual differences in language mediated eye gaze.
Foerster, Rebecca M; Schneider, Werner X
Long-term memory (LTM) delivers important control signals for attentional selection. LTM expectations have an important role in guiding the task-driven sequence of covert attention and gaze shifts, especially in well-practiced multistep sensorimotor actions. What happens when LTM expectations are disconfirmed? Does a sensory-based visual-search mode of attentional selection replace the LTM-based mode? What happens when prior LTM expectations become valid again? We investigated these questions in a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on spatially distributed numbered shapes in ascending order while gaze was recorded. Sixty trials were performed with a constant spatial arrangement. In 20 consecutive trials, either numbers, shapes, both, or no features switched position. In 20 reversion trials, participants worked on the original arrangement. Only the sequence-affecting number switches elicited slower clicking, visual search-like scanning, and lower eye-hand synchrony. The effects were neither limited to the exchanged numbers nor to the corresponding actions. Thus, expectation violations in a well-learned sensorimotor sequence cause a regression from LTM-based attentional selection to visual search beyond deviant-related actions and locations. Effects lasted for several trials and reappeared during reversion. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
Beste, Christian; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Ness, Vanessa; Epplen, Jörg T; Arning, Larissa
The ADORA2A gene encodes the adenosine A(2A) receptor that is highly expressed in the striatum where it plays a role in modulating glutamatergic and dopaminergic transmission. Glutamatergic signaling has been suggested to play a pivotal role in cognitive functions related to the pre-attentive processing of external stimuli. Yet, the precise molecular mechanism of these processes is poorly understood. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether ADORA2A gene variation has modulating effects on visual pre-attentive sensory memory processing. Studying two polymorphisms, rs5751876 and rs2298383, in 199 healthy control subjects who performed a partial-report paradigm, we find that ADORA2A variation is associated with differences in the efficiency of pre-attentive sensory memory sub-processes. We show that especially the initial visual availability of stimulus information is rendered more efficiently in the homozygous rare genotype groups. Processes related to the transfer of information into working memory and the duration of visual sensory (iconic) memory are compromised in the homozygous rare genotype groups. Our results show a differential genotype-dependent modulation of pre-attentive sensory memory sub-processes. Hence, we assume that this modulation may be due to differential effects of increased adenosine A(2A) receptor signaling on glutamatergic transmission and striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) interaction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Luo, Y. J.; Greenwood, P. M.; Parasuraman, R.
The temporal dynamics of the spatial scaling of attention during visual search were examined by recording event-related potentials (ERPs). A total of 16 young participants performed a search task in which the search array was preceded by valid cues that varied in size and hence in precision of target localization. The effects of cue size on short-latency (P1 and N1) ERP components, and the time course of these effects with variation in cue-target stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), were examined. Reaction time (RT) to discriminate a target was prolonged as cue size increased. The amplitudes of the posterior P1 and N1 components of the ERP evoked by the search array were affected in opposite ways by the size of the precue: P1 amplitude increased whereas N1 amplitude decreased as cue size increased, particularly following the shortest SOA. The results show that when top-down information about the region to be searched is less precise (larger cues), RT is slowed and the neural generators of P1 become more active, reflecting the additional computations required in changing the spatial scale of attention to the appropriate element size to facilitate target discrimination. In contrast, the decrease in N1 amplitude with cue size may reflect a broadening of the spatial gradient of attention. The results provide electrophysiological evidence that changes in the spatial scale of attention modulate neural activity in early visual cortical areas and activate at least two temporally overlapping component processes during visual search.
Full Text Available Visuospatial attention and short-term memory allow us to prioritize, select, and briefly maintain part of the visual information that reaches our senses. These cognitive abilities are quantitatively accounted for by Bundesen’s theory of visual attention (TVA; Bundesen, 1990. Previous studies have suggested that TVA-based assessments are sensitive to inter-individual differences in spatial bias, visual short-term memory capacity, top-down control, and processing speed in healthy volunteers as well as in patients with various neurological and psychiatric conditions. However, most neuropsychological assessments of attention and executive functions, including TVA-based assessment, make use of alphanumeric stimuli and/or are performed verbally, which can pose difficulties for individuals who have troubles processing letters or numbers. Here we examined the reliability of TVA-based assessments when stimuli are used that are not alphanumeric, but instead based on line-drawings of fruits and vegetables. We compared five TVA parameters quantifying the aforementioned cognitive abilities, obtained by modeling accuracy data on a whole/partial report paradigm using conventional alphabet stimuli versus the food stimuli. Significant correlations were found for all TVA parameters, indicating a high parallel-form reliability. Split-half correlations assessing internal reliability, and correlations between predicted and observed data assessing goodness-of-fit were both significant. Our results provide an indication that line-drawings of fruits and vegetables can be used for a reliable assessment of attention and short-term memory.
Geldof, Christiaan J A; de Kieviet, Jorrit F; Dik, Marjolein; Kok, Joke H; van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, Aleid G; Oosterlaan, Jaap
This study aimed to establish visual search performance and attention functioning in very preterm/very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) children using novel and well established measures, and to study their contribution to intellectual functioning. Visual search and attention network efficiency were assessed in 108 VP/VLBW children and 72 age matched term controls at 5.5 years corrected age. Visual search performance was investigated with a newly developed paradigm manipulating stimulus density and stimulus organization. Attention functioning was studied using the Attention Network Test (ANT). Intellectual functioning was measured by a short form of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Data were analyzed using ANOVAs and multiple regression analyses. Visual search was less efficient in VP/VLBW children as compared to term controls, as indicated by increased search time (0.31 SD, p = .04) and increased error rate (0.36 SD, p = .02). In addition, VP/VLBW children demonstrated poorer executive attention as indicated by lower accuracy for the executive attention measure of the ANT (0.61 SD, p attention measures (0.13 SD, p = .42). Visual search time and error rate, and executive attention, collectively, accounted for 14% explained variance in full scale IQ (R(2) = .14, p attention. Visual attention dysfunctions contributed to intelligence, suggesting the opportunity to improve intellectual functioning by using interventions programs that may enhance attention capacities. © 2013.
Buschschulte, Antje; Boehler, Carsten N; Strumpf, Hendrik; Stoppel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max
Attention to task-relevant features leads to a biasing of sensory selection in extrastriate cortex. Features signaling reward seem to produce a similar bias, but how modulatory effects due to reward and attention relate to each other is largely unexplored. To address this issue, it is critical to separate top-down settings defining reward relevance from those defining attention. To this end, we used a visual search paradigm in which the target's definition (attention to color) was dissociated from reward relevance by delivering monetary reward on search frames where a certain task-irrelevant color was combined with the target-defining color to form the target object. We assessed the state of neural biasing for the attended and reward-relevant color by analyzing the neuromagnetic brain response to asynchronously presented irrelevant distractor probes drawn in the target-defining color, the reward-relevant color, and a completely irrelevant color as a reference. We observed that for the prospect of moderate rewards, the target-defining color but not the reward-relevant color produced a selective enhancement of the neuromagnetic response between 180 and 280 msec in ventral extrastriate visual cortex. Increasing reward prospect caused a delayed attenuation (220-250 msec) of the response to reward probes, which followed a prior (160-180 msec) response enhancement in dorsal ACC. Notably, shorter latency responses in dorsal ACC were associated with stronger attenuation in extrastriate visual cortex. Finally, an analysis of the brain response to the search frames revealed that the presence of the reward-relevant color in search distractors elicited an enhanced response that was abolished after increasing reward size. The present data together indicate that when top-down definitions of reward relevance and attention are separated, the behavioral significance of reward-associated features is still rapidly coded in higher-level cortex areas, thereby commanding effective top
A cross-sectional design was employed to assess the effects of CNS therapy including cranial irradiation (CRT) on visual attention. Forty one children between the ages of 8 and 16 years, 24 with a history of CRT, were tested. The attentional measure was a set of 14 timed, age-normed visual cancellation tasks that permitted an assessment of task-relevant motor response speed in the measurement of attentional efficiency. CRT doses ranged from 1000 to 4800 rads, administered to whole brain between 1 and 12 years prior to testing. It was found that increasing doses of CRT were associated with slower motor responding. Motor speed accounted for a significant proportion of variance in attentional task performance: slowed motor responding must be controlled by covariation in the measurement of attentional abilities in CRT-treated children. No child receiving CRT before age 4 and more than 5 years prior to testing performed above the mean overall on the attentional task, compared to several children demonstrating above-average performance who received CRT less than 5 years prior to testing. Scores for the CRT group were highly correlated with IQ and achievement results. CRT variables (dose, age at earliest CRT, time since CRT) explained half the variance in attentional task performance. Children who received CRT performed significantly below the mean on subtests with the most complex, symbolic or sequential target stimuli, a pattern that has predicted poor academic achievement in non-medically ill children. It was concluded that children receiving CRT should continue to be evaluated more than five years after treatment to monitor potential late effects of neurotoxic treatment. Longitudinal, prospective, well-controlled dose-effect research using a developmentally sensitive, theoretically grounded battery of attentional measures is needed to best compare neurotoxicity of different treatment regima in children
Chen, Mei-Ching; Tsai, Pei-Luen; Huang, Yu-Ting; Lin, Keh-Chung
To investigate whether listening to pleasant music improves visual attention to and awareness of contralesional stimuli in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. A within-subject design was used with 19 participants with unilateral neglect following a right hemisphere stroke. Participants were tested in three conditions (pleasant music, unpleasant music and white noise) within 1 week. All musical pieces were chosen by the participants. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three sub-tests of the Behavioural Inattention Test (the Star Cancellation Test, the Line Bisection Test and the Picture Scanning test) and a visual exploration task with everyday scenes. Eye movements in the visual exploration task were recorded simultaneously. Mood and arousal induced by different auditory stimuli were assessed using visual analogue scales, heart rate and galvanic skin response. Compared with unpleasant music and white noise, participants rated their moods as more positive and arousal as higher with pleasant music, but also showed significant improvement on all tasks and eye movement data, except the Line Bisection Test. The findings suggest that pleasant music can improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. Additional research using randomized controlled trials is required to validate these findings.
Antzaka, A; Lallier, M; Meyer, S; Diard, J; Carreiras, M; Valdois, S
Recent studies reported that Action Video Game-AVG training improves not only certain attentional components, but also reading fluency in children with dyslexia. We aimed to investigate the shared attentional components of AVG playing and reading, by studying whether the Visual Attention (VA) span, a component of visual attention that has previously been linked to both reading development and dyslexia, is improved in frequent players of AVGs. Thirty-six French fluent adult readers, matched on chronological age and text reading proficiency, composed two groups: frequent AVG players and non-players. Participants performed behavioural tasks measuring the VA span, and a challenging reading task (reading of briefly presented pseudo-words). AVG players performed better on both tasks and performance on these tasks was correlated. These results further support the transfer of the attentional benefits of playing AVGs to reading, and indicate that the VA span could be a core component mediating this transfer. The correlation between VA span and pseudo-word reading also supports the involvement of VA span even in adult reading. Future studies could combine VA span training with defining features of AVGs, in order to build a new generation of remediation software.
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.
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited in capacity. Therefore, it is important to encode only visual information that is most likely to be relevant to behaviour. Here we asked which aspects of selective biasing of VSTM encoding predict subsequent memory-based performance. We measured EEG during a selective VSTM encoding task, in which we varied parametrically the memory load and the precision of recall required to compare a remembered item to a subsequent probe item. On half the trials, a spatial cue indicated that participants only needed to encode items from one hemifield. We observed a typical sequence of markers of anticipatory spatial attention: early attention directing negativity (EDAN), anterior attention directing negativity (ADAN), late directing attention positivity (LDAP); as well as of VSTM maintenance: contralateral delay activity (CDA). We found that individual differences in preparatory brain activity (EDAN/ADAN) predicted cue-related changes in recall accuracy, indexed by memory-probe discrimination sensitivity (d'). Importantly, our parametric manipulation of memory-probe similarity also allowed us to model the behavioural data for each participant, providing estimates for the quality of the memory representation and the probability that an item could be retrieved. We found that selective encoding primarily increased the probability of accurate memory recall; that ERP markers of preparatory attention predicted the cue-related changes in recall probability. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i cortical responses (EPs evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation.
Kollei, Ines; Horndasch, Stefanie; Erim, Yesim; Martin, Alexandra
Cognitive behavioral models postulate that selective attention plays an important role in the maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). It is suggested that individuals with BDD overfocus on perceived defects in their appearance, which may contribute to the excessive preoccupation with their appearance. The present study used eye tracking to examine visual selective attention in individuals with BDD (n=19), as compared to individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) (n=21) and healthy controls (HCs) (n=21). Participants completed interviews, questionnaires, rating scales and an eye tracking task: Eye movements were recorded while participants viewed photographs of their own face and attractive as well as unattractive other faces. Eye tracking data showed that BDD and BN participants focused less on their self-rated most attractive facial part than HCs. Scanning patterns in own and other faces showed that BDD and BN participants paid as much attention to attractive as to unattractive features in their own face, whereas they focused more on attractive features in attractive other faces. HCs paid more attention to attractive features in their own face and did the same in attractive other faces. Results indicate an attentional bias in BDD and BN participants manifesting itself in a neglect of positive features compared to HCs. Perceptual retraining may be an important aspect to focus on in therapy in order to overcome the neglect of positive facial aspects. Future research should aim to disentangle attentional processes in BDD by examining the time course of attentional processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The role of central attention in visual short-term memory (VSTM) encoding and maintenance is well established, yet its role in retrieval has been largely unexplored. This study examined the involvement of central attention in retrieval from VSTM using a dual-task paradigm. Participants performed a color change-detection task. Set size varied between 1 and 3 items, and the memory sample was maintained for either a short or a long delay period. A secondary tone discrimination task was introduced at the end of the delay period, shortly before the appearance of a central probe, and occupied central attention while participants were searching within VSTM representations. Similarly to numerous previous studies, reaction time increased as a function of set size reflecting the occurrence of a capacity-limited memory search. When the color targets were maintained over a short delay, memory was searched for the most part without the involvement of central attention. However, with a longer delay period, the search relied entirely on the operation of central attention. Taken together, this study demonstrates that central attention is involved in retrieval from VSTM, but the extent of its involvement depends on the duration of the delay period. Future studies will determine whether the type of memory search (parallel or serial) carried out during retrieval depends on the nature of the attentional mechanism involved the task.
Lee, Byoung Gi; Choi, Jong Suk; Yoon, Sang Suk; Choi, Mun Taek; Kim, Mun Sang; Kim, Dai Jin
Service robots are equipped with various sensors such as vision camera, sonar sensor, laser scanner, and microphones. Although these sensors have their own functions, some of them can be made to work together and perform more complicated functions. AudioFvisual fusion is a typical and powerful combination of audio and video sensors, because audio information is complementary to visual information and vice versa. Human beings also mainly depend on visual and auditory information in their daily life. In this paper, we conduct two studies using audioFvision fusion: one is on enhancing the performance of sound localization, and the other is on improving robot attention through sound localization and face detection
Facon, Bruno; Beghin, Mary; Rivière, Vinca
The frequency of verbal perseverations of two children with severe visual impairment was reduced using differential reinforcement of appropriate speech coupled with extinction of perseverative utterances. A reversal design in which baseline and intervention were alternated in an A-B-A-B sequence was employed to show the functional relationship between the target behaviors and the treatment procedure. There was a marked increase in appropriate utterances and a correlated decrease in perseverative ones. These findings suggest that this singular feature of the language of certain children with visual impairment is, under natural conditions, probably maintained by the attention provided by their caregivers.
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…
van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density
Schneider, Daniel; Bonmassar, Claudia; Hickey, Clayton
A cue indicating the possibility of cash reward will cause participants to perform memory-based visual search more efficiently. A recent study has suggested that this performance benefit might reflect the use of multiple memory systems: when needed, participants may maintain the to-be-remembered object in both long-term and short-term visual memory, with this redundancy benefitting target identification during search (Reinhart, McClenahan & Woodman, 2016). Here we test this compelling hypothesis. We had participants complete a memory-based visual search task involving a reward cue that either preceded presentation of the to-be-remembered target (pre-cue) or followed it (retro-cue). Following earlier work, we tracked memory representation using two components of the event-related potential (ERP): the contralateral delay activity (CDA), reflecting short-term visual memory, and the anterior P170, reflecting long-term storage. We additionally tracked attentional preparation and deployment in the contingent negative variation (CNV) and N2pc, respectively. Results show that only the reward pre-cue impacted our ERP indices of memory. However, both types of cue elicited a robust CNV, reflecting an influence on task preparation, both had equivalent impact on deployment of attention to the target, as indexed in the N2pc, and both had equivalent impact on visual search behavior. Reward prospect thus has an influence on memory-guided visual search, but this does not appear to be necessarily mediated by a change in the visual memory representations indexed by CDA. Our results demonstrate that the impact of motivation on search is not a simple product of improved memory for target templates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zang, Di; Chai, Zhenliang; Zhang, Junqi; Zhang, Dongdong; Cheng, Jiujun
A vehicle's license plate is the unique feature by which to identify each individual vehicle. As an important research area of an intelligent transportation system, the recognition of vehicle license plates has been investigated for some decades. An approach based on a visual attention model and deep learning is proposed to handle the problem of Chinese car license plate recognition for traffic videos. We first use a modified visual attention model to locate the license plate, and then the license plate is segmented into seven blocks using a projection method. Two classifiers, which combine the advantages of convolutional neural network-based feature learning and support vector machine for multichannel processing, are designed to recognize Chinese characters, numbers, and alphabet letters, respectively. Experimental results demonstrate that the presented method can achieve high recognition accuracy and works robustly even under the conditions of illumination change and noise contamination.
Full Text Available Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attention. We show that adapting to images of heads turned 25° to the right or left produces a perceptual bias in judging the turning direction of subsequently presented bodies. In contrast, little to no change in the judgment of head orientation occurs after adapting to extremely oriented bodies. The unidirectional nature of the aftereffect suggests that cues from the human body signaling social attention are combined in a hierarchical fashion and is consistent with evidence from single-cell recording studies in nonhuman primates showing that information about head orientation can override information about body posture when both are visible.
Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy
Globally there is increasing advocacy for the implementation of laws requiring disclaimer labels to be attached to media images that have been digitally altered, with the goal of reducing the known negative effects of exposure to unrealistic thin ideal imagery for women. The current study used eye tracking technology to establish how digital alteration disclaimer labels affect women's visual attention to fashion magazine advertisements, and the interrelationship with body dissatisfaction and state appearance comparison. Participants were 120 female undergraduate students who viewed four thin ideal advertisements with either no disclaimer, a generic disclaimer, or a more detailed specific disclaimer. It was found that women did attend to the disclaimers. Specifically worded disclaimers directed visual attention towards target body areas, which resulted in increased body dissatisfaction, while state appearance comparison predicted increased body dissatisfaction. Further research is imperative to provide guidance on the most effective use of disclaimer labels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gago, Débora; Almeida, Rosa Maria Martins de
Different emotional reactions can be induced by the presentation of visual stimuli with affective content. Emotional stimuli are processed and linked with cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, and anxiety, and have implications in the mental health field. Previous studies have reported that positive and negative emotions tend to change cognitive processes in individuals, ultimately resulting in better and worse performance, respectively. Many studies have emphasized the crucial role...
Visschers, Vivianne HM; Hess, Rebecca; Siegrist, Michael
Abstract Objective In the present study we investigated consumers' visual attention to nutrition information on food products using an indirect instrument, an eye tracker. In addition, we looked at whether people with a health motivation focus on nutrition information on food products more than people with a taste motivation. Design Respondents were instructed to choose one of five cereals for either the kindergarten (health motivation) or the student cafeteria (taste motivation). The eye tra...
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.
Schmidt, Ricarda; Lüthold, Patrick; Kittel, Rebekka; Tetzlaff, Anne; Hilbert, Anja
Evidence suggests that adults with binge-eating disorder (BED) are prone of having their attention interfered by food cues, and that food-related attentional biases are associated with calorie intake and eating disorder psychopathology. For adolescents with BED experimental evidence on attentional processing of food cues is lacking. Using eye-tracking and a visual search task, the present study examined visual orienting and disengagement processes of food in youth with BED. Eye-movement data and reaction times were recorded in 25 adolescents (12-20 years) with BED and 25 controls (CG) individually matched for sex, age, body mass index, and socio-economic status. During a free exploration paradigm, the BED group showed a greater gaze duration bias for food images than the CG. Groups did not differ in gaze direction biases. In a visual search task, the BED group showed a greater detection bias for food targets than the CG. Group differences were more pronounced for personally attractive than unattractive food images. Regarding clinical associations, only in the BED group the gaze duration bias for food was associated with increased hunger and lower body mass index, and the detection bias for food targets was associated with greater reward sensitivity. The study provided first evidence of an attentional bias to food in adolescents with BED. However, more research is needed for further specifying disengagement and orienting processes in adolescent BED, including overt and covert attention, and their prospective associations with binge-eating behaviors and associated psychopathology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Aboitiz, Francisco
The present study explores the neural correlates of voluntary modulations of attention in an auditory-visual matching task. Visual stimuli (a female or a male face) were preceded in close temporal proximity by auditory stimuli consisting of the Spanish word for "man" and "woman" ("hombre" or "mujer"). In 80% of the trials the gender of the two stimuli coincided. Participants were asked to mentally count the specific instances in which a female face appeared after hearing the word "man" (10 % of the trials). Our results show attention-related amplitude modulation of the early visual ERP components NI and anterior P2, but also amplitude modulations of (i) the N270 potential usually associated with conflict detection, (ii) a P300 wave related to infrequency, and (iii) an N400 potential related to semantic incongruence. The elicitation of these latter components varied according to task manipulations, evidencing the role of voluntary allocation of attention in fine-tuning cognitive processing, which includes basic processes like detection of infrequency or semantic incongruity often considered to be volition-independent.
Full Text Available A few previous studies have illustrated the potentials of compact polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (CP SAR in ship detection. In this paper, we design a ship detection algorithm of CP SAR from the perspective of computer vision. A ship detection algorithm using the pulsed cosine transform (PCT visual attention model is proposed to suppress background clutter and highlight conspicuous ship targets. It is the first time that a visual attention model is introduced to CP SAR application. The proposed algorithm is a quick and complete framework for practical use. Polarimetric features—the relative phase δ and volume scattering component—are extracted from m-δ decomposition to eliminate false alarms and modify the PCT model. The constant false alarm rate (CFAR algorithm based on lognormal distribution is adopted to detect ship targets, after a clutter distribution fitting procedure of the modified saliency map. The proposed method is then tested on three simulated circular-transmit-linear-receive (CTLR mode images, which covering East Sea of China. Compared with the detection results of SPAN and the saliency map with only single-channel amplitude, the proposed method achieves the highest detection rates and the lowest misidentification rate and highest figure of merit, proving the effectiveness of polarimetric information of compact polarimetric SAR ship detection and the enhancement from the visual attention model.
Eckstein, Miguel P.; Shimozaki, Steven S.; Abbey, Craig K.
In the Posner cueing paradigm, observers' performance in detecting a target is typically better in trials in which the target is present at the cued location than in trials in which the target appears at the uncued location. This effect can be explained in terms of a Bayesian observer where visual attention simply weights the information differently at the cued (attended) and uncued (unattended) locations without a change in the quality of processing at each location. Alternatively, it could also be explained in terms of visual attention changing the shape of the perceptual filter at the cued location. In this study, we use the classification image technique to compare the human perceptual filters at the cued and uncued locations in a contrast discrimination task. We did not find statistically significant differences between the shapes of the inferred perceptual filters across the two locations, nor did the observed differences account for the measured cueing effects in human observers. Instead, we found a difference in the magnitude of the classification images, supporting the idea that visual attention changes the weighting of information at the cued and uncued location, but does not change the quality of processing at each individual location.
N. Sanjay Rebello1
Full Text Available This study investigated how visual attention differed between those who correctly versus incorrectly answered introductory physics problems. We recorded eye movements of 24 individuals on six different conceptual physics problems where the necessary information to solve the problem was contained in a diagram. The problems also contained areas consistent with a novicelike response and areas of high perceptual salience. Participants ranged from those who had only taken one high school physics course to those who had completed a Physics Ph.D. We found that participants who answered correctly spent a higher percentage of time looking at the relevant areas of the diagram, and those who answered incorrectly spent a higher percentage of time looking in areas of the diagram consistent with a novicelike answer. Thus, when solving physics problems, top-down processing plays a key role in guiding visual selective attention either to thematically relevant areas or novicelike areas depending on the accuracy of a student’s physics knowledge. This result has implications for the use of visual cues to redirect individuals’ attention to relevant portions of the diagrams and may potentially influence the way they reason about these problems.
Fang, Yuming; Zhang, Chi; Li, Jing; Lei, Jianjun; Perreira Da Silva, Matthieu; Le Callet, Patrick
In this paper, we investigate the visual attention modeling for stereoscopic video from the following two aspects. First, we build one large-scale eye tracking database as the benchmark of visual attention modeling for stereoscopic video. The database includes 47 video sequences and their corresponding eye fixation data. Second, we propose a novel computational model of visual attention for stereoscopic video based on Gestalt theory. In the proposed model, we extract the low-level features, including luminance, color, texture, and depth, from discrete cosine transform coefficients, which are used to calculate feature contrast for the spatial saliency computation. The temporal saliency is calculated by the motion contrast from the planar and depth motion features in the stereoscopic video sequences. The final saliency is estimated by fusing the spatial and temporal saliency with uncertainty weighting, which is estimated by the laws of proximity, continuity, and common fate in Gestalt theory. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art stereoscopic video saliency detection models on our built large-scale eye tracking database and one other database (DML-ITRACK-3D).
Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth
The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9- and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.
Full Text Available The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9-year-old and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.
Antzaka, Alexia; Martin, Clara; Caffarra, Sendy; Schlöffel, Sophie; Carreiras, Manuel; Lallier, Marie
The present study investigated whether orthographic depth can increase the bias towards multi-letter processing in two reading-related skills: visual attention span (VAS) and rapid automatized naming (RAN). VAS (i.e., the number of visual elements that can be processed at once in a multi-element array) was tested with a visual 1-back task and RAN…
Full Text Available 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.
Bartolomeo, Paolo; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Chica, Ana B.
Visual neglect is a multi-component syndrome including prominent attentional disorders. Research on the functional mechanisms of neglect is now moving from the description of dissociations in patients' performance to the identification of the possible component deficits and of their interaction with compensatory strategies. In recent years, the dissection of attentional deficits in neglect has progressed in parallel with increasing comprehension of the anatomy and function of large-scale brain networks implicated in attentional processes. This review focuses on the anatomy and putative functions of attentional circuits in the brain, mainly subserved by fronto-parietal networks, with a peculiar although not yet completely elucidated role for the right hemisphere. Recent results are discussed concerning the influence of a non-spatial attentional function, phasic alertness, on conscious perception in normal participants and on conflict resolution in neglect patients. The rapid rate of expansion of our knowledge of these systems raises hopes for the development of effective strategies to improve the functioning of the attentional networks in brain-damaged patients. PMID:22586384
Full Text Available Whether Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD is associated with an increased attentional bias to emotive stimuli remains controversial. Additionally, it is unclear whether comorbid depression modulates abnormal emotional processing in OCD. This study examined attentional bias to OC-relevant scenes using a visual search task. Controls, non-depressed and depressed OCD patients searched for their personally selected positive images amongst their negative distractors, and vice versa. Whilst the OCD groups were slower than healthy individuals in rating the images, there were no group differences in the magnitude of negative bias to concern-related scenes. A second experiment employing a common set of images replicated the results on an additional sample of OCD patients. Although there was a larger bias to negative OC-related images without pre-exposure overall, no group differences in attentional bias were observed. However, OCD patients subsequently rated the images more slowly and more negatively, again suggesting post-attentional processing abnormalities. The results argue against a robust attentional bias in OCD patients, regardless of their depression status and speak to generalized difficulties disengaging from negative valence stimuli. Rather, post-attentional processing abnormalities may account for differences in emotional processing in OCD.
Wathan, Jennifer; McComb, Karen
Sensitivity to the attentional states of others has adaptive advantages, and in social animals, attending to others is important for predator detection, as well as a pre-requisite for normal social functioning and more complex socio-cognitive abilities. Despite widespread interest in how social species perceive attention in others, studies of non-human animals have been inconclusive about the detailed cues involved. Previous work has focused on head and eye direction, overlooking the fact that many mammals have obvious and mobile ears that could act as a visual cue to attention. Here we report that horses use the head orientation of a conspecific to locate food, but that this ability is disrupted when parts of the face (the eyes and ears) are covered up with naturalistic masks. The ability to correctly judge attention also interacted with the identity of the model horse, suggesting that individual differences in facial features may influence the salience of cues. Our results indicate that a combination of head orientation with facial expression, specifically involving both the eyes and ears, is necessary for communicating social attention. These findings emphasise that in order to understand how attention is communicated in non-human animals, it is essential to consider a broad range of cues.
Reinhart, Robert M G; Woodman, Geoffrey F
Scientists have long proposed that memory representations control the mechanisms of attention that focus processing on the task-relevant objects in our visual field. Modern theories specifically propose that we rely on working memory to store the object representations that provide top-down control over attentional selection. Here, we show that the tuning of perceptual attention can be sharply accelerated after 20 min of noninvasive brain stimulation over medial-frontal cortex. Contrary to prevailing theories of attention, these improvements did not appear to be caused by changes in the nature of the working memory representations of the search targets. Instead, improvements in attentional tuning were accompanied by changes in an electrophysiological signal hypothesized to index long-term memory. We found that this pattern of effects was reliably observed when we stimulated medial-frontal cortex, but when we stimulated posterior parietal cortex, we found that stimulation directly affected the perceptual processing of the search array elements, not the memory representations providing top-down control. Our findings appear to challenge dominant theories of attention by demonstrating that changes in the storage of target representations in long-term memory may underlie rapid changes in the efficiency with which humans can find targets in arrays of objects.
Reinhart, Robert M G; Carlisle, Nancy B; Woodman, Geoffrey F
Current research suggests that we can watch visual working memory surrender the control of attention early in the process of learning to search for a specific object. This inference is based on the observation that the contralateral delay activity (CDA) rapidly decreases in amplitude across trials when subjects search for the same target object. Here, we tested the alternative explanation that the role of visual working memory does not actually decline across learning, but instead lateralized representations accumulate in both hemispheres across trials and wash out the lateralized CDA. We show that the decline in CDA amplitude occurred even when the target objects were consistently lateralized to a single visual hemifield. Our findings demonstrate that reductions in the amplitude of the CDA during learning are not simply due to the dilution of the CDA from interhemispheric cancellation. Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
van Koningsbruggen, Martijn G; Ficarella, Stefania C; Battelli, Lorella; Hickey, Clayton
Reward feedback following visual search causes the visual characteristics of targets to become salient and attention-drawing, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying this value-driven capture effect. Here, we use transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) to demonstrate that such reward potentiation involves induced plasticity in visual cortex. Human participants completed a feature-search reward-learning task involving the selection of a red or green colored target presented among distractors of various color. Each correct trial garnered reward and the magnitude of reward was determined by the color of the target. Three groups completed this task: two groups received tRNS over either occipital or frontal cortex, and the third group received sham stimulation as a control. In a subsequent test phase of the experiment participants searched for a unique shape presented among colored distractors. During the test phase, no tRNS was applied and no reward was available. However, in some trials a single distractor had color matching that associated with reward during training. Search for the target was impacted by the presence of such reward-associated distractors in the occipital stimulation group, demonstrating that plasticity in visual cortex contributes to value-driven attentional capture. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Full Text Available The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes. The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs. We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3 starting around 150ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages.
Dietze, Pia; Knowles, Eric D
We theorize that people's social class affects their appraisals of others' motivational relevance-the degree to which others are seen as potentially rewarding, threatening, or otherwise worth attending to. Supporting this account, three studies indicate that social classes differ in the amount of attention their members direct toward other human beings. In Study 1, wearable technology was used to film the visual fields of pedestrians on city streets; higher-class participants looked less at other people than did lower-class participants. In Studies 2a and 2b, participants' eye movements were tracked while they viewed street scenes; higher class was associated with reduced attention to people in the images. In Study 3, a change-detection procedure assessed the degree to which human faces spontaneously attract visual attention; faces proved less effective at drawing the attention of high-class than low-class participants, which implies that class affects spontaneous relevance appraisals. The measurement and conceptualization of social class are discussed. © The Author(s) 2016.
Lancaster, Claire; Forster, Sophie; Tabet, Naji; Rusted, Jennifer
The Apolipoprotein E e4 allele is associated with greater cognitive decline with age, yet effects of this gene are also observed earlier in the lifespan. This research explores genotype differences (e2, e3, e4) in the allocation of visuospatial attention in mid-adulthood. Sixty-six volunteers, aged 45-55 years, completed two paradigms probing the active selection of information at the focus of attention (a dynamic scaling task) and perceptual capacity differences. Two methods of statistical comparison (parametric statistics, Bayesian inference) found no significant difference between e4 carriers and the homozygous e3 group on either the dynamic scaling or perceptual load task. E2 carriers, however, demonstrated less efficient visual search performance on the dynamic scaling task. The lack of an e4 difference in visuospatial attention, despite previous suggestion in the literature of genotype effects, indicates that select attentional processes are intact in e4 carriers in mid-adulthood. The association of e2 genotype with slower visual search performance complicates the premised protective effects of this allele in cognitive ageing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Matsukura, Michi; Cosman, Joshua D; Roper, Zachary J J; Vatterott, Daniel B; Vecera, Shaun P
Recent neuroimaging studies suggest that early sensory areas such as area V1 are recruited to actively maintain a selected feature of the item held in visual short-term memory (VSTM). These findings raise the possibility that visual attention operates in similar manners across perceptual and memory representations to a certain extent, despite memory-level and perception-level selections are functionally dissociable. If VSTM operates by retaining "reasonable copies" of scenes constructed during sensory processing (Serences et al., 2009, p. 207, the sensory recruitment hypothesis), then it is possible that selective attention can be guided by both exogenous (peripheral) and endogenous (central) cues during VSTM maintenance. Yet, the results from the previous studies that examined this issue are inconsistent. In the present study, we investigated whether attention can be directed to a specific item's location represented in VSTM with the exogenous cue in a well-controlled setting. The results from the four experiments suggest that, as observed with the endogenous cue, the exogenous cue can efficiently guide selective attention during VSTM maintenance. The finding is not only consistent with the sensory recruitment hypothesis but also validates the legitimacy of the exogenous cue use in past and future studies. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Full Text Available Handled objects automatically activate afforded responses. The current experiment examined whether objects that afford a response are also prioritized for attentional processing in visual search. Targets were pictures of coffee cups with handles oriented either to the right or the left. Subjects searched for a target, a right-handled vs. left-handled coffee cup, among a varying number of distractor cups oriented in the opposite direction. Responses were faster when the direction of target handle and the key press were spatially matched than mismatched (stimulus-response compatibility effect, but object affordance did not moderate slopes of the search functions, indicating the absence of attentional prioritization effect. These findings imply that handled objects prime afforded responses without influencing attentional prioritization.
Voort van der Kleij, van der Gwendid T.
This thesis investigates the mechanisms of stimulus-driven visual attention (global saliency), the mechanisms of top-down visual attention, and the interaction between these mechanisms, in visual search. Following the outline of an existing model of top-down visual attention, namely the Closed-Loop
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.
Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max
Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features such as color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and it is commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. Although gain mechanisms are well characterized, little is known about the cortical processes underlying the sharpening of feature selectivity. Here, we show with high-resolution magnetoencephalography in human observers (men and women) that sharpened selectivity for a particular color arises from feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy. To assess color selectivity, we analyze the response to a color probe that varies in color distance from an attended color target. We find that attention causes an initial gain enhancement in anterior ventral extrastriate cortex that is coarsely selective for the target color and transitions within ∼100 ms into a sharper tuned profile in more posterior ventral occipital cortex. We conclude that attention sharpens selectivity over time by attenuating the response at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy to color values neighboring the target in color space. These observations support computational models proposing that attention tunes feature selectivity in visual cortex through backward-propagating attenuation of units less tuned to the target. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whether searching for your car, a particular item of clothing, or just obeying traffic lights, in everyday life, we must select items based on color. But how does attention allow us to select a specific color? Here, we use high spatiotemporal resolution neuromagnetic recordings to examine how color selectivity emerges in the human brain. We find that color selectivity evolves as a coarse to fine process from higher to lower levels within the visual cortex hierarchy. Our observations support computational models proposing that feature selectivity increases over time by attenuating the
Pilcher, June J; Band, David; Odle-Dusseau, Heather N; Muth, Eric R
Although a number of studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation on performance, the results are not easily explained. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of sustained operations and acute sleep deprivation on tasks that require a wide range of information processing. The current study also provided preliminary data on the use of the controlled attention model to better understand the effects of sleep deprivation. There were 24 college students who were paid to remain awake for one night and complete a variety of cognitive and vigilance tasks. Each task was administered four times during the night, once in each testing session (17:30-21:30, 21:45-01:45, 02:30-06:30, and 06:45-10:45). All tasks were counterbalanced across the testing sessions. The data were converted to z-scores and repeated-measures ANOVAs were completed. Performance did not significantly decrease on the more complex cognitive tasks over the night of sleep deprivation. Performance on the vigilance tasks decreased significantly across the night. Examining the characteristics of the cognitive tasks indicated that although they required different types of processing, they encouraged the participants to remain attentive to and engaged in the task. In contrast, the vigilance tasks were less intrinsically interesting and engaging. Thus, it seems likely that the participants were less capable of maintaining attention on the vigilance tasks than the cognitive tasks. These results indicate that a controlled attention model may be useful in better understanding the effects of sustained operations and sleep deprivation on performance.
Schomaker, Judith; Walper, Daniel; Wittmann, Bianca C; Einhäuser, Wolfgang
In addition to low-level stimulus characteristics and current goals, our previous experience with stimuli can also guide attentional deployment. It remains unclear, however, if such effects act independently or whether they interact in guiding attention. In the current study, we presented natural scenes including every-day objects that differed in affective-motivational impact. In the first free-viewing experiment, we presented visually-matched triads of scenes in which one critical object was replaced that varied mainly in terms of motivational value, but also in terms of valence and arousal, as confirmed by ratings by a large set of observers. Treating motivation as a categorical factor, we found that it affected gaze. A linear-effect model showed that arousal, valence, and motivation predicted fixations above and beyond visual characteristics, like object size, eccentricity, or visual salience. In a second experiment, we experimentally investigated whether the effects of emotion and motivation could be modulated by visual salience. In a medium-salience condition, we presented the same unmodified scenes as in the first experiment. In a high-salience condition, we retained the saturation of the critical object in the scene, and decreased the saturation of the background, and in a low-salience condition, we desaturated the critical object while retaining the original saturation of the background. We found that highly salient objects guided gaze, but still found additional additive effects of arousal, valence and motivation, confirming that higher-level factors can also guide attention, as measured by fixations towards objects in natural scenes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Poggel, Dorothe A; Strasburger, Hans; MacKeben, Manfred
Sudden changes of visual stimulation attract attention. The observer's body motion generates retinal-flow field patterns containing information about his/her own speed and trajectory and relative motion of other objects. We investigated the effectiveness of relative motion as an attentional cue and compared it with conventional cueing by appearance of a frame in the far periphery of the visual field. In a group of ten subjects, contrast thresholds for the perception of static Gabor grating orientation [four alternative non-forced-choice (4ANFC)] task were determined at 20 degrees, 30 degrees, 40 degrees, and 60 degrees eccentricity. Subsequently, near-threshold discrimination performance of Gabor pattern orientation without versus with a ring-shaped cue was measured at the same positions. The same Gabor patterns were then presented embedded in a random-dot flow field, and uncued discrimination performance was compared with performance after presentation of a relative-motion cue (RMC), ie a small random-dot field with motion in the opposite direction of the flow field. Both the conventional ring cue and the RMC induced significantly increased discrimination performance at all test locations. With the parameters chosen for this study, the RMC was slightly less effective than the conventional cue, but its effects were somewhat more pronounced in the far periphery of the visual field. Thus, relative motion is a powerful cue to attract attention to peripheral visual objects and improves performance as effectively as a conventional ring cue. The findings have practical relevance for everyday life, in particular for tasks like driving and navigation.
Chen, Chen; Schneps, Matthew H; Masyn, Katherine E; Thomson, Jennifer M
Increasing evidence has shown visual attention span to be a factor, distinct from phonological skills, that explains single-word identification (pseudo-word/word reading) performance in dyslexia. Yet, little is known about how well visual attention span explains text comprehension. Observing reading comprehension in a sample of 105 high school students with dyslexia, we used a pathway analysis to examine the direct and indirect path between visual attention span and reading comprehension while controlling for other factors such as phonological awareness, letter identification, short-term memory, IQ and age. Integrating phonemic decoding efficiency skills in the analytic model, this study aimed to disentangle how visual attention span and phonological skills work together in reading comprehension for readers with dyslexia. We found visual attention span to have a significant direct effect on more difficult reading comprehension but not on an easier level. It also had a significant direct effect on pseudo-word identification but not on word identification. In addition, we found that visual attention span indirectly explains reading comprehension through pseudo-word reading and word reading skills. This study supports the hypothesis that at least part of the dyslexic profile can be explained by visual attention abilities. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Visual features are the general building blocks for attention, perception, and working memory. Here, I explore the factors which can quantitatively predict all the differences they make in various paradigms. I tried to combine the strengths of experimental and correlational approaches in a novel way by developing an individual-item differences analysis to extract the factors from 16 stimulus types on the basis of their roles in eight tasks. A large sample size (410) ensured that all eight tasks had a reliability (Cronbach's α) of no less than 0.975, allowing the factors to be precisely determined. Three orthogonal factors were identified which correspond respectively to featural strength (i.e., how close a stimulus is to a basic feature), visual strength (i.e., visual quality of the stimulus), and spatial strength (i.e., how well a stimulus can be represented as a spatial structure). Featural strength helped substantially in all the tasks but moderately less so in perceptual discrimination; visual strength helped substantially in low-level tasks but not in high-level tasks; and spatial strength helped change detection but hindered ensemble matching and visual search. Jointly, these three factors explained 96.4% of all the variances of the eight tasks, making it clear that they account for almost everything about the roles of these 16 stimulus types in these eight tasks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Elsabbagh, Mayada; Fernandes, Janice; Jane Webb, Sara; Dawson, Geraldine; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H.
Background Early emerging characteristics of visual orienting have been associated with a wide range of typical and atypical developmental outcomes. In the current study, we examined the development of visual disengagement in infants at risk for autism. Methods We measured the efficiency of disengaging from a central visual stimulus to orient to a peripheral one in a cohort of 104 infants with and without familial risk for autism by virtue of having an older sibling with autism. Results At 7 months of age, disengagement was not robustly associated with later diagnostic outcomes. However, by 14 months, longer latencies to disengage in the subset of the risk group later diagnosed with autism was observed relative to other infants at risk and the low-risk control group. Moreover, between 7 months and 14 months, infants who were later diagnosed with autism at 36 months showed no consistent increases in the speed and flexibility of visual orienting. However, the latter developmental effect also characterized those infants who exhibited some form of developmental concerns (but not meeting criteria for autism) at 36 months. Conclusions Infants who develop autism or other developmental concerns show atypicality in the development of visual attention skills from the first year of life. PMID:23374640
Full Text Available Interpersonal communication involves the processing of multimodal emotional cues, particularly facial expressions (visual modality and emotional speech prosody (auditory modality which can interact during information processing. Here, we investigated whether the implicit processing of emotional prosody systematically influences gaze behavior to facial expressions of emotion. We analyzed the eye movements of 31 participants as they scanned a visual array of four emotional faces portraying fear, anger, happiness, and neutrality, while listening to an emotionally-inflected pseudo-utterance (Someone migged the pazing uttered in a congruent or incongruent tone. Participants heard the emotional utterance during the first 1250 milliseconds of a five-second visual array and then performed an immediate recall decision about the face they had just seen. The frequency and duration of first saccades and of total looks in three temporal windows ([0-1250 ms], [1250-2500 ms], [2500-5000 ms] were analyzed according to the emotional content of faces and voices. Results showed that participants looked longer and more frequently at faces that matched the prosody in all three time windows (emotion congruency effect, although this effect was often emotion-specific (with greatest effects for fear. Effects of prosody on visual attention to faces persisted over time and could be detected long after the auditory information was no longer present. These data imply that emotional prosody is processed automatically during communication and that these cues play a critical role in how humans respond to related visual cues in the environment, such as facial expressions.
Rigoulot, Simon; Pell, Marc D.
Interpersonal communication involves the processing of multimodal emotional cues, particularly facial expressions (visual modality) and emotional speech prosody (auditory modality) which can interact during information processing. Here, we investigated whether the implicit processing of emotional prosody systematically influences gaze behavior to facial expressions of emotion. We analyzed the eye movements of 31 participants as they scanned a visual array of four emotional faces portraying fear, anger, happiness, and neutrality, while listening to an emotionally-inflected pseudo-utterance (Someone migged the pazing) uttered in a congruent or incongruent tone. Participants heard the emotional utterance during the first 1250 milliseconds of a five-second visual array and then performed an immediate recall decision about the face they had just seen. The frequency and duration of first saccades and of total looks in three temporal windows ([0–1250 ms], [1250–2500 ms], [2500–5000 ms]) were analyzed according to the emotional content of faces and voices. Results showed that participants looked longer and more frequently at faces that matched the prosody in all three time windows (emotion congruency effect), although this effect was often emotion-specific (with greatest effects for fear). Effects of prosody on visual attention to faces persisted over time and could be detected long after the auditory information was no longer present. These data imply that emotional prosody is processed automatically during communication and that these cues play a critical role in how humans respond to related visual cues in the environment, such as facial expressions. PMID:22303454
Popovich, Christina; Staines, W Richard
Crossmodal interactions between relevant visual and tactile inputs can enhance attentional modulation at early stages in somatosensory cortices to achieve goal-oriented behaviors. However, the specific contribution of each sensory system during attentional processing remains unclear. We used EEG to investigate the effects of visual priming and attentional relevance in modulating somatosensory cortical responses. Healthy adults performed a sensory integration task that required scaled motor responses dependent on the amplitudes of tactile and visual stimuli. Participants completed an attentional paradigm comprised of 5 conditions that presented sequential or concurrent pairs of discrete stimuli with random amplitude variations: 1) tactile-tactile (TT), 2) visual-visual (VV), 3) visual-tactile simultaneous (SIM), 4) tactile-visual delay (TVd), and 5) visual-tactile delay (VTd), each with a 100 ms temporal delay between stimulus onsets. Attention was directed to crossmodal conditions and graded motor responses representing the summation of the 2 stimulus amplitudes were made. Results of somatosensory ERPs showed that the modality-specific components (P50, P100) were sensitive to i) the temporal dynamics of crossmodal interactions, and ii) the relevance of these sensory signals for behaviour. Notably, the P50 amplitude was greatest in the VTd condition, suggesting that presentation of relevant visual information for upcoming movement modulates somatosensory processing in modality-specific cortical regions, as early as the primary somatosensory cortex (SI).
Flowe, Heather D.; Hope, Lorraine; Hillstrom, Anne P.
Background A person is less likely to be accurately remembered if they appear in a visual scene with a gun, a result that has been termed the weapon focus effect (WFE). Explanations of the WFE argue that weapons engage attention because they are unusual and/or threatening, which causes encoding deficits for the other items in the visual scene. Previous WFE research has always embedded the weapon and nonweapon objects within a larger context that provides information about an actor's intention to use the object. As such, it is currently unknown whether a gun automatically engages attention to a greater extent than other objects independent of the context in which it is presented. Method Reflexive responding to a gun compared to other objects was examined in two experiments. Experiment 1 employed a prosaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked toward a peripheral target, and Experiment 2 employed an antisaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked away from a peripheral target. In both experiments, the peripheral target was a gun or a nonthreatening object (i.e., a tomato or pocket watch). We also controlled how unexpected the targets were and compared saccadic reaction times across types of objects. Results A gun was not found to differentially engage attention compared to the unexpected object (i.e., a pocket watch). Some evidence was found (Experiment 2) that both the gun and the unexpected object engaged attention to a greater extent compared the expected object (i.e., a tomato). Conclusion An image of a gun did not engage attention to a larger extent than images of other types of objects (i.e., a pocket watch or tomato). The results suggest that context may be an important determinant of WFE. The extent to which an object is threatening may depend on the larger context in which it is presented. PMID:24349028
Flowe, Heather D; Hope, Lorraine; Hillstrom, Anne P
A person is less likely to be accurately remembered if they appear in a visual scene with a gun, a result that has been termed the weapon focus effect (WFE). Explanations of the WFE argue that weapons engage attention because they are unusual and/or threatening, which causes encoding deficits for the other items in the visual scene. Previous WFE research has always embedded the weapon and nonweapon objects within a larger context that provides information about an actor's intention to use the object. As such, it is currently unknown whether a gun automatically engages attention to a greater extent than other objects independent of the context in which it is presented. Reflexive responding to a gun compared to other objects was examined in two experiments. Experiment 1 employed a prosaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked toward a peripheral target, and Experiment 2 employed an antisaccade gap-overlap paradigm, whereby participants looked away from a peripheral target. In both experiments, the peripheral target was a gun or a nonthreatening object (i.e., a tomato or pocket watch). We also controlled how unexpected the targets were and compared saccadic reaction times across types of objects. A gun was not found to differentially engage attention compared to the unexpected object (i.e., a pocket watch). Some evidence was found (Experiment 2) that both the gun and the unexpected object engaged attention to a greater extent compared the expected object (i.e., a tomato). An image of a gun did not engage attention to a larger extent than images of other types of objects (i.e., a pocket watch or tomato). The results suggest that context may be an important determinant of WFE. The extent to which an object is threatening may depend on the larger context in which it is presented.
Full Text Available Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI using motor cortical activity to drive an external effector like a screen cursor or a robotic arm have seen enormous success and proven their great rehabilitation potential. An emerging parallel effort is now directed to BMIs controlled by endogenous cognitive activity, also called cognitive BMIs. While more challenging, this approach opens new dimensions to the rehabilitation of cognitive disorders. In the present work, we focus on BMIs driven by visuospatial attention signals and we provide a critical review of these studies in the light of the accumulated knowledge about the psychophysics, anatomy and neurophysiology of visual spatial attention. Importantly, we provide a unique comparative overview of the several studies, ranging from noninvasive to invasive human and non-human primates studies, that decode attention-related information from ongoing neuronal activity. We discuss these studies in the light of the challenges attention-driven cognitive BMIs have to face. In a second part of the review, we discuss past and current attention-based neurofeedback studies, describing both the covert effects of neurofeedback onto neuronal activity and its overt behavioral effects. Importantly, we compare neurofeedback studies based on the amplitude of cortical activity to studies based on the enhancement of cortical information content. Last, we discuss several lines of future research and applications for attention-driven cognitive BCIs, including the rehabilitation of cognitive deficits, restored communication in locked-in patients, and open-field applications for enhanced cognition in normal subjects. The core motivation of this work is the key idea that the improvement of current cognitive BMIs for therapeutic and open field applications needs to be grounded in a proper interdisciplinary understanding of the physiology of the cognitive function of interest, be it spatial attention, working memory or any other
Visschers, Vivianne H M; Hess, Rebecca; Siegrist, Michael
In the present study we investigated consumers' visual attention to nutrition information on food products using an indirect instrument, an eye tracker. In addition, we looked at whether people with a health motivation focus on nutrition information on food products more than people with a taste motivation. Respondents were instructed to choose one of five cereals for either the kindergarten (health motivation) or the student cafeteria (taste motivation). The eye tracker measured their visual attention during this task. Then respondents completed a short questionnaire. Laboratory of the ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Videos and questionnaires from thirty-two students (seventeen males; mean age 24.91 years) were analysed. Respondents with a health motivation viewed the nutrition information on the food products for longer and more often than respondents with a taste motivation. Health motivation also seemed to stimulate deeper processing of the nutrition information. The student cafeteria group focused primarily on the other information and did this for longer and more often than the health motivation group. Additionally, the package design affected participants' nutrition information search. Two factors appear to influence whether people pay attention to nutrition information on food products: their motivation and the product's design. If the package design does not sufficiently facilitate the localization of nutrition information, health motivation can stimulate consumers to look for nutrition information so that they may make a more deliberate food choice.
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.
Head, James; Russell, Paul N; Dorahy, Martin J; Neumann, Ewald; Helton, William S
We examined performance in a sustained attention to response task (SART) (Experiment 1) and a more traditionally formatted vigilance task (Experiment 2) using novel word stimuli (text-speak) and normally spelt words. This enabled us to address whether the SART is a better measure of sustained attention or of response strategy, and to investigate the cognitive demands of text-speak processing. In Experiment 1, 72 participants completed a subset (text-speak) and a word SART, as well as a self-reported text experience questionnaire. Those who reported more proficiency and experience with text-speak made more errors on the subset SART, but this appeared to be due to their increase in response speed. This did not occur in the word SART. In Experiment 2, 14 participants completed high No-Go, low-Go (more traditional response format) versions of these tasks to further investigate the cognitive demands of text-speak processing. Response latency increased over periods of watch only for the text-speak task, not for the word task. The results of Experiment 1 support the perspective that the SART is highly sensitive to response strategy, and the results of both experiments together indicate target detection tasks may be a novel way of investigating the cognitive demands of text-speak processing.
Wilson, Kyle M; Finkbeiner, Kristin M; de Joux, Neil R; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S
The sustained attention to response task (SART) usefulness as a measure of sustained attention has been questioned. The SART may instead be a better measure of other psychological processes and could prove useful in understanding some real-world behaviours. Thirty participants completed four Go/No-Go response tasks much like the SART, with Go-stimuli proportions of .50, .65, .80 and .95. As Go-stimuli proportion increased, reaction times decreased while both commission errors and self-reported task-related thoughts increased. Performance measures were associated with task-related thoughts but not task-unrelated thoughts. Instead of faster reaction times and increased commission errors being due to absentmindedness or perceptual decoupling from the task, the results suggested participants made use of two competing response strategies, in line with a response strategy or response inhibition perspective of SART performance. Interestingly, performance measures changed in a nonlinear manner, despite the linear Go proportion increase. A threshold may exist where the prepotent motor response becomes more pronounced, leading to the disproportionate increase in response speed and commission errors. This research has implications for researchers looking to employ the SART and for more applied contexts where the consequences of response inhibition failures can be serious.
Stern, Pnina; Shalev, Lilach
Difficulties in reading comprehension are common in children and adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The current study aimed at investigating the relation between sustained attention and reading comprehension among adolescents with and without ADHD. Another goal was to examine the impact of two manipulations of the…
Kim, Seol Hee; Hwang, Soonshin; Hong, Yeon-Ju; Kim, Jae-Jin; Kim, Kyung-Ho; Chung, Chooryung J
To examine the changes in visual attention influenced by facial angles and smile during the evaluation of facial attractiveness. Thirty-three young adults were asked to rate the overall facial attractiveness (task 1 and 3) or to select the most attractive face (task 2) by looking at multiple panel stimuli consisting of 0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, and 90° rotated facial photos with or without a smile for three model face photos and a self-photo (self-face). Eye gaze and fixation time (FT) were monitored by the eye-tracking device during the performance. Participants were asked to fill out a subjective questionnaire asking, "Which face was primarily looked at when evaluating facial attractiveness?" When rating the overall facial attractiveness (task 1) for model faces, FT was highest for the 0° face and lowest for the 90° face regardless of the smile ( P < .01). However, when the most attractive face was to be selected (task 2), the FT of the 0° face decreased, while it significantly increased for the 45° face ( P < .001). When facial attractiveness was evaluated with the simplified panels combined with facial angles and smile (task 3), the FT of the 0° smiling face was the highest ( P < .01). While most participants reported that they looked mainly at the 0° smiling face when rating facial attractiveness, visual attention was broadly distributed within facial angles. Laterally rotated faces and presence of a smile highly influence visual attention during the evaluation of facial esthetics.
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.
Van Velzen, José; Eardley, Alison F; Forster, Bettina; Eimer, Martin
To investigate the role of visual spatial information in the control of spatial attention, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a tactile attention task for a group of totally blind participants who were either congenitally blind or had lost vision during infancy, and for an age-matched, sighted control group who performed the task in the dark. Participants had to shift attention to the left or right hand (as indicated by an auditory cue presented at the start of each trial) in order to detect infrequent tactile targets delivered to this hand. Effects of tactile attention on the processing of tactile events, as reflected by attentional modulations of somatosensory ERPs to tactile stimuli, were very similar for early blind and sighted participants, suggesting that the capacity to selectively process tactile information from one hand versus the other does not differ systematically between the blind and the sighted. ERPs measured during the cue-target interval revealed an anterior directing attention negativity (ADAN) that was present for the early blind group as well as for the sighted control group. In contrast, the subsequent posterior late direction attention negativity (LDAP) was absent in both groups. These results suggest that these two components reflect functionally distinct attentional control mechanisms which differ in their dependence on the availability of visually coded representations of external space.
Fan, Judith E; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B
Attending to objects in the world affects how we perceive and remember them. What are the consequences of attending to an object in mind? In particular, how does reporting the features of a recently seen object guide visual learning? In three experiments, observers were presented with abstract shapes in a particular color, orientation, and location. After viewing each object, observers were cued to report one feature from visual short-term memory (VSTM). In a subsequent test, observers were cued to report features of the same objects from visual long-term memory (VLTM). We tested whether reporting a feature from VSTM: (1) enhances VLTM for just that feature (practice-benefit hypothesis), (2) enhances VLTM for all features (object-based hypothesis), or (3) simultaneously enhances VLTM for that feature and suppresses VLTM for unreported features (feature-competition hypothesis). The results provided support for the feature-competition hypothesis, whereby the representation of an object in VLTM was biased towards features reported from VSTM and away from unreported features (Experiment 1). This bias could not be explained by the amount of sensory exposure or response learning (Experiment 2) and was amplified by the reporting of multiple features (Experiment 3). Taken together, these results suggest that selective internal attention induces competitive dynamics among features during visual learning, flexibly tuning object representations to align with prior mnemonic goals. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary
Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which provides an objective measure of color perception. Thirty-one adolescents (aged 13-18), 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gender, and IQ participated in the study. All underwent an ophthalmological exam, as well as electrophysiological testing color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which measured the latency and amplitude of the neural P1 response to chromatic (blue-yellow, red-green) and achromatic stimuli. No intergroup differences were found in the ophthalmological exam. However, significantly larger P1 amplitude was found for blue and yellow stimuli, but not red/green or achromatic stimuli, in the ADHD group (particularly in the medicated group) compared to controls. Larger amplitude in the P1 component for blue-yellow in the ADHD group compared to controls may account for the lack of difference in color perception tasks. We speculate that the larger amplitude for blue-yellow stimuli in early sensory processing (P1) might reflect a compensatory strategy for underlying problems including compromised retinal input of s-cones due to hypo-dopaminergic tone. Copyright © 2014 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.