for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real......Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....
Mulligan, Jeffrey B.; Gontar, Patrick
Multi-person teams are sometimes responsible for critical tasks, such as flying an airliner. Here we present a method using gaze tracking data to assess shared visual attention, a term we use to describe the situation where team members are attending to a common set of elements in the environment. Gaze data are quantized with respect to a set of N areas of interest (AOIs); these are then used to construct a time series of N dimensional vectors, with each vector component representing one of the AOIs, all set to 0 except for the component corresponding to the currently fixated AOI, which is set to 1. The resulting sequence of vectors can be averaged in time, with the result that each vector component represents the proportion of time that the corresponding AOI was fixated within the given time interval. We present two methods for comparing sequences of this sort, one based on computing the time-varying correlation of the averaged vectors, and another based on a chi-square test testing the hypothesis that the observed gaze proportions are drawn from identical probability distributions. We have evaluated the method using synthetic data sets, in which the behavior was modeled as a series of "activities," each of which was modeled as a first-order Markov process. By tabulating distributions for pairs of identical and disparate activities, we are able to perform a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, allowing us to choose appropriate criteria and estimate error rates. We have applied the methods to data from airline crews, collected in a high-fidelity flight simulator (Haslbeck, Gontar & Schubert, 2014). We conclude by considering the problem of automatic (blind) discovery of activities, using methods developed for text analysis.
Spratling, M W; Johnson, M H
Feedback connections are a prominent feature of cortical anatomy and are likely to have a significant functional role in neural information processing. We present a neural network model of cortical feedback that successfully simulates neurophysiological data associated with attention. In this domain, our model can be considered a more detailed, and biologically plausible, implementation of the biased competition model of attention. However, our model is more general as it can also explain a variety of other top-down processes in vision, such as figure/ground segmentation and contextual cueing. This model thus suggests that a common mechanism, involving cortical feedback pathways, is responsible for a range of phenomena and provides a unified account of currently disparate areas of research.
Bylinskii, Z; DeGennaro, E M; Rajalingham, R; Ruda, H; Zhang, J; Tsotsos, J K
Scores of visual attention models have been developed over the past several decades of research. Differences in implementation, assumptions, and evaluations have made comparison of these models very difficult. Taxonomies have been constructed in an attempt at the organization and classification of models, but are not sufficient at quantifying which classes of models are most capable of explaining available data. At the same time, a multitude of physiological and behavioral findings have been published, measuring various aspects of human and non-human primate visual attention. All of these elements highlight the need to integrate the computational models with the data by (1) operationalizing the definitions of visual attention tasks and (2) designing benchmark datasets to measure success on specific tasks, under these definitions. In this paper, we provide some examples of operationalizing and benchmarking different visual attention tasks, along with the relevant design considerations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Evans, K.K.; Horowitz, T.S.; Howe, P.; Pedersini, R.; Reijnen, E.; Pinto, Y.; Wolfe, J.M.
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, ‘visual attention’ describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act
Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Roberts, Katherine L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
Mathematical and computational models have provided useful insights into normal and impaired visual attention, but less progress has been made in modelling auditory attention. We are developing a Theory of Auditory Attention (TAA), based on an influential visual model, the Theory of Visual...... Attention (TVA). We report that TVA provides a good fit to auditory data when the stimuli are closely matched to those used in visual studies. In the basic visual TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of letters (e...... the auditory data, producing good estimates of the rate at which information is encoded (C), the minimum exposure duration required for processing to begin (t0), and the relative attentional weight to targets versus distractors (α). Future work will address the issue of target-distractor confusion, and extend...
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a cognitive model for visual attention is introduced. The cognitive model is part of the design of a software agent that supports a naval warfare officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. An executable formal specification of the cognitive model
Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
modelled using a log-logistic function than an exponential function. A more challenging difference is that in the partial report task, there is more target-distractor confusion for auditory than visual stimuli. This failure of object-formation (prior to attentional object-selection) is not yet effectively......We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel......, and that there is a ‘race’ for selection and representation in visual short term memory (VSTM). In the basic TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of the letters (e.g., the red letters; partial report). Fitting the model...
Krüger, Alexander; Tünnermann, Jan; Scharlau, Ingrid
For almost three decades, the theory of visual attention (TVA) has been successful in mathematically describing and explaining a wide variety of phenomena in visual selection and recognition with high quantitative precision. Interestingly, the influence of feature contrast on attention has been included in TVA only recently, although it has been extensively studied outside the TVA framework. The present approach further develops this extension of TVA's scope by measuring and modeling salience. An empirical measure of salience is achieved by linking different (orientation and luminance) contrasts to a TVA parameter. In the modeling part, the function relating feature contrasts to salience is described mathematically and tested against alternatives by Bayesian model comparison. This model comparison reveals that the power function is an appropriate model of salience growth in the dimensions of orientation and luminance contrast. Furthermore, if contrasts from the two dimensions are combined, salience adds up additively.
Yu, Yuanlong; Mann, George K I; Gosine, Raymond G
By extending integrated competition hypothesis, this paper presents an object-based visual attention model, which selects one object of interest using low-dimensional features, resulting that visual perception starts from a fast attentional selection procedure. The proposed attention model involves seven modules: learning of object representations stored in a long-term memory (LTM), preattentive processing, top-down biasing, bottom-up competition, mediation between top-down and bottom-up ways, generation of saliency maps, and perceptual completion processing. It works in two phases: learning phase and attending phase. In the learning phase, the corresponding object representation is trained statistically when one object is attended. A dual-coding object representation consisting of local and global codings is proposed. Intensity, color, and orientation features are used to build the local coding, and a contour feature is employed to constitute the global coding. In the attending phase, the model preattentively segments the visual field into discrete proto-objects using Gestalt rules at first. If a task-specific object is given, the model recalls the corresponding representation from LTM and deduces the task-relevant feature(s) to evaluate top-down biases. The mediation between automatic bottom-up competition and conscious top-down biasing is then performed to yield a location-based saliency map. By combination of location-based saliency within each proto-object, the proto-object-based saliency is evaluated. The most salient proto-object is selected for attention, and it is finally put into the perceptual completion processing module to yield a complete object region. This model has been applied into distinct tasks of robots: detection of task-specific stationary and moving objects. Experimental results under different conditions are shown to validate this model.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas
research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing......The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...
Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.
Visual scenes have enormous spatial and temporal information that are transduced into neural spike trains. Psychophysical experiments indicate that only a small portion of a spatial image is consciously accessible. Electrophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have revealed a number of modulations of the neural activity in special visual area known as V4, when the animal is paying attention directly towards a particular stimulus location. The nature of the attentional input to V4, however, remains unknown as well as to the mechanisms responsible for these modulations. We use a biophysical neural network model of V4 to address these issues. We first constrain our model to reproduce the experimental results obtained for different external stimulus configurations and without paying attention. To reproduce the known neuronal response variability, we found that the neurons should receive about equal, or balanced, levels of excitatory and inhibitory inputs and whose levels are high as they are in in vivo conditions. Next we consider attentional inputs that can induce and reproduce the observed spiking modulations. We also elucidate the role played by the neural network to generate these modulations
Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
constrained by a limited processing capacity or rate, which is distributed among target and distractor objects with distractor objects receiving a smaller proportion of resources due to attentional filtering. Encoding into a limited visual short-term memory is implemented as a race model. Given its major...
Full Text Available Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1, and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model.
Le Meur, Olivier; Barba, Dominique; Le Callet, Patrick; Thoreau, Dominique
In this paper, a coherent computational model of visual selective attention for color pictures is described and its performances are precisely evaluated. The model based on some important behaviours of the human visual system is composed of four parts: visibility, perception, perceptual grouping and saliency map construction. This paper focuses mainly on its performances assessment by achieving extended subjective and objective comparisons with real fixation points captured by an eye-tracking system used by the observers in a task-free viewing mode. From the knowledge of the ground truth, qualitatively and quantitatively comparisons have been made in terms of the measurement of the linear correlation coefficient (CC) and of the Kulback Liebler divergence (KL). On a set of 10 natural color images, the results show that the linear correlation coefficient and the Kullback Leibler divergence are of about 0.71 and 0.46, respectively. CC and Kl measures with this model are respectively improved by about 4% and 7% compared to the best model proposed by L.Itti. Moreover, by comparing the ability of our model to predict eye movements produced by an average observer, we can conclude that our model succeeds quite well in predicting the spatial locations of the most important areas of the image content.
Itti, L; Dhavale, N; Pighin, F
We describe a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates, and its application to the automatic animation of a realistic virtual human head watching an unconstrained...
Wang, Wenguan; Shen, Jianbing
In this work, we aim to predict human eye fixation with view-free scenes based on an end-to-end deep learning architecture. Although Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have made substantial improvement on human attention prediction, it is still needed to improve CNN based attention models by efficiently leveraging multi-scale features. Our visual attention network is proposed to capture hierarchical saliency information from deep, coarse layers with global saliency information to shallow, fine layers with local saliency response. Our model is based on a skip-layer network structure, which predicts human attention from multiple convolutional layers with various reception fields. Final saliency prediction is achieved via the cooperation of those global and local predictions. Our model is learned in a deep supervision manner, where supervision is directly fed into multi-level layers, instead of previous approaches of providing supervision only at the output layer and propagating this supervision back to earlier layers. Our model thus incorporates multi-level saliency predictions within a single network, which significantly decreases the redundancy of previous approaches of learning multiple network streams with different input scales. Extensive experimental analysis on various challenging benchmark datasets demonstrate our method yields state-of-the-art performance with competitive inference time.
Mathot, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan
In the present review, we address the relationship between attention and visual stability. Even though with each eye, head and body movement the retinal image changes dramatically, we perceive the world as stable and are able to perform visually guided actions. However, visual stability is not as
Fang, Yuming; Zhang, Chi; Li, Jing; Lei, Jianjun; Perreira Da Silva, Matthieu; Le Callet, Patrick
In this paper, we investigate the visual attention modeling for stereoscopic video from the following two aspects. First, we build one large-scale eye tracking database as the benchmark of visual attention modeling for stereoscopic video. The database includes 47 video sequences and their corresponding eye fixation data. Second, we propose a novel computational model of visual attention for stereoscopic video based on Gestalt theory. In the proposed model, we extract the low-level features, including luminance, color, texture, and depth, from discrete cosine transform coefficients, which are used to calculate feature contrast for the spatial saliency computation. The temporal saliency is calculated by the motion contrast from the planar and depth motion features in the stereoscopic video sequences. The final saliency is estimated by fusing the spatial and temporal saliency with uncertainty weighting, which is estimated by the laws of proximity, continuity, and common fate in Gestalt theory. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art stereoscopic video saliency detection models on our built large-scale eye tracking database and one other database (DML-ITRACK-3D).
Park, Min Chul; Kim, Sung Kyu; Son, Jung-Young
Human visual attention system has a remarkable ability to interpret complex scenes with the ease and simplicity by selecting or focusing on a small region of visual field without scanning the whole images. In this paper, a novel selective visual attention model by using 3D image display system for a stereo pair of images is proposed. It is based on the feature integration theory and locates ROI(region of interest) or FOA(focus of attention). The disparity map obtained from a stereo pair of images is exploited as one of spatial visual features to form a set of topographic feature maps in our approach. Though the true human cognitive mechanism on the analysis and integration process might be different from our assumption the proposed attention system matches well with the results found by human observers.
Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi
Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity......, and measurements are highly reliable. As the method is theoretically founded, it also has high validity. TVA-based assessment has recently been used to investigate a broad range of neuropsychological and neurological conditions. We present the method, including the experimental paradigm and practical guidelines...... to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical...
Bosse, T.; Lambalgen, R. van; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a system for visual attention manipulation is introduced and formally described. This system is part of the design of a software agent that supports naval crew in her task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in hich the system is used
Alastair Charles Smith
Full Text Available Language-mediated visual attention describes the interaction of two fundamental components of the human cognitive system, language and vision. Within this paper we present an amodal shared resource model of language-mediated visual attention that offers a description of the information and processes involved in this complex multimodal behaviour and a potential explanation for how this ability is acquired. We demonstrate that the model is not only sufficient to account for the experimental effects of Visual World Paradigm studies but also that these effects are emergent properties of the architecture of the model itself, rather than requiring separate information processing channels or modular processing systems. The model provides an explicit description of the connection between the modality-specific input from language and vision and the distribution of eye gaze in language mediated visual attention. The paper concludes by discussing future applications for the model, specifically its potential for investigating the factors driving observed individual differences in language mediated eye gaze.
Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R
Models of divisive normalization can explain the trial-averaged responses of neurons in sensory, association, and motor areas under a wide range of conditions, including how visual attention changes the gains of neurons in visual cortex. Attention, like other modulatory processes, is also associated with changes in the extent to which pairs of neurons share trial-to-trial variability. We showed recently that in addition to decreasing correlations between similarly tuned neurons within the same visual area, attention increases correlations between neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) and that an extension of a classic normalization model can account for this correlation increase. One of the benefits of having a descriptive model that can account for many physiological observations is that it can be used to probe the mechanisms underlying processes such as attention. Here, we use electrical microstimulation in V1 paired with recording in MT to provide causal evidence that the relationship between V1 and MT activity is nonlinear and is well described by divisive normalization. We then use the normalization model and recording and microstimulation experiments to show that the attention dependence of V1-MT correlations is better explained by a mechanism in which attention changes the weights of connections between V1 and MT than by a mechanism that modulates responses in either area. Our study shows that normalization can explain interactions between neurons in different areas and provides a framework for using multiarea recording and stimulation to probe the neural mechanisms underlying neuronal computations.
Wyble, Brad; Potter, Mary C.; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
Is one's temporal perception of the world truly as seamless as it appears? This article presents a computationally motivated theory suggesting that visual attention samples information from temporal episodes (episodic simultaneous type/serial token model; Wyble, Bowman, & Nieuwenstein, 2009). Breaks
Full Text Available A few previous studies have illustrated the potentials of compact polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (CP SAR in ship detection. In this paper, we design a ship detection algorithm of CP SAR from the perspective of computer vision. A ship detection algorithm using the pulsed cosine transform (PCT visual attention model is proposed to suppress background clutter and highlight conspicuous ship targets. It is the first time that a visual attention model is introduced to CP SAR application. The proposed algorithm is a quick and complete framework for practical use. Polarimetric features—the relative phase δ and volume scattering component—are extracted from m-δ decomposition to eliminate false alarms and modify the PCT model. The constant false alarm rate (CFAR algorithm based on lognormal distribution is adopted to detect ship targets, after a clutter distribution fitting procedure of the modified saliency map. The proposed method is then tested on three simulated circular-transmit-linear-receive (CTLR mode images, which covering East Sea of China. Compared with the detection results of SPAN and the saliency map with only single-channel amplitude, the proposed method achieves the highest detection rates and the lowest misidentification rate and highest figure of merit, proving the effectiveness of polarimetric information of compact polarimetric SAR ship detection and the enhancement from the visual attention model.
Sun, Yuejiao; Lei, Wuhu; Ren, Xiaodong
The traditional methods of detecting ship targets in remote sensing images mostly use sliding window to search the whole image comprehensively. However, the target usually occupies only a small fraction of the image. This method has high computational complexity for large format visible image data. The bottom-up selective attention mechanism can selectively allocate computing resources according to visual stimuli, thus improving the computational efficiency and reducing the difficulty of analysis. Considering of that, a method of ship target detection in remote sensing images based on visual attention model was proposed in this paper. The experimental results show that the proposed method can reduce the computational complexity while improving the detection accuracy, and improve the detection efficiency of ship targets in remote sensing images.
Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D; Smith, Philip L
A central question in working memory research concerns the degree to which information in working memory is accessible to other cognitive processes (e.g., decision-making). Theories assuming that the focus of attention can only store a single object at a time require the focus to orient to a target representation before further processing can occur. The need to orient the focus of attention implies that single-object accounts typically predict response time costs associated with object selection even when working memory is not full (i.e., memory load is less than 4 items). For other theories that assume storage of multiple items in the focus of attention, predictions depend on specific assumptions about the way resources are allocated among items held in the focus, and how this affects the time course of retrieval of items from the focus. These broad theoretical accounts have been difficult to distinguish because conventional analyses fail to separate components of empirical response times related to decision-making from components related to selection and retrieval processes associated with accessing information in working memory. To better distinguish these response time components from one another, we analyze data from a probed visual working memory task using extensions of the diffusion decision model. Analysis of model parameters revealed that increases in memory load resulted in (a) reductions in the quality of the underlying stimulus representations in a manner consistent with a sample size model of visual working memory capacity and (b) systematic increases in the time needed to selectively access a probed representation in memory. The results are consistent with single-object theories of the focus of attention. The results are also consistent with a subset of theories that assume a multiobject focus of attention in which resource allocation diminishes both the quality and accessibility of the underlying representations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016
Marques-Carneiro, J E; Faure, J-B; Barbelivien, A; Nehlig, A; Cassel, J-C
Even if considered benign, absence epilepsy may alter memory and attention, sometimes subtly. Very little is known on behavior and cognitive functions in the Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) model of absence epilepsy. We focused on different memory systems and sustained visual attention, using Non Epileptic Controls (NECs) and Wistars as controls. A battery of cognitive/behavioral tests was used. The functionality of reference, working, and procedural memory was assessed in the Morris water maze (MWM), 8-arm radial maze, T-maze and/or double-H maze. Sustained visual attention was evaluated in the 5-choice serial reaction time task. In the MWM, GAERS showed delayed learning and less efficient working memory. In the 8-arm radial maze and T-maze tests, working memory performance was normal in GAERS, although most GAERS preferred an egocentric strategy (based on proprioceptive/kinesthetic information) to solve the task, but could efficiently shift to an allocentric strategy (based on spatial cues) after protocol alteration. Procedural memory and visual attention were mostly unimpaired. Absence epilepsy has been associated with some learning problems in children. In GAERS, the differences in water maze performance (slower learning of the reference memory task and weak impairment of working memory) and in radial arm maze strategies suggest that cognitive alterations may be subtle, task-specific, and that normal performance can be a matter of strategy adaptation. Altogether, these results strengthen the "face validity" of the GAERS model: in humans with absence epilepsy, cognitive alterations are not easily detectable, which is compatible with subtle deficits. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
An attention cascade model is proposed to account for attentional blinks in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of stimuli. Data were collected using single characters in a single RSVP stream at 10 Hz [Shih, S., & Reeves, A. (2007). "Attentional capture in rapid serial visual presentation." "Spatial Vision", 20(4), 301-315], and single words,…
Kreutzer, Sylvia; Fink, Gereon R; Weidner, Ralph
The current study determined in healthy subjects (n = 16) whether size adaptation occurs at early, i.e., preattentive, levels of processing or whether higher cognitive processes such as attention can modulate the illusion. To investigate this issue, bottom-up stimulation was kept constant across conditions by using a single adaptation display containing both small and large adapter stimuli. Subjects' attention was directed to either the large or small adapter stimulus by means of a luminance detection task. When attention was directed toward the small as compared to the large adapter, the perceived size of the subsequent target was significantly increased. Data suggest that different size adaptation effects can be induced by one and the same stimulus depending on the current allocation of attention. This indicates that size adaptation is subject to attentional modulation. These findings are in line with previous research showing that transient as well as sustained attention modulates visual features, such as contrast sensitivity and spatial frequency, and influences adaptation in other contexts, such as motion adaptation (Alais & Blake, 1999; Lankheet & Verstraten, 1995). Based on a recently suggested model (Pooresmaeili, Arrighi, Biagi, & Morrone, 2013), according to which perceptual adaptation is based on local excitation and inhibition in V1, we conclude that guiding attention can boost these local processes in one or the other direction by increasing the weight of the attended adapter. In sum, perceptual adaptation, although reflected in changes of neural activity at early levels (as shown in the aforementioned study), is nevertheless subject to higher-order modulation.
Voort van der Kleij, van der Gwendid T.
This thesis investigates the mechanisms of stimulus-driven visual attention (global saliency), the mechanisms of top-down visual attention, and the interaction between these mechanisms, in visual search. Following the outline of an existing model of top-down visual attention, namely the Closed-Loop
Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.
Wang, Leiquan; Chu, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Weishan; Wei, Yiwei; Sun, Weichen; Wu, Chunlei
Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS) COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.
Full Text Available Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.
Gvozdenović Vasilije P.
Full Text Available The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT, based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constructs of FIT, like types of visual search and the role of the attention. The following review describes the main studies of early vision and visual attention.
Fabricius, Charlotte; Petersen, Anders; Iversen, Helle K
Objective: Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere. However, attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed...... and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. We also relate these attentional parameters to visual word recognition, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Methods: Nine patients with MR-verified focal lesions in the PCA......-territory (four left PCA; four right PCA; one bilateral, all >1 year post stroke) were compared to 25 controls using single case statistics. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific speed and span measurements. We also characterized visual field defects...
Wang, Deng-wei; Zhang, Tian-xu; Shi, Wen-jun; Wei, Long-sheng; Wang, Xiao-ping; Ao, Guo-qing
Infrared images at sea background are notorious for the low signal-to-noise ratio, therefore, the target recognition of infrared image through traditional methods is very difficult. In this paper, we present a novel target recognition method based on the integration of visual attention computational model and conventional approach (selective filtering and segmentation). The two distinct techniques for image processing are combined in a manner to utilize the strengths of both. The visual attention algorithm searches the salient regions automatically, and represented them by a set of winner points, at the same time, demonstrated the salient regions in terms of circles centered at these winner points. This provides a priori knowledge for the filtering and segmentation process. Based on the winner point, we construct a rectangular region to facilitate the filtering and segmentation, then the labeling operation will be added selectively by requirement. Making use of the labeled information, from the final segmentation result we obtain the positional information of the interested region, label the centroid on the corresponding original image, and finish the localization for the target. The cost time does not depend on the size of the image but the salient regions, therefore the consumed time is greatly reduced. The method is used in the recognition of several kinds of real infrared images, and the experimental results reveal the effectiveness of the algorithm presented in this paper.
Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a
Wickens, Christopher; Vieanne, Alex; Clegg, Benjamin; Sebok, Angelia; Janes, Jessica
Fifty six participants time shared a spacecraft environmental control system task with a realistic space robotic arm control task in either a manual or highly automated version. The former could suffer minor failures, whose diagnosis and repair were supported by a decision aid. At the end of the experiment this decision aid unexpectedly failed. We measured visual attention allocation and switching between the two tasks, in each of the eight conditions formed by manual-automated arm X expected-unexpected failure X monitoring- failure management. We also used our multi-attribute task switching model, based on task attributes of priority interest, difficulty and salience that were self-rated by participants, to predict allocation. An un-weighted model based on attributes of difficulty, interest and salience accounted for 96 percent of the task allocation variance across the 8 different conditions. Task difficulty served as an attractor, with more difficult tasks increasing the tendency to stay on task.
Johnson, Aaron W; Duda, Kevin R; Sheridan, Thomas B; Oman, Charles M
This article describes a closed-loop, integrated human-vehicle model designed to help understand the underlying cognitive processes that influenced changes in subject visual attention, mental workload, and situation awareness across control mode transitions in a simulated human-in-the-loop lunar landing experiment. Control mode transitions from autopilot to manual flight may cause total attentional demands to exceed operator capacity. Attentional resources must be reallocated and reprioritized, which can increase the average uncertainty in the operator's estimates of low-priority system states. We define this increase in uncertainty as a reduction in situation awareness. We present a model built upon the optimal control model for state estimation, the crossover model for manual control, and the SEEV (salience, effort, expectancy, value) model for visual attention. We modify the SEEV attention executive to direct visual attention based, in part, on the uncertainty in the operator's estimates of system states. The model was validated using the simulated lunar landing experimental data, demonstrating an average difference in the percentage of attention ≤3.6% for all simulator instruments. The model's predictions of mental workload and situation awareness, measured by task performance and system state uncertainty, also mimicked the experimental data. Our model supports the hypothesis that visual attention is influenced by the uncertainty in system state estimates. Conceptualizing situation awareness around the metric of system state uncertainty is a valuable way for system designers to understand and predict how reallocations in the operator's visual attention during control mode transitions can produce reallocations in situation awareness of certain states.
Zhu, Chen; Zhao, Yanpeng; Huang, Shuaiyi; Tu, Kewei; Ma, Yi
Visual attention, which assigns weights to image regions according to their relevance to a question, is considered as an indispensable part by most Visual Question Answering models. Although the questions may involve complex relations among multiple regions, few attention models can effectively encode such cross-region relations. In this paper, we demonstrate the importance of encoding such relations by showing the limited effective receptive field of ResNet on two datasets, and propose to mo...
88-0551 Visual Motion Perception and Visual Attentive Processes George Spering , New YorkUnivesity A -cesson For DTIC TAB rant AFOSR 85-0364... Spering . HIPSt: A Unix-based image processing syslem. Computer Vision, Graphics, and Image Processing, 1984,25. 331-347. ’HIPS is the Human Information...Processing Laboratory’s Image Processing System. 1985 van Santen, Jan P. It, and George Spering . Elaborated Reichardt detectors. Journal of the Optical
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742
Mayo, J Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the "guardian" of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visual processing.
Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.
Gvozdenović Vasilije P.
The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT), based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constru...
Reynolds, Greg D
This paper explores the role visual attention plays in the recognition of objects in infancy. Research and theory on the development of infant attention and recognition memory are reviewed in three major sections. The first section reviews some of the major findings and theory emerging from a rich tradition of behavioral research utilizing preferential looking tasks to examine visual attention and recognition memory in infancy. The second section examines research utilizing neural measures of attention and object recognition in infancy as well as research on brain-behavior relations in the early development of attention and recognition memory. The third section addresses potential areas of the brain involved in infant object recognition and visual attention. An integrated synthesis of some of the existing models of the development of visual attention is presented which may account for the observed changes in behavioral and neural measures of visual attention and object recognition that occur across infancy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mayo, J. Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the “guardian” of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visu...
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a simulation model for visual attention is discussed and formally analysed. The model is part of the design of an agent-based system that supports a naval officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in which the model is
Qiao, Hong; Xi, Xuanyang; Li, Yinlin; Wu, Wei; Li, Fengfu
Recently, many computational models have been proposed to simulate visual cognition process. For example, the hierarchical Max-Pooling (HMAX) model was proposed according to the hierarchical and bottom-up structure of V1 to V4 in the ventral pathway of primate visual cortex, which could achieve position- and scale-tolerant recognition. In our previous work, we have introduced memory and association into the HMAX model to simulate visual cognition process. In this paper, we improve our theoretical framework by mimicking a more elaborate structure and function of the primate visual cortex. We will mainly focus on the new formation of memory and association in visual processing under different circumstances as well as preliminary cognition and active adjustment in the inferior temporal cortex, which are absent in the HMAX model. The main contributions of this paper are: 1) in the memory and association part, we apply deep convolutional neural networks to extract various episodic features of the objects since people use different features for object recognition. Moreover, to achieve a fast and robust recognition in the retrieval and association process, different types of features are stored in separated clusters and the feature binding of the same object is stimulated in a loop discharge manner and 2) in the preliminary cognition and active adjustment part, we introduce preliminary cognition to classify different types of objects since distinct neural circuits in a human brain are used for identification of various types of objects. Furthermore, active cognition adjustment of occlusion and orientation is implemented to the model to mimic the top-down effect in human cognition process. Finally, our model is evaluated on two face databases CAS-PEAL-R1 and AR. The results demonstrate that our model exhibits its efficiency on visual recognition process with much lower memory storage requirement and a better performance compared with the traditional purely computational
Smith, Philip L.; Lilburn, Simon D.; Corbett, Elaine A.
exceeded that predicted by the sample-size model for both simultaneously and sequentially presented stimuli. Instead, the set-size effect and the serial position curves with sequential presentation were predicted by an attention-weighted version of the sample-size model, which assumes that one of the items...
Parks, Emily L.
Abstract Emerging hypotheses suggest that efficient cognitive functioning requires the integration of separate, but interconnected cortical networks in the brain. Although task-related measures of brain activity suggest that a frontoparietal network is associated with the control of attention, little is known regarding how components within this distributed network act together or with other networks to achieve various attentional functions. This review considers both functional and structural studies of brain connectivity, as complemented by behavioral and task-related neuroimaging data. These studies show converging results: The frontal and parietal cortical regions are active together, over time, and identifiable frontoparietal networks are active in relation to specific task demands. However, the spontaneous, low-frequency fluctuations of brain activity that occur in the resting state, without specific task demands, also exhibit patterns of connectivity that closely resemble the task-related, frontoparietal attention networks. Both task-related and resting-state networks exhibit consistent relations to behavioral measures of attention. Further, anatomical structure, particularly white matter pathways as defined by diffusion tensor imaging, places constraints on intrinsic functional connectivity. Lastly, connectivity analyses applied to investigate cognitive differences across individuals in both healthy and diseased states suggest that disconnection of attentional networks is linked to deficits in cognitive functioning, and in extreme cases, to disorders of attention. Thus, comprehensive theories of visual attention and their clinical translation depend on the continued integration of behavioral, task-related neuroimaging, and brain connectivity measures. PMID:23597177
ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO
Full Text Available In this paper we checked the principal researches and theories to explain the attention system functioning.We are going to start reviewing along time about the concept of attention, from filter theories andresources distributor theories, to the current theories in which attention is conceived as a control system.From this last point of view, we will emphasize on the attentional networks theory of Posner, thatproposes different systems to explain diverse aspects of attention, but they are related to each other. Atlast in this paper, we will mention experimental results that have been important to characterize theselective attentional mechanisms of the human visual system, using the attentional spotlight model forthis aim.
Collerton, Daniel; Perry, Elaine; McKeith, Ian
As many as two million people in the United Kingdom repeatedly see people, animals, and objects that have no objective reality. Hallucinations on the border of sleep, dementing illnesses, delirium, eye disease, and schizophrenia account for 90% of these. The remainder have rarer disorders. We review existing models of recurrent complex visual hallucinations (RCVH) in the awake person, including cortical irritation, cortical hyperexcitability and cortical release, top-down activation, misperception, dream intrusion, and interactive models. We provide evidence that these can neither fully account for the phenomenology of RCVH, nor for variations in the frequency of RCVH in different disorders. We propose a novel Perception and Attention Deficit (PAD) model for RCVH. A combination of impaired attentional binding and poor sensory activation of a correct proto-object, in conjunction with a relatively intact scene representation, bias perception to allow the intrusion of a hallucinatory proto-object into a scene perception. Incorporation of this image into a context-specific hallucinatory scene representation accounts for repetitive hallucinations. We suggest that these impairments are underpinned by disturbances in a lateral frontal cortex-ventral visual stream system. We show how the frequency of RCVH in different diseases is related to the coexistence of attentional and visual perceptual impairments; how attentional and perceptual processes can account for their phenomenology; and that diseases and other states with high rates of RCVH have cholinergic dysfunction in both frontal cortex and the ventral visual stream. Several tests of the model are indicated, together with a number of treatment options that it generates.
Klemen, Jane; Büchel, Christian; Bühler, Mira; Menz, Mareike M; Rose, Michael
Attentional interference between tasks performed in parallel is known to have strong and often undesired effects. As yet, however, the mechanisms by which interference operates remain elusive. A better knowledge of these processes may facilitate our understanding of the effects of attention on human performance and the debilitating consequences that disruptions to attention can have. According to the load theory of cognitive control, processing of task-irrelevant stimuli is increased by attending in parallel to a relevant task with high cognitive demands. This is due to the relevant task engaging cognitive control resources that are, hence, unavailable to inhibit the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. However, it has also been demonstrated that a variety of types of load (perceptual and emotional) can result in a reduction of the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli, suggesting a uniform effect of increased load irrespective of the type of load. In the present study, we concurrently presented a relevant auditory matching task [n-back working memory (WM)] of low or high cognitive load (1-back or 2-back WM) and task-irrelevant images at one of three object visibility levels (0%, 50%, or 100%). fMRI activation during the processing of the task-irrelevant visual stimuli was measured in the lateral occipital cortex and found to be reduced under high, compared to low, WM load. In combination with previous findings, this result is suggestive of a more generalized load theory, whereby cognitive load, as well as other types of load (e.g., perceptual), can result in a reduction of the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli, in line with a uniform effect of increased load irrespective of the type of load.
Smith, Philip L; Lilburn, Simon D; Corbett, Elaine A; Sewell, David K; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
We investigated the capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM) in a phase discrimination task that required judgments about the configural relations between pairs of black and white features. Sewell et al. (2014) previously showed that VSTM capacity in an orientation discrimination task was well described by a sample-size model, which views VSTM as a resource comprised of a finite number of noisy stimulus samples. The model predicts the invariance of [Formula: see text] , the sum of squared sensitivities across items, for displays of different sizes. For phase discrimination, the set-size effect significantly exceeded that predicted by the sample-size model for both simultaneously and sequentially presented stimuli. Instead, the set-size effect and the serial position curves with sequential presentation were predicted by an attention-weighted version of the sample-size model, which assumes that one of the items in the display captures attention and receives a disproportionate share of resources. The choice probabilities and response time distributions from the task were well described by a diffusion decision model in which the drift rates embodied the assumptions of the attention-weighted sample-size model. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Haigang, Sui; Zhina, Song
Reliably ship detection in optical satellite images has a wide application in both military and civil fields. However, this problem is very difficult in complex backgrounds, such as waves, clouds, and small islands. Aiming at these issues, this paper explores an automatic and robust model for ship detection in large-scale optical satellite images, which relies on detecting statistical signatures of ship targets, in terms of biologically-inspired visual features. This model first selects salient candidate regions across large-scale images by using a mechanism based on biologically-inspired visual features, combined with visual attention model with local binary pattern (CVLBP). Different from traditional studies, the proposed algorithm is high-speed and helpful to focus on the suspected ship areas avoiding the separation step of land and sea. Largearea images are cut into small image chips and analyzed in two complementary ways: Sparse saliency using visual attention model and detail signatures using LBP features, thus accordant with sparseness of ship distribution on images. Then these features are employed to classify each chip as containing ship targets or not, using a support vector machine (SVM). After getting the suspicious areas, there are still some false alarms such as microwaves and small ribbon clouds, thus simple shape and texture analysis are adopted to distinguish between ships and nonships in suspicious areas. Experimental results show the proposed method is insensitive to waves, clouds, illumination and ship size.
Villalon-Reina, Julio; Gutierrez-Carvajal, Ricardo; Thompson, Paul M.; Romero-Castro, Eduardo
The detection, segmentation and quantification of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions on magnetic resonance images (MRI) has been a very active field for the last two decades because of the urge to correlate these measures with the effectiveness of pharmacological treatment. A myriad of methods has been developed and most of these are non specific for the type of lesions and segment the lesions in their acute and chronic phases together. On the other hand, radiologists are able to distinguish between several stages of the disease on different types of MRI images. The main motivation of the work presented here is to computationally emulate the visual perception of the radiologist by using modeling principles of the neuronal centers along the visual system. By using this approach we are able to detect the lesions in the majority of the images in our population sample. This type of approach also allows us to study and improve the analysis of brain networks by introducing a priori information.
Nielsen, Simon; Wilms, L Inge
We examined the effects of normal aging on visual cognition in a sample of 112 healthy adults aged 60-75. A testbattery was designed to capture high-level measures of visual working memory and low-level measures of visuospatial attention and memory. To answer questions of how cognitive aging affects specific aspects of visual processing capacity, we used confirmatory factor analyses in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM; Model 2), informed by functional structures that were modeled with path analyses in SEM (Model 1). The results show that aging effects were selective to measures of visual processing speed compared to visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity (Model 2). These results are consistent with some studies reporting selective aging effects on processing speed, and inconsistent with other studies reporting aging effects on both processing speed and VSTM capacity. In the discussion we argue that this discrepancy may be mediated by differences in age ranges, and variables of demography. The study demonstrates that SEM is a sensitive method to detect cognitive aging effects even within a narrow age-range, and a useful approach to structure the relationships between measured variables, and the cognitive functional foundation they supposedly represent.
Full Text Available We examined the effects of normal ageing on visual cognition in a sample of 112 healthy adults aged 60-75. A testbattery was designed to capture high-level measures of visual working memory and low-level measures of visuospatial attention and memory. To answer questions of how cognitive ageing affects specific aspects of visual processing capacity, we used confirmatory factor analyses in Structural Equation Modelling (SEM; Model 2, informed by functional structures that were modelled with path analyses in SEM (Model 1. The results show that ageing effects were selective to measures of visual processing speed compared to visual short-term memory (VSTM capacity (Model 2. These results are consistent with some studies reporting selective ageing effects on processing speed, and inconsistent with other studies reporting ageing effects on both processing speed and VSTM capacity. In the discussion we argue that this discrepancy may be mediated by differences in age ranges, and variables of demography. The study demonstrates that SEM is a sensitive method to detect cognitive ageing effects even within a narrow age-range, and a useful approach to structure the relationships between measured variables, and the cognitive functional foundation they supposedly represent.
Dyrholm, Mads; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup
In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...... Report trial. This result retrodicts a latent attentional state of the subject using the observed response from that particular trial and thus differs from other predictions made with TVA which are based on expected values of observed variables. We show an example of the result in single-trial analysis...
Healey, Christopher G; Enns, James T
A fundamental goal of visualization is to produce images of data that support visual analysis, exploration, and discovery of novel insights. An important consideration during visualization design is the role of human visual perception. How we "see" details in an image can directly impact a viewer's efficiency and effectiveness. This paper surveys research on attention and visual perception, with a specific focus on results that have direct relevance to visualization and visual analytics. We discuss theories of low-level visual perception, then show how these findings form a foundation for more recent work on visual memory and visual attention. We conclude with a brief overview of how knowledge of visual attention and visual memory is being applied in visualization and graphics. We also discuss how challenges in visualization are motivating research in psychophysics.
Moray, N.; Richards, M.; Brophy, C.
A model is described which predicts the allocation of attention to the features of a radar display. It uses the growth of uncertainty and the probability of near collision to call the eye to a feature of the display. The main source of uncertainty is forgetting following a fixation, which is modelled as a two dimensional diffusion process. The model was used to predict information overload in intercept controllers, and preliminary validation obtained by recording eye movements of intercept controllers in simulated and live (practice) interception.
Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben
Attention to a spatial location or feature in a visual scene can modulate the responses of cortical neurons and affect perceptual biases in illusions. We add attention to a cortical model of spatial context based on a well-founded account of natural scene statistics. The cortical model amounts to a generalized form of divisive normalization, in which the surround is in the normalization pool of the center target only if they are considered statistically dependent. Here we propose that attention influences this computation by accentuating the neural unit activations at the attended location, and that the amount of attentional influence of the surround on the center thus depends on whether center and surround are deemed in the same normalization pool. The resulting form of model extends a recent divisive normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). We simulate cortical surround orientation experiments with attention and show that the flexible model is suitable for capturing additional data and makes nontrivial testable predictions. PMID:23345413
Now that the study of consciousness is warmly embraced by cognitive scientists, much confusion seems to arise between the concepts of visual attention and visual awareness. Often, visual awareness is equated to what is in the focus of attention. There are, however, two sets of arguments to separate
McAvinue, Laura P; Vangkilde, Signe; Johnson, Katherine A; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus; Robertson, Ian H
Inattentive behaviour is a defining characteristic of ADHD. Researchers have wondered about the nature of the attentional deficit underlying these symptoms. The primary purpose of the current study was to examine this attentional deficit using a novel paradigm based upon the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The TVA paradigm enabled a componential analysis of visual attention through the use of a mathematical model to estimate parameters relating to attentional selectivity and capacity. Children's ability to sustain attention was also assessed using the Sustained Attention to Response Task. The sample included a comparison between 25 children with ADHD and 25 control children aged 9-13. Children with ADHD had significantly impaired sustained attention and visual processing speed but intact attentional selectivity, perceptual threshold and visual short-term memory capacity. The results of this study lend support to the notion of differential impairment of attentional functions in children with ADHD. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
Visual attention is the collection of mechanisms by which relevant visual information is selected, and irrelevant visual information is ignored. Visual working memory is the mechanism by which relevant visual information is retained, and irrelevant information is suppressed. In addition to this
Klemen, Jane; Buchel, Christian; Buhler, Mira; Menz, Mareike M.; Rose, Michael
Attentional interference between tasks performed in parallel is known to have strong and often undesired effects. As yet, however, the mechanisms by which interference operates remain elusive. A better knowledge of these processes may facilitate our understanding of the effects of attention on human performance and the debilitating consequences…
Olivers, C.N.L.; Meijer, F.; Theeuwes, J.
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly
Full Text Available Many critical activities require visual attention to be distributed simultaneously among distinct tasks where the attended foci are not spatially separated. In our two experiments, participants performed a large number of trials where both a primary task (enumeration of spots and a secondary task (reporting the presence/absence or identity of a distinctive shape required the division of visual attention. The spots and the shape were commingled spatially and the shape appeared unpredictably on a relatively small fraction of the trials. The secondary task stimulus (the shape was reported in inverse proportion to the attentional load imposed by the primary task (enumeration of spots. When the shape did appear, performance on the primary task (enumeration suffered relative to when the shape was absent; both speed and accuracy were compromised. When the secondary task required identification in addition to detection, reaction times increased by about 200 percent. These results are broadly compatible with biased competition models of perceptual processing. An important area of application, where the commingled division of visual attention is required, is the augmented reality head-up display (AR-HUD. This innovation has the potential to make operating vehicles safer but our data suggest that there are significant concerns regarding driver distraction.
Anderson, Brian A.; Wampler, Emma K.; Laurent, Patryk A.
It has long been known that the control of attention in visual search depends both on voluntary, top-down deployment according to context-specific goals, and on involuntary, stimulus-driven capture based on the physical conspicuity of perceptual objects. Recent evidence suggests that pairing target stimuli with reward can modulate the voluntary deployment of attention, but there is little evidence that reward modulates the involuntary deployment of attention to task-irrelevant distractors. We report several experiments that investigate the role of reward learning on attentional control. Each experiment involved a training phase and a test phase. In the training phase, different colors were associated with different amounts of monetary reward. In the test phase, color was not task-relevant and participants searched for a shape singleton; in most experiments no reward was delivered in the test phase. We first show that attentional capture by physically salient distractors is magnified by a previous association with reward. In subsequent experiments we demonstrate that physically inconspicuous stimuli previously associated with reward capture attention persistently during extinction—even several days after training. Furthermore, vulnerability to attentional capture by high-value stimuli is negatively correlated across individuals with working memory capacity and positively correlated with trait impulsivity. An analysis of intertrial effects reveals that value-driven attentional capture is spatially specific. Finally, when reward is delivered at test contingent on the task-relevant shape feature, recent reward history modulates value-driven attentional capture by the irrelevant color feature. The influence of learned value on attention may provide a useful model of clinical syndromes characterized by similar failures of cognitive control, including addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and obesity. PMID:23437631
Van der Burg, Erik; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.
In the present study we investigated whether a task-irrelevant distractor can induce a visual attentional blink pattern. Participants were asked to detect only a visual target letter (A, B, or C) and to ignore the preceding auditory, visual, or audiovisual distractor. An attentional blink was
Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person's visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies
Koelewijn, Thomas; Bronkhorst, Adelbert; Theeuwes, Jan
It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person's visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies have not differentiated between capture by onsets…
Mavritsaki, Eirini; Heinke, Dietmar; Allen, Harriet; Deco, Gustavo; Humphreys, Glyn W
We present the case for a role of biologically plausible neural network modeling in bridging the gap between physiology and behavior. We argue that spiking-level networks can allow "vertical" translation between physiological properties of neural systems and emergent "whole-system" performance-enabling psychological results to be simulated from implemented networks and also inferences to be made from simulations concerning processing at a neural level. These models also emphasize particular factors (e.g., the dynamics of performance in relation to real-time neuronal processing) that are not highlighted in other approaches and that can be tested empirically. We illustrate our argument from neural-level models that select stimuli by biased competition. We show that a model with biased competition dynamics can simulate data ranging from physiological studies of single-cell activity (Study 1) to whole-system behavior in human visual search (Study 2), while also capturing effects at an intermediate level, including performance breakdown after neural lesion (Study 3) and data from brain imaging (Study 4). We also show that, at each level of analysis, novel predictions can be derived from the biologically plausible parameters adopted, which we proceed to test (Study 5). We argue that, at least for studying the dynamics of visual attention, the approach productively links single-cell to psychological data.
Hamker, Fred H
Feature inheritance provides evidence that properties of an invisible target stimulus can be attached to a following mask. We apply a systemslevel model of attention and decision making to explore the influence of memory and feedback connections in feature inheritance. We find that the presence of feedback loops alone is sufficient to account for feature inheritance. Although our simulations do not cover all experimental variations and focus only on the general principle, our result appears of specific interest since the model was designed for a completely different purpose than to explain feature inheritance. We suggest that feedback is an important property in visual perception and provide a description of its mechanism and its role in perception.
Nieuwenhuis, S.; Donner, T.H.
Goals are represented in prefrontal cortex and modulate sensory processing in visual cortex. A new study combines TMS, fMRI and EEG to understand how feedback improves retention of behaviorally relevant visual information.
Richard, Annette E; Lajiness-O'Neill, Renee
Abnormal visual attention has been frequently observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Abnormal shifting of visual attention is related to abnormal development of social cognition and has been identified as a key neuropsychological finding in ASD. Better characterizing attention shifting in ASD and its relationship with social functioning may help to identify new targets for intervention and improving social communication in these disorders. Thus, the current study investigated deficits in attention shifting in ASD as well as relationships between attention shifting and social communication in ASD and neurotypicals (NT). To investigate deficits in visual attention shifting in ASD, 20 ASD and 20 age- and gender-matched NT completed visual search (VS) and Navon tasks with attention-shifting demands as well as a set-shifting task. VS was a feature search task with targets defined in one of two dimensions; Navon required identification of a target letter presented at the global or local level. Psychomotor and processing speed were entered as covariates. Relationships between visual attention shifting, set shifting, and social functioning were also examined. ASD and NT showed comparable costs of shifting attention. However, psychomotor and processing speed were slower in ASD than in NT, and psychomotor and processing speed were positively correlated with attention-shifting costs on Navon and VS, respectively, for both groups. Attention shifting on VS and Navon were correlated among NT, while attention shifting on Navon was correlated with set shifting among ASD. Attention-shifting costs on Navon were positively correlated with restricted and repetitive behaviors among ASD. Relationships between attention shifting and psychomotor and processing speed, as well as relationships between measures of different aspects of visual attention shifting, suggest inefficient top-down influences over preattentive visual processing in ASD. Inefficient attention shifting may be
Sewell, David K.; Lilburn, Simon D.; Smith, Philip L.
A central question in working memory research concerns the degree to which information in working memory is accessible to other cognitive processes (e.g., decision-making). Theories assuming that the focus of attention can only store a single object at a time require the focus to orient to a target representation before further processing can…
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a
Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Sudden changes in our visual field capture our attention so that we are faster and more accurate in our responses to that region of space. The underlying mechanisms by which these behavioral improvements occur are unknown. Here we investigate the level of the visual system at which attentional
Reeves, Adam; Sperling, George
An experiment is conducted showing that an attention shift to a stream of numerals presented in rapid serial visual presentation mode produces not a total loss, but a systematic distortion of order. An attention gating model (AGM) is developed from a more general attention model. (Author/LMO)
Le Callet, Patrick; Niebur, Ernst
Making technological advances in the field of human-machine interactions requires that the capabilities and limitations of the human perceptual system are taken into account. The focus of this report is an important mechanism of perception, visual selective attention, which is becoming more and more important for multimedia applications. We introduce the concept of visual attention and describe its underlying mechanisms. In particular, we introduce the concepts of overt and covert visual atte...
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...... for both VSTM capacity and ipsilesional processing speed. The study also showed that lesions in a large region of the right hemisphere, including the putamen, insula, and inferior frontal cortex, do not lead to general deficits in the capacity of visual attention. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Apr-8...
Moore, Tirin; Zirnsak, Marc
Selective visual attention describes the tendency of visual processing to be confined largely to stimuli that are relevant to behavior. It is among the most fundamental of cognitive functions, particularly in humans and other primates for whom vision is the dominant sense. We review recent progress in identifying the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. We discuss evidence from studies of different varieties of selective attention and examine how these varieties alter the processing of stimuli by neurons within the visual system, current knowledge of their causal basis, and methods for assessing attentional dysfunctions. In addition, we identify some key questions that remain in identifying the neural mechanisms that give rise to the selective processing of visual information.
Full Text Available In this paper, first, we briefly describe the dihedral group D 4 that serves as the basis for calculating saliency in our proposed model. Second, our saliency model makes two major changes in a latest state-of-the-art model known as group-based asymmetry. First, based on the properties of the dihedral group D 4 , we simplify the asymmetry calculations associated with the measurement of saliency. This results is an algorithm that reduces the number of calculations by at least half that makes it the fastest among the six best algorithms used in this research article. Second, in order to maximize the information across different chromatic and multi-resolution features, the color image space is de-correlated. We evaluate our algorithm against 10 state-of-the-art saliency models. Our results show that by using optimal parameters for a given dataset, our proposed model can outperform the best saliency algorithm in the literature. However, as the differences among the (few best saliency models are small, we would like to suggest that our proposed model is among the best and the fastest among the best. Finally, as a part of future work, we suggest that our proposed approach on saliency can be extended to include three-dimensional image data.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing...... resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally important objects than to less important ones. By use of the same basic equations used in TVA, NTVA accounts for a wide range of known attentional effects in human performance (reaction times and error rates) and a wide range of effects observed in firing rates...
Webb, Taylor W.; Igelström, Kajsa M.; Schurger, Aaron; Graziano, Michael S. A.
Do specific areas of the brain participate in subjective visual experience? We measured brain activity in humans using fMRI. Participants were aware of a visual stimulus in one condition and unaware of it in another condition. The two conditions were balanced for their effect on visual attention. Specific brain areas were more active in the aware than in the unaware condition, suggesting they were involved in subjective awareness independent of attention. The largest cluster of activity was f...
Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person's visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies have not differentiated between capture by onsets presented at a nontarget (invalid) location and possible performance benefits occurring when the target location is (validly) cued. In this study, th...
Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meijer, Frank; Theeuwes, Jan
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly with a visual search task when it was accompanied by…
Knight, Helen C; Smith, Daniel T; Knight, David C; Ellison, Amanda
Attentional control settings have an important role in guiding visual behaviour. Previous work within cognitive psychology has found that the deployment of general attentional control settings can be modulated by training. However, research has not yet established whether long-term modifications of one particular type of attentional control setting can be induced. To address this, we investigated persistent alterations to feature search mode, also known as an attentional bias, towards an arbitrary stimulus in healthy participants. Subjects were biased towards the colour green by an information sheet. Attentional bias was assessed using a change detection task. After an interval of either 1 or 2 weeks, participants were then retested on the same change detection task, tested on a different change detection task where colour was irrelevant, or were biased towards an alternative colour. One experiment included trials in which the distractor stimuli (but never the target stimuli) were green. The key finding was that green stimuli in the second task attracted attention, despite this impairing task performance. Furthermore, inducing a second attentional bias did not override the initial bias toward green objects. The attentional bias also persisted for at least two weeks. It is argued that this persistent attentional bias is mediated by a chronic change to participants' attentional control settings, which is aided by long-term representations involving contextual cueing. We speculate that similar changes to attentional control settings and continuous cueing may relate to attentional biases observed in psychopathologies. Targeting these biases may be a productive approach to treatment.
Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F
Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Du, Feng; Abrams, Richard A.
The present study examined the spatial distribution of involuntary attentional capture over the two visual hemi-fields. A new experiment, and an analysis of three previous experiments showed that distractors in the left visual field that matched a sought-for target in color produced a much larger capture effect than identical distractors in the…
Anthony D Cate
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.
Shioiri, Satoshi; Honjyo, Hajime; Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro
Visual attention spreads over a range around the focus as the spotlight metaphor describes. Spatial spread of attentional enhancement and local selection/inhibition are crucial factors determining the profile of the spatial attention. Enhancement and ignorance/suppression are opposite effects of attention, and appeared to be mutually exclusive. Yet, no unified view of the factors has been provided despite their necessity for understanding the functions of spatial attention. This report provides electroencephalographic and behavioral evidence for the attentional spread at an early stage and selection/inhibition at a later stage of visual processing. Steady state visual evoked potential showed broad spatial tuning whereas the P3 component of the event related potential showed local selection or inhibition of the adjacent areas. Based on these results, we propose a two-stage model of spatial attention with broad spread at an early stage and local selection at a later stage.
Heiervang, Einar; Hugdahl, Kenneth
A cue-target visual attention task was administered to 25 children (ages 10-12) with dyslexia. Results showed a general pattern of slower responses in the children with dyslexia compared to controls. Subjects also had longer reaction times in the short and long cue-target interval conditions (covert and overt shift of attention). (Contains…
Liu, Yi; Tong, Yu; Li, Hong
Previous research has demonstrated abstract concepts associated with spatial location (e.g., God in the Heavens) could direct visual attention upward or downward, because thinking about the abstract concepts activates the corresponding vertical perceptual symbols. For self-concept, there are similar metaphors (e.g., "I am above others"). However, whether thinking about the self can induce visual attention orientation is still unknown. Therefore, the current study tested whether self-reflection can direct visual attention. Individuals often display the tendency of self-enhancement in social comparison, which reminds the individual of the higher position one possesses relative to others within the social environment. As the individual is the agent of the attention orientation, and high status tends to make an individual look down upon others to obtain a sense of pride, it was hypothesized that thinking about the self would lead to a downward attention orientation. Using reflection of personality traits and a target discrimination task, Study 1 found that, after self-reflection, visual attention was directed downward. Similar effects were also found after friend-reflection, with the level of downward attention being correlated with the likability rating scores of the friend. Thus, in Study 2, a disliked other was used as a control and the positive self-view was measured with above-average judgment task. We found downward attention orientation after self-reflection, but not after reflection upon the disliked other. Moreover, the attentional bias after self-reflection was correlated with above-average self-view. The current findings provide the first evidence that thinking about the self could direct visual-spatial attention downward, and suggest that this effect is probably derived from a positive self-view within the social context.
Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin
The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.
Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki
Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms, respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2) was impaired when a first target (T1) was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA); identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention. PMID:24994994
Full Text Available Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2 was impaired when a first target (T1 was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms SOA; identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention.
Wiegand, Iris Michaela; Petersen, Anders; Bundesen, Claus
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in younger and older adults. We modelled parameters of visual attention based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) in a partial report task, in w...... and attention, which governs the responsiveness to external cues and is critical for general cognitive functioning in aging.......In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in younger and older adults. We modelled parameters of visual attention based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) in a partial report task...
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Stokes, Mark G; Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna Christina
In the current study, we tested whether representations in visual STM (VSTM) can be biased via top-down attentional modulation of visual activity in retinotopically specific locations. We manipulated attention using retrospective cues presented during the retention interval of a VSTM task. Retrospective cues triggered activity in a large-scale network implicated in attentional control and led to retinotopically specific modulation of activity in early visual areas V1-V4. Importantly, shifts of attention during VSTM maintenance were associated with changes in functional connectivity between pFC and retinotopic regions within V4. Our findings provide new insights into top-down control mechanisms that modulate VSTM representations for flexible and goal-directed maintenance of the most relevant memoranda.
Bruno van Swinderen
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective attention and memory seem to be related in human experience. This appears to be the case as well in simple model organisms such as the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations affecting olfactory and visual memory formation in Drosophila, such as in dunce and rutabaga, also affect short-term visual processes relevant to selective attention. In particular, increased optomotor responsiveness appears to be predictive of visual attention defects in these mutants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further explore the possible overlap between memory and visual attention systems in the fly brain, we screened a panel of 36 olfactory long term memory (LTM mutants for visual attention-like defects using an optomotor maze paradigm. Three of these mutants yielded high dunce-like optomotor responsiveness. We characterized these three strains by examining their visual distraction in the maze, their visual learning capabilities, and their brain activity responses to visual novelty. We found that one of these mutants, D0067, was almost completely identical to dunce(1 for all measures, while another, D0264, was more like wild type. Exploiting the fact that the LTM mutants are also Gal4 enhancer traps, we explored the sufficiency for the cells subserved by these elements to rescue dunce attention defects and found overlap at the level of the mushroom bodies. Finally, we demonstrate that control of synaptic function in these Gal4 expressing cells specifically modulates a 20-30 Hz local field potential associated with attention-like effects in the fly brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study uncovers genetic and neuroanatomical systems in the fly brain affecting both visual attention and odor memory phenotypes. A common component to these systems appears to be the mushroom bodies, brain structures which have been traditionally associated with odor learning but which we propose might be also involved in generating oscillatory brain activity
Hickey, C.M.; Theeuwes, J.
Competition-based models of visual attention propose that perceptual ambiguity is resolved through inhibition, which is stronger when objects share a greater number of neural receptive fields (RFs). According to this theory, the misallocation of attention to a salient distractor-that is, the capture
Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
nucleus. Frontal activations were found in a region that seems implicated in visual short-term memory (posterior parts of the superior sulcus and the middle gyrus). The reverse, color-shape comparison showed bilateral increases in rCBF in the anterior cingulate gyri, superior frontal gyri, and superior...... and middle temporal gyri. The attentional effects found by the shape-color comparison in the thalamus and the primary visual cortex may have been generated by feedback signals preserving visual representations of selected stimuli in short-term memory....
Color is a predominant factor in the human visual attention system. Even if it cannot be sufficient to the global or complete understanding of a scene, it may impact the visual attention deployment. We propose to study the color impact as well as the emotion aspect of pictures regarding the visual attention deployment. An eye-tracking campaign has been conducted involving twenty people watching half pictures of database in full color and the other half of database in grey color. The eye fixations of color and black and white images were highly correlated leading to the question of the integration of such cues in the design of visual attention model. Indeed, the prediction of two state-of-the-art computational models shows similar results for the two color categories. Similarly, the study of saccade amplitude and fixation duration versus time viewing did not bring any significant differences between the two mentioned categories. In addition, spatial coordinates of eye fixations reveal an interesting indicator for investigating the differences of visual attention deployment over time and fixation number. The second factor related to emotion categories shows evidences of emotional inter-categories differences between color and grey eye fixations for passive and positive emotion. The particular aspect associated to this category induces a specific behavior, rather based on high frequencies, where the color components influence the visual attention deployment.
Webb, Taylor W; Igelström, Kajsa M; Schurger, Aaron; Graziano, Michael S A
It is now well established that visual attention, as measured with standard spatial attention tasks, and visual awareness, as measured by report, can be dissociated. It is possible to attend to a stimulus with no reported awareness of the stimulus. We used a behavioral paradigm in which people were aware of a stimulus in one condition and unaware of it in another condition, but the stimulus drew a similar amount of spatial attention in both conditions. The paradigm allowed us to test for brain regions active in association with awareness independent of level of attention. Participants performed the task in an MRI scanner. We looked for brain regions that were more active in the aware than the unaware trials. The largest cluster of activity was obtained in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) bilaterally. Local independent component analysis (ICA) revealed that this activity contained three distinct, but overlapping, components: a bilateral, anterior component; a left dorsal component; and a right dorsal component. These components had brain-wide functional connectivity that partially overlapped the ventral attention network and the frontoparietal control network. In contrast, no significant activity in association with awareness was found in the banks of the intraparietal sulcus, a region connected to the dorsal attention network and traditionally associated with attention control. These results show the importance of separating awareness and attention when testing for cortical substrates. They are also consistent with a recent proposal that awareness is associated with ventral attention areas, especially in the TPJ.
Chun, Marvin M
Visual working memory and visual attention are intimately related, such that working memory encoding and maintenance reflects actively sustained attention to a limited number of visual objects and events important for ongoing cognition and action. Although attention is typically considered to operate over perceptual input, a recent taxonomy proposes to additionally consider how attention can be directed to internal perceptual representations in the absence of sensory input, as well as other internal memories, choices, and thoughts (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Such internal attention enables prolonged binding of features into integrated objects, along with enhancement of relevant sensory mechanisms. These processes are all limited in capacity, although different types of working memory and attention, such as spatial vs. object processing, operate independently with separate capacity. Overall, the success of maintenance depends on the ability to inhibit both external (perceptual) and internal (cognitive) distraction. Working memory is the interface by which attentional mechanisms select and actively maintain relevant perceptual information from the external world as internal representations within the mind. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available It is known that faces are rapidly and even unconsciously categorized into social groups (black vs. white, male vs. female. Here, I test whether preferences for specific social groups guide attention, using a visual search paradigm. In Experiment 1 participants searched displays of neutral faces for an angry or frightened target face. Black target faces were detected more efficiently than white targets, indicating that black faces attracted more attention. Experiment 2 showed that attention differences between black and white faces were correlated with individual differences in automatic race preference. In Experiment 3, using happy target faces, the attentional preference for black over white faces was eliminated. Taken together, these results suggest that automatic preferences for social groups guide attention to individuals from negatively valenced groups, when people are searching for a negative emotion such as anger or fear.
Gorji, Siavash; Clark, James J.
We present a novel visual attention tracking technique based on Shared Attention modeling. Our proposed method models the viewer as a participant in the activity occurring in the scene. We go beyond image salience and instead of only computing the power of an image region to pull attention to it, we also consider the strength with which other regions of the image push attention to the region in question. We use the term Attentional Push to refer to the power of image regions to direct and man...
Deltomme, Berre; Mertens, G.; Tibboel, Helen; Braem, Senne
We investigated whether stimuli merely instructed to be fear-relevant can bias visual attention, even when the fear relation was never experienced before. Participants performed a dot-probe task with pictures of naturally fear-relevant (snake or spider) or -irrelevant (bird or butterfly) stimuli.
Coventry, Kenny R.; Lynott, Dermot; Cangelosi, Angelo; Monrouxe, Lynn; Joyce, Dan; Richardson, Daniel C.
Spatial language descriptions, such as "The bottle is over the glass", direct the attention of the hearer to particular aspects of the visual world. This paper asks how they do so, and what brain mechanisms underlie this process. In two experiments employing behavioural and eye tracking methodologies we examined the effects of spatial language on…
Full Text Available Computational visual attention systems have been constructed in order for robots and other devices to detect and locate regions of interest in their visual world. Such systems often attempt to take account of what is known of the human visual system and employ concepts, such as 'active vision', to gain various perceived advantages. However, despite the potential for gaining insights from such experiments, the computational requirements for visual attention processing are often not clearly presented from a biological perspective. This was the primary objective of this study, attained through two specific phases of investigation: 1 conceptual modeling of a top-down-bottom-up framework through critical analysis of the psychophysical and neurophysiological literature, 2 implementation and validation of the model into robotic hardware (as a representative of an active vision system. Seven computational requirements were identified: 1 transformation of retinotopic to egocentric mappings, 2 spatial memory for the purposes of medium-term inhibition of return, 3 synchronization of 'where' and 'what' information from the two visual streams, 4 convergence of top-down and bottom-up information to a centralized point of information processing, 5 a threshold function to elicit saccade action, 6 a function to represent task relevance as a ratio of excitation and inhibition, and 7 derivation of excitation and inhibition values from object-associated feature classes. The model provides further insight into the nature of data representation and transfer between brain regions associated with the vertebrate 'active' visual attention system. In particular, the model lends strong support to the functional role of the lateral intraparietal region of the brain as a primary area of information consolidation that directs putative action through the use of a 'priority map'.
McBride, Sebastian; Huelse, Martin; Lee, Mark
Computational visual attention systems have been constructed in order for robots and other devices to detect and locate regions of interest in their visual world. Such systems often attempt to take account of what is known of the human visual system and employ concepts, such as 'active vision', to gain various perceived advantages. However, despite the potential for gaining insights from such experiments, the computational requirements for visual attention processing are often not clearly presented from a biological perspective. This was the primary objective of this study, attained through two specific phases of investigation: 1) conceptual modeling of a top-down-bottom-up framework through critical analysis of the psychophysical and neurophysiological literature, 2) implementation and validation of the model into robotic hardware (as a representative of an active vision system). Seven computational requirements were identified: 1) transformation of retinotopic to egocentric mappings, 2) spatial memory for the purposes of medium-term inhibition of return, 3) synchronization of 'where' and 'what' information from the two visual streams, 4) convergence of top-down and bottom-up information to a centralized point of information processing, 5) a threshold function to elicit saccade action, 6) a function to represent task relevance as a ratio of excitation and inhibition, and 7) derivation of excitation and inhibition values from object-associated feature classes. The model provides further insight into the nature of data representation and transfer between brain regions associated with the vertebrate 'active' visual attention system. In particular, the model lends strong support to the functional role of the lateral intraparietal region of the brain as a primary area of information consolidation that directs putative action through the use of a 'priority map'.
Chen, I-Ping; Liao, Chia-Ning; Yeh, Shih-Hao
Attention plays an important role in the design of human-machine interfaces. However, current knowledge about attention is largely based on data obtained when using devices of moderate display size. With advancement in display technology comes the need for understanding attention behavior over a wider range of viewing sizes. The effect of display size on test participants' visual search performance was studied. The participants (N = 12) performed two types of visual search tasks, that is, parallel and serial search, under three display-size conditions (16 degrees, 32 degrees, and 60 degrees). Serial, but not parallel, search was affected by display size. In the serial task, mean reaction time for detecting a target increased with the display size.
Tran, Annie; Hoffman, James E
In the multiple object tracking task, participants attempt to keep track of a moving set of target objects embedded in an identical set of moving distractors. Depending on several display parameters, observers are usually only able to accurately track 3 to 4 objects. Various proposals attribute this limit to a fixed number of discrete indexes (Pylyshyn, 1989), limits in visual attention (Cavanagh & Alvarez, 2005), or "architectural limits" in visual cortical areas (Franconeri, 2013). The present set of experiments examined the specific role of visual attention in tracking using a dual-task methodology in which participants tracked objects while identifying letter probes appearing on the tracked objects and distractors. As predicted by the visual attention model, probe identification was faster and/or more accurate when probes appeared on tracked objects. This was the case even when probes were more than twice as likely to appear on distractors suggesting that some minimum amount of attention is required to maintain accurate tracking performance. When the need to protect tracking accuracy was relaxed, participants were able to allocate more attention to distractors when probes were likely to appear there but only at the expense of large reductions in tracking accuracy. A final experiment showed that people attend to tracked objects even when letters appearing on them are task-irrelevant, suggesting that allocation of attention to tracked objects is an obligatory process. These results support the claim that visual attention is required for tracking objects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Bosse, T.; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.
In this paper a simulation model for visual attention is discussed and formally analysed. The model is part of the design of a cognitive system which comprises an agent that supports a naval officer in its task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in
Kimchi, Ruth; Yeshurun, Yaffa; Spehar, Branka; Pirkner, Yossef
We have previously demonstrated that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field into an object attracts attention automatically. Here, we explored three different aspects of this automatic attentional capture: (a) Does the attentional capture by an object involve a spatial component? (b) Which Gestalt organization factors suffice for an object to capture attention? (c) Does the strength of organization affect the object's ability to capture attention? Participants viewed multi-elements displays and either identified the color of one element or responded to a Vernier target. On some trials, a subset of the elements grouped by Gestalt factors into an object that was irrelevant to the task and not predictive of the target. An object effect - faster performance for targets within the object than for targets outside the object - was found even when the target appeared after the object offset, and was sensitive to target-object distance, suggesting that the capture of attention by an object is accompanied by a deployment of attention to the object location. Object effects of similar magnitude were found for objects grouped by a combination of factors (collinearity, closure, and symmetry, or closure and symmetry) or by a single factor when it was collinearity, but not symmetry, suggesting that collinearity, or closure combined with symmetry, suffices for automatic capture of attention by an object, but symmetry does not. Finally, the strength of grouping in modal completion, manipulated by varying contrast polarity between and within elements, affected the effectiveness of the attentional capture by the induced object. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... statistically to lesion location and size measured by MRI. Visual processing speed was impaired in the contralesional hemifield for most patients, but typically preserved ipsilesionally, even after large cortico-subcortical lesions. When bilateral deficits in processing speed occurred, they were related...... to damage in the right middle frontal gyrus or leukoaraiosis. The storage capacity of VSTM was also normal for most patients, but deficits were found after severe leukoaraiosis or large strokes extending deep into white matter. Thus, the study demonstrated the importance of white-matter connectivity...
López Bonal, María Teresa; Fernández Caballero, Antonio; Saiz Valverde, Sergio
Depth inclusion as an important parameter for dynamic selective visual attention is presented in this article. The model introduced in this paper is based on two previously developed models, dynamic selective visual attention and visual stereoscopy, giving rise to the so-called dynamic stereoscopic selective visual attention method. The three models are based on the accumulative computation problem-solving method. This paper shows how software reusability enables enhancing results in vision r...
Gozli, Davood G; Moskowitz, Joshua B; Pratt, Jay
Expecting a particular stimulus can facilitate processing of that stimulus over others, but what is the fate of other stimuli that are known to co-occur with the expected stimulus? This study examined the impact of learned association on feature-based attention. The findings show that the effectiveness of an uninformative color transient in orienting attention can change by learned associations between colors and the expected target shape. In an initial acquisition phase, participants learned two distinct sequences of stimulus-response-outcome, where stimuli were defined by shape ('S' vs. 'H'), responses were localized key-presses (left vs. right), and outcomes were colors (red vs. green). Next, in a test phase, while expecting a target shape (80% probable), participants showed reliable attentional orienting to the color transient associated with the target shape, and showed no attentional orienting with the color associated with the alternative target shape. This bias seemed to be driven by learned association between shapes and colors, and not modulated by the response. In addition, the bias seemed to depend on observing target-color conjunctions, since encountering the two features disjunctively (without spatiotemporal overlap) did not replicate the findings. We conclude that associative learning - likely mediated by mechanisms underlying visual object representation - can extend the impact of goal-driven attention to features associated with a target stimulus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carlisle, Nancy B; Kristjánsson, Árni
Recent evidence shows that when the contents of visual working memory overlap with targets and distractors in a pop-out search task, intertrial priming is inhibited (Kristjánsson, Sævarsson & Driver, Psychon Bull Rev 20(3):514-521, 2013, Experiment 2, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review). This may reflect an interesting interaction between implicit short-term memory-thought to underlie intertrial priming-and explicit visual working memory. Evidence from a non-pop-out search task suggests that it may specifically be holding distractors in visual working memory that disrupts intertrial priming (Cunningham & Egeth, Psychol Sci 27(4):476-485, 2016, Experiment 2, Psychological Science). We examined whether the inhibition of priming depends on whether feature values in visual working memory overlap with targets or distractors in the pop-out search, and we found that the inhibition of priming resulted from holding distractors in visual working memory. These results are consistent with separate mechanisms of target and distractor effects in intertrial priming, and support the notion that the impact of implicit short-term memory and explicit visual working memory can interact when each provides conflicting attentional signals.
Mitsven, Samantha G; Cantrell, Lisa M; Luck, Steven J; Oakes, Lisa M
Adults' visual attention is guided by the contents of visual short-term memory (VSTM). Here we asked whether 10-month-old infants' (N = 41) visual attention is also guided by the information stored in VSTM. In two experiments, we modified the one-shot change detection task (Oakes, Baumgartner, Barrett, Messenger, & Luck, 2013) to create a simplified cued visual search task to ask how information stored in VSTM influences where infants look. A single sample item (e.g., a colored circle) was presented at fixation for 500 ms, followed by a brief (300 ms) retention interval and then a test array consisting of two items, one on each side of fixation. One item in the test array matched the sample stimulus and the other did not. Infants were more likely to look at the non-matching item than at the matching item, demonstrating that the information stored rapidly in VSTM guided subsequent looking behavior. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Scholderer, Joachim; Jeppesen, Heine
An eye-tracking experiment is reported in which the effects of alcohol intoxication on visual attention were tested. Based on findings from the psychopharmacological literature, it was hypothesised that the salience of visual elements in complex advertisements would be amplified, whereas...... the processing of conceptual information would be impaired. The results indicate that the visual salience of logos (either brand and corporate) is selectively increased under the influence of alcohol whilst other pictorial elements (representations of products or human models) are unaffected. Processing...
Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus
We investigated the role of two kinds of attention-visual and central attention-for the maintenance of visual representations in working memory (WM). In Experiment 1 we directed attention to individual items in WM by presenting cues during the retention interval of a continuous delayed-estimation task, and instructing participants to think of the cued items. Attending to items improved recall commensurate with the frequency with which items were attended (0, 1, or 2 times). Experiments 1 and 3 further tested which kind of attention-visual or central-was involved in WM maintenance. We assessed the dual-task costs of two types of distractor tasks, one tapping sustained visual attention and one tapping central attention. Only the central attention task yielded substantial dual-task costs, implying that central attention substantially contributes to maintenance of visual information in WM. Experiment 2 confirmed that the visual-attention distractor task was demanding enough to disrupt performance in a task relying on visual attention. We combined the visual-attention and the central-attention distractor tasks with a multiple object tracking (MOT) task. Distracting visual attention, but not central attention, impaired MOT performance. Jointly, the three experiments provide a double dissociation between visual and central attention, and between visual WM and visual object tracking: Whereas tracking multiple targets across the visual filed depends on visual attention, visual WM depends mostly on central attention.
Kliegl, Reinhold; Wei, Ping; Dambacher, Michael; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin
Linear mixed models (LMMs) provide a still underused methodological perspective on combining experimental and individual-differences research. Here we illustrate this approach with two-rectangle cueing in visual attention (Egly et al., 1994). We replicated previous experimental cue-validity effects relating to a spatial shift of attention within an object (spatial effect), to attention switch between objects (object effect), and to the attraction of attention toward the display centroid (attraction effect), also taking into account the design-inherent imbalance of valid and other trials. We simultaneously estimated variance/covariance components of subject-related random effects for these spatial, object, and attraction effects in addition to their mean reaction times (RTs). The spatial effect showed a strong positive correlation with mean RT and a strong negative correlation with the attraction effect. The analysis of individual differences suggests that slow subjects engage attention more strongly at the cued location than fast subjects. We compare this joint LMM analysis of experimental effects and associated subject-related variances and correlations with two frequently used alternative statistical procedures. PMID:21833292
D A Baker
Full Text Available Several highly-cited experiments have presented evidence suggesting that neuroimages may unduly bias laypeople's judgments of scientific research. This finding has been especially worrisome to the legal community in which neuroimage techniques may be used to produce evidence of a person's mental state. However, a more recent body of work that has looked directly at the independent impact of neuroimages on layperson decision-making (both in legal and more general arenas, and has failed to find evidence of bias. To help resolve these conflicting findings, this research uses eye tracking technology to provide a measure of attention to different visual representations of neuroscientific data. Finding an effect of neuroimages on the distribution of attention would provide a potential mechanism for the influence of neuroimages on higher-level decisions. In the present experiment, a sample of laypeople viewed a vignette that briefly described a court case in which the defendant's actions might have been explained by a neurological defect. Accompanying these vignettes was either an MRI image of the defendant's brain, or a bar graph depicting levels of brain activity-two competing visualizations that have been the focus of much of the previous research on the neuroimage bias. We found that, while laypeople differentially attended to neuroimagery relative to the bar graph, this did not translate into differential judgments in a way that would support the idea of a neuroimage bias.
Uchikawa, Keiji; Sato, Masayuki; Kuwamura, Keiko
Visual attention has a significant effect on various visual functions, such as response time, detection and discrimination sensitivity, and color appearance. It has been suggested that visual attention may affect visual functions in the early visual pathways. In this study we examined selective effects of visual attention on sensitivities of the chromatic and achromatic pathways to clarify whether visual attention modifies responses in the early visual system. We used a dual task paradigm in which the observer detected a peripheral test stimulus presented at 4 deg eccentricities while the observer concurrently carried out an attention task in the central visual field. In experiment 1, it was confirmed that peripheral spectral sensitivities were reduced more for short and long wavelengths than for middle wavelengths with the central attention task so that the spectral sensitivity function changed its shape by visual attention. This indicated that visual attention affected the chromatic response more strongly than the achromatic response. In experiment 2 it was obtained that the detection thresholds increased in greater degrees in the red-green and yellow-blue chromatic directions than in the white-black achromatic direction in the dual task condition. In experiment 3 we showed that the peripheral threshold elevations depended on the combination of color-directions of the central and peripheral stimuli. Since the chromatic and achromatic responses were separately processed in the early visual pathways, the present results provided additional evidence that visual attention affects responses in the early visual pathways.
Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees
Despite the acknowledged relationship between consciousness and attention, theories of the two have mostly been developed separately. Moreover, these theories have independently attempted to explain phenomena in which both are likely to interact, such as the attentional blink (AB) and working memory (WM) consolidation. Here, we make an effort to bridge the gap between, on the one hand, a theory of consciousness based on the notion of global workspace (GW) and, on the other, a synthesis of theories of visual attention. We offer a theory of attention and consciousness (TAC) that provides a unified neurocognitive account of several phenomena associated with visual search, AB and WM consolidation. TAC assumes multiple processing stages between early visual representation and conscious access, and extends the dynamics of the global neuronal workspace model to a visual attentional workspace (VAW). The VAW is controlled by executive routers, higher-order representations of executive operations in the GW, without the need for explicit saliency or priority maps. TAC leads to newly proposed mechanisms for illusory conjunctions, AB, inattentional blindness and WM capacity, and suggests neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Finally, the theory reconciles the all-or-none and graded perspectives on conscious representation.
Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees
Despite the acknowledged relationship between consciousness and attention, theories of the two have mostly been developed separately. Moreover, these theories have independently attempted to explain phenomena in which both are likely to interact, such as the attentional blink (AB) and working memory (WM) consolidation. Here, we make an effort to bridge the gap between, on the one hand, a theory of consciousness based on the notion of global workspace (GW) and, on the other, a synthesis of theories of visual attention. We offer a theory of attention and consciousness (TAC) that provides a unified neurocognitive account of several phenomena associated with visual search, AB and WM consolidation. TAC assumes multiple processing stages between early visual representation and conscious access, and extends the dynamics of the global neuronal workspace model to a visual attentional workspace (VAW). The VAW is controlled by executive routers, higher-order representations of executive operations in the GW, without the need for explicit saliency or priority maps. TAC leads to newly proposed mechanisms for illusory conjunctions, AB, inattentional blindness and WM capacity, and suggests neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Finally, the theory reconciles the all-or-none and graded perspectives on conscious representation. PMID:24639586
Pieters, F.G.M.; Rosbergen, E.; Wedel, M.
The authors examine consumers' visual attention during repeated exposures to print advertisements using eye-tracking methodology. The authors propose a statistical model comprising submodels for two key measures of visual attention to elements of the advertisement: attention duration and inter- and
Pieters, F.G.M.; Rosbergen, E.; Wedel, M.
The authors examine consumers' visual attention during repeated exposures to print advertisements using eye-tracking methodology. The authors propose a statistical model comprising submodels for two key measures of visual attention to elements of the advertisement: attention duration and inter- and
Shimi, Andria; Scerif, Gaia
Over the past decades there has been a surge of research aiming to shed light on the nature of capacity limits to visual short-term memory (VSTM). However, an integrative account of this evidence is currently missing. We argue that investigating parameters constraining VSTM in childhood suggests a novel integrative model of VSTM maintenance, and that this in turn informs mechanisms of VSTM maintenance in adulthood. Over 3 experiments with 7-year-olds and young adults (total N=206), we provide evidence for multiple cognitive processes interacting to constrain VSTM performance. While age-related increases in storage capacity are undisputable, we replicate the finding that attentional processes control what information will be encoded and maintained in VSTM in the face of increased competition. Therefore, a central process to the current model is attentional refreshment, a mechanism that it is thought to reactivate and strengthen the signal of the visual representations. Critically, here we also show that attentional influences on VSTM are further constrained by additional factors, traditionally studied to the exclusion of each other, such as memory load and temporal decay. We propose that these processes work synergistically in an elegant manner to capture the adult-end state, whereas their less refined efficiency and modulations in childhood account for the smaller VSTM capacity that 7-year-olds demonstrate compared to older individuals. We conclude that going beyond the investigation of single cognitive mechanisms, to their interactions, holds the promise to understand both developing and fully developed maintenance in VSTM. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbaek, Soren
A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally…
Hoekstra, A; Prendinger, H.; Bee, N.; Heylen, Dirk K.J.; Ishizuka, M.
This research proposes 3D graphical agents in the role of virtual presenters with a new type of functionality – the capability to process and respond to visual attention of users communicated by their eye movements. Eye gaze is an excellent clue to users’ attention, visual interest, and visual
Tadic, Valerie; Pring, Linda; Dale, Naomi
The study investigated attentional processes of 32 preschool children with congenital visual impairment (VI). Children with profound visual impairment (PVI) and severe visual impairment (SVI) were compared to a group of typically developing sighted children in their ability to respond to adult directed attention in terms of establishing,…
Mulckhuyse, M.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, J.
Previous research has shown that the extent to which people spread attention across the visual field plays a crucial role in visual selection and the occurrence of bottom-up driven attentional capture. Consistent with previous findings, we show that when attention was diffusely distributed across
Full Text Available Artificial vision systems cannot process all the information that they receive from the world in real time because it is highly expensive and inefficient in terms of computational cost. Inspired by biological perception systems, articial attention models pursuit to select only the relevant part of the scene. Besides, it is well established that the units of attention on human vision are not merely spatial but closely related to perceptual objects (proto-objects. This implies a strong bidirectional relationship between segmentation and attention processes. Therefore, while the segmentation process is the responsible to extract the proto-objects from the scene, attention can guide segmentation, arising the concept of foveal attention. When the focus of attention is deployed from one visual unit to another, the rest of the scene is perceived but at a lower resolution that the focused object. The result is a multi-resolution visual perception in which the fovea, a dimple on the central retina, provides the highest resolution vision. In this paper, a bottom-up foveal attention model is presented. In this model the input image is a foveal image represented using a Cartesian Foveal Geometry (CFG, which encodes the field of view of the sensor as a fovea (placed in the focus of attention surrounded by a set of concentric rings with decreasing resolution. Then multirresolution perceptual segmentation is performed by building a foveal polygon using the Bounded Irregular Pyramid (BIP. Bottom-up attention is enclosed in the same structure, allowing to set the fovea over the most salient image proto-object. Saliency is computed as a linear combination of multiple low level features such us colour and intensity contrast, symmetry, orientation and roundness. Obtained results from natural images show that the performance of the combination of hierarchical foveal segmentation and saliency estimation is good in terms of accuracy and speed.
Mayer, Jutta S; Bittner, Robert A; Nikolić, Danko; Bledowski, Christoph; Goebel, Rainer; Linden, David E J
Humans are severely limited in their ability to memorize visual information over short periods of time. Selective attention has been implicated as a limiting factor. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to test the hypothesis that this limitation is due to common neural resources shared by visual working memory (WM) and selective attention. We combined visual search and delayed discrimination of complex objects and independently modulated the demands on selective attention and WM encoding. Participants were presented with a search array and performed easy or difficult visual search in order to encode one or three complex objects into visual WM. Overlapping activation for attention-demanding visual search and WM encoding was observed in distributed posterior and frontal regions. In the right prefrontal cortex and bilateral insula blood oxygen-level-dependent activation additively increased with increased WM load and attentional demand. Conversely, several visual, parietal and premotor areas showed overlapping activation for the two task components and were severely reduced in their WM load response under the condition with high attentional demand. Regions in the left prefrontal cortex were selectively responsive to WM load. Areas selectively responsive to high attentional demand were found within the right prefrontal and bilateral occipital cortex. These results indicate that encoding into visual WM and visual selective attention require to a high degree access to common neural resources. We propose that competition for resources shared by visual attention and WM encoding can limit processing capabilities in distributed posterior brain regions.
Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M
In an attempt to investigate the impact of positive emotions on visual attention within the context of Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build model, eye tracking was used in two studies to measure visual attentional preferences of college students (n=58, n=26) to emotional pictures. Half of each sample experienced induced positive mood immediately before viewing slides of three similarly-valenced images, in varying central-peripheral arrays. Attentional breadth was determined by measuring the percentage viewing time to peripheral images as well as by the number of visual saccades participants made per slide. Consistent with Fredrickson's theory, the first study showed that individuals induced into positive mood fixated more on peripheral stimuli than did control participants; however, this only held true for highly-valenced positive stimuli. Participants under induced positive mood also made more frequent saccades for slides of neutral and positive valence. A second study showed that these effects were not simply due to differences in emotional arousal between stimuli. Selective attentional broadening to positive stimuli may act both to facilitate later building of resources as well as to maintain current positive affective states.
de Heering, Adélaïde; Dormal, Giulia; Pelland, Maxime; Lewis, Terri; Maurer, Daphne; Collignon, Olivier
Is a short and transient period of visual deprivation early in life sufficient to induce lifelong changes in how we attend to, and integrate, simple visual and auditory information [1, 2]? This question is of crucial importance given the recent demonstration in both animals and humans that a period of blindness early in life permanently affects the brain networks dedicated to visual, auditory, and multisensory processing [1-16]. To address this issue, we compared a group of adults who had been treated for congenital bilateral cataracts during early infancy with a group of normally sighted controls on a task requiring simple detection of lateralized visual and auditory targets, presented alone or in combination. Redundancy gains obtained from the audiovisual conditions were similar between groups and surpassed the reaction time distribution predicted by Miller's race model. However, in comparison to controls, cataract-reversal patients were faster at processing simple auditory targets and showed differences in how they shifted attention across modalities. Specifically, they were faster at switching attention from visual to auditory inputs than in the reverse situation, while an opposite pattern was observed for controls. Overall, these results reveal that the absence of visual input during the first months of life does not prevent the development of audiovisual integration but enhances the salience of simple auditory inputs, leading to a different crossmodal distribution of attentional resources between auditory and visual stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew
averaged spatiotemporal pooling. The local quality is derived from visual attention modeling and quality variations over frames. Saliency, motion, and contrast information are taken into account in modeling visual attention, which is then integrated into IQMs to calculate the local quality of a video frame...... average between the global quality and the local quality. Experimental results demonstrate that the combination of the global quality and local quality outperforms both sole global quality and local quality, as well as other quality models, in video quality assessment. In addition, the proposed video...... quality modeling algorithm can improve the performance of image quality metrics on video quality assessment compared to the normal averaged spatiotemporal pooling scheme....
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan
Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Redi, J.A.; Liu, H.; Zunino, R.; Heynderickx, I.E.J.R.
Several attempts to integrate visual saliency information in quality metrics are described in literature, albeit with contradictory results. The way saliency is integrated in quality metrics should reflect the mechanisms underlying the interaction between image quality assessment and visual
Pinto, Y.; Vandenbroucke, A.R.; Otten, M.; Sligte, I.G.; Seth, A.K.; Lamme, V.A.F.
Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Clark, Ian A; Cravo, André M; Stokes, Mark G
When a memory is forgotten, is it lost forever? Our study shows that selective attention can restore forgotten items to visual short-term memory (VSTM). In our two experiments, all stimuli presented in a memory array were designed to be equally task relevant during encoding. During the retention interval, however, participants were sometimes given a cue predicting which of the memory items would be probed at the end of the delay. This shift in task relevance improved recall for that item. We found that this type of cuing improved recall for items that otherwise would have been irretrievable, providing critical evidence that attention can restore forgotten information to VSTM. Psychophysical modeling of memory performance has confirmed that restoration of information in VSTM increases the probability that the cued item is available for recall but does not improve the representational quality of the memory. We further suggest that attention can restore discrete items to VSTM.
Stentiford, Fred W. M.
This paper provides a brief outline of the approaches to modeling human visual attention. Bottom-up and top-down mechanisms are described together with some of the problems that they face. It has been suggested in brain science that memory functions by trading measurement precision for associative power; sensory inputs from the environment are never identical on separate occasions, but the associations with memory compensate for the differences. A graphical representation for image similarity is described that relies on the size of maximally associative structures (cliques) that are found to reflect between pairs of images. This is applied to the recognition of movie posters, the location and recognition of characters, and the recognition of faces. The similarity mechanism is shown to model popout effects when constraints are placed on the physical separation of pixels that correspond to nodes in the maximal cliques. The effect extends to modeling human visual behaviour on the Poggendorff illusion.
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T.
or a placebo gum. The experimental paradigm was a letter recognition task with varied stimulus durations terminated by pattern masks. The temporal threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K), and attentional selectivity (alpha) were...... encoding of information into visual short-term memory is begun, but (b) decreases the rate of encoding and possibly also the attentional selectivity.......Objective: Nicotine is an important cholinergic neurotransmitter that has been linked to various cognitive functions. Several studies have observed attentional modulations after nicotine, but the roles played by nicotine and other cholinergic substances in attention remain unclear. The aim...
Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte
that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm......Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual...... agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested...
Mavritsaki, Eirini; Heinke, Dietmar; Allen, Harriet; Deco, Gustavo; Humphreys, Glyn W.
We present the case for a role of biologically plausible neural network modeling in bridging the gap between physiology and behavior. We argue that spiking-level networks can allow "vertical" translation between physiological properties of neural systems and emergent "whole-system" performance--enabling psychological results to be simulated from…
Vernet, Marine; Japee, Shruti; Lokey, Savannah; Ahmed, Sara; Zachariou, Valentinos; Ungerleider, Leslie G
Visuospatial attention often improves task performance by increasing signal gain at attended locations and decreasing noise at unattended locations. Attention is also believed to be the mechanism that allows information to enter awareness. In this experiment, we assessed whether orienting endogenous visuospatial attention with cues differentially affects visual discrimination sensitivity (an objective task performance) and visual awareness (the subjective feeling of perceiving) during the same discrimination task. Gabor patch targets were presented laterally, either at low contrast (contrast stimuli) or at high contrast embedded in noise (noise stimuli). Participants reported their orientation either in a 3-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise, unknown) that allowed for both objective and subjective reports, or in a 2-alternative choice task (clockwise, counterclockwise) that provided a control for objective reports. Signal detection theory models were fit to the experimental data: estimated perceptual sensitivity reflected objective performance; decision criteria, or subjective biases, were a proxy for visual awareness. Attention increased sensitivity (i.e., improved objective performance) for the contrast, but not for the noise stimuli. Indeed, with the latter, attention did not further enhance the already high target signal or reduce the already low uncertainty on its position. Interestingly, for both contrast and noise stimuli, attention resulted in more liberal criteria, i.e., awareness increased. The noise condition is thus an experimental configuration where people think they see the targets they attend to better, even if they do not. This could be explained by an internal representation of their attentional state, which influences awareness independent of objective visual signals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.
Examined contributions of cognitive processing speed, short-term memory capacity, and attention to infant visual recognition memory. Found that infants who showed better attention and faster processing had better recognition memory. Contributions of attention and processing speed were independent of one another and similar at all ages studied--5,…
Liu, H.; Heynderickx, I.E.J.
Current research on image quality assessment tends to include visual attention in objective metrics to further enhance their performance. A variety of computational models of visual attention are implemented in different metrics, but their accuracy in representing human visual attention is not fully
Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad
Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Fitzpatrick, C. M.; Caballero-Puntiverio, M.; Gether, U.
Rationale The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds...... on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual...... modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. Results The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis...
What is the relation between visual attention and visual awareness? It is difficult to imagine being aware of something without attending to it, and by some, visual consciousness is simply equated to what is in the focus of attention. However, findings from psychological as well as from
Peters, II, Richard A. (Inventor)
A method is described for mapping dense sensory data to a Sensory Ego Sphere (SES). Methods are also described for finding and ranking areas of interest in the images that form a complete visual scene on an SES. Further, attentional processing of image data is best done by performing attentional processing on individual full-size images from the image sequence, mapping each attentional location to the nearest node, and then summing all attentional locations at each node.
Fougnie, Daryl; Cockhren, Jurnell; Marois, René
Tasks that require tracking visual information reveal the severe limitations of our capacity to attend to multiple objects that vary in time and space. Although these limitations have been extensively characterized in the visual domain, very little is known about tracking information in other sensory domains. Does tracking auditory information exhibit characteristics similar to those of tracking visual information, and to what extent do these two tracking tasks draw on the same attention resources? We addressed these questions by asking participants to perform either single or dual tracking tasks from the same (visual-visual) or different (visual-auditory) perceptual modalities, with the difficulty of the tracking tasks being manipulated across trials. The results revealed that performing two concurrent tracking tasks, whether they were in the same or different modalities, affected tracking performance as compared to performing each task alone (concurrence costs). Moreover, increasing task difficulty also led to increased costs in both the single-task and dual-task conditions (load-dependent costs). The comparison of concurrence costs between visual-visual and visual-auditory dual-task performance revealed slightly greater interference when two visual tracking tasks were paired. Interestingly, however, increasing task difficulty led to equivalent costs for visual-visual and visual-auditory pairings. We concluded that visual and auditory tracking draw largely, though not exclusively, on common central attentional resources.
Gilbert, C; Ito, M; Kapadia, M; Westheimer, G
Attention in early visual processing engages the higher order, context dependent properties of neurons. Even at the earliest stages of visual cortical processing neurons play a role in intermediate level vision - contour integration and surface segmentation. The contextual influences mediating this process may be derived from long range connections within primary visual cortex (V1). These influences are subject to perceptual learning, and are strongly modulated by visuospatial attention, which is itself a learning dependent process. The attentional influences may involve interactions between feedback and horizontal connections in V1. V1 is therefore a dynamic and active processor, subject to top-down influences.
Clements, K M; Devonshire, I M; Reynolds, J N J; Overton, P G
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by overactivity, impulsiveness and attentional problems, including an increase in distractibility. A structure that is intimately linked with distractibility is the superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain sensory structure which plays a particular role in the production of eye and head movements. Although others have proposed the involvement of such diverse elements as the frontal cortex and forebrain noradrenaline in ADHD, given the role of the colliculus in distractibility and the increased distractibility in ADHD, we have proposed that distractibility in ADHD arises due to collicular sensory hyper-responsiveness. To further investigate this possibility, we recorded the extracellular activity (multi-unit (MUA) and local field potential (LFP)) in the superficial visual layers of the SC in an animal model of ADHD, the New Zealand genetically hypertensive (GH) rat, in response to wholefield light flashes. The MUA and LFP peak amplitude and summed activity within a one-second time window post-stimulus were both significantly greater in GH rats than in Wistar controls, across the full range of stimulus intensities. Given that baseline firing rate did not differ between the strains, this suggests that the signal-to-noise ratio is elevated in GH animals. D-Amphetamine reduced the peak amplitude and summed activity of the multi-unit response in Wistar animals. It also reduced the peak amplitude and summed activity of the multi-unit response in GH animals, at higher doses bringing it down to levels that were equivalent to those of Wistar animals at baseline. The present results provide convergent evidence that a collicular dysfunction (sensory hyper-responsiveness) is present in ADHD, and that it may underlie the enhanced distractibility. In addition, D-amphetamine - a widely used treatment in ADHD - may have one of its loci of therapeutic action at the level of the
Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Irwin, D.E.
The current study shows that spatial visual attention is used to retrieve information from visual working memory. Participants had to keep four colored circles in visual working memory. While keeping this information in memory we asked whether one of the colors was present in the array. While
Sanders-Jackson, Ashley N.; Cappella, Joseph N.; Linebarger, Deborah L.; Piotrowski, Jessica Taylor; O'Keeffe, Moira; Strasser, Andrew A.
This study examines how addicted smokers attend visually to smoking-related public service announcements (PSAs) in adults smokers. Smokers' onscreen visual fixation is an indicator of cognitive resources allocated to visual attention. Characteristic of individuals with addictive tendencies, smokers are expected to be appetitively activated by…
Petersen, A; Vangkilde, S; Fabricius, C; Iversen, H K; Delfi, T S; Starrfelt, R
Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific measurements of processing speed and apprehension span. All patients showed reductions in visual span contralateral to the lesion site, and four patients showed bilateral reductions in visual span despite unilateral lesions (2L; 2R). Six patients showed selective deficits in visual span, though processing speed was unaffected in the same field (ipsi- or contralesionally). Only patients with right hemifield reductions in visual span were impaired in reading, and this could follow either right or left lateralized stroke and was irrespective of visual field impairments. In conclusion, visual span may be affected bilaterally by unilateral PCA-lesions. Reductions in visual span may also be confined to one hemifield, and may be affected in spite of preserved visual processing speed. Furthermore, reduced span in the right visual field seems to be related to reading impairment in this group, regardless of lesion lateralization. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Emrich, Stephen M; Lockhart, Holly A; Al-Aidroos, Naseem
Though it is clear that it is impossible to store an unlimited amount of information in visual working memory (VWM), the limiting mechanisms remain elusive. While several models of VWM limitations exist, these typically characterize changes in performance as a function of the number of to-be-remembered items. Here, we examine whether changes in spatial attention could better account for VWM performance, independent of load. Across 2 experiments, performance was better predicted by the prioritization of memory items (i.e., attention) than by the number of items to be remembered (i.e., memory load). This relationship followed a power law, and held regardless of whether performance was assessed based on overall precision or any of 3 measures in a mixture model. Moreover, at large set sizes, even minimally attended items could receive a small proportion of resources, without any evidence for a discrete-capacity on the number of items that could be maintained in VWM. Finally, the observed data were best fit by a variable-precision model in which response error was related to the proportion of resources allocated to each item, consistent with a model of VWM in which performance is determined by the continuous allocation of attentional resources during encoding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Kirk, Hannah E.; Gray, Kylie; Riby, Deborah M.; Taffe, John; Cornish, Kim M.
Despite well-documented attention deficits in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), distinctions across types of attention problems and their association with academic attainment has not been fully explored. This study examines visual attention capacities and inattentive/hyperactive behaviours in 77 children aged 4 to…
Full Text Available In a crowded visual scene, attention must be distributed efficiently and flexibly over time and space to accommodate different contexts. It is well established that selective attention enhances the corresponding neural responses, presumably implying that attention would persistently dwell on the task-relevant item. Meanwhile, recent studies, mostly in divided attentional contexts, suggest that attention does not remain stationary but samples objects alternately over time, suggesting a rhythmic view of attention. However, it remains unknown whether the dynamic mechanism essentially mediates attentional processes at a general level. Importantly, there is also a complete lack of direct neural evidence reflecting whether and how the brain rhythmically samples multiple visual objects during stimulus processing. To address these issues, in this study, we employed electroencephalography (EEG and a temporal response function (TRF approach, which can dissociate responses that exclusively represent a single object from the overall neuronal activity, to examine the spatiotemporal characteristics of attention in various attentional contexts. First, attention, which is characterized by inhibitory alpha-band (approximately 10 Hz activity in TRFs, switches between attended and unattended objects every approximately 200 ms, suggesting a sequential sampling even when attention is required to mostly stay on the attended object. Second, the attentional spatiotemporal pattern is modulated by the task context, such that alpha-mediated switching becomes increasingly prominent as the task requires a more uniform distribution of attention. Finally, the switching pattern correlates with attentional behavioral performance. Our work provides direct neural evidence supporting a generally central role of temporal organization mechanism in attention, such that multiple objects are sequentially sorted according to their priority in attentional contexts. The results suggest
Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories have proposed that the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory is aided by a spatial rehearsal mechanism. In this study, we used two different approaches to test the hypothesis that overt and covert visual-spatial attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory. First, we tracked observers’ eye movements while remembering a variable number of objects during change-detection tasks. We observed that during the blank retention interval, participants spontaneously shifted gaze to the locations that the objects had occupied in the memory array. Next, we hypothesized that if attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations, then drawing attention away from the object locations during the retention interval would impair object memory during these change-detection tasks. Supporting this prediction, we found that attending to the fixation point in anticipation of a brief probe stimulus during the retention interval reduced change-detection accuracy even on the trials in which no probe occurred. These findings support models of working memory in which visual-spatial selection mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations. PMID:23371773
Cohen, Marlene R.
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously
Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously from neurons in primary
Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine
Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. . Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 339-354.) proposes that control of attention depends on the amount and type of load that is imposed by current processing. Specifically, perceptual load should lead to efficient distractor rejection, whereas working memory load (dual-task coordination) should hinder distractor rejection. Studies support load theory's prediction that working memory load will lead to larger distractor effects; however, these studies used secondary tasks that required only verbal working memory and the central executive. The present study examined which other working memory components (visual, spatial, and phonological) influence visual selective attention. Subjects completed an attentional capture task alone (single-task) or while engaged in a working memory task (dual-task). Results showed that along with the central executive, visual and spatial working memory influenced selective attention, but phonological working memory did not. Specifically, attentional capture was larger when visual or spatial working memory was loaded, but phonological working memory load did not affect attentional capture. The results are consistent with load theory and suggest specific components of working memory influence visual selective attention. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Mothes-Lasch, Martin; Mentzel, Hans-Joachim; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Straube, Thomas
In accordance with influential models proposing prioritized processing of threat, previous studies have shown automatic brain responses to angry prosody in the amygdala and the auditory cortex under auditory distraction conditions. However, it is unknown whether the automatic processing of angry prosody is also observed during cross-modal distraction. The current fMRI study investigated brain responses to angry versus neutral prosodic stimuli during visual distraction. During scanning, participants were exposed to angry or neutral prosodic stimuli while visual symbols were displayed simultaneously. By means of task requirements, participants either attended to the voices or to the visual stimuli. While the auditory task revealed pronounced activation in the auditory cortex and amygdala to angry versus neutral prosody, this effect was absent during the visual task. Thus, our results show a limitation of the automaticity of the activation of the amygdala and auditory cortex to angry prosody. The activation of these areas to threat-related voices depends on modality-specific attention.
contrast, Bocanegra and Zeelenberg (2009) demonstrated that emotional factors can improve some components of visual processing, while actually...on a year in Afghanistan. ARMY Magazine,59, 44-54. Bocanegra, B.R., & Zeelenberg , R. (2009). Emotion improves and impairs early vision
A method is proposed for measuring the visual conspicuity of an object in its background. Associated with each object is a conspicuity area, which is defined as the retinal area within which the object to be searched for is seen in a brief presentation. The size of this area can be used as a measure
Business model describes the company’s most important activities, proposed value, and the compensation for the value. Business model visualization enables to simply and systematically capture and describe the most important components of the business model while the standardization of the concept allows the comparison between companies. There are several possibilities how to visualize the model. The aim of this paper is to describe the options for business model visualization and business mod...
Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.
Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and
Gregory, Samantha E. A.; Jackson, Margaret C.
Joint attention--the mutual focus of 2 individuals on an item--speeds detection and discrimination of target information. However, what happens to that information beyond the initial perceptual episode? To fully comprehend and engage with our immediate environment also requires working memory (WM), which integrates information from second to…
Full Text Available Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting IAPS images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using Early Posterior Negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms as well as P3-like (P3, 300 – 500 ms and Slow Wave (SW, 500 – 1500 ms portions of the Late Positive Potential. All analysed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.
Linden, Lotje van der; Theeuwes, Jan; Ellis, Rob
van der Linden, L., Theeuwes, J., & Ellis, R. (2012). Getting a grip on affordances, attention, and visual fields. Poster presented at the 2012 William James Graduate School Symposium, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Morey, Candice C; Bieler, Malte
The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to bindings. We attempted to reconcile these findings by examining how memory for binding, for features, and for features during binding is affected by a concurrent attention-demanding task. We demonstrated that performing a concurrent task impairs memory for as few as two visual objects, regardless of whether each object includes one or more features. We argue that this pattern of results reflects an essential role for domain-general attention in visual memory, regardless of the simplicity of the to-be-remembered stimuli. We then discuss the implications of these findings for theories of visual working memory.
Skogsberg, KatieAnn; Grabowecky, Marcia; Wilt, Joshua; Revelle, William; Iordanescu, Lucica; Suzuki, Satoru
Many studies have examined attention mechanisms involved in specific behavioral tasks (e.g., search, tracking, distractor inhibition). However, relatively little is known about the relationships among those attention mechanisms. Is there a fundamental attention faculty that makes a person superior or inferior at most types of attention tasks, or do relatively independent processes mediate different attention skills? We focused on individual differences in voluntary visual-attention abilities using a battery of eleven representative tasks. An application of parallel analysis, hierarchical-cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling to the inter-task correlation matrix revealed four functional clusters, representing spatiotemporal attention, global attention, transient attention, and sustained attention, organized along two dimensions, one contrasting spatiotemporal and global attention and the other contrasting transient and sustained attention. Comparison with the neuroscience literature suggests that the spatiotemporal-global dimension corresponds to the dorsal frontoparietal circuit and the transient-sustained dimension corresponds to the ventral frontoparietal circuit, with distinct sub-regions mediating the separate clusters within each dimension. We also obtained highly specific patterns of gender difference, and of deficits for college students with elevated ADHD traits. These group differences suggest that different mechanisms of voluntary visual attention can be selectively strengthened or weakened based on genetic, experiential, and/or pathological factors. PMID:25867505
Jaworski, Jessica L Bean; Eigsti, Inge-Marie
Visual attention is integral to social interaction and is a critical building block for development in other domains (e.g., language). Furthermore, atypical attention (especially joint attention) is one of the earliest markers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study assesses low-level visual attention and its relation to social attentional processing in youth with ASD and typically developing (TD) youth, aged 7 to 18 years. The findings indicate difficulty overriding incorrect attentional cues in ASD, particularly with non-social (arrow) cues relative to social (face) cues. The findings also show reduced competition in ASD from cues that remain on-screen. Furthermore, social attention, autism severity, and age were all predictors of competing cue processing. The results suggest that individuals with ASD may be biased towards speeded rather than accurate responding, and further, that reduced engagement with visual information may impede responses to visual attentional cues. Once attention is engaged, individuals with ASD appear to interpret directional cues as meaningful. These findings from a controlled, experimental paradigm were mirrored in results from an ecologically valid measure of social attention. Attentional difficulties may be exacerbated during the complex and dynamic experience of actual social interaction. Implications for intervention are discussed.
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L.; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J.; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo
Full Text Available Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality. However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable
Models of visual attention have focused predominantly on bottom-up approaches that ignored structured contextual and scene information. I propose a model of contextual cueing for attention guidance based on the global scene configuration. It is shown that the statistics of low-level features across the whole image can be used to prime the presence or absence of objects in the scene and to predict their location, scale, and appearance before exploring the image. In this scheme, visual context information can become available early in the visual processing chain, which allows modulation of the saliency of image regions and provides an efficient shortcut for object detection and recognition. 2003 Optical Society of America
Schneider, Darryl W
Previous studies have shown that interference effects in the flanker task are reduced when physical barriers (e.g., hands) are placed around rather than below a target flanked by distractors. One explanation of this finding is the referential coding hypothesis, whereby the barriers serve as reference objects for allocating attention. In five experiments, the generality of the referential coding hypothesis was tested by investigating whether interference effects are modulated by the placement of virtual barriers (e.g., parentheses). Modulation of flanker interference was found only when target and distractors differed in size and the virtual barriers were beveled wood-grain objects. Under these conditions and those of previous studies, the author conjectures that an impression of depth was produced when the barriers were around the target, such that the target was perceived to be on a different depth plane than the distractors. Perception of depth in the stimulus display might have led to referential coding of the stimuli in three-dimensional (3-D) space, influencing the allocation of attention beyond the horizontal and vertical dimensions. This 3-D referential coding hypothesis is consistent with research on selective attention in 3-D space that shows flanker interference is reduced when target and distractors are separated in depth.
Rosen, Maya L; Stern, Chantal E; Michalka, Samantha W; Devaney, Kathryn J; Somers, David C
Visual attentional capacity is severely limited, but humans excel in familiar visual contexts, in part because long-term memories guide efficient deployment of attention. To investigate the neural substrates that support memory-guided visual attention, we performed a set of functional MRI experiments that contrast long-term, memory-guided visuospatial attention with stimulus-guided visuospatial attention in a change detection task. Whereas the dorsal attention network was activated for both forms of attention, the cognitive control network(CCN) was preferentially activated during memory-guided attention. Three posterior nodes in the CCN, posterior precuneus, posterior callosal sulcus/mid-cingulate, and lateral intraparietal sulcus exhibited the greatest specificity for memory-guided attention. These 3 regions exhibit functional connectivity at rest, and we propose that they form a subnetwork within the broader CCN. Based on the task activation patterns, we conclude that the nodes of this subnetwork are preferentially recruited for long-term memory guidance of visuospatial attention. Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Bundesen, C; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Houmann, K J
Subjects were presented with briefly exposed visual displays of words that were common first names with a length of four to six letters. In the main experiment, each display consisted of four words: two names shown in red and two shown in white. The subject's task was to report the red names (tar......, visual attention was not automatically attracted by the subject's own name....
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M.; Luck, Steven J.
Two experiments examined the hypothesis that developing visual attentional mechanisms influence infants' Visual Short-Term Memory (VSTM) in the context of multiple items. Five- and 10-month-old infants (N = 76) received a change detection task in which arrays of three differently colored squares appeared and disappeared. On each trial one square…
Bosse, Marie-Line; Tainturier, Marie Josephe; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span is defined as the amount of distinct visual elements which can be processed in parallel in a multi-element array. Both recent empirical data and theoretical accounts suggest that a VA span deficit might contribute to developmental dyslexia, independently of a phonological disorder. In this study, this hypothesis was…
Madsen, Adrian M.
The work described here represents an effort to understand and influence visual attention while solving physics problems containing a diagram. Our visual system is guided by two types of processes--top-down and bottom-up. The top-down processes are internal and determined by ones prior knowledge and goals. The bottom-up processes are external and…
Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.
How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found…
Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie
Various studies suggested that attentional difficulties cause toddlers' failure in some spatial search tasks. However, attention is not a unitary construct and this study investigated two attentional mechanisms: location selection (space-based attention) and object selection (object-based attention). We investigated how toddlers' attention is distributed in the visual field during a manual search task for objects moving out of sight, namely the moving boxes task. Results show that 2.5-year-olds who failed this task allocated more attention to the location of the relevant object than to the object itself. These findings suggest that in some manual search tasks the primacy of space-based attention over object-based attention could be a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neimeijer, Renate A.M.; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J.
The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent
Pieters, RGM; Rosbergen, E; Hartog, M; Corfman, KP; Lynch, JG
Using eye-tracking data, we examine the impact of motivation and repetition on visual attention to advertisements differing in argument quality. Our analyses indicate that repetition leads to an overall decrease in the amount of attention. However, while at first high motivation subjects attend to
Morey, Candice C.; Bieler, Malte
The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to
Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B.
Joint attention has been extensively studied in the developmental literature because of overwhelming evidence that the ability to socially coordinate visual attention to an object is essential to healthy developmental outcomes, including language learning. The goal of this study was to understand the complex system of sensory-motor behaviors that…
van Moorselaar, D.; Battistoni, E.; Theeuwes, J.; Olivers, C.N.L.
There is evidence that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory. Recently, it has been shown that focusing internal attention to a specific item in memory not only increases the accessibility of that specific item for retrieval, but also results in increased
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.
We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of…
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants’ early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n=325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at four centers of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, included high-risk (cocaine exposed) and matched non-cocaine exposed infants. Hierarchical regressions revealed that infants’ attention orienting at 1 month significantly predicted more frequent initiating joint attention at 12 (but not 18) months of age. Social engagement at 4 months predicted initiating joint attention at 18 months. Results provide the first empirical evidence for the role of visual attention and social engagement behaviors as developmental precursors for later joint attention outcome. PMID:27786527
Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P
Specialized, bimodal neural systems integrate visual and tactile information in the space near the hand. Here, we show that visuo-tactile representations allow attention to influence early perceptual processing, namely, figure-ground assignment. Regions that were reached toward were more likely than other regions to be assigned as foreground figures, and hand position competed with image-based information to bias figure-ground assignment. Our findings suggest that hand position allows attention to influence visual perceptual processing and that visual processes typically viewed as unimodal can be influenced by bimodal visuo-tactile representations.
Doolan, K J; Breslin, G; Hanna, D; Gallagher, A M
The incentive sensitisation model of obesity suggests that modification of the dopaminergic associated reward systems in the brain may result in increased awareness of food-related visual cues present in the current food environment. Having a heightened awareness of these visual food cues may impact on food choices and eating behaviours with those being most aware of or demonstrating greater attention to food-related stimuli potentially being at greater risk of overeating and subsequent weight gain. To date, research related to attentional responses to visual food cues has been both limited and conflicting. Such inconsistent findings may in part be explained by the use of different methodological approaches to measure attentional bias and the impact of other factors such as hunger levels, energy density of visual food cues and individual eating style traits that may influence visual attention to food-related cues outside of weight status alone. This review examines the various methodologies employed to measure attentional bias with a particular focus on the role that attentional processing of food-related visual cues may have in obesity. Based on the findings of this review, it appears that it may be too early to clarify the role visual attention to food-related cues may have in obesity. Results however highlight the importance of considering the most appropriate methodology to use when measuring attentional bias and the characteristics of the study populations targeted while interpreting results to date and in designing future studies.
Slotboom, Jantine; Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Bouman, Yvonne H A; In 't Hout, Willem; Sergiou, Carmen; van der Stigchel, Stefan; Theeuwes, Jan
Impairments in executive functioning give rise to reduced control of behavior and impulses, and are therefore a risk factor for violence and criminal behavior. However, the contribution of specific underlying processes remains unclear. A crucial element of executive functioning, and essential for cognitive control and goal-directed behavior, is visual attention. To further elucidate the importance of attentional functioning in the general offender population, we employed an attentional capture task to measure visual attention. We expected offenders to have impaired visual attention, as revealed by increased attentional capture, compared to healthy controls. When comparing the performance of 62 offenders to 69 healthy community controls, we found our hypothesis to be partly confirmed. Offenders were more accurate overall, more accurate in the absence of distracting information, suggesting superior attention. In the presence of distracting information offenders were significantly less accurate compared to when no distracting information was present. Together, these findings indicate that violent offenders may have superior attention, yet worse control over attention. As such, violent offenders may have trouble adjusting to unexpected, irrelevant stimuli, which may relate to failures in self-regulation and inhibitory control. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa
The ability to swiftly detect and prioritize the processing of relevant information around us is critical for the way we interact with our environment. Selective attention is a key mechanism that serves this purpose, improving performance in numerous visual tasks. Reflexively attending to sudden information helps detect impeding threat or danger, a possible reason why emotion modulates the way selective attention affects perception. For instance, the sudden appearance of a fearful face potentiates the effects of exogenous (involuntary, stimulus-driven) attention on performance. Internal states such as trait anxiety can also modulate the impact of attention on early visual processing. However, attention does not only improve performance; it also alters the way visual information appears to us, e.g. by enhancing perceived contrast. Here we show that emotion potentiates the effects of exogenous attention on both performance and perceived contrast. Moreover, we found that trait anxiety mediates these effects, with stronger influences of attention and emotion in anxious observers. Finally, changes in performance and appearance correlated with each other, likely reflecting common attentional modulations. Altogether, our findings show that emotion and anxiety interact with selective attention to truly alter how we see.
McLaughlin, Paula M; Anderson, Nicole D; Rich, Jill B; Chertkow, Howard; Murtha, Susan J E
Subtle deficits in visual selective attention have been found in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, few studies have explored performance on visual search paradigms or the Simon task, which are known to be sensitive to disease severity in Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, there is limited research investigating how deficiencies can be ameliorated with exogenous support (auditory cues). Sixteen individuals with aMCI and 14 control participants completed 3 experimental tasks that varied in demand and cue availability: visual search-alerting, visual search-orienting, and Simon task. Visual selective attention was influenced by aMCI, auditory cues, and task characteristics. Visual search abilities were relatively consistent across groups. The aMCI participants were impaired on the Simon task when working memory was required, but conflict resolution was similar to controls. Spatially informative orienting cues improved response times, whereas spatially neutral alerting cues did not influence performance. Finally, spatially informative auditory cues benefited the aMCI group more than controls in the visual search task, specifically at the largest array size where orienting demands were greatest. These findings suggest that individuals with aMCI have working memory deficits and subtle deficiencies in orienting attention and rely on exogenous information to guide attention. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Text Available Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles, thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.
Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna
Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM) content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing) and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton) was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles), thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.
Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph
, and spatial distribution of attention. The procedure used was short enough to be applicable within a standard clinical setting. Two brain-damaged patients, selected based on lesion location and neuropsychological test profile, were compared to a control group of 22 healthy subjects. One patient with a right......Based on a 'Theory of Visual Attention' (TVA), whole and partial report of brief letter arrays is presented as a diagnostic tool to estimate four clinically significant attentional components: perceptual processing speed, visual working memory storage capacity, efficiency of top-down control...... inferior parietal lesion showed a pattern of non-spatially and spatially lateralized attention deficits that is typically found in neglect patients. Results from the second patient supported the decisive role of superior frontal brain structures for top-down control of visual attention. This double...
Oray, Serkan; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dawson, Michael E
To investigate the cross-modal nature of the exogenous attention system, we studied how involuntary attention in the visual modality affects ERPs elicited by sudden onset of events in the auditory modality. Relatively loud auditory white noise bursts were presented to subjects with random and long inter-trial intervals. The noise bursts were either presented alone, or paired with a visual stimulus with a visual to auditory onset asynchrony of 120 ms. In a third condition, the visual stimuli were shown alone. All three conditions, auditory alone, visual alone, and paired visual/auditory, were randomly inter-mixed and presented with equal probabilities. Subjects were instructed to fixate on a point in front of them without task instructions concerning either the auditory or visual stimuli. ERPs were recorded from 28 scalp sites throughout every experimental session. Compared to ERPs in the auditory alone condition, pairing the auditory noise bursts with the visual stimulus reduced the amplitude of the auditory N100 component at Cz by 40% and the auditory P200/P300 component at Cz by 25%. No significant topographical change was observed in the scalp distributions of the N100 and P200/P300. Our results suggest that involuntary attention to visual stimuli suppresses early sensory (N100) as well as late cognitive (P200/P300) processing of sudden auditory events. The activation of the exogenous attention system by sudden auditory onset can be modified by involuntary visual attention in a cross-model, passive prepulse inhibition paradigm.
Dosher, Barbara; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Visual perceptual learning through practice or training can significantly improve performance on visual tasks. Originally seen as a manifestation of plasticity in the primary visual cortex, perceptual learning is more readily understood as improvements in the function of brain networks that integrate processes, including sensory representations, decision, attention, and reward, and balance plasticity with system stability. This review considers the primary phenomena of perceptual learning, theories of perceptual learning, and perceptual learning's effect on signal and noise in visual processing and decision. Models, especially computational models, play a key role in behavioral and physiological investigations of the mechanisms of perceptual learning and for understanding, predicting, and optimizing human perceptual processes, learning, and performance. Performance improvements resulting from reweighting or readout of sensory inputs to decision provide a strong theoretical framework for interpreting perceptual learning and transfer that may prove useful in optimizing learning in real-world applications.
Sakai, Tsugunosuke; Tamaki, Haruya; Ota, Yosuke; Egusa, Ryohei; Inagaki, Shigenori; Kusunoki, Fusako; Sugimoto, Masanori; Mizoguchi, Hiroshi
This paper describes the relationship between visual attention and eye blink frequency. In an experiment, we prompted the activation of a subject's visual attention and examined the influence of visual attention (as measured using electrodermal activity (EDA), which is meaningfully correlated with visual attention) on the subject's eye blink frequency. Experimental results show that engagement of visual attention decreased eye blink frequency and that when visual attention was not activated, ...
Proulx, Michael J
Can objects or events ever capture one's attention in a purely stimulus-driven manner? A recent review of the literature set out the criteria required to find stimulus-driven attentional capture independent of goal-directed influences, and concluded that no published study has satisfied that criteria. Here visual search experiments assessed whether an irrelevantly large object can capture attention. Capture of attention by this static visual feature was found. The results suggest that a large object can indeed capture attention in a stimulus-driven manner and independent of displaywide features of the task that might encourage a goal-directed bias for large items. It is concluded that these results are either consistent with the stimulus-driven criteria published previously or alternatively consistent with a flexible, goal-directed mechanism of saliency detection.
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants' early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n = 325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at 4 centers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human…
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre-attentive b......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre...... from each of the faces and from the voice on the auditory speech percept. We found that directing visual spatial attention towards a face increased the influence of that face on auditory perception. However, the influence of the voice on auditory perception did not change suggesting that audiovisual...... integration did not change. Visual spatial attention was also able to select between the faces when lip reading. This suggests that visual spatial attention acts at the level of visual speech perception prior to audiovisual integration and that the effect propagates through audiovisual integration...
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.
We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of visual selective attention. In the current simulation study, we used the same model to simulate 3-month-olds’ performance on a second measure, the percep...
Klein, Barrie P; Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O
Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an attention-demanding task at different locations. We show that spatial attention attracts pRF preferred positions across the entire visual field, not just at the attended location. This global change in pRF preferred positions systematically increases up the visual hierarchy. We model these pRF preferred position changes as an interaction between two components: an attention field and a pRF without the influence of attention. This computational model suggests that increasing effects of attention up the hierarchy result primarily from differences in pRF size and that the attention field is similar across the visual hierarchy. A similar attention field suggests that spatial attention transforms different neural response selectivities throughout the visual hierarchy in a similar manner. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Delvenne, Jean-Francois; Holt, Jessica L.
Humans have the ability to attentionally select the most relevant visual information from their extrapersonal world and to retain it in a temporary buffer, known as visual short-term memory (VSTM). Research suggests that at least two non-contiguous items can be selected simultaneously when they are distributed across the two visual hemifields. In…
Cohen-Maitre, Stacey Ann; Haerich, Paul
This study investigated the ability of color and motion to elicit and maintain visual attention in a sample of children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). It found that colorful and moving objects may be used to engage children with CVI, increase their motivation to use their residual vision, and promote visual learning.
Wang, Wei; Ji, Xiangtong; Ni, Jun; Ye, Qian; Zhang, Sicong; Chen, Wenli; Bian, Rong; Yu, Cui; Zhang, Wenting; Shen, Guangyu; Machado, Sergio; Yuan, Tifei; Shan, Chunlei
To compare the effect of visual spatial training on the spatial attention to that on motor control and to correlate the improvement of spatial attention to motor control progress after visual spatial training in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). 9 cases with USN after right cerebral stroke were randomly divided into Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention and Conventional treatment group. The Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention received conventional rehabilitation therapy (physical and occupational therapy) and visual spatial attention training (optokinetic stimulation and right half-field eye patching). The Conventional treatment group was only treated with conventional rehabilitation training (physical and occupational therapy). All patients were assessed by behavioral inattention test (BIT), Fugl-Meyer Assessment of motor function (FMA), equilibrium coordination test (ECT) and non-equilibrium coordination test (NCT) before and after 4 weeks treatment. Total scores in both groups (without visual spatial attention/with visual spatial attention) improved significantly (BIT: P=0.021/P=0.000, d=1.667/d=2.116, power=0.69/power=0.98, 95%CI[-0.8839,45.88]/95%CI=[16.96,92.64]; FMA: P=0.002/P=0.000, d=2.521/d=2.700, power=0.93/power=0.98, 95%CI[5.707,30.79]/95%CI=[16.06,53.94]; ECT: P=0.002/ P=0.000, d=2.031/d=1.354, power=0.90/power=0.17, 95%CI[3.380,42.61]/95%CI=[-1.478,39.08]; NCT: P=0.013/P=0.000, d=1.124/d=1.822, power=0.41/power=0.56, 95%CI[-7.980,37.48]/95%CI=[4.798,43.60],) after treatment. Among the 2 groups, the group with visual spatial attention significantly improved in BIT (P=0.003, d=3.103, power=1, 95%CI[15.68,48.92]), FMA of upper extremity (P=0.006, d=2.771, power=1, 95%CI[5.061,20.14]) and NCT (P=0.010, d=2.214, power=0.81-0.90, 95%CI[3.018,15.88]). Correlative analysis shows that the change of BIT scores is positively correlated to the change of FMA total score (r=0.77, Pvisual spatial training could
Ettenhofer, Mark L; Hershaw, Jamie N; Barry, David M
Computerized cognitive tests measuring manual response time (RT) and errors are often used in the assessment of visual attention. Evidence suggests that saccadic RT and errors may also provide valuable information about attention. This study was conducted to examine a novel approach to multimodal assessment of visual attention incorporating concurrent measurements of saccadic eye movements and manual responses. A computerized cognitive task, the Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure (BEAM) v.34, was designed to evaluate key attention networks through concurrent measurement of saccadic and manual RT and inhibition errors. Results from a community sample of n = 54 adults were analyzed to examine effects of BEAM attention cues on manual and saccadic RT and inhibition errors, internal reliability of BEAM metrics, relationships between parallel saccadic and manual metrics, and relationships of BEAM metrics to demographic characteristics. Effects of BEAM attention cues (alerting, orienting, interference, gap, and no-go signals) were consistent with previous literature examining key attention processes. However, corresponding saccadic and manual measurements were weakly related to each other, and only manual measurements were related to estimated verbal intelligence or years of education. This study provides preliminary support for the feasibility of multimodal assessment of visual attention using the BEAM. Results suggest that BEAM saccadic and manual metrics provide divergent measurements. Additional research will be needed to obtain comprehensive normative data, to cross-validate BEAM measurements with other indicators of neural and cognitive function, and to evaluate the utility of these metrics within clinical populations of interest.
Waldner, Manuela; Le Muzic, Mathieu; Bernhard, Matthias; Purgathofer, Werner; Viola, Ivan
Focus+context techniques provide visual guidance in visualizations by giving strong visual prominence to elements of interest while the context is suppressed. However, finding a visual feature to enhance for the focus to pop out from its context in a large dynamic scene, while leading to minimal visual deformation and subjective disturbance, is challenging. This paper proposes Attractive Flicker, a novel technique for visual guidance in dynamic narrative visualizations. We first show that flicker is a strong visual attractor in the entire visual field, without distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene elements. The novel aspect of our Attractive Flicker technique is that it consists of two signal stages: The first "orientation stage" is a short but intensive flicker stimulus to attract the attention to elements of interest. Subsequently, the intensive flicker is reduced to a minimally disturbing luminance oscillation ("engagement stage") as visual support to keep track of the focus elements. To find a good trade-off between attraction effectiveness and subjective annoyance caused by flicker, we conducted two perceptual studies to find suitable signal parameters. We showcase Attractive Flicker with the parameters obtained from the perceptual statistics in a study of molecular interactions. With Attractive Flicker, users were able to easily follow the narrative of the visualization on a large display, while the flickering of focus elements was not disturbing when observing the context.
Attention is a key neural function for choosing certain information to receive more processing than others. Attention is allocated either by directly looking at the target (overt) or without eye movement towards the target (covert). The current study was designed to extract relevant features...... by using steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) task. SSVEP task was presented to subjects at the same time that the electroencephalography (EEG) signals were recorded by the scalp electrodes. Subjects were instructed to respond to a certain stimulus by pressing a button. This way attention...... was measure in continuous manner. Results showed that the amplitude of SSVEP frequencies is higher in overt than covert attention. This indicates that by overt attention events are registered with larger power. However, exploring the harmonics of frequencies showed that covert attention generates larger 2nd...
Olivers, Christian N L
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a grayscale version of a known traffic sign. On each trial, a distractor sign was drawn in full color. This color could either be related or unrelated to the target sign. Distractors interfered more with search when their color was related (e.g. red when the target was a stop sign), implying that long-term color associations resulted in inadvertent attentional guidance, even though color was irrelevant to the task. The results add to the growing body of evidence that long-term memory representations automatically affect attentional orienting. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Clara D Martin
Full Text Available As our understanding of the basic processes underlying reading is growing, the key role played by attention in this process becomes evident. Two research topics are of particular interest in this domain: (1 it is still undetermined whether sustained attention affects lexical decision tasks; (2 the influence of attention on early visual processing (i.e., before orthographic or lexico-semantic processing stages remains largely under-specified. Here we investigated early perceptual modulations by sustained attention using an ERP paradigm adapted from Thierry et al. . Participants had to decide whether visual stimuli presented in pairs pertained to a pre-specified category (lexical categorization focus on word or pseudoword pairs. Depending on the lexical category of the first item of a pair, participants either needed to fully process the second item (hold condition or could release their attention and make a decision without full processing of the second item (release condition. The P1 peak was unaffected by sustained attention. The N1 was delayed and reduced after the second item of a pair when participants released their attention. Release of sustained attention also reduced a P3 wave elicited by the first item of a pair and abolished the P3 wave elicited by the second. Our results are consistent with differential effects of sustained attention on early processing stages and working memory. Sustained attention modulated early processing stages during a lexical decision task without inhibiting the process of stimulus integration. On the contrary, working memory involvement/updating was highly dependent upon the allocation of sustained attention. Moreover, the influence of sustained attention on both early and late cognitive processes was independent of lexical categorization focus.
Büttner, Oliver B; Wieber, Frank; Schulz, Anna Maria; Bayer, Ute C; Florack, Arnd; Gollwitzer, Peter M
Mindset theory suggests that a deliberative mindset entails openness to information in one's environment, whereas an implemental mindset entails filtering of information. We hypothesized that this open- versus closed-mindedness influences individuals' breadth of visual attention. In Studies 1 and 2, we induced an implemental or deliberative mindset, and measured breadth of attention using participants' length estimates of x-winged Müller-Lyer figures. Both studies demonstrate a narrower breadth of attention in the implemental mindset than in the deliberative mindset. In Study 3, we manipulated participants' mindsets and measured the breadth of attention by tracking eye movements during scene perception. Implemental mindset participants focused on foreground objects, whereas deliberative mindset participants attended more evenly to the entire scene. Our findings imply that deliberative versus implemental mindsets already operate at the level of visual attention. © 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
During visual search, attention is believed to be controlled in a strictly feature-based fashion, without any guidance by object-based target representations. To challenge this received view, we measured electrophysiological markers of attentional selection (N2pc component) and working memory (SPCN) in search tasks where two possible targets were defined by feature conjunctions (e.g., blue circles and green squares). Critically, some search displays also contained nontargets with two target f...
Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon
Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... perceptual encoding/decoding speed (processing speed) of visual short-term memory based on an assessment of 94 healthy subjects aged 60-75. The estimates are presented at total sample level as well as at gender level. The estimates were modelled from input from a whole-report assessment based on A Theory...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...
Wijers, A A; Okita, T; Mulder, G; Mulder, L J; Lorist, M M; Poiesz, R; Scheffers, M K
ERPs and performance were measured in divided and focussed attention visual search tasks. In focussed attention tasks, to-be-attended and to-be-ignored letters were presented simultaneously. We varied display load, mapping conditions and display size. RT, P3b-latency and negativity in the ERP associated with controlled search all increased with display load. Each of these measures showed selectivity of controlled search, in that they decreased with focussing of attention. An occipital N230, on the other hand, was not sensitive to focussing of attention, but was primarily affected by display load. ERPs to both attended and unattended targets in focussed attention conditions showed and N2 compared to nontargets, suggesting that both automatic and controlled letter classifications are possible. These effects were not affected by display size. Consistent mapping resulted in shorter RT and P3b-latency in divided attention conditions, compared to varied mapping conditions, but had no effect in focussed attention conditions.
Dieter, Kevin C; Brascamp, Jan; Tadin, Duje; Blake, Randolph
How does attention interact with incoming sensory information to determine what we perceive? One domain in which this question has received serious consideration is that of bistable perception: a captivating class of phenomena that involves fluctuating visual experience in the face of physically unchanging sensory input. Here, some investigations have yielded support for the idea that attention alone determines what is seen, while others have implicated entirely attention-independent processes in driving alternations during bistable perception. We review the body of literature addressing this divide and conclude that in fact both sides are correct-depending on the form of bistable perception being considered. Converging evidence suggests that visual attention is required for alternations in the type of bistable perception called binocular rivalry, while alternations during other types of bistable perception appear to continue without requiring attention. We discuss some implications of this differential effect of attention for our understanding of the mechanisms underlying bistable perception, and examine how these mechanisms operate during our everyday visual experiences.
Walsh, Kyle P; Pasanen, Edward G; McFadden, Dennis
Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing-the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2-3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing—the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2–3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater. PMID:25994703
Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P
Perceptual load theory accounts for many attentional phenomena; however, its mechanism remains elusive because it invokes underspecified attentional resources. Recent dual-task evidence has revealed that a concurrent visual short-term memory (VSTM) load slows visual search and reduces contrast sensitivity, but it is unknown whether a VSTM load also constricts attention in a canonical perceptual load task. If attentional selection draws upon VSTM resources, then distraction effects-which measure attentional "spill-over"-will be reduced as competition for resources increases. Observers performed a low perceptual load flanker task during the delay period of a VSTM change detection task. We observed a reduction of the flanker effect in the perceptual load task as a function of increasing concurrent VSTM load. These findings were not due to perceptual-level interactions between the physical displays of the two tasks. Our findings suggest that perceptual representations of distractor stimuli compete with the maintenance of visual representations held in memory. We conclude that access to VSTM determines the degree of attentional selectivity; when VSTM is not completely taxed, it is more likely for task-irrelevant items to be consolidated and, consequently, affect responses. The "resources" hypothesized by load theory are at least partly mnemonic in nature, due to the strong correspondence they share with VSTM capacity.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention. PMID:24732070
Peschel, Anne Odile; Orquin, Jacob Lund
in the literature: a linear model based on the assumption of random fixations (Lohse, 1997), a theory of surface size as visual saliency (Pieters et al., 2007), and a theory based on competition for attention (CA; Janiszewski, 1998). We furthermore suggest a fourth model – demand for attention – which we derive...... the demand for attention model showed a much better alignment with the data. We conclude that surface size effects may best be explained as an increase in object signal strength which depends on object size, number of objects in the visual scene, and object distance to the center of the scene. Our findings...... suggest that advertisers should take into account how objects in the visual scene interact in order to optimize attention to, for instance, brands and logos....
Smith, Philip L; Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D
Normalization models of visual sensitivity assume that the response of a visual mechanism is scaled divisively by the sum of the activity in the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms in its neighborhood. Normalization models of attention assume that the weighting of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms is modulated by attention. Such models have provided explanations of the effects of attention in both behavioral and single-cell recording studies. We show how normalization models can be obtained as the asymptotic solutions of shunting differential equations, in which stimulus inputs and the activity in the mechanism control growth rates multiplicatively rather than additively. The value of the shunting equation approach is that it characterizes the entire time course of the response, not just its asymptotic strength. We describe two models of attention based on shunting dynamics, the integrated system model of Smith and Ratcliff (2009) and the competitive interaction theory of Smith and Sewell (2013). These models assume that attention, stimulus salience, and the observer's strategy for the task jointly determine the selection of stimuli into visual short-term memory (VSTM) and the way in which stimulus representations are weighted. The quality of the VSTM representation determines the speed and accuracy of the decision. The models provide a unified account of a variety of attentional phenomena found in psychophysical tasks using single-element and multi-element displays. Our results show the generality and utility of the normalization approach to modeling attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J A
Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25-100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a multi-level hierarchical structure and a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas is shown to cause signal degradation and a loss of stimulus discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate a kind of oscillatory phase entrainment into our model that has previously been proposed as the "communication-through-coherence" (CTC) hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO) model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation and predicts a latency effect on neuronal responses as a result of cued attention.
Roy E Crist
Full Text Available Human perception of faces is widely believed to rely on automatic processing by a domain-specifi c, modular component of the visual system. Scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP recordings indicate that faces receive special stimulus processing at around 170 ms poststimulus onset, in that faces evoke an enhanced occipital negative wave, known as the N170, relative to the activity elicited by other visual objects. As predicted by modular accounts of face processing, this early face-specifi c N170 enhancement has been reported to be largely immune to the infl uence of endogenous processes such as task strategy or attention. However, most studies examining the infl uence of attention on face processing have focused on non-spatial attention, such as object-based attention, which tend to have longer-latency effects. In contrast, numerous studies have demonstrated that visual spatial attention can modulate the processing of visual stimuli as early as 80 ms poststimulus – substantially earlier than the N170. These temporal characteristics raise the question of whether this initial face-specifi c processing is immune to the infl uence of spatial attention. This question was addressed in a dual-visualstream ERP study in which the infl uence of spatial attention on the face-specifi c N170 could be directly examined. As expected, early visual sensory responses to all stimuli presented in an attended location were larger than responses evoked by those same stimuli when presented in an unattended location. More importantly, a signifi cant face-specifi c N170 effect was elicited by faces that appeared in an attended location, but not in an unattended one. In summary, early face-specifi c processing is not automatic, but rather, like other objects, strongly depends on endogenous factors such as the allocation of spatial attention. Moreover, these fi ndings underscore the extensive infl uence that top-down attention exercises over the processing of
Petersen, Anders; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus
. This confinement of attentional resources leads to the impairment in identifying the second target. With the model, we are able to produce close fits to data from the traditional two target dwell time paradigm. A dwell-time experiment with three targets has also been carried out for individual subjects...... and the model has been extended to fit these data....
Rosbergen, E; Pieters, R; Wedel, M
We propose a methodology to study the effects of physical ad properties on consumers' Visual attention to advertising that accounts for heterogeneity in these effects across consumers. In an illustrative experiment, we monitor consumers' eye movements during naturalistic exposure to a consumer
Boerman, S.; Smit, E.; van Meurs, A.
Using eye-tracking data, we tested what elements of the ad are able to catch the eye and whether the context of the ad can draw visual attention away. Characteristics of 183 magazine ads and their direct context were systematically coded and linked to eye-tracking data. Results showed that indeed ad
Jensen, Rasmus Ramsbøl; Stets, Jonathan Dyssel; Suurmets, Seidi
gaze trackers allows respondents to move freely in any real world 3D environment, removing the previous restrictions. In this paper we propose a novel approach for processing visual attention of respondents using mobile wearable gaze trackers in a 3D environment. The pipeline consists of 3 steps...
Berger, Andrea; Henik, Avishai; Rafal, Robert
The relation between reflexive and voluntary orienting of visual attention was investigated with 4 experiments: a simple detection task, a localization task, a saccade toward the target task, and a target identification task in which discrimination difficulty was manipulated. Endogenous and exogenous orienting cues were presented in each trial and…
McDonald, John J.; Green, Jessica J.; Jannati, Ali; Di Lollo, Vincent
The presence of a salient distractor interferes with visual search. According to the salience-driven selection hypothesis, this interference is because of an initial deployment of attention to the distractor. Three event-related potential (ERP) findings have been regarded as evidence for this hypothesis: (a) salient distractors were found to…
Faught, Gayle G; Conners, Frances A; Himmelberger, Zachary M
Sustained attention (SA) is important to task performance and development of higher functions. It emerges as a separable component of attention during preschool and shows incremental improvements during this stage of development. The current study investigated if auditory and visual SA match developmental level or are particular challenges for youth with DS. Further, we sought to determine if there were modality effects in SA that could predict those seen in short-term memory (STM). We compared youth with DS to typically developing youth matched for nonverbal mental age and receptive vocabulary. Groups completed auditory and visual sustained attention to response tests (SARTs) and STM tasks. Results indicated groups performed similarly on both SARTs, even over varying cognitive ability. Further, within groups participants performed similarly on auditory and visual SARTs, thus SA could not predict modality effects in STM. However, SA did generally predict a significant portion of unique variance in groups' STM. Ultimately, results suggested both auditory and visual SA match developmental level in DS. Further, SA generally predicts STM, though SA does not necessarily predict the pattern of poor auditory relative to visual STM characteristic of DS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
De Voogd, E L; Wiers, R W; Prins, P J M; Salemink, E
An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of emotional disorders. The current study investigated whether visual search ABM might affect attentional bias and emotional functioning in adolescents. A visual search task was used as a training paradigm; participants (n = 16 adolescents, aged 13-16) had to repeatedly identify the only smiling face in a 4 × 4 matrix of negative emotional faces, while participants in the control condition (n = 16) were randomly allocated to one of three placebo training versions. An assessment version of the task was developed to directly test whether attentional bias changed due to the training. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-esteem were measured pre- and post-training. After two sessions of training, the ABM group showed a significant decrease in attentional bias for negative information and self-reported social phobia, while the control group did not. There were no effects of training on depressive mood or self-esteem. No correlation between attentional bias and social phobia was found, which raises questions about the validity of the attentional bias assessment task. Also, the small sample size precludes strong conclusions. Visual search ABM might be beneficial in changing attentional bias and social phobia in adolescents, but further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Maunsell, John H. R.
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally
Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral
Remington, R.; Pierce, L.
Two experiments measured the time to shift spatial selective attention across the visual field to targets 2 or 10 deg from central fixation. A central arrow cued the most likely target location. The direction of attention was inferred from reaction times to expected, unexpected, and neutral locations. The development of a spatial attentional set with time was examined by presenting target probes at varying times after the cue. There were no effects of distance on the time course of the attentional set. Reaction times for far locations were slower than for near, but the effects of attention were evident by 150 msec in both cases. Spatial attention does not shift with a characteristic, fixed velocity. Rather, velocity is proportional to distance, resulting in a movement time that is invariant over the distances tested.
Narwaria, Manish; Perreira Da Silva, Matthieu; Le Callet, Patrick; Pepion, Romuald
High Dynamic Range (HDR) images/videos require the use of a tone mapping operator (TMO) when visualized on Low Dynamic Range (LDR) displays. From an artistic intention point of view, TMOs are not necessarily transparent and might induce different behavior to view the content. In this paper, we investigate and quantify how TMOs modify visual attention (VA). To that end both objective and subjective tests in the form of eye-tracking experiments have been conducted on several still image content that have been processed by 11 different TMOs. Our studies confirm that TMOs can indeed modify human attention and fixation behavior significantly. Therefore our studies suggest that VA needs consideration for evaluating the overall perceptual impact of TMOs on HDR content. Since the existing studies so far have only considered the quality or aesthetic appeal angle, this study brings in a new perspective regarding the importance of VA in HDR content processing for visualization on LDR displays.
Lin, Hung-Yu; Hsieh, Hsieh-Chun; Lee, Posen; Hong, Fu-Yuan; Chang, Wen-Dien; Liu, Kuo-Cheng
This study explored auditory and visual attention in children with ADHD. In a randomized, two-period crossover design, 50 children with ADHD and 50 age- and sex-matched typically developing peers were measured with the Test of Various Attention (TOVA). The deficiency of visual attention is more serious than that of auditory attention in children with ADHD. On the auditory modality, only the deficit of attentional inconsistency is sufficient to explain most cases of ADHD; however, most of the children with ADHD suffered from deficits of sustained attention, response inhibition, and attentional inconsistency on the visual modality. Our results also showed that the deficit of attentional inconsistency is the most important indicator in diagnosing and intervening in ADHD when both auditory and visual modalities are considered. The findings provide strong evidence that the deficits of auditory attention are different from those of visual attention in children with ADHD.
Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.
Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded to sequences of flashes delivered to the right and left visual fields while subjects responded promptly to designated stimuli in one field at a time (focused attention), in both fields at once (divided attention), or to neither field (passive). Three stimulus schedules were used: the first was a replication of a previous study (Eason, Harter, and White, 1969) where left- and right-field flashes were delivered quasi-independently, while in the other two the flashes were delivered to the two fields in random order (Bernoulli sequence). VEPs to attended-field stimuli were enhanced at both occipital (O2) and central (Cz) recording sites under all stimulus sequences, but different components were affected at the two scalp sites. It was suggested that the VEP at O2 may reflect modality-specific processing events, while the response at Cz, like its auditory homologue, may index more general aspects of selective attention.
César Oliva Aravena
Full Text Available This article present a qualitative analysis, relating visual perception to attention in the acquisition of motor abilities process. Research shows that the visual system is already in an advanced stage, right from the moment the baby is born, and that normal eye sight is attained at the age of 5 and continues to improve. On the other hand, attention is an flexible process, subordinated to a cognitive strategy and its relation to eye sight is only functional. The understanfing of the capacity of selective attention is necessary to the teacher or coach for it will help him/her to take decisions on how to teach, which aspects of his/her teaching should be emphasized or inhibited, in the learning process, and wich teaching strategies he/she should use.
Madden, D J; Blumenthal, J A
Previous research suggests that some aspects of cognitive performance decline as a joint function of age and hypertension. In this experiment, 51 unmedicated individuals with mild essential hypertension and 48 normotensive individuals, 18-78 years of age, performed a visual search task. The estimated time required to identify a display character and shift attention between display positions increased with age. This attention shift time did not differ significantly between hypertensive and normotensive participants, but regression analyses indicated some mediation of the age effect by blood pressure. For individuals less than 60 years of age, the error rate was greater for hypertensive than for normotensive participants. Although the present design could detect effects of only moderate to large size, the results suggest that effects of hypertension may be more evident in a relatively general measure of performance (mean error rate) than in the speed of shifting visual attention.
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes than do ignored stimuli, the method has been used to investigate the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. However, up to now it has not been shown whether the amplitude of the SSVEP is sensitive to gradations of attention and there has been debate about whether attention effects on the SSVEP are dependent on the tagging frequency used. We thus compared attention effects on SSVEP across three attention conditions-focused, divided, and ignored-with six different tagging frequencies. Participants performed a visual detection task (respond to the digit 5 embedded in a stream of characters). Two stimulus streams, one to the left and one to the right of fixation, were displayed simultaneously, each with a background grey square whose hue was sine-modulated with one of the six tagging frequencies. At the beginning of each trial a cue indicated whether targets on the left, right, or both sides should be responded to. Accuracy was higher in the focused- than in the divided-attention condition. SSVEP amplitudes were greatest in the focused-attention condition, intermediate in the divided-attention condition, and smallest in the ignored-attention condition. The effect of attention on SSVEP amplitude did not depend on the tagging frequency used. Frequency tagging appears to be a flexible technique for studying attention.
Tummeltshammer, Kristen; Amso, Dima
The visual context in which an object or face resides can provide useful top-down information for guiding attention orienting, object recognition, and visual search. Although infants have demonstrated sensitivity to covariation in spatial arrays, it is presently unclear whether they can use rapidly acquired contextual knowledge to guide attention during visual search. In this eye-tracking experiment, 6- and 10-month-old infants searched for a target face hidden among colorful distracter shapes. Targets appeared in Old or New visual contexts, depending on whether the visual search arrays (defined by the spatial configuration, shape and color of component items in the search display) were repeated or newly generated throughout the experiment. Targets in Old contexts appeared in the same location within the same configuration, such that context covaried with target location. Both 6- and 10-month-olds successfully distinguished between Old and New contexts, exhibiting faster search times, fewer looks at distracters, and more anticipation of targets when contexts repeated. This initial demonstration of contextual cueing effects in infants indicates that they can use top-down information to facilitate orienting during memory-guided visual search. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: 1 orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and 2 switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed benefits of both the first and second cues in sequential cueing, indicating that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance at the first-cued location was still better than the neutral baseline or performance at the uncued locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance.
Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun
Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM) representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: (1) orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and (2) switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed equivalent benefits of the first and second spatial cues, suggesting that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first-cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance was still better at first-cued locations than at uncued and neutral locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance.
Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun
Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM) representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: (1) orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and (2) switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed equivalent benefits of the first and second spatial cues, suggesting that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first-cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance was still better at first-cued locations than at uncued and neutral locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance. PMID:25237306
Jorrit Steven Montijn
Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.
Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois
Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism
Seidl-Rathkopf, Katharina N; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B; Kastner, Sabine
Looking for objects in cluttered natural environments is a frequent task in everyday life. This process can be difficult, because the features, locations, and times of appearance of relevant objects often are not known in advance. Thus, a mechanism by which attention is automatically biased toward information that is potentially relevant may be helpful. We tested for such a mechanism across five experiments by engaging participants in real-world visual search and then assessing attentional capture for information that was related to the search set but was otherwise irrelevant. Isolated objects captured attention while preparing to search for objects from the same category embedded in a scene, as revealed by lower detection performance (Experiment 1A). This capture effect was driven by a central processing bottleneck rather than the withdrawal of spatial attention (Experiment 1B), occurred automatically even in a secondary task (Experiment 2A), and reflected enhancement of matching information rather than suppression of nonmatching information (Experiment 2B). Finally, attentional capture extended to objects that were semantically associated with the target category (Experiment 3). We conclude that attention is efficiently drawn towards a wide range of information that may be relevant for an upcoming real-world visual search. This mechanism may be adaptive, allowing us to find information useful for our behavioral goals in the face of uncertainty.
Seidl-Rathkopf, Katharina N.; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.; Kastner, Sabine
Looking for objects in cluttered natural environments is a frequent task in everyday life. This process can be difficult, as the features, locations, and times of appearance of relevant objects are often not known in advance. A mechanism by which attention is automatically biased toward information that is potentially relevant may thus be helpful. Here we tested for such a mechanism across five experiments by engaging participants in real-world visual search and then assessing attentional capture for information that was related to the search set but was otherwise irrelevant. Isolated objects captured attention while preparing to search for objects from the same category embedded in a scene, as revealed by lower detection performance (Experiment 1A). This capture effect was driven by a central processing bottleneck rather than the withdrawal of spatial attention (Experiment 1B), occurred automatically even in a secondary task (Experiment 2A), and reflected enhancement of matching information rather than suppression of non-matching information (Experiment 2B). Finally, attentional capture extended to objects that were semantically associated with the target category (Experiment 3). We conclude that attention is efficiently drawn towards a wide range of information that may be relevant for an upcoming real-world visual search. This mechanism may be adaptive, allowing us to find information useful for our behavioral goals in the face of uncertainty. PMID:25898897
Balslev, Daniela; Gowen, Emma; Miall, R Chris
The oculomotor and spatial attention systems are interconnected. Whereas a link between motor commands and spatial shifts in visual attention is demonstrated, it is still unknown whether the recently discovered proprioceptive signal in somatosensory cortex impacts on visual attention, too...
Neimeijer, Renate A M; de Jong, Peter J; Roefs, Anne
Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require less attentional resources to enter awareness. Once a food stimulus has captured attention, it may be preferentially processed and granted prioritized access to limited cognitive resources. This might help explain why restrained eaters often fail in their attempts to restrict their food intake. A Rapid Serial Visual Presentation task consisting of dual and single target trials with food and neutral pictures as targets and/or distractors was administered to restrained (n=40) and unrestrained (n=40) eaters to study temporal attentional bias. Results indicated that (1) food cues did not diminish the attentional blink in restrained eaters when presented as second target; (2) specifically restrained eaters showed an interference effect of identifying food targets on the identification of preceding neutral targets; (3) for both restrained and unrestrained eaters, food cues enhanced the attentional blink; (4) specifically in restrained eaters, food distractors elicited an attention blink in the single target trials. In restrained eaters, food cues get prioritized access to limited cognitive resources, even if this processing priority interferes with their current goals. This temporal attentional bias for food stimuli might help explain why restrained eaters typically have difficulties maintaining their diet rules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Saksida, Amanda; Iannuzzi, Stéphanie; Bogliotti, Caroline; Chaix, Yves; Démonet, Jean-François; Bricout, Laure; Billard, Catherine; Nguyen-Morel, Marie-Ange; Le Heuzey, Marie-France; Soares-Boucaud, Isabelle; George, Florence; Ziegler, Johannes C.; Ramus, Franck
In this study, we concurrently investigated 3 possible causes of dyslexia--a phonological deficit, visual stress, and a reduced visual attention span--in a large population of 164 dyslexic and 118 control French children, aged between 8 and 13 years old. We found that most dyslexic children showed a phonological deficit, either in terms of…
Wang, Tsui-Ying; Huang, Ho-Chuan; Huang, Hsiu-Shuang
We propose a computer-assisted cancellation test system (CACTS) to understand the visual attention performance and visual search strategies in school children. The main aim of this paper is to present our design and development of the CACTS and demonstrate some ways in which computer techniques can allow the educator not only to obtain more…
Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J
When the distance between a visual target and nearby flankers falls below a critical distance, target discrimination declines precipitously. This is called "crowding." Many researchers have proposed that selective attention plays a role in crowding. However, although some research has examined the effects of directing attention toward versus away from the targets, no previous research has assessed how attentional allocation varies as a function of target-flanker distance in crowding. Here, we used ERPs to assess the operation of attention during crowding, focusing on the attention-related N2pc component. We used a typical crowding task in which participants were asked to report the category (vowel/consonant) of a lateralized target letter flanked by distractor letters at different distances. We tested the hypothesis that attention fails when the target-flanker distance becomes too small for attention to operate effectively. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that N2pc amplitude was maximal at intermediate target-flanker distances and decreased substantially when crowding became severe. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), which reflects the amount of information being maintained in working memory. Unlike the N2pc component, the SPCN increased in amplitude at small target-flanker distances, suggesting that observers stored information about the target and flankers in working memory when attention failed to select the target. Together, the N2pc and SPCN results suggest that attention and working memory play distinctive roles in crowding: Attention operates to minimize interference from the flankers at intermediate target-flanker distances, whereas working memory may be recruited when attention fails to select the target at small target-flanker distances.
Bleckley, M Kathryn; Durso, Francis T; Crutchfield, Jerry M; Engle, Randall W; Khanna, Maya M
To the extent that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) reflect differences in attention (Baddeley, 1993; Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999), differences in WMC should predict performance on visual attention tasks. Individuals who scored in the upper and lower quartiles on the OSPAN working memory test performed a modification of Egly and Homa's (1984) selective attention task. In this task, the participants identified a central letter and localized a displaced letter flashed somewhere on one of three concentric rings. When the displaced letter occurred closer to fixation than the cue implied, high-WMC, but not low-WMC, individuals showed a cost in the letter localization task. This suggests that low-WMC participants allocated attention as a spotlight, whereas those with high WMC showed flexible allocation.
Neimeijer, Renate A M; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J
The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent generation of craving, which might enable AN patients to maintain their strict diet. Participants were 66 restrictive AN spectrum patients and 55 healthy controls. A single-target rapid serial visual presentation task was used with food and disorder-neutral cues as critical distracter stimuli and disorder-neutral pictures as target stimuli. AN spectrum patients showed diminished task performance when visual food cues were presented in close temporal proximity of the to-be-identified target. In contrast to our hypothesis, results indicate that food cues automatically capture AN spectrum patients' attention. One explanation could be that the enhanced attentional capture of food cues in AN is driven by the relatively high threat value of food items in AN. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Shook, Natalie J; Ford, Cameron
Considerable evidence suggests that political liberals and conservatives vary in the way they process and respond to valenced (i.e., negative versus positive) information, with conservatives generally displaying greater negativity biases than liberals. Less is known about whether liberals and conservatives differentially prioritize certain forms of negative information over others. Across two studies using eye-tracking methodology, we examined differences in visual attention to negative scenes and facial expressions based on self-reported political ideology. In Study 1, scenes rated high in fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with less attentional engagement (i.e., lower dwell time) of disgust scenes and more attentional engagement toward neutral scenes. Socially conservative political attitudes were not significantly associated with visual attention to fear or sad scenes. In Study 2, images depicting facial expressions of fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with greater attentional engagement with facial expressions depicting disgust and less attentional engagement toward neutral faces. Visual attention to fearful or sad faces was not related to social conservatism. Endorsement of economically conservative political attitudes was not consistently associated with biases in visual attention across both studies. These findings support disease-avoidance models and suggest that social conservatism may be rooted within a greater sensitivity to disgust-related information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In the current study participants explored a desktop virtual environment (VE representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism and crime, while being exposed to either room air (control group, or subliminal levels of tar (unpleasant; typically associated with burned or waste material or freshly cut grass (pleasant; typically associated with natural or fresh material ambient odor. They reported all signs of disorder they noticed during their walk together with their associated emotional response. Based on recent evidence that odors reflexively direct visual attention to (either semantically or affectively congruent visual objects, we hypothesized that participants would notice more signs of disorder in the presence of ambient tar odor (since this odor may bias attention to unpleasant and negative features, and less signs of disorder in the presence of ambient grass odor (since this odor may bias visual attention towards the vegetation in the environment and away from the signs of disorder. Contrary to our expectations the results show that the presence of an ambient odor did not affect the participants’ visual attention for signs of disorder or their emotional response. We conclude that a closer affective, semantic or spatiotemporal link between the contents of a desktop VE and ambient scents may be required to effectively establish diagnostic associations that guide a user’s attention. In the absence of these direct links, ambient scent may be more diagnostic for the physical environment of the observer as a whole than for the particular items in that environment (or, in this case, items represented in the VE.
Toet, Alexander; van Schaik, Martin G
In the current study participants explored a desktop virtual environment (VE) representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism, and crime), while being exposed to either room air (control group), or subliminal levels of tar (unpleasant; typically associated with burned or waste material) or freshly cut grass (pleasant; typically associated with natural or fresh material) ambient odor. They reported all signs of disorder they noticed during their walk together with their associated emotional response. Based on recent evidence that odors reflexively direct visual attention to (either semantically or affectively) congruent visual objects, we hypothesized that participants would notice more signs of disorder in the presence of ambient tar odor (since this odor may bias attention to unpleasant and negative features), and less signs of disorder in the presence of ambient grass odor (since this odor may bias visual attention toward the vegetation in the environment and away from the signs of disorder). Contrary to our expectations the results provide no indication that the presence of an ambient odor affected the participants' visual attention for signs of disorder or their emotional response. However, the paradigm used in present study does not allow us to draw any conclusions in this respect. We conclude that a closer affective, semantic, or spatiotemporal link between the contents of a desktop VE and ambient scents may be required to effectively establish diagnostic associations that guide a user's attention. In the absence of these direct links, ambient scent may be more diagnostic for the physical environment of the observer as a whole than for the particular items in that environment (or, in this case, items represented in the VE).
Anthony Thomas Herdman
Full Text Available In adult readers, letters and words are rapidly identified within visual networks to allow for efficient reading abilities. Neuroimaging studies of orthography have mostly used words and letter strings that recruit many hierarchical levels in reading. Understanding how single letters are processed could provide further insight into orthographic processing. The present study investigated orthographic processing using single letters and pseudoletters when adults were encouraged to pay attention to or away from orthographic features. We measured evoked potentials (EPs to single letters and pseudoletters from adults while they performed an orthographic-discrimination task (letters vs. pseudoletters, a colour-discrimination task (red vs. blue, and a target-detection task (respond to #1 and #2. Larger and later peaking N1 responses (~170ms and larger P2 responses (~250 ms occurred to pseudoletters as compared to letters. This reflected greater visual processing for pseudoletters. Dipole analyses localized this effect to bilateral fusiform and inferior temporal cortices. Moreover, this letter-pseudoletter difference was not modulated by task and thus indicates that directing attention to or away from orthographic features didn’t affect early visual processing of single letters or pseudoletters within extrastriate regions. Paying attention to orthography or colour as compared to disregarding the stimuli (target-detection task elicited selection negativities at about 175 ms, which were followed by a classical N2-P3 complexes. This indicated that the tasks sufficiently drew participant’s attention to and away from the stimuli. Together these findings revealed that visual processing of single letters and pseudoletters, in adults, appeared to be sensory-contingent and independent of paying attention to stimulus features (e.g., orthography or colour.
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance......The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen’s (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... of these parameters. The present study was designed to examine whether (a) a shortened procedure bears sufficient accuracy and reliability, (b) whether the procedures reveal attentional constructs with clinical relevance, and (c) whether the mathematically independent parameters are also empirically independent...
Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna
Human brains spontaneously differentiate between various emotional and neutral stimuli, including written words whose emotional quality is symbolic. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), emotional-neutral processing differences are typically reflected in the early posterior negativity (EPN, 200-300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP, 400-700 ms). These components are also enlarged by task-driven visual attention, supporting the assumption that emotional content naturally drives attention. Still, the spatio-temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional stimulus content and task-driven attention remain to be specified. Here, we examine this issue in visual word processing. Participants attended to negative, neutral, or positive nouns while high-density EEG was recorded. Emotional content and top-down attention both amplified the EPN component in parallel. On the LPP, by contrast, emotion and attention interacted: Explicit attention to emotional words led to a substantially larger amplitude increase than did explicit attention to neutral words. Source analysis revealed early parallel effects of emotion and attention in bilateral visual cortex and a later interaction of both in right visual cortex. Distinct effects of attention were found in inferior, middle and superior frontal, paracentral, and parietal areas, as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Results specify separate and shared mechanisms of emotion and attention at distinct processing stages. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3575-3587, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes
Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe
Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an ‘all-or-nothing’ manner. PMID:25203102
Full Text Available Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.
Kotseruba, Iuliia; Tsotsos, John K.
In this paper we present STAR-RT - the first working prototype of Selective Tuning Attention Reference (STAR) model and Cognitive Programs (CPs). The Selective Tuning (ST) model received substantial support through psychological and neurophysiological experiments. The STAR framework expands ST and applies it to practical visual tasks. In order to do so, similarly to many cognitive architectures, STAR combines the visual hierarchy (based on ST) with the executive controller, working and short-...
Anton-Erxleben, Katharina; Henrich, Christian; Treue, Stefan
Spatial attention shifts receptive fields in monkey extrastriate visual cortex toward the focus of attention (S. Ben Hamed, J. R. Duhamel, F. Bremmer, & W. Graf, 2002; C. E. Connor, J. L. Gallant, D. C. Preddie, & D. C. Van Essen, 1996; C. E. Connor, D. C. Preddie, J. L. Gallant, & D. C. Van Essen, 1997; T. Womelsdorf, K. Anton-Erxleben, F. Pieper, & S. Treue, 2006). This distortion in the retinotopic distribution of receptive fields might cause distortions in spatial perception such as an increase of the perceived size of attended stimuli. Here we test for such an effect in human subjects by measuring the point of subjective equality (PSE) for the perceived size of a neutral and an attended stimulus when drawing automatic attention to one of two spatial locations. We found a significant increase in perceived size of attended stimuli. Depending on the absolute stimulus size, this effect ranged from 4% to 12% and was more pronounced for smaller than for larger stimuli. In our experimental design, an attentional effect on task difficulty or a cue bias might influence the PSE measure. We performed control experiments and indeed found such effects, but they could only account for part of the observed results. Our findings demonstrate that the allocation of transient spatial attention onto a visual stimulus increases its perceived size and additionally biases subjects to select this stimulus for a perceptual judgment.
Chechlacz, Magdalena; Gillebert, Celine R; Vangkilde, Signe A; Petersen, Anders; Humphreys, Glyn W
Visuospatial attention allows us to select and act upon a subset of behaviorally relevant visual stimuli while ignoring distraction. Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA) (Bundesen, 1990) offers a quantitative analysis of the different facets of attention within a unitary model and provides a powerful analytic framework for understanding individual differences in attentional functions. Visuospatial attention is contingent upon large networks, distributed across both hemispheres, consisting of several cortical areas interconnected by long-association frontoparietal pathways, including three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I-III) and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF). Here we examine whether structural variability within human frontoparietal networks mediates differences in attention abilities as assessed by the TVA. Structural measures were based on spherical deconvolution and tractography-derived indices of tract volume and hindrance-modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA). Individual differences in visual short-term memory (VSTM) were linked to variability in the microstructure (HMOA) of SLF II, SLF III, and IFOF within the right hemisphere. Moreover, VSTM and speed of information processing were linked to hemispheric lateralization within the IFOF. Differences in spatial bias were mediated by both variability in microstructure and volume of the right SLF II. Our data indicate that the microstructural and macrostrucutral organization of white matter pathways differentially contributes to both the anatomical lateralization of frontoparietal attentional networks and to individual differences in attentional functions. We conclude that individual differences in VSTM capacity, processing speed, and spatial bias, as assessed by TVA, link to variability in structural organization within frontoparietal pathways. Copyright © 2015 Chechlacz et al.
Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B
Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.
Awh, Edward; Sgarlata, Antoinette Marie; Kliestik, John
Models of attentional control usually describe online shifts in control settings that accommodate changing task demands. The current studies suggest that online control over distractor exclusion--a core component of visual selection--can be accomplished without online shifts in top-down settings. Measurements of target discrimination accuracy…
Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja
The use of colour is an integral component in visual interface design for creating separation between objects and for conveying meaning. It has previously been established that colours can be separated in a hierarchy of primary colours and secondary colours, and that colours are consistently...... in a controlled environment, in which 11 participants scanned a 20 item display for a coloured target amongst coloured distractors. We found evidence to support that primary colours capture attention significantly more than secondary colours, and inconclusive evidence that colours convey their meaning...... at a sufficiently early level of processing to influence attention. We end by discussing implications of our results for design practice and research in psychology....
Lorenza S Colzato
Full Text Available Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture and controlled for race, intelligence, sex, and age, differ with respect to the way they attend to and process the global and local features of complex visual stimuli: Calvinists attend less to global aspects of perceived events, which fits with the idea that people's attentional processing style reflects possible biases rewarded by their religious belief system.
STUDENT RESEACHER UC Irvine...and Zhang et al. 2007). BCI research on visual attention has produced several methods for using...further research using this attention tracking method in a real world or virtual
Fitzpatrick, C M; Caballero-Puntiverio, M; Gether, U; Habekost, T; Bundesen, C; Vangkilde, S; Woldbye, D P D; Andreasen, J T; Petersen, A
The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds and other parameters of attentional capacity. We aimed to bridge these research fields by modifying the 5-CSRTT's design and by mathematically modelling data to derive attentional parameters analogous to human TVA-based measures. C57BL/6 mice were tested in two 1-h sessions on consecutive days with a version of the 5-CSRTT where stimulus duration (SD) probe length was varied based on information from previous TVA studies. Thereafter, a scopolamine hydrobromide (HBr; 0.125 or 0.25 mg/kg) pharmacological challenge was undertaken, using a Latin square design. Mean score values were modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual thresholds and motor response baselines. This study shows for the first time how 5-CSRTT performance in mice can be mathematically modelled to yield estimates of attentional capacity that are directly comparable to estimates from human studies.
Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O; Schupp, Harald T
Vegetarianism provides a model system to examine the impact of negative affect towards meat, based on ideational reasoning. It was hypothesized that meat stimuli are efficient attention catchers in vegetarians. Event-related brain potential recordings served to index selective attention processes at the level of initial stimulus perception. Consistent with the hypothesis, late positive potentials to meat pictures were enlarged in vegetarians compared to omnivores. This effect was specific for meat pictures and obtained during passive viewing and an explicit attention task condition. These findings demonstrate the attention capture of food stimuli, deriving affective salience from ideational reasoning and symbolic meaning.
Collis, Nathan L; Kohnen, Saskia; Kinoshita, Sachiko
The present study investigated the nature of visual spatial attention deficits in adults with developmental dyslexia, using a partial report task with five-letter, digit, and symbol strings. Participants responded by a manual key press to one of nine alternatives, which included other characters in the string, allowing an assessment of position errors as well as intrusion errors. The results showed that the dyslexic adults performed significantly worse than age-matched controls with letter and digit strings but not with symbol strings. Both groups produced W-shaped serial position functions with letter and digit strings. The dyslexics' deficits with letter string stimuli were limited to position errors, specifically at the string-interior positions 2 and 4. These errors correlated with letter transposition reading errors (e.g., reading slat as "salt"), but not with the Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) task. Overall, these results suggest that the dyslexic adults have a visual spatial attention deficit; however, the deficit does not reflect a reduced span in visual-spatial attention, but a deficit in processing a string of letters in parallel, probably due to difficulty in the coding of letter position.
Laasonen, Marja; Salomaa, Jonna; Cousineau, Denis; Leppamaki, Sami; Tani, Pekka; Hokkanen, Laura; Dye, Matthew
In this study of the project DyAdd, three aspects of visual attention were investigated in adults (18-55 years) with dyslexia (n = 35) or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, n = 22), and in healthy controls (n = 35). Temporal characteristics of visual attention were assessed with Attentional Blink (AB), capacity of visual attention…
Ellis, Kyle K.; Arthur, J. J.; Latorella, Kara A.; Kramer, Lynda J.; Shelton, Kevin J.; Norman, Robert M.; Prinzel, Lawrence J.
Quantifying pilot visual behavior allows researchers to determine not only where a pilot is looking and when, but holds implications for specific behavioral tracking when these data are coupled with flight technical performance. Remote eye tracking systems have been integrated into simulators at NASA Langley with effectively no impact on the pilot environment. This paper discusses the installation and use of a remote eye tracking system. The data collection techniques from a complex human-in-the-loop (HITL) research experiment are discussed; especially, the data reduction algorithms and logic to transform raw eye tracking data into quantified visual behavior metrics, and analysis methods to interpret visual behavior. The findings suggest superior performance for Head-Up Display (HUD) and improved attentional behavior for Head-Down Display (HDD) implementations of Synthetic Vision System (SVS) technologies for low visibility terminal area operations. Keywords: eye tracking, flight deck, NextGen, human machine interface, aviation
Fan, Judith E; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B
Holding recently experienced information in mind can help us achieve our current goals. However, such immediate and direct forms of guidance from working memory are less helpful over extended delays or when other related information in long-term memory is useful for reaching these goals. Here we show that information that was encoded in the past but is no longer present or relevant to the task also guides attention. We examined this by associating multiple unique features with novel shapes in visual long-term memory (VLTM), and subsequently testing how memories for these objects biased the deployment of attention. In Experiment 1, VLTM for associated features guided visual search for the shapes, even when these features had never been task-relevant. In Experiment 2, associated features captured attention when presented in isolation during a secondary task that was completely unrelated to the shapes. These findings suggest that long-term memory enables a durable and automatic type of memory-based attentional control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
During visual search, attention is believed to be controlled in a strictly feature-based fashion, without any guidance by object-based target representations. To challenge this received view, we measured electrophysiological markers of attentional selection (N2pc component) and working memory (sustained posterior contralateral negativity; SPCN) in search tasks where two possible targets were defined by feature conjunctions (e.g., blue circles and green squares). Critically, some search displays also contained nontargets with two target features (incorrect conjunction objects, e.g., blue squares). Because feature-based guidance cannot distinguish these objects from targets, any selective bias for targets will reflect object-based attentional control. In Experiment 1, where search displays always contained only one object with target-matching features, targets and incorrect conjunction objects elicited identical N2pc and SPCN components, demonstrating that attentional guidance was entirely feature-based. In Experiment 2, where targets and incorrect conjunction objects could appear in the same display, clear evidence for object-based attentional control was found. The target N2pc became larger than the N2pc to incorrect conjunction objects from 250 ms poststimulus, and only targets elicited SPCN components. This demonstrates that after an initial feature-based guidance phase, object-based templates are activated when they are required to distinguish target and nontarget objects. These templates modulate visual processing and control access to working memory, and their activation may coincide with the start of feature integration processes. Results also suggest that while multiple feature templates can be activated concurrently, only a single object-based target template can guide attention at any given time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Park, George D; Reed, Catherine L
Researchers acknowledge the interplay between action and attention, but typically consider action as a response to successful attentional selection or the correlation of performance on separate action and attention tasks. We investigated how concurrent action with spatial monitoring affects the distribution of attention across the visual field. We embedded a functional field of view (FFOV) paradigm with concurrent central object recognition and peripheral target localization tasks in a simulated driving environment. Peripheral targets varied across 20-60 deg eccentricity at 11 radial spokes. Three conditions assessed the effects of visual complexity and concurrent action on the size and shape of the FFOV: (1) with no background, (2) with driving background, and (3) with driving background and vehicle steering. The addition of visual complexity slowed task performance and reduced the FFOV size but did not change the baseline shape. In contrast, the addition of steering produced not only shrinkage of the FFOV, but also changes in the FFOV shape. Nonuniform performance decrements occurred in proximal regions used for the central task and for steering, independent of interference from context elements. Multifocal attention models should consider the role of action and account for nonhomogeneities in the distribution of attention. © 2015 SAGE Publications.
Kentridge, R W; Nijboer, T C W; Heywood, C A
Does any one psychological process give rise to visual awareness? One candidate is selective attention-when we attend to something it seems we always see it. But if attention can selectively enhance our response to an unseen stimulus then attention cannot be a sufficient precondition for awareness. Kentridge, Heywood & Weiskrantz [Kentridge, R. W., Heywood, C. A., & Weiskrantz, L. (1999). Attention without awareness in blindsight. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 266, 1805-1811; Kentridge, R. W., Heywood, C. A., & Weiskrantz, L. (2004). Spatial attention speeds discrimination without awareness in blindsight. Neuropsychologia, 42, 831-835.] demonstrated just such a dissociation in the blindsight subject GY. Here, we test whether the dissociation generalizes to the normal population. We presented observers with pairs of coloured discs, each masked by the subsequent presentation of a coloured annulus. The discs acted as primes, speeding discrimination of the colour of the annulus when they matched in colour and slowing it when they differed. We show that the location of attention modulated the size of this priming effect. However, the primes were rendered invisible by metacontrast-masking and remained unseen despite being attended. Visual attention could therefore facilitate processing of an invisible target and cannot, therefore, be a sufficient precondition for visual awareness.
Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L
Learning to associate the probability and value of behavioral outcomes with specific stimuli (value learning) is essential for rational decision making. However, in demanding cognitive conditions, access to learned values might be constrained by limited attentional capacity. We measured recognition of briefly presented faces seen previously in a value-learning task involving monetary wins and losses; the recognition task was performed both with and without constraints on available attention. Regardless of available attention, recognition was substantially enhanced for motivationally salient stimuli (i.e., stimuli highly predictive of outcomes), compared with equally familiar stimuli that had weak or no motivational salience, and this effect was found regardless of valence (win or loss). However, when attention was constrained (because stimuli were presented during an attentional blink, AB), valence determined recognition; win-associated faces showed no AB, but all other faces showed large ABs. Motivational salience acts independently of attention to modulate simple perceptual decisions, but when attention is limited, visual processing is biased in favor of reward-associated stimuli.
Full Text Available Stress-induced acute activation of the cerebral catecholaminergic systems has often been found in rodents. However, little is known regarding the consequences of this activation on higher cognitive functions in humans. Theoretical inferences would suggest increased distractibility in the sense of increased exogenous attention and emotional attention. The present study investigated the influence of acute stress responses on magnetoencephalographic (MEG correlates of visual attention. Healthy male subjects were presented emotional and neutral pictures in three subsequent MEG recording sessions after being exposed to a TSST-like social stressor, intended to trigger a HPA-response. The subjects anticipation of another follow-up stressor was designed to sustain the short-lived central catecholaminergic stress reactions throughout the ongoing MEG recordings. The heart rate indicates a stable level of anticipatory stress during this time span, subsequent cortisol concentrations and self-report measures of stress were increased. With regard to the MEG correlates of attentional functions, we found that the N1m amplitude remained constantly elevated during stressor anticipation. The magnetic early posterior negativity (EPNm was present but, surprisingly, was not at all modulated during stressor anticipation. This suggests that a general increase of the influence of exogenous attention but no specific effect regarding emotional attention in this time interval. Regarding the time course of the effects, an influence of the HPA on these MEG correlates of attention seems less likely. An influence of cerebral catecholaminergic systems is plausible, but not definite.
Elling, Ludger; Schupp, Harald; Bayer, Janine; Bröckelmann, Ann-Kathrin; Steinberg, Christian; Dobel, Christian; Junghofer, Markus
Stress-induced acute activation of the cerebral catecholaminergic systems has often been found in rodents. However, little is known regarding the consequences of this activation on higher cognitive functions in humans. Theoretical inferences would suggest increased distractibility in the sense of increased exogenous attention and emotional attention. The present study investigated the influence of acute stress responses on magnetoencephalographic (MEG) correlates of visual attention. Healthy male subjects were presented emotional and neutral pictures in three subsequent MEG recording sessions after being exposed to a TSST-like social stressor, intended to trigger a HPA-response. The subjects anticipation of another follow-up stressor was designed to sustain the short-lived central catecholaminergic stress reactions throughout the ongoing MEG recordings. The heart rate indicates a stable level of anticipatory stress during this time span, subsequent cortisol concentrations and self-report measures of stress were increased. With regard to the MEG correlates of attentional functions, we found that the N1m amplitude remained constantly elevated during stressor anticipation. The magnetic early posterior negativity (EPNm) was present but, surprisingly, was not at all modulated during stressor anticipation. This suggests that a general increase of the influence of exogenous attention but no specific effect regarding emotional attention in this time interval. Regarding the time course of the effects, an influence of the HPA on these MEG correlates of attention seems less likely. An influence of cerebral catecholaminergic systems is plausible, but not definite.
Lobier, Muriel; Zoubrinetzky, Rachel; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis of dyslexia posits that letter string deficits are a consequence of impaired visual processing. Alternatively, some have interpreted this deficit as resulting from a visual-to-phonology code mapping impairment. This study aims to disambiguate between the two interpretations by investigating performance in a non-verbal character string visual categorization task with verbal and non-verbal stimuli. Results show that VA span ability predicts performance for the non-verbal visual processing task in normal reading children. Furthermore, VA span impaired dyslexic children are also impaired for the categorization task independently of stimuli type. This supports the hypothesis that the underlying impairment responsible for the VA span deficit is visual, not verbal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Frische, F.; Osterloh, J.-P.; Luedtke, A.
This paper describes the results of experiments conducted with human line pilots and a cognitive pilot model during interaction with a new 40 Flight Management System (FMS). The aim of these experiments was to gather human pilot behavior data in order to calibrate the behavior of the model. Human behavior is mainly triggered by visual perception. Thus, the main aspect was to setup a profile of human pilots' visual attention allocation in a cockpit environment containing the new FMS. We first performed statistical analyses of eye tracker data and then compared our results to common results of familiar analyses in standard cockpit environments. The comparison has shown a significant influence of the new system on the visual performance of human pilots. Further on, analyses of the pilot models' visual performance have been performed. A comparison to human pilots' visual performance revealed important improvement potentials.
Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
Our brain relies on neural mechanisms of selective attention and converging sensory processing to efficiently cope with rich and unceasing multisensory inputs. One prominent assumption holds that audio-visual synchrony can act as a strong attractor for spatial attention. Here, we tested for a similar effect of audio-visual synchrony on feature-selective attention. We presented two superimposed Gabor patches that differed in colour and orientation. On each trial, participants were cued to selectively attend to one of the two patches. Over time, spatial frequencies of both patches varied sinusoidally at distinct rates (3.14 and 3.63 Hz), giving rise to pulse-like percepts. A simultaneously presented pure tone carried a frequency modulation at the pulse rate of one of the two visual stimuli to introduce audio-visual synchrony. Pulsed stimulation elicited distinct time-locked oscillatory electrophysiological brain responses. These steady-state responses were quantified in the spectral domain to examine individual stimulus processing under conditions of synchronous versus asynchronous tone presentation and when respective stimuli were attended versus unattended. We found that both, attending to the colour of a stimulus and its synchrony with the tone, enhanced its processing. Moreover, both gain effects combined linearly for attended in-sync stimuli. Our results suggest that audio-visual synchrony can attract attention to specific stimulus features when stimuli overlap in space.
Full Text Available When subjects are asked to perceptually bind rapidly alternating colour and motion stimuli, the pairings they report are different from the ones actually occurring in physical reality. A possible explanation for this misbinding is that the time necessary for perception is different for different visual attributes. Such an explanation is in logical harmony with the fact that the visual brain is characterized by different, functionally specialized systems, with different processing times for each; this type of organization naturally leads to different perceptual times for the corresponding attributes. In the present review, the experimental findings supporting perceptual asynchrony are presented, together with the original theoretical explanation behind the phenomenon and its implication for visual consciousness. Alternative theoretical views and additional experimental facts concerning perceptual misbinding are also reviewed, with a particular emphasis given to the role of attention. With few exceptions, most theories converge on the idea that the observed misbinding reflects a difference in perception times, which is in turn due to differences in neuronal processing times for different attributes within the brain. These processing-time differences have been attributed to several different factors, attention included, with the possibility of co-existence between them.
Jørgensen, Søren H; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Gether, Ulrik
Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). The DREADD technology is an emerging and transformative method that allows selective manipulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling, and its broad-ranging usefulness in attention research is now beginning to emerge. We first describe......Attention is a fundamental cognitive process involved in nearly all aspects of life. Abnormal attentional control is a symptom of many neurological disorders, most notably recognized in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Although attentional performance and its malfunction has been...... the different DREADDs available and explain how unprecedented specificity of neuronal signalling can be achieved using DREADDs. We next discuss various studies performed in animal models of visual attention, where different brain regions and neuronal populations have been probed by DREADDs. We highlight...
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Perone, Sammy; Macek, Kelsi L; Eschman, Bret
Cognitive outcomes for children born prematurely are well characterized, including increased risk for deficits in memory, attention, processing speed, and executive function. However, little is known about deficits that appear within the first 12 months, and how these early deficits contribute to later outcomes. To probe for functional deficits in visual attention, preterm and full-term infants were tested at 5 and 10 months with the Infant Orienting With Attention task (IOWA; Ross-Sheehy, Schneegans and Spencer, 2015). 5-month-old preterm infants showed significant deficits in orienting speed and task related error. However, 10-month-old preterm infants showed only selective deficits in spatial attention, particularly reflexive orienting responses, and responses that required some inhibition. These emergent deficits in spatial attention suggest preterm differences may be related to altered postnatal developmental trajectories. Moreover, we found no evidence of a dose-response relation between increased gestational risk and spatial attention. These results highlight the critical role of postnatal visual experience, and suggest that visual orienting may be a sensitive measure of attentional delay. Results reported here both inform current theoretical models of early perceptual/cognitive development, and future intervention efforts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I.; Hamm, Alfons O.; Schupp, Harald Thomas
Vegetarianism provides a model system to examine the impact of negative affect towards meat, based on ideational reasoning. It was hypothesized that meat stimuli are efficient attention catchers in vegetarians. Event-related brain potential recordings served to index selective attention processes at the level of initial stimulus perception. Consistent with the hypothesis, late positive potentials to meat pictures were enlarged in vegetarians compared to omnivores. This effect was specific fo...
Duncan, J; Humphreys, G
Treisman (1991) described a series of visual search studies testing feature integration theory against an alternative (Duncan & Humphreys, 1989) in which feature and conjunction search are basically similar. Here the latter account is noted to have 2 distinct levels: (a) a summary of search findings in terms of stimulus similarities, and (b) a theory of how visual attention is brought to bear on relevant objects. Working at the 1st level, Treisman found that even when similarities were calibrated and controlled, conjunction search was much harder than feature search. The theory, however, can only really be tested at the 2nd level, because the 1st is an approximation. An account of the findings is developed at the 2nd level, based on the 2 processes of input-template matching and spreading suppression. New data show that, when both of these factors are controlled, feature and conjunction search are equally difficult. Possibilities for unification of the alternative views are considered.
Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F
People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research suggests that in addition, an intermediate stage of memory in between iconic memory and visual working memory exists. This intermediate stage has a large capacity and a lifetime of several seconds, but is easily overwritten by new stimulation. We therefore termed it fragile VSTM. In previous studies, fragile VSTM has been dissociated from iconic memory by the characteristics of the memory trace. In the present study, we dissociated fragile VSTM from visual working memory by showing a differentiation in their dependency on attention. A decrease in attention during presentation of the stimulus array greatly reduced the capacity of visual working memory, while this had only a small effect on the capacity of fragile VSTM. We conclude that fragile VSTM is a separate memory store from visual working memory. Thus, a tripartite division of VSTM appears to be in place, comprising iconic memory, fragile VSTM and visual working memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Matzen, Laura E. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Haass, Michael Joseph [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Divis, Kristin Marie [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wilson, Andrew T. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
This project was inspired by two needs. The first is a need for tools to help scientists and engineers to design effective data visualizations for communicating information, whether to the user of a system, an analyst who must make decisions based on complex data, or in the context of a technical report or publication. Most scientists and engineers are not trained in visualization design, and they could benefit from simple metrics to assess how well their visualization's design conveys the intended message. In other words, will the most important information draw the viewer's attention? The second is the need for cognition-based metrics for evaluating new types of visualizations created by researchers in the information visualization and visual analytics communities. Evaluating visualizations is difficult even for experts. However, all visualization methods and techniques are intended to exploit the properties of the human visual system to convey information efficiently to a viewer. Thus, developing evaluation methods that are rooted in the scientific knowledge of the human visual system could be a useful approach. In this project, we conducted fundamental research on how humans make sense of abstract data visualizations, and how this process is influenced by their goals and prior experience. We then used that research to develop a new model, the Data Visualization Saliency Model, that can make accurate predictions about which features in an abstract visualization will draw a viewer's attention. The model is an evaluation tool that can address both of the needs described above, supporting both visualization research and Sandia mission needs.
Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P
We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of visual selective attention. In the current simulation study, we used the same model to simulate 3-month-olds' performance on a second measure, the perceptual unity task. Two parameters in the model - corresponding to areas in the occipital and parietal cortices - were systematically varied while the gaze patterns produced by the model were recorded and subsequently analyzed. Three key findings emerged from the simulation study. First, the model successfully replicated the performance of 3-month-olds on the unity perception task. Second, the model also helps to explain the improved performance of 2-month-olds when the size of the occluder in the unity perception task is reduced. Third, in contrast to our previous simulation results, variation in only one of the two cortical regions simulated (i.e. recurrent activity in posterior parietal cortex) resulted in a performance pattern that matched 3-month-olds. These findings provide additional support for our hypothesis that the development of perceptual completion in early infancy is promoted by progressive improvements in visual selective attention and oculomotor skill. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Full Text Available Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion, have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low. Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal.
Klein, Barrie P; Paffen, Chris L E; Pas, Susan F Te; Dumoulin, Serge O
Attention is the mechanism through which we select relevant information from our visual environment. We have recently demonstrated that attention attracts receptive fields across the visual hierarchy (Klein, Harvey, & Dumoulin, 2014). We captured this receptive field attraction using an attention
Martin-Emerson, R.; Wickens, C. D.
In two experiments we examined a number of related factors postulated to influence head-up display (HUD) performance. We addressed the benefit of reduced scanning and the cost of increasing the number of elements in the visual field by comparing a superimposed HUD with an identical display in a head-down position in varying visibility conditions. We explored the extent to which the characteristics of HUD symbology support a division of attention by contrasting conformal symbology (which links elements of the display image to elements of the far domain) with traditional instrument landing system (ILS) symbology. Together the two experiments provide strong evidence that minimizing scanning between flight instruments and the far domain contributes substantially to the observed HUD performance advantage. Experiment 1 provides little evidence for a performance cost attributable to visual clutter. In Experiment 2 the pattern of differences in lateral tracking error between conformal and traditional ILS symbology supports the hypothesis that, to the extent that the symbology forms an object with the far domain, attention may be divided between the superimposed image and its counterpart in the far domain.
Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.
Matthew W Self
Full Text Available Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.
A Diana Andrushia
human visual attention models is still not well investigated. ... Ripplet transform; visual saliency model; Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC); .... proposed method has the same resolution as that of an input ... regions are obtained, which are independent of their sizes. ..... impact than those far away from the attention.
Daniel Thomas Jäger
Full Text Available The Broaden-and-Build Theory states that positive emotions broaden cognition and therefore build personal resources. However, missing theoretical precision regarding the interaction of the cognitive processes involved offers a variety of possible explanations for the mechanisms of broadening and building. In Experiment 1 we tested the causality assumption which states that positive emotions first broaden visual attention which in turn leads to broadened cognition. We examined the effects of a broadened, narrowed or neutral attentional scope of 72 subjects (30 men on their momentary thought-action repertoire. Results showed that there were no significant differences between groups regarding the breadth or the content of the thought-action repertoire. In Experiment 2 we studied the non-causality hypothesis which assumes a non-causal relationship between cognitive processes. We did so by investigating the effects of negative, neutral, and positive affect on the visual attentional scope of 85 subjects (41 men in Experiment 2a, as well as on the thought-action repertoire of 85 participants (42 men in Experiment 2b. Results revealed an attentional broadening effect in Experiment 2a but no differences between groups concerning the breadth of the thought-action repertoire in Experiment 2b. However, a theory driven content analysis showed that positive affect promoted social actions whereas negative affect endorsed resource protecting actions. Thus, our results favor the non-causality assumption. Moreover, results indicate that positive emotions do not target personal resources in general but rather resources associated with social behavior. In conclusion, we argue that the Broaden-and-Build Theory should be refined.
Dodd, Michael D; Flowers, John H
The 59th Annual Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (The Influence of Attention, Learning, and Motivation on Visual Search) took place April 7-8, 2011, on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The symposium brought together leading scholars who conduct research related to visual search at a variety levels for a series of talks, poster presentations, panel discussions, and numerous additional opportunities for intellectual exchange. The Symposium was also streamed online for the first time in the history of the event, allowing individuals from around the world to view the presentations and submit questions. The present volume is intended to both commemorate the event itself and to allow our speakers additional opportunity to address issues and current research that have since arisen. Each of the speakers (and, in some cases, their graduate students and post docs) has provided a chapter which both summarizes and expands on their original presentations. In this chapter, we sought to a) provide additional context as to how the Symposium came to be, b) discuss why we thought that this was an ideal time to organize a visual search symposium, and c) to briefly address recent trends and potential future directions in the field. We hope you find the volume both enjoyable and informative, and we thank the authors who have contributed a series of engaging chapters.
Rogalska, Anna; Napieralski, Piotr
The visual saliency map is becoming important and challenging for many scientific disciplines (robotic systems, psychophysics, cognitive neuroscience and computer science). Map created by the model indicates possible salient regions by taking into consideration face presence and motion which is essential in motion pictures. By combining we can obtain credible saliency map with a low computational cost.
Full Text Available The visual saliency map is becoming important and challenging for many scientific disciplines (robotic systems, psychophysics, cognitive neuroscience and computer science. Map created by the model indicates possible salient regions by taking into consideration face presence and motion which is essential in motion pictures. By combining we can obtain credible saliency map with a low computational cost.
Flevaris, Anastasia V; Murray, Scott O
Neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) depend on stimulus context in seemingly complex ways. For example, responses to an oriented stimulus can be suppressed when it is flanked by iso-oriented versus orthogonally oriented stimuli but can also be enhanced when attention is directed to iso-oriented versus orthogonal flanking stimuli. Thus the exact same contextual stimulus arrangement can have completely opposite effects on neural responses-in some cases leading to orientation-tuned suppression and in other cases leading to orientation-tuned enhancement. Here we show that stimulus-based suppression and enhancement of fMRI responses in humans depends on small changes in the focus of attention and can be explained by a model that combines feature-based attention with response normalization. Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond to stimuli within a restricted portion of the visual field, termed their "receptive field." However, neuronal responses can also be influenced by stimuli that surround a receptive field, although the nature of these contextual interactions and underlying neural mechanisms are debated. Here we show that the response in V1 to a stimulus in the same context can either be suppressed or enhanced depending on the focus of attention. We are able to explain the results using a simple computational model that combines two well established properties of visual cortical responses: response normalization and feature-based enhancement. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3512273-08$15.00/0.
Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Effective interaction between a human and a robot requires the bidirectional perception and interpretation of actions and behavior. While actions can be identified as a directly observable activity, this might not be sufficient to deduce actions in a scene. For example, orienting our face toward a book might suggest the action toward “reading.” For a human observer, this deduction requires the direction of gaze, the object identified as a book and the intersection between gaze and book. With this in mind, we aim to estimate and map human visual attention as directed to a scene, and assess how this relates to the detection of objects and their related actions. In particular, we consider human head pose as measurement to infer the attention of a human engaged in a task and study which prior knowledge should be included in such a detection system. In a user study, we show the successful detection of attention to objects in a typical office task scenario (i.e., reading, working with a computer, studying an object. Our system requires a single external RGB camera for head pose measurements and a pre-recorded 3D point cloud of the environment.
Full Text Available We propose a Stereoscopic Visual Attention- (SVA- based regional bit allocation optimization for Multiview Video Coding (MVC by the exploiting visual redundancies from human perceptions. We propose a novel SVA model, where multiple perceptual stimuli including depth, motion, intensity, color, and orientation contrast are utilized, to simulate the visual attention mechanisms of human visual system with stereoscopic perception. Then, a semantic region-of-interest (ROI is extracted based on the saliency maps of SVA. Both objective and subjective evaluations of extracted ROIs indicated that the proposed SVA model based on ROI extraction scheme outperforms the schemes only using spatial or/and temporal visual attention clues. Finally, by using the extracted SVA-based ROIs, a regional bit allocation optimization scheme is presented to allocate more bits on SVA-based ROIs for high image quality and fewer bits on background regions for efficient compression purpose. Experimental results on MVC show that the proposed regional bit allocation algorithm can achieve over % bit-rate saving while maintaining the subjective image quality. Meanwhile, the image quality of ROIs is improved by dB at the cost of insensitive image quality degradation of the background image.
Patel, Saumil S.; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B.
Many neurons in the dorsal and ventral visual stream have the property that after a brief visual stimulus presentation in their receptive field, the spiking activity in these neurons persists above their baseline levels for several seconds. This maintained activity is not always correlated with the monkey’s task and its origin is unknown. We have previously proposed a simple neural network model, based on shape selective neurons in monkey lateral intraparietal cortex, which predicts the valence and time course of reflexive (bottom-up) spatial attention. In the same simple model, we demonstrate here that passive maintained activity or short-term memory of specific visual events can result without need for an external or top-down modulatory signal. Mutual inhibition and neuronal adaptation play distinct roles in reflexive attention and memory. This modest 4-cell model provides the first simple and unified physiologically plausible mechanism of reflexive spatial attention and passive short-term memory processes. PMID:26493949
Patel, Saumil S; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B
Many neurons in the dorsal and ventral visual stream have the property that after a brief visual stimulus presentation in their receptive field, the spiking activity in these neurons persists above their baseline levels for several seconds. This maintained activity is not always correlated with the monkey's task and its origin is unknown. We have previously proposed a simple neural network model, based on shape selective neurons in monkey lateral intraparietal cortex, which predicts the valence and time course of reflexive (bottom-up) spatial attention. In the same simple model, we demonstrate here that passive maintained activity or short-term memory of specific visual events can result without need for an external or top-down modulatory signal. Mutual inhibition and neuronal adaptation play distinct roles in reflexive attention and memory. This modest 4-cell model provides the first simple and unified physiologically plausible mechanism of reflexive spatial attention and passive short-term memory processes.
Full Text Available Visual search is easier after observing some distractors in advance; it is as if the previewed distractors were excluded from the search. This effect is referred to as the preview benefit, and a memory template that visually marks the old locations of the distractors is thought to help in prioritizing the locations of newly presented items. One remaining question is whether the presence of a conspicuous item during the sequential shift of attention within the new items reduces this preview benefit. To address this issue, we combined the above preview search and a conventional visual search paradigm using a singleton distractor and examined whether the search performance was affected by the presence of the singleton. The results showed that the slope of reaction time as a function of set size became steeper in the presence of a singleton, indicating that the singleton distractor reduced the preview benefit. Furthermore, this degradation effect was positively correlated with the degree of conventional attentional capture to a singleton measured in a separate experiment with simultaneous search. These findings suggest that the mechanism of visual marking shares common attentional resources with the search process.
Full Text Available The visual sense has outstanding significance for human perception and behavior, and visual attention plays a central role in the processing of the sensory input. Thereby, multiple low- and high-level factors contribute to the guidance of attention. The present review focuses on two neglected high-level factors: emotion and personality. The review starts with an overview of different models of attention, providing a conceptual framework and illustrating the nature of low- and high-level factors in visual attention. Then, the ambiguous concept of emotion is described, and recommendations are made for the experimental practice. In the following, we present several studies showing the influence of emotion on overt attention, whereby the distinction between internally and externally located emotional impacts is emphasized. We also provide evidence showing that emotional stimuli influence perceptual processing outside of the focus of attention, whereby results in this field are mixed. Then, we present some detached studies showing the reversed causal effect: attention can also affect emotional responses. The final section on emotion–attention interactions addresses the interplay on the neuronal level, which has been neglected for a long time in neuroscience. In this context, several conceptual recommendations for future research are made. Finally, based on findings showing inter-individual differences in human sensitivity to emotional items, we introduce the wide range of time-independent personality traits that also influence attention, and in this context we try to raise awareness of the consideration of inter-individual differences in the field of neuroscience.
Woolgar, Alexandra; Williams, Mark A; Rich, Anina N
Selective attention is fundamental for human activity, but the details of its neural implementation remain elusive. One influential theory, the adaptive coding hypothesis (Duncan, 2001, An adaptive coding model of neural function in prefrontal cortex, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2:820-829), proposes that single neurons in certain frontal and parietal regions dynamically adjust their responses to selectively encode relevant information. This selective representation may in turn support selective processing in more specialized brain regions such as the visual cortices. Here, we use multi-voxel decoding of functional magnetic resonance images to demonstrate selective representation of attended--and not distractor--objects in frontal, parietal, and visual cortices. In addition, we highlight a critical role for task demands in determining which brain regions exhibit selective coding. Strikingly, representation of attended objects in frontoparietal cortex was highest under conditions of high perceptual demand, when stimuli were hard to perceive and coding in early visual cortex was weak. Coding in early visual cortex varied as a function of attention and perceptual demand, while coding in higher visual areas was sensitive to the allocation of attention but robust to changes in perceptual difficulty. Consistent with high-profile reports, peripherally presented objects could also be decoded from activity at the occipital pole, a region which corresponds to the fovea. Our results emphasize the flexibility of frontoparietal and visual systems. They support the hypothesis that attention enhances the multi-voxel representation of information in the brain, and suggest that the engagement of this attentional mechanism depends critically on current task demands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Purpose Listeners with hearing loss, as well as many listeners with clinically normal hearing, often experience great difficulty segregating talkers in a multiple-talker sound field and selectively attending to the desired “target” talker while ignoring the speech from unwanted “masker” talkers and other sources of sound. This listening situation forms the classic “cocktail party problem” described by Cherry (1953) that has received a great deal of study over the past few decades. In this article, a new approach to improving sound source segregation and enhancing auditory selective attention is described. The conceptual design, current implementation, and results obtained to date are reviewed and discussed in this article. Method This approach, embodied in a prototype “visually guided hearing aid” (VGHA) currently used for research, employs acoustic beamforming steered by eye gaze as a means for improving the ability of listeners to segregate and attend to one sound source in the presence of competing sound sources. Results The results from several studies demonstrate that listeners with normal hearing are able to use an attention-based “spatial filter” operating primarily on binaural cues to selectively attend to one source among competing spatially distributed sources. Furthermore, listeners with sensorineural hearing loss generally are less able to use this spatial filter as effectively as are listeners with normal hearing especially in conditions high in “informational masking.” The VGHA enhances auditory spatial attention for speech-on-speech masking and improves signal-to-noise ratio for conditions high in “energetic masking.” Visual steering of the beamformer supports the coordinated actions of vision and audition in selective attention and facilitates following sound source transitions in complex listening situations. Conclusions Both listeners with normal hearing and with sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from the acoustic
Schulz, Christian M; Schneider, Erich; Kohlbecher, Stefan; Hapfelmeier, Alexander; Heuser, Fabian; Wagner, Klaus J; Kochs, Eberhard F; Schneider, Gerhard
Development of accurate Situation Awareness (SA) depends on experience and may be impaired during excessive workload. In order to gain adequate SA for decision making and performance, anaesthetists need to distribute visual attention effectively. Therefore, we hypothesized that in more experienced anaesthetists performance is better and increase of physiological workload is less during critical incidents. Additionally, we investigated the relation between physiological workload indicators and distribution of visual attention. In fifteen anaesthetists, the increase of pupil size and heart rate was assessed in course of a simulated critical incident. Simulator log files were used for performance assessment. An eye-tracking device (EyeSeeCam) provided data about the anaesthetists' distribution of visual attention. Performance was assessed as time until definitive treatment. T tests and multivariate generalized linear models (MANOVA) were used for retrospective statistical analysis. Mean pupil diameter increase was 8.1% (SD ± 4.3) in the less experienced and 15.8% (±10.4) in the more experienced subjects (p = 0.191). Mean heart rate increase was 10.2% (±6.7) and 10.5% (±8.3, p = 0.956), respectively. Performance did not depend on experience. Pupil diameter and heart rate increases were associated with a shift of visual attention from monitoring towards manual tasks (not significant). For the first time, the following four variables were assessed simultaneously: physiological workload indicators, performance, experience, and distribution of visual attention between "monitoring" and "manual" tasks. However, we were unable to detect significant interactions between these variables. This experimental model could prove valuable in the investigation of gaining and maintaining SA in the operation theatre.
Peschel, Anne O; Orquin, Jacob L
That surface size has an impact on attention has been well-known in advertising research for almost a century; however, theoretical accounts of this effect have been sparse. To address this issue, we review studies on surface size effects on eye movements in this paper. While most studies find that large objects are more likely to be fixated, receive more fixations, and are fixated faster than small objects, a comprehensive explanation of this effect is still lacking. To bridge the theoretical gap, we relate the findings from this review to three theories of surface size effects suggested in the literature: a linear model based on the assumption of random fixations (Lohse, 1997), a theory of surface size as visual saliency (Pieters etal., 2007), and a theory based on competition for attention (CA; Janiszewski, 1998). We furthermore suggest a fourth model - demand for attention - which we derive from the theory of CA by revising the underlying model assumptions. In order to test the models against each other, we reanalyze data from an eye tracking study investigating surface size and saliency effects on attention. The reanalysis revealed little support for the first three theories while the demand for attention model showed a much better alignment with the data. We conclude that surface size effects may best be explained as an increase in object signal strength which depends on object size, number of objects in the visual scene, and object distance to the center of the scene. Our findings suggest that advertisers should take into account how objects in the visual scene interact in order to optimize attention to, for instance, brands and logos.
Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk
We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Bullock, Tom; Giesbrecht, Barry
Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-min intervals over a 2 h 16 min test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.
Bullock, Tom; Giesbrecht, Barry
Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-min intervals over a 2 h 16 min test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention. PMID:25426094
Full Text Available Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-minute intervals over a 2 hour 16 minute test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.
Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S
Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: 'overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and 'fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a 'classical' experimental attention test the 'five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.
Chen, Chen; Schneps, Matthew H; Masyn, Katherine E; Thomson, Jennifer M
Increasing evidence has shown visual attention span to be a factor, distinct from phonological skills, that explains single-word identification (pseudo-word/word reading) performance in dyslexia. Yet, little is known about how well visual attention span explains text comprehension. Observing reading comprehension in a sample of 105 high school students with dyslexia, we used a pathway analysis to examine the direct and indirect path between visual attention span and reading comprehension while controlling for other factors such as phonological awareness, letter identification, short-term memory, IQ and age. Integrating phonemic decoding efficiency skills in the analytic model, this study aimed to disentangle how visual attention span and phonological skills work together in reading comprehension for readers with dyslexia. We found visual attention span to have a significant direct effect on more difficult reading comprehension but not on an easier level. It also had a significant direct effect on pseudo-word identification but not on word identification. In addition, we found that visual attention span indirectly explains reading comprehension through pseudo-word reading and word reading skills. This study supports the hypothesis that at least part of the dyslexic profile can be explained by visual attention abilities. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Dawson, Samantha J; Fretz, Katherine M; Chivers, Meredith L
Women who report exclusive sexual attractions to men (i.e., androphilia) exhibit gender-nonspecific patterns of sexual response-similar magnitude of genital response to both male and female targets. Interestingly, women reporting any degree of attraction to women (i.e., gynephilia) show significantly greater sexual responses to stimuli depicting female targets compared to male targets. At present, the mechanism(s) underlying these patterns are unknown. According to the information processing model (IPM), attentional processing of sexual cues initiates sexual responding; thus, attention to sexual cues may be one mechanism to explain the observed within-gender differences in specificity findings among women. The purpose of the present study was to examine patterns of initial and controlled visual attention among women with varying sexual attractions. We used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of 164 women who differed in their degree of androphilia and gynephilia. We found that both exclusively and predominantly androphilic women showed gender-nonspecific patterns of initial attention. In contrast, ambiphilic (i.e., concurrent androphilia and gynephilia) and predominantly/exclusively gynephilic women oriented more quickly toward female targets. Controlled attention patterns mirrored patterns of self-reported sexual attractions for three of these four groups of women, such that gender-specific patterns of visual attention were found for androphilic and gynephilic women. Ambiphilic women looked significantly longer at female targets compared to male targets. These findings support predictions from the IPM and suggest that both initial and controlled attention to sexual cues may be mechanisms contributing to within-gender variation in sexual responding.
Knoeferle, Klemens M; Knoeferle, Pia; Velasco, Carlos; Spence, Charles
Building on models of crossmodal attention, the present research proposes that brand search is inherently multisensory, in that the consumers' visual search for a specific brand can be facilitated by semantically related stimuli that are presented in another sensory modality. A series of 5 experiments demonstrates that the presentation of spatially nonpredictive auditory stimuli associated with products (e.g., usage sounds or product-related jingles) can crossmodally facilitate consumers' visual search for, and selection of, products. Eye-tracking data (Experiment 2) revealed that the crossmodal effect of auditory cues on visual search manifested itself not only in RTs, but also in the earliest stages of visual attentional processing, thus suggesting that the semantic information embedded within sounds can modulate the perceptual saliency of the target products' visual representations. Crossmodal facilitation was even observed for newly learnt associations between unfamiliar brands and sonic logos, implicating multisensory short-term learning in establishing audiovisual semantic associations. The facilitation effect was stronger when searching complex rather than simple visual displays, thus suggesting a modulatory role of perceptual load. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Shen, John; Itti, Laurent
In conversation, women have a small advantage in decoding non-verbal communication compared to men. In light of these findings, we sought to determine whether sex differences also existed in visual attention during a related listening task, and if so, if the differences existed among attention to high-level aspects of the scene or to conspicuous visual features. Using eye-tracking and computational techniques, we present direct evidence that men and women orient attention differently during conversational listening. We tracked the eyes of 15 men and 19 women who watched and listened to 84 clips featuring 12 different speakers in various outdoor settings. At the fixation following each saccadic eye movement, we analyzed the type of object that was fixated. Men gazed more often at the mouth and women at the eyes of the speaker. Women more often exhibited "distracted" saccades directed away from the speaker and towards a background scene element. Examining the multi-scale center-surround variation in low-level visual features (static: color, intensity, orientation, and dynamic: motion energy), we found that men consistently selected regions which expressed more variation in dynamic features, which can be attributed to a male preference for motion and a female preference for areas that may contain nonverbal information about the speaker. In sum, significant differences were observed, which we speculate arise from different integration strategies of visual cues in selecting the final target of attention. Our findings have implications for studies of sex in nonverbal communication, as well as for more predictive models of visual attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wu, Shanshan; Wang, Lijun; Hitchman, Glenn; Tian, Xia; Li, Ming; Hu, Li; Chen, Antao
The biased competition model proposes that there is top-down directing of attention to a stimulus matching the contents of working memory (WM), even when the maintenance of a WM representation is detrimental to target relevant performance. Despite many studies elucidating that spatial WM guidance can be present early in the visual processing system, whether visual WM guidance also influences perceptual selection remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of early guidance of attention by WM in humans. Participants were required to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in their visual WM. Behavioral results showed that response times (RTs) were longer when the distractor in the visual search task was held in WM. The earliest WM guidance effect was observed in the P1 component (90-130 ms), with match trials eliciting larger P1 amplitude than mismatch trials. A similar result was also found in the N1 component (160-200 ms). These P1 and N1 effects could not be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because there was no significant difference in early event-related potential (ERP) component when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in WM. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the early WM guidance occurred in the occipital lobe and the N1-related activation occurred in the parietal gyrus. Time-frequency data suggested that alpha-band event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) magnitudes increased under the match condition compared with the mismatch condition only when the cue was held in WM. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in the occipital area. Subsequently, this initial capture of attention by WM could be inhibited by competing visual inputs through attention re-orientation, reflecting by the
Full Text Available The biased competition model proposes that there is top-down directing of attention to a stimulus matching the contents of working memory (WM, even when the maintenance of a WM representation is detrimental to target relevant performance. Despite many studies elucidating that spatial WM guidance can be present early in the visual processing system, whether visual WM guidance also influences perceptual selection remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of early guidance of attention by WM in humans. Participants were required to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in their visual working memory. Behavioral results showed that response times (RTs were longer when the distractor in the visual search task was held in WM. The earliest WM guidance effect was observed in the P1 component (90-130 ms, with match trials eliciting larger P1 amplitude than mismatch trials. A similar result was also found in the N1 component (160-200 ms. These P1 and N1 effects could not be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because there was no significant difference in early ERP component when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in working memory. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the early WM guidance occurred in the occipital lobe and the N1-related activation occurred in the parietal gyrus. Time-frequency data suggested that alpha-band event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP magnitudes increased under the match condition compared with the mismatch condition. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in the occipital area. Subsequently, this initial capture of attention by WM could be inhibited by competing visual inputs through attention re-orientation, reflecting by the alpha-band rhythm.
Anderson, Daniel R.; And Others
Decribes age trends in television viewing time and visual attention of children and adults videotaped in their homes for 10-day periods. Shows that the increase in visual attention to television during the preschool years is consistent with the theory that television program comprehensibility is a major determinant of attention in young children.…
Schubert, Torsten; Finke, Kathrin; Redel, Petra; Kluckow, Steffen; Müller, Hermann; Strobach, Tilo
Experts with video game experience, in contrast to non-experienced persons, are superior in multiple domains of visual attention. However, it is an open question which basic aspects of attention underlie this superiority. We approached this question using the framework of Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) with tools that allowed us to assess various parameters that are related to different visual attention aspects (e.g., perception threshold, processing speed, visual short-term memory storage capacity, top-down control, spatial distribution of attention) and that are measurable on the same experimental basis. In Experiment 1, we found advantages of video game experts in perception threshold and visual processing speed; the latter being restricted to the lower positions of the used computer display. The observed advantages were not significantly moderated by general person-related characteristics such as personality traits, sensation seeking, intelligence, social anxiety, or health status. Experiment 2 tested a potential causal link between the expert advantages and video game practice with an intervention protocol. It found no effects of action video gaming on perception threshold, visual short-term memory storage capacity, iconic memory storage, top-down control, and spatial distribution of attention after 15 days of training. However, observations of a selected improvement of processing speed at the lower positions of the computer screen after video game training and of retest effects are suggestive for limited possibilities to improve basic aspects of visual attention (TVA) with practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Harris, Jill; Kamke, Marc R
Selective attention fundamentally alters sensory perception, but little is known about the functioning of attention in individuals who use a cochlear implant. This study aimed to investigate visual and auditory attention in adolescent cochlear implant users. Event related potentials were used to investigate the influence of attention on visual and auditory evoked potentials in six cochlear implant users and age-matched normally-hearing children. Participants were presented with streams of alternating visual and auditory stimuli in an oddball paradigm: each modality contained frequently presented 'standard' and infrequent 'deviant' stimuli. Across different blocks attention was directed to either the visual or auditory modality. For the visual stimuli attention boosted the early N1 potential, but this effect was larger for cochlear implant users. Attention was also associated with a later P3 component for the visual deviant stimulus, but there was no difference between groups in the later attention effects. For the auditory stimuli, attention was associated with a decrease in N1 latency as well as a robust P3 for the deviant tone. Importantly, there was no difference between groups in these auditory attention effects. The results suggest that basic mechanisms of auditory attention are largely normal in children who are proficient cochlear implant users, but that visual attention may be altered. Ultimately, a better understanding of how selective attention influences sensory perception in cochlear implant users will be important for optimising habilitation strategies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.
Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: `overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and `fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.
Full Text Available Visuospatial attention and short-term memory allow us to prioritize, select, and briefly maintain part of the visual information that reaches our senses. These cognitive abilities are quantitatively accounted for by Bundesen’s theory of visual attention (TVA; Bundesen, 1990. Previous studies have suggested that TVA-based assessments are sensitive to inter-individual differences in spatial bias, visual short-term memory capacity, top-down control, and processing speed in healthy volunteers as well as in patients with various neurological and psychiatric conditions. However, most neuropsychological assessments of attention and executive functions, including TVA-based assessment, make use of alphanumeric stimuli and/or are performed verbally, which can pose difficulties for individuals who have troubles processing letters or numbers. Here we examined the reliability of TVA-based assessments when stimuli are used that are not alphanumeric, but instead based on line-drawings of fruits and vegetables. We compared five TVA parameters quantifying the aforementioned cognitive abilities, obtained by modeling accuracy data on a whole/partial report paradigm using conventional alphabet stimuli versus the food stimuli. Significant correlations were found for all TVA parameters, indicating a high parallel-form reliability. Split-half correlations assessing internal reliability, and correlations between predicted and observed data assessing goodness-of-fit were both significant. Our results provide an indication that line-drawings of fruits and vegetables can be used for a reliable assessment of attention and short-term memory.
Full Text Available Aim of the study is to investigate, by means of a driving simulator experiment, drivers’ performance in terms of lateral position, speed, deceleration, steering angle, and breaking times on a divided two-lane rural highway in relation to drivers’ visual attention (VD. In the experiment, the virtual scene of twenty different geometric alignment sections without traffic and the VD testing were designed. Twenty-three experienced drivers with the calibration of attention capacity participated in a 30 km drive in an interactive fixed-base simulator. Each participant was required to drive with the controlled speed of 60 km/h along the central lane as repeating random number and was evaluated on VD and driving performances. Three different data analysis techniques were used: (a statistical tests and hypothesis test of curvature change rate (CCR of the geometric alignments, visual attention demands, and driving performance data, (b correlation analysis of VD, CCRs, and driving behaviors, and (c regression analysis of the VD and CCRs. Results have showed that the driving performance can be effectively influenced by the highway alignment and a prediction model built in this study can evaluate the drivers’ visual attention demands before the highway constructed. The interactions among VD, driving behavior, and CCRs were also found.
representations of the visual world, visual attention, and object representations. 24 Bauer, R. M., & Rubens, A. B. (1985). Agnosia . In K. M. Heilman, & E...visual information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1-1, 501-517. Farah, M. J. (1990). Visual Agnosia : Disorders of Object Recognition and
Pilling, Michael; Barrett, Doug J K
We investigated how dimension-based attention influences visual short-term memory (VSTM). This was done through examining the effects of cueing a feature dimension in two perceptual comparison tasks (change detection and sameness detection). In both tasks, a memory array and a test array consisting of a number of colored shapes were presented successively, interleaved by a blank interstimulus interval (ISI). In Experiment 1 (change detection), the critical event was a feature change in one item across the memory and test arrays. In Experiment 2 (sameness detection), the critical event was the absence of a feature change in one item across the two arrays. Auditory cues indicated the feature dimension (color or shape) of the critical event with 80 % validity; the cues were presented either prior to the memory array, during the ISI, or simultaneously with the test array. In Experiment 1, the cue validity influenced sensitivity only when the cue was given at the earliest position; in Experiment 2, the cue validity influenced sensitivity at all three cue positions. We attributed the greater effectiveness of top-down guidance by cues in the sameness detection task to the more active nature of the comparison process required to detect sameness events (Hyun, Woodman, Vogel, Hollingworth, & Luck, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35; 1140-1160, 2009).
Ba, Sileye O; Odobez, Jean-Marc
This paper introduces a novel contextual model for the recognition of people's visual focus of attention (VFOA) in meetings from audio-visual perceptual cues. More specifically, instead of independently recognizing the VFOA of each meeting participant from his own head pose, we propose to jointly recognize the participants' visual attention in order to introduce context-dependent interaction models that relate to group activity and the social dynamics of communication. Meeting contextual information is represented by the location of people, conversational events identifying floor holding patterns, and a presentation activity variable. By modeling the interactions between the different contexts and their combined and sometimes contradictory impact on the gazing behavior, our model allows us to handle VFOA recognition in difficult task-based meetings involving artifacts, presentations, and moving people. We validated our model through rigorous evaluation on a publicly available and challenging data set of 12 real meetings (5 hours of data). The results demonstrated that the integration of the presentation and conversation dynamical context using our model can lead to significant performance improvements.
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited in capacity. Therefore, it is important to encode only visual information that is most likely to be relevant to behaviour. Here we asked which aspects of selective biasing of VSTM encoding predict subsequent memory-based performance. We measured EEG during a selective VSTM encoding task, in which we varied parametrically the memory load and the precision of recall required to compare a remembered item to a subsequent probe item. On half the trials, a spatial cue indicated that participants only needed to encode items from one hemifield. We observed a typical sequence of markers of anticipatory spatial attention: early attention directing negativity (EDAN), anterior attention directing negativity (ADAN), late directing attention positivity (LDAP); as well as of VSTM maintenance: contralateral delay activity (CDA). We found that individual differences in preparatory brain activity (EDAN/ADAN) predicted cue-related changes in recall accuracy, indexed by memory-probe discrimination sensitivity (d'). Importantly, our parametric manipulation of memory-probe similarity also allowed us to model the behavioural data for each participant, providing estimates for the quality of the memory representation and the probability that an item could be retrieved. We found that selective encoding primarily increased the probability of accurate memory recall; that ERP markers of preparatory attention predicted the cue-related changes in recall probability. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
LaRoche, Ronee B; Morgan, Russell E
Over the past two decades the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat behavioral disorders in children has grown rapidly, despite little evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of these drugs for use in children. Utilizing a rat model, this study investigated whether post-weaning exposure to a prototype SSRI, fluoxetine (FLX), influenced performance on visual tasks designed to measure discrimination learning, sustained attention, inhibitory control, and reaction time. Additionally, sex differences in response to varying doses of fluoxetine were examined. In Experiment 1, female rats were administered (P.O.) fluoxetine (10 mg/kg ) or vehicle (apple juice) from PND 25 thru PND 49. After a 14 day washout period, subjects were trained to perform a simultaneous visual discrimination task. Subjects were then tested for 20 sessions on a visual attention task that consisted of varied stimulus delays (0, 3, 6, or 9 s) and cue durations (200, 400, or 700 ms). In Experiment 2, both male and female Long-Evans rats (24 F, 24 M) were administered fluoxetine (0, 5, 10, or 15 mg/kg) then tested in the same visual tasks used in Experiment 1, with the addition of open-field and elevated plus-maze testing. Few FLX-related differences were seen in the visual discrimination, open field, or plus-maze tasks. However, results from the visual attention task indicated a dose-dependent reduction in the performance of fluoxetine-treated males, whereas fluoxetine-treated females tended to improve over baseline. These findings indicate that enduring, behaviorally-relevant alterations of the CNS can occur following pharmacological manipulation of the serotonin system during postnatal development.
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were
Christian H. Poth
Full Text Available Monitoring the environment for visual events while performing a concurrent task requires adjustment of visual processing priorities. By use of Bundesen's (1990 Theory of Visual Attention (TVA, we investigated how monitoring for an object-based brief event affected distinct components of visual attention in a concurrent task. The perceptual salience of the event was varied. Monitoring reduced the processing speed in the concurrent task, and the reduction was stronger when the event was less salient. The monitoring task neither affected the temporal threshold of conscious perception nor the storage capacity of visual short-term memory nor the efficiency of top-down controlled attentional selection.
Clement, Jesper; Kokkoli, Maria
Buying behaviour theory goes back to the start of the 50’s and over the years different models have been developed influenced by different sociological views and trends. In the age of digitalization and e-commerce these theories seem to be less useful and need revision. In the early days of the Web...... of the product package together with pictures of the pills are used as eye-catcher on-line. The market for e-health is increasing (Usher and Skinner, 2010) and distribution of consumers purchasing on-line health products looks similar to the distribution in average populations. As the on-line drug store goes...... across culture and national borders it also challenges marketer to make the right set-up for a web-shop. In this paper customers’ visual attention during search for drugs on-line is investigated, relating visual attention and evaluation to a particular web-design....
Hoffman, Lesa; McDowd, Joan M; Atchley, Paul; Dubinsky, Richard
This study evaluated the role of visual attention (as measured by the DriverScan change detection task and the Useful Field of View Test [UFOV]) in the prediction of driving impairment in 155 adults between the ages of 63 and 87. In contrast to previous research, participants were not oversampled for visual impairment or history of automobile accidents. Although a history of automobile accidents within the past 3 years could not be predicted using any variable, driving performance in a low-fidelity simulator could be significantly predicted by performance in the change detection task and by the divided and selection attention subtests of the UFOV in structural equation models. The sensitivity and specificity of each measure in identifying at-risk drivers were also evaluated with receiver operating characteristic curves.
Kollei, Ines; Horndasch, Stefanie; Erim, Yesim; Martin, Alexandra
Cognitive behavioral models postulate that selective attention plays an important role in the maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). It is suggested that individuals with BDD overfocus on perceived defects in their appearance, which may contribute to the excessive preoccupation with their appearance. The present study used eye tracking to examine visual selective attention in individuals with BDD (n=19), as compared to individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) (n=21) and healthy controls (HCs) (n=21). Participants completed interviews, questionnaires, rating scales and an eye tracking task: Eye movements were recorded while participants viewed photographs of their own face and attractive as well as unattractive other faces. Eye tracking data showed that BDD and BN participants focused less on their self-rated most attractive facial part than HCs. Scanning patterns in own and other faces showed that BDD and BN participants paid as much attention to attractive as to unattractive features in their own face, whereas they focused more on attractive features in attractive other faces. HCs paid more attention to attractive features in their own face and did the same in attractive other faces. Results indicate an attentional bias in BDD and BN participants manifesting itself in a neglect of positive features compared to HCs. Perceptual retraining may be an important aspect to focus on in therapy in order to overcome the neglect of positive facial aspects. Future research should aim to disentangle attentional processes in BDD by examining the time course of attentional processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gabriela Tavares; Pietro Perona; Antonio Rangel; Antonio Rangel
Perceptual decisions requiring the comparison of spatially distributed stimuli that are fixated sequentially might be influenced by fluctuations in visual attention. We used two psychophysical tasks with human subjects to investigate the extent to which visual attention influences simple perceptual choices, and to test the extent to which the attentional Drift Diffusion Model (aDDM) provides a good computational description of how attention affects the underlying decision processes. We find e...
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten
Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were smaller, but still significant, in detection than in discrimination. The auditory steady-state response (SSR) showed no effects of attention at frontocentral locations, but did so at occipital locations where it was evident only when attention was divided between audition and vision. Similarly, the visual SSR at occipital locations was substantially enhanced when attention was divided across modalities. Both effects were equally present in detection and discrimination. We suggest that both effects reflect a common cause: An attention-dependent influence of auditory information processing on early cortical stages of visual information processing, mediated by enhanced effective connectivity between the two modalities under conditions of divided attention. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin
The ability to drive safely is disrupted by cell phone conversations, and this has been attributed to a diversion of attention from the visual environment. We employed behavioral and ERP measures to study whether the attentive processing of spoken messages is, in itself, sufficient to produce visual-attentional deficits. Participants searched for visual targets defined by a unique feature (Experiment 1) or feature conjunction (Experiment 2), and simultaneously listened to narrated text passages that had to be recalled later (encoding condition), or heard backward-played speech sounds that could be ignored (control condition). Responses to targets were slower in the encoding condition, and ERPs revealed that the visual processing of search arrays and the attentional selection of target stimuli were less efficient in the encoding relative to the control condition. Results demonstrate that the attentional processing of visual information is impaired when concurrent spoken messages are encoded and maintained, in line with cross-modal links in selective attention, but inconsistent with the view that attentional resources are modality-specific. The distraction of visual attention by active listening could contribute to the adverse effects of cell phone use on driving performance.
Christensen, Jeppe H; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus
A physiologically based nonhomogeneous Poisson counter model of visual identification is presented. The model was developed in the framework of a Theory of Visual Attention (Bundesen, 1990; Kyllingsbæk, Markussen, & Bundesen, 2012) and meant for modeling visual identification of objects that are ......A physiologically based nonhomogeneous Poisson counter model of visual identification is presented. The model was developed in the framework of a Theory of Visual Attention (Bundesen, 1990; Kyllingsbæk, Markussen, & Bundesen, 2012) and meant for modeling visual identification of objects...... that mimicked the dynamics of receptive field selectivity as found in neurophysiological studies. Furthermore, the initial sensory response yielded theoretical hazard rate functions that closely resembled empirically estimated ones. Finally, supplied with a Naka-Rushton type contrast gain control, the model...
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Qorbani, Mostafa; Sotoudeh, Gity; Rostami, Reza; Narmaki, Elham; Yavari, Parvaneh; Aghasi, Mohadeseh; Shaibu, Osman Mohammed
Attention is a complex cognitive function that is necessary for learning, for following social norms of behaviour and for effective performance of responsibilities and duties. It is especially important in sensitive occupations requiring sustained attention. Improvement of dietary diversity (DD) is recognised as an important factor in health promotion, but its association with sustained attention is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the association between auditory and visual sustained attention and DD. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 400 women aged 20-50 years who attended sports clubs at Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated on the basis of the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using Integrated Visual and Auditory software. A single 24-h dietary recall questionnaire was used for DD assessment. Dietary diversity scores (DDS) were determined using the FAO guidelines. The mean visual and auditory sustained attention scores were 40·2 (sd 35·2) and 42·5 (sd 38), respectively. The mean DDS was 4·7 (sd 1·5). After adjusting for age, education years, physical activity, energy intake and BMI, mean visual and auditory sustained attention showed a significant increase as the quartiles of DDS increased (P=0·001). In addition, the mean subscales of attention, including auditory consistency and vigilance, visual persistence, visual and auditory focus, speed, comprehension and full attention, increased significantly with increasing DDS (Pvisual and auditory sustained attention.
Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Uengoer, Metin; Schubö, Anna
Besides visual salience and observers' current intention, prior learning experience may influence deployment of visual attention. Associative learning models postulate that observers pay more attention to stimuli previously experienced as reliable predictors of specific outcomes. To investigate the impact of learning experience on deployment of attention, we combined an associative learning task with a visual search task and measured event-related potentials of the EEG as neural markers of attention deployment. In the learning task, participants categorized stimuli varying in color/shape with only one dimension being predictive of category membership. In the search task, participants searched a shape target while disregarding irrelevant color distractors. Behavioral results showed that color distractors impaired performance to a greater degree when color rather than shape was predictive in the learning task. Neurophysiological results show that the amplified distraction was due to differential attention deployment (N2pc). Experiment 2 showed that when color was predictive for learning, color distractors captured more attention in the search task (ND component) and more suppression of color distractor was required (PD component). The present results thus demonstrate that priority in visual attention is biased toward predictive stimuli, which allows learning experience to shape selection. We also show that learning experience can overrule strong top-down control (blocked tasks, Experiment 3) and that learning experience has a longer-term effect on attention deployment (tasks on two successive days, Experiment 4). © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Wiegand, Iris Michaela; Petersen, Anders; Finke, Kathrin
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in a partial report task, in which half of the displays were preceded by an auditory warning cue. Based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), we estimated parameters of spatial and non......-spatial aspects of visual attention and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) over visual processing areas. We found that the TVA parameter sensory effectiveness a, which is thought to reflect visual processing capacity, significantly increased with phasic alerting. By contrast, the distribution of visual....... These results suggest that phasic alerting facilitates visual processing in a general, unselective manner and that this effect originates in early stages of visual information processing....
Akinwuntan, Abiodun E; Devos, Hannes; Verheyden, Geert; Baten, Guido; Kiekens, Carlotte; Feys, Hilde; De Weerdt, Willy
Visual inattention is a major cause of road accidents and is a problem commonly experienced after stroke. This study investigated the effects of 2 training programs on performance in the Useful Field of View (UFOV), a validated test of driving-related visual attention skills. Data from 69 first-ever, moderately impaired stroke survivors who participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the effects of simulator training on driving after stroke were analyzed. In addition to regular interventions at a rehabilitation center, participants received 15 hours of either simulator-based driving-related training or non-computer-based cognitive training over 5 weeks. Total percentage reduction in UFOV and performance in divided and selective attention and speed of processing subtests were documented at 6 to 9 weeks (pretraining), 11 to 15 weeks (posttraining), and 6 months post stroke (follow-up). Generalized estimating equation (GEE) model revealed neither group effects nor significant interaction effects of group with time in the UFOV total score and the 3 subtests. However, there were significant within-group improvements from pre- through posttraining to follow-up for all the UFOV parameters. Post-hoc GEE analysis revealed that most improvement in both groups occurred from pre- to posttraining. Both training programs significantly improved visual attention skills of moderately impaired stroke survivors after 15 hours of training and retention of benefit lasted up to 6 months after stroke. Neither of the training programs was better than the other.
Mangun, G R; Buck, L A
This study investigated the simple reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of biasing attention towards a location in the visual field. RTs and ERPs were recorded to stimuli flashed randomly and with equal probability to the left and right visual hemifields in the three blocked, covert attention conditions: (i) attention divided equally to left and right hemifield locations; (ii) attention biased towards the left location; or (iii) attention biased towards the right location. Attention was biased towards left or right by instructions to the subjects, and responses were required to all stimuli. Relative to the divided attention condition, RTs were significantly faster for targets occurring where more attention was allocated (benefits), and slower to targets where less attention was allocated (costs). The early P1 (100-140 msec) component over the lateral occipital scalp regions showed attentional benefits. There were no amplitude modulations of the occipital N1 (125-180 msec) component with attention. Between 200 and 500 msec latency, a late positive deflection (LPD) showed both attentional costs and benefits. The behavioral findings show that when sufficiently induced to bias attention, human observers demonstrate RT benefits as well as costs. The corresponding P1 benefits suggest that the RT benefits of spatial attention may arise as the result of modulations of visual information processing in the extrastriate visual cortex.
Shang, Chi-Yung; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
Atomoxetine is efficacious in reducing symptoms of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but its effect on visual memory and attention needs more investigation. This study aimed to assess the effect of atomoxetine on visual memory, attention, and school function in boys with ADHD in Taiwan. This was an open-label 12 week atomoxetine treatment trial among 30 drug-naíve boys with ADHD, aged 8-16 years. Before administration of atomoxetine, the participants were assessed using psychiatric interviews, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd edition (WISC-III), the school function of the Chinese version of the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents (SAICA), the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT), and the tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) involving visual memory and attention: Pattern Recognition Memory, Spatial Recognition Memory, and Reaction Time, which were reassessed at weeks 4 and 12. Our results showed there was significant improvement in pattern recognition memory and spatial recognition memory as measured by the CANTAB tasks, sustained attention and response inhibition as measured by the CPT, and reaction time as measured by the CANTAB after treatment with atomoxetine for 4 weeks or 12 weeks. In addition, atomoxetine significantly enhanced school functioning in children with ADHD. Our findings suggested that atomoxetine was associated with significant improvement in visual memory, attention, and school functioning in boys with ADHD.
Wathan, Jennifer; McComb, Karen
Sensitivity to the attentional states of others has adaptive advantages, and in social animals, attending to others is important for predator detection, as well as a pre-requisite for normal social functioning and more complex socio-cognitive abilities. Despite widespread interest in how social species perceive attention in others, studies of non-human animals have been inconclusive about the detailed cues involved. Previous work has focused on head and eye direction, overlooking the fact that many mammals have obvious and mobile ears that could act as a visual cue to attention. Here we report that horses use the head orientation of a conspecific to locate food, but that this ability is disrupted when parts of the face (the eyes and ears) are covered up with naturalistic masks. The ability to correctly judge attention also interacted with the identity of the model horse, suggesting that individual differences in facial features may influence the salience of cues. Our results indicate that a combination of head orientation with facial expression, specifically involving both the eyes and ears, is necessary for communicating social attention. These findings emphasise that in order to understand how attention is communicated in non-human animals, it is essential to consider a broad range of cues.
Shimi, Andria; Nobre, Anna C.; Astle, Duncan; Scerif, Gaia
How does developing attentional control operate within visual short-term memory (VSTM)? Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (total n = 205) were asked to report whether probe items were part of preceding visual arrays. In Experiment 1, central or peripheral cues oriented attention to the location of to-be-probed items either prior to…
Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone
This study analyses visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice experiments across three different choice stimuli presentation formats. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments are found to be strongly affected by stimuli presentation format. These results...
In the past 20 years, numerous theories and findings have suggested that the unit of visual attention is the object. In this study, I first clarify 2 different meanings of unit of visual attention, namely the unit of access in the sense of measurement and the unit of selection in the sense of division. In accordance with this distinction, I argue…
Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying
The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…
Chun, Marvin M.; Jiang, Yuhong
Six experiments involving a total of 112 college students demonstrate that a robust memory for visual context exists to guide spatial attention. Results show how implicit learning and memory of visual context can guide spatial attention toward task-relevant aspects of a scene. (SLD)
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
The present study examined the moderating effect of men's visual attention toward male images on the relationship between idealized media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Of particular interest was men's visual attention to the abdomens and upper bodies of male images. Fifty male undergraduate
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, P.T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
The present study examined the moderating effect of men's visual attention toward male images on the relationship between idealized media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Of particular interest was men's visual attention to the abdomens and upper bodies of male images. Fifty male undergraduate
Lansu, T.A.M.; Troop-Gordon, W.
Visual attention to high-status peers is well documented, but whether this attentional bias is due to high-status individuals' leadership and prosocial characteristics or due to their more agonistic behaviors has yet to be examined. To identify the affective associations that may underlie visual
Background Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) affects several areas of cognitive function including visual processing and attention. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the visual deficits of children and adolescents with NF1 by studying visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and brain oscillations during visual stimulation and rest periods. Methods Electroencephalogram/event-related potential (EEG/ERP) responses were measured during visual processing (NF1 n = 17; controls n = 19) and idle periods with eyes closed and eyes open (NF1 n = 12; controls n = 14). Visual stimulation was chosen to bias activation of the three detection mechanisms: achromatic, red-green and blue-yellow. Results We found significant differences between the groups for late chromatic VEPs and a specific enhancement in the amplitude of the parieto-occipital alpha amplitude both during visual stimulation and idle periods. Alpha modulation and the negative influence of alpha oscillations in visual performance were found in both groups. Conclusions Our findings suggest abnormal later stages of visual processing and enhanced amplitude of alpha oscillations supporting the existence of deficits in basic sensory processing in NF1. Given the link between alpha oscillations, visual perception and attention, these results indicate a neural mechanism that might underlie the visual sensitivity deficits and increased lapses of attention observed in individuals with NF1. PMID:24559228
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Sotoudeh, Gity; Qorbani, Mostafa; Rostami, Reza; Sadeghi-Firoozabadi, Vahid; Narmaki, Elham
A low antioxidants status has been shown to result in oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. Because antioxidants can protect the nervous system, it is expected that a better blood antioxidant status might be related to sustained attention. However, the relationship between the blood antioxidant status and visual and auditory sustained attention has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of fruits and vegetables intake and the blood antioxidant status with visual and auditory sustained attention in women. This cross-sectional study was performed on 400 healthy women (20-50 years) who attended the sports clubs of Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using the Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) software. The 24-hour food recall questionnaire was used for estimating fruits and vegetables intake. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were measured in 90 participants. After adjusting for energy intake, age, body mass index (BMI), years of education and physical activity, higher reported fruits, and vegetables intake was associated with better visual and auditory sustained attention (P attention (P visual and auditory sustained attention after adjusting for age, years of education, physical activity, energy, BMI, and caffeine intake (P visual and auditory sustained attention is associated with a better blood antioxidant status. Therefore, improvement of the antioxidant status through an appropriate dietary intake can possibly enhance sustained attention.
Gannon, Matthew A; Knapp, Ashley A; Adams, Thomas G; Long, Stephanie M; Parks, Nathan A
Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load) and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°). Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.
Matthew A Gannon
Full Text Available Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°. Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.
In more than one respect, visual search for the most salient or the least salient item in a display are different kinds of visual tasks. The present work investigated whether this difference is primarily one of perceptual difficulty, or whether it is more fundamental and relates to visual attention. Display items of different salience were produced by varying either size, contrast, color saturation, or pattern. Perceptual masking was employed and, on average, mask onset was delayed longer in search for the least salient item than in search for the most salient item. As a result, the two types of visual search presented comparable perceptual difficulty, as judged by psychophysical measures of performance, effective stimulus contrast, and stability of decision criterion. To investigate the role of attention in the two types of search, observers attempted to carry out a letter discrimination and a search task concurrently. To discriminate the letters, observers had to direct visual attention at the center of the display and, thus, leave unattended the periphery, which contained target and distractors of the search task. In this situation, visual search for the least salient item was severely impaired while visual search for the most salient item was only moderately affected, demonstrating a fundamental difference with respect to visual attention. A qualitatively identical pattern of results was encountered by Schiller and Lee (1991), who used similar visual search tasks to assess the effect of a lesion in extrastriate area V4 of the macaque.
Kim, Gho; Lee, Jang-Han
This research was conducted to examine the level of consumers' visual attention to Internet advertising. It was predicted that consumers' search type would influence visual attention to advertising. Specifically, it was predicted that more attention to advertising would be attracted in the exploratory search condition than in the goal-directed search condition. It was also predicted that there would be a difference in visual attention depending on the advertisement type (advertising type: text vs. pictorial advertising). An eye tracker was used for measurement. Results revealed that search condition and advertising type influenced advertising effectiveness.
Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max
Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features such as color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and it is commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. Although gain mechanisms are well characterized, little is known about the cortical processes underlying the sharpening of feature selectivity. Here, we show with high-resolution magnetoencephalography in human observers (men and women) that sharpened selectivity for a particular color arises from feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy. To assess color selectivity, we analyze the response to a color probe that varies in color distance from an attended color target. We find that attention causes an initial gain enhancement in anterior ventral extrastriate cortex that is coarsely selective for the target color and transitions within ∼100 ms into a sharper tuned profile in more posterior ventral occipital cortex. We conclude that attention sharpens selectivity over time by attenuating the response at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy to color values neighboring the target in color space. These observations support computational models proposing that attention tunes feature selectivity in visual cortex through backward-propagating attenuation of units less tuned to the target. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whether searching for your car, a particular item of clothing, or just obeying traffic lights, in everyday life, we must select items based on color. But how does attention allow us to select a specific color? Here, we use high spatiotemporal resolution neuromagnetic recordings to examine how color selectivity emerges in the human brain. We find that color selectivity evolves as a coarse to fine process from higher to lower levels within the visual cortex hierarchy. Our observations support computational models proposing that feature selectivity increases over time by attenuating the
Park, George D; Reed, Catherine L
Despite attentional prioritization for grasping space near the hands, tool-use appears to transfer attentional bias to the tool's end/functional part. The contributions of haptic and visual inputs to attentional distribution along a tool were investigated as a function of tool-use in near (Experiment 1) and far (Experiment 2) space. Visual attention was assessed with a 50/50, go/no-go, target discrimination task, while a tool was held next to targets appearing near the tool-occupied hand or tool-end. Target response times (RTs) and sensitivity (d-prime) were measured at target locations, before and after functional tool practice for three conditions: (1) open-tool: tool-end visible (visual + haptic inputs), (2) hidden-tool: tool-end visually obscured (haptic input only), and (3) short-tool: stick missing tool's length/end (control condition: hand occupied but no visual/haptic input). In near space, both open- and hidden-tool groups showed a tool-end, attentional bias (faster RTs toward tool-end) before practice; after practice, RTs near the hand improved. In far space, the open-tool group showed no bias before practice; after practice, target RTs near the tool-end improved. However, the hidden-tool group showed a consistent tool-end bias despite practice. Lack of short-tool group results suggested that hidden-tool group results were specific to haptic inputs. In conclusion, (1) allocation of visual attention along a tool due to tool practice differs in near and far space, and (2) visual attention is drawn toward the tool's end even when visually obscured, suggesting haptic input provides sufficient information for directing attention along the tool.
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-...
Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
Participants performed an attentional blink (AB) task including digits as targets and letters as distractors within the visual and auditory domains. Prior to the rapid serial visual presentation, a visual or auditory prime was presented in the form of a digit that was identical to the second target
Morey, Candice Coker; Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Richard D.; Rouder, Jeffery N.
Prominent roles for general attention resources are posited in many models of working memory, but the manner in which these can be allocated differs between models or is not sufficiently specified. We varied the payoffs for correct responses in two temporally-overlapping recognition tasks, a visual
Ahmetoglu, Emine; Aral, Neriman; Butun Ayhan, Aynur
This study was conducted in order to (a) compare the visual perceptions of seven-year-old children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with those of normally developing children of the same age and development level and (b) determine whether the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder vary with respect to gender, having received preschool education and parents` educational level. A total of 60 children, 30 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 30 with normal development, were assigned to the study. Data about children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and their families was collected by using a General Information Form and the visual perception of children was examined through the Frostig Developmental Test of Visual Perception. The Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis variance analysis was used to determine whether there was a difference of between the visual perceptions of children with normal development and those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to discover whether the variables of gender, preschool education and parents` educational status affected the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results showed that there was a statistically meaningful difference between the visual perceptions of the two groups and that the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were affected meaningfully by gender, preschool education and parents` educational status.
Shen, Mowei; Huang, Xiang; Gao, Zaifeng
Feature binding is a core concept in many research fields, including the study of working memory (WM). Over the past decade, it has been debated whether keeping the feature binding in visual WM consumes more visual attention than the constituent single features. Previous studies have only explored the contribution of domain-general attention or space-based attention in the binding process; no study so far has explored the role of object-based attention in retaining binding in visual WM. We hypothesized that object-based attention underlay the mechanism of rehearsing feature binding in visual WM. Therefore, during the maintenance phase of a visual WM task, we inserted a secondary mental rotation (Experiments 1-3), transparent motion (Experiment 4), or an object-based feature report task (Experiment 5) to consume the object-based attention available for binding. In line with the prediction of the object-based attention hypothesis, Experiments 1-5 revealed a more significant impairment for binding than for constituent single features. However, this selective binding impairment was not observed when inserting a space-based visual search task (Experiment 6). We conclude that object-based attention underlies the rehearsal of binding representation in visual WM. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…
Dell'Acqua, Roberto; Sessa, Paola; Toffanin, Paolo; Luria, Roy; Joliccoeur, Pierre
We measured electroencephalographic activity during visual search of a target object among objects available to perception or among objects held in visual short-term memory (VSTM). For perceptual search, a single shape was shown first (pre-cue) followed by a search-array and the task was to decide
Olivers, Christian N. L.; Peters, Judith; Houtkamp, Roos; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between visual working memory and selective attention, such that attention is biased by what is currently on our mind. However, other data show that not all memorized items influence the deployment of attention, thus calling for a distinction within
Roberts, Jane E.; Hatton, Deborah D.; Long, Anna C. J.; Anello, Vittoria; Colombo, John
Aberrant attention is a core feature of fragile X syndrome (FXS), however, little is known regarding the developmental trajectory and underlying physiological processes of attention deficits in FXS. Atypical visual attention is an early emerging and robust indicator of autism in idiopathic (non-FXS) autism. Using a biobehavioral approach with gaze…
Guzman-Martinez, Emmanuel; Grabowecky, Marcia; Palafox, German; Suzuki, Satoru
Visual spatial attention can be exogenously captured by a salient stimulus or can be endogenously allocated by voluntary effort. Whether these two attention modes serve distinctive functions is debated, but for processing of single targets the literature suggests superiority of exogenous attention (it is faster acting and serves more functions).…
Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an
Tummeltshammer, Kristen Swan; Mareschal, Denis; Kirkham, Natasha Z.
With many features competing for attention in their visual environment, infants must learn to deploy attention toward informative cues while ignoring distractions. Three eye tracking experiments were conducted to investigate whether 6- and 8-month-olds (total N = 102) would shift attention away from a distractor stimulus to learn a cue-reward…
Vissers, M.E.; Gulbinaite, R.; van den Bos, T.; Slagter, H.A.
In the presence of distraction, attentional filtering is a key predictor of efficient information storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Yet, the role of attention in distractor filtering, and the extent to which attentional filtering continues to protect information during post-perceptual
West, Greg L.; Anderson, Adam A. K.; Pratt, Jay
Previous studies that have found attentional capture effects for stimuli of motivational significance do not directly measure initial attentional deployment, leaving it unclear to what extent these items produce attentional capture. Visual prior entry, as measured by temporal order judgments (TOJs), rests on the premise that allocated attention…
Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa
Since subthreshold autistic social impairments aggregate in family members, and since attentional dysfunctions appear to be one of the earliest cognitive markers of children with autism, we investigated in the general population the relationship between infants' attentional functioning and the autistic traits measured in their parents.…
Wegbreit, Ezra; Suzuki, Satoru; Grabowecky, Marcia; Kounios, John; Beeman, Mark
Behavioral and neuroimaging findings indicate that distinct cognitive and neural processes underlie solving problems with sudden insight. Moreover, people with less focused attention sometimes perform better on tests of insight and creative problem solving. However, it remains unclear whether different states of attention, within individuals,…
Velzen, José Lucia van
ln recent years the there has been growing interest in the topic of attentional control in the field of cognitive neuroscience. The first chapter of this thesis introduces the relevant theoretical concepts in the study of selective attention and gives an overview of what has become known from
de Voogd, E.L.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.; Salemink, E.
Background and objectives: An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of
Yang, Zichao; Hu, Zhiting; Deng, Yuntian; Dyer, Chris; Smola, Alex
Knowing which words have been attended to in previous time steps while generating a translation is a rich source of information for predicting what words will be attended to in the future. We improve upon the attention model of Bahdanau et al. (2014) by explicitly modeling the relationship between previous and subsequent attention levels for each word using one recurrent network per input word. This architecture easily captures informative features, such as fertility and regularities in relat...
In more than one respect, visual search for the most salient or the least salient item in a display are different kinds of visual tasks. The present work investigated whether this difference is primarily one of perceptual difficulty, or whether it is more fundamental and relates to visual attention. Display items of different salience were produced by varying either size, contrast, color saturation, or pattern. Perceptual masking was employed and, on average, mask onset was delayed longer in ...
Dodge, Samuel; Karam, Lina
In this paper we study the application of visual saliency models for the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem. We consider visual SLAM, where the location of the camera and a map of the environment can be generated using images from a single moving camera. In visual SLAM, the interest point detector is of key importance. This detector must be invariant to certain image transformations so that features can be matched across di erent frames. Recent work has used a model of human visual attention to detect interest points, however it is unclear as to what is the best attention model for this purpose. To this aim, we compare the performance of interest points from four saliency models (Itti, GBVS, RARE, and AWS) with the performance of four traditional interest point detectors (Harris, Shi-Tomasi, SIFT, and FAST). We evaluate these detectors under several di erent types of image transformation and nd that the Itti saliency model, in general, achieves the best performance in terms of keypoint repeatability.
Schomaker, Judith; Walper, Daniel; Wittmann, Bianca C; Einhäuser, Wolfgang
In addition to low-level stimulus characteristics and current goals, our previous experience with stimuli can also guide attentional deployment. It remains unclear, however, if such effects act independently or whether they interact in guiding attention. In the current study, we presented natural scenes including every-day objects that differed in affective-motivational impact. In the first free-viewing experiment, we presented visually-matched triads of scenes in which one critical object was replaced that varied mainly in terms of motivational value, but also in terms of valence and arousal, as confirmed by ratings by a large set of observers. Treating motivation as a categorical factor, we found that it affected gaze. A linear-effect model showed that arousal, valence, and motivation predicted fixations above and beyond visual characteristics, like object size, eccentricity, or visual salience. In a second experiment, we experimentally investigated whether the effects of emotion and motivation could be modulated by visual salience. In a medium-salience condition, we presented the same unmodified scenes as in the first experiment. In a high-salience condition, we retained the saturation of the critical object in the scene, and decreased the saturation of the background, and in a low-salience condition, we desaturated the critical object while retaining the original saturation of the background. We found that highly salient objects guided gaze, but still found additional additive effects of arousal, valence and motivation, confirming that higher-level factors can also guide attention, as measured by fixations towards objects in natural scenes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Eckstein, Miguel P; Pham, Binh T; Shimozaki, Steven S
Human performance during visual search typically improves when spatial cues indicate the possible target locations. In many instances, the performance improvement is quantitatively predicted by a Bayesian or quasi-Bayesian observer in which visual attention simply selects the information at the cued locations without changing the quality of processing or sensitivity and ignores the information at the uncued locations. Aside from the general good agreement between the effect of the cue on model and human performance, there has been little independent confirmation that humans are effectively selecting the relevant information. In this study, we used the classification image technique to assess the effectiveness of spatial cues in the attentional selection of relevant locations and suppression of irrelevant locations indicated by spatial cues. Observers searched for a bright target among dimmer distractors that might appear (with 50% probability) in one of eight locations in visual white noise. The possible target location was indicated using a 100% valid box cue or seven 100% invalid box cues in which the only potential target locations was uncued. For both conditions, we found statistically significant perceptual templates shaped as differences of Gaussians at the relevant locations with no perceptual templates at the irrelevant locations. We did not find statistical significant differences between the shapes of the inferred perceptual templates for the 100% valid and 100% invalid cues conditions. The results confirm the idea that during search visual attention allows the observer to effectively select relevant information and ignore irrelevant information. The results for the 100% invalid cues condition suggests that the selection process is not drawn automatically to the cue but can be under the observers' voluntary control.
Mulligan, Neil W
Extant research presents conflicting results on whether manipulations of attention during encoding affect perceptual priming. Two suggested mediating factors are type of manipulation (selective vs divided) and whether attention is manipulated across multiple objects or within a single object. Words printed in different colors (Experiment 1) or flanked by colored blocks (Experiment 2) were presented at encoding. In the full-attention condition, participants always read the word, in the unattended condition they always identified the color, and in the divided-attention conditions, participants attended to both word identity and color. Perceptual priming was assessed with perceptual identification and explicit memory with recognition. Relative to the full-attention condition, attending to color always reduced priming. Dividing attention between word identity and color, however, only disrupted priming when these attributes were presented as multiple objects (Experiment 2) but not when they were dimensions of a common object (Experiment 1). On the explicit test, manipulations of attention always affected recognition accuracy.
in processing targets, which effectively causes a perceptual bottleneck (Chun & Potter, 1995). According to bottleneck models, making the first target easier to perceive should improve processing in the bottleneck and reduce the attentional blink. However, recent studies suggest that an attentional blink may...... is often reduced in the first half second. This phenomenon is known as the attentional blink (Raymond, Shapiro & Arnell, 1992) and as suggests by the name is assumed to pertain to how fast attention can be reallocated. Bottleneck models suggest that the attentional blink is caused by limited capacity...... be triggered by attention capture to the first object (Folk, Leber & Egeth, 2008) and that if making the first target easier to perceive increase its saliency this may increase the attentional blink (Chua, 2005). This thesis examines the attention capture hypothesis with focus on empirical investigations...
Fagot, J; Kruschke, J K; Dépy, D; Vauclair, J
We examined attention shifting in baboons and humans during the learning of visual categories. Within a conditional matching-to-sample task, participants of the two species sequentially learned two two-feature categories which shared a common feature. Results showed that humans encoded both features of the initially learned category, but predominantly only the distinctive feature of the subsequently learned category. Although baboons initially encoded both features of the first category, they ultimately retained only the distinctive features of each category. Empirical data from the two species were analyzed with the 1996 ADIT connectionist model of Kruschke. ADIT fits the baboon data when the attentional shift rate is zero, and the human data when the attentional shift rate is not zero. These empirical and modeling results suggest species differences in learned attention to visual features.
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
with visual attributes, or as product mock-ups simulating realistic products as close as possible. So far little is known about how presentation formats affect visual attention patterns and choice behavior. This study addresses the question by analysing visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice...... experiments across three different presentation formats. Method. Participants’ visual attention was measured by means of eye tracking during a discrete choice experiment for yoghurt products varying on six attributes with two to four levels. The study used a mixed within-between subjects design in which...... the presentation format varied between a verbal information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Results. A strong relationship between attention and choice was observed so that attributes with a higher importance for participant choices also received a higher...
Dube, Blaire; Emrich, Stephen M; Al-Aidroos, Naseem
Across 2 experiments we revisited the filter account of how feature-based attention regulates visual working memory (VWM). Originally drawing from discrete-capacity ("slot") models, the filter account proposes that attention operates like the "bouncer in the brain," preventing distracting information from being encoded so that VWM resources are reserved for relevant information. Given recent challenges to the assumptions of discrete-capacity models, we investigated whether feature-based attention plays a broader role in regulating memory. Both experiments used partial report tasks in which participants memorized the colors of circle and square stimuli, and we provided a feature-based goal by manipulating the likelihood that 1 shape would be probed over the other across a range of probabilities. By decomposing participants' responses using mixture and variable-precision models, we estimated the contributions of guesses, nontarget responses, and imprecise memory representations to their errors. Consistent with the filter account, participants were less likely to guess when the probed memory item matched the feature-based goal. Interestingly, this effect varied with goal strength, even across high probabilities where goal-matching information should always be prioritized, demonstrating strategic control over filter strength. Beyond this effect of attention on which stimuli were encoded, we also observed effects on how they were encoded: Estimates of both memory precision and nontarget errors varied continuously with feature-based attention. The results offer support for an extension to the filter account, where feature-based attention dynamically regulates the distribution of resources within working memory so that the most relevant items are encoded with the greatest precision. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph
Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353360-10$15.00/0.
Bauer, Markus; Kluge, Christian; Bach, Dominik; Bradbury, David; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon
Cognitive processes such as visual perception and selective attention induce specific patterns of brain oscillations. The neurochemical bases of these spectral changes in neural activity are largely unknown, but neuromodulators are thought to regulate processing. The cholinergic system is linked to attentional function in vivo, whereas separate in vitro studies show that cholinergic agonists induce high-frequency oscillations in slice preparations. This has led to theoretical proposals that cholinergic enhancement of visual attention might operate via gamma oscillations in visual cortex, although low-frequency alpha/beta modulation may also play a key role. Here we used MEG to record cortical oscillations in the context of administration of a cholinergic agonist (physostigmine) during a spatial visual attention task in humans. This cholinergic agonist enhanced spatial attention effects on low-frequency alpha/beta oscillations in visual cortex, an effect correlating with a drug-induced speeding of performance. By contrast, the cholinergic agonist did not alter high-frequency gamma oscillations in visual cortex. Thus, our findings show that cholinergic neuromodulation enhances attentional selection via an impact on oscillatory synchrony in visual cortex, for low rather than high frequencies. We discuss this dissociation between high- and low-frequency oscillations in relation to proposals that lower-frequency oscillations are generated by feedback pathways within visual cortex. Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre
The emotional enhancement of memory is often thought to be determined by attention. However, recent evidence using divided attention paradigms suggests that attention does not play a significant role in the formation of memories for aversive pictures. We report a study that investigated this question using a paradigm in which participants had to encode lists of randomly intermixed negative and neutral pictures under conditions of full attention and divided attention followed by a free recall test. Attention was divided by a highly demanding concurrent task tapping visual processing resources. Results showed that the advantage in recall for aversive pictures was still present in the DA condition. However, mediation analyses also revealed that concurrent task performance significantly mediated the emotional enhancement of memory under divided attention. This finding suggests that visual attentional processes play a significant role in the formation of emotional memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved
MacLean, Gregory H; Klein, Raymond M; Hilchey, Matthew D
The oculomotor readiness hypothesis makes 2 predictions: Shifts in covert attention are accompanied by preparedness to move one's eyes to the attended region, and preparedness to move one's eyes to a region in space is accompanied by a shift in covert attention to the prepared location. Both predictions have been disconfirmed using an endogenous attention task. In the 2 experiments presented here, the same 2 predictions were tested using an exogenous attention task. It was found that participants experienced covert capture without accompanying oculomotor activation and experienced oculomotor activation without accompanying covert capture. While under everyday conditions the overt and covert orienting systems may be strongly linked, apparently they can nonetheless operate with a high degree of independence from one another. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Baars, B J
A common confound between consciousness and attention makes it difficult to think clearly about recent advances in the understanding of the visual brain. Visual consciousness involves phenomenal experience of the visual world, but visual attention is more plausibly treated as a function that selects and maintains the selection of potential conscious contents, often unconsciously. In the same sense, eye movements select conscious visual events, which are not the same as conscious visual experience. According to common sense, visual experience is consciousness, and selective processes are labeled as attention. The distinction is reflected in very different behavioral measures and in very different brain anatomy and physiology. Visual consciousness tends to be associated with the "what" stream of visual feature neurons in the ventral temporal lobe. In contrast, attentional selection and maintenance are mediated by other brain regions, ranging from superior colliculi to thalamus, prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate. The author applied the common-sense distinction between attention and consciousness to the theoretical positions of M. I. Posner (1992, 1994) and D. LaBerge (1997, 1998) to show how it helps to clarify the evidence. He concluded that clarity of thought is served by calling a thing by its proper name.
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance......The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... of these parameters. The present study was designed to examine whether (a) a shortened procedure bears sufficient accuracy and reliability, (b) whether the procedures reveal attentional constructs with clinical relevance, and (c) whether the mathematically independent parameters are also empirically independent...
Duncan, Lesley A; Park, Justin H; Faulkner, Jason; Schaller, Mark; Neuberg, Steven L; Kenrick, Douglas T
We tested the hypothesis that, compared with sociosexually restricted individuals, those with an unrestricted approach to mating would selectively allocate visual attention to attractive opposite-sex others. We also tested for sex differences in this effect. Seventy-four participants completed the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, and performed a computer-based task that assessed the speed with which they detected changes in attractive and unattractive male and female faces. Differences in reaction times served as indicators of selective attention. Results revealed a Sex X Sociosexuality interaction: Compared with sociosexually restricted men, unrestricted men selectively allocated attention to attractive opposite-sex others; no such effect emerged among women. This finding was specific to opposite-sex targets and did not occur in attention to same-sex others. These results contribute to a growing literature on the adaptive allocation of attention in social environments.
Tünnermann, Jan; Scharlau, Ingrid
Peripheral visual cues lead to large shifts in psychometric distributions of temporal-order judgments. In one view, such shifts are attributed to attention speeding up processing of the cued stimulus, so-called prior entry. However, sometimes these shifts are so large that it is unlikely that they are caused by attention alone. Here we tested the prevalent alternative explanation that the cue is sometimes confused with the target on a perceptual level, bolstering the shift of the psychometric function. We applied a novel model of cued temporal-order judgments, derived from Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention. We found that cue-target confusions indeed contribute to shifting psychometric functions. However, cue-induced changes in the processing rates of the target stimuli play an important role, too. At smaller cueing intervals, the cue increased the processing speed of the target. At larger intervals, inhibition of return was predominant. Earlier studies of cued TOJs were insensitive to these effects because in psychometric distributions they are concealed by the conjoint effects of cue-target confusions and processing rate changes.
Duncan, Lesley A.; Park, Justin H.; Faulkner, Jason; Schaller, Mark; Neuberg, Steven L.; Kenrick, Douglas T.
We tested the hypothesis that, compared with sociosexually restricted individuals, those with an unrestricted approach to mating would selectively allocate visual attention to attractive opposite-sex others. We also tested for sex differences in this effect. Seventy-four participants completed the
Full Text Available It is commonly held that different essential oils produce different effects, as reflected in various commercial advertisements. Yet, little is known about whether smelling essential oils would affect our attention and whether smelling different essential oils affects attentional components differently, due to the lack of empirical data. Here we provide such data. Participants conducted the Attention Network Test (ANT while smelling the essential oil of Chamaecyparis formosensis (Experiment 1, the wood usually used in shrine or furniture or Eucalyptus globules (Experiment 2, smelling like camphor or mint, compared with the control condition of smelling water. The order of the essential oil condition and the water condition was counterbalanced between participants. Three attention systems were measured: alertness, orienting and executive control. Results showed that Chamaecyparis formosens reduced the effect of orienting, implying that smelling this odor would prevent involuntary attentional shift by an exogenous cue. On the other hand, Eucalyptus globules produced a larger interference effect in the executive control system, suggesting a larger span of spatial attention that is associated with a positive emotion(Rowe, Hirsh, & Anderson, 2007.
Aziz, Muhammad Zaheer; Mertsching, Bärbel
Visual attention is one of the important phenomena in biological vision which can be followed to achieve more efficiency, intelligence, and robustness in artificial vision systems. This paper investigates a region-based approach that performs pixel clustering prior to the processes of attention in contrast to late clustering as done by contemporary methods. The foundation steps of feature map construction for the region-based attention model are proposed here. The color contrast map is generated based upon the extended findings from the color theory, the symmetry map is constructed using a novel scanning-based method, and a new algorithm is proposed to compute a size contrast map as a formal feature channel. Eccentricity and orientation are computed using the moments of obtained regions and then saliency is evaluated using the rarity criteria. The efficient design of the proposed algorithms allows incorporating five feature channels while maintaining a processing rate of multiple frames per second. Another salient advantage over the existing techniques is the reusability of the salient regions in the high-level machine vision procedures due to preservation of their shapes and precise locations. The results indicate that the proposed model has the potential to efficiently integrate the phenomenon of attention into the main stream of machine vision and systems with restricted computing resources such as mobile robots can benefit from its advantages.
Reinhart, Robert M. G.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories of attention propose that we rely on working memory to control attention by maintaining target presentations in this active store as our visual systems are used to search for certain objects. Here, we show that the tuning of perceptual attention can be sharply accelerated by noninvasive brain stimulation. Our electrophysiological measurements showed that these improvements in attentional tuning were preceded by changes in event-related potentials thought to index long-term memory, bu...
Gögler, N.; Finke, K.; Keller, I.; Muller, Hermann J.; Conci, M.
The contribution of selective attention to object integration is a topic of debate: integration of parts into coherent wholes, such as in Kanizsa figures, is thought to arise either from pre-attentive, automatic coding processes or from higher-order processes involving selective attention. Previous studies have attempted to examine the role of selective attention in object integration either by employing visual search paradigms or by studying patients with unilateral deficits in selective att...
Tas, A. Caglar; Luck, Steven J.; Hollingworth, Andrew
There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into visual working memory (VWM). Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1–3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. PMID:26854532
Full Text Available The impairing effects of mental fatigue on visual sustained attention were assessed by event-related potentials (ERPs. Subjects performed a dual visual task, which includes a continuous tracking task (primary task and a random signal detection task (secondary task, for 63 minutes nonstop in order to elicit ERPs. In this period, the data such as subjective levels of mental fatigue, behavioral performance measures, and electroencephalograms were recorded for each subject. Comparing data from the first interval (0-25 min to that of the second, the following phenomena were observed: the subjective fatigue ratings increased with time, which indicates that performing the tasks leads to increase in mental fatigue levels; reaction times prolonged and accuracy rates decreased in the second interval, which indicates that subjects' sustained attention decreased.; In the ERP data, the P3 amplitudes elicited by the random signals decreased, while the P3 latencies increased in the second interval. These results suggest that mental fatigue can modulate the higher-level cognitive processes, in terms of less attentional resources allocated to the random stimuli, which leads to decreased speed in information evaluating and decision making against the stimuli. These findings provide new insights into the question that how mental fatigue affects visual sustained attention and, therefore, can help to design countermeasures to prevent accidents caused by low visual sustained attention.
Full Text Available Perceptual decisions requiring the comparison of spatially distributed stimuli that are fixated sequentially might be influenced by fluctuations in visual attention. We used two psychophysical tasks with human subjects to investigate the extent to which visual attention influences simple perceptual choices, and to test the extent to which the attentional Drift Diffusion Model (aDDM provides a good computational description of how attention affects the underlying decision processes. We find evidence for sizable attentional choice biases and that the aDDM provides a reasonable quantitative description of the relationship between fluctuations in visual attention, choices and reaction times. We also find that exogenous manipulations of attention induce choice biases consistent with the predictions of the model.
Tavares, Gabriela; Perona, Pietro; Rangel, Antonio
Perceptual decisions requiring the comparison of spatially distributed stimuli that are fixated sequentially might be influenced by fluctuations in visual attention. We used two psychophysical tasks with human subjects to investigate the extent to which visual attention influences simple perceptual choices, and to test the extent to which the attentional Drift Diffusion Model (aDDM) provides a good computational description of how attention affects the underlying decision processes. We find evidence for sizable attentional choice biases and that the aDDM provides a reasonable quantitative description of the relationship between fluctuations in visual attention, choices and reaction times. We also find that exogenous manipulations of attention induce choice biases consistent with the predictions of the model.
Stuart, Samuel; Lord, Sue; Galna, Brook; Rochester, Lynn
Gait impairment is a core feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) with implications for falls risk. Visual cues improve gait in PD, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Evidence suggests that attention and vision play an important role; however, the relative contribution from each is unclear. Measurement of visual exploration (specifically saccade frequency) during gait allows for real-time measurement of attention and vision. Understanding how visual cues influence visual exploration may allow inferences of the underlying mechanisms to response which could help to develop effective therapeutics. This study aimed to examine saccade frequency during gait in response to a visual cue in PD and older adults and investigate the roles of attention and vision in visual cue response in PD. A mobile eye-tracker measured saccade frequency during gait in 55 people with PD and 32 age-matched controls. Participants walked in a straight line with and without a visual cue (50 cm transverse lines) presented under single task and dual-task (concurrent digit span recall). Saccade frequency was reduced when walking in PD compared to controls; however, visual cues ameliorated saccadic deficit. Visual cues significantly increased saccade frequency in both PD and controls under both single task and dual-task. Attention rather than visual function was central to saccade frequency and gait response to visual cues in PD. In conclusion, this study highlights the impact of visual cues on visual exploration when walking and the important role of attention in PD. Understanding these complex features will help inform intervention development. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu
Visual perception is influenced by attention deployed voluntarily or triggered involuntarily by salient stimuli. Modulation of visual cortical processing by voluntary or endogenous attention has been extensively studied, but much less is known about how involuntary or exogenous attention affects responses of visual cortical neurons. Using implanted microelectrode arrays, we examined the effects of exogenous attention on neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake monkeys. A bright annular cue was flashed either around the receptive fields of recorded neurons or in the opposite visual field to capture attention. A subsequent grating stimulus probed the cue-induced effects. In a fixation task, when the cue-to-probe stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was visual fields weakened or diminished both the physiological and behavioral cueing effects. Our findings indicate that exogenous attention significantly modulates V1 responses and that the modulation strength depends on both novelty and task relevance of the stimulus. Significance statement: Visual attention can be involuntarily captured by a sudden appearance of a conspicuous object, allowing rapid reactions to unexpected events of significance. The current study discovered a correlate of this effect in monkey primary visual cortex. An abrupt, salient, flash enhanced neuronal responses, and shortened the animal's reaction time, to a subsequent visual probe stimulus at the same location. However, the enhancement of the neural responses diminished after repeated exposures to this flash if the animal was not required to react to the probe. Moreover, a second, simultaneous, flash at another location weakened the neuronal and behavioral effects of the first one. These findings revealed, beyond the observations reported so far, the effects of exogenous attention in the brain. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513419-11$15.00/0.
Zhao, Jing; Liu, Menglian; Liu, Hanlong; Huang, Chen
With reading development, some children fail to learn to read fluently. However, reading fluency difficulty (RFD) has not been fully investigated. The present study explored the underlying mechanism of RFD from the aspect of visual attention span. Fourteen Chinese children with RFD and fourteen age-matched normal readers participated. The visual 1-back task was adopted to examine visual attention span. Reaction time and accuracy were recorded, and relevant d-prime (d') scores were computed. Results showed that children with RFD exhibited lower accuracy and lower d' values than the controls did in the visual 1-back task, revealing a visual attention span deficit. Further analyses on d' values revealed that the attention distribution seemed to exhibit an inverted U-shaped pattern without lateralization for normal readers, but a W-shaped pattern with a rightward bias for children with RFD, which was discussed based on between-group variation in reading strategies. Results of the correlation analyses showed that visual attention span was associated with reading fluency at the sentence level for normal readers, but was related to reading fluency at the single-character level for children with RFD. The different patterns in correlations between groups revealed that visual attention span might be affected by the variation in reading strategies. The current findings extend previous data from alphabetic languages to Chinese, a logographic language with a particularly deep orthography, and have implications for reading-dysfluency remediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Attentional mechanisms are required to overcome the problem of flooding a limited processing capacity system with information. They are present in biological sensory systems and can be a useful engineering tool for artificial visual systems. In this article we present a hardware model of a selective attention mechanism implemented on a very large-scale integration (VLSI) chip, using analog neuromorphic circuits. The chip exploits a spike-based representation to receive, process, and transmit signals. It can be used as a transceiver module for building multichip neuromorphic vision systems. We describe the circuits that carry out the main processing stages of the selective attention mechanism and provide experimental data for each circuit. We demonstrate the expected behavior of the model at the system level by stimulating the chip with both artificially generated control signals and signals obtained from a saliency map, computed from an image containing several salient features.
Marino, Alexandria C.; Mazer, James A.
During natural vision, saccadic eye movements lead to frequent retinal image changes that result in different neuronal subpopulations representing the same visual feature across fixations. Despite these potentially disruptive changes to the neural representation, our visual percept is remarkably stable. Visual receptive field remapping, characterized as an anticipatory shift in the position of a neuron’s spatial receptive field immediately before saccades, has been proposed as one possible neural substrate for visual stability. Many of the specific properties of remapping, e.g., the exact direction of remapping relative to the saccade vector and the precise mechanisms by which remapping could instantiate stability, remain a matter of debate. Recent studies have also shown that visual attention, like perception itself, can be sustained across saccades, suggesting that the attentional control system can also compensate for eye movements. Classical remapping could have an attentional component, or there could be a distinct attentional analog of visual remapping. At this time we do not yet fully understand how the stability of attentional representations relates to perisaccadic receptive field shifts. In this review, we develop a vocabulary for discussing perisaccadic shifts in receptive field location and perisaccadic shifts of attentional focus, review and synthesize behavioral and neurophysiological studies of perisaccadic perception and perisaccadic attention, and identify open questions that remain to be experimentally addressed. PMID:26903820
Rinne, Teemu; Muers, Ross S; Salo, Emma; Slater, Heather; Petkov, Christopher I
The cross-species correspondences and differences in how attention modulates brain responses in humans and animal models are poorly understood. We trained 2 monkeys to perform an audio-visual selective attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), rewarding them to attend to stimuli in one modality while ignoring those in the other. Monkey fMRI identified regions strongly modulated by auditory or visual attention. Surprisingly, auditory attention-related modulations were much more restricted in monkeys than humans performing the same tasks during fMRI. Further analyses ruled out trivial explanations, suggesting that labile selective-attention performance was associated with inhomogeneous modulations in wide cortical regions in the monkeys. The findings provide initial insights into how audio-visual selective attention modulates the primate brain, identify sources for "lost" attention effects in monkeys, and carry implications for modeling the neurobiology of human cognition with nonhuman animals. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.
Muers, Ross S.; Salo, Emma; Slater, Heather; Petkov, Christopher I.
Abstract The cross-species correspondences and differences in how attention modulates brain responses in humans and animal models are poorly understood. We trained 2 monkeys to perform an audio–visual selective attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), rewarding them to attend to stimuli in one modality while ignoring those in the other. Monkey fMRI identified regions strongly modulated by auditory or visual attention. Surprisingly, auditory attention-related modulations were much more restricted in monkeys than humans performing the same tasks during fMRI. Further analyses ruled out trivial explanations, suggesting that labile selective-attention performance was associated with inhomogeneous modulations in wide cortical regions in the monkeys. The findings provide initial insights into how audio–visual selective attention modulates the primate brain, identify sources for “lost” attention effects in monkeys, and carry implications for modeling the neurobiology of human cognition with nonhuman animals. PMID:28419201
Poltoratski, Sonia; Ling, Sam; McCormack, Devin; Tong, Frank
The visual system employs a sophisticated balance of attentional mechanisms: salient stimuli are prioritized for visual processing, yet observers can also ignore such stimuli when their goals require directing attention elsewhere. A powerful determinant of visual salience is local feature contrast: if a local region differs from its immediate surround along one or more feature dimensions, it will appear more salient. We used high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) at 7T to characterize the modulatory effects of bottom-up salience and top-down voluntary attention within multiple sites along the early visual pathway, including visual areas V1-V4 and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Observers viewed arrays of spatially distributed gratings, where one of the gratings immediately to the left or right of fixation differed from all other items in orientation or motion direction, making it salient. To investigate the effects of directed attention, observers were cued to attend to the grating to the left or right of fixation, which was either salient or nonsalient. Results revealed reliable additive effects of top-down attention and stimulus-driven salience throughout visual areas V1-hV4. In comparison, the LGN exhibited significant attentional enhancement but was not reliably modulated by orientation- or motion-defined salience. Our findings indicate that top-down effects of spatial attention can influence visual processing at the earliest possible site along the visual pathway, including the LGN, whereas the processing of orientation- and motion-driven salience primarily involves feature-selective interactions that take place in early cortical visual areas. NEW & NOTEWORTHY While spatial attention allows for specific, goal-driven enhancement of stimuli, salient items outside of the current focus of attention must also be prioritized. We used 7T fMRI to compare salience and spatial attentional enhancement along the early visual hierarchy. We report additive effects of
Bahrick, Lorraine E.; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Pickens, Jeffrey N.
Tested hypothesis from Bahrick and Pickens' infant attention model that retrieval cues increase memory accessibility and shift visual preferences toward greater novelty to resemble recent memories. Found that after retention intervals associated with remote or intermediate memory, previous familiarity preferences shifted to null or novelty…
Sekerina, Irina A.; Sauermann, Antje
It is well established in language acquisition research that monolingual children and adult second language learners misinterpret sentences with the universal quantifier "every" and make quantifier-spreading errors that are attributed to a preference for a match in number between two sets of objects. The present Visual World eye-tracking…
Brennan, Allison A; Bruderer, Alison J; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C; Enns, James T
This study compared visual search under everyday conditions among participants across the life span (healthy participants in 4 groups, with average age of 6 years, 8 years, 22 years, and 75 years, and 1 group averaging 73 years with a history of falling). The task involved opening a door and stepping into a room find 1 of 4 everyday objects (apple, golf ball, coffee can, toy penguin) visible on shelves. The background for this study included 2 well-cited laboratory studies that pointed to different cognitive mechanisms underlying each end of the U-shaped pattern of visual search over the life span (Hommel et al., 2004; Trick & Enns, 1998). The results recapitulated some of the main findings of the laboratory study (e.g., a U-shaped function, dissociable factors for maturation and aging), but there were several unique findings. These included large differences in the baseline salience of common objects at different ages, visual eccentricity effects that were unique to aging, and visual field effects that interacted strongly with age. These findings highlight the importance of studying cognitive processes in more natural settings, where factors such as personal relevance, life history, and bodily contributions to cognition (e.g., limb, head, and body movements) are more readily revealed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Neimeijer, Renate A. M.; de Jong, Peter J.; Roefs, Anne
Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require
Smucny, Jason; Rojas, Donald C.; Eichman, Lindsay C.; Tregellas, Jason R.
Selective attention in the presence of distraction is a key aspect of healthy cognition. The underlying neurobiological processes, have not, however, been functionally well characterized. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine how ecologically relevant distracting noise affects cortical activity in 27…
Rohlfing, Katharina J.; Longo, Matthew R.; Bertenthal, Bennett I.
Pointing, like eye gaze, is a deictic gesture that can be used to orient the attention of another person towards an object or an event. Previous research suggests that infants first begin to follow a pointing gesture between 10 and 13 months of age. We investigated whether sensitivity to pointing could be seen at younger ages employing a technique…
Wagner, Jennifer B.; Luyster, Rhiannon J.; Yim, Jung Yeon; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Nelson, Charles A.
Faces convey important information about the social environment, and even very young infants are preferentially attentive to face-like over non-face stimuli. Eye-tracking studies have allowed researchers to examine which features of faces infants find most salient across development, and the present study examined scanning of familiar (i.e.,…
Lamme, V.A.F.; Raftopoulos, A.
In this chapter, what I will try is to explain the very related phenomena of attention and awareness at the basic neural level. It will be an endeavour in the spirit of cognitive neuroscience, where cognitive psychology and neuroscience meet, to obtain new definitions for behavioral and mental
The present study examines how various types of attention cueing and cognitive preference affect learners' comprehension of a cardiovascular system and cognitive load. EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: non-signal, static-blood-signal, static-blood-static-arrow-signal, and animation-signal. The results indicated that…
Colzato, L.S.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.
Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture
Wickens, Christopher; Dixon, Stephen; Goh, Juliana; Hammer, Ben
An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) simulation was designed to reveal the effects of imperfectly reliable diagnostic automation a monitor of system health parameters on pilot attention, as the latter was assessed via visual scanning...
Tünnermann, Jan; Petersen, Anders; Scharlau, Ingrid
Selective visual attention improves performance in many tasks. Among others, it leads to "prior entry"--earlier perception of an attended compared to an unattended stimulus. Whether this phenomenon is purely based on an increase of the processing rate of the attended stimulus or if a decrease in the processing rate of the unattended stimulus also contributes to the effect is, up to now, unanswered. Here we describe a novel approach to this question based on Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention, which we use to overcome the limitations of earlier prior-entry assessment with temporal order judgments (TOJs) that only allow relative statements regarding the processing speed of attended and unattended stimuli. Prevalent models of prior entry in TOJs either indirectly predict a pure acceleration or cannot model the difference between acceleration and deceleration. In a paradigm that combines a letter-identification task with TOJs, we show that indeed acceleration of the attended and deceleration of the unattended stimuli conjointly cause prior entry. © 2015 ARVO.
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention , competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye . Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.
Richard, Annette E; Hodges, Elise K; Heinrich, Kimberley P
Attentional and academic difficulties, particularly in math, are common in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Of cognitive deficits experienced by survivors of childhood ALL, attention deficits may be particularly responsive to intervention. However, it is unknown whether deficits in particular aspects of attention are associated with deficits in math skills. The current study investigated relationships between math calculation skills, performance on an objective measure of sustained attention, and parent- and teacher-reported attention difficulties. Twenty-four survivors of childhood ALL (Mage = 13.5 years, SD= 2.8 years) completed a computerized measure of sustained attention and response control and a written measure of math calculation skills in the context of a comprehensive clinical neuropsychological evaluation. Parent and teacher ratings of inattention and impulsivity were obtained. Visual response control and visual attention accounted for 26.4% of the variance observed among math performance scores after controlling for IQ (p < .05). Teacher-rated, but not parent-rated, inattention was significantly negatively correlated with math calculation scores. Consistency of responses to visual stimuli on a computerized measure of attention is a unique predictor of variance in math performance among survivors of childhood ALL. Objective testing of visual response control, rather than parent-rated attentional problems, may have clinical utility in identifying ALL survivors at risk for math difficulties. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kulp, Marjean Taylor; Ciner, Elise; Maguire, Maureen; Pistilli, Maxwell; Candy, T Rowan; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Quinn, Graham; Cyert, Lynn; Moore, Bruce
Among 4- and 5-year-old children, deficits in measures of attention, visual-motor integration (VMI) and visual perception (VP) are associated with moderate, uncorrected hyperopia (3 to 6 diopters [D]) accompanied by reduced near visual function (near visual acuity worse than 20/40 or stereoacuity worse than 240 seconds of arc). To compare attention, visual motor, and visual perceptual skills in uncorrected hyperopes and emmetropes attending preschool or kindergarten and evaluate their associations with visual function. Participants were 4 and 5 years of age with either hyperopia (≥3 to ≤6 D, astigmatism ≤1.5 D, anisometropia ≤1 D) or emmetropia (hyperopia ≤1 D; astigmatism, anisometropia, and myopia each attention (sustained, receptive, and expressive), VMI, and VP. Binocular visual acuity, stereoacuity, and accommodative accuracy were also assessed at near. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and parent's/caregiver's education. Two hundred forty-four hyperopes (mean, +3.8 ± [SD] 0.8 D) and 248 emmetropes (+0.5 ± 0.5 D) completed testing. Mean sustained attention score was worse in hyperopes compared with emmetropes (mean difference, -4.1; P Attention score was worse in 4 to 6 D hyperopes compared with emmetropes (by -2.6, P = .01). Hyperopes with reduced near visual acuity (20/40 or worse) had worse scores than emmetropes (-6.4, P attention; -3.0, P = .004 for Receptive Attention; -0.7, P = .006 for VMI; -1.3, P = .008 for VP). Hyperopes with stereoacuity of 240 seconds of arc or worse scored significantly worse than emmetropes (-6.7, P attention; -3.4, P = .03 for Expressive Attention; -2.2, P = .03 for Receptive Attention; -0.7, P = .01 for VMI; -1.7, P visual function generally performed similarly to emmetropes. Moderately hyperopic children were found to have deficits in measures of attention. Hyperopic children with reduced near visual function also had lower scores on VMI and VP than emmetropic children.
Brosch, Tobias; Grandjean, Didier Maurice; Sander, David; Scherer, Klaus R.
Emotionally relevant stimuli are prioritized in human information processing. It has repeatedly been shown that selective spatial attention is modulated by the emotional content of a stimulus. Until now, studies investigating this phenomenon have only examined withinmodality effects, most frequently using pictures of emotional stimuli to modulate visual attention. In this study, we used simultaneously presented utterances with emotional and neutral prosody as cues for a visually presented tar...
Arguin, Martin; Joanette, Yves; Cavanagh, Patrick
Brain-damaged subjects who had previously been identified as suffering from a visual attention deficit for contralesional stimulation were tested on a series of visual search tasks. The experiments examined the hypothesis that the processing of single features is preattentive but that feature integration, necessary for the correct perception of conjunctions of features, requires attention (Treisman & Gelade, 1980 Treisman & Sato, 1990). Subjects searched for a feature target (orientation or c...
Full Text Available Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924, a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of “Gaze”. In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources.
Tas, A Caglar; Luck, Steven J; Hollingworth, Andrew
There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into VWM. Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1-3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available For making decisions in everyday life we often have first to infer the set of environmental features that are relevant for the current task. Here we investigated the computational mechanisms underlying the evolution of beliefs about the relevance of environmental features in a dynamical and noisy environment. For this purpose we designed a probabilistic Wisconsin card sorting task (WCST with belief solicitation, in which subjects were presented with stimuli composed of multiple visual features. At each moment in time a particular feature was relevant for obtaining reward, and participants had to infer which feature was relevant and report their beliefs accordingly. To test the hypothesis that attentional focus modulates the belief update process, we derived and fitted several probabilistic and non-probabilistic behavioral models, which either incorporate a dynamical model of attentional focus, in the form of a hierarchical winner-take-all neuronal network, or a diffusive model, without attention-like features. We used Bayesian model selection to identify the most likely generative model of subjects' behavior and found that attention-like features in the behavioral model are essential for explaining subjects' responses. Furthermore, we demonstrate a method for integrating both connectionist and Bayesian models of decision making within a single framework that allowed us to infer hidden belief processes of human subjects.
Lin, I-Mei; Fan, Sheng-Yu; Huang, Tiao-Lai; Wu, Wan-Ting; Li, Shi-Ming
Visual search is an important attention process that precedes the information processing. Visual search also mediates the relationship between cognition function (attention) and social cognition (such as facial expression identification). However, the association between visual attention and social cognition in patients with schizophrenia remains unknown. The purposes of this study were to examine the differences in visual search performance and facial expression identification between patients with schizophrenia and normal controls, and to explore the relationship between visual search performance and facial expression identification in patients with schizophrenia. Fourteen patients with schizophrenia (mean age=46.36±6.74) and 15 normal controls (mean age=40.87±9.33) participated this study. The visual search task, including feature search and conjunction search, and Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expression of Emotion were administered. Patients with schizophrenia had worse visual search performance both in feature search and conjunction search than normal controls, as well as had worse facial expression identification, especially in surprised and sadness. In addition, there were negative associations between visual search performance and facial expression identification in patients with schizophrenia, especially in surprised and sadness. However, this phenomenon was not showed in normal controls. Patients with schizophrenia who had visual search deficits had the impairment on facial expression identification. Increasing ability of visual search and facial expression identification may improve their social function and interpersonal relationship.
Bulf, Hermann; Valenza, Eloisa
Visual attention is one of the infant's primary tools for gathering relevant information from the environment for further processing and learning. The space-based component of visual attention in infants has been widely investigated; however, the object-based component of visual attention has received scarce interest. This scarcity is…
Spence, C; Ranson, J; Driver, J
In three experiments, we investigated whether the ease with which distracting sounds can be ignored depends on their distance from fixation and from attended visual events. In the first experiment, participants shadowed an auditory stream of words presented behind their heads, while simultaneously fixating visual lip-read information consistent with the relevant auditory stream, or meaningless "chewing" lip movements. An irrelevant auditory stream of words, which participants had to ignore, was presented either from the same side as the fixated visual stream or from the opposite side. Selective shadowing was less accurate in the former condition, implying that distracting sounds are harder to ignore when fixated. Furthermore, the impairment when fixating toward distractor sounds was greater when speaking lips were fixated than when chewing lips were fixated, suggesting that people find it particularly difficult to ignore sounds at locations that are actively attended for visual lipreading rather than merely passively fixated. Experiments 2 and 3 tested whether these results are specific to cross-modal links in speech perception by replacing the visual lip movements with a rapidly changing stream of meaningless visual shapes. The auditory task was again shadowing, but the active visual task was now monitoring for a specific visual shape at one location. A decrement in shadowing was again observed when participants passively fixated toward the irrelevant auditory stream. This decrement was larger when participants performed a difficult active visual task there versus fixating, but not for a less demanding visual task versus fixation. The implications for cross-modal links in spatial attention are discussed.
Amer, Tarek; Ngo, K W Joan; Hasher, Lynn
We investigated differences between participants of East Asian and Western descent in attention to and implicit memory for irrelevant words which participants were instructed to ignore while completing a target task (a Stroop Task in Experiment 1 and a 1-back task on pictures in Experiment 2). Implicit memory was measured using two conceptual priming tasks (category generation in Experiment 1 and general knowledge in Experiment 2). Participants of East Asian descent showed reliable implicit memory for previous distractors relative to those of Western descent with no evidence of differences on target task performance. We also found differences in a Corsi Block spatial memory task in both studies, with superior performance by the East Asian group. Our findings suggest that cultural differences in attention extend to task-irrelevant background information, and demonstrate for the first time that such information can boost performance when it becomes relevant on a subsequent task. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi
Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity, and measurements are highly reliable. As the method is theoretically founded, it also has high validity. TVA-based assessment has recently been used to investigate a broad range of neuropsychological and neurological conditions. We present the method, including the experimental paradigm and practical guidelines to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical networks that include several regions outside the visual system. The two visual capacity parameters are functionally separable, but seem to rely on largely overlapping brain areas.
Wickens, Christopher D; Goh, Juliana; Helleberg, John; Horrey, William J; Talleur, Donald A
In the first part of the reported research, 12 instrument-rated pilots flew a high-fidelity simulation, in which air traffic control presentation of auditory (voice) information regarding traffic and flight parameters was compared with advanced display technology presentation of equivalent information regarding traffic (cockpit display of traffic information) and flight parameters (data link display). Redundant combinations were also examined while pilots flew the aircraft simulation, monitored for outside traffic, and read back communications messages. The data suggested a modest cost for visual presentation over auditory presentation, a cost mediated by head-down visual scanning, and no benefit for redundant presentation. The effects in Part 1 were modeled by multiple-resource and preemption models of divided attention. In the second part of the research, visual scanning in all conditions was fit by an expected value model of selective attention derived from a previous experiment. This model accounted for 94% of the variance in the scanning data and 90% of the variance in a second validation experiment. Actual or potential applications of this research include guidance on choosing the appropriate modality for presenting in-cockpit information and understanding task strategies induced by introducing new aviation technology.
Dombrowe, I.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Donk, M.
Previous work has generated inconsistent results with regard to what extent working memory (WM) content guides visual attention. Some studies found effects of easy to verbalize stimuli, whereas others only found an influence of visual memory content. To resolve this, we compared the time courses of
Tsai, Meng-Jung; Hou, Huei-Tse; Lai, Meng-Lung; Liu, Wan-Yi; Yang, Fang-Ying
This study employed an eye-tracking technique to examine students' visual attention when solving a multiple-choice science problem. Six university students participated in a problem-solving task to predict occurrences of landslide hazards from four images representing four combinations of four factors. Participants' responses and visual attention…
Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary
Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…
Reynolds, Greg D.; Guy, Maggie W.; Zhang, Dantong
Past studies have identified individual differences in infant visual attention based upon peak look duration during initial exposure to a stimulus. Colombo and colleagues found that infants that demonstrate brief visual fixations (i.e., short lookers) during familiarization are more likely to demonstrate evidence of recognition memory during…
Yadav, Naveen K; Thiagarajan, Preethi; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the effect of oculomotor vision rehabilitation (OVR) on the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and visual attention in the mTBI population. Subjects (n = 7) were adults with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Each received 9 hours of OVR over a 6-week period. The effects of OVR on VEP amplitude and latency, the attention-related alpha band (8-13 Hz) power (µV(2)) and the clinical Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) were assessed before and after the OVR. After the OVR, the VEP amplitude increased and its variability decreased. There was no change in VEP latency, which was normal. Alpha band power increased, as did the VSAT score, following the OVR. The significant changes in most test parameters suggest that OVR affects the visual system at early visuo-cortical levels, as well as other pathways which are involved in visual attention.
Wei, Chun-Chun; Ma, Min-Yuan
This study investigates the relationship between visual attention and reading time using a mobile electroencephalography device. The mobile electroencephalography device uses a single channel dry sensor, which easily measures participants' attention in the real-world reading environment. The results reveal that age significantly influences visual…
Sasson, Noah J.; Touchstone, Emily W.
Eye tracking studies of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report a reduction in social attention and an increase in visual attention to non-social stimuli, including objects related to circumscribed interests (CI) (e.g., trains). In the current study, fifteen preschoolers with ASD and 15 typically developing controls matched on…
Neumann, Michelle M.; Acosta, Camillia; Neumann, David L.
Environmental print, such as signs and product labels, consist of both print and contextual cues designed to attract the visual attention of the reader. However, contextual cues may draw young children's attention away from the print, thus questioning the value of environmental print in early reading development. Eye tracker technology was used to…
Smith, Philip L.; Ratcliff, Roger
The simplest attentional task, detecting a cued stimulus in an otherwise empty visual field, produces complex patterns of performance. Attentional cues interact with backward masks and with spatial uncertainty, and there is a dissociation in the effects of these variables on accuracy and on response time. A computational theory of performance in…
Murphy, Eric R.; Norr, Megan; Strang, John F.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Gaillard, William D.; Vaidya, Chandan J.
We examined spontaneous attention orienting to visual salience in stimuli without social significance using a modified Dot-Probe task during functional magnetic resonance imaging in high-functioning preadolescent children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and age- and IQ-matched control children. While the magnitude of attentional bias (faster…
Piech, Richard M; Pastorino, Michael T; Zald, David H
While effects of hunger on motivation and food reward value are well-established, far less is known about the effects of hunger on cognitive processes. Here, we deployed the emotional blink of attention paradigm to investigate the impact of visual food cues on attentional capture under conditions of hunger and satiety. Participants were asked to detect targets which appeared in a rapid visual stream after different types of task irrelevant distractors. We observed that food stimuli acquired increased power to capture attention and prevent target detection when participants were hungry. This occurred despite monetary incentives to perform well. Our findings suggest an attentional mechanism through which hunger heightens perception of food cues. As an objective behavioral marker of the attentional sensitivity to food cues, the emotional attentional blink paradigm may provide a useful technique for studying individual differences, and state manipulations in the sensitivity to food cues. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Bosworth, Rain G; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Dobkins, Karen R
In order to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the left visual field (LVF) and the right visual field (RVF), we employed a full/poor attention paradigm using stimuli presented in the LVF vs. RVF. In addition, to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the dorsal and ventral processing streams, we obtained motion thresholds (motion coherence thresholds and fine direction discrimination thresholds) and orientation thresholds, respectively. The results of this study showed negligible effects of attention on the orientation task, in either the LVF or RVF. In contrast, for both motion tasks, there was a significant effect of attention in the LVF, but not in the RVF. These data provide psychophysical evidence for greater effects of spatial attention in the LVF/right hemisphere, specifically, for motion processing in the dorsal stream. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Smith, Kevin; Ba, Sileye O; Odobez, Jean-Marc; Gatica-Perez, Daniel
We define and address the problem of finding the visual focus of attention for a varying number of wandering people (VFOA-W), determining where the people's movement is unconstrained. VFOA-W estimation is a new and important problem with mplications for behavior understanding and cognitive science, as well as real-world applications. One such application, which we present in this article, monitors the attention passers-by pay to an outdoor advertisement. Our approach to the VFOA-W problem proposes a multi-person tracking solution based on a dynamic Bayesian network that simultaneously infers the (variable) number of people in a scene, their body locations, their head locations, and their head pose. For efficient inference in the resulting large variable-dimensional state-space we propose a Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (RJMCMC) sampling scheme, as well as a novel global observation model which determines the number of people in the scene and localizes them. We propose a Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based VFOA-W model which use head pose and location information to determine people's focus state. Our models are evaluated for tracking performance and ability to recognize people looking at an outdoor advertisement, with results indicating good performance on sequences where a moderate number of people pass in front of an advertisement.
Lv, Jing; Lv, Wen; Zhang, Libao
Target extraction is one of the important aspects in remote sensing image analysis and processing, which has wide applications in images compression, target tracking, target recognition and change detection. Among different targets, airport has attracted more and more attention due to its significance in military and civilian. In this paper, we propose a novel and reliable airport object extraction model combining visual attention mechanism and parallel line detection algorithm. First, a novel saliency analysis model for remote sensing images with airport region is proposed to complete statistical saliency feature analysis. The proposed model can precisely extract the most salient region and preferably suppress the background interference. Then, the prior geometric knowledge is analyzed and airport runways contained two parallel lines with similar length are detected efficiently. Finally, we use the improved Otsu threshold segmentation method to segment and extract the airport regions from the salient map of remote sensing images. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model outperforms existing saliency analysis models and shows good performance in the detection of the airport.
Soldan, Anja; Mangels, Jennifer A.; Cooper, Lynn A.
According to the distractor-selection hypothesis (Mulligan, 2003), dividing attention during encoding reduces perceptual priming when responses to non-critical (i.e., distractor) stimuli are selected frequently and simultaneously with critical stimulus encoding. Because direct support for this hypothesis comes exclusively from studies using familiar word stimuli, the present study tested whether the predictions of the distractor-selection hypothesis extend to perceptual priming of unfamiliar visual objects using the possible/impossible object-decision test. Consistent with the distractor-selection hypothesis, Experiments 1 and 2 found no reduction in priming when the non-critical stimuli were presented infrequently and non-synchronously with the critical target stimuli, even though explicit recognition memory was reduced. In Experiment 3, non-critical stimuli were presented frequently and simultaneously during encoding of critical stimuli; however, no decrement in priming was detected, even when encoding time was reduced. These results suggest that priming in the possible/impossible object-decision test is relatively immune to reductions in central attention and that not all aspects of the distractor-selection hypothesis generalize to priming of unfamiliar visual objects. Implications for theoretical models of object-decision priming are discussed. PMID:18821167
computers", Technical Report, Aritificial Intelligence Lab, M.I. T., AI-Memo-915, June 1986.  D.P. Huttenlocher and S.Ullman, "Object Recognition Using...attention", Technical Report, Aritificial Intelligence Lab, M.I. T., AI-memo-770, Jan 1984.  E.Krotkov, K. Henriksen and R. Kories, "Stereo...MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory [ PCTBTBimON STATEMENT X \\ Afipioved tor puciic reieo*«* \\ »?*•;.., jDi*tiibutK» U»lisut»d* 19951004
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnove; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dua...
Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill
The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for...
Simpson, Claire; Pinkham, Amy E; Kelsven, Skylar; Sasson, Noah J
Emotion can be expressed by both the voice and face, and previous work suggests that presentation modality may impact emotion recognition performance in individuals with schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of stimulus modality on emotion recognition accuracy and the potential role of visual attention to faces in emotion recognition abilities. Thirty-one patients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia (n=8) or schizoaffective disorder (n=23) and 30 non-clinical control individuals participated. Both groups identified emotional expressions in three different conditions: audio only, visual only, combined audiovisual. In the visual only and combined conditions, time spent visually fixating salient features of the face were recorded. Patients were significantly less accurate than controls in emotion recognition during both the audio and visual only conditions but did not differ from controls on the combined condition. Analysis of visual scanning behaviors demonstrated that patients attended less than healthy individuals to the mouth in the visual condition but did not differ in visual attention to salient facial features in the combined condition, which may in part explain the absence of a deficit for patients in this condition. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that patients benefit from multimodal stimulus presentations of emotion and support hypotheses that visual attention to salient facial features may serve as a mechanism for accurate emotion identification. © 2013.
Tommasi, Giorgio; Fiorio, Mirta; Yelnik, Jérôme; Krack, Paul; Sala, Francesca; Schmitt, Emmanuelle; Fraix, Valérie; Bertolasi, Laura; Le Bas, Jean-François; Ricciardi, Giuseppe Kenneth; Fiaschi, Antonio; Theeuwes, Jan; Pollak, Pierre; Chelazzi, Leonardo
It is solidly established that top-down (goal-driven) and bottom-up (stimulus-driven) attention mechanisms depend on distributed cortical networks, including prefrontal and frontoparietal regions. On the other hand, it is less clear whether the BG also contribute to one or the other of these mechanisms, or to both. The current study was principally undertaken to clarify this issue. Parkinson disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting the BG, has proven to be an effective model for investigating the contribution of the BG to different brain functions; therefore, we set out to investigate deficits of top-down and bottom-up attention in a selected cohort of PD patients. With this objective in mind, we compared the performance on three computerized tasks of two groups of 12 parkinsonian patients (assessed without any treatment), one otherwise pharmacologically treated and the other also surgically treated, with that of a group of controls. The main behavioral tool for our study was an attentional capture task, which enabled us to tap the competition between top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of visual attention. This task was suitably combined with a choice RT and a simple RT task to isolate any specific deficit of attention from deficits in motor response selection and initiation. In the two groups of patients, we found an equivalent increase of attentional capture but also comparable delays in target selection in the absence of any salient distractor (reflecting impaired top-down mechanisms) and movement initiation compared with controls. In contrast, motor response selection processes appeared to be prolonged only in the operated patients. Our results confirm that the BG are involved in both motor and cognitive domains. Specifically, damage to the BG, as it occurs in PD, leads to a distinct deficit of top-down control of visual attention, and this can account, albeit indirectly, for the enhancement of attentional capture, reflecting weakened
DUNCAN, LESLEY A.; PARK, JUSTIN H.; FAULKNER, JASON; SCHALLER, MARK; NEUBERG, STEVEN L.; KENRICK, DOUGLAS T.
We tested the hypothesis that, compared with sociosexually restricted individuals, those with an unrestricted approach to mating would selectively allocate visual attention to attractive opposite-sex others. We also tested for sex differences in this effect. Seventy-four participants completed the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, and performed a computer-based task that assessed the speed with which they detected changes in attractive and unattractive male and female faces. Differences in r...
McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay
Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.
Chelnokova, Olga; Laeng, Bruno; Løseth, Guro; Eikemo, Marie; Willoch, Frode; Leknes, Siri
Paying attention to others' faces and eyes is a cornerstone of human social behavior. The µ-opioid receptor (MOR) system, central to social reward-processing in rodents and primates, has been proposed to mediate the capacity for affiliative reward in humans. We assessed the role of the human MOR system in visual exploration of faces and eyes of conspecifics. Thirty healthy males received a novel, bidirectional battery of psychopharmacological treatment (an MOR agonist, a non-selective opioid antagonist, or placebo, on three separate days). Eye-movements were recorded while participants viewed facial photographs. We predicted that the MOR system would promote visual exploration of faces, and hypothesized that MOR agonism would increase, whereas antagonism decrease overt attention to the information-rich eye region. The expected linear effect of MOR manipulation on visual attention to the stimuli was observed, such that MOR agonism increased while antagonism decreased visual exploration of faces and overt attention to the eyes. The observed effects suggest that the human MOR system promotes overt visual attention to socially significant cues, in line with theories linking reward value to gaze control and target selection. Enhanced attention to others' faces and eyes represents a putative behavioral mechanism through which the human MOR system promotes social interest. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute
Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Green, Jessica J; Boehler, Carsten N; Roberts, Kenneth C; Chen, Ling-Chia; Krebs, Ruth M; Song, Allen W; Woldorff, Marty G
Visual spatial attention has been studied in humans with both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) individually. However, due to the intrinsic limitations of each of these methods used alone, our understanding of the systems-level mechanisms underlying attentional control remains limited. Here, we examined trial-to-trial covariations of concurrently recorded EEG and fMRI in a cued visual spatial attention task in humans, which allowed delineation of both the generators and modulators of the cue-triggered event-related oscillatory brain activity underlying attentional control function. The fMRI activity in visual cortical regions contralateral to the cued direction of attention covaried positively with occipital gamma-band EEG, consistent with activation of cortical regions representing attended locations in space. In contrast, fMRI activity in ipsilateral visual cortical regions covaried inversely with occipital alpha-band oscillations, consistent with attention-related suppression of the irrelevant hemispace. Moreover, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus covaried with both of these spatially specific, attention-related, oscillatory EEG modulations. Because the pulvinar's neuroanatomical geometry makes it unlikely to be a direct generator of the scalp-recorded EEG, these covariational patterns appear to reflect the pulvinar's role as a regulatory control structure, sending spatially specific signals to modulate visual cortex excitability proactively. Together, these combined EEG/fMRI results illuminate the dynamically interacting cortical and subcortical processes underlying spatial attention, providing important insight not realizable using either method alone. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Noninvasive recordings of changes in the brain's blood flow using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrical activity using electroencephalography in humans have individually shown that shifting attention to a location in space
Sheremata, Summer L; Somers, David C; Shomstein, Sarah
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and attention are distinct yet interrelated processes. While both require selection of information across the visual field, memory additionally requires the maintenance of information across time and distraction. VSTM recruits areas within human (male and female) dorsal and ventral parietal cortex that are also implicated in spatial selection; therefore, it is important to determine whether overlapping activation might reflect shared attentional demands. Here, identical stimuli and controlled sustained attention across both tasks were used to ask whether fMRI signal amplitude, functional connectivity, and contralateral visual field bias reflect memory-specific task demands. While attention and VSTM activated similar cortical areas, BOLD amplitude and functional connectivity in parietal cortex differentiated the two tasks. Relative to attention, VSTM increased BOLD amplitude in dorsal parietal cortex and decreased BOLD amplitude in the angular gyrus. Additionally, the tasks differentially modulated parietal functional connectivity. Contrasting VSTM and attention, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) 1-2 were more strongly connected with anterior frontoparietal areas and more weakly connected with posterior regions. This divergence between tasks demonstrates that parietal activation reflects memory-specific functions and consequently modulates functional connectivity across the cortex. In contrast, both tasks demonstrated hemispheric asymmetries for spatial processing, exhibiting a stronger contralateral visual field bias in the left versus the right hemisphere across tasks, suggesting that asymmetries are characteristic of a shared selection process in IPS. These results demonstrate that parietal activity and patterns of functional connectivity distinguish VSTM from more general attention processes, establishing a central role of the parietal cortex in maintaining visual information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and
Murphy, Eric R; Norr, Megan; Strang, John F; Kenworthy, Lauren; Gaillard, William D; Vaidya, Chandan J
We examined spontaneous attention orienting to visual salience in stimuli without social significance using a modified Dot-Probe task during functional magnetic resonance imaging in high-functioning preadolescent children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and age- and IQ-matched control children. While the magnitude of attentional bias (faster response to probes in the location of solid color patch) to visually salient stimuli was similar in the groups, activation differences in frontal and temporoparietal regions suggested hyper-sensitivity to visual salience or to sameness in ASD children. Further, activation in a subset of those regions was associated with symptoms of restricted and repetitive behavior. Thus, atypicalities in response to visual properties of stimuli may drive attentional orienting problems associated with ASD.
Ballesteros, Soledad; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Heller, Morton A
In two experiments, we examined the effect of selective attention at encoding on repetition priming in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients for objects presented visually (experiment 1) or haptically (experiment 2). We used a repetition priming paradigm combined with a selective attention procedure at encoding. Reliable priming was found for both young adults and healthy older participants for visually presented pictures (experiment 1) as well as for haptically presented objects (experiment 2). However, this was only found for attended and not for unattended stimuli. The results suggest that independently of the perceptual modality, repetition priming requires attention at encoding and that perceptual facilitation is maintained in normal aging. However, AD patients did not show priming for attended stimuli, or for unattended visual or haptic objects. These findings suggest an early deficit of selective attention in AD. Results are discussed from a cognitive neuroscience approach.
Rybak, Ilya A.; Golovan, Alexander V.; Gusakova, Valentina I.
In the processes of visual perception and recognition human eyes actively select essential information by way of successive fixations at the most informative points of the image. A behavioral program defining a scanpath of the image is formed at the stage of learning (object memorizing) and consists of sequential motor actions, which are shifts of attention from one to another point of fixation, and sensory signals expected to arrive in response to each shift of attention. In the modern view of the problem, invariant object recognition is provided by the following: (1) separated processing of `what' (object features) and `where' (spatial features) information at high levels of the visual system; (2) mechanisms of visual attention using `where' information; (3) representation of `what' information in an object-based frame of reference (OFR). However, most recent models of vision based on OFR have demonstrated the ability of invariant recognition of only simple objects like letters or binary objects without background, i.e. objects to which a frame of reference is easily attached. In contrast, we use not OFR, but a feature-based frame of reference (FFR), connected with the basic feature (edge) at the fixation point. This has provided for our model, the ability for invariant representation of complex objects in gray-level images, but demands realization of behavioral aspects of vision described above. The developed model contains a neural network subsystem of low-level vision which extracts a set of primary features (edges) in each fixation, and high- level subsystem consisting of `what' (Sensory Memory) and `where' (Motor Memory) modules. The resolution of primary features extraction decreases with distances from the point of fixation. FFR provides both the invariant representation of object features in Sensor Memory and shifts of attention in Motor Memory. Object recognition consists in successive recall (from Motor Memory) and execution of shifts of attention and
Ponthieu, L.; Wolfe, J.M.
This work has been carried out while the author was visiting the Visual Psychophysics lab at the Center for Ophthalmic Research, Harvard Medical School. The general framework is the design of a wiring diagrams visualization system for maintenance operators in electric plants. This study concentrates on how knowledge and experimental techniques from visual attention can help this goal. From this standpoint, the visualization system must best exploit the human visual system abilities. As electronic databases containing all the diagrams will soon be available, it is important to think in advance the display techniques. Presently, maintenance operators favor working with paper printouts even where such databases are already available. The study shows why such an approach is valuable for the design of a display that fits the operator's tasks. Beyond that, this work has been a mean to learn the experimental techniques of cognitive sciences in an applied frame. (authors). 9 figs., 5 annexes
W. Wiktor Jedrzejczak
Full Text Available Previous research has indicated that inner ear function might be modulated by visual attention, although the results have not been totally conclusive. Conceivably, modulation of hearing might occur due to stimulation of the cochlea via descending medial olivocochlear (MOC neurons. The aim of the present study was to test whether increased visual attention caused corresponding changes in inner ear function, which was measured by the strength of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs recorded from the ear canal in response to a steady train of clicks. To manipulate attention, we asked subjects to attend to, or ignore, visual stimuli delivered according to an odd-ball paradigm. The subjects were presented with two types of visual stimuli: standard and deviant (20% of all stimuli, randomly presented. During a passive part of the experiment, subjects had to just observe a pattern of squares on a computer screen. In an active condition, the subject’s task was to silently count the occasional inverted (deviant pattern on the screen. At all times, visual evoked potentials (VEPs were used to objectively gauge the subject’s state of attention, and OAEs in response to clicks (transiently evoked OAEs, TEOAEs were used to gauge inner ear function. As a test of descending neural activity, TEOAE levels were evaluated with and without contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS by broadband noise, a paradigm known to activate the MOC pathway. Our results showed that the recorded VEPs were, as expected, a good measure of visual attention, but even when attention levels changed there was no corresponding change in TEOAE levels. We conclude that visual attention does not significantly affect inner ear function.
Full Text Available Self-concept is one of the major factors to explain the cultural differences between East Asians and Westerners. In the field of visual attention, most studies have focused on the modulation of visual spatial-based attention, whereas possible influences of culture or self-concept on other types of visual attention remain largely unexplored. The present study investigated the possible modulation of visual feature-based attention by self-concept, using a within-group self-construal priming design. The experiment paradigm employed visual stimuli consisted of two intermixing random dot clouds presented in the focal visual field with red and green colors. After primed with an interdependent, independent or neutral self-construal, the participants were instructed to attend to one of the focally presented dot cloud and respond to occasional luminance decrement events of the attended dot cloud. The detection of the focal events was found to be significantly faster when exogenously cued by a peripheral dot cloud of either the same or different colors as the attended focal dot cloud (congruent / incongruent, compared to the uncued condition. More importantly, the self-construal priming took effect only on the reaction time (RT differences between the congruent and incongruent cued conditions: the participants responded much slower to incongruent cued events than congruent cued events under interdependent self-construal priming, while the RT difference was significantly smaller under independent self-construal priming. A closer look on the results suggests that the attention scope is selectively modulated by self-construal priming, and the modulation is mainly reflected by varying the degree of suppression on the processing of the incongruent contextual stimuli that do not share visual features with the focal object. Our findings provide new evidences that could possibly extend the current understanding on the cultural influence on visual attention.
Full Text Available Given that both auditory and visual systems have anatomically separate object identification ("what" and spatial ("where" pathways, it is of interest whether attention-driven cross-sensory modulations occur separately within these feature domains. Here, we investigated how auditory "what" vs. "where" attention tasks modulate activity in visual pathways using cortically constrained source estimates of magnetoencephalograpic (MEG oscillatory activity. In the absence of visual stimuli or tasks, subjects were presented with a sequence of auditory-stimulus pairs and instructed to selectively attend to phonetic ("what" vs. spatial ("where" aspects of these sounds, or to listen passively. To investigate sustained modulatory effects, oscillatory power was estimated from time periods between sound-pair presentations. In comparison to attention to sound locations, phonetic auditory attention was associated with stronger alpha (7-13 Hz power in several visual areas (primary visual cortex; lingual, fusiform, and inferior temporal gyri, lateral occipital cortex, as well as in higher-order visual/multisensory areas including lateral/medial parietal and retrosplenial cortices. Region-of-interest (ROI analyses of dynamic changes, from which the sustained effects had been removed, suggested further power increases during Attend Phoneme vs. Location centered at the alpha range 400-600 ms after the onset of second sound of each stimulus pair. These results suggest distinct modulations of visual system oscillatory activity during auditory attention to sound object identity ("what" vs. sound location ("where". The alpha modulations could be interpreted to reflect enhanced crossmodal inhibition of feature-specific visual pathways and adjacent audiovisual association areas during "what" vs. "where" auditory attention.