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  1. Task control signals in pediatric Tourette syndrome show evidence of immature and anomalous functional activity

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    Jessica A Church

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Tourette Syndrome (TS is a pediatric movement disorder that may affect control signaling in the brain. Previous work has proposed a dual-networks architecture of control processing involving a task-maintenance network and an adaptive control network (Dosenbach et al., 2008. A prior resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI analysis in TS has revealed functional immaturity in both putative control networks, with “anomalous” correlations (i.e. correlations outside the typical developmental range limited to the adaptive control network (Church et al., 2009. The present study used functional MRI (fMRI to study brain activity related to adaptive control (by studying start-cues signals, and to task-maintenance (by studying signals sustained across a task set. Two hypotheses from the previous rs-fcMRI results were tested. First, adaptive control (i.e., start-cue activity will be altered in TS, including activity inconsistent with typical development (“anomalous”. Second, group differences found in task maintenance (i.e., sustained activity will be consistent with functional immaturity in TS. We examined regions found through a direct comparison of adolescents with and without TS, as well as regions derived from a previous investigation that showed differences between unaffected children and adults. The TS group showed decreased start-cue signal magnitude in regions where start-cue activity is unchanged over typical development, consistent with anomalous adaptive control. The TS group also had higher magnitude sustained signals in frontal cortex regions that overlapped with regions showing differences over typical development, consistent with immature task maintenance in TS. The results demonstrate task-related fMRI signal differences anticipated by the atypical functional connectivity found previously in adolescents with TS, strengthening the evidence for functional immaturity and anomalous signaling in control networks in adolescents

  2. Task activation and functional connectivity show concordant memory laterality in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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    Sideman, Noah; Chaitanya, Ganne; He, Xiaosong; Doucet, Gaelle; Kim, Na Young; Sperling, Michael R; Sharan, Ashwini D; Tracy, Joseph I

    2018-04-01

    In epilepsy, asymmetries in the organization of mesial temporal lobe (MTL) functions help determine the cognitive risk associated with procedures such as anterior temporal lobectomy. Past studies have investigated the change/shift in a visual episodic memory laterality index (LI) in mesial temporal lobe structures through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task activations. Here, we examine whether underlying task-related functional connectivity (FC) is concordant with such standard fMRI laterality measures. A total of 56 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) (Left TLE [LTLE]: 31; Right TLE [RTLE]: 25) and 34 matched healthy controls (HC) underwent fMRI scanning during performance of a scene encoding task (SET). We assessed an activation-based LI of the hippocampal gyrus (HG) and parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) during the SET and its correspondence with task-related FC measures. Analyses involving the HG and PHG showed that the patients with LTLE had a consistently higher LI (right-lateralized) than that of the HC and group with RTLE, indicating functional reorganization. The patients with RTLE did not display a reliable contralateral shift away from the pathology, with the mesial structures showing quite distinct laterality patterns (HG, no laterality bias; PHG, no evidence of LI shift). The FC data for the group with LTLE provided confirmation of reorganization effects, revealing that a rightward task LI may be based on underlying connections between several left-sided regions (middle/superior occipital and left medial frontal gyri) and the right PHG. The FCs between the right HG and left anterior cingulate/medial frontal gyri were also observed in LTLE. Importantly, the data demonstrate that the areas involved in the LTLE task activation shift to the right hemisphere showed a corresponding increase in task-related FCs between the hemispheres. Altered laterality patterns based on mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) pathology manifest as several

  3. Pigeons (Columba livia) show change blindness in a color-change detection task.

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    Herbranson, Walter T; Jeffers, Jacob S

    2017-07-01

    Change blindness is a phenomenon whereby changes to a stimulus are more likely go unnoticed under certain circumstances. Pigeons learned a change detection task, in which they observed sequential stimulus displays consisting of individual colors back-projected onto three response keys. The color of one response key changed during each sequence and pecks to the key that displayed the change were reinforced. Pigeons showed a change blindness effect, in that change detection accuracy was worse when there was an inter-stimulus interval interrupting the transition between consecutive stimulus displays. Birds successfully transferred to stimulus displays involving novel colors, indicating that pigeons learned a general change detection rule. Furthermore, analysis of responses to specific color combinations showed that pigeons could detect changes involving both spectral and non-spectral colors and that accuracy was better for changes involving greater differences in wavelength. These results build upon previous investigations of change blindness in both humans and pigeons and suggest that change blindness may be a general consequence of selective visual attention relevant to multiple species and stimulus dimensions.

  4. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task

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    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Low birth weight (LBW is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction due to a shortage of oxygen and nutrients supply to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (short-term and reference memory (long-term in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed a better reference memory performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, the vLBW piglets fell back less in working memory scores than the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  5. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task.

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    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Low birth weight (LBW) is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to a shortage of oxygen and supply of nutrients to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW) piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW) siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (WM) (short-term memory) and reference memory (RM) (long-term memory) in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed better RM performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, WM scores in the vLBW were less disrupted than in the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  6. Set-based Tasks within the Singularity-robust Multiple Task-priority Inverse Kinematics Framework: General Formulation, Stability Analysis and Experimental Results

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    Signe eMoe

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Inverse kinematics algorithms are commonly used in robotic systems to transform tasks to joint references, and several methods exist to ensure the achievement of several tasks simultaneously. The multiple task-priority inverse kinematicsframework allows tasks to be considered in a prioritized order by projecting task velocities through the nullspaces of higherpriority tasks. This paper extends this framework to handle setbased tasks, i.e. tasks with a range of valid values, in addition to equality tasks, which have a specific desired value. Examples of set-based tasks are joint limit and obstacle avoidance. The proposed method is proven to ensure asymptotic convergence of the equality task errors and the satisfaction of all high-priority set-based tasks. The practical implementation of the proposed algorithm is discussed, and experimental results are presented where a number of both set-based and equality tasks have been implemented on a 6 degree of freedom UR5 which is an industrial robotic arm from Universal Robots. The experiments validate thetheoretical results and confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

  7. Rats socially-reared and full fed learned an autoshaping task, showing less levels of fear-like behaviour than fasted or singly-reared rats.

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    Molina-Hernández, Miguel; Téllez-Alcántara, N Patricia

    2004-07-01

    During the learning of instrumental tasks, rats are usually fasted to increase reinforced learning. However, fasting produces several undesirable side effects. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that control rats, i.e. full-fed and group-reared rats, will learn an autoshaping task to the same level as fasted or singly-reared rats. The interaction between fasting and single-rearing of rats was also tested. Results showed that control rats and fasted rats acquired the autoshaping task similarly, independently of rearing condition or gender. However, fasted or singly-reared rats produced fear-like behaviour, since male rats group-reared and fasted (85% body/wt, P autoshaping task to the same level as fasted or singly-reared rats. However, fasting or single-rearing produced fear-like behaviour. Thus, the training of control rats in autoshaping tasks may be an option that improves animal welfare.

  8. What Klein’s semantic gradient does and does not really show: decomposing Stroop interference into task and informational conflict components

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    Yulia eLevin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The present study suggests that the idea that Stroop interference originates from multiple components may gain theoretically from integrating two independent frameworks. The first framework is represented by the well-known notion of semantic gradient of interference and the second one is the distinction between two types of conflict – the task and the informational conflict – giving rise to the interference (Goldfarb & Henik, 2007; McLeod & MacDonald, 2000. The proposed integration led to the conclusion that two (i.e., orthographic and lexical components of the four theoretically distinct components represent task conflict, and the other two (i.e., indirect and direct informational conflict components represent informational conflict. The four components were independently estimated in a series of experiments. The results confirmed the contribution of task conflict (estimated by a robust orthographic component and of informational conflict (estimated by a strong direct informational conflict component to Stroop interference. However, the performed critical review of the relevant literature (see General Discussion, as well as the results of the experiments reported, showed that the other two components expressing each type of conflict (i.e., the lexical component of task conflict and the indirect informational conflict were small, and unstable. The present analysis refines our knowledge of the origins of Stroop interference by providing evidence that each type of conflict has its major and minor contributions. The implications for cognitive control of an automatic reading process are also discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. Task Listings Resulting from the Vocational Competency Measures Project. Memorandum Report.

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    American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.

    This memorandum report consists of 14 task listings resulting from the Vocational Competency Measures Project. (The Vocational Competency Measures Project was a test development project that involved the writing and verification of task listings for 14 vocational occupational areas through over 225 interviews conducted in 27 states.) Provided in…

  11. Blink activity and task difficulty.

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    Tanaka, Y; Yamaoka, K

    1993-08-01

    This study investigated the relationship between task difficulty and blink activity, which includes blink rate, blink amplitude, and blink duration. Two kinds of tasks established two levels of difficulty. In Exp. 1, a mental arithmetic task was used to examine the relationship. Analysis showed that blink rate for a difficult task was significantly higher than that for an easier one. In Exp. 2, a letter-search task (hiragana Japanese alphabet) was used while the other conditions were the same as those in Exp. 1; however, the results of this experiment were not influenced by the difficulty of the task. As results indicate that blink rate is related to not only difficulty but also the nature of the task, the nature of the task is probably dependent on a mechanism in information processing. The results for blink amplitude and blink duration showed no systematic change during either experiment.

  12. Effects of noise and task loading on a communication task loading on a communication task

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    Orrell, Dean H., II

    Previous research had shown the effect of noise on a single communication task. This research has been criticized as not being representative of a real world situation since subjects allocated all of their attention to only one task. In the present study, the effect of adding a loading task to a standard noise-communication paradigm was investigated. Subjects performed both a communication task (Modified Rhyme Test; House et al. 1965) and a short term memory task (Sternberg, 1969) in simulated levels of aircraft noise (95, 105 and 115 dB overall sound pressure level (OASPL)). Task loading was varied with Sternberg's task by requiring subjects to memorize one, four, or six alphanumeric characters. Simulated aircraft noise was varied between levels of 95, 105 and 115 dB OASPL using a pink noise source. Results show that the addition of Sternberg's task and little effect on the intelligibility of the communication task while response time for the communication task increased.

  13. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks: effects of task factors and RSA indices.

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    Overbeek, Thérèse J M; van Boxtel, Anton; Westerink, Joyce H D M

    2014-05-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable results. In 83 healthy subjects, we studied RSA responses to a working memory task requiring varying levels of cognitive control and a perceptual attention task not requiring strong cognitive control. RSA responses were quantified in the time and frequency domain and were additionally corrected for differences in mean interbeat interval and respiration rate, resulting in eight different RSA indices. The two tasks were clearly differentiated by heart rate and facial EMG reference measures. Cognitive control induced inhibition of RSA whereas perceptual attention generally did not. However, the results show several differences between different RSA indices, emphasizing the importance of methodological variables. Age and sex did not influence the results. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Gait stability and variability measures show effects of impaired cognition and dual tasking in frail people

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    de Vries Oscar J

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Falls in frail elderly are a common problem with a rising incidence. Gait and postural instability are major risk factors for falling, particularly in geriatric patients. As walking requires attention, cognitive impairments are likely to contribute to an increased fall risk. An objective quantification of gait and balance ability is required to identify persons with a high tendency to fall. Recent studies have shown that stride variability is increased in elderly and under dual task condition and might be more sensitive to detect fall risk than walking speed. In the present study we complemented stride related measures with measures that quantify trunk movement patterns as indicators of dynamic balance ability during walking. The aim of the study was to quantify the effect of impaired cognition and dual tasking on gait variability and stability in geriatric patients. Methods Thirteen elderly with dementia (mean age: 82.6 ± 4.3 years and thirteen without dementia (79.4 ± 5.55 recruited from a geriatric day clinic, walked at self-selected speed with and without performing a verbal dual task. The Mini Mental State Examination and the Seven Minute Screen were administered. Trunk accelerations were measured with an accelerometer. In addition to walking speed, mean, and variability of stride times, gait stability was quantified using stochastic dynamical measures, namely regularity (sample entropy, long range correlations and local stability exponents of trunk accelerations. Results Dual tasking significantly (p Conclusions The observed trunk adaptations were a consistent instability factor. These results support the concept that changes in cognitive functions contribute to changes in the variability and stability of the gait pattern. Walking under dual task conditions and quantifying gait using dynamical parameters can improve detecting walking disorders and might help to identify those elderly who are able to adapt walking

  15. Insights into Intraspecies Variation in Primate Prosocial Behavior: Capuchins (Cebus apella Fail to Show Prosociality on a Touchscreen Task

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    Lindsey A. Drayton

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade, many researchers have used food donation tasks to test whether nonhuman primates show human-like patterns of prosocial behavior in experimental settings. Although these tasks are elegant in their simplicity, performance within and across species is difficult to explain under a unified theoretical framework. Here, we attempt to better understand variation in prosociality by examining the circumstances that promote and hinder the expression of prosocial preferences. To this end, we tested whether capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella—a species that has previously demonstrated prosocial preferences—would behave prosocially using a novel touchscreen task. In contrast to previous studies, we found that capuchins as a group did not prosocially deliver food to a partner. Importantly however, data from control conditions revealed that subjects demonstrated limited understanding of the reward contingencies of the task. We also compared individuals’ performance in the current study with their performance in a previously published prosociality study. We conclude by discussing how continuing to explore intraspecies variation in performance on prosocial tasks may help inform debates regarding the existence of other-regarding preferences in nonhuman species.

  16. Task conflict and proactive control: A computational theory of the Stroop task.

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    Kalanthroff, Eyal; Davelaar, Eddy J; Henik, Avishai; Goldfarb, Liat; Usher, Marius

    2018-01-01

    The Stroop task is a central experimental paradigm used to probe cognitive control by measuring the ability of participants to selectively attend to task-relevant information and inhibit automatic task-irrelevant responses. Research has revealed variability in both experimental manipulations and individual differences. Here, we focus on a particular source of Stroop variability, the reverse-facilitation (RF; faster responses to nonword neutral stimuli than to congruent stimuli), which has recently been suggested as a signature of task conflict. We first review the literature that shows RF variability in the Stroop task, both with regard to experimental manipulations and to individual differences. We suggest that task conflict variability can be understood as resulting from the degree of proactive control that subjects recruit in advance of the Stroop stimulus. When the proactive control is high, task conflict does not arise (or is resolved very quickly), resulting in regular Stroop facilitation. When proactive control is low, task conflict emerges, leading to a slow-down in congruent and incongruent (but not in neutral) trials and thus to Stroop RF. To support this suggestion, we present a computational model of the Stroop task, which includes the resolution of task conflict and its modulation by proactive control. Results show that our model (a) accounts for the variability in Stroop-RF reported in the experimental literature, and (b) solves a challenge to previous Stroop models-their ability to account for reaction time distributional properties. Finally, we discuss theoretical implications to Stroop measures and control deficits observed in some psychopathologies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Showing a model's eye movements in examples does not improve learning of problem-solving tasks

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    van Marlen, Tim; van Wermeskerken, Margot; Jarodzka, Halszka; van Gog, Tamara

    2016-01-01

    Eye movement modeling examples (EMME) are demonstrations of a computer-based task by a human model (e.g., a teacher), with the model's eye movements superimposed on the task to guide learners' attention. EMME have been shown to enhance learning of perceptual classification tasks; however, it is an

  18. Task demand, task management, and teamwork

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    Braarud, Per Oeivind; Brendryen, Haavar

    2001-03-15

    The current approach to mental workload assessment in process control was evaluated in 3 previous HAMMLAB studies, by analysing the relationship between workload related measures and performance. The results showed that subjective task complexity rating was related to team's control room performance, that mental effort (NASA-TLX) was weakly related to performance, and that overall activity level was unrelated to performance. The results support the argument that general cognitive measures, i.e., mental workload, are weakly related to performance in the process control domain. This implies that other workload concepts than general mental workload are needed for valid assessment of human reliability and for valid assessment of control room configurations. An assessment of task load in process control suggested that how effort is used to handle task demand is more important then the level of effort invested to solve the task. The report suggests two main workload related concepts with a potential as performance predictors in process control: task requirements, and the work style describing how effort is invested to solve the task. The task requirements are seen as composed of individual task demand and team demand. In a similar way work style are seen as composed of individual task management and teamwork style. A framework for the development of the concepts is suggested based on a literature review and experiences from HAMMLAB research. It is suggested that operational definitions of workload concepts should be based on observable control room behaviour, to assure a potential for developing performance-shaping factors. Finally an explorative analysis of teamwork measures and performance in one study indicated that teamwork concepts are related to performance. This lends support to the suggested development of team demand and teamwork style as elements of a framework for the analysis of workload in process control. (Author)

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  1. The Functional Task Test: Results from the One-Year Mission

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

    2017-01-01

    Exposure to the microgravity conditions of spaceflight causes astronauts to experience alterations in multiple physiological systems including sensorimotor disturbances, cardiovascular deconditioning, and loss of muscle mass and strength. Some or all of these changes might affect the ability of crewmembers to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. The goal of our recently completed Functional Task Test (FTT) study was to determine the effects of spaceflight 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. The FTT is comprised of seven functional tests and a corresponding set of interdisciplinary physiological measures specifically targeting the sensorimotor, cardiovascular and muscular changes associated with exposure to spaceflight. Both Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) astronauts were tested before and after spaceflight. Additionally, we conducted a supporting study in which subjects performed the FTT protocol before and after 70 days of 6 deg head-down bed rest, an analog for spaceflight. Two groups of bed rest subjects were studied: one group who performed aerobic and resistive exercise during bed rest using protocols similar to astronauts and one group who served as non-exercise controls. The bed rest analog allowed us to isolate the impact of body unloading without other spaceflight environmental factors on both functional tasks and on the underlying physiological factors that lead to decrements in performance, and then to compare those results with the results obtained in our spaceflight study. As an extension to the FTT study we collected data from one ISS crewmember who experienced 340 days in space using the same FTT protocol used previously to test spaceflight and bed rest subjects. Data were collected three times preflight and 1.7, 7.5 and 36.5 days after

  2. Memory distorions resulting from a choice blindness task

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    Pärnamets, Philip; Hall, Lars; Johansson, Petter

    2015-01-01

    Using a choice blindness paradigm, it is possible to switch decisions and outcomes in simple choice tasks. Such switches have been found to carry over into later choices, hypothesized to be mediated by beliefs about earlier decisions. Here we investigated participants’ memories for stimuli in a simple choice blindness task involving preferential choices between pairs of faces. We probed participants’ recognition and source memory following a round of choices where on some trials participants ...

  3. Abstinent adult daily smokers show reduced anticipatory but elevated saccade-related brain responses during a rewarded antisaccade task.

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    Geier, Charles F; Sweitzer, Maggie M; Denlinger, Rachel; Sparacino, Gina; Donny, Eric C

    2014-08-30

    Chronic smoking may result in reduced sensitivity to non-drug rewards (e.g., money), a phenomenon particularly salient during abstinence. During a quit attempt, this effect may contribute to biased decision-making (smoking>alternative reinforcers) and relapse. Although relevant for quitting, characterization of reduced reward function in abstinent smokers remains limited. Moreover, how attenuated reward function affects other brain systems supporting decision-making has not been established. Here, we use a rewarded antisaccade (rAS) task to characterize non-drug reward processing and its influence on inhibitory control, key elements underlying decision-making, in abstinent smokers vs. non-smokers. Abstinent (12-hours) adult daily smokers (N=23) and non-smokers (N=11) underwent fMRI while performing the rAS. Behavioral performances improved on reward vs. neutral trials. Smokers showed attenuated activation in ventral striatum during the reward cue and in superior precentral sulcus and posterior parietal cortex during response preparation, but greater responses during the saccade response in posterior cingulate and parietal cortices. Smokers' attenuated anticipatory responses suggest reduced motivation from monetary reward, while heightened activation during the saccade response suggests that additional circuitry may be engaged later to enhance inhibitory task performance. Overall, this preliminary study highlights group differences in decision-making components and the utility of the rAS to characterize these effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Chronic cannabis users show altered neurophysiological functioning on Stroop task conflict resolution.

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    Battisti, Robert A; Roodenrys, Steven; Johnstone, Stuart J; Pesa, Nicole; Hermens, Daniel F; Solowij, Nadia

    2010-12-01

    Chronic cannabis use has been related to deficits in cognition (particularly memory) and the normal functioning of brain structures sensitive to cannabinoids. There is increasing evidence that conflict monitoring and resolution processes (i.e. the ability to detect and respond to change) may be affected. This study examined the ability to inhibit an automatic reading response in order to activate a more difficult naming response (i.e. conflict resolution) in a variant of the discrete trial Stroop colour-naming task. Event-related brain potentials to neutral, congruent and incongruent trials were compared between 21 cannabis users (mean 16.4 years of near daily use) in the unintoxicated state and 19 non-using controls. Cannabis users showed increased errors on colour-incongruent trials (e.g. "RED" printed in blue ink) but no performance differences from controls on colour congruent (e.g. "RED" printed in red ink) or neutral trials (e.g. "*****" printed in green ink). Poorer incongruent trial performance was predicted by an earlier age of onset of regular cannabis use. Users showed altered expression of a late sustained potential related to conflict resolution, evident by opposite patterns of activity between trial types at midline and central sites, and altered relationships between neurophysiological and behavioural outcome measures not evident in the control group. These findings indicate that chronic use of cannabis may impair the brain's ability to respond optimally in the presence of events that require conflict resolution and hold implications for the ability to refrain from substance misuse and/or maintain substance abstention behaviours.

  5. The task complexity experiment 2003/2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laumann, Karin; Braarud, Per Oeivind; Svengren, Haakan

    2005-08-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to explore how additional tasks added to base case scenarios affected the operators' performance of the main tasks. These additional tasks were in different scenario variants intended to cause high time pressure, high information load, and high masking. The experiment was run in Halden Man-Machine Laboratory's BWR simulator. Seven crews participated, each for one week. There were three operators in each crew. Five main types of scenarios and 20 scenario variants were run. The data from the experiment were analysed by completion time for important actions and by in-depth qualitative analyses of the crews' communications. The results showed that high time pressure decreased some of the crews' performance in the scenarios. When a crew had problems in solving a task for which the time pressure was high, they had even more problems in solving other important tasks. High information load did not affect the operators' performance much and in general the crews were very good at selecting the most important tasks in the scenarios. The scenarios that included both high time pressure and high information load resulted in more reduced performance for the crews compared to the scenarios that only included high time pressure. The total amount of tasks to do and information load to attend to seemed to affect the crews' performance. To solve the scenarios with high time pressure well, it was important to have good communication and good allocation of tasks within the crew. Furthermore, the results showed that scenarios with an added complex, masked task created problems for some crews when solving a relatively simple main task. Overall, the results confirmed that complicating, but secondary tasks, that are not normally taken into account when modelling the primary tasks in a PRA scenario can adversely affect the performance of the main tasks modelled in the PRA scenario. (Author)

  6. 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

  7. Anterior medial prefrontal cortex exhibits activation during task preparation but deactivation during task execution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideya Koshino

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC exhibits activation during some cognitive tasks, including episodic memory, reasoning, attention, multitasking, task sets, decision making, mentalizing, and processing of self-referenced information. However, the medial part of anterior PFC is part of the default mode network (DMN, which shows deactivation during various goal-directed cognitive tasks compared to a resting baseline. One possible factor for this pattern is that activity in the anterior medial PFC (MPFC is affected by dynamic allocation of attentional resources depending on task demands. We investigated this possibility using an event related fMRI with a face working memory task. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sixteen students participated in a single fMRI session. They were asked to form a task set to remember the faces (Face memory condition or to ignore them (No face memory condition, then they were given 6 seconds of preparation period before the onset of the face stimuli. During this 6-second period, four single digits were presented one at a time at the center of the display, and participants were asked to add them and to remember the final answer. When participants formed a task set to remember faces, the anterior MPFC exhibited activation during a task preparation period but deactivation during a task execution period within a single trial. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest that the anterior MPFC plays a role in task set formation but is not involved in execution of the face working memory task. Therefore, when attentional resources are allocated to other brain regions during task execution, the anterior MPFC shows deactivation. The results suggest that activation and deactivation in the anterior MPFC are affected by dynamic allocation of processing resources across different phases of processing.

  8. 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....

  9. 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.

  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. Task conflict in the Stroop task: When Stroop interference decreases as Stroop facilitation increases in a low task conflict context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Andrew Parris

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In the present study participants completed two blocks of the Stroop task, one in which the Response-Stimulus Interval (RSI was 3500ms and one in which RSI was 200ms. It was expected that, in line with previous research, the shorter RSI would induce a low Task Conflict context by increasing focus on the colour identification goal in the Stroop task. Based on previous research showing the role of Task Conflict in the presence or absence Stroop facilitation, this was expected to lead to the novel finding of an increase in facilitation and simultaneous decrease in interference. Such a finding would be problematic for models of Stroop effects that predict these indices of performance should be affected in tandem. A crossover interaction is reported supporting these predictions. As predicted, the shorter RSI resulted in incongruent and congruent trial RTs decreasing relative to a static neutral baseline condition; hence interference decreased as facilitation increased. An explanatory model (expanding on the work of Goldfarb, Henik and colleagues is presented that: 1 Shows how under certain conditions the predictions from single mechanism models hold true (i.e. when Task conflict is held constant; 2 Shows how it is possible that interference can be affected by an experimental manipulation that leaves facilitation apparently untouched and; 3 Predicts that facilitation cannot be independently affected by an experimental manipulation.

  12. Haptic subjective vertical shows context dependence: task and vision play a role during dynamic tilt stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, William Geoffrey; Glasauer, Stefan

    2003-10-01

    Perceiving one's vertical is an integral part of efficiently functioning in an environment physically polarized along that dimension. How one determines the direction of gravity is not a task left only to inertial sensors, such as the vestibular organs, rather as numerous studies have shown, this task is influenced visually and somatosensorily. In addition, there is evidence that higher order cognitive effects such as expectancies and context are critical in perception of the vertical. One's ability to integrate these various inputs during normal activity is not generally questioned, one's doubts being satisfied by observing a waiter navigating a crowded restaurant with a tray balanced on one hand, neither tripping or dropping an entree. But how these various sources are integrated is still debated. Most research focuses on subjective vertical perception used visual matching/alignment tasks, verbal reports, or saccadic eye movements as a dependent measure. Although a motor task involving a joystick or indicator to be aligned with gravity without visual feedback is used much less frequently, there is good evidence that individuals easily orient limbs to an external gravity-aligned coordinate axis while being statically tilted. By exposure to a dynamic situation, the central nervous system should be no more challenged by the task of determining the subjective vertical than during static conditions, because our spatial orientation systems were likely selected for just that. In addition, the sensitive calibration between visual and other sensory input also must have been key to its selection. This sensory interaction can be tested by changing the relation between the various sources. With the advent of virtual reality technology, a complex and "natural" visual stimulus is achievable and is easily manipulable. How one tests perception of verticality is also a pertinent question when researching spatial orientation systems. The system's performance may be better

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Dual-task results and the lateralization of spatial orientation: artifact of test selection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, C A; Milham, L M; Price, C

    1998-01-01

    An investigation was conducted to identify the degree to which results regarding the lateralization of spatial orientation among men and women are artifacts of test selection. A dual-task design was used to study possible lateralization differences, providing baseline and dual-task measures of spatial-orientation performance, right- and left-hand tapping, and vocalization of "cat, dog, horse." The Guilford-Zimmerman Test (Guilford & Zimmerman, 1953), the Eliot-Price Test (Eliot & Price, 1976), and the Stumpf-Fay Cube Perspectives Test (Stumpf & Fay, 1983) were the three spatial-orientation tests used to investigate possible artifacts of test selection. Twenty-eight right-handed male and 39 right-handed female undergraduates completed random baseline and dual-task sessions. Analyses indicated no significant sex-related differences in spatial-orientation ability for all three tests. Furthermore, there was no evidence of differential lateralization of spatial orientation between the sexes.

  16. Results of the Gallium-Clad Phase 3 and Phase 4 tasks (canceled prior to completion)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, R.N.

    1998-08-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Gallium-Clad interactions Phase 3 and 4 tasks. Both tasks were to involve examining the out-of-pile stability of residual gallium in short fuel rods with an imposed thermal gradient. The thermal environment was to be created by an electrical heater in the center of the fuel rod and coolant flow on the rod outer cladding. Both tasks were canceled due to difficulties with fuel pellet fabrication, delays in the preparation of the test apparatus, and changes in the Fissile Materials Disposition program budget

  17. A novel device for grasping assessment during functional tasks: preliminary results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carolinne Portela Rocha

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a methodology and first results obtained in a study with a novel device that allows the analysis of grasping quality. Such a device is able to acquire motion information of upper limbs allowing kinetic of manipulation analysis as well. A pilot experiment was carried out with six groups of typically developing children aged between 5 and 10 years old, with 7-8 children in each one. The device, designed to emulate a glass, has an optical system composed by one digital camera and a special convex mirror that together allow image acquisition of grasping hand posture when it is grasped and manipulated. It also carries an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU that captures motion data as acceleration, orientation, and angular velocities. The novel instrumented object is used in our approach to evaluate functional tasks performance in quantitative terms. During tests each child was invited to grasp the cylindrical part of the device that was placed on the top of a table, simulating the task of drinking a glass of water. In the sequence the child was oriented to transport the device back to the starting position and release it. The task was repeated 3 times for each child. A grasping hand posture evaluation is presented as an example to evaluate grasping quality. Additionally, motion patterns obtained with the triasl performed with the different groups are presented and discussed. This device is attractive due to its portable characteristics, the small size and its ability to evaluate grasping form. The results may be also useful to analyze the evolution of the rehabilitation process through reach-to-grasping movement and the grasping images analysis.

  18. Does overgeneral autobiographical memory result from poor memory for task instructions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanes, Paula K; Roberts, John E; Carlos, Erica L

    2008-10-01

    Considerable previous research has shown that retrieval of overgeneral autobiographical memories (OGM) is elevated among individuals suffering from various emotional disorders and those with a history of trauma. Although previous theories suggest that OGM serves the function of regulating acute negative affect, it is also possible that OGM results from difficulties in keeping the instruction set for the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) in working memory, or what has been coined "secondary goal neglect" (Dalgleish, 2004). The present study tested whether OGM is associated with poor memory for the task's instruction set, and whether an instruction set reminder would improve memory specificity over repeated trials. Multilevel modelling data-analytic techniques demonstrated a significant relationship between poor recall of instruction set and probability of retrieving OGMs. Providing an instruction set reminder for the AMT relative to a control task's instruction set improved memory specificity immediately afterward.

  19. Middle-aged human apoE4 targeted-replacement mice show retention deficits on a wide range of spatial memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bour, Alexandra; Grootendorst, Jeannette; Vogel, Elise; Kelche, Christian; Dodart, Jean-Cosme; Bales, Kelly; Moreau, Pierre-Henri; Sullivan, Patrick M; Mathis, Chantal

    2008-11-21

    Apolipoprotein (apo) E4, one of three human apoE (h-apoE) isoforms, has been identified as a major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and for cognitive deficits associated with aging. However, the biological mechanisms involving apoE in learning and memory processes are unclear. A potential isoform-dependent role of apoE in cognitive processes was studied in human apoE targeted-replacement (TR) mice. These mice express either the human apoE3 or apoE4 gene under the control of endogenous murine apoE regulatory sequences, resulting in physiological expression of h-apoE in both a temporal and spatial pattern similar to humans. Male and female apoE3-TR, apoE4-TR, apoE-knockout and C57BL/6J mice (15-18 months) were tested with spatial memory and avoidance conditioning tasks. Compared to apoE3-TR mice, spatial memory in female apoE4-TR mice was impaired based on their poor performances in; (i) the probe test of the water-maze reference memory task, (ii) the water-maze working memory task and (iii) an active avoidance Y-maze task. Retention performance on a passive avoidance task was also impaired in apoE4-TR mice, but not in other genotypes. These deficits in both spatial and avoidance memory tasks may be related to the anatomical and functional abnormalities previously reported in the hippocampus and the amygdala of apoE4-TR mice. We conclude that the apoE4-TR mice provide an excellent model for understanding the mechanisms underlying apoE4-dependent susceptibility to cognitive decline.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Highly task-related diversity vs. less task-related diversity among university staff

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauring, Jakob; Selmer, Jan

    2013-01-01

    from 489 university staff members showed that age diversity and cultural diversity, representing highly task-related diversity, were positively associated with most of the variables depicting group cohesiveness. On the other hand, gender diversity, illustrating less task-related diversity, seemed......As only very few large-scale studies have investigated multi-cultural university staff and as none of these studies have dealt with diversity and group processes, this survey was directed toward staffs in 16 science departments from three large universities in Denmark. Results based on the response...

  6. Suppressing memories of words and familiar objects results in their affective devaluation: Evidence from Think/No-think tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vito, David; Fenske, Mark J

    2017-05-01

    Potentially distracting or otherwise-inappropriate stimuli, thoughts, or actions often must be inhibited to prevent interference with goal-directed behaviour. Growing evidence suggests that the impact of inhibition is not limited to reduced neurocognitive processing, but also includes negative affective consequences for any associated stimuli. The link between inhibition and aversive response has primarily been studied using tasks involving attentional- or response-related inhibition of external sensory stimuli. Here we show that affective devaluation also occurs when inhibition is applied to fully-encoded stimulus representations in memory. We first replicated prior findings of increased forgetting of words whose memories were suppressed in a Think/No-think procedure (Experiment 1). Incorporating a stimulus-evaluation task within this procedure revealed that suppressing memories of words (Experiment 2) and visual objects (Experiment 3) also results in their affective devaluation. Given the critical role of memory for guiding thoughts and actions, these results suggest that the affective consequences of inhibition may occur across a far broader range of situations than previously understood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Results of the study of variables related to tasks of workers of a radioactive facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alves, Alice S.; Campos, Daniela; Carneiro, Janete C.G.G., E-mail: alicesante@usp.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents the results of the evaluation study of the association degree between physical risk agent, ionizing radiation, and tasks performed by the occupationally exposed individuals (OEI), in the production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals of a radioactive facility. Initially, has been performed a qualitative assessment of the workplace, work groups and the processes as well. Starting from the inventoried subjective information, interviews and observations were identified seven homogeneous exposure groups, assuming they receive the same exposure to a range of specific agents. The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics with quantitative and qualitative approaches of the variables. In the analysis was used nonparametric tests (Equality of two proportions, Chi-square and Yates correction), descriptive measures of location (mean, median and quartiles) and dispersion (standard deviation and coefficient of variation). A significance level of 5% (p < 0.05) was adopted. The results have shown five risk factors (variables) related to the tasks performance. After the characterization distribution of the relative frequencies, all variables showed a significant degree of association (p < 0.001) to the exposure to ionizing radiation. Descriptive analysis of effective doses received by OEIs (n=102) resulted in the average of 4.06 mSv obtained in 2013 and 3.41 mSv in 2014. The collective doses corresponding to the same year were 414.41 mSv.person and 347.61 mSv.person. The doses values found during the analyzed period are in accordance to the limits established by the current national standards. (author)

  8. Results of the study of variables related to tasks of workers of a radioactive facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alves, Alice S.; Campos, Daniela; Carneiro, Janete C.G.G.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the results of the evaluation study of the association degree between physical risk agent, ionizing radiation, and tasks performed by the occupationally exposed individuals (OEI), in the production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals of a radioactive facility. Initially, has been performed a qualitative assessment of the workplace, work groups and the processes as well. Starting from the inventoried subjective information, interviews and observations were identified seven homogeneous exposure groups, assuming they receive the same exposure to a range of specific agents. The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics with quantitative and qualitative approaches of the variables. In the analysis was used nonparametric tests (Equality of two proportions, Chi-square and Yates correction), descriptive measures of location (mean, median and quartiles) and dispersion (standard deviation and coefficient of variation). A significance level of 5% (p < 0.05) was adopted. The results have shown five risk factors (variables) related to the tasks performance. After the characterization distribution of the relative frequencies, all variables showed a significant degree of association (p < 0.001) to the exposure to ionizing radiation. Descriptive analysis of effective doses received by OEIs (n=102) resulted in the average of 4.06 mSv obtained in 2013 and 3.41 mSv in 2014. The collective doses corresponding to the same year were 414.41 mSv.person and 347.61 mSv.person. The doses values found during the analyzed period are in accordance to the limits established by the current national standards. (author)

  9. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eSalo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or simple (speaker-gender or font-shade discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley’s model modality atypical, that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks.

  10. Generic cognitive adaptations to task interference in task switching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poljac, E.; Bekkering, H.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated how the activation of previous tasks interferes with the execution of future tasks as a result of temporal manipulations. Color and shape matching tasks were organized in runs of two trials each. The tasks were specified by a cue presented before a task run, cueing

  11. Practice makes perfect: familiarity of task determines success in solvable tasks for free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Debottam; Dasgupta, Sandipan; Biswas, Arpita; Deheria, Jayshree; Gupta, Shreya; Nikhil Dev, N; Udell, Monique; Bhadra, Anindita

    2017-07-01

    Domestic dogs' (Canis lupus familiaris) socio-cognitive faculties have made them highly sensitive to human social cues. While dogs often excel at understanding human communicative gestures, they perform comparatively poorly in problem-solving and physical reasoning tasks. This difference in their behaviour could be due to the lifestyle and intense socialization, where problem solving and physical cognition are less important than social cognition. Free-ranging dogs live in human-dominated environments, not under human supervision and are less socialized. Being scavengers, they often encounter challenges where problem solving is required in order to get access to food. We tested Indian street dogs in familiar and unfamiliar independent solvable tasks and quantified their persistence and dependence on a novel human experimenter, in addition to their success in solving a task. Our results indicate that free-ranging dogs succeeded and persisted more in the familiar task as compared to the unfamiliar one. They showed negligible amount of human dependence in the familiar task, but showed prolonged gazing and considerable begging behaviour to the human experimenter in the context of the unfamiliar task. Cognitive abilities of free-ranging dogs thus play a pivotal role in determining task-associated behaviours based on familiarity. In addition to that, these dogs inherently tend to socialize with and depend on humans, even if they are strangers. Our results also illustrate free-ranging dogs' low competence at physical cognitive tasks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Göran B W Söderlund

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Children show limited movement repertoire when learning a novel motor skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mei-Hua; Farshchiansadegh, Ali; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2017-09-27

    Examining age differences in motor learning using real-world tasks is often problematic due to task novelty and biomechanical confounds. Here, we investigated how children and adults acquire a novel motor skill in a virtual environment. Participants of three different age groups (9-year-olds, 12-year-olds, and adults) learned to use their upper body movements to control a cursor on a computer screen. Results showed that 9-year-old and 12-year-old children showed poorer ability to control the cursor at the end of practice. Critically, when we investigated the movement coordination, we found that the lower task performance of children was associated with limited exploration of their movement repertoire. These results reveal the critical role of motor exploration in understanding developmental differences in motor learning. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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.

  15. Semantic Dementia Shows both Storage and Access Disorders of Semantic Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yumi Takahashi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Previous studies have shown that some patients with semantic dementia (SD have memory storage disorders, while others have access disorders. Here, we report three SD cases with both disorders. Methods. Ten pictures and ten words were prepared as visual stimuli to determine if the patients could correctly answer names and select pictures after hearing the names of items (Card Presentation Task, assessing memory storage disorder. In a second task, the viewing time was set at 20 or 300 msec (Momentary Presentation Task, evaluating memory access disorder using items for which correct answers were given in the first task. The results were compared with those for 6 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Results. The SD patients had lower scores than the AD group for both tasks, suggesting both storage and access disorders. The AD group had almost perfect scores on the Card Presentation Task but showed impairment on the Momentary Presentation Task, although to a lesser extent than the SD cases. Conclusions. These results suggest that SD patients have both storage and access disorders and have more severe access disorder than patients with AD.

  16. Not all choices are created equal: Task-relevant choices enhance motor learning compared to task-irrelevant choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Michael J; Ste-Marie, Diane M

    2017-12-01

    Lewthwaite et al. (2015) reported that the learning benefits of exercising choice (i.e., their self-controlled condition) are not restricted to task-relevant features (e.g., feedback). They found that choosing one's golf ball color (Exp. 1) or choosing which of two tasks to perform at a later time plus which of two artworks to hang (Exp. 2) resulted in better retention than did being denied these same choices (i.e., yoked condition). The researchers concluded that the learning benefits derived from choice, whether irrelevant or relevant to the to-be-learned task, are predominantly motivational because choice is intrinsically rewarding and satisfies basic psychological needs. However, the absence of a group that made task-relevant choices and the lack of psychological measures significantly weakened their conclusions. Here, we investigated how task-relevant and task-irrelevant choices affect motor-skill learning. Participants practiced a spatiotemporal motor task in either a task-relevant group (choice over feedback schedule), a task-irrelevant group (choice over the color of an arm-wrap plus game selection), or a no-choice group. The results showed significantly greater learning in the task-relevant group than in both the task-irrelevant and no-choice groups, who did not differ significantly. Critically, these learning differences were not attributed to differences in perceptions of competence or autonomy, but instead to superior error-estimation abilities. These results challenge the perspective that motivational influences are the root cause of self-controlled learning advantages. Instead, the findings add to the growing evidence highlighting that the informational value gained from task-relevant choices makes a greater relative contribution to these advantages than motivational influences do.

  17. Distraction during learning with hypermedia: Difficult tasks help to keep task goals on track

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina eScheiter

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In educational hypermedia environments, students are often confronted with potential sources of distraction arising from additional information that, albeit interesting, is unrelated to their current task goal. The paper investigates the conditions under which distraction occurs and hampers performance. Based on theories of volitional action control it was hypothesized that interesting information, especially if related to a pending goal, would interfere with task performance only when working on easy, but not on difficult tasks. In Experiment 1, 66 students learned about probability theory using worked examples and solved corresponding test problems, whose task difficulty was manipulated. As a second factor, the presence of interesting information unrelated to the primary task was varied. Results showed that students solved more easy than difficult probability problems correctly. However, the presence of interesting, but task-irrelevant information did not interfere with performance. In Experiment 2, 68 students again engaged in example-based learning and problem solving in the presence of task-irrelevant information. Problem-solving difficulty was varied as a first factor. Additionally, the presence of a pending goal related to the task-irrelevant information was manipulated. As expected, problem-solving performance declined when a pending goal was present during working on easy problems, whereas no interference was observed for difficult problems. Moreover, the presence of a pending goal reduced the time on task-relevant information and increased the time on task-irrelevant information while working on easy tasks. However, as revealed by mediation analyses these changes in overt information processing behavior did not explain the decline in problem-solving performance. As an alternative explanation it is suggested that goal conflicts resulting from pending goals claim cognitive resources, which are then no longer available for learning and

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Healthy co-twins of patients with affective disorders show reduced risk-related activation of the insula during a monetary gambling task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macoveanu, Julian; Miskowiak, Kamilla; Kessing, Lars V

    2015-01-01

    -risk individuals. METHODS: We investigated healthy monozygotic and dizygotic twins with or without a co-twin history of affective disorders (high-risk and low-risk groups, respectively) using functional MRI during a gambling task. We assessed group differences in activity related to gambling risk over the entire...... brain. RESULTS: We included 30 monozygotic and 37 dizygotic twins in our analysis. Neural activity in the anterior insula and ventral striatum increased linearly with the amount of gambling risk in the entire cohort. Individual neuroticism scores were positively correlated with the neural response...... in the ventral striatum to increasing gambling risk and negatively correlated with individual risk-taking behaviour. Compared with low-risk twins, the high-risk twins showed a bilateral reduction of risk-related activity in the middle insula extending into the temporal cortex with increasing gambling risk. Post...

  1. Task-set inertia and memory-consolidation bottleneck in dual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Iring; Rumiati, Raffaella I

    2006-11-01

    Three dual-task experiments examined the influence of processing a briefly presented visual object for deferred verbal report on performance in an unrelated auditory-manual reaction time (RT) task. RT was increased at short stimulus-onset asynchronies (SOAs) relative to long SOAs, showing that memory consolidation processes can produce a functional processing bottleneck in dual-task performance. In addition, the experiments manipulated the spatial compatibility of the orientation of the visual object and the side of the speeded manual response. This cross-task compatibility produced relative RT benefits only when the instruction for the visual task emphasized overlap at the level of response codes across the task sets (Experiment 1). However, once the effective task set was in place, it continued to produce cross-task compatibility effects even in single-task situations ("ignore" trials in Experiment 2) and when instructions for the visual task did not explicitly require spatial coding of object orientation (Experiment 3). Taken together, the data suggest a considerable degree of task-set inertia in dual-task performance, which is also reinforced by finding costs of switching task sequences (e.g., AC --> BC vs. BC --> BC) in Experiment 3.

  2. Resolving task rule incongruence during task switching by competitor rule suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiran, Nachshon; Hsieh, Shulan; Dimov, Eduard

    2010-07-01

    Task switching requires maintaining readiness to execute any task of a given set of tasks. However, when tasks switch, the readiness to execute the now-irrelevant task generates interference, as seen in the task rule incongruence effect. Overcoming such interference requires fine-tuned inhibition that impairs task readiness only minimally. In an experiment involving 2 object classification tasks and 2 location classification tasks, the authors show that irrelevant task rules that generate response conflicts are inhibited. This competitor rule suppression (CRS) is seen in response slowing in subsequent trials, when the competing rules become relevant. CRS is shown to operate on specific rules without affecting similar rules. CRS and backward inhibition, which is another inhibitory phenomenon, produced additive effects on reaction time, suggesting their mutual independence. Implications for current formal theories of task switching as well as for conflict monitoring theories are discussed. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved

  3. Multisensors Cooperative Detection Task Scheduling Algorithm Based on Hybrid Task Decomposition and MBPSO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changyun Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A multisensor scheduling algorithm based on the hybrid task decomposition and modified binary particle swarm optimization (MBPSO is proposed. Firstly, aiming at the complex relationship between sensor resources and tasks, a hybrid task decomposition method is presented, and the resource scheduling problem is decomposed into subtasks; then the sensor resource scheduling problem is changed into the match problem of sensors and subtasks. Secondly, the resource match optimization model based on the sensor resources and tasks is established, which considers several factors, such as the target priority, detecting benefit, handover times, and resource load. Finally, MBPSO algorithm is proposed to solve the match optimization model effectively, which is based on the improved updating means of particle’s velocity and position through the doubt factor and modified Sigmoid function. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is better in terms of convergence velocity, searching capability, solution accuracy, and efficiency.

  4. Increased cognitive control after task conflict? Investigating the N-3 effect in task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuch, Stefanie; Grange, James A

    2018-05-25

    Task inhibition is considered to facilitate switching to a new task and is assumed to decay slowly over time. Hence, more persisting inhibition needs to be overcome when returning to a task after one intermediary trial (ABA task sequence) than when returning after two or more intermediary trials (CBA task sequence). Schuch and Grange (J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 41:760-767, 2015) put forward the hypothesis that there is higher task conflict in ABA than CBA sequences, leading to increased cognitive control in the subsequent trial. They provided evidence that performance is better in trials following ABA than following CBA task sequences. Here, this effect of the previous task sequence ("N-3 effect") is further investigated by varying the cue-stimulus interval (CSI), allowing for short (100 ms) or long (900 ms) preparation time for the upcoming task. If increased cognitive control after ABA involves a better preparation for the upcoming task, the N-3 effect should be larger with long than short CSI. The results clearly show that this is not the case. In Experiment 1, the N-3 effect was smaller with long than short CSI; in Experiment 2, the N-3 effect was not affected by CSI. Diffusion model analysis confirmed previous results in the literature (regarding the effect of CSI and of the ABA-CBA difference); however, the N-3 effect was not unequivocally associated with any of the diffusion model parameters. In exploratory analysis, we also tested the alternative hypothesis that the N-3 effect involves more effective task shielding, which would be reflected in reduced congruency effects in trials following ABA, relative to trials following CBA; congruency effects did not differ between these conditions. Taken together, we can rule out two potential explanations of the N-3 effect: Neither is this effect due to enhanced task preparation, nor to more effective task shielding.

  5. Embedded interruptions and task complexity influence schema-related cognitive load progression in an abstract learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirzberger, Maria; Esmaeili Bijarsari, Shirin; Rey, Günter Daniel

    2017-09-01

    Cognitive processes related to schema acquisition comprise an essential source of demands in learning situations. Since the related amount of cognitive load is supposed to change over time, plausible temporal models of load progression based on different theoretical backgrounds are inspected in this study. A total of 116 student participants completed a basal symbol sequence learning task, which provided insights into underlying cognitive dynamics. Two levels of task complexity were determined by the amount of elements within the symbol sequence. In addition, interruptions due to an embedded secondary task occurred at five predefined stages over the task. Within the resulting 2x5-factorial mixed between-within design, the continuous monitoring of efficiency in learning performance enabled assumptions on relevant resource investment. From the obtained results, a nonlinear change of learning efficiency over time seems most plausible in terms of cognitive load progression. Moreover, different effects of the induced interruptions show up in conditions of task complexity, which indicate the activation of distinct cognitive mechanisms related to structural aspects of the task. Findings are discussed in the light of evidence from research on memory and information processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Effects of task and category membership on representation stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline Manetta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the within-subject stability of 150 participants who performed both a sorting task and a property-generation task over multiple sessions, focusing on three concrete concept categories (food, animals and bathroom products. We hypothesized that (1 the within-subject stability would be higher in the sorting task than in the property-generation task and (2 the nature of the category would influence both the within-subject stability of the classification groups in the sorting task and the properties generated to define these groups. The results show that the within-subject stability of conceptual representations depends both on the task and on the nature of the category. The stability of the representations was greater in the sorting task than in the property-generation task and in the food category. These results are discussed from a longitudinal perspective.

  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. Distributed Task Rescheduling With Time Constraints for the Optimization of Total Task Allocations in a Multirobot System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Joanna; Meng, Qinggang; Schaefer, Gerald; Whitbrook, Amanda; Soltoggio, Andrea

    2017-09-28

    This paper considers the problem of maximizing the number of task allocations in a distributed multirobot system under strict time constraints, where other optimization objectives need also be considered. It builds upon existing distributed task allocation algorithms, extending them with a novel method for maximizing the number of task assignments. The fundamental idea is that a task assignment to a robot has a high cost if its reassignment to another robot creates a feasible time slot for unallocated tasks. Multiple reassignments among networked robots may be required to create a feasible time slot and an upper limit to this number of reassignments can be adjusted according to performance requirements. A simulated rescue scenario with task deadlines and fuel limits is used to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method compared with existing methods, the consensus-based bundle algorithm and the performance impact (PI) algorithm. Starting from existing (PI-generated) solutions, results show up to a 20% increase in task allocations using the proposed method.

  9. ASD Is Not DLI: Individuals With Autism and Individuals With Syntactic DLI Show Similar Performance Level in Syntactic Tasks, but Different Error Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nufar Sukenik

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Do individuals with autism have a developmental syntactic impairment, DLI (formerly known as SLI? In this study we directly compared the performance of 18 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD aged 9;0–18;0 years with that of 93 individuals with Syntactic-Developmental Language Impairment (SyDLI aged 8;8–14;6 (and with 166 typically-developing children aged 5;2–18;1. We tested them using three syntactic tests assessing the comprehension and production of syntactic structures that are known to be sensitive to syntactic impairment: elicitation of subject and object relative clauses, reading and paraphrasing of object relatives, and repetition of complex syntactic structures including Wh questions, relative clauses, topicalized sentences, sentences with verb movement, sentences with A-movement, and embedded sentences. The results were consistent across the three tasks: the overall rate of correct performance on the syntactic tasks is similar for the children with ASD and those with SyDLI. However, once we look closer, they are very different. The types of errors of the ASD group differ from those of the SyDLI group—the children with ASD provide various types of pragmatically infelicitous responses that are not evinced in the SyDLI or in the age equivalent typically-developing groups. The two groups (ASD and SyDLI also differ in the pattern of performance—the children with SyDLI show a syntactically-principled pattern of impairment, with selective difficulty in specific sentence types (such as sentences derived by movement of the object across the subject, and normal performance on other structures (such as simple sentences. In contrast, the ASD participants showed generalized low performance on the various sentence structures. Syntactic performance was far from consistent within the ASD group. Whereas all ASD participants had errors that can originate in pragmatic/discourse difficulties, seven of them had completely normal syntax

  10. ASD Is Not DLI: Individuals With Autism and Individuals With Syntactic DLI Show Similar Performance Level in Syntactic Tasks, but Different Error Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukenik, Nufar; Friedmann, Naama

    2018-01-01

    Do individuals with autism have a developmental syntactic impairment, DLI (formerly known as SLI)? In this study we directly compared the performance of 18 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aged 9;0-18;0 years with that of 93 individuals with Syntactic-Developmental Language Impairment (SyDLI) aged 8;8-14;6 (and with 166 typically-developing children aged 5;2-18;1). We tested them using three syntactic tests assessing the comprehension and production of syntactic structures that are known to be sensitive to syntactic impairment: elicitation of subject and object relative clauses, reading and paraphrasing of object relatives, and repetition of complex syntactic structures including Wh questions, relative clauses, topicalized sentences, sentences with verb movement, sentences with A-movement, and embedded sentences. The results were consistent across the three tasks: the overall rate of correct performance on the syntactic tasks is similar for the children with ASD and those with SyDLI. However, once we look closer, they are very different. The types of errors of the ASD group differ from those of the SyDLI group-the children with ASD provide various types of pragmatically infelicitous responses that are not evinced in the SyDLI or in the age equivalent typically-developing groups. The two groups (ASD and SyDLI) also differ in the pattern of performance-the children with SyDLI show a syntactically-principled pattern of impairment, with selective difficulty in specific sentence types (such as sentences derived by movement of the object across the subject), and normal performance on other structures (such as simple sentences). In contrast, the ASD participants showed generalized low performance on the various sentence structures. Syntactic performance was far from consistent within the ASD group. Whereas all ASD participants had errors that can originate in pragmatic/discourse difficulties, seven of them had completely normal syntax in the structures we

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Innovative nuclear thermal propulsion technology evaluation: Results of the NASA/DOE Task Team study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.; Borowski, S.; Helms, I.; Diaz, N.; Anghaie, S.; Latham, T.

    1991-01-01

    In response to findings from two NASA/DOE nuclear propulsion workshops held in the summer of 1990, six task teams were formed to continue evaluation of various nuclear propulsion concepts. The Task Team on Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) created the Innovative Concepts Subpanel to evaluate thermal propulsion concepts which did not utilize solid fuel. The Subpanel endeavored to evaluate each of the concepts on a ''level technological playing field,'' and to identify critical technologies, issues, and early proof-of-concept experiments. The concepts included the liquid core fission, the gas core fission, the fission foil reactors, explosively driven systems, fusion, and antimatter. The results of the studies by the panel will be provided. 13 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Development of real-time multitask OSS based on cognitive task analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang He; Cheng Shouyu

    2010-01-01

    A Real-time Multi-task Operator Support System (RMOSS) has been developed to support the operator's decision making process in the control room of NPP. VxWorks, one embedded real-time operation system, is used for RMOSS software development. According to the SRK modeling analysis result of the operator' decision making process, RMOSS is divided into five system subtasks, including Data Collection and Validation Task (DCVT), Operation Monitor Task (OMT), Fault Diagnostic Task (FDT), Operation Guideline Task (OGT) and Human Machine Interface Task (HMIT). The task test of RMOSS has been done in a real-time full scope simulator. The results showed that each task of RMOSS is capable of accomplishing their functions. (authors)

  15. Mice lacking hippocampal left-right asymmetry show non-spatial learning deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimbo, Akihiro; Kosaki, Yutaka; Ito, Isao; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2018-01-15

    Left-right asymmetry is known to exist at several anatomical levels in the brain and recent studies have provided further evidence to show that it also exists at a molecular level in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuit. The distribution of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor NR2B subunits in the apical and basal synapses of CA1 pyramidal neurons is asymmetrical if the input arrives from the left or right CA3 pyramidal neurons. In the present study, we examined the role of hippocampal asymmetry in cognitive function using β2-microglobulin knock-out (β2m KO) mice, which lack hippocampal asymmetry. We tested β2m KO mice in a series of spatial and non-spatial learning tasks and compared the performances of β2m KO and C57BL6/J wild-type (WT) mice. The β2m KO mice appeared normal in both spatial reference memory and spatial working memory tasks but they took more time than WT mice in learning the two non-spatial learning tasks (i.e., a differential reinforcement of lower rates of behavior (DRL) task and a straight runway task). The β2m KO mice also showed less precision in their response timing in the DRL task and showed weaker spontaneous recovery during extinction in the straight runway task. These results indicate that hippocampal asymmetry is important for certain characteristics of non-spatial learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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....

  17. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TASK AVERSIVENESS AND ACADEMIC PROCRASTINATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magvirasari Lestari Linra

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Academic procrastination occurs when certain tasks are considered unpleasant, an unpleasant task and the usual delayed them is the task of writing, reading, studying for the exam, meetings, and administrative. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of the task aversiveness with academic procrastination. Subject of the study were 100 students out of a population of 516 students of the Faculty of Psychology class of 2012-2014. The method used in this research is quantitative by using Spearman rho as data analysis techniques. The research instrument consists of academic procrastination scale and the scale of the task aversiveness. Based on the results of correlation is known that there is a positive relationship between task aversiveness with academic procrastination with a correlation coefficient r = 0.508; p = 0.000. The results showed that of the 100 students of the Faculty of Psychology University of Makassar has a degree of relationship between task aversiveness with academic procrastination is on the very low category (25, 8%. Area / types of tasks delayed is not necessarily an unpleasant task and otherwise unpleasant task may not be postponed. Area task the highest level of aversive and delays are areas the task of writing and reading. This study illustrates that academic procrastination can be lowered by a change in the mindset of an unpleasant task.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Paper-cutting operations using scissors in Drury's law tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Shota; Miyashita, Homei

    2018-05-01

    Human performance modeling is a core topic in ergonomics. In addition to deriving models, it is important to verify the kinds of tasks that can be modeled. Drury's law is promising for path tracking tasks such as navigating a path with pens or driving a car. We conducted an experiment based on the observation that paper-cutting tasks using scissors resemble such tasks. The results showed that cutting arc-like paths (1/4 of a circle) showed an excellent fit with Drury's law (R 2  > 0.98), whereas cutting linear paths showed a worse fit (R 2  > 0.87). Since linear paths yielded better fits when path amplitudes were divided (R 2  > 0.99 for all amplitudes), we discuss the characteristics of paper-cutting operations using scissors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Age-related emotional bias in processing two emotionally valenced tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Philip A; Lien, Mei-Ching; Jardin, Elliott

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that older adults process positive emotions more efficiently than negative emotions, whereas younger adults show the reverse effect. We examined whether this age-related difference in emotional bias still occurs when attention is engaged in two emotional tasks. We used a psychological refractory period paradigm and varied the emotional valence of Task 1 and Task 2. In both experiments, Task 1 was emotional face discrimination (happy vs. angry faces) and Task 2 was sound discrimination (laugh, punch, vs. cork pop in Experiment 1 and laugh vs. scream in Experiment 2). The backward emotional correspondence effect for positively and negatively valenced Task 2 on Task 1 was measured. In both experiments, younger adults showed a backward correspondence effect from a negatively valenced Task 2, suggesting parallel processing of negatively valenced stimuli. Older adults showed similar negativity bias in Experiment 2 with a more salient negative sound ("scream" relative to "punch"). These results are consistent with an arousal-bias competition model [Mather and Sutherland (Perspectives in Psychological Sciences 6:114-133, 2011)], suggesting that emotional arousal modulates top-down attentional control settings (emotional regulation) with age.

  1. Novice supervisors' tasks and training

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jan; Jacobsen, Claus Haugaard; Mathiesen, Birgit Bork

    2012-01-01

    were confronted with complicated jobs, e.g., group, internal and interdisciplinary supervision, but were not prepared, i.e. trained, prior to these tasks. These findings imply that more training is needed for novice supervisors. Preferably, this training should be introduced before, or at least...... Questionnaire covering a wide range of items on professional development, experience, and practice. In this paper we focus on background data (experience, training and practice), specifically the tasks and training of the respondents as novice supervisors. The results show, that a majority of novice supervisors...

  2. Imaging gait analysis: An fMRI dual task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bürki, Céline N; Bridenbaugh, Stephanie A; Reinhardt, Julia; Stippich, Christoph; Kressig, Reto W; Blatow, Maria

    2017-08-01

    In geriatric clinical diagnostics, gait analysis with cognitive-motor dual tasking is used to predict fall risk and cognitive decline. To date, the neural correlates of cognitive-motor dual tasking processes are not fully understood. To investigate these underlying neural mechanisms, we designed an fMRI paradigm to reproduce the gait analysis. We tested the fMRI paradigm's feasibility in a substudy with fifteen young adults and assessed 31 healthy older adults in the main study. First, gait speed and variability were quantified using the GAITRite © electronic walkway. Then, participants lying in the MRI-scanner were stepping on pedals of an MRI-compatible stepping device used to imitate gait during functional imaging. In each session, participants performed cognitive and motor single tasks as well as cognitive-motor dual tasks. Behavioral results showed that the parameters of both gait analyses, GAITRite © and fMRI, were significantly positively correlated. FMRI results revealed significantly reduced brain activation during dual task compared to single task conditions. Functional ROI analysis showed that activation in the superior parietal lobe (SPL) decreased less from single to dual task condition than activation in primary motor cortex and in supplementary motor areas. Moreover, SPL activation was increased during dual tasks in subjects exhibiting lower stepping speed and lower executive control. We were able to simulate walking during functional imaging with valid results that reproduce those from the GAITRite © gait analysis. On the neural level, SPL seems to play a crucial role in cognitive-motor dual tasking and to be linked to divided attention processes, particularly when motor activity is involved.

  3. Matching cue size and task properties in exogenous attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Katherine E; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet

    2013-01-01

    Exogenous attention is an involuntary, reflexive orienting response that results in enhanced processing at the attended location. The standard view is that this enhancement generalizes across visual properties of a stimulus. We test whether the size of an exogenous cue sets the attentional field and whether this leads to different effects on stimuli with different visual properties. In a dual task with a random-dot kinematogram (RDK) in each quadrant of the screen, participants discriminated the direction of moving dots in one RDK and localized one red dot. Precues were uninformative and consisted of either a large or a small luminance-change frame. The motion discrimination task showed attentional effects following both large and small exogenous cues. The red dot probe localization task showed attentional effects following a small cue, but not a large cue. Two additional experiments showed that the different effects on localization were not due to reduced spatial uncertainty or suppression of RDK dots in the surround. These results indicate that the effects of exogenous attention depend on the size of the cue and the properties of the task, suggesting the involvement of receptive fields with different sizes in different tasks. These attentional effects are likely to be driven by bottom-up mechanisms in early visual areas.

  4. Measuring pilot workload in a motion base simulator. III - Synchronous secondary task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantowitz, Barry H.; Bortolussi, Michael R.; Hart, Sandra G.

    1987-01-01

    This experiment continues earlier research of Kantowitz et al. (1983) conducted in a GAT-1 motion-base trainer to evaluate choice-reaction secondary tasks as measures of pilot work load. The earlier work used an asynchronous secondary task presented every 22 sec regardless of flying performance. The present experiment uses a synchronous task presented only when a critical event occurred on the flying task. Both two- and four-choice visual secondary tasks were investigated. Analysis of primary flying-task results showed no decrement in error for altitude, indicating that the key assumption necessary for using a choice secondary task was satisfied. Reaction times showed significant differences between 'easy' and 'hard' flight scenarios as well as the ability to discriminate among flight tasks.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of visual and verbal interference tasks on olfactory memory: the role of task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annett, J M; Leslie, J C

    1996-08-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that visual and verbal suppression tasks interfere with olfactory memory in a manner which is partially consistent with a dual coding interpretation. However, it has been suggested that total task complexity rather than modality specificity of the suppression tasks might account for the observed pattern of results. This study addressed the issue of whether or not the level of difficulty and complexity of suppression tasks could explain the apparent modality effects noted in earlier experiments. A total of 608 participants were each allocated to one of 19 experimental conditions involving interference tasks which varied suppression type (visual or verbal), nature of complexity (single, double or mixed) and level of difficulty (easy, optimal or difficult) and presented with 13 target odours. Either recognition of the odours or free recall of the odour names was tested on one occasion, either within 15 minutes of presentation or one week later. Both recognition and recall performance showed an overall effect for suppression nature, suppression level and time of testing with no effect for suppression type. The results lend only limited support to Paivio's (1986) dual coding theory, but have a number of characteristics which suggest that an adequate account of olfactory memory may be broadly similar to current theories of face and object recognition. All of these phenomena might be dealt with by an appropriately modified version of dual coding theory.

  8. 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.

  9. Benefits of interhemispheric integration on the Japanese Kana script-matching tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizaki, K; Tsuji, Y

    2000-02-01

    We tested Banich's hypothesis that the benefits of bihemispheric processing were enhanced as task complexity increased, when some procedural shortcomings in the previous studies were overcome by using Japanese Kana script-matching tasks. In Exp. 1, the 20 right-handed subjects were given the Physical-Identity task (Katakana-Katakana scripts matching) and the Name-Identity task (Katakana-Hiragana scripts matching). On both tasks, a pair of Kana scripts was tachistoscopically presented in the left, right, and bilateral visual fields. Distractor stimuli were also presented with target Kana scripts on both tasks to equate the processing load between the hemispheres. Analysis showed that, while a bilateral visual-field advantage was found on the name-identity task, a unilateral visual-field advantage was found on the physical-identity task, suggesting that, as the computational complexity of the encoding stage was enhanced, the benefits of bilateral hemispheric processing increased. In Exp. 2, the 16 right-handed subjects were given the same physical-identity task as in Exp. 1, except Hiragana scripts were used as distractors instead of digits to enhance task difficulty. Analysis showed no differences in performance between the unilateral and bilateral visual fields. Taking into account these results of physical-identity tasks for both Exps. 1 and 2, enhancing task demand in the stage of ignoring distractors made the unilateral visual-field advantage obtained in Exp. 1 disappear in Exp. 2. These results supported Banich's hypothesis.

  10. 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.

  11. Interference with olfactory memory by visual and verbal tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annett, J M; Cook, N M; Leslie, J C

    1995-06-01

    It has been claimed that olfactory memory is distinct from memory in other modalities. This study investigated the effectiveness of visual and verbal tasks in interfering with olfactory memory and included methodological changes from other recent studies. Subjects were allocated to one of four experimental conditions involving interference tasks [no interference task; visual task; verbal task; visual-plus-verbal task] and presented 15 target odours. Either recognition of the odours or free recall of the odour names was tested on one occasion, either within 15 minutes of presentation or one week later. Recognition and recall performance both showed effects of interference of visual and verbal tasks but there was no effect for time of testing. While the results may be accommodated within a dual coding framework, further work is indicated to resolve theoretical issues relating to task complexity.

  12. Poorer divided attention in children born very preterm can be explained by difficulty with each component task, not the executive requirement to dual-task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delane, Louise; Campbell, Catherine; Bayliss, Donna M; Reid, Corinne; Stephens, Amelia; French, Noel; Anderson, Mike

    2017-07-01

    Children born very preterm (VP, ≤ 32 weeks) exhibit poor performance on tasks of executive functioning. However, it is largely unknown whether this reflects the cumulative impact of non-executive deficits or a separable impairment in executive-level abilities. A dual-task paradigm was used in the current study to differentiate the executive processes involved in performing two simple attention tasks simultaneously. The executive-level contribution to performance was indexed by the within-subject cost incurred to single-task performance under dual-task conditions, termed dual-task cost. The participants included 77 VP children (mean age: 7.17 years) and 74 peer controls (mean age: 7.16 years) who completed Sky Search (selective attention), Score (sustained attention) and Sky Search DT (divided attention) from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children. The divided-attention task requires the simultaneous performance of the selective- and sustained-attention tasks. The VP group exhibited poorer performance on the selective- and divided-attention tasks, and showed a strong trend toward poorer performance on the sustained-attention task. However, there were no significant group differences in dual-task cost. These results suggest a cumulative impact of vulnerable lower-level cognitive processes on dual-tasking or divided attention in VP children, and fail to support the hypothesis that VP children show a separable impairment in executive-level abilities.

  13. Task switching costs in preschool children and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Anna; Kirkham, Natasha Z; Mareschal, Denis

    2018-08-01

    Past research investigating cognitive flexibility has shown that preschool children make many perseverative errors in tasks that require switching between different sets of rules. However, this inflexibility might not necessarily hold with easier tasks. The current study investigated the developmental differences in cognitive flexibility using a task-switching procedure that compared reaction times and accuracy in 4- and 6-year-olds with those in adults. The experiment involved simple target detection tasks and was intentionally designed in a way that the stimulus and response conflicts were minimal together with a long preparation window. Global mixing costs (performance costs when multiple tasks are relevant in a context), and local switch costs (performance costs due to switching to an alternative task) are typically thought to engage endogenous control processes. If this is the case, we should observe developmental differences with both of these costs. Our results show, however, that when the accuracy was good, there were no age differences in cognitive flexibility (i.e., the ability to manage multiple tasks and to switch between tasks) between children and adults. Even though preschool children had slower reaction times and were less accurate, the mixing and switch costs associated with task switching were not reliably larger for preschool children. Preschool children did, however, show more commission errors and greater response repetition effects than adults, which may reflect differences in inhibitory control. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Non-declarative sequence learning does not show savings in relearning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisler, Aysha; Willingham, Daniel T

    2007-04-01

    Researchers have utilized the savings in relearning paradigm in a variety of settings since Ebbinghaus developed the tool over a century ago. In spite of its widespread use, we do not yet understand what type(s) of memory are measurable by savings. Specifically, can savings measure both declarative and non-declarative memories? The lack of conscious recollection of the encoded material in some studies indicates that non-declarative memories may show savings effects, but as all studies to date have used declarative tasks, we cannot be certain. Here, we administer a non-declarative task and then measure savings in relearning the material declaratively. Our results show that while material outside of awareness may show savings effects, non-declarative sequence memory does not. These data highlight the important distinction between memory without awareness and non-declarative memory.

  15. CQPSO scheduling algorithm for heterogeneous multi-core DAG task model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, Wenzheng; Hu, Yue-Li; Ran, Feng

    2017-07-01

    Efficient task scheduling is critical to achieve high performance in a heterogeneous multi-core computing environment. The paper focuses on the heterogeneous multi-core directed acyclic graph (DAG) task model and proposes a novel task scheduling method based on an improved chaotic quantum-behaved particle swarm optimization (CQPSO) algorithm. A task priority scheduling list was built. A processor with minimum cumulative earliest finish time (EFT) was acted as the object of the first task assignment. The task precedence relationships were satisfied and the total execution time of all tasks was minimized. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm has the advantage of optimization abilities, simple and feasible, fast convergence, and can be applied to the task scheduling optimization for other heterogeneous and distributed environment.

  16. The impact of task demand on visual word recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, J; Zevin, J

    2014-07-11

    The left occipitotemporal cortex has been found sensitive to the hierarchy of increasingly complex features in visually presented words, from individual letters to bigrams and morphemes. However, whether this sensitivity is a stable property of the brain regions engaged by word recognition is still unclear. To address the issue, the current study investigated whether different task demands modify this sensitivity. Participants viewed real English words and stimuli with hierarchical word-likeness while performing a lexical decision task (i.e., to decide whether each presented stimulus is a real word) and a symbol detection task. General linear model and independent component analysis indicated strong activation in the fronto-parietal and temporal regions during the two tasks. Furthermore, the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and insula showed significant interaction effects between task demand and stimulus type in the pseudoword condition. The occipitotemporal cortex showed strong main effects for task demand and stimulus type, but no sensitivity to the hierarchical word-likeness was found. These results suggest that different task demands on semantic, phonological and orthographic processes can influence the involvement of the relevant regions during visual word recognition. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Automatic Task Classification via Support Vector Machine and Crowdsourcing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyungsik Shin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Automatic task classification is a core part of personal assistant systems that are widely used in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Even though many industry leaders are providing their own personal assistant services, their proprietary internals and implementations are not well known to the public. In this work, we show through real implementation and evaluation that automatic task classification can be implemented for mobile devices by using the support vector machine algorithm and crowdsourcing. To train our task classifier, we collected our training data set via crowdsourcing using the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform. Our classifier can classify a short English sentence into one of the thirty-two predefined tasks that are frequently requested while using personal mobile devices. Evaluation results show high prediction accuracy of our classifier ranging from 82% to 99%. By using large amount of crowdsourced data, we also illustrate the relationship between training data size and the prediction accuracy of our task classifier.

  18. Postural adjustments are modulated by manual task complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Augusto Teixeira

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Daily life activities of humans are characterized by dual tasks, in which a manual task is performed concomitantly with a postural task. Based on the assumption that both manual and postural tasks require attentional resources, no consensus exists as to how the central nervous system modulates postural adjustments in dual tasks. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of a manual task requiring attentional resources on shoulder and ankle adjustments as a function of the direction and predictability of postural perturbation. The participants (n=6 were evaluated during the performance of a simple and a complex manual task, while the base of support was moved backward or forward. Latency of activation of the tibialis anterior and gastroc-nemius muscles and angular acceleration of the shoulder were analyzed. The results showed that execution of the complex manual task delayed postural adjustment. Moreover, this delay occurred differently depending on the direction of postural perturbation. The delay in postural adjustment occurred proximally in the case of anterior displacement of the platform, and distally in the case of posterior displacement. Postural adjustments were more affected by the attentional task than by the predictability of platform displacement. These results are consistent with the concept of an integrated control between manual actions and the maintenance of static posture.

  19. Persistency and flexibility of complex brain networks underlie dual-task interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavash, Mohsen; Hilgetag, Claus C; Thiel, Christiane M; Gießing, Carsten

    2015-09-01

    Previous studies on multitasking suggest that performance decline during concurrent task processing arises from interfering brain modules. Here, we used graph-theoretical network analysis to define functional brain modules and relate the modular organization of complex brain networks to behavioral dual-task costs. Based on resting-state and task fMRI we explored two organizational aspects potentially associated with behavioral interference when human subjects performed a visuospatial and speech task simultaneously: the topological overlap between persistent single-task modules, and the flexibility of single-task modules in adaptation to the dual-task condition. Participants showed a significant decline in visuospatial accuracy in the dual-task compared with single visuospatial task. Global analysis of topological similarity between modules revealed that the overlap between single-task modules significantly correlated with the decline in visuospatial accuracy. Subjects with larger overlap between single-task modules showed higher behavioral interference. Furthermore, lower flexible reconfiguration of single-task modules in adaptation to the dual-task condition significantly correlated with larger decline in visuospatial accuracy. Subjects with lower modular flexibility showed higher behavioral interference. At the regional level, higher overlap between single-task modules and less modular flexibility in the somatomotor cortex positively correlated with the decline in visuospatial accuracy. Additionally, higher modular flexibility in cingulate and frontal control areas and lower flexibility in right-lateralized nodes comprising the middle occipital and superior temporal gyri supported dual-tasking. Our results suggest that persistency and flexibility of brain modules are important determinants of dual-task costs. We conclude that efficient dual-tasking benefits from a specific balance between flexibility and rigidity of functional brain modules. © 2015 Wiley

  20. Form-based Approaches vs. Task-Based Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Talebi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at investigating whether task-based approaches bear any superiority to that of more traditional ones evident in presentation-practice- and production phase .to fulfill the purpose of the study, the participants within the age range of 11-19, took part in the study. Following a pretest, treatment, and a posttest, the obtained data was analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA to examine the effects of the variables. The results of the analysis showed that participants in the PPP group did significantly better in the grammar recognition of the posttest than that of the task group. However, their counterparts in the task group gained better scores in the writing section of the test .this research study provided evidence in support of task proponents' claim in the merit of task-based activity in raising learners' implicit knowledge claiming to play the primary role in spontaneous speech.

  1. Attentional bias modification based on visual probe task: methodological issues, results and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Machado Lopes

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attentional bias, the tendency that a person has to drive or maintain attention to a specific class of stimuli, may play an important role in the etiology and persistence of mental disorders. Attentional bias modification has been studied as a form of additional treatment related to automatic processing. Objectives: This systematic literature review compared and discussed methods, evidence of success and potential clinical applications of studies about attentional bias modification (ABM using a visual probe task. Methods: The Web of Knowledge, PubMed and PsycInfo were searched using the keywords attentional bias modification, attentional bias manipulation and attentional bias training. We selected empirical studies about ABM training using a visual probe task written in English and published between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most (78% succeeded in training attention in the predicted direction, and in 71% results were generalized to other measures correlated with the symptoms. Conclusions: ABM has potential clinical utility, but to standardize methods and maximize applicability, future studies should include clinical samples and be based on findings of studies about its effectiveness.

  2. Cognitive Task Analysis of Business Jet Pilots' Weather Flying Behaviors: Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorella, Kara; Pliske, Rebecca; Hutton, Robert; Chrenka, Jason

    2001-01-01

    This report presents preliminary findings from a cognitive task analysis (CTA) of business aviation piloting. Results describe challenging weather-related aviation decisions and the information and cues used to support these decisions. Further, these results demonstrate the role of expertise in business aviation decision-making in weather flying, and how weather information is acquired and assessed for reliability. The challenging weather scenarios and novice errors identified in the results provide the basis for experimental scenarios and dependent measures to be used in future flight simulation evaluations of candidate aviation weather information systems. Finally, we analyzed these preliminary results to recommend design and training interventions to improve business aviation decision-making with weather information. The primary objective of this report is to present these preliminary findings and to document the extended CTA methodology used to elicit and represent expert business aviator decision-making with weather information. These preliminary findings will be augmented with results from additional subjects using this methodology. A summary of the complete results, absent the detailed treatment of methodology provided in this report, will be documented in a separate publication.

  3. Cognitive and collaborative demands of freight conductor activities: results and implications of a cognitive task analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

    This report presents the results of a cognitive task analysis (CTA) that examined the cognitive and collaborative demands placed on conductors, as well as the knowledge and skills that experienced conductors have developed that enable them to operate...

  4. Cognitive task load in a naval ship control centre: from identification to prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grootjen, M; Neerincx, M A; Veltman, J A

    Deployment of information and communication technology will lead to further automation of control centre tasks and an increasing amount of information to be processed. A method for establishing adequate levels of cognitive task load for the operators in such complex environments has been developed. It is based on a model distinguishing three load factors: time occupied, task-set switching, and level of information processing. Application of the method resulted in eight scenarios for eight extremes of task load (i.e. low and high values for each load factor). These scenarios were performed by 13 teams in a high-fidelity control centre simulator of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The results show that the method provides good prediction of the task load that will actually appear in the simulator. The model allowed identification of under- and overload situations showing negative effects on operator performance corresponding to controlled experiments in a less realistic task environment. Tools proposed to keep the operator at an optimum task load are (adaptive) task allocation and interface support.

  5. Exploring relations between task conflict and informational conflict in the Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Entel, Olga; Tzelgov, Joseph; Bereby-Meyer, Yoella; Shahar, Nitzan

    2015-11-01

    In this study, we tested the proposal that the Stroop task involves two conflicts--task conflict and informational conflict. Task conflict was defined as the latency difference between color words and non-letter neutrals, and manipulated by varying the proportion of color words versus non-letter neutrals. Informational conflict was defined as the latency difference between incongruent and congruent trials and manipulated by varying the congruent-to-incongruent trial ratio. We replicated previous findings showing that increasing the ratio of incongruent-to-congruent trials reduces the latency difference between the incongruent and congruent condition (i.e., informational conflict), as does increasing the proportion of color words (i.e., task conflict). A significant under-additive interaction between the two proportion manipulations (congruent vs. incongruent and color words vs. neutrals) indicated that the effects of task conflict and informational conflict were not additive. By assessing task conflict as the contrast between color words and neutrals, we found that task conflict existed in all of our experimental conditions. Under specific conditions, when task conflict dominated behavior by explaining most of the variability between congruency conditions, we also found negative facilitation, thus demonstrating that this effect is a special case of task conflict.

  6. Gender involvement in manual material handling (mmh) tasks in agriculture and technology intervention to mitigate the resulting musculoskeletal disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Suman; Sinwal, Neelima; Rathore, Hemu

    2012-01-01

    The lifting and carrying of loads in agriculture on small landholdings are unavoidable. Rural communities often lack access to appropriate technologies which may result in various health hazards. The objective was to study gender participation in agricultural activities involving manual material handling tasks, to assess MSDs experienced in various MMH tasks and to evaluate traditional method and designed technology. The study was conducted on 100 agricultural workers. Data on gender participation in MMH tasks in household, animal husbandry and agriculture and resulting MSDs was gathered. Pre and post assessment of technology intervention was done for NIOSH Lifting Index, QEC, and RPE. The results revealed greater susceptibility of females to musculoskeletal problems in most of the household and animal husbandry tasks. The hand trucks designed were pushing type with power grasp handle. The respondents were advised to carry 5 kg of weight per lift instead of lifting more weight in one lift/minute while filling the hand truck. By decreasing the weight and increasing the number of lifts per minute the respondents were seen falling in green zone indicating significant reduction in NIOSH lifting index. QEC scores concluded that for filling the hand truck 5 kg of weight should be carried to keep the exposure level low.

  7. The task-relevant attribute representation can mediate the Simon effect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Tang

    Full Text Available Researchers have previously suggested a working memory (WM account of spatial codes, and based on this suggestion, the present study carries out three experiments to investigate how the task-relevant attribute representation (verbal or visual in the typical Simon task affects the Simon effect. Experiment 1 compared the Simon effect between the between- and within-category color conditions, which required subjects to discriminate between red and blue stimuli (presumed to be represented by verbal WM codes because it was easy and fast to name the colors verbally and to discriminate between two similar green stimuli (presumed to be represented by visual WM codes because it was hard and time-consuming to name the colors verbally, respectively. The results revealed a reliable Simon effect that only occurs in the between-category condition. Experiment 2 assessed the Simon effect by requiring subjects to discriminate between two different isosceles trapezoids (within-category shapes and to discriminate isosceles trapezoid from rectangle (between-category shapes, and the results replicated and expanded the findings of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, subjects were required to perform both tasks from Experiment 1. Wherein, in Experiment 3A, the between-category task preceded the within-category task; in Experiment 3B, the task order was opposite. The results showed the reliable Simon effect when subjects represented the task-relevant stimulus attributes by verbal WM encoding. In addition, the response times (RTs distribution analysis for both the between- and within-category conditions of Experiments 3A and 3B showed decreased Simon effect with the RTs lengthened. Altogether, although the present results are consistent with the temporal coding account, we put forth that the Simon effect also depends on the verbal WM representation of task-relevant stimulus attribute.

  8. On the functional integration between postural and supra-postural tasks on the basis of contextual cues and task constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lima, Andrea Cristina; de Azevedo Neto, Raymundo Machado; Teixeira, Luis Augusto

    2010-10-01

    In order to evaluate the effects of uncertainty about direction of mechanical perturbation and supra-postural task constraint on postural control, young adults had their upright stance perturbed while holding a tray in a horizontal position. Stance was perturbed by moving forward or backward a supporting platform, contrasting situations of certainty versus uncertainty of direction of displacement. Increased constraint on postural stability was imposed by a supra-postural task of equilibrating a cylinder on the tray. Performance was assessed through EMG of anterior leg muscles, angular displacement of the main joints involved in the postural reactions and displacement of the tray. Results showed that both certainty on the direction of perturbation and increased supra-postural task constraint led to decreased angular displacement of the knee and the hip. Furthermore, combination of certainty and high supra-postural task constraint produced shorter latency of muscular activation. Such postural responses were paralleled by decreased displacement of the tray. These results suggest a functional integration between the tasks, with central set priming reactive postural responses from contextual cues and increased stability demand. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Heuristic Scheduling Algorithm Oriented Dynamic Tasks for Imaging Satellites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maocai Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Imaging satellite scheduling is an NP-hard problem with many complex constraints. This paper researches the scheduling problem for dynamic tasks oriented to some emergency cases. After the dynamic properties of satellite scheduling were analyzed, the optimization model is proposed in this paper. Based on the model, two heuristic algorithms are proposed to solve the problem. The first heuristic algorithm arranges new tasks by inserting or deleting them, then inserting them repeatedly according to the priority from low to high, which is named IDI algorithm. The second one called ISDR adopts four steps: insert directly, insert by shifting, insert by deleting, and reinsert the tasks deleted. Moreover, two heuristic factors, congestion degree of a time window and the overlapping degree of a task, are employed to improve the algorithm’s performance. Finally, a case is given to test the algorithms. The results show that the IDI algorithm is better than ISDR from the running time point of view while ISDR algorithm with heuristic factors is more effective with regard to algorithm performance. Moreover, the results also show that our method has good performance for the larger size of the dynamic tasks in comparison with the other two methods.

  10. Search strategies in practice: Influence of information and task constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Matheus M; Newell, Karl M

    2018-01-01

    The practice of a motor task has been conceptualized as a process of search through a perceptual-motor workspace. The present study investigated the influence of information and task constraints on the search strategy as reflected in the sequential relations of the outcome in a discrete movement virtual projectile task. The results showed that the relation between the changes of trial-to-trial movement outcome to performance level was dependent on the landscape of the task dynamics and the influence of inherent variability. Furthermore, the search was in a constrained parameter region of the perceptual-motor workspace that depended on the task constraints. These findings show that there is not a single function of trial-to-trial change over practice but rather that local search strategies (proportional, discontinuous, constant) adapt to the level of performance and the confluence of constraints to action. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Beads task vs. box task: The specificity of the jumping to conclusions bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzan, Ryan P; Ephraums, Rachel; Delfabbro, Paul; Andreou, Christina

    2017-09-01

    Previous research involving the probabilistic reasoning 'beads task' has consistently demonstrated a jumping-to-conclusions (JTC) bias, where individuals with delusions make decisions based on limited evidence. However, recent studies have suggested that miscomprehension may be confounding the beads task. The current study aimed to test the conventional beads task against a conceptually simpler probabilistic reasoning "box task" METHODS: One hundred non-clinical participants completed both the beads task and the box task, and the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI) to assess for delusion-proneness. The number of 'draws to decision' was assessed for both tasks. Additionally, the total amount of on-screen evidence was manipulated for the box task, and two new box task measures were assessed (i.e., 'proportion of evidence requested' and 'deviation from optimal solution'). Despite being conceptually similar, the two tasks did not correlate, and participants requested significantly less information on the beads task relative to the box task. High-delusion-prone participants did not demonstrate hastier decisions on either task; in fact, for box task, this group was observed to be significantly more conservative than low-delusion-prone group. Neither task was incentivized; results need replication with a clinical sample. Participants, and particularly those identified as high-delusion-prone, displayed a more conservative style of responding on the novel box task, relative to the beads task. The two tasks, whilst conceptually similar, appear to be tapping different cognitive processes. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to the JTC bias and the theoretical mechanisms thought to underlie it. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. Dynamics of the central bottleneck: dual-task and task uncertainty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariano Sigman

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Why is the human brain fundamentally limited when attempting to execute two tasks at the same time or in close succession? Two classical paradigms, psychological refractory period (PRP and task switching, have independently approached this issue, making significant advances in our understanding of the architecture of cognition. Yet, there is an apparent contradiction between the conclusions derived from these two paradigms. The PRP paradigm, on the one hand, suggests that the simultaneous execution of two tasks is limited solely by a passive structural bottleneck in which the tasks are executed on a first-come, first-served basis. The task-switching paradigm, on the other hand, argues that switching back and forth between task configurations must be actively controlled by a central executive system (the system controlling voluntary, planned, and flexible action. Here we have explicitly designed an experiment mixing the essential ingredients of both paradigms: task uncertainty and task simultaneity. In addition to a central bottleneck, we obtain evidence for active processes of task setting (planning of the appropriate sequence of actions and task disengaging (suppression of the plan set for the first task in order to proceed with the next one. Our results clarify the chronometric relations between these central components of dual-task processing, and in particular whether they operate serially or in parallel. On this basis, we propose a hierarchical model of cognitive architecture that provides a synthesis of task-switching and PRP paradigms.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Preschool physics: Using the invisible property of weight in causal reasoning tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhidan; Williamson, Rebecca A; Meltzoff, Andrew N

    2018-01-01

    Causal reasoning is an important aspect of scientific thinking. Even young human children can use causal reasoning to explain observations, make predictions, and design actions to bring about specific outcomes in the physical world. Weight is an interesting type of cause because it is an invisible property. Here, we tested preschool children with causal problem-solving tasks that assessed their understanding of weight. In an experimental setting, 2- to 5-year-old children completed three different tasks in which they had to use weight to produce physical effects-an object displacement task, a balance-scale task, and a tower-building task. The results showed that the children's understanding of how to use object weight to produce specific object-to-object causal outcomes improved as a function of age, with 4- and 5-year-olds showing above-chance performance on all three tasks. The younger children's performance was more variable. The pattern of results provides theoretical insights into which aspects of weight processing are particularly difficult for preschool children and why they find it difficult.

  19. Regular Exercise Enhances Task-Based Industriousness in Laboratory Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas C Laurence

    Full Text Available Individuals vary greatly in their willingness to select and persist in effortful tasks, even when high-effort will knowingly result in high-reward. Individuals who select and successively complete effortful, goal-directed tasks can be described as industrious. Trying to increase one's industriousness is desirable from a productivity standpoint, yet intrinsically challenging given that effort expenditure is generally aversive. Here we show that in laboratory rats, a basic physical exercise regimen (20 min/day, five days/week is sufficient to increase industriousness across a battery of subsequent testing tasks. Exercised rats outperformed their non-exercised counterparts in tasks designed to tax effort expenditure, strategic decision-making, problem solving and persistence. These increases in performance led to quicker reward obtainment and greater reward gain over time, and could not be accounted for simply by increased locomotor activity. Our results suggest that a basic exercise regimen can enhance effortful goal-directed behaviour in goal-directed tasks, which highlights a potential productivity benefit of staying physically active.

  20. Auditory temporal preparation induced by rhythmic cues during concurrent auditory working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutanda, Diana; Correa, Ángel; Sanabria, Daniel

    2015-06-01

    The present study investigated whether participants can develop temporal preparation driven by auditory isochronous rhythms when concurrently performing an auditory working memory (WM) task. In Experiment 1, participants had to respond to an auditory target presented after a regular or an irregular sequence of auditory stimuli while concurrently performing a Sternberg-type WM task. Results showed that participants responded faster after regular compared with irregular rhythms and that this effect was not affected by WM load; however, the lack of a significant main effect of WM load made it difficult to draw any conclusion regarding the influence of the dual-task manipulation in Experiment 1. In order to enhance dual-task interference, Experiment 2 combined the auditory rhythm procedure with an auditory N-Back task, which required WM updating (monitoring and coding of the information) and was presumably more demanding than the mere rehearsal of the WM task used in Experiment 1. Results now clearly showed dual-task interference effects (slower reaction times [RTs] in the high- vs. the low-load condition). However, such interference did not affect temporal preparation induced by rhythms, with faster RTs after regular than after irregular sequences in the high-load and low-load conditions. These results revealed that secondary tasks demanding memory updating, relative to tasks just demanding rehearsal, produced larger interference effects on overall RTs in the auditory rhythm task. Nevertheless, rhythm regularity exerted a strong temporal preparation effect that survived the interference of the WM task even when both tasks competed for processing resources within the auditory modality. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. The Impact of Task Demands on Fixation-Related Brain Potentials during Guided Search.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J Ries

    Full Text Available Recording synchronous data from EEG and eye-tracking provides a unique methodological approach for measuring the sensory and cognitive processes of overt visual search. Using this approach we obtained fixation related potentials (FRPs during a guided visual search task specifically focusing on the lambda and P3 components. An outstanding question is whether the lambda and P3 FRP components are influenced by concurrent task demands. We addressed this question by obtaining simultaneous eye-movement and electroencephalographic (EEG measures during a guided visual search task while parametrically modulating working memory load using an auditory N-back task. Participants performed the guided search task alone, while ignoring binaurally presented digits, or while using the auditory information in a 0, 1, or 2-back task. The results showed increased reaction time and decreased accuracy in both the visual search and N-back tasks as a function of auditory load. Moreover, high auditory task demands increased the P3 but not the lambda latency while the amplitude of both lambda and P3 was reduced during high auditory task demands. The results show that both early and late stages of visual processing indexed by FRPs are significantly affected by concurrent task demands imposed by auditory working memory.

  2. 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.

  3. Real-time multi-task operators support system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang He; Peng Minjun; Wang Hao; Cheng Shouyu

    2005-01-01

    The development in computer software and hardware technology and information processing as well as the accumulation in the design and feedback from Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) operation created a good opportunity to develop an integrated Operator Support System. The Real-time Multi-task Operator Support System (RMOSS) has been built to support the operator's decision making process during normal and abnormal operations. RMOSS consists of five system subtasks such as Data Collection and Validation Task (DCVT), Operation Monitoring Task (OMT), Fault Diagnostic Task (FDT), Operation Guideline Task (OGT) and Human Machine Interface Task (HMIT). RMOSS uses rule-based expert system and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The rule-based expert system is used to identify the predefined events in static conditions and track the operation guideline through data processing. In dynamic status, Back-Propagation Neural Network is adopted for fault diagnosis, which is trained with the Genetic Algorithm. Embedded real-time operation system VxWorks and its integrated environment Tornado II are used as the RMOSS software cross-development. VxGUI is used to design HMI. All of the task programs are designed in C language. The task tests and function evaluation of RMOSS have been done in one real-time full scope simulator. Evaluation results show that each task of RMOSS is capable of accomplishing its functions. (authors)

  4. Gun Shows and Gun Violence: Fatally Flawed Study Yields Misleading Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemenway, David; Webster, Daniel; Pierce, Glenn; Braga, Anthony A.

    2010-01-01

    A widely publicized but unpublished study of the relationship between gun shows and gun violence is being cited in debates about the regulation of gun shows and gun commerce. We believe the study is fatally flawed. A working paper entitled “The Effect of Gun Shows on Gun-Related Deaths: Evidence from California and Texas” outlined this study, which found no association between gun shows and gun-related deaths. We believe the study reflects a limited understanding of gun shows and gun markets and is not statistically powered to detect even an implausibly large effect of gun shows on gun violence. In addition, the research contains serious ascertainment and classification errors, produces results that are sensitive to minor specification changes in key variables and in some cases have no face validity, and is contradicted by 1 of its own authors’ prior research. The study should not be used as evidence in formulating gun policy. PMID:20724672

  5. Fluctuations in work motivation: tasks do not matter!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Jose; Curioso, Fernando; Gomes, Duarte; Arrieta, Carlos; Cortes, Mauricio

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that work motivation fluctuates considerably and in a nonlinear way over time. In the present research, we are interested in studying if the task at hand does or does not influence the presence of these fluctuations. We gathered daily registers from 69 workers during 21 consecutive working days (7036 registers) of task developed and levels of motivation, self-efficacy beliefs and instrumentalities perception. These registers were then categorized into a list of labor activities in main tasks and subtasks by means of three judges with a high level of agreement (97.47% for tasks, and 98.64% for subtasks). Taking the MSSD statistic (mean squared successive difference) of the average of motivation, self-efficacy and instrumentality, and using hierarchical regression analysis we have found that tasks (beta = .03; p = .188) and subtasks (beta = .10; p = .268) do not affect the presence of fluctuations in motivation. These results reveal instability in work motivation independently from the tasks and subtasks that the workers do. We proceed to find that fluctuations in work motivation show a fractal structure across the different tasks we do in a working day. Implications of these results to motivational theory will be discussed as well as possible explanations (e.g. the influence of affect in work motivation) and directions for future research are provided.

  6. The Tasks of the Crowd: A Typology of Tasks in Geographic Information Crowdsourcing and a Case Study in Humanitarian Mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Porto de Albuquerque

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In the past few years, volunteers have produced geographic information of different kinds, using a variety of different crowdsourcing platforms, within a broad range of contexts. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the specific types of tasks that volunteers can perform for deriving geographic information from remotely sensed imagery, and how the quality of the produced information can be assessed for particular task types. To fill this gap, we analyse the existing literature and propose a typology of tasks in geographic information crowdsourcing, which distinguishes between classification, digitisation and conflation tasks. We then present a case study related to the “Missing Maps” project aimed at crowdsourced classification to support humanitarian aid. We use our typology to distinguish between the different types of crowdsourced tasks in the project and choose classification tasks related to identifying roads and settlements for an evaluation of the crowdsourced classification. This evaluation shows that the volunteers achieved a satisfactory overall performance (accuracy: 89%; sensitivity: 73%; and precision: 89%. We also analyse different factors that could influence the performance, concluding that volunteers were more likely to incorrectly classify tasks with small objects. Furthermore, agreement among volunteers was shown to be a very good predictor of the reliability of crowdsourced classification: tasks with the highest agreement level were 41 times more probable to be correctly classified by volunteers. The results thus show that the crowdsourced classification of remotely sensed imagery is able to generate geographic information about human settlements with a high level of quality. This study also makes clear the different sophistication levels of tasks that can be performed by volunteers and reveals some factors that may have an impact on their performance.

  7. 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

    -grained analyses of response scheduling again revealed individual differences regarding the preference for strictly serial processing vs. some sort of task interleaving and overlapping processing. However, neither group showed a striking benefit in dual-task efficiency, although the results show that the costs of multitasking can partly be compensated by overlapping processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Brain deactivation in the outperformance in bimodal tasks: an FMRI study.

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    Tzu-Ching Chiang

    Full Text Available While it is known that some individuals can effectively perform two tasks simultaneously, other individuals cannot. How the brain deals with performing simultaneous tasks remains unclear. In the present study, we aimed to assess which brain areas corresponded to various phenomena in task performance. Nineteen subjects were requested to sequentially perform three blocks of tasks, including two unimodal tasks and one bimodal task. The unimodal tasks measured either visual feature binding or auditory pitch comparison, while the bimodal task required performance of the two tasks simultaneously. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI results are compatible with previous studies showing that distinct brain areas, such as the visual cortices, frontal eye field (FEF, lateral parietal lobe (BA7, and medial and inferior frontal lobe, are involved in processing of visual unimodal tasks. In addition, the temporal lobes and Brodmann area 43 (BA43 were involved in processing of auditory unimodal tasks. These results lend support to concepts of modality-specific attention. Compared to the unimodal tasks, bimodal tasks required activation of additional brain areas. Furthermore, while deactivated brain areas were related to good performance in the bimodal task, these areas were not deactivated where the subject performed well in only one of the two simultaneous tasks. These results indicate that efficient information processing does not require some brain areas to be overly active; rather, the specific brain areas need to be relatively deactivated to remain alert and perform well on two tasks simultaneously. Meanwhile, it can also offer a neural basis for biofeedback in training courses, such as courses in how to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.

  9. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks : effects of task factors and RSA indices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overbeek, T.; Boxtel, van Anton; Westerink, J.H.D.M.

    2014-01-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable

  10. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks: Effects of task factors and RSA indices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overbeek, T.J.M.; van Boxtel, A.; Westerink, J.H.D.M.

    2014-01-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable

  11. Default mode network connectivity during task execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatansever, D; Menon, D K; Manktelow, A E; Sahakian, B J; Stamatakis, E A

    2015-11-15

    Initially described as task-induced deactivations during goal-directed paradigms of high attentional load, the unresolved functionality of default mode regions has long been assumed to interfere with task performance. However, recent evidence suggests a potential default mode network involvement in fulfilling cognitive demands. We tested this hypothesis in a finger opposition paradigm with task and fixation periods which we compared with an independent resting state scan using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a comprehensive analysis pipeline including activation, functional connectivity, behavioural and graph theoretical assessments. The results indicate task specific changes in the default mode network topography. Behaviourally, we show that increased connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex with the left superior frontal gyrus predicts faster reaction times. Moreover, interactive and dynamic reconfiguration of the default mode network regions' functional connections illustrates their involvement with the task at hand with higher-level global parallel processing power, yet preserved small-world architecture in comparison with rest. These findings demonstrate that the default mode network does not disengage during this paradigm, but instead may be involved in task relevant processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Task-dependent vestibular feedback responses in reaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, Johannes; Medendorp, W Pieter; Selen, Luc P J

    2017-07-01

    When reaching for an earth-fixed object during self-rotation, the motor system should appropriately integrate vestibular signals and sensory predictions to compensate for the intervening motion and its induced inertial forces. While it is well established that this integration occurs rapidly, it is unknown whether vestibular feedback is specifically processed dependent on the behavioral goal. Here, we studied whether vestibular signals evoke fixed responses with the aim to preserve the hand trajectory in space or are processed more flexibly, correcting trajectories only in task-relevant spatial dimensions. We used galvanic vestibular stimulation to perturb reaching movements toward a narrow or a wide target. Results show that the same vestibular stimulation led to smaller trajectory corrections to the wide than the narrow target. We interpret this reduced compensation as a task-dependent modulation of vestibular feedback responses, tuned to minimally intervene with the task-irrelevant dimension of the reach. These task-dependent vestibular feedback corrections are in accordance with a central prediction of optimal feedback control theory and mirror the sophistication seen in feedback responses to mechanical and visual perturbations of the upper limb. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Correcting limb movements for external perturbations is a hallmark of flexible sensorimotor behavior. While visual and mechanical perturbations are corrected in a task-dependent manner, it is unclear whether a vestibular perturbation, naturally arising when the body moves, is selectively processed in reach control. We show, using galvanic vestibular stimulation, that reach corrections to vestibular perturbations are task dependent, consistent with a prediction of optimal feedback control theory. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Economic decision-making compared with an equivalent motor task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shih-Wei; Delgado, Mauricio R; Maloney, Laurence T

    2009-04-14

    There is considerable evidence that human economic decision-making deviates from the predictions of expected utility theory (EUT) and that human performance conforms to EUT in many perceptual and motor decision tasks. It is possible that these results reflect a real difference in decision-making in the 2 domains but it is also possible that the observed discrepancy simply reflects typical differences in experimental design. We developed a motor task that is mathematically equivalent to choosing between lotteries and used it to compare how the same subject chose between classical economic lotteries and the same lotteries presented in equivalent motor form. In experiment 1, we found that subjects are more risk seeking in deciding between motor lotteries. In experiment 2, we used cumulative prospect theory to model choice and separately estimated the probability weighting functions and the value functions for each subject carrying out each task. We found no patterned differences in how subjects represented outcome value in the motor and the classical tasks. However, the probability weighting functions for motor and classical tasks were markedly and significantly different. Those for the classical task showed a typical tendency to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities, and those for the motor task showed the opposite pattern of probability distortion. This outcome also accounts for the increased risk-seeking observed in the motor tasks of experiment 1. We conclude that the same subject distorts probability, but not value, differently in making identical decisions in motor and classical form.

  14. The neural architecture of age-related dual-task interferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Witold Xaver Chmielewski

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In daily life elderly adults exhibit deficits when dual-tasking is involved. So far these deficits have been verified on a behavioral level in dual-tasking. Yet, the neuronal architecture of these deficits in aging still remains to be explored especially when late-middle aged individuals around 60 years of age are concerned. Neuroimaging studies in young participants concerning dual-tasking were, among others, related to activity in middle frontal (MFG and superior frontal gyrus (SFG and the anterior insula (AI. According to the frontal lobe hypothesis of aging, alterations in these frontal regions (i.e., SFG and MFG might be responsible for cognitive deficits. We measured brain activity using fMRI, while examining age-dependent variations in dual-tasking by utilizing the PRP (psychological refractory period test. Behavioral data showed an increasing PRP effect in late-middle aged adults. The results suggest the age-related deteriorated performance in dual-tasking, especially in conditions of risen complexity. These effects are related to changes in networks involving the anterior insula, the SFG and the MFG. The results suggest that different cognitive subprocesses are affected that mediate the observed dual-tasking problems in late-middle aged individuals.

  15. The neural architecture of age-related dual-task interferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmielewski, Witold X; Yildiz, Ali; Beste, Christian

    2014-01-01

    In daily life elderly adults exhibit deficits when dual-tasking is involved. So far these deficits have been verified on a behavioral level in dual-tasking. Yet, the neuronal architecture of these deficits in aging still remains to be explored especially when late-middle aged individuals around 60 years of age are concerned. Neuroimaging studies in young participants concerning dual-tasking were, among others, related to activity in middle frontal (MFG) and superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and the anterior insula (AI). According to the frontal lobe hypothesis of aging, alterations in these frontal regions (i.e., SFG and MFG) might be responsible for cognitive deficits. We measured brain activity using fMRI, while examining age-dependent variations in dual-tasking by utilizing the PRP (psychological refractory period) test. Behavioral data showed an increasing PRP effect in late-middle aged adults. The results suggest the age-related deteriorated performance in dual-tasking, especially in conditions of risen complexity. These effects are related to changes in networks involving the AI, the SFG and the MFG. The results suggest that different cognitive subprocesses are affected that mediate the observed dual-tasking problems in late-middle aged individuals.

  16. Task-irrelevant emotion facilitates face discrimination learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzino, Martina; Caudek, Corrado

    2015-03-01

    We understand poorly how the ability to discriminate faces from one another is shaped by visual experience. The purpose of the present study is to determine whether face discrimination learning can be facilitated by facial emotions. To answer this question, we used a task-irrelevant perceptual learning paradigm because it closely mimics the learning processes that, in daily life, occur without a conscious intention to learn and without an attentional focus on specific facial features. We measured face discrimination thresholds before and after training. During the training phase (4 days), participants performed a contrast discrimination task on face images. They were not informed that we introduced (task-irrelevant) subtle variations in the face images from trial to trial. For the Identity group, the task-irrelevant features were variations along a morphing continuum of facial identity. For the Emotion group, the task-irrelevant features were variations along an emotional expression morphing continuum. The Control group did not undergo contrast discrimination learning and only performed the pre-training and post-training tests, with the same temporal gap between them as the other two groups. Results indicate that face discrimination improved, but only for the Emotion group. Participants in the Emotion group, moreover, showed face discrimination improvements also for stimulus variations along the facial identity dimension, even if these (task-irrelevant) stimulus features had not been presented during training. The present results highlight the importance of emotions for face discrimination learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Sex differences in task distribution and task exposures among Danish house painters:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heilskov-Hansen, Thomas; Svendsen, Susanne Wulff; Thomsen, Jane Frølund

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Sex differences in occupational biomechanical exposures may be part of the explanation why musculoskeletal complaints and disorders tend to be more common among women than among men. We aimed to determine possible sex differences in task distribution and task-specific postures...... correction were used to evaluate sex differences. RESULTS: Statistically significant (psex differences were revealed in task proportions, but the proportions differed by less than 4%. For task exposures, no statistically significant sex differences were found. CONCLUSIONS: Only minor sex differences...... and movements of the upper extremities among Danish house painters, and to establish sex-specific task exposure matrices. METHODS: To obtain task distributions, we sent out a questionnaire to all members of the Painters' Union in Denmark (N = 9364), of whom 53% responded. Respondents reported their task...

  18. Task-induced frequency modulation features for brain-computer interfacing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaram, Vinay; Hohmann, Matthias; Just, Jennifer; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz

    2017-10-01

    Objective. Task-induced amplitude modulation of neural oscillations is routinely used in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) for decoding subjects’ intents, and underlies some of the most robust and common methods in the field, such as common spatial patterns and Riemannian geometry. While there has been some interest in phase-related features for classification, both techniques usually presuppose that the frequencies of neural oscillations remain stable across various tasks. We investigate here whether features based on task-induced modulation of the frequency of neural oscillations enable decoding of subjects’ intents with an accuracy comparable to task-induced amplitude modulation. Approach. We compare cross-validated classification accuracies using the amplitude and frequency modulated features, as well as a joint feature space, across subjects in various paradigms and pre-processing conditions. We show results with a motor imagery task, a cognitive task, and also preliminary results in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as using common spatial patterns and Laplacian filtering. Main results. The frequency features alone do not significantly out-perform traditional amplitude modulation features, and in some cases perform significantly worse. However, across both tasks and pre-processing in healthy subjects the joint space significantly out-performs either the frequency or amplitude features alone. This result only does not hold for ALS patients, for whom the dataset is of insufficient size to draw any statistically significant conclusions. Significance. Task-induced frequency modulation is robust and straight forward to compute, and increases performance when added to standard amplitude modulation features across paradigms. This allows more information to be extracted from the EEG signal cheaply and can be used throughout the field of BCIs.

  19. Monetary reward modulates task-irrelevant perceptual learning for invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL) shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.

  20. Musculoskeletal injuries resulting from patient handling tasks among hospital workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pompeii, Lisa A; Lipscomb, Hester J; Schoenfisch, Ashley L; Dement, John M

    2009-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate musculoskeletal injuries and disorders resulting from patient handling prior to the implementation of a "minimal manual lift" policy at a large tertiary care medical center. We sought to define the circumstances surrounding patient handling injuries and to identify potential preventive measures. Human resources data were used to define the cohort and their time at work. Workers' compensation records (1997-2003) were utilized to identify work-related musculoskeletal claims, while the workers' description of injury was used to identify those that resulted from patient handling. Adjusted rate ratios were generated using Poisson regression. One-third (n = 876) of all musculoskeletal injuries resulted from patient handling activities. Most (83%) of the injury burden was incurred by inpatient nurses, nurses' aides and radiology technicians, while injury rates were highest for nurses' aides (8.8/100 full-time equivalent, FTEs) and smaller workgroups including emergency medical technicians (10.3/100 FTEs), patient transporters (4.3/100 FTEs), operating room technicians (3.1/100 FTEs), and morgue technicians (2.2/100 FTEs). Forty percent of injuries due to lifting/transferring patients may have been prevented through the use of mechanical lift equipment, while 32% of injuries resulting from repositioning/turning patients, pulling patients up in bed, or catching falling patients may not have been prevented by the use of lift equipment. The use of mechanical lift equipment could significantly reduce the risk of some patient handling injuries but additional interventions need to be considered that address other patient handling tasks. Smaller high-risk workgroups should not be neglected in prevention efforts.

  1. Letter and Colour Matching Tasks: Parametric Measures of Developmental Working Memory Capacity

    OpenAIRE

    Powell, Tamara L.; Arsalidou, Marie; Vogan, Vanessa M.; Taylor, Margot J.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the mediating role of interference in developmental assessments of working memory (WM) capacity across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. One hundred and forty-two participants completed two versions of visuospatial (colour matching task, CMT) and verbal (letter matching task, LMT) WM tasks, which systematically varied cognitive load in a high and low interference condition. Results showed similar developmental trajectories across high interference contexts (CMT- and...

  2. The IEA large coil task test results in IFSMTF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lubell, M.S.; Clinard, J.A.; Dresner, L.

    1987-01-01

    The Large Coil Task (LCT) is an international collaboration of the United States, EURATOM, Japan, and Switzerland to develop large superconducting magnets for fusion reactors. The testing phase of LCT was completed on September 3, 1987. All six coils exceeded the design goals, both as single coils and in six-coil toroidal tests. In addition, a symmetric torus test was performed in which a maximum field of 9 T was reached in all coils simultaneously. These are by far the largest magnets (either in size, weight, or stored energy) ever to achieve such a field. 6 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs

  3. Framing of different types of information needs within simulated work task situations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borlund, Pia

    2016-01-01

    to reflect verificative, conscious topical and muddled topical information needs of each group of test participants. The study shows that it is challenging to formulate verificative simulated work task situations and to incorporate curiosity in the muddled topical simulated work task situations. The results...

  4. Limitations in dual-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pannebakker, Merel Mathilde

    2009-01-01

    In this thesis, the effect of information-processing overload on working-memory dependent information processing was examined using dual-task paradigms. The experiments described strengthen the importance of a functional explanation for dual-task limitations. First, it showed evidence for a unified

  5. "Smart inhibition": electrophysiological evidence for the suppression of conflict-generating task rules during task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiran, Nachshon; Hsieh, Shulan; Chang, Chi-Chih

    2011-09-01

    A major challenge for task switching is maintaining a balance between high task readiness and effectively ignoring irrelevant task rules. This calls for finely tuned inhibition that targets only the source of interference without adversely influencing other task-related representations. The authors show that irrelevant task rules generating response conflict are inhibited, causing their inefficient execution on the next trial (indicating the presence of competitor rule suppression[CRS];Meiran, Hsieh, & Dimov, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 36, 992-1002, 2010). To determine whether CRS influences task rules, rather than target stimuli or responses, the authors focused on the processing of the task cue before the target stimulus was presented and before the response could be chosen. As was predicted, CRS was found in the event-related potentials in two time windows during task cue processing. It was also found in three time windows after target presentation. Source localization analyses suggest the involvement of the right dorsal prefrontal cortex in all five time windows.

  6. Multi-task feature selection in microarray data by binary integer programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Liang; Vucetic, Slobodan

    2013-12-20

    A major challenge in microarray classification is that the number of features is typically orders of magnitude larger than the number of examples. In this paper, we propose a novel feature filter algorithm to select the feature subset with maximal discriminative power and minimal redundancy by solving a quadratic objective function with binary integer constraints. To improve the computational efficiency, the binary integer constraints are relaxed and a low-rank approximation to the quadratic term is applied. The proposed feature selection algorithm was extended to solve multi-task microarray classification problems. We compared the single-task version of the proposed feature selection algorithm with 9 existing feature selection methods on 4 benchmark microarray data sets. The empirical results show that the proposed method achieved the most accurate predictions overall. We also evaluated the multi-task version of the proposed algorithm on 8 multi-task microarray datasets. The multi-task feature selection algorithm resulted in significantly higher accuracy than when using the single-task feature selection methods.

  7. Analysis of human-in-the-loop tele-operated maintenance inspection tasks using VR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boessenkool, H.; Abbink, D.A.; Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Steinbuch, M.; Baar, M.R. de; Wildenbeest, J.G.W.; Ronden, D.; Koning, J.F.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Execution of tele-operated inspection tasks for ITER maintenance was analyzed. ► Human factors experiments using Virtual Reality showed to be a valuable approach. ► A large variation in time performance and number of collisions was found. ► Results indicate significant room for improvement for teleoperated free space tasks. ► A promising solution is haptic shared control: assist operator with guiding forces. -- Abstract: One of the challenges in future fusion plants such as ITER is the remote maintenance of the plant. Foreseen human-in-the-loop tele-operation is characterized by limited visual and haptic feedback from the environment, which results in degraded task performance and increased operator workload. For improved tele-operated task performance it is required to get insight in the expected tasks and problems during maintenance at ITER. By means of an exploratory human factor experiment, this paper analyses problems and bottlenecks during the execution of foreseen tele-operated maintenance at ITER, identifying most promising areas of improvement. The focus of this paper is on free space (sub)tasks where contact with the environment needs to be avoided. A group of 5 subjects was asked to carry-out an ITER related free space task (visual inspection), using a six degree of freedom master device connected to a simulated hot cell environment. The results show large variation in time performance between subjects and an increasing number of collisions for more difficult tasks, indicating room for improvement for free space (sub)tasks. The results will be used in future research on the haptic guidance strategies in the ITER Remote Handling framework

  8. Analysis of human-in-the-loop tele-operated maintenance inspection tasks using VR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boessenkool, H., E-mail: h.boessenkool@differ.nl [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, PO Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dynamics and Control Group, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (Netherlands); Abbink, D.A. [Delft University of Technology, Faculty of 3mE, BioMechanical Engineering Department, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft (Netherlands); Heemskerk, C.J.M. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V., Jonckerweg 12, 2201 DZ Noordwijk (Netherlands); Steinbuch, M. [Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dynamics and Control Group, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (Netherlands); Baar, M.R. de [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, PO Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dynamics and Control Group, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (Netherlands); Wildenbeest, J.G.W. [Delft University of Technology, Faculty of 3mE, BioMechanical Engineering Department, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft (Netherlands); Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V., Jonckerweg 12, 2201 DZ Noordwijk (Netherlands); Ronden, D. [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, PO Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Koning, J.F. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V., Jonckerweg 12, 2201 DZ Noordwijk (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: ► Execution of tele-operated inspection tasks for ITER maintenance was analyzed. ► Human factors experiments using Virtual Reality showed to be a valuable approach. ► A large variation in time performance and number of collisions was found. ► Results indicate significant room for improvement for teleoperated free space tasks. ► A promising solution is haptic shared control: assist operator with guiding forces. -- Abstract: One of the challenges in future fusion plants such as ITER is the remote maintenance of the plant. Foreseen human-in-the-loop tele-operation is characterized by limited visual and haptic feedback from the environment, which results in degraded task performance and increased operator workload. For improved tele-operated task performance it is required to get insight in the expected tasks and problems during maintenance at ITER. By means of an exploratory human factor experiment, this paper analyses problems and bottlenecks during the execution of foreseen tele-operated maintenance at ITER, identifying most promising areas of improvement. The focus of this paper is on free space (sub)tasks where contact with the environment needs to be avoided. A group of 5 subjects was asked to carry-out an ITER related free space task (visual inspection), using a six degree of freedom master device connected to a simulated hot cell environment. The results show large variation in time performance between subjects and an increasing number of collisions for more difficult tasks, indicating room for improvement for free space (sub)tasks. The results will be used in future research on the haptic guidance strategies in the ITER Remote Handling framework.

  9. Cloud Computing Task Scheduling Based on Cultural Genetic Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jian-Wen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The task scheduling strategy based on cultural genetic algorithm(CGA is proposed in order to improve the efficiency of task scheduling in the cloud computing platform, which targets at minimizing the total time and cost of task scheduling. The improved genetic algorithm is used to construct the main population space and knowledge space under cultural framework which get independent parallel evolution, forming a mechanism of mutual promotion to dispatch the cloud task. Simultaneously, in order to prevent the defects of the genetic algorithm which is easy to fall into local optimum, the non-uniform mutation operator is introduced to improve the search performance of the algorithm. The experimental results show that CGA reduces the total time and lowers the cost of the scheduling, which is an effective algorithm for the cloud task scheduling.

  10. Evaluation of modular robot system for maintenance tasks in hot cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pagala, Prithvi Sekhar, E-mail: ps.pagala@upm.es [Centre for Automation and Robotics UPM-CSIC (Spain); Ferre, Manuel, E-mail: m.ferre@upm.es [Centre for Automation and Robotics UPM-CSIC (Spain); Orona, Luis, E-mail: l.orona@gsi.de [GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Germany)

    2014-10-15

    Highlights: •Modular robot deployment inside hot cell for remote manipulation evaluated. •Flexible and adaptable system for variety of tasks presented. •Uses in large workspaces and evolving requirements shown. -- Abstract: This work assesses the use of a modular robot system to perform maintenance and inspection tasks such as, remote flexible inspection, manipulation and cooperation with deployed systems inside the hot cell. A flexible modular solution for the inclusion in maintenance operations is presented. The proposed heterogeneous modular robotic system is evaluated using simulations of the prototype across selected robot configuration to perform tasks. Results obtained show the advantages and ability of the modular robot to perform the necessary tasks as well as its ability to adapt and evolve depending on the need. The simulation test case inside hot cell shows modular robot configuration, a two modular arm to perform tele-operation tasks in the workspace and a wheeled platform for inspection collaborating to perform tasks. The advantage of using re-configurable modular robot over conventional robot platforms is shown.

  11. The effect of the nonhuman external regulator’s answer-until-correct (AUC) versus knowledge-of-result (KR) task feedback on children’s behavioral regulation during learning tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agina, Adel Masaud; Agina, Adel M.; Kommers, Petrus A.M.; Steehouder, M.F.

    2011-01-01

    The present study was conducted to shed a new light on the nonhuman’s external regulation effect on children’s behavioral regulation through investigating the effect of the computer’s task feedback answer-until-correct (AUC) versus knowledge-of-result (KR) with 40 preschool children (boys/girls)

  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. Balancing the Demands of Two Tasks: An Investigation of Cognitive-Motor Dual-Tasking in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butchard-MacDonald, Emma; Paul, Lorna; Evans, Jonathan J

    2018-03-01

    People with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (PwRRMS) suffer disproportionate decrements in gait under dual-task conditions, when walking and a cognitive task are combined. There has been much less investigation of the impact of cognitive demands on balance. This study investigated whether: (1) PwRRMS show disproportionate decrements in postural stability under dual-task conditions compared to healthy controls, and (2) dual-task decrements are associated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties. The impact of mood, fatigue, and disease severity on dual-tasking was also examined. A total of 34 PwRRMS and 34 matched controls completed cognitive (digit span) and balance (movement of center of pressure on Biosway on stable and unstable surfaces) tasks under single- and dual-task conditions. Everyday dual-tasking was measured using the Dual-Tasking Questionnaire. Mood was measured by the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale. Fatigue was measured via the Modified Fatigue Index Scale. No differences in age, gender, years of education, estimated pre-morbid IQ, or baseline digit span between groups. Compared with controls, PwRRMS showed significantly greater decrement in postural stability under dual-task conditions on an unstable surface (p=.007), but not a stable surface (p=.679). Balance decrement scores were not correlated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties or fatigue. Stable surface balance decrement scores were significantly associated with levels of anxiety (rho=0.527; p=.001) and depression (rho=0.451; p=.007). RRMS causes dual-tasking difficulties, impacting balance under challenging conditions, which may contribute to increased risk of gait difficulties and falls. The relationship between anxiety/depression and dual-task decrement suggests that emotional factors may be contributing to dual-task difficulties. (JINS, 2018, 24, 247-258).

  14. Novice supervisors' tasks and training - a descriptive study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jan; Jacobsen, Claus H.; Mathiesen, Birgit Bork

    development, experience, and practice. In this presentation we focus on the tasks and training of the respondents as novice supervisors. The results show, that a majority of novice supervisors were confronted with complicated jobs, e.g., group, internal and interdisciplinary supervision, but were not prepared......There is a lack of data on the influence of the debut as a supervisor on the later career. However, extrapolating data from therapist development, we assume that the first years as novice supervisor are important for the following career as supervisor in particular. The first job as novice......, i.e. trained, prior to these tasks. These findings imply that more training is needed for novice supervisors. Preferably, this training should be introduced before, or at least parallel to, the first supervisor tasks, preparing the novice supervisors for the often complicated tasks they are meeting....

  15. Deep Multi-Task Learning for Tree Genera Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, C.; Kang, J.; Sohn, G.

    2018-05-01

    The goal for our paper is to classify tree genera using airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data with Convolution Neural Network (CNN) - Multi-task Network (MTN) implementation. Unlike Single-task Network (STN) where only one task is assigned to the learning outcome, MTN is a deep learning architect for learning a main task (classification of tree genera) with other tasks (in our study, classification of coniferous and deciduous) simultaneously, with shared classification features. The main contribution of this paper is to improve classification accuracy from CNN-STN to CNN-MTN. This is achieved by introducing a concurrence loss (Lcd) to the designed MTN. This term regulates the overall network performance by minimizing the inconsistencies between the two tasks. Results show that we can increase the classification accuracy from 88.7 % to 91.0 % (from STN to MTN). The second goal of this paper is to solve the problem of small training sample size by multiple-view data generation. The motivation of this goal is to address one of the most common problems in implementing deep learning architecture, the insufficient number of training data. We address this problem by simulating training dataset with multiple-view approach. The promising results from this paper are providing a basis for classifying a larger number of dataset and number of classes in the future.

  16. Robust visual tracking via multi-task sparse learning

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Tianzhu

    2012-06-01

    In this paper, we formulate object tracking in a particle filter framework as a multi-task sparse learning problem, which we denote as Multi-Task Tracking (MTT). Since we model particles as linear combinations of dictionary templates that are updated dynamically, learning the representation of each particle is considered a single task in MTT. By employing popular sparsity-inducing p, q mixed norms (p D; 1), we regularize the representation problem to enforce joint sparsity and learn the particle representations together. As compared to previous methods that handle particles independently, our results demonstrate that mining the interdependencies between particles improves tracking performance and overall computational complexity. Interestingly, we show that the popular L 1 tracker [15] is a special case of our MTT formulation (denoted as the L 11 tracker) when p q 1. The learning problem can be efficiently solved using an Accelerated Proximal Gradient (APG) method that yields a sequence of closed form updates. As such, MTT is computationally attractive. We test our proposed approach on challenging sequences involving heavy occlusion, drastic illumination changes, and large pose variations. Experimental results show that MTT methods consistently outperform state-of-the-art trackers. © 2012 IEEE.

  17. 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

  18. The neural basis of task switching changes with skill acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji eJimura

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Learning novel skills involves reorganization and optimization of cognitive processing involving a broad network of brain regions. Previous work has shown asymmetric costs of switching to a well-trained task versus a poorly-trained task, but the neural basis of these differential switch costs is unclear. The current study examined the neural signature of task switching in the context of acquisition of new skill. Human participants alternated randomly between a novel visual task (mirror-reversed word reading and a highly practiced one (plain word reading, allowing the isolation of task switching and skill set maintenance. Two scan sessions were separated by two weeks, with behavioral training on the mirror reading task in between the two sessions. Broad cortical regions, including bilateral prefrontal, parietal, and extrastriate cortices, showed decreased activity associated with learning of the mirror reading skill. In contrast, learning to switch to the novel skill was associated with decreased activity in a focal subcortical region in the dorsal striatum. Switching to the highly practiced task was associated with a non-overlapping set of regions, suggesting substantial differences in the neural substrates of switching as a function of task skill. Searchlight multivariate pattern analysis also revealed that learning was associated with decreased pattern information for mirror versus plain reading tasks in fronto-parietal regions. Inferior frontal junction and posterior parietal cortex showed a joint effect of univariate activation and pattern information. These results suggest distinct learning mechanisms task performance and executive control as a function of learning.

  19. Mind Wandering in Text Comprehension under Dual-Task Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eDixon

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In two experiments, subjects responded to on-task probes while reading under dual-task conditions. The secondary task was to monitor the text for occurrences of the letter e. In Experiment 1, reading comprehension was assessed with a multiple-choice recognition test; in Experiment 2, subjects recalled the text. In both experiments, the secondary task replicated the well-known missing-letter effect in which detection of e’s was less effective for the word the. Letter detection was also more effective when subjects were on task, but this effect did not interact with the missing-letter effect. Comprehension was assessed in both the dual-task conditions and in a control single-task conditions. In the single-task conditions, both recognition (Experiment 1 and recall (Experiment 2 was better when subjects were on task, replicating previous research on mind wandering. Surprisingly, though, comprehension under dual-task conditions only showed an effect of being on task when measured with recall; there was no effect on recognition performance. Our interpretation of this pattern of results is that subjects generate their response to on-task probes on the basis of a retrospective assessment of the contents of working memory. Further, we argue that under dual-task conditions, the contents of working memory is not related to the reading processes required for accurate recognition performance. These conclusions have implications for models of text comprehension and for the interpretation of on-task probe responses.

  20. 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.

  1. Monetary reward modulates task-irrelevant perceptual learning for invisible stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pascucci

    Full Text Available Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.

  2. Health care management of sickness certification tasks: results from two surveys to physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindholm, Christina; von Knorring, Mia; Arrelöv, Britt; Nilsson, Gunnar; Hinas, Elin; Alexanderson, Kristina

    2013-05-23

    their manager. The results indicate a need of strengthening health care management of sickness certification tasks in order to better support physicians in these tasks.

  3. Cloud computing task scheduling strategy based on improved differential evolution algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Junwei; He, Qian; Fang, Yiqiu

    2017-04-01

    In order to optimize the cloud computing task scheduling scheme, an improved differential evolution algorithm for cloud computing task scheduling is proposed. Firstly, the cloud computing task scheduling model, according to the model of the fitness function, and then used improved optimization calculation of the fitness function of the evolutionary algorithm, according to the evolution of generation of dynamic selection strategy through dynamic mutation strategy to ensure the global and local search ability. The performance test experiment was carried out in the CloudSim simulation platform, the experimental results show that the improved differential evolution algorithm can reduce the cloud computing task execution time and user cost saving, good implementation of the optimal scheduling of cloud computing tasks.

  4. Single-trial effective brain connectivity patterns enhance discriminability of mental imagery tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathee, Dheeraj; Cecotti, Hubert; Prasad, Girijesh

    2017-10-01

    Objective. The majority of the current approaches of connectivity based brain-computer interface (BCI) systems focus on distinguishing between different motor imagery (MI) tasks. Brain regions associated with MI are anatomically close to each other, hence these BCI systems suffer from low performances. Our objective is to introduce single-trial connectivity feature based BCI system for cognition imagery (CI) based tasks wherein the associated brain regions are located relatively far away as compared to those for MI. Approach. We implemented time-domain partial Granger causality (PGC) for the estimation of the connectivity features in a BCI setting. The proposed hypothesis has been verified with two publically available datasets involving MI and CI tasks. Main results. The results support the conclusion that connectivity based features can provide a better performance than a classical signal processing framework based on bandpass features coupled with spatial filtering for CI tasks, including word generation, subtraction, and spatial navigation. These results show for the first time that connectivity features can provide a reliable performance for imagery-based BCI system. Significance. We show that single-trial connectivity features for mixed imagery tasks (i.e. combination of CI and MI) can outperform the features obtained by current state-of-the-art method and hence can be successfully applied for BCI applications.

  5. Specific transfer effects following variable priority dual-task training in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussier, Maxime; Bugaiska, Aurélia; Bherer, Louis

    2017-01-01

    Past divided attention training studies in older adults have suggested that variable priority training (VPT) tends to show larger improvement than fixed priority training (FPT). However, it remains unclear whether VPT leads to larger transfer effects. In this study, eighty-three older adults aged between 55 and 65 received five 1-hour sessions of VPT, FPT or of an active placebo. VPT and FPT subjects trained on a complex dual-task condition with variable stimulus timings in order to promote more flexible and self-guided strategies with regard to attentional priority devoted to the concurrent tasks. Real-time individualized feedback was provided to encourage improvement. The active placebo group attended computer classes. Near and far modality transfer tasks were used to assess the generalization of transfer effects. Results showed that VPT induced significantly larger transfer effects than FPT on a near modality transfer task. Evidence for larger transfer effects in VPT than FPT on a far modality transfer task was also observed. Furthermore, the superiority of VPT on FPT in transfer effects was specific to the ability to coordinate two concurrent tasks. Results of this study help better understand the benefits of VPT attentional training on transfer effects, which is an essential outcome for cognitive training effectiveness and relevancy.

  6. Characteristic-Based, Task-Based, and Results-Based: Three Value Systems for Assessing Professionally Produced Technical Communication Products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carliner, Saul

    2003-01-01

    Notes that technical communicators have developed different methodologies for evaluating the effectiveness of their work, such as editing, usability testing, and determining the value added. Explains that at least three broad value systems underlie the assessment practices: characteristic-based, task-based, and results-based. Concludes that the…

  7. Driving after brain injury: Does dual-task modality matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Kayci L; Schultheis, Maria T; Manning, Kevin J

    2018-01-01

    Virtual reality technology allows neuropsychologists to examine complex, real-world behaviors with high ecological validity and can provide an understanding of the impact of demanding dual-tasks on driving performance. We hypothesized that a task imposing high cognitive and physical demands (coin-sorting) would result in the greatest reduction in driving maintenance performance. Twenty participants with acquired brain injury and 28 healthy controls were included in the current study. All participants were licensed and drove regularly. Participants completed two standardized VRDS drives: (1) a baseline drive with no distractions, and (2) the same route with three, counterbalanced dual-tasks representing differing demands. A series of 3 (Task)×2 (Group) ANOVAs revealed that the ABI group tended to go slower than the HC group in the presence of a dual-task, F (1, 111) = 6.24, p = 0.01. Importantly, the ABI group also showed greater variability in speed, F (1, 110) = 10.97, p < 0.01, and lane position, F (1, 108) = 7.81, p < 0.01, an effect driven by dual-tasks with both a cognitive and motor demand. These results indicate that long-term driving difficulties following ABI are subtle and likely due to reduced cognitive resources.

  8. Task-induced frequency modulation features for brain-computer interfacing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaram, Vinay; Hohmann, Matthias; Just, Jennifer; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz

    2017-10-01

    Task-induced amplitude modulation of neural oscillations is routinely used in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) for decoding subjects' intents, and underlies some of the most robust and common methods in the field, such as common spatial patterns and Riemannian geometry. While there has been some interest in phase-related features for classification, both techniques usually presuppose that the frequencies of neural oscillations remain stable across various tasks. We investigate here whether features based on task-induced modulation of the frequency of neural oscillations enable decoding of subjects' intents with an accuracy comparable to task-induced amplitude modulation. We compare cross-validated classification accuracies using the amplitude and frequency modulated features, as well as a joint feature space, across subjects in various paradigms and pre-processing conditions. We show results with a motor imagery task, a cognitive task, and also preliminary results in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as using common spatial patterns and Laplacian filtering. The frequency features alone do not significantly out-perform traditional amplitude modulation features, and in some cases perform significantly worse. However, across both tasks and pre-processing in healthy subjects the joint space significantly out-performs either the frequency or amplitude features alone. This result only does not hold for ALS patients, for whom the dataset is of insufficient size to draw any statistically significant conclusions. Task-induced frequency modulation is robust and straight forward to compute, and increases performance when added to standard amplitude modulation features across paradigms. This allows more information to be extracted from the EEG signal cheaply and can be used throughout the field of BCIs.

  9. Mechanisms of Practice-Related Reductions of Dual-Task Interference with Simple Tasks: Data and Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Torsten, Schubert

    2017-01-01

    In dual-task situations, interference between two simultaneous tasks impairs performance. With practice, however, this impairment can be reduced. To identify mechanisms leading to a practice-related improvement in sensorimotor dual tasks, the present review applied the following general hypothesis: Sources that impair dual-task performance at the beginning of practice are associated with mechanisms for the reduction of dual-task impairment at the end of practice. The following types of processes provide sources for the occurrence of this impairment: (a) capacity-limited processes within the component tasks, such as response-selection or motor response stages, and (b) cognitive control processes independent of these tasks and thus operating outside of component-task performance. Dual-task practice studies show that, under very specific conditions, capacity-limited processes within the component tasks are automatized with practice, reducing the interference between two simultaneous tasks. Further, there is evidence that response-selection stages are shortened with practice. Thus, capacity limitations at these stages are sources for dual-task costs at the beginning of practice and are overcome with practice. However, there is no evidence demonstrating the existence of practice-related mechanisms associated with capacity-limited motor-response stages. Further, during practice, there is an acquisition of executive control skills for an improved allocation of limited attention resources to two tasks as well as some evidence supporting the assumption of improved task coordination. These latter mechanisms are associated with sources of dual-task interference operating outside of component task performance at the beginning of practice and also contribute to the reduction of dual-task interference at its end. PMID:28439319

  10. Risk Aversion in Game Shows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Steffen; Harrison, Glenn W.; Lau, Morten I.

    2008-01-01

    We review the use of behavior from television game shows to infer risk attitudes. These shows provide evidence when contestants are making decisions over very large stakes, and in a replicated, structured way. Inferences are generally confounded by the subjective assessment of skill in some games......, and the dynamic nature of the task in most games. We consider the game shows Card Sharks, Jeopardy!, Lingo, and finally Deal Or No Deal. We provide a detailed case study of the analyses of Deal Or No Deal, since it is suitable for inference about risk attitudes and has attracted considerable attention....

  11. Valence, arousal and cognitive control: A voluntary task switching study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelle eDemanet

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study focused on the interplay between arousal, valence and cognitive control. To this end, we investigated how arousal and valence associated with affective stimuli influenced cognitive flexibility when switching between tasks voluntarily. Three hypotheses were tested. First, a valence hypothesis that states that the positive valence of affective stimuli will facilitate both global and task-switching performance because of increased cognitive flexibility. Second, an arousal hypothesis that states that arousal, and not valence, will specifically impair task-switching performance by strengthening the previously executed task-set. Third, an attention hypothesis that states that both cognitive and emotional control ask for limited attentional resources, and predicts that arousal will impair both global and task-switching performance. The results showed that arousal affected task-switching but not global performance, possibly by phasic modulations of the noradrenergic system that reinforces the previously executed task. In addition, positive valence only affected global performance but not task-switching performance, possibly by phasic modulations of dopamine that stimulates the general ability to perform in a multitasking environment.

  12. Decoding task-based attentional modulation during face categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yu-Chin; Esterman, Michael; Han, Yuefeng; Rosen, Heather; Yantis, Steven

    2011-05-01

    Attention is a neurocognitive mechanism that selects task-relevant sensory or mnemonic information to achieve current behavioral goals. Attentional modulation of cortical activity has been observed when attention is directed to specific locations, features, or objects. However, little is known about how high-level categorization task set modulates perceptual representations. In the current study, observers categorized faces by gender (male vs. female) or race (Asian vs. White). Each face was perceptually ambiguous in both dimensions, such that categorization of one dimension demanded selective attention to task-relevant information within the face. We used multivoxel pattern classification to show that task-specific modulations evoke reliably distinct spatial patterns of activity within three face-selective cortical regions (right fusiform face area and bilateral occipital face areas). This result suggests that patterns of activity in these regions reflect not only stimulus-specific (i.e., faces vs. houses) responses but also task-specific (i.e., race vs. gender) attentional modulation. Furthermore, exploratory whole-brain multivoxel pattern classification (using a searchlight procedure) revealed a network of dorsal fronto-parietal regions (left middle frontal gyrus and left inferior and superior parietal lobule) that also exhibit distinct patterns for the two task sets, suggesting that these regions may represent abstract goals during high-level categorization tasks.

  13. Age differences in memory control: evidence from updating and retrieval-practice tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechuga, Maria Teresa; Moreno, Virginia; Pelegrina, Santiago; Gómez-Ariza, Carlos J; Bajo, Maria Teresa

    2006-11-01

    Some contemporary approaches suggest that inhibitory mechanisms play an important role in cognitive development. In addition, several authors distinguish between intentional and unintentional inhibitory processes in cognition. We report two experiments aimed at exploring possible developmental changes in these two types of inhibitory mechanisms. In Experiment 1, an updating task was used. This task requires that participants intentionally suppress irrelevant information from working memory. In Experiment 2, the retrieval-practice task was used. Retrieval practice of a subset of studied items is thought to involve unintentional inhibitory processes to overcome interference from competing memories. As a result, suppressed items become forgotten in a later memory test. Results of the experiments indicated that younger children (8) were less efficient than older children (12) and adults at intentionally suppressing information (updating task). However, when the task required unintentional inhibition of competing items (retrieval-practice task), this developmental trend was not found and children and adults showed similar levels of retrieval-induced forgetting. The results are discussed in terms of the development of efficient inhibition and the distinction between intentional and unintentional inhibitions.

  14. Effects of experimental muscle pain on force variability during task-related and three directional isometric force task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mista, Christian Ariel; Graven-Nielsen, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    was measured using sample entropy (SEn). Three-way repeated measures ANOVA with factors level of contraction, pain/control, and time were performed for the CV, the CoP, and the SEn of each component of the force. In the tangential forces, no significant effects were found for the 3D matching tasks. The ANOVA.......05). In the task-related force, no significant effects were found for the CV during the three-dimensional task or for the task-related task. Finally, the ANOVA analysis of sample entropy showed a significant interaction between pain/control and time (P

  15. HIV-positive females show blunted neurophysiological responses in an emotion-attention dual task paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartar, Jaime L; McIntosh, Roger C; Rosselli, Monica; Widmayer, Susan M; Nash, Allan J

    2014-06-01

    Although HIV is associated with decreased emotional and cognitive functioning, the mechanisms through which affective changes can alter cognitive processes in HIV-infected individuals are unknown. We aimed to clarify this question through testing the extent to which emotionally negative stimuli prime attention to a subsequent infrequently occurring auditory tone in HIV+ compared to HIV- females. Attention to emotional compared to non-emotional pictures was measured via the LPP ERP. Subsequent attention was indexed through the N1 and late processing negativity ERP. We also assessed mood and cognitive functioning in both groups. In HIV- females, emotionally negative pictures, compared to neutral pictures, resulted in an enhanced LPP to the pictures and an enhanced N1 to subsequent tones. The HIV+ group did not show a difference in the LPP measure between picture categories, and accordingly, did not show a priming effect to the subsequent infrequent tones. The ERP findings, combined with neuropsychological deficits, suggest that HIV+ females show impairments in attention to emotionally-laden stimuli and that this impairment might be related to a loss of affective priming. This study is the first to provide physiological evidence that the LPP, a measure of attention to emotionally-charged visual stimuli, is reduced in HIV-infected individuals. These results set the stage for future work aimed at localizing brain activation to emotional stimuli in HIV+ individuals. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Do detour tasks provide accurate assays of inhibitory control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, Mark A.; Laker, Philippa R.; Beardsworth, Christine E.

    2018-01-01

    Transparent Cylinder and Barrier tasks are used to purportedly assess inhibitory control in a variety of animals. However, we suspect that performances on these detour tasks are influenced by non-cognitive traits, which may result in inaccurate assays of inhibitory control. We therefore reared pheasants under standardized conditions and presented each bird with two sets of similar tasks commonly used to measure inhibitory control. We recorded the number of times subjects incorrectly attempted to access a reward through transparent barriers, and their latencies to solve each task. Such measures are commonly used to infer the differential expression of inhibitory control. We found little evidence that their performances were consistent across the two different Putative Inhibitory Control Tasks (PICTs). Improvements in performance across trials showed that pheasants learned the affordances of each specific task. Critically, prior experience of transparent tasks, either Barrier or Cylinder, also improved subsequent inhibitory control performance on a novel task, suggesting that they also learned the general properties of transparent obstacles. Individual measures of persistence, assayed in a third task, were positively related to their frequency of incorrect attempts to solve the transparent inhibitory control tasks. Neophobia, Sex and Body Condition had no influence on individual performance. Contrary to previous studies of primates, pheasants with poor performance on PICTs had a wider dietary breadth assayed using a free-choice task. Our results demonstrate that in systems or taxa where prior experience and differences in development cannot be accounted for, individual differences in performance on commonly used detour-dependent PICTS may reveal more about an individual's prior experience of transparent objects, or their motivation to acquire food, than providing a reliable measure of their inhibitory control. PMID:29593115

  17. Teaching problem solving using non-routine tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Maureen Siew Fang; Shahrill, Masitah; Putri, Ratu Ilma Indra; Zulkardi

    2018-04-01

    Non-routine problems are related to real-life context and require some realistic considerations and real-world knowledge in order to resolve them. This study examines several activity tasks incorporated with non-routine problems through the use of an emerging mathematics framework, at two junior colleges in Brunei Darussalam. The three sampled teachers in this study assisted in selecting the topics and the lesson plan designs. They also recommended the development of the four activity tasks: incorporating the use of technology; simulation of a reality television show; designing real-life sized car park spaces for the school; and a classroom activity to design a real-life sized dustpan. Data collected from all four of the activity tasks were analyzed based on the students' group work. The findings revealed that the most effective activity task in teaching problem solving was to design a real-life sized car park. This was because the use of real data gave students the opportunity to explore, gather information and give or receive feedback on the effect of their reasons and proposed solutions. The second most effective activity task was incorporating the use of technology as it enhanced the students' understanding of the concepts learnt in the classroom. This was followed by the classroom activity that used real data as it allowed students to work and assess the results mathematically. The simulation of a television show was found to be the least effective since it was viewed as not sufficiently challenging to the students.

  18. From "rest" to language task: Task activation selects and prunes from broader resting-state network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doucet, Gaelle E; He, Xiaosong; Sperling, Michael R; Sharan, Ashwini; Tracy, Joseph I

    2017-05-01

    Resting-state networks (RSNs) show spatial patterns generally consistent with networks revealed during cognitive tasks. However, the exact degree of overlap between these networks has not been clearly quantified. Such an investigation shows promise for decoding altered functional connectivity (FC) related to abnormal language functioning in clinical populations such as temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). In this context, we investigated the network configurations during a language task and during resting state using FC. Twenty-four healthy controls, 24 right and 24 left TLE patients completed a verb generation (VG) task and a resting-state fMRI scan. We compared the language network revealed by the VG task with three FC-based networks (seeding the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC)/Broca): two from the task (ON, OFF blocks) and one from the resting state. We found that, for both left TLE patients and controls, the RSN recruited regions bilaterally, whereas both VG-on and VG-off conditions produced more left-lateralized FC networks, matching more closely with the activated language network. TLE brings with it variability in both task-dependent and task-independent networks, reflective of atypical language organization. Overall, our findings suggest that our RSN captured bilateral activity, reflecting a set of prepotent language regions. We propose that this relationship can be best understood by the notion of pruning or winnowing down of the larger language-ready RSN to carry out specific task demands. Our data suggest that multiple types of network analyses may be needed to decode the association between language deficits and the underlying functional mechanisms altered by disease. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2540-2552, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Cognitive tasks promote automatization of postural control in young and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin-Desrochers, Alexandra; Richer, Natalie; Lajoie, Yves

    2017-09-01

    Researchers looking at the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive task on postural control in young and older adults using traditional center-of-pressure measures and complexity measures found discordant results. Results of experiments showing improvements of stability have suggested the use of strategies such as automatization of postural control or stiffening strategy. This experiment aimed to confirm in healthy young and older adults that performing a cognitive task while standing leads to improvements that are due to automaticity of sway by using sample entropy. Twenty-one young adults and twenty-five older adults were asked to stand on a force platform while performing a cognitive task. There were four cognitive tasks: simple reaction time, go/no-go reaction time, equation and occurrence of a digit in a number sequence. Results demonstrated decreased sway area and variability as well as increased sample entropy for both groups when performing a cognitive task. Results suggest that performing a concurrent cognitive task promotes the adoption of an automatic postural control in young and older adults as evidenced by an increased postural stability and postural sway complexity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Comparing kinematic changes between a finger-tapping task and unconstrained finger flexion-extension task in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teo, W P; Rodrigues, J P; Mastaglia, F L; Thickbroom, G W

    2013-06-01

    Repetitive finger tapping is a well-established clinical test for the evaluation of parkinsonian bradykinesia, but few studies have investigated other finger movement modalities. We compared the kinematic changes (movement rate and amplitude) and response to levodopa during a conventional index finger-thumb-tapping task and an unconstrained index finger flexion-extension task performed at maximal voluntary rate (MVR) for 20 s in 11 individuals with levodopa-responsive Parkinson's disease (OFF and ON) and 10 healthy age-matched controls. Between-task comparisons showed that for all conditions, the initial movement rate was greater for the unconstrained flexion-extension task than the tapping task. Movement rate in the OFF state was slower than in controls for both tasks and normalized in the ON state. The movement amplitude was also reduced for both tasks in OFF and increased in the ON state but did not reach control levels. The rate and amplitude of movement declined significantly for both tasks under all conditions (OFF/ON and controls). The time course of rate decline was comparable for both tasks and was similar in OFF/ON and controls, whereas the tapping task was associated with a greater decline in MA, both in controls and ON, but not OFF. The findings indicate that both finger movement tasks show similar kinematic changes during a 20-s sustained MVR, but that movement amplitude is less well sustained during the tapping task than the unconstrained finger movement task. Both movement rate and amplitude improved with levodopa; however, movement rate was more levodopa responsive than amplitude.

  1. Priming in implicit memory tasks: prior study causes enhanced discriminability, not only bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeelenberg, René; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan M; Raaijmakers, Jeroen G W

    2002-03-01

    R. Ratcliff and G. McKoon (1995, 1996, 1997; R. Ratcliff, D. Allbritton, & G. McKoon, 1997) have argued that repetition priming effects are solely due to bias. They showed that prior study of the target resulted in a benefit in a later implicit memory task. However, prior study of a stimulus similar to the target resulted in a cost. The present study, using a 2-alternative forced-choice procedure, investigated the effect of prior study in an unbiased condition: Both alternatives were studied prior to their presentation in an implicit memory task. Contrary to a pure bias interpretation of priming, consistent evidence was obtained in 3 implicit memory tasks (word fragment completion, auditory word identification, and picture identification) that performance was better when both alternatives were studied than when neither alternative was studied. These results show that prior study results in enhanced discriminability, not only bias.

  2. Synchronised and complementary coordination mechanisms in an asymmetric joint aiming task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skewes, Joshua Charles; Skewes, Lea; Michael, John

    2015-01-01

    Many forms of social interaction require that behaviour be coordinated in the here and now. Much research has been conducted on how people coordinate their actions in real time to achieve a joint goal, showing that people use both synchronised (i.e. symmetric) and complementary (i.e. asymmetric) ...... in this asymmetric task, as people synchronise better with an irregular, but adaptive partner, than with a completely predictable, but non-responsive metronome. These results show that given asymmetric task constraints, adaptability, rather than predictability facilitates coordination....

  3. Organizing Core Tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boll, Karen

    has remained much the same within the last 10 years. However, how the core task has been organized has changed considerable under the influence of various “organizing devices”. The paper focusses on how organizing devices such as risk assessment, output-focus, effect orientation, and treatment...... projects influence the organization of core tasks within the tax administration. The paper shows that the organizational transformations based on the use of these devices have had consequences both for the overall collection of revenue and for the employees’ feeling of “making a difference”. All in all...

  4. Synergy Repetition Training versus Task Repetition Training in Acquiring New Skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Vrajeshri; Craig, Jamie; Schumacher, Michelle; Burns, Martin K; Florescu, Ionut; Vinjamuri, Ramana

    2017-01-01

    Traditionally, repetitive practice of a task is used to learn a new skill, exhibiting as immediately improved performance. Research suggests, however, that a more experience-based rather than exposure-based training protocol may allow for better transference of the skill to related tasks. In synergy-based motor control theory, fundamental motor skills, such as hand grasping, are represented with a synergy subspace that captures essential motor patterns. In this study, we propose that motor-skill learning through synergy-based mechanisms may provide advantages over traditional task repetition learning. A new task was designed to highlight the range of motion and dexterity of the human hand. Two separate training strategies were tested in healthy subjects: task repetition training and synergy training versus a control. All three groups showed improvements when retested on the same task. When tested on a similar, but different set of tasks, only the synergy group showed improvements in accuracy (9.27% increase) compared to the repetition (3.24% decline) and control (3.22% decline) groups. A kinematic analysis revealed that although joint angular peak velocities decreased, timing benefits stemmed from the initial feed-forward portion of the task (reaction time). Accuracy improvements may have derived from general improved coordination among the four involved fingers. These preliminary results warrant further investigation of synergy-based motor training in healthy individuals, as well as in individuals undergoing hand-based rehabilitative therapy.

  5. A Heuristic Task Scheduling Algorithm for Heterogeneous Virtual Clusters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei Lin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cloud computing provides on-demand computing and storage services with high performance and high scalability. However, the rising energy consumption of cloud data centers has become a prominent problem. In this paper, we first introduce an energy-aware framework for task scheduling in virtual clusters. The framework consists of a task resource requirements prediction module, an energy estimate module, and a scheduler with a task buffer. Secondly, based on this framework, we propose a virtual machine power efficiency-aware greedy scheduling algorithm (VPEGS. As a heuristic algorithm, VPEGS estimates task energy by considering factors including task resource demands, VM power efficiency, and server workload before scheduling tasks in a greedy manner. We simulated a heterogeneous VM cluster and conducted experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of VPEGS. Simulation results show that VPEGS effectively reduced total energy consumption by more than 20% without producing large scheduling overheads. With the similar heuristic ideology, it outperformed Min-Min and RASA with respect to energy saving by about 29% and 28%, respectively.

  6. Development of advanced MCR task analysis methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Na, J. C.; Park, J. H.; Lee, S. K.; Kim, J. K.; Kim, E. S.; Cho, S. B.; Kang, J. S.

    2008-07-01

    This report describes task analysis methodology for advanced HSI designs. Task analyses was performed by using procedure-based hierarchical task analysis and task decomposition methods. The results from the task analysis were recorded in a database. Using the TA results, we developed static prototype of advanced HSI and human factors engineering verification and validation methods for an evaluation of the prototype. In addition to the procedure-based task analysis methods, workload estimation based on the analysis of task performance time and analyses for the design of information structure and interaction structures will be necessary

  7. A Spatial Queuing-Based Algorithm for Multi-Robot Task Allocation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Lenagh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Multi-robot task allocation (MRTA is an important area of research in autonomous multi-robot systems. The main problem in MRTA is to allocate a set of tasks to a set of robots so that the tasks can be completed by the robots while ensuring that a certain metric, such as the time required to complete all tasks, or the distance traveled, or the energy expended by the robots is reduced. We consider a scenario where tasks can appear dynamically and a task needs to be performed by multiple robots to be completed. We propose a new algorithm called SQ-MRTA (Spatial Queueing-MRTA that uses a spatial queue-based model to allocate tasks between robots in a distributed manner. We have implemented the SQ-MRTA algorithm on accurately simulated models of Corobot robots within the Webots simulator for different numbers of robots and tasks and compared its performance with other state-of-the-art MRTA algorithms. Our results show that the SQ-MRTA algorithm is able to scale up with the number of tasks and robots in the environment, and it either outperforms or performs comparably with respect to other distributed MRTA algorithms.

  8. 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.

  9. The effect of cognitive aging on implicit sequence learning and dual tasking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen eVandenbossche

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the influence of attentional demands on sequence-specific learning by means of the serial reaction time (SRT task (Nissen & Bullemer, 1987 in young (age 18-25 and aged (age 55-75 adults. Participants had to respond as fast as possible to a stimulus presented in one of four horizontal locations by pressing a key corresponding to the spatial position of the stimulus. During the training phase sequential blocks were accompanied by (1 no secondary task (single, (2 a secondary tone counting task (dual tone, or (3 a secondary shape counting task (dual shape. Both secondary tasks were administered to investigate whether low and high interference tasks interact with implicit learning and age. The testing phase, under baseline single condition, was implemented to assess differences in sequence-specific learning between young and aged adults. Results indicate that (1 aged subjects show less sequence learning compared to young adults, (2 young participants show similar implicit learning effects under both single and dual task conditions when we account for explicit awareness, and (3 aged adults demonstrate reduced learning when the primary task is accompanied with a secondary task, even when explicit awareness is included as a covariate in the analysis. These findings point to implicit learning deficits under dual task conditions that can be related to cognitive aging, demonstrating the need for sufficient cognitive resources while performing a sequence learning task.

  10. Age-based differences in strategy use in choice tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darrell A. Worthy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We incorporated behavioral and computational modeling techniques to examine age-based differences in strategy use in two four-choice decision-making tasks. Healthy older (aged 60-82 years and younger adults (aged 18-23 years performed one of two decision-making tasks that differed in the degree to which rewards for each option depended on the choices made on previous trials. In the choice-independent task rewards for each choice were not affected by the sequence of previous choices that had been made. In contrast, in the choice-dependent task rewards for each option were based on how often each option had been chosen in the past. We compared the fits of a model that assumes the use of a win-stay-lose-shift (WSLS heuristic to make decisions, to the fits of a reinforcement-learning (RL model that compared expected reward values for each option to make decisions. Younger adults were best fit by the RL model, while older adults showed significantly more evidence of being best fit by the WSLS heuristic model. This led older adults to perform worse than younger adults in the choice-independent task, but better in the choice-dependent task. These results coincide with previous work in our labs that also found better performance for older adults in choice-dependent tasks (Worthy et al., 2011, and the present results suggest that qualitative age-based differences in the strategies used in choice tasks may underlie older adults’ advantage in choice-dependent tasks. We discuss possible factors behind these differences such as neurobiological changes associated with aging, and increased use of heuristics by older adults.

  11. Developmental trajectories in primary schoolchildren using n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica eLópez-Vicente

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Neuropsychological instruments to assess cognitive trajectories during childhood in epidemiological studies are needed. This would improve neurodevelopment characterization in order to identify its potential determinants. We aimed to study whether repeated measures of n-back, a working memory task, detect developmental trajectories in schoolchildren during a one-year follow-up.Methods: We administered the n-back task to 2,897 healthy children aged 7-11 years old from 39 schools in Barcelona (Spain. The task consisted of 2 levels of complexity or loads (2- and 3-back and 2 different stimuli (numbers and words. Participants performed the task four times from January 2012 to March 2013. To study the trajectories during the follow-up, we performed linear mixed-effects models including school, individual and age as random effects.Results: We observed improvements related to age in n-back outcomes d’, HRT and accuracy, as well as reduced cognitive growth at older ages in d’ and HRT. Greater improvements in performance were observed at younger ages, in 2-back, in verbal rather than numerical stimuli and in girls compared to boys. Boys responded faster at baseline, while girls showed increased growth in 2-back numbers. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms (15% of boys and 6% of girls had a lower working memory at baseline, but they showed similar cognitive growth trajectories in numbers variants of the task, as compared to children without ADHD symptoms. However, the age-related improvement in response speed was not observed in children with ADHD symptoms. Conclusions: Changes in n-back outcomes reflected developmental trajectories in one-year follow-up. The present results suggest that the repeated administration of this task can be used to study the factors that may alter the cognitive development during childhood.

  12. Robust visual tracking via structured multi-task sparse learning

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Tianzhu

    2012-11-09

    In this paper, we formulate object tracking in a particle filter framework as a structured multi-task sparse learning problem, which we denote as Structured Multi-Task Tracking (S-MTT). Since we model particles as linear combinations of dictionary templates that are updated dynamically, learning the representation of each particle is considered a single task in Multi-Task Tracking (MTT). By employing popular sparsity-inducing lp,q mixed norms (specifically p∈2,∞ and q=1), we regularize the representation problem to enforce joint sparsity and learn the particle representations together. As compared to previous methods that handle particles independently, our results demonstrate that mining the interdependencies between particles improves tracking performance and overall computational complexity. Interestingly, we show that the popular L1 tracker (Mei and Ling, IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intel 33(11):2259-2272, 2011) is a special case of our MTT formulation (denoted as the L11 tracker) when p=q=1. Under the MTT framework, some of the tasks (particle representations) are often more closely related and more likely to share common relevant covariates than other tasks. Therefore, we extend the MTT framework to take into account pairwise structural correlations between particles (e.g. spatial smoothness of representation) and denote the novel framework as S-MTT. The problem of learning the regularized sparse representation in MTT and S-MTT can be solved efficiently using an Accelerated Proximal Gradient (APG) method that yields a sequence of closed form updates. As such, S-MTT and MTT are computationally attractive. We test our proposed approach on challenging sequences involving heavy occlusion, drastic illumination changes, and large pose variations. Experimental results show that S-MTT is much better than MTT, and both methods consistently outperform state-of-the-art trackers. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

  13. Consumer-grade EEG devices: are they usable for control tasks?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rytis Maskeliunas

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We present the evaluation of two well-known, low-cost consumer-grade EEG devices: the Emotiv EPOC and the Neurosky MindWave. Problems with using the consumer-grade EEG devices (BCI illiteracy, poor technical characteristics, and adverse EEG artefacts are discussed. The experimental evaluation of the devices, performed with 10 subjects asked to perform concentration/relaxation and blinking recognition tasks, is given. The results of statistical analysis show that both devices exhibit high variability and non-normality of attention and meditation data, which makes each of them difficult to use as an input to control tasks. BCI illiteracy may be a significant problem, as well as setting up of the proper environment of the experiment. The results of blinking recognition show that using the Neurosky device means recognition accuracy is less than 50%, while the Emotiv device has achieved a recognition accuracy of more than 75%; for tasks that require concentration and relaxation of subjects, the Emotiv EPOC device has performed better (as measured by the recognition accuracy by ∼9%. Therefore, the Emotiv EPOC device may be more suitable for control tasks using the attention/meditation level or eye blinking than the Neurosky MindWave device.

  14. Investigating the Effect of Voltage-Switching on Low-Energy Task Scheduling in Hard Real-Time Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    We investigate the effect of voltage-switching on task execution times and energy consumption for dual-speed hard real - time systems , and present a...scheduling algorithm and apply it to two real-life task sets. Our results show that energy can be conserved in embedded real - time systems using energy...aware task scheduling. We also show that switching times have a significant effect on the energy consumed in hard real - time systems .

  15. Task-dependent modulation of oscillatory neural activity during movements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herz, D. M.; Christensen, M. S.; Reck, C.

    2011-01-01

    connectivity was strongest between central and cerebellar regions. Our results show that neural coupling within motor networks is modulated in distinct frequency bands depending on the motor task. They provide evidence that dynamic causal modeling in combination with EEG source analysis is a valuable tool......Neural oscillations in different frequency bands have been observed in a range of sensorimotor tasks and have been linked to coupling of spatially distinct neurons. The goal of this study was to detect a general motor network that is activated during phasic and tonic movements and to study the task......-dependent modulation of frequency coupling within this network. To this end we recorded 122-multichannel EEG in 13 healthy subjects while they performed three simple motor tasks. EEG data source modeling using individual MR images was carried out with a multiple source beamformer approach. A bilateral motor network...

  16. Validating a visual version of the metronome response task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laflamme, Patrick; Seli, Paul; Smilek, Daniel

    2018-02-12

    The metronome response task (MRT)-a sustained-attention task that requires participants to produce a response in synchrony with an audible metronome-was recently developed to index response variability in the context of studies on mind wandering. In the present studies, we report on the development and validation of a visual version of the MRT (the visual metronome response task; vMRT), which uses the rhythmic presentation of visual, rather than auditory, stimuli. Participants completed the vMRT (Studies 1 and 2) and the original (auditory-based) MRT (Study 2) while also responding to intermittent thought probes asking them to report the depth of their mind wandering. The results showed that (1) individual differences in response variability during the vMRT are highly reliable; (2) prior to thought probes, response variability increases with increasing depth of mind wandering; (3) response variability is highly consistent between the vMRT and the original MRT; and (4) both response variability and depth of mind wandering increase with increasing time on task. Our results indicate that the original MRT findings are consistent across the visual and auditory modalities, and that the response variability measured in both tasks indexes a non-modality-specific tendency toward behavioral variability. The vMRT will be useful in the place of the MRT in experimental contexts in which researchers' designs require a visual-based primary task.

  17. Cognitive load and task condition in event- and time-based prospective memory: an experimental investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Azizuddin; Sharma, Narendra K; Dixit, Shikha

    2008-09-01

    Prospective memory is memory for the realization of delayed intention. Researchers distinguish 2 kinds of prospective memory: event- and time-based (G. O. Einstein & M. A. McDaniel, 1990). Taking that distinction into account, the present authors explored participants' comparative performance under event- and time-based tasks. In an experimental study of 80 participants, the authors investigated the roles of cognitive load and task condition in prospective memory. Cognitive load (low vs. high) and task condition (event- vs. time-based task) were the independent variables. Accuracy in prospective memory was the dependent variable. Results showed significant differential effects under event- and time-based tasks. However, the effect of cognitive load was more detrimental in time-based prospective memory. Results also revealed that time monitoring is critical in successful performance of time estimation and so in time-based prospective memory. Similarly, participants' better performance on the event-based prospective memory task showed that they acted on the basis of environment cues. Event-based prospective memory was environmentally cued; time-based prospective memory required self-initiation.

  18. Task-dependent changes of corticospinal excitability during observation and motor imagery of balance tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouthon, A; Ruffieux, J; Wälchli, M; Keller, M; Taube, W

    2015-09-10

    Non-physical balance training has demonstrated to be efficient to improve postural control in young people. However, little is known about the potential to increase corticospinal excitability by mental simulation in lower leg muscles. Mental simulation of isolated, voluntary contractions of limb muscles increase corticospinal excitability but more automated tasks like walking seem to have no or only minor effects on motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This may be related to the way of performing the mental simulation or the task itself. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify how corticospinal excitability is modulated during AO+MI, MI and action observation (AO) of balance tasks. For this purpose, MEPs and H-reflexes were elicited during three different mental simulations (a) AO+MI, (b) MI and (c) passive AO. For each condition, two balance tasks were evaluated: (1) quiet upright stance (static) and (2) compensating a medio-lateral perturbation while standing on a free-swinging platform (dynamic). AO+MI resulted in the largest facilitation of MEPs followed by MI and passive AO. MEP facilitation was significantly larger in the dynamic perturbation than in the static standing task. Interestingly, passive observation resulted in hardly any facilitation independent of the task. H-reflex amplitudes were not modulated. The current results demonstrate that corticospinal excitability during mental simulation of balance tasks is influenced by both the type of mental simulation and the task difficulty. As H-reflexes and background EMG were not modulated, it may be argued that changes in excitability of the primary motor cortex were responsible for the MEP modulation. From a functional point of view, our findings suggest best training/rehabilitation effects when combining MI with AO during challenging postural tasks. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Efficient task assignment in spatial crowdsourcing with worker and task privacy protection

    KAUST Repository

    Liu, An

    2017-08-01

    Spatial crowdsourcing (SC) outsources tasks to a set of workers who are required to physically move to specified locations and accomplish tasks. Recently, it is emerging as a promising tool for emergency management, as it enables efficient and cost-effective collection of critical information in emergency such as earthquakes, when search and rescue survivors in potential ares are required. However in current SC systems, task locations and worker locations are all exposed in public without any privacy protection. SC systems if attacked thus have penitential risk of privacy leakage. In this paper, we propose a protocol for protecting the privacy for both workers and task requesters while maintaining the functionality of SC systems. The proposed protocol is built on partially homomorphic encryption schemes, and can efficiently realize complex operations required during task assignment over encrypted data through a well-designed computation strategy. We prove that the proposed protocol is privacy-preserving against semi-honest adversaries. Simulation on two real-world datasets shows that the proposed protocol is more effective than existing solutions and can achieve mutual privacy-preserving with acceptable computation and communication cost.

  20. A new semantic vigilance task: vigilance decrement, workload, and sensitivity to dual-task costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epling, Samantha L; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive resource theory is a common explanation for both the performance decline in vigilance tasks, known as the vigilance decrement, and the limited ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. The limited supply of cognitive resources may be utilized faster than they are replenished resulting in a performance decrement, or may need to be allocated among multiple tasks with some performance cost. Researchers have proposed both domain-specific, for example spatial versus verbal processing resources, and domain general cognitive resources. One challenge in testing the domain specificity of cognitive resources in vigilance is the current lack of difficult semantic vigilance tasks which reliably produce a decrement. In the present research, we investigated whether the vigilance decrement was found in a new abbreviated semantic discrimination vigilance task, and whether there was a performance decrement in said vigilance task when paired with a word recall task, as opposed to performed individually. As hypothesized, a vigilance decrement in the semantic vigilance task was found in both the single-task and dual-task conditions, along with reduced vigilance performance in the dual-task condition and reduced word recall in the dual-task condition. This is consistent with cognitive resource theory. The abbreviated semantic vigilance task will be a useful tool for researchers interested in determining the specificity of cognitive resources utilized in vigilance tasks.

  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. A systematic review of task- shifting for HIV treatment and care in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ford Nathan

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Shortages of human resources for health (HRH have severely hampered the rollout of antiretroviral therapy (ART in sub-Saharan Africa. Current rollout models are hospital- and physician-intensive. Task shifting, or delegating tasks performed by physicians to staff with lower-level qualifications, is considered a means of expanding rollout in resource-poor or HRH-limited settings. Methods We conducted a systematic literature review. Medline, the Cochrane library, the Social Science Citation Index, and the South African National Health Research Database were searched with the following terms: task shift*, balance of care, non-physician clinicians, substitute health care worker, community care givers, primary healthcare teams, cadres, and nurs* HIV. We mined bibliographies and corresponded with authors for further results. Grey literature was searched online, and conference proceedings searched for abstracts. Results We found 2960 articles, of which 84 were included in the core review. 51 reported outcomes, including research from 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The most common intervention studied was the delegation of tasks (especially initiating and monitoring HAART from doctors to nurses and other non-physician clinicians. Five studies showed increased access to HAART through expanded clinical capacity; two concluded task shifting is cost effective; 9 showed staff equal or better quality of care; studies on non-physician clinician agreement with physician decisions was mixed, with the majority showing good agreement. Conclusions Task shifting is an effective strategy for addressing shortages of HRH in HIV treatment and care. Task shifting offers high-quality, cost-effective care to more patients than a physician-centered model. The main challenges to implementation include adequate and sustainable training, support and pay for staff in new roles, the integration of new members into healthcare teams, and the compliance of

  3. Validation of the Face-Name Pairs Task in Major Depression: Impaired recall but not recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberley J Smith

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Major depression can be associated with neurocognitive deficits which are believed in part to be related to medial temporal lobe pathology. The purpose of this study was to investigate this impairment using a hippocampal-dependent neuropsychological task. The Face-Name pairs task was used to assess associative memory functioning in 19 patients with major depression. When compared to age-sex-and-education matched controls, patients with depression showed impaired learning, delayed cued-recall and delayed free-recall. However, they also showed preserved recognition of the verbal and nonverbal components of this task. Results indicate that the face-name pairs task is sensitive to neurocognitive deficits in major depression.

  4. Pilot-model analysis and simulation study of effect of control task desired control response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, J. J.; Gera, J.; Jaudon, J. B.

    1978-01-01

    A pilot model analysis was performed that relates pilot control compensation, pilot aircraft system response, and aircraft response characteristics for longitudinal control. The results show that a higher aircraft short period frequency is required to achieve superior pilot aircraft system response in an altitude control task than is required in an attitude control task. These results were confirmed by a simulation study of target tracking. It was concluded that the pilot model analysis provides a theoretical basis for determining the effect of control task on pilot opinions.

  5. Task-Oriented and Relationship-Building Communications between Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inwon Kang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available By questioning the lopsided attention on task-oriented factors in air traffic controller-pilot communication, the current study places an equal weighting on both task-oriented and relationship-building communications, and investigates how each type of communication influences sustainable performance in airline operation team. Results show that both task-oriented and relationship-building communications in terms of sustainability of team process predicted greater communication satisfaction at work. Also, both task interdependence and shared leadership influenced both types of air traffic controller-pilot communication. However, only relationship-building communication had a direct influence on perceived work performance whereas task-oriented communication had not. Along with task-oriented factors, this study raises the relationship-oriented factors as important resources for the sustainable team performance in airline industry.

  6. Modeling Simple Driving Tasks with a One-Boundary Diffusion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratcliff, Roger; Strayer, David

    2014-01-01

    A one-boundary diffusion model was applied to the data from two experiments in which subjects were performing a simple simulated driving task. In the first experiment, the same subjects were tested on two driving tasks using a PC-based driving simulator and the psychomotor vigilance test (PVT). The diffusion model fit the response time (RT) distributions for each task and individual subject well. Model parameters were found to correlate across tasks which suggests common component processes were being tapped in the three tasks. The model was also fit to a distracted driving experiment of Cooper and Strayer (2008). Results showed that distraction altered performance by affecting the rate of evidence accumulation (drift rate) and/or increasing the boundary settings. This provides an interpretation of cognitive distraction whereby conversing on a cell phone diverts attention from the normal accumulation of information in the driving environment. PMID:24297620

  7. Learning-induced uncertainty reduction in perceptual decisions is task-dependent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feitong eYang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual decision making in which decisions are reached primarily from extracting and evaluating sensory information requires close interactions between the sensory system and decision-related networks in the brain. Uncertainty pervades every aspect of this process and can be considered related to either the stimulus signal or decision criterion. Here, we investigated the learning-induced reduction of both the signal and criterion uncertainty in two perceptual decision tasks based on two Glass pattern stimulus sets. This was achieved by manipulating spiral angle and signal level of radial and concentric Glass patterns. The behavioral results showed that the participants trained with a task based on criterion comparison improved their categorization accuracy for both tasks, whereas the participants who were trained on a task based on signal detection improved their categorization accuracy only on their trained task. We fitted the behavioral data with a computational model that can dissociate the contribution of the signal and criterion uncertainties. The modeling results indicated that the participants trained on the criterion comparison task reduced both the criterion and signal uncertainty. By contrast, the participants who were trained on the signal detection task only reduced their signal uncertainty after training. Our results suggest that the signal uncertainty can be resolved by training participants to extract signals from noisy environments and to discriminate between clear signals, which are evidenced by reduced perception variance after both training procedures. Conversely, the criterion uncertainty can only be resolved by the training of fine discrimination. These findings demonstrate that uncertainty in perceptual decision-making can be reduced with training but that the reduction of different types of uncertainty is task-dependent.

  8. Following the time course of face gender and expression processing: a task-dependent ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdés-Conroy, Berenice; Aguado, Luis; Fernández-Cahill, María; Romero-Ferreiro, Verónica; Diéguez-Risco, Teresa

    2014-05-01

    The effects of task demands and the interaction between gender and expression in face perception were studied using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants performed three different tasks with male and female faces that were emotionally inexpressive or that showed happy or angry expressions. In two of the tasks (gender and expression categorization) facial properties were task-relevant while in a third task (symbol discrimination) facial information was irrelevant. Effects of expression were observed on the visual P100 component under all task conditions, suggesting the operation of an automatic process that is not influenced by task demands. The earliest interaction between expression and gender was observed later in the face-sensitive N170 component. This component showed differential modulations by specific combinations of gender and expression (e.g., angry male vs. angry female faces). Main effects of expression and task were observed in a later occipito-temporal component peaking around 230 ms post-stimulus onset (EPN or early posterior negativity). Less positive amplitudes in the presence of angry faces and during performance of the gender and expression tasks were observed. Finally, task demands also modulated a positive component peaking around 400 ms (LPC, or late positive complex) that showed enhanced amplitude for the gender task. The pattern of results obtained here adds new evidence about the sequence of operations involved in face processing and the interaction of facial properties (gender and expression) in response to different task demands. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. The functional neuroanatomy of multitasking: combining dual tasking with a short term memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deprez, Sabine; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu; Peeters, Ron; Emsell, Louise; Amant, Frederic; Sunaert, Stefan

    2013-09-01

    Insight into the neural architecture of multitasking is crucial when investigating the pathophysiology of multitasking deficits in clinical populations. Presently, little is known about how the brain combines dual-tasking with a concurrent short-term memory task, despite the relevance of this mental operation in daily life and the frequency of complaints related to this process, in disease. In this study we aimed to examine how the brain responds when a memory task is added to dual-tasking. Thirty-three right-handed healthy volunteers (20 females, mean age 39.9 ± 5.8) were examined with functional brain imaging (fMRI). The paradigm consisted of two cross-modal single tasks (a visual and auditory temporal same-different task with short delay), a dual-task combining both single tasks simultaneously and a multi-task condition, combining the dual-task with an additional short-term memory task (temporal same-different visual task with long delay). Dual-tasking compared to both individual visual and auditory single tasks activated a predominantly right-sided fronto-parietal network and the cerebellum. When adding the additional short-term memory task, a larger and more bilateral frontoparietal network was recruited. We found enhanced activity during multitasking in components of the network that were already involved in dual-tasking, suggesting increased working memory demands, as well as recruitment of multitask-specific components including areas that are likely to be involved in online holding of visual stimuli in short-term memory such as occipito-temporal cortex. These results confirm concurrent neural processing of a visual short-term memory task during dual-tasking and provide evidence for an effective fMRI multitasking paradigm. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effect of aquatic dual-task training on balance and gait in stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyoung; Lee, Dong-Kyu; Kim, Eun-Kyung

    2016-07-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of aquatic dual-task training on balance and gait in stroke patients. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty stroke patients were divided into the experimental (n=10) and control (n=10) groups. Both groups underwent neurodevelopmental treatment. The experimental group additionally underwent aquatic dual-task training for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks. Balance was measured using the Berg balance scale, Five Times Sit-to Stand Test, and Functional Reach Test. Gait was measured using the 10-Meter Walk Test, Timed Up and Go Test, and Functional Gait Assessment. [Results] For intragroup comparison, the experimental group showed a significant change after the experiment in all balance and gait assessment tests. For intergroup comparison, the experimental group showed relatively more significant change after the experiment in all balance and gait assessment tests. [Conclusion] Our results showed that aquatic dual-task training has a positive effect on balance and gait in stroke patients.

  11. 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.

  12. Adaptive strategy changes as a function of task demands : a study of car drivers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cnossen, Fokie; Meijman, Theo; Rothengatter, Talib

    2004-01-01

    When drivers perform additional tasks while driving, research shows conflicting results: primary driving performance may deteriorate but adaptive changes such as reducing driving speed have also been noted. We hypothesized that the nature of the secondary task may be important: drivers may give more

  13. Cognitive conflict increases processing of negative, task-irrelevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligeza, Tomasz S; Wyczesany, Miroslaw

    2017-10-01

    The detection of cognitive conflict is thought to trigger adjustments in executive control. It has been recently shown that cognitive conflict increases processing of stimuli that are relevant to the ongoing task and that these modulations are exerted by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, it is still unclear whether such control influences are unspecific and might also affect the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. The aim of the study was to examine if cognitive conflict affects processing of neutral and negative, task-irrelevant pictures. Participants responded to congruent (non-conflict) or to incongruent (conflict-eliciting) trials of a modified flanker task. Each response was followed by a presentation of a neutral or negative picture. The late positive potential (LPP) in response to picture presentation was used to assess the level of picture processing after conflict vs non-conflict trials. Connectivity between the DLPFC and attentional and perceptual areas during picture presentation was analysed to check if the DLPFC might be a source of these modulations. ERP results showed an effect of cognitive conflict only on processing of negative pictures: LPP in response to negative pictures was increased after conflict trials, whereas LPP in response to neutral pictures remained unchanged. Cortical connectivity analysis showed that conflict trials intensified information flow from the DLPFC towards attentional and perceptual regions. Results suggest that cognitive conflict increases processing of task-irrelevant stimuli; however, they must display high biological salience. Increase in cognitive control exerted by the DLPFC over attentional and perceptual regions is a probable mechanism of the effect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pilot task-based assessment of noise levels among firefighters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neitzel, Rl; Hong, O; Quinlan, P; Hulea, R

    2013-11-01

    Over one million American firefighters are routinely exposed to various occupational hazards agents. While efforts have been made to identify and reduce some causes of injuries and illnesses among firefighters, relatively little has been done to evaluate and understand occupational noise exposures in this group. The purpose of this pilot study was to apply a task-based noise exposure assessment methodology to firefighting operations to evaluate potential noise exposure sources, and to use collected task-based noise levels to create noise exposure estimates for evaluation of risk of noise-induced hearing loss by comparison to the 8-hr and 24-hr recommended exposure limits (RELs) for noise of 85 and 80.3 dBA, respectively. Task-based noise exposures (n=100 measurements) were measured in three different fire departments (a rural department in Southeast Michigan and suburban and urban departments in Northern California). These levels were then combined with time-at-task information collected from firefighters to estimate 8-hr noise exposures for the rural and suburban fire departments (n=6 estimates for each department). Data from 24-hr dosimetry measurements and crude self-reported activity categories from the urban fire department (n=4 measurements) were used to create 24-hr exposure estimates to evaluate the bias associated with the task-based estimates. Task-based noise levels were found to range from 82-109 dBA, with the highest levels resulting from use of saws and pneumatic chisels. Some short (e.g., 30 min) sequences of common tasks were found to result in nearly an entire allowable daily exposure. The majority of estimated 8-hr and 24-hr exposures exceeded the relevant recommended exposure limit. Predicted 24-hr exposures showed substantial imprecision in some cases, suggesting the need for increased task specificity. The results indicate potential for overexposure to noise from a variety of firefighting tasks and equipment, and suggest a need for further

  17. Effects of dual-task conditions on cervical spine movement variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederer, Daniel; Vogt, Lutz; Vogel, Johanna; Banzer, Winfried

    2017-09-22

    The potential to accurately perform cervical movements during more challenging tasks might be of importance to prevent dysfunctional motion characteristics. Although sensorimotor function during dual-task conditions are of increasing interest in biomedical and rehabilitation research, effects of such conditions on movement consistency of the neck have not yet been investigated. In this crossover MiSpEx(Medicine in Spine Exercise)-diagnostic study, we aimed to explore differences between single and dual-task conditions on cervical movement variability. Nineteen healthy participants (9 male; 24.5 ± 3.3 y) performed 10 repetitive maximal cervical movements in (1) flexion/extension and (2) lateral flexion, during one single- and during two dual-task test conditions (cognitive, motor) in a randomised and cross-over sequence. Latter consisted of a working memory n-back task (n= 2) and a repetitive ankle movement task. Range of motion (RoM) was assessed using an external three-dimensional ultrasonic movement analysis system. Coefficient of variation (CV) for repetitive RoM was analysed for differences between conditions and controlled for variances in intra-individual movement characteristics. Friedman and post-hoc Bonferroni-adjusted confidence intervals for differences from single- to dual-task values revealed changes in CV in flexion/extension from single-task to motor dual-task (+0.02 ± 0.02 (97.5%CI: 0.01; 0.03); pdual-task condition (+0.01 ± 0.02 (97.5%CI: 0.003; 0.02)) nor for lateral flexion (p> 0.05). Pearson regression analyses revealed a linear negative (pdual-task (R=2 0.55). Results for lateral flexion are comparable, baseline CV negatively impacts differences to cognitive (R=2 0.2) and motor dual-task performance (R=2 0.76; pdual-task conditions while participants with a higher variability remained almost stable or showed a decrease. The results point toward a complex interrelationship of motion patterns and adaptation processes during challenging tasks

  18. The development of prospective memory in preschool children using naturalistic tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Stephanie J; Martin, Gerard M; Courage, Mary L

    2014-11-01

    The development of prospective memory (PM) in 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children (N=123) was assessed in two experiments using several naturalistic game-like tasks that varied in the explicitness of the cues for retrieval that they provided. The goals of the study were to evaluate age differences in PM (a) with the effects of retrospective memory (RM) factored out and (b) as a function of increasing retrieval cue specificity. Results from Experiment 1 showed that there were age differences in PM on a simulated Shopping Trip task that favored older children after age differences attributable to RM were identified in a hierarchical regression. PM and RM components followed the same developmental trajectory. Because the Shopping Trip task provided a visual cue for retrieval, a second naturalistic PM task that was incidental to the Shopping Trip task (i.e., to ask for stickers at the end of the shopping trip) was included but provided no explicit cue other than the end of Shopping Trip task itself. A binary logistic regression showed that age did not predict children who succeeded and those who did not succeed. Because the end of the Shopping Trip task might have cued PM, two new tasks without any explicit cues for retrieval were examined in Experiment 2. Logistic regressions revealed that age predicted PM success on both tasks. With additional cues following failure to retrieve the PM intention, nearly all children succeeded, but the number of cues needed increased with age. The joint and separate contributions of PM and RM to successful task performance are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Brain functional network connectivity based on a visual task: visual information processing-related brain regions are significantly activated in the task state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-li Yang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available It is not clear whether the method used in functional brain-network related research can be applied to explore the feature binding mechanism of visual perception. In this study, we investigated feature binding of color and shape in visual perception. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 38 healthy volunteers at rest and while performing a visual perception task to construct brain networks active during resting and task states. Results showed that brain regions involved in visual information processing were obviously activated during the task. The components were partitioned using a greedy algorithm, indicating the visual network existed during the resting state. Z-values in the vision-related brain regions were calculated, confirming the dynamic balance of the brain network. Connectivity between brain regions was determined, and the result showed that occipital and lingual gyri were stable brain regions in the visual system network, the parietal lobe played a very important role in the binding process of color features and shape features, and the fusiform and inferior temporal gyri were crucial for processing color and shape information. Experimental findings indicate that understanding visual feature binding and cognitive processes will help establish computational models of vision, improve image recognition technology, and provide a new theoretical mechanism for feature binding in visual perception.

  20. Eighteen-month-olds' memory interference and distraction in a modified A-not-B task is not associated with their anticipatory looking in a false-belief task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmyj, Norbert; Prinz, Wolfgang; Daum, Moritz M

    2015-01-01

    Infants' performance in non-verbal false-belief tasks is often interpreted as if they have understood false beliefs. This view has been questioned by a recent account that explains infants' performance in non-verbal false-belief tasks as the result of susceptibility to memory interference and distraction. We tested this alternative account by investigating the relationship between infants' false-belief understanding, susceptibility to memory interference and distraction, and general cognitive development in 18-month-old infants (N = 22). False-belief understanding was tested in an anticipatory looking paradigm of a standard false-belief task. Susceptibility to memory interference and distraction was tested in a modified A-not-B task. Cognitive development was measured via the Mental Scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. We did not find any relationship between infants' performance in the false-belief task and the A-not-B task, even after controlling for cognitive development. This study shows that there is no ubiquitous relation between susceptibility to memory interference and distraction and performance in a false-belief task in infancy.

  1. How leaders self-regulate their task performance: evidence that power promotes diligence, depletion, and disdain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWall, C Nathan; Baumeister, Roy F; Mead, Nicole L; Vohs, Kathleen D

    2011-01-01

    When leaders perform solitary tasks, do they self-regulate to maximize their effort, or do they reduce effort and conserve their resources? Our model suggests that power motivates self-regulation toward effective performance-unless the task is perceived as unworthy of leaders. Our 1st studies showed that power improves self-regulation and performance, even when resources for self-regulation are low (ego depletion). Additional studies showed that leaders sometimes disdain tasks they deem unworthy, by withholding effort (and therefore performing poorly). Ironically, during ego depletion, leaders skip the appraisal and, therefore, work hard regardless of task suitability, so that depleted leaders sometimes outperform nondepleted ones. Our final studies replicated these patterns with different tasks and even with simple manipulation of framing and perception of the same task (Experiment 5). Experiment 4 also showed that the continued high exertion of leaders when depleted takes a heavy toll, resulting in larger impairments later. The judicious expenditure of self-control resources among powerful people may help them prioritize their efforts to pursue their goals effectively. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. The impact of physical and mental tasks on pilot mental workoad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, S. L.; Sheridan, T. B.

    1986-01-01

    Seven instrument-rated pilots with a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels flew four different scenarios on a fixed-base simulator. The Baseline scenario was the simplest of the four and had few mental and physical tasks. An activity scenario had many physical but few mental tasks. The Planning scenario had few physical and many mental taks. A Combined scenario had high mental and physical task loads. The magnitude of each pilot's altitude and airspeed deviations was measured, subjective workload ratings were recorded, and the degree of pilot compliance with assigned memory/planning tasks was noted. Mental and physical performance was a strong function of the manual activity level, but not influenced by the mental task load. High manual task loads resulted in a large percentage of mental errors even under low mental task loads. Although all the pilots gave similar subjective ratings when the manual task load was high, subjective ratings showed greater individual differences with high mental task loads. Altitude or airspeed deviations and subjective ratings were most correlated when the total task load was very high. Although airspeed deviations, altitude deviations, and subjective workload ratings were similar for both low experience and high experience pilots, at very high total task loads, mental performance was much lower for the low experience pilots.

  3. 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

  4. The Effect of "Massed" Task Repetitions on Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency: Does It Transfer to a New Task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadian, Mohammad Javad

    2011-01-01

    To date, research results suggest that task repetition positively affects oral task performance. However, researchers have not yet shown the extension of the benefits of repeating the same task to performance of a new task. This article first provides an overview of the currently available research findings on task repetition and then presents the…

  5. Task Uncertainty Can Account for Mixing and Switch Costs in Task-Switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rennie, Jaime L.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive control is required in situations that involve uncertainty or change, such as when resolving conflict, selecting responses and switching tasks. Recently, it has been suggested that cognitive control can be conceptualised as a mechanism which prioritises goal-relevant information to deal with uncertainty. This hypothesis has been supported using a paradigm that requires conflict resolution. In this study, we examine whether cognitive control during task switching is also consistent with this notion. We used information theory to quantify the level of uncertainty in different trial types during a cued task-switching paradigm. We test the hypothesis that differences in uncertainty between task repeat and task switch trials can account for typical behavioural effects in task-switching. Increasing uncertainty was associated with less efficient performance (i.e., slower and less accurate), particularly on switch trials and trials that afford little opportunity for advance preparation. Interestingly, both mixing and switch costs were associated with a common episodic control process. These results support the notion that cognitive control may be conceptualised as an information processor that serves to resolve uncertainty in the environment. PMID:26107646

  6. An fMRI study of sex differences in regional activation to a verbal and a spatial task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, R C; Alsop, D; Glahn, D; Petty, R; Swanson, C L; Maldjian, J A; Turetsky, B I; Detre, J A; Gee, J; Gur, R E

    2000-09-01

    Sex differences in cognitive performance have been documented, women performing better on some phonological tasks and men on spatial tasks. An earlier fMRI study suggested sex differences in distributed brain activation during phonological processing, with bilateral activation seen in women while men showed primarily left-lateralized activation. This blood oxygen level-dependent fMRI study examined sex differences (14 men, 13 women) in activation for a spatial task (judgment of line orientation) compared to a verbal-reasoning task (analogies) that does not typically show sex differences. Task difficulty was manipulated. Hypothesized ROI-based analysis documented the expected left-lateralized changes for the verbal task in the inferior parietal and planum temporal regions in both men and women, but only men showed right-lateralized increase for the spatial task in these regions. Image-based analysis revealed a distributed network of cortical regions activated by the tasks, which consisted of the lateral frontal, medial frontal, mid-temporal, occipitoparietal, and occipital regions. The activation was more left lateralized for the verbal and more right for the spatial tasks, but men also showed some left activation for the spatial task, which was not seen in women. Increased task difficulty produced more distributed activation for the verbal and more circumscribed activation for the spatial task. The results suggest that failure to activate the appropriate hemisphere in regions directly involved in task performance may explain certain sex differences in performance. They also extend, for a spatial task, the principle that bilateral activation in a distributed cognitive system underlies sex differences in performance. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  7. Heart rate variability and cognitive processing: The autonomic response to task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque-Casado, Antonio; Perales, José C; Cárdenas, David; Sanabria, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated variations in heart rate variability (HRV) as a function of cognitive demands. Participants completed an execution condition including the psychomotor vigilance task, a working memory task and a duration discrimination task. The control condition consisted of oddball versions (participants had to detect the rare event) of the tasks from the execution condition, designed to control for the effect of the task parameters (stimulus duration and stimulus rate) on HRV. The NASA-TLX questionnaire was used as a subjective measure of cognitive workload across tasks and conditions. Three major findings emerged from this study. First, HRV varied as a function of task demands (with the lowest values in the working memory task). Second, and crucially, we found similar HRV values when comparing each of the tasks with its oddball control equivalent, and a significant decrement in HRV as a function of time-on-task. Finally, the NASA-TLX results showed larger cognitive workload in the execution condition than in the oddball control condition, and scores variations as a function of task. Taken together, our results suggest that HRV is highly sensitive to overall demands of sustained attention over and above the influence of other cognitive processes suggested by previous literature. In addition, our study highlights a potential dissociation between objective and subjective measures of mental workload, with important implications in applied settings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Complementary coordination strategies in a joint Fitts’ reciprocal aiming task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konvalinka, Ivana; Skewes, Lea; Michael, J.

    How do dyads coordinate their actions to achieve a common goal when one person has the more difficult task? In the present study, dyads were instructed to engage in a Fitts’s reciprocal aiming task as accurately as possible, and at a given tempo sent through their headphones. They were in conditi...... a joint goal, by taking on leader-follower roles....... was assigned to either the target’s role – with varying target width, and hence task difficulty – or the reference role – with the widest (easiest) target. Results show that when the task was performed interactively with the other person, they were most synchronized, and also used the target most similarly......, while compromising rhythmic accuracy. In addition, as task difficulty increased for the member with the target’s role, the participant with the reference role became more adaptive to her tempo. This suggests that interacting members of a dyad optimally negotiate coordination strategies to achieve...

  9. Dynamic, continuous multitasking training leads to task-specific improvements but does not transfer across action selection tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Angela D.; Filmer, Hannah L.; Naughtin, Claire K.; Dux, Paul E.

    2017-12-01

    The ability to perform multiple tasks concurrently is an ever-increasing requirement in our information-rich world. Despite this, multitasking typically compromises performance due to the processing limitations associated with cognitive control and decision-making. While intensive dual-task training is known to improve multitasking performance, only limited evidence suggests that training-related performance benefits can transfer to untrained tasks that share overlapping processes. In the real world, however, coordinating and selecting several responses within close temporal proximity will often occur in high-interference environments. Over the last decade, there have been notable reports that training on video action games that require dynamic multitasking in a demanding environment can lead to transfer effects on aspects of cognition such as attention and working memory. Here, we asked whether continuous and dynamic multitasking training extends benefits to tasks that are theoretically related to the trained tasks. To examine this issue, we asked a group of participants to train on a combined continuous visuomotor tracking task and a perceptual discrimination task for six sessions, while an active control group practiced the component tasks in isolation. A battery of tests measuring response selection, response inhibition, and spatial attention was administered before and immediately after training to investigate transfer. Multitasking training resulted in substantial, task-specific gains in dual-task ability, but there was no evidence that these benefits generalized to other action control tasks. The findings suggest that training on a combined visuomotor tracking and discrimination task results in task-specific benefits but provides no additional value for untrained action selection tasks.

  10. 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.

  11. Limited Benefits of Heterogeneous Dual-Task Training on Transfer Effects in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussier, Maxime; Brouillard, Philippe; Bherer, Louis

    2017-09-01

    It has often been reported that cognitive training has limited transfer effects. The present study addresses training context variability as a factor that could increase transfer effects, as well as the manifestation through time of transfer effects. Fifty-eight older adults were assigned to an active placebo or two dual-task training conditions, one in which the training context varies between sessions (heterogeneous training) and the other in a fixed training context (homogeneous training). Transfer was assessed with near and far-modality transfer tasks. Results show that heterogeneous and homogeneous training led to larger near-modality transfer effects than an active placebo (computer lessons). Transfer effects were roughly comparable in both training groups, but heterogeneous training led to a steeper improvement of the dual-task coordination learning curve within training sessions. Also, results indicated that dual-task cost did not improve in the active placebo group from the pre- to the post-training sessions. Heterogeneous training showed modest advantages over homogeneous training. Results also suggest that transfer effects on dual-task cost induced by training take place early on in the post-training session. These findings provide valuable insights on benefits arising from variability in the training protocol for maximizing transfer effects. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Bridge-in-a-backpack(TM) : task 3.2: investigating soil - structure interaction - modeling and experimental results of steel arches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

    This report includes fulfillment of Task 3.2 of a multi-task contract to further enhance concrete filled FRP tubes, or : the Bridge in a Backpack. Task 3 is an investigation of soil-structure interaction for the FRP tubes. Task 3.2 is the : modeling ...

  13. Assessing visuospatial abilities in healthy aging: A novel visuomotor task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eDe Bruin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the efficacy of a novel reaching-and-grasping task in determining visuospatial abilities across adulthood. The task required male and female young (18-25 years and older adults (60-82 years to replicate a series of complex models by locating and retrieving the appropriate building blocks from an array. The task allows visuospatial complexity to be manipulated independently from the visuomotor demands. Mental rotation and spatial visualisation abilities were assessed. The results showed that the time taken to complete the tasks increased with increased mental rotation complexity. Patterns of hand use were also influenced by the complexity of the models being constructed with right hand use being greater for the less complex models. In addition, although older adults consistently performed the visuomotor tasks slower than the younger adults, their performance was comparable when expressed as the percent change in task demands. This is suggestive that spatial abilities are preserved in older adults. Given the ecologically validity, the described task is an excellent candidate for investigating (1 developmental, (2 sex-based and (3 pathology-based differences in spatial abilities in the visuomotor domain.

  14. 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.

  15. Patterns of brain and cardiovascular activation while solving rule-discovery and rule-application numeric tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosnowski, Tytus; Rynkiewicz, Andrzej; Wordecha, Małgorzata; Kępkowicz, Anna; Majewska, Adrianna; Pstrągowska, Aleksandra; Oleksy, Tomasz; Wypych, Marek; Marchewka, Artur

    2017-07-01

    It is known that solving mental tasks leads to tonic increase in cardiovascular activity. Our previous research showed that tasks involving rule application (RA) caused greater tonic increase in cardiovascular activity than tasks requiring rule discovery (RD). However, it is not clear what brain mechanisms are responsible for this difference. The aim of two experimental studies was to compare the patterns of brain and cardiovascular activity while both RD and the RA numeric tasks were being solved. The fMRI study revealed greater brain activation while solving RD tasks than while solving RA tasks. In particular, RD tasks evoked greater activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus and selected areas in the parietal, and temporal cortices, including the precuneus, supramarginal gyrus, angular gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and the superior temporal gyrus, and the cingulate cortex. In addition, RA tasks caused larger increases in HR than RD tasks. The second study, carried out in a cardiovascular laboratory, showed greater increases in heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) while solving RA tasks than while solving RD tasks. The results support the hypothesis that RD and RA tasks involve different modes of information processing, but the neuronal mechanism responsible for the observed greater cardiovascular response to RA tasks than to RD tasks is not completely clear. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The task-to-task communication between computers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Shuzi; Zhang Bingyun; Zhao Weiren

    1992-01-01

    The task-to-task communication is used in the Institute of High Energy Physics. The BES (Beijing Spectrometer) uses the communication mode to take some of the BEPC (Beijing Electron Positron Collider) running parameters needed by BES experiments in a periodic time. The authors describe the principle of transparent task-to-task communication and how to use it in BES on-line data acquisition system

  2. Exploring methodological frameworks for a mental task-based near-infrared spectroscopy brain-computer interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weyand, Sabine; Takehara-Nishiuchi, Kaori; Chau, Tom

    2015-10-30

    Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) enable users to interact with their environment using only cognitive activities. This paper presents the results of a comparison of four methodological frameworks used to select a pair of tasks to control a binary NIRS-BCI; specifically, three novel personalized task paradigms and the state-of-the-art prescribed task framework were explored. Three types of personalized task selection approaches were compared, including: user-selected mental tasks using weighted slope scores (WS-scores), user-selected mental tasks using pair-wise accuracy rankings (PWAR), and researcher-selected mental tasks using PWAR. These paradigms, along with the state-of-the-art prescribed mental task framework, where mental tasks are selected based on the most commonly used tasks in literature, were tested by ten able-bodied participants who took part in five NIRS-BCI sessions. The frameworks were compared in terms of their accuracy, perceived ease-of-use, computational time, user preference, and length of training. Most notably, researcher-selected personalized tasks resulted in significantly higher accuracies, while user-selected personalized tasks resulted in significantly higher perceived ease-of-use. It was also concluded that PWAR minimized the amount of data that needed to be collected; while, WS-scores maximized user satisfaction and minimized computational time. In comparison to the state-of-the-art prescribed mental tasks, our findings show that overall, personalized tasks appear to be superior to prescribed tasks with respect to accuracy and perceived ease-of-use. The deployment of personalized rather than prescribed mental tasks ought to be considered and further investigated in future NIRS-BCI studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Association of Dual-Task Gait With Incident Dementia in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Results From the Gait and Brain Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel M; Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina; Speechley, Mark; Borrie, Michael J; Hachinski, Vladimir C; Wells, Jennie; Riccio, Patricia M; Schapira, Marcelo; Sejdic, Ervin; Camicioli, Richard M; Bartha, Robert; McIlroy, William E; Muir-Hunter, Susan

    2017-07-01

    Gait performance is affected by neurodegeneration in aging and has the potential to be used as a clinical marker for progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. A dual-task gait test evaluating the cognitive-motor interface may predict dementia progression in older adults with MCI. To determine whether a dual-task gait test is associated with incident dementia in MCI. The Gait and Brain Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study of community-dwelling older adults that enrolled 112 older adults with MCI. Participants were followed up for 6 years, with biannual visits including neurologic, cognitive, and gait assessments. Data were collected from July 2007 to March 2016. Incident all-cause dementia was the main outcome measure, and single- and dual-task gait velocity and dual-task gait costs were the independent variables. A neuropsychological test battery was used to assess cognition. Gait velocity was recorded under single-task and 3 separate dual-task conditions using an electronic walkway. Dual-task gait cost was defined as the percentage change between single- and dual-task gait velocities: ([single-task gait velocity - dual-task gait velocity]/ single-task gait velocity) × 100. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the association between risk of progression to dementia and the independent variables, adjusted for age, sex, education, comorbidities, and cognition. Among 112 study participants with MCI, mean (SD) age was 76.6 (6.9) years, 55 were women (49.1%), and 27 progressed to dementia (24.1%), with an incidence rate of 121 per 1000 person-years. Slow single-task gait velocity (gait cost while counting backward (HR, 3.79; 95% CI, 1.57-9.15; P = .003) and naming animals (HR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.04-5.59; P = .04) were associated with dementia progression (incidence rate, 155 per 1000 person-years). The models remained robust after adjusting by baseline cognition except for dual-task gait cost when dichotomized. Dual-task

  4. Individual differences in emotion processing: how similar are diffusion model parameters across tasks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Christina J; White, Corey N; Kuchinke, Lars

    2017-11-27

    The goal of this study was to replicate findings of diffusion model parameters capturing emotion effects in a lexical decision task and investigating whether these findings extend to other tasks of implicit emotion processing. Additionally, we were interested in the stability of diffusion model parameters across emotional stimuli and tasks for individual subjects. Responses to words in a lexical decision task were compared with responses to faces in a gender categorization task for stimuli of the emotion categories: happy, neutral and fear. Main effects of emotion as well as stability of emerging response style patterns as evident in diffusion model parameters across these tasks were analyzed. Based on earlier findings, drift rates were assumed to be more similar in response to stimuli of the same emotion category compared to stimuli of a different emotion category. Results showed that emotion effects of the tasks differed with a processing advantage for happy followed by neutral and fear-related words in the lexical decision task and a processing advantage for neutral followed by happy and fearful faces in the gender categorization task. Both emotion effects were captured in estimated drift rate parameters-and in case of the lexical decision task also in the non-decision time parameters. A principal component analysis showed that contrary to our hypothesis drift rates were more similar within a specific task context than within a specific emotion category. Individual response patterns of subjects across tasks were evident in significant correlations regarding diffusion model parameters including response styles, non-decision times and information accumulation.

  5. 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.

  6. The effects of dual tasking on handwriting in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeder, S; Nackaerts, E; Nieuwboer, A; Smits-Engelsman, B C M; Swinnen, S P; Heremans, E

    2014-03-28

    Previous studies have shown that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience extensive problems during dual tasking. Up to now, dual-task interference in PD has mainly been investigated in the context of gait research. However, the simultaneous performance of two different tasks is also a prerequisite to efficiently perform many other tasks in daily life, including upper limb tasks. To address this issue, this study investigated the effect of a secondary cognitive task on the performance of handwriting in patients with PD. Eighteen PD patients and 11 age-matched controls performed a writing task involving the production of repetitive loops under single- and dual-task conditions. The secondary task consisted of counting high and low tones during writing. The writing tests were performed with two amplitudes (0.6 and 1.0cm) using a writing tablet. Results showed that dual-task performance was affected in PD patients versus controls. Dual tasking reduced writing amplitude in PD patients, but not in healthy controls (p=0.046). Patients' writing size was mainly reduced during the small-amplitude condition (small amplitude p=0.017; large amplitude p=0.310). This suggests that the control of writing at small amplitudes requires more compensational brain-processing recourses in PD and is as such less automatic than writing at large amplitudes. In addition, there was a larger dual-task effect on the secondary task in PD patients than controls (p=0.025). The writing tests on the writing tablet proved highly correlated to daily life writing as measured by the 'Systematic Screening of Handwriting Difficulties' test (SOS-test) and other manual dexterity tasks, particularly during dual-task conditions. Taken together, these results provide additional insights into the motor control of handwriting and the effects of dual tasking during upper limb movements in patients with PD. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Interference between postural control and spatial vs. non-spatial auditory reaction time tasks in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhrman, Susan I; Redfern, Mark S; Jennings, J Richard; Furman, Joseph M

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether spatial aspects of an information processing task influence dual-task interference. Two groups (Older/Young) of healthy adults participated in dual-task experiments. Two auditory information processing tasks included a frequency discrimination choice reaction time task (non-spatial task) and a lateralization choice reaction time task (spatial task). Postural tasks included combinations of standing with eyes open or eyes closed on either a fixed floor or a sway-referenced floor. Reaction times and postural sway via center of pressure were recorded. Baseline measures of reaction time and sway were subtracted from the corresponding dual-task results to calculate reaction time task costs and postural task costs. Reaction time task cost increased with eye closure (p = 0.01), sway-referenced flooring (p vision x age interaction indicated that older subjects had a significant vision X task interaction whereas young subjects did not. However, when analyzed by age group, the young group showed minimal differences in interference for the spatial and non-spatial tasks with eyes open, but showed increased interference on the spatial relative to non-spatial task with eyes closed. On the contrary, older subjects demonstrated increased interference on the spatial relative to the non-spatial task with eyes open, but not with eyes closed. These findings suggest that visual-spatial interference may occur in older subjects when vision is used to maintain posture.

  8. Multi-robot task allocation based on two dimensional artificial fish swarm algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Taixiong; Li, Xueqin; Yang, Liangyi

    2007-12-01

    The problem of task allocation for multiple robots is to allocate more relative-tasks to less relative-robots so as to minimize the processing time of these tasks. In order to get optimal multi-robot task allocation scheme, a twodimensional artificial swarm algorithm based approach is proposed in this paper. In this approach, the normal artificial fish is extended to be two dimension artificial fish. In the two dimension artificial fish, each vector of primary artificial fish is extended to be an m-dimensional vector. Thus, each vector can express a group of tasks. By redefining the distance between artificial fish and the center of artificial fish, the behavior of two dimension fish is designed and the task allocation algorithm based on two dimension artificial swarm algorithm is put forward. At last, the proposed algorithm is applied to the problem of multi-robot task allocation and comparer with GA and SA based algorithm is done. Simulation and compare result shows the proposed algorithm is effective.

  9. 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

  10. The own-age face recognition bias is task dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proietti, Valentina; Macchi Cassia, Viola; Mondloch, Catherine J

    2015-08-01

    The own-age bias (OAB) in face recognition (more accurate recognition of own-age than other-age faces) is robust among young adults but not older adults. We investigated the OAB under two different task conditions. In Experiment 1 young and older adults (who reported more recent experience with own than other-age faces) completed a match-to-sample task with young and older adult faces; only young adults showed an OAB. In Experiment 2 young and older adults completed an identity detection task in which we manipulated the identity strength of target and distracter identities by morphing each face with an average face in 20% steps. Accuracy increased with identity strength and facial age influenced older adults' (but not younger adults') strategy, but there was no evidence of an OAB. Collectively, these results suggest that the OAB depends on task demands and may be absent when searching for one identity. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.

  11. THE ROLE OF TASK-INDUCED INVOLVEMENT IN VOCABULARY LEARNING OF IRANIAN LANGUAGE LEARNERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Khonamri

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated Laufer and Hustijn’s (2001 Involvement Load Hypothesis in vocabulary learning. It comprised two experiments. Experiment 1 examined whether two tasks with equal involvement load but different distribution of components would yield the same result in initial learning and retention of target words. Experiment 2 investigated whether two tasks, one input and another output, with equal involvement load and the same distribution of components would result in equivalent initial learning and retention of target words. 126 advanced English learners completed one of three vocabulary learning tasks that equated in the amount of involvement they induced: sentence writing, fill-in, and translation (L2-L1. Receptive knowledge of the target words was assessed immediately after treatment and two weeks later, and one month interval after the first delayed posttest. The result of t-test for Experiment 1 showed that when two tasks had equal involvement load but different distribution of components they resulted in similar amounts of initial learning and retention of new words. The findings of Experiment 2 indicated when two tasks, one input and another output, had equal involvement load and the same distribution of components, they led to superiority of fill-in task over translation task in initial vocabulary learning, however, not in retention of new words.

  12. 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.

  13. [Working memory and executive control: inhibitory processes in updating and random generation tasks].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macizo, Pedro; Bajo, Teresa; Soriano, Maria Felipa

    2006-02-01

    Working Memory (WM) span predicts subjects' performance in control executive tasks and, in addition, it has been related to the capacity to inhibit irrelevant information. In this paper we investigate the role of WM span in two executive tasks focusing our attention on inhibitory components of both tasks. High and low span participants recalled targets words rejecting irrelevant items at the same time (Experiment 1) and they generated random numbers (Experiment 2). Results showed a clear relation between WM span and performance in both tasks. In addition, analyses of intrusion errors (Experiment 1) and stereotyped responses (Experiment 2) indicated that high span individuals were able to efficiently use the inhibitory component implied in both tasks. The pattern of data provides support to the relation between WM span and control executive tasks through an inhibitory mechanism.

  14. Nonspecificity and theory of mind: new evidence from a nonverbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iao, Lai-Sang; Leekam, Susan R

    2014-06-01

    Understanding of false belief has long been considered to be a crucial aspect of "theory of mind" that can be explained by a domain-specific mechanism. We argue against this claim using new evidence from a nonverbal false representation task (false-sign task) with typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Experiments 1 and 2 showed that typically developing children (mean age=62.67months) were equivalent in their performance across nonverbal and verbal forms of both the false-belief and false-sign tasks. Results for these two misrepresentation tasks differed from the results of an outdated representation task ("false"-photograph task). Experiment 3 showed that children with ASD had difficulties with the false representation tasks, and this could not be explained by executive functioning or language impairments. These findings support the view that children with ASD might not have a specific theory-of-mind deficit. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. Classification of visual and linguistic tasks using eye-movement features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coco, Moreno I; Keller, Frank

    2014-03-07

    The role of the task has received special attention in visual-cognition research because it can provide causal explanations of goal-directed eye-movement responses. The dependency between visual attention and task suggests that eye movements can be used to classify the task being performed. A recent study by Greene, Liu, and Wolfe (2012), however, fails to achieve accurate classification of visual tasks based on eye-movement features. In the present study, we hypothesize that tasks can be successfully classified when they differ with respect to the involvement of other cognitive domains, such as language processing. We extract the eye-movement features used by Greene et al. as well as additional features from the data of three different tasks: visual search, object naming, and scene description. First, we demonstrated that eye-movement responses make it possible to characterize the goals of these tasks. Then, we trained three different types of classifiers and predicted the task participants performed with an accuracy well above chance (a maximum of 88% for visual search). An analysis of the relative importance of features for classification accuracy reveals that just one feature, i.e., initiation time, is sufficient for above-chance performance (a maximum of 79% accuracy in object naming). Crucially, this feature is independent of task duration, which differs systematically across the three tasks we investigated. Overall, the best task classification performance was obtained with a set of seven features that included both spatial information (e.g., entropy of attention allocation) and temporal components (e.g., total fixation on objects) of the eye-movement record. This result confirms the task-dependent allocation of visual attention and extends previous work by showing that task classification is possible when tasks differ in the cognitive processes involved (purely visual tasks such as search vs. communicative tasks such as scene description).

  17. Task-irrelevant memory load induces inattentional blindness without temporo-parietal suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyoshi, Daisuke; Ikeda, Takashi; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2010-08-01

    We often fail to consciously detect an unexpected object when we are engaged in an attention-demanding task (inattentional blindness). The inattentional blindness which is induced by visual short-term memory (VSTM) load has been proposed to result from a suppression of temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) activity that involves stimulus-driven attention. However, the fact that, inversely proportional to TPJ activity, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) activity correlates with VSTM load renders questionable the account of inattentional blindness based only on TPJ activity. Here, we investigated whether the TPJ is solely responsible for inattentional blindness by decoupling IPS and TPJ responses to VSTM load and then using the same manipulation to test the behavioral inattentional blindness performance. Experiment 1 showed that TPJ activity was not suppressed by task-irrelevant load while the IPS responded to both task-relevant and task-irrelevant load. Although the TPJ account of inattentional blindness predicts that the degree of inattentional blindness should track TPJ activity, we found in Experiment 2 that inattentional blindness was induced not only by task-relevant load but also by task-irrelevant load, showing inconsistency between the extent of inattentional blindness and TPJ response. These findings suggest that inattentional blindness can be induced without suppression of TPJ activity and seem to offer the possibility that the IPS contributes to conscious perception. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Task analysis and support for problem solving tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bainbridge, L.

    1987-01-01

    This paper is concerned with Task Analysis as the basis for ergonomic design to reduce human error rates, rather than for predicting human error rates. Task Analysis techniques usually provide a set of categories for describing sub tasks, and a framework describing the relations between sub-tasks. Both the task type categories and their organisation have implications for optimum interface and training design. In this paper, the framework needed for considering the most complex tasks faced by operators in process industries is discussed such as fault management in unexpected situations, and what is likely to minimise human error in these circumstances. (author)

  19. Task uncertainty can account for mixing and switch costs in task-switching.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick S Cooper

    Full Text Available Cognitive control is required in situations that involve uncertainty or change, such as when resolving conflict, selecting responses and switching tasks. Recently, it has been suggested that cognitive control can be conceptualised as a mechanism which prioritises goal-relevant information to deal with uncertainty. This hypothesis has been supported using a paradigm that requires conflict resolution. In this study, we examine whether cognitive control during task switching is also consistent with this notion. We used information theory to quantify the level of uncertainty in different trial types during a cued task-switching paradigm. We test the hypothesis that differences in uncertainty between task repeat and task switch trials can account for typical behavioural effects in task-switching. Increasing uncertainty was associated with less efficient performance (i.e., slower and less accurate, particularly on switch trials and trials that afford little opportunity for advance preparation. Interestingly, both mixing and switch costs were associated with a common episodic control process. These results support the notion that cognitive control may be conceptualised as an information processor that serves to resolve uncertainty in the environment.

  20. Patterns of Sympathetic Responses Induced by Different Stress Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fechir, M; Schlereth, T; Purat, T; Kritzmann, S; Geber, C; Eberle, T; Gamer, M; Birklein, F

    2008-01-01

    Stress tasks are used to induce sympathetic nervous system (SNS) arousal. However, the efficacy and the patterns of SNS activation have not been systematically compared between different tasks. Therefore, we analyzed SNS activation during the following stress tasks: Presentation of negative, positive, and – as a control – neutral affective pictures, Color-Word interference test (CWT), mental arithmetic under time limit, singing a song aloud, and giving a spontaneous talk. We examined 11 healthy subjects and recorded the following SNS parameters: Activation of emotional sweating by quantitative sudometry, skin vasoconstriction by laser-Doppler flowmetry, heart rate by ECG, blood pressure by determination of pulse wave transit time (PWTT), and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the trapezius muscle. Moreover, subjective stress ratings were acquired for each task using a visual analog scale. All tasks were felt significantly stressful when compared to viewing neutral pictures. However, SNS activation was not reliable: Affective pictures did not induce a significant SNS response; singing, giving a talk and mental arithmetic selectively increased heart rate and emotional sweating. Only the CWT globally activated the SNS. Regarding all tasks, induction of emotional sweating, increase of heart rate and blood pressure significantly correlated with subjective stress ratings, in contrast to EMG and skin vasoconstriction. Our results show that the activation of the SNS widely varies depending on the stress task. Different stress tasks differently activate the SNS, which is an important finding when considering sympathetic reactions - in clinical situations and in research. PMID:19018304

  1. Allocating time to future tasks: the effect of task segmentation on planning fallacy bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, Darryl K; Burt, Christopher D B

    2008-06-01

    The scheduling component of the time management process was used as a "paradigm" to investigate the allocation of time to future tasks. In three experiments, we compared task time allocation for a single task with the summed time allocations given for each subtask that made up the single task. In all three, we found that allocated time for a single task was significantly smaller than the summed time allocated to the individual subtasks. We refer to this as the segmentation effect. In Experiment 3, we asked participants to give estimates by placing a mark on a time line, and found that giving time allocations in the form of rounded close approximations probably does not account for the segmentation effect. We discuss the results in relation to the basic processes used to allocate time to future tasks and the means by which planning fallacy bias might be reduced.

  2. Early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of task set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkhetali, Abdurahman S.; Vaden, Ryan J.; Pool, Sean M.

    2014-01-01

    The human brain is able to process information flexibly, depending on a person's task. The mechanisms underlying this ability to initiate and maintain a task set are not well understood, but they are important for understanding the flexibility of human behavior and developing therapies for disorders involving attention. Here we investigate the differential roles of early visual cortical areas in initiating and maintaining a task set. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we characterized three different components of task set-related, but trial-independent activity in retinotopically mapped areas of early visual cortex, while human participants performed attention demanding visual or auditory tasks. These trial-independent effects reflected: (1) maintenance of attention over a long duration, (2) orienting to a cue, and (3) initiation of a task set. Participants performed tasks that differed in the modality of stimulus to be attended (auditory or visual) and in whether there was a simultaneous distractor (auditory only, visual only, or simultaneous auditory and visual). We found that patterns of trial-independent activity in early visual areas (V1, V2, V3, hV4) depend on attended modality, but not on stimuli. Further, different early visual areas play distinct roles in the initiation of a task set. In addition, activity associated with maintaining a task set tracks with a participant's behavior. These results show that trial-independent activity in early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of a person's task set. PMID:25485712

  3. 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.

  4. Robust Online Multi-Task Learning with Correlative and Personalized Structures

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Peng

    2017-06-29

    Multi-Task Learning (MTL) can enhance a classifier\\'s generalization performance by learning multiple related tasks simultaneously. Conventional MTL works under the offline setting and suffers from expensive training cost and poor scalability. To address such issues, online learning techniques have been applied to solve MTL problems. However, most existing algorithms of online MTL constrain task relatedness into a presumed structure via a single weight matrix, which is a strict restriction that does not always hold in practice. In this paper, we propose a robust online MTL framework that overcomes this restriction by decomposing the weight matrix into two components: the first one captures the low-rank common structure among tasks via a nuclear norm; the second one identifies the personalized patterns of outlier tasks via a group lasso. Theoretical analysis shows the proposed algorithm can achieve a sub-linear regret with respect to the best linear model in hindsight. However, the nuclear norm that simply adds all nonzero singular values together may not be a good low-rank approximation. To improve the results, we use a log-determinant function as a non-convex rank approximation. Experimental results on a number of real-world applications also verify the efficacy of our approaches.

  5. Robust Online Multi-Task Learning with Correlative and Personalized Structures

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Peng; Zhao, Peilin; Gao, Xin

    2017-01-01

    Multi-Task Learning (MTL) can enhance a classifier's generalization performance by learning multiple related tasks simultaneously. Conventional MTL works under the offline setting and suffers from expensive training cost and poor scalability. To address such issues, online learning techniques have been applied to solve MTL problems. However, most existing algorithms of online MTL constrain task relatedness into a presumed structure via a single weight matrix, which is a strict restriction that does not always hold in practice. In this paper, we propose a robust online MTL framework that overcomes this restriction by decomposing the weight matrix into two components: the first one captures the low-rank common structure among tasks via a nuclear norm; the second one identifies the personalized patterns of outlier tasks via a group lasso. Theoretical analysis shows the proposed algorithm can achieve a sub-linear regret with respect to the best linear model in hindsight. However, the nuclear norm that simply adds all nonzero singular values together may not be a good low-rank approximation. To improve the results, we use a log-determinant function as a non-convex rank approximation. Experimental results on a number of real-world applications also verify the efficacy of our approaches.

  6. 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.

  7. Performing a secondary executive task with affective stimuli interferes with decision making under risk conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathmann, Bettina; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Schöler, Tobias; Brand, Matthias

    2014-05-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that executive functions are crucial for advantageous decision making under risk and that therefore decision making is disrupted when working memory capacity is demanded while working on a decision task. While some studies also showed that emotions can affect decision making under risk, it is unclear how affective processing and executive functions predict decision-making performance in interaction. The current experimental study used a between-subjects design to examine whether affective pictures (positive and negative pictures compared to neutral pictures), included in a parallel executive task (working memory 2-back task), have an impact on decision making under risk as assessed by the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Moreover, the performance GDT plus 2-back task was compared to the performance in the GDT without any additional task (GDT solely). The results show that the performance in the GDT differed between groups (positive, negative, neutral, and GDT solely). The groups with affective pictures, especially those with positive pictures in the 2-back task, showed more disadvantageous decisions in the GDT than the groups with neutral pictures and the group performing the GDT without any additional task. However, executive functions moderated the effect of the affective pictures. Regardless of affective influence, subjects with good executive functions performed advantageously in the GDT. These findings support the assumption that executive functions and emotional processing interact in predicting decision making under risk.

  8. Methadone disrupts performance on the working memory version of the Morris water task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepner, Ilana J; Homewood, Judi; Taylor, Alan J

    2002-05-01

    The aim of the study was to examine if administration of the mu-opiate agonist methadone hydrochloride resulted in deficits in performance on the Morris water tank task, a widely used test of spatial cognition. To this end, after initial training on the task, Long-Evans rats were administered saline or methadone at either 1.25, 2.5 or 5 mg/kg ip 15 min prior to testing. The performance of the highest-dose methadone group was inferior to that of the controls on the working memory version of the Morris task. There were also differences between the groups on the reference memory version of the task, but this result cannot be considered reliable. These data show that methadone has its most profound effect on cognition in rats when efficient performance on the task requires attention to and retention of new information, in this case, the relationship between platform location and the extramaze cues.

  9. BWR stability analysis: methodology of the stability analysis and results of PSI for the NEA/NCR benchmark task

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hennig, D.; Nechvatal, L.

    1996-09-01

    The report describes the PSI stability analysis methodology and the validation of this methodology based on the international OECD/NEA BWR stability benchmark task. In the frame of this work, the stability properties of some operation points of the NPP Ringhals 1 have been analysed and compared with the experimental results. (author) figs., tabs., 45 refs

  10. Limitations in dual-task performance

    OpenAIRE

    Pannebakker, Merel Mathilde

    2009-01-01

    In this thesis, the effect of information-processing overload on working-memory dependent information processing was examined using dual-task paradigms. The experiments described strengthen the importance of a functional explanation for dual-task limitations. First, it showed evidence for a unified coding medium (as put forward in the theory of event coding; Hommel, Müsseler, Aschersleben, & Prinz, 2001) in which features, operations and responses are available and can influence each other. A...

  11. 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.

  12. Applying dynamic priority scheduling scheme to static systems of pinwheel task model in power-aware scheduling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seol, Ye-In; Kim, Young-Kuk

    2014-01-01

    Power-aware scheduling reduces CPU energy consumption in hard real-time systems through dynamic voltage scaling (DVS). In this paper, we deal with pinwheel task model which is known as static and predictable task model and could be applied to various embedded or ubiquitous systems. In pinwheel task model, each task's priority is static and its execution sequence could be predetermined. There have been many static approaches to power-aware scheduling in pinwheel task model. But, in this paper, we will show that the dynamic priority scheduling results in power-aware scheduling could be applied to pinwheel task model. This method is more effective than adopting the previous static priority scheduling methods in saving energy consumption and, for the system being still static, it is more tractable and applicable to small sized embedded or ubiquitous computing. Also, we introduce a novel power-aware scheduling algorithm which exploits all slacks under preemptive earliest-deadline first scheduling which is optimal in uniprocessor system. The dynamic priority method presented in this paper could be applied directly to static systems of pinwheel task model. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithm with the algorithmic complexity of O(n) reduces the energy consumption by 10-80% over the existing algorithms.

  13. Novelty vs. familiarity principles in preference decisions: Task-context of past experience matters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-I eLiao

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Our preferences are shaped by past experience in many ways, but a systematic understanding of the factors is yet to be achieved. For example, studies of the mere exposure effect show that experience with an item leads to increased liking (familiarity preference, but the exact opposite tendency is found in other studies utilizing dishabituation (novelty preference. Recently, it has been found that image category affects whether familiarity or novelty preference emerges from repeated stimulus exposure (Park, Shimojo, and Shimojo, PNAS 2010. Faces elicited familiarity preference, but natural scenes elicited novelty preference. In their task, preference judgments were made throughout all exposures, raising the question of whether the task-context during exposure was involved. We adapt their paradigm, testing if passive exposure or objective judgment task-contexts lead to different results. Results showed that after passive viewing, familiar faces were preferred, but no preference bias in either direction was found with natural scenes, or with geometric figures (control. After exposure during the objective judgment task, familiar faces were preferred, novel natural scenes were preferred, and no preference bias was found with geometric figures. The overall results replicate the segregation of preference biases across object categories and suggest that the preference for familiar faces and novel natural scenes are modulated by task-context memory at different processing levels or selection involvement. Possible underlying mechanisms of the two types of preferences are discussed.

  14. 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

  15. Manual lateralization in macaques: handedness, target laterality and task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regaiolli, Barbara; Spiezio, Caterina; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Non-human primates represent models to understand the evolution of handedness in humans. Despite several researches have been investigating non-human primates handedness, few studies examined the relationship between target position, hand preference and task complexity. This study aimed at investigating macaque handedness in relation to target laterality and tastiness, as well as task complexity. Seven pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were involved in three different "two alternative choice" tests: one low-level task and two high-level tasks (HLTs). During the first and the third tests macaques could select a preferred food and a non-preferred food, whereas by modifying the design of the second test, macaques were presented with no-difference alternative per trial. Furthermore, a simple-reaching test was administered to assess hand preference in a social context. Macaques showed hand preference at individual level both in simple and complex tasks, but not in the simple-reaching test. Moreover, target position seemed to affect hand preference in retrieving an object in the low-level task, but not in the HLT. Additionally, individual hand preference seemed to be affected from the tastiness of the item to be retrieved. The results suggest that both target laterality and individual motivation might influence hand preference of macaques, especially in simple tasks.

  16. Perceptual learning of basic visual features remains task specific with Training-Plus-Exposure (TPE) training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Lin-Juan; Wang, Ru-Jie; Yu, Cong; Zhang, Jun-Yun

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning is known to be specific to the trained retinal location, feature, and task. However, location and feature specificity can be eliminated by double-training or TPE training protocols, in which observers receive additional exposure to the transfer location or feature dimension via an irrelevant task besides the primary learning task Here we tested whether these new training protocols could even make learning transfer across different tasks involving discrimination of basic visual features (e.g., orientation and contrast). Observers practiced a near-threshold orientation (or contrast) discrimination task. Following a TPE training protocol, they also received exposure to the transfer task via performing suprathreshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination in alternating blocks of trials in the same sessions. The results showed no evidence for significant learning transfer to the untrained near-threshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination task after discounting the pretest effects and the suprathreshold practice effects. These results thus do not support a hypothetical task-independent component in perceptual learning of basic visual features. They also set the boundary of the new training protocols in their capability to enable learning transfer.

  17. Secondary task for full flight simulation incorporating tasks that commonly cause pilot error: Time estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosch, E.

    1975-01-01

    The task of time estimation, an activity occasionally performed by pilots during actual flight, was investigated with the objective of providing human factors investigators with an unobtrusive and minimally loading additional task that is sensitive to differences in flying conditions and flight instrumentation associated with the main task of piloting an aircraft simulator. Previous research indicated that the duration and consistency of time estimates is associated with the cognitive, perceptual, and motor loads imposed by concurrent simple tasks. The relationships between the length and variability of time estimates and concurrent task variables under a more complex situation involving simulated flight were clarified. The wrap-around effect with respect to baseline duration, a consequence of mode switching at intermediate levels of concurrent task distraction, should contribute substantially to estimate variability and have a complex effect on the shape of the resulting distribution of estimates.

  18. Task Switching in a Hierarchical Task Structure: Evidence for the Fragility of the Task Repetition Benefit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric

    2004-01-01

    This study examined how task switching is affected by hierarchical task organization. Traditional task-switching studies, which use a constant temporal and spatial distance between each task element (defined as a stimulus requiring a response), promote a flat task structure. Using this approach, Experiment 1 revealed a large switch cost of 238 ms.…

  19. Task analysis of human-in-the-loop tele-operated maintenance: What can be learned from JET?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boessenkool, H.; Thomas, J.; Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Baar, M.R. de; Steinbuch, M.; Abbink, D.A.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: •Maintenance task execution at JET was analyzed to guide improvements for ITER. •A large variation in task duration was found for various operator experience levels. •Results indicate significant room for improvement for tele-operated performance. •Improvent of visual feedback and artificial guiding forces was considered promising. -- Abstract: Remote maintenance will determine the available uptime of future fusion plants such as ITER. Experience at predecessor JET showed that a human-in-the-loop tele-operated approach is crucial, although this approach entails drawbacks such as the unavoidable extensive operator training and relatively long execution times. These drawbacks are common knowledge, but little quantitative research is available to guide improvements (such as improved training methods, or active operator support systems). The aim of this paper is to identify the key areas for further improvement of tele-operated maintenance. This is achieved by a detailed task analysis based on recent maintenance at JET, using task logbooks and video data as well as interviews with experienced master–slave operators. The resulting task analysis shows the (sub)tasks that were most time-consuming and shows a large variance in time performance within operators, but also substantial differences between qualified operators with different levels of experience. The operator interviews indicate that intuitive (virtual) visual feedback and artificial (guiding) forces are promising directions for improvement. The results found in this study will be used for future research and development activities focusing on haptic guiding strategies, with the aim to further design and optimize RH maintenance systems for ITER and beyond

  20. Asynchronous Task-Based Polar Decomposition on Manycore Architectures

    KAUST Repository

    Sukkari, Dalal

    2016-10-25

    This paper introduces the first asynchronous, task-based implementation of the polar decomposition on manycore architectures. Based on a new formulation of the iterative QR dynamically-weighted Halley algorithm (QDWH) for the calculation of the polar decomposition, the proposed implementation replaces the original and hostile LU factorization for the condition number estimator by the more adequate QR factorization to enable software portability across various architectures. Relying on fine-grained computations, the novel task-based implementation is also capable of taking advantage of the identity structure of the matrix involved during the QDWH iterations, which decreases the overall algorithmic complexity. Furthermore, the artifactual synchronization points have been severely weakened compared to previous implementations, unveiling look-ahead opportunities for better hardware occupancy. The overall QDWH-based polar decomposition can then be represented as a directed acyclic graph (DAG), where nodes represent computational tasks and edges define the inter-task data dependencies. The StarPU dynamic runtime system is employed to traverse the DAG, to track the various data dependencies and to asynchronously schedule the computational tasks on the underlying hardware resources, resulting in an out-of-order task scheduling. Benchmarking experiments show significant improvements against existing state-of-the-art high performance implementations (i.e., Intel MKL and Elemental) for the polar decomposition on latest shared-memory vendors\\' systems (i.e., Intel Haswell/Broadwell/Knights Landing, NVIDIA K80/P100 GPUs and IBM Power8), while maintaining high numerical accuracy.

  1. Social importance enhances prospective memory: evidence from an event-based task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Stefan; Meier, Beat

    2017-07-01

    Prospective memory performance can be enhanced by task importance, for example by promising a reward. Typically, this comes at costs in the ongoing task. However, previous research has suggested that social importance (e.g., providing a social motive) can enhance prospective memory performance without additional monitoring costs in activity-based and time-based tasks. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of social importance in an event-based task. We compared four conditions: social importance, promising a reward, both social importance and promising a reward, and standard prospective memory instructions (control condition). The results showed enhanced prospective memory performance for all importance conditions compared to the control condition. Although ongoing task performance was slowed in all conditions with a prospective memory task when compared to a baseline condition with no prospective memory task, additional costs occurred only when both the social importance and reward were present simultaneously. Alone, neither social importance nor promising a reward produced an additional slowing when compared to the cost in the standard (control) condition. Thus, social importance and reward can enhance event-based prospective memory at no additional cost.

  2. Contingency learning is not affected by conflict experience: Evidence from a task conflict-free, item-specific Stroop paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Yulia; Tzelgov, Joseph

    2016-02-01

    A contingency learning account of the item-specific proportion congruent effect has been described as an associative stimulus-response learning process that has nothing to do with controlling the Stroop conflict. As supportive evidence, contingency learning has been demonstrated with response conflict-free stimuli, such as neutral words. However, what gives rise to response conflict and to Stroop interference in general is task conflict. The present study investigated whether task conflict can constitute a trigger or, alternatively, a booster to the contingency learning process. This was done by employing a "task conflict-free" condition (i.e., geometric shapes) and comparing it with a "task conflict" condition (i.e., neutral words). The results showed a significant contingency learning effect in both conditions, refuting the possibility that contingency learning is triggered by the presence of a task conflict. Contingency learning was also not enhanced by the task conflict experience, indicating its complete insensitivity to Stroop conflict(s). Thus, the results showed no evidence that performance optimization as a result of contingency learning is greater under conflict, implying that contingency learning is not recruited to assist the control system to overcome conflict. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Cognitive and Physical Fatigue Tasks Enhance Pain, Cognitive Fatigue and Physical Fatigue in People with Fibromyalgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dailey, Dana L; Keffala, Valerie J; Sluka, Kathleen A

    2014-01-01

    Objective Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic widespread muscle pain and fatigue. The primary objective of this study was to determine if pain, perceived cognitive fatigue, and perceived physical fatigue were enhanced in participants with fibromyalgia compared to healthy controls during a cognitive fatigue task, a physical fatigue task and a dual fatigue task. Methods Twenty four people with fibromyalgia and 33 healthy controls completed pain, fatigue and function measures. A cognitive fatigue task (Controlled Oral Word Association Test) and physical fatigue task (Valpar peg test) were done individually and combined for a dual fatigue task. Resting pain, perceived cognitive fatigue and perceived physical fatigue were assessed during each task using visual analogue scales. Function was assessed with shoulder range of motion and grip. Results People with fibromyalgia had significantly higher increases in pain, cognitive fatigue and physical fatigue when compared to healthy controls after completion of a cognitive fatigue task, a physical fatigue task, or a dual fatigue task (pfatigue tasks, respectively. Conclusions These data show that people with fibromyalgia show larger increases in pain, perceived cognitive fatigue and perceived physical fatigue to both cognitive and physical fatigue tasks compared to healthy controls. The increases in pain and fatigue during cognitive and physical fatigue tasks could influence subject participation in daily activities and rehabilitation. PMID:25074583

  4. Validation of auditory detection response task method for assessing the attentional effects of cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stojmenova, Kristina; Sodnik, Jaka

    2018-07-04

    There are 3 standardized versions of the Detection Response Task (DRT), 2 using visual stimuli (remote DRT and head-mounted DRT) and one using tactile stimuli. In this article, we present a study that proposes and validates a type of auditory signal to be used as DRT stimulus and evaluate the proposed auditory version of this method by comparing it with the standardized visual and tactile version. This was a within-subject design study performed in a driving simulator with 24 participants. Each participant performed 8 2-min-long driving sessions in which they had to perform 3 different tasks: driving, answering to DRT stimuli, and performing a cognitive task (n-back task). Presence of additional cognitive load and type of DRT stimuli were defined as independent variables. DRT response times and hit rates, n-back task performance, and pupil size were observed as dependent variables. Significant changes in pupil size for trials with a cognitive task compared to trials without showed that cognitive load was induced properly. Each DRT version showed a significant increase in response times and a decrease in hit rates for trials with a secondary cognitive task compared to trials without. Similar and significantly better results in differences in response times and hit rates were obtained for the auditory and tactile version compared to the visual version. There were no significant differences in performance rate between the trials without DRT stimuli compared to trials with and among the trials with different DRT stimuli modalities. The results from this study show that the auditory DRT version, using the signal implementation suggested in this article, is sensitive to the effects of cognitive load on driver's attention and is significantly better than the remote visual and tactile version for auditory-vocal cognitive (n-back) secondary tasks.

  5. Manual asymmetries in bimanual isochronous tapping tasks in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Inês; Diniz, Ana; Barreiros, João

    2017-01-01

    Tapping tasks have been investigated throughout the years, with variations in features such as the complexity of the task, the use of one or both hands, the employ of auditory or visual stimuli, and the characteristics of the subjects. The evaluation of lateral asymmetries in tapping tasks in children offers an insight into the structure of rhythmic movements and handedness at early stages of development. The current study aims to investigate the ability of children (aged six and seven years-old) to maintain a rhythm, in a bimanual tapping task at two different target frequencies, as well as the manual asymmetries displayed while doing so. The analyzed data in this work are the series of the time intervals between successive taps. We suggest several profiles of behavior, regarding the overall performance of children in both tempo conditions. We also propose a new method of quantifying the variability of the performance and the asymmetry of the hands, based on ellipses placed on scatter plots of the non-dominant-dominant series versus the dominant-non-dominant series. We then use running correlations to identify changes of coordination tendencies over time. The main results show that variability is larger in the task with the longer target interval. Furthermore, most children evidence lateral asymmetries, but in general they show the capacity to maintain the mean of consecutive intertap intervals of both hands close to the target interval. Finally, we try to interpret our findings in the light of existing models and timing modes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Quantitative analysis of task selection for brain-computer interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llera, Alberto; Gómez, Vicenç; Kappen, Hilbert J.

    2014-10-01

    Objective. To assess quantitatively the impact of task selection in the performance of brain-computer interfaces (BCI). Approach. We consider the task-pairs derived from multi-class BCI imagery movement tasks in three different datasets. We analyze for the first time the benefits of task selection on a large-scale basis (109 users) and evaluate the possibility of transferring task-pair information across days for a given subject. Main results. Selecting the subject-dependent optimal task-pair among three different imagery movement tasks results in approximately 20% potential increase in the number of users that can be expected to control a binary BCI. The improvement is observed with respect to the best task-pair fixed across subjects. The best task-pair selected for each subject individually during a first day of recordings is generally a good task-pair in subsequent days. In general, task learning from the user side has a positive influence in the generalization of the optimal task-pair, but special attention should be given to inexperienced subjects. Significance. These results add significant evidence to existing literature that advocates task selection as a necessary step towards usable BCIs. This contribution motivates further research focused on deriving adaptive methods for task selection on larger sets of mental tasks in practical online scenarios.

  7. 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.

  8. Muscles Activity in the elderly with Balance Impairments in walking under Dual tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaheh Azadian

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Each step during gait requires different attention demands that will affect muscles activity. The study of changes in the timing and intensity of the muscles activity in walking with dual task has received less attention from researchers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in electromyography patterns of gait with cognitive dual tasks in balance impaired elderly. Methods: Thirty older adults were recruited for this study. People were selected through berg balance test. Subjects walked 12-meters in two conditions, normal walking and walking with a cognitive dual task. Spatial-temporal kinematic parameters were recorded through the motion analysis and muscles activities were recorded through electromyography system. The data obtained was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA at a significant level of p< 0.05.  Results: The results showed that walking under dual tasks would decrease gait speed and increase stride time and stance time. Also muscle activity in Tibialis anterior and Vastus lateralis in stance-phase would decrease significantly in dual tasks as compared with single task (p< 0.05, but timing of muscle activity would not change in dual task conditions.  Conclusions: Based on the results, it can be argued that walking under a dual task can change spatial-temporal parameters and muscle activity in gait pattern in the elderly with balance impairment. One explanation could be that the decreased control of the central nervous system on muscle activity in stance phase due to the performing of a dual task.

  9. Teaching Task Sequencing via Verbal Mediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusch, Frank R.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Verbal sequence training was used to teach a moderately mentally retarded woman to sequence job-related tasks. Learning to say the tasks in the proper sequence resulted in the employee performing her tasks in that sequence, and the employee was capable of mediating her own work behavior when scheduled changes occurred. (Author/JDD)

  10. Selection of spatial reference frames depends on task's demands

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    Greeshma Sharma

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Spatial reference frames (SRF are the means of representing spatial relations or locations either in an egocentric coordinate system (centred on navigator or in an allocentric coordinate system (Centred on object. It is necessary to understand when and how spatial representation switches between allocentric and egocentric reference frames in context to spatial tasks. The objective of this study was to explore if the elementary spatial representation does exist, whether it would remain consistent or change under the influence of a task's demand. Also, we explored how the SRF would assist if the environment is enriched with landmarks, having multiple routes for wayfinding. The results showed that the switching of SRF depends not only on the default representation but also on a task's demand. They also demonstrated that participants who were using allocentric representation performed better in the presence of landmarks.

  11. Effects of Dual-Tasks on Spatial-Temporal Parameters of Gait in Older Adults With Impaired Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaheh Azadian

    2016-04-01

    Conclusion: The results showed that the duration of double reliance and stance increase when walking with dual task than when normal walking. Therefore, in the elderly with poor balance, doing dual-task with walking could increase the risk of fall. With regard to increase in asymmetry in walking with dual-task, it seems that mutual harmony and symmetry is very sensitive to concurrent cognitive task. This asymmetry in the function of legs is considered a risk factor in falling. Thus, based on the results, walking of the elderly with poor balance needs better cognitive performance. Doing concurrent cognitive tasks could intervene with attention sources and consequently change the walking pattern. Therefore, we recommend that the older people with weak balance and prone to falling should refrain from cognitive dual-task during walking and focus on walking itself.   

  12. Identification of Elderly Falling Risk by Balance Tests Under Dual Tasks Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Ali Aslankhani

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: This study aimed to identify elderly fallers and non-fallers by balance test under dual tasks conditions. Methods & Materials: This study was an analyze-comparative study. Subjects were from three park of Tehran. Subjects were 20 older adults with outhistory of falls (aged 75.95±6.28 years and 21 older adults with a history of 2 or more falls in the previous one year (aged 72.50±7.31 Years . All subjects performed Timed Up & Go test under 3 conditions (TimedUp & Go, Timed Up & Go with numbers counter randomly [TUG cognitive], and Timed Up & Go while carrying a full cup of water [TUG manual]. A multivariate analysis of variance and logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: The results showed significant difference between elderly fallers and non fallers in fall risk composed dependent variable (P=0.0005, as the non fallers had greater score than the elderly fallers. Also, results showed that TUG cognitive has prediction capacity of elderly fall (P=0.013. Conclusion: Consequently, balance under cognitive dual task conditions could be useful method in identification of risk of falling and planning dual task exercise program and physiotherapy to preventfalls.

  13. A Novel Connectionist Network for Solving Long Time-Lag Prediction Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Keith; MacNish, Cara

    Traditional Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) perform poorly on learning tasks involving long time-lag dependencies. More recent approaches such as LSTM and its variants significantly improve on RNNs ability to learn this type of problem. We present an alternative approach to encoding temporal dependencies that associates temporal features with nodes rather than state values, where the nodes explicitly encode dependencies over variable time delays. We show promising results comparing the network's performance to LSTM variants on an extended Reber grammar task.

  14. Difference in kinematical behavior between two landing tasks in male volleyball athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glauber Ribeiro Pereira

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injuries are common in sports. Studies investigating injury mechanisms have demonstrated that most injuries arise from landing tasks. Despite the demonstration of differences between male and female kinematics, there are no studies showing how males behave during different landing tasks. The objective of this study was to compare the angular and temporal kinematics of the lower limbs between two different landing tasks. Double leg and single leg landings were recorded in the frontal and sagittal plane in 15 male volleyball athletes by videogrammetry. Reduced hip and knee flexion and increased knee valgus were observed in the single leg landing task compared to the double leg landing task. No significant difference in landing time was observed between the two tasks. In conclusion, the results support the premise that lower limb kinematics change according to the task performed. Further studies are necessary to explore the impact of these kinematic differences on knee loading and to relate them to ACL injury mechanisms in men.

  15. Does the medium matter? The interaction of task type and technology on group performance and member reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straus, S G; McGrath, J E

    1994-02-01

    The authors investigated the hypothesis that as group tasks pose greater requirements for member interdependence, communication media that transmit more social context cues will foster group performance and satisfaction. Seventy-two 3-person groups of undergraduate students worked in either computer-mediated or face-to-face meetings on 3 tasks with increasing levels of interdependence: an idea-generation task, an intellective task, and a judgment task. Results showed few differences between computer-mediated and face-to-face groups in the quality of the work completed but large differences in productivity favoring face-to-face groups. Analysis of productivity and of members' reactions supported the predicted interaction of tasks and media, with greater discrepancies between media conditions for tasks requiring higher levels of coordination. Results are discussed in terms of the implications of using computer-mediated communications systems for group work.

  16. Assessing executive functions in preschoolers using Shape School Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Nieto

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of the development of executive functions in preschool children due to their relationship with different cognitive, psychological, social and academic domains. Early detection of individual differences in executive functioning can have major implications for basic and applied research. Consequently, there is a key need for assessment tools adapted to preschool skills: Shape School has been shown to be a suitable task for this purpose. Our study uses Shape School as the main task to analyze development of inhibition, task-switching and working memory in a sample of 304 preschoolers (age range 3.25-6.50 years. Additionally, we include cognitive tasks for the evaluation of verbal variables (vocabulary, word reasoning and short-term memory and performance variables (picture completion and symbol search, so as to analyze their relationship with executive functions. Our results show age-associated improvements in executive functions and the cognitive variables assessed. Furthermore, correlation analyses reveal positive relationships between executive functions and the other cognitive variables. More specifically, using structural equation modeling and including age direct and indirect effects, our results suggest that executive functions explain to a greater extent performance on verbal and performance tasks. These findings provide further information to support research that considers preschool age to be a crucial period for the development of executive functions and their relationship with other cognitive processes

  17. Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Cost of Task Switching: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ling; Wang, Meng; Zhao, Qian-Jing; Fogelson, Noa

    2012-01-01

    Background When switching from one task to a new one, reaction times are prolonged. This phenomenon is called switch cost (SC). Researchers have recently used several kinds of task-switching paradigms to uncover neural mechanisms underlying the SC. Task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set have been reported to contribute to the cost of task switching. Methodology/Principal Findings An unpredictable cued task-switching paradigm was used, during which subjects were instructed to switch between a color and an orientation discrimination task. Electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures were recorded in 14 subjects. Response-stimulus interval (RSI) and cue-stimulus interval (CSI) were manipulated with short and long intervals, respectively. Switch trials delayed reaction times (RTs) and increased error rates compared with repeat trials. The SC of RTs was smaller in the long CSI condition. For cue-locked waveforms, switch trials generated a larger parietal positive event-related potential (ERP), and a larger slow parietal positivity compared with repeat trials in the short and long CSI condition. Neural SC of cue-related ERP positivity was smaller in the long RSI condition. For stimulus-locked waveforms, a larger switch-related central negative ERP component was observed, and the neural SC of the ERP negativity was smaller in the long CSI. Results of standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) for both ERP positivity and negativity showed that switch trials evoked larger activation than repeat trials in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC). Conclusions/Significance The results provide evidence that both RSI and CSI modulate the neural activities in the process of task-switching, but that these have a differential role during task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set. PMID:22860090

  18. Neural mechanisms underlying the cost of task switching: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When switching from one task to a new one, reaction times are prolonged. This phenomenon is called switch cost (SC. Researchers have recently used several kinds of task-switching paradigms to uncover neural mechanisms underlying the SC. Task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set have been reported to contribute to the cost of task switching. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An unpredictable cued task-switching paradigm was used, during which subjects were instructed to switch between a color and an orientation discrimination task. Electroencephalography (EEG and behavioral measures were recorded in 14 subjects. Response-stimulus interval (RSI and cue-stimulus interval (CSI were manipulated with short and long intervals, respectively. Switch trials delayed reaction times (RTs and increased error rates compared with repeat trials. The SC of RTs was smaller in the long CSI condition. For cue-locked waveforms, switch trials generated a larger parietal positive event-related potential (ERP, and a larger slow parietal positivity compared with repeat trials in the short and long CSI condition. Neural SC of cue-related ERP positivity was smaller in the long RSI condition. For stimulus-locked waveforms, a larger switch-related central negative ERP component was observed, and the neural SC of the ERP negativity was smaller in the long CSI. Results of standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA for both ERP positivity and negativity showed that switch trials evoked larger activation than repeat trials in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC and posterior parietal cortex (PPC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results provide evidence that both RSI and CSI modulate the neural activities in the process of task-switching, but that these have a differential role during task-set reconfiguration and passive dissipation of a previously relevant task-set.

  19. 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.

  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. 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....

  2. 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....

  3. Measurement of functional task difficulty during motor learning: What level of difficulty corresponds to the optimal challenge point?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

    The relationship between task difficulty and learning benefit was examined, as was the measurability of task difficulty. Participants were required to learn a postural control task on an unstable surface at one of four different task difficulty levels. Results from the retention test showed an inverted-U relationship between task difficulty during acquisition and motor learning. The second-highest level of task difficulty was the most effective for motor learning, while learning was delayed at the most and least difficult levels. Additionally, the results indicate that salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) are useful indices of task difficulty. Our findings suggested that instructors may be able to adjust task difficulty based on salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the NASA-TLX to enhance learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Sex-differences, Handedness, and Lateralization in the Iowa Gambling Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varsha eSingh

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In a widely used decision-making task, the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT, male performance is observed to be superior to that of females, and is attributed to right lateralization (i.e., right hemispheric dominance. It is as yet unknown whether sex-differences in affect and motor lateralization have implications for sex-specific lateralization in the IGT, and specifically, whether sex-difference in performance in the IGT changes with right-handedness or with affect lateralization (decision valence, and valence-directed motivation. The present study (N = 320; 160 males examined the effects of right-handedness (right-handedness vs. non-right-handedness as a measure of motor lateralization, decision valence (reward vs. punishment IGT, and valence-directedness of task motivation (valence-directed vs. non-directed instructions, as measures of affective lateralization on IGT decision making. Analyses of variance revealed that both male and female participants showed valence-induced inconsistencies in advantageous decision-making; however, right-handed females made more disadvantageous decisions in a reward IGT. These results suggest that IGT decision-making may be largely right-lateralized in right-handed males, and show that sex and lateralized differences (motor and affect have implications for sex-differences in IGT decision-making. Implications of the results are discussed with reference to lateralization and sex-differences in cognition.

  5. Investigating long-range correlation properties in EEG during complex cognitive tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karkare, Siddharth; Saha, Goutam; Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    2009-01-01

    Previous work shows the presence of scale invariance and long-range correlations in ongoing and spontaneous activity of large scale brain responses (i.e. EEG), and such scaling behavior can also be modulated by simple sensory stimulus. However, little is known whether such alteration but not destruction in scaling properties also occurs during complex cognitive processing and if neuroplasticity plays any role in mediating such changes. In this study, we addressed these issues by investigating scaling properties of multivariate EEG signals obtained from two broad groups - artists and non-artists - while they performed complex tasks of perception and mental imagery of visual art objects. We found that brain regions showing increased correlation properties from rest were similar for both tasks, suggesting that brain networks responsible for visual perception are reactivated for mental imagery. Further, we observed that the two groups could be differentiated by scaling exponents and an artificial neural network based classifier achieved a classification efficiency of over 80%. These results altogether suggest that specific complex cognitive task demands and task-specific expertise can modify the temporal scale-free dynamics of brain responses.

  6. Investigating long-range correlation properties in EEG during complex cognitive tasks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karkare, Siddharth [Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India); Saha, Goutam [Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India); Bhattacharya, Joydeep [Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW (United Kingdom); Commission for Scientific Visualization, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna A1220 (Austria)], E-mail: j.bhattacharya@gold.ac.uk

    2009-11-30

    Previous work shows the presence of scale invariance and long-range correlations in ongoing and spontaneous activity of large scale brain responses (i.e. EEG), and such scaling behavior can also be modulated by simple sensory stimulus. However, little is known whether such alteration but not destruction in scaling properties also occurs during complex cognitive processing and if neuroplasticity plays any role in mediating such changes. In this study, we addressed these issues by investigating scaling properties of multivariate EEG signals obtained from two broad groups - artists and non-artists - while they performed complex tasks of perception and mental imagery of visual art objects. We found that brain regions showing increased correlation properties from rest were similar for both tasks, suggesting that brain networks responsible for visual perception are reactivated for mental imagery. Further, we observed that the two groups could be differentiated by scaling exponents and an artificial neural network based classifier achieved a classification efficiency of over 80%. These results altogether suggest that specific complex cognitive task demands and task-specific expertise can modify the temporal scale-free dynamics of brain responses.

  7. Using Task-based Materials in Teaching Writing for EFL Classes in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Sundari

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Task-based language teaching has been widely used for language classroom. Using tasks as main activities, task-based materials was developed particularly for writing class. This article is intended to present the study of effectiveness of task-based materials in improving writing class for university. To accommodate the research purposes, mixed method approach was carried out by using quasi experimental research and content analysis of sentence complexity. The respondents were 210 students from writing classes as experiment and control with writing test as instrument. The results of data analysis showed that there were significant differences of writing skill to those who taught using developed task-based materials. Despite the fact that the score did not significantly differ on the aspect of writing mechanics, a developed task-based material has been proved to improve students’ writing skill in the aspect of format, content, organization and grammar. Moreover, the levels of lexical complexity and accuracy from the students whose materials use task-based design are higher than those who do not use it. Then, it can be drawn a conclusion that the use of developed task-based materials brings significant effects toward writing performance.

  8. The role of motivation, glucose and self-control in the antisaccade task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire L Kelly

    Full Text Available Research shows that self-control is resource limited and there is a gradual weakening in consecutive self-control task performance akin to muscle fatigue. A body of evidence suggests that the resource is glucose and consuming glucose reduces this effect. This study examined the effect of glucose on performance in the antisaccade task - which requires self-control through generating a voluntary eye movement away from a target - following self-control exertion in the Stroop task. The effects of motivation and individual differences in self-control were also explored. In a double-blind design, 67 young healthy adults received a 25g glucose or inert placebo drink. Glucose did not enhance antisaccade performance following self-control exertion in the Stroop task. Motivation however, predicted performance on the antisaccade task; more specifically high motivation ameliorated performance decrements observed after initial self-control exertion. In addition, individuals with high levels of self-control performed better on certain aspects of the antisaccade task after administration of a glucose drink. The results of this study suggest that the antisaccade task might be a powerful paradigm, which could be used as a more objective measure of self-control. Moreover, the results indicate that level of motivation and individual differences in self-control should be taken into account when investigating deficiencies in self-control following prior exertion.

  9. Active listening: task-dependent plasticity of spectrotemporal receptive fields in primary auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Jonathan; Elhilali, Mounya; Shamma, Shihab

    2005-08-01

    Listening is an active process in which attentive focus on salient acoustic features in auditory tasks can influence receptive field properties of cortical neurons. Recent studies showing rapid task-related changes in neuronal spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) in primary auditory cortex of the behaving ferret are reviewed in the context of current research on cortical plasticity. Ferrets were trained on spectral tasks, including tone detection and two-tone discrimination, and on temporal tasks, including gap detection and click-rate discrimination. STRF changes could be measured on-line during task performance and occurred within minutes of task onset. During spectral tasks, there were specific spectral changes (enhanced response to tonal target frequency in tone detection and discrimination, suppressed response to tonal reference frequency in tone discrimination). However, only in the temporal tasks, the STRF was changed along the temporal dimension by sharpening temporal dynamics. In ferrets trained on multiple tasks, distinctive and task-specific STRF changes could be observed in the same cortical neurons in successive behavioral sessions. These results suggest that rapid task-related plasticity is an ongoing process that occurs at a network and single unit level as the animal switches between different tasks and dynamically adapts cortical STRFs in response to changing acoustic demands.

  10. The Betrayal Aversion Elicitation Task: An Individual Level Betrayal Aversion Measure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aimone, Jason; Ball, Sheryl; King-Casas, Brooks

    2015-01-01

    Research on betrayal aversion shows that individuals' response to risk depends not only on probabilities and payoffs, but also on whether the risk includes a betrayal of trust. While previous studies focus on measuring aggregate levels of betrayal aversion, the connection between an individual's own betrayal aversion and other individually varying factors, including risk preferences, are currently unexplored. This paper develops a new task to elicit an individual's level of betrayal aversion that can then be compared to individual characteristics. We demonstrate the feasibility of our new task and show that our aggregate individual results are consistent with previous studies. We then use this classification to ask whether betrayal aversion is correlated with risk aversion. While we find risk aversion and betrayal aversion have no significant relationship, we do observe that risk aversion is correlated with non-social risk preferences, but not the social, betrayal related, risk component of the new task.

  11. Headteachers' managerial behaviour and teachers' task ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The result of the study revealed that head teachers' decision-making strategy and head teachers' leadership style have significant influence on teachers' task performance in the sampled schools. And that head teachers' communication skills significantly relates to teachers' task performance in the area. Based on this result, ...

  12. 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

  13. Decision-making under risk conditions is susceptible to interference by a secondary executive task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starcke, Katrin; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Wolf, Oliver T; Altstötter-Gleich, Christine; Brand, Matthias

    2011-05-01

    Recent research suggests two ways of making decisions: an intuitive and an analytical one. The current study examines whether a secondary executive task interferes with advantageous decision-making in the Game of Dice Task (GDT), a decision-making task with explicit and stable rules that taps executive functioning. One group of participants performed the original GDT solely, two groups performed either the GDT and a 1-back or a 2-back working memory task as a secondary task simultaneously. Results show that the group which performed the GDT and the secondary task with high executive load (2-back) decided less advantageously than the group which did not perform a secondary executive task. These findings give further evidence for the view that decision-making under risky conditions taps into the rational-analytical system which acts in a serial and not parallel way as performance on the GDT is disturbed by a parallel task that also requires executive resources.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Attentional Demands of Balance Under Dual Task Conditions in Young Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monire Nobahar Ahari

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the role of attentional process in postural control using choice reaction time task while changing the visual and proprioceptive cues under difficult balance task (standing on one-leg. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted by participating 20 young people (22.75±2.29. Each subject performed one-leg standing as balance task for each of the following 2 test conditions: free balance position (single task, and balancing while performing secondary cognitive task (choice reaction time task. Each test was carried out for each of the following 3 sensory conditions: on hard surface with open eyes, on hard surface with closed eyes and on foam surface with closed eyes. One way ANOVA was used for analysis. Results: Analyses of the task conditions didn’t show significant difference between single and dual task under two sensory conditions, in open and in closed eye on hard surface (P>0.05, but there was significant difference between single and dual tasks on soft foam with closed eyes [t(19=-2.391, P=0.027]. Discussion: Findings revealed that significant difference in balance performance of individuals under three different sensory conditions caused by reduction in base of support and this effect can be seen in dual task condition as well. Therefore it can be concluded that the nature of the primary task have the most influence on balance performance and this is not the effect of dual task condition.

  19. Changes in default mode network as automaticity develops in a categorization task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamloo, Farzin; Helie, Sebastien

    2016-10-15

    The default mode network (DMN) is a set of brain regions in which blood oxygen level dependent signal is suppressed during attentional focus on the external environment. Because automatic task processing requires less attention, development of automaticity in a rule-based categorization task may result in less deactivation and altered functional connectivity of the DMN when compared to the initial learning stage. We tested this hypothesis by re-analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging data of participants trained in rule-based categorization for over 10,000 trials (Helie et al., 2010) [12,13]. The results show that some DMN regions are deactivated in initial training but not after automaticity has developed. There is also a significant decrease in DMN deactivation after extensive practice. Seed-based functional connectivity analyses with the precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex (two important DMN regions) and Brodmann area 6 (an important region in automatic categorization) were also performed. The results show increased functional connectivity with both DMN and non-DMN regions after the development of automaticity, and a decrease in functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex. Together, these results further support the hypothesis of a strategy shift in automatic categorization and bridge the cognitive and neuroscientific conceptions of automaticity in showing that the reduced need for cognitive resources in automatic processing is accompanied by a disinhibition of the DMN and stronger functional connectivity between DMN and task-related brain regions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Letter and Colour Matching Tasks: Parametric Measures of Developmental Working Memory Capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara L. Powell

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the mediating role of interference in developmental assessments of working memory (WM capacity across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. One hundred and forty-two participants completed two versions of visuospatial (colour matching task, CMT and verbal (letter matching task, LMT WM tasks, which systematically varied cognitive load in a high and low interference condition. Results showed similar developmental trajectories across high interference contexts (CMT- and LMT-Complex and divergent developmental growth patterns across low interference contexts (CMT- and LMT-Simple. Performance on tasks requiring greater cognitive control was in closer agreement with developmental predictions relative to simple recall guided tasks that rely solely on the storage components of WM. These findings suggest that developmental WM capacity, as measured by the CMT and LMT paradigms, can be better quantified using high interference contexts, in both content domains, and demonstrate steady increases in WM through to mid-adolescence.

  1. Characterization of children's decision making: sensitivity to punishment frequency, not task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Eveline A; Bunge, Silvia A; Latenstein, Heleen; van der Molen, Maurits W

    2005-06-01

    On a gambling task that models real-life decision making, children between ages 7 and 12 perform like patients with bilateral lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), opting for choices that yield high immediate gains in spite of higher future losses (Crone & Van der Molen, 2004). The current study set out to characterize developmental changes in decision making by varying task complexity and punishment frequency. Three age groups (7-9 years, 10-12 years, 13-15 years) performed two versions of a computerized variant of the original Iowa gambling task. Task complexity was manipulated by varying the number of choices participants could make. Punishment frequency was manipulated by varying the frequency of delayed punishment. Results showed a developmental increase in the sensitivity to future consequences, which was present only when the punishment was presented infrequently. These results could not be explained by differential sensitivity to task complexity, hypersensitivity to reward, or failure to switch response set after receiving punishment. There was a general pattern of boys outperforming girls by making more advantageous choices over the course of the task. In conclusion, 7-12-year-old children--like VMPFC patients--appear myopic about the future except when the potential for future punishment is high.

  2. Test-Retest Reliability of Dual-Task Outcome Measures in People With Parkinson Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    Dual-task (DT) training is gaining ground as a physical therapy intervention in people with Parkinson disease (PD). Future studies evaluating the effect of such interventions need reliable outcome measures. To date, the test-retest reliability of DT measures in patients with PD remains largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of DT outcome measures in patients with PD. A repeated-measures design was used. Patients with PD ("on" medication, Mini-Mental State Examination score ≥24) performed 2 cognitive tasks (ie, backward digit span task and auditory Stroop task) and 1 functional task (ie, mobile phone task) in combination with walking. Tasks were assessed at 2 time points (same hour) with an interval of 6 weeks. Test-retest reliability was assessed for gait while performing each secondary task (DT gait) for both cognitive tasks while walking (DT cognitive) and for the functional task while walking (DT functional). Sixty-two patients with PD (age=39-89 years, Hoehn and Yahr stages II-III) were included in the study. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) showed excellent reliability for DT gait measures, ranging between .86 and .95 when combined with the digit span task, between .86 and .95 when combined with the auditory Stroop task, and between .72 and .90 when combined with the mobile phone task. The standard error of measurements for DT gait speed varied between 0.06 and 0.08 m/s, leading to minimal detectable changes between 0.16 and 0.22 m/s. With regard to DT cognitive measures, reaction times showed good-to-excellent reliability (digit span task: ICC=.75; auditory Stroop task: ICC=.82). The results cannot be generalized to patients with advanced disease or to other DT measures. In people with PD, DT measures proved to be reliable for use in clinical studies and look promising for use in clinical practice to assess improvements after DT training. Large effects, however, are needed to obtain meaningful effect sizes.

  3. Climate uniformity: its influence on team communication quality, task conflict, and team performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Romá, Vicente; Hernández, Ana

    2014-11-01

    We investigated whether climate uniformity (the pattern of climate perceptions of organizational support within the team) is related to task conflict, team communication quality, and team performance. We used a sample composed of 141 bank branches and collected data at 3 time points. The results obtained showed that, after controlling for aggregate team climate, climate strength, and their interaction, a type of nonuniform climate pattern (weak dissimilarity) was directly related to task conflict and team communication quality. Teams with weak dissimilarity nonuniform patterns tended to show higher levels of task conflict and lower levels of team communication quality than teams with uniform climate patterns. The relationship between weak dissimilarity patterns and team performance was fully mediated by team communication quality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Brain processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant emotional words: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Villar, Alberto J; Triñanes, Yolanda; Zurrón, Montserrat; Carrillo-de-la-Peña, María T

    2014-09-01

    Although there is evidence for preferential perceptual processing of written emotional information, the effects of attentional manipulations and the time course of affective processing require further clarification. In this study, we attempted to investigate how the emotional content of words modulates cerebral functioning (event-related potentials, ERPs) and behavior (reaction times, RTs) when the content is task-irrelevant (emotional Stroop Task, EST) or task-relevant (emotional categorization task, ECT), in a sample of healthy middle-aged women. In the EST, the RTs were longer for emotional words than for neutral words, and in the ECT, they were longer for neutral and negative words than for positive words. A principal components analysis of the ERPs identified various temporospatial factors that were differentially modified by emotional content. P2 was the first emotion-sensitive component, with enhanced factor scores for negative nouns across tasks. The N2 and late positive complex had enhanced factor scores for emotional relative to neutral information only in the ECT. The results reinforce the idea that written emotional information has a preferential processing route, both when it is task-irrelevant (producing behavioral interference) and when it is task-relevant (facilitating the categorization). After early automatic processing of the emotional content, late ERPs become more emotionally modulated as the level of attention to the valence increases.

  5. Modulation of EMG-EMG Coherence in a Choice Stepping Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ippei Nojima

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The voluntary step execution task is a popular measure for identifying fall risks among elderly individuals in the community setting because most falls have been reported to occur during movement. However, the neurophysiological functions during this movement are not entirely understood. Here, we used electromyography (EMG to explore the relationship between EMG-EMG coherence, which reflects common oscillatory drive to motoneurons, and motor performance associated with stepping tasks: simple reaction time (SRT and choice reaction time (CRT tasks. Ten healthy elderly adults participated in the study. Participants took a single step forward in response to a visual imperative stimulus. EMG-EMG coherence was analyzed for 1000 ms before the presentation of the stimulus (stationary standing position from proximal and distal tibialis anterior (TA and soleus (SOL muscles. The main result showed that all paired EMG-EMG coherences in the alpha and beta frequency bands were greater in the SRT than the CRT task. This finding suggests that the common oscillatory drive to the motoneurons during the SRT task occurred prior to taking a step, whereas the lower value of corticospinal activity during the CRT task prior to taking a step may indicate an involvement of inhibitory activity, which is consistent with observations from our previous study (Watanabe et al., 2016. Furthermore, the beta band coherence in intramuscular TA tended to positively correlate with the number of performance errors that are associated with fall risks in the CRT task, suggesting that a reduction in the inhibitory activity may result in a decrease of stepping performance. These findings could advance the understanding of the neurophysiological features of postural adjustments in elderly individuals.

  6. A design space of visualization tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Hans-Jörg; Nocke, Thomas; Heitzler, Magnus; Schumann, Heidrun

    2013-12-01

    Knowledge about visualization tasks plays an important role in choosing or building suitable visual representations to pursue them. Yet, tasks are a multi-faceted concept and it is thus not surprising that the many existing task taxonomies and models all describe different aspects of tasks, depending on what these task descriptions aim to capture. This results in a clear need to bring these different aspects together under the common hood of a general design space of visualization tasks, which we propose in this paper. Our design space consists of five design dimensions that characterize the main aspects of tasks and that have so far been distributed across different task descriptions. We exemplify its concrete use by applying our design space in the domain of climate impact research. To this end, we propose interfaces to our design space for different user roles (developers, authors, and end users) that allow users of different levels of expertise to work with it.

  7. Exploring decoy effects on computerized task preferences in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey E. Parrish

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The asymmetric dominance effect or decoy effect emerges when a third inferior option is introduced to a choice set. The decoy option, although typically not chosen, impacts relative preference for the original two options. This decisional bias stands in contrast with rational choice theory, which dictates that choice behavior should remain consistent for the original options with the addition of different alternatives to a choice set such as the decoy. In the current study, we assessed the decoy effect in rhesus monkeys using a computerized task battery that introduced two different computerized tasks, including a matching-to-sample task and a psychomotor task called PURSUIT. Decoy tasks were designed such that they were inferior versions of these original task options, requiring longer time to completion (via slowed cursor speeds and subsequently reduced reinforcement rates. Monkeys learned to associate unique icons for each task (including for decoy tasks, and used these icons to select their preferred task from a choice set of two to three task options. Monkeys learned to perform all tasks, but did not show evidence of the decoy effect using this task preference paradigm. We discuss the role of initial task preference (and task biases, task type (symbolic vs. perceptual, and decoy effect sizes in light of these findings. We contrast the current results to previous findings of the decoy effect in rhesus monkeys using a perceptual paradigm as well as to other evidence of the decoy effect in non-primate animal species.

  8. Physical Education-in-CLIL tasks. Determining tasks characteristics through the analysis of the diaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Coral Mateu

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This article focuses on the characteristics of Physical Education-in-CLIL (PE-in-CLIL tasks. CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning is a teaching approach which uses foreign language as a tool to enhance the subject learning process. We connect PE-in-CLIL with key competences and we introduce the CLIL 4Cs framework. We establish the aims of the study, that is; to describe the features of tasks which are most suitable to PE-in-CLIL and identify integrated tasks which appeal most to learners. We use Action-Research and we collect data through diaries. The participants of the study were twenty-six learners of 5th grade of primary school. We described the strategies of rigour and quality applied and we analysed data using a qualitative data analysis software programme (NVivo. In the results, we identify both the tasks that appeal to students and the tasks that are developed successfully. In the conclusions, we provide teaching guidelines to plan successful PE-in-CLIL tasks that appeal to students. At this point, we emphasise tasks that combined both cooperative learning and oracy with motor activity and games. We also declare the necessity of incorporating scaffolding strategies in order to accommodate students’ linguistic needs and facilitate tasks development. Future CLIL research possibilities emerge in the Physical Education field of work.

  9. 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.

  10. A Comparative Study of Task-based vs. Task- supported Teaching Approaches in an EFL Context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdieh Shafipoor

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the numerous merits of task-based language instruction as claimed by its supporters in the last few decades, task-supported teaching approach as an alternative was introduced. Since then, there have been controversial debates over the superiority of each of these two approaches. Thus, in the current research project, the purpose was to consider these two teaching approaches in the scope of English language teaching, with the purpose of exploring the most efficient one in an Iranian EFL context. To this end, 120 sophomore students, majoring in English language translation course at Islamic Azad University, Shar-e-Qods branch were selected among 4 intact reading comprehension II classes. Next, they were divided into two experimental groups. The first experimental group received task-based instruction and for the second experimental group, task-trusted teaching approach was applied. The results of the data analyses turned out that task-trusted teaching approach was superior to task-based teaching in teaching reading to EFL learners.

  11. An Experimental Study on the Effects of Different Reading Tasks on L2 Vocabulary Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jianping

    2009-01-01

    This empirical study was undertaken to test the Involvement Load Hypothesis (Laufer and Hulstijn, 2001) by examining the impact of three tasks on vocabulary acquisition. It was designed to test and develop the involvement load hypothesis by examining the impact of different reading tasks on the L2 vocabulary acquisition. The results show that…

  12. Dynamical signatures of isometric force control as a function of age, expertise, and task constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieluf, Solveig; Sleimen-Malkoun, Rita; Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia; Jirsa, Viktor; Reuter, Eva-Maria; Godde, Ben; Temprado, Jean-Jacques; Huys, Raoul

    2017-07-01

    From the conceptual and methodological framework of the dynamical systems approach, force control results from complex interactions of various subsystems yielding observable behavioral fluctuations, which comprise both deterministic (predictable) and stochastic (noise-like) dynamical components. Here, we investigated these components contributing to the observed variability in force control in groups of participants differing in age and expertise level. To this aim, young (18-25 yr) as well as late middle-aged (55-65 yr) novices and experts (precision mechanics) performed a force maintenance and a force modulation task. Results showed that whereas the amplitude of force variability did not differ across groups in the maintenance tasks, in the modulation task it was higher for late middle-aged novices than for experts and higher for both these groups than for young participants. Within both tasks and for all groups, stochastic fluctuations were lowest where the deterministic influence was smallest. However, although all groups showed similar dynamics underlying force control in the maintenance task, a group effect was found for deterministic and stochastic fluctuations in the modulation task. The latter findings imply that both components were involved in the observed group differences in the variability of force fluctuations in the modulation task. These findings suggest that between groups the general characteristics of the dynamics do not differ in either task and that force control is more affected by age than by expertise. However, expertise seems to counteract some of the age effects. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Stochastic and deterministic dynamical components contribute to force production. Dynamical signatures differ between force maintenance and cyclic force modulation tasks but hardly between age and expertise groups. Differences in both stochastic and deterministic components are associated with group differences in behavioral variability, and observed behavioral

  13. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention.

  14. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention. PMID:25745395

  15. 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.

  16. Interleaved Practice in Multi-Dimensional Learning Tasks: Which Dimension Should We Interleave?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Martina A.; Aleven, Vincent; Rummel, Nikol

    2013-01-01

    Research shows that multiple representations can enhance student learning. Many curricula use multiple representations across multiple task types. The temporal sequence of representations and task types is likely to impact student learning. Research on contextual interference shows that interleaving learning tasks leads to better learning results…

  17. Asynchronous Task-Based Polar Decomposition on Single Node Manycore Architectures

    KAUST Repository

    Sukkari, Dalal E.; Ltaief, Hatem; Faverge, Mathieu; Keyes, David E.

    2017-01-01

    This paper introduces the first asynchronous, task-based formulation of the polar decomposition and its corresponding implementation on manycore architectures. Based on a formulation of the iterative QR dynamically-weighted Halley algorithm (QDWH) for the calculation of the polar decomposition, the proposed implementation replaces the original LU factorization for the condition number estimator by the more adequate QR factorization to enable software portability across various architectures. Relying on fine-grained computations, the novel task-based implementation is capable of taking advantage of the identity structure of the matrix involved during the QDWH iterations, which decreases the overall algorithmic complexity. Furthermore, the artifactual synchronization points have been weakened compared to previous implementations, unveiling look-ahead opportunities for better hardware occupancy. The overall QDWH-based polar decomposition can then be represented as a directed acyclic graph (DAG), where nodes represent computational tasks and edges define the inter-task data dependencies. The StarPU dynamic runtime system is employed to traverse the DAG, to track the various data dependencies and to asynchronously schedule the computational tasks on the underlying hardware resources, resulting in an out-of-order task scheduling. Benchmarking experiments show significant improvements against existing state-of-the-art high performance implementations for the polar decomposition on latest shared-memory vendors' systems, while maintaining numerical accuracy.

  18. Asynchronous Task-Based Polar Decomposition on Single Node Manycore Architectures

    KAUST Repository

    Sukkari, Dalal E.

    2017-09-29

    This paper introduces the first asynchronous, task-based formulation of the polar decomposition and its corresponding implementation on manycore architectures. Based on a formulation of the iterative QR dynamically-weighted Halley algorithm (QDWH) for the calculation of the polar decomposition, the proposed implementation replaces the original LU factorization for the condition number estimator by the more adequate QR factorization to enable software portability across various architectures. Relying on fine-grained computations, the novel task-based implementation is capable of taking advantage of the identity structure of the matrix involved during the QDWH iterations, which decreases the overall algorithmic complexity. Furthermore, the artifactual synchronization points have been weakened compared to previous implementations, unveiling look-ahead opportunities for better hardware occupancy. The overall QDWH-based polar decomposition can then be represented as a directed acyclic graph (DAG), where nodes represent computational tasks and edges define the inter-task data dependencies. The StarPU dynamic runtime system is employed to traverse the DAG, to track the various data dependencies and to asynchronously schedule the computational tasks on the underlying hardware resources, resulting in an out-of-order task scheduling. Benchmarking experiments show significant improvements against existing state-of-the-art high performance implementations for the polar decomposition on latest shared-memory vendors\\' systems, while maintaining numerical accuracy.

  19. 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.

  20. The role of attention during retrieval in working-memory span: a dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, M Karl; Miyake, Akira

    2009-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that retrieving target words in operation span (OSpan) involves attention-demanding processes. Participants completed the standard OSpan task and a modified version in which all equations preceded all target words. Recall took place under either full attention or easy versus hard divided-attention conditions. Recall suffered under divided attention with the recall decrement being greater for the hard secondary task. Moreover, secondary-task performance was disrupted more by the standard OSpan task than by the modified version with the hard secondary task showing the larger decrement. Finally, the time taken to start recalling the first word was considerably longer for the standard version than for the modified version. These results are consistent with the proposal that successful OSpan task performance in part involves the attention-demanding retrieval of targets from long-term memory.

  1. The sentence verification task: a reliable fMRI protocol for mapping receptive language in individual subjects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanjuan, Ana; Avila, Cesar; Forn, Cristina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Rodriguez-Pujadas, Aina; Garcia-Porcar, Maria; Belloch, Vicente; Villanueva, Vicente

    2010-01-01

    To test the capacity of a sentence verification (SV) task to reliably activate receptive language areas. Presurgical evaluation of language is useful in predicting postsurgical deficits in patients who are candidates for neurosurgery. Productive language tasks have been successfully elaborated, but more conflicting results have been found in receptive language mapping. Twenty-two right-handed healthy controls made true-false semantic judgements of brief sentences presented auditorily. Group maps showed reliable functional activations in the frontal and temporoparietal language areas. At the individual level, the SV task showed activation located in receptive language areas in 100% of the participants with strong left-sided distributions (mean lateralisation index of 69.27). The SV task can be considered a useful tool in evaluating receptive language function in individual subjects. This study is a first step towards designing the fMRI task which may serve to presurgically map receptive language functions. (orig.)

  2. The sentence verification task: a reliable fMRI protocol for mapping receptive language in individual subjects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanjuan, Ana; Avila, Cesar [Universitat Jaume I, Departamento de Psicologia Basica, Clinica y Psicobiologia, Castellon de la Plana (Spain); Hospital La Fe, Unidad de Epilepsia, Servicio de Neurologia, Valencia (Spain); Forn, Cristina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Rodriguez-Pujadas, Aina; Garcia-Porcar, Maria [Universitat Jaume I, Departamento de Psicologia Basica, Clinica y Psicobiologia, Castellon de la Plana (Spain); Belloch, Vicente [Hospital La Fe, Eresa, Servicio de Radiologia, Valencia (Spain); Villanueva, Vicente [Hospital La Fe, Unidad de Epilepsia, Servicio de Neurologia, Valencia (Spain)

    2010-10-15

    To test the capacity of a sentence verification (SV) task to reliably activate receptive language areas. Presurgical evaluation of language is useful in predicting postsurgical deficits in patients who are candidates for neurosurgery. Productive language tasks have been successfully elaborated, but more conflicting results have been found in receptive language mapping. Twenty-two right-handed healthy controls made true-false semantic judgements of brief sentences presented auditorily. Group maps showed reliable functional activations in the frontal and temporoparietal language areas. At the individual level, the SV task showed activation located in receptive language areas in 100% of the participants with strong left-sided distributions (mean lateralisation index of 69.27). The SV task can be considered a useful tool in evaluating receptive language function in individual subjects. This study is a first step towards designing the fMRI task which may serve to presurgically map receptive language functions. (orig.)

  3. Distinguishing Reconfiguration and Compound-cue Retrieval in Task Switching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon D Logan

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Many researchers claim that task switching requires reconfiguration of the cognitive system. Others claim that task switching involves cue-based memory retrieval processes and not reconfiguration. We evaluate these competing claims by developing both reconfiguration and cue-based memory models in a common theoretical framework and by fitting the models to' target functions', which show how performance on individual target stimuli varies depending on the task subjects perform on the targets. Our analyses show that the process of compound-cue retrieval – using the task cue and the target as joint retrieval cues to select a response from memory – is sufficient to explain target functions for parity and magnitude judgments of digits and that reconfiguration does not seem to add anything to the explanation. We address the generality of this conclusion and speculate about the conditions under which reconfiguration may be necessary for task switching.

  4. 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.

  5. Differences between appetitive and aversive reinforcement on reorientation in a spatial working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golob, Edward J; Taube, Jeffrey S

    2002-10-17

    Tasks using appetitive reinforcers show that following disorientation rats use the shape of an arena to reorient, and cannot distinguish two geometrically similar corners to obtain a reward, despite the presence of a prominent visual cue that provides information to differentiate the two corners. Other studies show that disorientation impairs performance on certain appetitive, but not aversive, tasks. This study evaluated whether rats would make similar geometric errors in a working memory task that used aversive reinforcement. We hypothesized that in a task that used aversive reinforcement rats that were initially disoriented would not reorient by arena shape and thus make similar geometric errors. Tests were performed in a rectangular arena having one polarizing cue. In the appetitive condition water consumption was the reward. The aversive condition was a water maze task with reinforcement provided by escape to a hidden platform. In the aversive condition rats returned to the reinforced corner significantly more often than in the dry condition, and did not favor the diagonally opposite corner. Results show that rats can use cues besides arena shape to reorient in an aversive reinforcement condition. These findings may also reflect different strategies, with an escape/homing strategy in the wet condition and a foraging strategy in the dry condition.

  6. Memory Asymmetry of Forward and Backward Associations in Recognition Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jiongjiong; Zhu, Zijian; Mecklinger, Axel; Fang, Zhiyong; Li, Han

    2013-01-01

    There is an intensive debate on whether memory for serial order is symmetric. The objective of this study was to explore whether associative asymmetry is modulated by memory task (recognition vs. cued recall). Participants were asked to memorize word triples (Experiment 1–2) or pairs (Experiment 3–6) during the study phase. They then recalled the word by a cue during a cued recall task (Experiment 1–4), and judged whether the presented two words were in the same or in a different order compared to the study phase during a recognition task (Experiment 1–6). To control for perceptual matching between the study and test phase, participants were presented with vertical test pairs when they made directional judgment in Experiment 5. In Experiment 6, participants also made associative recognition judgments for word pairs presented at the same or the reversed position. The results showed that forward associations were recalled at similar levels as backward associations, and that the correlations between forward and backward associations were high in the cued recall tasks. On the other hand, the direction of forward associations was recognized more accurately (and more quickly) than backward associations, and their correlations were comparable to the control condition in the recognition tasks. This forward advantage was also obtained for the associative recognition task. Diminishing positional information did not change the pattern of associative asymmetry. These results suggest that associative asymmetry is modulated by cued recall and recognition manipulations, and that direction as a constituent part of a memory trace can facilitate associative memory. PMID:22924326

  7. Robot task space analyzer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamel, W.R.; Osborn, J.

    1997-01-01

    Many nuclear projects such as environmental restoration and waste management challenges involve radiation or other hazards that will necessitate the use of remote operations that protect human workers from dangerous exposures. Remote work is far more costly to execute than what workers could accomplish directly with conventional tools and practices because task operations are slow and tedious due to difficulties of remote manipulation and viewing. Decades of experience within the nuclear remote operations community show that remote tasks may take hundreds of times longer than hands-on work; even with state-of-the-art force- reflecting manipulators and television viewing, remote task performance execution is five to ten times slower than equivalent direct contact work. Thus the requirement to work remotely is a major cost driver in many projects. Modest improvements in the work efficiency of remote systems can have high payoffs by reducing the completion time of projects. Additional benefits will accrue from improved work quality and enhanced safety

  8. Development of flight experiment task requirements. Volume 2: Technical Report. Part 2: Appendix H: Tasks-skills data series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatterick, G. R.

    1972-01-01

    The data sheets presented contain the results of the task analysis portion of the study to identify skill requirements of space shuttle crew personnel. A comprehensive data base is provided of crew functions, operating environments, task dependencies, and task-skills applicable to a representative cross section of earth orbital research experiments.

  9. A cognitive task analysis of the SGTR scenario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollnagel, E.; Edland, A.; Svenson, O.

    1996-04-01

    This report constitutes a contribution to the NKS/RAK-1:3 project on Integrated Sequence Analysis. Following the meeting at Ringhals, the work was proposed to be performed by the following three steps: Task 1. Cognitive Task Analysis of the E-3 procedure. Task 2. Evaluation and revision of task analysis with Ringhals/KSU experts. Task 3. Integration with simulator data. The Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) of Task 1 uses the Goals-Means Task Analysis (GMTA) method to identify the sequence of tasks and task steps necessary to achieve the goals of the procedure. It is based on material supplied by Ringhals, which describes the E-3 procedure, including the relevant ES and ECA procedures. The analysis further outlines the cognitive demands profile associated with individual task steps as well as with the task as a whole, as an indication of the nominal task load. The outcome of the cognitive task analysis provides a basis for proposing an adequate event tree. This report describes the results from Task 1. The work has included a two-day meeting between the three contributors, as well as the exchange of intermediate results and comments throughout the period. After the initial draft of the report was prepared, an opportunity was given to observe the SGTR scenario in a full-scope training simulator, and to discuss the details with the instructors. This led to several improvements from the initial draft. (EG)

  10. Applications of Task-Based Learning in TESOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehadeh, Ali, Ed.; Coombe, Christine, Ed.

    2010-01-01

    Why are many teachers around the world moving toward task-based learning (TBL)? This shift is based on the strong belief that TBL facilitates second language acquisition and makes second language learning and teaching more principled and effective. Based on insights gained from using tasks as research tools, this volume shows how teachers can use…

  11. 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.

  12. Vigilance task-related change in brain functional connectivity as revealed by wavelet phase coherence analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Wei

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to assess the vigilance task-related change in connectivity in healthy adults using wavelet phase coherence (WPCO analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy signals (NIRS. NIRS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique for assessing brain activity. Continuous recordings of the NIRS signals were obtained from the prefrontal cortex (PFC and sensorimotor cortical areas of 20 young healthy adults (24.9±3.3 years during a 10-min resting state and a 20-min vigilance task state. The vigilance task was used to simulate driving mental load by judging three random numbers (i.e., whether odd numbers. The task was divided into two sessions: the first 10 minutes (Task t1 and the second 10 minutes (Task t2. The WPCO of six channel pairs were calculated in five frequency intervals: 0.6–2 Hz (I, 0.145–0.6 Hz (II, 0.052–0.145 Hz (III, 0.021–0.052 Hz (IV, and 0.0095–0.021 Hz (V. The significant WPCO formed global connectivity (GC maps in intervals I and II and functional connectivity (FC maps in intervals III to V. Results show that the GC levels in interval I and FC levels in interval III were significantly lower in the Task t2 than in the resting state (p < 0.05, particularly between the left PFC and bilateral sensorimotor regions. Also, the reaction time shows an increase in Task t2 compared with that in Task t1. However, no significant difference in WPCO was found between Task t1 and resting state. The results showed that the change in FC at the range of 0.6-2 Hz was not attributed to the vigilance task pe se, but the interaction effect of vigilance task and time factors. The findings suggest that the decreased attention level might be partly attributed to the reduced GC levels between the left prefrontal region and sensorimotor area. The present results provide a new insight into the vigilance task-related brain activity.

  13. DRD4 long allele carriers show heightened attention to high-priority items relative to low-priority items.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorlick, Marissa A; Worthy, Darrell A; Knopik, Valerie S; McGeary, John E; Beevers, Christopher G; Maddox, W Todd

    2015-03-01

    Humans with seven or more repeats in exon III of the DRD4 gene (long DRD4 carriers) sometimes demonstrate impaired attention, as seen in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and at other times demonstrate heightened attention, as seen in addictive behavior. Although the clinical effects of DRD4 are the focus of much work, this gene may not necessarily serve as a "risk" gene for attentional deficits, but as a plasticity gene where attention is heightened for priority items in the environment and impaired for minor items. Here we examine the role of DRD4 in two tasks that benefit from selective attention to high-priority information. We examine a category learning task where performance is supported by focusing on features and updating verbal rules. Here, selective attention to the most salient features is associated with good performance. In addition, we examine the Operation Span (OSPAN) task, a working memory capacity task that relies on selective attention to update and maintain items in memory while also performing a secondary task. Long DRD4 carriers show superior performance relative to short DRD4 homozygotes (six or less tandem repeats) in both the category learning and OSPAN tasks. These results suggest that DRD4 may serve as a "plasticity" gene where individuals with the long allele show heightened selective attention to high-priority items in the environment, which can be beneficial in the appropriate context.

  14. Anticipatory activity in rat medial prefrontal cortex during a working memory task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenwen Bai; Tiaotiao Liu; Hu Yi; Shuangyan Li; Xin Tian

    2012-01-01

    Objective Working memory is a key cognitive function in which the prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role.This study aimed to show the firing patterns of a neuronal population in the prefrontal cortex of the rat in a working memory task and to explore how a neuronal ensemble encodes a working memory event.Methods Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in a Y-maze until they reached an 80% correct rate in a working memory task.Then a 16-channel microelectrode array was implanted in the prefrontal cortex.After recovery,neuronal population activity was recorded during the task,using the Cerebus data-acquisition system.Spatio-temporal trains of action potentials were obtained from the original neuronal population signals.Results During the Y-maze working memory task,some neurons showed significantly increased firing rates and evident neuronal ensemble activity.Moreover,the anticipatory activity was associated with the delayed alternate choice of the upcoming movement.In correct trials,the averaged pre-event firing rate (10.86 ± 1.82 spikes/bin) was higher than the post-event rate (8.17 ± 1.15 spikes/bin) (P <0.05).However,in incorrect trials,the rates did not differ.Conclusion The results indicate that the anticipatory activity of a neuronal ensemble in the prefrontal cortex may play a role in encoding working memory events.

  15. Failure to utilize feedback during explicit decision-making task in alcohol-dependent patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B N Roopesh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Patients who are diagnosed with alcohol-dependent syndrome (ADS are shown to have neuropsychological deficits, especially executive function (EF deficits. Among the EFs, decision-making is one such function which has consistently been shown to be impaired in people who are dependent on alcohol, compared to controls. Decision-making in this population is usually assessed with gambling-type tasks. However, some of these tasks are ambiguous, work on chance factors, rarely match with real-life gambling situations, and/or involve nonconscious mechanisms. Materials and Methods: The current study compared 26 male patients with ADS (P-ADS with equal number of their nonalcohol-dependent male siblings on sensation seeking and explicit gambling task (EGT. EGT is similar to the Iowa gambling task in administration, but varies from it as it involves a single outcome and provides unambiguous, explicit, and continuous feedback for the participants. Results and Conclusion: The results did not show any significant relationship between decision-making variables and sensation seeking. However, despite unambiguous, explicit, and continuous feedback, patients showed significantly poor decision-making as compared to the siblings of the P-ADS group. This study throws light on why people who are addicted to alcohol have difficulties in decision-making, despite knowing the adverse effects.

  16. Developmental changes in children's abilities to share and allocate attention in a dual task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin-Chase, H; Burns, B

    2000-09-01

    Characterizing developmental changes in children's dual-task performance has been problematic because differences in divided attention abilities are easily confounded with differences in overall capacity. Two experiments showed that after individual differences in children's capacity for single-task performance were controlled for, age differences between second- (M = 8.1 years) and fifth-grade (M = 11.1 years) children did not exist in dual-task performance when tasks were of equal priority. However, when tasks had different priorities, only fifth-grade children could differentially allocate attention in the dual task. Results are discussed within the coordination hypothesis framework (see A. F. Kramer & J. L. Larish, 1996), which suggests that changes in dual-task performance with aging are due to changes in the ability to coordinate and control the allocation of attention. It is argued that linking the investigations of children's attention with research on attention and aging provides both methodological and theoretical benefits. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  17. Autistic children and the object permanence task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrien, J L; Tanguay, P; Barthélémy, C; Martineaú, J; Perrot, A; Hameury, L; Sauvage, D

    1993-01-01

    Many mentally retarded autistic children can understand the concept of object permanence, but, in comparison to developmental-age matched normal children, the behavioral strategies they employ in carrying out the Casati-Lezine Object Permanence Test are deficient and lead to failure. These deficiencies appear unrelated to interference of stereotypic or other bizarre behavior in task performance. Similar problem-solving deficiencies can be found in mentally retarded children who are not autistic, suggesting that the deficiencies themselves are less related to the social-communication deficits of autistic children, but more to the general problem-solving difficulties found in children with a lower developmental quotient. Nevertheless, the qualitative analysis of results shows a tendency in autistic children, despite their better developmental level, to use less coordinated and regular sequences to solve the task than normal or mentally retarded children.

  18. Negotiation of Meaning in Required and Optional Information Exchange Tasks: Discourse Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohre Mohamadi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available It is widely argued that different types of tasks facilitate the acquisition of communicative language to different degrees through providing different contexts for the occurrence of negotiation of meaning which is believed to have facilitative role in language acquisition. Although task based instruction provides a medium for acquiring the communicative language, it suffers from a number of oversimplifications.  The potentials of each task type in creating such a medium were not investigated in exhaustive detail, and it is left as a potentially interesting topic for further research.  This paper reports the analysis of the negotiation of meaning produced by eight intermediate EFL students engaged in required and optional information exchange tasks in dyads.  The results show that pushed output has different quality in these different task types meaning whereas required information exchange task provided a medium for more incidence of negotiation work, optional information exchange tasks engaged participants more with discourse work and led to more incidence of the clarification request as an interactional move that has a facilitative role in pushed output. Test constructors and materials developers need to take principled decisions in what to be included in the tests and texts.

  19. Indistinguishability Operators Applied to Task Allocation Problems in Multi-Agent Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Guerrero

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we show an application of indistinguishability operators to model response functions. Such functions are used in the mathematical modeling of the task allocation problem in multi-agent systems when the stimulus, perceived by the agent, to perform a task is assessed by means of the response threshold model. In particular, we propose this kind of operators to represent a response function when the stimulus only depends on the distance between the agent and a determined task, since we prove that two celebrated response functions used in the literature can be reproduced by appropriate indistinguishability operators when the stimulus only depends on the distance to each task that must be carried out. Despite the fact there is currently no systematic method to generate response functions, this paper provides, for the first time, a theoretical foundation to generate them and study their properties. To validate the theoretical results, the aforementioned indistinguishability operators have been used to simulate, with MATLAB, the allocation of a set of tasks in a multi-robot system with fuzzy Markov chains.

  20. Conflict monitoring and adjustment in the task-switching paradigm under different memory load conditions: an ERP/sLORETA analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yuqin; Wang, Yan; Ding, Xiaoqian; Tang, Yi-Yuan

    2015-02-11

    The aim of the present study was to examine electrophysiological and behavioral changes caused by different memory loads in a task-switching paradigm. A total of 31 healthy individuals were subjected to a task, in which the stimulus-response reversal paradigm was combined with the task-switching paradigm. The event-related potentials were recorded and the N2 component, an index of conflict processing, was measured. In addition, the neural sources of N2 were further analyzed by standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography. The event-related potential results showed that high memory load triggered a higher N2 mean amplitude. Moreover, the standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography data showed that high memory load caused an increase in current densities at the anterior cingulate cortex and the prefrontal cortex in the task-switching paradigm. In summary, our findings provide electrophysiological evidence to interpret possible influences of memory loads on conflict monitoring and modulation during the task switching. These results imply that the working memory load overrules the influence of task-switching performance on the intensification of cognitive control.

  1. Task and person-focused leadership behaviors and team performance : A meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ceri-Booms, Meltem; Curseu, P.L.; Oerlemans, L.A.G.

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a meta-analytic review of the relationship between person and task oriented leader behaviors, on the one hand, and team performance, on the other hand. The results, based on 89 independent samples, show a moderate positive (ρ=.33) association between both types of

  2. The Factor Structure of Some Piagetian Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Anton E.; Nordland, Floyd H.

    1976-01-01

    Investigated was the hypothesis that conservation tasks are unifactor by administering eight different conservation tasks to 96 seventh-grade science students and performing a principal component analysis on the data. Results indicated that conservation tasks may measure up to three different components of cognitive thought. (SL)

  3. Less head motion during MRI under task than resting-state conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huijbers, Willem; Van Dijk, Koene R A; Boenniger, Meta M; Stirnberg, Rüdiger; Breteler, Monique M B

    2017-02-15

    Head motion reduces data quality of neuroimaging data. In three functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments we demonstrate that people make less head movements under task than resting-state conditions. In Experiment 1, we observed less head motion during a memory encoding task than during the resting-state condition. In Experiment 2, using publicly shared data from the UCLA Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics LA5c Study, we again found less head motion during several active task conditions than during a resting-state condition, although some task conditions also showed comparable motion. In the healthy controls, we found more head motion in men than in women and more motion with increasing age. When comparing clinical groups, we found that patients with a clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, move more compared to healthy controls or patients with ADHD. Both these experiments had a fixed acquisition order across participants, and we could not rule out that a first or last scan during a session might be particularly prone to more head motion. Therefore, we conducted Experiment 3, in which we collected several task and resting-state fMRI runs with an acquisition order counter-balanced. The results of Experiment 3 show again less head motion during several task conditions than during rest. Together these experiments demonstrate that small head motions occur during MRI even with careful instruction to remain still and fixation with foam pillows, but that head motion is lower when participants are engaged in a cognitive task. These finding may inform the choice of functional runs when studying difficult-to-scan populations, such as children or certain patient populations. Our findings also indicate that differences in head motion complicate direct comparisons of measures of functional neuronal networks between task and resting-state fMRI because of potential differences in data quality. In practice, a task to reduce head motion

  4. HIV/AIDS case management tasks and activities: the results of a functional analysis study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grube, B; Chernesky, R H

    2001-01-01

    Functional analysis, a variation of the time study technique, was used to examine how HIV/AIDS case managers in the tri-county region of New York State spend their time-the actual tasks and activities they choose to perform relative to the total universe of activities and tasks subsumed in the general category of case management. The picture developed was of a system operating primarily in a crisis mode, spending relatively brief amounts of time completing a range of activities and providing an extensive scope of services for or on behalf of clients. The bulk of the work was client centered, not administrative, and involved providing disease management and essential services (e.g., family and mental health). The implications of these findings are discussed, with particular attention paid to the potential influence of client profiles and worker demographics.

  5. Survival Processing and the Stroop Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Kazanas

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to investigate the impact of survival processing with a novel task for this paradigm: the Stroop color-naming task. As the literature is mixed with regard to task generalizability, with survival processing promoting better memory for words, but not better memory for faces or paired associates, these types of task investigations are important to a growing field of research. Using the Stroop task provides a unique contribution, as identifying items by color is an important evolutionary adaptation and not specific to humans as is the case with word recall. Our results indicate that survival processing, with its accompanying survival-relevance rating task, remains the best mnemonic strategy for word memory. However, our results also indicate that presenting the survival passage does not motivate better color-naming performance than color-naming alone. In addition, survival processing led to a larger amount of Stroop interference, though not significantly larger than the other conditions. Together, these findings suggest that considering one’s survival when performing memory and attention-based tasks does not enhance cognitive performance generally, although greater allocation of attentional resources to color-incongruent concrete objects could be considered adaptive. These findings support the notion that engaging in deeper processing via survival-relevance ratings may preserve these words across a variety of experimental manipulations.

  6. The development of children's knowledge of attention and resource allocation in single and dual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dossett, D; Burns, B

    2000-06-01

    Developmental changes in kindergarten, 1st-, and 4th-grade children's knowledge about the variables that affect attention sharing and resource allocation were examined. Findings from the 2 experiments showed that kindergartners understood that person and strategy variables affect performance in attention-sharing tasks. However, knowledge of how task variables affect performance was not evident to them and was inconsistent for 1st and 4th graders. Children's knowledge about resource allocation revealed a different pattern and varied according to the dissimilarity of task demands in the attention-sharing task. In Experiment 1, in which the dual attention tasks were similar (i.e., visual detection), kindergarten and 1st-grade children did not differentiate performance in single and dual tasks. Fourth graders demonstrated knowledge that performance on a single task would be better than performance on the dual tasks for only 2 of the variables examined. In Experiment 2, in which the dual attention tasks were dissimilar (i.e., visual and auditory detection), kindergarten and 1st-grade children demonstrated knowledge that performance in the single task would be better than in the dual tasks for 1 of the task variables examined. However, 4th-grade children consistently gave higher ratings for performance on the single than on the dual attention tasks for all variables examined. These findings (a) underscore that children's meta-attention is not unitary and (b) demonstrate that children's knowledge about variables affecting attention sharing and resource allocation have different developmental pathways. Results show that knowledge about attention sharing and about the factors that influence the control of attention develops slowly and undergoes reorganization in middle childhood.

  7. Aespoe Task Force on modelling of groundwater flow and transport of solutes. Review of Task 6C

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Black, John; Hodgkinson, David

    2005-03-01

    This report forms part of an independent review of the specifications, execution and results of Task 6 of the Aespoe Task Force on Modelling of Groundwater Flow and Transport of Solutes, which is seeking to provide a bridge between site characterization (SC) and performance assessment (PA) approaches to solute transport in fractured rock. The present report is concerned solely with Task 6C, which relates to the construction and parametrisation of a block-scale hydrostructural model of the TRUE Block Scale region of the Aespoe Hard Rock laboratory. The task objectives, specifications and outcome are summarised and reviewed. Also, consideration is given to how the hydrostructural model might affect the outcomes of Task 6D and 6E. The main conclusions of this review are summarised below: The Task 6C hydrostructural model is a more comprehensive approach to quantitatively describing a volume of fractured rock than has been achieved hitherto. The idea of including solute retention characteristics as indices attached to individual fractures is an efficient device resulting in a whole volume of fractured rock described by a few spreadsheets. The hydrostructural model is clearly defined and provides a useful test bed for Tasks 6D and 6E. It would have been beneficial if the specifications for Task 6C had been more clearly defined as a hierarchy of requirements, and performance measures had been defined and evaluated to allow comparison of alternative approaches. The device used to reduce connectivity, namely reducing the average size of background fractures, has the effect of producing a final model with an 'unnatural' gap in the overall distribution of fracture sizes. It appears that the exploratory boreholes could be important conductive structures within the region of the 200 m block even though they are segmented into shorter sections by packers. If correct, this implies that the boreholes should be included explicitly in the model if close replication of TRUE Block

  8. A Developmental Perspective in Learning the Mirror-Drawing Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona Sharon Julius

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Is there late maturation of skill learning? This notion has been raised to explain an adult advantage in learning a variety of tasks, such as auditory temporal-interval discrimination, locomotion adaptation, and drawing visually-distorted spatial patterns (mirror-drawing. Here, we test this assertion by following the practice of the mirror-drawing task in two 5 min daily sessions separated by a 10 min break, over the course of two days, in 5–6-year-old kindergarten children, 7–8-year-old second-graders, and young adults. In the mirror-drawing task, participants were required to trace a square while looking at their hand only as a reflection in a mirror. Kindergarteners did not show learning of the visual-motor mapping, and on average, did not produce even one full side of a square correctly. Second-graders showed increased online movement control with longer strokes, and robust learning of the visual-motor mapping, resulting in a between-day increase in the number of correctly drawn sides with no loss in accuracy. Overall, kindergarteners and second-graders producing at least one correct polygon-side on Day 1 were more likely to improve their performance between days. Adults showed better performance with greater improvements in the number of correctly drawn sides between- and within-days, and in accuracy between days. It has been suggested that 5-year-olds cannot learn the task due to their inability to detect and encapsulate previously produced accurate movements. Our findings suggest, instead, that these children did not have initial, accurate performance that could be enhanced through training. Recently, it has been shown that in a simple grapho-motor task the three age-groups improved their speed of performance within a session and between-days, while maintaining accuracy scores. Taken together, these data suggest that children's motor skill learning depends on the task’s characteristics and their adopting an efficient performance

  9. 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

  10. Testing Delays Resulting in Increased Identification Accuracy in Line-Ups and Show-Ups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekle, Dawn J.

    1997-01-01

    Investigated time delays (immediate, two-three days, one week) between viewing a staged theft and attempting an eyewitness identification. Compared lineups to one-person showups in a laboratory analogue involving 412 subjects. Results show that across all time delays, participants maintained a higher identification accuracy with the showup…

  11. Multi-task Vector Field Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Binbin; Yang, Sen; Zhang, Chiyuan; Ye, Jieping; He, Xiaofei

    2012-01-01

    Multi-task learning (MTL) aims to improve generalization performance by learning multiple related tasks simultaneously and identifying the shared information among tasks. Most of existing MTL methods focus on learning linear models under the supervised setting. We propose a novel semi-supervised and nonlinear approach for MTL using vector fields. A vector field is a smooth mapping from the manifold to the tangent spaces which can be viewed as a directional derivative of functions on the manifold. We argue that vector fields provide a natural way to exploit the geometric structure of data as well as the shared differential structure of tasks, both of which are crucial for semi-supervised multi-task learning. In this paper, we develop multi-task vector field learning (MTVFL) which learns the predictor functions and the vector fields simultaneously. MTVFL has the following key properties. (1) The vector fields MTVFL learns are close to the gradient fields of the predictor functions. (2) Within each task, the vector field is required to be as parallel as possible which is expected to span a low dimensional subspace. (3) The vector fields from all tasks share a low dimensional subspace. We formalize our idea in a regularization framework and also provide a convex relaxation method to solve the original non-convex problem. The experimental results on synthetic and real data demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach.

  12. Are gamers better crossers? An examination of action video game experience and dual task effects in a simulated street crossing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspar, John G; Neider, Mark B; Crowell, James A; Lutz, Aubrey; Kaczmarski, Henry; Kramer, Arthur F

    2014-05-01

    A high-fidelity street crossing simulator was used to test the hypothesis that experienced action video game players are less vulnerable than non-gamers to dual task costs in complex tasks. Previous research has shown that action video game players outperform nonplayers on many single task measures of perception and attention. It is unclear, however, whether action video game players outperform nonplayers in complex, divided attention tasks. Experienced action video game players and nongamers completed a street crossing task in a high-fidelity simulator. Participants walked on a manual treadmill to cross the street. During some crossings, a cognitively demanding working memory task was added. Dividing attention resulted in more collisions and increased decision making time. Of importance, these dual task costs were equivalent for the action video game players and the nongamers. These results suggest that action video game players are equally susceptible to the costs of dividing attention in a complex task. Perceptual and attentional benefits associated with action video game experience may not translate to performance benefits in complex, real-world tasks.

  13. Learners’ processes during pre-task planning and Working Memory Capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria da Gloria Tavares

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2016v69n1p79 The present study is part of a larger scale research (Guará-Tavares, 2011, 2013 that investigates the relationship among working memory capacity, pre-task planning, and L2 speech performance. The aim of the study was to analyze 1 what processes learners engage during pre-task planning, and 2 whether higher and lower working memory spans engage in different processes during pre-task planning. Learners’ processes were accessed by means of think aloud protocols and a retrospective interview. Working memory capacity was measured by the Speaking Span Test. Results show that learners engage mainly in organization of ideas, rehearsal, lexical searches, and monitoring.. Moreover, higher spans employ significantly more metacognitive strategies during planning when compared to lower spans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils eHolmberg

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9-year-old and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.

  15. 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.

  16. Prediction of rat behavior outcomes in memory tasks using functional connections among neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu Lu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Analyzing the neuronal organizational structures and studying the changes in the behavior of the organism is key to understanding cognitive functions of the brain. Although some studies have indicated that spatiotemporal firing patterns of neuronal populations have a certain relationship with the behavioral responses, the issues of whether there are any relationships between the functional networks comprised of these cortical neurons and behavioral tasks and whether it is possible to take advantage of these networks to predict correct and incorrect outcomes of single trials of animals are still unresolved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This paper presents a new method of analyzing the structures of whole-recorded neuronal functional networks (WNFNs and local neuronal circuit groups (LNCGs. The activity of these neurons was recorded in several rats. The rats performed two different behavioral tasks, the Y-maze task and the U-maze task. Using the results of the assessment of the WNFNs and LNCGs, this paper describes a realization procedure for predicting the behavioral outcomes of single trials. The methodology consists of four main parts: construction of WNFNs from recorded neuronal spike trains, partitioning the WNFNs into the optimal LNCGs using social community analysis, unsupervised clustering of all trials from each dataset into two different clusters, and predicting the behavioral outcomes of single trials. The results show that WNFNs and LNCGs correlate with the behavior of the animal. The U-maze datasets show higher accuracy for unsupervised clustering results than those from the Y-maze task, and these datasets can be used to predict behavioral responses effectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results of the present study suggest that a methodology proposed in this paper is suitable for analysis of the characteristics of neuronal functional networks and the prediction of rat behavior. These types of structures in cortical

  17. 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.

  18. A dissociation of dorso-lateral striatum and amygdala function on the same stimulus-response habit task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, R J; Hong, N S

    2004-01-01

    This experiment tested the idea that the amygdala-based learning and memory system covertly acquires a stimulus-reward (stimulus-outcome) association during acquisition of a stimulus-response (S-R) habit task developed for the eight-arm radial maze. Groups of rats were given dorso-lateral striatal or amygdala lesions and then trained on the S-R habit task on the eight-arm radial maze. Rats with neurotoxic damage to the dorso-lateral striatum were severely impaired on the acquisition of the S-R habit task but showed a conditioned-cue preference for the stimulus reinforced during S-R habit training. Rats with neurotoxic damage to the amygdala were able to acquire the S-R habit task but did not show a conditioned-cue preference for the stimulus reinforced during S-R habit training. This pattern of results represents a dissociation of learning and memory functions of the dorsal striatum and amygdala on the same task.

  19. Learners’ L1 Use in a Task-based Classroom

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bao, Rui; Du, Xiangyun

    2015-01-01

    , but with only a very small amount oc- curring for off-task talk across tasks. L1 use mainly occurred in learners’ efforts to mediate completion of the tasks. The findings highlight the role of L1 in foreign language learning and suggest that L1 use is associated with a number of factors, such as task types......’ extensive L1 use and off-task talk. Informed by sociocultural theory, this study explored the extent to which L1s and their func- tions were used when performing tasks. The subjects were beginner-level lower-secondary school learners of Chinese. The data shows that learners have a high amount of L1 use...

  20. Function approximation of tasks by neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gougam, L.A.; Chikhi, A.; Mekideche-Chafa, F.

    2008-01-01

    For several years now, neural network models have enjoyed wide popularity, being applied to problems of regression, classification and time series analysis. Neural networks have been recently seen as attractive tools for developing efficient solutions for many real world problems in function approximation. The latter is a very important task in environments where computation has to be based on extracting information from data samples in real world processes. In a previous contribution, we have used a well known simplified architecture to show that it provides a reasonably efficient, practical and robust, multi-frequency analysis. We have investigated the universal approximation theory of neural networks whose transfer functions are: sigmoid (because of biological relevance), Gaussian and two specified families of wavelets. The latter have been found to be more appropriate to use. The aim of the present contribution is therefore to use a m exican hat wavelet a s transfer function to approximate different tasks relevant and inherent to various applications in physics. The results complement and provide new insights into previously published results on this problem

  1. Mapping Learning Outcomes and Assignment Tasks for SPIDER Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyn Brodie

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Modern engineering programs have to address rapidly changing technical content and have to enable students to develop transferable skills such as critical evaluation, communication skills and lifelong learning. This paper introduces a combined learning and assessment activity that provides students with opportunities to develop and practice their soft skills, but also extends their theoretical knowledge base. Key tasks included self directed inquiry, oral and written communication as well as peer assessment. To facilitate the SPIDER activities (Select, Prepare and Investigate, Discuss, Evaluate, Reflect, a software tool has been implemented in the learning management system Moodle. Evidence shows increased student engagement and better learning outcomes for both transferable as well as technical skills. The study focuses on generalising the relationship between learning outcomes and assignment tasks as well as activities that drive these tasks. Trail results inform the approach. Staff evaluations and their views of assignments and intended learning outcomes also supported this analysis.

  2. Writing Tasks and Immediate Auditory Memory in Peruvian Schoolchildren

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Ventura-León

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the study is determine the relationship between a group of writing tasks and the immediate auditory memory, as well as to establish differences according to sex and level of study. Two hundred and three schoolchildren of fifth and sixth of elementary education from Lima (Peru participated, they were selected by a non-probabilistic sample. The Immediate Auditory Memory Test and the Battery for Evaluation of Writing Processes (known in Spanish as PROESC were used. Central tendency measures were used for descriptive analysis. We employed the Mann-Whitney U test, Spearman Rho test and probability of superiority as effect size measurement for the inferential analysis. The results indicated a moderate direct and significant correlation between writing tasks and immediate auditory memory in general way and low correlations between dimensions. Finally, it showed that the differences in immediate auditory memory and writing tasks according to sex and level of study does not have practical significance.

  3. Preliminary results of BRAVO project: brain computer interfaces for Robotic enhanced Action in Visuo-motOr tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergamasco, Massimo; Frisoli, Antonio; Fontana, Marco; Loconsole, Claudio; Leonardis, Daniele; Troncossi, Marco; Foumashi, Mohammad Mozaffari; Parenti-Castelli, Vincenzo

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the preliminary results of the project BRAVO (Brain computer interfaces for Robotic enhanced Action in Visuo-motOr tasks). The objective of this project is to define a new approach to the development of assistive and rehabilitative robots for motor impaired users to perform complex visuomotor tasks that require a sequence of reaches, grasps and manipulations of objects. BRAVO aims at developing new robotic interfaces and HW/SW architectures for rehabilitation and regain/restoration of motor function in patients with upper limb sensorimotor impairment through extensive rehabilitation therapy and active assistance in the execution of Activities of Daily Living. The final system developed within this project will include a robotic arm exoskeleton and a hand orthosis that will be integrated together for providing force assistance. The main novelty that BRAVO introduces is the control of the robotic assistive device through the active prediction of intention/action. The system will actually integrate the information about the movement carried out by the user with a prediction of the performed action through an interpretation of current gaze of the user (measured through eye-tracking), brain activation (measured through BCI) and force sensor measurements. © 2011 IEEE

  4. Earlier saccades to task-relevant targets irrespective of relative gain between peripheral and foveal information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christian; Schütz, Alexander C

    2017-06-01

    Saccades bring objects of interest onto the fovea for high-acuity processing. Saccades to rewarded targets show shorter latencies that correlate negatively with expected motivational value. Shorter latencies are also observed when the saccade target is relevant for a perceptual discrimination task. Here we tested whether saccade preparation is equally influenced by informational value as it is by motivational value. We defined informational value as the probability that information is task-relevant times the ratio between postsaccadic foveal and presaccadic peripheral discriminability. Using a gaze-contingent display, we independently manipulated peripheral and foveal discriminability of the saccade target. Latencies of saccades with perceptual task were reduced by 36 ms in general, but they were not modulated by the information saccades provide (Experiments 1 and 2). However, latencies showed a clear negative linear correlation with the probability that the target is task-relevant (Experiment 3). We replicated that the facilitation by a perceptual task is spatially specific and not due to generally heightened arousal (Experiment 4). Finally, the facilitation only emerged when the perceptual task is in the visual but not in the auditory modality (Experiment 5). Taken together, these results suggest that saccade latencies are not equally modulated by informational value as by motivational value. The facilitation by a perceptual task only arises when task-relevant visual information is foveated, irrespective of whether the foveation is useful or not.

  5. Phonological similarity in working memory span tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Michael; Macnamara, Brooke N; Conway, Andrew R A

    2016-08-01

    In a series of four experiments, we explored what conditions are sufficient to produce a phonological similarity facilitation effect in working memory span tasks. By using the same set of memoranda, but differing the secondary-task requirements across experiments, we showed that a phonological similarity facilitation effect is dependent upon the semantic relationship between the memoranda and the secondary-task stimuli, and is robust to changes in the representation, ordering, and pool size of the secondary-task stimuli. These findings are consistent with interference accounts of memory (Brown, Neath, & Chater, Psychological Review, 114, 539-576, 2007; Oberauer, Lewandowsky, Farrell, Jarrold, & Greaves, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 779-819, 2012), whereby rhyming stimuli provide a form of categorical similarity that allows distractors to be excluded from retrieval at recall.

  6. Parsing a cognitive task: a characterization of the mind's bottleneck.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariano Sigman

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Parsing a mental operation into components, characterizing the parallel or serial nature of this flow, and understanding what each process ultimately contributes to response time are fundamental questions in cognitive neuroscience. Here we show how a simple theoretical model leads to an extended set of predictions concerning the distribution of response time and its alteration by simultaneous performance of another task. The model provides a synthesis of psychological refractory period and random-walk models of response time. It merely assumes that a task consists of three consecutive stages-perception, decision based on noisy integration of evidence, and response-and that the perceptual and motor stages can operate simultaneously with stages of another task, while the central decision process constitutes a bottleneck. We designed a number-comparison task that provided a thorough test of the model by allowing independent variations in number notation, numerical distance, response complexity, and temporal asynchrony relative to an interfering probe task of tone discrimination. The results revealed a parsing of the comparison task in which each variable affects only one stage. Numerical distance affects the integration process, which is the only step that cannot proceed in parallel and has a major contribution to response time variability. The other stages, mapping the numeral to an internal quantity and executing the motor response, can be carried out in parallel with another task. Changing the duration of these processes has no significant effect on the variance.

  7. Client-related work tasks and meaning of work: results from a longitudinal study among eldercare workers in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tufte, Pernille; Clausen, Thomas; Nabe-Nielsen, Kirsten

    2011-01-01

    PURPOSE: To investigate the association between the perception of client-related work tasks and the experience of meaning of work among eldercare workers in the Danish eldercare sector. METHODS: We used baseline and follow-up questionnaire data from 3,985 female eldercare workers. The eldercare...... or rarely have this experience. Care workers who frequently experience to have to end a visit prematurely are significantly less likely to experience meaning of work at follow-up than care workers who rarely experience this. Experiences of having time to perform other than pre-planned tasks and to have...... workers' perception of the client-related work tasks was measured by six items. Meaning of work was measured by a three-item scale. General linear modelling was used to investigate the association between the client-related work tasks at baseline and experience of meaning of work at follow-up adjusted...

  8. Loads and loads and loads: The influence of prospective load, retrospective load, and ongoing task load in prospective memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beat eMeier

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In prospective memory tasks different kinds of load can occur. Adding a prospective memory task can impose a load on ongoing task performance. Adding ongoing task load can affect prospective memory performance. The existence of multiple target events increases prospective load and adding complexity to the to-be-remembered action increases retrospective load. In two experiments, we systematically examined the effects of these different types of load on prospective memory performance. Results showed an effect of prospective load on costs in the ongoing task for categorical targets (Experiment 2, but not for specific targets (Experiment 1. Retrospective load and ongoing task load both affected remembering the retrospective component of the prospective memory task. We suggest that prospective load can enhance costs in the ongoing task due to additional monitoring requirements. Retrospective load and ongoing task load seem to impact the division of resources between the ongoing task and retrieval of the retrospective component, which may affect disengagement from the ongoing task. In general, the results demonstrate that the different types of load affect prospective memory differentially.

  9. Privacy-Preserving Task Assignment in Spatial Crowdsourcing

    KAUST Repository

    Liu, An

    2017-09-20

    With the progress of mobile devices and wireless networks, spatial crowdsourcing (SC) is emerging as a promising approach for problem solving. In SC, spatial tasks are assigned to and performed by a set of human workers. To enable effective task assignment, however, both workers and task requesters are required to disclose their locations to untrusted SC systems. In this paper, we study the problem of assigning workers to tasks in a way that location privacy for both workers and task requesters is preserved. We first combine the Paillier cryptosystem with Yao’s garbled circuits to construct a secure protocol that assigns the nearest worker to a task. Considering that this protocol cannot scale to a large number of workers, we then make use of Geohash, a hierarchical spatial index to design a more efficient protocol that can securely find approximate nearest workers. We theoretically show that these two protocols are secure against semi-honest adversaries. Through extensive experiments on two real-world datasets, we demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of our protocols.

  10. Apathy symptoms modulate motivational decision making on the Iowa gambling task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Njomboro Progress

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The present study represents an initial attempt to assess the role of apathy in motivated decision making on the Iowa Gambling Task. Clinical descriptions of patients with apathy highlight deficits in the cognitive, emotional and behavioural aspects of goal directed activity, yet standard neurocognitive tests of these measures fail to demonstrate reliable sensitivity to the disorder. Available research suggests the Iowa Gambling Task is a robust test of complex emotional socio-executive processes involved in motivational decision making, which can analogue real-world goal-directed behaviour. Methods We ask whether performance on the Iowa Gambling Task can distinguish brain damaged patients with apathy symptoms from 1 brain damaged patients without apathy and 2 neurologically intact controls. Overall, 22 healthy adults and 29 brain damaged patients took part in this study. Results Brain damaged patients with apathy were distinctively impaired on the Iowa Gambling Task compared to both non-apathetic brain damaged patients and neurologically intact healthy controls. On the other hand, standard measures for the cognitive control of behaviour failed to show this sensitivity. Conclusions Our results demonstrated that the Iowa Gambling Task is sensitive to the presence of apathy symptoms. We discuss these findings in terms of neurocognition deficits in apathy and the related implications for rehabilitation and clinical intervention.

  11. Contaminated sediment research task: SHC Task 3.61.3

    Science.gov (United States)

    A poster presentation for the SHC BOSC review will summarize the research efforts under Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program (SHC) in the Contaminated Sediment Task within the Contaminated Sites Project. For the Task, Problem Summary & Decision Context; Task O...

  12. Parkinson's Disease Is Associated with Goal Setting Deficits during Task Switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiran, Nachshon; Friedman, Gilad; Yehene, Eynat

    2004-01-01

    Ten Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients and 10 control participants were tested using a task-switching paradigm in which there was a random task sequence, and the task was cued in every trial. Five PD patients showed a unique error profile. Their performance approximated guessing when accuracy was dependent on correct task identification, and was…

  13. Seeing is Believing: Formalising False-Belief Tasks in Dynamic Epistemic Logic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolander, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we show how to formalise false-belief tasks like the Sally-Anne task and the second-order chocolate task in Dynamic Epistemic Logic (DEL). False-belief tasks are used to test the strength of the Theory of Mind (ToM) of humans, that is, a human’s ability to attribute mental states...

  14. Determining greenhouse gas balances of biomass fuel cycles. Results to date from task 15 of IEA bio-energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlamadinger, B.; Spitzer, J.

    1997-01-01

    Selected activities of IEA Bio-energy Task 15 are described. Task 15 of IEA Bio-energy, entitled 'Greenhouse Gas Balances of Bio-energy Systems', aims at investigating processes involved in the use of bio-energy systems on a full fuel-cycle basis to establish overall greenhouse gas balances. The work of Task 15 includes, among other things, a compilation of existing data on greenhouse gas emissions from various biomass production and conversion processes, a standard methodology for greenhouse gas balances of bio-energy systems, a bibliography, and recommendations for selection of appropriate national strategies for greenhouse gas mitigation. (K.A.)

  15. Impact of time on task on ADHD patient's performances in a virtual classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bioulac, Stéphanie; Lallemand, Stéphanie; Rizzo, Albert; Philip, Pierre; Fabrigoule, Colette; Bouvard, Manuel Pierre

    2012-09-01

    Use of virtual reality tool is interesting for the evaluation of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) patients. The virtual environment offers the opportunity to administer controlled task like the typical neuropsychological tools, but in an environment much more like standard classroom. Previous studies showed that a virtual classroom was able to distinguish performances of children with and without ADHD, but the evolution of performances over time has not been explored. The aim of this work was to study time on task effects on performances of ADHD children compared to controls in a virtual classroom (VC). 36 boys aged from 7 to 10 years completed the virtual classroom task. We compared the performance of the children diagnosed with ADHD with those of the control children. We also compared attentional performances recorded in the virtual classroom with measures of the Continuous Performance Test (CPT II). Our results showed that patients differ from control subjects in term of time effect on performances. If controls sustained performances over time in the virtual reality task, ADHD patients showed a significant performance decrement over time. Performances at the VC correlated with CPT II measures. ADHD children are vulnerable to a time on task effect on performances which could explain part of their difficulties. Virtual reality is a reliable method to test ADHD children ability to sustain performances over time. Copyright © 2012 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Paired-Associate and Feedback-Based Weather Prediction Tasks Support Multiple Category Learning Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Kaiyun; Fu, Qiufang; Sun, Xunwei; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Fu, Xiaolan

    2016-01-01

    It remains unclear whether probabilistic category learning in the feedback-based weather prediction task (FB-WPT) can be mediated by a non-declarative or procedural learning system. To address this issue, we compared the effects of training time and verbal working memory, which influence the declarative learning system but not the non-declarative learning system, in the FB and paired-associate (PA) WPTs, as the PA task recruits a declarative learning system. The results of Experiment 1 showed...

  17. Improving multi-tasking ability through action videogames.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappe, Dan; Conger, Mark; Liao, Janet; Caldwell, J Lynn; Vu, Kim-Phuong L

    2013-03-01

    The present study examined whether action videogames can improve multi-tasking in high workload environments. Two groups with no action videogame experience were pre-tested using the Multi-Attribute Task Battery (MATB). It consists of two primary tasks; tracking and fuel management, and two secondary tasks; systems monitoring and communication. One group served as a control group, while a second played action videogames a minimum of 5 h a week for 10 weeks. Both groups returned for a post-assessment on the MATB. We found the videogame treatment enhanced performance on secondary tasks, without interfering with the primary tasks. Our results demonstrate action videogames can increase people's ability to take on additional tasks by increasing attentional capacity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  18. Neurophysiological and behavioral indices of time pressure effects on visuomotor task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slobounov, S M; Fukada, K; Simon, R; Rearick, M; Ray, W

    2000-06-01

    Using a video game format, this study examined the effects of time pressure (TP) on behavioral and electrocortical indices. The behavioral results were consistent with previous time pressure research in that TP reduced time to perform a task and increases behavioral errors. In addition, electroencephalogram (EEG) measures showed distinctive patterns associated with TP in the theta, mu, and gamma bands along the midline. Site specific changes in the success vs. failure trials were also seen in midline theta at Fz, gamma at Fz, and mu at Cz. Right parietal alpha also differentiated TP and success vs. failure trials. In specific TP (1) increased frontal midline theta activity and (2) increased gamma at midline (frontal, central, and partietal) and in right frontal areas. The results of these findings are discussed in terms of the formation of specific neurocognitive strategies as evidenced by the topographic distribution of task-related modulation of the EEG within certain frequency bands. It is suggested that the effect of TP on visuomotor performance is mediated by adopting either task-relevant or task-irrelevant neurocognitive strategies as evidenced by successful or failed trials, respectively. Whether these strategies are formulated prior to performance or appear spontaneously during task performance remains unclear and is awaiting further experimentation.

  19. The effect of personality type and musical task on self-perceived arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Hayoung A

    2008-01-01

    This study was designed to measure the level of arousal influenced by 4 different musical experiences classified by task difficulty and to examine the relationship between music-induced arousal level and personality type. Participants included 32 university students who were neither musicians nor music majors. The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975) was used to identify participants as either extravert or introvert. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 types of musical tasks: listening, singing, rhythm tapping, or keyboard playing. Arousal level was measured using the Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (ADACL) (Thayer, 1978) before and after the musical task. The ADACL is a self-report scale consisting of a list of 20 adjectives which describe various transitory arousal states, including energy, tiredness, tension, and calmness. Results showed no significant difference between personality types and the changes in arousal level. Result indicated a significant effect of listening on decreased tension arousal. Singing and rhythm tapping, which are regarded as having a relatively moderate task difficulty, increased energy arousal significantly and decreased tiredness arousal significantly. Participants' tiredness arousal levels also decreased significantly after keyboard playing. These findings suggest that engaging in musical experience that has a moderate level of task difficulty makes individuals more energetic and less tired.

  20. Towards open sharing of task-based fMRI data: The OpenfMRI project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell A Poldrack

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The large-scale sharing of task-based functional neuroimaging data has the potential to allow novel insights into the organization of mental function in the brain, but the field of neuroimaging has lagged behind other areas of bioscience in the development of data sharing resources. This paper describes the OpenFMRI project (accessible online at http://www.openfmri.org, which aims to provide the neuroimaging community with a resource to support open sharing of task-based fMRI studies. We describe the motivation behind the project, focusing particularly on how this project addresses some of the well-known challenges to sharing of task-based fMRI data. Results from a preliminary analysis of the current database are presented, which demonstrate the ability to classify between task contrasts with high generalization accuracy across subjects, and the ability to identify individual subjects from their activation maps with moderately high accuracy. Clustering analyses show that the similarity relations between statistical maps have a somewhat orderly relation to the mental functions engaged by the relevant tasks. These results highlight the potential of the project to support large-scale multivariate analyses of the relation between mental processes and brain function.

  1. Studying different tasks of implicit learning across multiple test sessions conducted on the web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner eSævland

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Implicit learning is usually studied through individual performance on a single task, with the most common tasks being Serial Reaction Time task (SRT; Nissen and Bullemer, 1987, Dynamic System Control task (DSC; (Berry and Broadbent, 1984 and artificial Grammar Learning task (AGL; (Reber, 1967. Few attempts have been made to compare performance across different implicit learning tasks within the same experiment. The current experiment was designed study the relationship between performance on the DSC Sugar factory task (Berry and Broadbent, 1984 and the Alternating Serial Reaction Time task (ASRT; (Howard and Howard, 1997. We also addressed another limitation to traditional implicit learning experiments, namely that implicit learning is usually studied in laboratory settings over a restricted time span lasting for less than an hour (Berry and Broadbent, 1984; Nissen and Bullemer, 1987; Reber, 1967. In everyday situations, implicit learning is assumed to involve a gradual accumulation of knowledge across several learning episodes over a larger time span (Norman and Price, 2012. One way to increase the ecological validity of implicit learning experiments could be to present the learning material repeatedly across shorter experimental sessions (Howard and Howard, 1997; Cleeremans and McClelland, 1991. This can most easily be done by using a web-based setup that participants can access from home. We therefore created an online web-based system for measuring implicit learning that could be administered in either single or multiple sessions. Participants (n = 66 were assigned to either a single-session or a multi-session condition. Learning and the degree of conscious awareness of the learned regularities was compared across condition (single vs. multiple sessions and tasks (DSC vs. ASRT. Results showed that learning on the two tasks was not related. However, participants in the multiple sessions condition did show greater improvements in reaction

  2. The role of rostral Brodmann area 6 in mental-operation tasks: an integrative neuroimaging approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanakawa, Takashi; Honda, Manabu; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Okada, Tomohisa; Yonekura, Yoshiharu; Fukuyama, Hidena; Shibasaki, Hiroshi

    2002-11-01

    Recent evidence indicates that classical 'motor' areas may also have cognitive functions. We performed three neuroimaging experiments to investigate the functional neuroanatomy underlying three types of nonmotor mental-operation tasks: numerical, verbal, and spatial. (i) Positron emission tomography showed that parts of the posterior frontal cortex, which are consistent with the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and the rostral part of the dorsolateral premotor cortex (PMdr), were active during all three tasks. We also observed activity in the posterior parietal cortex and cerebellar hemispheres during all three tasks. Electrophysiological monitoring confirmed that there were no skeletomotor, oculomotor or articulatory movements during task performance. (ii) Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) showed that PMdr activity during the mental-operation tasks was localized in the depths of the superior precentral sulcus, which substantially overlapped the region active during complex finger movements and was located dorsomedial to the presumptive frontal eye fields. (iii) Single-trial fMRI showed a transient increase in activity time-locked to the performance of mental operations in the pre-SMA and PMdr. The results of the present study suggest that the PMdr is important in the rule-based association of symbolic cues and responses in both motor and nonmotor behaviors.

  3. Dyslexic Children Show Atypical Cerebellar Activation and Cerebro-Cerebellar Functional Connectivity in Orthographic and Phonological Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xiaoxia; Li, Le; Zhang, Manli; Yang, Xiujie; Tian, Mengyu; Xie, Weiyi; Lu, Yao; Liu, Li; Bélanger, Nathalie N; Meng, Xiangzhi; Ding, Guosheng

    2017-04-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have found atypical cerebellar activation in individuals with dyslexia in either motor-related tasks or language tasks. However, studies investigating atypical cerebellar activation in individuals with dyslexia have mostly used tasks tapping phonological processing. A question that is yet unanswered is whether the cerebellum in individuals with dyslexia functions properly during orthographic processing of words, as growing evidence shows that the cerebellum is also involved in visual and spatial processing. Here, we investigated cerebellar activation and cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity during word processing in dyslexic readers and typically developing readers using tasks that tap orthographic and phonological codes. In children with dyslexia, we observed an abnormally higher engagement of the bilateral cerebellum for the orthographic task, which was negatively correlated with literacy measures. The greater the reading impairment was for young dyslexic readers, the stronger the cerebellar activation was. This suggests a compensatory role of the cerebellum in reading for children with dyslexia. In addition, a tendency for higher cerebellar activation in dyslexic readers was found in the phonological task. Moreover, the functional connectivity was stronger for dyslexic readers relative to typically developing readers between the lobule VI of the right cerebellum and the left fusiform gyrus during the orthographic task and between the lobule VI of the left cerebellum and the left supramarginal gyrus during the phonological task. This pattern of results suggests that the cerebellum compensates for reading impairment through the connections with specific brain regions responsible for the ongoing reading task. These findings enhance our understanding of the cerebellum's involvement in reading and reading impairment.

  4. Genoa Boat Show – Good Example of Event Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunja Demirović

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available International Boat Show, a business and tourist event, has been held annually in Italian city of Genoa since 1962. The fair is one of the oldest, largest and best known in the field of boating industry worldwide, primarily due to good management of the event and it can serve as case study for domestic fair organizers to improve the quality of their business and services. Since Belgrade is the city of fairs, but compared to Genoa still underdeveloped in terms of trade shows, the following tasks imposed naturally in this study: to determine the relationship of the organizers of Genoa Boat Show in the sector of preparation and fair offer, in the sector of selection and communication with specific target groups (especially visitors, services during the fair and functioning of the city during the fair. During the research the authors have mostly used historical method, comparison, synthesis and the interview method. The results of theoretical research, in addition, may help not only managers of fair shows and of exhibitions, but also to organizers of other events in our country

  5. Integration and Task Allocation: Evidence from Patient Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Guy; Rawley, Evan; Polsky, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Using the universe of patient transitions from inpatient hospital care to skilled nursing facilities and home health care in 2005, we show how integration eliminates task misallocation problems between organizations. We find that vertical integration allows hospitals to shift patient recovery tasks downstream to lower-cost organizations by discharging patients earlier (and in poorer health) and increasing post-hospitalization service intensity. While integration facilitates a shift in the allocation of tasks and resources, health outcomes either improved or were unaffected by integration on average. The evidence suggests that integration solves coordination problems that arise in market exchange through improvements in the allocation of tasks across care settings.

  6. Integration and Task Allocation: Evidence from Patient Care*

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Guy; Rawley, Evan; Polsky, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Using the universe of patient transitions from inpatient hospital care to skilled nursing facilities and home health care in 2005, we show how integration eliminates task misallocation problems between organizations. We find that vertical integration allows hospitals to shift patient recovery tasks downstream to lower-cost organizations by discharging patients earlier (and in poorer health) and increasing post-hospitalization service intensity. While integration facilitates a shift in the allocation of tasks and resources, health outcomes either improved or were unaffected by integration on average. The evidence suggests that integration solves coordination problems that arise in market exchange through improvements in the allocation of tasks across care settings. PMID:24415893

  7. Incidental orthographic learning during a color detection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protopapas, Athanassios; Mitsi, Anna; Koustoumbardis, Miltiadis; Tsitsopoulou, Sofia M; Leventi, Marianna; Seitz, Aaron R

    2017-09-01

    Orthographic learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge about specific spelling patterns forming words and about general biases and constraints on letter sequences. It is thought to occur by strengthening simultaneously activated visual and phonological representations during reading. Here we demonstrate that a visual perceptual learning procedure that leaves no time for articulation can result in orthographic learning evidenced in improved reading and spelling performance. We employed task-irrelevant perceptual learning (TIPL), in which the stimuli to be learned are paired with an easy task target. Assorted line drawings and difficult-to-spell words were presented in red color among sequences of other black-colored words and images presented in rapid succession, constituting a fast-TIPL procedure with color detection being the explicit task. In five experiments, Greek children in Grades 4-5 showed increased recognition of words and images that had appeared in red, both during and after the training procedure, regardless of within-training testing, and also when targets appeared in blue instead of red. Significant transfer to reading and spelling emerged only after increased training intensity. In a sixth experiment, children in Grades 2-3 showed generalization to words not presented during training that carried the same derivational affixes as in the training set. We suggest that reinforcement signals related to detection of the target stimuli contribute to the strengthening of orthography-phonology connections beyond earlier levels of visually-based orthographic representation learning. These results highlight the potential of perceptual learning procedures for the reinforcement of higher-level orthographic representations. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Perceptual and Conceptual Priming of Cue Encoding in Task Switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Darryl W.

    2016-01-01

    Transition effects in task-cuing experiments can be partitioned into task switching and cue repetition effects by using multiple cues per task. In the present study, the author shows that cue repetition effects can be partitioned into perceptual and conceptual priming effects. In 2 experiments, letters or numbers in their uppercase/lowercase or…

  10. 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).

  11. Time-sharing visual and auditory tracking tasks

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    Tsang, Pamela S.; Vidulich, Michael A.

    1987-01-01

    An experiment is described which examined the benefits of distributing the input demands of two tracking tasks as a function of task integrality. Visual and auditory compensatory tracking tasks were utilized. Results indicate that presenting the two tracking signals in two input modalities did not improve time-sharing efficiency. This was attributed to the difficulty insensitivity phenomenon.

  12. Improving 10th Graders’ English Communicative Competence Through the Implementation of the Task-Based Learning Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carolina Buitrago Campo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This article reports the results of an action-research project focused on improving students’ communicative competence in English through the task-based learning approach. This study was conducted in a co-educational public school in Medellín (Colombia with thirty-four tenth graders. Actions implemented include the development of a series of tasks and the definition of four thematic units consistent with the syllabus and students’ interests and needs. The results evidence students’ significant improvements in their communicative competence in English. Findings also show that implementation of the task-based approach was affected by factors related to the teachers’ role and others related to students’ performance.

  13. Research on multirobot pursuit task allocation algorithm based on emotional cooperation factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Baofu; Chen, Lu; Wang, Hao; Dai, Shuanglu; Zhong, Qiubo

    2014-01-01

    Multirobot task allocation is a hot issue in the field of robot research. A new emotional model is used with the self-interested robot, which gives a new way to measure self-interested robots' individual cooperative willingness in the problem of multirobot task allocation. Emotional cooperation factor is introduced into self-interested robot; it is updated based on emotional attenuation and external stimuli. Then a multirobot pursuit task allocation algorithm is proposed, which is based on emotional cooperation factor. Combined with the two-step auction algorithm recruiting team leaders and team collaborators, set up pursuit teams, and finally use certain strategies to complete the pursuit task. In order to verify the effectiveness of this algorithm, some comparing experiments have been done with the instantaneous greedy optimal auction algorithm; the results of experiments show that the total pursuit time and total team revenue can be optimized by using this algorithm.

  14. Active explorers show low learning performance in a social insect

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Eve UDINO; Margot PEREZ; Claudio CARERE; Patrizia d'ETTORRE

    2017-01-01

    An intriguing question in behavioral biology is whether consistent individual differences (called animal personalities) relate to variation in cognitive performance because commonly measured personality traits may be associated with risk-reward trade-offs.Social insects,whose learning abilities have been extensively characterized,show consistent behavioral variability,both at colony and at individual level.We investigated the possible link between personality traits and learning performance in the carpenter ant Camponotus aethiops.Exploratory activity,sociability,and aggression were assessed twice in ant foragers.Behaviors differed among individuals,they were partly repeatable across time and exploratory activity correlated positively with aggression.Learning abilities were quantified by differential conditioning of the maxilla-labium extension response,a task that requires cue perception and information storage.We found that exploratory activity of individual ants significantly predicted learning performance:"active-explorers" were slower in learning the task than "inactive-explorers".The results suggest for the first time a link between a personality trait and cognitive performance in eusocial insects,and that the underlying individual variability could affect colony performance and success.

  15. Cognitive flexibility in young children: General or task-specific capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deák, Gedeon O; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-10-01

    Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing tasks or problems. To test whether cognitive flexibility is a coherent cognitive capacity in young children, we tested 3- to 5-year-olds' performance on two forms of task switching, rule-based (Three Dimension Changes Card Sorting, 3DCCS) and inductive (Flexible Induction of Meaning-Animates and Objects, FIM-Ob and FIM-An), as well as tests of response speed, verbal working memory, inhibition, and reasoning. Results suggest that cognitive flexibility is not a globally coherent trait; only the two inductive word-meaning (FIM) tests showed high inter-test coherence. Task- and knowledge-specific factors also determine children's flexibility in a given test. Response speed, vocabulary size, and causal reasoning skills further predicted individual and age differences in flexibility, although they did not have the same predictive relation with all three flexibility tests. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. A proposal to manage multi-task dialogs in conversational interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David GRIOL

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The emergence of smart devices and recent advances in spoken language technology are currently extending the use of conversational interfaces and spoken interaction to perform many tasks. The dialog management task of a conversational interface consists of selecting the next system response considering the user's actions, the dialog history, and the results of accessing the data repositories. In this paper we describe a dialog management technique adapted to multi-task conversational systems. In our proposal, specialized dialog models are used to deal with each specific subtask of dialog objective for which the dialog system has been designed. The practical application of the proposed technique to develop a dialog system acting as a customer support service shows that the use of these specialized dialog models increases the quality and number of successful interactions with the system in comparison with developing a single dialog model.

  17. Understanding decision making about balancing two stocks: the faculty gender balancing task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bleijenbergh, I.L.; Vennix, J.A.M.; Jacobs, H.A.G.M.; Engen, M.L. van; Engen, M. van

    2016-01-01

    This paper contributes to the understanding of dynamic decision making. Using the faculty gender balancing task, we experimentally test the extent to which participants correctly estimate the inflow needed to balance two unbalanced stocks and how they substantiate their decision. The results show

  18. Task modulation of disyllabic spoken word recognition in Mandarin Chinese: a unimodal ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xianjun; Yang, Jin-Chen; Chang, Ruohan; Guo, Chunyan

    2016-05-16

    Using unimodal auditory tasks of word-matching and meaning-matching, this study investigated how the phonological and semantic processes in Chinese disyllabic spoken word recognition are modulated by top-down mechanism induced by experimental tasks. Both semantic similarity and word-initial phonological similarity between the primes and targets were manipulated. Results showed that at early stage of recognition (~150-250 ms), an enhanced P2 was elicited by the word-initial phonological mismatch in both tasks. In ~300-500 ms, a fronto-central negative component was elicited by word-initial phonological similarities in the word-matching task, while a parietal negativity was elicited by semantically unrelated primes in the meaning-matching task, indicating that both the semantic and phonological processes can be involved in this time window, depending on the task requirements. In the late stage (~500-700 ms), a centro-parietal Late N400 was elicited in both tasks, but with a larger effect in the meaning-matching task than in the word-matching task. This finding suggests that the semantic representation of the spoken words can be activated automatically in the late stage of recognition, even when semantic processing is not required. However, the magnitude of the semantic activation is modulated by task requirements.

  19. Cognitive task analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schraagen, J.M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Cognitive task analysis is defined as the extension of traditional task analysis techniques to yield information about the knowledge, thought processes and goal structures that underlie observable task performance. Cognitive task analyses are conducted for a wide variety of purposes, including the

  20. Thoughts in flight: automation use and pilots' task-related and task-unrelated thought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casner, Stephen M; Schooler, Jonathan W

    2014-05-01

    The objective was to examine the relationship between cockpit automation use and task-related and task-unrelated thought among airline pilots. Studies find that cockpit automation can sometimes relieve pilots of tedious control tasks and afford them more time to think ahead. Paradoxically, automation has also been shown to lead to lesser awareness. These results prompt the question of what pilots think about while using automation. A total of 18 airline pilots flew a Boeing 747-400 simulator while we recorded which of two levels of automation they used. As they worked, pilots were verbally probed about what they were thinking. Pilots were asked to categorize their thoughts as pertaining to (a) a specific task at hand, (b) higher-level flight-related thoughts (e.g.,planning ahead), or (c) thoughts unrelated to the flight. Pilots' performance was also measured. Pilots reported a smaller percentage of task-at-hand thoughts (27% vs. 50%) and a greater percentage of higher-level flight-related thoughts (56% vs. 29%) when using the higher level of automation. However, when all was going according to plan, using either level of automation, pilots also reported a higher percentage of task-unrelated thoughts (21%) than they did when in the midst of an unsuccessful performance (7%). Task-unrelated thoughts peaked at 25% when pilots were not interacting with the automation. Although cockpit automation may provide pilots with more time to think, it may encourage pilots to reinvest only some of this mental free time in thinking flight-related thoughts. This research informs the design of human-automation systems that more meaningfully engage the human operator.

  1. Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Performing Eye-Hand Integration Tasks: Four Preliminary Studies with Children Showing Low-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panerai, Simonetta; Tasca, Domenica; Lanuzza, Bartolo; Trubia, Grazia; Ferri, Raffaele; Musso, Sabrina; Alagona, Giovanna; Di Guardo, Giuseppe; Barone, Concetta; Gaglione, Maria P.; Elia, Maurizio

    2014-01-01

    This report, based on four studies with children with low-functioning autism, aimed at evaluating the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation delivered on the left and right premotor cortices on eye-hand integration tasks; defining the long-lasting effects of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; and…

  2. Two Simon tasks with different sources of conflict: an ERP study of motion- and location-based compatibility effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galashan, Daniela; Wittfoth, Matthias; Fehr, Thorsten; Herrmann, Manfred

    2008-07-01

    Behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of two Simon tasks were examined using comparable stimuli but different task-irrelevant and conflict-inducing stimulus features. Whereas target shape was always the task-relevant stimulus attribute, either target location (location-based task) or motion direction within the target stimuli (motion-based task) was used as a source of conflict. Data from ten healthy participants who performed both tasks are presented. In the motion-based task the incompatible condition showed smaller P300 amplitudes at Pz than the compatible condition and the location-based task yielded a trend towards a reduced P300 amplitude in the incompatible condition. For both tasks, no P300 latency differences between the conditions were found at Pz. The results suggest that the motion-based task elicits behavioral and electrophysiological effects comparable with regular Simon tasks. As all stimuli in the motion-based Simon task were presented centrally the present data strongly argue against the attention-shifting account as an explanatory approach.

  3. The Effects of Pre-Task Planning and On-line Planning on Fluency, Complexity, and Accuracy in L2 Monologic Oral Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Fangyuan; Ellis, Rod

    2003-01-01

    Investigated the effects of both pre-task and on-line planning on second language (L2) oral production. Results show that pre-task planning enhances grammatical complexity while on-line planning positively influences accuracy and grammatical complexity. Pre-task planners also produced more fluent and lexically varied language than the on-line…

  4. Research on safety evaluation model for in-vehicle secondary task driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Lisheng; Xian, Huacai; Niu, Qingning; Bie, Jing

    2015-08-01

    This paper presents a new method for evaluating in-vehicle secondary task driving safety. There are five in-vehicle distracter tasks: tuning the radio to a local station, touching the touch-screen telephone menu to a certain song, talking with laboratory assistant, answering a telephone via Bluetooth headset, and finding the navigation system from Ipad4 computer. Forty young drivers completed the driving experiment on a driving simulator. Measures of fixations, saccades, and blinks are collected and analyzed. Based on the measures of driver eye movements which have significant difference between the baseline and secondary task driving conditions, the evaluation index system is built. The Analytic Network Process (ANP) theory is applied for determining the importance weight of the evaluation index in a fuzzy environment. On the basis of the importance weight of the evaluation index, Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation (FCE) method is utilized to evaluate the secondary task driving safety. Results show that driving with secondary tasks greatly distracts the driver's attention from road and the evaluation model built in this study could estimate driving safety effectively under different driving conditions. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Task-related fMRI in hemiplegic cerebral palsy-A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaberova, Katerina; Pacheva, Iliyana; Ivanov, Ivan

    2018-04-27

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used widely to study reorganization after early brain injuries. Unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP) is an appealing model for studying brain plasticity by fMRI. To summarize the results of task-related fMRI studies in UCP in order to get better understanding of the mechanism of neuroplasticity of the developing brain and its reorganization potential and better translation of this knowledge to clinical practice. A systematic search was conducted on the PubMed database by keywords: "cerebral palsy", "congenital hemiparesis", "unilateral", "Magnetic resonance imaging" , "fMRI", "reorganization", and "plasticity" The exclusion criteria were as follows: case reports; reviews; studies exploring non-UCP patients; and studies with results of rehabilitation. We found 7 articles investigated sensory tasks; 9 studies-motor tasks; 12 studies-speech tasks. Ipsilesional reorganization is dominant in sensory tasks (in 74/77 patients), contralesional-in only 3/77. In motor tasks, bilateral activation is found in 64/83, only contralesional-in 11/83, and only ipsilesional-8/83. Speech perception is bilateral in 35/51, only or dominantly ipsilesional (left-sided) in 8/51, and dominantly contralesional (right-sided) in 8/51. Speech production is only or dominantly contralesional (right-sided) in 88/130, bilateral-26/130, and only or dominantly ipsilesional (left-sided)-in 16/130. The sensory system is the most "rigid" to reorganization probably due to absence of ipsilateral (contralesional) primary somatosensory representation. The motor system is more "flexible" due to ipsilateral (contralesional) motor pathways. The speech perception and production show greater flexibility resulting in more bilateral or contralateral activation. The models of reorganization are variable, depending on the development and function of each neural system and the extent and timing of the damage. The plasticity patterns may guide therapeutic intervention and

  6. Age-related effects on postural control under multi-task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granacher, Urs; Bridenbaugh, Stephanie A; Muehlbauer, Thomas; Wehrle, Anja; Kressig, Reto W

    2011-01-01

    Changes in postural sway and gait patterns due to simultaneously performed cognitive (CI) and/or motor interference (MI) tasks have previously been reported and are associated with an increased risk of falling in older adults. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of a CI and/or MI task on static and dynamic postural control in young and elderly subjects, and to find out whether there is an association between measures of static and dynamic postural control while concurrently performing the CI and/or MI task. A total of 36 healthy young (n = 18; age: 22.3 ± 3.0 years; BMI: 21.0 ± 1.6 kg/m(2)) and elderly adults (n = 18; age: 73.5 ± 5.5 years; BMI: 24.2 ± 2.9 kg/m(2)) participated in this study. Static postural control was measured during bipedal stance, and dynamic postural control was obtained while walking on an instrumented walkway. Irrespective of the task condition, i.e. single-task or multiple tasks, elderly participants showed larger center-of-pressure displacements and greater stride-to-stride variability than younger participants. Associations between measures of static and dynamic postural control were found only under the single-task condition in the elderly. Age-related deficits in the postural control system seem to be primarily responsible for the observed results. The weak correlations detected between static and dynamic measures could indicate that fall-risk assessment should incorporate dynamic measures under multi-task conditions, and that skills like erect standing and walking are independent of each other and may have to be trained complementarily. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. Adapting to an initial self-regulatory task cancels the ego depletion effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Junhua; Dewitte, Siegfried; Mao, Lihua; Xiao, Shanshan; Shi, Yucai

    2013-09-01

    The resource-based model of self-regulation provides a pessimistic view of self-regulation that people are destined to lose their self-control after having engaged in any act of self-regulation because these acts deplete the limited resource that people need for successful self-regulation. The cognitive control theory, however, offers an alternative explanation and suggests that the depletion effect reflects switch costs between different cognitive control processes recruited to deal with demanding tasks. This account implies that the depletion effect will not occur once people have had the opportunity to adapt to the self-regulatory task initially engaged in. Consistent with this idea, the present study showed that engaging in a demanding task led to performance deficits on a subsequent self-regulatory task (i.e. the depletion effect) only when the initial demanding task was relatively short but not when it was long enough for participants to adapt. Our results were unrelated to self-efficacy, mood, and motivation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Phytoceramide Shows Neuroprotection and Ameliorates Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seikwan Oh

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The function and the role phytoceramide (PCER and phytosphingosine (PSO in the central nervous system has not been well studied. This study was aimed at investigating the possible roles of PCER and PSO in glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in cultured neuronal cells and memory function in mice. Phytoceramide showed neuro-protective activity in the glutamate-induced toxicity in cultured cortical neuronal cells. Neither phytosphingosine nor tetraacetylphytosphingosine (TAPS showed neuroproective effects in neuronal cells. PCER (50 mg/kg, p.o. recovered the scopolamine-induced reduction in step-through latency in the passive avoidance test; however, PSO did not modulate memory function on this task. The ameliorating effects of PCER on spatial memory were confirmed by the Morris water maze test. In conclusion, through behavioral and neurochemical experimental results, it was demonstrated that central administration of PCER produces amelioration of memory impairment. These results suggest that PCER plays an important role in neuroprotection and memory enhancement and PCER could be a potential new therapeutic agent for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

  10. Children's Task Engagement during Challenging Puzzle Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feihong; Algina, James; Snyder, Patricia; Cox, Martha

    2017-01-01

    We examined children's task engagement during a challenging puzzle task in the presence of their primary caregivers by using a representative sample of rural children from six high-poverty counties across two states. Weighted longitudinal confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to identify a task engagement factor…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Emergence of task-dependent representations in working memory circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina eSavin

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A wealth of experimental evidence suggests that working memory circuits preferentially represent information that is behaviorally relevant. Still, we are missing a mechanistic account of how these representations come about. Here we provide a simple explanation for a range of experimental findings, in light of prefrontal circuits adapting to task constraints by reward-dependent learning. In particular, we model a neural network shaped by reward-modulated spike-timing dependent plasticity (r-STDP and homeostatic plasticity (intrinsic excitability and synaptic scaling. We show that the experimentally-observed neural representations naturally emerge in an initially unstructured circuit as it learns to solve several working memory tasks. These results point to a critical, and previously unappreciated, role for reward-dependent learning in shaping prefrontal cortex activity.

  13. Sort-Mid tasks scheduling algorithm in grid computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reda, Naglaa M; Tawfik, A; Marzok, Mohamed A; Khamis, Soheir M

    2015-11-01

    Scheduling tasks on heterogeneous resources distributed over a grid computing system is an NP-complete problem. The main aim for several researchers is to develop variant scheduling algorithms for achieving optimality, and they have shown a good performance for tasks scheduling regarding resources selection. However, using of the full power of resources is still a challenge. In this paper, a new heuristic algorithm called Sort-Mid is proposed. It aims to maximizing the utilization and minimizing the makespan. The new strategy of Sort-Mid algorithm is to find appropriate resources. The base step is to get the average value via sorting list of completion time of each task. Then, the maximum average is obtained. Finally, the task has the maximum average is allocated to the machine that has the minimum completion time. The allocated task is deleted and then, these steps are repeated until all tasks are allocated. Experimental tests show that the proposed algorithm outperforms almost other algorithms in terms of resources utilization and makespan.

  14. Paired-Associate and Feedback-Based Weather Prediction Tasks Support Multiple Category Learning Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kaiyun; Fu, Qiufang; Sun, Xunwei; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Fu, Xiaolan

    2016-01-01

    It remains unclear whether probabilistic category learning in the feedback-based weather prediction task (FB-WPT) can be mediated by a non-declarative or procedural learning system. To address this issue, we compared the effects of training time and verbal working memory, which influence the declarative learning system but not the non-declarative learning system, in the FB and paired-associate (PA) WPTs, as the PA task recruits a declarative learning system. The results of Experiment 1 showed that the optimal accuracy in the PA condition was significantly decreased when the training time was reduced from 7 to 3 s, but this did not occur in the FB condition, although shortened training time impaired the acquisition of explicit knowledge in both conditions. The results of Experiment 2 showed that the concurrent working memory task impaired the optimal accuracy and the acquisition of explicit knowledge in the PA condition but did not influence the optimal accuracy or the acquisition of self-insight knowledge in the FB condition. The apparent dissociation results between the FB and PA conditions suggested that a non-declarative or procedural learning system is involved in the FB-WPT and provided new evidence for the multiple-systems theory of human category learning.

  15. The application of subjective job task analysis techniques in physically demanding occupations: evidence for the presence of self-serving bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee-Bates, Benjamin; Billing, Daniel C; Caputi, Peter; Carstairs, Greg L; Linnane, Denise; Middleton, Kane

    2017-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine if perceptions of physically demanding job tasks are biased by employee demographics and employment profile characteristics including: age, sex, experience, length of tenure, rank and if they completed or supervised a task. Surveys were administered to 427 Royal Australian Navy personnel who characterised 33 tasks in terms of physical effort, importance, frequency, duration and vertical/horizontal distance travelled. Results showed no evidence of bias resulting from participant characteristics, however participants who were actively involved in both task participation and supervision rated these tasks as more important than those involved only in the supervision of that task. This may indicate self-serving bias in which participants that are more actively involved in a task had an inflated perception of that task's importance. These results have important implications for the conduct of job task analyses, especially the use of subjective methodologies in the development of scientifically defensible physical employment standards. Practitioner Summary: To examine the presence of systematic bias in subjective job task analysis methodologies, a survey was conducted on a sample of Royal Australian Navy personnel. The relationship between job task descriptions and participant's demographic and job profile characteristics revealed the presence of self-serving bias affecting perceptions of task importance.

  16. Bias-trigger manipulation and task-form understanding in Monty Hall

    OpenAIRE

    Kaivanto, Kim; Kroll, Eike B.; Zabinski, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Monty Hall is a difficult task which triggers multiple biases. With sophisticated subjects and treatments that reverse and eliminate these triggers, non-rational choice is greatly reduced. Among task-familiar subjects, non-rational choice can can fall to background-error levels. But as our data also show, task-form recognition is necessary but not sufficient for rational choice when the task calls for conditional probability reasoning rather than simple rule-based behavior, as in e.g. 'Switch...

  17. Quantity processing in deaf and hard of hearing children: evidence from symbolic and nonsymbolic comparison tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Santos, José Miguel; Calleja, Marina; García-Orza, Javier; Iza, Mauricio; Damas, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Deaf children usually achieve lower scores on numerical tasks than normally hearing peers. Explanations for mathematical disabilities in hearing children are based on quantity representation deficits (Geary, 1994) or on deficits in accessing these representations (Rousselle & Noël, 2008). The present study aimed to verify, by means of symbolic (Arabic digits) and nonsymbolic (dot constellations and hands) magnitude comparison tasks, whether deaf children show deficits in representations or in accessing numerical representations. The study participants were 10 prelocutive deaf children and 10 normally hearing children. Numerical distance and magnitude were manipulated. Response time (RT) analysis showed similar magnitude and distance effects in both groups on the 3 tasks. However, slower RTs were observed among the deaf participants on the symbolic task alone. These results suggest that although both groups' quantity representations were similar, the deaf group experienced a delay in accessing representations from symbolic codes.

  18. The influence of LED lighting on task accuracy: time of day, gender and myopia effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Feng; Chan, A. H. S.; Zhu, Xi-Fang

    2017-07-01

    In this research, task errors were obtained during performance of a marker location task in which the markers were shown on a computer screen under nine LED lighting conditions; three illuminances (100, 300 and 500 lx) and three color temperatures (3000, 4500 and 6500 K). A total of 47 students participated voluntarily in these tasks. The results showed that task errors in the morning were small and nearly constant across the nine lighting conditions. However in the afternoon, the task errors were significantly larger and varied across lighting conditions. The largest errors for the afternoon session occurred when the color temperature was 4500 K and illuminance 500 lx. There were significant differences between task errors in the morning and afternoon sessions. No significant difference between females and males was found. Task errors for high myopia students were significantly larger than for the low myopia students under the same lighting conditions. In summary, the influence of LED lighting on task accuracy during office hours was not gender dependent, but was time of day and myopia dependent.

  19. Transfer of an induced preferred retinal locus of fixation to everyday life visual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barraza-Bernal, Maria J; Rifai, Katharina; Wahl, Siegfried

    2017-12-01

    Subjects develop a preferred retinal locus of fixation (PRL) under simulation of central scotoma. If systematic relocations are applied to the stimulus position, PRLs manifest at a location in favor of the stimulus relocation. The present study investigates whether the induced PRL is transferred to important visual tasks in daily life, namely pursuit eye movements, signage reading, and text reading. Fifteen subjects with normal sight participated in the study. To develop a PRL, all subjects underwent a scotoma simulation in a prior study, where five subjects were trained to develop the PRL in the left hemifield, five different subjects on the right hemifield, and the remaining five subjects could naturally chose the PRL location. The position of this PRL was used as baseline. Under central scotoma simulation, subjects performed a pursuit task, a signage reading task, and a reading-text task. In addition, retention of the behavior was also studied. Results showed that the PRL position was transferred to the pursuit task and that the vertical location of the PRL was maintained on the text reading task. However, when reading signage, a function-driven change in PRL location was observed. In addition, retention of the PRL position was observed over weeks and months. These results indicate that PRL positions can be induced and may further transferred to everyday life visual tasks, without hindering function-driven changes in PRL position.

  20. Cloud computing task scheduling strategy based on differential evolution and ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Junwei; Cai, Yu; Fang, Yiqiu

    2018-05-01

    This paper proposes a task scheduling strategy DEACO based on the combination of Differential Evolution (DE) and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO), aiming at the single problem of optimization objective in cloud computing task scheduling, this paper combines the shortest task completion time, cost and load balancing. DEACO uses the solution of the DE to initialize the initial pheromone of ACO, reduces the time of collecting the pheromone in ACO in the early, and improves the pheromone updating rule through the load factor. The proposed algorithm is simulated on cloudsim, and compared with the min-min and ACO. The experimental results show that DEACO is more superior in terms of time, cost, and load.

  1. Results and recommendations from the reactor chemistry and corrosion tasks of the reactor materials program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baumann, E.W.; Ondrejcin, R.S.

    1990-11-01

    Within the general context of extended service life, the Reactor Materials Program was initiated in 1984. This comprehensive program addressed material performance in SRS reactor tanks and the primary coolant or Process Water System (PWS) piping. Three of the eleven tasks concerned moderator quality and corrosion mitigation. Definition and control of the stainless steel aqueous environment is a key factor in corrosion mitigation. The Reactor Materials Program systematically investigated the SRS environment and its effect on crack initiation and propagation in stainless steel, with the objective of improving this environment. The purpose of this report is to summarize the contributions of Tasks 6, 7 and 10 of the Reactor Materials Program to the understanding and control of moderator quality and its relationship to mitigation of stress corrosion cracking

  2. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, R.Z.; Woicik, P.A.; Maloney, T.; Tomasi, D.; Alia-Klein, N.; Shan, J.; Honorario, J.; Samaras, D.; Wang, R.; Telang, F.; Wang, G.-J.; Volkow, N.D.

    2010-01-01

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested.

  3. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldstein, R.Z.; Goldstein, R.Z.; Woicik, P.A.; Maloney, T.; Tomasi, D.; Alia-Klein, N.; Shan, J.; Honorario, J.; Samaras, d.; Wang, R.; Telang, F.; Wang, G.-J.; Volkow, N.D.

    2010-09-21

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested.

  4. Bridge-in-a-backpack(TM) task 3.3 : investigate soil-structure interaction-modeling and experimental results of concrete filled FRP tube arches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    This report includes fulfillment of Task 3.3 of a multi-task contract to further enhance concrete filled FRP tubes, or : the Bridge in a Backpack. Task 3 is an investigation of soil-structure interaction for the FRP tubes. Task 3.3 is the : modeling ...

  5. Approaching neuropsychological tasks through adaptive neurorobots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gigliotta, Onofrio; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Miglino, Orazio

    2015-04-01

    Neuropsychological phenomena have been modelized mainly, by the mainstream approach, by attempting to reproduce their neural substrate whereas sensory-motor contingencies have attracted less attention. In this work, we introduce a simulator based on the evolutionary robotics platform Evorobot* in order to setting up in silico neuropsychological tasks. Moreover, in this study we trained artificial embodied neurorobotic agents equipped with a pan/tilt camera, provided with different neural and motor capabilities, to solve a well-known neuropsychological test: the cancellation task in which an individual is asked to cancel target stimuli surrounded by distractors. Results showed that embodied agents provided with additional motor capabilities (a zooming/attentional actuator) outperformed simple pan/tilt agents, even those equipped with more complex neural controllers and that the zooming ability is exploited to correctly categorising presented stimuli. We conclude that since the sole neural computational power cannot explain the (artificial) cognition which emerged throughout the adaptive process, such kind of modelling approach can be fruitful in neuropsychological modelling where the importance of having a body is often neglected.

  6. Loads and loads and loads: the influence of prospective load, retrospective load, and ongoing task load in prospective memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Beat; Zimmermann, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    In prospective memory tasks different kinds of load can occur. Adding a prospective memory task can impose a load on ongoing task performance. Adding ongoing task load (OTL) can affect prospective memory performance. The existence of multiple target events increases prospective load (PL) and adding complexity to the to-be-remembered action increases retrospective load (RL). In two experiments, we systematically examined the effects of these different types of load on prospective memory performance. Results showed an effect of PL on costs in the ongoing task for categorical targets (Experiment 2), but not for specific targets (Experiment 1). RL and OTL both affected remembering the retrospective component of the prospective memory task. We suggest that PL can enhance costs in the ongoing task due to additional monitoring requirements. RL and OTL seem to impact the division of resources between the ongoing task and retrieval of the retrospective component, which may affect disengagement from the ongoing task. In general, the results demonstrate that the different types of load affect prospective memory differentially. PMID:26082709

  7. Loads and loads and loads: the influence of prospective load, retrospective load, and ongoing task load in prospective memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Beat; Zimmermann, Thomas D

    2015-01-01

    In prospective memory tasks different kinds of load can occur. Adding a prospective memory task can impose a load on ongoing task performance. Adding ongoing task load (OTL) can affect prospective memory performance. The existence of multiple target events increases prospective load (PL) and adding complexity to the to-be-remembered action increases retrospective load (RL). In two experiments, we systematically examined the effects of these different types of load on prospective memory performance. Results showed an effect of PL on costs in the ongoing task for categorical targets (Experiment 2), but not for specific targets (Experiment 1). RL and OTL both affected remembering the retrospective component of the prospective memory task. We suggest that PL can enhance costs in the ongoing task due to additional monitoring requirements. RL and OTL seem to impact the division of resources between the ongoing task and retrieval of the retrospective component, which may affect disengagement from the ongoing task. In general, the results demonstrate that the different types of load affect prospective memory differentially.

  8. Task-focused behavior mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and students' academic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiuru, Noona; Pakarinen, Eija; Vasalampi, Kati; Silinskas, Gintautas; Aunola, Kaisa; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Metsäpelto, Riitta-Leena; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2014-04-01

    In the longitudinal study presented here, we tested the theoretical assumption that children's task-focused behavior in learning situations mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and academic performance. The sample consisted of 2,137 Finnish-speaking children. Data on supportive interpersonal environments (characterized by authoritative parenting, positive teacher affect toward the child, and peer acceptance) were gathered in Grade 1. The children's task-focused behavior was measured in Grades 2 and 3, and academic performance was measured in Grades 1 and 4. The results supported our assumption by showing that all three supportive environments were positively associated with children's subsequent academic performance via increased task-focused behavior in learning situations. These findings suggest that students' academic performance can be promoted by increasing the support they receive from peers, parents, and teachers because such increased support leads to better task focus in learning tasks.

  9. Single-task fMRI overlap predicts concurrent multitasking interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2014-10-15

    There is no consensus regarding the origin of behavioral interference that occurs during concurrent multitasking. Some evidence points toward a multitasking locus in the brain, while other results imply that interference is the consequence of task interactions in several brain regions. To investigate this issue, we conducted a functional MRI (fMRI) study consisting of three component tasks, which were performed both separately and in combination. The results indicated that no specific multitasking area exists. Instead, different patterns of activation across conditions could be explained by assuming that the interference is a result of task interactions. Additionally, similarity in single-task activation patterns correlated with a decrease in accuracy during dual-task conditions. Taken together, these results support the view that multitasking interference is not due to a bottleneck in a single "multitasking" brain region, but is a result of interactions between concurrently running processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Normative data on the n-back task for children and young adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelegrina, Santiago; Lechuga, M Teresa; García-Madruga, Juan A; Elosúa, M Rosa; Macizo, Pedro; Carreiras, Manuel; Fuentes, Luis J; Bajo, M Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The n-back task is a frequently used measure of working memory (WM) in cognitive neuroscience research contexts, and it has become widely adopted in other areas over the last decade. This study aimed to obtain normative data for the n-back task from a large sample of children and adolescents. To this end, a computerized verbal n-back task with three levels of WM load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back) was administered to 3722 Spanish school children aged 7-13 years. Results showed an overall age-related increase in performance for the different levels of difficulty. This trend was less pronounced at 1-back than at 2-back when hits were considered. Gender differences were also observed, with girls outperforming boys although taking more time to respond. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed. Normative data stratified by age and gender for the three WM load levels are provided.

  11. Normative data on the n-back task for children and young adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago ePelegrina

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The n-back task is a frequently used measure of working memory (WM in cognitive neuroscience research contexts, and it has become widely adopted in other areas over the last decade. This study aimed to obtain normative data for the n-back task from a large sample of children and adolescents. To this end, a computerized verbal n-back task with three levels of WM load (1-back, 2-back and 3-back was administered to 3722 Spanish school children aged 7–13 years. Results showed an overall age-related increase in performance for the different levels of difficulty. This trend was less pronounced at 1-back than at 2-back when hits were considered. Gender differences were also observed, with girls outperforming boys although taking more time to respond. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed. Normative data stratified by age and gender for the three WM load levels are provided.

  12. Walking and talking: an investigation of cognitive-motor dual tasking in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, F; Rochester, L; Paul, L; Rafferty, D; O'Leary, C P; Evans, J J

    2009-10-01

    Deficits in motor functioning, including walking, and in cognitive functions, including attention, are known to be prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS), though little attention has been paid to how impairments in these areas of functioning interact. This study investigated the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive task when walking in people with MS. Level of task demand was manipulated to investigate whether this affected level of dual-task decrement. Eighteen participants with MS and 18 healthy controls took part. Participants completed walking and cognitive tasks under single- and dual-task conditions. Compared to healthy controls, MS participants showed greater decrements in performance under dual-task conditions in cognitive task performance, walking speed and swing time variability. In the MS group, the degree of decrement under dual-task conditions was related to levels of fatigue, a measure of general cognitive functioning and self-reported everyday cognitive errors, but not to measures of disease severity or duration. Difficulty with walking and talking in MS may be a result of a divided attention deficit or of overloading of the working memory system, and further investigation is needed. We suggest that difficulty with walking and talking in MS may lead to practical problems in everyday life, including potentially increasing the risk of falls. Clinical tools to assess cognitive-motor dual-tasking ability are needed.

  13. Investigating pointing tasks across angularly coupled display areas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hennecke, Fabian; De Luca, Alexander; Nguyen, Ngo Dieu Huong

    2013-01-01

    Pointing tasks are a crucial part of today’s graphical user interfaces. They are well understood for flat displays and most prominently are modeled through Fitts’ Law. For novel displays (e.g., curved displays with multi-purpose areas), however, it remains unclear whether such models for predicting...... that the target position affects overall pointing speed and offset in both conditions. However, we also found that Fitts’ Law can in fact still be used to predict performance as on flat displays. Our results help designers to optimize user interfaces on angularly coupled displays when pointing tasks are involved....... user performance still hold – in particular when pointing is performed across differently oriented areas. To answer this question, we conducted an experiment on an angularly coupled display – the Curve – with two input conditions: direct touch and indirect mouse pointer. Our findings show...

  14. 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

  15. Adaptive Incremental Genetic Algorithm for Task Scheduling in Cloud Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kairong Duan

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Cloud computing is a new commercial model that enables customers to acquire large amounts of virtual resources on demand. Resources including hardware and software can be delivered as services and measured by specific usage of storage, processing, bandwidth, etc. In Cloud computing, task scheduling is a process of mapping cloud tasks to Virtual Machines (VMs. When binding the tasks to VMs, the scheduling strategy has an important influence on the efficiency of datacenter and related energy consumption. Although many traditional scheduling algorithms have been applied in various platforms, they may not work efficiently due to the large number of user requests, the variety of computation resources and complexity of Cloud environment. In this paper, we tackle the task scheduling problem which aims to minimize makespan by Genetic Algorithm (GA. We propose an incremental GA which has adaptive probabilities of crossover and mutation. The mutation and crossover rates change according to generations and also vary between individuals. Large numbers of tasks are randomly generated to simulate various scales of task scheduling problem in Cloud environment. Based on the instance types of Amazon EC2, we implemented virtual machines with different computing capacity on CloudSim. We compared the performance of the adaptive incremental GA with that of Standard GA, Min-Min, Max-Min , Simulated Annealing and Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm in finding the optimal scheme. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can achieve feasible solutions which have acceptable makespan with less computation time.

  16. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuo, Zhao; Cai, Shi-Min; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Zhang, Jie

    2011-09-01

    The functional network of the brain is known to demonstrate modular structure over different hierarchical scales. In this paper, we systematically investigated the hierarchical modular organizations of the brain functional networks that are derived from the extent of phase synchr