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Sample records for task participants performed

  1. How different types of participant payments alter task performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary L. Brase

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Researchers typically use incentives (such as money or course credit in order to obtain participants who engage in the specific behaviors of interest to the researcher. There is, however, little understanding or agreement on the effects of different types and levels of incentives used. Some results in the domain of statistical reasoning suggest that performance differences --- previously deemed theoretically important --- may actually be due to differences in incentive types across studies. 704 participants completed one of five variants of a statistical reasoning task, for which they received either course credit, flat fee payment, or performance-based payment incentives. Successful task completion was more frequent with performance-based incentives than with either of the other incentive types. Performance on moderately difficult tasks (compared to very easy and very hard tasks was most sensitive to incentives. These results can help resolve existing debates about inconsistent findings, guide more accurate comparisons across studies, and be applied beyond research settings.

  2. Explicit instructions facilitate performance of OCD participants but impair performance of non-OCD participants on a serial reaction time task.

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    Soref, Assaf; Liberman, Nira; Abramovitch, Amitai; Dar, Reuven

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that individuals diagnosed with OCD tend to rely on explicit processing while performing implicit learning tasks. We sought to investigate whether individuals with OCD are capable of implicit learning, but would demonstrate improved performance when explicit processing strategies are enhanced. Twenty-four participants with OCD and 24 non-psychiatric control (NPC) participants performed an implicit learning task in which they responded to a single target stimulus that successively appears at one of four locations according to an underlying sequence. We manipulated the learning strategy by informing half of the participants that the target stimulus location was determined by an underlying sequence, which they should identify (intentional learning). The other half of the participants was not informed of the existence of the underlying sequence, and was expected to learn the sequence implicitly (standard learning). We predicted that OCD participants will exhibit inferior performance compared to NPC participants in the standard learning condition, and that intentional learning instructions would impair the performance of NPC participants, but enhance the performance of OCD participants. The results supported these predictions and suggest that individuals with OCD prefer controlled to automatic processing. We discuss the implications of this conclusion to our understanding of OCD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Data from 617 Healthy Participants Performing the Iowa Gambling Task: A “Many Labs” Collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Steingroever

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This data pool (N = 617 comes from 10 independent studies assessing performance of healthy participants (i.e., no known neurological impairments on the Iowa gambling task (IGT—a task measuring decision making under uncertainty in an experimental context. Participants completed a computerized version of the IGT consisting of 95 – 150 trials. The data consist of the choices of each participant on each trial, and the resulting rewards and losses. The data are stored as .rdata, .csv, and .txt files, and can be reused to (1 analyze IGT performance of healthy participants; (2 create a “super control group”; or (3 facilitate model-comparison efforts.

  4. Promising high monetary rewards for future task performance increases intermediate task performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire M Zedelius

    Full Text Available In everyday life contexts and work settings, monetary rewards are often contingent on future performance. Based on research showing that the anticipation of rewards causes improved task performance through enhanced task preparation, the present study tested the hypothesis that the promise of monetary rewards for future performance would not only increase future performance, but also performance on an unrewarded intermediate task. Participants performed an auditory Simon task in which they responded to two consecutive tones. While participants could earn high vs. low monetary rewards for fast responses to every second tone, their responses to the first tone were not rewarded. Moreover, we compared performance under conditions in which reward information could prompt strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented for a relatively long duration to conditions preventing strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented very briefly. Results showed that high (vs. low rewards sped up both rewarded and intermediate, unrewarded responses, and the effect was independent of the duration of reward presentation. Moreover, long presentation led to a speed-accuracy trade-off for both rewarded and unrewarded tones, whereas short presentation sped up responses to rewarded and unrewarded tones without this trade-off. These results suggest that high rewards for future performance boost intermediate performance due to enhanced task preparation, and they do so regardless whether people respond to rewards in a strategic or non-strategic manner.

  5. Promising high monetary rewards for future task performance increases intermediate task performance.

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    Zedelius, Claire M; Veling, Harm; Bijleveld, Erik; Aarts, Henk

    2012-01-01

    In everyday life contexts and work settings, monetary rewards are often contingent on future performance. Based on research showing that the anticipation of rewards causes improved task performance through enhanced task preparation, the present study tested the hypothesis that the promise of monetary rewards for future performance would not only increase future performance, but also performance on an unrewarded intermediate task. Participants performed an auditory Simon task in which they responded to two consecutive tones. While participants could earn high vs. low monetary rewards for fast responses to every second tone, their responses to the first tone were not rewarded. Moreover, we compared performance under conditions in which reward information could prompt strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented for a relatively long duration) to conditions preventing strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented very briefly). Results showed that high (vs. low) rewards sped up both rewarded and intermediate, unrewarded responses, and the effect was independent of the duration of reward presentation. Moreover, long presentation led to a speed-accuracy trade-off for both rewarded and unrewarded tones, whereas short presentation sped up responses to rewarded and unrewarded tones without this trade-off. These results suggest that high rewards for future performance boost intermediate performance due to enhanced task preparation, and they do so regardless whether people respond to rewards in a strategic or non-strategic manner.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Task complexity, student perceptions of vocabulary learning in EFL, and task performance.

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    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2013-03-01

    The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-efficacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a fine-tuned task-specific level. The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-efficacy beliefs, domain-related prior knowledge, learning strategy use, and task performance as they were applied to English vocabulary learning from reading tasks. Participants were 120 second-year university students (mean age 21) from a Chinese university. This experiment had two conditions (simple/complex). A vocabulary level test was first conducted to measure participants' prior knowledge of English vocabulary. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of the learning tasks. Participants were administered task booklets together with the self-efficacy scales, measures of learning strategy use, and post-tests. Data obtained were submitted to multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and path analysis. Results from the MANOVA model showed a significant effect of vocabulary level on self-efficacy beliefs, learning strategy use, and task performance. Task complexity showed no significant effect; however, an interaction effect between vocabulary level and task complexity emerged. Results from the path analysis showed self-efficacy beliefs had an indirect effect on performance. Our results highlighted the mediating role of self-efficacy beliefs and learning strategy use. Our findings indicate that students' prior knowledge plays a crucial role on both self-efficacy beliefs and task performance, and the predictive power of self-efficacy on task performance may lie in its association with learning strategy use. © 2011 The British Psychological Society.

  8. Working Memory Training Improves Dual-Task Performance on Motor Tasks.

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    Kimura, Takehide; Kaneko, Fuminari; Nagahata, Keita; Shibata, Eriko; Aoki, Nobuhiro

    2017-01-01

    The authors investigated whether working memory training improves motor-motor dual-task performance consisted of upper and lower limb tasks. The upper limb task was a simple reaction task and the lower limb task was an isometric knee extension task. 45 participants (age = 21.8 ± 1.6 years) were classified into a working memory training group (WM-TRG), dual-task training group, or control group. The training duration was 2 weeks (15 min, 4 times/week). Our results indicated that working memory capacity increased significantly only in the WM-TRG. Dual-task performance improved in the WM-TRG and dual-task training group. Our study provides the novel insight that working memory training improves dual-task performance without specific training on the target motor task.

  9. Planning and task management in Parkinson's disease: differential emphasis in dual-task performance.

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    Bialystok, Ellen; Craik, Fergus I M; Stefurak, Taresa

    2008-03-01

    Seventeen patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease completed a complex computer-based task that involved planning and management while also performing an attention-demanding secondary task. The tasks were performed concurrently, but it was necessary to switch from one to the other. Performance was compared to a group of healthy age-matched control participants and a group of young participants. Parkinson's patients performed better than the age-matched controls on almost all measures and as well as the young controls in many cases. However, the Parkinson's patients achieved this by paying relatively less attention to the secondary task and focusing attention more on the primary task. Thus, Parkinson's patients can apparently improve their performance on some aspects of a multidimensional task by simplifying task demands. This benefit may occur as a consequence of their inflexible exaggerated attention to some aspects of a complex task to the relative neglect of other aspects.

  10. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

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    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  11. Monitoring supports performance in a dual-task paradigm involving a risky decision-making task and a working memory task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina eGathmann

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring - an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task. This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST, measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task.

  12. Monitoring supports performance in a dual-task paradigm involving a risky decision-making task and a working memory task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathmann, Bettina; Schiebener, Johannes; Wolf, Oliver T.; Brand, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring—an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task). This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST) and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST), measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task. PMID:25741308

  13. Implicit and Explicit Knowledge Both Improve Dual Task Performance in a Continuous Pursuit Tracking Task.

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    Ewolds, Harald E; Bröker, Laura; de Oliveira, Rita F; Raab, Markus; Künzell, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of predictability on dual-task performance in a continuous tracking task. Participants practiced either informed (explicit group) or uninformed (implicit group) about a repeated segment in the curves they had to track. In Experiment 1 participants practices the tracking task only, dual-task performance was assessed after by combining the tracking task with an auditory reaction time task. Results showed both groups learned equally well and tracking performance on a predictable segment in the dual-task condition was better than on random segments. However, reaction times did not benefit from a predictable tracking segment. To investigate the effect of learning under dual-task situation participants in Experiment 2 practiced the tracking task while simultaneously performing the auditory reaction time task. No learning of the repeated segment could be demonstrated for either group during the training blocks, in contrast to the test-block and retention test, where participants performed better on the repeated segment in both dual-task and single-task conditions. Only the explicit group improved from test-block to retention test. As in Experiment 1, reaction times while tracking a predictable segment were no better than reaction times while tracking a random segment. We concluded that predictability has a positive effect only on the predictable task itself possibly because of a task-shielding mechanism. For dual-task training there seems to be an initial negative effect of explicit instructions, possibly because of fatigue, but the advantage of explicit instructions was demonstrated in a retention test. This might be due to the explicit memory system informing or aiding the implicit memory system.

  14. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1984-01-01

    Research on dual-task performance has been concerned with delineating the antecedent conditions which lead to dual-task decrements. Capacity models of attention, which propose that a hypothetical resource structure underlies performance, have been employed as predictive devices. These models predict that tasks which require different processing resources can be more successfully time shared than tasks which require common resources. The conditions under which such dual-task integrality can be fostered were assessed in a study in which three factors likely to influence the integrality between tasks were manipulated: inter-task redundancy, the physical proximity of tasks and the task relevant objects. Twelve subjects participated in three experimental sessions in which they performed both single and dual-tasks. The primary task was a pursuit step tracking task. The secondary tasks required the discrimination between different intensities or different spatial positions of a stimulus. The results are discussed in terms of a model of dual-task integrality.

  15. Single-task and dual-task tandem gait test performance after concussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, David R; Osternig, Louis R; Chou, Li-Shan

    2017-07-01

    To compare single-task and dual-task tandem gait test performance between athletes after concussion with controls on observer-timed, spatio-temporal, and center-of-mass (COM) balance control measurements. Ten participants (19.0±5.5years) were prospectively identified and completed a tandem gait test protocol within 72h of concussion and again 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, and 2 months post-injury. Seven uninjured controls (20.0±4.5years) completed the same protocol in similar time increments. Tandem gait test trials were performed with (dual-task) and without (single-task) concurrently performing a cognitive test as whole-body motion analysis was performed. Outcome variables included test completion time, average tandem gait velocity, cadence, and whole-body COM frontal plane displacement. Concussion participants took significantly longer to complete the dual-task tandem gait test than controls throughout the first 2 weeks post-injury (mean time=16.4 [95% CI: 13.4-19.4] vs. 10.1 [95% CI: 6.4-13.7] seconds; p=0.03). Single-task tandem gait times were significantly lower 72h post-injury (p=0.04). Dual-task cadence was significantly lower for concussion participants than controls (89.5 [95% CI: 68.6-110.4] vs. 127.0 [95% CI: 97.4-156.6] steps/minute; p=0.04). Moderately-high to high correlations between tandem gait test time and whole-body COM medial-lateral displacement were detected at each time point during dual-task gait (r s =0.70-0.93; p=0.03-0.001). Adding a cognitive task during the tandem gait test resulted in longer detectable deficits post-concussion compared to the traditional single-task tandem gait test. As a clinical tool to assess dynamic motor function, tandem gait may assist with return to sport decisions after concussion. Copyright © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. How age affects memory task performance in clinically normal hearing persons.

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    Vercammen, Charlotte; Goossens, Tine; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2017-05-01

    The main objective of this study is to investigate memory task performance in different age groups, irrespective of hearing status. Data are collected on a short-term memory task (WAIS-III Digit Span forward) and two working memory tasks (WAIS-III Digit Span backward and the Reading Span Test). The tasks are administered to young (20-30 years, n = 56), middle-aged (50-60 years, n = 47), and older participants (70-80 years, n = 16) with normal hearing thresholds. All participants have passed a cognitive screening task (Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)). Young participants perform significantly better than middle-aged participants, while middle-aged and older participants perform similarly on the three memory tasks. Our data show that older clinically normal hearing persons perform equally well on the memory tasks as middle-aged persons. However, even under optimal conditions of preserved sensory processing, changes in memory performance occur. Based on our data, these changes set in before middle age.

  17. How do task characteristics affect learning and performance? The roles of variably mapped and dynamic tasks.

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    Macnamara, Brooke N; Frank, David J

    2018-05-01

    For well over a century, scientists have investigated individual differences in performance. The majority of studies have focused on either differences in practice, or differences in cognitive resources. However, the predictive ability of either practice or cognitive resources varies considerably across tasks. We are the first to examine task characteristics' impact on learning and performance in a complex task while controlling for other task characteristics. In 2 experiments we test key theoretical task characteristic thought to moderate the relationship between practice, cognitive resources, and performance. We devised a task where each of several key task characteristics can be manipulated independently. Participants played 5 rounds of a game similar to the popular tower defense videogame Plants vs. Zombies where both cognitive load and game characteristics were manipulated. In Experiment 1, participants either played a consistently mapped version-the stimuli and the associated meaning of their properties were constant across the 5 rounds-or played a variably mapped version-the stimuli and the associated meaning of their properties changed every few minutes. In Experiment 2, participants either played a static version-that is, turn taking with no time pressure-or played a dynamic version-that is, the stimuli moved regardless of participants' response rates. In Experiment 1, participants' accuracy and efficiency were substantially hindered in the variably mapped conditions. In Experiment 2, learning and performance accuracy were hindered in the dynamic conditions, especially when under cognitive load. Our results suggest that task characteristics impact the relative importance of cognitive resources and practice on predicting learning and performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Cognitive and motor dual task gait training improve dual task gait performance after stroke - A randomized controlled pilot trial.

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    Liu, Yan-Ci; Yang, Yea-Ru; Tsai, Yun-An; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2017-06-22

    This study investigated effects of cognitive and motor dual task gait training on dual task gait performance in stroke. Participants (n = 28) were randomly assigned to cognitive dual task gait training (CDTT), motor dual task gait training (MDTT), or conventional physical therapy (CPT) group. Participants in CDTT or MDTT group practiced the cognitive or motor tasks respectively during walking. Participants in CPT group received strengthening, balance, and gait training. The intervention was 30 min/session, 3 sessions/week for 4 weeks. Three test conditions to evaluate the training effects were single walking, walking while performing cognitive task (serial subtraction), and walking while performing motor task (tray-carrying). Parameters included gait speed, dual task cost of gait speed (DTC-speed), cadence, stride time, and stride length. After CDTT, cognitive-motor dual task gait performance (stride length and DTC-speed) was improved (p = 0.021; p = 0.015). After MDTT, motor dual task gait performance (gait speed, stride length, and DTC-speed) was improved (p = 0.008; p = 0.008; p = 0.008 respectively). It seems that CDTT improved cognitive dual task gait performance and MDTT improved motor dual task gait performance although such improvements did not reach significant group difference. Therefore, different types of dual task gait training can be adopted to enhance different dual task gait performance in stroke.

  19. Effects of cues in a binary categorization task on dual-task performance, mental workload, and effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botzer, Assaf; Meyer, Joachim; Parmet, Yisrael

    2016-09-01

    Binary cues help operators perform binary categorization tasks, such as monitoring for system failures. They may also allow them to attend to other tasks they concurrently perform. If the time saved by using cues is allocated to other concurrent tasks, users' overall effort may remain unchanged. In 2 experiments, participants performed a simulated quality control task, together with a tracking task. In half the experimental blocks cues were available, and participants could use them in their decisions about the quality of products (intact or faulty). In Experiment 1, the difficulty of tracking was constant, while in Experiment 2, tracking difficulty differed in the 2 halves of the experiment. In both experiments, participants reported on the NASA Task Load Index that cues improved their performance and reduced their frustration. Consequently, their overall score on mental workload (MWL) was lower with cues. They also reported, however, that cues did not reduce their effort. We conclude that cues and other forms of automation may support task performance and reduce overall MWL, but this will not necessarily mean that users will work less hard. Thus, effort and overall MWL should be evaluated separately, if one wants to obtain a full picture of the effects of automation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. "We've Got Creative Differences": The Effects of Task Conflict and Participative Safety on Team Creative Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Joshua; Hunter, Samuel T.

    2014-01-01

    Although both participative safety and team task conflict are widely thought to be related to team creative performance, the nature of this relationship is still not well understood, and prior studies have frequently yielded conflicting results. This study examines the ambiguity in the extant literature and proposes that "both"…

  1. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  2. Mood states determine the degree of task shielding in dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwosta, Katharina; Hommel, Bernhard; Goschke, Thomas; Fischer, Rico

    2013-01-01

    Current models of multitasking assume that dual-task performance and the degree of multitasking are affected by cognitive control strategies. In particular, cognitive control is assumed to regulate the amount of shielding of the prioritised task from crosstalk from the secondary task. We investigated whether and how task shielding is influenced by mood states. Participants were exposed to two short film clips, one inducing high and one inducing low arousal, of either negative or positive content. Negative mood led to stronger shielding of the prioritised task (i.e., less crosstalk) than positive mood, irrespective of arousal. These findings support the assumption that emotional states determine the parameters of cognitive control and play an important role in regulating dual-task performance.

  3. When predictions take control: The effect of task predictions on task switching performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wout eDuthoo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we aimed to investigate the role of self-generated predictions in the flexible control of behaviour. Therefore, we ran a task switching experiment in which participants were asked to try to predict the upcoming task in three conditions varying in switch rate (30%, 50% and 70%. Irrespective of their predictions, the colour of the target indicated which task participants had to perform. In line with previous studies (Mayr, 2006; Monsell & Mizon, 2006, the switch cost was attenuated as the switch rate increased. Importantly, a clear task repetition bias was found in all conditions, yet the task repetition prediction rate dropped from 78% over 66% to 49% with increasing switch probability in the three conditions. Irrespective of condition, the switch cost was strongly reduced in expectation of a task alternation compared to the cost of an unexpected task alternation following repetition predictions. Hence, our data suggest that the reduction in the switch cost with increasing switch probability is caused by a diminished expectancy for the task to repeat. Taken together, this paper highlights the importance of predictions in the flexible control of behaviour, and suggests a crucial role for task repetition expectancy in the context-sensitive adjusting of task switching performance.

  4. The predictive value of general movement tasks in assessing occupational task performance.

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    Frost, David M; Beach, Tyson A C; McGill, Stuart M; Callaghan, Jack P

    2015-01-01

    Within the context of evaluating individuals' movement behavior it is generally assumed that the tasks chosen will predict their competency to perform activities relevant to their occupation. This study sought to examine whether a battery of general tasks could be used to predict the movement patterns employed by firefighters to perform select job-specific skills. Fifty-two firefighters performed a battery of general and occupation-specific tasks that simulated the demands of firefighting. Participants' peak lumbar spine and frontal plane knee motion were compared across tasks. During 85% of all comparisons, the magnitude of spine and knee motion was greater during the general movement tasks than observed during the firefighting skills. Certain features of a worker's movement behavior may be exhibited across a range of tasks. Therefore, provided that a movement screen's tasks expose the motions of relevance for the population being tested, general evaluations could offer valuable insight into workers' movement competency or facilitate an opportunity to establish an evidence-informed intervention.

  5. Circadian Effects on Simple Components of Complex Task Performance

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    Clegg, Benjamin A.; Wickens, Christopher D.; Vieane, Alex Z.; Gutzwiller, Robert S.; Sebok, Angelia L.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to advance understanding and prediction of the impact of circadian rhythm on aspects of complex task performance during unexpected automation failures, and subsequent fault management. Participants trained on two tasks: a process control simulation, featuring automated support; and a multi-tasking platform. Participants then completed one task in a very early morning (circadian night) session, and the other during a late afternoon (circadian day) session. Small effects of time of day were seen on simple components of task performance, but impacts on more demanding components, such as those that occur following an automation failure, were muted relative to previous studies where circadian rhythm was compounded with sleep deprivation and fatigue. Circadian low participants engaged in compensatory strategies, rather than passively monitoring the automation. The findings and implications are discussed in the context of a model that includes the effects of sleep and fatigue factors.

  6. The Effect of Prior Task Success on Older Adults' Memory Performance: Examining the Influence of Different Types of Task Success.

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    Geraci, Lisa; Hughes, Matthew L; Miller, Tyler M; De Forrest, Ross L

    2016-01-01

    Negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. Yet, memory performance can be improved if older adults have a single successful experience on a cognitive test prior to participating in a memory experiment (Geraci & Miller, 2013, Psychology and Aging, 28, 340-345). The current study examined the effects of different types of prior task experience on subsequent memory performance. Before participating in a verbal free recall experiment, older adults in Experiment 1 successfully completed either a verbal or a visual cognitive task or no task. In Experiment 2, they successfully completed either a motor task or no task before participating in the free recall experiment. Results from Experiment 1 showed that relative to control (no prior task), participants who had prior success, either on a verbal or a visual task, had better subsequent recall performance. Experiment 2 showed that prior success on a motor task, however, did not lead to a later memory advantage relative to control. These findings demonstrate that older adults' memory can be improved by a successful prior task experience so long as that experience is in a cognitive domain.

  7. Virtual street-crossing performance in persons with multiple sclerosis: Feasibility and task performance characteristics.

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    Stratton, M E; Pilutti, L A; Crowell, J A; Kaczmarski, H; Motl, R W

    2017-01-02

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that commonly results in physical and cognitive dysfunction. Accordingly, MS might impact the ability to safely cross the street. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of a simulated street-crossing task in persons with MS and to determine differences in street-crossing performance between persons with MS and non-MS controls. 26 participants with MS (median Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score = 3.5) and 19 controls completed 40 trials of a virtual street-crossing task. There were 2 crossing conditions (i.e., no distraction and phone conversation), and participants performed 20 trials per condition. Participants were instructed that the goal of the task was to cross the street successfully (i.e., without being hit be a vehicle). The primary outcome was task feasibility, assessed as completion and adverse events. Secondary outcomes were measures of street-crossing performance. Overall, the simulated street-crossing task was feasible (i.e., 90% completion, no adverse events) in participants with MS. Participants with MS waited longer and were less attentive to traffic before entering the street compared with controls (all P .05). A virtual street-crossing task is feasible for studying street-crossing behavior in persons with mild MS and most individuals with moderate MS. Virtual street-crossing performance is impaired in persons with MS compared to controls; however, persons with MS do not appear to be more vulnerable to a distracting condition. The virtual reality environment presents a safe and useful setting for understanding pedestrian behavior in persons with MS.

  8. Workshift and Antihistamine Effects on Task Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilliland, Kirby

    1997-01-01

    Sixteen male subjects, well trained on a battery of cognitive performance assessment tasks, participated in a study to Investigate the effects on human operator performance of work shift (Day Shift vs. Mid shift...

  9. Dual-task performance involving hand dexterity and cognitive tasks and daily functioning in people with schizophrenia: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Keh-chung; Wu, Yi-fang; Chen, I-chen; Tsai, Pei-luen; Wu, Ching-yi; Chen, Chia-ling

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated separate and concurrent performance on cognitive and hand dexterity tasks and the relationship to daily functioning in 16 people with schizophrenia and 16 healthy control participants. Participants performed the Purdue Pegboard Test and the Serial Seven Subtraction Test under single- and dual-task conditions and completed two daily functioning evaluations. The hand dexterity of all participants declined in the dual-task condition, but the discrepancy between single-task and dual-task hand dexterity was greater in the schizophrenia group than in the control group (p.70, for all). The extent of discrepancy in hand dexterity was negatively correlated with daily functioning in the schizophrenia group (rs=-.3 to -.5, ps=.04-.26). Ability to perform dual tasks may be an indicator of daily functioning in people with schizophrenia. Use of dual-task training may be considered as a therapeutic activity with these clients. Copyright © 2015 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  10. Age-related decrements in dual-task performance: Comparison of different mobility and cognitive tasks. A cross sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brustio, Paolo Riccardo; Magistro, Daniele; Zecca, Massimiliano; Rabaglietti, Emanuela; Liubicich, Monica Emma

    2017-01-01

    This cross-sectional study investigated the age-related differences in dual-task performance both in mobility and cognitive tasks and the additive dual-task costs in a sample of older, middle-aged and young adults. 74 older adults (M = 72.63±5.57 years), 58 middle-aged adults (M = 46.69±4.68 years) and 63 young adults (M = 25.34±3.00 years) participated in the study. Participants performed different mobility and subtraction tasks under both single- and dual-task conditions. Linear regressions, repeated-measures and one-way analyses of covariance were used, The results showed: significant effects of the age on the dual and mobility tasks (ptask costs (pperformance under dual-task conditions in all groups (pperformance in the older group (ptask activity affected mobility and cognitive performance, especially in older adults who showed a higher dual-task cost, suggesting that dual-tasks activities are affected by the age and consequently also mobility and cognitive tasks are negatively influenced.

  11. Computer task performance by subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malheiros, Silvia Regina Pinheiro; da Silva, Talita Dias; Favero, Francis Meire; de Abreu, Luiz Carlos; Fregni, Felipe; Ribeiro, Denise Cardoso; de Mello Monteiro, Carlos Bandeira

    2016-01-01

    Two specific objectives were established to quantify computer task performance among people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). First, we compared simple computational task performance between subjects with DMD and age-matched typically developing (TD) subjects. Second, we examined correlations between the ability of subjects with DMD to learn the computational task and their motor functionality, age, and initial task performance. The study included 84 individuals (42 with DMD, mean age of 18±5.5 years, and 42 age-matched controls). They executed a computer maze task; all participants performed the acquisition (20 attempts) and retention (five attempts) phases, repeating the same maze. A different maze was used to verify transfer performance (five attempts). The Motor Function Measure Scale was applied, and the results were compared with maze task performance. In the acquisition phase, a significant decrease was found in movement time (MT) between the first and last acquisition block, but only for the DMD group. For the DMD group, MT during transfer was shorter than during the first acquisition block, indicating improvement from the first acquisition block to transfer. In addition, the TD group showed shorter MT than the DMD group across the study. DMD participants improved their performance after practicing a computational task; however, the difference in MT was present in all attempts among DMD and control subjects. Computational task improvement was positively influenced by the initial performance of individuals with DMD. In turn, the initial performance was influenced by their distal functionality but not their age or overall functionality.

  12. Analysis of Participant Reactivity in Dyads Performing a Videotaped Conflict-Management Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semeniuk, Yulia Y; Riesch, Susan K

    2011-01-01

    Videotaping is used frequently in nursing research. A threat to the validity of videotaping is participant reactivity, that is, being recorded by a camera may influence the behavior of interest. This paper's purpose is to report how youth ages 10 to 14 years old and their parent viewed participation in a videotaped conflict-management task. Five dyads, who were part of a randomized clinical trial testing an intervention to promote parent-child communication, participated in a structured interview. All parents were mothers. Youth were eighth graders. Three were boys and two were girls. Findings indicated that (a) dyads felt that the videotaped interaction had a progression of feeling unnatural in the beginning to feeling natural toward the end, (b) dyads found it relatively easy to choose a topic of discussion, and (c) dyads felt that the discussions were meaningful. Based on these data, recommendations for researchers to reduce participant reactivity are provided.

  13. Trait Mindfulness and Cognitive Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emalee J. W. Quickel

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness meditation (MM training has been shown to have positive effects on working memory and focused attention tasks. Clarifying the construct of mindfulness is important so that mindfulness can be studied effectively in individual differences and cognition research. The current study tested whether trait mindfulness alone explains any of the variability on task performance. Five commonly used mindfulness scales, as well as six standardized and experimental attention and working memory tasks were administered to 164 participants with no meditation experience. Confirmatory factor analysis found that the common variance denoted by measures of trait mindfulness is unrelated to the common variance among tasks requiring focused attention. These results indicate that mindfulness scales may not be capturing the attentional aspects of mindfulness. Individuals who score high on mindfulness scales do not perform better on focused attention tasks than those who score lower on mindfulness scales. These results have implications for defining and operationalizing mindfulness.

  14. Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchini, Gianna; Filardi, Maria Serena; Crhonkova, Marcela; Halpern, Andrea R

    2017-05-01

    Studies investigating effect of practice on dual task performance have yielded conflicting findings, thus supporting different theoretical accounts about the organisation of attentional resources when tasks are performed simultaneously. Because practice has been proven to reduce the demand of attention for the trained task, the impact of long-lasting training on one task is an ideal way to better understand the mechanisms underlying dual task decline in performance. Our study compared performance during dual task execution in expert musicians compared to controls with little if any musical experience. Participants performed a music recognition task and a visuo-spatial task separately (single task) or simultaneously (dual task). Both groups showed a significant but similar performance decline during dual tasks. In addition, the two groups showed a similar decline of dual task performance during encoding and retrieval of the musical information, mainly attributed to a decline in sensitivity. Our results suggest that attention during dual tasks is similarly distributed by expert and non-experts. These findings are in line with previous studies showing a lack of sensitivity to difficulty and lack of practice effect during dual tasks, supporting the idea that different tasks may rely on different and not-sharable attentional resources.

  15. Can tutoring improve performance on a reasoning task under deadline conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Magda

    2007-03-01

    The present study examined the effectiveness of a tutoring technique that has been used to identify and address participants' misunderstandings in Wason's selection task. In particular, the study investigated whether the technique would lead to improvements in performance when the task was presented in a deadline format (a condition in which time restrictions are imposed). In Experiment 1, the effects of tutoring on performance were compared in free time (conditions in which no time restrictions are imposed) and deadline task formats. In Experiment 2, improvements in performance were studied in deadline task formats, in which the tutoring and test phases were separated by an interval of 1 day. The results suggested that tutoring improved performance on the selection task under deadline and in free time conditions. Additionally, the study showed that participants made errors because they had misinterpreted the task. With tutoring, they were able to modify their initial misunderstandings.

  16. Convergence and divergence of neuroanatomic correlates and executive task performance in healthy controls and psychiatric participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming-Tak Chung, Dennis; Jerram, Matthew W; Lee, Jonathan K; Katz, Harvey; Gansler, David A

    2013-12-30

    The associations between brain matter volume in the cerebral cortex and set shifting and attentional control as operationalized by the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST) and Condition Three of the Delis-Kaplan version of the Color Word Interference Test (CWIT) were investigated in 15 healthy controls and 16 heterogeneously diagnosed psychiatric patients with self-control problems using voxel based morphometry. Both groups underwent standardized magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological assessment. WCST and CWIT variables, and a composite, were regressed across the whole brain. Although CWIT performance levels were the same in both groups, neuroanatomic correlates for the psychiatric participants invoked the left hemisphere language system, but the bilateral dorsal attention system in the healthy controls. On its own, no neuroanatomic correlates were observed for the WCST. But when part of a composite with CWIT, neuroanatomic correlates in the dorsal attention system emerged for the psychiatric participants. Psychometric combinations of manifest executive task variables may best represent higher level latent neuro-cognitive control systems. Factor analytic studies of neuropsychological test performances suggest the constructs being measured are the same across psychiatric and non-diagnosed participants, however, imaging modalities indicate the relevant neural architecture can vary by group. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róbert Adrian Rill

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Working memory in children predicts performance on a gambling task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audusseau, Jean; Juhel, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    The authors investigated whether working memory (WM) plays a significant role in the development of decision making in children, operationalized by the Children's Gambling Task (CGT). A total of 105 children aged 6-7, 8-9, and 10-11 years old carried out the CGT. Children aged 6-7 years old were found to have a lower performance than older children, which shows that the CGT is sensitive to participant's age. The hypothesis that WM plays a significant role in decision making was then tested following two approaches: (a) an experimental approach, comparing between groups the performance on the CGT in a control condition (the CGT only was administered) to that in a double task condition (participants had to carry out a recall task in addition to the CGT); (b) an interindividual approach, probing the relationship between CGT performance and performance on tasks measuring WM efficiency. The between-groups approach evidenced a better performance in the control group. Moreover, the interindividual approach showed that the higher the participants' WM efficiency was, the higher their performance in the CGT was. Taken together, these two approaches yield converging results that support the hypothesis that WM plays a significant role in decision making in children.

  1. Training improves laparoscopic tasks performance and decreases operator workload.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jesse S L; Lu, Jirong; Tan, Wee Boon; Lomanto, Davide

    2016-05-01

    It has been postulated that increased operator workload during task performance may increase fatigue and surgical errors. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) is a validated tool for self-assessment for workload. Our study aims to assess the relationship of workload and performance of novices in simulated laparoscopic tasks of different complexity levels before and after training. Forty-seven novices without prior laparoscopic experience were recruited in a trial to investigate whether training improves task performance as well as mental workload. The participants were tested on three standard tasks (ring transfer, precision cutting and intracorporeal suturing) in increasing complexity based on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) curriculum. Following a period of training and rest, participants were tested again. Test scores were computed from time taken and time penalties for precision errors. Test scores and NASA-TLX scores were recorded pre- and post-training and analysed using paired t tests. One-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyse differences in NASA-TLX scores between the three tasks. NASA-TLX score was lowest with ring transfer and highest with intracorporeal suturing. This was statistically significant in both pre-training (p NASA-TLX scores mirror the changes in test scores for the three tasks. Workload scores decreased significantly after training for all three tasks (ring transfer = 2.93, p NASA-TLX score is an accurate reflection of the complexity of simulated laparoscopic tasks in the FLS curriculum. This also correlates with the relationship of test scores between the three tasks. Simulation training improves both performance score and workload score across the tasks.

  2. Event-related potentials and secondary task performance during simulated driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wester, A E; Böcker, K B E; Volkerts, E R; Verster, J C; Kenemans, J L

    2008-01-01

    Inattention and distraction account for a substantial number of traffic accidents. Therefore, we examined the impact of secondary task performance (an auditory oddball task) on a primary driving task (lane keeping). Twenty healthy participants performed two 20-min tests in the Divided Attention Steering Simulator (DASS). The visual secondary task of the DASS was replaced by an auditory oddball task to allow recording of brain activity. The driving task and the secondary (distracting) oddball task were presented in isolation and simultaneously, to assess their mutual interference. In addition to performance measures (lane keeping in the primary driving task and reaction speed in the secondary oddball task), brain activity, i.e. event-related potentials (ERPs), was recorded. Performance parameters on the driving test and the secondary oddball task did not differ between performance in isolation and simultaneous performance. However, when both tasks were performed simultaneously, reaction time variability increased in the secondary oddball task. Analysis of brain activity indicated that ERP amplitude (P3a amplitude) related to the secondary task, was significantly reduced when the task was performed simultaneously with the driving test. This study shows that when performing a simple secondary task during driving, performance of the driving task and this secondary task are both unaffected. However, analysis of brain activity shows reduced cortical processing of irrelevant, potentially distracting stimuli from the secondary task during driving.

  3. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of cognitive control in response to conflict. Participants performed a Simon task in which congruent and incongruent trials were equiprobable, but in which the proportion of congruency repetitions (congruent trials followed by congruent trials or incongruent trials followed by incongruent trials) and thus the need for trial-by-trial adjustments in cognitive control varied by block. The overall Simon effect did not depend on WMC capacity. However, for the low-WMC participants the Simon effect decreased as the proportion of congruency repetitions decreased, whereas for the high- and average-WMC participants it was relatively constant across conditions. Distribution analysis of the Simon effect showed more evidence for the inhibition of stimulus location in the low- than in the high-WMC participants, especially when the proportion of congruency repetitions was low. We hypothesize that low-WMC individuals exhibit more interference from task-irrelevant information due to weaker preparatory control prior to stimulus presentation and, thus, stronger reliance on reactive recruitment of cognitive control.

  4. Effects of age and auditory and visual dual tasks on closed-road driving performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaparro, Alex; Wood, Joanne M; Carberry, Trent

    2005-08-01

    This study investigated how driving performance of young and old participants is affected by visual and auditory secondary tasks on a closed driving course. Twenty-eight participants comprising two age groups (younger, mean age = 27.3 years; older, mean age = 69.2 years) drove around a 5.1-km closed-road circuit under both single and dual task conditions. Measures of driving performance included detection and identification of road signs, detection and avoidance of large low-contrast road hazards, gap judgment, lane keeping, and time to complete the course. The dual task required participants to verbally report the sums of pairs of single-digit numbers presented through either a computer speaker (auditorily) or a dashboard-mounted monitor (visually) while driving. Participants also completed a vision and cognitive screening battery, including LogMAR visual acuity, Pelli-Robson letter contrast sensitivity, the Trails test, and the Digit Symbol Substitution (DSS) test. Drivers reported significantly fewer signs, hit more road hazards, misjudged more gaps, and increased their time to complete the course under the dual task (visual and auditory) conditions compared with the single task condition. The older participants also reported significantly fewer road signs and drove significantly more slowly than the younger participants, and this was exacerbated for the visual dual task condition. The results of the regression analysis revealed that cognitive aging (measured by the DSS and Trails test) rather than chronologic age was a better predictor of the declines seen in driving performance under dual task conditions. An overall z score was calculated, which took into account both driving and the secondary task (summing) performance under the two dual task conditions. Performance was significantly worse for the auditory dual task compared with the visual dual task, and the older participants performed significantly worse than the young subjects. These findings demonstrate

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

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

  6. Board Task Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minichilli, Alessandro; Zattoni, Alessandro; Nielsen, Sabina

    2012-01-01

    identify three board processes as micro-level determinants of board effectiveness. Specifically, we focus on effort norms, cognitive conflicts and the use of knowledge and skills as determinants of board control and advisory task performance. Further, we consider how two different institutional settings....... The findings show that: (i) Board processes have a larger potential than demographic variables to explain board task performance; (ii) board task performance differs significantly between boards operating in different contexts; and (iii) national context moderates the relationships between board processes...... and board task performance....

  7. Cerebellar tDCS does not affect performance in the N-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wessel, Brenda W V; Claire Verhage, M; Holland, Peter; Frens, Maarten A; van der Geest, Jos N

    2016-01-01

    The N-back task is widely used in cognitive research. Furthermore, the cerebellum's role in cognitive processes is becoming more widely recognized. Studies using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have demonstrated effects of cerebellar stimulation on several cognitive tasks. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cerebellar tDCS on cognitive performance by using the N-back task. The cerebellum of 12 participants was stimulated during the task. Moreover, the cognitive load was manipulated in N = 2, N = 3, and N = 4. Every participant received three tDCS conditions (anodal, cathodal, and sham) divided over three separated days. It was expected that anodal stimulation would improve performance on the task. Each participant performed 6 repetitions of every load in which correct responses, false alarms, and reaction times were recorded. We found significant differences between the three levels of load in the rate of correct responses and false alarms, indicating that subjects followed the expected pattern of performance for the N-back task. However, no significant differences between the three tDCS conditions were found. Therefore, it was concluded that in this study cognitive performance on the N-back task was not readily influenced by cerebellar tDCS, and any true effects are likely to be small. We discuss several limitations in task design and suggest future experiments to address such issues.

  8. The Effect of Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on A Throwing Task Depends on Individual Level of Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Katayama, Takashi; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2018-02-10

    The effect of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on motor performance remains controversial. Some studies suggest that the effect of tDCS depends upon task-difficulty and individual level of task performance. Here, we investigated whether the effect of cerebellar tDCS on the motor performance depends upon the individual's level of performance. Twenty-four naïve participants practiced dart throwing while receiving a 2-mA cerebellar tDCS for 20 min under three stimulus conditions (anodal-, cathodal-, and sham-tDCS) on separate days with a double-blind, counter-balanced cross-over design. Task performance was assessed by measuring the distance between the center of the bull's eye and the dart's position. Although task performance tended to improve throughout the practice under all stimulus conditions, improvement within a given day was not significant as compared to the first no-stimulus block. In addition, improvement did not differ among stimulation conditions. However, the magnitude of improvement was associated with an individual's level of task performance only under cathodal tDCS condition (p performance improvement only for the sub-group of participants with lower performance levels as compared to that with sham-tDCS (p task performance. Thus, cerebellar tDCS would facilitate learning of a complex motor skill task only in a subset of individuals. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level. 

  10. Internalizing versus Externalizing Control: Different Ways to Perform a Time-Based Prospective Memory Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Tracy; Loft, Shayne; Humphreys, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    "Time-based prospective memory" (PM) refers to performing intended actions at a future time. Participants with time-based PM tasks can be slower to perform ongoing tasks (costs) than participants without PM tasks because internal control is required to maintain the PM intention or to make prospective-timing estimates. However, external…

  11. An evaluation of performance by older persons on a simulated telecommuting task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharit, Joseph; Czaja, Sara J; Hernandez, Mario; Yang, Yulong; Perdomo, Dolores; Lewis, John E; Lee, Chin Chin; Nair, Sankaran

    2004-11-01

    Telecommuting work represents a strategy for managing the growing number of older people in the workforce. This study involved a simulated customer service telecommuting task that used e-mail to answer customer queries about media-related products and company policies. Participants included 27 "younger" older adults (50-65 years) and 25 "older" older adults (66-80 years). The participants performed the task for two 2-hr sessions a day over 4 consecutive days. Although both age groups showed significant improvement across sessions on many of the performance criteria, in general the improvements were more marked for the older age-group participants. However, the participants from both age groups had difficulty meeting some of the task performance requirements. These results are discussed in terms of training strategies for older workers.

  12. Priming performance-related concerns induces task-related mind-wandering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Megan L; Touron, Dayna R

    2017-10-01

    Two experiments tested the hypothesis that priming of performance-related concerns would (1) increase the frequency of task-related mind-wandering (i.e., task-related interference; TRI) and (2) decrease task performance. In each experiment, sixty female participants completed an operation span task (OSPAN) containing thought content probes. The task was framed as a math task for those in a condition primed for math-related stereotype threat and as a memory task for those in a control condition. In both studies, women whose performance-related concerns were primed via stereotype threat reported more TRI than women in the control. The second experiment used a more challenging OSPAN task and stereotype primed women also had lower math accuracy than controls. These results support the "control failures×current concerns" framework of mind-wandering, which posits that the degree to which the environmental context triggers personal concerns influences both mind-wandering frequency and content. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Self-reported quality of ADL task performance among patients with COPD exacerbations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendixen, Hans Jørgen; Wæhrens, Eva Elisabet Ejlersen; Wilcke, Jon Torgny

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience problems in the performance of activities of daily living (ADL) tasks. The objective was to examine the self-reported quality of ADL task performance among COPD patients, and to investigate whether age...... concerning age, gender, and routine COPD characteristics were drawn from the patients' medical records. RESULTS: The patients reported being inefficient to markedly inefficient when performing ADL tasks within the personal hygiene, toileting, dressing, household, mobility, and transportation domains. While...... more than 90% of the participants reported increased effort and/or fatigue when performing the ADL tasks, up to 88% of the participants relied on help from others in the performance of general household chores like cooking and shopping. Self-reported ADL ability did not correlate with age, gender...

  14. Self-reported Quality of ADL Task Performance in Adults with Schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristina Tomra; Petersen, Rikke S.; Wæhrens, Eva Ejlersen

    quality of both personal ADL (PADL) and instrumental ADL (IADL). Aside from decreased independence, the participants also reported problems related to increased effort, increased use of time, and some safety issues. Although most of the participants reported to be competent in relation to PADL tasks......, how they perceive the quality of their performance in terms of effort/fatigue, use of time, safety risks, and need for assistance. The aim was to investigate the self-reported quality of ADL task performance in adults with schizophrenia. Subjects Participants were recruited from October 2013...... evaluation tool developed to describe and measure the quality of ADL task performance in terms of effort/fatigue, use of time, safety risks, and need for assistance based on self-report. Occupational therapists employed at the hospitals and trained in conducting the ADL–I were collecting data. The interviews...

  15. The effects of experimental pain and induced optimism on working memory task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boselie, Jantine J L M; Vancleef, Linda M G; Peters, Madelon L

    2016-07-01

    Pain can interrupt and deteriorate executive task performance. We have previously shown that experimentally induced optimism can diminish the deteriorating effect of cold pressor pain on a subsequent working memory task (i.e., operation span task). In two successive experiments we sought further evidence for the protective role of optimism on pain-induced working memory impairments. We used another working memory task (i.e., 2-back task) that was performed either after or during pain induction. Study 1 employed a 2 (optimism vs. no-optimism)×2 (pain vs. no-pain)×2 (pre-score vs. post-score) mixed factorial design. In half of the participants optimism was induced by the Best Possible Self (BPS) manipulation, which required them to write and visualize about a life in the future where everything turned out for the best. In the control condition, participants wrote and visualized a typical day in their life (TD). Next, participants completed either the cold pressor task (CPT) or a warm water control task (WWCT). Before (baseline) and after the CPT or WWCT participants working memory performance was measured with the 2-back task. The 2-back task measures the ability to monitor and update working memory representation by asking participants to indicate whether the current stimulus corresponds to the stimulus that was presented 2 stimuli ago. Study 2 had a 2 (optimism vs. no-optimism)×2 (pain vs. no-pain) mixed factorial design. After receiving the BPS or control manipulation, participants completed the 2-back task twice: once with painful heat stimulation, and once without any stimulation (counter-balanced order). Continuous heat stimulation was used with temperatures oscillating around 1°C above and 1°C below the individual pain threshold. In study 1, the results did not show an effect of cold pressor pain on subsequent 2-back task performance. Results of study 2 indicated that heat pain impaired concurrent 2-back task performance. However, no evidence was found

  16. Preferential processing of task-irrelevant beloved-related information and task performance: Two event-related potential studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2017-09-18

    People who are in love have better attention for beloved-related information, but report having trouble focusing on other tasks, such as (home)work. So, romantic love can both improve and hurt cognition. Emotional information is preferentially processed, which improves task performance when the information is task-relevant, but hurts task performance when it is task-irrelevant. Because beloved-related information is highly emotional, the effects of romantic love on cognition may resemble these effects of emotion on cognition. We examined whether beloved-related information is preferentially processed even when it is task-irrelevant and whether this hurts task performance. In two event-related potential studies, participants who had recently fallen in love performed a visuospatial short-term memory task. Task-irrelevant beloved, friend, and stranger faces were presented during maintenance (Study 1), or encoding (Study 2). The Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) reflecting early automatic attentional capturing and the Late Positive Potential (LPP) reflecting sustained motivated attention were largest for beloved pictures. Thus, beloved pictures are preferentially processed even when they are task-irrelevant. Task performance and reaction times did not differ between beloved, friend, and stranger conditions. Nevertheless, self-reported obsessive thinking about the beloved tended to correlate negatively with task performance, and positively with reaction times, across conditions. So, although task-irrelevant beloved-related information does not impact task performance, more obsessive thinking about the beloved might relate to poorer and slower overall task performance. More research is needed to clarify why people experience trouble focusing on beloved-unrelated tasks and how this negative effect of love on cognition could be reduced. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Performance and touch characteristics of disabled and non-disabled participants during a reciprocal tapping task using touch screen technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Curt B; Sesto, Mary E

    2012-11-01

    Touch screens are becoming more prevalent in everyday environments. Therefore, it is important that this technology is accessible to those with varying disabilities. The objective of the current study was to evaluate performance and touch characteristics (forces, impulses, and dwell times) of individuals with and without a movement disorder during a reciprocal tapping touch screen task. Thirty-seven participants with a motor control disability and 15 non-disabled participants participated. Outcome measures include number of correct taps, dwell time, exerted force, and impulse. Results indicate non-disabled participants had 1.8 more taps than participants with fine motor control disabilities and 2.8 times more than those with gross motor impairments (ptouch characteristics exist between those with and without motor control disabilities. Understanding how people (including those with disabilities) interact with touch screens may allow designers and engineers to ultimately improve usability of touch screen technology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  18. Self-reported quality of ADL task performance among patients with COPD exacerbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendixen, Hans Jørgen; Wæhrens, Eva Ejlersen; Wilcke, Jon Torgny; Sørensen, Lisbeth Villemoes

    2014-07-01

    Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience problems in the performance of activities of daily living (ADL) tasks. The objective was to examine the self-reported quality of ADL task performance among COPD patients, and to investigate whether age, gender, and routine COPD characteristics correlate with the self-reported ADL ability. Eighty patients admitted to hospital with COPD exacerbations participated. In a cross-sectional study, the patients' self-reported ADL ability was assessed using the ADL-Interview (ADL-I) instrument. Data concerning age, gender, and routine COPD characteristics were drawn from the patients' medical records. The patients reported being inefficient to markedly inefficient when performing ADL tasks within the personal hygiene, toileting, dressing, household, mobility, and transportation domains. While more than 90% of the participants reported increased effort and/or fatigue when performing the ADL tasks, up to 88% of the participants relied on help from others in the performance of general household chores like cooking and shopping. Self-reported ADL ability did not correlate with age, gender, or routine COPD characteristics. Decreased quality of ADL task performance seemed to be extremely common among COPD patients. Therefore, addressing the problems in individually tailored pulmonary rehabilitation programmes may be advantageous.

  19. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: a closer look at task switching and dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  20. Musical Training, Bilingualism, and Executive Function: A Closer Look at Task Switching and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician)…

  1. Computer-mediated communication: task performance and satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Andrew F

    2006-06-01

    The author assessed satisfaction and performance on 3 tasks (idea generation, intellective, judgment) among 75 dyads (N = 150) working through 1 of 3 modes of communication (instant messaging, videoconferencing, face to face). The author based predictions on the Media Naturalness Theory (N. Kock, 2001, 2002) and on findings from past researchers (e.g., D. M. DeRosa, C. Smith, & D. A. Hantula, in press) of the interaction between tasks and media. The present author did not identify task performance differences, although satisfaction with the medium was lower among those dyads communicating through an instant-messaging system than among those interacting face to face or through videoconferencing. The findings support the Media Naturalness Theory. The author discussed them in relation to the participants' frequent use of instant messaging and their familiarity with new communication media.

  2. Differential effects of emotionally versus neutrally cued autobiographical memories on performance of a subsequent cognitive task: Effects of task difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kymberly eYoung

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Attention is a limited resource, and in order to improve processing of the attended information, competing processes must be suppressed. Although it is well established that an experimentally induced change in mood state comprises one type of competing process that can impair performance on a subsequent task, no study has investigated whether an emotionally valenced autobiographical memory (AM also can alter performance on a subsequent task. We therefore examined the effects of AM recall on cognitive performance. Healthy participants (n=20 per experiment recalled AMs in response to positive, negative, and neutral cue words. Following each AM participants completed a simple perceptual task (Experiment 1 or solved moderately difficult subtraction problems (Experiment 2. In Experiment 1 participants performed less accurately following exposure to positive or negative versus neutral cue words (ps<0.001, and also were less accurate following negative versus positive cue words (p<0.001. In Experiment 2, in contrast, no difference in accuracy or response times reached statistical significance. Performance accuracy even trended towards being higher following exposure to negative versus neutral cue words (p=0.08. The results of Experiment 1 suggested that recalling emotionally salient AMs reduces the attention directed toward a simple continuous performance task administered immediately following the AM task, conceivably due to persistent contemplation of the AM. The negative results of Experiment 2 suggested that the effect of AMs on attention was attenuated, however, by increasing the difficulty of the subsequent task. Our results have implications for patients with MDD, as performing cognitively demanding tasks may allow them to attenuate the impairing effects of negative rumination on cognition.

  3. Within-person relationship between self-efficacy and performance across trials. Effect of task objective and task type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepler, Teri J; Ritchie, Jason; Hill, Christopher R

    2017-07-05

    Self-efficacy has been shown to be a consistent, positive predictor of between-persons performance in sport. However, there have been equivocal results regarding the influence of self-efficacy on a person's performance over time. This study investigated the influence of self-efficacy on motor skill performance across trials with respect to two different task objectives and task types. Participants (N=84) performed 4 blocks of 10 trials of a dart throwing (closed skill) and a hitting (open skill) task under 2 different task objectives: competitive and goal-striving. For the goal-striving condition, success was defined as reaching a pre-determined performance level. The competitive condition involved competing against an opponent. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the influence of past performance and self-efficacy on the within-person performance across multiple trials. Previous performance was negatively related with subsequent performance on all conditions. Self-efficacy was not a significant predictor of performance on any of the conditions. While task objective and task type did not moderate the efficacy-performance relationship in the current study, it is important to consider the role of other moderators in future research.

  4. Identifying optimum performance trade-offs using a cognitively bounded rational analysis model of discretionary task interleaving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, Christian P; Brumby, Duncan P; Dowell, John; Chater, Nick; Howes, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    We report the results of a dual-task study in which participants performed a tracking and typing task under various experimental conditions. An objective payoff function was used to provide explicit feedback on how participants should trade off performance between the tasks. Results show that participants' dual-task interleaving strategy was sensitive to changes in the difficulty of the tracking task and resulted in differences in overall task performance. To test the hypothesis that people select strategies that maximize payoff, a Cognitively Bounded Rational Analysis model was developed. This analysis evaluated a variety of dual-task interleaving strategies to identify the optimal strategy for maximizing payoff in each condition. The model predicts that the region of optimum performance is different between experimental conditions. The correspondence between human data and the prediction of the optimal strategy is found to be remarkably high across a number of performance measures. This suggests that participants were honing their behavior to maximize payoff. Limitations are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  5. Rules and more rules: the effects of multiple tasks, extensive training, and aging on task-switching performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchler, Norbou G; Hoyer, William J; Cerella, John

    2008-06-01

    Task-switching performance was assessed in young and older adults as a function of the number of task sets to be actively maintained in memory (varied from 1 to 4) over the course of extended training (5 days). Each of the four tasks required the execution of a simple computational algorithm, which was instantaneously cued by the color of the two-digit stimulus. Tasks were presented in pure (task set size 1) and mixed blocks (task set sizes 2, 3, 4), and the task sequence was unpredictable. By considering task switching beyond two tasks, we found evidence for a cognitive control system that is not overwhelmed by task set size load manipulations. Extended training eliminated age effects in task-switching performance, even when the participants had to manage the execution of up to four tasks. The results are discussed in terms of current theories of cognitive control, including task set inertia and production system postulates.

  6. The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim J Smith

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch, Ballard, Hayhoe & Sullivan, 2003. The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch and colleagues’ (2003 that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (active condition or watching another person perform the task (passive conditions. Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the passive block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of

  7. The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tim J

    2015-01-01

    Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch et al., 2003). The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch et al.'s (2003) that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (Doing condition) or watching another person perform the task (Watching conditions). Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number) as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention.

  8. Social motivation in prospective memory: higher importance ratings and reported performance rates for social tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penningroth, Suzanna L; Scott, Walter D; Freuen, Margaret

    2011-03-01

    Few studies have addressed social motivation in prospective memory (PM). In a pilot study and two main studies, we examined whether social PM tasks possess a motivational advantage over nonsocial PM tasks. In the pilot study and Study 1, participants listed their real-life important and less important PM tasks. Independent raters categorized the PM tasks as social or nonsocial. Results from both studies showed a higher proportion of tasks rated as social when important tasks were requested than when less important tasks were requested. In Study 1, participants also reported whether they had remembered to perform each PM task. Reported performance rates were higher for tasks rated as social than for those rated as nonsocial. Finally, in Study 2, participants rated the importance of two hypothetical PM tasks, one social and one nonsocial. The social PM task was rated higher in importance. Overall, these findings suggest that social PM tasks are viewed as more important than nonsocial PM tasks and they are more likely to be performed. We propose that consideration of the social relevance of PM will lead to a more complete and ecologically valid theoretical description of PM performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Preempting Performance Challenges: The Effects of Inoculation Messaging on Attacks to Task Self-Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Ben; Compton, Josh; Whiddett, Ryan; Anthony, David R.; Dimmock, James A.

    2015-01-01

    Although inoculation messages have been shown to be effective for inducing resistance to counter-attitudinal attacks, researchers have devoted relatively little attention toward studying the way in which inoculation theory principles might support challenges to psychological phenomena other than attitudes (e.g., self-efficacy). Prior to completing a physical (i.e., balance) task, undergraduates (N = 127, Mage = 19.20, SD = 2.16) were randomly assigned to receive either a control or inoculation message, and reported their confidence in their ability regarding the upcoming task. During the task, a confederate provided standardized negative feedback to all participants regarding their performance, and following the completion of the task, participants again reported their self-efficacy along with measures assessing in-task processes. Findings supported the viability of efficacy inoculation; controlling for pre-task self-efficacy, task performance, and relevant psycho-social variables (e.g., resilience, self-confidence robustness), participants in the inoculation condition reported greater confidence in their ability (i.e., task self-efficacy) than those in the control condition at post-task. Relative to those in the inoculation condition, participants in the control condition also experienced greater concentration disruption and self-presentation concerns during the task. PMID:25898287

  10. The trickle-down effect of predictability: Secondary task performance benefits from predictability in the primary task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Ewa Król

    Full Text Available Predictions optimize processing by reducing attentional resources allocation to expected or predictable sensory data. Our study demonstrates that these saved processing resources can be then used on concurrent stimuli, and in consequence improve their processing and encoding. We illustrate this "trickle-down" effect with a dual task, where the primary task varied in terms of predictability. The primary task involved detection of a pre-specified symbol that appeared at some point of a short video of a dot moving along a random, semi-predictable or predictable trajectory. The concurrent secondary task involved memorization of photographs representing either emotionally neutral or non-neutral (social or threatening content. Performance in the secondary task was measured by a memory test. We found that participants allocated more attention to unpredictable (random and semi-predictable stimuli than to predictable stimuli. Additionally, when the stimuli in the primary task were more predictable, participants performed better in the secondary task, as evidenced by higher sensitivity in the memory test. Finally, social or threatening stimuli were allocated more "looking time" and a larger number of saccades than neutral stimuli. This effect was stronger for the threatening stimuli than social stimuli. Thus, predictability of environmental input is used in optimizing the allocation of attentional resources, which trickles-down and benefits the processing of concurrent stimuli.

  11. The trickle-down effect of predictability: Secondary task performance benefits from predictability in the primary task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Król, Magdalena Ewa; Król, Michał

    2017-01-01

    Predictions optimize processing by reducing attentional resources allocation to expected or predictable sensory data. Our study demonstrates that these saved processing resources can be then used on concurrent stimuli, and in consequence improve their processing and encoding. We illustrate this "trickle-down" effect with a dual task, where the primary task varied in terms of predictability. The primary task involved detection of a pre-specified symbol that appeared at some point of a short video of a dot moving along a random, semi-predictable or predictable trajectory. The concurrent secondary task involved memorization of photographs representing either emotionally neutral or non-neutral (social or threatening) content. Performance in the secondary task was measured by a memory test. We found that participants allocated more attention to unpredictable (random and semi-predictable) stimuli than to predictable stimuli. Additionally, when the stimuli in the primary task were more predictable, participants performed better in the secondary task, as evidenced by higher sensitivity in the memory test. Finally, social or threatening stimuli were allocated more "looking time" and a larger number of saccades than neutral stimuli. This effect was stronger for the threatening stimuli than social stimuli. Thus, predictability of environmental input is used in optimizing the allocation of attentional resources, which trickles-down and benefits the processing of concurrent stimuli.

  12. Neuronal Substrates Underlying Performance Variability in Well-Trained Skillful Motor Task in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Uehara, Shintaro; Hirose, Satoshi; Yamamoto, Shinji; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Motor performance fluctuates trial by trial even in a well-trained motor skill. Here we show neural substrates underlying such behavioral fluctuation in humans. We first scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging while healthy participants repeatedly performed a 10 s skillful sequential finger-tapping task. Before starting the experiment, the participants had completed intensive training. We evaluated task performance per trial (number of correct sequences in 10 s) and depicted brain regions where the activity changes in association with the fluctuation of the task performance across trials. We found that the activity in a broader range of frontoparietocerebellar network, including the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices, and left cerebellar hemisphere, was negatively correlated with the task performance. We further showed in another transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) experiment that task performance deteriorated, when we applied anodal tDCS to the right DLPFC. These results indicate that fluctuation of brain activity in the nonmotor frontoparietocerebellar network may underlie trial-by-trial performance variability even in a well-trained motor skill, and its neuromodulation with tDCS may affect the task performance.

  13. Goal striving strategies and effort mobilization: When implementation intentions reduce effort-related cardiac activity during task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freydefont, Laure; Gollwitzer, Peter M; Oettingen, Gabriele

    2016-09-01

    Two experiments investigate the influence of goal and implementation intentions on effort mobilization during task performance. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of setting goals and making plans on performance, the effects of goals and plans on effort-related cardiac activity and especially the cardiac preejection period (PEP) during goal striving have not yet been addressed. According to the Motivational Intensity Theory, participants should increase effort mobilization proportionally to task difficulty as long as success is possible and justified. Forming goals and making plans should allow for reduced effort mobilization when participants perform an easy task. However, when the task is difficult, goals and plans should differ in their effect on effort mobilization. Participants who set goals should disengage, whereas participants who made if-then plans should stay in the field showing high effort mobilization during task performance. As expected, using an easy task in Experiment 1, we observed a lower cardiac PEP in both the implementation intention and the goal intention condition than in the control condition. In Experiment 2, we varied task difficulty and demonstrated that while participants with a mere goal intention disengaged from difficult tasks, participants with an implementation intention increased effort mobilization proportionally with task difficulty. These findings demonstrate the influence of goal striving strategies (i.e., mere goals vs. if-then plans) on effort mobilization during task performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Ramifications of single-port laparoscopic surgery: measuring differences in task performance using simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Nathan E; Romanelli, John R; Bush, Ron W; Seymour, Neal E

    2014-02-01

    Single-port laparoscopic surgery imposes unique psychomotor challenges. We used surgical simulation to define performance differences between surgeons with and without single-port clinical experience and examined whether a short course of training resulted in improved performance. Study participants were assigned to 3 groups: resident group (RES), experienced laparoscopic surgeons with (SP) and without (LAP) prior single-port laparoscopic experience. Participants performed the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery precision cutting task on a ProMIS trainer through conventional ports or with articulating instruments via a SILS Port (Covidien, Inc). Two iterations of each method were performed. Then, 6 residents performed 10 successive single-port iterations to assess the effect of practice on task performance. The SP group had faster task times for both laparoscopic (P = .0486) and single-port (P = .0238) methods. The LAP group had longer path lengths for the single-port task than for the laparoscopic task (P = .03). The RES group was slower (P = .0019), with longer path length (P = .0010) but with greater smoothness (P = .0186) on the single-port task than the conventional laparoscopic task. Resident performance task time (P = .005) and smoothness (P = .045) improved with successive iterations. Our data show that surgeons with clinical single-port surgery experience perform a simulated single-port surgical task better than inexperienced single-port surgeons. Furthermore, this performance is comparable to that achieved with conventional laparoscopic techniques. Performance of residents declined dramatically when confronted with the challenges of the single-port task but improved with practice. These results suggest a role for lab-based single-port training.

  15. Effects of Non-Driving Related Task Modalities on Takeover Performance in Highly Automated Driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandtner, Bernhard; Schömig, Nadja; Schmidt, Gerald

    2018-04-01

    Aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different non-driving related tasks (NDR tasks) on takeover performance in highly automated driving. During highly automated driving, it is allowed to engage in NDR tasks temporarily. However, drivers must be able to take over control when reaching a system limit. There is evidence that the type of NDR task has an impact on takeover performance, but little is known about the specific task characteristics that account for performance decrements. Thirty participants drove in a simulator using a highly automated driving system. Each participant faced five critical takeover situations. Based on assumptions of Wickens's multiple resource theory, stimulus and response modalities of a prototypical NDR task were systematically manipulated. Additionally, in one experimental group, the task was locked out simultaneously with the takeover request. Task modalities had significant effects on several measures of takeover performance. A visual-manual texting task degraded performance the most, particularly when performed handheld. In contrast, takeover performance with an auditory-vocal task was comparable to a baseline without any task. Task lockout was associated with faster hands-on-wheel times but not altered brake response times. Results showed that NDR task modalities are relevant factors for takeover performance. An NDR task lockout was highly accepted by the drivers and showed moderate benefits for the first takeover reaction. Knowledge about the impact of NDR task characteristics is an enabler for adaptive takeover concepts. In addition, it might help regulators to make decisions on allowed NDR tasks during automated driving.

  16. The effect of video game "warm-up" on performance of laparoscopic surgery tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosser, James C; Gentile, Douglas A; Hanigan, Kevin; Danner, Omar K

    2012-01-01

    Performing laparoscopic procedures requires special training and has been documented as a significant source of surgical errors. "Warming up" before performing a task has been shown to enhance performance. This study investigates whether surgeons benefit from "warming up" using select video games immediately before performing laparoscopic partial tasks and clinical tasks. This study included 303 surgeons (249 men and 54 women). Participants were split into a control (n=180) and an experimental group (n=123). The experimental group played 3 previously validated video games for 6 minutes before task sessions. The Cobra Rope partial task and suturing exercises were performed immediately after the warm-up sessions. Surgeons who played video games prior to the Cobra Rope drill were significantly faster on their first attempt and across all 10 trials. The experimental and control groups were significantly different in their total suturing scores (t=2.28, df=288, Pvideo games prior to performing laparoscopic partial and clinical tasks (intracorporeal suturing) were faster and had fewer errors than participants not engaging in "warm-up." More study is needed to determine whether this translates into superior procedural execution in the clinical setting.

  17. Chew on this: No support for facilitating effects of gum on spatial task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nader, Ingo W; Gittler, Georg; Waldherr, Karin; Pietschnig, Jakob

    2010-09-01

    To determine whether chewing of gum facilitates spatial task performance in healthy participants, two behavioral experiments were performed. In the first experiment, spatial task performance of 349 men and women preceding and after treatment administration (saccharated chewing gum, sugar-free chewing gum, no chewing gum) was assessed using effect modeling by means of Item Response Theory. In the second experiment, another 100 participants were either administered sugar-free chewing gum or no chewing gum during spatial task performance. Effects of gum in the second study were assessed by standard means of data analysis. Results indicated no significant effects of either chewing gum or sugar on spatial task performance in either experiment. Our findings are consistent with recent studies investigating the influences of chewing gum on various memory functions, extending them by another measure of cognitive ability. Thus, further doubt is cast on enhancing effects of chewing gum on cognitive task performance. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Serial or overlapping processing in multitasking as individual preference: Effects of stimulus preview on task switching and concurrent dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reissland, Jessika; Manzey, Dietrich

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the mechanisms and performance consequences of multitasking has long been in focus of scientific interest, but has been investigated by three research lines more or less isolated from each other. Studies in the fields of the psychological refractory period, task switching, and interruptions have scored with a high experimental control, but usually do not give participants many degrees of freedom to self-organize the processing of two concurrent tasks. Individual strategies as well as their impact on efficiency have mainly been neglected. Self-organized multitasking has been investigated in the field of human factors, but primarily with respect to overall performance without detailed investigation of how the tasks are processed. The current work attempts to link aspects of these research lines. All of them, explicitly or implicitly, provide hints about an individually preferred type of task organization, either more cautious trying to work strictly serially on only one task at a time or more daring with a focus on task interleaving and, if possible, also partially overlapping (parallel) processing. In two experiments we investigated different strategies of task organization and their impact on efficiency using a new measure of overall multitasking efficiency. Experiment 1 was based on a classical task switching paradigm with two classification tasks, but provided one group of participants with a stimulus preview of the task to switch to next, enabling at least partial overlapping processing. Indeed, this preview led to a reduction of switch costs and to an increase of dual-task efficiency, but only for a subgroup of participants. They obviously exploited the possibility of overlapping processing, while the others worked mainly serially. While task-sequence was externally guided in the first experiment, Experiment 2 extended the approach by giving the participants full freedom of task organization in concurrent performance of the same tasks. Fine

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Early Numerical Competence and Number Line Task Performance in Kindergarteners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanari, Rachele; Meloni, Carla; Massidda, Davide

    2017-01-01

    This work aims to evaluate the relationship between early numerical competence in kindergarteners and their numerical representations as measured by the number line task (NLT). Thirty-four 5-year-old children participated in the study. Children's early performance on symbolic and non-symbolic numerical tasks was considered to determine which was a…

  1. Exposure to Unsolvable Anagrams Impairs Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Starcke

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent research indicates that external manipulations, such as stress or mood induction, can affect decision-making abilities. In the current study, we investigated whether the exposure to an unsolvable task affected subsequent performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. Participants were randomly assigned to a condition in which they were exposed to unsolvable anagrams (n = 20, or a condition in which they worked on solvable anagrams (n = 22. Afterwards, all participants played the Iowa Gambling Task, a prominent task that measures decision making under uncertain conditions with no explicit rules for gains and losses. In this task, it is essential to process feedback from previous decisions. The results demonstrated that participants who worked on unsolvable anagrams made more disadvantageous decisions on the Iowa Gambling Task than the other participants. In addition, a significant gender effect was observed: Males who worked on unsolvable anagrams made a more disadvantageous decisions than the other male participants. Females who worked on unsolvable anagrams also made more disadvantageous decision than the other female participants, but differences were small and not significant. We conclude that the exposure to unsolvable anagrams induced the experience of uncontrollability which can elicit stress and learned helplessness. Stress and learned helplessness might have reduced the ability to learn from the given feedback, particularly in male participants. We assume that in real life, uncontrollable challenges that last longer than a single experimental manipulation can affect decision making severely, at least in males.

  2. Hysteresis in Mental Workload and Task Performance: The Influence of Demand Transitions and Task Prioritization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Reinier J; Sawyer, Ben D; van Egmond, René; de Ridder, Huib; Hancock, Peter A

    2016-12-01

    We examine how transitions in task demand are manifested in mental workload and performance in a dual-task setting. Hysteresis has been defined as the ongoing influence of demand levels prior to a demand transition. Authors of previous studies predominantly examined hysteretic effects in terms of performance. However, little is known about the temporal development of hysteresis in mental workload. A simulated driving task was combined with an auditory memory task. Participants were instructed to prioritize driving or to prioritize both tasks equally. Three experimental conditions with low, high, and low task demands were constructed by manipulating the frequency of lane changing. Multiple measures of subjective mental workload were taken during experimental conditions. Contrary to our prediction, no hysteretic effects were found after the high- to low-demand transition. However, a hysteretic effect in mental workload was found within the high-demand condition, which degraded toward the end of the high condition. Priority instructions were not reflected in performance. Online assessment of both performance and mental workload demonstrates the transient nature of hysteretic effects. An explanation for the observed hysteretic effect in mental workload is offered in terms of effort regulation. An informed arrival at the scene is important in safety operations, but peaks in mental workload should be avoided to prevent buildup of fatigue. Therefore, communication technologies should incorporate the historical profile of task demand. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  3. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

    Use of touch-screen-based interactions is growing rapidly. Hence, knowing the maneuvering efficacy of touch screens relative to other pointing devices is of great importance in the context of graphical user interfaces. Movement time, accuracy, and user preferences of four pointing device settings were evaluated on a computer with 14 participants aged 20.1 ± 3.13 years. It was found that, depending on the difficulty of the task, the optimal settings differ for ballistic and visual control tasks. With a touch screen, resting the arm increased movement time for steering tasks. When both performance and comfort are considered, whether to use a mouse or a touch screen for person-computer interaction depends on the steering difficulty. Hence, a input device should be chosen based on the application, and should be optimized to match the graphical user interface. © The Author(s) 2016.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinyoung Min

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Computer-Related Task Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Longstreet, Phil; Xiao, Xiao; Sarker, Saonee

    2016-01-01

    The existing information system (IS) literature has acknowledged computer self-efficacy (CSE) as an important factor contributing to enhancements in computer-related task performance. However, the empirical results of CSE on performance have not always been consistent, and increasing an individual......'s CSE is often a cumbersome process. Thus, we introduce the theoretical concept of self-prophecy (SP) and examine how this social influence strategy can be used to improve computer-related task performance. Two experiments are conducted to examine the influence of SP on task performance. Results show...... that SP and CSE interact to influence performance. Implications are then discussed in terms of organizations’ ability to increase performance....

  6. The correlation between fundamental characteristics and first-time performance in laparoscopic tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Cuan M; Bresler, Richard; Ryan, Donncha; Dicker, Patrick; Traynor, Oscar; Kavanagh, Dara O

    2018-04-01

    The ability of characteristics to predict first time performance in laparoscopic tasks is not well described. Videogame experience predicts positive performance in laparoscopic experiences but its mechanism and confounding-association with aptitude remains to be elucidated. This study sought to evaluate for innate predictors of laparoscopic performance in surgically naive individuals with minimal videogame exposure. Participants with no prior laparoscopic exposure and minimal videogaming experience were recruited consecutively from preclinical years at a medical university. Participants completed four visuospatial, one psychomotor aptitude test and an electronic survey, followed by four laparoscopic tasks on a validated Virtual Reality simulator (LAP Mentor™). Twenty eligible individuals participated with a mean age of 20.8 (±3.8) years. Significant intra-aptitude performance correlations were present amongst 75% of the visuospatial tests. These visuospatial aptitudes correlated significantly with multiple laparoscopic task metrics: number of movements of a dominant instrument (r s  ≥ -0.46), accuracy rate of clip placement (r s  ≥ 0.50) and time taken (r s  ≥ -0.47) (p < 0.05). Musical Instrument experience predicted higher average speed of instruments (r s  ≥ 0.47) (p < 0.05). Participant's revised competitive index level predicted lower proficiency in laparoscopic metrics including: pathlength, economy and number of movements of dominant instrument (r s  ≥ 0.46) (p < 0.05). Multiple visuospatial aptitudes and innate competitive level influenced baseline laparoscopic performances across several tasks in surgically naïve individuals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Participation behavior and social welfare in repeated task allocations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Q.C.; Zhang, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Task allocation problems have focused on achieving one-shot optimality. In practice, many task allocation problems are of repeated nature, where the allocation outcome of previous rounds may influence the participation of agents in subsequent rounds, and consequently, the quality of the allocations

  8. The effects of gamelike features and test location on cognitive test performance and participant enjoyment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Lumsden

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Computerised cognitive assessments are a vital tool in the behavioural sciences, but participants often view them as effortful and unengaging. One potential solution is to add gamelike elements to these tasks in order to make them more intrinsically enjoyable, and some researchers have posited that a more engaging task might produce higher quality data. This assumption, however, remains largely untested. We investigated the effects of gamelike features and test location on the data and enjoyment ratings from a simple cognitive task. We tested three gamified variants of the Go-No-Go task, delivered both in the laboratory and online. In the first version of the task participants were rewarded with points for performing optimally. The second version of the task was framed as a cowboy shootout. The third version was a standard Go-No-Go task, used as a control condition. We compared reaction time, accuracy and subjective measures of enjoyment and engagement between task variants and study location. We found points to be a highly suitable game mechanic for gamified cognitive testing because they did not disrupt the validity of the data collected but increased participant enjoyment. However, we found no evidence that gamelike features could increase engagement to the point where participant performance improved. We also found that while participants enjoyed the cowboy themed task, the difficulty of categorising the gamelike stimuli adversely affected participant performance, increasing No-Go error rates by 28% compared to the non-game control. Responses collected online vs. in the laboratory had slightly longer reaction times but were otherwise very similar, supporting other findings that online crowdsourcing is an acceptable method of data collection for this type of research.

  9. The effect of a secondary cognitive task on landing mechanics and jump performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Boyi; Cook, Ross F; Meyer, Elizabeth A; Sciascia, Yvonne; Hinshaw, Taylour J; Wang, Chaoyi; Zhu, Qin

    2018-06-01

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries commonly occur during jump-landing tasks when individuals' attention is simultaneously allocated to other objects and tasks. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of allocation of attention imposed by a secondary cognitive task on landing mechanics and jump performance. Thirty-eight recreational athletes performed a jump-landing task in three conditions: no counting, counting backward by 1 s from a randomly given number, and counting backward by 7 s from a randomly given number. Three-dimensional kinematics and ground reaction forces were collected and analysed. Participants demonstrated decreased knee flexion angles at initial contact (p = 0.001) for the counting by 1 s condition compared with the no counting condition. Participants also showed increased peak posterior and vertical ground reaction forces during the first 100 ms of landing (p ≤ 0.023) and decreased jump height (p jump performance. ACL injury risk screening protocols and injury prevention programmes may incorporate cognitive tasks into jump-landing tasks to better simulate sports environments.

  10. Effects of Mother-Infant Social Interactions on Infants' Subsequent Contingency Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, Philip; Dunham, Frances

    1990-01-01

    Infants participated in a nonsocial contingency task immediately after a social interaction with their mothers. The amount of time mothers and infants spent in a state of vocal turn-taking predicted individual differences in infants' subsequent performance on the contingency task. (PCB)

  11. Career Development, Collective Efficacy, and Individual Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellett, Janet B.; Humphrey, Ronald H.; Sleeth, Randall G.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis that perceived collective efficacy would mediate the effects of self-efficacy on individual task performance. Design/methodology/approach: An assessment center design with 147 participants in 49 three-person groups was used. Findings: It is found that for individuals working on an…

  12. Alterations in Resting-State Activity Relate to Performance in a Verbal Recognition Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Zunini, Rocío A.; Thivierge, Jean-Philippe; Kousaie, Shanna; Sheppard, Christine; Taler, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    In the brain, resting-state activity refers to non-random patterns of intrinsic activity occurring when participants are not actively engaged in a task. We monitored resting-state activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) both before and after a verbal recognition task. We show a strong positive correlation between accuracy in verbal recognition and pre-task resting-state alpha power at posterior sites. We further characterized this effect by examining resting-state post-task activity. We found marked alterations in resting-state alpha power when comparing pre- and post-task periods, with more pronounced alterations in participants that attained higher task accuracy. These findings support a dynamical view of cognitive processes where patterns of ongoing brain activity can facilitate –or interfere– with optimal task performance. PMID:23785436

  13. Task-based incidental vocabulary learning in L2 Arabic: The role of proficiency and task performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayman A. Mohamed

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study tests the claim that word learning in a second language are contingent upon a task’s involvement load (i.e. the amount of need, search, and evaluation it imposes, as proposed by Laufer and Hulstijn (2001. Fifty-three English-speaking learners of Arabic were assigned to one of three vocabulary learning tasks that varied in the degree of involvement: reading comprehension with glosses (low, fill-in-the-gap task (medium, and sentence writing (high. Ten words, selected based on a pretest, were targeted in the tasks. Results showed a main effect of task, with the sentence writing task yielding the highest rates of vocabulary learning, followed by the gap-fill task, and finally the reading comprehension task. A significant correlation was found between accuracy of performance across participants and their subsequent vocabulary acquisition in the immediate posttest. Within groups, only the performance of the writing group correlated significantly with their posttest scores. Results of the present study validate the hypothesis and point to multiple factors at play in incidental vocabulary acquisition. The study provides further arguments to refine the hypothesis and implement pedagogical practices that accommodate incidental learning in foreign language settings.

  14. The Effect of Task Type and Pre-task Planning Condition on the Accuracy of Intermediate EFL Learners' Writing Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyeed Mohammad Alavi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Task-based language teaching, which requires learners to transact tasks resembling their real life language needs, demands language learners to perform planning at different stages of their learning. Since various types of tasks can be used in task-based instruction, the present study examined the effect of task types and various participatory structures during pre-task planning on the quality of learners' writing performance, (i.e., accuracy. Towards this end, 120 intermediate EFL students were randomly assigned to 3 experimental groups and one control group. While the experimental groups were subjected to different pre-task planning conditions, (i.e., individual, pair, and group, the control group performed tasks without any planning. During the treatment, they experienced task modeling, presentation and completion. A factorial design was followed in the present study, and the collected data were analyzed through ANOVAs that revealed task type and pre-task planning condition influenced the writing accuracy of the participants in a way that resulted in greater accuracy in the decision-making task in the experimental groups, thereby ensuring the effectiveness of the treatment in mitigating the long-standing problem of EFL learners in achieving higher levels of accuracy when a specific task type is concerned.

  15. Cognitive function predicts listening effort performance during complex tasks in normally aging adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennine Harvey

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This study examines whether cognitive function, as measured by the subtests of the Woodcock–Johnson III (WCJ-III assessment, predicts listening-effort performance during dual tasks across the adults of varying ages. Materials and Methods: Participants were divided into two groups. Group 1 consisted of 14 listeners (number of females = 11 who were 41–61 years old [mean = 53.18; standard deviation (SD = 5.97]. Group 2 consisted of 15 listeners (number of females = 9 who were 63–81 years old (mean = 72.07; SD = 5.11. Participants were administered the WCJ-III Memory for Words, Auditory Working Memory, Visual Matching, and Decision Speed subtests. All participants were tested in each of the following three dual-task experimental conditions, which were varying in complexity: (1 auditory word recognition + visual processing, (2 auditory working memory (word + visual processing, and (3 auditory working memory (sentence + visual processing in noise. Results: A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that task complexity significantly affected the performance measures of auditory accuracy, visual accuracy, and processing speed. Linear regression revealed that the cognitive subtests of the WCJ-III test significantly predicted performance across dependent variable measures. Conclusion: Listening effort is significantly affected by task complexity, regardless of age. Performance on the WCJ-III test may predict listening effort in adults and may assist speech-language pathologist (SLPs to understand challenges faced by participants when subjected to noise.

  16. Motor-cognitive dual-task performance: effects of a concurrent motor task on distinct components of visual processing capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Künstler, E C S; Finke, K; Günther, A; Klingner, C; Witte, O; Bublak, P

    2018-01-01

    Dual tasking, or the simultaneous execution of two continuous tasks, is frequently associated with a performance decline that can be explained within a capacity sharing framework. In this study, we assessed the effects of a concurrent motor task on the efficiency of visual information uptake based on the 'theory of visual attention' (TVA). TVA provides parameter estimates reflecting distinct components of visual processing capacity: perceptual threshold, visual processing speed, and visual short-term memory (VSTM) storage capacity. Moreover, goodness-of-fit values and bootstrapping estimates were derived to test whether the TVA-model is validly applicable also under dual task conditions, and whether the robustness of parameter estimates is comparable in single- and dual-task conditions. 24 subjects of middle to higher age performed a continuous tapping task, and a visual processing task (whole report of briefly presented letter arrays) under both single- and dual-task conditions. Results suggest a decline of both visual processing capacity and VSTM storage capacity under dual-task conditions, while the perceptual threshold remained unaffected by a concurrent motor task. In addition, goodness-of-fit values and bootstrapping estimates support the notion that participants processed the visual task in a qualitatively comparable, although quantitatively less efficient way under dual-task conditions. The results support a capacity sharing account of motor-cognitive dual tasking and suggest that even performing a relatively simple motor task relies on central attentional capacity that is necessary for efficient visual information uptake.

  17. Neurofeedback training improves the dual-task performance ability in stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young-Shin; Bae, Sea-Hyun; Lee, Sung-Hee; Kim, Kyung-Yoon

    2015-05-01

    Owing to the reduced capacity for information processing following a stroke, patients commonly present with difficulties in performing activities of daily living that combine two or more tasks. To address this problem, in the present study, we investigated the effects of neurofeedback training on the abilities of stroke patients to perform dual motor tasks. We randomly assigned 20 patients who had sustained a stroke within the preceding 6 months to either a pseudo-neurofeedback (n = 10) or neurofeedback (n = 10) group. Both groups participated in a general exercise intervention for 8 weeks, three times a week for 30 min per session, under the same conditions. An electrode was secured to the scalp over the region of the central lobe (Cz), in compliance with the International 10-20 System. The electrode was inactive for the pseudo-training group. Participants in the neurofeedback training group received the 30-min neurofeedback training per session for reinforcing the sensorimotor rhythm. Electroencephalographic activity of the two groups was compared. In addition, selected parameters of gait (velocity, cadence [step/min], stance phase [%], and foot pressure) were analyzed using a 10-m walk test, attention-demanding task, walk task and quantified by the SmartStep system. The neurofeedback group showed significantly improved the regulation of the sensorimotor rhythm (p neurofeedback training is effective to improve the dual-task performance in stroke patients.

  18. Effects of Mindfulness-Based Intervention to Improve Task Performance for Children with Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jeongil; Kwon, Miyoung

    2018-01-01

    Background: Task performance is a critical factor for learning in individuals with intellectual disabilities. This study aimed to examine mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) to improve task performance for children with intellectual disability (ID). Methods: Three elementary school children with ID participated in the study. A multiple baseline…

  19. Satiated with belongingness? Effects of acceptance, rejection, and task framing on self-regulatory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWall, C Nathan; Baumeister, Roy F; Vohs, Kathleen D

    2008-12-01

    Seven experiments showed that the effects of social acceptance and social exclusion on self-regulatory performance depend on the prospect of future acceptance. Excluded participants showed decrements in self-regulation, but these decrements were eliminated if the self-regulation task was ostensibly a diagnostic indicator of the ability to get along with others. No such improvement was found when the task was presented as diagnostic of good health. Accepted participants, in contrast, performed relatively poorly when the task was framed as a diagnostic indicator of interpersonally attractive traits. Furthermore, poor performance among accepted participants was not due to self-handicapping or overconfidence. Offering accepted participants a cash incentive for self-regulating eliminated the self-regulation deficits. These findings provide evidence that the need to belong fits standard motivational patterns: Thwarting the drive intensifies it, whereas satiating it leads to temporary reduction in drive. Accepted people are normally good at self-regulation but are unwilling to exert the effort to self-regulate if self-regulation means gaining the social acceptance they have already obtained.

  20. Effects of cognitive appraisal and mental workload factors on performance in an arithmetic task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, Edith; Mélan, Claudine

    2015-12-01

    We showed in a previous study an additive interaction between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads and of participants' alertness in an 1-back working memory task. The interaction between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads was only observed when participants' alertness was low (i.e. in the morning). As alertness is known to reflect an individual's general functional state, we suggested that the working memory capacity available for germane cognitive load depends on a participant's functional state, in addition to intrinsic and extraneous loads induced by the task and task conditions. The relationships between the different load types and their assessment by specific load measures gave rise to a modified cognitive load model. The aim of the present study was to complete the model by determining to what extent and at what processing level an individual's characteristics intervene in order to implement efficient strategies in a working memory task. Therefore, the study explored participants' cognitive appraisal of the situation in addition to the load factors considered previously-task difficulty, time pressure and alertness. Each participant performed a mental arithmetic task in four different cognitive load conditions (crossover of two task difficulty conditions and of two time pressure conditions), both while their alertness was low (9 a.m.) and high (4 p.m.). Results confirmed an additive effect of task difficulty and time pressure, previously reported in the 1-back memory task, thereby lending further support to the modified cognitive load model. Further, in the high intrinsic and extraneous load condition, performance was reduced on the morning session (i.e. when alertness was low) on one hand, and in those participants' having a threat appraisal of the situation on the other hand. When these factors were included into the analysis, a performance drop occurred in the morning irrespective of cognitive appraisal, and with threat appraisal in the

  1. High variability impairs motor learning regardless of whether it affects task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardis, Marco; Casadio, Maura; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2018-01-01

    Motor variability plays an important role in motor learning, although the exact mechanisms of how variability affects learning are not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that motor variability may have different effects on learning in redundant tasks, depending on whether it is present in the task space (where it affects task performance) or in the null space (where it has no effect on task performance). We examined the effect of directly introducing null and task space variability using a manipulandum during the learning of a motor task. Participants learned a bimanual shuffleboard task for 2 days, where their goal was to slide a virtual puck as close as possible toward a target. Critically, the distance traveled by the puck was determined by the sum of the left- and right-hand velocities, which meant that there was redundancy in the task. Participants were divided into five groups, based on both the dimension in which the variability was introduced and the amount of variability that was introduced during training. Results showed that although all groups were able to reduce error with practice, learning was affected more by the amount of variability introduced rather than the dimension in which variability was introduced. Specifically, groups with higher movement variability during practice showed larger errors at the end of practice compared with groups that had low variability during learning. These results suggest that although introducing variability can increase exploration of new solutions, this may adversely affect the ability to retain the learned solution. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We examined the role of introducing variability during motor learning in a redundant task. The presence of redundancy allows variability to be introduced in different dimensions: the task space (where it affects task performance) or the null space (where it does not affect task performance). We found that introducing variability affected learning adversely, but the amount of

  2. Relationships between Contextual and Task Performance and Interrater Agreement: Are There Any?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Vilela, Luis F; Delgado Rodríguez, Naira; Isla-Díaz, Rosa; Díaz-Cabrera, Dolores; Hernández-Fernaud, Estefanía; Rosales-Sánchez, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Work performance is one of the most important dependent variables in Work and Organizational Psychology. The main objective of this paper was to explore the relationships between citizenship performance and task performance measures obtained from different appraisers and their consistency through a seldom-used methodology, intraclass correlation coefficients. Participants were 135 public employees, the total staff in a local government department. Jobs were clustered into job families through a work analysis based on standard questionnaires. A task description technique was used to develop a performance appraisal questionnaire for each job family, with three versions: self-, supervisor-, and peer-evaluation, in addition to a measure of citizenship performance. Only when the self-appraisal bias is controlled, significant correlations appeared between task performance rates. However, intraclass correlations analyses show that only self- (contextual and task) performance measures are consistent, while interrater agreement disappears. These results provide some interesting clues about the procedure of appraisal instrument development, the role of appraisers, and the importance of choosing adequate consistency analysis methods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2010-04-01

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

  4. The Influence of Feedback on Task-Switching Performance: A Drift Diffusion Modeling Account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen Hoffing, Russell; Karvelis, Povilas; Rupprechter, Samuel; Seriès, Peggy; Seitz, Aaron R

    2018-01-01

    Task-switching is an important cognitive skill that facilitates our ability to choose appropriate behavior in a varied and changing environment. Task-switching training studies have sought to improve this ability by practicing switching between multiple tasks. However, an efficacious training paradigm has been difficult to develop in part due to findings that small differences in task parameters influence switching behavior in a non-trivial manner. Here, for the first time we employ the Drift Diffusion Model (DDM) to understand the influence of feedback on task-switching and investigate how drift diffusion parameters change over the course of task switch training. We trained 316 participants on a simple task where they alternated sorting stimuli by color or by shape. Feedback differed in six different ways between subjects groups, ranging from No Feedback (NFB) to a variety of manipulations addressing trial-wise vs. Block Feedback (BFB), rewards vs. punishments, payment bonuses and different payouts depending upon the trial type (switch/non-switch). While overall performance was found to be affected by feedback, no effect of feedback was found on task-switching learning. Drift Diffusion Modeling revealed that the reductions in reaction time (RT) switch cost over the course of training were driven by a continually decreasing decision boundary. Furthermore, feedback effects on RT switch cost were also driven by differences in decision boundary, but not in drift rate. These results reveal that participants systematically modified their task-switching performance without yielding an overall gain in performance.

  5. Reverse alignment "mirror image" visualization as a laparoscopic training tool improves task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunnican, Ward J; Singh, T Paul; Ata, Ashar; Bendana, Emma E; Conlee, Thomas D; Dolce, Charles J; Ramakrishnan, Rakesh

    2010-06-01

    Reverse alignment (mirror image) visualization is a disconcerting situation occasionally faced during laparoscopic operations. This occurs when the camera faces back at the surgeon in the opposite direction from which the surgeon's body and instruments are facing. Most surgeons will attempt to optimize trocar and camera placement to avoid this situation. The authors' objective was to determine whether the intentional use of reverse alignment visualization during laparoscopic training would improve performance. A standard box trainer was configured for reverse alignment, and 34 medical students and junior surgical residents were randomized to train with either forward alignment (DIRECT) or reverse alignment (MIRROR) visualization. Enrollees were tested on both modalities before and after a 4-week structured training program specific to their modality. Student's t test was used to determine differences in task performance between the 2 groups. Twenty-one participants completed the study (10 DIRECT, 11 MIRROR). There were no significant differences in performance time between DIRECT or MIRROR participants during forward or reverse alignment initial testing. At final testing, DIRECT participants had improved times only in forward alignment performance; they demonstrated no significant improvement in reverse alignment performance. MIRROR participants had significant time improvement in both forward and reverse alignment performance at final testing. Reverse alignment imaging for laparoscopic training improves task performance for both reverse alignment and forward alignment tasks. This may be translated into improved performance in the operating room when faced with reverse alignment situations. Minimal lab training can account for drastic adaptation to this environment.

  6. Effects of Refresher Training on Job-Task Typewriting Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagman, Joseph D.; Schendel, Joel D.

    Two groups of 15 Administrative Specialists, 7lL Military Occupational Speciality (MOS), participated in four job-task refresher training sessions designed to enhance the typewriting of military correspondence. One group performed under a study training method which allowed use of a Correspondence Manual while arranging materials into the correct…

  7. Cognitive Styles, Demographic Attributes, Task Performance and Affective Experiences: An Empirical Investigation into Astrophysics Data System (ADS) Core Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Rong

    As a primary digital library portal for astrophysics researchers, SAO/NASA ADS (Astrophysics Data System) 2.0 interface features several visualization tools such as Author Network and Metrics. This research study involves 20 ADS long term users who participated in a usability and eye tracking research session. Participants first completed a cognitive test, and then performed five tasks in ADS 2.0 where they explored its multiple visualization tools. Results show that over half of the participants were Imagers and half of the participants were Analytic. Cognitive styles were found to have significant impacts on several efficiency-based measures. Analytic-oriented participants were observed to spent shorter time on web pages and apps, made fewer web page changes than less-Analytic-driving participants in performing common tasks, whereas AI (Analytic-Imagery) participants also completed their five tasks faster than non-AI participants. Meanwhile, self-identified Imagery participants were found to be more efficient in their task completion through multiple measures including total time on task, number of mouse clicks, and number of query revisions made. Imagery scores were negatively associated with frequency of confusion and the observed counts of being surprised. Compared to those who did not claimed to be a visual person, self-identified Imagery participants were observed to have significantly less frequency in frustration and hesitation during their task performance. Both demographic variables and past user experiences were found to correlate with task performance; query revision also correlated with multiple time-based measurements. Considered as an indicator of efficiency, query revisions were found to correlate negatively with the rate of complete with ease, and positively with several time-based efficiency measures, rate of complete with some difficulty, and the frequency of frustration. These results provide rich insights into the cognitive styles of ADS' core

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelleck, Valerie; Passmore, Steven R

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Sleep restriction during simulated wildfire suppression: effect on physical task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Grace; Ferguson, Sally A; Tran, Jacqueline; Larsen, Brianna; Wolkow, Alexander; Aisbett, Brad

    2015-01-01

    To examine the effects of sleep restriction on firefighters' physical task performance during simulated wildfire suppression. Thirty-five firefighters were matched and randomly allocated to either a control condition (8-hour sleep opportunity, n = 18) or a sleep restricted condition (4-hour sleep opportunity, n = 17). Performance on physical work tasks was evaluated across three days. In addition, heart rate, core temperature, and worker activity were measured continuously. Rate of perceived and exertion and effort sensation were evaluated during the physical work periods. There were no differences between the sleep-restricted and control groups in firefighters' task performance, heart rate, core temperature, or perceptual responses during self-paced simulated firefighting work tasks. However, the sleep-restricted group were less active during periods of non-physical work compared to the control group. Under self-paced work conditions, 4 h of sleep restriction did not adversely affect firefighters' performance on physical work tasks. However, the sleep-restricted group were less physically active throughout the simulation. This may indicate that sleep-restricted participants adapted their behaviour to conserve effort during rest periods, to subsequently ensure they were able to maintain performance during the firefighter work tasks. This work contributes new knowledge to inform fire agencies of firefighters' operational capabilities when their sleep is restricted during multi-day wildfire events. The work also highlights the need for further research to explore how sleep restriction affects physical performance during tasks of varying duration, intensity, and complexity.

  10. Increasing Optimism Protects Against Pain-Induced Impairment in Task-Shifting Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boselie, Jantine J L M; Vancleef, Linda M G; Peters, Madelon L

    2017-04-01

    Persistent pain can lead to difficulties in executive task performance. Three core executive functions that are often postulated are inhibition, updating, and shifting. Optimism, the tendency to expect that good things happen in the future, has been shown to protect against pain-induced performance deterioration in executive function updating. This study tested whether this protective effect of a temporary optimistic state by means of a writing and visualization exercise extended to executive function shifting. A 2 (optimism: optimism vs no optimism) × 2 (pain: pain vs no pain) mixed factorial design was conducted. Participants (N = 61) completed a shifting task once with and once without concurrent painful heat stimulation after an optimism or neutral manipulation. Results showed that shifting performance was impaired when experimental heat pain was applied during task execution, and that optimism counteracted pain-induced deterioration in task-shifting performance. Experimentally-induced heat pain impairs shifting task performance and manipulated optimism or induced optimism counteracted this pain-induced performance deterioration. Identifying psychological factors that may diminish the negative effect of persistent pain on the ability to function in daily life is imperative. Copyright © 2016 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Group social rank is associated with performance on a spatial learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, Ellis J G; van Horik, Jayden O; Whiteside, Mark A; Madden, Joah R

    2018-02-01

    Dominant individuals differ from subordinates in their performances on cognitive tasks across a suite of taxa. Previous studies often only consider dyadic relationships, rather than the more ecologically relevant social hierarchies or networks, hence failing to account for how dyadic relationships may be adjusted within larger social groups. We used a novel statistical method: randomized Elo-ratings, to infer the social hierarchy of 18 male pheasants, Phasianus colchicus , while in a captive, mixed-sex group with a linear hierarchy. We assayed individual learning performance of these males on a binary spatial discrimination task to investigate whether inter-individual variation in performance is associated with group social rank. Task performance improved with increasing trial number and was positively related to social rank, with higher ranking males showing greater levels of success. Motivation to participate in the task was not related to social rank or task performance, thus indicating that these rank-related differences are not a consequence of differences in motivation to complete the task. Our results provide important information about how variation in cognitive performance relates to an individual's social rank within a group. Whether the social environment causes differences in learning performance or instead, inherent differences in learning ability predetermine rank remains to be tested.

  12. The Influence of Feedback on Task-Switching Performance: A Drift Diffusion Modeling Account

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Cohen Hoffing

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Task-switching is an important cognitive skill that facilitates our ability to choose appropriate behavior in a varied and changing environment. Task-switching training studies have sought to improve this ability by practicing switching between multiple tasks. However, an efficacious training paradigm has been difficult to develop in part due to findings that small differences in task parameters influence switching behavior in a non-trivial manner. Here, for the first time we employ the Drift Diffusion Model (DDM to understand the influence of feedback on task-switching and investigate how drift diffusion parameters change over the course of task switch training. We trained 316 participants on a simple task where they alternated sorting stimuli by color or by shape. Feedback differed in six different ways between subjects groups, ranging from No Feedback (NFB to a variety of manipulations addressing trial-wise vs. Block Feedback (BFB, rewards vs. punishments, payment bonuses and different payouts depending upon the trial type (switch/non-switch. While overall performance was found to be affected by feedback, no effect of feedback was found on task-switching learning. Drift Diffusion Modeling revealed that the reductions in reaction time (RT switch cost over the course of training were driven by a continually decreasing decision boundary. Furthermore, feedback effects on RT switch cost were also driven by differences in decision boundary, but not in drift rate. These results reveal that participants systematically modified their task-switching performance without yielding an overall gain in performance.

  13. Strategic Adaptation to Task Characteristics, Incentives, and Individual Differences in Dual-Tasking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian P Janssen

    Full Text Available We investigate how good people are at multitasking by comparing behavior to a prediction of the optimal strategy for dividing attention between two concurrent tasks. In our experiment, 24 participants had to interleave entering digits on a keyboard with controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. The difficulty of the tracking task was systematically varied as a within-subjects factor. Participants were also exposed to different explicit reward functions that varied the relative importance of the tracking task relative to the typing task (between-subjects. Results demonstrate that these changes in task characteristics and monetary incentives, together with individual differences in typing ability, influenced how participants choose to interleave tasks. This change in strategy then affected their performance on each task. A computational cognitive model was used to predict performance for a wide set of alternative strategies for how participants might have possibly interleaved tasks. This allowed for predictions of optimal performance to be derived, given the constraints placed on performance by the task and cognition. A comparison of human behavior with the predicted optimal strategy shows that participants behaved near optimally. Our findings have implications for the design and evaluation of technology for multitasking situations, as consideration should be given to the characteristics of the task, but also to how different users might use technology depending on their individual characteristics and their priorities.

  14. Mutual interaction effects between discomfort and cognitive task performance in clothing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, E.A. den; Koerhuis, C.L.

    2016-01-01

    The focus of this study was to establish a relationship between physical discomfort and performance. Eleven healthy male subjects participated in this pilot study. The subjects performed a 2-h protocol without and with significant thermal and mechanical discomfort. Various cognitive tasks were

  15. Iowa Gambling Task with non-clinical participants: Effects of using real + virtual cards and additional trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William H Overman

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT in clinical populations can be interpreted only in relation to established base line performance in normal populations. As in all comparisons of assessment tools, the normal base line must reflect performance under conditions in which subjects can function at their best levels. In this review, we show that a number of variables enhance IGT performance in non-clinical participants. First, optimal performance is produced by having participants turn over real cards while viewing virtual cards on a computer screen. The use of only virtual cards results in significantly lower performance than the combination of real + virtual cards. Secondly, administration of more than 100 trials also enhances performance. When using the real/virtual card procedure, performance is shown to significantly increase from early adolescence through young adulthood. Under these conditions young (mean age 19 years and older (mean age 59 years adults perform equally. Females, as a group, score lower than males because females tend to choose cards from high-frequency-of-gain Deck B. Groups of females with high or low gonadal hormones perform equally. Concurrent tasks, e.g., presentation of aromas, decrease performance in males. Age and gender effects are discussed in terms of a dynamic between testosterone and orbital prefrontal cortex.

  16. Relationships between Contextual and Task Performance and Interrater Agreement: Are There Any?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis F Díaz-Vilela

    Full Text Available Work performance is one of the most important dependent variables in Work and Organizational Psychology. The main objective of this paper was to explore the relationships between citizenship performance and task performance measures obtained from different appraisers and their consistency through a seldom-used methodology, intraclass correlation coefficients. Participants were 135 public employees, the total staff in a local government department. Jobs were clustered into job families through a work analysis based on standard questionnaires. A task description technique was used to develop a performance appraisal questionnaire for each job family, with three versions: self-, supervisor-, and peer-evaluation, in addition to a measure of citizenship performance. Only when the self-appraisal bias is controlled, significant correlations appeared between task performance rates. However, intraclass correlations analyses show that only self- (contextual and task performance measures are consistent, while interrater agreement disappears. These results provide some interesting clues about the procedure of appraisal instrument development, the role of appraisers, and the importance of choosing adequate consistency analysis methods.

  17. Age-related differences in dual task performance: A cross-sectional study on women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brustio, Paolo R; Magistro, Daniele; Rabaglietti, Emanuela; Liubicich, Monica E

    2017-02-01

    Simultaneous performances of motor and attention-demanding tasks are common in activities of everyday life. The present cross-sectional study examined the changes and age-related differences on mobility performance with an additional cognitive or motor task, and evaluated the relative dual-task cost (DTC) on the motor performance in young, middle-aged and older women. A total of 30 young (mean age 25.12 ± 3.00 years), 30 middle-aged (mean age 47.82 ± 5.06 years) and 30 older women (mean age 72.74 ± 5.95 years) were recruited. Participants carried out: (i) single task: Timed Up & Go Test; (ii) cognitive dual-task: Timed Up & Go Test while counting backwards by three; (iii) manual dual-task: Timed Up & Go Test while carrying a glass of water. A repeated measures anova with between-factor as age groups and within-factor as tasks was carried out to assess the effect of aging on the performance of mobility tasks. DTC was calculated as ([performance in single-task - performance in dual-task] / performance in single task) × 100%. One-way ancova were carried out to compare the DTC among the three age groups. A significant interaction between age groups and task (F 4,172  = 6.716, P performance under dual-task condition compared with young and middle-aged groups. Furthermore, DTC differences in cognitive task were observed in older women compared with younger and middle-aged women (F 2,86  = 7.649, P task. Dual-task conditions might affect mobility performance differently across the lifespan, and could be particularly challenging in older women. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 315-321. © 2015 Japan Geriatrics Society.

  18. Effects of Cognitive Demand on Situational Interest and Running Task Performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xihe; Chen, Senlin

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the effect of cognitive demand on situational interest and performance using running tasks in physical education. Adolescents (N = 179) participated in a field study involving three different levels of cognitive demand. Running performances and situational interest were measured four times with a testing interval of seven days.…

  19. Effect of aging on performance, muscle activation and perceived stress during mentally demanding computer tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alkjaer, Tine; Pilegaard, Marianne; Bakke, Merete

    2005-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effects of age on performance, muscle activation, and perceived stress during computer tasks with different levels of mental demand. METHODS: Fifteen young and thirteen elderly women performed two computer tasks [color word test and reference task] with different...... levels of mental demand but similar physical demands. The performance (clicking frequency, percentage of correct answers, and response time for correct answers) and electromyography from the forearm, shoulder, and neck muscles were recorded. Visual analogue scales were used to measure the participants......' perception of the stress and difficulty related to the tasks. RESULTS: Performance decreased significantly in both groups during the color word test in comparison with performance on the reference task. However, the performance reduction was more pronounced in the elderly group than in the young group...

  20. Sleep restriction during simulated wildfire suppression: effect on physical task performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace Vincent

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To examine the effects of sleep restriction on firefighters' physical task performance during simulated wildfire suppression. METHODS: Thirty-five firefighters were matched and randomly allocated to either a control condition (8-hour sleep opportunity, n = 18 or a sleep restricted condition (4-hour sleep opportunity, n = 17. Performance on physical work tasks was evaluated across three days. In addition, heart rate, core temperature, and worker activity were measured continuously. Rate of perceived and exertion and effort sensation were evaluated during the physical work periods. RESULTS: There were no differences between the sleep-restricted and control groups in firefighters' task performance, heart rate, core temperature, or perceptual responses during self-paced simulated firefighting work tasks. However, the sleep-restricted group were less active during periods of non-physical work compared to the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Under self-paced work conditions, 4 h of sleep restriction did not adversely affect firefighters' performance on physical work tasks. However, the sleep-restricted group were less physically active throughout the simulation. This may indicate that sleep-restricted participants adapted their behaviour to conserve effort during rest periods, to subsequently ensure they were able to maintain performance during the firefighter work tasks. This work contributes new knowledge to inform fire agencies of firefighters' operational capabilities when their sleep is restricted during multi-day wildfire events. The work also highlights the need for further research to explore how sleep restriction affects physical performance during tasks of varying duration, intensity, and complexity.

  1. The influences of obesity and age on functional performance during intermittent upper extremity tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavuoto, Lora A; Nussbaum, Maury A

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the main and interactive effects of obesity and age on functional performance were assessed during intermittent exertions involving the upper extremity. The prevalence of obesity has doubled over the past 30 years and this increase is associated with higher health care costs, rates of workplace injury, and lost workdays. Obesity and aging can modify job demands and affect worker capacity in terms of muscular and psychomotor function. However, there is a lack of empirical studies quantifying the work-relevant (or ergonomic) impacts related to task demands, capacities, and their potential imbalance. Eight obese and eight non-obese participants from each of two age groups (18-25 and 50-65 years) completed three endurance tasks involving fixed levels of task demands: hand grip, shoulder flexion, and a simulated assembly task using the upper extremity. Measures of functional performance including endurance, discomfort, motor control, and task performance were recorded for each of the task conditions. Endurance times were ∼60% longer for the non-obese group, and older participants had longer endurance times; however there was no evidence of interactive effects of obesity and age. Obesity also impaired functional performance, as indicated by higher rates of strength loss, increases in discomfort, and declines in task performance. These observed impairments may reflect underlying physiological differences among individuals who are obese, but that are independent of age. Obesity-related impairments may have implications for the design of work duration and demand level to prevent fatigue development for workers who are obese.

  2. Highly automated driving, secondary task performance, and driver state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merat, Natasha; Jamson, A Hamish; Lai, Frank C H; Carsten, Oliver

    2012-10-01

    A driving simulator study compared the effect of changes in workload on performance in manual and highly automated driving. Changes in driver state were also observed by examining variations in blink patterns. With the addition of a greater number of advanced driver assistance systems in vehicles, the driver's role is likely to alter in the future from an operator in manual driving to a supervisor of highly automated cars. Understanding the implications of such advancements on drivers and road safety is important. A total of 50 participants were recruited for this study and drove the simulator in both manual and highly automated mode. As well as comparing the effect of adjustments in driving-related workload on performance, the effect of a secondary Twenty Questions Task was also investigated. In the absence of the secondary task, drivers' response to critical incidents was similar in manual and highly automated driving conditions. The worst performance was observed when drivers were required to regain control of driving in the automated mode while distracted by the secondary task. Blink frequency patterns were more consistent for manual than automated driving but were generally suppressed during conditions of high workload. Highly automated driving did not have a deleterious effect on driver performance, when attention was not diverted to the distracting secondary task. As the number of systems implemented in cars increases, an understanding of the implications of such automation on drivers' situation awareness, workload, and ability to remain engaged with the driving task is important.

  3. Concurrent performance of two memory tasks: evidence for domain-specific working memory systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchini, Gianna; Logie, Robert H; Della Sala, Sergio; MacPherson, Sarah E; Baddeley, Alan D

    2002-10-01

    Previous studies of dual-task coordination in working memory have shown a lack of dual-task interference when a verbal memory task is combined with concurrent perceptuomotor tracking. Two experiments are reported in which participants were required to perform pairwise combinations of (1) a verbal memory task, a visual memory task, and perceptuomotor tracking (Experiment 1), and (2) pairwise combinations of the two memory tasks and articulatory suppression (Experiment 2). Tracking resulted in no disruption of the verbal memory preload over and above the impact of a delay in recall and showed only minimal disruption of the retention of the visual memory load. Performing an ongoing verbal memory task had virtually no impact on retention of a visual memory preload or vice versa, indicating that performing two demanding memory tasks results in little mutual interference. Experiment 2 also showed minimal disruption when the two memory tasks were combined, although verbal memory (but not visual memory) was clearly disrupted by articulatory suppression interpolated between presentation and recall. These data suggest that a multiple-component working memory model provides a better account for performance in concurrent immediate memory tasks than do theories that assume a single processing and storage system or a limited-capacity attentional system coupled with activated memory traces.

  4. Social Anxiety, Affect, Cortisol Response and Performance on a Speech Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losiak, Wladyslaw; Blaut, Agata; Klosowska, Joanna; Slowik, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Social anxiety is characterized by increased emotional reactivity to social stimuli, but results of studies focusing on affective reactions of socially anxious subjects in the situation of social exposition are inconclusive, especially in the case of endocrinological measures of affect. This study was designed to examine individual differences in endocrinological and affective reactions to social exposure as well as in performance on a speech task in a group of students (n = 44) comprising subjects with either high or low levels of social anxiety. Measures of salivary cortisol and positive and negative affect were taken before and after an impromptu speech. Self-ratings and observer ratings of performance were also obtained. Cortisol levels and negative affect increased in both groups after the speech task, and positive affect decreased; however, group × affect interactions were not significant. Assessments conducted after the speech task revealed that highly socially anxious participants had lower observer ratings of performance while cortisol increase and changes in self-reported affect were not related to performance. Socially anxious individuals do not differ from nonanxious individuals in affective reactions to social exposition, but reveal worse performance at a speech task. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Task demands moderate stereotype threat effects on memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Thomas M; Emery, Lisa; Queen, Tara L

    2009-06-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that older adults' memory performance is adversely affected by the explicit activation of negative stereotypes about aging. In this study, we examined the impact of stereotype threat on recognition memory, with specific interest in (a) the generalizability of previously observed effects, (b) the subjective experience of memory, and (c) the moderating effects of task demands. Older participants subjected to threat performed worse than did those in a nonthreat condition but only when performance constraints were high (i.e., memory decisions had to be made within a limited time frame). This effect was reflected in the subjective experience of memory, with participants in this condition having a lower ratio of "remember" to "know" responses. The absence of threat effects when constraints were minimal provides important boundary information regarding stereotype influences on memory performance.

  6. Decision making in healthy participants on the Iowa Gambling Task: new insights from an operant approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Peter N; Tippett, Lynette J; Addis, Donna Rose

    2015-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has contributed greatly to the study of affective decision making. However, researchers have observed high inter-study and inter-individual variability in IGT performance in healthy participants, and many are classified as impaired using standard criteria. Additionally, while decision-making deficits are often attributed to atypical sensitivity to reward and/or punishment, the IGT lacks an integrated sensitivity measure. Adopting an operant perspective, two experiments were conducted to explore these issues. In Experiment 1, 50 healthy participants completed a 200-trial version of the IGT which otherwise closely emulated Bechara et al.'s (1999) original computer task. Group data for Trials 1-100 closely replicated Bechara et al.'s original findings of high net scores and preferences for advantageous decks, suggesting that implementations that depart significantly from Bechara's standard IGT contribute to inter-study variability. During Trials 101-200, mean net scores improved significantly and the percentage of participants meeting the "impaired" criterion was halved. An operant-style stability criterion applied to individual data revealed this was likely related to individual differences in learning rate. Experiment 2 used a novel operant card task-the Auckland Card Task (ACT)-to derive quantitative estimates of sensitivity using the generalized matching law. Relative to individuals who mastered the IGT, persistent poor performers on the IGT exhibited significantly lower sensitivity to magnitudes (but not frequencies) of rewards and punishers on the ACT. Overall, our findings demonstrate the utility of operant-style analysis of IGT data and the potential of applying operant concurrent-schedule procedures to the study of human decision making.

  7. Humans Integrate Monetary and Liquid Incentives to Motivate Cognitive Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debbie Marianne Yee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available It is unequivocal that a wide variety of incentives can motivate behavior. However, few studies have explicitly examined whether and how different incentives are integrated in terms of their motivational influence. The current study examines the combined effects of monetary and liquid incentives on cognitive processing, and whether appetitive and aversive incentives have distinct influences. We introduce a novel task paradigm, in which participants perform cued task-switching for monetary rewards that vary parametrically across trials, with liquid incentives serving as post-trial performance feedback. Critically, the symbolic meaning of the liquid was held constant (indicating successful reward attainment, while liquid valence was blocked. In the first experiment, monetary rewards combined additively with appetitive liquid feedback to improve subject task performance. Aversive liquid feedback counteracted monetary reward effects in low monetary reward trials, particularly in a subset of participants who tended to avoid responding under these conditions. Self-report motivation ratings predicted behavioral performance above and beyond experimental effects. A follow-up experiment replicated the predictive power of motivation ratings even when only appetitive liquids were used, suggesting that ratings reflect idiosyncratic subjective values of, rather than categorical differences between, the liquid incentives. Together, the findings indicate an integrative relationship between primary and secondary incentives and potentially dissociable influences in modulating motivational value, while informing hypotheses regarding candidate neural mechanisms.

  8. Humans Integrate Monetary and Liquid Incentives to Motivate Cognitive Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Debbie M.; Krug, Marie K.; Allen, Ariel Z.; Braver, Todd S.

    2016-01-01

    It is unequivocal that a wide variety of incentives can motivate behavior. However, few studies have explicitly examined whether and how different incentives are integrated in terms of their motivational influence. The current study examines the combined effects of monetary and liquid incentives on cognitive processing, and whether appetitive and aversive incentives have distinct influences. We introduce a novel task paradigm, in which participants perform cued task-switching for monetary rewards that vary parametrically across trials, with liquid incentives serving as post-trial performance feedback. Critically, the symbolic meaning of the liquid was held constant (indicating successful reward attainment), while liquid valence was blocked. In the first experiment, monetary rewards combined additively with appetitive liquid feedback to improve subject task performance. Aversive liquid feedback counteracted monetary reward effects in low monetary reward trials, particularly in a subset of participants who tended to avoid responding under these conditions. Self-report motivation ratings predicted behavioral performance above and beyond experimental effects. A follow-up experiment replicated the predictive power of motivation ratings even when only appetitive liquids were used, suggesting that ratings reflect idiosyncratic subjective values of, rather than categorical differences between, the liquid incentives. Together, the findings indicate an integrative relationship between primary and secondary incentives and potentially dissociable influences in modulating motivational value, while informing hypotheses regarding candidate neural mechanisms. PMID:26834668

  9. Effects of imperfect automation and individual differences on concurrent performance of military and robotics tasks in a simulated multitasking environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J Y C; Terrence, P I

    2009-08-01

    This study investigated the performance and workload of the combined position of gunner and robotics operator in a simulated military multitasking environment. Specifically, the study investigated how aided target recognition (AiTR) capabilities for the gunnery task with imperfect reliability (false-alarm-prone vs. miss-prone) might affect the concurrent robotics and communication tasks. Additionally, the study examined whether performance was affected by individual differences in spatial ability and attentional control. Results showed that when the robotics task was simply monitoring the video, participants had the best performance in their gunnery and communication tasks and the lowest perceived workload, compared with the other robotics tasking conditions. There was a strong interaction between the type of AiTR unreliability and participants' perceived attentional control. Overall, for participants with higher perceived attentional control, false-alarm-prone alerts were more detrimental; for low attentional control participants, conversely, miss-prone automation was more harmful. Low spatial ability participants preferred visual cueing and high spatial ability participants favoured tactile cueing. Potential applications of the findings include personnel selection for robotics operation, robotics user interface designs and training development. The present results will provide further understanding of the interplays among automation reliability, multitasking performance and individual differences in military tasking environments. These results will also facilitate the implementation of robots in military settings and will provide useful data to military system designs.

  10. Self-reported and Observed Quality of ADL Task Performance in Adults with Depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristina Tomra; Wæhrens, Eva

    diagnosed with depression (range 19-79, median 45,5) Procedure In order to evaluate the participants’ self-reported and observed quality of ADL task performance the ADL-Interview (ADL-I) and the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) were chosen. Both instruments are developed to evaluate and measure...... the quality of ADL task performance. The ADL-I was conducted first and thereby formed the basis for identifying relevant tasks for the AMPS evaluation. Both evaluations were conducted on the same day by trained and calibrated occupational therapists. Results The results indicated that the participants both...

  11. The Task Is Not Enough: Processing Approaches to Task-Based Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skehan, Peter; Xiaoyue, Bei; Qian, Li; Wang, Zhan

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on three research studies, all of which concern second language task performance. The first focuses on planning, and compares on-line and strategic planning as well as task repetition. The second study examines the role of familiarity on task performance, and compares this with conventional strategic planning. The third study…

  12. Evidence that communication impairment in schizophrenia is associated with generalized poor task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Anne M; Karcher, Nicole R; Cicero, David C; Becker, Theresa M; Docherty, Anna R; Kerns, John G

    2017-03-01

    People with schizophrenia exhibit wide-ranging cognitive deficits, including slower processing speed and decreased cognitive control. Disorganized speech symptoms, such as communication impairment, have been associated with poor cognitive control task performance (e.g., goal maintenance and working memory). Whether communication impairment is associated with poorer performance on a broader range of non-cognitive control measures is unclear. In the current study, people with schizophrenia (n =51) and non-psychiatric controls (n =26) completed speech interviews allowing for reliable quantitative assessment of communication impairment. Participants also completed multiple goal maintenance and working memory tasks. In addition, we also examined (a) simple measures of processing speed involving highly automatic prepotent responses and (b) a non-cognitive control measure of general task performance. Schizophrenia communication impairment was significantly associated with poor performance in all cognitive domains, with the largest association found with processing speed (r s =-0.52). Further, communication impairment was also associated with the non-cognitive control measure of poor general task performance (r s =-0.43). In contrast, alogia, a negative speech symptom, and positive symptoms were less if at all related to cognitive task performance. Overall, this study suggests that communication impairment in schizophrenia may be associated with relatively generalized poor cognitive task performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Predictive performance models and multiple task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D.; Larish, Inge; Contorer, Aaron

    1989-01-01

    Five models that predict how performance of multiple tasks will interact in complex task scenarios are discussed. The models are shown in terms of the assumptions they make about human operator divided attention. The different assumptions about attention are then empirically validated in a multitask helicopter flight simulation. It is concluded from this simulation that the most important assumption relates to the coding of demand level of different component tasks.

  14. Dizzy people perform no worse at a motor imagery task requiring whole body mental rotation; a case-control comparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah B Wallwork

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available We wanted to find out whether people who suffer from dizziness take longer than people who do not, to perform a motor imagery task that involves implicit whole body rotation. Our prediction was that people in the ‘dizzy’ group would take longer at a left/right neck rotation judgment task but not a left/right hand judgment task, because actually performing the former, but not the latter, would exacerbate their dizziness. Secondly, we predicted that when dizzy participants responded to neck rotation images, responses would be greatest when images were in the upside-down orientation; an orientation with greatest dizzy-provoking potential. To test this idea, we used a case-control comparison design. One hundred and eighteen participants who suffered from dizziness and 118 age, gender, arm pain and neck pain matched controls took part in the study. Participants undertook two motor imagery tasks; a left/right neck rotation judgment task and a left/right hand judgment task. The tasks were completed using the Recognise program; an on-line reaction time task program. Images of neck rotation were shown in four different orientations; 0°, 90°, 180° and 270°. Participants were asked to respond to each ‘neck’ image identifying it as either ‘right neck rotation’ or a ‘left neck rotation’, or for hands, a right or a left hand. Results showed that participants in the ‘dizzy’ group were slower than controls at both tasks (p= 0.015, but this was not related to task (p= 0.498. Similarly, ‘dizzy’ participants were not proportionally worse at images of different orientations (p= 0.878. Our findings suggest impaired performance in dizzy people, an impairment that may be confined to motor imagery or may extend more generally.

  15. Combined factors effect of menstrual cycle and background noise on visual inspection task performance: a simulation-based task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijayanto, Titis; Tochihara, Yutaka; Wijaya, Andi R; Hermawati, Setia

    2009-11-01

    It is well known that women are physiologically and psychologically influenced by the menstrual cycle. In addition, the presence of background noise may affect task performance. So far, it has proven difficult to describe how the menstrual cycle and background noise affect task performance; some researchers have found an increment of performance during menstruation or during the presence of noise, others found performance deterioration, while other still have reported no dominant effect either of the menstrual cycle in performance or of the presence of noise. However, no study to date has investigated the combinational effect between the menstrual cycle and the presence of background noise in task performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the combined factor effect of menstrual cycle and background noise on visual inspection task performance indices by Signal Detection Theory (SDT) metrics: sensitivity index (d') and response criteria index (beta). For this purpose, ten healthy female students (21.5+/-1.08 years) with a regular menstrual cycle participated in this study. A VDT-based visual inspection task was used for the experiment in 3x2 factorial designs. Two factors, menstrual phase, pre-menstruation (PMS), menstruation (M), and post-menstruation (PM) and background noise, with 80 dB(A) background noise and without noise, were analyzed as the main factors in this study. The results concluded that the sensitivity index (d') of SDT was affected in all the menstrual cycle conditions (pbackground noise (pbackground noise was found in this study. On the other hand, no significant effect was observed in the subject's tendency in visual inspection, shown by beta along the menstrual cycle and the presence of background noise. According to the response criteria for each individual subject, the presence of noise affected the tendency of some subjects in detecting the object and making decision during the visual inspection task.

  16. Improving balance, mobility, and dual-task performance in an adolescent with cerebral palsy: A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher-Pipher, Sarah; Kenyon, Lisa K; Westman, Marci

    2017-07-01

    Improving functional mobility is often a desired outcome for adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP). Traditional neurorehabilitation approaches are frequently directed at impairments; however, improvements may not be carried over into functional mobility. The purpose of this case report was to describe the examination, intervention, and outcomes of a task-oriented physical therapy intervention program to improve dynamic balance, functional mobility, and dual-task performance in an adolescent with CP. The participant was a 15-year-old girl with spastic triplegic CP (Gross Motor Classification System Level II). Examination procedures included the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, 6-minute walk test, Muscle Power Sprint Test, 10 x 5-meter sprint test, Timed Up and Down Stairs Test, Gross Motor Function Measure, Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire, and functional lower extremity strength tests. Intervention focused on task-oriented dynamic balance and mobility tasks that incorporated coordination and speed demands as well as task-specific lower extremity and trunk strengthening activities. Dual task demands were integrated into all intervention activities. Post-intervention testing revealed improvements in cardiovascular endurance, anaerobic power, agility, stair climbing, gross motor skills, and mobility. The participant appeared to benefit from a task-oriented program to improve dynamic balance, functional mobility, and dual-task performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  18. The Role of Self-Regulated Learning Capacities in Iranian EFL Undergraduates’ Argumentative Writing Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Akbar Khomeijani Farahani

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The current study was an attempt to explore the relationship between Iranian EFL learners’ self-regulatory capacities and their argumentative writing task performance in order to analyze measures of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF. To this end, 44 Iranian EFL undergraduates majoring in English literature at the University of Tehran were recruited based on convenience sampling to participate in this study. Employing a correlational design, the participants were required to perform an argumentative writing task and complete the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire designed by Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, and McKeachie (1991. Pearson product moment correlation indicated a significant relationship between self-regulated learning and writing task performance in relation to CAF measures. In addition, the results of multiple regression showed that resource management strategies and value component predicted 56.9% of grammatical accuracy of writing task. It was also shown that resource management strategies, value, and expectancy components predicted 56.5% of lexical complexity of writing task. Lastly, cognitive and metacognitive strategies, expectancy, and value components predicted 55.2% of the fluency of writing task. The findings of this study informs EFL writing pedagogy and English language teachers and syllabus designers  with regard to the benefits of applying self-regulatory strategies in teaching and assessing writing.

  19. Assessing air medical crew real-time readiness to perform critical tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braude, Darren; Goldsmith, Timothy; Weiss, Steven J

    2011-01-01

    Air medical transport has had problems with its safety record, attributed in part to human error. Flight crew members (FCMs) must be able to focus on critical safety tasks in the context of a stressful environment. Flight crew members' cognitive readiness (CR) to perform their jobs may be affected by sleep deprivation, personal problems, high workload, and use of alcohol and drugs. The current study investigated the feasibility of using a computer-based cognitive task to assess FCMs' readiness to perform their job. The FCMs completed a short questionnaire to evaluate their physiologic and psychological state at the beginning and end of each shift. The FCMs then performed 3 minutes of a computer-based cognitive task called synthetic work environment (SYNWIN test battery). Task performance was compared with the questionnaire variables using correlation and regression analysis. Differences between the beginning and end of each shift were matched and compared using a paired Students t test. SYNWIN performance was significantly worse at the end of a shift compared with the beginning of the shift (p = 0.028) primarily because of decrement in the memory component. The SYNWIN composite scores were negatively correlated to degree of irritability felt by the participant, both before (r = -0.25) and after (r = -0.34) a shift and were significantly correlated with amount of sleep (0.22), rest (0.30), and life satisfaction (0.30). Performance by FCMs on a simple, rapid, computer-based psychological test correlates well with self-reported sleep, rest, life satisfaction, and irritability. Although further studies are warranted, these findings suggest that assessment of the performance of FCMs on a simple, rapid, computer-based, multitasking battery is feasible as an approach to determine their readiness to perform critical safety tasks through the SYNWIN task battery.

  20. Short-term memory and dual task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, J. E.

    1982-01-01

    Two hypotheses concerning the way in which short-term memory interacts with another task in a dual task situation are considered. It is noted that when two tasks are combined, the activity of controlling and organizing performance on both tasks simultaneously may compete with either task for a resource; this resource may be space in a central mechanism or general processing capacity or it may be some task-specific resource. If a special relationship exists between short-term memory and control, especially if there is an identity relationship between short-term and a central controlling mechanism, then short-term memory performance should show a decrement in a dual task situation. Even if short-term memory does not have any particular identity with a controlling mechanism, but both tasks draw on some common resource or resources, then a tradeoff between the two tasks in allocating resources is possible and could be reflected in performance. The persistent concurrence cost in memory performance in these experiments suggests that short-term memory may have a unique status in the information processing system.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Effects of four types of non-obtrusive feedback on computer behaviour, task performance and comfort

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Korte, E.M.; Huijsmans, M.A.; de Jong, A.M.; van de Ven, J.G.M.; Ruijsendaal, M.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of non-obtrusive feedback on continuous lifted hand/finger behaviour, task performance and comfort. In an experiment with 24 participants the effects of two visual and two tactile feedback signals were compared to a no-feedback condition in a computer task.

  3. The Harvard Automated Phone Task: new performance-based activities of daily living tests for early Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Gad A; Dekhtyar, Maria; Bruno, Jonathan M; Jethwani, Kamal; Amariglio, Rebecca E; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Rentz, Dorene M

    2015-12-01

    Impairment in activities of daily living is a major burden for Alzheimer's disease dementia patients and caregivers. Multiple subjective scales and a few performance-based instruments have been validated and proven to be reliable in measuring instrumental activities of daily living in Alzheimer's disease dementia but less so in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and preclinical Alzheimer's disease. To validate the Harvard Automated Phone Task, a new performance-based activities of daily living test for early Alzheimer's disease, which assesses high level tasks that challenge seniors in daily life. In a cross-sectional study, the Harvard Automated Phone Task was associated with demographics and cognitive measures through univariate and multivariate analyses; ability to discriminate across diagnostic groups was assessed; test-retest reliability with the same and alternate versions was assessed in a subset of participants; and the relationship with regional cortical thickness was assessed in a subset of participants. Academic clinical research center. One hundred and eighty two participants were recruited from the community (127 clinically normal elderly and 45 young normal participants) and memory disorders clinics at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (10 participants with mild cognitive impairment). As part of the Harvard Automated Phone Task, participants navigated an interactive voice response system to refill a prescription (APT-Script), select a new primary care physician (APT-PCP), and make a bank account transfer and payment (APT-Bank). The 3 tasks were scored based on time, errors, and repetitions from which composite z-scores were derived, as well as a separate report of correct completion of the task. We found that the Harvard Automated Phone Task discriminated well between diagnostic groups (APT-Script: p=0.002; APT-PCP: pHarvard Automated Phone Task and executive function (APT-PCP: pHarvard Automated Phone Task, which

  4. Distractions, distractions: does instant messaging affect college students' performance on a concurrent reading comprehension task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Annie Beth; Rosen, Jonathan; Crawford, Mary

    2009-02-01

    Instant messaging (IM) has become one of the most popular forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and is especially prevalent on college campuses. Previous research suggests that IM users often multitask while conversing online. To date, no one has yet examined the cognitive effect of concurrent IM use. Participants in the present study (N = 69) completed a reading comprehension task uninterrupted or while concurrently holding an IM conversation. Participants who IMed while performing the reading task took significantly longer to complete the task, indicating that concurrent IM use negatively affects efficiency. Concurrent IM use did not affect reading comprehension scores. Additional analyses revealed that the more time participants reported spending on IM, the lower their reading comprehension scores. Finally, we found that the more time participants reported spending on IM, the lower their self-reported GPA. Implications and future directions are discussed.

  5. Occupational-Specific Strength Predicts Astronaut-Related Task Performance in a Weighted Suit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Andrew; Kotarsky, Christopher J; Bond, Colin W; Hackney, Kyle J

    2018-01-01

    Future space missions beyond low Earth orbit will require deconditioned astronauts to perform occupationally relevant tasks within a planetary spacesuit. The prediction of time-to-completion (TTC) of astronaut tasks will be critical for crew safety, autonomous operations, and mission success. This exploratory study determined if the addition of task-specific strength testing to current standard lower body testing would enhance the prediction of TTC in a 1-G test battery. Eight healthy participants completed NASA lower body strength tests, occupationally specific strength tests, and performed six task simulations (hand drilling, construction wrenching, incline walking, collecting weighted samples, and dragging an unresponsive crewmember to safety) in a 48-kg weighted suit. The TTC for each task was recorded and summed to obtain a total TTC for the test battery. Linear regression was used to predict total TTC with two models: 1) NASA lower body strength tests; and 2) NASA lower body strength tests + occupationally specific strength tests. Total TTC of the test battery ranged from 20.2-44.5 min. The lower body strength test alone accounted for 61% of the variability in total TTC. The addition of hand drilling and wrenching strength tests accounted for 99% of the variability in total TTC. Adding occupationally specific strength tests (hand drilling and wrenching) to standard lower body strength tests successfully predicted total TTC in a performance test battery within a weighted suit. Future research should couple these strength tests with higher fidelity task simulations to determine the utility and efficacy of task performance prediction.Taylor A, Kotarsky CJ, Bond CW, Hackney KJ. Occupational-specific strength predicts astronaut-related task performance in a weighted suit. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018; 89(1):58-62.

  6. The Harvard Automated Phone Task: new performance-based activities of daily living tests for early Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Gad A.; Dekhtyar, Maria; Bruno, Jonathan M.; Jethwani, Kamal; Amariglio, Rebecca E.; Johnson, Keith A.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Rentz, Dorene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Impairment in activities of daily living is a major burden for Alzheimer’s disease dementia patients and caregivers. Multiple subjective scales and a few performance-based instruments have been validated and proven to be reliable in measuring instrumental activities of daily living in Alzheimer’s disease dementia but less so in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Objective To validate the Harvard Automated Phone Task, a new performance-based activities of daily living test for early Alzheimer’s disease, which assesses high level tasks that challenge seniors in daily life. Design In a cross-sectional study, the Harvard Automated Phone Task was associated with demographics and cognitive measures through univariate and multivariate analyses; ability to discriminate across diagnostic groups was assessed; test-retest reliability with the same and alternate versions was assessed in a subset of participants; and the relationship with regional cortical thickness was assessed in a subset of participants. Setting Academic clinical research center. Participants One hundred and eighty two participants were recruited from the community (127 clinically normal elderly and 45 young normal participants) and memory disorders clinics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (10 participants with mild cognitive impairment). Measurements As part of the Harvard Automated Phone Task, participants navigated an interactive voice response system to refill a prescription (APT-Script), select a new primary care physician (APT-PCP), and make a bank account transfer and payment (APT-Bank). The 3 tasks were scored based on time, errors, and repetitions from which composite z-scores were derived, as well as a separate report of correct completion of the task. Results We found that the Harvard Automated Phone Task discriminated well between diagnostic groups (APT-Script: p=0.002; APT-PCP: pHarvard Automated Phone

  7. Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanbonmatsu, David M; Strayer, David L; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants' perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation--high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking--reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control--low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity--tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity.

  8. Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Sanbonmatsu

    Full Text Available The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants' perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation--high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking--reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control--low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity--tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity.

  9. Performance in neurocognitive tasks in obese patients. Does somatic comorbidity matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wibke eKiunke

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to examine if obese individuals with obesity-related somatic comorbidity (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, dyslipidemia, pain disorder perform worse in neurocognitive tasks compared to obese individuals without any somatic disorder. Neurocognitive functioning was measured by a computerized test battery that consisted of the following tasks: Corsi Block Tapping Test, Auditory Word Learning Task, Trail Making Test-Part B, Stroop Test, Labyrinth Test, and a 4-disk version of the Tower of Hanoi. The total sample consisted of 146 patients, the majority (N=113 suffered from obesity grade 3, 26 individuals had obesity grade 2, and only 7 individuals obesity grade 1. Ninety-eight participants (67.1% reported at least one somatic disorder (Soma+-group. Hypertension was present in 75 individuals (51.4%, type 2 diabetes in 34 participants (23.3%, 38 individuals had sleep apnea (26.0%, 16 suffered from dyslipidemia (11.0%, and 14 individuals reported having a chronic pain disorder (9.6%. Participants without a coexisting somatic disorder were younger (MSoma-=33.7, SD=9.8 vs. MSoma+=42.7, SD=11.0, F(1,144=23.01, p<0.001 and more often female (89.6% and 62.2%, χ2(1= 11.751, p=0.001 but did not differ with respect to education, regular binge eating or depressive symptoms from those in the Soma+-group. The Soma--group performed better on cognitive tasks related to memory and mental flexibility. However, the group differences disappeared completely after controlling for age. The findings indicate that in some obese patients increasing age may not only be accompanied by an increase of obesity severity and by more obesity-related somatic disorders but also by poorer cognitive functioning.

  10. Performance of children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism on advanced theory of mind tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaland, Nils; Callesen, Kirsten; Møller-Nielsen, Annette; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Smith, Lars

    2008-07-01

    Although a number of advanced theory of mind tasks have been developed, there is a dearth of information on whether performances on different tasks are associated. The present study examined the performance of 21 children and adolescents with diagnoses of Asperger syndrome (AS) and 20 typically developing controls on three advanced theory of mind tasks: The Eyes Task, the Strange Stories, and the Stories from Everyday Life. The participants in the clinical group demonstrated lower performance than the controls on all the three tasks. The pattern of findings, however, indicates that these tasks may share different information-processing requirements in addition to tapping different mentalizing abilities.

  11. The Influence of Parkinson’s Disease Motor Symptom Asymmetry on Hand Performance: An Examination of the Grooved Pegboard Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara M. Scharoun

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the influence of motor symptom asymmetry in Parkinson’s disease (PD on Grooved Pegboard (GP performance in right-handed participants. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale was used to assess motor symptoms and separate participants with PD into two groups (right-arm affected, left-arm affected for comparison with a group of healthy older adults. Participants completed the place and replace GP tasks two times with both hands. Laterality quotients were computed to quantify performance differences between the two hands. Comparisons among the three groups indicated that when the nonpreferred hand is affected by PD motor symptoms, superior preferred hand performance (as seen in healthy older adults is further exaggerated in tasks that require precision (i.e., place task. Regardless of the task, when the preferred hand is affected, there is an evident shift to superior left-hand performance, which may inevitably manifest as a switch in hand preference. Results add to the discussion of the relationship between handedness and motor symptom asymmetry in PD.

  12. Interindividual Differences in Learning Performance: The Effects of Age, Intelligence, and Strategic Task Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliegel, Matthias; Altgassen, Mareike

    2006-01-01

    The present study investigated fluid and crystallized intelligence as well as strategic task approaches as potential sources of age-related differences in adult learning performance. Therefore, 45 young and 45 old adults were asked to learn pictured objects. Overall, young participants outperformed old participants in this learning test. However,…

  13. Effects of a multicomponent exercise on dual-task performance and executive function among older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray-Yau Wang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Background: Previous studies showed that multicomponent exercise enhanced physical and cognitive functions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a multicomponent exercise on dual-task performance and executive function and to demonstrate the relationship between improvement in dual-task performance and enhancement in executive function among the elderly. Methods: A total of 27 people completed the intervention, with 16 in the experimental group and 11 in the control group. The 12-week multicomponent exercise lasted 1 h per day and 3 days per week. Participants' gait performance was assessed in dual-task conditions and executive function was examined at both pre- and post-intervention. Results: Results showed significant interaction effects of time x group on all selected gait parameters in both dual-task conditions and the Executive Interview. Compared with the control group, the experimental group showed greater improvements in most measures following intervention. Improved dual-task performance was correlated with enhanced executive function (r = 0.46–0.75. Conclusion: Our results suggested that a multicomponent exercise positively affects dual-task performance and executive function in the elderly. Keywords: Dual-task, Executive function, Exercise, Gait, Older adults

  14. Semantic interference in picture naming during dual-task performance does not vary with reading ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piai, Vitória; Roelofs, Ardi; Roete, Ingeborg

    2015-01-01

    Previous dual-task studies examining the locus of semantic interference of distractor words in picture naming have obtained diverging results. In these studies, participants manually responded to tones and named pictures while ignoring distractor words (picture-word interference, PWI) with varying stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between tone and PWI stimulus. Whereas some studies observed no semantic interference at short SOAs, other studies observed effects of similar magnitude at short and long SOAs. The absence of semantic interference in some studies may perhaps be due to better reading skill of participants in these than in the other studies. According to such a reading-ability account, participants' reading skill should be predictive of the magnitude of their interference effect at short SOAs. To test this account, we conducted a dual-task study with tone discrimination and PWI tasks and measured participants' reading ability. The semantic interference effect was of similar magnitude at both short and long SOAs. Participants' reading ability was predictive of their naming speed but not of their semantic interference effect, contrary to the reading ability account. We conclude that the magnitude of semantic interference in picture naming during dual-task performance does not depend on reading skill.

  15. Performance samples on academic tasks : improving prediction of academic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies

  16. Effects of Relaxing Music on Mental Fatigue Induced by a Continuous Performance Task: Behavioral and ERPs Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Wei; Ren, Jie; Wang, Biye; Zhu, Qin

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether listening to relaxing music would help reduce mental fatigue and to maintain performance after a continuous performance task. The experiment involved two fatigue evaluation phases carried out before and after a fatigue inducing phase. A 1-hour AX-continuous performance test was used to induce mental fatigue in the fatigue-inducing phase, and participants' subjective evaluation on the mental fatigue, as well as their neurobehavioral performance in a Go/NoGo task, were measured before and after the fatigue-inducing phase. A total of 36 undergraduate students (18-22 years) participated in the study and were randomly assigned to the music group and control group. The music group performed the fatigue-inducing task while listening to relaxing music, and the control group performed the same task without any music. Our results revealed that after the fatigue-inducing phase, (a) the music group demonstrated significantly less mental fatigue than control group, (b) reaction time significantly increased for the control group but not for the music group, (c) larger Go-P3 and NoGo-P3 amplitudes were observed in the music group, although larger NoGo-N2 amplitudes were detected for both groups. These results combined to suggest that listening to relaxing music alleviated the mental fatigue associated with performing an enduring cognitive-motor task.

  17. Self-Associations Influence Task-Performance through Bayesian Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtsson, Sara L; Penny, Will D

    2013-01-01

    The way we think about ourselves impacts greatly on our behavior. This paper describes a behavioral study and a computational model that shed new light on this important area. Participants were primed "clever" and "stupid" using a scrambled sentence task, and we measured the effect on response time and error-rate on a rule-association task. First, we observed a confirmation bias effect in that associations to being "stupid" led to a gradual decrease in performance, whereas associations to being "clever" did not. Second, we observed that the activated self-concepts selectively modified attention toward one's performance. There was an early to late double dissociation in RTs in that primed "clever" resulted in RT increase following error responses, whereas primed "stupid" resulted in RT increase following correct responses. We propose a computational model of subjects' behavior based on the logic of the experimental task that involves two processes; memory for rules and the integration of rules with subsequent visual cues. The model incorporates an adaptive decision threshold based on Bayes rule, whereby decision thresholds are increased if integration was inferred to be faulty. Fitting the computational model to experimental data confirmed our hypothesis that priming affects the memory process. This model explains both the confirmation bias and double dissociation effects and demonstrates that Bayesian inferential principles can be used to study the effect of self-concepts on behavior.

  18. Measuring cognitive load: performance, mental effort and simulation task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haji, Faizal A; Rojas, David; Childs, Ruth; de Ribaupierre, Sandrine; Dubrowski, Adam

    2015-08-01

    Interest in applying cognitive load theory in health care simulation is growing. This line of inquiry requires measures that are sensitive to changes in cognitive load arising from different instructional designs. Recently, mental effort ratings and secondary task performance have shown promise as measures of cognitive load in health care simulation. We investigate the sensitivity of these measures to predicted differences in intrinsic load arising from variations in task complexity and learner expertise during simulation-based surgical skills training. We randomly assigned 28 novice medical students to simulation training on a simple or complex surgical knot-tying task. Participants completed 13 practice trials, interspersed with computer-based video instruction. On trials 1, 5, 9 and 13, knot-tying performance was assessed using time and movement efficiency measures, and cognitive load was assessed using subjective rating of mental effort (SRME) and simple reaction time (SRT) on a vibrotactile stimulus-monitoring secondary task. Significant improvements in knot-tying performance (F(1.04,24.95)  = 41.1, p cognitive load (F(2.3,58.5)  = 57.7, p load among novices engaged in simulation-based learning. These measures can be used to track cognitive load during skills training. Mental effort ratings are also sensitive to small differences in intrinsic load arising from variations in the physical complexity of a simulation task. The complementary nature of these subjective and objective measures suggests their combined use is advantageous in simulation instructional design research. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Effects of Gait Self-Efficacy and Lower-Extremity Physical Function on Dual-Task Performance in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banducci, Sarah E.; Daugherty, Ana M.; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth A.; Porter, Gwenndolyn C.; Burzynska, Agnieszka; Shen, Sa; Kramer, Arthur F.; McAuley, Edward

    2017-01-01

    Objectives. Despite evidence of self-efficacy and physical function's influences on functional limitations in older adults, few studies have examined relationships in the context of complex, real-world tasks. The present study tested the roles of self-efficacy and physical function in predicting older adults' street-crossing performance in single- and dual-task simulations. Methods. Lower-extremity physical function, gait self-efficacy, and street-crossing success ratio were assessed in 195 older adults (60–79 years old) at baseline of a randomized exercise trial. During the street-crossing task, participants walked on a self-propelled treadmill in a virtual reality environment. Participants crossed the street without distraction (single-task trials) and conversed on a cell phone (dual-task trials). Structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized associations independent of demographic and clinical covariates. Results. Street-crossing performance was better on single-task trials when compared with dual-task trials. Direct effects of self-efficacy and physical function on success ratio were observed in dual-task trials only. The total effect of self-efficacy was significant in both conditions. The indirect path through physical function was evident in the dual-task condition only. Conclusion. Physical function can predict older adults' performance on high fidelity simulations of complex, real-world tasks. Perceptions of function (i.e., self-efficacy) may play an even greater role. The trial is registered with United States National Institutes of Health ClinicalTrials.gov (ID: NCT01472744; Fit & Active Seniors Trial). PMID:28255557

  20. The effect of single-task and dual-task balance exercise programs on balance performance in adults with osteoporosis: a randomized controlled preliminary trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konak, H E; Kibar, S; Ergin, E S

    2016-11-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious disease characterized by muscle weakness in the lower extremities, shortened length of trunk, and increased dorsal kyphosis leading to poor balance performance. Although balance impairment increases in adults with osteoporosis, falls and fall-related injuries have been shown to occur mainly during the dual-task performance. Several studies have shown that dual-task performance was improved with specific repetitive dual-task exercises. The aims of this study were to compare the effect of single- and dual-task balance exercise programs on static balance, dynamic balance, and activity-specific balance confidence in adults with osteoporosis and to assess the effectiveness of dual-task balance training on gait speed under dual-task conditions. Older adults (N = 42) (age range, 45-88 years) with osteoporosis were randomly assigned into two groups. Single-task balance training group was given single-task balance exercises for 4 weeks, whereas dual-task balance training group received dual-task balance exercises. Participants received 45-min individualized training session, three times a week. Static balance was evaluated by one-leg stance (OLS) and a kinesthetic ability trainer (KAT) device. Dynamic balance was measured by the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Time Up and Go (TUG) test, and gait speed. Self-confidence was assessed with the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC-6) scale. Assessments were performed at baseline and after the 4-week program. At the end of the treatment periods, KAT score, BBS score, time in OLS and TUG, gait speeds under single- and dual-task conditions, and ABC-6 scale scores improved significantly in all patients (p gait speeds under single- and dual-task conditions showed significantly greater improvement in the dual-task balance training group than in the single-task balance training group (p gait speeds showed greater improvement following the application of a specific type of dual-task exercise programs

  1. The Effect of Background Music and Background Noise on the Task Performance of Introverts and Extraverts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Gianna; MacDonald, Raymond A. R.

    2007-01-01

    The study investigated the effects of music with high arousal potential and negative affect (HA), music with low arousal potential and positive affect (LA), and everyday noise, on the cognitive task performance of introverts and extraverts. Forty participants completed five cognitive tasks: immediate recall, free recall, numerical and delayed…

  2. Task performance in astronomical adaptive optics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Myers, Kyle J.; Devaney, Nicholas; Dainty, J. C.; Caucci, Luca

    2006-06-01

    In objective or task-based assessment of image quality, figures of merit are defined by the performance of some specific observer on some task of scientific interest. This methodology is well established in medical imaging but is just beginning to be applied in astronomy. In this paper we survey the theory needed to understand the performance of ideal or ideal-linear (Hotelling) observers on detection tasks with adaptive-optical data. The theory is illustrated by discussing its application to detection of exoplanets from a sequence of short-exposure images.

  3. The effects of stimulus modality and task integrality: Predicting dual-task performance and workload from single-task levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, S. G.; Shively, R. J.; Vidulich, M. A.; Miller, R. C.

    1986-01-01

    The influence of stimulus modality and task difficulty on workload and performance was investigated. The goal was to quantify the cost (in terms of response time and experienced workload) incurred when essentially serial task components shared common elements (e.g., the response to one initiated the other) which could be accomplished in parallel. The experimental tasks were based on the Fittsberg paradigm; the solution to a SternBERG-type memory task determines which of two identical FITTS targets are acquired. Previous research suggested that such functionally integrated dual tasks are performed with substantially less workload and faster response times than would be predicted by suming single-task components when both are presented in the same stimulus modality (visual). The physical integration of task elements was varied (although their functional relationship remained the same) to determine whether dual-task facilitation would persist if task components were presented in different sensory modalities. Again, it was found that the cost of performing the two-stage task was considerably less than the sum of component single-task levels when both were presented visually. Less facilitation was found when task elements were presented in different sensory modalities. These results suggest the importance of distinguishing between concurrent tasks that complete for limited resources from those that beneficially share common resources when selecting the stimulus modalities for information displays.

  4. Performance on verbal and low-verbal false belief tasks: evidence from children with Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Herwegen, Jo; Dimitriou, Dagmara; Rundblad, Gabriella

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies that have investigated the relationship between performance on theory of mind (ToM) tasks and verbal abilities in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have reported contradictory findings with some showing that language abilities aid performance on ToM tasks while others have found that participants with WS fail these tasks because of their verbal demands. The current study investigated this relationship again comparing performance on a classical change-location task to two newly developed low-verbal tasks, one change-location task and one unexpected content task. Thirty children with WS (aged 5-17;01 years) and 30 typically developing (TD) children (aged between 2;10 years and 9;09 years), who were matched for vocabulary comprehension scores were included in the study. Although performance in the WS group was significantly poorer compared to the TD group on all three tasks, performance was not predicted by their receptive vocabulary or grammatical ability scores. In addition, ToM abilities in both groups depended on the cognitive demands of the task at hand. This finding shows that performance on ToM tasks in WS is not necessarily hindered by their delayed language abilities but rather by the task administered. This could potentially affect the diagnosis of developmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, and comparison of ToM abilities across developmental disorders. Readers of this article should be able to (1) describe the current state of theory of mind research in Williams syndrome, (2) identify which cognitive abilities might explain performance on theory of mind tasks in both typically developing children and in children with Williams syndrome, and (3) interpret the importance of task demands when assessing children's theory of mind abilities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. WHY ADULTS LEARN: INTERPRETING ADULTS’ REASONS TO PARTICIPATE IN EDUCATION IN TERMS OF ECCLES’ SUBJECTIVE TASK VALUE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Gorges

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Psychological research shows that subjective task value, a basic component of expectancyvalue theory as outlined by Eccles, predicts task choice (e.g., going to graduate school. However, Eccles’ approach has not been used to investigate adult learning so far. Therefore, the present study investigated a specific form of subjective task value and task choice, namely adults’ subjective task value of participation in education. Based on expectancy-value theory, qualitative content analyses of 16 interviews with adult learners (aged between 21 and 67 from varying age groups and educational backgrounds show a differentiation of positive value according to points of reference and a revised conceptualisation of cost as an independent component of subjective task value with four subcomponents. Apparently people estimate positive value and cost separately at first and only later weigh these components against each other to arrive at an overall evaluation of subjective task value, which, in turn, predicts participation in education. Moreover, results suggest a distinction between anticipated subjective task value prior to participation and subjective task value based on experience (i.e., in hindsight. Benefits of using expectancy-value theory for future research on adults’ participation in education are discussed.

  6. Self-Reported Versus Performance-Based Assessments of a Simple Mobility Task Among Older Adults in the Emergency Department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roedersheimer, Kyle M; Pereira, Greg F; Jones, Christopher W; Braz, Valerie A; Mangipudi, Sowmya A; Platts-Mills, Timothy F

    2016-02-01

    Accurate information about the mobility of independently living older adults is essential in determining whether they may be safely discharged home from the emergency department (ED). We assess the accuracy of self-reported ability to complete a simple mobility task among older ED patients. This was a cross-sectional study of cognitively intact patients aged 65 years and older who were neither nursing home residents nor critically ill, conducted in 2 academic EDs. Consenting participants were asked whether they could get out of bed, walk 10 feet, turn around, and get back in bed without assistance, and if not, whether they could perform this task with a cane, walker, or assistance. Each participant was then asked to perform the task and was provided with a mobility device or assistance as needed. Of 272 patients who met eligibility criteria and answered the physical task question, 161 (59%) said they could do the task unassisted, 45 (17%) said they could do it with a cane or walker, 21 (8%) said they could do it with assistance, and 45 (17%) said they would be unable to do it even with assistance. Among those who said they could do the task either with or without assistance and who were subsequently willing to attempt the task (N=172), discrepancies between self-reported ability and actual performance were common. Of those who said they could perform the task without assistance, 12% required some assistance or were unable to complete the task. Of those who said they could perform the task with a cane or walker, 48% required either assistance or were unable to perform the task. Of those who said they could perform the task with assistance, 24% were unable to perform the task even with assistance. In this sample of older adults receiving care in the ED, the accuracy of their self-reported ability to perform a simple mobility task was poor, particularly for those who reported some need for assistance. For older adults being considered for discharge who report a need

  7. Paw Preference Correlates to Task Performance in Dogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alphen, A. van; Bosse, T.; Frank, I.; Jonker, C.M.; Koeman, F.; Bara, B.G.; Barsalou, L.; Bucciarelli, M.

    2005-01-01

    A study involving 36 domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) in a simple search task provides evidence of a correlation between paw use and performance. The study was carried out to determine whether or not paw use is related to task performance. Different aspects of task performance were taken into

  8. Teachers' Ability and Help Attributions and Children's Math Performance and Task Persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tõeväli, Paula-Karoliina; Kikas, Eve

    2016-01-01

    The present longitudinal study examined the reciprocal relationships between teachers' causal attributions and children's math performance and task persistence. In total, 760 elementary school children and their teachers participated in this study. The children were tested in math twice, at the end of the second and third grades. At both time…

  9. Exploring the repetition bias in voluntary task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittelstädt, Victor; Dignath, David; Schmidt-Ott, Magdalena; Kiesel, Andrea

    2018-01-01

    In the voluntary task-switching paradigm, participants are required to randomly select tasks. We reasoned that the consistent finding of a repetition bias (i.e., participants repeat tasks more often than expected by chance) reflects reasonable adaptive task selection behavior to balance the goal of random task selection with the goals to minimize the time and effort for task performance. We conducted two experiments in which participants were provided with variable amount of preview for the non-chosen task stimuli (i.e., potential switch stimuli). We assumed that switch stimuli would initiate some pre-processing resulting in improved performance in switch trials. Results showed that reduced switch costs due to extra-preview in advance of each trial were accompanied by more task switches. This finding is in line with the characteristics of rational adaptive behavior. However, participants were not biased to switch tasks more often than chance despite large switch benefits. We suggest that participants might avoid effortful additional control processes that modulate the effects of preview on task performance and task choice.

  10. Physical Ability-Task Performance Models: Assessing the Risk of Omitted Variable Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-09-15

    association was evaluated in a study of simulated job performance in men and women. The study measured four major abilities, Static Strength (SS), Dynamic...ability- performance interface for physical tasks. Methods Sample Participants were active-duty naval personnel (64 men , 38 women) between ages 20...bench with feet flat on the floor. Position was adjusted so the bar was between the shoulder and nipple line. Handles were gripped at a comfortable

  11. Sleep restriction and cognitive load affect performance on a simulated marksmanship task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Carl D; Cooper, Adam D; Merullo, Donna J; Cohen, Bruce S; Heaton, Kristin J; Claro, Pedro J; Smith, Tracey

    2017-11-24

    Sleep restriction degrades cognitive and motor performance, which can adversely impact job performance and increase the risk of accidents. Military personnel are prone to operating under sleep restriction, and previous work suggests that military marksmanship may be negatively affected under such conditions. Results of these studies, however, are mixed and have often incorporated additional stressors (e.g. energy restriction) beyond sleep restriction. Moreover, few studies have investigated how the degree of difficulty of a marksmanship task impacts performance following sleep restriction. The purpose of the current experiment was to study the effects of sleep restriction on marksmanship while minimizing the potential influence of other forms of stress. A friend-foe discrimination challenge with greater or lesser degrees of complexity (high versus low load) was used as the primary marksmanship task. Active duty Soldiers were recruited, and allowed 2 h of sleep every 24 h over a 72-h testing period. Marksmanship tasks, cognitive assessment metrics and the NASA-Task Load Index were administered daily. Results indicated that reaction times to shoot foe targets and signal friendly targets slowed over time. In addition, the ability to correctly discriminate between friend and foe targets significantly decreased in the high-cognitive-load condition over time despite shot accuracy remaining stable. The NASA-Task Load Index revealed that, although marksmanship performance degraded, participants believed their performance did not change over time. These results further characterize the consequences of sleep restriction on marksmanship performance and the perception of performance, and reinforce the importance of adequate sleep among service members when feasible. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  12. EFFECTIVE INDICES FOR MONITORING MENTAL WORKLOAD WHILE PERFORMING MULTIPLE TASKS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Bin-Wei; Wang, Mao-Jiun J; Chen, Chi-Yuan; Chen, Fang

    2015-08-01

    This study identified several physiological indices that can accurately monitor mental workload while participants performed multiple tasks with the strategy of maintaining stable performance and maximizing accuracy. Thirty male participants completed three 10-min. simulated multitasks: MATB (Multi-Attribute Task Battery) with three workload levels. Twenty-five commonly used mental workload measures were collected, including heart rate, 12 HRV (heart rate variability), 10 EEG (electroencephalography) indices (α, β, θ, α/θ, θ/β from O1-O2 and F4-C4), and two subjective measures. Analyses of index sensitivity showed that two EEG indices, θ and α/θ (F4-C4), one time-domain HRV-SDNN (standard deviation of inter-beat intervals), and four frequency-domain HRV: VLF (very low frequency), LF (low frequency), %HF (percentage of high frequency), and LF/HF were sensitive to differentiate high workload. EEG α/θ (F4-C4) and LF/HF were most effective for monitoring high mental workload. LF/HF showed the highest correlations with other physiological indices. EEG α/θ (F4-C4) showed strong correlations with subjective measures across different mental workload levels. Operation strategy would affect the sensitivity of EEG α (F4-C4) and HF.

  13. Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanbonmatsu, David M.; Strayer, David L.; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M.

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability. Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants’ perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation – high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking – reported greater multi-tasking behavior. Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control - low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity - tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity. PMID:23372720

  14. Investigating Perfect Timesharing: The Relationship between IM-Compatible Tasks and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halvorson, Kimberly M.; Ebner, Herschel; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2013-01-01

    Why are dual-task costs reduced with ideomotor (IM) compatible tasks (Greenwald & Shulman, 1973; Lien, Proctor & Allen, 2002)? In the present experiments, we first examine three different measures of single-task performance (pure single-task blocks, mixed blocks, and long stimulus onset asynchrony [SOA] trials in dual-task blocks) and two…

  15. Self-associations influence task-performance through Bayesian inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara L Bengtsson

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The way we think about ourselves impacts greatly on our behaviour. This paper describes a behavioural study and a computational model that sheds new light on this important area. Participants were primed 'clever' and 'stupid' using a scrambled sentence task, and we measured the effect on response time and error-rate on a rule-association task. First, we observed a confirmation bias effect in that associations to being 'stupid' led to a gradual decrease in performance, whereas associations to being 'clever' did not. Second, we observed that the activated self-concepts selectively modified attention towards one's performance. There was an early to late double dissociation in RTs in that primed 'clever' resulted in RT increase following error responses, whereas primed 'stupid' resulted in RT increase following correct responses. We propose a computational model of subjects' behaviour based on the logic of the experimental task that involves two processes; memory for rules and the integration of rules with subsequent visual cues. The model also incorporates an adaptive decision threshold based on Bayes rule, whereby decision thresholds are increased if integration was inferred to be faulty. Fitting the computational model to experimental data confirmed our hypothesis that priming affects the memory process. This model explains both the confirmation bias and double dissociation effects and demonstrates that Bayesian inferential principles can be used to study the effect of self-concepts on behaviour.

  16. Task-relevant cognitive and motor functions are prioritized during prolonged speed-accuracy motor task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solianik, Rima; Satas, Andrius; Mickeviciene, Dalia; Cekanauskaite, Agne; Valanciene, Dovile; Majauskiene, Daiva; Skurvydas, Albertas

    2018-06-01

    This study aimed to explore the effect of prolonged speed-accuracy motor task on the indicators of psychological, cognitive, psychomotor and motor function. Ten young men aged 21.1 ± 1.0 years performed a fast- and accurate-reaching movement task and a control task. Both tasks were performed for 2 h. Despite decreased motivation, and increased perception of effort as well as subjective feeling of fatigue, speed-accuracy motor task performance improved during the whole period of task execution. After the motor task, the increased working memory function and prefrontal cortex oxygenation at rest and during conflict detection, and the decreased efficiency of incorrect response inhibition and visuomotor tracking were observed. The speed-accuracy motor task increased the amplitude of motor-evoked potentials, while grip strength was not affected. These findings demonstrate that to sustain the performance of 2-h speed-accuracy task under conditions of self-reported fatigue, task-relevant functions are maintained or even improved, whereas less critical functions are impaired.

  17. Do Participants Differ in Their Cognitive Abilities, Task Motivation, or Personality Characteristics as a Function of Time of Participation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Matthew K.; Unsworth, Nash

    2016-01-01

    Four experiments tested the conventional wisdom in experimental psychology that participants who complete laboratory tasks systematically differ in their cognitive abilities, motivational levels, and personality characteristics as a function of the time at which they participate during an academic term. Across 4 experiments with over 2,900…

  18. Electrophysiological indices of anterior cingulate cortex function reveal changing levels of cognitive effort and reward valuation that sustain task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemoto, Akina; Inzlicht, Michael; Holroyd, Clay B

    2018-06-14

    Successful execution of goal-directed behaviors often requires the deployment of cognitive control, which is thought to require cognitive effort. Recent theories have proposed that anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) regulates control levels by weighing the reward-related benefits of control against its effort-related costs. However, given that the sensations of cognitive effort and reward valuation are available only to introspection, this hypothesis is difficult to investigate empirically. We have proposed that two electrophysiological indices of ACC function, frontal midline theta and the reward positivity (RewP), provide objective measures of these functions. To explore this issue, we recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) from participants engaged in an extended, cognitively-demanding task. Participants performed a time estimation task for 2hours in which they received reward and error feedback according to their task performance. We observed that the amplitude of the RewP, a feedback-locked component of the event related brain potential associated with reward processing, decreased with time-on-task. Conversely, frontal midline theta power, which consists of 4-8Hz EEG oscillations associated with cognitive effort, increased with time-on-task. We also explored how these phenomena changed over time by conducting within-participant multi-level modeling analyses. Our results suggest that extended execution of a cognitively-demanding task is characterized by an early phase in which high control levels foster rapid improvements in task performance, and a later phase in which high control levels were necessary to maintain stable task performance, perhaps counteracting waning reward valuation. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. The Role of Task Complexity, Modality, and Aptitude in Narrative Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kormos, Judit; Trebits, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The study reported in this paper investigated the relationship between components of aptitude and the fluency, lexical variety, syntactic complexity, and accuracy of performance in two types of written and spoken narrative tasks. We also addressed the question of how narrative performance varies in tasks of different cognitive complexity in the…

  20. Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking

    OpenAIRE

    Sanbonmatsu, David M.; Strayer, David L.; Medeiros-Ward, Nathan; Watson, Jason M.

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability. The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are ...

  1. Slowing down after a mild traumatic brain injury: a strategy to improve cognitive task performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozen, Lana J; Fernandes, Myra A

    2012-01-01

    Long-term persistent attention and memory difficulties following a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) often go undetected on standard neuropsychological tests, despite complaints by mild TBI individuals. We conducted a visual Repetition Detection working memory task to digits, in which we manipulated task difficulty by increasing cognitive load, to identify subtle deficits long after a mild TBI. Twenty-six undergraduate students with a self-report of one mild TBI, which occurred at least 6 months prior, and 31 non-head-injured controls took part in the study. Participants were not informed until study completion that the study's purpose was to examine cognitive changes following a mild TBI, to reduce the influence of "diagnosis threat" on performance. Neuropsychological tasks did not differentiate the groups, though mild TBI participants reported higher state anxiety levels. On our working memory task, the mild TBI group took significantly longer to accurately detect repeated targets on our task, suggesting that slowed information processing is a long-term consequence of mild TBI. Accuracy was comparable in the low-load condition and, unexpectedly, mild TBI performance surpassed that of controls in the high-load condition. Temporal analysis of target identification suggested a strategy difference between groups: mild TBI participants made a significantly greater number of accurate responses following the target's offset, and significantly fewer erroneous distracter responses prior to target onset, compared with controls. Results suggest that long after a mild TBI, high-functioning young adults invoke a strategy of delaying their identification of targets in order to maintain, and facilitate, accuracy on cognitively demanding tasks. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  2. Walking while performing working memory tasks changes the prefrontal cortex hemodynamic activations and gait kinematics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-I Brandon Lin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundIncreasing evidence suggests that walking while performing a concurrent task negatively influences gait performance. However, it remains unclear how higher-level cognitive processes and coordination of limb movements are altered in challenging walking environments. This study investigated the influence of cognitive task complexity and walking road condition on the neutral correlates of executive function and postural control in dual-task walking. MethodsTwenty-four healthy young adults completed a series of overground walks with three walking road conditions (wide, narrow, with obstacles with and without the concurrent n-back working memory tasks of two complexity levels (1-back and 3-back. Prefrontal brain activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used simultaneously to measure gait performance and lower-extremity kinematics. Repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to examine the differences between the conditions. ResultsIn comparison with standing still, participants showed lower n-back task accuracy while walking, with the worst performance from the road with obstacles. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, lower-extremity joint movements, and the relative changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO concentration levels were all significantly different across the task complexity and walking path conditions. While dual-tasking participants were found to flex their hips and knees less, leading to a slower gait speed, longer stride time, shorter step length, and greater gait variability than during normal walking. For narrow-road walking, smaller ankle dorsiflexion and larger hip flexion were observed, along with a reduced gait speed. Obstacle negotiation was mainly characterized by increased gait variability than other conditions. HbO levels appeared to be lower during dual-task walking than normal walking. Compared to wide and obstacle conditions, walking on

  3. Assessment Training Effects on Student Assessment Skills and Task Performance in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiongyi; Li, Lan

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the impact of an assessment training module on student assessment skills and task performance in a technology-facilitated peer assessment. Seventy-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants completed an assessment training exercise, prior to engaging in peer-assessment activities. During the…

  4. Appraisal, Coping, Task Performance, and Cardiovascular Responses during the Evaluated Speaking Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggett, H. Lane; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Appraisal, coping, task performance, and cardiovascular responses were examined among men high and low in speech anxiety who prepared and performed a speech under evaluative conditions. Speech-anxious men saw the task as more threatening. They were more stressed, anxious, distracted, and aware of their emotions, focused on the passage of time, and…

  5. The impact of occipital lobe cortical thickness on cognitive task performance: An investigation in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Eileanoir B; Rees, Elin M; Labuschagne, Izelle; Durr, Alexandra; Leavitt, Blair R; Roos, Raymund A C; Reilmann, Ralf; Johnson, Hans; Hobbs, Nicola Z; Langbehn, Douglas R; Stout, Julie C; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Scahill, Rachael I

    2015-12-01

    The occipital lobe is an important visual processing region of the brain. Following consistent findings of early neural changes in the occipital lobe in Huntington's Disease (HD), we examined cortical thickness across four occipital regions in premanifest (preHD) and early HD groups compared with controls. Associations between cortical thickness in gene positive individuals and performance on six cognitive tasks, each with a visual component, were examined. In addition, the association between cortical thickness in gene positive participants and one non-visual motor task was also examined for comparison. Cortical thickness was determined using FreeSurfer on T1-weighted 3T MR datasets from controls (N=97), preHD (N=109) and HD (N=69) from the TRACK-HD study. Regression models were fitted to assess between-group differences in cortical thickness, and relationships between performance on the cognitive tasks, the motor task and occipital thickness were examined in a subset of gene-positive participants (N=141). Thickness of the occipital cortex in preHD and early HD participants was reduced compared with controls. Regionally-specific associations between reduced cortical thickness and poorer performance were found for five of the six cognitive tasks, with the strongest associations in lateral occipital and lingual regions. No associations were found with the cuneus. The non-visual motor task was not associated with thickness of any region. The heterogeneous pattern of associations found in the present study suggests that occipital thickness negatively impacts cognition, but only in regions that are linked to relatively advanced visual processing (e.g., lateral occipital, lingual regions), rather than in basic visual processing regions such as the cuneus. Our results show, for the first time, the functional implications of occipital atrophy highlighted in recent studies in HD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The effects of anticipating a high-stress task on sleep and performance during simulated on-call work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprajcer, Madeline; Jay, Sarah M; Vincent, Grace E; Vakulin, Andrew; Lack, Leon; Ferguson, Sally A

    2018-04-22

    On-call work is used to manage around the clock working requirements in a variety of industries. Often, tasks that must be performed while on-call are highly important, difficult and/or stressful by nature and, as such, may impact the level of anxiety that is experienced by on-call workers. Heightened anxiety is associated with poor sleep, which affects next-day cognitive performance. Twenty-four male participants (20-35 years old) spent an adaptation, a control and two counterbalanced on-call nights in a time-isolated sleep laboratory. On one of the on-call nights they were told that they would be required to do a speech upon waking (high-stress condition), whereas on the other night they were instructed that they would be required to read to themselves (low-stress condition). Pre-bed anxiety was measured by the State Trait Anxiety Inventory form x-1, and polysomnography and quantitative electroencephalogram analyses were used to investigate sleep. Performance was assessed across each day using the 10-min psychomotor vigilance task (09:30 hours, 12:00 hours, 14:30 hours, 17:00 hours). The results indicated that participants experienced no significant changes in pre-bed anxiety or sleep between conditions. However, performance on the psychomotor vigilance task was best in the high-stress condition, possibly as a result of heightened physiological arousal caused by performing the stressful task that morning. This suggests that performing a high-stress task may be protective of cognitive performance to some degree when sleep is not disrupted. © 2018 European Sleep Research Society.

  7. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    The psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and Task 2) are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e., decreasing SOAs do not increase reaction times (RTs) and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates) show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/or error rates in Task 1). This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects. PMID:25904890

  8. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    The psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and Task 2) are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e., decreasing SOAs do not increase reaction times (RTs) and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates) show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/or error rates in Task 1). This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects.

  9. Long-lasting effects of performance-contingent unconscious and conscious reward incentives during cued task-switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capa, Rémi L; Bouquet, Cédric A; Dreher, Jean-Claude; Dufour, André

    2013-01-01

    Motivation is often thought to interact consciously with executive control, although recent studies have indicated that motivation can also be unconscious. To date, however, the effects of unconscious motivation on high-order executive control functions have not been explored. Only a few studies using subliminal stimuli (i.e., those not related to motivation, such as an arrow to prime a response) have reported short-lived effects on high-order executive control functions. Here, building on research on unconscious motivation, in which a behavior of perseverance is induced to attain a goal, we hypothesized that subliminal motivation can have long-lasting effects on executive control processes. We investigated the impact of unconscious/conscious monetary reward incentives on evoked potentials and neural activity dynamics during cued task-switching performance. Participants performed long runs of task-switching. At the beginning of each run, a reward (50 cents or 1 cent) was displayed, either subliminally or supraliminally. Participants earned the reward contingent upon their correct responses to each trial of the run. A higher percentage of runs was achieved with higher (conscious and unconscious) than lower rewards, indicating that unconscious high rewards have long-lasting behavioral effects. Event-related potential (ERP) results indicated that unconscious and conscious rewards influenced preparatory effort in task preparation, as suggested by a greater fronto-central contingent negative variation (CNV) starting at cue-onset. However, a greater parietal P3 associated with better reaction times (RTs) was observed only under conditions of conscious high reward, suggesting a larger amount of working memory invested during task performance. Together, these results indicate that unconscious and conscious motivations are similar at early stages of task-switching preparation but differ during task performance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of task complexity on rhythmic reproduction performance in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iannarilli, Flora; Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Iosa, Marco; Pesce, Caterina; Capranica, Laura

    2013-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of task complexity on the capability to reproduce rhythmic patterns. Sedentary musically illiterate individuals (age: 34.8±4.2 yrs; M±SD) were administered a rhythmic test including three rhythmic patterns to be reproduced by means of finger-tapping, foot-tapping and walking. For the quantification of subjects' ability in the reproduction of rhythmic patterns, qualitative and quantitative parameters were submitted to analysis. A stereophotogrammetric system was used to reconstruct and evaluate individual performances. The findings indicated a good internal stability of the rhythmic reproduction, suggesting that the present experimental design is suitable to discriminate the participants' rhythmic ability. Qualitative aspects of rhythmic reproduction (i.e., speed of execution and temporal ratios between events) varied as a function of the perceptual-motor requirements of the rhythmic reproduction task, with larger reproduction deviations in the walking task. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tilo eStrobach

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Psychological Refractory Period (PRP paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and 2 are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e. decreasing SOAs do not increase RTs and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/ or error rates in Task 1. This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects.

  12. Impact of task design on task performance and injury risk: case study of a simulated drilling task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alabdulkarim, Saad; Nussbaum, Maury A; Rashedi, Ehsan; Kim, Sunwook; Agnew, Michael; Gardner, Richard

    2017-06-01

    Existing evidence is limited regarding the influence of task design on performance and ergonomic risk, or the association between these two outcomes. In a controlled experiment, we constructed a mock fuselage to simulate a drilling task common in aircraft manufacturing, and examined the effect of three levels of workstation adjustability on performance as measured by productivity (e.g. fuselage completion time) and quality (e.g. fuselage defective holes), and ergonomic risk as quantified using two common methods (rapid upper limb assessment and the strain index). The primary finding was that both productivity and quality significantly improved with increased adjustability, yet this occurred only when that adjustability succeeded in reducing ergonomic risk. Supporting the inverse association between ergonomic risk and performance, the condition with highest adjustability created the lowest ergonomic risk and the best performance while there was not a substantial difference in ergonomic risk between the other two conditions, in which performance was also comparable. Practitioner Summary: Findings of this study supported a causal relationship between task design and both ergonomic risk and performance, and that ergonomic risk and performance are inversely associated. While future work is needed under more realistic conditions and a broader population, these results may be useful for task (re)design and to help cost-justify some ergonomic interventions.

  13. Performance deficits in a voluntary saccade task in Chinese "express saccade makers".

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Knox

    Full Text Available Differences in behaviour and cognition have been observed in different human populations. It has been reported that in various types of complex visual task, eye movement patterns differ systematically between Chinese and non-Chinese participants, an observation that has been related to differences in culture between groups. However, we confirm here that, in healthy, naïve adult Chinese participants, a far higher proportion (22% than expected (1-5% exhibit a pattern of reflexive eye movement behaviour (high numbers of low latency express saccades in circumstances designed to inhibit such responses (prosaccade overlap tasks. These participants are defined as "express saccade makers" (ESMs. We then show using the antisaccade paradigm, which requires the inhibition of reflexive responses and the programming and execution of voluntary saccades, that the performance of ESMs is compromised; they have higher antisaccade directional error rates, and the latency distributions of their error saccades again exhibit a higher proportion of low latency express saccade errors consistent with a reduced ability to inhibit reflexive responses. These results are difficult to reconcile with a cultural explanation as they relate to important and specific performance differences within a particular population. They suggest a potential unexpected confound relevant to those studies of Chinese versus other groups which have investigated group differences using oculomotor measures, and explained them in terms of culture. The confirmation of higher numbers of ESMs among Chinese participants provides new opportunities for examining oculomotor control.

  14. Reduced Electromyographic Fatigue Threshold after Performing a Cognitive Fatiguing Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, Justine R; Tomlinson, Mary A; Ward, Tayler N; Pepin, Marie E; Malek, Moh H

    2018-02-22

    Cognitive fatigue tasks performed prior to exercise may reduce exercise capacity. The electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMGFT) is the highest exercise intensity that can be maintained without significant increase in the EMG amplitude versus time relationship. To date, no studies have examined the effect of cognitive fatigue on the estimation of the EMGFT. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine whether or not cognitive fatigue prior to performing exercise reduces the estimated EMGFT. Eight healthy college-aged men were recruited from a university student population and visited the laboratory on multiple occasions. In a randomized order, subjects performed either the cognitive fatigue task (AX Continuous Performance Test; AX-CPT) for 60 min on one visit (experimental condition) or watched a video on trains for 60 min on the other visit (control condition). After each condition, subjects performed the incremental single-leg knee-extensor ergometry test while the EMG amplitude was recorded from the rectus femoris muscle and heart rate was monitored throughout. Thereafter, the EMGFT was calculated for each participant for each visit and compared using paired samples t-test. For exercise outcomes, there were no significant mean differences for maximal power output between the two conditions (control: 51 ± 5 vs. fatigue: 50 ± 3 W), but a significant decrease in EMGFT between the two conditions (control: 31 ± 3 vs. fatigue: 24 ± 2 W; p = 0.013). Moreover, maximal heart rate was significantly different between the two conditions (control: 151 ± 5 vs. fatigue: 132 ± 6; p = 0.027). These results suggest that performing the cognitive fatiguing task reduces the EMGFT with a corresponding reduction in maximal heart rate response.

  15. Subjective and objective quantification of physician's workload and performance during radiation therapy planning tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazur, Lukasz M; Mosaly, Prithima R; Hoyle, Lesley M; Jones, Ellen L; Marks, Lawrence B

    2013-01-01

    To quantify, and compare, workload for several common physician-based treatment planning tasks using objective and subjective measures of workload. To assess the relationship between workload and performance to define workload levels where performance could be expected to decline. Nine physicians performed the same 3 tasks on each of 2 cases ("easy" vs "hard"). Workload was assessed objectively throughout the tasks (via monitoring of pupil size and blink rate), and subjectively at the end of each case (via National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index; NASA-TLX). NASA-TLX assesses the 6 dimensions (mental, physical, and temporal demands, frustration, effort, and performance); scores > or ≈ 50 are associated with reduced performance in other industries. Performance was measured using participants' stated willingness to approve the treatment plan. Differences in subjective and objective workload between cases, tasks, and experience were assessed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The correlation between subjective and objective workload measures were assessed via the Pearson correlation test. The relationships between workload and performance measures were assessed using the t test. Eighteen case-wise and 54 task-wise assessments were obtained. Subjective NASA-TLX scores (P .1), were significantly lower for the easy vs hard case. Most correlations between the subjective and objective measures were not significant, except between average blink rate and NASA-TLX scores (r = -0.34, P = .02), for task-wise assessments. Performance appeared to decline at NASA-TLX scores of ≥55. The NASA-TLX may provide a reasonable method to quantify subjective workload for broad activities, and objective physiologic eye-based measures may be useful to monitor workload for more granular tasks within activities. The subjective and objective measures, as herein quantified, do not necessarily track each other, and more work is needed to assess their utilities. From a

  16. Workplace for analysis of task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, J; Mulder, LJM; van Ouwerkerk, RJ; Maarse, FJ; Akkerman, AE; Brand, AN; Mulder, LJM

    2003-01-01

    In current research on mental workload and task performance a large gap exists between laboratory based studies and research projects in real life working practice. Tasks conducted within a laboratory environment often lack a strong resemblance with real life working situations. This paper presents

  17. Pleasantness of Creative Tasks and Creative Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2011-01-01

    To examine the impact of emotion on creative potential, experimental studies have typically focused on the impact of induced or spontaneous mood states on creative performance. In this report the relationship between the perceived pleasantness of tasks (using divergent thinking and story writing tasks) and creative performance was examined.…

  18. Effects of dual task difficulty in motor and cognitive performance: Differences between adults and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustillo-Casero, Pilar; Villarrasa-Sapiña, Israel; García-Massó, Xavier

    2017-10-01

    In the present study our aim was to compare dual-task performance in thirteen adolescents and fifteen young adults while concurrently performing a cognitive and a motor task. The postural control variables were obtained under three different conditions: i) bipedal stance, ii) tandem stance and iii) unipedal stance. The cognitive task consisted of a backward digit span test in which the participants were asked to memorize a sequence of numbers and then repeat the number in reverse order at three different difficulty levels (i.e. with 3, 4 and 5 digits). The difficulty of the cognitive task was seen to have different effects on adolescents and young adults. Adolescents seem to prioritize postural control during high difficulty postural conditions while a cross-domain competition model appeared in easy postural conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Sleep deprivation and time-on-task performance decrement in the rat psychomotor vigilance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oonk, Marcella; Davis, Christopher J; Krueger, James M; Wisor, Jonathan P; Van Dongen, Hans P A

    2015-03-01

    The rat psychomotor vigilance task (rPVT) was developed as a rodent analog of the human psychomotor vigilance task (hPVT). We examined whether rPVT performance displays time-on-task effects similar to those observed on the hPVT. The rPVT requires rats to respond to a randomly presented light stimulus to obtain a water reward. Rats were water deprived for 22 h prior to each 30-min rPVT session to motivate performance. We analyzed rPVT performance over time on task and as a function of the response-stimulus interval, at baseline and after sleep deprivation. The study was conducted in an academic research vivarium. Male Long-Evans rats were trained to respond to a 0.5 sec stimulus light within 3 sec of stimulus onset. Complete data were available for n = 20 rats. Rats performed the rPVT for 30 min at baseline and after 24 h total sleep deprivation by gentle handling. Compared to baseline, sleep deprived rats displayed increased performance lapses and premature responses, similar to hPVT lapses of attention and false starts. However, in contrast to hPVT performance, the time-on-task performance decrement was not significantly enhanced by sleep deprivation. Moreover, following sleep deprivation, rPVT response times were not consistently increased after short response-stimulus intervals. The rPVT manifests similarities to the hPVT in global performance outcomes, but not in post-sleep deprivation effects of time on task and response-stimulus interval. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  20. Evaluating low-resolution tomography neurofeedback by single dissociation of mental grotation task from stop signal task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getter, Nir; Kaplan, Zeev; Todder, Doron

    2015-10-01

    Electroencephalography source localization neurofeedback, i.e Standardized low-resolution tomography (sLORETA) neurofeedback are non-invasive method for altering region specific brain activity. This is an improvement over traditional neurofeedback which were based on recordings from a single scalp-electrode. We proposed three criteria clusters as a methodological framework to evaluate electroencephalography source localization neurofeedback and present relevant data. Our objective was to evaluate standardized low resolution EEG tomography neurofeedback by examining how training one neuroanatomical area effects the mental rotation task (which is related to the activity of bilateral Parietal regions) and the stop-signal test (which is related to frontal structures). Twelve healthy participants were enrolled in a single session sLORETA neurofeedback protocol. The participants completed both the mental rotation task and the stop-signal test before and after one sLORETA neurofeedback session. During sLORETA neurofeedback sessions participants watched one sitcom episode while the picture quality co-varied with activity in the superior parietal lobule. Participants were rewarded for increasing activity in this region only. Results showed a significant reaction time decrease and an increase in accuracy after sLORETA neurofeedback on the mental rotation task but not after stop signal task. Together with behavioral changes a significant activity increase was found at the left parietal brain after sLORETA neurofeedback compared with baseline. We concluded that activity increase in the parietal region had a specific effect on the mental rotation task. Tasks unrelated to parietal brain activity were unaffected. Therefore, sLORETA neurofeedback could be used as a research, or clinical tool for cognitive disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Understanding Performance Decrements in a Letter-Canceling Task: Overcoming Habits or Inhibition of Reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Larry; Downie, Steven; Taylor, Grant; Marrington, Jessica; Tehan, Gerald; Ireland, Michael J

    2018-01-01

    The importance of self-regulation in human behavior is readily apparent and diverse theoretical accounts for explaining self-regulation failures have been proposed. Typically, these accounts are based on a sequential task methodology where an initial task is presented to deplete self-regulatory resources, and carryover effects are then examined on a second outcome task. In the aftermath of high profile replication failures using a popular letter-crossing task as a means of depleting self-regulatory resources and subsequent criticisms of that task, current research into self-control is currently at an impasse. This is largely due to the lack of empirical research that tests explicit assumptions regarding the initial task. One such untested assumption is that for resource depletion to occur, the initial task must first establish an habitual response and then this habitual response must be inhibited, with behavioral inhibition being the causal factor in inducing depletion. This study reports on four experiments exploring performance on a letter-canceling task, where the rules for target identification remained constant but the method of responding differed (Experiment 1) and the coherence of the text was manipulated (Experiments 1-4). Experiment 1 established that habit forming and behavioral inhibition did not produce any performance decrement when the targets were embedded in random letter strings. Experiments 2-4 established that target detection was sensitive to language characteristics and the coherence of the background text, suggesting that participants' automatic reading processes is a key driver of performance in the letter-e task.

  2. Exploring the role of task performance and learning style on prefrontal hemodynamics during a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Afrouz A; Parsa, Kian; Geiger, Sydney; Zaragoza, Rachel; Kermanian, Riley; Miguel, Helga; Dashtestani, Hadis; Chowdhry, Fatima A; Smith, Elizabeth; Aram, Siamak; Gandjbakhche, Amir H

    2018-01-01

    Existing literature outlines the quality and location of activation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during working memory (WM) tasks. However, the effects of individual differences on the underlying neural process of WM tasks are still unclear. In this functional near infrared spectroscopy study, we administered a visual and auditory n-back task to examine activation in the PFC while considering the influences of task performance, and preferred learning strategy (VARK score). While controlling for age, results indicated that high performance (HP) subjects (accuracy > 90%) showed task dependent lower activation compared to normal performance subjects in PFC region Specifically HP groups showed lower activation in left dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) region during performance of auditory task whereas during visual task they showed lower activation in the right DLPFC. After accounting for learning style, we found a correlation between visual and aural VARK score and level of activation in the PFC. Subjects with higher visual VARK scores displayed lower activation during auditory task in left DLPFC, while those with higher visual scores exhibited higher activation during visual task in bilateral DLPFC. During performance of auditory task, HP subjects had higher visual VARK scores compared to NP subjects indicating an effect of learning style on the task performance and activation. The results of this study show that learning style and task performance can influence PFC activation, with applications toward neurological implications of learning style and populations with deficits in auditory or visual processing.

  3. Social Skills Intervention Participation and Associated Improvements in Executive Function Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn E. Christ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication. It has been postulated that such difficulties are related to disruptions in underlying cognitive processes such as executive function. The present study examined potential changes in executive function performance associated with participation in the Social Competence Intervention (SCI program, a short-term intervention designed to improve social competence in adolescents with ASD. Laboratory behavioral performance measures were used to separately evaluate potential intervention-related changes in individual executive function component processes (i.e., working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility in a sample of 22 adolescents with ASD both before and after intervention. For comparison purposes, a demographically matched sample of 14 individuals without ASD was assessed at identical time intervals. Intervention-related improvements were observed on the working memory task, with gains evident in spatial working memory and, to a slightly lesser degree, verbal working memory. Significant improvements were also found for a working memory-related aspect of the task switching test (i.e., mixing costs. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that participation in the SCI program is accompanied by changes in underlying neurocognitive processes such as working memory.

  4. The Effects of Different Types of Environmental Noise on Academic Performance and Perceived Task Difficulty in Adolescents With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batho, Lauren P; Martinussen, Rhonda; Wiener, Judith

    2015-07-28

    To examine the effects of environmental noises (speech and white noise) relative to a no noise control condition on the performance and difficulty ratings of youth with ADHD (N = 52) on academic tasks. Reading performance was measured by an oral retell (reading accuracy) and the time spent reading. Writing performance was measured through the proportion of correct writing sequences (writing accuracy) and the total words written on an essay. Participants in the white noise condition took less time to read the passage and wrote more words on the essay compared with participants in the other conditions, though white noise did not improve academic accuracy. The participants in the babble condition rated the tasks as most difficult. Although white noise appears to improve reading time and writing fluency, the findings suggest that white noise does not improve performance accuracy. Educational implications are discussed. © 2015 SAGE Publications.

  5. Relationships among Individual Task Self-Efficacy, Self-Regulated Learning Strategy Use and Academic Performance in a Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Kimberly; Narayan, Anupama

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates relationships between self-efficacy, self-regulated learning strategy use and academic performance. Participants were 96 undergraduate students working on projects with three subtasks (idea generation task, methodical task and data collection) in a blended learning environment. Task self-efficacy was measured with…

  6. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roebuck, Hettie; Freigang, Claudia; Barry, Johanna G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Continuous performance tasks (CPTs) are used to measure individual differences in sustained attention. Many different stimuli have been used as response targets without consideration of their impact on task performance. Here, we compared CPT performance in typically developing adults and children to assess the role of stimulus processing…

  7. Cycling in the Absence of Task-related Feedback: Effects on Pacing and Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Smits

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. To achieve personal goals in exercise task completion, exercisers have to regulate, distribute and manage their effort. In endurance sports, it has become very commonplace for athletes to consult task-related feedback on external devices to do so. The aim of the present study was to explore the importance of the presence of this information by examining the influence of the absence of commonly available task-related feedback on effort distribution and performance in experienced endurance athletes.Methods. A 20-km cycling time trial was performed. 20 Participants from a homogenous cyclist population were appointed to a group that did not receive any feedback (NoF, or a group that could consult task-related feedback (i.e., speed, heart rate, power output, cadence, elapsed time and elapsed distance continuously during their trial (FF.Results. The distribution of power output (PO differed between groups. Most evident is the spurt at the end of the trial of FF, which was not incorporated by NoF. Nevertheless, no between-group differences were found in performance time (FF: 28.86 +/- 3.68 min vs. NoF: 30.95 +/- 2.77 min and mean PO controlled by body mass (FF: 3.61 +/- .60 W/kg vs. NoF: 3.43 +/- .38 W/kg. Also, no differences in rating of perceived exertion scores were found.Conclusion. The current study provides a first indication that prior knowledge of task demands together with reliance on bodily and environmental information can be sufficient for experienced athletes to come to comparable time trial performances. This questions the necessity of the presence of in-race instantaneous task-related feedback via external devices for maximising performance. Moreover, it seems that different pacing strategies emerge depending on sources of information available to experienced athletes.

  8. Do tasks make a difference? Accounting for heterogeneity of performance of children with reading difficulties on tasks of executive function: findings from a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Josephine N; Boyle, James M E; Kelly, Steve W

    2010-03-01

    Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.

  9. Overview of the ID, EPI and REL tasks of BioNLP Shared Task 2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pyysalo Sampo

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We present the preparation, resources, results and analysis of three tasks of the BioNLP Shared Task 2011: the main tasks on Infectious Diseases (ID and Epigenetics and Post-translational Modifications (EPI, and the supporting task on Entity Relations (REL. The two main tasks represent extensions of the event extraction model introduced in the BioNLP Shared Task 2009 (ST'09 to two new areas of biomedical scientific literature, each motivated by the needs of specific biocuration tasks. The ID task concerns the molecular mechanisms of infection, virulence and resistance, focusing in particular on the functions of a class of signaling systems that are ubiquitous in bacteria. The EPI task is dedicated to the extraction of statements regarding chemical modifications of DNA and proteins, with particular emphasis on changes relating to the epigenetic control of gene expression. By contrast to these two application-oriented main tasks, the REL task seeks to support extraction in general by separating challenges relating to part-of relations into a subproblem that can be addressed by independent systems. Seven groups participated in each of the two main tasks and four groups in the supporting task. The participating systems indicated advances in the capability of event extraction methods and demonstrated generalization in many aspects: from abstracts to full texts, from previously considered subdomains to new ones, and from the ST'09 extraction targets to other entities and events. The highest performance achieved in the supporting task REL, 58% F-score, is broadly comparable with levels reported for other relation extraction tasks. For the ID task, the highest-performing system achieved 56% F-score, comparable to the state-of-the-art performance at the established ST'09 task. In the EPI task, the best result was 53% F-score for the full set of extraction targets and 69% F-score for a reduced set of core extraction targets, approaching a level

  10. A Combined Cognitive Stimulation and Physical Exercise Programme (MINDVital) in Early Dementia: Differential Effects on Single- and Dual-Task Gait Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, Laura; Lim, Wee Shiong; Chan, Mark; Ali, Noorhazlina; Chong, Mei Sian

    2016-01-01

    Gait disorders are common in early dementia, with particularly pronounced dual-task deficits, contributing to the increased fall risk and mobility decline associated with cognitive impairment. This study examines the effects of a combined cognitive stimulation and physical exercise programme (MINDVital) on gait performance under single- and dual-task conditions in older adults with mild dementia. Thirty-nine patients with early dementia participated in a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme comprising both physical exercise and cognitive stimulation. The programme was conducted in 8-week cycles with participants attending once weekly, and all participants completed 2 successive cycles. Cognitive, functional performance and behavioural symptoms were assessed at baseline and at the end of each 8-week cycle. Gait speed was examined under both single- (Timed Up and Go and 6-metre walk tests) and dual-task (animal category and serial counting) conditions. A random effects model was performed for the independent effect of MINDVital on the primary outcome variable of gait speed under dual-task conditions. The mean age of patients enroled in the rehabilitation programme was 79 ± 6.2 years; 25 (64.1%) had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia, and 26 (66.7%) were receiving a cognitive enhancer therapy. There was a significant improvement in cognitive performance [random effects coefficient (standard error) = 0.90 (0.31), p = 0.003] and gait speed under both dual-task situations [animal category: random effects coefficient = 0.04 (0.02), p = 0.039; serial counting: random effects coefficient = 0.05 (0.02), p = 0.013], with reduced dual-task cost for gait speed [serial counting: random effects coefficient = -4.05 (2.35), p = 0.086] following successive MINDVital cycles. No significant improvement in single-task gait speed was observed. Improved cognitive performance over time was a significant determinant of changes in dual-task gait speed [random effects coefficients

  11. Analysis of Skeletal Muscle Metrics as Predictors of Functional Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Jeffrey W.; Buxton, Roxanne E.; Redd, Elizabeth; Scott-Pandorf, Melissa; Hackney, Kyle J.; Fiedler, James; Ploutz-Snyder, Robert J.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori L.

    2010-01-01

    PURPOSE: The ability to predict task performance using physiological performance metrics is vital to ensure that astronauts can execute their jobs safely and effectively. This investigation used a weighted suit to evaluate task performance at various ratios of strength, power, and endurance to body weight. METHODS: Twenty subjects completed muscle performance tests and functional tasks representative of those that would be required of astronauts during planetary exploration (see table for specific tests/tasks). Subjects performed functional tasks while wearing a weighted suit with additional loads ranging from 0-120% of initial body weight. Performance metrics were time to completion for all tasks except hatch opening, which consisted of total work. Task performance metrics were plotted against muscle metrics normalized to "body weight" (subject weight + external load; BW) for each trial. Fractional polynomial regression was used to model the relationship between muscle and task performance. CONCLUSION: LPMIF/BW is the best predictor of performance for predominantly lower-body tasks that are ambulatory and of short duration. LPMIF/BW is a very practical predictor of occupational task performance as it is quick and relatively safe to perform. Accordingly, bench press work best predicts hatch-opening work performance.

  12. Effects of Dual-Task Management and Resistance Training on Gait Performance in Older Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollesen, Bettina; Mattes, Klaus; Schulz, Sören; Bischoff, Laura L.; Seydell, L.; Bell, Jeffrey W.; von Duvillard, Serge P.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Dual-task (DT) training is a well-accepted modality for fall prevention in older adults. DT training should include task-managing strategies such as task switching or task prioritization to improve gait performance under DT conditions. Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate a balance and task managing training (BDT group) in gait performance compared to a single task (ST) strength and resistance training and a control group, which received no training. A total of 78 older individuals (72.0 ± 4.9 years) participated in this study. The DT group performed task managing training incorporating balance and coordination tasks while the ST group performed resistance training only. Training consisted of 12 weekly sessions, 60 min each, for 12 weeks. We assessed the effects of ST and BDT training on walking performance under ST and DT conditions in independent living elderly adults. ST and DT walking (visual verbal Stroop task) were measured utilizing a treadmill at self-selected walking speed (mean for all groups: 4.4 ± 1 km h-1). Specific gait variables, cognitive performance, and fear of falling were compared between all groups. >Results: Training improved gait performance for step length (p changes in cognitive performance. Both interventions reduced fear of falling (p management strategies into balance and strength training in our population revealed a promising modality to prevent falls in older individuals. Trial registration: German register of clinical trials DRKS00012382. PMID:29326581

  13. Single-Task and Dual-Task Gait Among Collegiate Athletes of Different Sport Classifications: Implications for Concussion Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, David R; Oldham, Jessie R; DiFabio, Melissa; Vallabhajosula, Srikant; Hall, Eric E; Ketcham, Caroline J; Meehan, William P; Buckley, Thomas A

    2017-02-01

    Gait impairments have been documented following sport-related concussion. Whether preexisting gait pattern differences exist among athletes who participate in different sport classifications, however, remains unclear. Dual-task gait examinations probe the simultaneous performance of everyday tasks (ie, walking and thinking), and can quantify gait performance using inertial sensors. The purpose of this study was to compare the single-task and dual-task gait performance of collision/contact and noncontact athletes. A group of collegiate athletes (n = 265) were tested before their season at 3 institutions (mean age= 19.1 ± 1.1 years). All participants stood still (single-task standing) and walked while simultaneously completing a cognitive test (dual-task gait), and completed walking trials without the cognitive test (single-task gait). Spatial-temporal gait parameters were compared between collision/contact and noncontact athletes using MANCOVAs; cognitive task performance was compared using ANCOVAs. No significant single-task or dual-task gait differences were found between collision/contact and noncontact athletes. Noncontact athletes demonstrated higher cognitive task accuracy during single-task standing (P = .001) and dual-task gait conditions (P = .02) than collision/contact athletes. These data demonstrate the utility of a dual-task gait assessment outside of a laboratory and suggest that preinjury cognitive task performance during dual-tasks may differ between athletes of different sport classifications.

  14. Masticatory muscle activity during deliberately performed oral tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farella, M; Palla, S; Erni, S; Gallo, L M; Michelotti, A

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate masticatory muscle activity during deliberately performed functional and non-functional oral tasks. Electromyographic (EMG) surface activity was recorded unilaterally from the masseter, anterior temporalis and suprahyoid muscles in 11 subjects (5 men, 6 women; age = 34.6 ± 10.8 years), who were accurately instructed to perform 30 different oral tasks under computer guidance using task markers. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, repeated measurements analysis of variance (ANOVA) and hierarchical cluster analysis. The maximum EMG amplitude of the masseter and anterior temporalis muscles was more often found during hard chewing tasks than during maximum clenching tasks. The relative contribution of masseter and anterior temporalis changed across the tasks examined (F ≥ 5.2; p ≤ 0.001). The masseter muscle was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) more active than the anterior temporalis muscle during tasks involving incisal biting, jaw protrusion, laterotrusion and jaw cupping, the difference being statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05). The anterior temporalis muscle was significantly (p ≤ 0.01) more active than the masseter muscle during tasks performed in intercuspal position, during tooth grinding, and during hard chewing on the working side. Based upon the relative contribution of the masseter, anterior temporalis, and suprahyoid muscles, the investigated oral tasks could be grouped into six separate clusters. The findings provided further insight into muscle- and task-specific EMG patterns during functional and non-functional oral behaviors

  15. Mental workload and motor performance dynamics during practice of reaching movements under various levels of task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuggi, Isabelle M; Oh, Hyuk; Shewokis, Patricia A; Gentili, Rodolphe J

    2017-09-30

    The assessment of mental workload can inform attentional resource allocation during task performance that is essential for understanding the underlying principles of human cognitive-motor behavior. While many studies have focused on mental workload in relation to human performance, a modest body of work has examined it in a motor practice/learning context without considering individual variability. Thus, this work aimed to examine mental workload by employing the NASA TLX as well as the changes in motor performance resulting from the practice of a novel reaching task. Two groups of participants practiced a reaching task at a high and low nominal difficulty during which a group-level analysis assessed the mental workload, motor performance and motor improvement dynamics. A secondary cluster analysis was also conducted to identify specific individual patterns of cognitive-motor responses. Overall, both group- and cluster-level analyses revealed that: (i) all participants improved their performance throughout motor practice, and (ii) an increase in mental workload was associated with a reduction of the quality of motor performance along with a slower rate of motor improvement. The results are discussed in the context of the optimal challenge point framework and in particular it is proposed that under the experimental conditions employed here, functional task difficulty: (i) would possibly depend on an individuals' information processing capabilities, and (ii) could be indexed by the level of mental workload which, when excessively heightened can decrease the quality of performance and more generally result in delayed motor improvements. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobol, Nanna Aue; Hoffmann, Kristine; Vogel, Asmus; Lolk, Annette; Gottrup, Hanne; Høgh, Peter; Hasselbalch, Steen G; Beyer, Nina

    2016-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes a gradual decline in cognition, limitations of dual-tasking and physical function leading to total dependence. Hence, information about the interaction between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition may lead to new treatment strategies with the purpose of preserving function and quality of life. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition in community-dwelling patients with mild AD. Baseline results from 185 participants (50-90 years old) in the single blinded multicenter RCT 'ADEX' (Alzheimer's disease: the effect of physical exercise) were used. Assessments included tests of physical function: 400-m walk test, 10-m walk test, Timed Up and Go test and 30-s chair stand test; dual-task performance, i.e., 10-m walk while counting backwards from 50 or naming the months backwards; and cognition, i.e., Mini Mental State Examination, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, and Lexical verbal fluency test. Results in the 30-s chair stand test correlated significantly with all tests of cognition (r = .208-.242) while the other physical function tests only randomly correlated with tests of cognition. Results in the dual-task counting backwards correlated significantly with results in all tests of cognition (r = .259-.388), which accounted for 7%-15% of the variation indicating that a faster time to complete dual-task performance was associated with better cognitive performance. The evidence of the associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition is important when creating new rehabilitation interventions to patients with mild AD.

  17. The cortisol awakening response is associated with performance of a serial sequence reaction time task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodyl, Nicolette A; Schneider, Luke; Vallence, Ann-Maree; Clow, Angela; Ridding, Michael C; Pitcher, Julia B

    2016-02-01

    There is emerging evidence of a relationship between the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The aim of this study was to determine whether the CAR is associated with acquisition, retention and overnight consolidation or improvement of a serial sequence reaction time task. Salivary samples were collected at 0, 15, 30 and 45 min after awakening in 39 healthy adults on 2 consecutive days. The serial sequence reaction time task was repeated each afternoon. Participants completed the perceived stress scale and provided salivary samples prior to testing for cortisol assessment. While the magnitude of the CAR (Z score) was not associated with either baseline performance or the timed improvement during task acquisition of the serial sequence task, a positive correlation was observed with reaction times during the stable performance phase on day 1 (r=0.373, p=0.019). Residuals derived from the relationship between baseline and stable phase reaction times on day 1 were used as a surrogate for the degree of learning: these residuals were also correlated with the CAR mean increase on day 1 (r=0.357, p=0.048). Task performance on day 2 was not associated with the CAR obtained on this same day. No association was observed between the perceived stress score, cortisol at testing or task performance. These data indicate that a smaller CAR in healthy adults is associated with a greater degree of learning and faster performance of a serial sequence reaction time task. These results support recognition of the CAR as an important factor contributing to cognitive performance throughout the day. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Fine and gross motor skills: The effects on skill-focused dual-tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raisbeck, Louisa D; Diekfuss, Jed A

    2015-10-01

    Dual-task methodology often directs participants' attention towards a gross motor skill involved in the execution of a skill, but researchers have not investigated the comparative effects of attention on fine motor skill tasks. Furthermore, there is limited information about participants' subjective perception of workload with respect to task performance. To examine this, the current study administered the NASA-Task Load Index following a simulated shooting dual-task. The task required participants to stand 15 feet from a projector screen which depicted virtual targets and fire a modified Glock 17 handgun equipped with an infrared laser. Participants performed the primary shooting task alone (control), or were also instructed to focus their attention on a gross motor skill relevant to task execution (gross skill-focused) and a fine motor skill relevant to task execution (fine skill-focused). Results revealed that workload was significantly greater during the fine skill-focused task for both skill levels, but performance was only affected for the lesser-skilled participants. Shooting performance for the lesser-skilled participants was greater during the gross skill-focused condition compared to the fine skill-focused condition. Correlational analyses also demonstrated a significant negative relationship between shooting performance and workload during the gross skill-focused task for the higher-skilled participants. A discussion of the relationship between skill type, workload, skill level, and performance in dual-task paradigms is presented. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Stereotype threat and lift effects in motor task performance: the mediating role of somatic and cognitive anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurin, Raphael

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this investigation was to replicate the stereotype threat and lift effects in a motor task in a neutral sex-typed activity, using somatic and cognitive anxiety as key mediators of these phenomena. It was hypothesized that an ingroup/outgroup social categorization based on gender would have distinctive effects for female and male participants. A total of 161 French physical education students were randomly assigned to three threat conditions--no threat, female threat, and male threat--thus leading to a 3 x 2 (threat by gender) design. The analyses revealed a stereotype lift effect on the performances for both male and female participants, as well as a stereotype threat effect only for female participants. They also indicated that somatic anxiety had a mediating effect on the performance of female participants targeted by a negative stereotype, but that it had a facilitating effect on their performance. The stereotype threat and lift effects on motor tasks were replicated in a neutral sex-typed activity and somatic anxiety seems to have a facilitating mediating effect of the relationships between the gender-conditions (control or female threat) interaction and free-throw performance. The model used to distinguish somatic and cognitive anxiety appeared to be a relevant means of explaining the stereotype threat and lift mechanisms.

  20. Work Functioning Among Firefighters: A Comparison Between Self-Reported Limitations and Functional Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDermid, Joy C; Tang, Kenneth; Sinden, Kathryn E; D'Amico, Robert

    2018-05-25

    Purpose Performance-based and disease indicators have been widely studied in firefighters; self-reported work role limitations have not. The aim of this study was to describe the distributions and correlations of a generic self-reported Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ-26) and firefighting-specific task performance-based tests. Methods Active firefighters from the City of Hamilton Fire Services (n = 293) were recruited. Participants completed the WLQ-26 to quantify on-the-job difficulties over five work domains: work scheduling (4 items), output demands (7 items), physical demands (8 items), mental demands (4 items), and social demands (3 items). A subset of participants (n = 149) were also assessed on hose drag and stair climb with a high-rise pack performance-based tests. Descriptive statistics and correlations were used to compare item/subscale performance; and to describe the inter-relationships between tests. Results The mean WLQ-26 item scores (/5) ranged from 4.1 to 4.4 (median = 5 for all items); most firefighters (54.5-80.5%) selected "difficult none of the time" response option on all items. A substantial ceiling effect was observed across all five WLQ-26 subscales as 44.0-55.6% were in the highest category. Subscale means ranged from 61.8 (social demands) to 78.7 (output demands and physical demands). Internal consistency exceeded 0.90 on all subscales. For the hose drag task, the mean time-to-completion was 48.0 s (SD = 14.5; range 20.4-95.0). For the stair climb task, the mean time-to-completion was 76.7 s (SD = 37.2; range 21.0-218.0). There were no significant correlations between self-report work limitations and performance of firefighting tasks. Conclusions The WLQ-26 measured five domains, but had ceiling effects in firefighters. Performance-based testing showed wider score range, lacked ceiling effects and did not correlate to the WLQ-26. A firefighter-specific, self-report role functioning scale may be needed to identify

  1. Performance on a probabilistic inference task in healthy subjects receiving ketamine compared with patients with schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almahdi, Basil; Sultan, Pervez; Sohanpal, Imrat; Brandner, Brigitta; Collier, Tracey; Shergill, Sukhi S; Cregg, Roman; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2012-01-01

    Evidence suggests that some aspects of schizophrenia can be induced in healthy volunteers through acute administration of the non-competitive NMDA-receptor antagonist, ketamine. In probabilistic inference tasks, patients with schizophrenia have been shown to ‘jump to conclusions’ (JTC) when asked to make a decision. We aimed to test whether healthy participants receiving ketamine would adopt a JTC response pattern resembling that of patients. The paradigmatic task used to investigate JTC has been the ‘urn’ task, where participants are shown a sequence of beads drawn from one of two ‘urns’, each containing coloured beads in different proportions. Participants make a decision when they think they know the urn from which beads are being drawn. We compared performance on the urn task between controls receiving acute ketamine or placebo with that of patients with schizophrenia and another group of controls matched to the patient group. Patients were shown to exhibit a JTC response pattern relative to their matched controls, whereas JTC was not evident in controls receiving ketamine relative to placebo. Ketamine does not appear to promote JTC in healthy controls, suggesting that ketamine does not affect probabilistic inferences. PMID:22389244

  2. Sleep-related offline improvements in gross motor task performance occur under free recall requirements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eMalangre

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Nocturnal sleep effects on memory consolidation following gross motor sequence learning were examined using a complex arm movement task. This task required participants to produce non-regular spatial patterns in the horizontal plane by successively fitting a small peg into different target-holes on an electronic pegboard. The respective reaching movements typically differed in amplitude and direction. Targets were visualized prior to each transport movement on a computer screen. With this task we tested 18 subjects (22.6 +/- 1.9 years; 8 female using a between-subjects design. Participants initially learned a 10-element arm movement sequence either in the morning or in the evening. Performance was retested under free recall requirements 15 minutes post training, as well as 12 hrs and 24 hrs later. Thus each group was provided with one sleep-filled and one wake retention interval. Dependent variables were error rate (number of erroneous sequences and average sequence execution time (correct sequences only. Performance improved during acquisition. Error rate remained stable across retention. Sequence execution time (inverse to execution speed significantly decreased again during the sleep-filled retention intervals, but remained stable during the respective wake intervals. These results corroborate recent findings on sleep-related enhancement consolidation in ecological valid, complex gross motor tasks. At the same time they suggest this effect to be truly memory-based and independent from repeated access to extrinsic sequence information during retests.

  3. Language and theory of mind in autism spectrum disorder: the relationship between complement syntax and false belief task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Sophie E; Bowler, Dermot M

    2009-06-01

    This study aimed to test the hypothesis that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use their knowledge of complement syntax as a means of "hacking out" solutions to false belief tasks, despite lacking a representational theory of mind (ToM). Participants completed a "memory for complements" task, a measure of receptive vocabulary, and traditional location change and unexpected contents false belief tasks. Consistent with predictions, the correlation between complement syntax score and location change task performance was significantly stronger within the ASD group than within the comparison group. However, contrary to predictions, complement syntax score was not significantly correlated with unexpected contents task performance within either group. Possible explanations for this pattern of results are considered.

  4. Influences of Display Design and Task Management Strategy on Situation Awareness, Performance, and Workload in Process Control Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-26

    Colour Deficiency standard. Previous process control experience across participants was not required to participate in the study and resulted in...tracking dual-task performance. Psychological Research, 61 (1), 71-81. Chen, J. Y., Haas, E. C., & Barnes, M. J. (2007, November). Human Performance...Spelke, E. S. (1980). Dividing Attention Without Alternation or Automaticity . Journal of Experimental Psychology : General, 109 (1), 98-117. Ishihara, S

  5. Self-Efficacy, Task Complexity and Task Performance: Exploring Interactions in Two Versions of Vocabulary Learning Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2012-01-01

    The present study aimed for better understanding of the interactions between task complexity and students' self-efficacy beliefs and students' use of learning strategies, and finally their interacting effects on task performance. This investigation was carried out in the context of Chinese students learning English as a foreign language in a…

  6. Age-related differences in working memory performance in a 2-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nele eWild-Wall

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to elucidate the neuro-cognitive processes underlying age-related differences in working memory. Young and middle-aged participants performed a two-choice task with low and a 2-back task with high working memory load. The P300, an event-related potential reflecting controlled stimulus-response processing in working memory, and the underlying neuronal sources of expected age-related differences were analyzed using sLORETA. Response speed was generally slower for the middle-aged than the young group. Under low working memory load the middle-aged participants traded speed for accuracy. The middle-aged were less efficient in the 2-back task as they responded slower while the error rates did not differ for groups. An age-related decline of the P300 amplitude and characteristic topographical differences were especially evident in the 2-back task. A more detailed analysis of the P300 in non-target trials revealed that amplitudes in the young but not middle-aged group differentiate between correctly detected vs. missed targets in the following trial. For these trials, source analysis revealed higher activation for the young vs. middle-aged group in brain areas which support working memory processes. The relationship between P300 and overt performance was validated by significant correlations. To sum up, under high working memory load the young group showed an increased neuronal activity before a successful detected target, while the middle-aged group showed the same neuronal pattern regardless of whether a subsequent target will be detected or missed. This stable memory trace before detected targets was reflected by a specific activation enhancement in brain areas which orchestrate maintenance, update, storage and retrieval of information in working memory.

  7. Age-Related Differences in Working Memory Performance in A 2-Back Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael; Gajewski, Patrick D.

    2011-01-01

    The present study aimed to elucidate the neuro-cognitive processes underlying age-related differences in working memory. Young and middle-aged participants performed a two-choice task with low and a 2-back task with high working memory load. The P300, an event-related potential reflecting controlled stimulus–response processing in working memory, and the underlying neuronal sources of expected age-related differences were analyzed using sLORETA. Response speed was generally slower for the middle-aged than the young group. Under low working memory load the middle-aged participants traded speed for accuracy. The middle-aged were less efficient in the 2-back task as they responded slower while the error rates did not differ for groups. An age-related decline of the P300 amplitude and characteristic topographical differences were especially evident in the 2-back task. A more detailed analysis of the P300 in non-target trials revealed that amplitudes in the young but not middle-aged group differentiate between correctly detected vs. missed targets in the following trial. For these trials, source analysis revealed higher activation for the young vs. middle-aged group in brain areas which support working memory processes. The relationship between P300 and overt performance was validated by significant correlations. To sum up, under high working memory load the young group showed an increased neuronal activity before a successful detected target, while the middle-aged group showed the same neuronal pattern regardless of whether a subsequent target will be detected or missed. This stable memory trace before detected targets was reflected by a specific activation enhancement in brain areas which orchestrate maintenance, update, storage, and retrieval of information in working memory. PMID:21909328

  8. Fatigue does not conjointly alter postural and cognitive performance when standing in a shooting position under dual-task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, José Luis; García-Massó, Xavier; Paillard, Thierry; Noé, Frédéric

    2018-02-01

    This study investigated the effects of fatigue on balance control and cognitive performance in a standing shooting position. Nineteen soldiers were asked to stand while holding a rifle (single task - ST). They also had to perform this postural task while simultaneously completing a cognitive task (dual task - DT). Both the ST and DT were performed in pre- and post-fatigue conditions. In pre-fatigue, participants achieved better balance control in the DT than in the ST, thus suggesting that the increased cognitive activity associated with the DT improves balance control by shifting the attentional focus away from a highly automatised activity. In post-fatigue, balance control was degraded in both the ST and DT, while reaction time was enhanced in the first minutes following the fatiguing exercise without affecting the accuracy of response in the cognitive task, which highlights the relative independent effects of fatigue on balance control and cognitive performance.

  9. Dyslexic Participants Show Intact Spontaneous Categorization Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolopoulos, Dimitris S.; Pothos, Emmanuel M.

    2009-01-01

    We examine the performance of dyslexic participants on an unsupervised categorization task against that of matched non-dyslexic control participants. Unsupervised categorization is a cognitive process critical for conceptual development. Existing research in dyslexia has emphasized perceptual tasks and supervised categorization tasks (for which…

  10. Task Performance induced Work Load in Nursing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirazeh Arghami

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background & objective: High workload may lead to increase human errors, compromise quality and safety of care, and reduce the nurses’ quality of working life. The aim of this study is to determine the task-induced workload in nursing. Methods: This is a descriptive analytical study. All of 214 nurses of one of the educational hospital took part in. After obtaining informed consent from participants, data were collected based on NASA-TLX questionnaire and the desired level assumed less than 50%. Analysis of data was performed by descriptive statistics and Anova in SPSS software (version 11. 0 at significant level of 0.05. Results: The results showed that perceived mental pressure for nurses is more than other NASA-TLX subscales (P< .001. Also, the mean perceived workload was more than 50%. However, mean workload score of NASA-TLX showed significant correlation with age (P< .001, work experience (P< .001, shift work (P< .02, and department (P< .001. Conclusion: The results show that effective programs will be required to reduce the work load, and to enhance nurses' performance

  11. Proactive and coactive interference in age-related performance in a recognition-based operation span task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeintl, Melanie; Kliegel, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Generally, older adults perform worse than younger adults in complex working memory span tasks. So far, it is unclear which processes mainly contribute to age-related differences in working memory span. The aim of the present study was to investigate age effects and the roles of proactive and coactive interference in a recognition-based version of the operation span task. Younger and older adults performed standard versions and distracter versions of the operation span task. At retrieval, participants had to recognize target words in word lists containing targets as well as proactive and/or coactive interference-related lures. Results show that, overall, younger adults outperformed older adults in the recognition of target words. Furthermore, analyses of error types indicate that, while younger adults were only affected by simultaneously presented distracter words, older adults had difficulties with both proactive and coactive interference. Results suggest that age effects in complex span tasks may not be mainly due to retrieval deficits in old age. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. An evidence accumulation model for conflict detection performance in a simulated air traffic control task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, Andrew; Kwantes, Peter J

    2009-04-01

    The aim of this article is to develop a formal model of conflict detection performance. Our model assumes that participants iteratively sample evidence regarding the state of the world and accumulate it over time. A decision is made when the evidence reaches a threshold that changes over time in response to the increasing urgency of the task. Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of conflict geometry and timing on response proportions and response time. The model is able to predict the observed pattern of response times, including a nonmonotonic relationship between distance at point of closest approach and response time, as well as effects of angle of approach and relative velocity. The results demonstrate that evidence accumulation models provide a good account of performance on a conflict detection task. Evidence accumulation models are a form of dynamic signal detection theory, allowing for the analysis of response times as well as response proportions, and can be used for simulating human performance on dynamic decision tasks.

  13. Performance Assessment and the Components of the Oral Construct across Different Tasks and Rater Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalhoub-Deville, Micheline

    This study investigated whether different groups of native speakers assess second language learners' language skills differently for three elicitation techniques. Subjects were six learners of college-level Arabic as a second language, tape-recorded performing three tasks: participating in a modified oral proficiency interview, narrating a picture…

  14. The impact of task characteristics on the performance of nursing teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azlyn Ahmad Zawawi, PhD

    2017-07-01

    Conclusions: This study demonstrated that task significance is important to predict team task performance. Task significance reflects meaningfulness and nobility of tasks, thus elevate the desire to perform better in each assigned task.

  15. Decision Making in Healthy Participants on the Iowa Gambling Task: New Insights from an Operant Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eBull

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT has contributed greatly to the study of affective decision making. However, researchers have observed high inter-study and inter-individual variability in IGT performance in healthy participants, and many are classified as impaired using standard criteria. Additionally, while decision-making deficits are often attributed to atypical sensitivity to reward and/or punishment, the IGT lacks an integrated sensitivity measure. Adopting an operant perspective, two experiments were conducted to explore these issues. In Experiment 1, 50 healthy participants completed a 200-trial version of the IGT which otherwise closely emulated Bechara et al.’s (1999 original computer task. Group data for Trials 1-100 closely replicated Bechara et al.’s original findings of high net scores and preferences for advantageous decks, suggesting that implementations that depart significantly from Bechara’s standard IGT contribute to inter-study variability. During Trials 101-200, mean net scores improved significantly and the percentage of participants meeting the impaired criterion was halved. An operant-style stability criterion applied to individual data revealed this was likely related to individual differences in learning rate. Experiment 2 used a novel operant card task—the Auckland Card Test (ACT—to derive quantitative estimates of sensitivity using the generalized matching law. Relative to individuals who mastered the IGT, persistent poor performers on the IGT exhibited significantly lower sensitivity to magnitudes (but not frequencies of rewards and punishers on the ACT. Overall, our findings demonstrate the utility of operant-style analysis of IGT data and the potential of applying operant concurrent-schedule procedures to the study of human decision making.

  16. Effect of pre-task music on sports or exercise performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirmaul, Bruno P

    2017-01-01

    Pre-task music is a very common strategy among sports competitors. However, as opposed to in-task music, the scientific evidence to support its ergogenic effects on either sports or exercise performance is limited. This brief review critically addresses the existing literature investigating the effects of pre-task music on sports and exercise performance, focusing on the methods and results of experimental studies, and offers basic and practical recommendations. In July 2015, a comprehensive literature search was performed in Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar using the following key words in combination: "pre-task music," "pre-test music," "pre-exercise music," "exercise performance," "sports performance." The literature search was further expanded by both hand searching review articles on the topic and by searching the reference lists from the articles retrieved for any relevant references. Overall, a total of 15 studies in 14 articles were included. Pre-task music research has been unsystematic, methodologically limited and infrequent. Using this review as a starting point to overcome previous methodological limitations when designing future experiments may contribute to the development of pre-task music research, which is still in its infancy. Currently, there is no sufficient evidence to support the overall ergogenic effects of pre-task music on sports or exercise performance. Nonetheless, pre-task music has showed a likely ergogenic effect on shorter and predominantly anaerobic tasks such as grip strength, Wingate test, and short-duration sports or sports-like tasks, in contrast to longer and predominantly aerobic tasks.

  17. Ability Beliefs, Task Value, and Performance as a Function of Race in a Dart-Throwing Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zan; Kosma, Maria; Harrison, Louis, Jr.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines differences in self-efficacy, expectancy-related beliefs, task value, and performance in a dart-throwing task as a function of race among diverse college students using the expectancy-value model and self-efficacy theory. It also examines the predictive contributions of these beliefs on task performance within each racial…

  18. Personal Conflict Impairs Performance on an Unrelated Self-Control Task: Lingering Costs of Uncertainty and Conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alquist, Jessica L; Baumeister, Roy F; McGregor, Ian; Core, Tammy J; Benjamin, Ilil; Tice, Dianne M

    2018-01-01

    People have the ability to make important choices in their lives, but deliberating about these choices can have costs. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that writing about conflicted personal goals and values (conflict condition) would impair self-control on an unrelated subsequent task as compared to writing about clear personal goals and values (clarity condition). Personal conflict activates the behavioral inhibition system (BIS; Hirsh, Mar, & Peterson, 2012), which may make it harder for participants to successfully execute self-control. In this large ( N =337), pre-registered study participants in the conflict condition performed worse on anagrams than participants in the clarity condition, and the effect of condition on anagram performance was mediated by a subjective uncertainty measure of BIS activation. This suggests that BIS activation leads to poor self-control. Moreover, given that conflict is inherent in the exercise of self-control, results point to BIS activation as a mechanism for why initial acts of self-control impair self-control on subsequent, unrelated tasks.

  19. A Randomized Controlled ERP Study on the Effects of Multi-Domain Cognitive Training and Task Difficulty on Task Switching Performance in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küper, Kristina; Gajewski, Patrick D.; Frieg, Claudia; Falkenstein, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are subject to a marked age-related decline, but have been shown to benefit from cognitive training interventions. As of yet, it is, however, still relatively unclear which neural mechanism can mediate training-related performance gains. In the present electrophysiological study, we examined the effects of multi-domain cognitive training on performance in an untrained cue-based task switch paradigm featuring Stroop color words: participants either had to indicate the word meaning of Stroop stimuli (word task) or perform the more difficult task of color naming (color task). One-hundred and three older adults (>65 years old) were randomly assigned to a training group receiving a 4-month multi-domain cognitive training, a passive no-contact control group or an active (social) control group receiving a 4-month relaxation training. For all groups, we recorded performance and EEG measures before and after the intervention. For the cognitive training group, but not for the two control groups, we observed an increase in response accuracy at posttest, irrespective of task and trial type. No training-related effects on reaction times were found. Cognitive training was also associated with an overall increase in N2 amplitude and a decrease of P2 latency on single trials. Training-related performance gains were thus likely mediated by an enhancement of response selection and improved access to relevant stimulus-response mappings. Additionally, cognitive training was associated with an amplitude decrease in the time window of the target-locked P3 at fronto-central electrodes. An increase in the switch positivity during advance task preparation emerged after both cognitive and relaxation training. Training-related behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) effects were not modulated by task difficulty. The data suggest that cognitive training increased slow negative potentials during target processing which enhanced the N2 and reduced a subsequent P3-like

  20. Does spinal excitability scale to the difficulty of the dual-task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Devon M; Boivin, Mario T; Adkin, Allan L; Tokuno, Craig D

    2017-08-01

    This study examined whether spinal excitability, as measured by the soleus Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex), is scaled to the difficulty level of the dual-task being performed. Twenty-two participants completed a combination of three balance task and three secondary cognitive (visuo-motor) task difficulty levels for a total of nine dual-task conditions. An additional eight participants were tested while performing the same three balance task difficulty levels on its own (i.e., single-tasking). The balance task required participants to maintain their balance on a fixed or rotating stabilometer while the visuo-motor task required participants to respond to moving targets presented on a monitor. Throughout each single- and dual-task trial, H-reflexes were elicited from the soleus. Although dual-task performance, as quantified by visuo-motor task accuracy as well as the root mean square of the stabilometer position and velocity, decreased by 10-34% with increasing dual-task difficulty (p dual-task conditions (p = 0.483-0.758). This contrasts to when participants performed the balance task as a single-task, where the H-reflex amplitude decreased by ~25% from the easy to the hard balance task difficulty level (p = 0.037). In contrast to the commonly reported finding of a reduced soleus H-reflex amplitude when individuals perform a less posturally stable task by itself, the results indicate that spinal excitability is not modulated as a function of dual-task difficulty. It is possible that when an individual's attentional resource capacity is exceeded during dual-tasking, they become ineffective in regulating spinal excitability for balance control.

  1. Determination of validity and reliability of performance assessments tasks developed for selected topics in high school chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zichittella, Gail Eberhardt

    The primary purpose of this study was to validate performance assessments, which can be used as teaching and assessment instruments in high school science classrooms. This study evaluated the classroom usability of these performance instruments and establishes the interrater reliability of the scoring rubrics when used by classroom teachers. The assessment instruments were designed to represent two levels of scientific inquiry. The high level of inquiry tasks are relatively unstructured in terms of student directions; the low inquiry tasks provided more structure for the student. The tasks cover two content topics studied in chemistry (scientific observation and density). Students from a variety of Western New York school districts who were enrolled in chemistry classes and other science courses were involved in completion of the tasks at the two levels of inquiry. The chemistry students completed the NYS Regents Examination in Chemistry. Their classroom teachers were interviewed and completed a questionnaire to aid in the establishment their epistemological view on the inclusion of inquiry based learning in the science classroom. Data showed that the performance assessment tasks were reliable, valid and helpful for obtaining a more complete picture of the students' scientific understanding. The teacher participants reported no difficulty with the usability of the task in the high school chemistry setting. Collected data gave no evidence of gender bias with reference to the performance tasks or the NYS Regents Chemistry Examination. Additionally, it was shown that the instructors' classroom practices do have an effect upon the students' achievement on the performance tasks and the NYS Regents examination. Data also showed that achievement on the performance tasks was influenced by the number of years of science instruction students had received.

  2. Succumbing to Bottom-Up Biases on Task Choice Predicts Increased Switch Costs in the Voluntary Task Switching Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Joseph M.; Weissman, Daniel H.

    2010-01-01

    Bottom-up biases are widely thought to influence task choice in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded. We therefore revisited this hypothesis using a paradigm in which task choice and task performance are temporally separated. As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases. Moreover, such choices were linked to increased switch costs during subsequent task performance. These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice. They also suggest that succumbing to such biases reflects a reduction of top-down control that persists to influence upcoming task performance. PMID:21713192

  3. A continuous time-resolved measure decoded from EEG oscillatory activity predicts working memory task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astrand, Elaine

    2018-06-01

    Working memory (WM), crucial for successful behavioral performance in most of our everyday activities, holds a central role in goal-directed behavior. As task demands increase, inducing higher WM load, maintaining successful behavioral performance requires the brain to work at the higher end of its capacity. Because it is depending on both external and internal factors, individual WM load likely varies in a continuous fashion. The feasibility to extract such a continuous measure in time that correlates to behavioral performance during a working memory task remains unsolved. Multivariate pattern decoding was used to test whether a decoder constructed from two discrete levels of WM load can generalize to produce a continuous measure that predicts task performance. Specifically, a linear regression with L2-regularization was chosen with input features from EEG oscillatory activity recorded from healthy participants while performing the n-back task, [Formula: see text]. The feasibility to extract a continuous time-resolved measure that correlates positively to trial-by-trial working memory task performance is demonstrated (r  =  0.47, p  performance before action (r  =  0.49, p  <  0.05). We show that the extracted continuous measure enables to study the temporal dynamics of the complex activation pattern of WM encoding during the n-back task. Specifically, temporally precise contributions of different spectral features are observed which extends previous findings of traditional univariate approaches. These results constitute an important contribution towards a wide range of applications in the field of cognitive brain-machine interfaces. Monitoring mental processes related to attention and WM load to reduce the risk of committing errors in high-risk environments could potentially prevent many devastating consequences or using the continuous measure as neurofeedback opens up new possibilities to develop novel rehabilitation techniques for

  4. Performance of children with developmental dyslexia on high and low topological entropy artificial grammar learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katan, Pesia; Kahta, Shani; Sasson, Ayelet; Schiff, Rachel

    2017-07-01

    Graph complexity as measured by topological entropy has been previously shown to affect performance on artificial grammar learning tasks among typically developing children. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of graph complexity on implicit sequential learning among children with developmental dyslexia. Our goal was to determine whether children's performance depends on the complexity level of the grammar system learned. We conducted two artificial grammar learning experiments that compared performance of children with developmental dyslexia with that of age- and reading level-matched controls. Experiment 1 was a high topological entropy artificial grammar learning task that aimed to establish implicit learning phenomena in children with developmental dyslexia using previously published experimental conditions. Experiment 2 is a lower topological entropy variant of that task. Results indicated that given a high topological entropy grammar system, children with developmental dyslexia who were similar to the reading age-matched control group had substantial difficulty in performing the task as compared to typically developing children, who exhibited intact implicit learning of the grammar. On the other hand, when tested on a lower topological entropy grammar system, all groups performed above chance level, indicating that children with developmental dyslexia were able to identify rules from a given grammar system. The results reinforced the significance of graph complexity when experimenting with artificial grammar learning tasks, particularly with dyslexic participants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  6. A strategy for improving worker satisfaction and job attitudes in a repetitive industrial task: application of production standards and performance feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikdar, Ashraf A; Das, Biman

    2003-04-15

    Worker satisfaction improved significantly as a consequence of the provision of the assigned and participative standards with performance feedback in a repetitive industrial production task. The maximum improvement in worker satisfaction was found for the participative standard and feedback condition. Only this condition had a significant positive effect on worker job attitudes. Monetary incentive, when provided with an assigned or participative standard with feedback, added no incremental worker satisfaction or job attitudes gain. The participative standard with feedback condition emerges as the optimum strategy for improving worker satisfaction and job attitudes in a repetitive industrial production task.

  7. The Curvilinear Relationship between State Neuroticism and Momentary Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debusscher, Jonas; Hofmans, Joeri; De Fruyt, Filip

    2014-01-01

    A daily diary and two experience sampling studies were carried out to investigate curvilinearity of the within-person relationship between state neuroticism and task performance, as well as the moderating effects of within-person variation in momentary job demands (i.e., work pressure and task complexity). In one, results showed that under high work pressure, the state neuroticism–task performance relationship was best described by an exponentially decreasing curve, whereas an inverted U-shaped curve was found for tasks low in work pressure, while in another study, a similar trend was visible for task complexity. In the final study, the state neuroticism–momentary task performance relationship was a linear one, and this relationship was moderated by momentary task complexity. Together, results from all three studies showed that it is important to take into account the moderating effects of momentary job demands because within-person variation in job demands affects the way in which state neuroticism relates to momentary levels of task performance. Specifically, we found that experiencing low levels of state neuroticism may be most beneficial in high demanding tasks, whereas more moderate levels of state neuroticism are optimal under low momentary job demands. PMID:25238547

  8. Effects of Dual-Task Management and Resistance Training on Gait Performance in Older Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Wollesen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Dual-task (DT training is a well-accepted modality for fall prevention in older adults. DT training should include task-managing strategies such as task switching or task prioritization to improve gait performance under DT conditions.Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate a balance and task managing training (BDT group in gait performance compared to a single task (ST strength and resistance training and a control group, which received no training. A total of 78 older individuals (72.0 ± 4.9 years participated in this study. The DT group performed task managing training incorporating balance and coordination tasks while the ST group performed resistance training only. Training consisted of 12 weekly sessions, 60 min each, for 12 weeks. We assessed the effects of ST and BDT training on walking performance under ST and DT conditions in independent living elderly adults. ST and DT walking (visual verbal Stroop task were measured utilizing a treadmill at self-selected walking speed (mean for all groups: 4.4 ± 1 km h-1. Specific gait variables, cognitive performance, and fear of falling were compared between all groups.>Results: Training improved gait performance for step length (p < 0.001 and gait-line (ST: p < 0.01; DT p < 0.05 in both training groups. The BDT training group showed greater improvements in step length (p < 0.001 and gait-line (p < 0.01 during DT walking but did not have changes in cognitive performance. Both interventions reduced fear of falling (p < 0.05.Conclusion: Implementation of task management strategies into balance and strength training in our population revealed a promising modality to prevent falls in older individuals.Trial registration: German register of clinical trials DRKS00012382.

  9. Selecting Tasks for Evaluating Human Performance as a Function of Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norcross, Jason R.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    A challenge in understanding human performance as a function of gravity is determining which tasks to research. Initial studies began with treadmill walking, which was easy to quantify and control. However, with the development of pressurized rovers, it is less important to optimize human performance for ambulation as pressurized rovers will likely perform gross translation for them. Future crews are likely to spend much of their extravehicular activity (EVA) performing geology, construction,a nd maintenance type tasks. With these types of tasks, people have different performance strategies, and it is often difficult to quantify the task and measure steady-state metabolic rates or perform biomechanical analysis. For many of these types of tasks, subjective feedback may be the only data that can be collected. However, subjective data may not fully support a rigorous scientific comparison of human performance across different gravity levels and suit factors. NASA would benefit from having a wide variety of quantifiable tasks that allow human performance comparison across different conditions. In order to determine which tasks will effectively support scientific studies, many different tasks and data analysis techniques will need to be employed. Many of these tasks and techniques will not be effective, but some will produce quantifiable results that are sensitive enough to show performance differences. One of the primary concerns related to EVA performance is metabolic rate. The higher the metabolic rate, the faster the astronaut will exhaust consumables. The focus of this poster will be on how different tasks affect metabolic rate across different gravity levels.

  10. Motivation, intentionality, and mind wandering: Implications for assessments of task-unrelated thought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seli, Paul; Cheyne, James Allan; Xu, Mengran; Purdon, Christine; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-09-01

    Researchers of mind wandering frequently assume that (a) participants are motivated to do well on the tasks they are given, and (b) task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs) that occur during task performance reflect unintentional, unwanted thoughts that occur despite participants' best intentions to maintain task-focus. Given the relatively boring and tedious nature of most mind-wandering tasks, however, there is the possibility that some participants have little motivation to do well on such tasks, and that this lack of motivation might in turn result in increases specifically in intentional TUTs. In the present study, we explored these possibilities, finding that individuals reporting lower motivation to perform well on a sustained-attention task reported more intentional relative to unintentional TUTs compared with individuals reporting higher motivation. Interestingly, our results indicate that the extent to which participants engage in intentional versus unintentional TUTs does not differentially relate to performance: both types of off-task thought were found to be equally associated with performance decrements. Participants with low levels of task-motivation also engaged in more overall TUTs, however, and this increase in TUTs was associated with greater performance decrements. We discuss these findings in the context of the literature on mind wandering, highlighting the importance of assessing the intentionality of TUTs and motivation to perform well on tasks assessing mind wandering. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Estimating the operator's performance time of emergency procedural tasks based on a task complexity measure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Won Dae; Park, Jink Yun

    2012-01-01

    It is important to understand the amount of time required to execute an emergency procedural task in a high-stress situation for managing human performance under emergencies in a nuclear power plant. However, the time to execute an emergency procedural task is highly dependent upon expert judgment due to the lack of actual data. This paper proposes an analytical method to estimate the operator's performance time (OPT) of a procedural task, which is based on a measure of the task complexity (TACOM). The proposed method for estimating an OPT is an equation that uses the TACOM as a variable, and the OPT of a procedural task can be calculated if its relevant TACOM score is available. The validity of the proposed equation is demonstrated by comparing the estimated OPTs with the observed OPTs for emergency procedural tasks in a steam generator tube rupture scenario.

  12. A continuous time-resolved measure decoded from EEG oscillatory activity predicts working memory task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astrand, Elaine

    2018-06-01

    Objective. Working memory (WM), crucial for successful behavioral performance in most of our everyday activities, holds a central role in goal-directed behavior. As task demands increase, inducing higher WM load, maintaining successful behavioral performance requires the brain to work at the higher end of its capacity. Because it is depending on both external and internal factors, individual WM load likely varies in a continuous fashion. The feasibility to extract such a continuous measure in time that correlates to behavioral performance during a working memory task remains unsolved. Approach. Multivariate pattern decoding was used to test whether a decoder constructed from two discrete levels of WM load can generalize to produce a continuous measure that predicts task performance. Specifically, a linear regression with L2-regularization was chosen with input features from EEG oscillatory activity recorded from healthy participants while performing the n-back task, n\\in [1,2] . Main results. The feasibility to extract a continuous time-resolved measure that correlates positively to trial-by-trial working memory task performance is demonstrated (r  =  0.47, p  <  0.05). It is furthermore shown that this measure allows to predict task performance before action (r  =  0.49, p  <  0.05). We show that the extracted continuous measure enables to study the temporal dynamics of the complex activation pattern of WM encoding during the n-back task. Specifically, temporally precise contributions of different spectral features are observed which extends previous findings of traditional univariate approaches. Significance. These results constitute an important contribution towards a wide range of applications in the field of cognitive brain–machine interfaces. Monitoring mental processes related to attention and WM load to reduce the risk of committing errors in high-risk environments could potentially prevent many devastating consequences or

  13. Transcranial direct current stimulation over multiple days enhances motor performance of a grip task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Julie; Voisin, Julien; Milot, Marie-Hélène; Higgins, Johanne; Boudrias, Marie-Hélène

    2017-09-01

    Recovery of handgrip is critical after stroke since it is positively related to upper limb function. To boost motor recovery, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a promising, non-invasive brain stimulation technique for the rehabilitation of persons with stroke. When applied over the primary motor cortex (M1), tDCS has been shown to modulate neural processes involved in motor learning. However, no studies have looked at the impact of tDCS on the learning of a grip task in both stroke and healthy individuals. To assess the use of tDCS over multiple days to promote motor learning of a grip task using a learning paradigm involving a speed-accuracy tradeoff in healthy individuals. In a double-blinded experiment, 30 right-handed subjects (mean age: 22.1±3.3 years) participated in the study and were randomly assigned to an anodal (n=15) or sham (n=15) stimulation group. First, subjects performed the grip task with their dominant hand while following the pace of a metronome. Afterwards, subjects trained on the task, at their own pace, over 5 consecutive days while receiving sham or anodal tDCS over M1. After training, subjects performed de novo the metronome-assisted task. The change in performance between the pre and post metronome-assisted task was used to assess the impact of the grip task and tDCS on learning. Anodal tDCS over M1 had a significant effect on the speed-accuracy tradeoff function. The anodal tDCS group showed significantly greater improvement in performance (39.28±15.92%) than the sham tDCS group (24.06±16.35%) on the metronome-assisted task, t(28)=2.583, P=0.015 (effect size d=0.94). Anodal tDCS is effective in promoting grip motor learning in healthy individuals. Further studies are warranted to test its potential use for the rehabilitation of fine motor skills in stroke patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Distrust and the positive test heuristic: dispositional and situated social distrust improves performance on the Wason rule discovery task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, Ruth; Alfasi, Dana; Schwarz, Norbert

    2014-06-01

    Feelings of distrust alert people not to take information at face value, which may influence their reasoning strategy. Using the Wason (1960) rule identification task, we tested whether chronic and temporary distrust increase the use of negative hypothesis testing strategies suited to falsify one's own initial hunch. In Study 1, participants who were low in dispositional trust were more likely to engage in negative hypothesis testing than participants high in dispositional trust. In Study 2, trust and distrust were induced through an alleged person-memory task. Paralleling the effects of chronic distrust, participants exposed to a single distrust-eliciting face were 3 times as likely to engage in negative hypothesis testing as participants exposed to a trust-eliciting face. In both studies, distrust increased negative hypothesis testing, which was associated with better performance on the Wason task. In contrast, participants' initial rule generation was not consistently affected by distrust. These findings provide first evidence that distrust can influence which reasoning strategy people adopt. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Kinesthetic Imagery Provides Additive Benefits to Internal Visual Imagery on Slalom Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callow, Nichola; Jiang, Dan; Roberts, Ross; Edwards, Martin G

    2017-02-01

    Recent brain imaging research demonstrates that the use of internal visual imagery (IVI) or kinesthetic imagery (KIN) activates common and distinct brain areas. In this paper, we argue that combining the imagery modalities (IVI and KIN) will lead to a greater cognitive representation (with more brain areas activated), and this will cause a greater slalom-based motor performance compared with using IVI alone. To examine this assertion, we randomly allocated 56 participants to one of the three groups: IVI, IVI and KIN, or a math control group. Participants performed a slalom-based driving task in a driving simulator, with average lap time used as a measure of performance. Results revealed that the IVI and KIN group achieved significantly quicker lap times than the IVI and the control groups. The discussion includes a theoretical advancement on why the combination of imagery modalities might facilitate performance, with links made to the cognitive neuroscience literature and applied practice.

  16. Operational testing of a figure of merit for overall task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemay, Moira

    1990-01-01

    An overall indicator or figure of merit (FOM), for the quality of pilot performance is needed to define optimal workload levels, predict system failure, measure the impact of new automation in the cockpit, and define the relative contributions of subtasks to overall task performance. A normative FOM was developed based on the calculation of a standard score for each component of a complex task. It reflected some effects, detailed in an earlier study, of the introduction of new data link technology into the cockpit. Since the technique showed promise, further testing was done. A new set of data was obtained using the recently developed Multi-Attribute Task Battery. This is a complex battery consisting of four tasks which can be varied in task demand, and on which performance measures can be obtained. This battery was presented to 12 subjects in a 20 minute trial at each of three levels of workload or task demand, and performance measures collected on all four tasks. The NASA-TLX workload rating scale was presented at minutes 6, 12, and 18, of each trial. A figure of merit was then obtained for each run of the battery by calculating a mean, SD, and standard score for each task. Each task contributed its own proportion to the overall FOM, and relative contributions changed with increasing workload. Thus, the FOM shows the effect of task changes, not only on the individual task that is changed, but also on the performance of other tasks and of the whole task. The cost to other tasks of maintaining constant performance on an individual task can be quantified.

  17. Family Structure, Parent-Child Communication, and Adolescent Participation in Family Consumer Tasks and Decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachance, Marie J.; Legault, Frederic; Bujold, Neree

    2000-01-01

    A study of adolescents from single-mother (n=171) and two-parent (n=1,029) families showed that the former were more involved in family consumer tasks and decisions. The conceptual parenting style was associated with higher adolescent participation. The social style had greater impact on participation in single-parent families. (Contains 88…

  18. Framing of task performance strategies: effects on performance in a multiattribute dynamic decision making environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nygren, T E

    1997-09-01

    It is well documented that the way a static choice task is "framed" can dramatically alter choice behavior, often leading to observable preference reversals. This framing effect appears to result from perceived changes in the nature or location of a person's initial reference point, but it is not clear how framing effects might generalize to performance on dynamic decision making tasks that are characterized by high workload, time constraints, risk, or stress. A study was conducted to examine the hypothesis that framing can introduce affective components to the decision making process and can influence, either favorably (positive frame) or adversely (negative frame), the implementation and use of decision making strategies in dynamic high-workload environments. Results indicated that negative frame participants were significantly impaired in developing and employing a simple optimal decision strategy relative to a positive frame group. Discussion focuses on implications of these results for models of dynamic decision making.

  19. Are factors related to dual-task performance in people with Parkinson's disease dependent on the type of dual task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strouwen, Carolien; Molenaar, Esther A L M; Keus, Samyra H J; Münks, Liesbeth; Heremans, Elke; Vandenberghe, Wim; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Nieuwboer, Alice

    2016-02-01

    Impaired dual-task performance significantly impacts upon functional mobility in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this study was to identify determinants of dual-task performance in people with PD in three different dual tasks to assess their possible task-dependency. We recruited 121 home-dwelling patients with PD (mean age 65.93 years; mean disease duration 8.67 years) whom we subjected to regular walking (control condition) and to three dual-task conditions: walking combined with a backwards Digit Span task, an auditory Stroop task and a Mobile Phone task. We measured dual-task gait velocity using the GAITRite mat and dual-task reaction times and errors on the concurrent tasks as outcomes. Motor, cognitive and descriptive variables which correlated to dual-task performance (p task gait velocity and executive function, tested by the alternating intake test, was significantly associated with gait velocity during the Digit Span (R(2) = 0.65; p task (R(2) = 0.62; p task. Age was a surplus determinant of gait velocity while using a mobile phone. Single-task gait velocity and executive function as measured by a verbal fluency switching task were independent determinants of dual-task gait performance in people with PD. In contrast to expectation, these factors were the same across different tasks, supporting the robustness of the findings. Future study needs to determine whether these factors predict dual-task abnormalities prospectively. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Three-dimensional vision enhances task performance independently of the surgical method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, O J; Hagen, M; Kurmann, A; Horgan, S; Candinas, D; Vorburger, S A

    2012-10-01

    Within the next few years, the medical industry will launch increasingly affordable three-dimensional (3D) vision systems for the operating room (OR). This study aimed to evaluate the effect of two-dimensional (2D) and 3D visualization on surgical skills and task performance. In this study, 34 individuals with varying laparoscopic experience (18 inexperienced individuals) performed three tasks to test spatial relationships, grasping and positioning, dexterity, precision, and hand-eye and hand-hand coordination. Each task was performed in 3D using binocular vision for open performance, the Viking 3Di Vision System for laparoscopic performance, and the DaVinci robotic system. The same tasks were repeated in 2D using an eye patch for monocular vision, conventional laparoscopy, and the DaVinci robotic system. Loss of 3D vision significantly increased the perceived difficulty of a task and the time required to perform it, independently of the approach (P robot than with laparoscopy (P = 0.005). In every case, 3D robotic performance was superior to conventional laparoscopy (2D) (P < 0.001-0.015). The more complex the task, the more 3D vision accelerates task completion compared with 2D vision. The gain in task performance is independent of the surgical method.

  1. The Applicability of Rhythm-Motor Tasks to a New Dual Task Paradigm for Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soo Ji Kim

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Given the interplay between cognitive and motor functions during walking, cognitive demands required during gait have been investigated with regard to dual task performance. Along with the needs to understand how the type of concurrent task while walking affects gait performance, there are calls for diversified dual tasks that can be applied to older adults with varying levels of cognitive decline. Therefore, this study aimed to examine how rhythm-motor tasks affect dual task performance and gait control, compared to a traditional cognitive-motor task. Also, it examined whether rhythm-motor tasks are correlated with traditional cognitive-motor task performance and cognitive measures. Eighteen older adults without cognitive impairment participated in this study. Each participant was instructed to walk at self-paced tempo without performing a concurrent task (single walking task and walk while separately performing two types of concurrent tasks: rhythm-motor and cognitive-motor tasks. Rhythm-motor tasks included instrument playing (WalkIP, matching to rhythmic cueing (WalkRC, and instrument playing while matching to rhythmic cueing (WalkIP+RC. The cognitive-motor task involved counting forward by 3s (WalkCount.f3. In each condition, dual task costs (DTC, a measure for how dual tasks affect gait parameters, were measured in terms of walking speed and stride length. The ratio of stride length to walking speed, a measure for dynamic control of gait, was also examined. The results of this study demonstrated that the task type was found to significantly influence these measures. Rhythm-motor tasks were found to interfere with gait parameters to a lesser extent than the cognitive-motor task (WalkCount.f3. In terms of ratio measures, stride length remained at a similar level, walking speed greatly decreased in the WalkCount.f3 condition. Significant correlations between dual task-related measures during rhythm-motor and cognitive-motor tasks support the

  2. Driving monotonous routes in a train simulator: the effect of task demand on driving performance and subjective experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Naomi; Williamson, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Although monotony is widely recognised as being detrimental to performance, its occurrence and effects are not yet well understood. This is despite the fact that task-related characteristics, such as monotony and low task demand, have been shown to contribute to performance decrements over time. Participants completed one of two simulated train-driving scenarios. Both were highly monotonous and differed only in terms of the level of cognitive demand required (i.e. low demand or high demand). These results highlight the seriously detrimental effects of the combination of monotony and low task demands and clearly show that even a relatively minor increase in cognitive demand can mitigate adverse monotony-related effects on performance for extended periods of time. Monotony is an inherent characteristic of transport industries, including rail, aviation and road transport, which can have adverse impact on safety, reliability and efficiency. This study highlights possible strategies for mitigating these adverse effects. Practitioner Summary: This study provides evidence for the importance of cognitive demand in mitigating monotony-related effects on performance. The results have clear implications for the rapid onset of performance deterioration in low demand monotonous tasks and demonstrate that these detrimental performance effects can be overcome with simple solutions, such as making the task more cognitively engaging.

  3. Manipulator Performance Evaluation Using Fitts' Taping Task

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Draper, J.V.; Jared, B.C.; Noakes, M.W.

    1999-04-25

    Metaphorically, a teleoperator with master controllers projects the user's arms and hands into a re- mote area, Therefore, human users interact with teleoperators at a more fundamental level than they do with most human-machine systems. Instead of inputting decisions about how the system should func- tion, teleoperator users input the movements they might make if they were truly in the remote area and the remote machine must recreate their trajectories and impedance. This intense human-machine inter- action requires displays and controls more carefully attuned to human motor capabilities than is neces- sary with most systems. It is important for teleoperated manipulators to be able to recreate human trajectories and impedance in real time. One method for assessing manipulator performance is to observe how well a system be- haves while a human user completes human dexterity tasks with it. Fitts' tapping task has been, used many times in the past for this purpose. This report describes such a performance assessment. The International Submarine Engineering (ISE) Autonomous/Teleoperated Operations Manipulator (ATOM) servomanipulator system was evalu- ated using a generic positioning accuracy task. The task is a simple one but has the merits of (1) pro- ducing a performance function estimate rather than a point estimate and (2) being widely used in the past for human and servomanipulator dexterity tests. Results of testing using this task may, therefore, allow comparison with other manipulators, and is generically representative of a broad class of tasks. Results of the testing indicate that the ATOM manipulator is capable of performing the task. Force reflection had a negative impact on task efficiency in these data. This was most likely caused by the high resistance to movement the master controller exhibited with the force reflection engaged. Measurements of exerted forces were not made, so it is not possible to say whether the force reflection helped

  4. Ranking Performance Measures in Multi-Task Agencies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Peter Ove; Sabac, Florin; Tian, Joyce

    2010-01-01

    We derive sufficient conditions for ranking performance evaluation systems in multi-task agency models (using both optimal and linear contracts) in terms of a second-order stochastic dominance (SSD) condition on the likelihood ratios. The SSD condition can be replaced by a variance-covariance mat......We derive sufficient conditions for ranking performance evaluation systems in multi-task agency models (using both optimal and linear contracts) in terms of a second-order stochastic dominance (SSD) condition on the likelihood ratios. The SSD condition can be replaced by a variance...

  5. Effects of Information Visualization on Older Adults' Decision-Making Performance in a Medicare Plan Selection Task: A Comparative Usability Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Margaux M; Crumley-Branyon, Jessica J; Leidheiser, William R; Pak, Richard

    2016-06-01

    Technology gains have improved tools for evaluating complex tasks by providing environmental supports (ES) that increase ease of use and improve performance outcomes through the use of information visualizations (info-vis). Complex info-vis emphasize the need to understand individual differences in abilities of target users, the key cognitive abilities needed to execute a decision task, and the graphical elements that can serve as the most effective ES. Older adults may be one such target user group that would benefit from increased ES to mitigate specific declines in cognitive abilities. For example, choosing a prescription drug plan is a necessary and complex task that can impact quality of life if the wrong choice is made. The decision to enroll in one plan over another can involve comparing over 15 plans across many categories. Within this context, the large amount of complex information and reduced working memory capacity puts older adults' decision making at a disadvantage. An intentionally designed ES, such as an info-vis that reduces working memory demand, may assist older adults in making the most effective decision among many options. The objective of this study is to examine whether the use of an info-vis can lower working memory demands and positively affect complex decision-making performance of older adults in the context of choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan. Participants performed a computerized decision-making task in the context of finding the best health care plan. Data included quantitative decision-making performance indicators and surveys examining previous history with purchasing insurance. Participants used a colored info-vis ES or a table (no ES) to perform the decision task. Task difficulty was manipulated by increasing the number of selection criteria used to make an accurate decision. A repeated measures analysis was performed to examine differences between the two table designs. Twenty-three older adults between the ages of 66

  6. A Study on Relationships between Functional Performance and Task Performance Measure through Experiments in NPP MCR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jang, In Seok; Seong, Poong Hyun; Park, Jin Kyun

    2011-01-01

    Further improvements in levels of organization, management, man-machine interfaces, education, training, etc. are required, if high operating reliability of operators in huge and complex plants such as chemical plants and electrical power generating plants is to be maintained. Improvement requires good understanding of operators' behavior, including defining what is good performance for operators, especially in emergency situations. Human performance measures, therefore, are important to enhance performance and to reduce the probability of incidents and accidents in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). Operators' performance measures are used for multi-objectives such as control room design, human system interface evaluation, training, procedure and so on. There are two kinds of representative methods to measure operators' performance. These methods are now known as the functional performance measure and task performance measure. Functional performance measures are basically based on the plant process parameters. Functional performance measures indicate how well the operators controlled selected critical parameters. The parameters selected in this paper are derived from the four Critical Safety Functions (CSFs) identified in the emergency operating procedures such as achievement of subcriticality, maintenance of core cooling, maintenance of heat sink and maintenance of containment integrity. Task performance measures are based on the task analysis. Task analysis is to determine the tasks required and how operators are performed. In this paper, task analysis is done with ideal path for an accident completed by experts and Emergency Operation Procedure (EOP). However, most literatures related to operators' performance have been using one of these measures and there is no research to find out the relationships between two measures. In this paper, the relationships between functional performance measure and task performance measure are investigated using experiments. Shortly

  7. Effects of age and the use of hands-free cellular phones on driving behavior and task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yung-Ching; Ou, Yang-Kun

    2011-12-01

    This study used a driving simulator to investigate the effect of using a Bluetooth hands-free cellular phone earpiece on the driving behavior of two age groups. Forty-eight participants (24 aged 20-26 and 24 aged 65-73) were examined to assess their performance on the following divided-attention tasks under 2 driving load conditions (high and low): (1) attempting to maintain the speed limit and (2) using a cellular phone while driving. The length of the call conversation (long vs. short) and the conversational content (complex vs. simple) were manipulated as within-subject independent variables. The driving behavior of the participants, their task reaction times and accuracy, and subjective ratings were collected as dependent variables. The results indicate that under low driving loads, short talk times, and simple conversational content, the driving behavior of the participants showed low variance in the vehicle's mean speed. In contrast, complex conversation had a significantly negative impact on driving behavior. Notably, under a low driving load, motorists' driving behaviors, measured in lateral acceleration, caused significantly smaller variance in complex conversations compared to no call and simple conversations. The use of a hands-free cellular phone affected the performance (acceleration, lane deviation, reaction time, and accuracy) of older drivers significantly more than younger drivers. While performing divided attention tasks, the accuracy of the older drivers was 66.3 percent and that of the younger drivers was 96.3 percent. Although this study did not find a clear impact of cellular phone use on the driving behavior of younger drivers, their divided-attention task reaction times and accuracy were better under no-call than calling conditions. This study indicates that the use of hands-free cellular phones could significantly affect the safety of driving among the older and present risks, although lesser, for younger drivers.

  8. Task complexity and task, goal, and reward interdependence in group performance : a prescriptive model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijfeijken, van H.T.G.A.; Kleingeld, P.A.M.; Tuijl, van H.F.J.M.; Algera, J.A.; Thierry, H.

    2002-01-01

    A prescriptive model on how to design effective combinations of goal setting and contingent rewards for group performance management is presented. The model incorporates the constructs task complexity, task interdependence, goal interdependence, and reward interdependence and specifies optimal fit

  9. Methylphenidate and brain activity in a reward/conflict paradigm: role of the insula in task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Iliyan; Liu, Xun; Clerkin, Suzanne; Schulz, Kurt; Fan, Jin; Friston, Karl; London, Edythe D; Schwartz, Jeffrey; Newcorn, Jeffrey H

    2014-06-01

    Psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate, are thought to improve information processing in motivation-reward and attention-activation networks by enhancing the effects of more relevant signals and suppressing those of less relevant ones; however the nature of such reciprocal influences remains poorly understood. To explore this question, we tested the effect of methylphenidate on performance and associated brain activity in the Anticipation, Conflict, Reward (ACR) task. Sixteen healthy adult volunteers, ages 21-45, were scanned twice using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as they performed the ACR task under placebo and methylphenidate conditions. A three-way repeated measures analysis of variance, with cue (reward vs. non-reward), target (congruent vs. incongruent) and medication condition (methylphenidate vs. placebo) as the factors, was used to analyze behaviors on the task. Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals, reflecting task-related neural activity, were evaluated using linear contrasts. Participants exhibited significantly greater accuracy in the methylphenidate condition than the placebo condition. Compared with placebo, the methylphenidate condition also was associated with lesser task-related activity in components of attention-activation systems irrespective of the reward cue, and less task-related activity in components of the reward-motivation system, particularly the insula, during reward trials irrespective of target difficulty. These results suggest that methylphenidate enhances task performance by improving efficiency of information processing in both reward-motivation and in attention-activation systems. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Performance monitoring in obsessive-compulsive undergraduates: Effects of task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesel, Anja; Richter, Anika; Kaufmann, Christian; Kathmann, Norbert; Endrass, Tanja

    2015-08-01

    Both obsessive-compulsive disorder and subclinical obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms seem to be associated with hyperactive error-related brain activity. The current study examined performance monitoring in subjects with subclinical OC symptoms using a new task with different levels of difficulty. Nineteen subjects with high and 18 subjects with low OC characteristics performed a random dot cinematogram (RDC) task with three levels of difficulty. The high and low OC groups did not differ in error-related negativity (ERN), correct-related negativity (CRN) and performance irrespective of task difficulty. The amplitude of the ERN decreased with increasing difficulty whereas the magnitude of CRN did not vary. ERN and CRN approached in size and topography with increasing difficulty, which suggests that errors and correct responses are processed more similarly. These results add to a growing number of studies that fail to replicate hyperactive performance monitoring in individuals with OC symptoms in task with higher difficulty or requiring learning. Together with these findings our results suggest that the relationship between OC symptoms and performance monitoring may be sensitive to type of task and task characteristics and cannot be observed in a RDC that differs from typically used tasks in difficulty and the amount of response-conflict. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Does the mask govern the mind?: effects of arbitrary gender representation on quantitative task performance in avatar-represented virtual groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jong-Eun Roselyn; Nass, Clifford I; Bailenson, Jeremy N

    2014-04-01

    Virtual environments employing avatars for self-representation-including the opportunity to represent or misrepresent social categories-raise interesting and intriguing questions as to how one's avatar-based social category shapes social identity dynamics, particularly when stereotypes prevalent in the offline world apply to the social categories visually represented by avatars. The present experiment investigated how social category representation via avatars (i.e., graphical representations of people in computer-mediated environments) affects stereotype-relevant task performance. In particular, building on and extending the Proteus effect model, we explored whether and how stereotype lift (i.e., a performance boost caused by the awareness of a domain-specific negative stereotype associated with outgroup members) occurred in virtual group settings in which avatar-based gender representation was arbitrary. Female and male participants (N=120) were randomly assigned either a female avatar or a male avatar through a process masked as a random drawing. They were then placed in a numerical minority status with respect to virtual gender-as the only virtual female (male) in a computer-mediated triad with two opposite-gendered avatars-and performed a mental arithmetic task either competitively or cooperatively. The data revealed that participants who were arbitrarily represented by a male avatar and competed against two ostensible female avatars showed strongest performance compared to others on the arithmetic task. This pattern occurred regardless of participants' actual gender, pointing to a virtual stereotype lift effect. Additional mediation tests showed that task motivation partially mediated the effect. Theoretical and practical implications for social identity dynamics in avatar-based virtual environments are discussed.

  12. Analyzing Web pages visual scanpaths: between and within tasks variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drusch, Gautier; Bastien, J M Christian

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a new method for comparing scanpaths in a bottom-up approach, and a test of the scanpath theory. To do so, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which 113 participants were invited to accomplish a set of tasks on two different websites. For each site, they had to perform two tasks that had to be repeated ounce. The data were analyzed using a procedure similar to the one used by Duchowski et al. [8]. The first step was to automatically identify, then label, AOIs with the mean-shift clustering procedure [19]. Then, scanpaths were compared two by two with a modified version of the string-edit method, which take into account the order of AOIs visualizations [2]. Our results show that scanpaths variability between tasks but within participants seems to be lower than the variability within task for a given participant. In other words participants seem to be more coherent when they perform different tasks, than when they repeat the same tasks. In addition, participants view more of the same AOI when they perform a different task on the same Web page than when they repeated the same task. These results are quite different from what predicts the scanpath theory.

  13. Walking modality, but not task difficulty, influences the control of dual-task walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrightson, J G; Smeeton, N J

    2017-10-01

    During dual-task gait, changes in the stride-to-stride variability of stride time (STV) are suggested to represent the allocation of cognitive control to walking [1]. However, contrasting effects have been reported for overground and treadmill walking, which may be due to differences in the relative difficulty of the dual task. Here we compared the effect of overground and treadmill dual-task walking on STV in 18 healthy adults. Participants walked overground and on a treadmill for 120s during single-task (walking only) and dual-task (walking whilst performing serial subtractions in sevens) conditions. Dual-task effects on STV, cognitive task (serial subtraction) performance and perceived task difficulty were compared between walking modalities. STV was increased during overground dual-task walking, but was unchanged during treadmill dual-task walking. There were no differences in cognitive task performance or perceived task difficulty. These results show that gait is controlled differently during overground and treadmill dual-task walking. However, these differences are not solely due to differences in task difficulty, and may instead represent modality dependent control strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 3D straight-stick laparoscopy versus 3D robotics for task performance in novice surgeons: a randomised crossover trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakir, Fevzi; Jan, Haider; Kent, Andrew

    2016-12-01

    The advent of three-dimensional passive stereoscopic imaging has led to the development of 3D laparoscopy. In simulation tasks, a reduction in error rate and performance time is seen with 3D compared to two-dimensional (2D) laparoscopy with both novice and expert surgeons. Robotics utilises 3D and instrument articulation through a console interface. Robotic trials have demonstrated that tasks performed in 3D produced fewer errors and quicker performance times compared with those in 2D. It was therefore perceived that the main advantage of robotic surgery was in fact 3D. Our aim was to compare 3D straight-stick laparoscopic task performance (3D) with robotic 3D (Robot), to determine whether robotic surgery confers additional benefit over and above 3D visualisation. We randomised 20 novice surgeons to perform four validated surgical tasks, either with straight-stick 3D laparoscopy followed by 3D robotic surgery or in the reverse order. The trial was conducted in two fully functional operating theatres. The primary outcome of the study was the error rate as defined for each task, and the secondary outcome was the time taken to complete each task. The participants were asked to perform the tasks as quickly and as accurately as possible. Data were analysed using SPSS version 21. The median error rate for completion of all four tasks with the robot was 2.75 and 5.25 for 3D with a P value performance time for completion of all four tasks with the robot was 157.1 and 342.5 s for 3D with a P value 3D robotic systems over 3D straight-stick laparoscopy, in terms of reduced error rate and quicker task performance time.

  15. Implicit Behavioral Change in Response to Cognitive Tasks in Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomilcar, Iris; Morris, Robin G; Brown, Richard G; Mograbi, Daniel C

    2018-03-01

    Lack of awareness about impairments is commonly found in Alzheimer disease (AD), but recent evidence suggests that patients may respond to the experience of illness despite limited awareness. In this study, we explored whether implicit emotional responses to experiences of failure in cognitive tasks would result in longer-term change in behavior. Twenty-two patients with AD were seen 1 week after a previous session in which they performed computer tasks that had been manipulated to be either too difficult (failure condition) or very easy (success condition) for them. At the second session, both types of tasks were set to have medium difficulty and were administered so that the participants decided how long to persist on each task. Task persistence was determined by relative time spent doing the tasks, considering that participants would be more likely to stop performing tasks in which they had experienced failure during the first session. Task persistence in the second session was not affected by performance in the first session. However, when participants' awareness of performance in the first session was taken into account, differences were found in persistence between tasks in the second session. During the second session, participants stopped performing tasks after a sequence of errors. There were no self-reported changes in motivation or enjoyment in response to task failure. These findings suggest that implicit learning of task valence may be compromised in AD, but that initial moments of awareness of performance may influence long-term adaptation in unaware patients.

  16. The effect of simultaneously performed cognitive task and physical exercise on pressure pain threshold and tolerance in athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliye GÜNDOĞDU

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to investigate the alterations of the pain threshold and tolerance after single, or dual task in athletes. Twenty male athletes and twenty non - athletic, recreationally active college students were participated in the study. Subjects w ere asked to perform Harvard step test (single task, and cognitive task was concurrent performance of an arithmetic task while performing Harvard step test. Pressure pain threshold (PPT and pressure pain tolerance (PPTO were assessed from muscle, tendon , bone and myofascial region from the dominant thigh by using a digital algometer. All measurements were repeated at rest, or following single and dual task. Results are presented as mean + standart deviation. Data were analyzed by using repeated measures of ANOVA test. A level of p<0.05 was accepted statistical significant. Athletes had higher PPT and PPTO measurements from muscle and myofascial region of thigh at rest. PPT and PPTO values were increased after single, or dual task in sedentary subjects, w hile athletic subjects had increased muscle and myofascial PPT and PPTO values after dual task. In conclusion, our results supports the notion that cognitive functions may interact the pain processing at rest, or following exercise in athletes.

  17. Coordination and collective performance: Cooperative goals boost interpersonal synchrony and task outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie S. Allsop

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Whether it be a rugby team or a rescue crew, ensuring peak group performance is a primary goal during collective activities. In reality however, groups often suffer from productivity losses that can lead to less than optimal outputs. Where researchers have focused on this problem, inefficiencies in the way team members coordinate their efforts has been identified as one potent source of productivity decrements. Here we set out to explore whether performance on a simple object movement task is shaped by the spontaneous emergence of interpersonally coordinated behavior. Forty-six pairs of participants were instructed to either compete or cooperate in order to empty a container of approximately 100 small plastic balls as quickly and accurately as possible. Each trial was recorded to video and a frame-differencing approach was employed to estimate between-person coordination. The results revealed that cooperative pairs coordinated to a greater extent than their competitive counterparts. Furthermore, coordination, as well as movement regularity were positively related to accuracy, an effect that was most prominent when the task was structured such that opportunities to coordinate were restricted. These findings are discussed with regard to contemporary theories of coordination and collective performance.

  18. Grammatical production deficits in PPA: Relating narrative and structured task performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Barbieri

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Grammatical production impairments in primary progressive aphasia (PPA have been investigated using structured language tasks and analysis of narrative language samples (for review see Thompson & Mack, 2014; Wilson et al., 2012. However, little research has examined the relationship between them in PPA. Whereas structured tasks often assess production accuracy at different levels of syntactic complexity (e.g., Thompson et al., 2013, narrative measures typically assess overall lexical and grammatical usage (e.g., % grammatical sentences; noun-to-verb ratio, with lesser emphasis on complexity. The present study investigated the relationship between narrative measures of grammatical production and performance on structured language tests in the domains of syntax, verb morphology, and verb-argument structure (VAS. Materials and methods Data from 101 individuals with PPA were included. Participants completed a test battery including the Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS, Thompson, 2011, the Northwestern Assessment of Verb Inflection (NAVI, Lee & Thompson, experimental version and the Northwestern Anagram Test (NAT, Thompson, Weintraub, & Mesulam, 2012. Grammatical production deficits were quantified as follows: for syntax, accuracy of non-canonical sentence production on the NAVS Sentence Production Priming Test (SPPT and the NAT; for morphology, the accuracy on finite verbs on the NAVI; for VAS, the accuracy of sentences produced with 2- and 3-argument verbs on the NAVS Argument Structure Production Test (ASPT. Cinderella narrative samples were analyzed using the Northwestern Narrative Language Analysis system (e.g., Thompson et al., 2012. For syntax, complexity was measured by the ratio of syntactically complex to simple sentences produced, whereas accuracy was indexed by computing the proportion of words with a locally grammatical lexical category. Morphological complexity was measured by mean number of verb

  19. A model for teaching and learning spinal thrust manipulation and its effect on participant confidence in technique performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Christopher H; Schenk, Ronald J; Lattanzi, Jill Black

    2016-07-01

    Despite emerging evidence to support the use of high velocity thrust manipulation in the management of lumbar spinal conditions, utilization of thrust manipulation among clinicians remains relatively low. One reason for the underutilization of these procedures may be related to disparity in training in the performance of these techniques at the professional and post professional levels. To assess the effect of using a new model of active learning on participant confidence in the performance of spinal thrust manipulation and the implications for its use in the professional and post-professional training of physical therapists. A cohort of 15 DPT students in their final semester of entry-level professional training participated in an active training session emphasizing a sequential partial task practice (SPTP) strategy in which participants engaged in partial task practice over several repetitions with different partners. Participants' level of confidence in the performance of these techniques was determined through comparison of pre- and post-training session surveys and a post-session open-ended interview. The increase in scores across all items of the individual pre- and post-session surveys suggests that this model was effective in changing overall participant perception regarding the effectiveness and safety of these techniques and in increasing student confidence in their performance. Interviews revealed that participants greatly preferred the SPTP strategy, which enhanced their confidence in technique performance. Results indicate that this new model of psychomotor training may be effective at improving confidence in the performance of spinal thrust manipulation and, subsequently, may be useful for encouraging the future use of these techniques in the care of individuals with impairments of the spine. Inasmuch, this method of instruction may be useful for training of physical therapists at both the professional and post-professional levels.

  20. People with chronic facial pain perform worse than controls at a facial emotion recognition task, but it is not all about the emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Piekartz, H; Wallwork, S B; Mohr, G; Butler, D S; Moseley, G L

    2015-04-01

    Alexithymia, or a lack of emotional awareness, is prevalent in some chronic pain conditions and has been linked to poor recognition of others' emotions. Recognising others' emotions from their facial expression involves both emotional and motor processing, but the possible contribution of motor disruption has not been considered. It is possible that poor performance on emotional recognition tasks could reflect problems with emotional processing, motor processing or both. We hypothesised that people with chronic facial pain would be less accurate in recognising others' emotions from facial expressions, would be less accurate in a motor imagery task involving the face, and that performance on both tasks would be positively related. A convenience sample of 19 people (15 females) with chronic facial pain and 19 gender-matched controls participated. They undertook two tasks; in the first task, they identified the facial emotion presented in a photograph. In the second, they identified whether the person in the image had a facial feature pointed towards their left or right side, a well-recognised paradigm to induce implicit motor imagery. People with chronic facial pain performed worse than controls at both tasks (Facially Expressed Emotion Labelling (FEEL) task P facial pain were worse than controls at both the FEEL emotion recognition task and the left/right facial expression task and performance covaried within participants. We propose that disrupted motor processing may underpin or at least contribute to the difficulty that facial pain patients have in emotion recognition and that further research that tests this proposal is warranted. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Performance in complex motor tasks deteriorates in hyperthermic humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Piil, Jacob Feder; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Trangmar, Steven J

    2017-01-01

    -motor tracking performance was reduced by 10.7 ± 6.5% following exercise-induced hyperthermia when integrated in the multipart protocol and 4.4 ± 5.7% when tested separately (bothP 1.3% (P math tasks...... of information or decision-making prior to responding. We hypothesized that divergences could relate to task complexity and developed a protocol consisting of 1) simple motor task [TARGET_pinch], 2) complex motor task [Visuo-motor tracking], 3) simple math task [MATH_type], 4) combined motor-math task [MATH...

  2. Automatic Retrieval of Newly Instructed Cue-Task Associations Seen in Task-Conflict Effects in the First Trial after Cue-Task Instructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiran, Nachshon; Pereg, Maayan

    2017-01-01

    Novel stimulus-response associations are retrieved automatically even without prior practice. Is this true for novel cue-task associations? The experiment involved miniblocks comprising three phases and task switching. In the INSTRUCTION phase, two new stimuli (or familiar cues) were arbitrarily assigned as cues for up-down/right-left tasks performed on placeholder locations. In the UNIVALENT phase, there was no task cue since placeholder's location afforded one task but the placeholders were the stimuli that we assigned as task cues for the following BIVALENT phase (involving target locations affording both tasks). Thus, participants held the novel cue-task associations in memory while executing the UNIVALENT phase. Results show poorer performance in the first univalent trial when the placeholder was associated with the opposite task (incompatible) than when it was compatible, an effect that was numerically larger with newly instructed cues than with familiar cues. These results indicate automatic retrieval of newly instructed cue-task associations.

  3. Task dynamics in self-organising task groups : expertise, motivational, and performance differences of specialists and generalists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zoethout, Kees; Jager, Wander; Molleman, Eric

    Multi-agent simulation is applied to explore how different types of task variety cause workgroups to change their task allocation accordingly. We studied two groups, generalists and specialists. We hypothesised that the performance of the specialists would decrease when task variety increases. The

  4. Is a Responsive Default Mode Network Required for Successful Working Memory Task Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čeko, Marta; Gracely, John L.; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Seminowicz, David A.; Schweinhardt, Petra

    2015-01-01

    In studies of cognitive processing using tasks with externally directed attention, regions showing increased (external-task-positive) and decreased or “negative” [default-mode network (DMN)] fMRI responses during task performance are dynamically responsive to increasing task difficulty. Responsiveness (modulation of fMRI signal by increasing load) has been linked directly to successful cognitive task performance in external-task-positive regions but not in DMN regions. To investigate whether a responsive DMN is required for successful cognitive performance, we compared healthy human subjects (n = 23) with individuals shown to have decreased DMN engagement (chronic pain patients, n = 28). Subjects performed a multilevel working-memory task (N-back) during fMRI. If a responsive DMN is required for successful performance, patients having reduced DMN responsiveness should show worsened performance; if performance is not reduced, their brains should show compensatory activation in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. All subjects showed decreased accuracy and increased reaction times with increasing task level, with no significant group differences on either measure at any level. Patients had significantly reduced negative fMRI response (deactivation) of DMN regions (posterior cingulate/precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex). Controls showed expected modulation of DMN deactivation with increasing task difficulty. Patients showed significantly reduced modulation of DMN deactivation by task difficulty, despite their successful task performance. We found no evidence of compensatory neural recruitment in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. Individual responsiveness of the external-task-positive ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of DMN regions, correlated with task accuracy. These findings suggest that a responsive DMN may not be required for successful cognitive performance; a responsive external-task-positive network may be sufficient

  5. Administrative Task Performance by Heads of Senior High Schools ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study aimed at examining the administrative task performance of heads of senior high schools (SHS) in Ghana from the organising perspective. The study hypothesized that there is no statistically significant difference in the compliance level of organising as an administrative task performance by heads in the rural and ...

  6. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the supplementary motor area (SMA) influences performance on motor tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hupfeld, K E; Ketcham, C J; Schneider, H D

    2017-03-01

    The supplementary motor area (SMA) is believed to be highly involved in the planning and execution of both simple and complex motor tasks. This study aimed to examine the role of the SMA in planning the movements required to complete reaction time, balance, and pegboard tasks using anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which passes a weak electrical current between two electrodes, in order to modulate neuronal activity. Twenty healthy adults were counterbalanced to receive either tDCS (experimental condition) or no tDCS (control condition) for 3 days. During administration of tDCS, participants performed a balance task significantly faster than controls. After tDCS, subjects significantly improved their simple and choice reaction time. These results demonstrate that the SMA is highly involved in planning and executing fine and gross motor skill tasks and that tDCS is an effective modality for increasing SMA-related performance on these tasks. The findings may be generalizable and therefore indicate implications for future interventions using tDCS as a therapeutic tool.

  7. Gaze training enhances laparoscopic technical skill acquisition and multi-tasking performance: a randomized, controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mark R; Vine, Samuel J; Bright, Elizabeth; Masters, Rich S W; Defriend, David; McGrath, John S

    2011-12-01

    The operating room environment is replete with stressors and distractions that increase the attention demands of what are already complex psychomotor procedures. Contemporary research in other fields (e.g., sport) has revealed that gaze training interventions may support the development of robust movement skills. This current study was designed to examine the utility of gaze training for technical laparoscopic skills and to test performance under multitasking conditions. Thirty medical trainees with no laparoscopic experience were divided randomly into one of three treatment groups: gaze trained (GAZE), movement trained (MOVE), and discovery learning/control (DISCOVERY). Participants were fitted with a Mobile Eye gaze registration system, which measures eye-line of gaze at 25 Hz. Training consisted of ten repetitions of the "eye-hand coordination" task from the LAP Mentor VR laparoscopic surgical simulator while receiving instruction and video feedback (specific to each treatment condition). After training, all participants completed a control test (designed to assess learning) and a multitasking transfer test, in which they completed the procedure while performing a concurrent tone counting task. Not only did the GAZE group learn more quickly than the MOVE and DISCOVERY groups (faster completion times in the control test), but the performance difference was even more pronounced when multitasking. Differences in gaze control (target locking fixations), rather than tool movement measures (tool path length), underpinned this performance advantage for GAZE training. These results suggest that although the GAZE intervention focused on training gaze behavior only, there were indirect benefits for movement behaviors and performance efficiency. Additionally, focusing on a single external target when learning, rather than on complex movement patterns, may have freed-up attentional resources that could be applied to concurrent cognitive tasks.

  8. The Effects of Training on Anxiety and Task Performance in Simulated Suborbital Spaceflight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blue, Rebecca S; Bonato, Frederick; Seaton, Kimberly; Bubka, Andrea; Vardiman, Johnené L; Mathers, Charles; Castleberry, Tarah L; Vanderploeg, James M

    2017-07-01

    In commercial spaceflight, anxiety could become mission-impacting, causing negative experiences or endangering the flight itself. We studied layperson response to four varied-length training programs (ranging from 1 h-2 d of preparation) prior to centrifuge simulation of launch and re-entry acceleration profiles expected during suborbital spaceflight. We examined subject task execution, evaluating performance in high-stress conditions. We sought to identify any trends in demographics, hemodynamics, or similar factors in subjects with the highest anxiety or poorest tolerance of the experience. Volunteers participated in one of four centrifuge training programs of varied complexity and duration, culminating in two simulated suborbital spaceflights. At most, subjects underwent seven centrifuge runs over 2 d, including two +Gz runs (peak +3.5 Gz, Run 2) and two +Gx runs (peak +6.0 Gx, Run 4) followed by three runs approximating suborbital spaceflight profiles (combined +Gx and +Gz, peak +6.0 Gx and +4.0 Gz). Two cohorts also received dedicated anxiety-mitigation training. Subjects were evaluated on their performance on various tasks, including a simulated emergency. Participating in 2-7 centrifuge exposures were 148 subjects (105 men, 43 women, age range 19-72 yr, mean 39.4 ± 13.2 yr, body mass index range 17.3-38.1, mean 25.1 ± 3.7). There were 10 subjects who withdrew or limited their G exposure; history of motion sickness was associated with opting out. Shorter length training programs were associated with elevated hemodynamic responses. Single-directional G training did not significantly improve tolerance. Training programs appear best when high fidelity and sequential exposures may improve tolerance of physical/psychological flight stressors. The studied variables did not predict anxiety-related responses to these centrifuge profiles.Blue RS, Bonato F, Seaton K, Bubka A, Vardiman JL, Mathers C, Castleberry TL, Vanderploeg JM. The effects of training on anxiety

  9. Structural hippocampal anomalies in a schizophrenia population correlate with navigation performance on a wayfinding task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledoux, Andrée-Anne; Boyer, Patrice; Phillips, Jennifer L; Labelle, Alain; Smith, Andra; Bohbot, Véronique D

    2014-01-01

    Episodic memory, related to the hippocampus, has been found to be impaired in schizophrenia. Further, hippocampal anomalies have also been observed in schizophrenia. This study investigated whether average hippocampal gray matter (GM) would differentiate performance on a hippocampus-dependent memory task in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Twenty-one patients with schizophrenia and 22 control participants were scanned with an MRI while being tested on a wayfinding task in a virtual town (e.g., find the grocery store from the school). Regressions were performed for both groups individually and together using GM and performance on the wayfinding task. Results indicate that controls successfully completed the task more often than patients, took less time, and made fewer errors. Additionally, controls had significantly more hippocampal GM than patients. Poor performance was associated with a GM decrease in the right hippocampus for both groups. Within group regressions found an association between right hippocampi GM and performance in controls and an association between the left hippocampi GM and performance in patients. A second analysis revealed that different anatomical GM regions, known to be associated with the hippocampus, such as the parahippocampal cortex, amygdala, medial, and orbital prefrontal cortices, covaried with the hippocampus in the control group. Interestingly, the cuneus and cingulate gyrus also covaried with the hippocampus in the patient group but the orbital frontal cortex did not, supporting the hypothesis of impaired connectivity between the hippocampus and the frontal cortex in schizophrenia. These results present important implications for creating intervention programs aimed at measuring functional and structural changes in the hippocampus in schizophrenia.

  10. Fine motor movements while drawing during the encoding phase of a serial verbal recall task reduce working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tindle, Richard; Longstaff, Mitchell G

    2016-02-01

    The time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model of working memory indicates that secondary tasks that capture attention for relatively long periods can result in the interference of working memory processing and maintenance. The current study investigates if discrete and continuous movements have differing effects on a concurrent, verbal serial recall task. In the listening condition, participants were asked to recall spoken words presented in lists of six. In the drawing conditions, participants performed the same task while producing discrete (star) or continuous (circle) movements. As hypothesised, participants recalled more words overall in the listening condition compared to the combined drawing conditions. The prediction that the continuous movement condition would reduce recall compared to listening was also supported. Fine-grained analysis at each serial position revealed significantly more words were recalled at mid serial positions in the listening condition, with worst recall for the continuous condition at position 5 compared to the listening and discrete conditions. Kinematic analysis showed that participants increased the size and speed of the continuous movements resulting in a similar duration and number of strokes for each condition. The duration of brief pauses in the discrete condition was associated with the number of words recalled. The results indicate that fine motor movements reduced working memory performance; however, it was not merely performing a movement but the type of the movement that determined how resources were diverted. In the context of the TBRS, continuous movements could be capturing attention for longer periods relative to discrete movements, reducing verbal serial recall. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Comparison of precision and speed in laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgical task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zihni, Ahmed; Gerull, William D; Cavallo, Jaime A; Ge, Tianjia; Ray, Shuddhadeb; Chiu, Jason; Brunt, L Michael; Awad, Michael M

    2018-03-01

    Robotic platforms have the potential advantage of providing additional dexterity and precision to surgeons while performing complex laparoscopic tasks, especially for those in training. Few quantitative evaluations of surgical task performance comparing laparoscopic and robotic platforms among surgeons of varying experience levels have been done. We compared measures of quality and efficiency of Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery task performance on these platforms in novices and experienced laparoscopic and robotic surgeons. Fourteen novices, 12 expert laparoscopic surgeons (>100 laparoscopic procedures performed, no robotics experience), and five expert robotic surgeons (>25 robotic procedures performed) performed three Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery tasks on both laparoscopic and robotic platforms: peg transfer (PT), pattern cutting (PC), and intracorporeal suturing. All tasks were repeated three times by each subject on each platform in a randomized order. Mean completion times and mean errors per trial (EPT) were calculated for each task on both platforms. Results were compared using Student's t-test (P task performance was slower on the robotic platform compared with laparoscopy. In comparisons of expert laparoscopists performing tasks on the laparoscopic platform and expert robotic surgeons performing tasks on the robotic platform, expert robotic surgeons demonstrated fewer errors during the PC task (P = 0.009). Robotic assistance provided a reduction in errors at all experience levels for some laparoscopic tasks, but no benefit in the speed of task performance. Robotic assistance may provide some benefit in precision of surgical task performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Examining the Relationship between Free Recall and Immediate Serial Recall: The Effect of Concurrent Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatarah, Parveen; Ward, Geoff; Tan, Lydia

    2006-01-01

    In 3 experiments, participants saw lists of 16 words for free recall with or without a 6-digit immediate serial recall (ISR) task after each word. Free recall was performed under standard visual silent and spoken-aloud conditions (Experiment 1), overt rehearsal conditions (Experiment 2), and fixed rehearsal conditions (Experiment 3). The authors…

  13. Continuous performance task in ADHD: Is reaction time variability a key measure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Florence; Pipingas, Andrew; Harris, Elizabeth V; Farrow, Maree; Silberstein, Richard B

    2018-01-01

    To compare the use of the Continuous Performance Task (CPT) reaction time variability (intraindividual variability or standard deviation of reaction time), as a measure of vigilance in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and stimulant medication response, utilizing a simple CPT X-task vs an A-X-task. Comparative analyses of two separate X-task vs A-X-task data sets, and subgroup analyses of performance on and off medication were conducted. The CPT X-task reaction time variability had a direct relationship to ADHD clinician severity ratings, unlike the CPT A-X-task. Variability in X-task performance was reduced by medication compared with the children's unmedicated performance, but this effect did not reach significance. When the coefficient of variation was applied, severity measures and medication response were significant for the X-task, but not for the A-X-task. The CPT-X-task is a useful clinical screening test for ADHD and medication response. In particular, reaction time variability is related to default mode interference. The A-X-task is less useful in this regard.

  14. Postural control and cognitive task performance in healthy participants while balancing on different support-surface configurations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dault, MC; Mulder, TW; Duysens, J

    2001-01-01

    Postural control during normal upright stance in humans is a well-learned task. Hence, it has often been argued that it requires very little attention. However, many studies have recently shown that postural control is modified when a cognitive task is executed simultaneously especially in the

  15. Age As Moderator of Emotional Stroop Task Performance in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    OpenAIRE

    Bielecki, Maksymilian; Popiel, Agnieszka; Zawadzki, Bogdan; Sedek, Grzegorz

    2017-01-01

    Emotional Stroop task (EST) has been extensively used to investigate attentional processes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even though aging significantly changes the dynamics of emotion-cognition interactions, very little is known about its role in shaping EST performance in PTSD patients. In the present study we tested a uniquely large sample of motor vehicle accident victims. Data of 194 participants (75.3% female; mean age = 36.64 years, SD = 12.3) were included in the analysis, ...

  16. Effects of age, task, and frequency on variability of finger tapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommervoll, Yngve; Ettema, Gertjan; Vereijken, Beatrix

    2011-10-01

    The goal was to assess whether prior studies might have overestimated performance variability in older adults in dual task conditions by relying on primary motor tasks that are not constant with aging. 30 younger and 31 older adults performed a bimanual tapping task at four different frequencies in isolation or concurrently with a secondary task. Results showed that performance of younger and older adults was not significantly different in performing the tapping task at all frequencies and with either secondary task, as indicated by mean tapping performance and low number of errors in the secondary tasks. Both groups showed increased variability as tapping frequency increased and with the presence of a secondary task. Tapping concurrently while reading words increased tapping variability more than tapping concurrently while naming colours. Although older participants' performances were overall more variable, no interaction effects with age were found and at the highest frequencies of tapping, younger and older participants did not differ in performance.

  17. Is a Responsive Default Mode Network Required for Successful Working Memory Task Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čeko, Marta; Gracely, John L; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Seminowicz, David A; Schweinhardt, Petra; Bushnell, M Catherine

    2015-08-19

    In studies of cognitive processing using tasks with externally directed attention, regions showing increased (external-task-positive) and decreased or "negative" [default-mode network (DMN)] fMRI responses during task performance are dynamically responsive to increasing task difficulty. Responsiveness (modulation of fMRI signal by increasing load) has been linked directly to successful cognitive task performance in external-task-positive regions but not in DMN regions. To investigate whether a responsive DMN is required for successful cognitive performance, we compared healthy human subjects (n = 23) with individuals shown to have decreased DMN engagement (chronic pain patients, n = 28). Subjects performed a multilevel working-memory task (N-back) during fMRI. If a responsive DMN is required for successful performance, patients having reduced DMN responsiveness should show worsened performance; if performance is not reduced, their brains should show compensatory activation in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. All subjects showed decreased accuracy and increased reaction times with increasing task level, with no significant group differences on either measure at any level. Patients had significantly reduced negative fMRI response (deactivation) of DMN regions (posterior cingulate/precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex). Controls showed expected modulation of DMN deactivation with increasing task difficulty. Patients showed significantly reduced modulation of DMN deactivation by task difficulty, despite their successful task performance. We found no evidence of compensatory neural recruitment in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. Individual responsiveness of the external-task-positive ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of DMN regions, correlated with task accuracy. These findings suggest that a responsive DMN may not be required for successful cognitive performance; a responsive external-task-positive network may be sufficient. We studied the

  18. Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Development: Event-Related Brain Potential and Task Performance Indices of Executive Control in Preadolescent Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillman, Charles H.; Buck, Sarah M.; Themanson, Jason R.; Pontifex, Matthew B.; Castelli, Darla M.

    2009-01-01

    The relationship between aerobic fitness and executive control was assessed in 38 higher- and lower-fit children (M[subscript age] = 9.4 years), grouped according to their performance on a field test of aerobic capacity. Participants performed a flanker task requiring variable amounts of executive control while event-related brain potential…

  19. Task-irrelevant auditory feedback facilitates motor performance in musicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia eConde

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available An efficient and fast auditory–motor network is a basic resource for trained musicians due to the importance of motor anticipation of sound production in musical performance. When playing an instrument, motor performance always goes along with the production of sounds and the integration between both modalities plays an essential role in the course of musical training. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of task-irrelevant auditory feedback during motor performance in musicians using a serial reaction time task (SRTT. Our hypothesis was that musicians, due to their extensive auditory–motor practice routine during musical training, have a superior performance and learning capabilities when receiving auditory feedback during SRTT relative to musicians performing the SRTT without any auditory feedback. Here we provide novel evidence that task-irrelevant auditory feedback is capable to reinforce SRTT performance but not learning, a finding that might provide further insight into auditory-motor integration in musicians on a behavioral level.

  20. Too easy? The influence of task demands conveyed tacitly on prospective memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenço, Joana S.; Hill, Johnathan H.; Maylor, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests that when intentions are encoded, participants establish an attention allocation policy based on their metacognitive beliefs about how demanding it will be to fulfill the prospective memory (PM) task. We investigated whether tacit PM demands can influence judgments about the cognitive effort required for success, and, as a result, affect ongoing task interference and PM performance. Participants performed a lexical decision task in which a PM task of responding to animal words was embedded. PM demands were tacitly manipulated by presenting participants with either typical or atypical animal exemplars at both instructions and practice (low vs. high tacit demands, respectively). Crucially, objective PM task demands were the same for all participants as PM targets were always atypical animals. Tacit demands affected participants’ attention allocation policies such that task interference was greater for the high than low demands condition. Also, PM performance was reduced in the low relative to the high demands condition. Participants in the low demands condition who succeeded to the first target showed a subsequent increase in task interference, suggesting adjustment to the higher than expected demands. This study demonstrates that tacit information regarding the PM task can affect ongoing task processing as well as harm PM performance when actual demands are higher than expected. Furthermore, in line with the proposal that attention allocation is a dynamic and flexible process, we found evidence that PM task experience can trigger changes in ongoing task interference. PMID:25983687

  1. Strategic adaptation to performance objectives in a dual-task setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, Christian P; Brumby, Duncan P

    2010-11-01

    How do people interleave attention when multitasking? One dominant account is that the completion of a subtask serves as a cue to switch tasks. But what happens if switching solely at subtask boundaries led to poor performance? We report a study in which participants manually dialed a UK-style telephone number while driving a simulated vehicle. If the driver were to exclusively return his or her attention to driving after completing a subtask (i.e., using the single break in the xxxxx-xxxxxx representational structure of the number), then we would expect to see a relatively poor driving performance. In contrast, our results show that drivers choose to return attention to steering control before the natural subtask boundary. A computational modeling analysis shows that drivers had to adopt this strategy to meet the required performance objective of maintaining an acceptable lateral position in the road while dialing. Taken together these results support the idea that people can strategically control the allocation of attention in multitask settings to meet specific performance criteria. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  2. An empirically derived figure of merit for the quality of overall task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemay, Moira

    1989-01-01

    The need to develop an operationally relevant figure of merit for the quality of performance of a complex system such as an aircraft cockpit stems from a hypothesized dissociation between measures of performance and those of workload. Performance can be measured in terms of time, errors, or a combination of these. In most tasks performed by expert operators, errors are relatively rare and often corrected in time to avoid consequences. Moreover, perfect performance is seldom necessary to accomplish a particular task. Moreover, how well an expert performs a complex task consisting of a series of discrete cognitive tasks superimposed on a continuous task, such as flying an aircraft, does not depend on how well each discrete task is performed, but on their smooth sequencing. This makes the amount of time spent on each subtask of paramount importance in measuring overall performance, since smooth sequencing requires a minimum amount of time spent on each task. Quality consists in getting tasks done within a crucial time interval while maintaining acceptable continuous task performance. Thus, a figure of merit for overall quality of performance should be primarily a measure of time to perform discrete subtasks combined with a measure of basic vehicle control. Thus, the proposed figure of merit requires doing a task analysis on a series of performance, or runs, of a particular task, listing each discrete task and its associated time, and calculating the mean and standard deviation of these times, along with the mean and standard deviation of tracking error for the whole task. A set of simulator data on 30 runs of a landing task was obtained and a figure of merit will be calculated for each run. The figure of merit will be compared for voice and data link, so that the impact of this technology on total crew performance (not just communication performance) can be assessed. The effect of data link communication on other cockpit tasks will also be considered.

  3. Social cognition and African American men: The roles of perceived discrimination and experimenter race on task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendra, Arundati; Twery, Benjamin L; Neblett, Enrique W; Mustafic, Hasan; Jones, Tevin S; Gatewood, D'Angelo; Penn, David L

    2018-01-01

    The Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study consists of a battery of eight tasks selected to measure social-cognitive deficits in individuals with schizophrenia. The battery is currently in a multisite validation process. While the SCOPE study collects basic demographic data, more nuanced race-related factors might artificially inflate cross-cultural differences in social cognition. As an initial step, we investigated whether race, independent of mental illness status, affects performance on the SCOPE battery. Thus, we examined the effects of perceived discrimination and experimenter race on the performance of 51 non-clinical African American men on the SCOPE battery. Results revealed that these factors impacted social cognitive task performance. Specifically, participants performed better on a skills-based task factor in the presence of Black experimenters, and frequency of perceived racism predicted increased perception of hostility in negative interpersonal situations with accidental causes. Thus, race-related factors are important to identify and explore in the measurement of social cognition in African Americans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Task complexity and task, goal, and reward interdependence in group performance management : A prescriptive model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Vijfeijken, H.; Kleingeld, A.; van Tuijl, H.; Algera, J.A.; Thierry, Hk.

    2002-01-01

    A prescriptive model on how to design effective combinations of goal setting and contingent rewards for group performance management is presented. The model incorporates the constructs task complexity, task interdependence, goal interdependence, and reward interdependence and specifies optimal fit

  5. Children's difficulty with true belief tasks: Competence deficit or performance problem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oktay-Gür, Nese; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2017-09-01

    According to the standard picture of explicit theory of mind (ToM) development, children begin to (explicitly) ascribe beliefs to others and themselves from around age 4. The empirical basis of this picture comes from numerous studies consistently showing that children master verbal false belief (FB) tasks from around age 4 while children much younger have no difficulty in mastering structurally analogous true belief (TB) tasks. The standard picture, though, has come under serious attack from recent studies using TB tasks with wider age ranges. These studies have found that, paradoxically, children begin to fail TB tasks once they master FB tasks. Such findings cast doubt on the standard picture and suggest, instead, that FB tasks may be solved by much simpler strategies than proper belief reasoning. In the present study, we tested for the development of FB and TB performance in comprehensive and systematic ways. In particular, we tested the competing predictions of competence accounts (according to which TB failure reflects lack of conceptual competence) versus performance limitation accounts (according to which the standard picture is true yet children from around age 4 fail TB tasks due to performance factors). Studies 1 and 2 showed that performance in a variety of novel TB tasks showed a clear U-shaped curve, with children until age 3 and from age 10 performing competently and children in between failing, with strong negative correlations between TB and FB. Crucially, these patterns were found for various kinds of TB tasks, including those for which existing competence limitation accounts would not even predict any difficulty. Study 3, therefore, directly tested performance limitation accounts in terms of pragmatic and related factors and found that these patterns (failure in TB and negative TB-FB correlations) disappear once the relevant performance factors have been removed from the TB tasks. Taken together, these findings suggest that previous TB findings

  6. Functional Task Test: 1. Sensorimotor changes Associated with Postflight Alterations in Astronaut Functional Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Arzeno, N. H.; Buxton, R. E.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I. S.; Lee, S. M. C.; Miller, C. A.; Mulavara, A. P.; Platts, S. H.; Peters, B. T.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Space flight is known to cause alterations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These changes may affect a crewmember s ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of this project is to determine the effects of space flight on functional tests that are representative of high priority exploration mission tasks and to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to decrements in performance. This presentation will focus on the sensorimotor contributions to postflight functional performance.

  7. The effects of substitute multisensory feedback on task performance and the sense of presence in a virtual reality environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milella, Ferdinando; Pinto, Carlo; Cant, Iain; White, Mark; Meyer, Georg

    2018-01-01

    Objective and subjective measures of performance in virtual reality environments increase as more sensory cues are delivered and as simulation fidelity increases. Some cues (colour or sound) are easier to present than others (object weight, vestibular cues) so that substitute cues can be used to enhance informational content in a simulation at the expense of simulation fidelity. This study evaluates how substituting cues in one modality by alternative cues in another modality affects subjective and objective performance measures in a highly immersive virtual reality environment. Participants performed a wheel change in a virtual reality (VR) environment. Auditory, haptic and visual cues, signalling critical events in the simulation, were manipulated in a factorial design. Subjective ratings were recorded via questionnaires. The time taken to complete the task was used as an objective performance measure. The results show that participants performed best and felt an increased sense of immersion and involvement, collectively referred to as ‘presence’, when substitute multimodal sensory feedback was provided. Significant main effects of audio and tactile cues on task performance and on participants' subjective ratings were found. A significant negative relationship was found between the objective (overall completion times) and subjective (ratings of presence) performance measures. We conclude that increasing informational content, even if it disrupts fidelity, enhances performance and user’s overall experience. On this basis we advocate the use of substitute cues in VR environments as an efficient method to enhance performance and user experience. PMID:29390023

  8. The effects of substitute multisensory feedback on task performance and the sense of presence in a virtual reality environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Natalia; Milella, Ferdinando; Pinto, Carlo; Cant, Iain; White, Mark; Meyer, Georg

    2018-01-01

    Objective and subjective measures of performance in virtual reality environments increase as more sensory cues are delivered and as simulation fidelity increases. Some cues (colour or sound) are easier to present than others (object weight, vestibular cues) so that substitute cues can be used to enhance informational content in a simulation at the expense of simulation fidelity. This study evaluates how substituting cues in one modality by alternative cues in another modality affects subjective and objective performance measures in a highly immersive virtual reality environment. Participants performed a wheel change in a virtual reality (VR) environment. Auditory, haptic and visual cues, signalling critical events in the simulation, were manipulated in a factorial design. Subjective ratings were recorded via questionnaires. The time taken to complete the task was used as an objective performance measure. The results show that participants performed best and felt an increased sense of immersion and involvement, collectively referred to as 'presence', when substitute multimodal sensory feedback was provided. Significant main effects of audio and tactile cues on task performance and on participants' subjective ratings were found. A significant negative relationship was found between the objective (overall completion times) and subjective (ratings of presence) performance measures. We conclude that increasing informational content, even if it disrupts fidelity, enhances performance and user's overall experience. On this basis we advocate the use of substitute cues in VR environments as an efficient method to enhance performance and user experience.

  9. The effects of substitute multisensory feedback on task performance and the sense of presence in a virtual reality environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Cooper

    Full Text Available Objective and subjective measures of performance in virtual reality environments increase as more sensory cues are delivered and as simulation fidelity increases. Some cues (colour or sound are easier to present than others (object weight, vestibular cues so that substitute cues can be used to enhance informational content in a simulation at the expense of simulation fidelity. This study evaluates how substituting cues in one modality by alternative cues in another modality affects subjective and objective performance measures in a highly immersive virtual reality environment. Participants performed a wheel change in a virtual reality (VR environment. Auditory, haptic and visual cues, signalling critical events in the simulation, were manipulated in a factorial design. Subjective ratings were recorded via questionnaires. The time taken to complete the task was used as an objective performance measure. The results show that participants performed best and felt an increased sense of immersion and involvement, collectively referred to as 'presence', when substitute multimodal sensory feedback was provided. Significant main effects of audio and tactile cues on task performance and on participants' subjective ratings were found. A significant negative relationship was found between the objective (overall completion times and subjective (ratings of presence performance measures. We conclude that increasing informational content, even if it disrupts fidelity, enhances performance and user's overall experience. On this basis we advocate the use of substitute cues in VR environments as an efficient method to enhance performance and user experience.

  10. Children's mathematical performance: five cognitive tasks across five grades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

    Children in elementary school, along with college adults, were tested on a battery of basic mathematical tasks, including digit naming, number comparison, dot enumeration, and simple addition or subtraction. Beyond cataloguing performance to these standard tasks in Grades 1 to 5, we also examined relationships among the tasks, including previously reported results on a number line estimation task. Accuracy and latency improved across grades for all tasks, and classic interaction patterns were found, for example, a speed-up of subitizing and counting, increasingly shallow slopes in number comparison, and progressive speeding of responses especially to larger addition and subtraction problems. Surprisingly, digit naming was faster than subitizing at all ages, arguing against a pre-attentive processing explanation for subitizing. Estimation accuracy and speed were strong predictors of children's addition and subtraction performance. Children who gave exponential responses on the number line estimation task were slower at counting in the dot enumeration task and had longer latencies on addition and subtraction problems. The results provided further support for the importance of estimation as an indicator of children's current and future mathematical expertise. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Testing the Limits of Optimizing Dual-Task Performance in Younger and Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Frensch, Peter; Müller, Herrmann Josef; Schubert, Torsten

    2012-01-01

    Impaired dual-task performance in younger and older adults can be improved with practice. Optimal conditions even allow for a (near) elimination of this impairment in younger adults. However, it is unknown whether such (near) elimination is the limit of performance improvements in older adults. The present study tests this limit in older adults under conditions of (a) a high amount of dual-task training and (b) training with simplified component tasks in dual-task situations. The data showed that a high amount of dual-task training in older adults provided no evidence for an improvement of dual-task performance to the optimal dual-task performance level achieved by younger adults. However, training with simplified component tasks in dual-task situations exclusively in older adults provided a similar level of optimal dual-task performance in both age groups. Therefore through applying a testing the limits approach, we demonstrated that older adults improved dual-task performance to the same level as younger adults at the end of training under very specific conditions. PMID:22408613

  12. Context-Sensitive Adjustment of Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Rico; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-01-01

    Performing 2 highly similar tasks at the same time requires an adaptive regulation of cognitive control to shield prioritized primary task processing from between-task (cross-talk) interference caused by secondary task processing. In the present study, the authors investigated how implicitly and explicitly delivered information promotes the…

  13. Method and Apparatus for Performance Optimization Through Physical Perturbation of Task Elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinzel, Lawrence J., III (Inventor); Pope, Alan T. (Inventor); Palsson, Olafur S. (Inventor); Turner, Marsha J. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    The invention is an apparatus and method of biofeedback training for attaining a physiological state optimally consistent with the successful performance of a task, wherein the probability of successfully completing the task is made is inversely proportional to a physiological difference value, computed as the absolute value of the difference between at least one physiological signal optimally consistent with the successful performance of the task and at least one corresponding measured physiological signal of a trainee performing the task. The probability of successfully completing the task is made inversely proportional to the physiological difference value by making one or more measurable physical attributes of the environment in which the task is performed, and upon which completion of the task depends, vary in inverse proportion to the physiological difference value.

  14. Perceived control in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) - Enhanced video-task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washburn, David A.; Hopkins, William D.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1991-01-01

    This investigation was designed to determine whether perceived control effects found in humans extend to rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) tested in a video-task format, using a computer-generated menu program, SELECT. Choosing one of the options in SELECT resulted in presentation of five trials of a corresponding task and subsequent return to the menu. In Experiments 1-3, the animals exhibited stable, meaningful response patterns in this task (i.e., they made choices). In Experiment 4, performance on tasks that were selected by the animals significantly exceeded performance on identical tasks when assigned by the experimenter under comparable conditions (e.g., time of day, order, variety). The reliable and significant advantage for performance on selected tasks, typically found in humans, suggests that rhesus monkeys were able to perceive the availability of choices.

  15. The effects of voice and manual control mode on dual task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, C. D.; Zenyuh, J.; Culp, V.; Marshak, W.

    1986-01-01

    Two fundamental principles of human performance, compatibility and resource competition, are combined with two structural dichotomies in the human information processing system, manual versus voice output, and left versus right cerebral hemisphere, in order to predict the optimum combination of voice and manual control with either hand, for time-sharing performance of a dicrete and continuous task. Eight right handed male subjected performed a discrete first-order tracking task, time-shared with an auditorily presented Sternberg Memory Search Task. Each task could be controlled by voice, or by the left or right hand, in all possible combinations except for a dual voice mode. When performance was analyzed in terms of a dual-task decrement from single task control conditions, the following variables influenced time-sharing efficiency in diminishing order of magnitude, (1) the modality of control, (discrete manual control of tracking was superior to discrete voice control of tracking and the converse was true with the memory search task), (2) response competition, (performance was degraded when both tasks were responded manually), (3) hemispheric competition, (performance degraded whenever two tasks were controlled by the left hemisphere) (i.e., voice or right handed control). The results confirm the value of predictive models invoice control implementation.

  16. High-definition television evaluation for remote handling task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujita, Y.; Omori, E.; Hayashi, S.; Draper, J.V.; Herndon, J.N.

    1986-01-01

    In a plant that employs remote handling techniques for equipment maintenance, operators perform maintenance tasks primarily by using the information from television systems. The efficiency of the television system has a significant impact on remote maintenance task performance. High-definition television (HDTV) transmits a video image with more than twice the number of horizontal scan lines as standard-resolution television (1125 for HDTV to 525 for standard-resolution NTSC television). The added scan lines dramatically improve the resolution of images on the HDTV monitors. This paper describes experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The experiments described in this paper compared the performance of four operators using HDTV with their performance while using other television systems. The experiments included four television systems: (a) high-definition color television, (b) high-definition monochromatic television, (c) standard-resolution monochromatic television, and (d) standard-resolution stereoscopic monochromatic television

  17. Structural hippocampal anomalies in a schizophrenia population correlate with navigation performance on a wayfinding task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrée-Anne eLedoux

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Episodic memory, related to the hippocampus, has been found to be impaired in schizophrenia. Further, hippocampal anomalies have also been observed in schizophrenia. This study investigated whether average hippocampal grey matter (GM would differentiate performance on a hippocampus-dependent memory task in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Twenty-one patients with schizophrenia and twenty-two control participants were scanned with an MRI while being tested on a wayfinding task in a virtual town (e.g., find the grocery store from the school. Regressions were performed for both groups individually and together using GM and performance on the wayfinding task. Results indicate that controls successfully completed the task more often than patients, took less time, and made fewer errors. Additionally, controls had significantly more hippocampal GM than patients. Poor performance was associated with a GM decrease in the right hippocampus for both groups. Within group regressions found an association between right hippocampi GM and performance in controls and an association between the left hippocampi GM and performance in patients. A second analysis revealed that different anatomical GM regions, known to be associated with the hippocampus, such as the parahippocampal cortex, amygdala, medial and orbital prefrontal cortices, covaried with the hippocampus in the control group. Interestingly, the cuneus and cingulate gyrus also covaried with the hippocampus in the patient group but the orbital frontal cortex did not, supporting the hypothesis of impaired connectivity between the hippocampus and the frontal cortex in schizophrenia. These results present important implications for creating intervention programs aimed at measuring functional and structural changes in the hippocampus in schizophrenia.

  18. Motor planning flexibly optimizes performance under uncertainty about task goals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Aaron L; Haith, Adrian M

    2017-03-03

    In an environment full of potential goals, how does the brain determine which movement to execute? Existing theories posit that the motor system prepares for all potential goals by generating several motor plans in parallel. One major line of evidence for such theories is that presenting two competing goals often results in a movement intermediate between them. These intermediate movements are thought to reflect an unintentional averaging of the competing plans. However, normative theories suggest instead that intermediate movements might actually be deliberate, generated because they improve task performance over a random guessing strategy. To test this hypothesis, we vary the benefit of making an intermediate movement by changing movement speed. We find that participants generate intermediate movements only at (slower) speeds where they measurably improve performance. Our findings support the normative view that the motor system selects only a single, flexible motor plan, optimized for uncertain goals.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Understanding the Mind or Predicting Signal-Dependent Action? Performance of Children With and Without Autism on Analogues of the False-Belief Task

    OpenAIRE

    Bowler, D. M.; Briskman, J.; Gurvidi, N.; Fornells-Ambrojo, M.

    2005-01-01

    To evaluate the claim that correct performance on unexpected transfer false-belief tasks specifically involves mental-state understanding, two experiments were carried out with children with autism, intellectual disabilities, and typical development. In both experiments, children were given a standard unexpected transfer false-belief task and a mental-state-free, mechanical analogue task in which participants had to predict the destination of a train based on true or false signal information....

  1. The Effect of Focus on Form and Task Complexity on L2 Learners' Oral Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salimi, Asghar

    2015-01-01

    Second Language learners' oral task performance has been one of interesting and research generating areas of investigations in the field of second language acquisition specially, task-based language teaching and learning. The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of focus on form and task complexity on L2 learners' oral…

  2. Discrepancies between bilinguals' performance on the Spanish and English versions of the WAIS Digit Span task: Cross-cultural implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Enrique; Steiner, Alexander J; Hardy, David J; IsHak, Waguih W; Anderson, W Brantley

    2016-01-01

    This study explored within-subjects differences in the performance of 40 bilingual participants on the English and Spanish versions of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) Digit Span task. To test the linguistic hypothesis that individuals would perform worse in Spanish because of its syllabic demand, we compared the number of syllables correctly recalled by each participant for every correct trial. Our analysis of the correct number of syllables remembered per trial showed that participants performed significantly better (i.e., recalling more syllables) in Spanish than in English on the total score. Findings suggest the Spanish version of the Digit Span (total score) was significantly more difficult than the English version utilizing traditional scoring methods. Moreover, the Forward Trial, rather than the Backward Trial, was more likely to show group differences between both language versions. Additionally, the Spanish trials of the Digit Span were correlated with language comprehension and verbal episodic memory measures, whereas the English trials of the Digit Span were correlated with confrontational naming and verbal fluency tasks. The results suggest that more research is necessary to further investigate other cognitive factors, rather than just syllabic demand, that might contribute to performance and outcome differences on the WAIS Digit Span in Spanish-English bilinguals.

  3. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  4. Type D personality, stress, coping and performance on a novel sport task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Borkoles

    Full Text Available We investigated (1 the relationship between Type D personality, stress intensity appraisal of a self-selected stressor, coping, and perceived coping effectiveness and (2 the relationship between Type D personality and performance. In study one, 482 athletes completed the Type D personality questionnaire (DS14, stress thermometer and MCOPE in relation to a recently experienced sport stressor. Type D was associated with increased levels of perceived stress and selection of coping strategies (more emotion and avoidance coping as well as perceptions of their effectiveness. In study two, 32 participants completed a rugby league circuit task and were assessed on pre-performance anxiety, post-performance affect and coping. Type D was associated with poorer performance (reduced distance; more errors, decreases in pre-performance self-confidence and more use of maladaptive resignation/withdrawal coping. Findings suggest that Type D is associated with maladaptive coping and reduced performance. Type D individuals would benefit from interventions related to mood modification or enhancing interpersonal functioning.

  5. General Slowing and Education Mediate Task Switching Performance Across the Life-Span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Moretti

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: This study considered the potential role of both protective factors (cognitive reserve, CR and adverse ones (general slowing in modulating cognitive flexibility in the adult life-span.Method: Ninety-eight individuals performed a task-switching (TS paradigm in which we adopted a manipulation concerning the timing between the cue and the target. Working memory demands were minimized by using transparent cues. Additionally, indices of cognitive integrity, depression, processing speed and different CR dimensions were collected and used in linear models accounting for TS performance under the different time constraints.Results: The main results showed similar mixing costs and higher switching costs in older adults, with an overall age-dependent effect of general slowing on these costs. The link between processing speed and TS performance was attenuated when participants had more time to prepare. Among the different CR indices, formal education only was associated with reduced switch costs under time pressure.Discussion: Even though CR is often operationalized as a unitary construct, the present research confirms the benefits of using tools designed to distinguish between different CR dimensions. Furthermore, our results provide empirical support to the assumption that processing speed influence on executive performance depends on time constraints. Finally, it is suggested that whether age differences appear in terms of switch or mixing costs depends on working memory demands (which were low in our tasks with transparent cues.

  6. The Effect of Task-Irrelevant Fearful-Face Distractor on Working Memory Processing in Mild Cognitive Impairment versus Healthy Controls: An Exploratory fMRI Study in Female Participants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amer M. Burhan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In mild cognitive impairment (MCI, a risk state for Alzheimer’s disease, patients have objective cognitive deficits with relatively preserved functioning. fMRI studies have identified anomalies during working memory (WM processing in individuals with MCI. The effect of task-irrelevant emotional face distractor on WM processing in MCI remains unclear. We aim to explore the impact of fearful-face task-irrelevant distractor on WM processing in MCI using fMRI. Hypothesis. Compared to healthy controls (HC, MCI patients will show significantly higher BOLD signal in a priori identified regions of interest (ROIs during a WM task with a task-irrelevant emotional face distractor. Methods. 9 right-handed female participants with MCI and 12 matched HC performed a WM task with standardized task-irrelevant fearful versus neutral face distractors randomized and counterbalanced across WM trials. MRI images were acquired during the WM task and BOLD signal was analyzed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM to identify signal patterns during the task response phase. Results. Task-irrelevant fearful-face distractor resulted in higher activation in the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and frontal areas, in MCI participants compared to HC. Conclusions. This exploratory study suggests altered WM processing as a result of fearful-face distractor in MCI.

  7. Manipulating perceptual parameters in a continuous performance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalev, Nir; Humphreys, Glyn; Demeyere, Nele

    2018-02-01

    Sustained attention (SA) is among the most studied faculties of human cognition, and thought to be crucial for many aspects of behavior. Measuring SA often relies on performance on a continuous, low-demanding task. Such continuous performance tasks (CPTs) have many variations, and sustained attention is typically estimated based on variability in reaction times. While relying on reaction times may be useful in some cases, it can pose a challenge when working with clinical populations. To increase interpersonal variability in task parameters that do not rely on speed, researchers have increased demands for memory and response inhibition. These approaches, however, may be confounded when used to assess populations that suffer from multiple cognitive deficits. In the current study, we propose a new approach for increasing task variability by increasing the attentional demands. In order to do so, we created a new variation of a CPT - a masked version, where inattention is more likely to cause misidentifying a target. After establishing that masking indeed decreases target detection, we further investigated which task parameter may influence response biases. To do so, we contrasted two versions of the CPT with different target/distractor ratio. We then established how perceptual parameters can be controlled independently in a CPT. Following the experimental manipulations, we tested the MCCPT with aging controls and chronic stroke patients to assure the task can be used with target populations. The results confirm the MCCPT as a task providing high sensitivity without relying on reaction speed, and feasible for patients.

  8. Prospective memory in young and older adults: the effects of task importance and ongoing task load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Rebekah E; Hunt, R Reed

    2014-01-01

    Remembering to perform an action in the future, called prospective memory, often shows age-related differences in favor of young adults when tested in the laboratory. Recently Smith, Horn, and Bayen (2012; Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 19, 495) embedded a PM task in an ongoing color-matching task and manipulated the difficulty of the ongoing task by varying the number of colors on each trial of the task. Smith et al. found that age-related differences in PM performance (lower PM performance for older adults relative to young adults) persisted even when older adults could perform the ongoing task as well or better than the young adults. The current study investigates a possible explanation for the pattern of results reported by Smith et al. by including a manipulation of task emphasis: for half of the participants the prospective memory task was emphasize, while for the other half the ongoing color-matching task was emphasized. Older adults performed a 4-color version of the ongoing color-matching task, while young adults completed either the 4-color or a more difficult 6-color version of the ongoing task. Older adults failed to perform as well as the young adults on the prospective memory task regardless of task emphasis, even when older adults were performing as well or better than the young adults on the ongoing color-matching task. The current results indicate that the lack of an effect of ongoing task load on prospective memory task performance is not due to a perception that one or the other task is more important than the other.

  9. Biobehavioral Insights into Adaptive Behavior in Complex and Dynamic Operational Settings: Lessons learned from the Soldier Performance and Effective, Adaptable Response Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy J. Haufler

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to explore the biobehavioral correlates of adaptive behavior in the context of a standardized laboratory-based mission-relevant challenge [the Soldier Performance and Effective, Adaptable Response (SPEAR task]. Participants were 26 healthy male volunteers (M = 34.85 years, SD = 4.12 with active military duty and leadership experience within the last 5 years (i.e., multiple leadership positions, operational deployments in combat, interactions with civilians and partner nation forces on the battlefield, experience making decisions under fire. The SPEAR task simultaneously engages perception, cognition, and action aspects of human performance demands similar to those encountered in the operational setting. Participants must engage with military-relevant text, visual, and auditory stimuli, interpret new information, and retain the commander’s intent in working memory to create a new plan of action for mission success. Time-domain measures of heart period and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA were quantified, and saliva was sampled [later assayed for cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA] before-, during-, and post-SPEAR. Results revealed a predictable pattern of withdraw and recovery of the cardiac vagal tone during repeated presentation of battlefield challenges. Recovery of vagal inhibition following executive function challenge was strongly linked to better task-related performance. Rate of RSA recovery was also associated with better recall of the commander’s intent. Decreasing magnitude in the skin conductance response prior to the task was positively associated with better overall task-related performance. Lower levels of RSA were observed in participants who reported higher rates of combat deployments, and reduced RSA flexibility was associated with higher rates of casualty exposure. Greater RSA flexibility during SPEAR was associated with greater self-reported resilience. There was no consistent

  10. Shift Work and Cognitive Flexibility: Decomposing Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Philip; Tallent, Gabriel; Bender, Thomas John; Tran, Kieulinh Michelle; Drake, Christopher L

    2017-04-01

    Deficits in cognitive functioning associated with shift work are particularly relevant to occupational performance; however, few studies have examined how cognitive functioning is associated with specific components of shift work. This observational study examined how circadian phase, nocturnal sleepiness, and daytime insomnia in a sample of shift workers ( N = 30) were associated with cognitive flexibility during the night shift. Cognitive flexibility was measured using a computerized task-switching paradigm, which produces 2 indexes of flexibility: switch cost and set inhibition. Switch cost represents the additional cognitive effort required in switching to a different task and can impact performance when multitasking is involved. Set inhibition is the efficiency in returning to previously completed tasks and represents the degree of cognitive perseveration, which can lead to reduced accuracy. Circadian phase was measured via melatonin assays, nocturnal sleepiness was assessed using the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, and daytime insomnia was assessed using the Insomnia Severity Index. Results indicated that those with an earlier circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness exhibited reduced cognitive flexibility; however, specific components of cognitive flexibility were differentially associated with circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness. Individuals with an earlier circadian phase (thus more misaligned to the night shift) exhibited larger switch costs, which was also associated with reduced task efficiency. Shift workers with more daytime insomnia demonstrated difficulties with cognitive inhibition, whereas nocturnal sleepiness was associated with difficulties in reactivating previous tasks. Deficits in set inhibition were also related to reduced accuracy and increased perseverative errors. Together, this study indicates that task performance deficits in shift work are complex and are variably impacted by different mechanisms. Future research may examine

  11. Tasks of the Shipboard Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman. Task Training Adequacy and Performance Frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-11-01

    Frequency List E-1 Appendix F - Submarine Quick Reference Task Frequency List . F-1 0 Appendix G - Mean Performance...j~~~~~~, -,,-p.r.. ... .0 -. %... h. • - III APPENDIX E I SURFACE SHIP QUICK REFERENCE TASK FREQUENCY LIST A Q N E Dl It T T E A E H HI K I L L L1 L...34. - - - ----------------------------------------- ---.--- ---------------------- - - E-4 APPENDIX F " SUBMARINE QUICK REFERENCE TASK FREQUENCY LIST (N 1l0) "% R 0 W 4. A Q N E D R T T

  12. An opportunity cost model of subjective effort and task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzban, Robert; Duckworth, Angela; Kable, Joseph W.; Myers, Justus

    2013-01-01

    Why does performing certain tasks cause the aversive experience of mental effort and concomitant deterioration in task performance? One explanation posits a physical resource that is depleted over time. We propose an alternate explanation that centers on mental representations of the costs and benefits associated with task performance. Specifically, certain computational mechanisms, especially those associated with executive function, can be deployed for only a limited number of simultaneous tasks at any given moment. Consequently, the deployment of these computational mechanisms carries an opportunity cost – that is, the next-best use to which these systems might be put. We argue that the phenomenology of effort can be understood as the felt output of these cost/benefit computations. In turn, the subjective experience of effort motivates reduced deployment of these computational mechanisms in the service of the present task. These opportunity cost representations, then, together with other cost/benefit calculations, determine effort expended and, everything else equal, result in performance reductions. In making our case for this position, we review alternate explanations both for the phenomenology of effort associated with these tasks and for performance reductions over time. Likewise, we review the broad range of relevant empirical results from across subdisciplines, especially psychology and neuroscience. We hope that our proposal will help to build links among the diverse fields that have been addressing similar questions from different perspectives, and we emphasize ways in which alternate models might be empirically distinguished. PMID:24304775

  13. Decision Making in Concurrent Multitasking: Do People Adapt to Task Interference?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijboer, Menno; Taatgen, Niels A.; Brands, Annelies; Borst, Jelmer P.; van Rijn, Hedderik

    2013-01-01

    While multitasking has received a great deal of attention from researchers, we still know little about how well people adapt their behavior to multitasking demands. In three experiments, participants were presented with a multicolumn subtraction task, which required working memory in half of the trials. This primary task had to be combined with a secondary task requiring either working memory or visual attention, resulting in different types of interference. Before each trial, participants were asked to choose which secondary task they wanted to perform concurrently with the primary task. We predicted that if people seek to maximize performance or minimize effort required to perform the dual task, they choose task combinations that minimize interference. While performance data showed that the predicted optimal task combinations indeed resulted in minimal interference between tasks, the preferential choice data showed that a third of participants did not show any adaptation, and for the remainder it took a considerable number of trials before the optimal task combinations were chosen consistently. On the basis of these results we argue that, while in principle people are able to adapt their behavior according to multitasking demands, selection of the most efficient combination of strategies is not an automatic process. PMID:24244527

  14. Decision making in concurrent multitasking: do people adapt to task interference?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menno Nijboer

    Full Text Available While multitasking has received a great deal of attention from researchers, we still know little about how well people adapt their behavior to multitasking demands. In three experiments, participants were presented with a multicolumn subtraction task, which required working memory in half of the trials. This primary task had to be combined with a secondary task requiring either working memory or visual attention, resulting in different types of interference. Before each trial, participants were asked to choose which secondary task they wanted to perform concurrently with the primary task. We predicted that if people seek to maximize performance or minimize effort required to perform the dual task, they choose task combinations that minimize interference. While performance data showed that the predicted optimal task combinations indeed resulted in minimal interference between tasks, the preferential choice data showed that a third of participants did not show any adaptation, and for the remainder it took a considerable number of trials before the optimal task combinations were chosen consistently. On the basis of these results we argue that, while in principle people are able to adapt their behavior according to multitasking demands, selection of the most efficient combination of strategies is not an automatic process.

  15. The influence of principal managerial task performance on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Poor performance of managerial tasks culminates declining staff productivity and thus deteriorating students academic performance. Secondary school students performance in most public examinations are not satisfactory in most states in Nigeria. Hence, this study investigate the extent to which secondary school principal ...

  16. Older Adults Pay an Additional Cost When Texting and Walking: Effects of Age, Environment, and Use of Mixed Reality on Dual-Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasovsky, Tal; Weiss, Patrice L; Kizony, Rachel

    2018-04-06

    Texting while walking (TeWW) has become common among people of all ages, and mobile phone use during gait is increasingly associated with pedestrian injury. Although dual-task walking performance is known to decline with age, data regarding the effect of age on dual-task performance in ecological settings are limited. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of age, environment (indoors/outdoors), and mixed reality (merging of real and virtual environments) on TeWW performance. A cross-sectional design was used. Young (N = 30; 27.8 ± 4.4 years) and older (N = 20; 68.9 ± 3.9 years) adults performed single and dual-task texting and walking indoors and outdoors, with and without a mixed reality display. Participants also completed evaluations of visual scanning and cognitive flexibility (Trail Making Test) and functional mobility (Timed Up and Go). Indoors, similar interference to walking and texting occurred for both groups, but only older adults' gait variability increased under dual task conditions. Outdoors, TeWW was associated with larger age-related differences in gait variability, texting accuracy, and gait dual-task costs. Young adults with better visual scanning and cognitive flexibility performed TeWW with lower gait costs (r = 0.52 to r = 0.65). The mixed reality display was unhelpful and did not modify walking or texting. Older adults tested in this study were relatively high-functioning. Gaze of participants was not directly monitored. Although young and older adults possess the resources necessary for TeWW, older adults pay an additional "price" when dual-tasking, especially outdoors. TeWW may have potential as an ecologically-valid assessment and/or an intervention paradigm for dual task performance among older adults as well as for clinical populations.

  17. Can motto-goals outperform learning and performance goals? Influence of goal setting on performance and affect in a complex problem solving task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam S. Rohe

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we bring together research on complex problem solving with that on motivational psychology about goal setting. Complex problems require motivational effort because of their inherent difficulties. Goal Setting Theory has shown with simple tasks that high, specific performance goals lead to better performance outcome than do-your-best goals. However, in complex tasks, learning goals have proven more effective than performance goals. Based on the Zurich Resource Model (Storch & Krause, 2014, so-called motto-goals (e.g., "I breathe happiness" should activate a person’s resources through positive affect. It was found that motto-goals are effective with unpleasant duties. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that motto-goals outperform learning and performance goals in the case of complex problems. A total of N = 123 subjects participated in the experiment. In dependence of their goal condition, subjects developed a personal motto, learning, or performance goal. This goal was adapted for the computer-simulated complex scenario Tailorshop, where subjects worked as managers in a small fictional company. Other than expected, there was no main effect of goal condition for the management performance. As hypothesized, motto goals led to higher positive and lower negative affect than the other two goal types. Even though positive affect decreased and negative affect increased in all three groups during Tailorshop completion, participants with motto goals reported the lowest rates of negative affect over time. Exploratory analyses investigated the role of affect in complex problem solving via mediational analyses and the influence of goal type on perceived goal attainment.

  18. Exploring Young Children's Self-Efficacy Beliefs Related to Mathematical and Nonmathematical Tasks Performed in Kindergarten: Abused and Neglected Children and Their Peers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirosh, Dina; Tsamir, Pessia; Levenson, Esther; Tabach, Michal; Barkai, Ruthi

    2013-01-01

    This article reports on young children's self-efficacy beliefs and their corresponding performance of mathematical and nonmathematical tasks typically encountered in kindergarten. Participants included 132 kindergarten children aged 5-6 years old. Among the participants, 69 children were identified by the social welfare department as being abused…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. A Study on Developing "An Attitude Scale for Project and Performance Tasks for Turkish Language Leaching Course"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demir, Tazegul

    2013-01-01

    The main purpose of this study is to demonstrate the students' attitudes towards project and performance tasks in Turkish Lessons and to develop a reliable and valid measurement tool. A total of 461 junior high school students participated in this study. In this study, firstly the preparation of items, specialist be consulted (content…

  1. Performance Trends During Sleep Deprivation on a Tilt-Based Control Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolkhovsky, Jeffrey B; Ritter, Frank E; Chon, Ki H; Qin, Michael

    2018-07-01

    Understanding human behavior under the effects of sleep deprivation allows for the mitigation of risk due to reduced performance. To further this goal, this study investigated the effects of short-term sleep deprivation using a tilt-based control device and examined whether existing user models accurately predict targeting performance. A task in which the user tilts a surface to roll a ball into a target was developed to examine motor performance. A model was built to predict human performance for this task under various levels of sleep deprivation. Every 2 h, 10 subjects completed the task until they reached 24 h of wakefulness. Performance measurements of this task, which were based on Fitts' law, included movement time, task throughput, and time intercept. The model predicted significant performance decrements over the 24-h period with an increase in movement time (R2 = 0.61), a decrease in throughput (R2 = 0.57), and an increase in time intercept (R2 = 0.60). However, it was found that in experimental trials there was no significant change in movement time (R2 = 0.11), throughput (R2 = 0.15), or time intercept (R2 = 0.27). The results found were unexpected as performance decrement is frequently reported during sleep deprivation. These findings suggest a reexamination of the initial thought of sleep loss leading to a decrement in all aspects of performance.Bolkovsky JB, Ritter FE, Chon KH, Qin M. Performance trends during sleep deprivation on a tilt-based control task. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018; 89(7):626-633.

  2. The modality effect of ego depletion: Auditory task modality reduces ego depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiong; Wang, Zhenhong

    2016-08-01

    An initial act of self-control that impairs subsequent acts of self-control is called ego depletion. The ego depletion phenomenon has been observed consistently. The modality effect refers to the effect of the presentation modality on the processing of stimuli. The modality effect was also robustly found in a large body of research. However, no study to date has examined the modality effects of ego depletion. This issue was addressed in the current study. In Experiment 1, after all participants completed a handgrip task, one group's participants completed a visual attention regulation task and the other group's participants completed an auditory attention regulation task, and then all participants again completed a handgrip task. The ego depletion phenomenon was observed in both the visual and the auditory attention regulation task. Moreover, participants who completed the visual task performed worse on the handgrip task than participants who completed the auditory task, which indicated that there was high ego depletion in the visual task condition. In Experiment 2, participants completed an initial task that either did or did not deplete self-control resources, and then they completed a second visual or auditory attention control task. The results indicated that depleted participants performed better on the auditory attention control task than the visual attention control task. These findings suggest that altering task modality may reduce ego depletion. © 2016 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Functional Task Test: 3. Skeletal Muscle Performance Adaptations to Space Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Jeffrey W.; Wickwire, P. J.; Buxton, R. E.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Ploutz-Snyder, L.

    2011-01-01

    The functional task test is a multi-disciplinary study investigating how space-flight induced changes to physiological systems impacts functional task performance. Impairment of neuromuscular function would be expected to negatively affect functional performance of crewmembers following exposure to microgravity. This presentation reports the results for muscle performance testing in crewmembers. Functional task performance will be presented in the abstract "Functional Task Test 1: sensory motor adaptations associated with postflight alternations in astronaut functional task performance." METHODS: Muscle performance measures were obtained in crewmembers before and after short-duration space flight aboard the Space Shuttle and long-duration International Space Station (ISS) missions. The battery of muscle performance tests included leg press and bench press measures of isometric force, isotonic power and total work. Knee extension was used for the measurement of central activation and maximal isometric force. Upper and lower body force steadiness control were measured on the bench press and knee extension machine, respectively. Tests were implemented 60 and 30 days before launch, on landing day (Shuttle crew only), and 6, 10 and 30 days after landing. Seven Space Shuttle crew and four ISS crew have completed the muscle performance testing to date. RESULTS: Preliminary results for Space Shuttle crew reveal significant reductions in the leg press performance metrics of maximal isometric force, power and total work on R+0 (pperformance metrics were observed in returning Shuttle crew and these adaptations are likely contributors to impaired functional tasks that are ambulatory in nature (See abstract Functional Task Test: 1). Interestingly, no significant changes in central activation capacity were detected. Therefore, impairments in muscle function in response to short-duration space flight are likely myocellular rather than neuromotor in nature.

  4. Consistency of performance of robot-assisted surgical tasks in virtual reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, I H; Siu, K-C; Mukherjee, M; Monk, E; Oleynikov, D; Stergiou, N

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate consistency of performance of robot-assisted surgical tasks in a virtual reality environment. Eight subjects performed two surgical tasks, bimanual carrying and needle passing, with both the da Vinci surgical robot and a virtual reality equivalent environment. Nonlinear analysis was utilized to evaluate consistency of performance by calculating the regularity and the amount of divergence in the movement trajectories of the surgical instrument tips. Our results revealed that movement patterns for both training tasks were statistically similar between the two environments. Consistency of performance as measured by nonlinear analysis could be an appropriate methodology to evaluate the complexity of the training tasks between actual and virtual environments and assist in developing better surgical training programs.

  5. Ability of aphasic individuals to perform numerical processing and calculation tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela De Luccia

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare performance on EC301 battery calculation task between aphasic subjects and normal controls of the same sex, age, and education. Method Thirty-two aphasic patients who had suffered a single left hemisphere stroke were evaluated. Forty-four healthy volunteers were also selected. All subjects underwent a comprehensive arithmetic battery to assess their numerical and calculation skills. Performances on numerical processing and calculation tasks were then analyzed. Results Aphasic individuals showed changes in their ability to perform numerical processing and calculation tasks that were not observed in the healthy population. Conclusion Compared with healthy subjects of the same age and education level, individuals with aphasia had difficulty performing various tasks that involved numerical processing and calculation.

  6. The effect of question format and task difficulty on reasoning strategies and diagnostic performance in Internal Medicine residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heemskerk, Laura; Norman, Geoff; Chou, Sophia; Mintz, Marcy; Mandin, Henry; McLaughlin, Kevin

    2008-11-01

    Previous studies have suggested an association between reasoning strategies and diagnostic success, but the influence on this relationship of variables such as question format and task difficulty, has not been studied. Our objective was to study the association between question format, task difficulty, reasoning strategies and diagnostic success. Study participants were 13 Internal Medicine residents at the University of Calgary. Each was given eight problem-solving questions in four clinical presentations and were randomized to groups that differed only in the question format, such that a question presented as short answer (SA) to the first group was presented as extended matching (EM) to the second group. There were equal numbers of SA/EM questions and straightforward/difficult tasks. Participants performed think-aloud during diagnostic reasoning. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression. Question format was associated with reasoning strategies; hypothetico-deductive reasoning being used more frequently on EM questions and scheme-inductive reasoning on SA questions. For SA question, non-analytic reasoning alone was used more frequently to answer straightforward cases than difficult cases, whereas for EM questions no such association was observed. EM format and straightforward task increased the odds of diagnostic success, whereas hypothetico-deductive reasoning was associated with reduced odds of success. Question format and task difficulty both influence diagnostic reasoning strategies and studies that examine the effect of reasoning strategies on diagnostic success should control for these effects. Further studies are needed to investigate the effect of reasoning strategies on performance of different groups of learners.

  7. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child that…

  8. Identification of tasks performed by stroke patients using a mobility assistive device

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hester, Todd; Sherrill, Delsey M; Hamel, Mathieu

    2006-01-01

    of these devices. In this study, we propose the use of wearable sensors to identify tasks performed by stroke patients with a mobility assistive device. Subjects performed ten tasks with a three-axis accelerometer attached to their ankle and a neural network was trained to identify the task being performed...... tasks associated with the use of a cane. Therefore, we envision that the methodology presented in this paper could be used to evaluate the use of a cane in the context of the task being performed........ Results from 15 stroke patients indicated that these motor tasks can be reliably identified with a median sensitivity of 90 % at a median specificity of 95%. These results indicate that it is possible to use a single module with a three-axis accelerometer attached to the ankle to reliably identify motor...

  9. Performance monitoring and analysis of task-based OpenMP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Ding

    Full Text Available OpenMP, a typical shared memory programming paradigm, has been extensively applied in high performance computing community due to the popularity of multicore architectures in recent years. The most significant feature of the OpenMP 3.0 specification is the introduction of the task constructs to express parallelism at a much finer level of detail. This feature, however, has posed new challenges for performance monitoring and analysis. In particular, task creation is separated from its execution, causing the traditional monitoring methods to be ineffective. This paper presents a mechanism to monitor task-based OpenMP programs with interposition and proposes two demonstration graphs for performance analysis as well. The results of two experiments are discussed to evaluate the overhead of monitoring mechanism and to verify the effects of demonstration graphs using the BOTS benchmarks.

  10. The effect of the sensitivity of the BAS and BAS motivational systems on performance in stroke rehabilitation tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Milavec

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Stroke rehabilitation programs are often too short and not intensive enough, possibly due to a lack of patient motivation. This study examined whether the patient's mood, task success and psychophysiological responses are affected by the sensitivity of two motivational systems: the Behavioral Activation System (BAS and the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS. 22 subacute stroke patients participated in the study. They performed an easier and harder version of a motor rehabilition task as well as the Stroop task. The sensitivities of the two motivational systems were measured using the BIS/BAS scale. Additionally, psychophysiological measurements (heart rate, skin conductance, respiration and skin temperature were taken and the Self-Assessment Manikin was used to measure self-reported valence and arousal. Results showed that valence and arousal are not significantly correlated with BIS/BAS subscales during the rehabilitation task. A negative correlation between valence and the BAS subscales was found in the Stroop task. Results also confirmed the initial hypothesis that the BAS would be correlated with task performance during the rehabilitation task while the BIS would be negatively correlated with task performance during the Stroop task. Only partial confirmation was found for the hypothesis that tasks that include a reward would affect heart rate in subjects with a sensitive BAS while tasks without a reward would affect skin conductance in subjects with a sensitive BIS. In both versions of the rehabilitation task, which includes a reward, the BAS reward subscale was negatively correlated with mean skin temperature. In the harder rehabilitation task, the BAS reward responsiveness subscale was positively correlated with mean heart rate. In the Stroop task, which has no reward, the BIS scale was positively correlated with mean heart rate. The BAS subscale was also negatively correlated with the RMSSD measure of heart rate variability. The results of

  11. Lexical Complexity of Decision-Making Writing Tasks: Form-focused Guided Strategic Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Mahdavirad

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study is an attempt to investigate the effect of form-focused guided strategic planning on lexical complexity of learners’ performance in writing tasks. The twenty intermediate level participants of the study performed an unplanned and then a planned decision-making task. In the planned task condition, the participants were provided with form-focused guided strategic planning which contained detailed instructions about how to plan, by being instructed to focus on form. The guidance included an explanation of the necessary structural and lexical patterns employed to express the learners’ views while developing a comparison-and-contrast paragraph in each task. The results of the statistical analysis indicated that the participants produced a written product with a greater lexical complexity in their performance of the task in the form-focused strategic planning condition. The findings emphasize the importance of guided strategic planning as a task condition in syllabus design for task-based language teaching and the necessity of incorporating this task feature for accomplishing lexical complexity in decision-making writing tasks.

  12. Effects of Task Complexity, Task Conditions, and Task Difficulty on the Grammatical Accuracy of EFL Learners in Written Discourse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeideh Ahangari

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Different methods of language teaching have tried to help EFL learners to develop good language skills based on their various perspectives. Research findings have underscored the effect of using task types in promoting language skills in terms of accuracy in written discourse. Therefore, this study set out to investigate whether there is an evidence of correct use of simple past tense (Accuracy based on Task Complexity (Task type :Here-and now & There-and-then,Task Conditions (Gender: Male & Female, and Task Difficulty (Proficiency: Lower-intermediate & Intermediate. Sixty Iranian English learners in a language institute participated in the study and were assigned to four groups of lower-intermediate male, lower-intermediate female, intermediate male and intermediate female. Initial homogeneity of the groups was verified using two general proficiency tests; KET for lower-intermediate and PET for intermediate. All groups in here-and-now task type were asked to write a story using simple past based on a picture strip while for there-and-then task type the participants were supposed to write about their last birthday. The results from paired samples t-test, independent samples t-test and two-way ANOVA analysis of the written data revealed significant differences in performing task types, at different proficiency levels and interaction between them. The findings have significant pedagogical implications for EFL learners to understand the relationship among Task Complexity,Task Conditions, Task Difficulty and L2 written production leading to various degrees of Accuracy.

  13. Age As Moderator of Emotional Stroop Task Performance in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maksymilian Bielecki

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Emotional Stroop task (EST has been extensively used to investigate attentional processes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Even though aging significantly changes the dynamics of emotion-cognition interactions, very little is known about its role in shaping EST performance in PTSD patients. In the present study we tested a uniquely large sample of motor vehicle accident victims. Data of 194 participants (75.3% female; mean age = 36.64 years, SD = 12.3 were included in the analysis, out of which 136 (70.1% were diagnosed with PTSD. Prior to the psychiatric assessment, participants completed the pictorial version of EST (neutral, positive, negative, and accidents photos were presented. Comparison of the PTSD and control groups revealed a specific increase in reaction times (RTs related to the exposure of trauma-related material. At the same time, previously unreported, moderating effects of age were also discovered. Older participants, in contrast to the younger group, showed no increase in RTs and interference scores in trials where accident photos were presented. Our study points to the key role of age as a previously understudied factor modifying EST performance in PTSD patients.

  14. Age As Moderator of Emotional Stroop Task Performance in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielecki, Maksymilian; Popiel, Agnieszka; Zawadzki, Bogdan; Sedek, Grzegorz

    2017-01-01

    Emotional Stroop task (EST) has been extensively used to investigate attentional processes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even though aging significantly changes the dynamics of emotion-cognition interactions, very little is known about its role in shaping EST performance in PTSD patients. In the present study we tested a uniquely large sample of motor vehicle accident victims. Data of 194 participants (75.3% female; mean age = 36.64 years, SD = 12.3) were included in the analysis, out of which 136 (70.1%) were diagnosed with PTSD. Prior to the psychiatric assessment, participants completed the pictorial version of EST (neutral, positive, negative, and accidents photos were presented). Comparison of the PTSD and control groups revealed a specific increase in reaction times (RTs) related to the exposure of trauma-related material. At the same time, previously unreported, moderating effects of age were also discovered. Older participants, in contrast to the younger group, showed no increase in RTs and interference scores in trials where accident photos were presented. Our study points to the key role of age as a previously understudied factor modifying EST performance in PTSD patients.

  15. Control processes through the suppression of the automatic response activation triggered by task-irrelevant information in the Simon-type tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sanga; Lee, Sang Ho; Cho, Yang Seok

    2015-11-01

    The congruency sequence effect, one of the indices of cognitive control, refers to a smaller congruency effect after an incongruent than congruent trial. Although the effect has been found across a variety of conflict tasks, there is not yet agreement on the underlying mechanism. The present study investigated the mechanism underlying cognitive control by using a cross-task paradigm. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3, participants performed a modified Simon task and a spatial Stroop task alternately in a trial-by-trial manner. The task-irrelevant dimension of the two tasks was perceptually and conceptually identical in Experiment 1, whereas it was perceptually different but conceptually identical in Experiment 2. The response sets for both tasks were different in Experiment 3. In Experiment 4, participants performed two Simon tasks with different task-relevant dimensions. In all experiments in which the task-irrelevant dimension and response mode were shared, significant congruency sequence effects were found between the two different congruencies, indicating that Simon-type conflicts were resolved by a control mechanism, which is specific to an abstract task-irrelevant stimulus spatial dimension. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Performing Task Integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elkjaer, Bente; Nickelsen, Niels Christian Mossfeldt

    by shared goals and knowledge as well as mutual respect and frequent, timely, accurate and problem-solving ways of communication with the purpose of dealing with the tasks at hand in an integrated way. We introduce and discuss relational coordination theory through a case-study within public healthcare....... Here cross-professional coordination of work was done by scheduled communication twice a day. When we proposed a way for further integration of tasks through an all-inclusive team organization, we were met with resistance. We use the study to discuss whether relational coordination theory is able to do...... away with differences regarding task definitions and working conditions as well as professional knowledge hierarchies and responsibilities for parts and wholes....

  17. Motivation, Intentionality, and Mind Wandering: Implications for Assessments of Task-Unrelated Thought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seli, Paul; Cheyne, James Allan; Xu, Mengran; Purdon, Christine; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Researchers of mind wandering frequently assume that (a) participants are motivated to do well on the tasks they are given, and (b) task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs) that occur during task performance reflect unintentional, unwanted thoughts that occur despite participants' best intentions to maintain task-focus. Given the relatively boring and…

  18. Changes in Standing and Walking Performance Under Dual-Task Conditions Across the Lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffieux, Jan; Keller, Martin; Lauber, Benedikt; Taube, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    Simultaneous performance of a postural and a concurrent task is rather unproblematic as long as the postural task is executed in an automatic way. However, in situations where postural control requires more central processing, cognitive resources may be exceeded by the addition of an attentionally demanding task. This may lead to interference between the two tasks, manifested in a decreased performance in one or both tasks (dual-task costs). Owing to changes in attentional demands of postural tasks as well as processing capacities across the lifespan, it might be assumed that dual-task costs are particularly pronounced in children and older adults probably leading to a U-shaped pattern for dual-task costs as a function of age. However, these changes in the ability of dual-tasking posture from childhood to old age have not yet been systematically reviewed. Therefore, Web of Science and PubMed databases were searched for studies comparing dual-task performance with one task being standing or walking in healthy groups of young adults and either children or older adults. Seventy-nine studies met inclusion criteria. For older adults, the expected increase in dual-task costs could be confirmed. In contrast, in children there was only feeble evidence for a trend towards enlarged dual-task costs. More good-quality studies comparing dual-task ability in children, young, and, ideally, also older adults within the same paradigm are needed to draw unambiguous conclusions about lifespan development of dual-task performance in postural tasks. There is evidence that, in older adults, dual-task performance can be improved by training. For the other age groups, these effects have yet to be investigated.

  19. Effects of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draper, J.V.; Moore, W.E.; Herndon, J.N.; Weil, B.S.

    1986-01-01

    This paper reports results of a testing program that assessed the impact of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance. The testing program compared three force-reflection levels: 4 to 1 (four units of force on the slave produce one unit of force at the master controller), 1 to 1, and infinity to 1 (no force reflection). Time required to complete tasks, rate of occurrence of errors, the maximum force applied to task components, and variability in forces during completion of representative remote handling tasks were used as dependent variables. Operators exhibited lower error rates, lower peak forces, and more consistent application of forces using force reflection than they did without it. These data support the hypothesis that force reflection provides useful information for servomanipulator operators

  20. Experimental evaluation of the influence of various rests on task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagasaka, Akihiko; Hirose, Ayako

    2000-01-01

    This report deals with the result of the experiment that 8 subjects had executed adding task and search task. They executed each task in 80 minutes under 5 conditions: (1) with no rest, and with 4 kinds of 20 minutes rests, in which they (2) opened eyes, (3) closed eyes, (4) closed eyes with listening classic music and (5) closed eyes with feet massage, in the middle of the task. The results of analysis of variance with the task performance in the latter half, there were significant differences between each condition with every subject in adding task, and with 6 subjects in search task. However, the orders of the task performance with each condition were not the same by each subject. It was suggested that transition of the arousal levels under the rest was related to the effects of the rest rather than the subjects' taste in rests. In the rest, the percentage of α wave of electroencephalogram and the coefficient of variation of R-R interval (time interval of heart beats) were increased than in executing task. The mean Kendall's rank correlation of coefficient with the order of increase rate of α/β wave and the task performance in the latter half was slightly negative in adding task, but was about 0.4 in search task. From these results, about six requirements for 'an effective rest' were able to be mentioned, for example, 'the devices that raises the arousal levels is carried out just before a rest end'. (author)

  1. Experimental evaluation of the influence of various rests on task performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagasaka, Akihiko; Hirose, Ayako [Central Research Inst. of Electric Power Industry, Tokyo (Japan)

    2000-01-01

    This report deals with the result of the experiment that 8 subjects had executed adding task and search task. They executed each task in 80 minutes under 5 conditions: (1) with no rest, and with 4 kinds of 20 minutes rests, in which they (2) opened eyes, (3) closed eyes, (4) closed eyes with listening classic music and (5) closed eyes with feet massage, in the middle of the task. The results of analysis of variance with the task performance in the latter half, there were significant differences between each condition with every subject in adding task, and with 6 subjects in search task. However, the orders of the task performance with each condition were not the same by each subject. It was suggested that transition of the arousal levels under the rest was related to the effects of the rest rather than the subjects' taste in rests. In the rest, the percentage of {alpha} wave of electroencephalogram and the coefficient of variation of R-R interval (time interval of heart beats) were increased than in executing task. The mean Kendall's rank correlation of coefficient with the order of increase rate of {alpha}/{beta} wave and the task performance in the latter half was slightly negative in adding task, but was about 0.4 in search task. From these results, about six requirements for 'an effective rest' were able to be mentioned, for example, 'the devices that raises the arousal levels is carried out just before a rest end'. (author)

  2. IEA Wind Task 24 Integration of Wind and Hydropower Systems; Volume 2: Participant Case Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Acker, T.

    2011-12-01

    This report describes the background, concepts, issues and conclusions related to the feasibility of integrating wind and hydropower, as investigated by the members of IEA Wind Task 24. It is the result of a four-year effort involving seven IEA member countries and thirteen participating organizations. The companion report, Volume 2, describes in detail the study methodologies and participant case studies, and exists as a reference for this report.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Stocco

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  5. Evaluation of high-definition television for remote task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draper, J.V.; Fujita, Y.; Herndon, J.N.

    1987-04-01

    High-definition television (HDTV) transmits a video image with more than twice the number (1125 for HDTV to 525 for standard-resolution TV) of horizontal scan lines that standard-resolution TV provides. The improvement in picture quality (compared to standard-resolution TV) that the extra scan lines provide is impressive. Objects in the HDTV picture have more sharply defined edges, better contrast, and more accurate reproduction of shading and color patterns than do those in the standard-resolution TV picture. Because the TV viewing system is a key component for teleoperator performance, an improvement in TV picture quality could mean an improvement in the speed and accuracy with which teleoperators perform tasks. This report describes three experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The performance of HDTV was compared to that of standard-resolution, monochromatic TV and standard-resolution, stereoscopic, monochromatic TV in the context of judgment of depth in a televised scene, visual inspection of an object, and performance of a typical remote handling task. The results of the three experiments show that in some areas HDTV can lead to improvement in teleoperator performance. Observers inspecting a small object for a flaw were more accurate with HDTV than with either of the standard-resolution systems. High resolution is critical for detection of small-scale flaws of the type in the experiment (a scratch on a glass bottle). These experiments provided an evaluation of HDTV television for use in tasks that must be routinely performed to remotely maintain a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. 5 refs., 7 figs., 9 tabs

  6. The Neurocognitive Basis for Impaired Dual-Task Performance in Senior Fallers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S; Hsu, C Liang; Voss, Michelle W; Chan, Alison; Bolandzadeh, Niousha; Handy, Todd C; Graf, Peter; Beattie, B Lynn; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa

    2016-01-01

    Falls are a major health-care concern, and while dual-task performance is widely recognized as being impaired in those at-risk for falls, the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms remain unknown. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms could lead to the refinement and development of behavioral, cognitive, or neuropharmacological interventions for falls prevention. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study with community-dwelling older adults aged 70-80 years with a history of falls (i.e., two or more falls in the past 12 months) or no history of falls (i.e., zero falls in the past 12 months); n = 28 per group. We compared functional activation during cognitive-based dual-task performance between fallers and non-fallers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Executive cognitive functioning was assessed via Stroop, Trail Making, and Digit Span. Mobility was assessed via the Timed Up and Go test (TUG). We found that non-fallers exhibited significantly greater functional activation compared with fallers during dual-task performance in key regions responsible for resolving dual-task interference, including precentral, postcentral, and lingual gyri. Further, we report slower reaction times during dual-task performance in fallers and significant correlations between level of functional activation and independent measures of executive cognitive functioning and mobility. Our study is the first neuroimaging study to examine dual-task performance in fallers, and supports the notion that fallers have reduced functional brain activation compared with non-fallers. Given that dual-task performance-and the underlying neural concomitants-appears to be malleable with relevant training, our study serves as a launching point for promising strategies to reduce falls in the future.

  7. When Task Conflict Becomes Personal: The Impact of Perceived Team Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guenter, Hannes; van Emmerik, Hetty; Schreurs, Bert; Kuypers, Tom; van Iterson, Ad; Notelaers, Guy

    2016-10-01

    Although potentially beneficial, task conflict may threaten teams because it often leads to relationship conflict. Prior research has identified a set of interpersonal factors (e.g., team communication, team trust) that help attenuate this association. The purpose of this article is to provide an alternative perspective that focuses on the moderating role of performance-related factors (i.e., perceived team performance). Using social identity theory, we build a model that predicts how task conflict associates with growth in relationship conflict and how perceived team performance influences this association. We test a three-wave longitudinal model by means of random coefficient growth modeling, using data from 60 ongoing teams working in a health care organization. Results provide partial support for our hypotheses. Only when perceived team performance is low, do task conflicts relate with growth in relationship conflict. We conclude that perceived team performance seems to enable teams to uncouple task from relationship conflict.

  8. Performance of a visuomotor walking task in an augmented reality training setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haarman, Juliet A M; Choi, Julia T; Buurke, Jaap H; Rietman, Johan S; Reenalda, Jasper

    2017-12-01

    Visual cues can be used to train walking patterns. Here, we studied the performance and learning capacities of healthy subjects executing a high-precision visuomotor walking task, in an augmented reality training set-up. A beamer was used to project visual stepping targets on the walking surface of an instrumented treadmill. Two speeds were used to manipulate task difficulty. All participants (n = 20) had to change their step length to hit visual stepping targets with a specific part of their foot, while walking on a treadmill over seven consecutive training blocks, each block composed of 100 stepping targets. Distance between stepping targets was varied between short, medium and long steps. Training blocks could either be composed of random stepping targets (no fixed sequence was present in the distance between the stepping targets) or sequenced stepping targets (repeating fixed sequence was present). Random training blocks were used to measure non-specific learning and sequenced training blocks were used to measure sequence-specific learning. Primary outcome measures were performance (% of correct hits), and learning effects (increase in performance over the training blocks: both sequence-specific and non-specific). Secondary outcome measures were the performance and stepping-error in relation to the step length (distance between stepping target). Subjects were able to score 76% and 54% at first try for lower speed (2.3 km/h) and higher speed (3.3 km/h) trials, respectively. Performance scores did not increase over the course of the trials, nor did the subjects show the ability to learn a sequenced walking task. Subjects were better able to hit targets while increasing their step length, compared to shortening it. In conclusion, augmented reality training by use of the current set-up was intuitive for the user. Suboptimal feedback presentation might have limited the learning effects of the subjects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Predictors of operator performance at a simulated nuclear power plant control task

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spettell, C.M.

    1986-01-01

    Male undergraduates participated in two experiments as operators of a simple dynamic nuclear power plant simulated on a personal computer. Their task involved monitoring the temperature and power output of the plant and controlling the flow of coolants and the position of the control rods to ensure that the plant operated at the desired temperature and output levels. Quality of performance was defined as the operator's ability to minimize the deviations in temperature and output from optimal values during the trials. Operator inputs and the status of all plant variables were recorded on-line every two seconds. Based on a review of human factors engineering and psychological literature, a number of personality, background, and process variables were measured and correlated with operator performance. Results of both experiments indicated that the strongest predictors of operator performance were the rate, magnitude, and accuracy of operator inputs. Input rate and magnitude were negatively related to overall performance; input accuracy was positively related to performance. These process variables and overall performance were relatively stable across trials of varying difficulty

  10. Development of task analysis method for operator tasks in main control room of an advanced nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Chiuhsiangloe; Hsieh Tsungling

    2016-01-01

    Task analysis methods provide an insight for quantitative and qualitative predictions of how people will use a proposed system, though the different versions have different emphases. Most of the methods can attest to the coverage of the functionality of a system and all provide estimates of task performance time. However, most of the tasks that operators deal with in a digital work environment in the main control room of an advanced nuclear power plant require high mental activity. Such mental tasks overlap and must be dealt with at the same time; most of them can be assumed to be highly parallel in nature. Therefore, the primary aim to be addressed in this paper was to develop a method that adopts CPM-GOMS (cognitive perceptual motor-goals operators methods selection rules) as the basic pattern of mental task analysis for the advanced main control room. A within-subjects experiment design was used to examine the validity of the modified CPM-GOMS. Thirty participants participated in two task types, which included high- and low-compatibility types. The results indicated that the performance was significantly higher on the high-compatibility task type than on the low-compatibility task type; that is, the modified CPM-GOMS could distinguish the difference between high- and low-compatibility mental tasks. (author)

  11. Type 1 Diabetes Modifies Brain Activation in Young Patients While Performing Visuospatial Working Memory Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geisa B. Gallardo-Moreno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the effects of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D on cognitive functions. T1D onset usually occurs during childhood, so it is possible that the brain could be affected during neurodevelopment. We selected young patients of normal intelligence with T1D onset during neurodevelopment, no complications from diabetes, and adequate glycemic control. The purpose of this study was to compare the neural BOLD activation pattern in a group of patients with T1D versus healthy control subjects while performing a visuospatial working memory task. Sixteen patients and 16 matched healthy control subjects participated. There was no significant statistical difference in behavioral performance between the groups, but, in accordance with our hypothesis, results showed distinct brain activation patterns. Control subjects presented the expected activations related to the task, whereas the patients had greater activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, basal ganglia, posterior cerebellum, and substantia nigra. These different patterns could be due to compensation mechanisms that allow them to maintain a behavioral performance similar to that of control subjects.

  12. Systemizers Are Better Code-Breakers: Self-Reported Systemizing Predicts Code-Breaking Performance in Expert Hackers and Naïve Participants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, India; Bolgan, Samuela; Mosca, Daniel; McLean, Colin; Rusconi, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Studies on hacking have typically focused on motivational aspects and general personality traits of the individuals who engage in hacking; little systematic research has been conducted on predispositions that may be associated not only with the choice to pursue a hacking career but also with performance in either naïve or expert populations. Here, we test the hypotheses that two traits that are typically enhanced in autism spectrum disorders—attention to detail and systemizing—may be positively related to both the choice of pursuing a career in information security and skilled performance in a prototypical hacking task (i.e., crypto-analysis or code-breaking). A group of naïve participants and of ethical hackers completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient, including an attention to detail scale, and the Systemizing Quotient (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001, 2003). They were also tested with behavioral tasks involving code-breaking and a control task involving security X-ray image interpretation. Hackers reported significantly higher systemizing and attention to detail than non-hackers. We found a positive relation between self-reported systemizing (but not attention to detail) and code-breaking skills in both hackers and non-hackers, whereas attention to detail (but not systemizing) was related with performance in the X-ray screening task in both groups, as previously reported with naïve participants (Rusconi et al., 2015). We discuss the theoretical and translational implications of our findings. PMID:27242491

  13. Systemizers are better code-breakers:Self-reported systemizing predicts code-breaking performance in expert hackers and naïve participants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    India eHarvey

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Studies on hacking have typically focused on motivational aspects and general personality traits of the individuals who engage in hacking; little systematic research has been conducted on predispositions that may be associated not only with the choice to pursue a hacking career but also with performance in either naïve or expert populations. Here we test the hypotheses that two traits that are typically enhanced in autism spectrum disorders - attention to detail and systemizing - may be positively related to both the choice of pursuing a career in information security and skilled performance in a prototypical hacking task (i.e. crypto-analysis or code-breaking. A group of naïve participants and of ethical hackers completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient, including an attention to detail scale, and the Systemizing Quotient (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001; Baron-Cohen et al., 2003. They were also tested with behavioural tasks involving code-breaking and a control task involving security x-ray image interpretation. Hackers reported significantly higher systemizing and attention to detail than non-hackers. We found a positive relation between self-reported systemizing (but not attention to detail and code-breaking skills in both hackers and non-hackers, whereas attention to detail (but not systemizing was related with performance in the x-ray screening task in both groups, as previously reported with naïve participants (Rusconi et al., 2015. We discuss the theoretical and translational implications of our findings.

  14. Systemizers Are Better Code-Breakers: Self-Reported Systemizing Predicts Code-Breaking Performance in Expert Hackers and Naïve Participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, India; Bolgan, Samuela; Mosca, Daniel; McLean, Colin; Rusconi, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Studies on hacking have typically focused on motivational aspects and general personality traits of the individuals who engage in hacking; little systematic research has been conducted on predispositions that may be associated not only with the choice to pursue a hacking career but also with performance in either naïve or expert populations. Here, we test the hypotheses that two traits that are typically enhanced in autism spectrum disorders-attention to detail and systemizing-may be positively related to both the choice of pursuing a career in information security and skilled performance in a prototypical hacking task (i.e., crypto-analysis or code-breaking). A group of naïve participants and of ethical hackers completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient, including an attention to detail scale, and the Systemizing Quotient (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001, 2003). They were also tested with behavioral tasks involving code-breaking and a control task involving security X-ray image interpretation. Hackers reported significantly higher systemizing and attention to detail than non-hackers. We found a positive relation between self-reported systemizing (but not attention to detail) and code-breaking skills in both hackers and non-hackers, whereas attention to detail (but not systemizing) was related with performance in the X-ray screening task in both groups, as previously reported with naïve participants (Rusconi et al., 2015). We discuss the theoretical and translational implications of our findings.

  15. Short and longer duration effects of protective gloves on hand performance capabilities and subjective assessments in a screw-driving task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dianat, Iman; Haslegrave, Christine M; Stedmon, Alex W

    2010-12-01

    The study investigated short and longer duration effects of gloves on hand performance capabilities (muscle activity, dexterity, touch sensitivity, finger pinch and forearm torque strength) and subjective assessments of discomfort and ease of manipulation when performing a light assembly task. The independent variables were hand condition with four levels (wearing cotton, nylon or nitrile gloves as well as barehanded) and point of time within the 2 h duration of the task (with measurements taken at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min). Participants worked with a screwdriver to fit two components together using screws. Wearing gloves significantly increased the muscle activity, pinch strength and discomfort but reduced the dexterity and touch sensitivity. There was also a significant effect of task time on the muscle activity, dexterity, forearm torque strength and touch sensitivity, which indicates that the duration of the task should be an important consideration in glove evaluation studies and in the selection of work gloves. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: It is important to evaluate the effects of gloves on hand performance capabilities in a working context so that job demands can be taken into account and the most appropriate type of glove be chosen for each task. This study gives recommendations regarding the evaluation and use of gloves for screw-driving tasks.

  16. A Novel Method for Assessing Task Complexity in Outpatient Clinical-Performance Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Amspoker, Amber B; Petersen, Laura A

    2016-04-01

    Clinical-performance measurement has helped improve the quality of health-care; yet success in attaining high levels of quality across multiple domains simultaneously still varies considerably. Although many sources of variability in care quality have been studied, the difficulty required to complete the clinical work itself has received little attention. We present a task-based methodology for evaluating the difficulty of clinical-performance measures (CPMs) by assessing the complexity of their component requisite tasks. Using Functional Job Analysis (FJA), subject-matter experts (SMEs) generated task lists for 17 CPMs; task lists were rated on ten dimensions of complexity, and then aggregated into difficulty composites. Eleven outpatient work SMEs; 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Clinical Performance: 17 outpatient CPMs (2000-2008) at 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Measure Difficulty: for each CPM, the number of component requisite tasks and the average rating across ten FJA complexity scales for the set of tasks comprising the measure. Measures varied considerably in the number of component tasks (M = 10.56, SD = 6.25, min = 5, max = 25). Measures of chronic care following acute myocardial infarction exhibited significantly higher measure difficulty ratings compared to diabetes or screening measures, but not to immunization measures ([Formula: see text] = 0.45, -0.04, -0.05, and -0.06 respectively; F (3, 186) = 3.57, p = 0.015). Measure difficulty ratings were not significantly correlated with the number of component tasks (r = -0.30, p = 0.23). Evaluating the difficulty of achieving recommended CPM performance levels requires more than simply counting the tasks involved; using FJA to assess the complexity of CPMs' component tasks presents an alternate means of assessing the difficulty of primary-care CPMs and accounting for performance variation among measures and performers. This in turn could be used in designing

  17. The effect of caffeine on cognitive task performance and motor fatigue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Duinen, Hiske; Lorist, Monicque M.; Zijdewind, Inge

    Rationale: In everyday life, people are usually capable of performing two tasks simultaneously. However, in a previous study we showed that during a fatiguing motor task, cognitive performance declined progressively. There is extensive literature on the ( positive) effects of caffeine on cognitive

  18. Self-Reported Stickiness of Mind-Wandering Affects Task Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Vugt, Marieke K; Broers, Nico

    2016-01-01

    When asked to perform a certain task, we typically spend a decent amount of time thinking thoughts unrelated to that task-a phenomenon referred to as "mind-wandering." It is thought that this mind-wandering is driven at least in part by our unfinished goals and concerns. Previous studies have shown

  19. Motivation, learning strategies, participation and medical school performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegers-Jager, Karen M; Cohen-Schotanus, Janke; Themmen, Axel P N

    2012-07-01

    Medical schools wish to better understand why some students excel academically and others have difficulty in passing medical courses. Components of self-regulated learning (SRL), such as motivational beliefs and learning strategies, as well as participation in scheduled learning activities, have been found to relate to student performance. Although participation may be a form of SRL, little is known about the relationships among motivational beliefs, learning strategies, participation and medical school performance. This study aimed to test and cross-validate a hypothesised model of relationships among motivational beliefs (value and self-efficacy), learning strategies (deep learning and resource management), participation (lecture attendance, skills training attendance and completion of optional study assignments) and Year 1 performance at medical school. Year 1 medical students in the cohorts of 2008 (n = 303) and 2009 (n = 369) completed a questionnaire on motivational beliefs and learning strategies (sourced from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire) and participation. Year 1 performance was operationalised as students' average Year 1 course examination grades. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data. Participation and self-efficacy beliefs were positively associated with Year 1 performance (β = 0.78 and β = 0.19, respectively). Deep learning strategies were negatively associated with Year 1 performance (β =- 0.31), but positively related to resource management strategies (β = 0.77), which, in turn, were positively related to participation (β = 0.79). Value beliefs were positively related to deep learning strategies only (β = 0.71). The overall structural model for the 2008 cohort accounted for 47% of the variance in Year 1 grade point average and was cross-validated in the 2009 cohort. This study suggests that participation mediates the relationships between motivation and learning strategies, and medical school

  20. Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Weingart, Laurie R

    2003-08-01

    This study provides a meta-analysis of research on the associations between relationship conflict, task conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction. Consistent with past theorizing, results revealed strong and negative correlations between relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction. In contrast to what has been suggested in both academic research and introductory textbooks, however, results also revealed strong and negative (instead of the predicted positive) correlations between task conflict team performance, and team member satisfaction. As predicted, conflict had stronger negative relations with team performance in highly complex (decision making, project, mixed) than in less complex (production) tasks. Finally, task conflict was less negatively related to team performance when task conflict and relationship conflict were weakly, rather than strongly, correlated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-09-01

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

  2. Dual-Task Interference: The Effects of Verbal Cognitive Tasks on Upright Postural Stability in Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. D. Holmes

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although dual-task interference has previously been demonstrated to have a significant effect on postural control among individuals with Parkinson's disease, the impact of speech complexity on postural control has not been demonstrated using quantitative biomechanical measures. The postural stability of twelve participants with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and twelve healthy age-matched controls was evaluated under three conditions: (1 without a secondary task, (2 performing a rote repetition task and (3 generating a monologue. Results suggested a significant effect of cognitive load on biomechanical parameters of postural stability. Although both groups increased their postural excursion, individuals with Parkinson's disease demonstrated significantly reduced excursion as compared with that of healthy age-matched controls. This suggests that participants with Parkinson's disease may be overconstraining their postural adjustments in order to focus attention on the cognitive tasks without losing their balance. Ironically, this overconstraint may place the participant at greater risk for a fall.

  3. Performance on naturalistic virtual reality tasks depends on global cognitive functioning as assessed via traditional neurocognitive tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Jorge; Gamito, Pedro; Alghazzawi, Daniyal M; Fardoun, Habib M; Rosa, Pedro J; Sousa, Tatiana; Picareli, Luís Felipe; Morais, Diogo; Lopes, Paulo

    2017-08-14

    This investigation sought to understand whether performance in naturalistic virtual reality tasks for cognitive assessment relates to the cognitive domains that are supposed to be measured. The Shoe Closet Test (SCT) was developed based on a simple visual search task involving attention skills, in which participants have to match each pair of shoes with the colors of the compartments in a virtual shoe closet. The interaction within the virtual environment was made using the Microsoft Kinect. The measures consisted of concurrent paper-and-pencil neurocognitive tests for global cognitive functioning, executive functions, attention, psychomotor ability, and the outcomes of the SCT. The results showed that the SCT correlated with global cognitive performance as measured with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The SCT explained one third of the total variance of this test and revealed good sensitivity and specificity in discriminating scores below one standard deviation in this screening tool. These findings suggest that performance of such functional tasks involves a broad range of cognitive processes that are associated with global cognitive functioning and that may be difficult to isolate through paper-and-pencil neurocognitive tests.

  4. Developmental changes in using verbal self-cueing in task-switching situations: the impact of task practice and task-sequencing demands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kray, Jutta; Gaspard, Hanna; Karbach, Julia; Blaye, Agnès

    2013-01-01

    In this study we examined whether developmental changes in using verbal self-cueing for task-goal maintenance are dependent on the amount of task practice and task-sequencing demands. To measure task-goal maintenance we applied a switching paradigm in which children either performed only task A or B in single-task blocks or switched between them on every second trial in mixed-task blocks. Task-goal maintenance was determined by comparing the performance between both blocks (mixing costs). The influence of verbal self-cueing was measured by instructing children to either name the next task aloud or not to verbalize during task preparation. Task-sequencing demands were varied between groups whereas one group received spatial task cues to support keeping track of the task sequence, while the other group did not. We also varied by the amount of prior practice in task switching while one group of participants practiced task switching first, before performing the task naming in addition, and the other group did it vice versa. Results of our study investigating younger (8–10 years) and older children (11–13 years) revealed no age differences in beneficial effects of verbal self-cueing. In line with previous findings, children showed reduced mixing costs under task-naming instructions and under conditions of low task-sequence demands (with the presence of spatial task cues). Our results also indicated that these benefits were only obtained for those groups of children that first received practice in task switching alone with no additional verbalization instruction. These findings suggest that internal task-cueing strategies can be efficiently used in children but only if they received prior practice in the underlying task so that demands on keeping and coordinating various instructions are reduced. Moreover, children benefitted from spatial task cues for better task-goal maintenance only if no verbal task-cueing strategy was introduced first. PMID:24381566

  5. Performance monitoring and response conflict resolution associated with choice stepping reaction tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Tsutou, Kotaro; Saito, Kotaro; Ishida, Kazuto; Tanabe, Shigeo; Nojima, Ippei

    2016-11-01

    Choice reaction requires response conflict resolution, and the resolution processes that occur during a choice stepping reaction task undertaken in a standing position, which requires maintenance of balance, may be different to those processes occurring during a choice reaction task performed in a seated position. The study purpose was to investigate the resolution processes during a choice stepping reaction task at the cortical level using electroencephalography and compare the results with a control task involving ankle dorsiflexion responses. Twelve young adults either stepped forward or dorsiflexed the ankle in response to a visual imperative stimulus presented on a computer screen. We used the Simon task and examined the error-related negativity (ERN) that follows an incorrect response and the correct-response negativity (CRN) that follows a correct response. Error was defined as an incorrect initial weight transfer for the stepping task and as an incorrect initial tibialis anterior activation for the control task. Results revealed that ERN and CRN amplitudes were similar in size for the stepping task, whereas the amplitude of ERN was larger than that of CRN for the control task. The ERN amplitude was also larger in the stepping task than the control task. These observations suggest that a choice stepping reaction task involves a strategy emphasizing post-response conflict and general performance monitoring of actual and required responses and also requires greater cognitive load than a choice dorsiflexion reaction. The response conflict resolution processes appear to be different for stepping tasks and reaction tasks performed in a seated position.

  6. Lexical Complexity of Decision-Making Writing Tasks: Form-focused Guided Strategic Planning

    OpenAIRE

    Mahdavirad, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    The present study is an attempt to investigate the effect of form-focused guided strategic planning on lexical complexity of learners’ performance in writing tasks. The twenty intermediate level participants of the study performed an unplanned and then a planned decision-making task. In the planned task condition, the participants were provided with form-focused guided strategic planning which contained detailed instructions about how to plan, by being instructed to focus on form. The guidanc...

  7. Differential Effects of Emotional Information on Interference Task Performance across the Life Span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haley M LaMonica

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available While functioning in multiple domains declines with age, emotional regulation appears to remain preserved in older adults. The Emotion Inhibition (Emotional Stroop Test requires participants to name the ink color in which neutrally- and emotionally-valenced words are printed. It was employed in the current investigation as a measure of affective regulation in the context of an interference task in relation to age. Results demonstrated that while participants ranging from 20 to 50 years of age performed significantly worse on the emotion Stroop Inhibition relative to the neutral Stroop Inhibition condition, subjects over 60 years of age displayed the converse of this pattern, performing better on the emotion than the neutral condition, suggesting that they are less affected by the emotional impact of the positive and negative words used in the former condition. This pattern of age-related change in the ability to manage emotion may be related to blunting of affective signaling in limbic structures or, at the psychological level, focusing on emotional regulation.

  8. Experimental evaluation of user performance in a pursuit tracking task with multimodal feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obrenović Željko

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we describe the results of experimental evaluation of user performance in a pursuit-tracking task with multimodal feedback. Our experimental results indicate that audio can significantly improve the accuracy of pursuit tracking. Experiments with 19 participants have shown that addition of acoustic modalities reduces the error during pursuit tracking for up to 19%. Moreover, experiments indicated the existence of perceptual boundaries of multimodal HCI for different scene complexity and target speeds. We have also shown that the most appealing paradigms are not the most effective ones, which necessitates a careful quantitative analysis of proposed multimodal HCI paradigms.

  9. Can common measures of core stability distinguish performance in a shoulder pressing task under stable and unstable conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Justin W L; Aickin, Sam E; Oldham, Anthony R H

    2010-02-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether a range of static core stability (CS) measures could distinguish shoulder press performance in unstable vs. stable conditions. Thirty resistance-trained men gave informed consent to participate in this study. One-repetition maximum strength (from 0.90), moderate (0.85 Core stability training (with or without a SB) may therefore only lead to significant improvements in functional dynamic performance if the postures, mode and velocity of contraction performed in training, are similar to the competitive tasks.

  10. Performances on a cognitive theory of mind task: specific decline or general cognitive deficits? Evidence from normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fliss, Rafika; Lemerre, Marion; Mollard, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Compromised theory of mind (ToM) can be explained either by a failure to implement specific representational capacities (mental state representations) or by more general executive selection demands. In older adult populations, evidence supporting affected executive functioning and cognitive ToM in normal aging are reported. However, links between these two functions remain unclear. In the present paper, we address these shortcomings by using a specific task of ToM and classical executive tasks. We studied, using an original cognitive ToM task, the effect of age on ToM performances, in link with the progressive executive decline. 96 elderly participants were recruited. They were asked to perform a cognitive ToM task, and 5 executive tests (Stroop test and Hayling Sentence Completion Test to appreciate inhibitory process, Trail Making Test and Verbal Fluency for shifting assessment and backward span dedicated to estimate working memory capacity). The results show changes in cognitive ToM performance according to executive demands. Correlational studies indicate a significant relationship between ToM performance and the selected executive measures. Regression analyzes demonstrates that level of vocabulary and age as the best predictors of ToM performance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that ToM deficits are related to age-related domain-general decline rather than as to a breakdown in specialized representational system. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition tests in normal aging are also discussed.

  11. The Effects of Background Music on Primary School Pupils' Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallam, Susan; Price, John; Katsarou, Georgia

    2002-01-01

    Presents two studies that explored the effects of music perceived as calming and relaxing on arithmetic and memory performance tasks of 10- to 12-year-old children. Reports that the calming music led to better performance on both tasks when compared with the non-music condition. Includes references. (CMK)

  12. Does participation in art classes influence performance on two different cognitive tasks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Manuel; Maihöfner, Christian; Bolwerk, Anne; Lang, Frieder R

    2017-04-01

    Effects of two mentally stimulating art interventions on processing speed and visuo-spatial cognition were compared in three samples. In a randomized 10-week art intervention study with a pre-post follow-up design, 113 adults (27 healthy older adults with subjective memory complaints, 50 healthy older adults and 36 healthy younger adults) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: visual art production or cognitive art evaluation, where the participants either produced or evaluated art. ANOVAs with repeated measures were computed to observe effects on the Symbol-Digit Test, and the Stick Test. Significant Time effects were found with regard to processing speed and visuo-spatial cognition. Additionally, there was found a significant Time × Sample interaction for processing speed. The effects proved robust after testing for education and adding sex as additional factor. Mental stimulation by participation in art classes leads to an improvement of processing speed and visuo-spatial cognition. Further investigation is required to improve understanding of the potential impact of art intervention on cognitive abilities across adulthood.

  13. Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Ravi; Zhu, Rui Juliet

    2009-02-27

    Existing research reports inconsistent findings with regard to the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Some research suggests that blue or green leads to better performances than red; other studies record the opposite. Current work reconciles this discrepancy. We demonstrate that red (versus blue) color induces primarily an avoidance (versus approach) motivation (study 1, n = 69) and that red enhances performance on a detail-oriented task, whereas blue enhances performance on a creative task (studies 2 and 3, n = 208 and 118). Further, we replicate these results in the domains of product design (study 4, n = 42) and persuasive message evaluation (study 5, n = 161) and show that these effects occur outside of individuals' consciousness (study 6, n = 68). We also provide process evidence suggesting that the activation of alternative motivations mediates the effect of color on cognitive task performances.

  14. Using task performance to inform treatment planning for youth with ADHD: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molitor, Stephen J; Langberg, Joshua M

    2017-12-01

    The role that neuropsychological task performance plays in the assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is currently ambiguous, and findings are mixed regarding whether tasks have validity for diagnosing the disorder. Irrespective of their validity for diagnosing ADHD, neuropsychological tasks could provide valuable information to mental health professionals if they can inform recommendations for treatment targets and modalities. Therefore, this review sought to synthesize the available evidence related to the use of neuropsychological task performance as a tool for informing treatment planning for youth with ADHD. Reviewed studies focused on examinations of associations between task performance and academic, social, and health outcomes, as well as response to treatment. Twenty-five relevant studies using samples of youth diagnosed with ADHD in clinical, community, and school settings were identified. Review of the evidence suggests that task performance may be useful in identifying individuals with ADHD at risk for academic impairment. However, the evidence is less compelling for identifying youth at risk for impaired social functioning or poor health outcomes. The review also found that task performance is likely useful for predicting response to treatment with methylphenidate. Across studies, evidence indicated that interpreting task performance in an integrated manner, such as a factor score or mean score, was more consistently useful for predicting outcomes of interest than interpreting performance from a single task. Implications for the use of tasks in ADHD assessments are discussed, and future directions are outlined for further examining the clinical utility of task performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Reduced Dual-Task Performance in MS Patients Is Further Decreased by Muscle Fatigue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkorte, Ria; Heersema, Dorothea J; Zijdewind, Inge

    2015-06-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be accompanied by motor, cognitive, and sensory impairments. Additionally, MS patients often report fatigue as one of their most debilitating symptoms. It is, therefore, expected that MS patients will have difficulties in performing cognitive-motor dual tasks (DTs), especially in a fatiguing condition. To determine whether MS patients are more challenged by a DT than controls in a fatiguing and less-fatiguing condition and whether DT performance is associated with perceived fatigue. A group of 19 MS patients and 19 age-, sex-, and education-matched controls performed a cognitive task (2-choice reaction time task) separately or concurrent with a low-force or a high-force motor task (index finger abduction at 10% or 30% maximal voluntary contraction). MS patients performed less well on a cognitive task than controls. Cognitive task performance under DT conditions decreased more for MS patients. Moreover, under high-force DT conditions, cognitive performance declined in both groups but to a larger degree for MS patients. Besides a decline in cognitive task performance, MS patients also showed a stronger decrease in motor performance under high-force DT conditions. DT costs were positively related to perceived fatigue as measured by questionnaires. Compared with controls, MS patients performed less well on DTs as demonstrated by a reduction in both cognitive and motor performances. This performance decrease was stronger under fatiguing conditions and was related to the sense of fatigue of MS patients. These data illustrate problems that MS patients may encounter in daily life because of their fatigue. © The Author(s) 2014.

  16. Ranking Performance Measures in Multi-Task Agencies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Peter Ove; Sabac, Florin; Tian, Joyce

    We derive sufficient conditions for ranking performance evaluation systems in multi-task agency models using both optimal and linear contracts in terms of a second-order stochastic dominance (SSD) condition on the likelihood ratios. The SSD condition can be replaced by a variance-covariance matrix...

  17. Longitudinal effects of bilingualism on dual-tasking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sörman, Daniel Eriksson; Josefsson, Maria; Marsh, John E; Hansson, Patrik; Ljungberg, Jessica K

    2017-01-01

    An ongoing debate surrounds whether bilinguals outperform monolinguals in tests of executive processing. The aim of this study was to investigate if there are long-term (10 year) bilingual advantages in executive processing, as indexed by dual-task performance, in a sample that were 40-65 years at baseline. The bilingual (n = 24) and monolingual (n = 24) participants were matched on age, sex, education, fluid intelligence, and study sample. Participants performed free-recall for a 12-item list in three dual-task settings wherein they sorted cards either during encoding, retrieval, or during both encoding and retrieval of the word-list. Free recall without card sorting was used as a reference to compute dual-task costs. The results showed that bilinguals significantly outperformed monolinguals when they performed card-sorting during both encoding and retrieval of the word-list, the condition that presumably placed the highest demands on executive functioning. However, dual-task costs increased over time for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, a finding that is possibly influenced by retirement age and limited use of second language in the bilingual group.

  18. Iowa gambling task: Administration effects in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Di Giorgio Schneider

    Full Text Available Abstract The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT assesses decision-making. Objective: The objective of the present study was to investigate whether specific changes in administering the IGT can affect performance of older adults completing the task. Method: Three versions of the IGT were compared regarding the feedback on the amount of money won or lost over the course of the test. The first version (I consisted of a replication of the original version (Bechara et al., 1994, which utilizes a computerized visual aid (green bar that increases or decreases according to the gains or the losses. The second version (II, however, involved a non-computerized visual aid (cards and, in the third version (III the task did not include any visual aid at all. Ninety-seven older adults, divided into three groups, participated in this study. Group I received computerized cues (n=40, group II, non-computerized cues (n=17 and III was submitted to a version without any cues (n=40. Results: The participants without any cues achieved only a borderline performance, whereas for those with non-computerized cues, twice the number of participants showed attraction to risk in relation to those with aversion. The participants of the computerized version were homogeneously spread across the three performance levels (impaired, borderline and unimpaired. Conclusions: Aspects of the complexity of the decision process as well as of the task used are proposed as possible theoretical explanations for the performance variation exhibited.

  19. Exploration of task performance tests in a physics laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dan; El Turkey, Houssein

    2017-11-01

    In this article, we investigate the implementation of task performance tests in an undergraduate physics laboratory. Two performance tests were carried out over two semesters using the task of building a DC circuit. The first implementation in Spring 2014 had certain concerns such as the privacy of students’ testing and their ‘trial and error’ attempts. These concerns were addressed in Fall 2015 through implementing a second performance test. The second implementation was administered differently but the content of the two tests was the same. We discuss the validity of both implementations and present the correlation (or lack of) between the time that students needed to complete the tests and their grades from a paper-based laboratory assessment method.

  20. A dissociation between engagement and learning: Enthusiastic instructions fail to reliably improve performance on a memory task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin A Motz

    Full Text Available Despite widespread assertions that enthusiasm is an important quality of effective teaching, empirical research on the effect of enthusiasm on learning and memory is mixed and largely inconclusive. To help resolve these inconsistencies, we conducted a carefully-controlled laboratory experiment, investigating whether enthusiastic instructions for a memory task would improve recall accuracy. Scripted videos, either enthusiastic or neutral, were used to manipulate the delivery of task instructions. We also manipulated the sequence of learning items, replicating the spacing effect, a known cognitive technique for memory improvement. Although spaced study reliably improved test performance, we found no reliable effect of enthusiasm on memory performance across two experiments. We did, however, find that enthusiastic instructions caused participants to respond to more item prompts, leaving fewer test questions blank, an outcome typically associated with increased task motivation. We find no support for the popular claim that enthusiastic instruction will improve learning, although it may still improve engagement. This dissociation between motivation and learning is discussed, as well as its implications for education and future research on student learning.

  1. A dissociation between engagement and learning: Enthusiastic instructions fail to reliably improve performance on a memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motz, Benjamin A; de Leeuw, Joshua R; Carvalho, Paulo F; Liang, Kaley L; Goldstone, Robert L

    2017-01-01

    Despite widespread assertions that enthusiasm is an important quality of effective teaching, empirical research on the effect of enthusiasm on learning and memory is mixed and largely inconclusive. To help resolve these inconsistencies, we conducted a carefully-controlled laboratory experiment, investigating whether enthusiastic instructions for a memory task would improve recall accuracy. Scripted videos, either enthusiastic or neutral, were used to manipulate the delivery of task instructions. We also manipulated the sequence of learning items, replicating the spacing effect, a known cognitive technique for memory improvement. Although spaced study reliably improved test performance, we found no reliable effect of enthusiasm on memory performance across two experiments. We did, however, find that enthusiastic instructions caused participants to respond to more item prompts, leaving fewer test questions blank, an outcome typically associated with increased task motivation. We find no support for the popular claim that enthusiastic instruction will improve learning, although it may still improve engagement. This dissociation between motivation and learning is discussed, as well as its implications for education and future research on student learning.

  2. Effect of hamstring flexibility on hip and lumbar spine joint excursions during forward-reaching tasks in participants with and without low back pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Erica N; Thomas, James S

    2010-07-01

    To examine the correlation between hamstring flexibility and hip and lumbar spine joint excursions during standardized reaching and forward-bending tasks. Retrospective analysis of data obtained during 2 previous prospective studies that examined kinematics and kinetics during forward-reaching tasks in participants with and without low back pain (LBP). The 2 previous studies were conducted in the Motor Control Lab at Ohio University and the Orthopaedic Ergonomics Laboratory at The Ohio State University. Data from a total of 122 subjects from 2 previous studies: study 1: 86 subjects recovered from an episode of acute LBP (recovered) and study 2 (A.I. McCallum, unpublished data): 18 chronic LBP subjects and 18 healthy-matched controls (healthy). Not applicable. Correlation values between hamstring flexibility as measured by straight leg raise (SLR) and amount of hip and lumbar spine joint excursions used during standardized reaching and forward-bending tasks. No significant correlation was found between hamstring flexibility and hip and lumbar joint excursions during forward-bending tasks in the LBP or recovered groups. The SLR had a significant negative correlation with lumbar spine excursions during reaching tasks to a low target in the healthy group (right SLR: P=.011, left SLR: P=.004). Hamstring flexibility is not strongly related to the amount of lumbar flexion used to perform forward-reaching tasks in participants who have chronic LBP or who have recovered from LBP. More research needs to be conducted to examine the influence of hamstring flexibility on observed movement patterns to further evaluate the efficacy of flexibility training in the rehabilitation of patients with LBP. Copyright 2010 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Does Degree of Work Task Completion Influence Retrieval Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingwersen, Peter; Bogers, Toine; Lykke, Marianne

    2010-01-01

    their perception of task completion. Also, with the exception of full text records and across all document types, both measured at rank 10, no statistically significant correlation is observed with respect to retrieval performance influenced by degrees of perceived work task completion or individual types......In this contribution we investigate the potential influence between assessors’ perceived completion of their work task at hand and their actual assessment of usefulness of the retrieved information. The results indicate that the number of useful documents found by assessors does not influence...

  4. Olympic participation and performance since 1896

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuper, Gerard; Sterken, Elmer

    2001-01-01

    Abstract We analyze the decision to participate and Olympic performance at the country level. We use an unbalanced panel of 118 countries over 24 editions of the Olympic Summer Games. The main focus of the paper is on economic, geographic and demographic explanations of Olympic participation and

  5. Performance management in healthcare : performance indicator development, task uncertainty, and types of performance indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geer-Rutten-Rijswijk, van der E.; Tuijl, van H.F.J.M.; Rutte, C.G.

    2009-01-01

    In healthcare, performance indicators are increasingly used to measure and control quality and efficiency of care-providing teams. This article demonstrates that when controllability is emphasized during indicator development, the level of task uncertainty influences the type of resulting

  6. 78 FR 15112 - Rulemaking Advisory Committee; Transport Airplane Performance and Handling Characteristics-New Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-08

    ... Committee; Transport Airplane Performance and Handling Characteristics--New Task AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of new task assignment for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee... findings. The Task The FAA tasked ARAC to consider several areas within the airplane performance and...

  7. Effect of music tempo on task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayfield, C; Moss, S

    1989-12-01

    Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of music tempo on task performance. In Study 1, 44 undergraduate business students were asked to be "workers" in a stock market project by collecting closing stock prices and calculating the percentage of change in the price from week to week. Subjects were randomly divided into groups such that they either listened to fast-paced music while they worked, to slow-paced music, or to no music. Analyses of variance and covariance were conducted on both the quantity and quality of the subjects' work, using music listening habits as a covariate. There were no differences in either the quantity or quality of the work produced by the groups. There were some methodological concerns regarding Study 1, so a second study was conducted. The 70 undergraduate business students in Study 2 completed the same task under the same music conditions as in Study 1. Analyses of variance indicated women performed significantly better than men, performance was significantly higher in the rock condition than in the heartbeat condition, and subjects in the rock condition had a significantly higher perceived level of distraction by the music.

  8. Frontal subregions mediating Elevator Counting task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPherson, Sarah E; Turner, Martha S; Bozzali, Marco; Cipolotti, Lisa; Shallice, Tim

    2010-10-01

    Deficits in sustained attention may lead to action slips in everyday life as irrelevant action sequences are inappropriately triggered internally or by the environment. While deficits in sustained attention have been associated with damage to the frontal lobes of the brain, little is known about the role of the frontal lobes in the Elevator Counting subtest of the Test of Everyday Attention. In the current study, 55 frontal patients subdivided into medial, orbital and lateral subgroups, 18 patients with posterior lesions and 82 healthy controls performed the Elevator Counting task. The results revealed that patients with medial and left lateral prefrontal lesions were significantly impaired on the task compared to healthy controls. Research suggests that patients with medial lesions are susceptible to competition from task irrelevant schema; whereas the left lateral group in the current study may fail to keep track of the tones already presented. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. m. Azadian

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Influence of visual feedback on human task performance in ITER remote handling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schropp, Gwendolijn Y.R., E-mail: g.schropp@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Utrecht University, Utrecht (Netherlands); Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Noordwijk (Netherlands); Heemskerk, Cock J.M. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Noordwijk (Netherlands); Kappers, Astrid M.L.; Tiest, Wouter M. Bergmann [Helmholtz Institute-Utrecht University, Utrecht (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, Ben S.Q. [FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, Association EURATOM/FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Clusterand ITER-NL, PO box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Bult, David [FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, Association EURATOM/FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Clusterand ITER-NL, PO box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands)

    2012-08-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The performance of human operators in an ITER-like test facility for remote handling. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Different sources of visual feedback influence how fast one can complete a maintenance task. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Insights learned could be used in design of operator work environment or training procedures. - Abstract: In ITER, maintenance operations will be largely performed by remote handling (RH). Before ITER can be put into operation, safety regulations and licensing authorities require proof of maintainability for critical components. Part of the proof will come from using standard components and procedures. Additional verification and validation is based on simulation and hardware tests in 1:1 scale mockups. The Master Slave manipulator system (MS2) Benchmark Product was designed to implement a reference set of maintenance tasks representative for ITER remote handling. Experiments were performed with two versions of the Benchmark Product. In both experiments, the quality of visual feedback varied by exchanging direct view with indirect view (using video cameras) in order to measure and analyze its impact on human task performance. The first experiment showed that both experienced and novice RH operators perform a simple task significantly better with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. A more complex task showed a large variation in results and could not be completed by many novice operators. Experienced operators commented on both the mechanical design and visual feedback. In a second experiment, a more elaborate task was tested on an improved Benchmark product. Again, the task was performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance.

  11. Influence of visual feedback on human task performance in ITER remote handling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schropp, Gwendolijn Y.R.; Heemskerk, Cock J.M.; Kappers, Astrid M.L.; Tiest, Wouter M. Bergmann; Elzendoorn, Ben S.Q.; Bult, David

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► The performance of human operators in an ITER-like test facility for remote handling. ► Different sources of visual feedback influence how fast one can complete a maintenance task. ► Insights learned could be used in design of operator work environment or training procedures. - Abstract: In ITER, maintenance operations will be largely performed by remote handling (RH). Before ITER can be put into operation, safety regulations and licensing authorities require proof of maintainability for critical components. Part of the proof will come from using standard components and procedures. Additional verification and validation is based on simulation and hardware tests in 1:1 scale mockups. The Master Slave manipulator system (MS2) Benchmark Product was designed to implement a reference set of maintenance tasks representative for ITER remote handling. Experiments were performed with two versions of the Benchmark Product. In both experiments, the quality of visual feedback varied by exchanging direct view with indirect view (using video cameras) in order to measure and analyze its impact on human task performance. The first experiment showed that both experienced and novice RH operators perform a simple task significantly better with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. A more complex task showed a large variation in results and could not be completed by many novice operators. Experienced operators commented on both the mechanical design and visual feedback. In a second experiment, a more elaborate task was tested on an improved Benchmark product. Again, the task was performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance.

  12. Implicit Motives, Explicit Traits, and Task and Contextual Performance at Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lang, J.W.B.; Zettler, Ingo; Ewen, C.

    2012-01-01

    for implicit achievement). As a test of these theoretical ideas, we report a study in which employees (N = 241) filled out a questionnaire booklet and worked on an improved modern implicit motive measure, the operant motive test. Their supervisors rated their task and contextual performance. Results support 4...... apply these ideas in the context of industrial and organizational psychology and propose that 2 explicit traits work as channels for the expression of 3 core implicit motives in task and contextual job performance (extraversion for implicit affiliation and implicit power; explicit achievement...... of the 6 theoretical predictions and show that interactions between implicit motives and explicit traits increase the explained criterion variance in both task and contextual performance....

  13. Investigating conversational dynamics: Interactive alignment, Interpersonal synergy, and collective task performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fusaroli, Riccardo; Tylén, Kristian

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates interpersonal processes underlying dialog by comparing two approaches, interactive alignment and interpersonal synergy, and assesses how they predict collective performance in a joint task. While the interactive alignment approach highlights imitative patterns between...... and their impact on collective performance in a corpus of task-oriented conversations. The results show statistical presence of patterns relevant for both approaches. However, synergetic aspects of dialog provide the best statistical predictors of collective performance and adding aspects of the alignment approach...... does not improve the model. This suggests that structural organization at the level of the interaction plays a crucial role in task-oriented conversations, possibly constraining and integrating processes related to alignment....

  14. Does complexity matter? Meta-analysis of learner performance in artificial grammar tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiff, Rachel; Katan, Pesia

    2014-01-01

    Complexity has been shown to affect performance on artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks (categorization of test items as grammatical/ungrammatical according to the implicitly trained grammar rules). However, previously published AGL experiments did not utilize consistent measures to investigate the comprehensive effect of grammar complexity on task performance. The present study focused on computerizing Bollt and Jones's (2000) technique of calculating topological entropy (TE), a quantitative measure of AGL charts' complexity, with the aim of examining associations between grammar systems' TE and learners' AGL task performance. We surveyed the literature and identified 56 previous AGL experiments based on 10 different grammars that met the sampling criteria. Using the automated matrix-lift-action method, we assigned a TE value for each of these 10 previously used AGL systems and examined its correlation with learners' task performance. The meta-regression analysis showed a significant correlation, demonstrating that the complexity effect transcended the different settings and conditions in which the categorization task was performed. The results reinforced the importance of using this new automated tool to uniformly measure grammar systems' complexity when experimenting with and evaluating the findings of AGL studies.

  15. Preparatory neural activity predicts performance on a conflict task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Emily R; Wager, Tor D; Egner, Tobias; Hirsch, Joy; Mangels, Jennifer A

    2007-10-24

    Advance preparation has been shown to improve the efficiency of conflict resolution. Yet, with little empirical work directly linking preparatory neural activity to the performance benefits of advance cueing, it is not clear whether this relationship results from preparatory activation of task-specific networks, or from activity associated with general alerting processes. Here, fMRI data were acquired during a spatial Stroop task in which advance cues either informed subjects of the upcoming relevant feature of conflict stimuli (spatial or semantic) or were neutral. Informative cues decreased reaction time (RT) relative to neutral cues, and cues indicating that spatial information would be task-relevant elicited greater activity than neutral cues in multiple areas, including right anterior prefrontal and bilateral parietal cortex. Additionally, preparatory activation in bilateral parietal cortex and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predicted faster RT when subjects responded to spatial location. No regions were found to be specific to semantic cues at conventional thresholds, and lowering the threshold further revealed little overlap between activity associated with spatial and semantic cueing effects, thereby demonstrating a single dissociation between activations related to preparing a spatial versus semantic task-set. This relationship between preparatory activation of spatial processing networks and efficient conflict resolution suggests that advance information can benefit performance by leading to domain-specific biasing of task-relevant information.

  16. Skylab task and work performance /Experiment M-151 - Time and motion study/

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubis, J. F.; Mclaughlin, E. J.

    1975-01-01

    The primary objective of Experiment M151 was to study the inflight adaptation of Skylab crewmen to a variety of task situations involving different types of activity. A parallel objective was to examine astronaut inflight performance for any behavioral stress effects associated with the working and living conditions of the Skylab environment. Training data provided the basis for comparison of preflight and inflight performance. Efficiency was evaluated through the adaptation function, namely, the relation of performance time over task trials. The results indicate that the initial changeover from preflight to inflight was accompanied by a substantial increase in performance time for most work and task activities. Equally important was the finding that crewmen adjusted rapidly to the weightless environment and became proficient in developing techniques with which to optimize task performance. By the end of the second inflight trial, most of the activities were performed almost as efficiently as on the last preflight trial. The analysis demonstrated the sensitivity of the adaptation function to differences in task and hardware configurations. The function was found to be more regular and less variable inflight than preflight. Translation and control of masses were accomplished easily and efficiently through the rapid development of the arms and legs as subtle guidance and restraint systems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noelle R Leonard

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Alessandro P; Frère, Annie F

    2011-08-19

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

  19. Research study on the effects of illumination on performance of control room tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silverman, E.B.; Horst, R.L.; Parris, H.L.; O'Brien, J.

    1990-01-01

    The illumination in the control rooms of many operating nuclear plants falls below the levels specified in the NUREG-0700 guidelines. However, these guidelines are based on human perception and performance data which were acquired under laboratory conditions and with tasks very different from those typically found in control rooms. The objective of the present studies was to gather empirical data regarding the levels of illumination sufficient for performing tasks analogous to those performed in control rooms. Several tasks were designed to engage the perceptual and cognitive processes that are representative of actual control room performance. In a computerized laboratory test-bed, subjects scanned edgewise meters, examined hard-copy X-Y plots to discern the value of the displayed function at specific coordinates, and proofread hard-copy plant procedures. In a power plant control room simulator, data were likewise collected in a meter reading task and similar tasks representing elements of specific job-performance measures. For each task, response time and accuracy were measured under a range of illumination levels. Subjective comfort ratings were also obtained for each illumination level. The results from both settings indicated that with decreasing illumination, increased errors and/or longer response times occurred only for levels below ten footcandles, if at all. These data suggest that adequate performance in control room tasks can be achieved at illumination levels below those recommended in NUREG-0700

  20. Measuring listening effort: driving simulator versus simple dual-task paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu-Hsiang; Aksan, Nazan; Rizzo, Matthew; Stangl, Elizabeth; Zhang, Xuyang; Bentler, Ruth

    2014-01-01

    The dual-task paradigm has been widely used to measure listening effort. The primary objectives of the study were to (1) investigate the effect of hearing aid amplification and a hearing aid directional technology on listening effort measured by a complicated, more real world dual-task paradigm and (2) compare the results obtained with this paradigm to a simpler laboratory-style dual-task paradigm. The listening effort of adults with hearing impairment was measured using two dual-task paradigms, wherein participants performed a speech recognition task simultaneously with either a driving task in a simulator or a visual reaction-time task in a sound-treated booth. The speech materials and road noises for the speech recognition task were recorded in a van traveling on the highway in three hearing aid conditions: unaided, aided with omnidirectional processing (OMNI), and aided with directional processing (DIR). The change in the driving task or the visual reaction-time task performance across the conditions quantified the change in listening effort. Compared to the driving-only condition, driving performance declined significantly with the addition of the speech recognition task. Although the speech recognition score was higher in the OMNI and DIR conditions than in the unaided condition, driving performance was similar across these three conditions, suggesting that listening effort was not affected by amplification and directional processing. Results from the simple dual-task paradigm showed a similar trend: hearing aid technologies improved speech recognition performance, but did not affect performance in the visual reaction-time task (i.e., reduce listening effort). The correlation between listening effort measured using the driving paradigm and the visual reaction-time task paradigm was significant. The finding showing that our older (56 to 85 years old) participants' better speech recognition performance did not result in reduced listening effort was not

  1. Structural Correlates of Skilled Performance on a Motor Sequence Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Steele

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The brain regions functionally engaged in motor sequence performance are well established, but the structural characteristics of these regions and the fibre pathways involved have been less well studied. In addition, relatively few studies have combined multiple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and behavioural performance measures in the same sample. Therefore, the current study used diffusion tensor imaging, probabilistic tractography, and voxel-based morphometry to determine the structural correlates of skilled motor performance. Further, we compared these findings with fMRI results in the same sample. We correlated final performance and rate of improvement measures on a temporal motor sequence task with skeletonised fractional anisotropy (FA and whole brain grey matter (GM volume. Final synchronisation performance was negatively correlated with FA in white matter underlying bilateral sensorimotor cortex – an effect that was mediated by a positive correlation with radial diffusivity. Multi-fibre tractography indicated that this region contained crossing fibres from the corticospinal tract and superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF. The identified SLF pathway linked parietal and auditory cortical regions that have been shown to be functionally engaged in this task. Thus, we hypothesise that enhanced synchronisation performance on this task may be related to greater fibre integrity of the SLF. Rate of improvement on synchronisation was positively correlated with GM volume in cerebellar lobules HVI and V – regions that showed training-related decreases in activity in the same sample. Taken together, our results link individual differences in brain structure and function to motor sequence performance on the same task. Further, our study illustrates the utility of using multiple MR measures and analysis techniques to specify the interpretation of structural findings.

  2. Planning oral narrative tasks: optimizing strategic planning condition through strategy instruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Luís Specht

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the results of a master thesis, which aimed at investigating the impact of strategic planning instruction on the speech performance of 6 L2 Brazilian learners. The participants, Letras-Inglês students, performed three now-and-there picture-cued narrative tasks under three different conditions: (1 no planning, (2 planning before instruction, and (3 planning after instruction. In addition, the participants filled in post-task questionnaires after the performance of each task, aiming at understanding their opinion on the conditions and tasks. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted in order to examine participants’ oral production and perception, respectively. In general, there was no statistical evidence supporting the impact of instruction on participants’ oral planned performance; however, some statistical results approached significance, which may suggest some positive effects. Qualitative analyses provided positive evidence of the impact of strategic planning instruction on participant perception and their use of strategies during planning time. Moreover, the results of this study can contribute to the fields of Second Language Acquisition and Language Pegadogy.

  3. Ready to rumble: how team personality composition and task conflict interact to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Bret H; Klotz, Anthony C; Postlethwaite, Bennett E; Brown, Kenneth G

    2013-03-01

    Although prior work has proposed a number of conditions under which task conflict in teams may improve performance, composition variables have been left unexplored. Given the effects of personality traits on team processes and outcomes demonstrated in prior work, investigating whether specific personality compositions influence the effect of task conflict on team performance is critical to researchers' understanding of conflict in teams. Our results indicate that team-level averages of both openness to experience and emotional stability function as moderators of the relationship between task conflict and team performance. Specifically, task conflict had a positive impact on performance in teams with high levels of openness or emotional stability; in contrast, task conflict had a negative impact on performance in teams with low levels of openness or emotional stability. Thus, when task conflict emerges, teams composed of members who are open minded or emotionally stable are best able to leverage conflict to improve performance. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

  4. Cognitive-motor dual-task interference modulates mediolateral dynamic stability during gait in post-stroke individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisserand, R; Armand, S; Allali, G; Schnider, A; Baillieul, S

    2018-04-01

    Gait asymmetry and dynamic balance impairments observed in post-stroke individuals increase their risk of fall. Moreover, walking while performing a cognitive task (i.e. dual-task) disturbs the control of balance in post-stroke individuals. Here we investigated the mediolateral dynamic stability in twenty-two community-dwelling participants (12 post-strokes and 10 healthy controls) while walking in single-task (normal gait) and four different dual-tasks (cognitive-motor interference). Positions of the extrapolated center of mass and mediolateral widths of both margin of stability and base of support were extracted from 35 marker trajectories. Post-stroke participants presented larger margin of stability and base of support than controls during single-task (both p dual-task was found between groups. In post-stroke participants, dual-task induced slight modification of the mediolateral stability strategy, as the margin of stability was not different between the two limbs at foot-strike, and significantly reduced the performance in every cognitive task. Post-stroke participants increased their dynamic stability in the frontal plane in single-task by extending their base of support and mainly relying on their non-paretic limb. Under cognitive-motor interference (dual-task), post-stroke participants prioritized dynamic stability over cognitive performance to ensure a safe locomotion. Thus, rehabilitation programs should consider both dynamic balance and dual-task training, even at a chronic delay following stroke, to reduce the risk of fall in post-stroke individuals. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The perceptual cognitive processes underpinning skilled performance in volleyball: evidence from eye-movements and verbal reports of thinking involving an in situ representative task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, José; Garganta, Jêlio; McRobert, Allistair; Williams, Andrew M; Mesquita, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    An extensive body of work has focused on the processes underpinning perceptual-cognitive expertise. The majority of researchers have used film-based simulations to capture superior performance. We combined eye movement recording and verbal reports of thinking to explore the processes underpinning skilled performance in a complex, dynamic, and externally paced representative volleyball task involving in situ data collection. Altogether, 27 female volleyball players performed as centre backcourt defenders in simulated sessions while wearing an eye-tracking device. After each sequence, athletes were questioned concerning their perception of the situation. The visual search strategies employed by the highly-skilled players were more exploratory than those used by skilled players, involving more fixations to a greater number of locations. Highly-skilled participants spent more time fixating on functional spaces between two or more display areas, while the skilled participants fixated on the ball trajectory and specific players. Moreover, highly-skilled players generated more condition concepts with higher levels of sophistication than their skilled counterparts. Findings highlight the value of using representative task designs to capture performance in situ. Key pointsDecision-making in complex sports relies deeply on perceptual-cognitive expertise. In turn, the effect of expertise is highly dependent on the nature and complexity of the task.Nonetheless, most researchers use simple tasks in their research designs, risking not capturing performance in a meaningful way. We proposed to use a live action setting with a complex task design, representative of real world situations.We combined eye movement registration with collection of immediate retrospective verbal reports. Although the two data sets are not directly comparable, they may be used in a complementary manner, providing a deeper and fuller understanding of the processes underpinning superior performance

  6. Dual Task of Fine Motor Skill and Problem Solving in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goverover, Y; Sandroff, B M; DeLuca, J

    2018-04-01

    To (1) examine and compare dual-task performance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls (HCs) using mathematical problem-solving questions that included an everyday competence component while performing an upper extremity fine motor task; and (2) examine whether difficulties in dual-task performance are associated with problems in performing an everyday internet task. Pilot study, mixed-design with both a within and between subjects' factor. A nonprofit rehabilitation research institution and the community. Participants (N=38) included persons with MS (n=19) and HCs (n=19) who were recruited from a nonprofit rehabilitation research institution and from the community. Not applicable. Participant were presented with 2 testing conditions: (1) solving mathematical everyday problems or placing bolts into divots (single-task condition); and (2) solving problems while putting bolts into divots (dual-task condition). Additionally, participants were required to perform a test of everyday internet competence. As expected, dual-task performance was significantly worse than either of the single-task tasks (ie, number of bolts into divots or correct answers, and time to answer the questions). Cognitive but not motor dual-task cost was associated with worse performance in activities of everyday internet tasks. Cognitive dual-task cost is significantly associated with worse performance of everyday technology. This was not observed in the motor dual-task cost. The implications of dual-task costs on everyday activity are discussed. Copyright © 2017 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Non-physical practice improves task performance in an unstable, perturbed environment: Motor imagery and observational balance training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang eTaube

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available For consciously performed motor tasks executed in a defined and constant way, both motor imagery (MI and action observation (AO have been shown to promote motor learning. It is not known whether these forms of non-physical training also improve motor actions when these actions have to be variably applied in an unstable and unpredictable environment. The present study therefore investigated the influence of MI balance training (MI_BT and a balance training combining AO and MI (AO+MI_BT on postural control of undisturbed and disturbed upright stance on unstable ground. As spinal reflex excitability after classical (i.e., physical balance training (BT is generally decreased, we tested whether non-physical BT also has an impact on spinal reflex circuits. Thirty-six participants were randomly allocated into an MI_BT group, in which participants imagined postural exercises, an AO+MI_BT group, in which participants observed videos of other people performing balance exercises and imagined being the person in the video, and a non-active control group (CON. Before and after 4 weeks of non-physical training, balance performance was assessed on a free-moving platform during stance without perturbation and during perturbed stance. Soleus H-reflexes were recorded during stable and unstable stance. The post measurement revealed significantly decreased postural sway during undisturbed and disturbed stance after both MI_BT and AO+MI_BT. Spinal reflex excitability remained unchanged. This is the first study showing that non-physical training (MI_BT and AO+MI_BT not only promotes motor learning of ‘rigid’ postural tasks but also improves performance of highly variable and unpredictable balance actions. These findings may be relevant to improve postural control and thus reduce the risk of falls in temporarily immobilized patients.

  8. The Influence of Math Anxiety, Math Performance, Worry, and Test Anxiety on the Iowa Gambling Task and Balloon Analogue Risk Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buelow, Melissa T; Barnhart, Wesley R

    2017-01-01

    Multiple studies have shown that performance on behavioral decision-making tasks, such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), is influenced by external factors, such as mood. However, the research regarding the influence of worry is mixed, and no research has examined the effect of math or test anxiety on these tasks. The present study investigated the effects of anxiety (including math anxiety) and math performance on the IGT and BART in a sample of 137 undergraduate students. Math performance and worry were not correlated with performance on the IGT, and no variables were correlated with BART performance. Linear regressions indicated math anxiety, physiological anxiety, social concerns/stress, and test anxiety significantly predicted disadvantageous selections on the IGT during the transition from decision making under ambiguity to decision making under risk. Implications for clinical evaluation of decision making are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.

  9. Relationship between Age Cognitive Decline and Performance of Cognitive Motor Tasks in Seniors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Mudrák

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Relationship between Age Cognitive Decline and Performance of Cognitive Motor Tasks in Seniors Relationship between the age-related cognitive decline and decline in cognitive processing speed, in a variety of cognitive motor tasks was examined. The sample consisted of 33 well-adjusted older adults (on average 68 years old, recruited from several physical activity programs. The participants performed five cognitive tests selected from the Vienna test system battery. Subsequently, the relationship of their age and the measures of cognitive function was analyzed. It was found that the age of respondents was related only to their performance in complex tasks which included a processing speed component. The participant’s performance in simple tasks and in measures unaffected by processing speed was unrelated to age. Results are consistent with the processing speed theory of adult age differences in cognition (Salthouse, 1996. Furthermore, the performance in complex cognitive tasks was influenced by the level of participation in leisure physical activities; this suggests that physically active lifestyle may limit the impact of age on cognitive function. Stárnutí a rychlost zpracování kognitivních funkcí V předkládáné studii se zabýváme některými aspekty věkem podmíněného úbytku kognitivních funkcí. Konkrétně zkoumáme předpoklady vycházející z teorie rychlosti zpracování (Salthouse, 1996 týkající se toho, že věkem podmíněný pokles kognitivních funkcí je dán především poklesem rychlosti kognitivních procesů, což se projevuje především u komplexních kognitivních úkolů. Vzorek v naší studii se skládal z 33 seniorů a seniorek (průměrný věk byl 68 let, které jsme oslovili prostřednictvím několika programů pro seniory. Respondenti byli testováni prostřednictvím pěti testů kognitivních funkcí, které jsme vybrali z testové baterie Vienna test systém. Následně jsme analyzovali

  10. Dual-Task Crosstalk between Saccades and Manual Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huestegge, Lynn; Koch, Iring

    2009-01-01

    Between-task crosstalk has been discussed as an important source for dual-task costs. In this study, the authors examine concurrently performed saccades and manual responses as a means of studying the role of response-code conflict between 2 tasks. In Experiment 1, participants responded to an imperative auditory stimulus with a left or a right…

  11. Performance Monitoring and Response Inhibition in a Saccadic Countermanding Task in High and Low proficient bilinguals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niharika eSingh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We compared Hindi-English bilinguals differing in their L2 fluency on a saccadic countermanding task which taps inhibitory control as well as monitoring. We particularly explored whether response inhibition and performance monitoring within the oculomotor domain are affected by language proficiency in bilinguals. There were two different oculomotor redirect tasks: Visually Guided Redirect (VGR task (Experiment1 and Memory Guided Redirect (MGR task (Experiment 2. In this task typically a target is presented to which subject must make saccade (No step trials, unless a new target appears on the other location after some delay from the first target onset (Step trials. On such trials participants are required to inhibit and cancel the saccade to the first instead program a saccade to the new target. Using trial switch reaction time (TSRT, which is the time taken to inhibit the initiated saccade to the first target, as a measure of response inhibition, and post-stop slowing as a measure of performance monitoring, we observed two important results. It was found that high proficiency bilinguals showed more post-stop slowing on the no-step trials as compared to the low proficiency bilinguals for both VGR and MGR. Secondly, high and low proficiency bilingual exhibited comparable TSRT in both VGR and MGR, showing no altering effect of language proficiency on the response inhibition in bilinguals. These results suggest that bilingualism impacts performance monitoring which is modulated by language proficiency if not the inhibitory control system. Higher fluency may lead to superior cognitive flexibility, and ability to adjust behaviour that facilitates attainment of cognitive goal. These findings are in consonance with other current studies that suggest a top-down effect of bilingualism on action control systems.

  12. Dual task and postural control in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa Pires de Andrade

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Patients with neurodegenerative diseases are required to use cognitive resources while maintaining postural control. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a frontal cognitive task on postural control in patients with Alzheimer, Parkinson and controls. Thirty-eight participants were instructed to stand upright on a force platform in two experimental conditions: single and dual task. Participants with Parkinson's disease presented an increase in the coefficient of variation greater than 100% in the dual task as compared to the single task for center of pressure (COP area and COP path. In addition, patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease had a higher number of errors during the execution of the cognitive task when compared to the group of elderly without neurodegenerative diseases. The motor cortex, which is engaged in postural control, does not seem to compete with frontal brain regions in the performance of the cognitive task. However, patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease presented worsened performance in cognitive task.

  13. Task choice and semantic interference in picture naming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piai, V.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Schriefers, H.J.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from dual-task performance indicates that speakers prefer not to select simultaneous responses in picture naming and another unrelated task, suggesting a response selection bottleneck in naming. In particular, when participants respond to tones with a manual response and name pictures with

  14. Discrepancy of performance among working memory-related tasks in autism spectrum disorders was caused by task characteristics, apart from working memory, which could interfere with task execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakahachi, Takayuki; Iwase, Masao; Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Honaga, Eiko; Sekiyama, Ryuji; Ukai, Satoshi; Ishii, Ryouhei; Ishigami, Wataru; Kajimoto, Osami; Yamashita, Ko; Hashimoto, Ryota; Tanii, Hisashi; Shimizu, Akira; Takeda, Masatoshi

    2006-06-01

    Working memory performance has been inconsistently reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Several studies in ASD have found normal performance in digit span and poor performance in digit symbol task although these are closely related with working memory. It is assumed that poor performance in digit symbol could be explained by confirmatory behavior, which is induced due to the vague memory representation of number-symbol association. Therefore it was hypothesized that the performance of working memory task, in which vagueness did not cause confirmatory behavior, would be normal in ASD. For this purpose, the Advanced Trail Making Test (ATMT) was used. The performance of digit span, digit symbol and ATMT was compared between ASD and normal control. The digit span, digit symbol and ATMT was given to 16 ASD subjects and 28 IQ-, age- and sex-matched control subjects. The scores of these tasks were compared. A significantly lower score for ASD was found only in digit symbol compared with control subjects. There were no significant difference in digit span and working memory estimated by ATMT. Discrepancy of scores among working memory-related tasks was demonstrated in ASD. Poor digit symbol performance, normal digit span and normal working memory in ATMT implied that ASD subjects would be intact in working memory itself, and that superficial working memory dysfunction might be observed due to confirmatory behavior in digit symbol. Therefore, to evaluate working memory in ASD, tasks that could stimulate psychopathology specific to ASD should be avoided.

  15. Evaluating the Effects of Formal Corrective Feedback on Off-Task/On-Task Behavior of Mild Intellectually Disabled Students: An Action Research Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    The off-task behavior demonstrated by the study participants appears to interfere with classroom instruction, contribute to poor academic performance and in many instances lead to disciplinary actions such as suspension. The purpose of the study entailed determining if formal corrective feedback has an effect on the off-task/on-task behavior of…

  16. Olympic participation and performance since 1896

    OpenAIRE

    Kuper, Gerard; Sterken, Elmer

    2003-01-01

    We analyze the decision to participate and performance at the Modern Olympic Summer Games at the country level. We use an unbalanced panel of 118 countries over all 24 editions of the Summer Games since 1896. The main focus of the paper is on economic, geographic and demographic determinants of Olympic participation and success. We estimate the impact of income per capita, population size, home advantage, and some fixed country factors on participation and success rates. We present separate r...

  17. Responses to task 1 questionnaire of INFCE Working Group 6 supplied by participating states

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Responses to Task 1 Questionnaire of INFCE Working Group 6 supplied by participating states (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USSR, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia). Data and information are given on nuclear power forecast, spent fuel requirements for AR and AFR storage, current programmes for storage, future spent fuel disposition plans and transport

  18. Solar heating cooling. Preparation of possible participation in IEA, Solar Heating Cooling Task 25

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-03-01

    For the Danish solar heating industries it is interesting to discuss the domestic market possibilities and the export possibilities for solar heating cooling systems. The Danish solar heating sector also wants to participate in the international collaboration within IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Task 25 'Solar Assisted Air Conditioning of Buildings'. The Danish Energy Agency therefore has granted means for this project to discuss: The price of cooling for 3 different solar cooling methods (absorption cooling, desiccant cooling and ejector cooling); Market possibilities in Denmark and abroad; The advantages by Danish participation in IEA Task 25. The task has been solved through literature studies to establish status for the 3 technologies. It turned out that ejector cooling by low temperatures (85 deg. C from the solar collector) exists as pilot plants in relation to district heating, but is still not commercial accessible. Desiccant cooling, where the supplied heat has temperatures down to 55 deg. C is a well-developed technology. However only a handful of pilot plants with solar heating exists, and thus optimization relating to operation strategy and economy is on the experimental stage. Absorption cooling plants driven by solar heating are found in a large number in Japan and are also demonstrated in several other countries. The combination of absorption heating pump and solar heating is considered to be commercial accessible. Solar heating is interesting as heat source of to the extent that it can replace other sources of heat without the economy being depreciated. This can be the case in South Europe if: 1) oil or natural gas is used for heating; 2) a solar heating system already exists, e.g. for domestic water supply, and is installed so that the marginal costs by solar heating supply of the ventilation plant is reduced. All in all the above conditions mean that the market for solar heating for cooling is very limited in Europe, where almost everybody are

  19. The effect of opponent type on human performance in a three-alternative choice task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lie, Celia; Baxter, Jennifer; Alsop, Brent

    2013-10-01

    Adult participants played computerised games of "Paper Scissors Rock". Participants in one group were told that they were playing against the computer, and those in the other group were told that they were playing against another participant in the adjacent room. The participant who won the most games would receive a $50 prize. For both groups however, the opponent's responses (paper, scissors, or rock) were generated by the computer, and the distribution of these responses was varied across four blocks of 126 trials. Results were analysed using the generalised matching law for the three possible pairs of alternatives (paper vs. scissors, paper vs. rock, and scissors vs. rock) across all participants in each group. Overall, significantly higher estimates of sensitivity to the distribution of opponent's responses were obtained from participants who were told their opponent was a computer compared to participants who were told their opponent was another participant. While adding to the existing literature showing that the generalised matching law is an adequate descriptor of human three-alternative choice behaviour, these findings show that external factors such as perceived opponent type can affect the efficacy of reinforcer contingencies on human behaviour. This suggests that generalising the results from