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...... 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...... 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....
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 v...
Richards, John E.; Hunter, Sharon K.
Several models of the development of infant visual attention have used information about neural development. Most of these models have been based on nonhuman animal studies and have relied on indirect measures of neural development in human infants. This article discusses methods for studying a “neurodevelopmental” model of infant visual attention using indirect and direct measures of cortical activity. We concentrate on the effect of attention on eye movement control and show how animal-base...
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...... 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...
Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel...... to the data produces the following parameters: the minimum amount of information required for target identification (t0); the rate at which information is encoded, assuming an exponential function (v); the relative attentional weight to targets versus distractors (α); and the capacity of VSTM (K). TVA has...
Culibrk, Dubravko; Sladojevic, Srdjan; Riche, Nicolas; Mancas, Matei; Crnojevic, Vladimir
Visual attention deployment mechanisms allow the Human Visual System to cope with an overwhelming amount of visual data by dedicating most of the processing power to objects of interest. The ability to automatically detect areas of the visual scene that will be attended to by humans is of interest for a large number of applications, from video coding, video quality assessment to scene understanding. Due to this fact, visual saliency (bottom-up attention) models have generated significant scientific interest in recent years. Most recent work in this area deals with dynamic models of attention that deal with moving stimuli (videos) instead of traditionally used still images. Visual saliency models are usually evaluated against ground-truth eye-tracking data collected from human subjects. However, there are precious few recently published approaches that try to learn saliency from eyetracking data and, to the best of our knowledge, no approaches that try to do so when dynamic saliency is concerned. The paper attempts to fill this gap and describes an approach to data-driven dynamic saliency model learning. A framework is proposed that enables the use of eye-tracking data to train an arbitrary machine learning algorithm, using arbitrary features derived from the scene. We evaluate the methodology using features from a state-of-the art dynamic saliency model and show how simple machine learning algorithms can be trained to distinguish between visually salient and non-salient parts of the scene.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas
The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...
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.
Bays, Paul M; Taylor, Robert
An informative cue that directs attention to one of several items in working memory improves subsequent recall of that item. Here we examine the mechanism of this retro-cue effect using a model of short-term memory based on neural population coding. Our model describes recalled feature values as the output of an optimal decoding of spikes generated by a tuned population of neurons. This neural model provides a better account of human recall data than an influential model that assumes errors can be described as a mixture of normally distributed noise and random guesses. The retro-cue benefit is revealed to be consistent with a higher firing rate of the population encoding the cued versus uncued items, with no difference in tuning specificity. Additionally, a retro-cued item is less likely to be swapped with another item in memory, an effect that can also be explained by greater activity of the underlying population. These results provide a parsimonious account of the effects of retrospective attention on recall and demonstrate a principled method for investigating neural representations with behavioral tasks. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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...... 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....
Itti, L; Dhavale, N; Pighin, F
We describe a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates, and its application to the automatic animation of a realistic virtual human head watching an unconstrained...
Full Text Available A vast amount of information about the external world continuously flows into the brain, whereas its capacity to process such information is limited. Attention enables the brain to allocate its resources of information processing to selected sensory inputs for reducing its computational load, and effects of attention have been extensively studied in visual information processing. However, how the microcircuit of the visual cortex processes attentional information from higher areas remains largely unknown. Here, we explore the complex interactions between visual inputs and an attentional signal in a computational model of the visual cortical microcircuit. Our model not only successfully accounts for previous experimental observations of attentional effects on visual neuronal responses, but also predicts contrasting differences in the attentional effects of top-down signals between cortical layers: attention to a preferred stimulus of a column enhances neuronal responses of layers 2/3 and 5, the output stations of cortical microcircuits, whereas attention suppresses neuronal responses of layer 4, the input station of cortical microcircuits. We demonstrate that the specific modulation pattern of layer-4 activity, which emerges from inter-laminar synaptic connections, is crucial for a rapid shift of attention to a currently unattended stimulus. Our results suggest that top-down signals act differently on different layers of the cortical microcircuit.
Wang, Lupeng; Krauzlis, Richard J
Visual selective attention is a fundamental cognitive ability that allows us to process relevant visual stimuli while ignoring irrelevant distracters and has been extensively studied in human and non-human primate subjects. Mice have emerged as a powerful animal model for studying aspects of the visual system but have not yet been shown to exhibit visual selective attention. Differences in the organization of the visual systems of primates and mice raise the possibility that selective visual attention might not be present in mice, at least not in the forms that are well established in primates. Here, we tested for selective visual attention in mice by using three behavioral paradigms adapted from classic studies of attention. In a Posner-style cueing task, a spatial cue indicated the probable location of the relevant visual event, and we found that accuracy was higher and reaction times were shorter on validly cued trials. In a cue versus no-cue task, an informative spatial cue was provided on half the trials, and mice had higher accuracy and shorter reaction times with spatial cues and also lower detection thresholds measured from psychometric curves. In a filter task, the spatial cue indicated the location of the relevant visual event, and we found that mice could be trained to ignore irrelevant but otherwise identical visual events at uncued locations. Together, these results demonstrate that mice exhibit visual selective attention, paving the way to use classic attention paradigms in mice to study the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms of selective attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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.
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,…
Tünnermann, Jan; Krüger, Alexander; Scharlau, Ingrid
This protocol describes how to conduct temporal-order experiments to measure visual processing speed and the attentional resource distribution. The proposed method is based on a new and synergistic combination of three components: the temporal-order judgments (TOJ) paradigm, Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), and a hierarchical Bayesian estimation framework. The method provides readily interpretable parameters, which are supported by the theoretical and neurophysiological underpinnings of TVA. Using TOJs, TVA-based estimates can be obtained for a broad range of stimuli, whereas traditional paradigms used with TVA are mainly limited to letters and digits. Finally, the meaningful parameters of the proposed model allow for the establishment of a hierarchical Bayesian model. Such a statistical model allows assessing results in one coherent analysis both on the subject and the group level. To demonstrate the feasibility and versatility of this new approach, three experiments are reported with attention manipulations in synthetic pop-out displays, natural images, and a cued letter-report paradigm.
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.
This work examines how a better understanding of visual perception and attention can impact visualization design. In a collection of studies, I explore how different levels of the visual system can measurably affect a variety of visualization metrics. The results show that expert preference, user performance, and even computational performance are…
Ypsilantis, Petros-Pavlos; Montana, Giovanni
X-rays are commonly performed imaging tests that use small amounts of radiation to produce pictures of the organs, tissues, and bones of the body. X-rays of the chest are used to detect abnormalities or diseases of the airways, blood vessels, bones, heart, and lungs. In this work we present a stochastic attention-based model that is capable of learning what regions within a chest X-ray scan should be visually explored in order to conclude that the scan contains a specific radiological abnorma...
Lambert, Anthony J; Wilkie, Jaimie; Greenwood, Andrea; Ryckman, Nathan; Sciberras-Lim, Evatte; Booker, Laura-Jane; Tahara-Eckl, Lenore
To what extent are shifts of attention driven by encoding of visual-spatial landmarks, associated with useful locations, or by encoding of environmental cues that act as symbolic representations, providing information about where to look next? In Experiment 1 we found that when cues were presented with a long exposure time (300 ms) attention shifts were driven by the symbolic identity of cue stimuli, independently of their visual-spatial (landmark) features; but when cues were exposed very briefly, (66 ms), attention shifts were independent of symbolic information, and were driven instead by visual landmark features. This unexpected finding was interpreted in terms of the transient and sustained response characteristics of the M-cell and P-cell inputs to the dorsal and ventral visual streams, respectively, and informed our theoretical proposal that attentional effects elicited by visual-spatial landmarks may be driven by dorsal stream ("where pathway") encoding; while attentional effects driven by the symbolic identity of cues may be driven by ventral stream ("what pathway") encoding. Detailed predictions derived from this proposal, and based on distinct physiological properties of the 2 visual streams were tested and confirmed in Experiments 2-6. Our results suggest that a 2-process view of attention shifting can be integrated with dual-stream models of vision. According to this unified theory: (a) Landmarks associated with visually useful locations elicit rapid, nonconscious shifts of attention, via nonsemantic, dorsal visual stream encoding of their features and spatial relationships; (b) Slower, endogenous shifts of attention are elicited by ventral visual stream encoding of symbolic-semantic information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
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.
Barnes, Samuel A.; Sawiak, Stephen J.; Caprioli, Daniele; Jupp, Bianca; Buonincontri, Guido; Mar, Adam C.; Harte, Michael K.; Fletcher, Paul C.; Robbins, Trevor W.; Neill, Jo C.
Background: N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction is thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Accordingly, NMDAR antagonists such as phencyclidine (PCP) are used widely in experimental animals to model cognitive impairment associated with this disorder. However, it is unclear whether PCP disrupts the structural integrity of brain areas relevant to the profile of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Methods: Here we used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry to investigate structural alterations associated with sub-chronic PCP treatment in rats. Results: Sub-chronic exposure of rats to PCP (5mg/kg twice daily for 7 days) impaired sustained visual attention on a 5-choice serial reaction time task, notably when the attentional load was increased. In contrast, sub-chronic PCP had no significant effect on the attentional filtering of a pre-pulse auditory stimulus in an acoustic startle paradigm. Voxel-based morphometry revealed significantly reduced grey matter density bilaterally in the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, ventral striatum, and amygdala. PCP-treated rats also exhibited reduced cortical thickness in the insular cortex. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that sub-chronic NMDA receptor antagonism is sufficient to produce highly-localized morphological abnormalities in brain areas implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Furthermore, PCP exposure resulted in dissociable impairments in attentional function. PMID:25552430
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
Visual experience depends critically on visual attention, which selects a particular aspect of a visual display. Recent clinical, neuroimaging, and animal studies revealed that visual attention was divided into active and passive or top-down and bottom-up attention. Although these dichotomies are clear-cut in definition, visual attention could be modulated by many factors. Detailed observation of brain-injured patients provides with evidence for dynamic and fine control of visual attention. We observed patients with dorsal simultanagnosia and that with callosal disconnection syndrome. Patients with dorsal simultanagnosia demonstrated that extent of visual attention was dynamically changed depending on the level of visual processing. Despite the ability to read a kanji character and to describe its components correctly, a patient could not notice a component that he had just written and could not assemble individual components to make up a correct kanji character. He could point to an overlapping area of two figures. But once he started to color the overlapping area, he missed the margin of the area and colored much larger area. Another patient with dorsal simultanagnosia missed borderlines between columns of a newspaper and read letters continuously across columns. In contrast, he could point to lines between figures or meaningless patterns easily. These findings indicated that visual attention was directed automatically to meaningful characters. A patients with callosal disconnection syndrome demonstrated left unilateral spatial neglect only when he used his right hand to draw figures. Right hand movement, controlled by the left hemisphere, elicited visual attention to the right hemispace, resulting in the left unilateral spatial neglect. Thus visual attention is not simply top-down or bottom up, but is implicitly affected by the visual recognition as well as motor component of the task.
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...
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.
Full Text Available The paper presents a robotics-based model for choice reaching experiments on visual attention. In these experiments participants were asked to make rapid reach movements towards a target in an odd-colour search task, i.e. reaching for a green square among red squares and vice versa (e.g. Song & Nakayama, 2008. Interestingly these studies found that in a high number of trials movements were initially directed towards a distractor and only later were adjusted towards the target. These curved trajectories occurred particularly frequently when the target in the directly preceding trial had a different colour (priming effect. Our model is embedded in a closed-loop control of a LEGO robot arm aiming to mimic these reach movements. The model is based on our earlier work which suggests that target selection in visual search is implemented through parallel interactions between competitive and cooperative processes in the brain (Heinke & Backhaus, 2011; Heinke & Humphreys, 2003. To link this model with the control of the robot arm we implemented a topological representation of movement parameters following the dynamic field theory (Erlhagen & Schoener, 2002. The robot arm is able to mimic the results of the odd-colour search task including the priming effect and also generates human-like trajectories with a bell-shaped velocity profile. Theoretical implications and predictions are discussed in the paper.
Strauss, Soeren; Heinke, Dietmar
The paper presents a robotics-based model for choice reaching experiments on visual attention. In these experiments participants were asked to make rapid reach movements toward a target in an odd-color search task, i.e., reaching for a green square among red squares and vice versa (e.g., Song and Nakayama, 2008). Interestingly these studies found that in a high number of trials movements were initially directed toward a distractor and only later were adjusted toward the target. These “curved” trajectories occurred particularly frequently when the target in the directly preceding trial had a different color (priming effect). Our model is embedded in a closed-loop control of a LEGO robot arm aiming to mimic these reach movements. The model is based on our earlier work which suggests that target selection in visual search is implemented through parallel interactions between competitive and cooperative processes in the brain (Heinke and Humphreys, 2003; Heinke and Backhaus, 2011). To link this model with the control of the robot arm we implemented a topological representation of movement parameters following the dynamic field theory (Erlhagen and Schoener, 2002). The robot arm is able to mimic the results of the odd-color search task including the priming effect and also generates human-like trajectories with a bell-shaped velocity profile. Theoretical implications and predictions are discussed in the paper. PMID:22529827
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
Chelazzi, Leonardo; Perlato, Andrea; Santandrea, Elisa; Della Libera, Chiara
Visual selective attention is the brain function that modulates ongoing processing of retinal input in order for selected representations to gain privileged access to perceptual awareness and guide behavior. Enhanced analysis of currently relevant or otherwise salient information is often accompanied by suppressed processing of the less relevant or salient input. Recent findings indicate that rewards exert a powerful influence on the deployment of visual selective attention. Such influence takes different forms depending on the specific protocol adopted in the given study. In some cases, the prospect of earning a larger reward in relation to a specific stimulus or location biases attention accordingly in order to maximize overall gain. This is mediated by an effect of reward acting as a type of incentive motivation for the strategic control of attention. In contrast, reward delivery can directly alter the processing of specific stimuli by increasing their attentional priority, and this can be measured even when rewards are no longer involved, reflecting a form of reward-mediated attentional learning. As a further development, recent work demonstrates that rewards can affect attentional learning in dissociable ways depending on whether rewards are perceived as feedback on performance or instead are registered as random-like events occurring during task performance. Specifically, it appears that visual selective attention is shaped by two distinct reward-related learning mechanisms: one requiring active monitoring of performance and outcome, and a second one detecting the sheer association between objects in the environment (whether attended or ignored) and the more-or-less rewarding events that accompany them. Overall this emerging literature demonstrates unequivocally that rewards "teach" visual selective attention so that processing resources will be allocated to objects, features and locations which are likely to optimize the organism's interaction with the
The parietal lobe is an important key station in the network for selective attention. We found that spontaneous shift of visual attention, depending on task requirement, was impaired by parietal lobe lesions and confirmed the relationship between parietal lobes and visual attention with cortical electric stimulation. Patient 1. A 52-year-old, right-handed carpenter with a diagnosis of 'visual form' of Alzheimer disease showed marked kanji (logogram) agraphia and constructional impairment. Cerebral atrophy and hypoperfusion were observed in bilateral parietal lobes. He showed preserved form and color perception and an ability to describe spatial relationship among several items. In contrast, he could not copy or match them. He seemed to look at only the site he was drawing. Patient 2. A 77-year-old man with cerebral infarction in bilateral parietal lobes and right frontotemporal areas, demonstrated simultanagnosia and visuomotor ataxia. He readily named an object but could not describe a scene. Furthermore he noticed a line between sentences when they were written in English, but could not notice a line when sentences were written in Japanese. Cortical electric mapping, in two patients with subdural electrodes on the left or right parietal lobe, revealed circumscribed regions related to global/local attention shift or line bisection tasks.
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
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.
Full Text Available Spatial terms such as "above", "in front of", and "on the left of" are all essential for describing the location of one object relative to another object in everyday communication. Apprehending such spatial relations involves relating linguistic to object representations by means of attention. This requires at least one attentional shift, and models such as the Attentional Vector Sum (AVS predict the direction of that attention shift, from the sausage to the box for spatial utterances such as "The box is above the sausage". To the extent that this prediction generalizes to overt gaze shifts, a listener's visual attention should shift from the sausage to the box. However, listeners tend to rapidly look at referents in their order of mention and even anticipate them based on linguistic cues, a behavior that predicts a converse attentional shift from the box to the sausage. Four eye-tracking experiments assessed the role of overt attention in spatial language comprehension by examining to which extent visual attention is guided by words in the utterance and to which extent it also shifts "against the grain" of the unfolding sentence. The outcome suggests that comprehenders' visual attention is predominantly guided by their interpretation of the spatial description. Visual shifts against the grain occurred only when comprehenders had some extra time, and their absence did not affect comprehension accuracy. However, the timing of this reverse gaze shift on a trial correlated with that trial's verification time. Thus, while the timing of these gaze shifts is subtly related to the verification time, their presence is not necessary for successful verification of spatial relations.
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.
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...
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...
M. Henderson & Ferreira, 2004; Hidalgo- Sotelo , Oliva, & Torralba, 2005; Vo & Henderson, 2009). This is implied in models like Ahissar and...and action: Eye movements and the visual world (pp. 1-58). New York: Psychology Press. Hidalgo- Sotelo , R, Oliva , A., & Torralba, A. (2005). Human
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.
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.
Summerfield, Christopher; Egner, Tobias
Visual cognition is limited by computational capacity, because the brain can process only a fraction of the visual sensorium in detail, and by the inherent ambiguity of the information entering the visual system. Two mechanisms mitigate these burdens: attention prioritizes stimulus processing on the basis of motivational relevance, and expectations constrain visual interpretation on the basis of prior likelihood. Of the two, attention has been extensively investigated while expectation has been relatively neglected. Here, we review recent work that has begun to delineate a neurobiology of visual expectation, and contrast the findings with those of the attention literature, to explore how these two central influences on visual perception overlap, differ and interact.
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…
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.
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
Kaya, Emine Merve; Elhilali, Mounya
Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information-a phenomenon referred to as the 'cocktail party problem'. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by 'bottom-up' sensory-driven factors, as well as 'top-down' task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'. © 2017 The Authors.
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
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.
Smith, Philip L.; Lilburn, Simon D.; Corbett, Elaine A.
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...
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
Vision involves constant exploration of the environment by eye movements. Recent evidence suggests that a rhythmic form of exploration also occurs under covert attention, in the absence of eye movements. Sustained attention naturally fluctuates, with a periodicity in the theta (4-8 Hz) frequency range. Copyright © 2013 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...... 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...
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…
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-reflectio...
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).
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…
Petersen, Anders; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus
Studies of the time course of visual attention have identified a temporary functional blindness to the second of two spatially separated targets: attending to one visual stimulus may lead to impairments in identifying a second stimulus presented between 200 to 500 ms after the first. This phenome......Studies of the time course of visual attention have identified a temporary functional blindness to the second of two spatially separated targets: attending to one visual stimulus may lead to impairments in identifying a second stimulus presented between 200 to 500 ms after the first....... This phenomenon is known as attentional dwell time (e.g. Duncan, Ward, Shapiro, 1994). All Previous studies of the attentional dwell time have looked at data averaged across subjects. In contrast, we have succeeded in running subjects for 3120 trials which has given us reliable data for modelling data from...... individual subjects. Our new model is based on the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA has previously been successful in explaining results from experiments where stimuli are presented simultaneously in the spatial domain (e.g. whole report and partial report) but has not yet been extended...
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
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......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...... of single cells in the primate visual system. NTVA provides a mathematical framework to unify the 2 fields of research--formulas bridging cognition and neurophysiology....
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.
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
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...... 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...... 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...
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
Xue, Cheng; Kaping, Daniel; Ray, Sonia Baloni; Krishna, B Suresh; Treue, Stefan
Visual attention modulates the firing rate of neurons in many primate cortical areas. In V4, a cortical area in the ventral visual pathway, spatial attention has also been shown to reduce the tendency of neurons to fire closely separated spikes (burstiness). A recent model proposes that a single mechanism accounts for both the firing rate enhancement and the burstiness reduction in V4, but this has not been empirically tested. It is also unclear if the burstiness reduction by spatial attention is found in other visual areas and for other attentional types. We therefore recorded from single neurons in the medial superior temporal area (MST), a key motion-processing area along the dorsal visual pathway, of two rhesus monkeys while they performed a task engaging both spatial and feature-based attention. We show that in MST, spatial attention is associated with a clear reduction in burstiness that is independent of the concurrent enhancement of firing rate. In contrast, feature-based attention enhances firing rate but is not associated with a significant reduction in burstiness. These results establish burstiness reduction as a widespread effect of spatial attention. They also suggest that in contrast to the recently proposed model, the effects of spatial attention on burstiness and firing rate emerge from different mechanisms. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
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....
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'.
Bur, A.; Wurtz, P.; Müri, R. M.; Hügli, H.
Defined as an attentive process in the context of visual sequences, dynamic visual attention refers to the selection of the most informative parts of video sequence. This paper investigates the contribution of motion in dynamic visual attention, and specifically compares computer models designed with the motion component expressed either as the speed magnitude or as the speed vector. Several computer models, including static features (color, intensity and orientation) and motion features (magnitude and vector) are considered. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations are performed by comparing the computer model output with human saliency maps obtained experimentally from eye movement recordings. The model suitability is evaluated in various situations (synthetic and real sequences, acquired with fixed and moving camera perspective), showing advantages and inconveniences of each method as well as preferred domain of application.
Hamker, Fred H; Zirnsak, Marc
Visual attention is generally considered to facilitate the processing of the attended stimulus. Its mechanisms, however, are still under debate. We have developed a systems-level model of visual attention which predicts that attentive effects emerge by the interactions between different brain areas. Recent physiological studies have provided evidence that attention also alters the receptive field structure. For example, V4 receptive fields typically shrink and shift towards the saccade target around saccade onset. We show that receptive field dynamics are inherently predicted by the mechanism of feedback in our model. According to the model an oculomotor feedback signal from an area involved in the competition for the saccade target location, e.g. the frontal eye field, enhances the gain of V4 cells. V4 receptive field dynamics can be observed after pooling the gain modulated responses to obtain a certain degree of spatial invariance. The time course of the receptive field dynamics in the model resemble those obtained from macaque V4.
Full Text Available Some objects in our environment are strongly tied to motor actions, a phenomenon called object affordance. A cup, for example, affords us to reach out to it and grasp it by its handle. Studies indicate that merely viewing an affording object triggers motor activations in the brain. The present study investigated whether object affordance would also result in an attention bias, that is, whether observers would rather attend to graspable objects within reach compared to non-graspable but reachable objects or to graspable objects out of reach. To this end, we conducted a combined reaction time and motion tracking study with a table in a virtual three-dimensional space. Two objects were positioned on the table, one near, the other one far from the observer. In each trial, two graspable objects, two non-graspable objects, or a combination of both was presented. Participants were instructed to detect a probe appearing on one of the objects as quickly as possible. Detection times served as indirect measure of attention allocation. The motor association with the graspable object was additionally enhanced by having participants grasp a real object in some of the trials. We hypothesized that visual attention would be preferentially allocated to the near graspable object, which should be reflected in reduced reaction times in this condition. Our results confirm this assumption: probe detection was fastest at the graspable object at the near position compared to the far position or to a non-graspable object. A follow-up experiment revealed that in addition to object affordance per se, immediate graspability of an affording object may also influence this near-space advantage. Our results suggest that visuospatial attention is preferentially allocated to affording objects which are immediately graspable, and thus establish a strong link between an object’s motor affordance and visual attention.
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.
.... Both high- and low-visualizers benefited equally well from attention cueing. However, an interaction effect in one subtest was observed indicating that attention cueing can result in learning interference among high-visualizers...
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...
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 discrim...
van Moorselaar, Dirk; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N L
Recent studies have revealed that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory (VWM), but that stored memories do not always interact with attention. This has led to a model which proposes a division within VWM between a single active template that interacts with perception and multiple accessory representations that do not. The present study was designed to study whether multiple memory representations are able to bias attention. Participants performed a visual search task while maintaining a variable number of colors in VWM. Consistent with earlier findings, we observed increased attentional capture by memory related distractors when VWM was filled with a single item. However, memory related capture was no longer present for memory loads beyond a single item. The absence of memory related capture at higher VWM loads was independent of individual VWM capacity, nor was it attributable to weaker encoding, forgetting, or reduced precision of memory representations. When analyses were limited to those trials in which participants had a relatively precise memory, there was still no sign of attentional guidance at higher loads. However, when observers were cued toward a specific memory item after encoding, interference with search returned. These results are consistent with a distinction within VWM between representations that interact with perception and those that do not, and show that only a single VWM representation at a time can interact with visual attention.
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.
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…
Juan F. Ramírez Villegas
Full Text Available El modelo de atención visual bottom-up propuesto por Itti et al., 2000 , ha sido un modelo popular en tanto exhibe cierta evidencia neurobiológica de la visión en primates. Este trabajo complementa el modelo computacional de este fenómeno desde la dinámica realista de una red neuronal. Asimismo, esta aproximación se basa en la existencia de mapas topográficos que representan la prominencia de los objetos del campo visual para la formación de una representación general (mapa de prominencia, esta representación es la entrada de una red neuronal dinámica con interacciones locales y globales de colaboración y competencia que convergen sobre las principales particularidades (objetos de la escena.The bottom-up visual attention model proposed by Itti et al. 2000 , has been a popular model since it exhibits certain neurobiological evidence of primates’ vision. This work complements the computational model of this phenomenon using a neural network with realistic dynamics. This approximation is based on several topographical maps representing the objects saliency that construct a general representation (saliency map, which is the input for a dynamic neural network, whose local and global collaborative and competitive interactions converge to the main particularities (objects presented by the visual scene as well.
Ejaz, Naveed; Mehmood, Irfan; Baik, Sung Wook
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is a popular method for investigating the regions in the female reproductive system. The videos generated by hysteroscopy sessions of patients are recurrently archived in medical libraries. Gynecologists often need to browse these libraries in search of similar cases or for reviewing old videos of a patient. Diagnostic hysteroscopy videos contain a lot of information with abundant redundancy. Key frame extraction-based video summarization can be used to reduce this huge amount of data. Moreover, key frames can be used for browsing and indexing of hysteroscopy videos. In this article, a domain specific visual attention driven framework for summarization of hysteroscopy videos is proposed. The visual attention model is materialized by computing saliency based on color, texture, and motion. The experimental results, in comparison with other techniques, demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed framework. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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.
ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO; ANGÉLICA PATERNINA MARÍN
... 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...
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.
Itti, Laurent; Koch, Christof
Bottom-up or saliency-based visual attention allows primates to detect nonspecific conspicuous targets in cluttered scenes. A classical metaphor, derived from electrophysiological and psychophysical studies, describes attention as a rapidly shiftable `spot-light.' We use a model that reproduces the attentional scan paths of this spotlight. Simple multi-scale `feature maps' detect local spatial discontinuities in intensity, color, and orientation, and are combined into a unique `master' or `saliency' map. The saliency map is sequentially scanned, in order of decreasing saliency, by the focus of attention. We here study the problem of combining feature maps, from different visual modalities (such as color and orientation), into a unique saliency map. Four combination strategies are compared using three databases of natural color images: (1) Simple normalized summation, (2) linear combination with learned weights, (3) global nonlinear normalization followed by summation, and (4) local nonlinear competition between salient locations followed by summation. Performance was measured as the number of false detections before the most salient target was found. Strategy (1) always yielded poorest performance and (2) best performance, with a threefold to eightfold improvement in time to find a salient target. However, (2) yielded specialized systems with poor generalization. Interestingly, strategy (4) and its simplified, computationally efficient approximation (3) yielded significantly better performance than (1), with up to fourfold improvement, while preserving generality.
Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte
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......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...
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…
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....
Todorovic, Aleksandar; Black, John A., Jr.; Panchanathan, Sethuraman
The Human Variation Model views disability as simply "an extension of the natural physical, social, and cultural variability of mankind." Given this human variation, it can be difficult to distinguish between a prosthetic device such as a pair of glasses (which extends limited visual abilities into the "normal" range) and a visual enhancement device such as a pair of binoculars (which extends visual abilities beyond the "normal" range). Indeed, there is no inherent reason why the design of visual prosthetic devices should be limited to just providing "normal" vision. One obvious enhancement to human vision would be the ability to visually "zoom" in on objects that are of particular interest to the viewer. Indeed, it could be argued that humans already have a limited zoom capability, which is provided by their highresolution foveal vision. However, humans still find additional zooming useful, as evidenced by their purchases of binoculars equipped with mechanized zoom features. The fact that these zoom features are manually controlled raises two questions: (1) Could a visual enhancement device be developed to monitor attention and control visual zoom automatically? (2) If such a device were developed, would its use be experienced by users as a simple extension of their natural vision? This paper details the results of work with two research platforms called the Remote Visual Explorer (ReVEx) and the Interactive Visual Explorer (InVEx) that were developed specifically to answer these two questions.
Willeford, Kevin T; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J; Yadav, Naveen K; Ludlam, Diana P
The purpose of this study was to develop an objective way to assess human visual attention using the alpha-band component of the visual-evoked potential (VEP). Six different attentional conditions were tested: eyes-open, eyes-closed, eyes-closed with backwards number counting, and three rapid-serial visual presentation (RSVP) tasks. Eighteen visually normal, young-adult subjects (ages 21-28 years) were tested binocularly at 1 m for each condition on two separate days. The Diopsys™ NOVA-TR system was used to obtain the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and extracted alpha wave and its related power spectrum. Additionally, the Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) was administered as a subjective measure of visual attention. Subjects exhibited significant decreases in power in the alpha band when comparing the eyes-closed with the eyes-open conditions, with power in the eyes-closed condition being, on average, twice as large. The response from the other four conditions did not reflect the differential attentional demands. The ratio of the power in the eyes-closed condition to the eyes-open condition in the lower-alpha frequencies (8-10 Hz) was found to be significantly correlated with the group's performance on the VSAT, especially the 10-Hz component. An individual's ability to attenuate their alpha component during visual processing may be a predictor of their visual attentional state. These findings solidify the role of the VEP alpha subcomponent as an objective electrophysiological correlate of visual attention, which may be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of human visual attention disorders in the future.
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...... attention. However, when covert attention is allocated to SSVEPs, frequencies are extracted from parietal and frontal areas. This shows that covert attention recruits higher cognitive function. To test how SSVEPs are represented in higher brain areas, we conducted an invasive multi-unit recording from...... harmonic (e.g. 12Hz) than the 1st harmonic (e.g. 6Hz). This pattern was not observed in overt attention. We suggest that covert attention increases the non-linearity in the visual system. Results from the source analysis showed that SSVEP signals are extracted from the primary visual cortex in overt...
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
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......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre......-attentive but recent reports have challenged this view. Here we study the effect of visual spatial attention on the McGurk effect. By presenting a movie of two faces symmetrically displaced to each side of a central fixation point and dubbed with a single auditory speech track, we were able to discern the influences...
He, M.; Gu, H.; Wang, F.
It has been proved that seismic attributes can be used to predict reservoir. The joint of multi-attribute and geological statistics, data mining, artificial intelligence, further promote the development of the seismic attribute analysis. However, the existing methods tend to have multiple solutions and insufficient generalization ability, which is mainly due to the complex relationship between seismic data and geological information, and undoubtedly own partly to the methods applied. Visual attention is a mechanism model of the human visual system which can concentrate on a few significant visual objects rapidly, even in a mixed scene. Actually, the model qualify good ability of target detection and recognition. In our study, the targets to be predicted are treated as visual objects, and an object representation based on well data is made in the attribute dimensions. Then in the same attribute space, the representation is served as a criterion to search the potential targets outside the wells. This method need not predict properties by building up a complicated relation between attributes and reservoir properties, but with reference to the standard determined before. So it has pretty good generalization ability, and the problem of multiple solutions can be weakened by defining the threshold of similarity.
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…
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
Huynh-Thu, Quan; Vienne, Cyril; Blondé, Laurent
Visual attention is an inherent mechanism that plays an important role in the human visual perception. As our visual system has limited capacity and cannot efficiently process the information from the entire visual field, we focus our attention on specific areas of interest in the image for detailed analysis of these areas. In the context of media entertainment, the viewers' visual attention deployment is also influenced by the art of visual storytelling. To this date, visual editing and composition of scenes in stereoscopic 3D content creation still mostly follows those used in 2D. In particular, out-of-focus blur is often used in 2D motion pictures and photography to drive the viewer's attention towards a sharp area of the image. In this paper, we study specifically the impact of defocused foreground objects on visual attention deployment in stereoscopic 3D content. For that purpose, we conducted a subjective experiment using an eyetracker. Our results bring more insights on the deployment of visual attention in stereoscopic 3D content viewing, and provide further understanding on visual attention behavior differences between 2D and 3D. Our results show that a traditional 2D scene compositing approach such as the use of foreground blur does not necessarily produce the same effect on visual attention deployment in 2D and 3D. Implications for stereoscopic content creation and visual fatigue are discussed.
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
Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten; Leenders, Klaus Leonard; van Laar, Teus
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are hypothesized to be due to impaired visual perception and attention deficits. We investigated whether PD patients with VH showed attention deficits a more specific impairment of higher order visual perception or both. Forty-two
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 proc......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...
Kiefer, Markus; Adams, Sarah C; Zovko, Monika
Classical theories of automaticity assume that automatic processes elicited by unconscious stimuli are autonomous and independent of higher-level cognitive influences. In contrast to these classical conceptions, we argue that automatic processing depends on attentional amplification of task-congruent processing pathways and propose an attentional sensitization model of unconscious visual processing: According to this model, unconscious visual processing is automatic in the sense that it is initiated without deliberate intention. However, unconscious visual processing is susceptible to attentional top-down control and is only elicited if the cognitive system is configured accordingly. In this article, we describe our attentional sensitization model and review recent evidence demonstrating attentional influences on subliminal priming, a prototypical example of an automatic process. We show that subliminal priming (a) depends on attentional resources, (b) is susceptible to stimulus expectations, (c) is influenced by action intentions, and (d) is modulated by task sets. These data suggest that attention enhances or attenuates unconscious visual processes in congruency with attentional task representations similar to conscious perception. We argue that seemingly paradoxical, hitherto unexplained findings regarding the automaticity of the underlying processes in many cognitive domains can be easily accommodated by our attentional sensitization model. We conclude this review with a discussion of future research questions regar-ding the nature of attentional control of unconscious visual processing.
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
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.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of increased visual dependence to age, balance, attention, and vertigo. [Subjects and Methods] Twelve younger, 12 visually independent (VI) older and 12 visually dependent (VD) older adults were assessed for levels of visual dependence using Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV) tilt values, balance ability using the Clinical Test of Sensory Integration for Balance (CTSIB), and attentional requirements through the dual-task paradigm and experience of vertigo by completing the Situational Vertigo Questionnaire (SVQ). [Results] VD older adults had higher SVV tilt values, greater postural sway in a scenario where visual and proprioceptive inputs were simultaneously altered, similar dual-task cost and lower SVQ scores compared with younger and VI older adults. No difference was observed between the latter two. [Conclusion] Visual dependence may not necessarily increase with age but affect balance in a sensory condition involving visual-proprioceptive conflict. There is a non-significant trend for elevated visual dependence with increased attentional demands. Greater visual dependence is not accompanied by more frequent symptoms of vertigo in visually complex environments.
Buhmann, Carsten; Kraft, Stefanie; Hinkelmann, Kim; Krause, Sven; Gerloff, Christian; Zangemeister, Wolfgang H
In patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) we aimed at differentiating the relation between selective visual attention, deficits of programming and dynamics of saccadic eye movements while searching for a target and hand-reaction time as well as hand-movement time. Visual attention is crucial for concentrating selectively on one aspect of the visual field while ignoring other aspects. Eye movements are anatomically and functionally related to mechanisms of visual attention. Saccadic dysfunction might confound selective visual attention in PD. We studied visual selective attention in 22 medicated PD patients (clinical ON status, mild to moderate disease severity) and 22 age matched controls. We looked for possible interferences through oculomotor deficits. Two tasks were compared: free viewing of photographs and time optimal visual search of a hidden target. Visual search times (VST), task related dynamics of saccades, and hand-reaction and hand-movement times were analyzed. In the free viewing task mild to moderately affected PD patients did not differ statistically from healthy subjects with respect to saccade dynamics. However, patients differed significantly from healthy subjects in the time optimal visual search task with 25% lower rates of successful searches. Hand movement reaction time did not differ in both groups, whereas hand movement execution time was significantly prolonged in PD patients. Saccadic oculomotor control and hand movement reaction times were intact, whereas in our less severely affected treated PD patients, visual selective attention was not. The highly reduced successful search rate might be related to disturbed programming and delayed execution of saccades during time optimal visual search due to decreased execution of serial-order sequential generation of saccades. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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.
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
Faber, Léon 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 attention-related changes in event-related potentials (ERPs). EEG, reaction times and response accuracies were obtained from 17 healthy volunteers during two hours of task performance on an adapted Eriksen flanker task. In this task, the size of targets and flankers was manipulated to discern neuronal processes that are related to processing of relevant information from processes related to the processing of irrelevant information. The ERP data showed that effects induced by target size manipulation were not affected by time on task, while an initial effect of flanker size manipulation decreased gradually with increasing time on task. We conclude that attention was affected by mental fatigue, in the form of a decrease in the ability to suppress irrelevant information. In behavioural results, this was reflected by a tendency of participants to increasingly base their response decision on irrelevant information, resulting in decreased response accuracies.
Petersen, Anders; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus
Attentional dwell time (AD) defines our inability to perceive spatially separate events when they occur in rapid succession. In the standard AD paradigm, subjects should identify two target stimuli presented briefly at different peripheral locations with a varied stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). The AD effect is seen as a long-lasting impediment in reporting the second target, culminating at SOAs of 200-500 ms. Here, we present the first quantitative computational model of the effect--a theory of temporal visual attention. The model is based on the neural theory of visual attention (Bundesen, Habekost, & Kyllingsbæk, Psychological Review, 112, 291-328 2005) and introduces the novel assumption that a stimulus retained in visual short-term memory takes up visual processing-resources used to encode stimuli into memory. Resources are thus locked and cannot process subsequent stimuli until the stimulus in memory has been recoded, which explains the long-lasting AD effect. The model is used to explain results from two experiments providing detailed individual data from both a standard AD paradigm and an extension with varied exposure duration of the target stimuli. Finally, we discuss new predictions by the model.
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....
Bosse, Marie-Line; Tainturier, Marie Josephe; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span is defined as the amount of distinct visual elements which can be processed in parallel in a multi-element array. Both recent empirical data and theoretical accounts suggest that a VA span deficit might contribute to developmental dyslexia, independently of a phonological disorder. In this study, this hypothesis was…
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M.; Luck, Steven J.
Two experiments examined the hypothesis that developing visual attentional mechanisms influence infants' Visual Short-Term Memory (VSTM) in the context of multiple items. Five- and 10-month-old infants (N = 76) received a change detection task in which arrays of three differently colored squares appeared and disappeared. On each trial one square…
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…
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
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
Chen, Yanan; Du, Feng
It has been proposed that only one visual working memory (VWM) representation can be activated to influence perception directly, whereas other VWM representations are accessory items which have little influence on visual selection. The sole active VWM representation might reflect a fundamental bottleneck in the information processing of human beings. However, the present study showed that each of two VWM representations can capture attention and interfere with concurrent visual search. In add...
You, Junyong; Korhonen, Jari; Perkis, Andrew
This paper proposes to evaluate video quality by balancing two quality components: global quality and local quality. The global quality is a result from subjects allocating their ttention equally to all regions in a frame and all frames n a video. It is evaluated by image quality metrics (IQM) ith...... quality modeling algorithm can improve the performance of image quality metrics on video quality assessment compared to the normal averaged spatiotemporal pooling scheme....... 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...
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.
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.
Munneke, Jaap; Belopolsky, Artem V.; Theeuwes, Jan
Prior studies have shown that spatial attention modulates early visual cortex retinotopically, resulting in enhanced processing of external perceptual representations. However, it is not clear whether the same visual areas are modulated when attention is focused on, and shifted within a working memory representation. In the current fMRI study participants were asked to memorize an array containing four stimuli. After a delay, participants were presented with a verbal cue instructing them to actively maintain the location of one of the stimuli in working memory. Additionally, on a number of trials a second verbal cue instructed participants to switch attention to the location of another stimulus within the memorized representation. Results of the study showed that changes in the BOLD pattern closely followed the locus of attention within the working memory representation. A decrease in BOLD-activity (V1–V3) was observed at ROIs coding a memory location when participants switched away from this location, whereas an increase was observed when participants switched towards this location. Continuous increased activity was obtained at the memorized location when participants did not switch. This study shows that shifting attention within memory representations activates the earliest parts of visual cortex (including V1) in a retinotopic fashion. We conclude that even in the absence of visual stimulation, early visual areas support shifting of attention within memorized representations, similar to when attention is shifted in the outside world. The relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery is discussed in light of the current findings. PMID:22558165
Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph
inferior parietal lesion showed a pattern of non-spatially and spatially lateralized attention deficits that is typically found in neglect patients. Results from the second patient supported the decisive role of superior frontal brain structures for top-down control of visual attention. This double...
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.
Wykowska, Agnieszka; Anderl, Christine; Schubö, Anna; Hommel, Bernhard
Increasing evidence suggests that action planning does not only affect the preparation and execution of overt actions but also "works back" to tune the perceptual system toward action-relevant information. We investigated whether the amount of this impact of action planning on perceptual selection varies as a function of motivation for action, which was assessed online by means of pupillometry (Experiment 1) and visual analog scales (VAS, Experiment 2). Findings replicate the earlier observation that searching for size-defined targets is more efficient in the context of grasping than in the context of pointing movements (Wykowska et al., 2009). As expected, changes in tonic pupil size (reflecting changes in effort and motivation) across the sessions, as well as changes in motivation-related scores on the VAS were found to correlate with changes in the size of the action-perception congruency effect. We conclude that motivation and effort might play a crucial role in how much participants prepare for an action and activate action codes. The degree of activation of action codes in turn influences the observed action-related biases on perception.
Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that action planning does not only affect the preparation and execution of overt actions but also works back to tune the perceptual system towards action-relevant information. We investigated whether the amount of this impact of action planning on perceptual selection varies as a function of motivation for action, which was assessed online by means of pupillometry (Experiment 1 and visual analogue scales (VAS, Experiment 2. Findings replicate the earlier observation that searching for size-defined targets is more efficient in the context of grasping than in the context of pointing movements (Wykowska, Schubö, & Hommel, 2009. As expected, changes in tonic pupil size (reflecting changes in effort and motivation across the sessions, as well as changes in motivation-related scores on the VAS were found to correlate with changes in the size of the action-perception congruency effect. We conclude that motivation and effort might play a crucial role in how much participants prepare for an action and activate action codes. The degree of activation of action codes in turn influence the observed action-related biases on perception.
Chen, Yanan; Du, Feng
It has been proposed that only one visual working memory (VWM) representation can be activated to influence perception directly, whereas other VWM representations are accessory items which have little influence on visual selection. The sole active VWM representation might reflect a fundamental bottleneck in the information processing of human beings. However, the present study showed that each of two VWM representations can capture attention and interfere with concurrent visual search. In addition, each of two VWM representations can interfere with concurrent visual search as much as can a single cued VWM representation. Moreover, when two memory-matching distractors appear in visual search, two VWM representations produce a larger memory-driven capture effect than a single memory-matching distractor. Thus, two VWM representations can simultaneously control attention.
Danckert, J; Maruff, P
Processes of covert visual spatial attention have been closely linked to the programming of saccadic eye movements. In particular, it has been hypothesized that the reduction in saccadic latency that occurs in the gap paradigm is due to the prior disengagement of covert visual spatial attention. This explanation has received considerable criticism. No study as yet as attempted to demonstrate a facilitation of the disengagement of attention from a covertly attended object. If such facilitation were possible, it would support the hypothesis that the predisengagement of covert attention is necessary for the generation of express saccades. In two experiments using covert orienting of visual attention tasks (COVAT), with a high probability that targets would appear contralateral to the cued location, we attempted to facilitate the disengagement of covert attention by extinguishing peripheral cues prior to the appearance of targets. We hypothesized that the gap between cue offset and target onset would facilitate disengagement of attention from a covertly attended object. For both experiments, responses to targets appearing after a gap were slower than were responses in the no-gap condition. These results suggest that the prior offset of a covertly attended object does not facilitate the disengagement of attention.
Huddleston, Wendy E.; Ernest, Brad E.; Keenan, Kevin G.
Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years) and 20 older (60–90 years) participants performed a cued saccade task u...
Hillyard, S A; Mangun, G R
Harter and Aine (1984) have proposed a 'neural specificity' model of visual selective attention, based primarily on evidence from recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in human subjects. In this framework, they consider ERP components elicited during visual-spatial attention to reflect selective neural processing in the tectopulvinar-partietal pathway, whereas selection of visual attributes such as pattern, color, and orientation is manifested by ERPs arising from the geniculostriate-inferotemporal projection system. The present article examines the empirical basis for anatomically-specific hypotheses and considers alternative explanations for the observed ERP changes during selective attention.
Tim C Kietzmann
Full Text Available Our everyday conscious experience of the visual world is fundamentally shaped by the interaction of overt visual attention and object awareness. Although the principal impact of both components is undisputed, it is still unclear how they interact. Here we recorded eye-movements preceding and following conscious object recognition, collected during the free inspection of ambiguous and corresponding unambiguous stimuli. Using this paradigm, we demonstrate that fixations recorded prior to object awareness predict the later recognized object identity, and that subjects accumulate more evidence that is consistent with their later percept than for the alternative. The timing of reached awareness was verified by a reaction-time based correction method and also based on changes in pupil dilation. Control experiments, in which we manipulated the initial locus of visual attention, confirm a causal influence of overt attention on the subsequent result of object perception. The current study thus demonstrates that distinct patterns of overt attentional selection precede object awareness and thereby directly builds on recent electrophysiological findings suggesting two distinct neuronal mechanisms underlying the two phenomena. Our results emphasize the crucial importance of overt visual attention in the formation of our conscious experience of the visual world.
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.
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...... thresholds and motor response baselines. Conclusions 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....
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, Pmotor control functions in
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…
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.
Striemer, Christopher; Blangero, Annabelle; Rossetti, Yves; Boisson, Dominique; Rode, Gilles; Vighetto, Alain; Pisella, Laure; Danckert, James
Earlier research has suggested that optic ataxia, a deficit in reaching in peripheral vision, can be isolated from Balint's syndrome as it is primarily a visuomotor disorder, independent of perceptual or attentional deficits. Yet almost no research has examined the attentional abilities of these patients. We examined peripheral visual attention in two patients with unilateral optic ataxia. Results indicated that both patients were slower to respond to targets in their ataxic visual field, irrespective of cuing condition (i.e. validly, invalidly, and no cue conditions), consistent with an overall decrease in the salience of stimuli in the ataxic field. Attentional deficits in peripheral vision are therefore an important factor to consider when examining visuomotor control deficits in optic ataxia.
Gu, Yuqiao; Liljenström, Hans
Visual attention appears to modulate cortical neurodynamics and synchronization through various cholinergic mechanisms. In order to study these mechanisms, we have developed a neural network model of visual cortex area V4, based on psychophysical, anatomical and physiological data. With this model, we want to link selective visual information processing to neural circuits within V4, bottom-up sensory input pathways, top-down attention input pathways, and to cholinergic modulation from the prefrontal lobe. We investigate cellular and network mechanisms underlying some recent analytical results from visual attention experimental data. Our model can reproduce the experimental findings that attention to a stimulus causes increased gamma-frequency synchronization in the superficial layers. Computer simulations and STA power analysis also demonstrate different effects of the different cholinergic attention modulation action mechanisms.
Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja
associated with specific mood tones. However, it has thus far not been investigated whether these two factors, which we refer to as the perception-primacy and emotion-conveyance, are associated with attentional capture in a congruent manner. To investigate this, we conducted a visual search task study...... 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....
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.
ATKINSON, JANETTE; BRADDICK, OLIVER
...: selective attention, sustained attention, and attentional (executive) control. These systems overlap with dorsal cortical visual streams and their disorders are related to the general hypothesis...
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. (...
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
Hong, Xiangfei; Sun, Junfeng; Bengson, Jesse J; Mangun, George R; Tong, Shanbao
EEG studies of cue-induced visual alpha power (8-13 Hz) lateralization have been conducted on young adults without examining differences that may develop as a consequence of normal aging. Here, we examined age-related differences in spatial attention by comparing healthy older and younger adults. Our key finding is that cue-induced alpha power lateralization was observed in younger, but not older adults, even though both groups exhibited classic event-related potential signatures of spatial orienting. Specifically, both younger and older adults showed significant early directing-attention negativity (EDAN), anterior directing-attention negativity (ADAN), late directing-attention positivity (LDAP) and contingent negative variation (CNV). Furthermore, target-evoked sensory components were enhanced for attended relative to unattended targets in both younger and older groups. This pattern of results suggests that although older adults can successfully allocate spatial attention, they do so without the lateralization of alpha power that is commonly observed in younger adults. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that younger and older adults might engage different neural mechanisms for attentional orienting, and that alpha power lateralization during visual spatial attention is a phenomenon that diminishes during normal aging. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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…
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
The study of visual attention in humans relates to a wide range of areas such as: psychology, cognition, usability, and marketing. These studies have been limited to fixed setups with respondents sitting in front of a monitor mounted with a gaze tracking device. The introduction of wearable mobile...
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.
Enns, James T; Liu, Geniva
Human vision supports both the conscious perception of objects (e.g., identifying a tea cup) and the control of visually guided action on objects (e.g., reaching for a tea cup). The distinction between these two functions is supported by neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, animal lesion studies, psychophysics and kinematics in healthy humans, as well as in overarching theories of the visual brain. Yet research on visual attention, which concerns limitations in processing information concurrently from multiple objects, has so far not fully exploited this functional distinction. Attention research has focused primarily on the conscious aspects of vision, to the relative neglect of the unconscious control of limb actions and whether we can perceive some objects concurrently while acting on others. Here we review research from our lab leading to the conclusions that (1) the finger is guided visually by an automatic pilot that uses different information from that of conscious vision, (2) conscious object identification interferes with concurrent planning of pointing to a second object, though not with the online control needed to complete the pointing action, (3) concurrent perception and action sometimes lead to benefits in motor performance, and (4) the automatic pilot is itself capacity limited in processing information concurrently from multiple locations. These findings help clarify the conditions under which interference-free multitasking is possible and point to new challenges for research on the attentional limits of unconscious visual processing.
Full Text Available Evidence from behavioral and physiological studies suggests attentional weighting of stimulus information from different sources, according to task demands. We investigated the adoption of task-specific attentional sets by administering a flanker task, which required responding to a centrally presented letter while ignoring two adjacent letters, and a same-different judgment task, which required a homogenous/heterogeneous classification concerning the complete three-letter string. To assess the distribution of attentional weights across the letter locations we intermixed trials of a visual search task, in which a target stimulus occurred randomly in any of these locations. Search task reaction times displayed a stronger center-to periphery gradient, indicating focusing of visual attention on the central location, when the search task was intermixed into blocks of trials of the flanker task than into blocks of trials of the same-different task (Experiment 1 and when a cue indicated the likely occurrence of the flanker task as compared to the likely occurrence the same-different task (Experiment 2. These findings demonstrate flexible adoption of task-specific sets of visual attention that can be implemented during preparation. In addition, responses in the intermixed search task trials were faster and (marginally significantly more error-prone after preparation for a (letter task repetition than for a task switch, suggesting that response caution is reduced during preparation for a task repetition.
Wendt, Mike; Kähler, Svantje T.; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas
Evidence from behavioral and physiological studies suggests attentional weighting of stimulus information from different sources, according to task demands. We investigated the adoption of task-specific attentional sets by administering a flanker task, which required responding to a centrally presented letter while ignoring two adjacent letters, and a same-different judgment task, which required a homogenous/heterogeneous classification concerning the complete three-letter string. To assess the distribution of attentional weights across the letter locations we intermixed trials of a visual search task, in which a target stimulus occurred randomly in any of these locations. Search task reaction times displayed a stronger center-to periphery gradient, indicating focusing of visual attention on the central location, when the search task was intermixed into blocks of trials of the flanker task than into blocks of trials of the same-different task (Experiment 1) and when a cue indicated the likely occurrence of the flanker task as compared to the likely occurrence the same-different task (Experiment 2). These findings demonstrate flexible adoption of task-specific sets of visual attention that can be implemented during preparation. In addition, responses in the intermixed search task trials were faster and (marginally significantly) more error-prone after preparation for a (letter) task repetition than for a task switch, suggesting that response caution is reduced during preparation for a task repetition. PMID:28536543
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.
Hitch, G J
The auditory suffix effect (SE), in which recall of the terminal items of a sequence is impaired by presenting a redundant item at the end of the sequence, has been attributed to the displacement of information from auditory sensory storage. However, the SE may result entirely from unnecessary processing of the redundant item due to a failure of attentional control. Two studies examined this possibility using visual presentation to minimize the importance of sensory storage as a source of information. Experiment I first demonstrated a visual SE and showed that its magnitude did not vary when background illumination was altered, a factor which affects the duration of sensory storage. Experiment II used auditory as well as visual presentation and tested the hypothesis that training subjects to ignore the suffix would reduce the SE. Training was achieved by interpolating redundant items identical to the suffix within sequences. It abolished the visual SE but left the auditory SE unaffected. The visual SE, therefore, is not solely determined by the physical characteristics of the suffix, and cannot be based on erasure in sensory storage. The auditory data, on the other hand, were consistent with the erasure hypothesis. It was concluded that an SE does not of itself demonstrate the involvement of sensory storage, and, in particular, the visual SE appears to reflect the degree to which the redundant item can be excluded from focal attention.
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
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.
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes
Wendy E. Huddleston
Full Text Available Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years and 20 older (60–90 years participants performed a cued saccade task under two conditions. We challenged motor attention by changing the number of possible saccade targets (1 or 6. Results. Older adults had difficulty in inhibiting unwanted eye movements and had greater eye movement inaccuracy in the hard condition when compared to the younger adults and to the easy condition. Also, an inverse relation existed between performance on the visual and motor components of the task in older adults, unlike younger adults. Conclusions. Older adults demonstrated difficulty in both inhibiting irrelevant saccade targets and selecting correct saccade endpoints during more complex tasks. The shift in relations among attention measures between the younger and older participants may indicate a need to prioritize attentional resources with age. These changes may impact an older adult’s ability to function in complex environments.
Franceschini, Sandro; Gori, Simone; Ruffino, Milena; Pedrolli, Katia; Facoetti, Andrea
Reading is a unique, cognitive human skill crucial to life in modern societies, but, for about 10% of the children, learning to read is extremely difficult. They are affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder called dyslexia. Although impaired auditory and speech sound processing is widely assumed to characterize dyslexic individuals, emerging evidence suggests that dyslexia could arise from a more basic cross-modal letter-to-speech sound integration deficit. Letters have to be precisely selected from irrelevant and cluttering letters by rapid orienting of visual attention before the correct letter-to-speech sound integration applies. Here we ask whether prereading visual parietal-attention functioning may explain future reading emergence and development. The present 3 year longitudinal study shows that prereading attentional orienting--assessed by serial search performance and spatial cueing facilitation--captures future reading acquisition skills in grades 1 and 2 after controlling for age, nonverbal IQ, speech-sound processing, and nonalphabetic cross-modal mapping. Our findings provide the first evidence that visual spatial attention in preschoolers specifically predicts future reading acquisition, suggesting new approaches for early identification and efficient prevention of dyslexia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. 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.
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.
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…
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...
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.
Full Text Available In line with the Theory of Event Coding (Hommel et al., 2001, action planning has been shown to affect perceptual processing—an effect that has been attributed to a so-called intentional weighting mechanism (Hommel, 2010; Wykowska, Schubö, & Hommel, 2009. This paper investigates the electrophysiological correlates of action-related modulations of selection mechanisms in visual perception. A paradigm combining a visual search task for size and luminance targets with a movement task (grasping or pointing was introduced, and the EEG was recorded while participants were performing the tasks. The results showed that the behavioural congruency effects, i.e., better performance in congruent (relative to incongruent action-perception trials have been reflected by a modulation of the P1 component as well as the N2pc (an ERP marker of spatial attention. These results support the argumentation that action planning modulates already early perceptual processing and attention mechanisms.
Koneva, L.; Plotnikov, V.; Plotnikov, D.
The complex research of properties of any visual attention has been carried out in students of the medical university (234). 178 of them additionally had the registered background EEG with computer processing of the results (indices, spectra of physiological rhythms power, cross-section and longitudinal cross correlation, coherence of rhythms). The results of the computer analysis of background EEG in 8 zones of the brain were averaged for revealing the common brain indicators, which reflect ...
Necka, Elizabeth A.; Shneidman, Laura; Krogh-Jespersen, Sheila; Gaskins, Suzanne; Berman, Marc G.; Woodward, Amanda
Top-down influences on observers? overt attention and how they interact with the features of the visual environment have been extensively investigated, but the cultural and developmental aspects of these modulations have been understudied. In this study we investigated these effects for US and Yucatec Mayan infants, children, and adults. Mayan and US participants viewed videos of two actors performing daily Mayan and US tasks in the foreground and the background while their eyes were tracked....
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen’s (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values....
Full Text Available 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.
Winges, Kimberly M; Zarpellon, Ursula; Hou, Chuan; Good, William V
Delayed visual maturation (DVM) is usually a retrospective diagnosis given to infants who are born with no or poor visually-directed behavior, despite normal acuity on objective testing, but who recover months later. This condition can be organized into several types based on associated neurodevelopmental or ocular findings, but the etiology of DVM is probably complex and involves multiple possible origins. Here we report two infants who presented with delayed visual maturation (attention). They were visually unresponsive at birth but were later found to have high myopic errors. Patient 1 had -4 D right eye, -5 D left eye. Patient 2 had -9 D o.u. Upon spectacle correction at 5 and 4 months, respectively, both infants immediately displayed visually-directed behavior, suggesting that a high refractive error was the cause of inattention in these patients. These findings could add to knowledge surrounding DVM and the diagnosis of apparently blind infants. Findings presented here also indicate the importance of prompt refractive error measurement in such cases.
Lobier, Muriel; Zoubrinetzky, Rachel; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis of dyslexia posits that letter string deficits are a consequence of impaired visual processing. Alternatively, some have interpreted this deficit as resulting from a visual-to-phonology code mapping impairment. This study aims to disambiguate between the two interpretations by investigating performance in a non-verbal character string visual categorization task with verbal and non-verbal stimuli. Results show that VA span ability predicts performance for the non-verbal visual processing task in normal reading children. Furthermore, VA span impaired dyslexic children are also impaired for the categorization task independently of stimuli type. This supports the hypothesis that the underlying impairment responsible for the VA span deficit is visual, not verbal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available When subjects are asked to perceptually bind rapidly alternating colour and motion stimuli, the pairings they report are different from the ones actually occurring in physical reality. A possible explanation for this misbinding is that the time necessary for perception is different for different visual attributes. Such an explanation is in logical harmony with the fact that the visual brain is characterized by different, functionally specialized systems, with different processing times for each; this type of organization naturally leads to different perceptual times for the corresponding attributes. In the present review, the experimental findings supporting perceptual asynchrony are presented, together with the original theoretical explanation behind the phenomenon and its implication for visual consciousness. Alternative theoretical views and additional experimental facts concerning perceptual misbinding are also reviewed, with a particular emphasis given to the role of attention. With few exceptions, most theories converge on the idea that the observed misbinding reflects a difference in perception times, which is in turn due to differences in neuronal processing times for different attributes within the brain. These processing-time differences have been attributed to several different factors, attention included, with the possibility of co-existence between them.
Mo, Ce; He, Dongjun; Fang, Fang
Attention priority maps are topographic representations that are used for attention selection and guidance of task-related behavior during visual processing. Previous studies have identified attention priority maps of simple artificial stimuli in multiple cortical and subcortical areas, but investigating neural correlates of priority maps of natural stimuli is complicated by the complexity of their spatial structure and the difficulty of behaviorally characterizing their priority map. To overcome these challenges, we reconstructed the topographic representations of upright/inverted face images from fMRI BOLD signals in human early visual areas primary visual cortex (V1) and the extrastriate cortex (V2 and V3) based on a voxelwise population receptive field model. We characterized the priority map behaviorally as the first saccadic eye movement pattern when subjects performed a face-matching task relative to the condition in which subjects performed a phase-scrambled face-matching task. We found that the differential first saccadic eye movement pattern between upright/inverted and scrambled faces could be predicted from the reconstructed topographic representations in V1-V3 in humans of either sex. The coupling between the reconstructed representation and the eye movement pattern increased from V1 to V2/3 for the upright faces, whereas no such effect was found for the inverted faces. Moreover, face inversion modulated the coupling in V2/3, but not in V1. Our findings provide new evidence for priority maps of natural stimuli in early visual areas and extend traditional attention priority map theories by revealing another critical factor that affects priority maps in extrastriate cortex in addition to physical salience and task goal relevance: image configuration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prominent theories of attention posit that attention sampling of visual information is mediated by a series of interacting topographic representations of visual space known as
Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten; Leenders, Klaus Leonard; van Laar, Teus
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are hypothesized to be due to impaired visual perception and attention deficits. We investigated whether PD patients with VH showed attention deficits, a more specific impairment of higher order visual perception, or both. Forty-two volunteers participated in this study, including 14 PD patients with VH, 14 PD patients without VH and 14 healthy controls (HC), matched for age, gender, education level and for level of executive function. We created movies with images of animals, people, and objects dynamically appearing out of random noise. Time until recognition of the image was recorded. Sustained attention was tested using the Test of Attentional Performance. PD patients with VH recognized all images but were significantly slower in image recognition than both PD patients without VH and HC. PD patients with VH showed decreased sustained attention compared to PD patients without VH who again performed worse than HC. In conclusion, the recognition of objects is intact in PD patients with VH; however, these patients where significantly slower in image recognition than patients without VH and HC, which was not explained by executive dysfunction. Both image recognition speed and sustained attention decline in PD, in a more progressive way if VH start to occur. (c) 2008 Movement Disorder Society.
Carriere, Jonathan S A; Eaton, Daniel; Reynolds, Michael G; Dixon, Mike J; Smilek, Daniel
For individuals with grapheme-color synesthesia, achromatic letters and digits elicit vivid perceptual experiences of color. We report two experiments that evaluate whether synesthesia influences overt visual attention. In these experiments, two grapheme-color synesthetes viewed colored letters while their eye movements were monitored. Letters were presented in colors that were either congruent or incongruent with the synesthetes' colors. Eye tracking analysis showed that synesthetes exhibited a color congruity bias-a propensity to fixate congruently colored letters more often and for longer durations than incongruently colored letters-in a naturalistic free-viewing task. In a more structured visual search task, this congruity bias caused synesthetes to rapidly fixate and identify congruently colored target letters, but led to problems in identifying incongruently colored target letters. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for perception in synesthesia.
Kardan, Omid; Shneidman, Laura; Krogh-Jespersen, Sheila; Gaskins, Suzanne; Berman, Marc G; Woodward, Amanda
Top-down influences on observers' overt attention and how they interact with the features of the visual environment have been extensively investigated, but the cultural and developmental aspects of these modulations have been understudied. In this study we investigated these effects for US and Yucatec Mayan infants, children, and adults. Mayan and US participants viewed videos of two actors performing daily Mayan and US tasks in the foreground and the background while their eyes were tracked. Our region of interest analysis showed that viewers from the US looked significantly less at the foreground activity and spent more time attending to the 'contextual' information (static background) compared to Mayans. To investigate how and what visual features of videos were attended to in a comprehensive manner, we used multivariate methods which showed that visual features are attended to differentially by each culture. Additionally, we found that Mayan and US infants utilize the same eye-movement patterns in which fixation duration and saccade amplitude are altered in response to the visual stimuli independently. However, a bifurcation happens by age 6, at which US participants diverge and engage in eye-movement patterns where fixation durations and saccade amplitudes are altered simultaneously.
Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Carrasco, Ximena; Anllo-Vento, Lourdes; Aboitiz, Francisco
Visual spatial orienting of attention towards exogenous cues has been one of the attentional functions considered to be spared in ADHD. Here we present a design in which 60 (30 ADHD) children, age: 10.9±1.4, were asked to covertly orient their attention to one or two (out of four) cued locations, and search for a target stimulus in one of these locations, while recording behavioral responses and EEG/ERP. In all conditions, ADHD children showed delayed reaction times and poorer behavioral performance. They also exhibited larger cue-elicited P2 but reduced CNV in the preparation stage. Larger amplitude of CNV predicted better performance in the task. Target-elicited N1 and selection negativity were also reduced in the ADHD group compared to non-ADHD. Groups also differed in the early and late P3 time-windows. The present results suggest that exogenous orienting of attention could be dysfunctional in ADHD under certain conditions. This limitation is not necessarily caused by an impairment of the orienting process itself, but instead by a difficulty in maintaining the relevant information acquired during the early preparation stage through the target processing stage, when it is really needed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ni, Jianguang; Jiang, Huihui; Jin, Yixiang; Chen, Nanhui; Wang, Jianhong; Wang, Zhengbo; Luo, Yuejia; Ma, Yuanye; Hu, Xintian
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. PMID:21494331
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.
Posterior Visual Spatial Attention System Eric SieroffI , Alexander Pollatsek2 , and Michael I. Posner3 1Now at Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie ...Office of Naval Research Contract N-00014-86-0289 and by National Science Foundation Grant BNS-8609336. 2. Now at Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie , Hospital
Lundwall, Rebecca A; Dannemiller, James L; Goldsmith, H Hill
This study elucidates genetic influences on reflexive (as opposed to sustained) attention in children (aged 9-16 years; N = 332) who previously participated as infants in visual attention studies using orienting to a moving bar (Dannemiller, 2004). We investigated genetic associations with reflexive attention measures in infancy and childhood in the same group of children. The genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms and variable number tandem repeats on the genes APOE, BDNF, CHRNA4, COMT, DRD4, HTR4, IGF2, MAOA, SLC5A7, SLC6A3, and SNAP25) are related to brain development and/or to the availability of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, or serotonin. This study shows that typically developing children have differences in reflexive attention associated with their genes, as we found in adults (Lundwall, Guo & Dannemiller, 2012). This effort to extend our previous findings to outcomes in infancy and childhood was necessary because genetic influence may differ over the course of development. Although two of the genes that were tested in our adult study (Lundwall et al., 2012) were significant in either our infant study (SLC6A3) or child study (DRD4), the specific markers tested differed. Performance on the infant task was associated with SLC6A3. In addition, several genetic associations with an analogous child task occurred with markers on CHRNA4, COMT, and DRD4. Interestingly, the child version of the task involved an interaction such that which genotype group performed poorer on the child task depended on whether we were examining the higher or lower infant scoring group. These findings are discussed in terms of genetic influences on reflexive attention in infancy and childhood. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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.
Full Text Available Attending to a conversation in a crowded scene requires selection of relevant information, while ignoring other distracting sensory input, such as speech signals from surrounding people. The neural mechanisms of how distracting stimuli influence the processing of attended speech are not well understood. In this high-density electroencephalography (EEG study, we investigated how different types of speech and non-speech stimuli influence the processing of attended audiovisual speech. Participants were presented with three horizontally aligned speakers who produced syllables. The faces of the three speakers flickered at specific frequencies (19 Hz for flanking speakers and 25 Hz for the center speaker, which induced steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP in the EEG that served as a measure of visual attention. The participant’s task was to detect an occasional audiovisual target syllable produced by the center speaker, while ignoring distracting signals originating from the two flanking speakers. In all experimental conditions the center speaker produced a bimodal audiovisual syllable. In three distraction conditions, which were contrasted with a no-distraction control condition, the flanking speakers produced either audiovisual speech, moved their lips and produced acoustic noise, or moved their lips without producing an auditory signal. We observed behavioral interference in particular when the flanking speakers produced naturalistic audiovisual speech. These effects were paralleled by enhanced 19 Hz SSVEP induced by the flanking speakers, indicative of a stimulus-driven capture of attention towards these speakers. The other distraction conditions did not reveal significant interference effects. Thus, our study provides evidence that non-relevant audiovisual speech signals serve as highly salient distractors, which capture attention in a stimulus-driven fashion.
Krause, Hanna; Schneider, Till R; Engel, Andreas K; Senkowski, Daniel
Attending to a conversation in a crowded scene requires selection of relevant information, while ignoring other distracting sensory input, such as speech signals from surrounding people. The neural mechanisms of how distracting stimuli influence the processing of attended speech are not well understood. In this high-density electroencephalography (EEG) study, we investigated how different types of speech and non-speech stimuli influence the processing of attended audiovisual speech. Participants were presented with three horizontally aligned speakers who produced syllables. The faces of the three speakers flickered at specific frequencies (19 Hz for flanking speakers and 25 Hz for the center speaker), which induced steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) in the EEG that served as a measure of visual attention. The participants' task was to detect an occasional audiovisual target syllable produced by the center speaker, while ignoring distracting signals originating from the two flanking speakers. In all experimental conditions the center speaker produced a bimodal audiovisual syllable. In three distraction conditions, which were contrasted with a no-distraction control condition, the flanking speakers either produced audiovisual speech, moved their lips, and produced acoustic noise, or moved their lips without producing an auditory signal. We observed behavioral interference in the reaction times (RTs) in particular when the flanking speakers produced naturalistic audiovisual speech. These effects were paralleled by enhanced 19 Hz SSVEP, indicative of a stimulus-driven capture of attention toward the interfering speakers. Our study provides evidence that non-relevant audiovisual speech signals serve as highly salient distractors, which capture attention in a stimulus-driven fashion.
Frings, Daniel; Moss, Antony C; Albery, Ian P; Eskisan, Guleser; Wilcockson, Thomas D W; Marchant, Alexander P
Responsible drinking messages (RDMs) are used as a key tool to reduce alcohol-related harms. A common form of RDM is in a poster format displayed in places such as bars, bus stops and toilet cubicles. However, evidence for the effectiveness of RDMs remains limited. Moreover, it is not known how environmental contexts (e.g. the number of alcohol-related cues in the environment) impact how such RDMs are interacted with, nor how this in turn affects their efficacy. One hundred participants completed a pseudo taste preference task in either in a bar laboratory (alcohol cue rich environmental context) or a traditional laboratory. The walls of the laboratory displayed either RDM or control posters during this task and eye tracking was used to assess participant attention to the posters. Participants looked at the RDM posters less in the bar laboratory where the environmental context is rich in alcohol cues compared to a traditional laboratory where alcohol cues are sparse. Neither poster type or environmental context affected the amount of 'alcohol' consumed and the amount of visual attention given to RDMs was unrelated to the amount of 'alcohol' consumed. These findings provide experimental evidence that RDMs do not influence drinking behaviour in the direction intended (reduced consumption in situ). In addition, locating RDMs in alcohol-cue rich environments may result in sub-optimal behavioural responses to the RDM materials (e.g. visual attention to content). To maximize the potential impact of RDMs, the optimal location for RDMs is in environments where pre-existing alcohol cues are sparse to non-existent. Responsible drinking messages (RDMs) aim to reduce alcohol consumption, however, the findings of this study show that they may not influence in situ consumption. These findings also suggest that the optimal location for RDMs is in environments with few or no other alcohol-related cues.
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.
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 20∼30% bit-rate saving while maintaining the subjective image quality. Meanwhile, the image quality of ROIs is improved by 0.46∼0.61 dB at the cost of insensitive image quality degradation of the background image.
Zhang, Yun; Jiang, Gangyi; Yu, Mei; Chen, Ken; Dai, Qionghai
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 [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]% bit-rate saving while maintaining the subjective image quality. Meanwhile, the image quality of ROIs is improved by [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] dB at the cost of insensitive image quality degradation of the background image.
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.
Khaustova, Dar'ya; Fournier, Jérome; Wyckens, Emmanuel; Le Meur, Olivier
The 3D image/video quality of experience is a multidimensional concept that depends on 2D image quality, depth quantity and visual comfort. The relationship between these parameters is not yet clearly defined. From this perspective, we aim to understand how texture complexity, depth quantity and visual comfort influence the way people observe 3D content in comparison with 2D. Six scenes with different structural parameters were generated using Blender software. For these six scenes, the following parameters were modified: texture complexity and the amount of depth changing the camera baseline and the convergence distance at the shooting side. Our study was conducted using an eye-tracker and a 3DTV display. During the eye-tracking experiment, each observer freely examined images with different depth levels and texture complexities. To avoid memory bias, we ensured that each observer had only seen scene content once. Collected fixation data were used to build saliency maps and to analyze differences between 2D and 3D conditions. Our results show that the introduction of disparity shortened saccade length; however fixation durations remained unaffected. An analysis of the saliency maps did not reveal any differences between 2D and 3D conditions for the viewing duration of 20 s. When the whole period was divided into smaller intervals, we found that for the first 4 s the introduced disparity was conducive to the section of saliency regions. However, this contribution is quite minimal if the correlation between saliency maps is analyzed. Nevertheless, we did not find that discomfort (comfort) had any influence on visual attention. We believe that existing metrics and methods are depth insensitive and do not reveal such differences. Based on the analysis of heat maps and paired t-tests of inter-observer visual congruency values we deduced that the selected areas of interest depend on texture complexities.
Fuggetta, Giorgio; Bennett, Matthew A; Duke, Philip A
A theoretical framework has been put forward to understand attention deficits in schizophrenia (Luck SJ & Gold JM. Biological Psychiatry. 2008; 64:34-39). We adopted this framework to evaluate any deficits in attentional processes in schizotypy. Sixteen low schizotypal (LoS) and 16 high schizotypal (HiS) individuals performed a novel paradigm combining a match-to-sample task, with inhibition of return (using spatially uninformative cues) and memory-guided efficient visual-search within one trial sequence. Behavioural measures and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Behaviourally, HiS individuals exhibited a spatial cueing effect while LoS individuals showed the more typical inhibition of return effect. These results suggest HiS individuals have a relative deficit in rule selection - the endogenous control process involved in disengaging attention from the uninformative location cue. ERP results showed that the late-phase of N2pc evoked by the target stimulus had greater peak latency and amplitude in HiS individuals. This suggests a relative deficit in the implementation of selection - the process of focusing attention onto target features that enhances relevant/suppresses irrelevant inputs. This is a different conclusion than when the same theoretical framework has been applied to schizophrenia, which argues little or no deficit in implementation of selection amongst patients. Also, HiS individuals exhibited earlier onset and greater amplitude of the mismatch-triggered negativity component. In summary, our results indicate deficits of both control and implementation of selection in HiS individuals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. 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.
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.
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 test as a predictor of individual 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.
Sugimoto, Fumie; Katayama, Jun'ichi
Previous studies using a three-stimulus oddball task have shown the amplitude of P3a elicited by distractor stimuli increases when perceptual discrimination between standard and target stimuli becomes difficult. This means that the attentional capture by the distractor stimuli is enhanced along with an increase in task difficulty. So far, the increase of P3a has been reported when standard, target, and distractor stimuli were presented within one sensory modality (i.e., visual or auditory). In the present study, we further investigated whether or not the increase of P3a can also be observed when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Twelve participants performed a three-stimulus oddball task in which they were required to discriminate between visual standard and target stimuli. As the distractor stimuli, either another visual stimulus or an auditory stimulus was presented in separate blocks. Visual distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and its amplitude increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult, replicating previous findings. Auditory distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and importantly, its amplitude also increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult. This result means that attentional capture by distractor stimuli can be enhanced even when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Possible mechanisms and implications are discussed in terms of the relative saliency of distractor stimuli, influences of temporal/spatial attention, and the load involved in a task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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...... 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...... the interplay between the dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) catecholamine systems in visual attention and explain why DREADD technology can untangle and help us better understand such complex systems in normal and malfunctioning conditions....
Michel, Fran?ois; Henaff, Marie-Anne
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 paraly...
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.
Peschel, Anne Odile; Orquin, Jacob Lund
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 et al., 2007), and a theory based on competition for attention (CA; Janiszewski, 1998). We furthermore suggest a fourth model – demand for attention – which we derive...... from the theory of CA by revising the underlying model assumptions. In order to test the models against each other, we reanalyze data from an eye tracking study investigating surface size and saliency effects on attention. The reanalysis revealed little support for the first three theories while...
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.
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.
Hijazi, Mona Mohamed Kamal
Attention and visual perception are important in fencing, as they affect the levels of performance and achievement in fencers. This study identifies the levels of attention and visual perception among male and female fencers and the relationship between attention and visual perception dimensions and the sport performance in fencing. The researcher employed a descriptive method in a sample of 16 fencers during the 2010/2011 season. The sample was comprised of eight males and eight females who participated in the 11-year stage of the Cairo Championships. The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style, which was designed by Nideffer and translated by Allawi (1998) was applied. The test consisted of 59 statements that measured seven dimensions. The Test of Visual Perception Skills designed by Alsmadune (2005), which includes seven dimensions was also used. Among females, a positive and statistically significant correlation between the achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual-Spatial Relationships, Visual Sequential Memory, Narrow Attentional Focus and Information Processing was observed, while among males, there was a positive and statistically significant correlation between the achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual Sequential Memory, Broad External Attentional Focus and Information Processing. For both males and females, a positive and statistically significant correlation between achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual Sequential Memory, Broad External Attentional, Narrow Attentional Focus and Information Processing was found. There were statistically significant differences between males and females in Visual Discrimination and Visual-Form Constancy.
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.
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.
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Presentation format was found to exert a significant bottom-up effect on visual attention and subsequent choice. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments were found to be strongly...
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.
Pesce, Caterina; Cereatti, Lucio; Casella, Rita; Baldari, Carlo; Capranica, Loaura
This study investigated the visual attention of older expert orienteers and older adults not practicing activities with high attentional and psychomotor demands, and considered whether prolonged practice of orienteering may counteract the age-related deterioration of visual attentional performance both at rest and under acute exercise. In two discriminative reaction time experiments, performed both at rest and under submaximal physical workload, visual attention was cued by means of spatial cues of different sizes followed, at different stimulus-onset asynchronies, by compound stimuli with local and global target features. Orienteers, as compared to nonathletes, showed a faster reaction speed and a complex pattern of attentional differences depending on the time constraints of the attentional task, the demands on endogenous attentional control, and the presence or absence of a concomitant effortful motor task. Results suggest that older expert orienteers have developed attentional skills that outweigh, at least at rest, the age-related deficits of visual attentional focusing.
Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn L; Guerin, Scott A
Environmental context learned without awareness can facilitate visual processing of goal-relevant information. According to one view, the benefit of implicitly learned context relies on the neural systems involved in spatial attention and hippocampus-mediated memory. While this view has received empirical support, it contradicts traditional models of hippocampal function. The purpose of the present work was to clarify the influence of spatial context on visual search performance and on brain structures involved memory and attention. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that activity in the hippocampus as well as in visual and parietal cortex was modulated by learned visual context even though participants' subjective reports and performance on a post-experiment recognition task indicated no explicit knowledge of the learned context. Moreover, the magnitude of the initial selective hippocampus response predicted the magnitude of the behavioral benefit due to context observed at the end of the experiment. The results suggest that implicit contextual learning is mediated by attention and memory and that these systems interact to support search of our environment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
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).
Shen, John; Itti, Laurent
.... 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...
Machado, Christopher J; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Platt, Michael L; Amaral, David G
The sophisticated analysis of gestures and vocalizations, including assessment of their emotional valence, helps group-living primates efficiently navigate their social environment. Deficits in social information processing and emotion regulation are important components of many human psychiatric illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Analyzing the neurobiology of social information processing and emotion regulation requires a multidisciplinary approach that benefits from comparative studies of humans and animal models. However, many questions remain regarding the relationship between visual attention and arousal while processing social stimuli. Using noninvasive infrared eye-tracking methods, we measured the visual social attention and physiological arousal (pupil diameter) of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) as they watched social and nonsocial videos. We found that social videos, as compared to nonsocial videos, captured more visual attention, especially if the social signals depicted in the videos were directed towards the subject. Subject-directed social cues and nonsocial nature documentary footage, compared to videos showing conspecifics engaging in naturalistic social interactions, generated larger pupil diameters (indicating heightened sympathetic arousal). These findings indicate that rhesus monkeys will actively engage in watching videos of various kinds. Moreover, infrared eye tracking technology provides a mechanism for sensitively gauging the social interest of presented stimuli. Adult male rhesus monkeys' visual attention and physiological arousal do not always trend in the same direction, and are likely influenced by the content and novelty of a particular visual stimulus. This experiment creates a strong foundation for future experiments that will examine the neural network responsible for social information processing in nonhuman primates. Such studies may provide valuable information relevant to
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.
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.
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
Poth, Christian H; Petersen, Anders; Bundesen, Claus; Schneider, Werner X
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, 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.
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.
Khosla, Deepak; Huber, David J.; Martin, Kevin
This paper† describes a technique in which we improve upon the prior performance of the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) EEG paradigm for image classification though the insertion of visual attention distracters and overall sequence reordering based upon the expected ratio of rare to common "events" in the environment and operational context. Inserting distracter images maintains the ratio of common events to rare events at an ideal level, maximizing the rare event detection via P300 EEG response to the RSVP stimuli. The method has two steps: first, we compute the optimal number of distracters needed for an RSVP stimuli based on the desired sequence length and expected number of targets and insert the distracters into the RSVP sequence, and then we reorder the RSVP sequence to maximize P300 detection. We show that by reducing the ratio of target events to nontarget events using this method, we can allow RSVP sequences with more targets without sacrificing area under the ROC curve (azimuth).
Yadav, Naveen K; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
To quantify visual attention objectively using the visual-evoked potential (VEP) in those having mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with and without a self-reported attentional deficit. Subjects were comprised of 16 adults with mTBI: 11 with an attentional deficit and five without. Three test conditions were used to assess the visual attentional state to quantify objectively the VEP alpha band attenuation ratio (AR) related to attention: (1) pattern VEP; (2) eyes-closed; and (3) eyes-closed number counting. The AR was calculated for both the individual and combined alpha frequencies (8-13 Hz). The objective results were compared to two subjective tests of visual and general attention (i.e. the VSAT and ASRS, respectively). The AR for both the individual and combined alpha frequencies was found to be abnormal in those with mTBI having an attentional deficit. In contrast, the AR was normal in those with mTBI but without an attentional deficit. The AR correlated with the ASRS, but not with the VSAT, test scores. The objective and subjective tests were able to differentiate between those having mTBI with and without an attentional deficit. The proposed VEP protocol can be used in the clinic to detect and assess objectively and reliably a visual attentional deficit in the mTBI population.
Liberati, Alessio; Fadda, Roberta; Doneddu, Giuseppe; Congiu, Sara; Javarone, Marco A; Striano, Tricia; Chessa, Alessandro
This study investigated social visual attention in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and with typical development (TD) in the light of Brockmann and Geisel's model of visual attention. The probability distribution of gaze movements and clustering of gaze points, registered with eye-tracking technology, was studied during a free visual exploration of a gaze stimulus. A data-driven analysis of the distribution of eye movements was chosen to overcome any possible methodological problems related to the subjective expectations of the experimenters about the informative contents of the image in addition to a computational model to simulate group differences. Analysis of the eye-tracking data indicated that the scanpaths of children with TD and ASD were characterized by eye movements geometrically equivalent to Lévy flights. Children with ASD showed a higher frequency of long saccadic amplitudes compared with controls. A clustering analysis revealed a greater dispersion of eye movements for these children. Modeling of the results indicated higher values of the model parameter modulating the dispersion of eye movements for children with ASD. Together, the experimental results and the model point to a greater dispersion of gaze points in ASD.
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.
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.
Wu, Chien-Te; Libertus, Melissa E; Meyerhoff, Karen L; Woldorff, Marty G
Several major cognitive neuroscience models have posited that focal spatial attention is required to integrate different features of an object to form a coherent perception of it within a complex visual scene. Although many behavioral studies have supported this view, some have suggested that complex perceptual discrimination can be performed even with substantially reduced focal spatial attention, calling into question the complexity of object representation that can be achieved without focused spatial attention. In the present study, we took a cognitive neuroscience approach to this problem by recording cognition-related brain activity both to help resolve the questions about the role of focal spatial attention in object categorization processes and to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms, focusing particularly on the temporal cascade of these attentional and perceptual processes in visual cortex. More specifically, we recorded electrical brain activity in humans engaged in a specially designed cued visual search paradigm to probe the object-related visual processing before and during the transition from distributed to focal spatial attention. The onset times of the color popout cueing information, indicating where within an object array the subject was to shift attention, was parametrically varied relative to the presentation of the array (i.e., either occurring simultaneously or being delayed by 50 or 100 msec). The electrophysiological results demonstrate that some levels of object-specific representation can be formed in parallel for multiple items across the visual field under spatially distributed attention, before focal spatial attention is allocated to any of them. The object discrimination process appears to be subsequently amplified as soon as focal spatial attention is directed to a specific location and object. This set of novel neurophysiological findings thus provides important new insights on fundamental issues that have been long
Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying
The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…
Shimi, Andria; Nobre, Anna C.; Astle, Duncan; Scerif, Gaia
How does developing attentional control operate within visual short-term memory (VSTM)? Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (total n = 205) were asked to report whether probe items were part of preceding visual arrays. In Experiment 1, central or peripheral cues oriented attention to the location of to-be-probed items either prior to…
Looking behavior plays a crucial role in the daily life of an infant and forms the basis for cognitive and social development. The infant's visual attentional systems undergo rapid development during the first few months of life. During the last decennia, the study of visual attentional development
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
Itti, Laurent; Koch, Christof
Bottom-up or saliency-based visual attention allows primates to detect non-specific conspicuous targets in cluttered scenes. A classical metaphor, derived from electrophysiological and psychophysical studies, describes attention as a rapidly shiftable 'spotlight'. The model described here reproduces the attentional scanpaths of this spotlight: Simple multi-scale 'feature maps' detect local spatial discontinuities in intensity, color, orientation or optical flow, and are combined into a unique 'master' or 'saliency' map. the saliency map is sequentially scanned, in order of decreasing saliency, by the focus of attention. We study the problem of combining feature maps, from different visual modalities and with unrelated dynamic ranges, into a unique saliency map. Four combination strategies are compared using three databases of natural color images: (1) Simple normalized summation, (2) linear combination with learned weights, (3) global non-linear normalization followed by summation, and (4) local non-linear competition between salient locations. Performance was measured as the number of false detections before the most salient target was found. Strategy (1) always yielded poorest performance and (2) best performance, with a 3- to 8-fold improvement in time to find a salient target. However, (2) yielded specialized systems with poor generations. Interestingly, strategy (4) and its simplified, computationally efficient approximation (3) yielded significantly better performance than (1), with up to 4-fold improvement, while preserving generality.
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
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Silver, Michael A; Robertson, Lynn C
It has previously been reported that visual crowding of a target by flankers is stronger in the upper visual field than in the lower, and this finding has been attributed to greater attentional resolution in the lower hemifield (He, Cavanagh, & Intriligator, 1996). Here we show that the upper/lower asymmetry in visual crowding can be explained by natural variations in the borders of each individual's visual field. Specifically, asymmetry in crowding along the vertical meridian can be almost entirely accounted for by replacing the conventional definition of visual field location, in units of degrees of visual angle, with a definition based on the ratio of the extents of an individual's upper and lower visual field. We also show that the upper/lower crowding asymmetry is eliminated when stimulus eccentricity is expressed in units of percentage of visual field extent but is present when the conventional measure of visual angle is used. We further demonstrate that the relationship between visual field extent and perceptual asymmetry is most evident when participants are able to focus their attention on the target location. These results reveal important influences of visual field boundaries on visual perception, even for visual field locations far from those boundaries. © 2015 ARVO.
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
the CT scan findings at the time of initial testing seven weeks after the ictus . At that time he still manifested some psychomotor retardation and mild...visual neglect. At the time of retesting six months after the ictus , he was alert, lucid and subtle visual neglect was evident only on a letter
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
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,…
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.
is often reduced in the first half second. This phenomenon is known as the attentional blink (Raymond, Shapiro & Arnell, 1992) and as suggests by the name is assumed to pertain to how fast attention can be reallocated. Bottleneck models suggest that the attentional blink is caused by limited capacity...... in processing targets, which effectively causes a perceptual bottleneck (Chun & Potter, 1995). According to bottleneck models, making the first target easier to perceive should improve processing in the bottleneck and reduce the attentional blink. However, recent studies suggest that an attentional blink may...... 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...
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
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).…
Olivers, C.N.L.; Peters, J.; Houtkamp, R.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between visual working memory and selective attention, such that attention is biased by what is currently on our mind. However, other data show that not all memorized items influence the deployment of attention, thus calling for a distinction within
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.
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.
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.
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
Richman, J E
Use of a sustained visual attention task to determine children "at risk" for learning problems. The purpose in the study was to compare the sustained visual attention performance of 42 first grade children on a 9.5 minute continuous performance test, as measured by error rate and off-task visual behaviors, e.g., off-task looking time and number of fixations off the task, with a measure of impulsivity and a teacher rating scale of classroom behavior designed to identify children with potential learning disabilities. The present findings suggest that the measurement of "off-task looking time" and "off-task fixations" during a sustained visual attention test are significantly related to the classroom teacher's observation of personal-social behavior and the child's decision making style. This approach for measuring sustained attention has potential use as a clinical tool in identifying and monitoring treatment methodologies for children considered "at risk" for attention and learning problems.
Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Dowd, Emma Wu; Egner, Tobias
Recent theories assert that visual working memory (WM) relies on the same attentional resources and sensory substrates as visual attention to external stimuli. Behavioral studies have observed competitive tradeoffs between internal (i.e., WM) and external (i.e., visual) attentional demands, and neuroimaging studies have revealed representations of WM content as distributed patterns of activity within the same cortical regions engaged by perception of that content. Although a key function of WM is to protect memoranda from competing input, it remains unknown how neural representations of WM content are impacted by incoming sensory stimuli and concurrent attentional demands. Here, we investigated how neural evidence for WM information is affected when attention is occupied by visual search-at varying levels of difficulty-during the delay interval of a WM match-to-sample task. Behavioral and fMRI analyses suggested that WM maintenance was impacted by the difficulty of a concurrent visual task. Critically, multivariate classification analyses of category-specific ventral visual areas revealed a reduction in decodable WM-related information when attention was diverted to a visual search task, especially when the search was more difficult. This study suggests that the amount of available attention during WM maintenance influences the detection of sensory WM representations.
Full Text Available Visual attention is a function that selectively picks up particular information to process from large amounts of visual information projected on the retina. We studied the spatial extent of visual attention by using a component of visual evoked potential called SSVEP (Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential. SSVEP is a sinusoidal modulation in the evoked potential induced by continuously flickering stimulus, which has the same temporal frequency as that of the stimulus. It has been reported that attending to one of the flickering stimuli modulates amplitude of the SSVEP of corresponding temporal frequency. We measured changes in the SSVEP amplitude at various distances from the focus of attention. We used eight stimuli arranged equidistantly along a circle (diameter = 10.0 deg, centered at the fixation point. The stimuli flickered at different temporal frequencies, and changes in the amplitude of the SSVEP were measured. Subjects conducted a detection task at one of the eight stimulus locations while directing attention to a direction designated by a cue. We found clear peaks of SSVEPs corresponding to the temporal frequency of each stimulus. We also found modulations of SSVEP amplitudes by attention. The SSVEP amplitude declined gradually with the distance from the attention focus. These SSVEP measurements succeed in measuring the spatial extent of visual attention across the visual field with an objective measure.
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.
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.
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.
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
Korda, Alexandra I; Koliaraki, Mariniki; Asvestas, Pantelis A; Matsopoulos, George K; Ventouras, Errikos M; Ktonas, Periklis Y; Smyrnis, Nikolaos
The frequency of intrusive saccades during maintenance of active visual fixation has been used as a measure of sustained visual attention in studies of healthy subjects as well as of neuropsychiatric patient populations. In this study, the mechanism that generates intrusive saccades during active visual fixation was investigated in a population of young healthy men performing three sustained fixation tasks (fixation to a visual target, fixation to a visual target with visual distracters, and fixation straight ahead in the dark). Markov Chain modeling of inter-saccade intervals (ISIs) was utilized. First- and second-order Markov modeling provided indications for the existence of a non-random pattern in the production of intrusive saccades. Accordingly, the system of intrusive saccade generation may operate in two "attractor" states, one in which intrusive saccades occur at short consecutive ISIs and another in which intrusive saccades occur at long consecutive ISIs. These states might correspond to two distinct states of the attention system, one of low focused - high distractibility and another of high focused - low distractibility, such as those proposed in the adaptive gain theory for the control of attention by the noradrenergic system in the brain. To the authors knowledge, this is the first time that Markov Chain modeling has been applied to the analysis of the ISIs of intrusive saccades. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Han, Suk Won
Attention, the mechanism by which a subset of sensory inputs is prioritized over others, operates at multiple processing stages. Specifically, attention enhances weak sensory signal at the perceptual stage, while it serves to select appropriate responses or consolidate sensory representations into short-term memory at the central stage. This study investigated the independence and interaction between perceptual and central attention. To do so, I used a dual-task paradigm, pairing a four-alternative choice task with a visual search task. The results showed that central attention for response selection was engaged in perceptual processing for visual search when the number of search items increased, thereby increasing the demand for serial allocation of focal attention. By contrast, central attention and perceptual attention remained independent as far as the demand for serial shifting of focal attention remained constant; decreasing stimulus contrast or increasing the set size of a parallel search did not evoke the involvement of central attention in visual search. These results suggest that the nature of concurrent visual search process plays a crucial role in the functional interaction between two different types of attention.
Marković, Dimitrije; Gläscher, Jan; Bossaerts, Peter; O’Doherty, John; Kiebel, Stefan J.
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. PMID:26495984
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.
Jones, Alexander; Forster, Bettina
Behavioural studies have shown that when engaging in a visual task response facilitation to tactile stimuli at exogenously cued locations is diminished. Here we investigated behavioural and also neural correlates of tactile exogenous attention when participants either watched a visual stream (single task) or also detected targets in the visual stream (dual task). During the visual stream, tactile cues were presented to the left or right hand followed by tactile targets at the same or opposite hand. Behavioural results demonstrated slowed responses to tactile targets at cued locations (i.e., IOR) in the single whilst no attention effect in the dual task. Concurrently recorded EEG revealed multiple stages of tactile processing to be attenuated when engaging in a visual task: First, the amplitude of the cueelicited somatosensory P100 component was suppressed suggesting relative early cross-modality effects in the dual task. Second, correlates of cue-induced attentional control processes showed a reduced late somatosensory negativity (LSN) in the dual compared to the single task suggesting smaller preparatory processes. Finally, early attentional selection correlates of post-target ERPs (N80) were absent in the dual task. This study demonstrated for the first time that engaging in a visual task abolished behavioural IOR in touch. ERP analyses showed that early somatosensory processing as well as specific correlates of tactile attentional orienting and target selection are diminished under visual engagement. Our findings are in line with a supramodal account of attention. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
Hiraoka, Koichi; Mori, Nobuhiko; Horino, Hiroshi
This study investigated the immediate effect of visual attention on corticospinal excitability in the upper trapezius muscle. 10 healthy males gazed at a horizontal bar. A warning tone, indicating that a line would be slightly displaced 7,400 msec. later, was delivered in the high-attention-demand condition. A different warning tone, indicating the line would not be displaced, was delivered in the low-attention-demand condition. Participants verbally declared the direction of line displacement in the high-attention-demand condition, or stated that the warning tone meant that the line would not be displaced in the low-attention-demand condition. The amplitude of the motor-evoked potential in the upper trapezius muscle increased 7,000 msec. after the warning tone in the high-attention-demand condition. Apparently, visual attention immediately increases corticospinal excitability in the upper trapezius muscle.
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…
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.,…
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
Adamian, Nika; Cavanagh, Patrick
In the Fröhlich effect, the initial position of an object that suddenly appears in motion is perceived as being shifted in the direction of its motion. Here we establish that this shift is not an obligatory consequence of motion, but it is driven by focused attention. In Experiment 1 using different cueing conditions, we found that invalid cues produced larger perceptual shifts, although the Fröhlich effect was still present for valid and neutral cues. These results support Müsseler and Aschersleben's (1998) proposal that the Fröhlich effect is the result of the time it takes to shift focal attention to the moving stimulus. In Experiment 2 we found that the Fröhlich effect increased when the valid cue arrived more than 100 ms after the start of motion, suggesting again that a delay in attention's arrival shifted the location of the perceived motion onset. In Experiment 3 we compare the motion-induced shifts when the subjects attended to a set of moving stimuli as a group and when they attended to an orientation singleton. We showed that Fröhlich effect was only present when the target was individuated and disappeared when the stimulus was perceived globally. We conclude that the Fröhlich effect is a predictive spatial shift produced and modulated by focal attention.
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…
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes f...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values....
Sandro Franceschini; Piergiorgio Trevisan; Luca Ronconi; Sara Bertoni; Susan Colmar; Kit Double; Andrea Facoetti; Simone Gori
.... In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two...
Stenneken, Prisca; Egetemeir, Johanna; Schulte-Korne, Gerd; Muller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Finke, Kathrin
The cognitive causes as well as the neurological and genetic basis of developmental dyslexia, a complex disorder of written language acquisition, are intensely discussed with regard to multiple-deficit models. Accumulating evidence has revealed dyslexics' impairments in a variety of tasks requiring visual attention. The heterogeneity of these…
Thiel, C M; Fink, G R
The cholinergic agonist nicotine facilitates detection of invalidly cued trials in location-cueing paradigms and reduces the associated neural activity in human inferior parietal cortex. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging we test the hypothesis that the nicotinic modulation of attentional reorienting may result from reduced use of top-down information derived from prior cues. In a within subjects design non-smoking volunteers were given either placebo or nicotine (Nicorette 2 mg gum) prior to performing a cued target discrimination task. Attention was either validly (80%) or invalidly (20%) cued to the right or left visual hemifield. The difference in reaction times to invalidly and validly cued targets is termed the 'validity effect' and indicates the costs for attentional reorienting. Nicotine reduced the validity effect and reorienting-related neural activity in right inferior parietal cortex. Further regions consistently modulated in their activity by nicotine were the right middle temporal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left parahippocampal gyrus and right cerebellum. The effects of nicotine upon top-down modulation were investigated by comparing occipital activity when attending to the right vs. left visual hemifield under placebo and nicotine. If nicotine reduced the use of top-down information attentional modulation in occipital cortex should be smaller under nicotine as compared with placebo. Even though an attention-related modulation of neural activity was observed in the fusiform and middle occipital gyrus we found no evidence for differences in attentional modulation under placebo and nicotine. Our data support a role of nicotinic cholinergic receptors in facilitating several subcomponents of attentional reorienting via modulation of right inferior parietal, temporal and frontal brain activity. In contrast, the findings in the occipital cortex do not support the hypothesis that the effects of nicotine on attentional reorienting are due
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.
Michel, François; Henaff, Marie-Anne
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. PMID:15201489
Michel, François; Henaff, Marie-Anne
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. Copyright 2004 IOS Press
Kumar Mishra, Ramesh
To Look and speak requires a dynamic synchronization of both visual attention and linguistic processing. This study explored patterns of visual attention in a group of Hindi speaking children and adults, as they generated sentences to real photographs. Photographs contained either a single human agent performing an intransitive action, an agent performing an action with an object or two actors involved in a mutual action in the presence of an object. The eye movements were recorded as parti...
Ochsner, K N; Kosslyn, S M; Cosgrove, G R; Cassem, E H; Price, B H; Nierenberg, A A; Rauch, S L
A series of eight tests of visual cognitive abilities was used to examine pre- to post-operative performance changes in a patient receiving bilateral anterior cingulotomy. Compared with a set of eight matched control participants, post-operatively, the patient exhibited deficits in (a) the ability to sequence novel cognitive operations required to generate multipart images or rotate perceptual stimuli; (b) the ability to search for, select, and compare images of objects when the instructions did not specify precisely which objects should be visualized; and, (c) the ability to select a controlled and unpracticed response over an automatic one. Other imagery and cognitive tasks were not affected. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that anterior cingulate cortex is a component of an executive control system. One of the anterior cingulate's roles may be to monitor on-line processing and signal the motivational significance of current actions or cognitions.
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.
Miconi, Thomas; VanRullen, Rufin
Visual attention has many effects on neural responses, producing complex changes in firing rates, as well as modifying the structure and size of receptive fields, both in topological and feature space. Several existing models of attention suggest that these effects arise from selective modulation of neural inputs. However, anatomical and physiological observations suggest that attentional modulation targets higher levels of the visual system (such as V4 or MT) rather than input areas (such as V1). Here we propose a simple mechanism that explains how a top-down attentional modulation, falling on higher visual areas, can produce the observed effects of attention on neural responses. Our model requires only the existence of modulatory feedback connections between areas, and short-range lateral inhibition within each area. Feedback connections redistribute the top-down modulation to lower areas, which in turn alters the inputs of other higher-area cells, including those that did not receive the initial modulation. This produces firing rate modulations and receptive field shifts. Simultaneously, short-range lateral inhibition between neighboring cells produce competitive effects that are automatically scaled to receptive field size in any given area. Our model reproduces the observed attentional effects on response rates (response gain, input gain, biased competition automatically scaled to receptive field size) and receptive field structure (shifts and resizing of receptive fields both spatially and in complex feature space), without modifying model parameters. Our model also makes the novel prediction that attentional effects on response curves should shift from response gain to contrast gain as the spatial focus of attention drifts away from the studied cell.
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'
Salovich, Nikita A; Remington, Roger W; Jiang, Yuhong V
Extensive research has shown that statistical learning affects perception, attention, and action control; however, few studies have directly linked statistical learning with the formation of habits. Evidence that learning can induce a search habit has come from location probability learning, in which people prioritize locations frequently attended to in the past. Here, using an alternating training-testing procedure, we demonstrated that the initial attentional bias arises from short-term intertrial priming, whereas probability learning takes longer to emerge, first reaching significance in covert orienting (measured by reaction times) after about 48 training trials, and in overt orienting (measured by eye movements) after about 96 training trials. We further showed that location probability learning is persistent after training is discontinued, by transferring from a letter search task to a scene search task-emulating another characteristic feature of habits. By identifying the onset of probability learning and investigating its task specificity, this study provides evidence that probability cuing can induce habitual spatial attention.
Full Text Available Visual attention is thought to be driven by the interplay between low-level visual features and task dependent information content of local image regions, as well as by spatial viewing biases. Though dependent on experimental paradigms and model assumptions, this idea has given rise to varying claims that either bottom-up or top-down mechanisms dominate visual attention. To contribute toward a resolution of this discussion, here we quantify the influence of these factors and their relative importance in a set of classification tasks. Our stimuli consist of individual image patches (bubbles. For each bubble we derive three measures: a measure of salience based on low-level stimulus features, a measure of salience based on the task dependent information content derived from our subjects' classification responses and a measure of salience based on spatial viewing biases. Furthermore, we measure the empirical salience of each bubble based on our subjects' measured eye gazes thus characterizing the overt visual attention each bubble receives. A multivariate linear model relates the three salience measures to overt visual attention. It reveals that all three salience measures contribute significantly. The effect of spatial viewing biases is highest and rather constant in different tasks. The contribution of task dependent information is a close runner-up. Specifically, in a standardized task of judging facial expressions it scores highly. The contribution of low-level features is, on average, somewhat lower. However, in a prototypical search task, without an available template, it makes a strong contribution on par with the two other measures. Finally, the contributions of the three factors are only slightly redundant, and the semi-partial correlation coefficients are only slightly lower than the coefficients for full correlations. These data provide evidence that all three measures make significant and independent contributions and that none can be
Kollmorgen, Sepp; Nortmann, Nora; Schröder, Sylvia; König, Peter
Visual attention is thought to be driven by the interplay between low-level visual features and task dependent information content of local image regions, as well as by spatial viewing biases. Though dependent on experimental paradigms and model assumptions, this idea has given rise to varying claims that either bottom-up or top-down mechanisms dominate visual attention. To contribute toward a resolution of this discussion, here we quantify the influence of these factors and their relative importance in a set of classification tasks. Our stimuli consist of individual image patches (bubbles). For each bubble we derive three measures: a measure of salience based on low-level stimulus features, a measure of salience based on the task dependent information content derived from our subjects' classification responses and a measure of salience based on spatial viewing biases. Furthermore, we measure the empirical salience of each bubble based on our subjects' measured eye gazes thus characterizing the overt visual attention each bubble receives. A multivariate linear model relates the three salience measures to overt visual attention. It reveals that all three salience measures contribute significantly. The effect of spatial viewing biases is highest and rather constant in different tasks. The contribution of task dependent information is a close runner-up. Specifically, in a standardized task of judging facial expressions it scores highly. The contribution of low-level features is, on average, somewhat lower. However, in a prototypical search task, without an available template, it makes a strong contribution on par with the two other measures. Finally, the contributions of the three factors are only slightly redundant, and the semi-partial correlation coefficients are only slightly lower than the coefficients for full correlations. These data provide evidence that all three measures make significant and independent contributions and that none can be neglected in a model
Frischen, Alexandra; Bayliss, Andrew P; Tipper, Steven P
During social interactions, people's eyes convey a wealth of information about their direction of attention and their emotional and mental states. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of past and current research into the perception of gaze behavior and its effect on the observer. This encompasses the perception of gaze direction and its influence on perception of the other person, as well as gaze-following behavior such as joint attention, in infant, adult, and clinical populations. Particular focus is given to the gaze-cueing paradigm that has been used to investigate the mechanisms of joint attention. The contribution of this paradigm has been significant and will likely continue to advance knowledge across diverse fields within psychology and neuroscience. Copyright 2007 APA
Chien, Sung-en; Ono, Fuminori; Watanabe, Katsumi
Shifts of visual attention cause systematic distortions of the perceived locations of visual objects around the focus of attention. In the attention repulsion effect, the perceived location of a visual target is shifted away from an attention-attracting cue when the cue is presented before the target. Recently it has been found that, if the visual cue is presented after the target, the perceived location of the target shifts toward the location of the following cue. One unanswered question is whether a single mechanism underlies both attentional repulsion and attraction effects. We presented participants with two disks at diagonal locations as visual cues and two vertical lines as targets. Participants were asked to perform a forced-choice task to judge targets' positions. The present study examined whether the magnitude of the repulsion effect and the attraction effect would differ (Experiment 1), whether the two effects would interact (Experiment 2), and whether the location or the dynamic shift of attentional focus would determine the distortions effects (Experiment 3). The results showed that the effect size of the attraction effect was slightly larger than the repulsion effect and the preceding and following cues have independent influences on the perceived positions. The repulsion effect was caused by the location of attnetion and the attraction effect was due to the dynamic shift of attentional focus, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms for the retrospective attraction effect might be different from those for the repulsion effect.
Full Text Available Shifts of visual attention cause systematic distortions of the perceived locations of visual objects around the focus of attention. In the attention repulsion effect, the perceived location of a visual target is shifted away from an attention-attracting cue when the cue is presented before the target. Recently it has been found that, if the visual cue is presented after the target, the perceived location of the target shifts toward the location of the following cue. One unanswered question is whether a single mechanism underlies both attentional repulsion and attraction effects. We presented participants with two disks at diagonal locations as visual cues and two vertical lines as targets. Participants were asked to perform a forced-choice task to judge targets' positions. The present study examined whether the magnitude of the repulsion effect and the attraction effect would differ (Experiment 1, whether the two effects would interact (Experiment 2, and whether the location or the dynamic shift of attentional focus would determine the distortions effects (Experiment 3. The results showed that the effect size of the attraction effect was slightly larger than the repulsion effect and the preceding and following cues have independent influences on the perceived positions. The repulsion effect was caused by the location of attnetion and the attraction effect was due to the dynamic shift of attentional focus, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms for the retrospective attraction effect might be different from those for the repulsion effect.
A Diana Andrushia
Abstract. Even though there have been great advancements in computer vision tasks, the development of human visual attention models is still not well investigated. In day-to-day life, one can find ample applications of saliency detection in image and video processing. This paper presents an efficient visual saliency ...
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
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…
Giesbrecht, Barry; Bischof, Walter F.; Kingstone, Alan
It is widely assumed that high-level visual processes subserve the attentional blink (AB). Recent evidence from studies of visual masking during the AB that were designed to directly test the contributions of high-level masking effects, however, have failed to provide empirical support for this position.The implication is that low-level visual…
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
Nougier, Vincent; And Others
The development of visual orienting to a cued target on the part of practicing and nonpracticing tennis players aged 13, 16, and 25 years was examined. Results indicated that practicers were not faster than nonpracticers in processing visual information and that subjects of all ages oriented attention voluntarily to cued locations. (LB)
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…
Stuart, Geoffrey W.; Lambeth, Sandra E.; Day, Ross H.; Gould, Ian C.; Castles, Anne E.
Visual attention has temporal limitations. In the attentional blink (AB) a stream of stimuli such as letters or digits are presented to a participant on a computer monitor at a rapid rate. Embedded in the stream are two targets that the participant must try to identify. Identification of the second target is severely impaired if it is presented…
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…
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.
Burnett, Timothy John
This exegesis will investigate the influence of audio stimuli and its relationship with visual perception, attention and hierarchical flow within visual communication - utilising a heuristic form of inquiry. New terminology of black and white thoughts will also be explored to analyse logical and lateral thinking when applied to problem solving. By utilising visual abstraction, cross-modal perception and iconic-coupling techniques I wish to explore how one can create stronger en...
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...
Magazzini, Lorenzo; Singh, Krish D
Oscillatory synchronization in the gamma frequency range has been proposed as a neuronal mechanism to prioritize processing of relevant stimuli over competing ones. Recent studies in animals found that selective spatial attention enhanced gamma-band synchronization in high-order visual areas (V4) and increased the gamma peak frequency in V1. The existence of such mechanisms in the human visual system is yet to be fully demonstrated. In this study, we used MEG, in combination with an optimised stimulus design, to record visual gamma oscillations from human early visual cortex, while participants performed a visuospatial attention cueing task. First, we reconstructed virtual sensors in V1/V2, where gamma oscillations were strongly induced by visual stimulation alone. Second, following the results of a statistical comparison between conditions of attention, we reconstructed cortical activity also in inferior occipital-temporal regions (V4). The results indicated that gamma amplitude was modulated by spatial attention across the cortical hierarchy, both in the early visual cortex and in higher-order regions of the ventral visual pathway. In contrast, we found no evidence for an increase in the gamma peak frequency in V1/V2 with attention. The gamma response tended to peak earlier in V1/V2 than in V4 by approximately 70 ms, consistent with a feed-forward role of gamma-band activity in propagating sensory representations across the visual cortical hierarchy. Together, these findings suggest that differences in experimental design or methodology can account for the inconsistencies in previous animal and human studies. Furthermore, our results are in line with the hypothesis of enhanced gamma-band synchronization as an attentional mechanism in the human visual cortex. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Cross-Villasana, Fernando; Finke, Kathrin; Hennig-Fast, Kristina
Abstract Background: Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exhibit slowed reaction times (RTs) in various attention tasks. The exact origins of this slowing, however, have not been yet established. Potential candidates are early sensory processes mediating the deployment...... of focal-attention, stimulus-response translation processes deciding upon the appropriate motor-response, and motor processes generating the response. Methods: We combined mental chronometry (RT) measures of adult ADHD (n = 15) and healthy control (n = 15) participants with their lateralized event......-related potentials (ERP) during the performance of a visual-search task to differentiate potential sources of slowing at separable levels of processing: the posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) was used to index focalattentional selection times, while the lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to stimulus...
Britton, L A; Delay, E R
15 male and 15 female subjects scanned an array of lights during one of three types of white-noise conditions (continuous, 1-Hz pulse rate, and 10-Hz pulse rate) at 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 dB. Detection of light stimuli increased under the lower intensities and decreased under the higher intensities in the continuous and the 1-Hz pulse-rate conditions, but decreased as intensity increased in 10-Hz pulse-rate noise. Detection of peripheral stimuli was greatest during continuous noise and lowest during 10-Hz pulse-rate noise. These data are interpreted in terms of changes in attentional focus which result from altered levels of arousal.
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute
Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
Objectives. Discrete choice experiments in which participants choose between alternatives differing on attribute levels are an important research method for preference elicitation. In such experiments choice stimuli is typically presented in tables with verbally described attributes, in tables...... with visual attributes, or as product mock-ups simulating realistic products as close as possible. So far little is known about how presentation formats affect visual attention patterns and choice behavior. This study addresses the question by analysing visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice...... 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...
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Habekost, Thomas
Measuring different attentional processes in a fast and reliable way is important in both clinical and experimental settings. However, most tests of visual attention are either lengthy or lack sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. To address this we developed a ten minute test procedure...... for the Swedish Betula-project, a longitudinal study investigating changes in cognitive functions over the adult life span (Nilsson et al., 2004). The test consists of a computer-based letter recognition task with stimulus displays of varied durations followed by pattern masks or a blank screen. The temporal...... threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), and storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K) are estimated by use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention, and the standard error of each estimate is calculated using a bootstrapping procedure. The results from the first...
Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E; Thelen, B; Maier, S; Heekeren, K; Kovar, K-A; Sass, H; Spitzer, M
Hallucinogenic drug-induced states are considered as models for acute schizophrenic disorders (experimental psychoses). In a double-blind study with healthy volunteers we investigated the influence of the serotonergic hallucinogen psilocybin, the ecstasy-like drug 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE), the stimulant d- methamphetamine and placebo on covert orienting of spatial attention (n = 8 in each group). Reaction times were prolonged after ingestion of psilocybin > MDE, but not after d-methamphetamine. In addition, subjects on psilocybin exhibited particularly slow reaction times in invalid trials at short cue target intervals and failure of response inhibition in valid trials at long cue target intervals for right visual field targets. Despite some methodological limitations, these results are in line with both bilateral impairment of disengagement of attention and a lateralized impairment of inhibition of return (IOR) in productive psychotic states. Additional investigations with larger samples, different hallucinogenic substances (serotonergic agonists vs. NMDA antagonists) and different dose regimens are needed in order to further explore the suggested relationship between visuospatial attentional dysfunction and acute psychotic conditions. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel
Full Text Available The relationship between spatial attention and conscious access has often been pictured as a single causal link: spatial attention would provide conscious access to weak stimuli by increasing their effective contrast during early visual processing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed whether the early attentional amplification of visual responses, around 100 ms following stimulus onset, had a decisive impact on conscious detection. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG signals while participants focused their attention toward or away from masked stimuli which were physically identical but consciously detected half of the time. Spatial attention increased the amplitude of early occipital responses identically for both detected and missed stimuli around 100 ms, and therefore did not control conscious access. Accordingly, spatial attention did not increase the proportion of detected stimuli. The earliest neuromagnetic correlate of conscious detection, around 120 ms over the contralateral temporal cortex, was independent from the locus of attention. This early activation combined objective information about stimulus presence and subjective information about stimulus visibility, and was followed by a late correlate of conscious reportability, from 220 ms over temporal and frontal cortex, which correlated exclusively with stimulus visibility. This widespread activation coincided in time with the reorienting of attention triggered by masks presented at the uncued location. This reorienting was stronger and occurred earlier when the masked stimulus was detected, suggesting that the conscious detection of a masked stimulus at an unexpected location captures spatial attention. Altogether, these results support a double dissociation between the neural signatures of endogenous spatial attention and perceptual awareness.
Wiegand, Iris; Petersen, Anders; Finke, Kathrin; Bundesen, Claus; Lansner, Jon; Habekost, Thomas
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 processing resources according to task relevance and spatial position, as quantified in parameters top-down control α and spatial bias windex, was not modulated by phasic alerting. On the electrophysiological level, the latencies of ERLs in response to the task displays were reduced following the warning cue. 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.
Fries, P.; Womelsdorf, T.; Oostenveld, R.; Desimone, R.
Selective attention lends relevant sensory input priority access to higher-level brain areas and ultimately to behavior. Recent studies have suggested that those neurons in visual areas that are activated by an attended stimulus engage in enhanced gamma-band (30-70 Hz) synchronization compared with
Vuilleumier, Patrik; Driver, Jon
Visual processing is not determined solely by retinal inputs. Attentional modulation can arise when the internal attentional state (current task) of the observer alters visual processing of the same stimuli. This can influence visual cortex, boosting neural responses to an attended stimulus. Emotional modulation can also arise, when affective properties (emotional significance) of stimuli, rather than their strictly visual properties, influence processing. This too can boost responses in visual cortex, as for fear-associated stimuli. Both attentional and emotional modulation of visual processing may reflect distant influences upon visual cortex, exerted by brain structures outside the visual system per se. Hence, these modulations may provide windows onto causal interactions between distant but interconnected brain regions. We review recent evidence, noting both similarities and differences between attentional and emotional modulation. Both can affect visual cortex, but can reflect influences from different regions, such as fronto-parietal circuits versus the amygdala. Recent work on this has developed new approaches for studying causal influences between human brain regions that may be useful in other cognitive domains. The new methods include application of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) measures in brain-damaged patients to study distant functional impacts of their focal lesions, and use of transcranial magnetic stimulation concurrently with fMRI or EEG in the normal brain. Cognitive neuroscience is now moving beyond considering the putative functions of particular brain regions, as if each operated in isolation, to consider, instead, how distinct brain regions (such as visual cortex, parietal or frontal regions, or amygdala) may mutually influence each other in a causal manner.
Treder Matthias S
Full Text Available Abstract Background In a visual oddball paradigm, attention to an event usually modulates the event-related potential (ERP. An ERP-based brain-computer interface (BCI exploits this neural mechanism for communication. Hitherto, it was unclear to what extent the accuracy of such a BCI requires eye movements (overt attention or whether it is also feasible for targets in the visual periphery (covert attention. Also unclear was how the visual design of the BCI can be improved to meet peculiarities of peripheral vision such as low spatial acuity and crowding. Method Healthy participants (N = 13 performed a copy-spelling task wherein they had to count target intensifications. EEG and eye movements were recorded concurrently. First, (covert attention was investigated by way of a target fixation condition and a central fixation condition. In the latter, participants had to fixate a dot in the center of the screen and allocate their attention to a target in the visual periphery. Second, the effect of visual speller layout was investigated by comparing the symbol Matrix to an ERP-based Hex-o-Spell, a two-levels speller consisting of six discs arranged on an invisible hexagon. Results We assessed counting errors, ERP amplitudes, and offline classification performance. There is an advantage (i.e., less errors, larger ERP amplitude modulation, better classification of overt attention over covert attention, and there is also an advantage of the Hex-o-Spell over the Matrix. Using overt attention, P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3 components are enhanced by attention. Using covert attention, only N2 and P3 are enhanced for both spellers, and N1 and P2 are modulated when using the Hex-o-Spell but not when using the Matrix. Consequently, classifiers rely mainly on early evoked potentials in overt attention and on later cognitive components in covert attention. Conclusions Both overt and covert attention can be used to drive an ERP-based BCI, but performance is markedly lower
Doolan, Katy J; Breslin, Gavin; Hanna, Donncha; Murphy, Kate; Gallagher, Alison M
Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the aim of this study was to investigate differences in attentional processing of food-related visual cues between normal-weight and overweight/obese males and females. Twenty-six normal-weight (14M, 12F) and 26 overweight/obese (14M, 12F) adults completed a visual probe task and an eye-tracking paradigm. Reaction times and eye movements to food and control images were collected during both a fasted and fed condition in a counterbalanced design. Participants had greater visual attention towards high-energy-density food images compared to low-energy-density food images regardless of hunger condition. This was most pronounced in overweight/obese males who had significantly greater maintained attention towards high-energy-density food images when compared with their normal-weight counterparts however no between weight group differences were observed for female participants. High-energy-density food images appear to capture visual attention more readily than low-energy-density food images. Results also suggest the possibility of an altered visual food cue-associated reward system in overweight/obese males. Attentional processing of food cues may play a role in eating behaviors thus should be taken into consideration as part of an integrated approach to curbing obesity. © 2014 The Obesity Society.
Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate whether an impairment of visual attentional functions constitutes an additional or even an isolated deficit of developmental dyslexia (DD. Especially performance in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel has been reported to be impaired in DD. We review studies that used parameter-based assessment for identifying and quantifying impaired aspect(s of visual attention that underlie this multi-element-processing deficit in DD. These studies used the mathematical framework provided by the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990 to derive quantitative measures of general attentional resources and attentional weighting aspects on the basis of behavioral performance in whole- and partial-report tasks. Based on parameter estimates in children and adults with DD, the reviewed studies support a slowed perceptual processing speed as an underlying primary deficit in DD. Moreover, a reduction in visual short term memory storage capacity seems to present a modulating component, contributing to difficulties in written language processing. Furthermore, comparing the spatial distributions of attentional weights in children and adults suggest that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers.
Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M
Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.
Tsujimura, Akira; Miyagawa, Yasushi; Takada, Shingo; Matsuoka, Yasuhiro; Takao, Tetsuya; Hirai, Toshiaki; Matsushita, Masateru; Nonomura, Norio; Okuyama, Akihiko
Although men appear to be more interested in sexual stimuli than women, this difference is not completely understood. Eye-tracking technology has been used to investigate visual attention to still sexual images; however, it has not been applied to moving sexual images. To investigate whether sex difference exists in visual attention to sexual videos. Eleven male and 11 female healthy volunteers were studied by our new methodology. The subjects viewed two sexual videos (one depicting sexual intercourse and one not) in which several regions were designated for eye-gaze analysis in each frame. Visual attention was measured across each designated region according to gaze duration. Sex differences, the region attracting the most attention, and visually favored sex were evaluated. In the nonintercourse clip, gaze time for the face and body of the actress was significantly shorter among women than among men. Gaze time for the face and body of the actor and nonhuman regions was significantly longer for women than men. The region attracting the most attention was the face of the actress for both men and women. Men viewed the opposite sex for a significantly longer period than did women, and women viewed their own sex for a significantly longer period than did men. However, gaze times for the clip showing intercourse were not significantly different between sexes. A sex difference existed in visual attention to a sexual video without heterosexual intercourse; men viewed the opposite sex for longer periods than did women, and women viewed the same sex for longer periods than did men. There was no statistically significant sex difference in viewing patterns in a sexual video showing heterosexual intercourse, and we speculate that men and women may have similar visual attention patterns if the sexual stimuli are sufficiently explicit.
Khan, A Z; Prost-Lefebvre, M; Salemme, R; Blohm, G; Rossetti, Y; Tilikete, C; Pisella, L
Simultanagnosia is a deficit in which patients are unable to perceive multiple objects simultaneously. To date, it remains disputed whether this deficit results from disrupted object or space perception. We asked both healthy participants as well as a patient with simultanagnosia to perform different visual search tasks of variable difficulty. We also modulated the number of objects (target and distracters) presented. For healthy participants, we found that each visual search task was performed with a specific "attentional field" depending on the difficulty of visual object processing but not on the number of objects falling within this "working space." This was demonstrated by measuring the cost in reaction times using different gaze-contingent visible window sizes. We found that bilateral damage to the superior parietal lobule impairs the spatial integration of separable features (within-object processing), shrinking the attentional field in which a target can be detected, but causing no deficit in processing multiple objects per se. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna
Visual working memory can be modulated according to changes in the cued task relevance of maintained items. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying this modulation. In particular, we studied the consequences of attentional selection for selected and unselected items, and the role of individual differences in the efficiency with which attention is deployed. To this end, performance in a visual working memory task as well as the CDA/SPCN and the N2pc, ERP components associated with visual working memory and attentional processes, were analysed. Selection during the maintenance stage was manipulated by means of two successively presented retrocues providing spatial information as to which items were most likely to be tested. Results show that attentional selection serves to robustly protect relevant representations in the focus of attention while unselected representations which may become relevant again still remain available. Individuals with larger retrocueing benefits showed higher efficiency of attentional selection, as indicated by the N2pc, and showed stronger maintenance-associated activity (CDA/SPCN). The findings add to converging evidence that focused representations are protected, and highlight the flexibility of visual working memory, in which information can be weighted according its relevance.
Hubert-Wallander, Bjorn; Green, C Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne
Visual attention is the set of mechanisms by which relevant visual information is selected while irrelevant information is suppressed, thus allowing the observer to function in a world made up of nearly infinite visual information. Recently, those who habitually play video games have been documented to outperform novices in a variety of visual attentional capabilities, including attention in space, in time, and to objects. Training studies have established similar improvements in groups of nongamers given experience playing these video games. Critically, not all video games seem to have such a beneficial effect on attention; it seems that fast-paced, embodied visuo-motor tasks that require divided attention (tasks commonly found in popular action games like Halo) have the greatest effect. At the core of these action video game-induced improvements appears to be a remarkable enhancement in the ability to efficiently deploy endogenous attention. The implications of such an enhancement are relevant to a variety of real-world applications, such as work force training, rehabilitation of clinical populations, and improvement of traditional educational approaches. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 222-230 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.116 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Rosbergen, Edward; Wedel, Michel; Pieters, Rik
The purpose of this paper is to propose a nonparametric interest rate term structure model and investigate its implications on term structure dynamics and prices of interest rate derivative securities. The nonparametric spot interest rate process is estimated from the observed short-term interest
Thiessen, Amber; Beukelman, David; Hux, Karen; Longenecker, Maria
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement. Method: Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and 10 adults without neurological…
Malavita, Menaka S; Vidyasagar, Trichur R; McKendrick, Allison M
The purpose of this study was to study how, in midperipheral vision, aging affects visual processes that interfere with target detection (crowding and surround suppression) and to determine whether the performance on such tasks are related to visuospatial attention as measured by visual search. We investigated the effect of aging on crowding and suppression in detection of a target in peripheral vision, using different types of flanking stimuli. Both thresholds were also obtained while varying the position of the flanker (placed inside or outside of target, relative to fixation). Crowding thresholds were also estimated with spatial uncertainty (jitter). Additionally, we included a visual search task comprising Gabor stimuli to investigate whether performance is related to top-down attention. Twenty young adults (age, 18-32 years; mean age, 26.1 years; 10 males) and 19 older adults (age, 60-74 years; mean age, 70.3 years; 10 males) participated in the study. Older adults showed more surround suppression than the young (F[1,37] = 4.21; P attentional efficiency measured in the visual search task. There was also no significant correlation between crowding and surround suppression. We show that aging does not affect visual crowding but does increase surround suppression of contrast, suggesting that crowding and surround suppression may be distinct visual phenomena. Furthermore, strengths of crowding and surround suppression did not correlate with each other nor could they be predicted by efficiency of visual search.
Granot, Yael; Balcetis, Emily; Schneider, Kristin E; Tyler, Tom R
Why do some people demand harsher legal punishments than do others after viewing the same video evidence? We predict that inconsistent patterns of punishment decisions can be reconciled by considering the simultaneous effects of social group identification and visual attention. We tested 2 competing predictions--the attention unites and attention divides hypotheses--to understand whether visual attention exaggerates or eliminates differences in legal decision making as a function of social identification with outgroups. We measured social identification with police (Studies 1a, 1b) or manipulated identification with a novel outgroup (Study 2). Participants watched videos depicting physical altercations in which the targets' culpability was ambiguous. We surreptitiously tracked (Studies 1a, 2) or manipulated (Study 1b) visual attention to outgroup targets. Results support the attention divides hypothesis. Among participants who fixated frequently on outgroup targets, prior identification influenced punishment decisions. This relationship did not emerge among participants who fixated infrequently on the target. Subjective interpretations of and accurate recall for targets' actions mediated the relationship between identification and attention on punishment. We discuss implications for bias in legal decision making and policy. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Hecht, Marcus; Thiemann, Ulf; Freitag, Christine M; Bender, Stephan
Post-perceptual cues can enhance visual short term memory encoding even after the offset of the visual stimulus. However, both the mechanisms by which the sensory stimulus characteristics are buffered as well as the mechanisms by which post-perceptual selective attention enhances short term memory encoding remain unclear. We analyzed late post-perceptual event-related potentials (ERPs) in visual change detection tasks (100ms stimulus duration) by high-resolution ERP analysis to elucidate these mechanisms. The effects of early and late auditory post-cues (300ms or 850ms after visual stimulus onset) as well as the effects of a visual interference stimulus were examined in 27 healthy right-handed adults. Focusing attention with post-perceptual cues at both latencies significantly improved memory performance, i.e. sensory stimulus characteristics were available for up to 850ms after stimulus presentation. Passive watching of the visual stimuli without auditory cue presentation evoked a slow negative wave (N700) over occipito-temporal visual areas. N700 was strongly reduced by a visual interference stimulus which impeded memory maintenance. In contrast, contralateral delay activity (CDA) still developed in this condition after the application of auditory post-cues and was thereby dissociated from N700. CDA and N700 seem to represent two different processes involved in short term memory encoding. While N700 could reflect visual post processing by automatic attention attraction, CDA may reflect the top-down process of searching selectively for the required information through post-perceptual attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dawson, Samantha J; Chivers, Meredith L
Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.
Samantha J Dawson
Full Text Available Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.
Parker, Jason G; Zalusky, Eric J; Kirbas, Cemil
Accurate mapping of visual function and selective attention using fMRI is important in the study of human performance as well as in presurgical treatment planning of lesions in or near visual centers of the brain. Conjunctive visual search (CVS) is a useful tool for mapping visual function during fMRI because of its greater activation extent compared with high-capacity parallel search processes. The purpose of this work was to develop and evaluate a CVS that was capable of generating consistent activation in the basic and higher level visual areas of the brain by using a high number of distractors as well as an optimized contrast condition. Images from 10 healthy volunteers were analyzed and brain regions of greatest activation and deactivation were determined using a nonbiased decomposition of the results at the hemisphere, lobe, and gyrus levels. The results were quantified in terms of activation and deactivation extent and mean z-statistic. The proposed CVS was found to generate robust activation of the occipital lobe, as well as regions in the middle frontal gyrus associated with coordinating eye movements and in regions of the insula associated with task-level control and focal attention. As expected, the task demonstrated deactivation patterns commonly implicated in the default-mode network. Further deactivation was noted in the posterior region of the cerebellum, most likely associated with the formation of optimal search strategy. We believe the task will be useful in studies of visual and selective attention in the neuroscience community as well as in mapping visual function in clinical fMRI.
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
Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.
People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research
Clement, Jesper; Kokkoli, Maria
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...... in studying relations between human visual attention and intention to purchase (Clement, 2013). Several companies have found an additional market place on-line, whereas the appearance of the products is often very similar to the physical shop. This goes especially for pharmaceutical products, where pictures...... across culture and national borders it also challenges marketer to make the right set-up for a web-shop. In this paper customers’ visual attention during search for drugs on-line is investigated, relating visual attention and evaluation to a particular web-design....
Full Text Available We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention.
Chan, Louis K H; Hayward, William G; Theeuwes, Jan
Recent studies have proposed that a common mechanism may underlie spatial attention and spatial working memory. One proposal is that spatial working memory is maintained by attention-based rehearsal [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 24(3), 780-790], and so a spatial attention shift during the retention interval of a spatial location should impair its memory performance. In the present study, participants engaged in single-item, parallel or serial search tasks while remembering a spatial location. Although memory tended to bias all searches, the need for an attentional shift during the retention interval impaired memory performance only in single-item search, but not in other searches. These findings suggest that previous evidence for the attention-based rehearsal account does not generalize to visual search. Results are discussed with regard to the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory.
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy. PMID:24939234
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory-but not necessarily other aspects of working memory.
Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory—but not necessarily other aspects of working memory. PMID:24266343
Bogon, Johanna; Finke, Kathrin; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Stenneken, Prisca
People with developmental dyslexia (DD) have been shown to be impaired in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel. It has been suggested that this deficit originates from disturbed visual attentional functions. The parameter-based assessment of visual attention based on Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual…
Mather, Susan M.; Clark, M. Diane
One of the ongoing challenges teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing face is managing the visual split attention implicit in multimedia learning. When a teacher presents various types of visual information at the same time, visual learners have no choice but to divide their attention among those materials and the teacher and…
Wombolt, Jessica R; Caine, Nancy G
Given the prevalence of threatening snakes in the evolutionary history, and modern-day environments of human and nonhuman primates, sensory, and perceptual abilities that allow for quick detection of, and appropriate response to snakes are likely to have evolved. Many studies have demonstrated that primates recognize snakes faster than other stimuli, and it is suggested that the unique serpentine shape is responsible for its quick detection. However, there are many nonthreatening serpentine shapes in the environment (e.g., vines) that are not threatening; therefore, other cues must be used to distinguish threatening from benign serpentine objects. In two experiments, we systematically evaluated how common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) visually attend to specific snake-like features. In the first experiment, we examined if skin pattern is a cue that elicits increased visual inspection of serpentine shapes by measuring the amount of time the marmosets looked into a blind before, during, and after presentation of clay models with and without patterns. The marmosets spent the most time looking at the objects, both serpentine and triangle, that were etched with scales, suggesting that something may be uniquely salient about scales in evoking attention. In contrast, they showed relatively little interest in the unpatterned serpentine and control (a triangle) stimuli. In experiment 2, we replicated and extended the results of experiment 1 by adding additional stimulus conditions. We found that patterns on a serpentine shape generated more inspection than those same patterns on a triangle shape. We were unable to confirm that a scaled pattern is unique in its ability to elicit visual interest; the scaled models elicited similar looking times as line and star patterns. Our data provide a foundation for future research to examine how snakes are detected and identified by primates. Am. J. Primatol. 78:928-936, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals
Fernanda Machado Lopes
Full Text Available Introduction: Attentional bias, the tendency that a person has to drive or maintain attention to a specific class of stimuli, may play an important role in the etiology and persistence of mental disorders. Attentional bias modification has been studied as a form of additional treatment related to automatic processing. Objectives: This systematic literature review compared and discussed methods, evidence of success and potential clinical applications of studies about attentional bias modification (ABM using a visual probe task. Methods: The Web of Knowledge, PubMed and PsycInfo were searched using the keywords attentional bias modification, attentional bias manipulation and attentional bias training. We selected empirical studies about ABM training using a visual probe task written in English and published between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most (78% succeeded in training attention in the predicted direction, and in 71% results were generalized to other measures correlated with the symptoms. Conclusions: ABM has potential clinical utility, but to standardize methods and maximize applicability, future studies should include clinical samples and be based on findings of studies about its effectiveness.
Li, Linyi; Xu, Tingbao; Chen, Yun
In recent years the spatial resolutions of remote sensing images have been improved greatly. However, a higher spatial resolution image does not always lead to a better result of automatic scene classification. Visual attention is an important characteristic of the human visual system, which can effectively help to classify remote sensing scenes. In this study, a novel visual attention feature extraction algorithm was proposed, which extracted visual attention features through a multiscale process. And a fuzzy classification method using visual attention features (FC-VAF) was developed to perform high resolution remote sensing scene classification. FC-VAF was evaluated by using remote sensing scenes from widely used high resolution remote sensing images, including IKONOS, QuickBird, and ZY-3 images. FC-VAF achieved more accurate classification results than the others according to the quantitative accuracy evaluation indices. We also discussed the role and impacts of different decomposition levels and different wavelets on the classification accuracy. FC-VAF improves the accuracy of high resolution scene classification and therefore advances the research of digital image analysis and the applications of high resolution remote sensing images.
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.
Full Text Available In recent years the spatial resolutions of remote sensing images have been improved greatly. However, a higher spatial resolution image does not always lead to a better result of automatic scene classification. Visual attention is an important characteristic of the human visual system, which can effectively help to classify remote sensing scenes. In this study, a novel visual attention feature extraction algorithm was proposed, which extracted visual attention features through a multiscale process. And a fuzzy classification method using visual attention features (FC-VAF was developed to perform high resolution remote sensing scene classification. FC-VAF was evaluated by using remote sensing scenes from widely used high resolution remote sensing images, including IKONOS, QuickBird, and ZY-3 images. FC-VAF achieved more accurate classification results than the others according to the quantitative accuracy evaluation indices. We also discussed the role and impacts of different decomposition levels and different wavelets on the classification accuracy. FC-VAF improves the accuracy of high resolution scene classification and therefore advances the research of digital image analysis and the applications of high resolution remote sensing images.
Scocchia, Lisa; Valsecchi, Matteo; Gegenfurtner, Karl R; Triesch, Jochen
The investigation of cognitive influence on binocular rivalry has a long history. However, the effects of visual WM on rivalry have never been studied so far. We examined top-down modulation of rivalry perception in four experiments to compare the effects of visual WM and sustained selective attention: In the first three experiments we failed to observe any sustained effect of the WM content; only the color of the memory probe was found to prime the initially dominant percept. In Experiment 4 we found a clear effect of sustained attention on rivalry both in terms of the first dominant percept and of the overall dominance when participants were involved in a tracking task. Our results provide an example of dissociation between visual WM and selective attention, two phenomena which otherwise functionally overlap to a large extent. Furthermore, our study highlights the importance of the task employed to engage cognitive resources: The observed perceptual epiphenomena of binocular rivalry are indicative of visual competition at an early stage, which is not affected by WM but is still susceptible to attention influence as long as the observer’s attention is constrained to one of the two rival images via a specific concomitant task. © 2014 ARVO.
Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo
Many studies have suggested that structural and functional cerebral neuroplastic processes result from long-term musical training, which in turn may produce cognitive differences between musicians and non-musicians. We aimed to investigate whether intensive, long-term musical practice is associated with improvements in three different forms of visual attention ability: selective, divided and sustained attention. Musicians from symphony orchestras (n=38) and non-musicians (n=38), who were comparable in age, gender and education, were submitted to three neuropsychological tests, measuring reaction time and accuracy. Musicians showed better performance relative to non-musicians on four variables of the three visual attention tests, and such an advantage could not solely be explained by better sensorimotor integration. Moreover, in the group of musicians, significant correlations were observed between the age at the commencement of musical studies and reaction time in all visual attention tests. The results suggest that musicians present augmented ability in different forms of visual attention, thus illustrating the possible cognitive benefits of long-term musical training. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary
Background: Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception problems, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using VEP. Method: Participants were 31 adolescents (aged 13-18); 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gen...
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with d...
Dye, Matthew W G
The major documented effect of auditory deprivation on visual processing is enhanced spatial attention, in particular to the visual periphery and to moving stimuli. However, there is a parallel literature that has reported deficits in temporal aspects of visual processing in individuals with profound hearing losses. This study builds upon previous work showing possible deficits in processing of rapid serial visual presentation streams in deaf children [Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience (2010), 28, 181-192]. Deaf native signers of American Sign Language and hearing children and adults were asked to perform a 2-AFC identification task with a visual target embedded in a stream of visual stimuli presented at 6 Hz. Both children and adults displayed attentional awakening, whereby target identification accuracy improved as the number of stimuli preceding the target increased. For deaf children, however, this awakening effect was less pronounced than that observed in hearing children, interpreted as difficulty sustaining entrainment to the stimulus stream. The data provide the first account of attentional awakening in children, showing that it improves across the 6-13 year age range. They also provide additional support to the possibility of domain-general alterations in the processing of temporal information in the absence of auditory input. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bayer, Mareike; Rossi, Valentina; Vanlessen, Naomi; Grass, Annika; Schacht, Annekathrin; Pourtois, Gilles
Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses. Motivational relevance increased the amplitudes of the C1 component at ∼70 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation occurred independently of spatial attention effects, which were evident at the P1 level. Furthermore, motivation and spatial attention had independent effects on preparatory activation as measured by the contingent negative variation; and pupil data showed increased activation in response to incentive targets. Taken together, these findings suggest independent pathways for the influence of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human visual cortex. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.
Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P. Christiaan; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton
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
Zhang, Bao; Zhang, John X; Kong, Lingyue; Huang, Sai; Yue, Zhenzhu; Wang, Suiping
Recent work shows that items maintained in working memory could guide the orienting of attention in visual search, demonstrating an interesting interaction between working memory and attention. For such guidance effect, some studies emphasize the importance of search task type: for fixed-target search, task-irrelevant memory items stay inside the attentional focus and guides attention; for varied-target search, these items stay outside attentional focus and do not guide attention. With two experiments, we showed that stimulus attribute of items held in working memory can play an important role in attentional guidance. The first behavioral experiment duplicated a previous fixed-target search paradigm demonstrating robust guidance effect but failed to find such effect when the stimuli was simply changed from colored shapes to complex artificial shapes. The second event-related potential experiment duplicated a previous varied-target search paradigm that used complex shapes but did not observe any guidance effect. A clear guidance effect was found when we changed the stimuli to colored shapes. The results suggest that attentional guidance from working memory depends on stimulus attributes of the items held in working memory. When effective attribute is used, task-irrelevant items that stay outside the attentional focus are still able to guide attention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Luck, Steven J.
In many theories of cognition, researchers propose that working memory and perception operate interactively. For example, in previous studies researchers have suggested that sensory inputs matching the contents of working memory will have an automatic advantage in the competition for processing resources. The authors tested this hypothesis by requiring observers to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in visual working memory. The hypothesis that ...
Tuschen-Caffier, Brunna; Bender, Caroline; Caffier, Detlef; Klenner, Katharina; Braks, Karsten; Svaldi, Jennifer
Cognitive theories suggest that body dissatisfaction results from the activation of maladaptive appearance schemata, which guide mental processes such as selective attention to shape and weight-related information. In line with this, the present study hypothesized that patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are characterized by increased visual attention for the most dissatisfying/ugly body part compared to their most satisfying/beautiful body part, while a more balanced viewing pattern was expected for controls without eating disorders (CG). Eye movements were recorded in a group of patients with AN (n = 16), BN (n = 16) and a CG (n = 16) in an ecologically valid setting, i.e., during a 3-min mirror exposure. Evidence was found that patients with AN and BN display longer and more frequent gazes towards the most dissatisfying relative to the most satisfying and towards their most ugly compared to their most beautiful body parts, whereas the CG showed a more balanced gaze pattern. The results converge with theoretical models that emphasize the role of information processing in the maintenance of body dissatisfaction. Given the etiological importance of body dissatisfaction in the development of eating disorders, future studies should focus on the modification of the reported patterns.
Full Text Available Cognitive theories suggest that body dissatisfaction results from the activation of maladaptive appearance schemata, which guide mental processes such as selective attention to shape and weight-related information. In line with this, the present study hypothesized that patients with anorexia nervosa (AN and bulimia nervosa (BN are characterized by increased visual attention for the most dissatisfying/ugly body part compared to their most satisfying/beautiful body part, while a more balanced viewing pattern was expected for controls without eating disorders (CG.Eye movements were recorded in a group of patients with AN (n = 16, BN (n = 16 and a CG (n = 16 in an ecologically valid setting, i.e., during a 3-min mirror exposure.Evidence was found that patients with AN and BN display longer and more frequent gazes towards the most dissatisfying relative to the most satisfying and towards their most ugly compared to their most beautiful body parts, whereas the CG showed a more balanced gaze pattern.The results converge with theoretical models that emphasize the role of information processing in the maintenance of body dissatisfaction. Given the etiological importance of body dissatisfaction in the development of eating disorders, future studies should focus on the modification of the reported patterns.
Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro; Shioiri, Satoshi
How attentional modulation on brain activities determines behavioral performance has been one of the most important issues in cognitive neuroscience. This issue has been addressed by comparing the temporal relationship between attentional modulations on neural activities and behavior. Our previous study measured the time course of attention with amplitude and phase coherence of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) and found that the modulation latency of phase coherence rather than that of amplitude was consistent with the latency of behavioral performance. In this study, as a complementary report, we compared the time course of visual attention shift measured by event-related potentials (ERPs) with that by target detection task. We developed a novel technique to compare ERPs with behavioral results and analyzed the EEG data in our previous study. Two sets of flickering stimulus at different frequencies were presented in the left and right visual hemifields, and a target or distracter pattern was presented randomly at various moments after an attention-cue presentation. The observers were asked to detect targets on the attended stimulus after the cue. We found that two ERP components, P300 and N2pc, were elicited by the target presented at the attended location. Time-course analyses revealed that attentional modulation of the P300 and N2pc amplitudes increased gradually until reaching a maximum and lasted at least 1.5 s after the cue onset, which is similar to the temporal dynamics of behavioral performance. However, attentional modulation of these ERP components started later than that of behavioral performance. Rather, the time course of attentional modulation of behavioral performance was more closely associated with that of the concurrently recorded SSVEPs analyzed. These results suggest that neural activities reflected not by either the P300 or N2pc, but by the SSVEPs, are the source of attentional modulation of behavioral performance. PMID:23976966
Chien, Y-L; Gau, S S-F; Shang, C-Y; Chiu, Y-N; Tsai, W-C; Wu, Y-Y
An uneven neurocognitive profile is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies focusing on the visual memory performance in ASD have shown controversial results. We investigated visual memory and sustained attention in youths with ASD and typically developing (TD) youths. We recruited 143 pairs of youths with ASD (males 93.7%; mean age 13.1, s.d. 3.5 years) and age- and sex-matched TD youths. The ASD group consisted of 67 youths with autistic disorder (autism) and 76 with Asperger's disorder (AS) based on the DSM-IV criteria. They were assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery involving the visual memory [spatial recognition memory (SRM), delayed matching to sample (DMS), paired associates learning (PAL)] and sustained attention (rapid visual information processing; RVP). Youths with ASD performed significantly worse than TD youths on most of the tasks; the significance disappeared in the superior intelligence quotient (IQ) subgroup. The response latency on the tasks did not differ between the ASD and TD groups. Age had significant main effects on SRM, DMS, RVP and part of PAL tasks and had an interaction with diagnosis in DMS and RVP performance. There was no significant difference between autism and AS on visual tasks. Our findings implied that youths with ASD had a wide range of visual memory and sustained attention impairment that was moderated by age and IQ, which supports temporal and frontal lobe dysfunction in ASD. The lack of difference between autism and AS implies that visual memory and sustained attention cannot distinguish these two ASD subtypes, which supports DSM-5 ASD criteria.
Full Text Available Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people’s homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios.
Vega, Julio; Perdices, Eduardo; Cañas, José M.
Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people's homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios. PMID:23337333
Full Text Available The coordination of visual attention among social partners is central to many components of human behavior and human development. Previous research has focused on one pathway to the coordination of looking behavior by social partners, gaze following. The extant evidence shows that even very young infants follow the direction of another's gaze but they do so only in highly constrained spatial contexts because gaze direction is not a spatially precise cue as to the visual target and not easily used in spatially complex social interactions. Our findings, derived from the moment-to-moment tracking of eye gaze of one-year-olds and their parents as they actively played with toys, provide evidence for an alternative pathway, through the coordination of hands and eyes in goal-directed action. In goal-directed actions, the hands and eyes of the actor are tightly coordinated both temporally and spatially, and thus, in contexts including manual engagement with objects, hand movements and eye movements provide redundant information about where the eyes are looking. Our findings show that one-year-olds rarely look to the parent's face and eyes in these contexts but rather infants and parents coordinate looking behavior without gaze following by attending to objects held by the self or the social partner. This pathway, through eye-hand coupling, leads to coordinated joint switches in visual attention and to an overall high rate of looking at the same object at the same time, and may be the dominant pathway through which physically active toddlers align their looking behavior with a social partner.
Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika
To examine whether prenatal exposure to opioid agonist medication is associated with visual selective attention and general attention problems in early childhood. Twenty-two children (mean age = 52.17 months, SD = 1.81) prenatally exposed to methadone, 9 children (mean age = 52.41 months, SD = 1.42) prenatally exposed to buprenorphine and 25 nonexposed comparison children (mean age = 51.44 months, SD = 1.31) were tested. Visual selective attention was measured with a Tobii 1750 Eye Tracker using a spatial negative priming paradigm. Attention problems were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist. The comparison group demonstrated a larger spatial negative priming effect (mean = 23.50, SD = 45.50) than the exposed group [mean = -6.84, SD = 86.39, F(1,50) = 5.91, p = 0.019, η(2) = 0.11]. No difference in reported attention problems was found [F(1,51) = 1.63, p = 0.21, η(2) = 0.03]. Neonatal abstinence syndrome and prenatal exposure to marijuana were found to predict slower saccade latencies in the exposed group (b = 54.55, SE = 23.56, p = 0.03 and b = 88.86, SE = 32.07, p = 0.01, respectively). Although exposed children did not appear to have attention deficits in daily life, lower performance on the SNP task indicates subtle alteration in the attention system. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Simione, Luca; Calabrese, Lucia; Marucci, Francesco S; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Raffone, Antonino; Maratos, Frances A
A plethora of research demonstrates that the processing of emotional faces is prioritised over non-emotive stimuli when cognitive resources are limited (this is known as 'emotional superiority'). However, there is debate as to whether competition for processing resources results in emotional superiority per se, or more specifically, threat superiority. Therefore, to investigate prioritisation of emotional stimuli for storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM), we devised an original VSTM report procedure using schematic (angry, happy, neutral) faces in which processing competition was manipulated. In Experiment 1, display exposure time was manipulated to create competition between stimuli. Participants (n = 20) had to recall a probed stimulus from a set size of four under high (150 ms array exposure duration) and low (400 ms array exposure duration) perceptual processing competition. For the high competition condition (i.e. 150 ms exposure), results revealed an emotional superiority effect per se. In Experiment 2 (n = 20), we increased competition by manipulating set size (three versus five stimuli), whilst maintaining a constrained array exposure duration of 150 ms. Here, for the five-stimulus set size (i.e. maximal competition) only threat superiority emerged. These findings demonstrate attentional prioritisation for storage in VSTM for emotional faces. We argue that task demands modulated the availability of processing resources and consequently the relative magnitude of the emotional/threat superiority effect, with only threatening stimuli prioritised for storage in VSTM under more demanding processing conditions. Our results are discussed in light of models and theories of visual selection, and not only combine the two strands of research (i.e. visual selection and emotion), but highlight a critical factor in the processing of emotional stimuli is availability of processing resources, which is further constrained by task demands.
Full Text Available A plethora of research demonstrates that the processing of emotional faces is prioritised over non-emotive stimuli when cognitive resources are limited (this is known as 'emotional superiority'. However, there is debate as to whether competition for processing resources results in emotional superiority per se, or more specifically, threat superiority. Therefore, to investigate prioritisation of emotional stimuli for storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM, we devised an original VSTM report procedure using schematic (angry, happy, neutral faces in which processing competition was manipulated. In Experiment 1, display exposure time was manipulated to create competition between stimuli. Participants (n = 20 had to recall a probed stimulus from a set size of four under high (150 ms array exposure duration and low (400 ms array exposure duration perceptual processing competition. For the high competition condition (i.e. 150 ms exposure, results revealed an emotional superiority effect per se. In Experiment 2 (n = 20, we increased competition by manipulating set size (three versus five stimuli, whilst maintaining a constrained array exposure duration of 150 ms. Here, for the five-stimulus set size (i.e. maximal competition only threat superiority emerged. These findings demonstrate attentional prioritisation for storage in VSTM for emotional faces. We argue that task demands modulated the availability of processing resources and consequently the relative magnitude of the emotional/threat superiority effect, with only threatening stimuli prioritised for storage in VSTM under more demanding processing conditions. Our results are discussed in light of models and theories of visual selection, and not only combine the two strands of research (i.e. visual selection and emotion, but highlight a critical factor in the processing of emotional stimuli is availability of processing resources, which is further constrained by task demands.
Pekkola, Johanna; Ojanen, Ville; Autti, Taina; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko
Observing a speaker's articulatory gestures can contribute considerably to auditory speech perception. At the level of neural events, seen articulatory gestures can modify auditory cortex responses to speech sounds and modulate auditory cortex activity also in the absence of heard speech. However, possible effects of attention on this modulation have remained unclear. To investigate the effect of attention on visual speech-induced auditory cortex activity, we scanned 10 healthy volunteers with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3 T during simultaneous presentation of visual speech gestures and moving geometrical forms, with the instruction to either focus on or ignore the seen articulations. Secondary auditory cortex areas in the bilateral posterior superior temporal gyrus and planum temporale were active both when the articulatory gestures were ignored and when they were attended to. However, attention to visual speech gestures enhanced activity in the left planum temporale compared to the situation when the subjects saw identical stimuli but engaged in a nonspeech motion discrimination task. These findings suggest that attention to visually perceived speech gestures modulates auditory cortex function and that this modulation takes place at a hierarchically relatively early processing level. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
McClure, Elisabeth R.; Chentsova-Dutton, Yulia E.; Holochwost, Steven J.; Parrott, W. G.; Barr, Rachel
Although many relatives use video chat to keep in touch with toddlers, key features of adult-toddler interaction like joint visual attention (JVA) may be compromised in this context. In this study, 25 families with a child between 6 and 24 months were observed using video chat at home with geographically separated grandparents. We define two types…
Weijkamp, J.; Sadakata, M.
Individuals with more musical training repeatedly demonstrate enhanced auditory perception abilities. The current study examined how these enhanced auditory skills interact with attention to affective audio-visual stimuli. A total of 16 participants with more than 5 years of musical training
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank Francis Crick , Ellen Hildreth, James Mahoney and Tomaso Poggio for their enlightening comments. Gady Geiger pointed out...the visual field -- (Atkinson, Campbell & Francis 1976). Consider next the problem of performing a conjunctive search task (Treisman & Gelade, 1080...central representation. Interestingly, Crick proposed recently (1984; see also Yingling & Skinner, 1977) - - that the attentional searchlight is controlled
Full Text Available Individuals who have sustained a mild brain injury (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury or mild cerebrovascular stroke are at risk to show persistent cognitive symptoms (attention and memory after the acute postinjury phase. Although studies have shown that those patients perform normally on neuropsychological tests, cognitive symptoms remain present, and there is a need for more precise diagnostic tools. The aim of this study was to develop precise and sensitive markers for the diagnosis of post brain injury deficits in visual and attentional functions which could be easily translated in a clinical setting. Using electrophysiology, we have developed a task that allows the tracking of the processes involved in the deployment of visual spatial attention from early stages of visual treatment (N1, P1, N2, and P2 to higher levels of cognitive processing (no-go N2, P3a, P3b, N2pc, SPCN. This study presents a description of this protocol and its validation in 19 normal participants. Results indicated the statistically significant presence of all ERPs aimed to be elicited by this novel task. This task could allow clinicians to track the recovery of the mechanisms involved in the deployment of visual-attentional processing, contributing to better diagnosis and treatment management for persons who suffer a brain injury.
In this thesis, we investigated development of motor behavior and visual attention in the first six months of life, in relation to risk factors for an adverse development and in relation to functional outcome of the children later in life. We investigated variability in motor behavior by assessing
Rosenwasser, Shirley Miller; And Others
Examined same-sex awareness by comparing the visual attention of 51 college students toward stimulus persons. Results showed men looked longer at slides of women both clothed and in bathing suits than slides of men, and women looked longest at slides of clothed women. Results suggested intrasex competitiveness and intersex attraction. (JAC)
Van Den Boer, Madelon; Van Bergen, Elsje; de Jong, Peter F.
Visual attention span, the number of orthographic units that can be processed at a glance, has been shown to predict reading performance in orthographically opaque languages (i.e., French and English), independent from phonological awareness. Whether this relation is also found in Dutch, a more
Bosse, Marie-Line; Kandel, Sonia; Prado, Chloé; Valdois, Sylviane
This research investigated whether text reading and copying involve visual attention-processing skills. Children in grades 3 and 5 read and copied the same text. We measured eye movements while reading and the number of gaze lifts (GL) during copying. The children were also administered letter report tasks that constitute an estimation of the…
Lallier, Marie; Abu Mallouh, Reem; Mohammed, Ahmed M.; Khalifa, Batoul; Perea, Manuel; Carreiras, Manuel
It is unclear whether the association between the visual attention (VA) span and reading differs across languages. Here we studied this relationship in Arabic, where the use of specific reading strategies depends on the amount of diacritics on words: reading vowelized and nonvowelized Arabic scripts favor sublexical and lexical strategies,…
Holmes, Virginia M.; Dawson, Georgia
The goal of the study was to examine the association between visual-attentional span and lexical decision in skilled adult readers. In the span tasks, an array of letters was presented briefly and recognition or production of a single cued letter (partial span) or production of all letters (whole span) was required. Independently of letter…
Bosse, Marie-Line; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis was found successfully to account for variability in developmental dyslexia (Bosse, Tainturier & Valdois, 2007). We conducted a cross-sectional study on 417 typically developing children from first, third and fifth grades examining the role of VA span on the development of reading skills. A battery…
Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM…
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.
Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…
Boyer, Ty W; Maouene, Josita; Sethuraman, Nitya
Theories of embodied conceptual meaning suggest fundamental relations between others' actions, language, and our own actions and visual attention processes. Prior studies have found that when people view an image of a neutral body in a scene they first look toward, in order, the head, torso, hands, and legs. Other studies show associations between action verbs and the body-effectors used in performing the action (e.g., "jump" with feet/legs; "talk" with face/head). In the present experiment, the visual attention of participants was recorded with a remote eye-tracking system while they viewed an image of an actor pantomiming an action and heard a concrete action verb. Participants manually responded whether or not the action image was a good example of the verb they heard. The eye-tracking results confirmed that participants looked at the head most, followed by the hands, and the feet least of all; however, visual attention to each of the body-parts also varied as a function of the effector associated with the spoken verb on image/verb congruent trials, particularly for verbs associated with the legs. Overall, these results suggest that language influences some perceptual processes; however, hearing auditory verbs did not alter the previously reported fundamental hierarchical sequence of directed attention, and fixations on specific body-effectors may not be essential for verb comprehension as peripheral visual cues may be sufficient to perform the task.
Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.
The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg
Moerchen, Victoria A; Saeed, Mina E
This study examined infant treadmill stepping in two groups of pre-locomotor infants in response to terrestrial optic flow. The optic flow was provided via the treadmill belt for flow translation that was directionally consistent with the forward stepping of the infants. Twelve 2-5-month-old and twelve 7-10-month-old infants participated. Visual attention (duration and direction) and step responsiveness (frequency and step types) were coded from digital video, and visuomotor coupling was examined by temporally juxtaposing the visual attention and step data. Longer durations of visual attention to the patterned belt with increased step frequencies during periods of visual attention were observed, suggesting that the visuotactile calibration afforded by the patterned treadmill belt, increased visuomotor coupling and enhanced the frequency and complexity of stepping in prelocomotor infants. The findings are discussed with regard to sensorimotor experiences that enhance treadmill stepping in infants and that may have application to clinical populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
van der Waal, Marjolein; Farquhar, Jason; Fasotti, Luciano; Desain, Peter
Healthy aging is associated with changes in many neurocognitive functions. While on the behavioral level, visual spatial attention capacities are relatively stable with increasing age, the underlying neural processes change. In this study, we investigated attention-related modulations of the stimulus-locked event-related potential (ERP) and occipital oscillations in the alpha band (8-14Hz) in young and elderly participants. Both groups performed a visual attention task equally well and the ERP showed comparable attention-related modulations in both age groups. However, in elderly subjects, oscillations in the alpha band were massively reduced both during the task and in the resting state and the typical task-related lateralized pattern of alpha activity was not observed. These differences between young and elderly participants were observed on the group level as well as on the single trial level. The results indicate that younger and older adults use different neural strategies to reach the same performance in a covert visual spatial attention task. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carmichael, Adrian; Larson, Adam; Gire, Elizabeth; Loschky, Lester; Rebello, N. Sanjay
Research in many disciplines has used eye-tracking technology to investigate the differences in the visual attention of experts and novices. For example, it has been shown that experts in art and chess spend more time than novices looking at relevant information. Thus, it may be helpful to give novices more direct insight into the way experts allocate their visual attention, for example using attentional cueing techniques. However, not much is known about how experts allocate their attention on physics problems. More specifically, we look at physics problems where the critical information needed to answer the problem is contained in a diagram. This study uses eye movements to investigate how the allocation of visual attention differs between experts and novices on these types of physics problems. We find that in several problems tested, those who answered a question correctly spend more time looking at thematically relevant areas while those who answer incorrectly spend more time looking at perceptually salient areas of the diagram.
Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.
Asutay, Erkin; Västfjäll, Daniel
The ability to detect and localize sounds in an environment is critical for survival. Localizing sound sources is a computational challenge for the human brain because the auditory cortex seems to lack a topographical space representation. However, attention and task demands can modulate localization performance. Here, we investigated whether the localization performance for sounds occurring directly in front of or behind people could be modulated by emotional salience and sound-source location. We measured auditory-induced emotion by ecological sounds occurring in the frontal or rear perceptual fields, and employed a speeded localization task. The results showed that both localization speed and accuracy were higher, and that stronger negative emotions were induced when sound sources were behind the participants. Our results provide clear behavioral evidence that auditory attention can be influenced by sound-source location. Importantly, we also show that the effect of spatial location on attention is mediated by emotion, which is in line with the argument that emotional information is prioritized in processing. Auditory system functions as an alarm system and is in charge of detecting possible salient events, and alarming for an attention shift. Further, spatial processing in the auditory dorsal pathway has a function of guiding the visual system to a particular location of interest. Thus, an auditory bias toward the space outside the visual field can be useful, so that visual attention could be quickly shifted in case of emotionally significant information. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Janelle, Christopher M
Despite extensive research devoted to determining the nature of the relationship between stress and performance, there has been little systematic examination of the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Recently, researchers have begun to empirically address the attentional mechanisms underlying theoretical accounts of how stress, anxiety and arousal influence performance. Given the critical role of visual attention to sport expertise, this paper focuses primarily on literature dealing with how visual cues are differentially identified and processed when performers are anxious. Emerging evidence indicates that gaze behaviour tendencies are reliably altered when performers are anxious, leading to inefficient and often ineffective search strategies. Alterations of these visual search indices are addressed in the context of both self-paced and externally paced sports events. Recommendations concerning the utility of perceptual training programmes and how these training programmes might be used as anxiety regulation interventions are discussed. The theoretical implications and directions for future research are also addressed.
Zhou, Jifan; Zhang, Haihang; Ding, Xiaowei; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei
We report on how visual working memory (VWM) forms intact perceptual representations of visual objects using sub-object elements. Specifically, when objects were divided into fragments and sequentially encoded into VWM, the fragments were involuntarily integrated into objects in VWM, as evidenced by the occurrence of both positive and negative object-based attention effects: In Experiment 1, when subjects' attention was cued to a location occupied by the VWM object, the target presented at the location of that object was perceived as occurring earlier than that presented at the location of a different object. In Experiment 2, responses to a target were significantly slower when a distractor was presented at the same location as the cued object (Experiment 2). These results suggest that object fragments can be integrated into objects within VWM in a manner similar to that of visual perception. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Nørgaard, Marianne W; Werner, Anette; Abrahamsen, Randi
pain, the amount of analgesics, anxiety, and adverse events. METHODS: A clinical controlled study with 71 patients in a control group (CG), receiving conventional care and treatment, and 76 patients in an intervention group (IG), receiving relaxation and visualization, combined with a structured......BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) can be accompanied by pain and anxiety when light conscious sedation is used. We sought to determine how visualization and structured attentive behavior during ablation of AF could reduce pain intensity, spontaneously expressed...... of anxiety, mean anxiety: CG (0.10-1.84), IG (0.9-2.03)(NS), and the number of adverse events (P = 0.241). CONCLUSION: Visualization and structured attentive behavior was shown to reduce the amount of analgesics during the RF ablation of AF. There was no difference in perception of pain intensity...
Cattaneo, Zaira; Silvanto, Juha; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Battelli, Lorella
Mental representation of numbers is believed to be spatial in nature, with small numbers occupying the left and large numbers the right side of a putative mental number line. Consistent with this, presentation of numbers from the low and high ends of the mental number line induces covert shifts of spatial attention to the left and right side of visual space, respectively. However, the effect of the presentation of the middle range (containing numbers below and above the midpoint) of the number line on visual perception has so far not been studied. Here we show in two experiments, using a line bisection task and a simple target detection task, that processing of middle-range numbers affects allocation of visuospatial attention in a similar way as processing of small numbers, with attention shifted to the left side of space. We suggest that this pattern of results arises due to "anchoring" heuristics that participants use in number processing.
Harris, Irina M; Benito, Claire T; Dux, Paul E
We investigated distractor processing in a dual-target rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task containing familiar objects, by measuring repetition priming from a priming distractor (PD) to Target 2 (T2). Priming from a visually identical PD was contrasted with priming from a PD in a different orientation from T2. We also tested the effect of attention on distractor processing, by placing the PD either within or outside the attentional blink (AB). PDs outside the AB induced positive priming when they were in a different orientation to T2 and no priming, or negative priming, when they were perceptually identical to T2. PDs within the AB induced positive priming regardless of orientation. These findings demonstrate (1) that distractors are processed at multiple levels of representation; (2) that the view-specific representations of distractors are actively suppressed during RSVP; and (3) that this suppression fails in the absence of attention.
Full Text Available For expanding the application scope of car-following, based on the basic idea of the noncontact interaction of the objects in physics, establish an attention field model to describe the driving behavior. Firstly, propose the time distance concept to describe the degree of driver perception to the front one-dimensional space and extend its application range to the two-dimensional space. Secondly, connect the point which has the same time distance to constitute the equipotential line of drivers’ attention field equipotent, and establish a model to describe it. Thirdly, define the effective range of the driver’s psychological field with the feature of the driver’s visual distance range increasing and the angle decreasing. Finally, design the calculation method to collect projection of the object in the psychological field scope and calculate the curve points to determine the object’s intensity of psychological field. Preliminarily build the driving behavior model and use the numerical simulation method to simulate the simple transport scenarios; initially verify the validity of the model.
Full Text Available As visual attention is an intrinsic part of social relationships, and because relationships are built on a succession of interactions, their establishment involves learning and attention. The emotional, rewarding or punishing, content can modulate selective attention. In horses, the use of positive/negative reinforcement during training determines short and long-term human-horse relationships. In a recent study in horses, where either food or withers’ grooming were used as a reward, it appeared that only the food-rewarded horses learned the task and show better relationship with humans. In the present study, we hypothesized that this differential effect of grooming/food rewards on learning performances could be due to attentional processes. Monitoring, gazes and behaviors directed towards the trainer revealed that the use of a food reward (FR as positive reinforcement increased horses’ selective attention towards their trainer. Conversely, horses trained with grooming reward (GR expressed more inattentive responses and did not show a decrease of agitated behavior. However, individual plotting of attention versus rate of learning performances revealed a complex pattern. Thus, while all FR horses showed a window of attention related to faster learning performances, GR horses’ pattern followed an almost normal curve where the extreme animals (i.e. highest and lowest attention had the slowest learning performances. On the other hand, learning was influenced by attention: at the end of training, the more attentive horses had also better learning performances. This study, based on horses, contributes to the general debates on the place of attentional processes at the interface of emotion and cognition and open new lines of thought about individual sensitivities (only individuals can tell what an appropriate reward is, attentional processes and learning.
Oberauer, Klaus; Lin, Hsuan-Yu
The article introduces an interference model of working memory for information in a continuous similarity space, such as the features of visual objects. The model incorporates the following assumptions: (a) Probability of retrieval is determined by the relative activation of each retrieval candidate at the time of retrieval; (b) activation comes from 3 sources in memory: cue-based retrieval using context cues, context-independent memory for relevant contents, and noise; (c) 1 memory object and its context can be held in the focus of attention, where it is represented with higher precision, and partly shielded against interference. The model was fit to data from 4 continuous-reproduction experiments testing working memory for colors or orientations. The experiments involved variations of set size, kind of context cues, precueing, and retro-cueing of the to-be-tested item. The interference model fit the data better than 2 competing models, the Slot-Averaging model and the Variable-Precision resource model. The interference model also fared well in comparison to several new models incorporating alternative theoretical assumptions. The experiments confirm 3 novel predictions of the interference model: (a) Nontargets intrude in recall to the extent that they are close to the target in context space; (b) similarity between target and nontarget features improves recall, and (c) precueing-but not retro-cueing-the target substantially reduces the set-size effect. The success of the interference model shows that working memory for continuous visual information works according to the same principles as working memory for more discrete (e.g., verbal) contents. Data and model codes are available at https://osf.io/wgqd5/. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Melanie J. Murphy
Full Text Available Understanding the nature of attentional processing in children with Down Syndrome (DS is imperative for developing effective education practices. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether children with DS exhibit impairment in sustained, transient, single-, or dual-target continuous performance tasks. Target detection time and accuracy was compared in children with DS to Typically Developing (TD children of similar nonverbal mental age (as measured by the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, on single and dual- target continuous performance tasks measuring sustained attention, a visual change detection task measuring transient attention, and feature and conjunctive visual search tasks measuring both sustained and transient attention. Results showed that children with DS performed similarly to TD children on sustained and transient attention tasks that only required the detection of a single unique target, but were impaired in overall accuracy on tasks that required dual-target detection. Findings suggest a possible impairment in attention and working memory in children with DS. Error analysis of task responses revealed differences in problem solving strategy between children with DS and TD children, despite similar overall performance. Findings have implications for the education of children with DS and understanding of the nature of intellectual disability per se.
Mark R. Gardner
Full Text Available Experiments demonstrating level-1 visual perspective-taking have been interpreted as providing important evidence for ‘implicit mentalising’—the ability to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner. However, this interpretation has been contested by a rival ‘submentalising’ account that proposes that these experiments can be explained by the general purpose mechanisms responsible for attentional orienting. Here, we aim to discriminate between these competing accounts by examining whether a gaze aversion manipulation expected to enhance attention orienting would have similar effects on both perspective-taking and attention orienting tasks. Gaze aversion was operationalised by manipulating head position relative to torso of the avatar figures employed in two experiments (gaze-averted vs. gaze-maintained. Experiment 1 used a Posner cueing task to establish that gaze aversion enhanced attention orienting cued by these avatars. Using the avatar task, Experiment 2 revealed level-1 visual perspective-taking effects of equivalent magnitude for gaze-averted and gaze-maintained conditions. These results indicate that gaze aversion moderated attention orienting but not perspective-taking. This dissociation in performance favours implicit mentalising by casting doubt on the submentalising account. It further constrains theorising by implying that attention orienting is not integral to the system permitting the relatively automatic tracking of mental states.
Kim, Soyeon; Chen, Samantha; Tannock, Rosemary
Color vision and self-reported visual function in everyday life in young adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were investigated. Participants were 30 young adults with ADHD and 30 controls matched for age and gender. They were tested individually and completed the Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ), Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test (FMT) and A Quick Test of Cognitive Speed (AQT). The ADHD group reported significantly more problems in 4 of 8 areas on the VAQ: depth perception, peripheral vision, visual search and visual processing speed. Further analyses of VAQ items revealed that the ADHD group endorsed more visual problems associated with driving than controls. Color perception difficulties on the FMT were restricted to the blue spectrum in the ADHD group. FMT and AQT results revealed slower processing of visual stimuli in the ADHD group. A comprehensive investigation of mechanisms underlying visual function and color vision in adults with ADHD is warranted, along with the potential impact of these visual problems on driving performance. Copyright © 2013 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Zhu, Weina; Zhao, Lun; Zhang, Junjun; Ding, Xiaojun; Liu, Haiwei; Ni, Enzhi; Ma, Yuanye; Zhou, Changle
In the present study, the effects of Mozart's sonata K.448 on voluntary and involuntary attention were investigated by recording and analyzing behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) data in a three-stimulus visual oddball task. P3a (related to involuntary attention) and P3b (related to voluntary attention) were analyzed. The "Mozart effect" was showed on ERP but not on behavioral data. This study replicated the previous results of Mozart effect on voluntary attention: the P3b latency was influenced by Mozart's sonata K.448. But no change of P3a latency was induced by this music. At the same time, decreased P3a and P3b amplitudes in music condition were found. We interpret this change as positive "Mozart effect" on involuntary attention (P3a) and negative "Mozart effect" on voluntary attention (P3b). We conclude that Mozart's sonata K.448 has shown certain effects on both involuntary attention and voluntary attention in our study, but their effects work on different mechanisms.
Rolke, Bettina; Festl, Freya; Seibold, Verena C
We used ERPs to investigate whether temporal attention interacts with spatial attention and feature-based attention to enhance visual processing. We presented a visual search display containing one singleton stimulus among a set of homogenous distractors. Participants were asked to respond only to target singletons of a particular color and shape that were presented in an attended spatial position. We manipulated temporal attention by presenting a warning signal before each search display and varying the foreperiod (FP) between the warning signal and the search display in a blocked manner. We observed distinctive ERP effects of both spatial and temporal attention. The amplitudes for the N2pc, SPCN, and P3 were enhanced by spatial attention indicating a processing benefit of relevant stimulus features at the attended side. Temporal attention accelerated stimulus processing; this was indexed by an earlier onset of the N2pc component and a reduction in reaction times to targets. Most importantly, temporal attention did not interact with spatial attention or stimulus features to influence visual processing. Taken together, the results suggest that temporal attention fosters visual perceptual processing in a visual search task independently from spatial attention and feature-based attention; this provides support for the nonspecific enhancement hypothesis of temporal attention. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Hayward, Andrew; Tomlinson, Anneka; Neill, Joanna C
Many human conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia and drug abuse are characterised by deficits in attention and impulse control. Carefully validated animal models are required to enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders, enabling development of improved pharmacotherapy. Recent models have attempted to recreate the psychopathology of these conditions using chemical lesions or genetic manipulations. In a diverse population, where the aetiology is not fully understood and is multifactorial, these methods are restricted in their ability to identify novel targets for drug discovery. Two tasks of visual attention and impulsive action typically used in rodents and based on the human continuous performance task (CPT) include, the well-established 5 choice serial reaction time task (5C-SRTT) and the more recently validated, 5 choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) which provides enhanced translational value. We suggest that separating animals by behavioural performance into high and low attentive and impulsivity cohorts using established parameters in these tasks offers a model with enhanced translational value. In this review, methods to separate animals are compared and the results discussed to highlight advantages over more constrained models, in addition to potential future directions for enhanced validation. Advantages include reliability, flexibility and enhanced translation to clinical conditions, all important considerations in modelling ADHD, schizophrenia and drug abuse, conditions with multifactorial aetiology. Based on the existing evidence, we suggest that future studies should incorporate an element of behavioural separation when studying the constructs of visual attention and impulsive action of relevance to human disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chechile, R. A.; Butler, K.; Gutowski, W.; Palmer, E. A.
The effects on divided attention of visual shifts and long-term memory retrieval during a monitoring task are considered. A concurrent vigilance task was standardized under all experimental conditions. The results show that subjects can perform nearly perfectly on all of the time-shared tasks if long-term memory retrieval is not required for monitoring. With the requirement of memory retrieval, however, there was a large decrease in accuracy for all of the time-shared activities. It was concluded that the attentional demand of longterm memory retrieval is appreciable (even for a well-learned motor sequence), and thus memory retrieval results in a sizable reduction in the capability of subjects to divide their attention. A selected bibliography on the divided attention literature is provided.
Mundy, Peter; Sullivan, Lisa; Mastergeorge, Ann M
The impaired development of joint attention is a cardinal feature of autism. Therefore, understanding the nature of joint attention is central to research on this disorder. Joint attention may be best defined in terms of an information-processing system that begins to develop by 4-6 months of age. This system integrates the parallel processing of internal information about one's own visual attention with external information about the visual attention of other people. This type of joint encoding of information about self and other attention requires the activation of a distributed anterior and posterior cortical attention network. Genetic regulation, in conjunction with self-organizing behavioral activity, guides the development of functional connectivity in this network. With practice in infancy the joint processing of self-other attention becomes automatically engaged as an executive function. It can be argued that this executive joint attention is fundamental to human learning as well as the development of symbolic thought, social cognition and social competence throughout the life span. One advantage of this parallel and distributed-processing model of joint attention is that it directly connects theory on social pathology to a range of phenomena in autism associated with neural connectivity, constructivist and connectionist models of cognitive development, early intervention, activity-dependent gene expression and atypical ocular motor control.
Mundy, Peter; Sullivan, Lisa; Mastergeorge, Ann M.
Scientific Abstract The impaired development of joint attention is a cardinal feature of autism. Therefore, understanding the nature of joint attention is a central to research on this disorder. Joint attention may be best defined in terms of an information processing system that begins to develop by 4–6 months of age. This system integrates the parallel processing of internal information about one’s own visual attention with external information about the visual attention of other people. This type of joint encoding of information about self and other attention requires the activation of a distributed anterior and posterior cortical attention network. Genetic regulation, in conjunction with self-organizing behavioral activity guides the development of functional connectivity in this network. With practice in infancy the joint processing of self-other attention becomes automatically engaged as an executive function. It can be argued that this executive joint-attention is fundamental to human learning, as well as the development of symbolic thought, social-cognition and social-competence throughout the life span. One advantage of this parallel and distributed processing model of joint attention (PDPM) is that it directly connects theory on social pathology to a range of phenomenon in autism associated with neural connectivity, constructivist and connectionist models of cognitive development, early intervention, activity-dependent gene expression, and atypical ocular motor control. PMID:19358304
Mortimer, J; Krysztofiak, J; Custard, S; McKune, A J
The effect of sport stacking on auditory and visual attention in 32 Grade 3 children was examined using a randomised, cross-over design. Children were randomly assigned to a sport stacking (n=16) or arts/crafts group (n=16) with these activities performed over 3 wk. (12 30-min. sessions, 4 per week). This was followed by a 3-wk. wash-out period after which there was a cross-over and the 3-wk. intervention repeated, with the sports stacking group performing arts/crafts and the arts/crafts group performing sports stacking. Performance on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test, a measure of auditory and visual attention, was assessed before and after each of the 3-wk. interventions for each group. Comparisons indicated that sport stacking resulted in significant improvement in high demand function and fine motor regulation, while it caused a significant reduction in low demand function. Auditory and visual attention adaptations to sport stacking may be specific to the high demand nature of the task.
Beste, Christian; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Ness, Vanessa; Epplen, Jörg T; Arning, Larissa
The ADORA2A gene encodes the adenosine A(2A) receptor that is highly expressed in the striatum where it plays a role in modulating glutamatergic and dopaminergic transmission. Glutamatergic signaling has been suggested to play a pivotal role in cognitive functions related to the pre-attentive processing of external stimuli. Yet, the precise molecular mechanism of these processes is poorly understood. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether ADORA2A gene variation has modulating effects on visual pre-attentive sensory memory processing. Studying two polymorphisms, rs5751876 and rs2298383, in 199 healthy control subjects who performed a partial-report paradigm, we find that ADORA2A variation is associated with differences in the efficiency of pre-attentive sensory memory sub-processes. We show that especially the initial visual availability of stimulus information is rendered more efficiently in the homozygous rare genotype groups. Processes related to the transfer of information into working memory and the duration of visual sensory (iconic) memory are compromised in the homozygous rare genotype groups. Our results show a differential genotype-dependent modulation of pre-attentive sensory memory sub-processes. Hence, we assume that this modulation may be due to differential effects of increased adenosine A(2A) receptor signaling on glutamatergic transmission and striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) interaction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Harvey, Alistair J; Kneller, Wendy; Campbell, Alison C
This study tests the claim that alcohol intoxication narrows the focus of visual attention on to the more salient features of a visual scene. A group of alcohol intoxicated and sober participants had their eye movements recorded as they encoded a photographic image featuring a central event of either high or low salience. All participants then recalled the details of the image the following day when sober. We sought to determine whether the alcohol group would pay less attention to the peripheral features of the encoded scene than their sober counterparts, whether this effect of attentional narrowing was stronger for the high-salience event than for the low-salience event, and whether it would lead to a corresponding deficit in peripheral recall. Alcohol was found to narrow the focus of foveal attention to the central features of both images but did not facilitate recall from this region. It also reduced the overall amount of information accurately recalled from each scene. These findings demonstrate that the concept of alcohol myopia originally posited to explain the social consequences of intoxication (Steele & Josephs, 1990) may be extended to explain the relative neglect of peripheral information during the processing of visual scenes.
Jones, Kelly E; Craver-Lemley, Catherine; Barrett, Anna M
Research indicates that individuals with attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may exhibit left-right asymmetric spatial attention, with deficient processing of stimuli in the left visual hemispace. However, there is controversy as to when this phenomenon can be observed. People with ADD/ADHD do not have obvious spatial bias when performing everyday tasks. Visual cancellation tasks have demonstrated behavioral asymmetry in ADD/ADHD, but results have not been consistent across studies. Children and older adults with ADD or ADHD have been assessed, but previous studies of college students with ADD/ADHD are not available. We tested 24 students with ADD or ADHD and 24 control students on a verbal and nonverbal cancellation task. The ADD/ADHD group made significantly more left-sided omission errors than controls on a letter cancellation task. This group difference was not observed for a shape cancellation task, however. These results support possible left visual inattention in college students with ADD/ADHD. Studies of functional correlates of these attentional phenomena are needed.
Rizzo, M; Robin, D A
Simultanagnosia, in which subjects report a piecemeal visual experience, offers an important probe of human attention. We studied 2 subjects with simultanagnosia following bilateral superior occipital strokes. Compared with controls, they could orient attention to spatial targets in visual, auditory, and mixed-modal conditions. A different task required immediate response to the appearance or disappearance at unpredictable intervals of any element in a random-dot CRT display. The subject tested could detect less than 50% of 1,600 events, and had increased "mirages" and prolonged reaction times. Undetected events occurred anywhere and formed temporal clusters. Application of signal-detection theory confirmed abnormal sensitivity and response bias (d' and beta). Yet performance improved when a valid cue introduced events in the random display. Our results suggest that simultanagnosia was related to an inability to sustain visuospatial attention across an array, corresponding to processing failure at a level of long-range (global) spatiotemporal interactions among converging inputs from early vision. The operations for orienting and sustaining attention may be dissociable at visual association cortex levels.
Buschschulte, Antje; Boehler, Carsten N; Strumpf, Hendrik; Stoppel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max
Attention to task-relevant features leads to a biasing of sensory selection in extrastriate cortex. Features signaling reward seem to produce a similar bias, but how modulatory effects due to reward and attention relate to each other is largely unexplored. To address this issue, it is critical to separate top-down settings defining reward relevance from those defining attention. To this end, we used a visual search paradigm in which the target's definition (attention to color) was dissociated from reward relevance by delivering monetary reward on search frames where a certain task-irrelevant color was combined with the target-defining color to form the target object. We assessed the state of neural biasing for the attended and reward-relevant color by analyzing the neuromagnetic brain response to asynchronously presented irrelevant distractor probes drawn in the target-defining color, the reward-relevant color, and a completely irrelevant color as a reference. We observed that for the prospect of moderate rewards, the target-defining color but not the reward-relevant color produced a selective enhancement of the neuromagnetic response between 180 and 280 msec in ventral extrastriate visual cortex. Increasing reward prospect caused a delayed attenuation (220-250 msec) of the response to reward probes, which followed a prior (160-180 msec) response enhancement in dorsal ACC. Notably, shorter latency responses in dorsal ACC were associated with stronger attenuation in extrastriate visual cortex. Finally, an analysis of the brain response to the search frames revealed that the presence of the reward-relevant color in search distractors elicited an enhanced response that was abolished after increasing reward size. The present data together indicate that when top-down definitions of reward relevance and attention are separated, the behavioral significance of reward-associated features is still rapidly coded in higher-level cortex areas, thereby commanding effective top
Reports an error in "Multisensory brand search: How the meaning of sounds guides consumers' visual attention" by Klemens M. Knoeferle, Pia Knoeferle, Carlos Velasco and Charles Spence (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2016[Jun], Vol 22, 196-210). In the article, under Experiment 2, Design and Stimuli, the set number of target products and visual distractors reported in the second paragraph should be 20 and 13, respectively: "On each trial, the 16 products shown in the display were randomly selected from a set of 20 products belonging to different categories. Out of the set of 20 products, seven were potential targets, whereas the other 13 were used as visual distractors only throughout the experiment (since they were not linked to specific usage or consumption sounds)." Consequently, Appendix A in the supplemental materials has been updated. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-28876-002.) 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
Full Text Available Memory encoding engages multiple concurrent and sequential processes. While the individual processes involved in successful encoding have been examined in many studies, a sequence of events and the importance of modules associated with memory encoding has not been established. For this reason, we sought to perform a comprehensive examination of the network for memory encoding using data driven methods and to determine the directionality of the information flow in order to build a viable model of visual memory encoding. Forty healthy controls ages 19-59 performed a visual scene encoding task. FMRI data were preprocessed using SPM8 and then processed using independent component analysis (ICA with the reliability of the identified components confirmed using ICASSO as implemented in GIFT. The directionality of the information flow was examined using Granger causality analyses (GCA. All participants performed the fMRI task well above the chance level (>90% correct on both active and control conditions and the post-fMRI testing recall revealed correct memory encoding at 86.33 ± 5.83%. ICA identified involvement of components of five different networks in the process of memory encoding, and the GCA allowed for the directionality of the information flow to be assessed, from visual cortex via ventral stream to the attention network and then to the default mode network (DMN. Two additional networks involved in this process were the cerebellar and the auditory-insular network. This study provides evidence that successful visual memory encoding is dependent on multiple modules that are part of other networks that are only indirectly related to the main process. This model may help to identify the node(s of the network that are affected by a specific disease processes and explain the presence of memory encoding difficulties in patients in whom focal or global network dysfunction exists.
Nenert, Rodolphe; Allendorfer, Jane B; Szaflarski, Jerzy P
Memory encoding engages multiple concurrent and sequential processes. While the individual processes involved in successful encoding have been examined in many studies, a sequence of events and the importance of modules associated with memory encoding has not been established. For this reason, we sought to perform a comprehensive examination of the network for memory encoding using data driven methods and to determine the directionality of the information flow in order to build a viable model of visual memory encoding. Forty healthy controls ages 19-59 performed a visual scene encoding task. FMRI data were preprocessed using SPM8 and then processed using independent component analysis (ICA) with the reliability of the identified components confirmed using ICASSO as implemented in GIFT. The directionality of the information flow was examined using Granger causality analyses (GCA). All participants performed the fMRI task well above the chance level (>90% correct on both active and control conditions) and the post-fMRI testing recall revealed correct memory encoding at 86.33 ± 5.83%. ICA identified involvement of components of five different networks in the process of memory encoding, and the GCA allowed for the directionality of the information flow to be assessed, from visual cortex via ventral stream to the attention network and then to the default mode network (DMN). Two additional networks involved in this process were the cerebellar and the auditory-insular network. This study provides evidence that successful visual memory encoding is dependent on multiple modules that are part of other networks that are only indirectly related to the main process. This model may help to identify the node(s) of the network that are affected by a specific disease processes and explain the presence of memory encoding difficulties in patients in whom focal or global network dysfunction exists.
Chen, Mei-Ching; Tsai, Pei-Luen; Huang, Yu-Ting; Lin, Keh-Chung
To investigate whether listening to pleasant music improves visual attention to and awareness of contralesional stimuli in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. A within-subject design was used with 19 participants with unilateral neglect following a right hemisphere stroke. Participants were tested in three conditions (pleasant music, unpleasant music and white noise) within 1 week. All musical pieces were chosen by the participants. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three sub-tests of the Behavioural Inattention Test (the Star Cancellation Test, the Line Bisection Test and the Picture Scanning test) and a visual exploration task with everyday scenes. Eye movements in the visual exploration task were recorded simultaneously. Mood and arousal induced by different auditory stimuli were assessed using visual analogue scales, heart rate and galvanic skin response. Compared with unpleasant music and white noise, participants rated their moods as more positive and arousal as higher with pleasant music, but also showed significant improvement on all tasks and eye movement data, except the Line Bisection Test. The findings suggest that pleasant music can improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. Additional research using randomized controlled trials is required to validate these findings.
Antzaka, A; Lallier, M; Meyer, S; Diard, J; Carreiras, M; Valdois, S
Recent studies reported that Action Video Game-AVG training improves not only certain attentional components, but also reading fluency in children with dyslexia. We aimed to investigate the shared attentional components of AVG playing and reading, by studying whether the Visual Attention (VA) span, a component of visual attention that has previously been linked to both reading development and dyslexia, is improved in frequent players of AVGs. Thirty-six French fluent adult readers, matched on chronological age and text reading proficiency, composed two groups: frequent AVG players and non-players. Participants performed behavioural tasks measuring the VA span, and a challenging reading task (reading of briefly presented pseudo-words). AVG players performed better on both tasks and performance on these tasks was correlated. These results further support the transfer of the attentional benefits of playing AVGs to reading, and indicate that the VA span could be a core component mediating this transfer. The correlation between VA span and pseudo-word reading also supports the involvement of VA span even in adult reading. Future studies could combine VA span training with defining features of AVGs, in order to build a new generation of remediation software.
Kasper, Ryan W; Grafton, Scott T; Eckstein, Miguel P; Giesbrecht, Barry
Visual search can be facilitated by the learning of spatial configurations that predict the location of a target among distractors. Neuropsychological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence implicates the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system in this contextual cueing effect, and electroencephalography (EEG) studies have identified the involvement of visual cortical regions related to attention. This work investigated two questions: (1) how memory and attention systems are related in contextual cueing; and (2) how these systems are involved in both short- and long-term contextual learning. In one session, EEG and fMRI data were acquired simultaneously in a contextual cueing task. In a second session conducted 1 week later, EEG data were recorded in isolation. The fMRI results revealed MTL contextual modulations that were correlated with short- and long-term behavioral context enhancements and attention-related effects measured with EEG. An fMRI-seeded EEG source analysis revealed that the MTL contributed the most variance to the variability in the attention enhancements measured with EEG. These results support the notion that memory and attention systems interact to facilitate search when spatial context is implicitly learned. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
The role of central attention in visual short-term memory (VSTM) encoding and maintenance is well established, yet its role in retrieval has been largely unexplored. This study examined the involvement of central attention in retrieval from VSTM using a dual-task paradigm. Participants performed a color change-detection task. Set size varied between 1 and 3 items, and the memory sample was maintained for either a short or a long delay period. A secondary tone discrimination task was introduced at the end of the delay period, shortly before the appearance of a central probe, and occupied central attention while participants were searching within VSTM representations. Similarly to numerous previous studies, reaction time increased as a function of set size reflecting the occurrence of a capacity-limited memory search. When the color targets were maintained over a short delay, memory was searched for the most part without the involvement of central attention. However, with a longer delay period, the search relied entirely on the operation of central attention. Taken together, this study demonstrates that central attention is involved in retrieval from VSTM, but the extent of its involvement depends on the duration of the delay period. Future studies will determine whether the type of memory search (parallel or serial) carried out during retrieval depends on the nature of the attentional mechanism involved the task.
Van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density
van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density
Brascamp, J.W.; van Boxtel, J.J.A.; Knapen, T.H.J.; Blake, R.
The elements most vivid in our conscious awareness are the ones to which we direct our attention. Scientific study confirms the impression of a close bond between selective attention and visual awareness, yet the nature of this association remains elusive. Using visual afterimages as an index, we
Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi
The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a…
Gontar, Patrick; Mulligan, Jeffrey B.
compute probabilities of coordinated behavior for each value of the correlation. As an alternative, we also tabulated distributions of correlation coefficients for synthetic data sets, in which the behavior was modeled as a first-order Markov process, and compared correlation distributions for identical processes with those for disparate processes, allowing us to choose criteria and estimate error rates. 3) Discussion: Our method of gaze correlation is able to measure shared visual attention, and can distinguish between activities involving different instruments. We plan to analyze whether pilots strategies of sharing visual attention can predict performance. Possible measurements of performance include expert ratings from instructors, fuel consumption, total task time, and failure rate. While developed for two-person crews, our approach can be applied to larger groups, using intra-class correlation coefficients instead of the Pearson product-moment correlation.
Schneider, Daniel; Bonmassar, Claudia; Hickey, Clayton
A cue indicating the possibility of cash reward will cause participants to perform memory-based visual search more efficiently. A recent study has suggested that this performance benefit might reflect the use of multiple memory systems: when needed, participants may maintain the to-be-remembered object in both long-term and short-term visual memory, with this redundancy benefitting target identification during search (Reinhart, McClenahan & Woodman, 2016). Here we test this compelling hypothesis. We had participants complete a memory-based visual search task involving a reward cue that either preceded presentation of the to-be-remembered target (pre-cue) or followed it (retro-cue). Following earlier work, we tracked memory representation using two components of the event-related potential (ERP): the contralateral delay activity (CDA), reflecting short-term visual memory, and the anterior P170, reflecting long-term storage. We additionally tracked attentional preparation and deployment in the contingent negative variation (CNV) and N2pc, respectively. Results show that only the reward pre-cue impacted our ERP indices of memory. However, both types of cue elicited a robust CNV, reflecting an influence on task preparation, both had equivalent impact on deployment of attention to the target, as indexed in the N2pc, and both had equivalent impact on visual search behavior. Reward prospect thus has an influence on memory-guided visual search, but this does not appear to be necessarily mediated by a change in the visual memory representations indexed by CDA. Our results demonstrate that the impact of motivation on search is not a simple product of improved memory for target templates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Recent declines in pollinator populations have led to widespread concern due to their impact on food/crop production and the environment. Contrary to growing interest in the use of insecticides in urban landscapes, the relationship between pollinator-related eco-labels, visual attention, and preferences for plants is less understood. The present study combines eye tracking and stated preference experiments to examine the effects of pollinator-related labels on consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay. Results show that the pollinator-friendly attribute positively correlates with consumers’ purchasing decisions and visual attention supports that relationship. Implications of mandatory labeling of pesticide content for the horticultural industry are discussed.
Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads
-related changes in attentional capacities, these ERP markers of individual differences in processing speed and storage capacity were validated in an older group. Furthermore, additional components were related to performance exclusively in older inidividuals: Anterior N1 amplitudes were reduced for slower older......The ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ quantifies an individual’s capacity of attentional resources in parameters visual processing speed C and vSTM storage capacity K. By combining TVA-based assessment with neurophysiology, we showed that distinct ERP components index inter-individual differences...... in these two functions: The posterior N1 was smaller for participants with faster relative to slower processing speed and the Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA) was larger for participants with higher relative to lower storage capacity. When we extended the approach to investigate neural underpinnings of age...
Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy
Globally there is increasing advocacy for the implementation of laws requiring disclaimer labels to be attached to media images that have been digitally altered, with the goal of reducing the known negative effects of exposure to unrealistic thin ideal imagery for women. The current study used eye tracking technology to establish how digital alteration disclaimer labels affect women's visual attention to fashion magazine advertisements, and the interrelationship with body dissatisfaction and state appearance comparison. Participants were 120 female undergraduate students who viewed four thin ideal advertisements with either no disclaimer, a generic disclaimer, or a more detailed specific disclaimer. It was found that women did attend to the disclaimers. Specifically worded disclaimers directed visual attention towards target body areas, which resulted in increased body dissatisfaction, while state appearance comparison predicted increased body dissatisfaction. Further research is imperative to provide guidance on the most effective use of disclaimer labels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cooney, Sarah; Dignam, Holly; Brady, Nuala
Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attention. We show that adapting to images of heads turned 25° to the right or left produces a perceptual bias in judging the turning direction of subsequently presented bodies. In contrast, little to no change in the judgment of head orientation occurs after adapting to extremely oriented bodies. The unidirectional nature of the aftereffect suggests that cues from the human body signaling social attention are combined in a hierarchical fashion and is consistent with evidence from single-cell recording studies in nonhuman primates showing that information about head orientation can override information about body posture when both are visible. PMID:26359866
Full Text Available Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attention. We show that adapting to images of heads turned 25° to the right or left produces a perceptual bias in judging the turning direction of subsequently presented bodies. In contrast, little to no change in the judgment of head orientation occurs after adapting to extremely oriented bodies. The unidirectional nature of the aftereffect suggests that cues from the human body signaling social attention are combined in a hierarchical fashion and is consistent with evidence from single-cell recording studies in nonhuman primates showing that information about head orientation can override information about body posture when both are visible.
Zakharova, A. A.; Vekhter, E. V.; Shklyar, A. V.; Pak, A. J.
The article proposes an approach to solve visualization problems and the subsequent analysis of multidimensional data. Requirements to the properties of visual models, which were created to solve analysis problems, are described. As a perspective direction for the development of visual analysis tools for multidimensional and voluminous data, there was suggested an active use of factors of subjective perception and dynamic visualization. Practical results of solving the problem of multidimensional data analysis are shown using the example of a visual model of empirical data on the current state of studying processes of obtaining silicon carbide by an electric arc method. There are several results of solving this problem. At first, an idea of possibilities of determining the strategy for the development of the domain, secondly, the reliability of the published data on this subject, and changes in the areas of attention of researchers over time.
hypothese getest door midde! van twee visuele zoektaken waarbij proefpersonen dienden te zoeken naar een object met een unieke kleur of naar cen object...a location reduces the distracting effect of events falling outside the attentional beam (Yantis & Jonides, 1990; Theeuwes, 1991a). Finally, Folk et...is performed serial or partially serial. visual selection operates on one or a few items at a time, blocking out the pr)ssible capturing effect of
Roberts, Jane E.; Hatton, Deborah D.; Bailey, Donald; Long, Anna C. J.; Anello, Vittoria; Colombo, John
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading known inherited cause of intellectual disability and the most common known biological cause of autism. Approximately 25% to 50% of males with FXS meet full diagnostic criteria for autism. Despite the high comorbidity between FXS and autism and the ability to diagnose FXS prenatally or at birth, no studies have examined indicators of autism in infants with FXS. The current study focused on indices of visual attention, one of the earliest and most robust ...
Jeromin, Franziska; Nyenhuis, Nele; Barke, Antonia
Background and aims Internet Gaming Disorder is included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th edition) as a disorder that merits further research. The diagnostic criteria are based on those for Substance Use Disorder and Gambling Disorder. Excessive gamblers and persons with Substance Use Disorder show attentional biases towards stimuli related to their addictions. We investigated whether excessive Internet gamers show a similar attentional bias, by using two established experimental paradigms. Methods We measured reaction times of excessive Internet gamers and non-gamers (N = 51, 23.7 ± 2.7 years) by using an addiction Stroop with computer-related and neutral words, as well as a visual probe with computer-related and neutral pictures. Mixed design analyses of variance with the between-subjects factor group (gamer/non-gamer) and the within-subjects factor stimulus type (computer-related/neutral) were calculated for the reaction times as well as for valence and familiarity ratings of the stimulus material. Results In the addiction Stroop, an interaction for group × word type was found: Only gamers showed longer reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words, thus exhibiting an attentional bias. In the visual probe, no differences in reaction time between computer-related and neutral pictures were found in either group, but the gamers were faster overall. Conclusions An attentional bias towards computer-related stimuli was found in excessive Internet gamers, by using an addiction Stroop but not by using a visual probe. A possible explanation for the discrepancy could lie in the fact that the visual probe may have been too easy for the gamers.
Concetta F Alberti
Full Text Available The ability of visually impaired people to deploy attention effectively to maximize use of their residual vision in dynamic situations is fundamental to safe mobility. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate whether tests of dynamic attention (multiple object tracking; MOT and static attention (Useful Field of View; UFOV were predictive of the ability of people with central field loss (CFL to detect pedestrian hazards in simulated driving.11 people with bilateral CFL (visual acuity 20/30-20/200 and 11 age-similar normally-sighted drivers participated. Dynamic and static attention were evaluated with brief, computer-based MOT and UFOV tasks, respectively. Dependent variables were the log speed threshold for 60% correct identification of targets (MOT and the increase in the presentation duration for 75% correct identification of a central target when a concurrent peripheral task was added (UFOV divided and selective attention subtests. Participants drove in a simulator and pressed the horn whenever they detected pedestrians that walked or ran toward the road. The dependent variable was the proportion of timely reactions (could have stopped in time to avoid a collision.UFOV and MOT performance of CFL participants was poorer than that of controls, and the proportion of timely reactions was also lower (worse (84% and 97%, respectively; p = 0.001. For CFL participants, higher proportions of timely reactions correlated significantly with higher (better MOT speed thresholds (r = 0.73, p = 0.01, with better performance on the UFOV divided and selective attention subtests (r = -0.66 and -0.62, respectively, p<0.04, with better contrast sensitivity scores (r = 0.54, p = 0.08 and smaller scotomas (r = -0.60, p = 0.05.Our results suggest that brief laboratory-based tests of visual attention may provide useful measures of functional visual ability of individuals with CFL relevant to more complex mobility tasks.
Schmidt, Ricarda; Lüthold, Patrick; Kittel, Rebekka; Tetzlaff, Anne; Hilbert, Anja
Evidence suggests that adults with binge-eating disorder (BED) are prone of having their attention interfered by food cues, and that food-related attentional biases are associated with calorie intake and eating disorder psychopathology. For adolescents with BED experimental evidence on attentional processing of food cues is lacking. Using eye-tracking and a visual search task, the present study examined visual orienting and disengagement processes of food in youth with BED. Eye-movement data and reaction times were recorded in 25 adolescents (12-20 years) with BED and 25 controls (CG) individually matched for sex, age, body mass index, and socio-economic status. During a free exploration paradigm, the BED group showed a greater gaze duration bias for food images than the CG. Groups did not differ in gaze direction biases. In a visual search task, the BED group showed a greater detection bias for food targets than the CG. Group differences were more pronounced for personally attractive than unattractive food images. Regarding clinical associations, only in the BED group the gaze duration bias for food was associated with increased hunger and lower body mass index, and the detection bias for food targets was associated with greater reward sensitivity. The study provided first evidence of an attentional bias to food in adolescents with BED. However, more research is needed for further specifying disengagement and orienting processes in adolescent BED, including overt and covert attention, and their prospective associations with binge-eating behaviors and associated psychopathology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Barnas, Adam J; Greenberg, Adam S
Object-based attention (OBA) enhances processing within the boundaries of a selected object. Larger OBA effects have been observed for horizontal compared to vertical rectangles, which were eliminated when controlling for attention shifts across the visual field meridians. We aimed to elucidate the modulatory role of the meridians on OBA. We hypothesized that the contralateral organization of visual cortex accounts for these differences in OBA prioritization. Participants viewed "L"-shaped objects and, following a peripheral cue at the object vertex, detected the presence of a target at the cued location (valid), or at a non-cued location (invalid) offset either horizontally or vertically. In Experiment 1, the single displayed object contained components crossing both meridians. In Experiment 2, one cued object and one non-cued object were displayed such that both crossed the meridians. In Experiment 3, one cued object was sequestered into one screen quadrant, with its vertex either near or far from fixation. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 revealed a horizontal shift advantage (faster RTs for horizontal shifts across the vertical meridian compared to vertical shifts across the horizontal meridian), regardless of whether shifts take place within a cued object (Experiment 1) or between objects (Experiment 2). Results from Experiment 3 revealed no difference between horizontal and vertical shifts for objects that were positioned far from fixation, although the horizontal shift advantage reappeared for objects near fixation. These findings suggest a critical modulatory role of visual field meridians in the efficiency of reorienting object-based attention.
Sripada, Chandra; Angstadt, Michael; Kessler, Daniel; Phan, K Luan; Liberzon, Israel; Evans, Gary W; Welsh, Robert C; Kim, Pilyoung; Swain, James E
The ability to volitionally regulate emotions is critical to health and well-being. While patterns of neural activation during emotion regulation have been well characterized, patterns of connectivity between regions remain less explored. It is increasingly recognized that the human brain is organized into large-scale intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) whose interrelationships are altered in characteristic ways during psychological tasks. In this fMRI study of 54 healthy individuals, we investigated alterations in connectivity within and between ICNs produced by the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal. In order to gain a comprehensive picture of connectivity changes, we utilized connectomic psychophysiological interactions (PPI), a whole-brain generalization of standard single-seed PPI methods. In particular, we quantified PPI connectivity pair-wise across 837 ROIs placed throughout the cortex. We found that compared to maintaining one's emotional responses, engaging in reappraisal produced robust and distributed alterations in functional connections involving visual, dorsal attention, frontoparietal, and default networks. Visual network in particular increased connectivity with multiple ICNs including dorsal attention and default networks. We interpret these findings in terms of the role of these networks in mediating critical constituent processes in emotion regulation, including visual processing, stimulus salience, attention control, and interpretation and contextualization of stimuli. Our results add a new network perspective to our understanding of the neural underpinnings of emotion regulation, and highlight that connectomic methods can play a valuable role in comprehensively investigating modulation of connectivity across task conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Heuer, Anna; Crawford, J Douglas; Schubö, Anna
Information maintained in visual working memory (VWM) can be strategically weighted according to its task-relevance. This is typically studied by presenting cues during the maintenance interval, but under natural conditions, the importance of certain aspects of our visual environment is mostly determined by intended actions. We investigated whether representations in VWM are also weighted with respect to their potential action relevance. In a combined memory and movement task, participants memorized a number of items and performed a pointing movement during the maintenance interval. The test item in the memory task was subsequently presented either at the movement goal or at another location. We found that performance was better for test items presented at a location that corresponded to the movement goal than for test items presented at action-irrelevant locations. This effect was sensitive to the number of maintained items, suggesting that preferential maintenance of action relevant information becomes particularly important when the demand on VWM is high. We argue that weighting according to action relevance is mediated by the deployment of spatial attention to action goals, with representations spatially corresponding to the action goal benefitting from this attentional engagement. Performance was also better at locations next to the action goal than at locations farther away, indicating an attentional gradient spreading out from the action goal. We conclude that our actions continue to influence visual processing at the mnemonic level, ensuring preferential maintenance of information that is relevant for current behavioral goals.
Full Text Available The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9-year-old and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.
Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth
The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9- and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.
Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth
The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9- and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science. PMID:24575057
Gardner, Mark R; Hull, Zainabb; Taylor, Donna; Edmonds, Caroline J
Experiments revealing 'spontaneous' visual perspective-taking are conventionally interpreted as demonstrating that adults have the capacity to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner ('implicit mentalising'). A rival account suggests that these experiments can be explained by the general purpose mechanisms responsible for reflexive attentional orienting. Here, we report two experiments designed to distinguish between these competing accounts. In Experiment 1, we assessed whether reflexive attention orienting was sufficient to yield findings interpreted as spontaneous perspective taking in the 'avatar task' (Samson et al., 2010) when the protocol was adapted so that participants were unaware that they were taking part in a perspective-taking experiment. Results revealed no evidence for perspective-taking. In Experiment 2, we employed a Posner paradigm to investigate the attentional orienting properties of the avatar stimuli. This revealed cue-validity effects only for longer stimulus onset asynchronies, which indicates a voluntary rather than reflexive shift in spatial attention. Taken together, these findings suggest that attentional orienting does indeed contribute to performance in the Samson et al. avatar task. However, attention orienting appears to be voluntary rather than reflexive, indicating that the perspective-taking phenomenon measured may be less spontaneous than first reported.
Landman, Rogier; Sharma, Jitendra; Sur, Mriganka; Desimone, Robert
In primates, visual stimuli with social and emotional content tend to attract attention. Attention might be captured through rapid, automatic, subcortical processing or guided by slower, more voluntary cortical processing. Here we examined whether irrelevant faces with varied emotional expressions interfere with a covert attention task in macaque monkeys. In the task, the monkeys monitored a target grating in the periphery for a subtle color change while ignoring distracters that included faces appearing elsewhere on the screen. The onset time of distracter faces before the target change, as well as their spatial proximity to the target, was varied from trial to trial. The presence of faces, especially faces with emotional expressions interfered with the task, indicating a competition for attentional resources between the task and the face stimuli. However, this interference was significant only when faces were presented for greater than 200 ms. Emotional faces also affected saccade velocity and reduced pupillary reflex. Our results indicate that the attraction of attention by emotional faces in the monkey takes a considerable amount of processing time, possibly involving cortical-subcortical interactions. Intranasal application of the hormone oxytocin ameliorated the interfering effects of faces. Together these results provide evidence for slow modulation of attention by emotional distracters, which likely involves oxytocinergic brain circuits.
Full Text Available Whether Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD is associated with an increased attentional bias to emotive stimuli remains controversial. Additionally, it is unclear whether comorbid depression modulates abnormal emotional processing in OCD. This study examined attentional bias to OC-relevant scenes using a visual search task. Controls, non-depressed and depressed OCD patients searched for their personally selected positive images amongst their negative distractors, and vice versa. Whilst the OCD groups were slower than healthy individuals in rating the images, there were no group differences in the magnitude of negative bias to concern-related scenes. A second experiment employing a common set of images replicated the results on an additional sample of OCD patients. Although there was a larger bias to negative OC-related images without pre-exposure overall, no group differences in attentional bias were observed. However, OCD patients subsequently rated the images more slowly and more negatively, again suggesting post-attentional processing abnormalities. The results argue against a robust attentional bias in OCD patients, regardless of their depression status and speak to generalized difficulties disengaging from negative valence stimuli. Rather, post-attentional processing abnormalities may account for differences in emotional processing in OCD.
Full Text Available Attention is a cognitive selection mechanism that allocates the limited processing resources of the brain to the sensory streams most relevant to our immediate goals, thereby enhancing responsiveness and behavioral performance. The underlying neural mechanisms of orienting attention are distributedacross a widespread cortical network. While aspects of this network have been extensively studied, details about the electrophysiological dynamics of this network are scarce. In this study, we investigated attentional networks using electrocorticographic (ECoG recordings from the surface ofthe brain, which combine broad spatial coverage with high temporal resolution, in five human subjects. ECoG was recorded when subjects covertly attended to a spatial location and responded to contrast changes in the presence of distractors in a modified Posner cueing task. ECoG amplitudes in the alpha, beta and gamma bands identified neural changes associated with covert attention and motor preparation/execution in the different stages of the task. The results show that attentional engagement was primarily associated with ECoG activity in the visual, prefrontal, premotor, and parietal cortices. Motor preparation/execution was associated with ECoG activity in premotor/sensorimotor cortices. In summary, our results illustrate rich and distributed cortical dynamics that are associated with orienting attention and the subsequent motor preparation and execution. These findings are largely consistent with and expand on primate studies using intracortical recordings and human functional neuroimaging studies.
Reimer, Christina B; Strobach, Tilo; Schubert, Torsten
Visual attention and response selection are limited in capacity. Here, we investigated whether visual attention requires the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in a dual-task of the psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm. The dual-task consisted of an auditory two-choice discrimination Task 1 and a conjunction search Task 2, which were presented at variable temporal intervals (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA). In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select items and to bind their features resulting in a serial search process around the items in the search display (i.e., set size). We measured the reaction time of the visual search task (RT2) and the N2pc, an event-related potential (ERP), which reflects lateralized visual attention processes. If the response selection processes in Task 1 influence the visual attention processes in Task 2, N2pc latency and amplitude would be delayed and attenuated at short SOA compared to long SOA. The results, however, showed that latency and amplitude were independent of SOA, indicating that visual attention was concurrently deployed to response selection. Moreover, the RT2 analysis revealed an underadditive interaction of SOA and set size. We concluded that visual attention does not require the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in dual-tasks.
Antzaka, Alexia; Martin, Clara; Caffarra, Sendy; Schlöffel, Sophie; Carreiras, Manuel; Lallier, Marie
The present study investigated whether orthographic depth can increase the bias towards multi-letter processing in two reading-related skills: visual attention span (VAS) and rapid automatized naming (RAN). VAS (i.e., the number of visual elements that can be processed at once in a multi-element array) was tested with a visual 1-back task and RAN…
Dowd, Emma Wu; Mitroff, Stephen R
Many factors influence visual search, including how much targets stand out (i.e., their visual salience) and whether they are currently relevant (i.e., Are they in working memory?). Although these are two known influences on search performance, it is unclear how they interact to guide attention. The present study explored this interplay by having participants hold an item in memory for a subsequent test while simultaneously conducting a multiple-target visual search. Importantly, the memory item could match one or neither of two targets from the search. In Experiment 1, when the memory item did not match either target, participants found a high-salience target first, demonstrating a baseline salience effect. This effect was exaggerated when a high-salience target was in working memory and completely reversed when a low-salience target was in memory, demonstrating a powerful influence of working memory guidance. Experiment 2 amplified the salience effect by including very high-salience, "pop-out"-like targets. Yet this salience effect was still attenuated when the memory item matched a less salient target. Experiment 3 confirmed these were memory-based effects and not priming. Collectively, these findings illustrate the influential role of working memory in guiding visual attention, even in the face of competing bottom-up salience cues.
Cohen, Jeremiah Y; Heitz, Richard P; Schall, Jeffrey D; Woodman, Geoffrey F
Despite nearly a century of electrophysiological studies recording extracranially from humans and intracranially from monkeys, the neural generators of nearly all human event-related potentials (ERPs) have not been definitively localized. We recorded an attention-related ERP component, known as the N2pc, simultaneously with intracranial spikes and local field potentials (LFPs) in macaques to test the hypothesis that an attentional-control structure, the frontal eye field (FEF), contributed to the generation of the macaque homologue of the N2pc (m-N2pc). While macaques performed a difficult visual search task, the search target was selected earliest by spikes from single FEF neurons, later by FEF LFPs, and latest by the m-N2pc. This neurochronometric comparison provides an empirical bridge connecting macaque and human experiments and a step toward localizing the neural generator of this important attention-related ERP component.
Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico
Controversy revolves around the question of whether psychological factors like attention and emotion can influence the initial feedforward response in primary visual cortex (V1). Although traditionally, the electrophysiological correlate of this response in humans (the C1 component) has been found to be unaltered by psychological influences, a number of recent studies have described attentional and emotional modulations. Yet, research into psychological effects on the feedforward V1 response has neglected possible direct contributions of concomitant pupil-size modulations, which are known to also occur under various conditions of attentional load and emotional state. Here we tested the hypothesis that such pupil-size differences themselves directly affect the feedforward V1 response. We report data from two complementary experiments, in which we used procedures that modulate pupil size without differences in attentional load or emotion while simultaneously recording pupil-size and EEG data. Our results confirm that pupil size indeed directly influences the feedforward V1 response, showing an inverse relationship between pupil size and early V1 activity. While it is unclear in how far this effect represents a functionally-relevant adaptation, it identifies pupil-size differences as an important modulating factor of the feedforward response of V1 and could hence represent a confounding variable in research investigating the neural influence of psychological factors on early visual processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Adam, Kirsten C S; Mance, Irida; Fukuda, Keisuke; Vogel, Edward K
Attentional control and working memory capacity are important cognitive abilities that substantially vary between individuals. Although much is known about how attentional control and working memory capacity relate to each other and to constructs like fluid intelligence, little is known about how trial-by-trial fluctuations in attentional engagement impact trial-by-trial working memory performance. Here, we employ a novel whole-report memory task that allowed us to distinguish between varying levels of attentional engagement in humans performing a working memory task. By characterizing low-performance trials, we can distinguish between models in which working memory performance failures are caused by either (1) complete lapses of attention or (2) variations in attentional control. We found that performance failures increase with set-size and strongly predict working memory capacity. Performance variability was best modeled by an attentional control model of attention, not a lapse model. We examined neural signatures of performance failures by measuring EEG activity while participants performed the whole-report task. The number of items correctly recalled in the memory task was predicted by frontal theta power, with decreased frontal theta power associated with poor performance on the task. In addition, we found that poor performance was not explained by failures of sensory encoding; the P1/N1 response and ocular artifact rates were equivalent for high- and low-performance trials. In all, we propose that attentional lapses alone cannot explain individual differences in working memory performance. Instead, we find that graded fluctuations in attentional control better explain the trial-by-trial differences in working memory that we observe.
Marín, Gonzalo J; Durán, Ernesto; Morales, Cristian; González-Cabrera, Cristian; Sentis, Elisa; Mpodozis, Jorge; Letelier, Juan Carlos
When a salient object in the visual field captures attention, the neural representation of that object is enhanced at the expense of competing stimuli. How neural activity evoked by a salient stimulus evolves to take precedence over the neural activity evoked by other stimuli is a matter of intensive investigation. Here, we describe in pigeons (Columba livia) how retinal inputs to the optic tectum (TeO, superior colliculus in mammals), triggered by moving stimuli, are selectively relayed on to the rotundus (Rt, caudal pulvinar) in the thalamus, and to its pallial target, the entopallium (E, extrastriate cortex). We show that two satellite nuclei of the TeO, the nucleus isthmi parvocelullaris (Ipc) and isthmi semilunaris (SLu), send synchronized feedback signals across tectal layers. Preventing the feedback from Ipc but not from SLu to a tectal location suppresses visual responses to moving stimuli from the corresponding region of visual space in all Rt subdivisions. In addition, the bursting feedback from the Ipc imprints a bursting rhythm on the visual signals, such that the visual responses of the Rt and the E acquire a bursting modulation significantly synchronized to the feedback from Ipc. As the Ipc feedback signals are selected by competitive interactions, the visual responses within the receptive fields in the Rt tend to synchronize with the tectal location receiving the "winning" feedback from Ipc. We propose that this selective transmission of afferent activity combined with the cross-regional synchronization of the areas involved represents a bottom-up mechanism by which salient stimuli capture attention.
Peters, Christopher; Castellano, Ginevra; Rehm, Matthias
Perception and attention mechanisms are of great importance for entities situated within complex dynamic environments. With roles extending greatly beyond passive information services about the external environment, such mechanisms actively prioritise, augment and expedite information to ensure...... that the potentially relevant is made available so appropriate action can take place. Here, we describe the rationale behind endowing artificial entities, or virtual agents, with real-time perception and attention systems. We cover the fundamentals of designing and building such systems. Once equipped, the resulting...
Full Text Available What role does attention play in ensuring the temporal precision of visual perception? Behavioural studies have investigated feature selection and binding in time using fleeting sequences of stimuli in the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP paradigm, and found that temporal accuracy is reduced when attentional control is diminished. To reduce the efficacy of attentional deployment, these studies have employed the Attentional Blink (AB phenomenon. In this article, we use electroencephalography (EEG to directly investigate the temporal dynamics of conscious perception. Specifically, employing a combination of experimental analysis and neural network modelling, we test the hypothesis that the availability of attention reduces temporal jitter in the latency between a target's visual onset and its consolidation into working memory. We perform time-frequency analysis on data from an AB study to compare the EEG trials underlying the P3 ERPs (Event-related Potential evoked by targets seen outside vs. inside the AB time window. We find visual differences in phase-sorted ERPimages and statistical differences in the variance of the P3 phase distributions. These results argue for increased variation in the latency of conscious perception during the AB. This experimental analysis is complemented by a theoretical exploration of temporal attention and target processing. Using activation traces from the Neural-ST(2 model, we generate virtual ERPs and virtual ERPimages. These are compared to their human counterparts to propose an explanation of how target consolidation in the context of the AB influences the temporal variability of selective attention. The AB provides us with a suitable phenomenon with which to investigate the interplay between attention and perception. The combination of experimental and theoretical elucidation in this article contributes to converging evidence for the notion that the AB reflects a reduction in the temporal acuity of
Visual features are the general building blocks for attention, perception, and working memory. Here, I explore the factors which can quantitatively predict all the differences they make in various paradigms. I tried to combine the strengths of experimental and correlational approaches in a novel way by developing an individual-item differences analysis to extract the factors from 16 stimulus types on the basis of their roles in eight tasks. A large sample size (410) ensured that all eight tasks had a reliability (Cronbach's α) of no less than 0.975, allowing the factors to be precisely determined. Three orthogonal factors were identified which correspond respectively to featural strength (i.e., how close a stimulus is to a basic feature), visual strength (i.e., visual quality of the stimulus), and spatial strength (i.e., how well a stimulus can be represented as a spatial structure). Featural strength helped substantially in all the tasks but moderately less so in perceptual discrimination; visual strength helped substantially in low-level tasks but not in high-level tasks; and spatial strength helped change detection but hindered ensemble matching and visual search. Jointly, these three factors explained 96.4% of all the variances of the eight tasks, making it clear that they account for almost everything about the roles of these 16 stimulus types in these eight tasks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rigoulot, Simon; Pell, Marc D.
Interpersonal communication involves the processing of multimodal emotional cues, particularly facial expressions (visual modality) and emotional speech prosody (auditory modality) which can interact during information processing. Here, we investigated whether the implicit processing of emotional prosody systematically influences gaze behavior to facial expressions of emotion. We analyzed the eye movements of 31 participants as they scanned a visual array of four emotional faces portraying fear, anger, happiness, and neutrality, while listening to an emotionally-inflected pseudo-utterance (Someone migged the pazing) uttered in a congruent or incongruent tone. Participants heard the emotional utterance during the first 1250 milliseconds of a five-second visual array and then performed an immediate recall decision about the face they had just seen. The frequency and duration of first saccades and of total looks in three temporal windows ([0–1250 ms], [1250–2500 ms], [2500–5000 ms]) were analyzed according to the emotional content of faces and voices. Results showed that participants looked longer and more frequently at faces that matched the prosody in all three time windows (emotion congruency effect), although this effect was often emotion-specific (with greatest effects for fear). Effects of prosody on visual attention to faces persisted over time and could be detected long after the auditory information was no longer present. These data imply that emotional prosody is processed automatically during communication and that these cues play a critical role in how humans respond to related visual cues in the environment, such as facial expressions. PMID:22303454
Mangano, Giuseppa Renata; Oliveri, Massimiliano; Turriziani, Patrizia; Smirni, Daniela; Zhaoping, Li; Cipolotti, Lisa
It is well known that the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is involved in attentional processes, including binding features. It remains unclear whether PPC is implicated in top-down and/or bottom-up components of attention. We aim to clarify this by comparing performance of seven PPC patients and healthy controls (HC) in a visual search task involving a conflict between top-down and bottom-up processes. This task requires essentially a bottom-up feature search. However, top-down attention triggers feature binding for object recognition, designed to be irrelevant but interfering to the task. This results in top-down interference, prolonging the search reaction time. This interference was indeed found in our HCs but not in our PPC patients. In contrast to HC, the PPC patients showed no evidence of prolonged reactions times, even though they were slower than the HCs in search tasks without the conflict. This finding is an example of paradoxical functional facilitation (PFF) by brain damage. The PFF effect enhanced our patients' performance by reducing the top down interference. Our finding supports the idea that right PPC plays a crucial role in top-down attentional processes. In our search tasks, right PPC induces top-down interference either by directing spatial attention to achieve viewpoint invariance in shape recognition or by feature binding. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies
Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Soto, David; Rotshtein, Pia; Kanai, Ryota
Recent research indicates that human attention appears inadvertently biased by items that match the contents of working memory (WM). WM-biases can lead to attentional costs when the memory content matches goal-irrelevant items and to attentional benefits when it matches the sought target. Here we used functional and structural MRI data to determine the neural basis of human variation in WM biases. We asked whether human variation in WM-benefits and WM-costs merely reflects the process of attentional capture by the contents of WM or whether variation in WM biases may be associated with distinct forms of cognitive control over internal WM signals based on selection goals. Human ability to use WM contents to facilitate selection was positively correlated with gray matter volume in the left superior posterior parietal cortex (PPC), while the ability to overcome interference by WM-matching distracters was associated with the left inferior PPC in the anterior IPS. Functional activity in the left PPC, measured by functional MRI, also predicted the magnitude of WM-costs on selection. Both structure and function of left PPC mediate the expression of WM biases in human visual attention. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Murphy, Cristina F B; Pagan-Neves, Luciana O; Wertzner, Haydée F; Schochat, Eliane
Although research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI) and reading disorder (RD) exhibit sustained attention deficits, no study has investigated sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder (SSD). Given the overlap of symptoms, such as phonological memory deficits, between these different language disorders (i.e., SLI, SSD and RD) and the relationships between working memory, attention and language processing, it is worthwhile to investigate whether deficits in sustained attention also occur in children with SSD. A total of 55 children (18 diagnosed with SSD (8.11 ± 1.231) and 37 typically developing children (8.76 ± 1.461)) were invited to participate in this study. Auditory and visual sustained-attention tasks were applied. Children with SSD performed worse on these tasks; they committed a greater number of auditory false alarms and exhibited a significant decline in performance over the course of the auditory detection task. The extent to which performance is related to auditory perceptual difficulties and probable working memory deficits is discussed. Further studies are needed to better understand the specific nature of these deficits and their clinical implications.
Cristina F B Murphy
Full Text Available Although research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI and reading disorder (RD exhibit sustained attention deficits, no study has investigated sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder (SSD. Given the overlap of symptoms, such as phonological memory deficits, between these different language disorders (i.e., SLI, SSD and RD and the relationships between working memory, attention and language processing, it is worthwhile to investigate whether deficits in sustained attention also occur in children with SSD. A total of 55 children (18 diagnosed with SSD (8.11 ± 1.231 and 37 typically developing children (8.76 ± 1.461 were invited to participate in this study. Auditory and visual sustained-attention tasks were applied. Children with SSD performed worse on these tasks; they committed a greater number of auditory false alarms and exhibited a significant decline in performance over the course of the auditory detection task. The extent to which performance is related to auditory perceptual difficulties and probable working memory deficits is discussed. Further studies are needed to better understand the specific nature of these deficits and their clinical implications.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.
Lim, Julian; Tan, Jiat Chow; Parimal, Sarayu; Dinges, David F.; Chee, Michael W. L.
Background Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD) have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW) and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA) activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. Conclusions/Significance SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. PMID:20140099
Full Text Available Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI using motor cortical activity to drive an external effector like a screen cursor or a robotic arm have seen enormous success and proven their great rehabilitation potential. An emerging parallel effort is now directed to BMIs controlled by endogenous cognitive activity, also called cognitive BMIs. While more challenging, this approach opens new dimensions to the rehabilitation of cognitive disorders. In the present work, we focus on BMIs driven by visuospatial attention signals and we provide a critical review of these studies in the light of the accumulated knowledge about the psychophysics, anatomy and neurophysiology of visual spatial attention. Importantly, we provide a unique comparative overview of the several studies, ranging from noninvasive to invasive human and non-human primates studies, that decode attention-related information from ongoing neuronal activity. We discuss these studies in the light of the challenges attention-driven cognitive BMIs have to face. In a second part of the review, we discuss past and current attention-based neurofeedback studies, describing both the covert effects of neurofeedback onto neuronal activity and its overt behavioral effects. Importantly, we compare neurofeedback studies based on the amplitude of cortical activity to studies based on the enhancement of cortical information content. Last, we discuss several lines of future research and applications for attention-driven cognitive BCIs, including the rehabilitation of cognitive deficits, restored communication in locked-in patients, and open-field applications for enhanced cognition in normal subjects. The core motivation of this work is the key idea that the improvement of current cognitive BMIs for therapeutic and open field applications needs to be grounded in a proper interdisciplinary understanding of the physiology of the cognitive function of interest, be it spatial attention, working memory or any other
Visschers, Vivianne H M; Hess, Rebecca; Siegrist, Michael
In the present study we investigated consumers' visual attention to nutrition information on food products using an indirect instrument, an eye tracker. In addition, we looked at whether people with a health motivation focus on nutrition information on food products more than people with a taste motivation. Respondents were instructed to choose one of five cereals for either the kindergarten (health motivation) or the student cafeteria (taste motivation). The eye tracker measured their visual attention during this task. Then respondents completed a short questionnaire. Laboratory of the ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Videos and questionnaires from thirty-two students (seventeen males; mean age 24.91 years) were analysed. Respondents with a health motivation viewed the nutrition information on the food products for longer and more often than respondents with a taste motivation. Health motivation also seemed to stimulate deeper processing of the nutrition information. The student cafeteria group focused primarily on the other information and did this for longer and more often than the health motivation group. Additionally, the package design affected participants' nutrition information search. Two factors appear to influence whether people pay attention to nutrition information on food products: their motivation and the product's design. If the package design does not sufficiently facilitate the localization of nutrition information, health motivation can stimulate consumers to look for nutrition information so that they may make a more deliberate food choice.
Seif, Zahra; Daliri, Mohammad Reza
In the field of brain research, attention as one of the main issues in cognitive neuroscience is an important mechanism to be studied. The complicated structure of the brain cannot process all the information it receives at any moment. Attention, in fact, is considered as a possible useful mechanism in which brain concentrates on the processing of important information which is required at any certain moment. The main goal of this study is decoding the location of visual attention from local field potential signals recorded from medial temporal (MT) area of a macaque monkey. To this end, feature extraction and feature selection are applied in both the time and the frequency domains. After applying feature extraction methods such as the short time Fourier transform, continuous wavelet transform (CWT), and wavelet energy (scalogram), feature selection methods are evaluated. Feature selection methods used here are T-test, Entropy, receiver operating characteristic, and Bhattacharyya. Subsequently, different classifiers are utilized in order to decode the location of visual attention. At last, the performances of the employed classifiers are compared. The results show that the maximum information about the visual attention in area MT exists in the low frequency features. Interestingly, low frequency features over all the time-axis and all of the frequency features at the initial time interval in the spectrogram domain contain the most valuable information related to the decoding of spatial attention. In the CWT and scalogram domains, this information exists in the low frequency features at the initial time interval. Furthermore, high performances are obtained for these features in both the time and the frequency domains. Among different employed classifiers, the best achieved performance which is about 84.5 % belongs to the K-nearest neighbor classifier combined with the T-test method for feature selection in the time domain. Additionally, the best achieved result (82
Aschenbrenner, Andrew J; Balota, David A; Weigand, Alexandra J; Scaltritti, Michele; Besner, Derek
A prominent question in visual word recognition is whether letters within a word are processed in parallel or in a left to right sequence. Although most contemporary models posit parallel processing, this notion seems at odds with well-established serial position effects in word identification that indicate preferential processing for the initial letter. The present study reports 4 experiments designed to further probe the locus of the first position processing advantage. The paradigm involved masked target words presented for short durations and required participants to subsequently select from 2 alternatives, 1 which was identical to the target and 1 that differed by a single letter. Experiment 1 manipulated the case between the target and the alternatives to ensure that previous evidence for a first position effect was not due to simple perceptual matching. The results continued to yield a robust first position advantage. Experiment 2 attempted to eliminate postperceptual decision processes as the explanatory mechanism by presenting single letters as targets and requiring participants to select an entire word that contained the target letter at different positions. Here the first position advantage was eliminated, suggesting postperceptual decision processes do not underlie the effect. The final 2 experiments presented masked stimuli either all vertically (Experiment 3) or randomly intermixed vertical and horizontal orientation (Experiment 4). In both cases, a robust first position advantage was still obtained. The authors consider alternative interpretations of this effect and suggest that these results are consistent with a rapid deployment of spatial attention to the beginning of a target string which occurs poststimulus onset. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Hitzert, Marrit M; van Geert, Paul L C; Hunnius, Sabine; Van Braeckel, Koenraad N J A; Bos, Arend F; Geuze, Reint H
During early infancy major developmental changes, both in the variety of body movements and in visual attention, help the infant to explore its surroundings. Both behaviours depend on a gradual shift from subcortical to cortical functioning. First, to determine whether preterms reach mature levels of movement variety (the number of different movement patterns) and visual attention earlier than fullterms. Second, to determine whether individual developmental trajectories of movement variety and visual attention were associated. Finally, we compared the associations of developmental trajectories between fullterm and preterm infants. In this longitudinal study, 20 fullterm and 9 low-risk preterm infants performed a visual disengagement task every four weeks from six weeks until six months postterm. For each infant we drew up developmental trajectories for movement variety, and for frequencies and latencies of looks. We analyzed the developmental trajectories by means of general linear model (GLM) repeated measures and Monte Carlo analyses. In comparison to fullterms, preterm infants showed a similar increase in movement variety over time (F(4,108)=0.27; partial eta(2)=0.01; P=.90). Visual attention reached mature levels four weeks earlier than movement variety. This effect was stronger in fullterm infants. Neither in fullterm nor in preterm infants did we find an association between the developmental trajectories of movement variety and visual attention. P values ranged from .37 to .99. During the first 6 months postterm, movement variety and visual attention developed independently. Temporarily, preterm exposure to the extrauterine environment led to shorter latencies of looks but it did not affect developmental trajectories of frequencies of looks and movement variety. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Sneve, Markus H; Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Magnussen, Svein
Retention of features in visual short-term memory (VSTM) involves maintenance of sensory traces in early visual cortex. However, the mechanism through which this is accomplished is not known. Here, we formulate specific hypotheses derived from studies on feature-based attention to test the prediction that visual cortex is recruited by attentional mechanisms during VSTM of low-level features. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of human visual areas revealed that neural populations coding for task-irrelevant feature information are suppressed during maintenance of detailed spatial frequency memory representations. The narrow spectral extent of this suppression agrees well with known effects of feature-based attention. Additionally, analyses of effective connectivity during maintenance between retinotopic areas in visual cortex show that the observed highlighting of task-relevant parts of the feature spectrum originates in V4, a visual area strongly connected with higher-level control regions and known to convey top-down influence to earlier visual areas during attentional tasks. In line with this property of V4 during attentional operations, we demonstrate that modulations of earlier visual areas during memory maintenance have behavioral consequences, and that these modulations are a result of influences from V4. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lookadoo, Regan; Yang, Yingying; Merrill, Edward C
Four experiments are reported in which 60 younger children (7-8 years old), 60 older children (10-11 years old), and 60 young adults (18-25 years old) performed a conjunctive visual search task (15 per group in each experiment). The number of distractors of each feature type was unbalanced across displays to evaluate participants' ability to restrict search to the smaller subset of features. The use of top-down attention processes to restrict search was encouraged by providing external aids for identifying and maintaining attention on the smaller set. In Experiment 1, no external assistance was provided. In Experiment 2, precues and instructions were provided to focus attention on that subset. In Experiment 3, trials in which the smaller subset was represented by the same feature were presented in alternating blocks to eliminate the need to switch attention between features from trial to trial. In Experiment 4, consecutive blocks of the same subset features were presented in the first or second half of the experiment, providing additional consistency. All groups benefited from external support of top-down attention, although the pattern of improvement varied across experiments. The younger children benefited most from precues and instruction, using the subset search strategy when instructed. Furthermore, younger children benefited from blocking trials only when blocks of the same features did not alternate. Older participants benefited from the blocking of trials in both Experiments 3 and 4, but not from precues and instructions. Hence, our results revealed both malleability and limits of children's top-down control of attention.
Huang, Yu-Feng; Hsieh, Po-Jang
Repeated exposures to an object will lead to an enhancement of evaluation toward that object. Although this mere exposure effect may occur when the objects are presented subliminally, the role of conscious perception per se on evaluation has never been examined. Here we use a binocular rivalry paradigm to investigate whether a variance in conscious perceptual duration of faces has an effect on their subsequent evaluation, and how selective attention and memory interact with this effect. Our results show that face evaluation is positively biased by selective attention but not affected by visual awareness. Furthermore, this effect is not due to participants recalling which face had been attended to. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary
Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which provides an objective measure of color perception. Thirty-one adolescents (aged 13-18), 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gender, and IQ participated in the study. All underwent an ophthalmological exam, as well as electrophysiological testing color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which measured the latency and amplitude of the neural P1 response to chromatic (blue-yellow, red-green) and achromatic stimuli. No intergroup differences were found in the ophthalmological exam. However, significantly larger P1 amplitude was found for blue and yellow stimuli, but not red/green or achromatic stimuli, in the ADHD group (particularly in the medicated group) compared to controls. Larger amplitude in the P1 component for blue-yellow in the ADHD group compared to controls may account for the lack of difference in color perception tasks. We speculate that the larger amplitude for blue-yellow stimuli in early sensory processing (P1) might reflect a compensatory strategy for underlying problems including compromised retinal input of s-cones due to hypo-dopaminergic tone. Copyright © 2014 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Monti, Martin M; Pickard, John D; Owen, Adrian M
What is it like to be at the lower boundaries of consciousness? Disorders of consciousness such as coma, the vegetative state, and the minimally conscious state are among the most mysterious and least understood conditions of the human brain. Particularly complicated is the assessment of residual cognitive functioning and awareness for diagnostic, rehabilitative, legal, and ethical purposes. In this article, we present a novel functional magnetic resonance imaging exploration of visual cognition in a patient with a severe disorder of consciousness. This battery of tests, first developed in healthy volunteers, assesses increasingly complex transformations of visual information along a known caudal to rostral gradient from occipital to temporal cortex. In the first five levels, the battery assesses (passive) processing of light, color, motion, coherent shapes, and object categories (i.e., faces, houses). At the final level, the battery assesses the ability to voluntarily deploy visual attention in order to focus on one of two competing stimuli. In the patient, this approach revealed appropriate brain activations, undistinguishable from those seen in healthy and aware volunteers. In addition, the ability of the patient to focus one of two competing stimuli, and switch between them on command, also suggests that he retained the ability to access, to some degree, his own visual representations. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Engelmann, Jan B; Damaraju, Eswar; Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz
We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d') as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.
Jan B Engelmann
Full Text Available We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d’ as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.
Han, Jing; Chen, Li; Fu, Zhao; Fritchman, Joseph; Bao, Lei
This study used eye-tracking technology to investigate students’ visual attention while taking the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) in a web-based interface. Eighty nine university students were randomly selected into a pre-test group and a post-test group. Students took the 30-question FCI on a computer equipped with an eye-tracker. There were seven weeks of instruction between the pre- and post-test data collection. Students’ performance on the FCI improved significantly from pre-test to post-test. Meanwhile, the eye-tracking results reveal that the time students spent on taking the FCI test was not affected by student performance and did not change from pre-test to post-test. Analysis of students’ attention to answer choices shows that on the pre-test students primarily focused on the naïve choices and ignored the expert choices. On the post-test, although students had shifted their primary attention to the expert choices, they still kept a high level of attention to the naïve choices, indicating significant conceptual mixing and competition during problem solving. Outcomes of this study provide new insights on students’ conceptual development in learning physics.
Vorobyev, Victor A; Alho, Kimmo; Medvedev, Svyatoslav V; Pakhomov, Sergey V; Roudas, Marina S; Rutkovskaya, Julia M; Tervaniemi, Mari; Van Zuijen, Titia L; Näätänen, Risto
Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to investigate the neural basis of selective processing of linguistic material during concurrent presentation of multiple stimulus streams ("cocktail-party effect"). Fifteen healthy right-handed adult males were to attend to one of three simultaneously presented messages: one presented visually, one to the left ear, and one to the right ear. During the control condition, subjects attended to visually presented consonant letter strings and ignored auditory messages. This paper reports the modality-nonspecific language processing and visual word-form processing, whereas the auditory attention effects have been reported elsewhere [Cogn. Brain Res. 17 (2003) 201]. The left-hemisphere areas activated by both the selective processing of text and speech were as follows: the inferior prefrontal (Brodmann's area, BA 45, 47), anterior temporal (BA 38), posterior insular (BA 13), inferior (BA 20) and middle temporal (BA 21), occipital (BA 18/30) cortices, the caudate nucleus, and the amygdala. In addition, bilateral activations were observed in the medial occipito-temporal cortex and the cerebellum. Decreases of activation during both text and speech processing were found in the parietal (BA 7, 40), frontal (BA 6, 8, 44) and occipito-temporal (BA 37) regions of the right hemisphere. Furthermore, the present data suggest that the left occipito-temporal cortex (BA 18, 20, 37, 21) can be subdivided into three functionally distinct regions in the posterior-anterior direction on the basis of their activation during attentive processing of sublexical orthography, visual word form, and supramodal higher-level aspects of language.
Full Text Available To determine the effect of reducing spatial uncertainty by attentional cueing on contrast sensitivity at a range of spatial locations and with different stimulus sizes.Six observers underwent perimetric testing with the Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer (HFA full threshold paradigm, and the output thresholds were compared to conditions where stimulus location was verbally cued to the observer. We varied the number of points cued, the eccentric and spatial location, and stimulus size (Goldmann size I, III and V. Subsequently, four observers underwent laboratory-based psychophysical testing on a custom computer program using Method of Constant Stimuli to determine the frequency-of-seeing (FOS curves with similar variables.We found that attentional cueing increased contrast sensitivity when measured using the HFA. We report a difference of approximately 2 dB with size I at peripheral and mid-peripheral testing locations. For size III, cueing had a greater effect for points presented in the periphery than in the mid-periphery. There was an exponential decay of the effect of cueing with increasing number of elements cued. Cueing a size V stimulus led to no change. FOS curves generated from laboratory-based psychophysical testing confirmed an increase in contrast detection sensitivity under the same conditions. We found that the FOS curve steepened when spatial uncertainty was reduced.We show that attentional cueing increases contrast sensitivity when using a size I or size III test stimulus on the HFA when up to 8 points are cued but not when a size V stimulus is cued. We show that this cueing also alters the slope of the FOS curve. This suggests that at least 8 points should be used to minimise potential attentional factors that may affect measurement of contrast sensitivity in the visual field.
Sarah A. Chau
Full Text Available Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. Aims: In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Methods: Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. The outcome measure was time spent on specific images, with novelty preference defined by greater relative fixation time (RFT on novel versus repeated images. Cognitive status (Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination, SMMSE and attention (Digit Span, DS were also measured. Results: AD patients (age 79.2 ± 6.7 years, SMMSE 22.2 ± 4.0, n = 41 and controls (age 76.2 ± 6.4 years, SMMSE 28.1 ± 2.0, n = 24 were similar in age, education and sex. Compared with controls, AD patients had lower RFT on novel than on repeated images (F1,63 = 11.18, p = 0.001. Further, reduced RFT was associated with lower scores on SMMSE (r63 = 0.288, p = 0.020 and DS (r63 = 0.269, p = 0.030. Within individuals, novelty preference was detected in 92.3% of patients and in 100% of controls. Conclusion: These findings suggest that novelty preference, measured by visual scanning behaviour, can differentiate cognitively healthy and impaired people and may offer a nonverbal, less cognitively demanding method of assessing selective attention.
Cowan, Jack; Domany, Eytan
Close this book for a moment and look around you. You scan the scene by directing your attention, and gaze, at certain specific objects. Despite the background, you discern them. The process is partially intentional and partially preattentive. How all this can be done is described in the fourth volume of Models of Neural Networks devoted to Early Vision and Atten tion that you are holding in your hands. Early vision comprises the first stages of visual information processing. It is as such a scientific challenge whose clarification calls for a penetrating review. Here you see the result. The Heraeus Foundation (Hanau) is to be thanked for its support during the initial phase of this project. John Hertz, who has extensive experience in both computational and ex perimental neuroscience, provides in "Neurons, Networks, and Cognition" to neural modeling. John Van Opstal explains in a theoretical introduction "The Gaze Control System" how the eye's gaze control is performed and presents a novel theoretical des...
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with different postures, emotions, ages, and genders) and non-social stimuli (e.g., electronics, food, and utensils). We first conducted trial-wise analyses of fixation properties and elucidated visual search mechanisms. We found that an attentional mechanism of initial orientation could explain the detection advantage of non-social targets. We then zoomed into fixation-wise analyses. We defined target-relevant effects as the difference in the percentage of fixations that fell on target-congruent vs. target-incongruent items in the array. In Experiment 1, we tested 8 high-functioning adults with ASD, 3 adults with focal bilateral amygdala lesions, and 19 controls. Controls rapidly oriented to target-congruent items and showed a strong and sustained preference for fixating them. Strikingly, people with ASD oriented significantly less and more slowly to target-congruent items, an attentional deficit especially with social targets. By contrast, patients with amygdala lesions performed indistinguishably from controls. In Experiment 2, we recruited a different sample of 13 people with ASD and 8 healthy controls, and tested them on the same search arrays but with all array items equalized for low-level saliency. The results replicated those of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, we recruited 13 people with ASD, 8 healthy controls, 3 amygdala lesion patients and another group of 11 controls and tested them on a simpler array. Here our group effect for ASD strongly diminished and all four subject
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with different postures, emotions, ages, and genders) and non-social stimuli (e.g., electronics, food, and utensils). We first conducted trial-wise analyses of fixation properties and elucidated visual search mechanisms. We found that an attentional mechanism of initial orientation could explain the detection advantage of non-social targets. We then zoomed into fixation-wise analyses. We defined target-relevant effects as the difference in the percentage of fixations that fell on target-congruent vs. target-incongruent items in the array. In Experiment 1, we tested 8 high-functioning adults with ASD, 3 adults with focal bilateral amygdala lesions, and 19 controls. Controls rapidly oriented to target-congruent items and showed a strong and sustained preference for fixating them. Strikingly, people with ASD oriented significantly less and more slowly to target-congruent items, an attentional deficit especially with social targets. By contrast, patients with amygdala lesions performed indistinguishably from controls. In Experiment 2, we recruited a different sample of 13 people with ASD and 8 healthy controls, and tested them on the same search arrays but with all array items equalized for low-level saliency. The results replicated those of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, we recruited 13 people with ASD, 8 healthy controls, 3 amygdala lesion patients and another group of 11 controls and tested them on a simpler array. Here our group effect for ASD strongly diminished and all four subject
Farzaneh Bagheri asl
Full Text Available The aim of this study was the effect of Bio/Neurofeedback training on performance, audio and visual attention of elite shooters. In this study 36 elite shooters of Kermanshah Province participated. They divided in three groups. Two groups were experimental groups how participated biofeedback and neurofeedback training and one group was control group. All participants were tried that their trainings as well as the number of shoots were closely controlled in order to assure their physical and special trainings. In this study, for attention affects the computerized Integrated Visual and Auditory test (IVA was used. This test has been considered as both a pretest and a posttest after the therapeutic intervention in three groups. The score of shooting also were collected before and after intervention. Each athlete in neurofeedback training group carried out the neurofeedback training for 20 sessions, each lasting 45 minutes. To do so, both auricles and T3 and PZ of each individual were cleaned using alcohol and new-perp gel to prepare for the neurofeedback training. The biofeedback training was heart rate and respiratory training. To compare the results of the pretest and the posttest in each group, the dependent t-test was used. For compare three groups we used ANOVA test. The significance level was set at 0.05. The results indicated that there is a significant difference in three groups. It indicates a significant increase in the total score for attention after the implementation of the biofeedback and neurofeedback training. The results showed that the attention mean scores in three visual, audio, and total variables were higher in the posttest than in the pretest for two experimental groups. The results also indicated that the scores of the shoots were improved after training. According the research finding, we can be said that the neurofeedback and biofeedback training act on the waves of the sensory-motor beats and which are responsible
Yeari, Menahem; Isser, Michal; Schiff, Rachel
A controversy has recently developed regarding the hypothesis that developmental dyslexia may be caused, in some cases, by a reduced visual attention span (VAS). To examine this hypothesis, independent of phonological abilities, researchers tested the ability of dyslexic participants to recognize arrays of unfamiliar visual characters. Employing…
Miconi, Thomas; VanRullen, Rufin
Visual attention has many effects on neural responses, producing complex changes in firing rates, as well as modifying the structure and size of receptive fields, both in topological and feature space...
Hüttermann, Stefanie; Memmert, Daniel
A great number of studies have shown that different motivational and mood states can influence human attentional processes in a variety of ways. Yet, none of these studies have reliably quantified the exact changes of the attentional focus in order to be able to compare attentional performances based on different motivational and mood influences and, beyond that, to evaluate their effectivity. In two studies, we explored subjects' differences in the breadth and distribution of attention as a function of motivational and mood manipulations. In Study 1, motivational orientation was classified in terms of regulatory focus (promotion vs. prevention) and in Study 2, mood was classified in terms of valence (positive vs. negative). Study 1 found a 10% wider distribution of the visual attention in promotion-oriented subjects compared to prevention-oriented ones. The results in Study 2 reveal a widening of the subjects' visual attentional breadth when listening to happy music by 22% and a narrowing by 36% when listening to melancholic music. In total, the findings show that systematic differences and casual changes in the shape and scope of focused attention may be associated with different motivational and mood states.
Franceschini, Sandro; Trevisan, Piergiorgio; Ronconi, Luca; Bertoni, Sara; Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit; Facoetti, Andrea; Gori, Simone
Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties in learning to read and there is some evidence that action video games (AVG), without any direct phonological or orthographic stimulation, improve reading efficiency in Italian children with dyslexia. However, the cognitive mechanism underlying this improvement and the extent to which the benefits of AVG training would generalize to deep English orthography, remain two critical questions. During reading acquisition, children have to integrate written letters with speech sounds, rapidly shifting their attention from visual to auditory modality. In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two matched groups of English-speaking children with dyslexia before and after they played AVG or non-action video games. The speed of words recognition and phonological decoding increased after playing AVG, but not non-action video games. Furthermore, focused visuo-spatial attention and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting also improved only after AVG training. This unconventional reading remediation program also increased phonological short-term memory and phoneme blending skills. Our report shows that an enhancement of visuo-spatial attention and phonological working memory, and an acceleration of visual-to-auditory attentional shifting can directly translate into better reading in English-speaking children with dyslexia.
Full Text Available Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The present study addresses the extent to which working memory load influences early (P1 and late (P300 attention-sensitive event-related potential (ERP components using a dual task paradigm. Participants performed an arrow flanker task alone (single task condition or concurrently with a Sternberg memory task (dual task condition. In the flanker task, participants responded to the direction of a central arrow surrounded by congruent or incongruent arrows. In the dual task condition, participants were presented with a Sternberg task that consisted of either 4 or 7 consonants to remember prior to a short block of flanker trials. Participants were slower and less accurate on incongruent versus congruent trials. Furthermore, accuracy on incongruent trials was reduced in both dual task conditions. Likewise, P300 amplitude to incongruent flanker stimuli decreased when working memory load increased. These findings suggest that interference from incongruent flankers was more difficult to suppress when working memory was taxed. In addition, P1 amplitude was diminished on all flanker trials in the dual task condition. This result indicates that top-down attentional control over early visual processing is diminished by increasing demands on working memory. Both the behavioral and electrophysiological results suggest that working memory is critical in maintaining attentional focus and resolving conflict.
Pratt, Nikki; Willoughby, Adrian; Swick, Diane
Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The present study addresses the extent to which working memory load influences early (P1) and late (P300) attention-sensitive event-related potential components using a dual task paradigm. Participants performed an arrow flanker task alone (single task condition) or concurrently with a Sternberg memory task (dual task condition). In the flanker task, participants responded to the direction of a central arrow surrounded by congruent or incongruent arrows. In the dual task condition, participants were presented with a Sternberg task that consisted of either four or seven consonants to remember prior to a short block of flanker trials. Participants were slower and less accurate on incongruent versus congruent trials. Furthermore, accuracy on incongruent trials was reduced in both dual task conditions. Likewise, P300 amplitude to incongruent flanker stimuli decreased when working memory load increased. These findings suggest that interference from incongruent flankers was more difficult to suppress when working memory was taxed. In addition, P1 amplitude was diminished on all flanker trials in the dual task condition. This result indicates that top-down attentional control over early visual processing is diminished by increasing demands on working memory. Both the behavioral and electrophysiological results suggest that working memory is critical in maintaining attentional focus and resolving conflict.
Fleming, Katherine Achim; Peters, Richard Alan, II
The Sensory Ego-Sphere (SES) is a short-term memory for a robot in the form of an egocentric, tessellated, spherical, sensory-motor map of the robot s locale. Visual attention enables fast alignment of overlapping images without warping or position optimization, since an attentional point (AP) on the composite typically corresponds to one on each of the collocated regions in the images. Such alignment speeds analysis of the multiple images of the area. Compositing and attention were performed two ways and compared: (1) APs were computed directly on the composite and not on the full-resolution images until the time of retrieval; and (2) the attentional operator was applied to all incoming imagery. It was found that although the second method was slower, it produced consistent and, thereby, more useful APs. The SES is an integral part of a control system that will enable a robot to learn new behaviors based on its previous experiences, and that will enable it to recombine its known behaviors in such a way as to solve related, but novel, task problems with apparent creativity. The approach is to combine sensory-