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Sample records for work task performance

  1. Task Performance induced Work Load in Nursing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirazeh Arghami

    2015-12-01

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

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Ninaus; Gonçalo Pereira; René Stefitz; Rui Prada; Ana Paiva; Christa Neuper; Guilherme Wood

    2015-01-01

    The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participan...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Does Degree of Work Task Completion Influence Retrieval Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingwersen, Peter; Bogers, Toine; Lykke, Marianne

    2010-01-01

    their perception of task completion. Also, with the exception of full text records and across all document types, both measured at rank 10, no statistically significant correlation is observed with respect to retrieval performance influenced by degrees of perceived work task completion or individual types......In this contribution we investigate the potential influence between assessors’ perceived completion of their work task at hand and their actual assessment of usefulness of the retrieved information. The results indicate that the number of useful documents found by assessors does not influence...

  6. Shift Work and Cognitive Flexibility: Decomposing Task Performance.

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    Cheng, Philip; Tallent, Gabriel; Bender, Thomas John; Tran, Kieulinh Michelle; Drake, Christopher L

    2017-04-01

    Deficits in cognitive functioning associated with shift work are particularly relevant to occupational performance; however, few studies have examined how cognitive functioning is associated with specific components of shift work. This observational study examined how circadian phase, nocturnal sleepiness, and daytime insomnia in a sample of shift workers ( N = 30) were associated with cognitive flexibility during the night shift. Cognitive flexibility was measured using a computerized task-switching paradigm, which produces 2 indexes of flexibility: switch cost and set inhibition. Switch cost represents the additional cognitive effort required in switching to a different task and can impact performance when multitasking is involved. Set inhibition is the efficiency in returning to previously completed tasks and represents the degree of cognitive perseveration, which can lead to reduced accuracy. Circadian phase was measured via melatonin assays, nocturnal sleepiness was assessed using the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, and daytime insomnia was assessed using the Insomnia Severity Index. Results indicated that those with an earlier circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness exhibited reduced cognitive flexibility; however, specific components of cognitive flexibility were differentially associated with circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness. Individuals with an earlier circadian phase (thus more misaligned to the night shift) exhibited larger switch costs, which was also associated with reduced task efficiency. Shift workers with more daytime insomnia demonstrated difficulties with cognitive inhibition, whereas nocturnal sleepiness was associated with difficulties in reactivating previous tasks. Deficits in set inhibition were also related to reduced accuracy and increased perseverative errors. Together, this study indicates that task performance deficits in shift work are complex and are variably impacted by different mechanisms. Future research may examine

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

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    Audusseau, Jean; Juhel, Jacques

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

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    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of

  10. Discrepancy of performance among working memory-related tasks in autism spectrum disorders was caused by task characteristics, apart from working memory, which could interfere with task execution.

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    Nakahachi, Takayuki; Iwase, Masao; Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Honaga, Eiko; Sekiyama, Ryuji; Ukai, Satoshi; Ishii, Ryouhei; Ishigami, Wataru; Kajimoto, Osami; Yamashita, Ko; Hashimoto, Ryota; Tanii, Hisashi; Shimizu, Akira; Takeda, Masatoshi

    2006-06-01

    Working memory performance has been inconsistently reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Several studies in ASD have found normal performance in digit span and poor performance in digit symbol task although these are closely related with working memory. It is assumed that poor performance in digit symbol could be explained by confirmatory behavior, which is induced due to the vague memory representation of number-symbol association. Therefore it was hypothesized that the performance of working memory task, in which vagueness did not cause confirmatory behavior, would be normal in ASD. For this purpose, the Advanced Trail Making Test (ATMT) was used. The performance of digit span, digit symbol and ATMT was compared between ASD and normal control. The digit span, digit symbol and ATMT was given to 16 ASD subjects and 28 IQ-, age- and sex-matched control subjects. The scores of these tasks were compared. A significantly lower score for ASD was found only in digit symbol compared with control subjects. There were no significant difference in digit span and working memory estimated by ATMT. Discrepancy of scores among working memory-related tasks was demonstrated in ASD. Poor digit symbol performance, normal digit span and normal working memory in ATMT implied that ASD subjects would be intact in working memory itself, and that superficial working memory dysfunction might be observed due to confirmatory behavior in digit symbol. Therefore, to evaluate working memory in ASD, tasks that could stimulate psychopathology specific to ASD should be avoided.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina eGathmann

    2015-02-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Roles of Working Memory Performance and Instructional Strategy in Complex Cognitive Task Performance

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    Cevik, V.; Altun, A.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to investigate how working memory (WM) performances and instructional strategy choices affect learners' complex cognitive task performance in online environments. Three different e-learning environments were designed based on Merrill's (2006a) model of instructional strategies. The lack of experimental research on his framework is…

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-08-19

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

  17. "One Task Fits All"? The Roles of Task Complexity, Modality, and Working Memory Capacity in L2 Performance

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    Zalbidea, Janire

    2017-01-01

    The present study explores the independent and interactive effects of task complexity and task modality on linguistic dimensions of second language (L2) performance and investigates how these effects are modulated by individual differences in working memory capacity. Thirty-two intermediate learners of L2 Spanish completed less and more complex…

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

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

    2002-10-01

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

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

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

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

    2002-05-01

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

  1. Gaming is related to enhanced working memory performance and task-related cortical activity.

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    Moisala, M; Salmela, V; Hietajärvi, L; Carlson, S; Vuontela, V; Lonka, K; Hakkarainen, K; Salmela-Aro, K; Alho, K

    2017-01-15

    Gaming experience has been suggested to lead to performance enhancements in a wide variety of working memory tasks. Previous studies have, however, mostly focused on adult expert gamers and have not included measurements of both behavioral performance and brain activity. In the current study, 167 adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24 years) with different amounts of gaming experience performed an n-back working memory task with vowels, with the sensory modality of the vowel stream switching between audition and vision at random intervals. We studied the relationship between self-reported daily gaming activity, working memory (n-back) task performance and related brain activity measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results revealed that the extent of daily gaming activity was related to enhancements in both performance accuracy and speed during the most demanding (2-back) level of the working memory task. This improved working memory performance was accompanied by enhanced recruitment of a fronto-parietal cortical network, especially the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In contrast, during the less demanding (1-back) level of the task, gaming was associated with decreased activity in the same cortical regions. Our results suggest that a greater degree of daily gaming experience is associated with better working memory functioning and task difficulty-dependent modulation in fronto-parietal brain activity already in adolescence and even when non-expert gamers are studied. The direction of causality within this association cannot be inferred with certainty due to the correlational nature of the current study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Changes in prefrontal neuronal activity after learning to perform a spatial working memory task.

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    Qi, Xue-Lian; Meyer, Travis; Stanford, Terrence R; Constantinidis, Christos

    2011-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is considered essential for learning to perform cognitive tasks though little is known about how the representation of stimulus properties is altered by learning. To address this issue, we recorded neuronal activity in monkeys before and after training on a task that required visual working memory. After the subjects learned to perform the task, we observed activation of more prefrontal neurons and increased activity during working memory maintenance. The working memory-related increase in firing rate was due mostly to regular-spiking putative pyramidal neurons. Unexpectedly, the selectivity of neurons for stimulus properties and the ability of neurons to discriminate between stimuli decreased as the information about stimulus properties was apparently present in neural firing prior to training and neuronal selectivity degraded after training in the task. The effect was robust and could not be accounted for by differences in sampling sites, selection of neurons, level of performance, or merely the elapse of time. The results indicate that, in contrast to the effects of perceptual learning, mastery of a cognitive task degrades the apparent stimulus selectivity as neurons represent more abstract information related to the task. This effect is countered by the recruitment of more neurons after training.

  3. Work-based identity and work engagement as potential antecedents of task performance and turnover intention: Unravelling a complex relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Chris Bothma

    2012-09-01

    Research purpose: The main purpose of the study was to investigate whether work-based identity and work engagement differed (in combination with personal alienation, helping behaviour and burnout as potential antecedents (amongst numerous others of task performance and turnover intention. Research design: A census-based sampling approach amongst 23 134 employees in the employment of an ICT company yielded a sample of 2429 usable questionnaires. Scales used in the study were the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-HSS-20, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES, Work-based Identity, Personal Alienation, Helping Behaviour, Turnover Intention and Task Performance Scales. Main findings: The findings indicate that work-based identity and work engagement give similar appearing results as potential predictors of turnover intention and task performance. Practical/managerial implications: Reducing withdrawal behaviours and enhancing work performance are everyday challenges for organisations. Interventions focused on enhancing work-based identity and work engagement in the work environment should have a meaningful impact when these behaviours need to be addressed. Contribution/value-add: Work-based identity as a multidimensional construct has the potential, with further refinement, to become a valuable construct that can play a leading role in future work engagement research.

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

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    Astrand, Elaine

    2018-06-01

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

  5. Skylab task and work performance /Experiment M-151 - Time and motion study/

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    Kubis, J. F.; Mclaughlin, E. J.

    1975-01-01

    The primary objective of Experiment M151 was to study the inflight adaptation of Skylab crewmen to a variety of task situations involving different types of activity. A parallel objective was to examine astronaut inflight performance for any behavioral stress effects associated with the working and living conditions of the Skylab environment. Training data provided the basis for comparison of preflight and inflight performance. Efficiency was evaluated through the adaptation function, namely, the relation of performance time over task trials. The results indicate that the initial changeover from preflight to inflight was accompanied by a substantial increase in performance time for most work and task activities. Equally important was the finding that crewmen adjusted rapidly to the weightless environment and became proficient in developing techniques with which to optimize task performance. By the end of the second inflight trial, most of the activities were performed almost as efficiently as on the last preflight trial. The analysis demonstrated the sensitivity of the adaptation function to differences in task and hardware configurations. The function was found to be more regular and less variable inflight than preflight. Translation and control of masses were accomplished easily and efficiently through the rapid development of the arms and legs as subtle guidance and restraint systems.

  6. Implicit Motives, Explicit Traits, and Task and Contextual Performance at Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lang, J.W.B.; Zettler, Ingo; Ewen, C.

    2012-01-01

    for implicit achievement). As a test of these theoretical ideas, we report a study in which employees (N = 241) filled out a questionnaire booklet and worked on an improved modern implicit motive measure, the operant motive test. Their supervisors rated their task and contextual performance. Results support 4...... apply these ideas in the context of industrial and organizational psychology and propose that 2 explicit traits work as channels for the expression of 3 core implicit motives in task and contextual job performance (extraversion for implicit affiliation and implicit power; explicit achievement...... of the 6 theoretical predictions and show that interactions between implicit motives and explicit traits increase the explained criterion variance in both task and contextual performance....

  7. Phonological and Executive Working Memory in L2 Task-Based Speech Planning and Performance

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    Wen, Zhisheng

    2016-01-01

    The present study sets out to explore the distinctive roles played by two working memory (WM) components in various aspects of L2 task-based speech planning and performance. A group of 40 post-intermediate proficiency level Chinese EFL learners took part in the empirical study. Following the tenets and basic principles of the…

  8. Business administration postgraduates’ authentic task performance in the transition from university to work

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijker, Monique; Van der Klink, Marcel; Boshuizen, Els

    2012-01-01

    Bijker, M. M., Van der Klink, M. R., & Boshuizen, H. P. A. (2012). Business administration postgraduates’ authentic task performance in the transition from university to work. Paper presented at the EARLI-SIG14 Conference August 22-24, Antwerp, Belgium.

  9. Poor Performance on Serial Visual Tasks in Persons with Reading Disabilities: Impaired Working Memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram-Tsur, Ronit; Faust, Miriam; Zivotofsky, Ari Z.

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigates the performance of persons with reading disabilities (PRD) on a variety of sequential visual-comparison tasks that have different working-memory requirements. In addition, mediating relationships between the sequential comparison process and attention and memory skills were looked for. Our findings suggest that PRD…

  10. Work-based identity and work engagement as potential antecedents of task performance and turnover intention: Unravelling a complex relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Chris Bothma

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: Work-based identity, used as a reference to the self, is the answer to the question ’Who am I at work?’ Work-related identities, derived from different social foci through identity formation processes, have as behavioural guides a significant influence on employee behaviour, which, in turn has an impact on work outcomes. Engagement, presented in different conceptualisations, is viewed by practitioners and academic researchers as an important antecedent of employee behaviour.Research purpose: The main purpose of the study was to investigate whether work-based identity and work engagement differed (in combination with personal alienation, helping behaviour and burnout as potential antecedents (amongst numerous others of task performance and turnover intention.Research design: A census-based sampling approach amongst 23 134 employees in the employment of an ICT company yielded a sample of 2429 usable questionnaires. Scales used in the study were the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-HSS-20, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES, Work-based Identity, Personal Alienation, Helping Behaviour, Turnover Intention and Task Performance Scales.Main findings: The findings indicate that work-based identity and work engagement give similar appearing results as potential predictors of turnover intention and task performance. Practical/managerial implications: Reducing withdrawal behaviours and enhancing work performance are everyday challenges for organisations. Interventions focused on enhancing work-based identity and work engagement in the work environment should have a meaningful impact when these behaviours need to be addressed.Contribution/value-add: Work-based identity as a multidimensional construct has the potential, with further refinement, to become a valuable construct that can play a leading role in future work engagement research.

  11. Dual Arm Work Package performance estimates and telerobot task network simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draper, J.V.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes the methodology and results of a network simulation study of the Dual Arm Work Package (DAWP), to be employed for dismantling the Argonne National Laboratory CP-5 reactor. The development of the simulation model was based upon the results of a task analysis for the same system. This study was performed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), in the Robotics and Process Systems Division. Funding was provided the US Department of Energy's Office of Technology Development, Robotics Technology Development Program (RTDP). The RTDP is developing methods of computer simulation to estimate telerobotic system performance. Data were collected to provide point estimates to be used in a task network simulation model. Three skilled operators performed six repetitions of a pipe cutting task representative of typical teleoperation cutting operations

  12. Sex differences in muscular load among house painters performing identical work tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meyland, Jacob; Heilskov-Hansen, Thomas; Alkjær, Tine

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE: The present study aimed to estimate possible differences in upper body muscular load between male and female house painters performing identical work tasks. Sex-related differences in muscular load may help explain why women, in general, have more musculoskeletal complaints than men....... METHODS: In a laboratory setting, 16 male and 16 female house painters performed nine standardised work tasks common to house painters. Unilateral electromyography (EMG) recordings were obtained from the supraspinatus muscle by intramuscular electrodes and from the trapezius, extensor and flexor carpi...... radialis muscles by surface electrodes. Relative muscular loads in %EMGmax as well as exerted force in Newton, based on ramp calibrations, were assessed. Sex differences were tested using a mixed model approach. RESULTS: Women worked at about 50% higher relative muscular loads than men in the supraspinatus...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astrand, Elaine

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinyoung Min

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nele eWild-Wall

    2011-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Monkey prefrontal neurons during Sternberg task performance: full contents of working memory or most recent item?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konecky, R O; Smith, M A; Olson, C R

    2017-06-01

    To explore the brain mechanisms underlying multi-item working memory, we monitored the activity of neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while macaque monkeys performed spatial and chromatic versions of a Sternberg working-memory task. Each trial required holding three sequentially presented samples in working memory so as to identify a subsequent probe matching one of them. The monkeys were able to recall all three samples at levels well above chance, exhibiting modest load and recency effects. Prefrontal neurons signaled the identity of each sample during the delay period immediately following its presentation. However, as each new sample was presented, the representation of antecedent samples became weak and shifted to an anomalous code. A linear classifier operating on the basis of population activity during the final delay period was able to perform at approximately the level of the monkeys on trials requiring recall of the third sample but showed a falloff in performance on trials requiring recall of the first or second sample much steeper than observed in the monkeys. We conclude that delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex robustly represented only the most recent item. The monkeys apparently based performance of this classic working-memory task on some storage mechanism in addition to the prefrontal delay-period firing rate. Possibilities include delay-period activity in areas outside the prefrontal cortex and changes within the prefrontal cortex not manifest at the level of the firing rate. NEW & NOTEWORTHY It has long been thought that items held in working memory are encoded by delay-period activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Here we describe evidence contrary to that view. In monkeys performing a serial multi-item working memory task, dorsolateral prefrontal neurons encode almost exclusively the identity of the sample presented most recently. Information about earlier samples must be encoded outside the prefrontal cortex or

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-I Brandon Lin

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Eldercare demands, mental health, and work performance: the moderating role of satisfaction with eldercare tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacher, Hannes; Jimmieson, Nerina L; Winter, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    Due to demographic changes, a growing number of employees provide in-home care to an elderly family member. Previous research suggested a negative relationship between employees' eldercare demands and their work performance. However, the empirical nature of this relationship and its boundary conditions and mediating mechanisms have been neglected. The goal of this multisource study was to examine a mediated-moderation model of eldercare demands, mental health, and work performance. Drawing on the theory of conservation of resources (Hobfoll, 1989), it was expected that employees' satisfaction with eldercare tasks would buffer the negative relationship between eldercare demands and work performance, and that mental health would mediate this moderating effect. Data were collected from 165 employees providing in-home eldercare, as well as from one colleague and one family member of each employee. Results of mediated-moderation analyses supported the hypothesized model. The findings suggest that interventions that aim to increase employees' satisfaction with eldercare tasks may help protect employees from the negative effects of high eldercare demands on mental health and, subsequently, on work performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-25

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

  1. High-performers use the phonological loop less to process mental arithmetic during working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuka, Yuki; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of three working memory components-the central executive, phonological loop, and visuospatial sketchpad-on performance differences in complex mental arithmetic between individuals. Using the dual-task method, we examined how performance during two-digit addition was affected by load on the central executive (random tapping condition), phonological loop (articulatory suppression condition), and visuospatial sketchpad (spatial tapping condition) compared to that under no load (control condition) in high- and low-performers of complex mental arithmetic in Experiment 1. Low-performers showed an increase in errors under the random tapping and articulatory suppression conditions, whereas high-performers showed an increase of errors only under the random tapping condition. In Experiment 2, we conducted similar experiments on only the high-performers but used a shorter presentation time of each number. We found the same pattern for performing complex mental arithmetic as seen in Experiment 1. These results indicate that high-performers might reduce their dependence on the phonological loop, because the central executive enables them to choose a strategy in which they use less working memory capacity.

  2. Effects of night work, sleep loss and time on task on simulated threat detection performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basner, Mathias; Rubinstein, Joshua; Fomberstein, Kenneth M; Coble, Matthew C; Ecker, Adrian; Avinash, Deepa; Dinges, David F

    2008-09-01

    To investigate the effects of night work and sleep loss on a simulated luggage screening task (SLST) that mimicked the x-ray system used by airport luggage screeners. We developed more than 5,800 unique simulated x-ray images of luggage organized into 31 stimulus sets of 200 bags each. 25% of each set contained either a gun or a knife with low or high target difficulty. The 200-bag stimuli sets were then run on software that simulates an x-ray screening system (SLST). Signal detection analysis was used to obtain measures of hit rate (HR), false alarm rate (FAR), threat detection accuracy (A'), and response bias (B"(D)). Experimental laboratory study 24 healthy nonprofessional volunteers (13 women, mean age +/- SD = 29.9 +/- 6.5 years). Subjects performed the SLST every 2 h during a 5-day period that included a 35 h period of wakefulness that extended to night work and then another day work period after the night without sleep. Threat detection accuracy A' decreased significantly (P work, while both A' (P = 0.001) and HR decreased (P = 0.008) during day work following sleep loss. There were prominent time-on-task effects on response bias B"(D) (P= 0.002) and response latency (P = 0.004), but accuracy A' was unaffected. Both HR and FAR increased significantly with increasing study duration (both P work and sleep loss adversely affect the accuracy of detecting complex real world objects among high levels of background clutter. If the results can be replicated in professional screeners and real work environments, fatigue in luggage screening personnel may pose a threat for air traffic safety unless countermeasures for fatigue are deployed.

  3. Neonatal Perirhinal Lesions in Rhesus Macaques Alter Performance on Working Memory Tasks with High Proactive Interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Alison R; Nadji, Ryhan; Bachevalier, Jocelyne

    2015-01-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex is known for its contribution to working memory (WM) processes in both humans and animals. Yet, recent studies indicate that the prefrontal cortex is part of a broader network of interconnected brain areas involved in WM. Within the medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures, the perirhinal cortex, which has extensive direct interactions with the lateral and orbital prefrontal cortex, is required to form active/flexible representations of familiar objects. However, its participation in WM processes has not be fully explored. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of neonatal perirhinal lesions on maintenance and monitoring WM processes. As adults, animals with neonatal perirhinal lesions and their matched controls were tested in three object-based (non-spatial) WM tasks that tapped different WM processing domains, e.g., maintenance only (Session-unique Delayed-nonmatching-to Sample, SU-DNMS), and maintenance and monitoring (Object-Self-Order, OBJ-SO; Serial Order Memory Task, SOMT). Neonatal perirhinal lesions transiently impaired the acquisition of SU-DNMS at a short (5 s) delay, but not when re-tested with a longer delay (30 s). The same neonatal lesions severely impacted acquisition of OBJ-SO task, and the impairment was characterized by a sharp increase in perseverative errors. By contrast, neonatal perirhinal lesion spared the ability to monitor the temporal order of items in WM as measured by the SOMT. Contrary to the SU-DNMS and OBJ-SO, which re-use the same stimuli across trials and thus produce proactive interference, the SOMT uses novel objects on each trial and is devoid of interference. Therefore, the impairment of monkeys with neonatal perirhinal lesions on SU-DNMS and OBJ-SO tasks is likely to be caused by an inability to solve working memory tasks with high proactive interference. The sparing of performance on the SOMT demonstrates that neonatal perirhinal lesions do not alter working memory processes per se but

  4. Neonatal perirhinal lesions in rhesus macaques alter performance on working memory tasks with high proactive interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison R Weiss

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The lateral prefrontal cortex is known for its contribution to working memory (WM processes in both humans and animals. Yet, recent studies indicate that the prefrontal cortex is part of a broader network of interconnected brain areas involved in WM. Within the medial temporal lobe structures, the perirhinal cortex, which has extensive direct interactions with the lateral and orbital prefrontal cortex, is required to form active/flexible representations of familiar objects. However, its participation in WM processes has not be fully explored. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of neonatal perirhinal lesions on maintenance and monitoring WM processes. As adults, animals with neonatal perirhinal lesions and their matched controls were tested in three object-based (non-spatial WM tasks that tapped different WM processing domains, e.g. maintenance only (Session-unique Delayed-nonmatching-to Sample, SU-DNMS, and maintenance and monitoring (Object-Self-Order, OBJ-SO; Serial Order Memory Task, SOMT. Neonatal perirhinal lesions transiently impaired the acquisition of SU-DNMS at a short (5s delay, but not when re-tested with a longer delay (30s. The same neonatal lesions severely impacted acquisition of OBJ-SO task, and the impairment was characterized by a sharp increase in perseverative errors. By contrast, neonatal perirhinal lesion spared the ability to monitor the temporal order of items in WM as measured by the SOMT. Contrary to the SU-DNMS and OBJ-SO, which re-use the same stimuli across trials and thus produce proactive interference, the SOMT uses novel objects on each trial and is devoid of interference. Therefore, the impairment of monkeys with neonatal perirhinal lesions on SU-DNMS and OBJ-SO tasks is likely to be caused by an inability to solve working memory tasks with high proactive interference. The sparing of performance on the SOMT demonstrates that neonatal perirhinal lesions do not alter working memory processes per se

  5. Type 1 Diabetes Modifies Brain Activation in Young Patients While Performing Visuospatial Working Memory Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geisa B. Gallardo-Moreno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the effects of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D on cognitive functions. T1D onset usually occurs during childhood, so it is possible that the brain could be affected during neurodevelopment. We selected young patients of normal intelligence with T1D onset during neurodevelopment, no complications from diabetes, and adequate glycemic control. The purpose of this study was to compare the neural BOLD activation pattern in a group of patients with T1D versus healthy control subjects while performing a visuospatial working memory task. Sixteen patients and 16 matched healthy control subjects participated. There was no significant statistical difference in behavioral performance between the groups, but, in accordance with our hypothesis, results showed distinct brain activation patterns. Control subjects presented the expected activations related to the task, whereas the patients had greater activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, basal ganglia, posterior cerebellum, and substantia nigra. These different patterns could be due to compensation mechanisms that allow them to maintain a behavioral performance similar to that of control subjects.

  6. Measuring working memory in aphasia: Comparing performance on complex span and N-back tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Ivanova

    2014-04-01

    No significant correlations were observed between performance on complex span task and N-back tasks.Furthermore, performance on the modified listening span was related to performance on the comprehension subtest of the QASA, while no relationship was found for 2-back and 0-back tasks.Our results mirror studies in healthy controls that demonstrated no relationship between performance on the two tasks(Jaeggi et al., 2010; Kane et al., 2007. Thus although N-back tasks seem similar to traditional complex span measures and may also index abilities related to cognitive processing, the evidence to date does not warrant their direct association with the construct of WM. Implications for future investigation of cognitive deficits in aphasia will be discussed.

  7. A Method to Train Marmosets in Visual Working Memory Task and Their Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Katsuki; Koba, Reiko; Miwa, Miki; Yamaguchi, Chieko; Suzuki, Hiromi; Takemoto, Atsushi

    2018-01-01

    Learning and memory processes are similarly organized in humans and monkeys; therefore, monkeys can be ideal models for analyzing human aging processes and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. With the development of novel gene modification methods, common marmosets ( Callithrix jacchus ) have been suggested as an animal model for neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, the common marmoset's lifespan is relatively short, which makes it a practical animal model for aging. Working memory deficits are a prominent symptom of both dementia and aging, but no data are currently available for visual working memory in common marmosets. The delayed matching-to-sample task is a powerful tool for evaluating visual working memory in humans and monkeys; therefore, we developed a novel procedure for training common marmosets in such a task. Using visual discrimination and reversal tasks to direct the marmosets' attention to the physical properties of visual stimuli, we successfully trained 11 out of 13 marmosets in the initial stage of the delayed matching-to-sample task and provided the first available data on visual working memory in common marmosets. We found that the marmosets required many trials to initially learn the task (median: 1316 trials), but once the task was learned, the animals needed fewer trials to learn the task with novel stimuli (476 trials or fewer, with the exception of one marmoset). The marmosets could retain visual information for up to 16 s. Our novel training procedure could enable us to use the common marmoset as a useful non-human primate model for studying visual working memory deficits in neurodegenerative diseases and aging.

  8. The curvilinear relationship between work pressure and momentary task performance: the role of state and trait core self-evaluations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmans, Joeri; Debusscher, Jonas; Dóci, Edina; Spanouli, Andromachi; De Fruyt, Filip

    2015-01-01

    Whereas several studies have demonstrated that core self-evaluations (CSE)-or one's appraisals about one's own self-worth, capabilities, and competences-relate to job outcomes, less is known about the mechanisms underlying these relationships. In the present study, we address this issue by examining the role of within- and between-person variation in CSE in the relationship between work pressure and task performance. We hypothesized that (a) work pressure relates to task performance in a curvilinear way, (b) state CSE mediates the curvilinear relationship between work pressure and task performance, and (c) the relationship between work pressure and state CSE is moderated by trait CSE. Our hypotheses were tested via a 10-day daily diary study with 55 employees in which trait CSE was measured at baseline, while work pressure, task performance, and state CSE were assessed on a daily basis. Bayesian multilevel path analysis showed that work pressure affects task performance via state CSE, with state CSE increasing as long as the employee feels that (s)he is able to handle the work pressure, while it decreases when the level of work pressure exceeds the employees' coping abilities. Moreover, we found that for people low on trait CSE, the depleting effect of work pressure via state CSE happens for low levels of work pressure, while for people high in trait CSE the depleting effect is located at high levels of work pressure. Together, our findings suggest that the impact of work pressure on task performance is driven by a complex interplay of between- and within-person differences in CSE.

  9. The effects of overtime work and task complexity on the performance of nuclear plant operators: A proposed methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Banks, W.W.; Potash, L.

    1985-01-01

    This document presents a very general methodology for determining the effect of overtime work and task complexity on operator performance in response to simulated out-of-limit nuclear plant conditions. The independent variables consist of three levels of overtime work and three levels of task complexity. Multiple dependent performance measures are proposed for use and discussion. Overtime work is operationally defined in terms of the number of hours worked by nuclear plant operators beyond the traditional 8 hours per shift. Task complexity is operationalized in terms of the number of operator tasks required to remedy a given plant anomalous condition and bring the plant back to a ''within limits'' or ''normal'' steady-state condition. The proposed methodology would employ a 2 factor repeated measures design along with the analysis of variance (linear) model

  10. Effective connectivity among the working memory regions during preparation for and during performance of the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manelis, Anna; Reder, Lynne M

    2014-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that working memory (WM) task difficulty can be decoded from patterns of brain activation in the WM network during preparation to perform those tasks. The inter-regional connectivity among the WM regions during task preparation has not yet been investigated. We examined this question using the graph modeling methods IMaGES and LOFS, applied to the previously published fMRI data of Manelis and Reder (2013). In that study, subjects performed 1-, 2-, and 3-back tasks. Each block of n-back was preceded by a preparation period and followed by a rest period. The analyses of task-related brain activity identified a network of 18 regions that increased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Increase network) and a network of 17 regions that decreased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Decrease network). The graph analyses revealed two types of connectivity sub-networks within the Increase and Decrease networks: "default" and "preparation-related." The "default" connectivity was present not only during task performance, but also during task preparation and during rest. We propose that this sub-network may serve as a core system that allows one to quickly activate cognitive, perceptual and motor systems in response to the relevant stimuli. The "preparation-related" connectivity was present during task preparation and task performance, but not at rest, and depended on the n-back condition. The role of this sub-network may be to pre-activate a connectivity "road map" in order to establish a top-down and bottom-up regulation of attention prior to performance on WM tasks.

  11. Effective connectivity among the working memory regions during preparation for and during performance of the n-back task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eManelis

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that working memory (WM task difficulty can be decoded from patterns of brain activation in the WM network during preparation to perform those tasks. The inter-regional connectivity among the WM regions during task preparation has not yet been investigated. We examined this question using the graph modeling methods IMaGES and LOFS, applied to the previously published fMRI data of Manelis and Reder (2013. In that study, subjects performed 1-, 2-, and 3-back tasks. Each block of n-back was preceded by a preparation period and followed by a rest period. The analyses of task-related brain activity identified a network of 18 regions that increased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Increase network and a network of 17 regions that decreased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Decrease network. The graph analyses revealed two types of connectivity sub-networks within the Increase and Decrease networks: default and preparation-related. The default connectivity was present not only during task performance, but also during task preparation and during rest. We propose that this sub-network may serve as a core system that allows one to quickly activate cognitive, perceptual and motor systems in response to the relevant stimuli. The preparation-related connectivity was present during task preparation and task performance, but not at rest, and depended on the n-back condition. The role of this sub-network may be to pre-activate a connectivity road map in order to establish a top-down and bottom-up regulation of attention prior to performance on WM tasks.

  12. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim S Kuschpel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i eyes-open resting, (ii listening to music and (iii playing the video game Angry Birds before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the Angry Birds video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  13. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuschpel, Maxim S; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the "Angry Birds" video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  14. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J.; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game “Angry Birds” before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the “Angry Birds” video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity. PMID:26579055

  15. Human performance across decision making, selective attention, and working memory tasks: Experimental data and computer simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Stocco

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This article describes the data analyzed in the paper “Individual differences in the Simon effect are underpinned by differences in the competitive dynamics in the basal ganglia: An experimental verification and a computational model” (Stocco et al., 2017 [1]. The data includes behavioral results from participants performing three cognitive tasks (Probabilistic Stimulus Selection (Frank et al., 2004 [2], Simon task (Craft and Simon, 1970 [3], and Automated Operation Span (Unsworth et al., 2005 [4], as well as simulationed traces generated by a computational neurocognitive model that accounts for individual variations in human performance across the tasks. The experimental data encompasses individual data files (in both preprocessed and native output format as well as group-level summary files. The simulation data includes the entire model code, the results of a full-grid search of the model's parameter space, and the code used to partition the model space and parallelize the simulations. Finally, the repository includes the R scripts used to carry out the statistical analyses reported in the original paper.

  16. Human performance across decision making, selective attention, and working memory tasks: Experimental data and computer simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocco, Andrea; Yamasaki, Brianna L; Prat, Chantel S

    2018-04-01

    This article describes the data analyzed in the paper "Individual differences in the Simon effect are underpinned by differences in the competitive dynamics in the basal ganglia: An experimental verification and a computational model" (Stocco et al., 2017) [1]. The data includes behavioral results from participants performing three cognitive tasks (Probabilistic Stimulus Selection (Frank et al., 2004) [2], Simon task (Craft and Simon, 1970) [3], and Automated Operation Span (Unsworth et al., 2005) [4]), as well as simulationed traces generated by a computational neurocognitive model that accounts for individual variations in human performance across the tasks. The experimental data encompasses individual data files (in both preprocessed and native output format) as well as group-level summary files. The simulation data includes the entire model code, the results of a full-grid search of the model's parameter space, and the code used to partition the model space and parallelize the simulations. Finally, the repository includes the R scripts used to carry out the statistical analyses reported in the original paper.

  17. Occupational Congruence and Personal Task-Related Attributes: How Do They Relate to Work Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tziner, Aharon; Meir, Elchanan I.; Segal, Hila

    2002-01-01

    Data from 359 military officers (measures of personality, ability, and congruence) and supervisor and peer performance ratings were analyzed. Personality and person-environment fit were related to performance. Extroverts and those whose interests were congruent with their work environment tended to receive higher ratings. (Contains 41 references.)…

  18. Clusters of Tasks Performed by Merchandising Employees Working in Three Standard Industrial Classifications of Retail Establishments. Final Report, No. 20.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ertel, Kenneth Arthur

    The study assembled up-to-date facts by questionnaire about major types of tasks actually performed by merchandising employees working in department, variety, and general merchandise stores in King and Pierce Counties, Washington. This population closely matched the national percentages, and responses of 609 employees provided data for the study.…

  19. Assessing the influence of a passive, upper extremity exoskeletal vest for tasks requiring arm elevation: Part I - "Expected" effects on discomfort, shoulder muscle activity, and work task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sunwook; Nussbaum, Maury A; Mokhlespour Esfahani, Mohammad Iman; Alemi, Mohammad Mehdi; Alabdulkarim, Saad; Rashedi, Ehsan

    2018-03-07

    Use of exoskeletal vests (designed to support overhead work) can be an effective intervention approach for tasks involving arm elevation, yet little is known on the potential beneficial impacts of their use on physical demands and task performance. This laboratory study (n = 12) evaluated the effects of a prototype exoskeletal vest during simulated repetitive overhead drilling and light assembly tasks. Anticipated or expected benefits were assessed, in terms of perceived discomfort, shoulder muscle activity, and task performance. Using the exoskeletal vest did not substantially influence perceived discomfort, but did decrease normalized shoulder muscle activity levels (e.g., ≤ 45% reduction in peak activity). Drilling task completion time decreased by nearly 20% with the vest, but the number of errors increased. Overall, exoskeletal vest use has the potential to be a new intervention for work requiring arm elevation; however, additional investigations are needed regarding potential unexpected or adverse influences (see Part II). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Board Task Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minichilli, Alessandro; Zattoni, Alessandro; Nielsen, Sabina

    2012-01-01

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

  1. How checking breeds doubt: reduced performance in a simple working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harkin, Ben; Kessler, Klaus

    2009-06-01

    A paradox of memory research is that repeated checking results in a decrease in memory certainty, memory vividness and confidence [van den Hout, M. A., & Kindt, M. (2003a). Phenomenological validity of an OCD-memory model and the remember/know distinction. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 369-378; van den Hout, M. A., & Kindt, M. (2003b). Repeated checking causes memory distrust. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 301-316]. Although these findings have been mainly attributed to changes in episodic long-term memory, it has been suggested [Shimamura, A. P. (2000). Toward a cognitive neuroscience of metacognition. Consciousness and Cognition, 9, 313-323] that representations in working memory could already suffer from detrimental checking. In two experiments we set out to test this hypothesis by employing a delayed-match-to-sample working memory task. Letters had to be remembered in their correct locations, a task that was designed to engage the episodic short-term buffer of working memory [Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: a new component in working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 417-423]. Of most importance, we introduced an intermediate distractor question that was prone to induce frustrating and unnecessary checking on trials where no correct answer was possible. Reaction times and confidence ratings on the actual memory test of these trials confirmed the success of this manipulation. Most importantly, high checkers [cf. VOCI; Thordarson, D. S., Radomsky, A. S., Rachman, S., Shafran, R, Sawchuk, C. N., & Hakstian, A. R. (2004). The Vancouver obsessional compulsive inventory (VOCI). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(11), 1289-1314] were less accurate than low checkers when frustrating checking was induced, especially if the experimental context actually emphasized the irrelevance of the misleading question. The clinical relevance of this result was substantiated by means of an extreme groups comparison across the two studies. The findings

  2. Eldercare Demands, Mental Health, and Work Performance : The Moderating Role of Satisfaction With Eldercare Tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zacher, Hannes; Jimmieson, Nerina L.; Winter, Gabriele

    Due to demographic changes, a growing number of employees provide in-home care to an elderly family member. Previous research suggested a negative relationship between employees' eldercare demands and their work performance. However, the empirical nature of this relationship and its boundary

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-22

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

  4. EEG and autonomic responses during performance of matching and non-matching to sample working memory tasks with emotional content.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana eGarcia

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM is a neural system responsible for the temporary storage of information and its utilization in problem solving. The central executive is theorized as the controller of storage functions that support WM. Neurophysiological data suggest that EEG theta and alpha oscillations in frontal and midline regions are involved in neural communication between the central executive and storage functions during WM performance. Emotion is known to modulate several memory systems, including WM, through central and peripheral pathways. However, the physiological correlations (electroencephalographic – EEG; autonomic nervous activity of the effect of emotion over WM are not well described. In this study we aimed to identify physiological responses related to emotional WM performance. EEG (21 channels, heart rate (HR and galvanic skin response (GSR recordings were obtained from 54 volunteers while performing delayed matching and non-matching to sample tasks (DMTS/DNMTS. Emotional and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System and geometric figures were used as stimuli. As expected, WM performance was accompanied by presence of theta (frontal and midline electrodes and Alpha power (parietal electrodes. Beta and gamma oscillations were concentrated in frontopolar and left temporal regions. DNMTS task was accompanied by increases in Beta power, HR and GSR compared to DMTS task. Correlation analysis showed a positive tendency for gamma in Fp2 site, ratio of LF/HF (HR low and high frequency and skin conductance in both tasks. The HR results indicate an inverse reaction related to parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system during the performance of the tasks. Taken together, our results contribute to elucidate the complex interactions between central and autonomic nervous systems in the modulation of emotional WM tasks.

  5. Performance on a simple response time task: Is sleep or work more important for miners?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Sally A; Paech, Gemma M; Dorrian, Jillian; Roach, Gregory D; Jay, Sarah M

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to investigate the impact of work- and sleep-related factors on an objective measure of response time in a field setting. Thirty-five mining operators working 12-h shift patterns completed daily sleep and work diaries, wore activity monitors continuously and completed palm-based psychomotor vigilance tests (palmPVT) at the start and end of each shift. Linear mixed models were used to test the main effects on response time of roster, timing of test, sleep history and prior wake. The time at which the test occurred was a significant predictor of response time (F₃(,)₄₀₃(.)₄ = 6.72, p times than the start of night shifts, and the start or end of day shifts. Further, the amount of sleep obtained in the 24h prior to the test was also a significant predictor of response time (F₃(,)₄₀₇(.)₀ = 3.05, p time indicative of performance impairments. Of more interest however is that immediate sleep history was also predictive of changes in response time with lower amounts of prior sleep related to slower response times. The current data provides further evidence that sleep is a primary mediator of performance, independent of roster pattern. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Performative Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beunza, Daniel; Ferraro, Fabrizio

    2018-01-01

    by attending to the normative and regulative associations of the device. We theorize this route to performativity by proposing the concept of performative work, which designates the necessary institutional work to enable translation and the subsequent adoption of the device. We conclude by considering...... the implications of performative work for the performativity and the institutional work literatures.......Callon’s performativity thesis has illuminated how economic theories and calculative devices shape markets, but has been challenged for its neglect of the organizational, institutional and political context. Our seven-year qualitative study of a large financial data company found that the company...

  7. Is the Use of Information and Communication Technology Related to Performance in Working Memory Tasks? Evidence from Seventh-Grade Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Lucy; Nussbaum, Miguel; Preiss, David D.

    2011-01-01

    The main purpose of this study was to assess whether seventh-grade students use of information and communication technology (ICT) was related to performance on working memory tasks. In addition, the study tested whether the relationship between ICT use and performance on working memory tasks interacted with seventh-grade students' socioeconomic…

  8. Performing Task Integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elkjaer, Bente; Nickelsen, Niels Christian Mossfeldt

    by shared goals and knowledge as well as mutual respect and frequent, timely, accurate and problem-solving ways of communication with the purpose of dealing with the tasks at hand in an integrated way. We introduce and discuss relational coordination theory through a case-study within public healthcare....... Here cross-professional coordination of work was done by scheduled communication twice a day. When we proposed a way for further integration of tasks through an all-inclusive team organization, we were met with resistance. We use the study to discuss whether relational coordination theory is able to do...... away with differences regarding task definitions and working conditions as well as professional knowledge hierarchies and responsibilities for parts and wholes....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tindle, Richard; Longstaff, Mitchell G

    2016-02-01

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

  10. Task and work performance on Skylab missions 2, 3, and 4: Time and motion study: Experiment M151

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubis, J. F.; Mclaughlin, E. J.; Jackson, J. M.; Rusnak, R.; Mcbride, G. H.; Saxon, S. V.

    1977-01-01

    Human task performance was evaluated under weightlessness conditions during long duration space flight in order to study the characteristics of the adaptation function. Results show that despite pronounced variability in training schedules and in initial reaction to the Skylab environment, in-flight task performance was relatively equivalent among Skylab crews, and behavioral performance continued to improve from beginning to end of all missions.

  11. The Relationship between Working Memory Capacity and L2 Oral Performance under Task-Based Careful Online Planning Condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadian, Mohammad Javad

    2012-01-01

    The study reported in this article aimed to investigate the way working memory capacity (WMC) interacts with careful online planning--a task-based implementation variable--to affect second language (L2) speech production. This issue is important to teachers, because it delves into one of the possible task-based implementation variables and thus…

  12. Initial evaluation of psychometric properties of a structured work task application for the Assessment of Work Performance in a constructed environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Elin A; Liedberg, Gunilla M; Sandqvist, Jan L

    2017-06-22

    The Swedish Social Insurance Administration has developed a new assessment tool for sickness insurance. This study is a part of the initial evaluation of the application, called the Assessment of Work Performance, Structured Activities, and focuses on evaluation of the psychometric properties of social validity, content validity, and utility. This was a qualitative study using semi-structured telephone interviews with occupational therapists. A convenience sample was used and participants who fulfilled inclusion criteria (n = 15) were interviewed. Data were analyzed using content analysis with a directed approach. The results indicate that the application provides valuable information and that it is socially valid. Assessors found work tasks suitable for a diverse group of clients and reported that clients accepted the assessments. Improvements were suggested, for example, expanding the application with more work tasks. The instrument has benefits; however, further development is desired. The use of a constructed environment in assessments may be a necessary option to supplement a real environment. But depending on organizational factors such as time and other resources, the participants had different opportunities to do so. Further evaluations regarding ecological validity are essential to ensure that assessments are fair and realistic when using constructed environments. Implications for rehabilitation This study indicates that assessment in a constructed environment can provide a secure and protected context for clients being assessed. Psychometric evaluations are a never-ending process and this assessment instrument needs further development. However, this initial evaluation provides guidance in development of the instrument but also what studies to give priority to. It is important to evaluate social validity in order to ensure that clients and assessors perceive assessment methods fair and meaningful. In this study, participants found the work tasks

  13. Ginkobiloba extract improves working memory performance in middle-aged women: role of asymmetry of prefrontal cortex activity during a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakatani, Kaoru; Tanida, Masahiro; Hirao, Naoyasu; Takemura, Naohiro

    2014-01-01

    In order to clarify the mechanism through which extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves (EGb) improves cognitive function, we examined the effects of EGb on cerebral blood oxygenation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and on performance during a working memory task, using near-infrared spectrometry (NIRS). First, we evaluated differences in behavioral performance of the Sternberg working memory test (ST) and in the activation pattern of the PFC during ST between 15 young and 19 middle-aged healthy women. Then, we examined the effect of EGb (120 mg/day for 6 weeks) on ST performance and PFC activation pattern in the middle-aged group. The middle-aged group exhibited a longer reaction time (RT) in ST than the young group and showed a different PFC activation pattern during ST, i.e., the middle-aged group showed bilateral activation while the young group showed right-dominant activation. In the middle-aged group, administration of EGb for 6 weeks shortened the RT of ST and changed the PFC activation pattern to right-dominant, like that in the young group. The results indicate the PFC plays a role in the physiological cognitive function-enhancing effect of EGb. EGb might improve working memory function in middle-aged individuals by counteracting the occurrence of aging-related hemispheric asymmetry reduction.

  14. Work content influences on cognitive task load, emotional state and performance during a simulated 520-days' Mars mission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cohen, I.; Braber, N. den; Smets, N.J.J.M.; Diggelen, J. van; Brinkman, W.P.; Neerincx, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    In high-risk domains such as human space flight, cognitive performances can be negatively affected by emotional responses to events and conditions in their working environment (e.g., isolation and health incidents). The COgnitive Performance and Error (COPE) model distinguishes effects of work

  15. Being right is its own reward: load and performance related ventral striatum activation to correct responses during a working memory task in youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Ruparel, Kosha; Loughead, James; Elliott, Mark A; Gerraty, Raphael T; Calkins, Monica E; Hakonarson, Hakon; Gur, Ruben C; Gur, Raquel E; Wolf, Daniel H

    2012-07-02

    The ventral striatum (VS) is a critical brain region for reinforcement learning and motivation. Intrinsically motivated subjects performing challenging cognitive tasks engage reinforcement circuitry including VS even in the absence of external feedback or incentives. However, little is known about how such VS responses develop with age, relate to task performance, and are influenced by task difficulty. Here we used fMRI to examine VS activation to correct and incorrect responses during a standard n-back working memory task in a large sample (n=304) of healthy children, adolescents and young adults aged 8-22. We found that bilateral VS activates more strongly to correct than incorrect responses, and that the VS response scales with the difficulty of the working memory task. Furthermore, VS response was correlated with discrimination performance during the task, and the magnitude of VS response peaked in mid-adolescence. These findings provide evidence for scalable intrinsic reinforcement signals during standard cognitive tasks, and suggest a novel link between motivation and cognition during adolescent development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Workshift and Antihistamine Effects on Task Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilliland, Kirby

    1997-01-01

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

  17. Workplace for analysis of task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. When sad groups expect to meet again : Interactive affective sharing and future interaction expectation as determinants of work groups' analytical and creative task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klep, Annefloor H. M.; Wisse, Barbara; van der Flier, Henk

    2013-01-01

    The present study examines the moderating role of future interaction expectation in the relationship between affective sharing and work groups' task performance. We argue that group affect, a group defining characteristic, becomes more salient to its members when it is interactively shared, and that

  19. IDENTIFICATION OF MAJOR TASKS PERFORMED BY MERCHANDISING EMPLOYEES WORKING IN THREE STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATIONS OF RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ERTEL, KENNETH A.

    BY QUESTIONNAIRE, FACTS WERE OBTAINED REGARDING 12 CATEGORIES OF MERCHANDISING PERFORMED BY 609 SUPERVISORY AND NONSUPERVISORY PERSONNEL OF 33 DEPARTMENT, LIMITED-PRICE VARIETY, AND GENERAL MERCHANDISING STORES. THIS SAMPLE WAS SELECTED FROM A POPULATION OF 13,643 MERCHANDISING EMPLOYEES, WORKING IN A TOTAL OF 234 FIRMS, IN KING AND PIERCE…

  20. Predictive performance models and multiple task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  1. Computer-Related Task Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Longstreet, Phil; Xiao, Xiao; Sarker, Saonee

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Trait Mindfulness and Cognitive Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emalee J. W. Quickel

    2014-11-01

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

  3. How work-self conflict/facilitation influences exhaustion and task performance: A three-wave study on the role of personal resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demerouti, Evangelia; Sanz-Vergel, Ana Isabel; Petrou, Paraskevas; van den Heuvel, Machteld

    2016-10-01

    Although work and family are undoubtedly important life domains, individuals are also active in other life roles which are also important to them (like pursuing personal interests). Building on identity theory and the resource perspective on work-home interface, we examined whether there is an indirect effect of work-self conflict/facilitation on exhaustion and task performance over time through personal resources (i.e., self-efficacy and optimism). The sample was composed of 368 Dutch police officers. Results of the 3-wave longitudinal study confirmed that work-self conflict was related to lower levels of self-efficacy, whereas work-self facilitation was related to improved optimism over time. In turn, self-efficacy was related to higher task performance, whereas optimism was related to diminished levels of exhaustion over time. Further analysis supported the negative, indirect effect of work-self facilitation on exhaustion through optimism over time, and only a few reversed causal effects emerged. The study contributes to the literature on interrole management by showing the role of personal resources in the process of conflict or facilitation over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Unnecessary work tasks and mental health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Ida E H; Tripathi, Manisha; Borritz, Marianne

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: According to the "stress-as-offense-to-self" perspective, work tasks that are considered unnecessary or unreasonable - so-called "illegitimate work tasks" - are likely to elicit stress-reactions. Previous studies, mostly cross-sectional, have shown that illegitimate tasks are associated...... with increased self-reported stress, cortisol, and counterproductive work behavior. In this article, we examine the prospective association between unnecessary work tasks, one type of illegitimate work tasks, and mental health among Danish human service workers. Further, we explore whether this association...... is modified by sex, age, occupational position, and baseline mental health status. METHODS: The data were obtained from self-administered questionnaires from 1351 Danish human service workers in three waves of data-collection during 1999-2005. We measured unnecessary work tasks by a single item, and assessed...

  5. Using pliers in assembly work: short and long task duration effects of gloves on hand performance capabilities and subjective assessments of discomfort and ease of tool manipulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dianat, Iman; Haslegrave, Christine M; Stedmon, Alex W

    2012-03-01

    The present study investigated the effects of wearing typical industrial gloves on hand performance capabilities (muscle activity, wrist posture, touch sensitivity, hand grip and forearm torque strength) and subjective assessments for an extended duration of performing a common assembly task, wire tying with pliers, which requires a combination of manipulation and force exertion. Three commercially available gloves (cotton, nylon and nitrile gloves) were tested and compared with a bare hand condition while participants performed the simulated assembly task for 2 h. The results showed that wearing gloves significantly increased the muscle activity, wrist deviation, and discomfort whilst reducing hand grip strength, forearm torque strength and touch sensitivity. The combined results showed that the length of time for which gloves are worn does affect hand performance capability and that gloves need to be evaluated in a realistic working context. The results are discussed in terms of selection of gloves for industrial assembly tasks involving pliers. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Excitotoxic median raphe lesions aggravate working memory storage performance deficits caused by scopolamine infusion into the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in the inhibitory avoidance task in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babar E.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The interactions between the median raphe nucleus (MRN serotonergic system and the septohippocampal muscarinic cholinergic system in the modulation of immediate working memory storage performance were investigated. Rats with sham or ibotenic acid lesions of the MRN were bilaterally implanted with cannulae in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and tested in a light/dark step-through inhibitory avoidance task in which response latency to enter the dark compartment immediately after the shock served as a measure of immediate working memory storage. MRN lesion per se did not alter response latency. Post-training intrahippocampal scopolamine infusion (2 and 4 µg/side produced a more marked reduction in response latencies in the lesioned animals compared to the sham-lesioned rats. Results suggest that the immediate working memory storage performance is modulated by synergistic interactions between serotonergic projections of the MRN and the muscarinic cholinergic system of the hippocampus.

  7. Low-frequency rTMS in the superior parietal cortex affects the working memory in horizontal axis during the spatial task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Jéssica Alves; Marinho, Francisco Victor Costa; Rocha, Kaline; Magalhães, Francisco; Baptista, Abrahão Fontes; Velasques, Bruna; Ribeiro, Pedro; Cagy, Mauricio; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Gupta, Daya; Teixeira, Silmar

    2018-03-01

    Spatial working memory has been extensively investigated with different tasks, treatments, and analysis tools. Several studies suggest that low frequency of the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied to the parietal cortex may influence spatial working memory (SWM). However, it is not yet known if after low-frequency rTMS applied to the superior parietal cortex, according to Pz electroencephalography (EEG) electrode, would change the orientation interpretation about the vertical and horizontal axes coordinates in an SWM task. The current study aims at filling this gap and obtains a better understanding of the low-frequency rTMS effect in SWM. In this crossover study, we select 20 healthy subjects in two conditions (control and 1-Hz rTMS). The subjects performed an SWM task with two random coordinates. Our results presented that low-frequency rTMS applied over the superior parietal cortex may influence the SWM to lead to a larger distance of axes interception point (p low-frequency rTMS over the superior parietal cortex (SPC) changes the SWM performance, and it has more predominance in horizontal axis.

  8. Postural responses to specific types of working memory tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramenzoni, V.C.; Riley, M.A.; Shockley, K.; Chiu, C.Y.P.

    2007-01-01

    Standing participants performed working memory tasks that varied along three dimensions: (1) type of information presented (verbal or visual); (2) the primary cognitive process engaged (encoding or rehearsal); and (3) interference that targeted the working memory components (phonological loop and

  9. A study protocol of a randomised controlled trial to investigate if a community based strength training programme improves work task performance in young adults with Down syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Nicholas F

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Muscle strength is important for young people with Down syndrome as they make the transition to adulthood, because their workplace activities typically emphasise physical rather than cognitive skills. Muscle strength is reduced up to 50% in people with Down syndrome compared to their peers without disability. Progressive resistance training improves muscle strength and endurance in people with Down syndrome. However, there is no evidence on whether it has an effect on work task performance or physical activity levels. The aim of this study is to investigate if a student-led community-based progressive resistance training programme can improve these outcomes in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Methods A randomised controlled trial will compare progressive resistance training with a control group undertaking a social programme. Seventy adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome aged 14-22 years and mild to moderate intellectual disability will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group using a concealed method. The intervention group will complete a 10-week, twice a week, student-led progressive resistance training programme at a local community gymnasium. The student mentors will be undergraduate physiotherapy students. The control group will complete an arts/social programme with a student mentor once a week for 90 minutes also for 10 weeks to control for the social aspect of the intervention. Work task performance (box stacking, pail carry, muscle strength (1 repetition maximum for chest and leg press and physical activity (frequency, duration, intensity over 7-days will be assessed at baseline (Week 0, following the intervention (Week 11, and at 3 months post intervention (Week 24 by an assessor blind to group allocation. Data will be analysed using ANCOVA with baseline measures as covariates. Discussion This paper outlines the study protocol for a randomised controlled trial on the

  10. Characterizing and Mitigating Work Time Inflation in Task Parallel Programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen L. Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Task parallelism raises the level of abstraction in shared memory parallel programming to simplify the development of complex applications. However, task parallel applications can exhibit poor performance due to thread idleness, scheduling overheads, and work time inflation – additional time spent by threads in a multithreaded computation beyond the time required to perform the same work in a sequential computation. We identify the contributions of each factor to lost efficiency in various task parallel OpenMP applications and diagnose the causes of work time inflation in those applications. Increased data access latency can cause significant work time inflation in NUMA systems. Our locality framework for task parallel OpenMP programs mitigates this cause of work time inflation. Our extensions to the Qthreads library demonstrate that locality-aware scheduling can improve performance up to 3X compared to the Intel OpenMP task scheduler.

  11. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire M Zedelius

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Phonological similarity in working memory span tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Errors on interrupter tasks presented during spatial and verbal working memory performance are linearly linked to large-scale functional network connectivity in high temporal resolution resting state fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnuson, Matthew Evan; Thompson, Garth John; Schwarb, Hillary; Pan, Wen-Ju; McKinley, Andy; Schumacher, Eric H; Keilholz, Shella Dawn

    2015-12-01

    The brain is organized into networks composed of spatially separated anatomical regions exhibiting coherent functional activity over time. Two of these networks (the default mode network, DMN, and the task positive network, TPN) have been implicated in the performance of a number of cognitive tasks. To directly examine the stable relationship between network connectivity and behavioral performance, high temporal resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected during the resting state, and behavioral data were collected from 15 subjects on different days, exploring verbal working memory, spatial working memory, and fluid intelligence. Sustained attention performance was also evaluated in a task interleaved between resting state scans. Functional connectivity within and between the DMN and TPN was related to performance on these tasks. Decreased TPN resting state connectivity was found to significantly correlate with fewer errors on an interrupter task presented during a spatial working memory paradigm and decreased DMN/TPN anti-correlation was significantly correlated with fewer errors on an interrupter task presented during a verbal working memory paradigm. A trend for increased DMN resting state connectivity to correlate to measures of fluid intelligence was also observed. These results provide additional evidence of the relationship between resting state networks and behavioral performance, and show that such results can be observed with high temporal resolution fMRI. Because cognitive scores and functional connectivity were collected on nonconsecutive days, these results highlight the stability of functional connectivity/cognitive performance coupling.

  16. Negative effects of chronic oral chlorpromazine and olanzapine treatment on the performance of tasks designed to assess spatial learning and working memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, A V; Warner, S E; Vandenhuerk, L; Pillai, A; Mahadik, S P; Zhang, G; Bartlett, M G

    2008-10-28

    Learning potential and memory capacity are factors that strongly predict the level of rehabilitation and the long-term functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia. Unfortunately, however, the effects of antipsychotic drugs (i.e. the primary treatments for schizophrenia) on these components of cognition are unclear, particularly when they are administered chronically (i.e. a standard clinical practice). In this rodent study we evaluated the effects of different time periods (ranging from 2 weeks to 6 months) of oral treatment with the first generation antipsychotic chlorpromazine (10.0 mg/kg/day), or the second generation antipsychotic olanzapine (10.0 mg/kg/day) on the repeated acquisition of a water maze task (i.e. a method of assessing spatial learning potential in a repeated testing format). We assessed locomotor function (in an open field) and employed a radial arm maze (RAM) task to assess antipsychotic effects (5.0 and 10.0 mg/kg/day doses) on spatial working memory during the treatment period between 15 days and 2 months. Finally, we conducted experiments using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to evaluate the therapeutic relevance of our method of drug delivery (oral administration in drinking water). In the water maze experiments, both antipsychotics were associated with impairments in acquisition in the earlier test sessions that could eventually be overcome with repeated testing while olanzapine also impaired retention in probe trials. Both antipsychotics were also associated with impairments in delayed non-match-to-position trials in the RAM and some impairments of motor function (especially in the case of olanzapine) as indicated by slightly reduced swim speeds in the water maze and decreased activity in some components of the open field assessment. Finally, LC-MS/MS studies indicated that the method of antipsychotic administration generated clinically relevant plasma levels in the rat. These animal data indicate that

  17. Default network connectivity during a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluhm, Robyn L; Clark, C Richard; McFarlane, Alexander C; Moores, Kathryn A; Shaw, Marnie E; Lanius, Ruth A

    2011-07-01

    The default network exhibits correlated activity at rest and has shown decreased activation during performance of cognitive tasks. There has been little investigation of changes in connectivity of this network during task performance. In this study, we examined task-related modulation of connectivity between two seed regions from the default network posterior cingulated cortex (PCC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the rest of the brain in 12 healthy adults. The purpose was to determine (1) whether connectivity within the default network differs between a resting state and performance of a cognitive (working memory) task and (2) whether connectivity differs between these nodes of the default network and other brain regions, particularly those implicated in cognitive tasks. There was little change in connectivity with the other main areas of the default network for either seed region, but moderate task-related changes in connectivity occurred between seed regions and regions outside the default network. For example, connectivity of the mPFC with the right insula and the right superior frontal gyrus decreased during task performance. Increased connectivity during the working memory task occurred between the PCC and bilateral inferior frontal gyri, and between the mPFC and the left inferior frontal gyrus, cuneus, superior parietal lobule, middle temporal gyrus and cerebellum. Overall, the areas showing greater correlation with the default network seed regions during task than at rest have been previously implicated in working memory tasks. These changes may reflect a decrease in the negative correlations occurring between the default and task-positive networks at rest. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Effect of music tempo on task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayfield, C; Moss, S

    1989-12-01

    Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of music tempo on task performance. In Study 1, 44 undergraduate business students were asked to be "workers" in a stock market project by collecting closing stock prices and calculating the percentage of change in the price from week to week. Subjects were randomly divided into groups such that they either listened to fast-paced music while they worked, to slow-paced music, or to no music. Analyses of variance and covariance were conducted on both the quantity and quality of the subjects' work, using music listening habits as a covariate. There were no differences in either the quantity or quality of the work produced by the groups. There were some methodological concerns regarding Study 1, so a second study was conducted. The 70 undergraduate business students in Study 2 completed the same task under the same music conditions as in Study 1. Analyses of variance indicated women performed significantly better than men, performance was significantly higher in the rock condition than in the heartbeat condition, and subjects in the rock condition had a significantly higher perceived level of distraction by the music.

  20. Reconsideration of the simulated work task situation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borlund, Pia; Schneider, Jesper Wiborg

    2010-01-01

    The present paper reports on the initial study and the preliminary findings of how the concept of simulated work task situation is reported used in the research literature. The overall objective of the study is in a systematic manner to learn how and for what types of evaluations the concept is a...... to involve the study participants’ own information needs (to function as baseline of search interaction) is generally neglected in the reported studies....

  1. Working memory does not dissociate between different perceptual categorization tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Newell, Ben R; Kalish, Michael L

    2012-07-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization. This article reports 2 studies that related people's working memory capacity (WMC) to their learning performance on multiple rule-based and information-integration perceptual categorization tasks. In both studies, structural equation modeling revealed a strong relationship between WMC and category learning irrespective of the requirement to integrate information across multiple perceptual dimensions. WMC was also uniformly related to people's ability to focus on the most task-appropriate strategy, regardless of whether or not that strategy involved information integration. Contrary to the predictions of the multiple systems view of categorization, working memory thus appears to underpin performance in both major classes of perceptual category-learning tasks. 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  2. Pleasantness of Creative Tasks and Creative Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Limitations in dual-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pannebakker, Merel Mathilde

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Motivating effects of task and outcome interdependence in work teams

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Vegt, G.S.; Emans, B.J.M.; Van de Vliert, E.

    Motivation and performance theories in organizational psychology tend to have a predominantly individualistic scope, relating characteristics of individual tasks to personal work outcomes of individuals (e.g., the Job Characteristics Model [JCM]). The present study goes beyond the realm of

  5. Performative Work in Tourism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bærenholdt, Jørgen Ole; Jensen, Hanne Louise

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of performative work that aims to create experiences for visiting tourists. It reports on qualitative research conducted among frontline employees working in three tourist attractions on the island of Lolland in Denmark, namely Lalandia...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanari, Rachele; Meloni, Carla; Massidda, Davide

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Task performance in astronomical adaptive optics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Academic Work and Performativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenny, John

    2017-01-01

    Neoliberal reforms in higher education have resulted in corporate managerial practices in universities and a drive for efficiency and productivity in teaching and research. As a result, there has been an intensification of academic work, increased stress for academics and an emphasis on accountability and performativity in universities. This paper…

  11. Limitations in dual-task performance

    OpenAIRE

    Pannebakker, Merel Mathilde

    2009-01-01

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

  12. The Work Tasks Motivation Scale for Teachers (WTMST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernet, Claude; Senecal, Caroline; Guay, Frederic; Marsh, Herbert; Dowson, Martin

    2008-01-01

    The authors developed and validated a measure of teachers' motivation toward specific work tasks: The Work Tasks Motivation Scale for Teachers (WTMST). The WTMST is designed to assess five motivational constructs toward six work tasks (e.g., class preparation, teaching). The authors conducted a preliminary (n = 42) and a main study among…

  13. Differential Long-Term Effects of Haloperidol and Risperidone on the Acquisition and Performance of Tasks of Spatial Working and Short-Term Memory and Sustained Attention in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchings, Elizabeth J.; Waller, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15–60 and 84–320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non–match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility. PMID:24042161

  14. Differential long-term effects of haloperidol and risperidone on the acquisition and performance of tasks of spatial working and short-term memory and sustained attention in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchings, Elizabeth J; Waller, Jennifer L; Terry, Alvin V

    2013-12-01

    A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15-60 and 84-320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non-match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility.

  15. Masticatory muscle activity during deliberately performed oral tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Measuring individual work performance: Identifying and selecting indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; de Vet, H.C.W.; van der Beek, A.J.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Theoretically, individual work performance (IWP) can be divided into four dimensions: task performance, contextual performance, adaptive performance, and counterproductive work behavior. However, there is no consensus on the indicators used to measure these dimensions.

  18. Measuring individual work performance: identifying and selecting indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Vet, H.C de; Beek, A.J. van der

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Theoretically, individual work performance (IWP) can be divided into four dimensions: task performance, contextual performance, adaptive performance, and counterproductive work behavior. However, there is no consensus on the indicators used to measure these dimensions. OBJECTIVE: This

  19. Raven's matrices and working memory: a dual-task approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, K Venkata; Baddeley, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Raven's Matrices Test was developed as a "pure" measure of Spearman's concept of general intelligence, g. Subsequent research has attempted to specify the processes underpinning performance, some relating it to the concept of working memory and proposing a crucial role for the central executive, with the nature of other components currently unclear. Up to this point, virtually all work has been based on correlational analysis of number of correct solutions, sometimes related to possible strategies. We explore the application to this problem of the concurrent task methodology used widely in developing the concept of multicomponent working memory. Participants attempted to solve problems from the matrices under baseline conditions, or accompanied by backward counting or verbal repetition tasks, assumed to disrupt the central executive and phonological loop components of working memory, respectively. As in other uses of this method, number of items correct showed little effect, while solution time measures gave very clear evidence of an important role for the central executive, but no evidence for phonological loop involvement. We conclude that this and related concurrent task techniques hold considerable promise for the analysis of Raven's matrices and potentially for other established psychometric tests.

  20. Task reports of INFCE Working Group 6

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Task 1 Report summarizes on a country-by-country basis the data supplied by the participating states related to nuclear power forecast, spent fuel generation, AR storage capacity, AFR storage capacity, AFR storage and transport systems. Task Reports 2-5 analyse the spent fuel storage and transport situation according to reactor types. Information on the technical description of spent fuel existing storage and transport techniques and techniques under development and on costs is given. Task 6 summarizes the present legal framework for spent fuel management related to licensing, safety, environmental and physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear material by states, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, assurances for national access to nuclear material contained in spent fuel, and protection of technology. The institutional practice for spent fuel storage and transport is described. For the period up to the year 2025 a prognosis and recommendations related to legal framework and institutional models are given. The special needs of developing countries and industrialized countries with a limited nuclear power programme with respect to spent fuel management are analysed in Task Reports 7 and 8

  1. Frontal subregions mediating Elevator Counting task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPherson, Sarah E; Turner, Martha S; Bozzali, Marco; Cipolotti, Lisa; Shallice, Tim

    2010-10-01

    Deficits in sustained attention may lead to action slips in everyday life as irrelevant action sequences are inappropriately triggered internally or by the environment. While deficits in sustained attention have been associated with damage to the frontal lobes of the brain, little is known about the role of the frontal lobes in the Elevator Counting subtest of the Test of Everyday Attention. In the current study, 55 frontal patients subdivided into medial, orbital and lateral subgroups, 18 patients with posterior lesions and 82 healthy controls performed the Elevator Counting task. The results revealed that patients with medial and left lateral prefrontal lesions were significantly impaired on the task compared to healthy controls. Research suggests that patients with medial lesions are susceptible to competition from task irrelevant schema; whereas the left lateral group in the current study may fail to keep track of the tones already presented. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Work-family conflicts and work performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Lawrence; David, Emily M

    2009-08-01

    Prior research indicates that work-family conflict interferes with family far more than it interferes with work. Conservation of resources provides a possible explanation: when shifting resources from family is no longer sufficient to maintain satisfactory work performance, then workers must acquire additional resources or reduce investments in work. One source of such additional resources could be high performance peers in the work group. The performance of workers with resource-rich peers may be less adversely affected by work-family conflict. In this study, 136 employees of a wholesale distribution firm (61% women, 62% minority) working in groups of 7 to 11 in manual labor and low-level administrative jobs rated their own work-to-family conflict. Their supervisors rated workers' performance. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that work-to-family conflict increasingly adversely affected job performance as work group performance decreased. Hence, work group performance may be an important moderator of the effects of work-family conflict.

  4. Performance indicators of work activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahoz, Manoela de Assis; Camarotto, João Alberto

    2012-01-01

    The measurement of performance is a current topic in the management of people in companies, used as a parameter of effectiveness of processes and operations of production. The methods and models of the indicators of current use in the production have concentrated in the assessment of people's performance as determinative resource of the organizational success in the search for the competitiveness. Associated with the classic indicators of performance assessment of the production proceeding, other indicators are used in the assessment of risks and hazards, however with methods focused in the tasks, without connection with the real work activity. The present article explores literature on the models of performance measurement in use in companies and a field research to understand how companies interpret and use indicators that relate health and work, to direct future studies on the subject. Regarding the literature review, one can see that health indicators can be basically divided into two major groups: the legal and managerial indicators. When conducting case studies, it can be realized that companies do not have precisely the concept of health indicator, or were unable to define which of the indicators could be considered indicators of health, considering that absenteeism was the indicator mentioned by the four companies.

  5. Socio-economic research on fusion: SERF 2 (1999-2000). Task 1: Externalities of fusion. Exploitation and improvement of work performed under SERF 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schneider, T.; Lepicard, S. [Centre d' Etude sur l' Evaluation de la Protection dans le Domaine Nucleaire, 92 - Fontenay-aux-Roses (France); Hamacher, T. [Euratom/IPP Fusion Association (Germany); Hallberg, B.; Aquilonius, K. [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Association Euratom-NFR (Sweden); Ward, D. [Euratom/UKAEA Fusion Association (United Kingdom); Korhonen, R. [VTT, Association Euratom-Tekes (Finland); Lechon, Y.; Cabal, H.; Saez, R. [Euratom/CIEMAT Fusion Association (Spain)

    2001-01-01

    In the previous phase of the SERF project an assessment of the external costs of two conceptual models of a fusion power plant was performed, as well as a comparison with other energy options. Results obtained ranged from 1,29 mEURO/kWh to 2,71 mEURO/kWh for the two models analysed respectively, well below those obtained for fossil-fuelled power and nuclear fission power plants confirming the role of fusion as a sustainable energy source in the long term. Some elements were identified as the predominant cause of external costs. The most important of them was collective doses produced by the global dispersion of C-14. Additional work has been carried out in the framework of the SEAFP (Safety and Environmental Assessment of Fusion Power) and SEAL within SEAFP-2 programme. In the present phase of the SERF project the effects of all of these technological advances in the external costs of fusion power have been evaluated. An analysis of the key variables influencing the external cost aiming to set some recommendations for the design of fusion power plants with minimum external costs has been also carried out. Furthermore, the effects of a scenario of intensive use of fusion power to meet energy requirement in future have been analysed in terms of its incidence in global radiation level and global warming. (author)

  6. Impact of Work Task-Related Acute Occupational Smoke ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Objective: A repeated measures study was used to assess the effect of work tasks on select proinflammatory biomarkers in firefighters working at prescribed burns. Methods: Ten firefighters and two volunteers were monitored for particulate matter and carbon monoxide on workdays, January-July 2015. Before and after work-shift dried blood spots were analyzed for inflammatory mediators using the Meso Scale Discovery assay, while blood smears were used to assess leukocyte parameters. Results: Firefighters lighting with drip-torches had higher cross-work-shift increases in interleukin-8, C-reactive protein, and serum amyloid A compared to holding, a task involving management of fire boundaries. A positive association between interleukin-8 and segmented-neutrophil was observed. Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that intermittent occupational diesel exposures contribute to cross-work-shift changes in host systemic innate inflammation as indicated by elevated interleukin-8 levels and peripheral blood segmented-neutrophils. The decision whether to perform a prescribed burn balances land use, risk of fire and potential health impacts. Understanding the latter requires a quick non intrusive assay which can be used to monitor the health of those exposed to smoke. This is first study to use blood smears to assess changes in systemic differential leukocyte cell populations following wood smoke exposure from prescribed burn. This research is useful for understandi

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  8. How Work-self conflict/facilitation influences exhaustion and task performance : A three-wave study on the role of personal resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demerouti, E.; Sanz-Vergel, A.I.; Petrou, P.; van den Heuvel, M.

    2016-01-01

    Although work and family are undoubtedly important life domains, individuals are also active in other life roles which are also important to them (like pursuing personal interests). Building on identity theory and the resource perspective on work-home interface, we examined whether there is an

  9. Honeywell's Working Parents Task Force. Final Report and Recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeywell, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

    This publication provides a summary of the Honeywell Working Parent Task Force's recommendations on how to solve problems experienced by working parents. The Task Force consisted of three committees: the Employment Practices Committee (EPC); the Parent Education Committee (PEC); and the Child Care Facilities Committee (CCFC). After examining a…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Disentangling task and contextual performance : a multitrait-multimethod approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demerouti, E.; Xanthopoulou, D.; Tsaousis, I.; Bakker, A.B.

    2014-01-01

    This study among 244 employees and their colleagues working in various sectors investigated the dimensionality of self-ratings and peer-ratings of task and contextual performance, using the scales of Goodman and Svyantek (1999). By applying the multitrait-multimethod approach, we examined the degree

  12. Manipulating perceptual parameters in a continuous performance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalev, Nir; Humphreys, Glyn; Demeyere, Nele

    2018-02-01

    Sustained attention (SA) is among the most studied faculties of human cognition, and thought to be crucial for many aspects of behavior. Measuring SA often relies on performance on a continuous, low-demanding task. Such continuous performance tasks (CPTs) have many variations, and sustained attention is typically estimated based on variability in reaction times. While relying on reaction times may be useful in some cases, it can pose a challenge when working with clinical populations. To increase interpersonal variability in task parameters that do not rely on speed, researchers have increased demands for memory and response inhibition. These approaches, however, may be confounded when used to assess populations that suffer from multiple cognitive deficits. In the current study, we propose a new approach for increasing task variability by increasing the attentional demands. In order to do so, we created a new variation of a CPT - a masked version, where inattention is more likely to cause misidentifying a target. After establishing that masking indeed decreases target detection, we further investigated which task parameter may influence response biases. To do so, we contrasted two versions of the CPT with different target/distractor ratio. We then established how perceptual parameters can be controlled independently in a CPT. Following the experimental manipulations, we tested the MCCPT with aging controls and chronic stroke patients to assure the task can be used with target populations. The results confirm the MCCPT as a task providing high sensitivity without relying on reaction speed, and feasible for patients.

  13. How work-self conflict/facilitation influences exhaustion and task performance: a three-wave study on the role of personal resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demerouti, E.; Sanz-Vergel, A.I.; Petrou, P.; van den Heuvel, M.

    2016-01-01

    Although work and family are undoubtedly important life domains, individuals are also active in other life roles which are also important to them (like pursuing personal interests). Building on identity theory and the resource perspective on work–home interface, we examined whether there is an

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2017-09-18

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

  16. High Performance Work Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P.P.E.F. Boselie (Paul); A. van der Wiele (Ton)

    2002-01-01

    textabstractResearch, summarized and classified in the work of Delery and Doty (1996), Guest (1997), Paauwe and Richardson (1997) and Boselie et al. (2001), suggests significant impact of Human Resources Management (HRM) on the competitive advantage of organizations. The mainstream research on this

  17. Academic Work and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunter, Helen M.

    2012-01-01

    Reading current accounts of higher education demonstrates the flux and damage of rapid neoliberal changes to the type and conduct of academic work. Opening the Times Higher Education magazine on the 28 April 2011 shows articles about cuts in staffing and undergraduate provision in England, concerns about the quality of for-profit higher education…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Texas' performance assessment work

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Charbeneau, R.J.; Hertel, N.E.; Pollard, C.G.

    1990-01-01

    The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority is completing two years of detailed on-site suitability studies of a potential low-level radioactive waste disposal site in Hudspeth County, Texas. The data from these studies have been used to estimate site specific parameters needed to do a performance assessment of the site. The radiological impacts of the site have been analyzed as required for a license application. The approach adopted for the performance assessment was to use simplified and yet conservative assumptions with regard to releases, radionuclide transport, and dose calculations. The methodologies employed in the performance assessment are reviewed in the paper. Rather than rely on a single computer code, a modular approach to the performance assessment was selected. The HELP code was used to calculate the infiltration rate through the trench covers and the amount of leachate released from this arid site. Individual pathway analyses used spreadsheet calculations. These calculations were compared with those from other computer models including CRRIS, INGDOS, PATHRAE, and MICROSHIELD copyright, and found to yield conservative estimates of the effective whole body dose. The greatest difficulty in performing the radiological assessment of the site was the selection of reasonable source terms for release into the environment. A surface water pathway is unreasonable for the site. Though also unlikely, the groundwater pathway with exposure through a site boundary well was found to yield the largest calculated dose. The more likely pathway including transport of leachate from the facility through the unsaturated zone and returning to the ground surface yields small doses. All calculated doses associated with normal releases of radioactivity are below the regulatory limits

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Andrew F

    2006-06-01

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

  1. Teaching Software Developers to Perform UX Tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Øvad, Tina; Bornoe, Nis; Larsen, Lars Bo

    2015-01-01

    . This is done via an action research study where the developers were provided with material concerning a modified AB usability test, by training them in performing this type of work, and by using their feedback to improve the method and the material. The overall result of the study is positive and it is found...... that by using the developers' feedback in the modification process, the method has truly become applicable within an agile, industrial setting. In combination with a guideline and template this has induced the developers to feel confident in independently performing this type of work....

  2. Defining a roadmap for harmonizing quality indicators in Laboratory Medicine: a consensus statement on behalf of the IFCC Working Group "Laboratory Error and Patient Safety" and EFLM Task and Finish Group "Performance specifications for the extra-analytical phases".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciacovelli, Laura; Panteghini, Mauro; Lippi, Giuseppe; Sumarac, Zorica; Cadamuro, Janne; Galoro, César Alex De Olivera; Pino Castro, Isabel Garcia Del; Shcolnik, Wilson; Plebani, Mario

    2017-08-28

    The improving quality of laboratory testing requires a deep understanding of the many vulnerable steps involved in the total examination process (TEP), along with the identification of a hierarchy of risks and challenges that need to be addressed. From this perspective, the Working Group "Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety" (WG-LEPS) of International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) is focusing its activity on implementation of an efficient tool for obtaining meaningful information on the risk of errors developing throughout the TEP, and for establishing reliable information about error frequencies and their distribution. More recently, the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) has created the Task and Finish Group "Performance specifications for the extra-analytical phases" (TFG-PSEP) for defining performance specifications for extra-analytical phases. Both the IFCC and EFLM groups are working to provide laboratories with a system to evaluate their performances and recognize the critical aspects where improvement actions are needed. A Consensus Conference was organized in Padova, Italy, in 2016 in order to bring together all the experts and interested parties to achieve a consensus for effective harmonization of quality indicators (QIs). A general agreement was achieved and the main outcomes have been the release of a new version of model of quality indicators (MQI), the approval of a criterion for establishing performance specifications and the definition of the type of information that should be provided within the report to the clinical laboratories participating to the QIs project.

  3. The composite complex span: French validation of a short working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonthier, Corentin; Thomassin, Noémylle; Roulin, Jean-Luc

    2016-03-01

    Most studies in individual differences in the field of working memory research use complex span tasks to measure working memory capacity. Various complex span tasks based on different materials have been developed, and these tasks have proven both reliable and valid; several complex span tasks are often combined to provide a domain-general estimate of working memory capacity with even better psychometric properties. The present work sought to address two issues. Firstly, having participants perform several full-length complex span tasks in succession makes for a long and tedious procedure. Secondly, few complex span tasks have been translated and validated in French. We constructed a French working memory task labeled the Composite Complex Span (CCS). The CCS includes shortened versions of three classic complex span tasks: the reading span, symmetry span, and operation span. We assessed the psychometric properties of the CCS, including test-retest reliability and convergent validity, with Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices and with an alpha span task; the CCS demonstrated satisfying qualities in a sample of 1,093 participants. This work provides evidence that shorter versions of classic complex span tasks can yield valid working memory estimates. The materials and normative data for the CCS are also included.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Slow wave maturation on a visual working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barriga-Paulino, Catarina I; Rodríguez-Martínez, Elena I; Rojas-Benjumea, Ma Ángeles; Gómez, Carlos M

    2014-07-01

    The purpose of the present study is to analyze how the Slow Wave develops in the retention period on a visual Delayed Match-to-Sample task performed by 170 subjects between 6 and 26 years old, divided into 5 age groups. In addition, a neuropsychological test (Working Memory Test Battery for Children) was correlated with this Event Related Potential (ERP) in order to observe possible relationships between Slow Wave maturation and the components of Baddeley and Hitch's Working Memory model. The results showed a slow negativity during the retention period in the posterior region in all the age groups, possibly resulting from sustained neural activity related to the visual item presented. In the anterior region, a positive slow wave was observed in the youngest subjects. Dipole analysis suggests that this fronto-central positivity in children (6-13 years old) consists of the positive side of the posterior negativity, once these subjects only needed two posterior dipoles to explain almost all the neural activity. Negative correlations were shown between the Slow Wave and the Working Memory Test Battery for Children, indicating a commonality in assessing Working Memory with the Slow Wave and the neuropsychological testing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  8. Preparatory neural activity predicts performance on a conflict task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Emily R; Wager, Tor D; Egner, Tobias; Hirsch, Joy; Mangels, Jennifer A

    2007-10-24

    Advance preparation has been shown to improve the efficiency of conflict resolution. Yet, with little empirical work directly linking preparatory neural activity to the performance benefits of advance cueing, it is not clear whether this relationship results from preparatory activation of task-specific networks, or from activity associated with general alerting processes. Here, fMRI data were acquired during a spatial Stroop task in which advance cues either informed subjects of the upcoming relevant feature of conflict stimuli (spatial or semantic) or were neutral. Informative cues decreased reaction time (RT) relative to neutral cues, and cues indicating that spatial information would be task-relevant elicited greater activity than neutral cues in multiple areas, including right anterior prefrontal and bilateral parietal cortex. Additionally, preparatory activation in bilateral parietal cortex and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predicted faster RT when subjects responded to spatial location. No regions were found to be specific to semantic cues at conventional thresholds, and lowering the threshold further revealed little overlap between activity associated with spatial and semantic cueing effects, thereby demonstrating a single dissociation between activations related to preparing a spatial versus semantic task-set. This relationship between preparatory activation of spatial processing networks and efficient conflict resolution suggests that advance information can benefit performance by leading to domain-specific biasing of task-relevant information.

  9. COMMUNICATION, WORK PERFORMANCE AND HEARING IMPAIRMENT

    OpenAIRE

    Héctor Florencio Martínez Pérez

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this research is to describe the work performance of employees with hearing disabilities in education and their communication style. Theoretically, Karns, Dow and Neville (2012), postulated that the deaf processed Visual and tactile stimuli in their tasks. In job performance there are the contributions of Treviño et al (2010), Chiavenato (2009, 2011) and Robbins and Judge (2009). Venezuelan laws are included as basis and strengthening of inclution-participation of the deaf. T...

  10. Performance assessment task team progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, D.E.; Curl, R.U.; Armstrong, D.R.; Cook, J.R.; Dolenc, M.R.; Kocher, D.C.; Owens, K.W.; Regnier, E.P.; Roles, G.W.; Seitz, R.R.

    1994-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters EM-35, established a Performance Assessment Task Team (referred to as the Team) to integrate the activities of the sites that are preparing performance assessments (PAs) for disposal of new low-level waste, as required by Chapter III of DOE Order 5820.2A, open-quotes Low-Level Waste Managementclose quotes. The intent of the Team is to achieve a degree of consistency among these PAs as the analyses proceed at the disposal sites. The Team's purpose is to recommend policy and guidance to the DOE on issues that impact the PAs, including release scenarios and parameters, so that the approaches are as consistent as possible across the DOE complex. The Team has identified issues requiring attention and developed discussion papers for those issues. Some issues have been completed, and the recommendations are provided in this document. Other issues are still being discussed, and the status summaries are provided in this document. A major initiative was to establish a subteam to develop a set of test scenarios and parameters for benchmarking codes in use at the various sites. The activities of the Team are reported here through December 1993

  11. Tasks for the future process and works management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kinn, T.

    1994-01-01

    The actions which have been taken according to the company's targets formulated so far, have lead to complex large scale technical plants. The process and works management becomes more and more difficult due to increasing costs and the strict margins, which have been set by the environmental technology. A complex/An integrated approach at the development of process and works control systems can help considerably to solve these problems due to the dependency on information and partly similar tasks. Before the integrated/complex approach is made the structure and nature of the tasks of all company levels must be analysed and put into concrete terms. The resulting demand of data processing must be adjusted within the frame of a data processing development plan and be realised step by step. In this work the structures, the future tasks and the information demand of process and works management are described. (orig.) [de

  12. Organisational and Task Factors Influencing Teachers' Professional Development at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, Arnoud T.; Van der Heijden, Béatrice I. J. M.; Kreijns, Karel

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate organisational (cultural and relational) and task factors which potentially enhance teachers' professional development at work (TPD at Work). The development of lifelong learning competencies and, consequently, the careers of teachers, has become a permanent issue on the agenda of schools…

  13. Organisational and task factors influencing teachers’ professional development at work

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evers, A.T.; Heijden, B.I.J.M. van der; Kreijns, K.

    2016-01-01

    - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate organisational (cultural and relational) and task factors which potentially enhance teachers’ professional development at work (TPD at Work). The development of lifelong learning competencies and, consequently, the careers of teachers, has

  14. Modeling the Role of Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Behavioral Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Zilli, Eric A.; Hasselmo, Michael E.

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms of goal-directed behavior have been studied using reinforcement learning theory, but these theoretical techniques have not often been used to address the role of memory systems in performing behavioral tasks. The present work addresses this shortcoming by providing a way in which working memory and episodic memory may be included in the reinforcement learning framework, then simulating the successful acquisition and performance of six behavioral tasks, drawn from or inspired by...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  16. Paw Preference Correlates to Task Performance in Dogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Working memory and the control of action: evidence from task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A; Chincotta, D; Adlam, A

    2001-12-01

    A series of 7 experiments used dual-task methodology to investigate the role of working memory in the operation of a simple action-control plan or program involving regular switching between addition and subtraction. Lists requiring switching were slower than blocked lists and showed 2 concurrent task effects. Demanding executive tasks impaired performance on both blocked and switched lists, whereas articulatory suppression impaired principally the switched condition. Implications for models of task switching and working memory and for the Vygotskian concept of verbal control of action are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. The influence of time on task on mind wandering and visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krimsky, Marissa; Forster, Daniel E; Llabre, Maria M; Jha, Amishi P

    2017-12-01

    Working memory relies on executive resources for successful task performance, with higher demands necessitating greater resource engagement. In addition to mnemonic demands, prior studies suggest that internal sources of distraction, such as mind wandering (i.e., having off-task thoughts) and greater time on task, may tax executive resources. Herein, the consequences of mnemonic demand, mind wandering, and time on task were investigated during a visual working memory task. Participants (N=143) completed a delayed-recognition visual working memory task, with mnemonic load for visual objects manipulated across trials (1 item=low load; 2 items=high load) and subjective mind wandering assessed intermittently throughout the experiment using a self-report Likert-type scale (1=on-task, 6=off-task). Task performance (correct/incorrect response) and self-reported mind wandering data were evaluated by hierarchical linear modeling to track trial-by-trial fluctuations. Performance declined with greater time on task, and the rate of decline was steeper for high vs low load trials. Self-reported mind wandering increased over time, and significantly varied asa function of both load and time on task. Participants reported greater mind wandering at the beginning of the experiment for low vs. high load trials; however, with greater time on task, more mind wandering was reported during high vs. low load trials. These results suggest that the availability of executive resources in support of working memory maintenance processes fluctuates in a demand-sensitive manner with time on task, and may be commandeered by mind wandering. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Asymmetric cross-domain interference between two working memory tasks : Implications for models of working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice C.; Morey, Richard D.; van der Reijden, Madeleine; Holweg, Margot

    2013-01-01

    Observations of higher dual-task costs for within-domain than cross-domain task combinations constitute classic evidence for multi-component models of working memory (e.g., Baddeley, 1986; Logie, 2011). However, we report an asymmetric pattern of interference between verbal and visual-spatial tasks,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  5. Emotion processing facilitates working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Björn R; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2011-11-01

    The effect of emotional stimulus content on working memory performance has been investigated with conflicting results, as both emotion-dependent facilitation and impairments are reported in the literature. To clarify this issue, 52 adult participants performed a modified visual 2-back task with highly arousing positive stimuli (sexual scenes), highly arousing negative stimuli (violent death) and low-arousal neutral stimuli. Emotional stimulus processing was found to facilitate task performance relative to that of neutral stimuli, both in regards to response accuracy and reaction times. No emotion-dependent differences in false-alarm rates were found. These results indicate that emotional information can have a facilitating effect on working memory maintenance and processing of information.

  6. Strategic and Unpressured Within-Task Planning and Their Associations with Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shaofeng; Fu, Mengxia

    2018-01-01

    This study investigated the comparative effects of strategic and unpressured within-task planning on second language (L2) Chinese oral production and the role of working memory in mediating the effects of the two types of planning. Twenty-nine L2 Chinese learners at a large New Zealand university performed a narrative task after watching a…

  7. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Reading Difficulties: Memory Span and Dual Task Coordination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shinmin; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the cause of the reported problems in working memory in children with reading difficulties. Verbal and visuospatial simple and complex span tasks, and digit span and reaction times tasks performed singly and in combination, were administered to 46 children with single word reading difficulties and 45 typically…

  8. Working Memory in Down Syndrome: Is There a Dual Task Deficit?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanfranchi, S.; Baddeley, A.; Gathercole, S.; Vianello, R.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Recent studies have shown that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) are poorer than controls in performing verbal and visuospatial dual tasks. The present study aims at better investigating the dual task deficit in working memory in individuals with DS. Method: Forty-five individuals with DS and 45 typically developing children matched…

  9. Task Characteristics and Work Engagement: Exploring Effects of Role Ambiguity and ICT Presenteeism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Hoon Lee

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to secure organizational sustainability in a rapidly changing environment, it is necessary to implement a decentralized and flexible work environment. In such work environments, normally individuals are provided with autonomy and independence in performing tasks, thus allowing them to further engage in their given work. This study investigated task antecedents of work engagement, and further explored the process of how task characteristics affect work engagement. It focused on examining the mediating effect of role ambiguity on the task characteristics-work engagement relationship and the moderating effect of information and communication technology (ICT presenteeism on the task characteristics–role ambiguity relationship through multiple regression analyses and a bootstrapping procedure on survey data collected from 202 South Korean employees. It found that task interdependence and autonomy were negatively associated with role ambiguity. Of the two task characteristics, only task interdependence had a negative relationship with role ambiguity, and this relationship was significantly moderated by ICT presenteeism such that the negative association between task interdependence and role ambiguity was more pronounced when ICT presenteeism was high than when it was low.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. The influence of a working memory task on affective perception of facial expressions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seung-Lark Lim

    Full Text Available In a dual-task paradigm, participants performed a spatial location working memory task and a forced two-choice perceptual decision task (neutral vs. fearful with gradually morphed emotional faces (neutral ∼ fearful. Task-irrelevant word distractors (negative, neutral, and control were experimentally manipulated during spatial working memory encoding. We hypothesized that, if affective perception is influenced by concurrent cognitive load using a working memory task, task-irrelevant emotional distractors would bias subsequent perceptual decision-making on ambiguous facial expression. We found that when either neutral or negative emotional words were presented as task-irrelevant working-memory distractors, participants more frequently reported fearful face perception - but only at the higher emotional intensity levels of morphed faces. Also, the affective perception bias due to negative emotional distractors correlated with a decrease in working memory performance. Taken together, our findings suggest that concurrent working memory load by task-irrelevant distractors has an impact on affective perception of facial expressions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Cerebrocerebellar networks during articulatory rehearsal and verbal working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S H Annabel; Desmond, John E

    2005-01-15

    Converging evidence has implicated the cerebellum in verbal working memory. The current fMRI study sought to further characterize cerebrocerebellar participation in this cognitive process by revealing regions of activation common to a verbal working task and an articulatory control task, as well as regions that are uniquely activated by working memory. Consistent with our model's predictions, load-dependent activations were observed in Broca's area (BA 44/6) and the superior cerebellar hemisphere (VI/CrusI) for both working memory and motoric rehearsal. In contrast, activations unique to verbal working memory were found in the inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) and the right inferior cerebellum hemisphere (VIIB). These findings provide evidence for two cerebrocerebellar networks for verbal working memory: a frontal/superior cerebellar articulatory control system and a parietal/inferior cerebellar phonological storage system.

  15. High performance work practices, innovation and performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Newton, Cameron; Johnston, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Research spanning nearly 20 years has provided considerable empirical evidence for relationships between High Performance Work Practices (HPWPs) and various measures of performance including increased productivity, improved customer service, and reduced turnover. What stands out from......, and Africa to examine these various questions relating to the HPWP-innovation-performance relationship. Each paper discusses a practice that has been identified in HPWP literature and potential variables that can facilitate or hinder the effects of these practices of innovation- and performance...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tilo eStrobach

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Peer Pressure in Multi-Dimensional Work Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Felix Ebeling; Gerlinde Fellner; Johannes Wahlig

    2012-01-01

    We study the influence of peer pressure in multi-dimensional work tasks theoretically and in a controlled laboratory experiment. Thereby, workers face peer pressure in only one work dimension. We find that effort provision increases in the dimension where peer pressure is introduced. However, not all of this increase translates into a productivity gain, since the effect is partly offset by a decrease of effort in the work dimension without peer pressure. Furthermore, this tradeoff is stronger...

  18. The effects of age, illustrations, and task variables on the performance of procedural assembly tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrell, R W; Park, D C

    1993-09-01

    Older adults may be disadvantaged in the performance of procedural assembly tasks because of age-related declines in working memory operations. It was hypothesized that adding illustrations to instructional text may lessen age-related performance differences by minimizing processing demands on working memory in the elderly. In the present study, younger and older adults constructed a series of 3-dimensional objects from 3 types of instructions (text only, illustration only, or text and illustrations). Results indicated that instructions consisting of text and illustrations reduced errors in construction for both age groups compared with the other formats. Younger adults, however, outperformed older adults under all instructional format conditions. Measures of spatial and verbal working memory and text comprehension ability accounted for substantial age-related variance across the different format conditions but did not fully account for the age differences observed.

  19. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  20. Stroop proactive control and task conflict are modulated by concurrent working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalanthroff, Eyal; Avnit, Amir; Henik, Avishai; Davelaar, Eddy J; Usher, Marius

    2015-06-01

    Performance on the Stroop task reflects two types of conflict-informational (between the incongruent word and font color) and task (between the contextually relevant color-naming task and the irrelevant, but automatic, word-reading task). According to the dual mechanisms of control theory (DMC; Braver, 2012), variability in Stroop performance can result from variability in the deployment of a proactive task-demand control mechanism. Previous research has shown that when proactive control (PC) is diminished, both increased Stroop interference and a reversed Stroop facilitation (RF) are observed. Although the current DMC model accounts for the former effect, it does not predict the observed RF, which is considered to be behavioral evidence for task conflict in the Stroop task. Here we expanded the DMC model to account for Stroop RF. Assuming that a concurrent working memory (WM) task reduces PC, we predicted both increased interference and an RF. Nineteen participants performed a standard Stroop task combined with a concurrent n-back task, which was aimed at reducing available WM resources, and thus overloading PC. Although the results indicated common Stroop interference and facilitation in the low-load condition (zero-back), in the high-load condition (two-back), both increased Stroop interference and RF were observed, consistent with the model's prediction. These findings indicate that PC is modulated by concurrent WM load and serves as a common control mechanism for both informational and task Stroop conflicts.

  1. Work domain constraints for modelling surgical performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morineau, Thierry; Riffaud, Laurent; Morandi, Xavier; Villain, Jonathan; Jannin, Pierre

    2015-10-01

    Three main approaches can be identified for modelling surgical performance: a competency-based approach, a task-based approach, both largely explored in the literature, and a less known work domain-based approach. The work domain-based approach first describes the work domain properties that constrain the agent's actions and shape the performance. This paper presents a work domain-based approach for modelling performance during cervical spine surgery, based on the idea that anatomical structures delineate the surgical performance. This model was evaluated through an analysis of junior and senior surgeons' actions. Twenty-four cervical spine surgeries performed by two junior and two senior surgeons were recorded in real time by an expert surgeon. According to a work domain-based model describing an optimal progression through anatomical structures, the degree of adjustment of each surgical procedure to a statistical polynomial function was assessed. Each surgical procedure showed a significant suitability with the model and regression coefficient values around 0.9. However, the surgeries performed by senior surgeons fitted this model significantly better than those performed by junior surgeons. Analysis of the relative frequencies of actions on anatomical structures showed that some specific anatomical structures discriminate senior from junior performances. The work domain-based modelling approach can provide an overall statistical indicator of surgical performance, but in particular, it can highlight specific points of interest among anatomical structures that the surgeons dwelled on according to their level of expertise.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salimi, Asghar

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-02-01

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

  4. Ready to rumble: how team personality composition and task conflict interact to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Bret H; Klotz, Anthony C; Postlethwaite, Bennett E; Brown, Kenneth G

    2013-03-01

    Although prior work has proposed a number of conditions under which task conflict in teams may improve performance, composition variables have been left unexplored. Given the effects of personality traits on team processes and outcomes demonstrated in prior work, investigating whether specific personality compositions influence the effect of task conflict on team performance is critical to researchers' understanding of conflict in teams. Our results indicate that team-level averages of both openness to experience and emotional stability function as moderators of the relationship between task conflict and team performance. Specifically, task conflict had a positive impact on performance in teams with high levels of openness or emotional stability; in contrast, task conflict had a negative impact on performance in teams with low levels of openness or emotional stability. Thus, when task conflict emerges, teams composed of members who are open minded or emotionally stable are best able to leverage conflict to improve performance. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Performance in complex motor tasks deteriorates in hyperthermic humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Task Performance with List-Mode Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caucci, Luca

    This dissertation investigates the application of list-mode data to detection, estimation, and image reconstruction problems, with an emphasis on emission tomography in medical imaging. We begin by introducing a theoretical framework for list-mode data and we use it to define two observers that operate on list-mode data. These observers are applied to the problem of detecting a signal (known in shape and location) buried in a random lumpy background. We then consider maximum-likelihood methods for the estimation of numerical parameters from list-mode data, and we characterize the performance of these estimators via the so-called Fisher information matrix. Reconstruction from PET list-mode data is then considered. In a process we called "double maximum-likelihood" reconstruction, we consider a simple PET imaging system and we use maximum-likelihood methods to first estimate a parameter vector for each pair of gamma-ray photons that is detected by the hardware. The collection of these parameter vectors forms a list, which is then fed to another maximum-likelihood algorithm for volumetric reconstruction over a grid of voxels. Efficient parallel implementation of the algorithms discussed above is then presented. In this work, we take advantage of two low-cost, mass-produced computing platforms that have recently appeared on the market, and we provide some details on implementing our algorithms on these devices. We conclude this dissertation work by elaborating on a possible application of list-mode data to X-ray digital mammography. We argue that today's CMOS detectors and computing platforms have become fast enough to make X-ray digital mammography list-mode data acquisition and processing feasible.

  9. Work assignments, delegation of tasks and job satisfaction among Danish dental hygienists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hach, M; Aaberg, K B; Lempert, S M; Danielsen, B

    2017-08-01

    Recent legislation in Denmark has made it possible for dentists to delegate their tasks to dental hygienists. Previous studies have shown that Danish dental hygienists primarily were performing assignments within their own work field. These assignments include prophylaxis or instructing patients in oral health care. However, studies have also shown that Danish dental hygienists performed dental nurse assignments such as chair-side assistance, unit cleaning and disinfection of instruments. The objectives of this study were to investigate (i) the range of work assignments performed by Danish dental hygienists, (ii) the types of dentist tasks performed by Danish dental hygienists and (iii) job satisfaction among Danish dental hygienists. Dental hygienists graduating in 2004-2007 were invited to participate in this study. Participants answered an email-distributed questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of questions regarding job satisfaction, assignments performed, postgraduate course attendance, receiving assistance from a dental nurse and which work assignments Danish dental hygienists wish to perform in the future. The results of this study showed that 90% of Danish dental hygienists were satisfied with their job and 52% were performing dentists' tasks. Among dentists' tasks performed by Danish dental hygienists, invasive caries therapy was the most frequently performed task. The type of assignments performed by Danish dental hygienists today appears to be changing compared to previous studies. From initially performing prophylaxis and chair-side assistance for the dentist, Danish dental hygienists today are performing a wider range of tasks which includes dentists' tasks. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Ego Depletion Does Not Interfere With Working Memory Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ranjit K; Göritz, Anja S

    2018-01-01

    Ego depletion happens if exerting self-control reduces a person's capacity to subsequently control themselves. Previous research has suggested that ego depletion not only interferes with subsequent self-control but also with working memory. However, recent meta-analytical evidence casts doubt onto this. The present study tackles the question if ego depletion does interfere with working memory performance. We induced ego depletion in two ways: using an e-crossing task and using a Stroop task. We then measured working memory performance using the letter-number sequencing task. There was no evidence of ego depletion interfering with working memory performance. Several aspects of our study render this null finding highly robust. We had a large and heterogeneous sample of N = 1,385, which provided sufficient power. We deployed established depletion tasks from two task families (e-crossing task and Stroop), thus making it less likely that the null finding is due to a specific depletion paradigm. We derived several performance scores from the working memory task and ran different analyses to maximize the chances of finding an effect. Lastly, we controlled for two potential moderators, the implicit theories about willpower and dispositional self-control capacity, to ensure that a possible effect on working memory is not obscured by an interaction effect. In sum, this experiment strengthens the position that ego depletion works but does not affect working memory performance.

  11. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Rapid Authoring of Task Knowledge for Training and Performance Support

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mohammed, John L; Sorensen, Barbara; Ong, James C; Li, Jian

    2005-01-01

    .... These systems use hierarchical, object-oriented task representations that enable rapid authoring by non-programmers while supporting sophisticated job aiding and student performance evaluation...

  13. Task based design of a digital work environment (DWE for an academic community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayanan Meyyappan

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Task based design is considered one of the effective ways of designing functional software. It is generally accepted that tasks play an important role in system and user interface design. Identifying the user's tasks enables the designer to construct user interfaces reflecting the tasks' properties, including efficient usage patterns, easy-to-use interaction sequences, and powerful assistance features. In this paper, we present a prototype of a Digital Work Environment (DWE to support a task-oriented design to information access in a typical community of academic users. The resources in DWE are organized according to specific tasks performed by the research students and staff in the Division of Information Studies of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The tasks and resources were elicited based on the needs of faculty and students through interviews and focus groups. Examples of these tasks include preparation of a new course outline, setting of examination papers, preparation of reading lists and assignments, conducting literature reviews and writing dissertations. This paper discusses the problems of digital library users in an academic environment, highlights task oriented projects and focuses on the task of preparing and writing a Master dissertation. It highlights the importance of task based design in assisting and helping students and instructors from the time of selecting the research project to the time of submitting the final bound copies of the dissertation.

  14. A potential spatial working memory training task to improve both episodic memory and fluid intelligence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah R Rudebeck

    Full Text Available One current challenge in cognitive training is to create a training regime that benefits multiple cognitive domains, including episodic memory, without relying on a large battery of tasks, which can be time-consuming and difficult to learn. By giving careful consideration to the neural correlates underlying episodic and working memory, we devised a computerized working memory training task in which neurologically healthy participants were required to monitor and detect repetitions in two streams of spatial information (spatial location and scene identity presented simultaneously (i.e. a dual n-back paradigm. Participants' episodic memory abilities were assessed before and after training using two object and scene recognition memory tasks incorporating memory confidence judgments. Furthermore, to determine the generalizability of the effects of training, we also assessed fluid intelligence using a matrix reasoning task. By examining the difference between pre- and post-training performance (i.e. gain scores, we found that the trainers, compared to non-trainers, exhibited a significant improvement in fluid intelligence after 20 days. Interestingly, pre-training fluid intelligence performance, but not training task improvement, was a significant predictor of post-training fluid intelligence improvement, with lower pre-training fluid intelligence associated with greater post-training gain. Crucially, trainers who improved the most on the training task also showed an improvement in recognition memory as captured by d-prime scores and estimates of recollection and familiarity memory. Training task improvement was a significant predictor of gains in recognition and familiarity memory performance, with greater training improvement leading to more marked gains. In contrast, lower pre-training recollection memory scores, and not training task improvement, led to greater recollection memory performance after training. Our findings demonstrate that practice

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggett, H. Lane; And Others

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kormos, Judit; Trebits, Anna

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botzer, Assaf; Meyer, Joachim; Parmet, Yisrael

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Why turnover matters in self-managing work teams : Learning, social integration, and task flexibility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Vegt, G.S.; Bunderson, S.; Kuipers, B.

    This study considers how turnover in self-managing work teams influences the team interaction processes that promote effective task accomplishment. Drawing from research on self-managing work teams and group process, the authors propose that team turnover affects performance in self-managing teams

  19. Emergence of task-dependent representations in working memory circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina eSavin

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A wealth of experimental evidence suggests that working memory circuits preferentially represent information that is behaviorally relevant. Still, we are missing a mechanistic account of how these representations come about. Here we provide a simple explanation for a range of experimental findings, in light of prefrontal circuits adapting to task constraints by reward-dependent learning. In particular, we model a neural network shaped by reward-modulated spike-timing dependent plasticity (r-STDP and homeostatic plasticity (intrinsic excitability and synaptic scaling. We show that the experimentally-observed neural representations naturally emerge in an initially unstructured circuit as it learns to solve several working memory tasks. These results point to a critical, and previously unappreciated, role for reward-dependent learning in shaping prefrontal cortex activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Working memory capacity and task goals modulate error-related ERPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, James R; Watson, Jason M; Strayer, David L

    2018-03-01

    The present study investigated individual differences in information processing following errant behavior. Participants were initially classified as high or as low working memory capacity using the Operation Span Task. In a subsequent session, they then performed a high congruency version of the flanker task under both speed and accuracy stress. We recorded ERPs and behavioral measures of accuracy and response time in the flanker task with a primary focus on processing following an error. The error-related negativity was larger for the high working memory capacity group than for the low working memory capacity group. The positivity following an error (Pe) was modulated to a greater extent by speed-accuracy instruction for the high working memory capacity group than for the low working memory capacity group. These data help to explicate the neural bases of individual differences in working memory capacity and cognitive control. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  2. National trachoma task forces: how can we work better?

    OpenAIRE

    Courtright P; Miri E

    2010-01-01

    Tackling trachoma is a complex challenge.In order to implement all four components of the SAFE strategy on a national level (surgery for trichiasis, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental change, such as clean water and latrines), there needs to be national coordination, supported by political commitment at the highest level. In each trachoma-endemic country, the body responsible for making this work is the national trachoma task force (NTTF).

  3. National trachoma task forces: how can we work better?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Courtright P

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Tackling trachoma is a complex challenge.In order to implement all four components of the SAFE strategy on a national level (surgery for trichiasis, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental change, such as clean water and latrines, there needs to be national coordination, supported by political commitment at the highest level. In each trachoma-endemic country, the body responsible for making this work is the national trachoma task force (NTTF.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Current status of the tasks performed by the Nuclear Fuel Department for the CAREM project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaufmann, Federico; Perez, Lidia E.; Perez, Aaldo; Marchi, Daniel E.

    2009-01-01

    CAREM Project required to the Nuclear Fuels Department to perform the necessary tasks to define the powder characteristics and natural UO 2 -Gd 2 O 3 , UO 2 -1.8 and 3.1 % enrichment fuel pellets manufacturing and control parameters. To start with these tasks it was necessary to hire and train staff, begin the licensing process of the facilities, update infrastructure works and equipment of existing facilities. A brief description of the tasks performed is shown. (author)

  6. Psychosocial work environment and performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Kasper; Møller, Niels

    2010-01-01

    and describe the mechanism underlying the observed relationship. It is observed that a specific leadership style is responsible for creating a good working environment which leads to good performance. The leadership style can be described as process oriented, supportive and consistent but also demanding....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Won Dae; Park, Jink Yun

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Cross-cultural adaptation of the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Lerner, D.; Vet, H.C.W. de; Beek, A.J. van der

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ), measuring task performance, contextual performance, and counterproductive work behavior, was developed in The Netherlands. OBJECTIVES: To cross-culturally adapt the IWPQ from the Dutch to the American-English language, and assess the

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  11. Working memory, math performance, and math anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashcraft, Mark H; Krause, Jeremy A

    2007-04-01

    The cognitive literature now shows how critically math performance depends on working memory, for any form of arithmetic and math that involves processes beyond simple memory retrieval. The psychometric literature is also very clear on the global consequences of mathematics anxiety. People who are highly math anxious avoid math: They avoid elective coursework in math, both in high school and college, they avoid college majors that emphasize math, and they avoid career paths that involve math. We go beyond these psychometric relationships to examine the cognitive consequences of math anxiety. We show how performance on a standardized math achievement test varies as a function of math anxiety, and that math anxiety compromises the functioning of working memory. High math anxiety works much like a dual task setting: Preoccupation with one's math fears and anxieties functions like a resource-demanding secondary task. We comment on developmental and educational factors related to math and working memory, and on factors that may contribute to the development of math anxiety.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wout eDuthoo

    2012-08-01

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

  13. Brain Activation and Deactivation during Location and Color Working Memory Tasks in 11-13-Year-Old Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuontela, Virve; Steenari, Maija-Riikka; Aronen, Eeva T.; Korvenoja, Antti; Aronen, Hannu J.; Carlson, Synnove

    2009-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and n-back tasks we investigated whether, in 11-13-year-old children, spatial (location) and nonspatial (color) information is differentially processed during visual attention (0-back) and working memory (WM) (2-back) tasks and whether such cognitive task performance, compared to a resting state,…

  14. Observing Pair-Work Task in an English Speaking Class

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Achmad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on students’ pair-work interactions to develop their speaking skills in an ELT classroom which consisted of international learners. A number of 16 learners of intermediate proficiency with IELTS score band 5.5 were observed. The teacher had paired those he considered among them to be the more competent ones (hereafter, stronger with the less competent ones (hereafter, weaker; therefore, eight pairs were observed during the lesson. The task given to the students was to express ‘Agree and Disagree’ in the context of giving opinions related to social life. Based on the observations, the task was successfully implemented by six pairs; thus, the two others faced some problems. From the first pair, it was seen that the stronger student had intimated the weaker one into speaking during the task. The other pair, who was both of the same native, did not converse in English as expected and mostly used their native language to speak with one another presumably due to respect from the stronger student towards the weaker one. In situations like this, when pair-work becomes unproductive, rotating pairs is recommended to strengthen information sharing and assigning roles to avoid a student from taking over the activity from his or her pair. In conclusion, pairing international learners with mixed speaking proficiency by teachers must be conducted as effectively as possible by initially identifying their ability and learning culture to profoundly expand the students’ language resources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  16. Children's auditory working memory performance in degraded listening conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Homira; Sullivan, Jessica R

    2014-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine (a) whether school-age children with typical hearing demonstrate poorer auditory working memory performance in multitalker babble at degraded signal-to-noise ratios than in quiet; and (b) whether the amount of cognitive demand of the task contributed to differences in performance in noise. It was hypothesized that stressing the working memory system with the presence of noise would impede working memory processes in real time and result in poorer working memory performance in degraded conditions. Twenty children with typical hearing between 8 and 10 years old were tested using 4 auditory working memory tasks (Forward Digit Recall, Backward Digit Recall, Listening Recall Primary, and Listening Recall Secondary). Stimuli were from the standardized Working Memory Test Battery for Children. Each task was administered in quiet and in 4-talker babble noise at 0 dB and -5 dB signal-to-noise ratios. Children's auditory working memory performance was systematically decreased in the presence of multitalker babble noise compared with quiet. Differences between low-complexity and high-complexity tasks were observed, with children performing more poorly on tasks with greater storage and processing demands. There was no interaction between noise and complexity of task. All tasks were negatively impacted similarly by the addition of noise. Auditory working memory performance was negatively impacted by the presence of multitalker babble noise. Regardless of complexity of task, noise had a similar effect on performance. These findings suggest that the addition of noise inhibits auditory working memory processes in real time for school-age children.

  17. Effects of Task Performance and Task Complexity on the Validity of Computational Models of Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koning, L. de; Maanen, P.P. van; Dongen, K. van

    2008-01-01

    Computational models of attention can be used as a component of decision support systems. For accurate support, a computational model of attention has to be valid and robust. The effects of task performance and task complexity on the validity of three different computational models of attention were

  18. Short-term memory and dual task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, J. E.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutanda, Diana; Correa, Ángel; Sanabria, Daniel

    2015-06-01

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

  20. Job Characteristics, Work Involvement, and Job Performance of Public Servants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johari, Johanim; Yahya, Khulida Kirana

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The primary purpose of this study is to assess the predicting role of job characteristics on job performance. Dimensions in the job characteristics construct are skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. Further, work involvement is tested as a mediator in the hypothesized link. Design/methodology/approach: A…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara L. Powell

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  3. Working memory: Differences between young adults and the aged in listening tasks *

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Isabel d'Ávila Freitas

    Full Text Available Abstract Working memory is a system with a limited capacity which enables the temporary storage and manipulation of the information necessary for complex cognitive tasks. Numerous studies have suggested that performance in these tasks is related to age where older adults have a lesser performance than the young. Objective: To analyze the processing functions of working memory in a listening task. Method: 59 educated participants aged between 19 and 76 years having no memory complaints were divided into two groups (young and aged adults. The test administered was the adapted Listening Span, in which the subject listens to a sentence, judging whether it is true or false and, concomitantly, stores the last word of each sentence for later evocation. Results: In the judgment task, performance of both groups approached to a similar average. Results of sentence recall demonstrated that with the increase in number of sentences at each level, performance of both groups declined. In the blocks of sentences 1 and 2 at level 1, all participants performed similarly. In the block of sentences 3, at level 1, there was a difference between the young and the aged. From this level onward (retention of 3 to 5 items, the aged and the young differed significantly. Conclusions: An increase in the number of sentences diminished participants' performance of temporary storage in the recall tasks, while not interfering in the processing of sentences during judgment. The difference between the young and the aged became more accentuated as item retention demands increased.

  4. Status of the new initiative task force work

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheffield, J.

    1992-01-01

    The proposal for a open-quotes New Initiatives Task Forceclose quotes emerged from discussions in the scientific community on how to proceed following the demise of the Burning Plasma Experiment (BPX). In particular, the action of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), which made the following recommendation in 1991, prompted the initiative: open-quotes Concept exploration should begin to define a new experiment in the $500 million class for the purpose of scientific study of tokomak improvements (e.g., second stability, steady state, bootstrap current) that could suggest new operating modes for ITER and permit the design of more reactor-desirable follow-ons to ITER.close quotes A New Initiative Task force, was chartered by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in October 1991 to provide oversight in the development of a new experimental initiative and to provide guidance to advocate groups in the following areas: programmatic mission and technical objectives, critical issues of physics, engineering, and technology, design criteria, costing, and modes of operation. The guidance was designed to be based on broad community involvement. In addition, the Task Force was asked to identify the preferred options which could proceed to the design stage. Three primary machine designs have emerged from the work of this group, and they are briefly described. 4 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azlyn Ahmad Zawawi, PhD

    2017-07-01

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

  6. Performance management in healthcare : performance indicator development, task uncertainty, and types of performance indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geer-Rutten-Rijswijk, van der E.; Tuijl, van H.F.J.M.; Rutte, C.G.

    2009-01-01

    In healthcare, performance indicators are increasingly used to measure and control quality and efficiency of care-providing teams. This article demonstrates that when controllability is emphasized during indicator development, the level of task uncertainty influences the type of resulting

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2010-04-01

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

  9. The effects of age on processing and storage in working memory span tasks and reading comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Paul J

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Declines in verbal working memory span task performance have been associated with deficits in the language processing abilities of healthy older adults, but it is unclear how storage and processing contribute to this relationship. Moreover, recent studies of the psychometric properties of span measures in the general cognitive literature highlight the need for a critical reassessment of age-related differences in working memory task performance. Forty-two young (Mage = 19.45 years) and 42 older participants (Mage = 73.00 years) completed a series of neuropsychological screening measures, four memory span tasks (one-syllable word span, three-syllable word span, reading span, and sentence span), and a measure of reading comprehension. Each span measure was completed under self-paced and timed encoding conditions. A 2 (age) × 2 (task type) × 2 (encoding conditions) mixed-model design was used. (1) Age effects were reliable for both simple and complex span task performance; (2) limiting the available encoding time yielded lower recall scores across tasks and exacerbated age differences in simple span performance; and (3) both encoding condition and age affected the relationship between each of the span measures and the relationship between span and reading comprehension. Declines in both storage and processing abilities contributed to age differences in span task performance and the relationship between span and reading comprehension. Although older people appear to benefit from task administration protocols that promote successful memory encoding, researchers should be aware of the potential risks to validity posed by such accommodations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. The Effects of Distraction on Cognitive Task Performance during Toddlerhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyss, Nancy M.; Kannass, Kathleen N.; Haden, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of distraction on attention and task performance during toddlerhood. Thirty toddlers (24- to 26-month-olds) completed different tasks (2 of each: categorization, problem solving, memory, free play) in one of two conditions: No Distraction or Distraction. The results revealed that the distractor had varying effects on…

  12. Executive functioning in preschool children: performance on A-not-B and other delayed response format tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espy, K A; Kaufmann, P M; McDiarmid, M D; Glisky, M L

    1999-11-01

    The A-not-B (AB) task has been hypothesized to measure executive/frontal lobe function; however, the developmental and measurement characteristics of this task have not been investigated. Performances on AB and comparison tasks adapted from developmental and neuroscience literature was examined in 117 preschool children (ages 23-66 months). Age significantly predicted performance on AB, Delayed Alternation, Spatial Reversal, Color Reversal, and Self-Control tasks. A four-factor analytic model best fit task performance data. AB task indices loaded on two factors with measures from the Self-Control and Delayed Alternation tasks, respectively. AB indices did not load with those from the reversal tasks despite similarities in task administration and presumed cognitive demand (working memory). These results indicate that AB is sensitive to individual differences in age-related performance in preschool children and suggest that AB performance is related to both working memory and inhibition processes in this age range.

  13. Effects of Stress and Task Difficulty on Working Memory and Cortical Networking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yujin; Woo, Jihwan; Woo, Minjung

    2017-12-01

    This study investigated interactive effects of stress and task difficulty on working memory and cortico-cortical communication during memory encoding. Thirty-eight adolescent participants (mean age of 15.7 ± 1.5 years) completed easy and hard working memory tasks under low- and high-stress conditions. We analyzed the accuracy and reaction time (RT) of working memory performance and inter- and intrahemispheric electroencephalogram coherences during memory encoding. Working memory accuracy was higher, and RT shorter, in the easy versus the hard task. RT was shorter under the high-stress (TENS) versus low-stress (no-TENS) condition, while there was no difference in memory accuracy between the two stress conditions. For electroencephalogram coherence, we found higher interhemispheric coherence in all bands but only at frontal electrode sites in the easy versus the hard task. On the other hand, intrahemispheric coherence was higher in the left hemisphere in the easy (versus hard task) and higher in the right hemisphere (with one exception) in the hard (versus easy task). Inter- and intracoherences were higher in the low- versus high-stress condition. Significant interactions between task difficulty and stress condition were observed in coherences of the beta frequency band. The difference in coherence between low- and high-stress conditions was greater in the hard compared with the easy task, with lower coherence under the high-stress condition relative to the low-stress condition. Stress seemed to cause a decrease in cortical network communications between memory-relevant cortical areas as task difficulty increased.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Optimal task partition and state-dependent loading in heterogeneous two-element work sharing system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levitin, Gregory; Xing, Liudong; Ben-Haim, Hanoch; Dai, Yuanshun

    2016-01-01

    Many real-world systems such as multi-channel data communication, multi-path flow transmission and multi-processor computing systems have work sharing attributes where system elements perform different portions of the same task simultaneously. Motivated by these applications, this paper models a heterogeneous work-sharing system with two non-repairable elements. When one element fails, the other element takes over the uncompleted task of the failed element upon finishing its own part; the load level of the remaining operating element can change at the time of the failure, which further affects its performance, failure behavior and operation cost. Considering these dynamics, mission success probability (MSP), expected mission completion time (EMCT) and expected cost of successful mission (ECSM) are first derived. Further, optimization problems are formulated and solved, which find optimal task partition and element load levels maximizing MSP, minimizing EMCT or minimizing ECSM. Effects of element reliability, performance, operation cost on the optimal solutions are also investigated through examples. Results of this work can facilitate a tradeoff analysis of different mission performance indices for heterogeneous work-sharing systems. - Highlights: • A heterogeneous work-sharing system with two non-repairable elements is considered. • The optimal work distribution and element loading problem is formulated and solved. • Effects of element reliability, performance, operation cost on the optimal solutions are investigated.

  16. A Working Memory Test Battery: Java-Based Collection of Seven Working Memory Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M Stone

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is a key construct within cognitive science. It is an important theory in its own right, but the influence of working memory is enriched due to the widespread evidence that measures of its capacity are linked to a variety of functions in wider cognition. To facilitate the active research environment into this topic, we describe seven computer-based tasks that provide estimates of short-term and working memory incorporating both visuospatial and verbal material. The memory span tasks provided are; digit span, matrix span, arrow span, reading span, operation span, rotation span, and symmetry span. These tasks are built to be simple to use, flexible to adapt to the specific needs of the research design, and are open source. All files can be downloaded from the project website http://www.cognitivetools.uk and the source code is available via Github.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Exploring the Relationship of Task Performance and Physical and Cognitive Fatigue During a Daylong Light Precision Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Marcus; Manji, Rahim; Wells, Richard P

    2017-11-01

    Our aim was to explore the relationship between fatigue and operation system performance during a simulated light precision task over an 8-hr period using a battery of physical (central and peripheral) and cognitive measures. Fatigue may play an important role in the relationship between poor ergonomics and deficits in quality and productivity. However, well-controlled laboratory studies in this area have several limitations, including the lack of work relevance of fatigue exposures and lack of both physical and cognitive measures. There remains a need to understand the relationship between physical and cognitive fatigue and task performance at exposure levels relevant to realistic production or light precision work. Errors and fatigue measures were tracked over the course of a micropipetting task. Fatigue responses from 10 measures and errors in pipetting technique, precision, and targeting were submitted to principal component analysis to descriptively analyze features and patterns. Fatigue responses and error rates contributed to three principal components (PCs), accounting for 50.9% of total variance. Fatigue responses grouped within the three PCs reflected central and peripheral upper extremity fatigue, postural sway, and changes in oculomotor behavior. In an 8-hr light precision task, error rates shared similar patterns to both physical and cognitive fatigue responses, and/or increases in arousal level. The findings provide insight toward the relationship between fatigue and operation system performance (e.g., errors). This study contributes to a body of literature documenting task errors and fatigue, reflecting physical (both central and peripheral) and cognitive processes.

  19. Emotion, working memory task demands and individual differences predict behavior, cognitive effort and negative affect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storbeck, Justin; Davidson, Nicole A; Dahl, Chelsea F; Blass, Sara; Yung, Edwin

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether positive and negative affect motivates verbal and spatial working memory processes, respectively, which have implications for the expenditure of mental effort. We argue that when emotion promotes cognitive tendencies that are goal incompatible with task demands, greater cognitive effort is required to perform well. We sought to investigate whether this increase in cognitive effort impairs behavioural control over a broad domain of self-control tasks. Moreover, we predicted that individuals with higher behavioural inhibition system (BIS) sensitivities would report more negative affect within the goal incompatible conditions because such individuals report higher negative affect during cognitive challenge. Positive or negative affective states were induced followed by completing a verbal or spatial 2-back working memory task. All participants then completed one of three self-control tasks. Overall, we observed that conditions of emotion and working memory incompatibility (positive/spatial and negative/verbal) performed worse on the self-control tasks, and within the incompatible conditions individuals with higher BIS sensitivities reported more negative affect at the end of the study. The combination of findings suggests that emotion and working memory compatibility reduces cognitive effort and impairs behavioural control.

  20. Vocabulary Learning in Collaborative Tasks: A Comparison of Pair and Small Group Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobao, Ana Fernández

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the opportunities that pair and small group interaction offer for collaborative dialogue and second language (L2) vocabulary learning. It compared the performance of the same collaborative writing task by learners working in groups of four (n = 60) and in pairs (n = 50), focusing on the occurrence of lexical language-related…

  1. Circadian Effects on Simple Components of Complex Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. An Initial Investigation of Factors Affecting Multi-Task Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Branscome, Tersa A; Swoboda, Jennifer C; Fatkin, Linda T

    2007-01-01

    This report presents the results of the first in a series of investigations designed to increase fundamental knowledge and understanding of the factors affecting multi-task performance in a military environment...

  3. How different types of participant payments alter task performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary L. Brase

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macnamara, Brooke N; Frank, David J

    2018-05-01

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

  5. Experimental study of the effect of task priority and coordination strategy on crew performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braarud, Per Oeivind; Ludvigsen, Jan Tore

    2002-08-01

    This report documents the background and the results from the Teamwork and Task Management experiment 2001 (TTM-2001) performed in the HAlden Man-Machine LABoratory (HAMMLAB). The experiment emphasises concepts that are suggested as an alternative to the application of general workload measures, namely (1) task management; how operators plan, prioritise and accomplish their tasks individually, and (2) teamwork; coordination of work within the team. The concepts were operationalised for the experimental study by crews operating in accordance with 4 work styles combined from 2 experimental factors: Task Priority and Coordination Strategy. The results indicate that Task Priority has no effect on the operator's ability to handle plant malfunction, but that it increases operator ability to prioritise between the importance of the process data, and increases subjective performance. The results demonstrate that Coordination Strategies significantly improve crew performance. However, contrary to the expectations, there is no clear evidence that coordination supports the operator's situation understanding. The stable characteristics of teamwork observed across different tasks may indicate that teamwork is performed in a procedural way, and as a strategy to cope with a complex and uncertain situation. The practical lessons learned from the experiment were that the crews managed to learn the work styles with the given training and were able to perform the work style of the experimental conditions. Thus, it is possible to carry out studies of important task management and teamwork issues in HAMMLAB. (Author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria da Gloria Tavares

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Equal task, equal exposure? Are men and women with the same tasks equally exposed to awkward working postures?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooftman, W.E.; Beek, A.J. van der; Wal, B.G. van de; Knol, D.L.; Bongers, P.M.; Burdorf, A.; Mechelen, M. van

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine whether men and woman with equal tasks perform these tasks in the same way. Video recordings of 37 male and 43 female workers in six task groups were observed, from which data regarding frequency and duration of exposure to awkward postures were derived. These

  8. Tasks of the Shipboard Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman. Task Training Adequacy and Performance Frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-11-01

    Frequency List E-1 Appendix F - Submarine Quick Reference Task Frequency List . F-1 0 Appendix G - Mean Performance...j~~~~~~, -,,-p.r.. ... .0 -. %... h. • - III APPENDIX E I SURFACE SHIP QUICK REFERENCE TASK FREQUENCY LIST A Q N E Dl It T T E A E H HI K I L L L1 L...34. - - - ----------------------------------------- ---.--- ---------------------- - - E-4 APPENDIX F " SUBMARINE QUICK REFERENCE TASK FREQUENCY LIST (N 1l0) "% R 0 W 4. A Q N E D R T T

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. The influence of principal managerial task performance on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Poor performance of managerial tasks culminates declining staff productivity and thus deteriorating students academic performance. Secondary school students performance in most public examinations are not satisfactory in most states in Nigeria. Hence, this study investigate the extent to which secondary school principal ...

  11. Effects of Cogmed working memory training on cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etherton, Joseph L; Oberle, Crystal D; Rhoton, Jayson; Ney, Ashley

    2018-04-16

    Research on the cognitive benefits of working memory training programs has produced inconsistent results. Such research has frequently used laboratory-specific training tasks, or dual-task n-back training. The current study used the commercial Cogmed Working Memory (WM) Training program, involving several different training tasks involving visual and auditory input. Healthy college undergraduates were assigned to either the full Cogmed training program of 25, 40-min training sessions; an abbreviated Cogmed program of 25, 20-min training sessions; or a no-contact control group. Pretest and posttest measures included multiple measures of attention, working memory, fluid intelligence, and executive functions. Although improvement was observed for the full training group for a digit span task, no training-related improvement was observed for any of the other measures. Results of the study suggest that WM training does not improve performance on unrelated tasks or enhance other cognitive abilities.

  12. COMMUNICATION, WORK PERFORMANCE AND HEARING IMPAIRMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor Florencio Martínez Pérez

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research is to describe the work performance of employees with hearing disabilities in education and their communication style. Theoretically, Karns, Dow and Neville (2012, postulated that the deaf processed Visual and tactile stimuli in their tasks. In job performance there are the contributions of Treviño et al (2010, Chiavenato (2009, 2011 and Robbins and Judge (2009. Venezuelan laws are included as basis and strengthening of inclution-participation of the deaf. The methodology is phenomenological-hermeneutical (Van Manen, 2003, using techniques and tools as participant observation, interview and questionnaire, respectively. As a result it was obtained that deaf people role is skillfully in their jobs, provided they do not involve hearing and his style of communication is respected; they are more responsible, punctual, and collaborators. It is recommended to avoid understatement, pity and increase knowledge about the skills of the deaf; all capabilities are so valued.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace Vincent

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

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

  17. An opportunity cost model of subjective effort and task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzban, Robert; Duckworth, Angela; Kable, Joseph W.; Myers, Justus

    2013-01-01

    Why does performing certain tasks cause the aversive experience of mental effort and concomitant deterioration in task performance? One explanation posits a physical resource that is depleted over time. We propose an alternate explanation that centers on mental representations of the costs and benefits associated with task performance. Specifically, certain computational mechanisms, especially those associated with executive function, can be deployed for only a limited number of simultaneous tasks at any given moment. Consequently, the deployment of these computational mechanisms carries an opportunity cost – that is, the next-best use to which these systems might be put. We argue that the phenomenology of effort can be understood as the felt output of these cost/benefit computations. In turn, the subjective experience of effort motivates reduced deployment of these computational mechanisms in the service of the present task. These opportunity cost representations, then, together with other cost/benefit calculations, determine effort expended and, everything else equal, result in performance reductions. In making our case for this position, we review alternate explanations both for the phenomenology of effort associated with these tasks and for performance reductions over time. Likewise, we review the broad range of relevant empirical results from across subdisciplines, especially psychology and neuroscience. We hope that our proposal will help to build links among the diverse fields that have been addressing similar questions from different perspectives, and we emphasize ways in which alternate models might be empirically distinguished. PMID:24304775

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róbert Adrian Rill

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Dual-tasking and gait in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment. The effect of working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillips Natalie A

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cognition and mobility in older adults are closely associated and they decline together with aging. Studies evaluating associations between cognitive factors and gait performance in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI are scarce. In this study, our aim was to determine whether specific cognitive factors have a more identifiable effect on gait velocity during dual-tasking in people with MCI. Methods Fifty-five participants, mean age 77.7 (SD = 5.9, 45% women, with MCI were evaluated for global cognition, working memory, executive function, and attention. Gait Velocity (GV was measured under a single-task condition (single GV and under two dual-task conditions: 1 while counting backwards (counting GV, 2 while naming animals (verbal GV. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to examine associations with an alpha-level of 0.05. Results Participants experienced a reduction in GV while engaging in dual-task challenges (p Conclusion In older adults with MCI, low working memory performance was associated with slow GV. Dual-task conditions showed the strongest associations with gait slowing. Our findings suggest that cortical control of gait is associated with decline in working memory in people with MCI.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  3. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Nijstad, Bernard A; Baas, Matthijs; Wolsink, Inge; Roskes, Marieke

    2012-05-01

    Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  5. Short Vigilance Tasks are Hard Work Even If Time Flies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-21

    maintaining the data needed , and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other...actual time. Upon completion of the task, participants filled out questionnaires related to the hedonic and temporal evaluation of the task. Participants...time. Upon completion of the task, participants filled out questionnaires related to the hedonic and temporal evaluation of the task. Participants

  6. Factors contributing to nursing task incompletion as perceived by nurses working in Kuwait general hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kandari, Fatimah; Thomas, Deepa

    2009-12-01

    Unfinished care has a strong relationship with quality of nursing care. Most issues related to tasks incompletion arise from staffing and workload. This study was conducted to assess the workload of nurses, the nursing activities (tasks) nurses commonly performed on medical and surgical wards, elements of nursing care activities left incomplete by nurses during a shift, factors contributing to task incompletion and the relationship between staffing, demographic variables and task incompletion. Exploratory survey using a self-administered questionnaire developed from IHOC survey, USA. All full time registered nurses working on the general medical and surgical wards of five government general hospitals in Kuwait. Research assistants distributed and collected back the questionnaires. Four working days were given to participants to complete and return the questionnaires. A total of 820 questionnaires were distributed and 95% were returned. Descriptive and inferential analysis using SPSS-11. The five most frequently performed nursing activities were: administration of medications, assessing patient condition, preparing/updating nursing care plans, close patient monitoring and client health teaching. The most common nursing activities nurses were unable to complete were: comfort talk with patient and family, adequate documentation of nursing care, oral hygiene, routine catheter care and starting or changing IV fluid on time. Tasks were more complete when the nurse-patient load was less than 5. Nurses' age and educational background influenced task completion while nurses' gender had no influence on it. Increased patient loads, resulting in increased frequency of nursing tasks and non-nursing tasks, were positively correlated to incompletion of nursing activities during the shift. Emphasis should be given to maintaining the optimum nurse-patient load and decreasing the non-nursing workload of nurses to enhance the quality of nursing care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

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

  8. Manipulator Performance Evaluation Using Fitts' Taping Task

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-04-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  10. The effects of environmental support and secondary tasks on visuospatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilienthal, Lindsey; Hale, Sandra; Myerson, Joel

    2014-10-01

    In the present experiments, we examined the effects of environmental support on participants' ability to rehearse locations and the role of such support in the effects of secondary tasks on memory span. In Experiment 1, the duration of interitem intervals and the presence of environmental support for visuospatial rehearsal (i.e., the array of possible memory locations) during the interitem intervals were both manipulated across four tasks. When support was provided, memory spans increased as the interitem interval durations increased, consistent with the hypothesis that environmental support facilitates rehearsal. In contrast, when environmental support was not provided, spans decreased as the duration of the interitem intervals increased, consistent with the hypothesis that visuospatial memory representations decay when rehearsal is impeded. In Experiment 2, the ratio of interitem interval duration to intertrial interval duration was kept the same on all four tasks, in order to hold temporal distinctiveness constant, yet forgetting was still observed in the absence of environmental support, consistent with the decay hypothesis. In Experiment 3, the effects of impeding rehearsal were compared to the effects of verbal and visuospatial secondary processing tasks. Forgetting of locations was greater when presentation of to-be-remembered locations alternated with the performance of a secondary task than when rehearsal was impeded by the absence of environmental support. The greatest forgetting occurred when a secondary task required the processing visuospatial information, suggesting that in addition to decay, both domain-specific and domain-general effects contribute to forgetting on visuospatial working memory tasks.

  11. Functional neuroimaging of visuospatial working memory tasks enables accurate detection of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubi Hammer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Finding neurobiological markers for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, is a major objective of clinicians and neuroscientists. We examined if functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI data from a few distinct visuospatial working memory (VSWM tasks enables accurately detecting cases with ADHD. We tested 20 boys with ADHD combined type and 20 typically developed (TD boys in four VSWM tasks that differed in feedback availability (feedback, no-feedback and reward size (large, small. We used a multimodal analysis based on brain activity in 16 regions of interest, significantly activated or deactivated in the four VSWM tasks (based on the entire participants' sample. Dimensionality of the data was reduced into 10 principal components that were used as the input variables to a logistic regression classifier. fMRI data from the four VSWM tasks enabled a classification accuracy of 92.5%, with high predicted ADHD probability values for most clinical cases, and low predicted ADHD probabilities for most TDs. This accuracy level was higher than those achieved by using the fMRI data of any single task, or the respective behavioral data. This indicates that task-based fMRI data acquired while participants perform a few distinct VSWM tasks enables improved detection of clinical cases.

  12. The effects of fatigue on performance in simulated nursing work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Linsey M; Nussbaum, Maury A

    2011-09-01

    Fatigue is associated with increased rates of medical errors and healthcare worker injuries, yet existing research in this sector has not considered multiple dimensions of fatigue simultaneously. This study evaluated hypothesised causal relationships between mental and physical fatigue and performance. High and low levels of mental and physical fatigue were induced in 16 participants during simulated nursing work tasks in a laboratory setting. Task-induced changes in fatigue dimensions were quantified using both subjective and objective measures, as were changes in performance on physical and mental tasks. Completing the simulated work tasks increased total fatigue, mental fatigue and physical fatigue in all experimental conditions. Higher physical fatigue adversely affected measures of physical and mental performance, whereas higher mental fatigue had a positive effect on one measure of mental performance. Overall, these results suggest causal effects between manipulated levels of mental and physical fatigue and task-induced changes in mental and physical performance. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Nurse fatigue and performance has implications for patient and provider safety. Results from this study demonstrate the importance of a multidimensional view of fatigue in understanding the causal relationships between fatigue and performance. The findings can guide future work aimed at predicting fatigue-related performance decrements and designing interventions.

  13. Sustained and transient attention in the Continuous Performance Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smid, HGOM; de Witte, MR; Homminga, [No Value; van den Bosch, RJ

    One of the most frequently applied methods to study abnormal cognition is the Continuous Performance Task (CPT). It is unclear, however, which cognitive functions are engaged in normal CPT performance. The aims of the present study were to identify the neurocognitive functions engaged in the main

  14. ERP Measures of Math Anxiety: How Math Anxiety Affects Working Memory and Mental Calculation Tasks?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manousos A. Klados

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available There have been several attempts to account for the impact of Mathematical Anxiety (MA on brain activity with variable results. The present study examines the effects of MA on ERP amplitude during performance of simple arithmetic calculations and working memory tasks. Data were obtained from 32 university students as they solved four types of arithmetic problems (one- and two-digit addition and multiplication and a working memory task comprised of three levels of difficulty (1,2,and 3-back task. Compared to the Low-MA group, High-MA individuals demonstrated reduced ERP amplitude at frontocentral (between 180-320 ms and centroparietal locations (between 380-420 ms. These effects were independent of task difficulty/complexity, individual performance, and general state/trait anxiety levels. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported MA are associated with lower cortical activation during the early stages of the processing of numeric stimuli in the context of cognitive tasks.

  15. Gaze movements and spatial working memory in collision avoidance: a traffic intersection task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor eHardiess

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Street crossing under traffic is an everyday activity including collision detection as well as avoidance of objects in the path of motion. Such tasks demand extraction and representation of spatio-temporal information about relevant obstacles in an optimized format. Relevant task information is extracted visually by the use of gaze movements and represented in spatial working memory. In a virtual reality traffic intersection task, subjects are confronted with a two-lane intersection where cars are appearing with different frequencies, corresponding to high and low traffic densities. Under free observation and exploration of the scenery (using unrestricted eye and head movements the overall task for the subjects was to predict the potential-of-collision (POC of the cars or to adjust an adequate driving speed in order to cross the intersection without collision (i.e., to find the free space for crossing. In a series of experiments, gaze movement parameters, task performance, and the representation of car positions within working memory at distinct time points were assessed in normal subjects as well as in neurological patients suffering from homonymous hemianopia. In the following, we review the findings of these experiments together with other studies and provide a new perspective of the role of gaze behavior and spatial memory in collision detection and avoidance, focusing on the following questions: (i which sensory variables can be identified supporting adequate collision detection? (ii How do gaze movements and working memory contribute to collision avoidance when multiple moving objects are present and (iii how do they correlate with task performance? (iv How do patients with homonymous visual field defects use gaze movements and working memory to compensate for visual field loss? In conclusion, we extend the theory of collision detection and avoidance in the case of multiple moving objects and provide a new perspective on the combined

  16. Training Working Memory in Childhood Enhances Coupling between Frontoparietal Control Network and Task-Related Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Jessica J; Nobre, Anna Christina; Woolrich, Mark W; Baker, Kate; Astle, Duncan E

    2016-08-24

    Working memory is a capacity upon which many everyday tasks depend and which constrains a child's educational progress. We show that a child's working memory can be significantly enhanced by intensive computer-based training, relative to a placebo control intervention, in terms of both standardized assessments of working memory and performance on a working memory task performed in a magnetoencephalography scanner. Neurophysiologically, we identified significantly increased cross-frequency phase amplitude coupling in children who completed training. Following training, the coupling between the upper alpha rhythm (at 16 Hz), recorded in superior frontal and parietal cortex, became significantly coupled with high gamma activity (at ∼90 Hz) in inferior temporal cortex. This altered neural network activity associated with cognitive skill enhancement is consistent with a framework in which slower cortical rhythms enable the dynamic regulation of higher-frequency oscillatory activity related to task-related cognitive processes. Whether we can enhance cognitive abilities through intensive training is one of the most controversial topics of cognitive psychology in recent years. This is particularly controversial in childhood, where aspects of cognition, such as working memory, are closely related to school success and are implicated in numerous developmental disorders. We provide the first neurophysiological account of how working memory training may enhance ability in childhood, using a brain recording technique called magnetoencephalography. We borrowed an analysis approach previously used with intracranial recordings in adults, or more typically in other animal models, called "phase amplitude coupling." Copyright © 2016 Barnes et al.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavuoto, Lora A; Nussbaum, Maury A

    2014-01-01

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

  19. When Task Conflict Becomes Personal: The Impact of Perceived Team Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guenter, Hannes; van Emmerik, Hetty; Schreurs, Bert; Kuypers, Tom; van Iterson, Ad; Notelaers, Guy

    2016-10-01

    Although potentially beneficial, task conflict may threaten teams because it often leads to relationship conflict. Prior research has identified a set of interpersonal factors (e.g., team communication, team trust) that help attenuate this association. The purpose of this article is to provide an alternative perspective that focuses on the moderating role of performance-related factors (i.e., perceived team performance). Using social identity theory, we build a model that predicts how task conflict associates with growth in relationship conflict and how perceived team performance influences this association. We test a three-wave longitudinal model by means of random coefficient growth modeling, using data from 60 ongoing teams working in a health care organization. Results provide partial support for our hypotheses. Only when perceived team performance is low, do task conflicts relate with growth in relationship conflict. We conclude that perceived team performance seems to enable teams to uncouple task from relationship conflict.

  20. Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Ravi; Zhu, Rui Juliet

    2009-02-27

    Existing research reports inconsistent findings with regard to the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Some research suggests that blue or green leads to better performances than red; other studies record the opposite. Current work reconciles this discrepancy. We demonstrate that red (versus blue) color induces primarily an avoidance (versus approach) motivation (study 1, n = 69) and that red enhances performance on a detail-oriented task, whereas blue enhances performance on a creative task (studies 2 and 3, n = 208 and 118). Further, we replicate these results in the domains of product design (study 4, n = 42) and persuasive message evaluation (study 5, n = 161) and show that these effects occur outside of individuals' consciousness (study 6, n = 68). We also provide process evidence suggesting that the activation of alternative motivations mediates the effect of color on cognitive task performances.

  1. Effects of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draper, J.V.; Moore, W.E.; Herndon, J.N.; Weil, B.S.

    1986-01-01

    This paper reports results of a testing program that assessed the impact of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance. The testing program compared three force-reflection levels: 4 to 1 (four units of force on the slave produce one unit of force at the master controller), 1 to 1, and infinity to 1 (no force reflection). Time required to complete tasks, rate of occurrence of errors, the maximum force applied to task components, and variability in forces during completion of representative remote handling tasks were used as dependent variables. Operators exhibited lower error rates, lower peak forces, and more consistent application of forces using force reflection than they did without it. These data support the hypothesis that force reflection provides useful information for servomanipulator operators

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-22

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

  3. Dissociation of verbal working memory system components using a delayed serial recall task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chein, J M; Fiez, J A

    2001-11-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the neural substrates of component processes in verbal working memory. Based on behavioral research using manipulations of verbal stimulus type to dissociate storage, rehearsal, and executive components of verbal working memory, we designed a delayed serial recall task requiring subjects to encode, maintain, and overtly recall sets of verbal items for which phonological similarity, articulatory length, and lexical status were manipulated. By using a task with temporally extended trials, we were able to exploit the temporal resolution afforded by fMRI to partially isolate neural contributions to encoding, maintenance, and retrieval stages of task performance. Several regions commonly associated with maintenance, including supplementary motor, premotor, and inferior frontal areas, were found to be active across all three trial stages. Additionally, we found that left inferior frontal and supplementary motor regions showed patterns of stimulus and temporal sensitivity implicating them in distinct aspects of articulatory rehearsal, while no regions showed a pattern of sensitivity consistent with a role in phonological storage. Regional modulation by task difficulty was further investigated as a measure of executive processing. We interpret our findings as they relate to notions about the cognitive architecture underlying verbal working memory performance.

  4. Transfer of training from one working memory task to another: Behavioural and neural evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin L. Beatty

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available N-back working memory (WM tasks necessitate the maintenance and updating of dynamic rehearsal sets during performance. The delayed matching-to-sample (dMTS task is another WM task, which in turn involves the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of stimulus representations in sequential order. Because both n-back and dMTS engage WM function, we hypothesized that compared to a control task not taxing WM, training on the n-back task would be associated with better performance on dMTS by virtue of training a shared mental capacity. We tested this hypothesis by randomly assigning subjects (N = 43 to train on either the n-back (including 2-back and 3-back levels or an active control task. Following training, dMTS was administered in the fMRI scanner. The n-back group performed marginally better than the active control group on dMTS. In addition, although the n-back group improved more on the less difficult 2-back level than the more difficult 3-back level across training sessions, it was improvement on the 3-back level that accounted for 21% of the variance in dMTS performance. For the control group, improvement in training across sessions was unrelated to dMTS performance. At the neural level, greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus, right posterior parietal cortex and the cerebellum distinguished the n-back group from the control group in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Degree of improvement on the 3-back level across training sessions was correlated with activation in right lateral prefrontal and motor cortices in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Our results suggest that although n-back training is more likely to improve performance in easier blocks, it is improvement in more difficult blocks that is predictive of performance on a target task drawing on WM. In addition, the extent to which training on a task can transfer to another task is likely due to the engagement of shared cognitive capacities and underlying neural substrates

  5. Ranking Performance Measures in Multi-Task Agencies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  7. Relationship between meaningful work and job performance in nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Ling

    2018-04-01

    The present study was designed to determine the relationship between meaningful work and job performance, and the impact of meaningful work on nursing care quality. Meaningful work has been suggested as a significant factor affecting job performance, but the relationship has never been studied in nurses in China. A descriptive correlational study was designed to assess the level of meaningful work, tasks, and contextual performance as well as their relationships. We used a stratified random-sampling approach to enrol nurses from hospitals. Multivariate regression analysis was applied to determine the relationship between meaningful work and their demographic data. There were significant, positive relationships between meaningful work and task performance and contextual performance. Education level, work unit, and employment type influenced meaningful work. The work motivation score of the nurses was lower than that of the other 2 dimensions, and a negative work motivation score negatively influenced job performance. Improving meaningful work and providing more support and assistance could improve nurse performance, thereby improving the quality of nursing care. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  8. Investigating Sentence Processing and Language Segmentation in Explaining Children's Performance on a Sentence-Span Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainela-Arnold, Elina; Misra, Maya; Miller, Carol; Poll, Gerard H.; Park, Ji Sook

    2012-01-01

    Background: Children with poor language abilities tend to perform poorly on verbal working memory tasks. This result has been interpreted as evidence that limitations in working memory capacity may interfere with the development of a mature linguistic system. However, it is possible that language abilities, such as the efficiency of sentence…

  9. Ketamine alters lateral prefrontal oscillations in a rule-based working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Liya; Skoblenick, Kevin; Johnston, Kevin; Everling, Stefan

    2018-02-02

    Acute administration of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists in healthy humans and animals produces working memory deficits similar to those observed in schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether they also lead to altered low-frequency (rule-based prosaccade and antisaccade working memory task, both before and after systemic injections of a subanesthetic dose (delay periods and inter-trial intervals. It also increased task-related alpha-band activities, likely reflecting compromised attention. Beta-band oscillations may be especially relevant to working memory processes, as stronger beta power weakly but significantly predicted shorter saccadic reaction time. Also in beta band, ketamine reduced the performance-related oscillation as well as the rule information encoded in the spectral power. Ketamine also reduced rule information in the spike-field phase consistency in almost all frequencies up to 60Hz. Our findings support NMDAR antagonists in non-human primates as a meaningful model for altered neural oscillations and synchrony, which reflect a disorganized network underlying the working memory deficits in schizophrenia. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Low doses of ketamine-an NMDA receptor blocker-produce working memory deficits similar to those observed in schizophrenia. In the LPFC, a key brain region for working memory, we found that ketamine altered neural oscillatory activities in similar ways that differentiate schizophrenic patients and healthy subjects, during both task and non-task periods. Ketamine induced stronger gamma (30-60Hz) and weaker beta (13-30Hz) oscillations, reflecting local hyperactivity and reduced long-range communications. Furthermore, ketamine reduced performance-related oscillatory activities, as well as the rule information encoded in the oscillations and in the synchrony between single cell activities and oscillations. The ketamine model helps link the molecular and cellular basis of neural oscillatory changes to the working

  10. Oscillatory lower body negative pressure impairs working memory task-related functional hyperemia in healthy volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merchant, Sana; Medow, Marvin S; Visintainer, Paul; Terilli, Courtney; Stewart, Julian M

    2017-04-01

    Neurovascular coupling (NVC) describes the link between an increase in task-related neural activity and increased cerebral blood flow denoted "functional hyperemia." We previously showed induced cerebral blood flow oscillations suppressed functional hyperemia; conversely functional hyperemia also suppressed cerebral blood flow oscillations. We used lower body negative pressure (OLBNP) oscillations to force oscillations in middle cerebral artery cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv). Here, we used N-back testing, an intellectual memory challenge as a neural activation task, to test the hypothesis that OLBNP-induced oscillatory cerebral blood flow can reduce functional hyperemia and NVC produced by a working memory task and can interfere with working memory. We used OLBNP (-30 mmHg) at 0.03, 0.05, and 0.10 Hz and measured spectral power of CBFv at all frequencies. Neither OLBNP nor N-back, alone or combined, affected hemodynamic parameters. 2-Back power and OLBNP individually were compared with 2-back power during OLBNP. 2-Back alone produced a narrow band increase in oscillatory arterial pressure (OAP) and oscillatory cerebral blood flow power centered at 0.0083 Hz. Functional hyperemia in response to 2-back was reduced to near baseline and 2-back memory performance was decreased by 0.03-, 0.05-, and 0.10-Hz OLBNP. OLBNP alone produced increased oscillatory power at frequencies of oscillation not suppressed by added 2-back. However, 2-back preceding OLBNP suppressed OLBNP power. OLBNP-driven oscillatory CBFv blunts NVC and memory performance, while memory task reciprocally interfered with forced CBFv oscillations. This shows that induced cerebral blood flow oscillations suppress functional hyperemia and functional hyperemia suppresses cerebral blood flow oscillations. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that induced cerebral blood flow oscillations suppress functional hyperemia produced by a working memory task as well as memory task performance. We conclude that oscillatory

  11. Childhood Obesity and Academic Performance: The Role of Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Nan; Chen, Yulu; Yang, Jinhua; Li, Fei

    2017-01-01

    The present study examined the role of working memory in the association between childhood obesity and academic performance, and further determined whether memory deficits in obese children are domain-specific to certain tasks or domain-general. A total of 227 primary school students aged 10-13 years were analyzed for weight and height, of which 159 children (44 "obese," 23 "overweight," and 92 "normal weight") filled out questionnaires on school performance and socioeconomic status. And then, all subjects finished three kinds of working memory tasks based on the digit memory task in 30 trials, which were image-generated with a series of numbers recall trial sets. After each trial set, subjects were given 5 s to recall and write down the numbers which hand appeared in the trial, in the inverse order in which they had appeared. The results showed there were significant academic performance differences among the three groups, with normal-weight children scoring higher than overweight and obese children after Bonferroni correction. A mediation model revealed a partial indirect effect of working memory in the relationship between obesity and academic performance. Although the performance of obese children in basic working memory tests was poorer than that of normal-weight children, they recalled more items than normal-weight children in working memory tasks involving with food/drink. Working memory deficits partially explain the poor academic performance of obese children. Those results indicated the obese children show domain-specific working memory deficits, whereas they recall more items than normal-weight children in working memory tasks associated with food/drink.

  12. An exploratory study of long-haul truck drivers' secondary tasks and reasons for performing them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iseland, Tobias; Johansson, Emma; Skoog, Siri; Dåderman, Anna M

    2018-08-01

    Research on drivers has shown how certain visual-manual secondary tasks, unrelated to driving, increase the risk of being involved in crashes. The purpose of the study was to investigate (1) if long-haul truck drivers in Sweden engage in secondary tasks while driving, what tasks are performed and how frequently, (2) the drivers' self-perceived reason/s for performing them, and (3) if psychological factors might reveal reasons for their engaging in secondary tasks. The study comprised 13 long-haul truck drivers and was conducted through observations, interviews, and questionnaires. The drivers performed secondary tasks, such as work environment related "necessities" (e.g., getting food and/or beverages from the refrigerator/bag, eating, drinking, removing a jacket, face rubbing, and adjusting the seat), interacting with a mobile phone/in-truck technology, and doing administrative tasks. The long-haul truck drivers feel bored and use secondary tasks as a coping strategy to alleviate boredom/drowsiness, and for social interaction. The higher number of performed secondary tasks could be explained by lower age, shorter driver experience, less openness to experience, lower honesty-humility, lower perceived stress, lower workload, and by higher health-related quality of life. These explanatory results may serve as a starting point for further studies on large samples to develop a safer and healthier environment for long-haul truck drivers. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Cerebral blood flow, fatigue, mental effort, and task performance in offices with two different pollution loads

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nishihara, Naoe; Wargocki, Pawel; Tanabe, Shin-ichi

    2014-01-01

    The effects of indoor air quality on symptoms, perceptions, task performance, cerebral blood flow, fatigue, and mental effort of individuals working in an office were investigated. Twenty-four right-handed Danish female subjects in an office were exposed in groups of two at a time to two air...... pollution levels created by placing or removing a pollution source (i.e. a used carpet) behind a screen. During the exposure, the subjects performed four different office tasks presented on a computer monitor. The tasks were performed at two paces: normal and maximum. When the pollution source was present...... any effects caused by modifying pollution exposure, they were well correlated with increased mental effort when the tasks were performed at maximum pace and subjectively reported fatigue, which increased during the course of exposure, respectively....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  15. Factors Associated With Community Health Worker Performance Differ by Task in a Multi-Tasked Setting in Rural Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kambarami, Rukundo A; Mbuya, Mduduzi Nn; Pelletier, David; Fundira, Dadirai; Tavengwa, Naume V; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J

    2016-06-20

    Zimbabwe, like most low-income countries, faces health worker shortages. Community health workers (CHWs) bridge this gap by delivering essential health services and nutrition interventions to communities. However, as workloads increase, CHWs' ability to provide quality services may be compromised. We studied influences upon CHWs' performance related to pregnancy surveillance and nutrition and hygiene education in rural Zimbabwe. In the context of a cluster-randomized trial conducted in 2 rural districts between November 2012 and March 2015, 342 government-employed CHWs identified and referred pregnant women for early antenatal care and delivered household-level behavior change lessons about infant feeding and hygiene to more than 5,000 women. In 2013, we conducted a survey among 322 of the CHWs to assess the association between demographic and work characteristics and task performance. Exploratory factor analyses of the Likert-type survey questions produced 8 distinct and reliable constructs of job satisfaction and motivation, supervision, peer support, and feedback (Cronbach α range, 0.68 to 0.92). Pregnancy surveillance performance was assessed from pregnancy referrals, and nutrition and hygiene education performance was assessed by taking the average summative score (range, 5 to 30) of lesson delivery observations completed by a nurse supervisor using a 6-item Likert-type checklist. Poisson and multiple linear regressions were used to test associations between CHW demographic and work characteristics and performance. CHWs who referred more pregnant women were female, unmarried, under 40 years old, from larger households, and of longer tenure. They also perceived work resources to be adequate and received positive feedback from supervisors and the community, but they were less satisfied with remuneration. CHWs with high scores on behavior change lesson delivery were from smaller households, and they received more supportive supervision but less operational

  16. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Eendebak, P.T.; Schropp, G.Y.R.; Hermes, H.V.; Elzendoorn, B.S.Q.; Magielsen, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators

  17. LMS Use and Instructor Performance: The Role of Task-Technology Fit

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Tanya; Klobas, Jane; Renzi, Stefano

    2011-01-01

    The introduction of learning management systems (LMS) has changed the way in which instructors work. This paper uses Goodhue and Thompson's (1995) technology-to-performance chain (TPC) to explore the roles of task-technology fit (TTF) and level of LMS use in the performance impacts of LMS for instructors. A mixed method approach was used: an…

  18. Brain activation and deactivation during location and color working memory tasks in 11-13-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuontela, Virve; Steenari, Maija-Riikka; Aronen, Eeva T; Korvenoja, Antti; Aronen, Hannu J; Carlson, Synnöve

    2009-02-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and n-back tasks we investigated whether, in 11-13-year-old children, spatial (location) and nonspatial (color) information is differentially processed during visual attention (0-back) and working memory (WM) (2-back) tasks and whether such cognitive task performance, compared to a resting state, results in regional deactivation. The location 0-back task, compared to the color 0-back task, activated segregated areas in the frontal, parietal and occipital cortices whereas no differentially activated voxels were obtained when location and color 2-back tasks were directly contrasted. Several midline cortical areas were less active during 0- and 2-back task performance than resting state. The task-induced deactivation increased with task difficulty as demonstrated by larger deactivation during 2-back than 0-back tasks. The results suggest that, in 11-13-year-old children, the visual attentional network is differently recruited by spatial and nonspatial information processing, but the functional organization of cortical activation in WM in this age group is not based on the type of information processed. Furthermore, 11-13-year-old children exhibited a similar pattern of cortical deactivation that has been reported in adults during cognitive task performance compared to a resting state.

  19. Task conflict asymmetries : Effects on expectations and performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jehn, Karen A.; De Wit, Frank R C; Barreto, Manuela; Rink, Floor

    2015-01-01

    Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of asymmetric perceptions of task conflict (i.e. one person experiencing more conflict than the other) on the anticipated relationship with the partner, as well as subjective and objective performance. Design/methodology/approach–In a 2= 2

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagman, Joseph D.; Schendel, Joel D.

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

  1. Effects of Social Incentives on Task Performance in the Elderly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levendusky, Philip G.

    1978-01-01

    The performance of 60 elderly volunteers on two cancellation tasks was examined under one of three experimental conditions: social praise, social reproof, or no comment. The clear implications from these data are that social incentives may well facilitate behavioral change in the aged. (Author)

  2. Task Monotony and Performance Efficacy of Mentally Retarded Young Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Bill J.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Thirty-six mildly mentally retarded young adults were exposed to one of three training arrangements for vigilance performance, a monitoring task that some professionals consider uniquely appropriate for such persons because they are assumed to be less susceptible to boredom. (Author)

  3. Ergonomic evaluation of tasks performed by female workers in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two main types of task are performed by the female workers in the brick fields in the unorganized sectors viz, brick moulding and brick carrying. Modified Nordic Questionnaire and Body Part Discomfort (BPD) scale was applied on these workers to identify the MSDs and the zones of discomfort in different body parts.

  4. Ranking Performance Measures in Multi-Task Agencies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  5. Monitoring User-System Performance in Interactive Retrieval Tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boldareva, L.; de Vries, A.P.; Hiemstra, Djoerd

    Monitoring user-system performance in interactive search is a challenging task. Traditional measures of retrieval evaluation, based on recall and precision, are not of any use in real time, for they require a priori knowledge of relevant documents. This paper shows how a Shannon entropy-based

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golob, Edward J; Taube, Jeffrey S

    2002-10-17

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

  7. Basic considerations in predicting error probabilities in human task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fleishman, E.A.; Buffardi, L.C.; Allen, J.A.; Gaskins, R.C. III

    1990-04-01

    It is well established that human error plays a major role in the malfunctioning of complex systems. This report takes a broad look at the study of human error and addresses the conceptual, methodological, and measurement issues involved in defining and describing errors in complex systems. In addition, a review of existing sources of human reliability data and approaches to human performance data base development is presented. Alternative task taxonomies, which are promising for establishing the comparability on nuclear and non-nuclear tasks, are also identified. Based on such taxonomic schemes, various data base prototypes for generalizing human error rates across settings are proposed. 60 refs., 3 figs., 7 tabs

  8. Computerized spatial delayed recognition span task: a specific tool to assess visuospatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satler, Corina; Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H

    2015-01-01

    A new tablet device version (IOS platform) of the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task (SDRST) was developed with the aim of investigating visuospatial Working Memory (WM) abilities based on touchscreen technology. This new WM testing application will be available to download for free in Apple Store app ("SDRST app"). In order to verify the feasibility of this computer-based task, we conducted three experiments with different manipulations and groups of participants. We were interested in investigating if (1) the SDRST is sensitive enough to tap into cognitive differences brought by aging and dementia; (2) different experimental manipulations work successfully; (3) cortical brain activations seen in other WM tasks are also demonstrated here; and (4) non-human primates are able to answer the task. Performance (scores and response time) was better for young than older adults and higher for the latter when compared to Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. All groups performed better with facial stimuli than with images of scenes and with emotional than with neutral stimuli. Electrophysiology data showed activation on prefrontal and frontal areas of scalp, theta band activity on the midline area, and gamma activity in left temporal area. There are all scalp regions known to be related to attention and WM. Besides those data, our sample of adult captive capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) answered the task above chance level. Taken together, these results corroborate the reliability of this new computer-based SDRST as a measure of visuospatial WM in clinical and non-clinical populations as well as in non-human primates. Its tablet app allows the task to be administered in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, homes, schools, laboratories, universities, and research institutions.

  9. Computerized Spatial-Delayed Recognition Span Task: a specific tool to assess visuospatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina eSatler

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A new tablet device version (IOS platform of the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task (SDRST was developed with the aim of investigating visuospatial Working Memory (WM abilities based on touchscreen technology. This new WM testing application will be available to download for free in Apple Store app (SDRST app. In order to verify the feasibility of this computer-based task, we conducted three experiments with different manipulations and groups of participants. We were interested in investigating if (1 the SDRST is sensitive enough to tap into cognitive differences brought by ageing and dementia; (2 different experimental manipulations work successfully; (3 cortical brain activations seen in other WM tasks are also demonstrated here; and (4 non-human primates are able to answer the task. Performance (scores and response time was better for young than older adults and higher for the latter when compared to Alzheimer’s disease patients. All groups performed better with facial stimuli than with images of scenes and with emotional than with neutral stimuli. Electrophysiology data showed activation on prefrontal and frontal areas of scalp, theta band activity on the midline area, and gamma activity in left temporal area. There are all scalp regions known to be related to attention and WM. Besides those data, our sample of adult captive capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus answered the task above chance level. Taken together, these results corroborate the reliability of this new computer-based SDRST as a measure of visuospatial WM in clinical and non-clinical populations as well as in non-human primates. Its tablet app allows the task to be administered in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, homes, schools, laboratories, universities, and research institutions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia eConde

    2012-05-01

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

  12. Unfinished tasks foster rumination and impair sleeping - particularly if leaders have high performance expectations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syrek, Christine J; Antoni, Conny H

    2014-10-01

    This study examines the relationship between time pressure and unfinished tasks as work stressors on employee well-being. Relatively little is known about the effect of unfinished tasks on well-being. Specifically, excluding the impact of time pressure, we examined whether the feeling of not having finished the week's tasks fosters perseverative cognitions and impairs sleep. Additionally, we proposed that leader performance expectations moderate these relationships. In more detail, we expected the detrimental effect of unfinished tasks on both rumination and sleep would be enhanced if leader expectations were perceived to be high. In total, 89 employees filled out online diary surveys both before and after the weekend over a 5-week period. Multilevel growth modeling revealed that time pressure and unfinished tasks impacted rumination and sleep on the weekend. Further, our results supported our hypothesis that unfinished tasks explain unique variance in the dependent variables above and beyond the influence of time pressure. Moreover, we found the relationship between unfinished tasks and both rumination and sleep was moderated by leader performance expectations. Our results emphasize the importance of unfinished tasks as a stressor and highlight that leadership, specifically in the form of performance expectations, contributes significantly to the strength of this relationship.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Correlations in background activity control persistent state stability and allow execution of working memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario eDipoppa

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM is tightly capacity limited, it requires selective information gating, active information maintenance, and rapid active updating. Hence performing a WM task needs rapid and controlled transitions between neural persistent activity and the resting state. We propose that changes in spike-time correlations in neural activity provides a mechanism for the required working memory operations. As a proof of principle, we implement sustained activity and working memory in a recurrently-coupled spiking network with neurons receiving excitatory random background activity where background correlations are induced by a common noise source. We first characterize how the level of background correlations controls the stability of the persistent state. With sufficiently high correlations, the sustained state becomes practically unstable, so it cannot be initiated by a transient stimulus. We exploit this in a working memory model implementing the delay match to sample task by modulating flexibly in time the correlation level at different phases of the task. The modulation sets the network in different working regimes: more prompt to gate in a signal or clear the memory. The findings presented in this manuscript can form the basis for a new paradigm about how correlations are flexibly controlled by the cortical circuits to execute WM operations.

  15. Evaluation of high-definition television for remote task performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draper, J.V.; Fujita, Y.; Herndon, J.N.

    1987-04-01

    High-definition television (HDTV) transmits a video image with more than twice the number (1125 for HDTV to 525 for standard-resolution TV) of horizontal scan lines that standard-resolution TV provides. The improvement in picture quality (compared to standard-resolution TV) that the extra scan lines provide is impressive. Objects in the HDTV picture have more sharply defined edges, better contrast, and more accurate reproduction of shading and color patterns than do those in the standard-resolution TV picture. Because the TV viewing system is a key component for teleoperator performance, an improvement in TV picture quality could mean an improvement in the speed and accuracy with which teleoperators perform tasks. This report describes three experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The performance of HDTV was compared to that of standard-resolution, monochromatic TV and standard-resolution, stereoscopic, monochromatic TV in the context of judgment of depth in a televised scene, visual inspection of an object, and performance of a typical remote handling task. The results of the three experiments show that in some areas HDTV can lead to improvement in teleoperator performance. Observers inspecting a small object for a flaw were more accurate with HDTV than with either of the standard-resolution systems. High resolution is critical for detection of small-scale flaws of the type in the experiment (a scratch on a glass bottle). These experiments provided an evaluation of HDTV television for use in tasks that must be routinely performed to remotely maintain a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. 5 refs., 7 figs., 9 tabs

  16. Structural Correlates of Skilled Performance on a Motor Sequence Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Steele

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The brain regions functionally engaged in motor sequence performance are well established, but the structural characteristics of these regions and the fibre pathways involved have been less well studied. In addition, relatively few studies have combined multiple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and behavioural performance measures in the same sample. Therefore, the current study used diffusion tensor imaging, probabilistic tractography, and voxel-based morphometry to determine the structural correlates of skilled motor performance. Further, we compared these findings with fMRI results in the same sample. We correlated final performance and rate of improvement measures on a temporal motor sequence task with skeletonised fractional anisotropy (FA and whole brain grey matter (GM volume. Final synchronisation performance was negatively correlated with FA in white matter underlying bilateral sensorimotor cortex – an effect that was mediated by a positive correlation with radial diffusivity. Multi-fibre tractography indicated that this region contained crossing fibres from the corticospinal tract and superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF. The identified SLF pathway linked parietal and auditory cortical regions that have been shown to be functionally engaged in this task. Thus, we hypothesise that enhanced synchronisation performance on this task may be related to greater fibre integrity of the SLF. Rate of improvement on synchronisation was positively correlated with GM volume in cerebellar lobules HVI and V – regions that showed training-related decreases in activity in the same sample. Taken together, our results link individual differences in brain structure and function to motor sequence performance on the same task. Further, our study illustrates the utility of using multiple MR measures and analysis techniques to specify the interpretation of structural findings.

  17. Responsiveness of the individual work performance questionnaire.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Coffeng, J.K.; Bernaards, C.M.; Boot, C.R.L.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Vet, H.C.W. de; Beek, A.J. van der

    2014-01-01

    Background: Individual work performance is an important outcome measure in studies in the workplace. Nevertheless, its conceptualization and measurement has proven challenging. To overcome limitations of existing scales, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) was recently developed.

  18. Responsiveness of the individual work performance questionnaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Coffeng, J.K.; Bernaards, C.M.; Boot, C.R.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Vet, H.C. de; Beek, A.J. van der

    2014-01-01

    Background: Individual work performance is an important outcome measure in studies in the workplace. Nevertheless, its conceptualization and measurement has proven challenging. To overcome limitations of existing scales, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) was recently developed.

  19. Predicting Subsequent Task Performance From Goal Motivation and Goal Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Catherine Healy

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has demonstrated that the cognitive processes associated with goal pursuit can continue to interfere with unrelated tasks when a goal is unfulfilled. Drawing from the self-regulation and goal-striving literatures, the present study explored the impact of goal failure on subsequent cognitive and physical task performance. Furthermore, we examined if the autonomous or controlled motivation underpinning goal striving moderates the responses to goal failure. Athletes (75 male, 59 female, Mage = 19.90 years, SDage = 3.50 completed a cycling trial with the goal of covering a given distance in 8 minutes. Prior to the trial, their motivation was primed using a video. During the trial they were provided with manipulated performance feedback, thus creating conditions of goal success or failure. No differences emerged in the responses to goal failure between the primed motivation or performance feedback conditions. We make recommendations for future research into how individuals can deal with failure in goal striving.

  20. Exploration of task performance tests in a physics laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dan; El Turkey, Houssein

    2017-11-01

    In this article, we investigate the implementation of task performance tests in an undergraduate physics laboratory. Two performance tests were carried out over two semesters using the task of building a DC circuit. The first implementation in Spring 2014 had certain concerns such as the privacy of students’ testing and their ‘trial and error’ attempts. These concerns were addressed in Fall 2015 through implementing a second performance test. The second implementation was administered differently but the content of the two tests was the same. We discuss the validity of both implementations and present the correlation (or lack of) between the time that students needed to complete the tests and their grades from a paper-based laboratory assessment method.

  1. Functional Task Test: 3. Skeletal Muscle Performance Adaptations to Space Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Jeffrey W.; Wickwire, P. J.; Buxton, R. E.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Ploutz-Snyder, L.

    2011-01-01

    The functional task test is a multi-disciplinary study investigating how space-flight induced changes to physiological systems impacts functional task performance. Impairment of neuromuscular function would be expected to negatively affect functional performance of crewmembers following exposure to microgravity. This presentation reports the results for muscle performance testing in crewmembers. Functional task performance will be presented in the abstract "Functional Task Test 1: sensory motor adaptations associated with postflight alternations in astronaut functional task performance." METHODS: Muscle performance measures were obtained in crewmembers before and after short-duration space flight aboard the Space Shuttle and long-duration International Space Station (ISS) missions. The battery of muscle performance tests included leg press and bench press measures of isometric force, isotonic power and total work. Knee extension was used for the measurement of central activation and maximal isometric force. Upper and lower body force steadiness control were measured on the bench press and knee extension machine, respectively. Tests were implemented 60 and 30 days before launch, on landing day (Shuttle crew only), and 6, 10 and 30 days after landing. Seven Space Shuttle crew and four ISS crew have completed the muscle performance testing to date. RESULTS: Preliminary results for Space Shuttle crew reveal significant reductions in the leg press performance metrics of maximal isometric force, power and total work on R+0 (pperformance metrics were observed in returning Shuttle crew and these adaptations are likely contributors to impaired functional tasks that are ambulatory in nature (See abstract Functional Task Test: 1). Interestingly, no significant changes in central activation capacity were detected. Therefore, impairments in muscle function in response to short-duration space flight are likely myocellular rather than neuromotor in nature.

  2. Effects on Task Performance and Psychophysiological Measures of Performance During Normobaric Hypoxia Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Chad; Kennedy, Kellie; Napoli, Nicholas; Demas, Matthew; Barnes, Laura; Crook, Brenda; Williams, Ralph; Last, Mary Carolyn; Schutte, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Human-autonomous systems have the potential to mitigate pilot cognitive impairment and improve aviation safety. A research team at NASA Langley conducted an experiment to study the impact of mild normobaric hypoxia induction on aircraft pilot performance and psychophysiological state. A within-subjects design involved non-hypoxic and hypoxic exposures while performing three 10-minute tasks. Results indicated the effect of 15,000 feet simulated altitude did not induce significant performance decrement but did produce increase in perceived workload. Analyses of psychophysiological responses evince the potential of biomarkers for hypoxia onset. This study represents on-going work at NASA intending to add to the current knowledge of psychophysiologically-based input to automation to increase aviation safety. Analyses involving coupling across physiological systems and wavelet transforms of cortical activity revealed patterns that can discern between the simulated altitude conditions. Specifically, multivariate entropy of ECG/Respiration components were found to be significant predictors (pTask performance was not appreciably impacted by the effect of 15,000 feet simulated altitude. Analyses of psychophysiological responses evince the potential of biomarkers for mild hypoxia onset.The potential for identifying shifts in underlying cortical and physiological systems could serve as a means to identify the onset of deteriorated cognitive state. Enabling such assessment in future flightdecks could permit increasingly autonomous systems-supported operations. Augmenting human operator through assessment of cognitive impairment has the potential to further improve operator performance and mitigate human error in safety critical contexts. This study represents ongoing work at NASA intending to add to the current knowledge of psychophysiologically-based input to automation to increase aviation safety.

  3. Development of an Individual Work Performance Questionnaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; van Buuren, S.; van der Beek, A.J.; de Vet, H.C.W.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to develop a generic and short questionnaire to measure work performance at the individual level – the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ). The IWPQ was based on a four-dimensional conceptual framework, in which individual work performance consisted

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Impairment on a self-ordered working memory task in patients with early-acquired hippocampal atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Geva

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available One of the features of both adult-onset and developmental forms of amnesia resulting from bilateral medial temporal lobe damage, or even from relatively selective damage to the hippocampus, is the sparing of working memory. Recently, however, a number of studies have reported deficits on working memory tasks in patients with damage to the hippocampus and in macaque monkeys with neonatal hippocampal lesions. These studies suggest that successful performance on working memory tasks with high memory load require the contribution of the hippocampus. Here we compared performance on a working memory task (the Self-ordered Pointing Task, between patients with early onset hippocampal damage and a group of healthy controls. Consistent with the findings in the monkeys with neonatal lesions, we found that the patients were impaired on the task, but only on blocks of trials with intermediate memory load. Importantly, only intermediate to high memory load blocks yielded significant correlations between task performance and hippocampal volume. Additionally, we found no evidence of proactive interference in either group, and no evidence of an effect of time since injury on performance. We discuss the role of the hippocampus and its interactions with the prefrontal cortex in serving working memory.

  6. Impairment on a self-ordered working memory task in patients with early-acquired hippocampal atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geva, Sharon; Cooper, Janine M; Gadian, David G; Mishkin, Mortimer; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh

    2016-08-01

    One of the features of both adult-onset and developmental forms of amnesia resulting from bilateral medial temporal lobe damage, or even from relatively selective damage to the hippocampus, is the sparing of working memory. Recently, however, a number of studies have reported deficits on working memory tasks in patients with damage to the hippocampus and in macaque monkeys with neonatal hippocampal lesions. These studies suggest that successful performance on working memory tasks with high memory load require the contribution of the hippocampus. Here we compared performance on a working memory task (the Self-ordered Pointing Task), between patients with early onset hippocampal damage and a group of healthy controls. Consistent with the findings in the monkeys with neonatal lesions, we found that the patients were impaired on the task, but only on blocks of trials with intermediate memory load. Importantly, only intermediate to high memory load blocks yielded significant correlations between task performance and hippocampal volume. Additionally, we found no evidence of proactive interference in either group, and no evidence of an effect of time since injury on performance. We discuss the role of the hippocampus and its interactions with the prefrontal cortex in serving working memory. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Group performance and group learning at dynamic system control tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drewes, Sylvana

    2013-01-01

    Proper management of dynamic systems (e.g. cooling systems of nuclear power plants or production and warehousing) is important to ensure public safety and economic success. So far, research has provided broad evidence for systematic shortcomings in individuals' control performance of dynamic systems. This research aims to investigate whether groups manifest synergy (Larson, 2010) and outperform individuals and if so, what processes lead to these performance advantages. In three experiments - including simulations of a nuclear power plant and a business setting - I compare the control performance of three-person-groups to the average individual performance and to nominal groups (N = 105 groups per experiment). The nominal group condition captures the statistical advantage of aggregated group judgements not due to social interaction. First, results show a superior performance of groups compared to individuals. Second, a meta-analysis across all three experiments shows interaction-based process gains in dynamic control tasks: Interacting groups outperform the average individual performance as well as the nominal group performance. Third, group interaction leads to stable individual improvements of group members that exceed practice effects. In sum, these results provide the first unequivocal evidence for interaction-based performance gains of groups in dynamic control tasks and imply that employers should rely on groups to provide opportunities for individual learning and to foster dynamic system control at its best.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis F Díaz-Vilela

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Brain oscillation and connectivity during a chemistry visual working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Li-Yu; She, Hsiao-Ching; Chou, Wen-Chi; Chuang, Ming-Hua; Duann, Jeng-Ren; Jung, Tzyy-Ping

    2013-11-01

    Many studies have reported that frontal theta and posterior alpha activities are associated with working memory tasks. However, fewer studies have focused on examining whether or not the frontal alpha or posterior theta can play a role in the working memory task. This study investigates electroencephalography (EEG) dynamics and connectivity among different brain regions' theta and alpha oscillations. The EEG was collected from undergraduate students (n = 64) while they were performing a Sternberg-like working memory task involving chemistry concepts. The results showed that the frontal midline cluster exhibited sustained theta augmentation across the periods of stimulus presentations, maintenance, and probe presentation, suggesting that the frontal midline theta might associate with facilitating the central execute function to maintain information in the working memory. Study of the central parietal and the occipital clusters revealed a sequence of theta augmentation followed by alpha suppression at constant intervals after the onset of stimulus and probe presentations, suggesting that the posterior theta might be associated with sensory processing, theta gating, or stimulus selection. It further suggests that the posterior alpha event-related de-synchronization (ERD) might be linked to direct information flow into and out of the long-term memory (LTM) and precede stimulus recognition. An alternating phasic alpha event-related synchronization (ERS) and ERD following the 1st stimulus and probe presentations were observed at the occipital cluster, in which alpha ERS might be linked to the inhibition of irrelevant information. © 2013.

  13. Predictors of Processing-Based Task Performance in Bilingual and Monolingual Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buac, Milijana; Gross, Megan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we examined performance of bilingual Spanish-English-speaking and monolingual English-speaking school-age children on a range of processing-based measures within the framework of Baddeley’s working memory model. The processing-based measures included measures of short-term memory, measures of working memory, and a novel word-learning task. Results revealed that monolinguals outperformed bilinguals on the short-term memory tasks but not the working memory and novel word-learning tasks. Further, children’s vocabulary skills and socioeconomic status (SES) were more predictive of processing-based task performance in the bilingual group than the monolingual group. Together, these findings indicate that processing-based tasks that engage verbal working memory rather than short-term memory may be better-suited for diagnostic purposes with bilingual children. However, even verbal working memory measures are sensitive to bilingual children’s language-specific knowledge and demographic characteristics, and therefore may have limited clinical utility. PMID:27179914

  14. Negative emotion modulates prefrontal cortex activity during a working memory task: A NIRS study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachiyo eOzawa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the neural processing underlying the cognitive control of emotions induced by the presentation of task-irrelevant emotional pictures before a working memory task. Previous studies have suggested that the cognitive control of emotion involves the prefrontal regions. Therefore, we measured the hemodynamic responses that occurred in the prefrontal region with a 16-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS system. In our experiment, participants observed two negative or two neutral pictures in succession immediately before a 1-back or 3-back task. Pictures were selected from the International Affective Picture System. We measured the changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb during picture presentation and during the n-back task. The emotional valence of the picture affected the oxyHb changes in anterior parts of the medial prefrontal cortex (located in the left and right superior frontal gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus during the n-back task; the oxyHb changes during the task were significantly greater following negative rather than neutral stimulation. As indicated in a number of previous studies, and the time courses of the oxyHb changes in our study, activation in these locations is possibly led by cognitive control of emotion, though we cannot deny it may simply be emotional responses. There were no effects of emotion on oxyHb changes during picture presentation or on n-back task performance. Although further studies are necessary to confirm this interpretation, our findings suggest that NIRS can be used to investigate neural processing during emotional control.

  15. Cancer and treatment effects on job task performance for gynecological cancer survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachreiner, Nancy M; Shanley, Ryan; Ghebre, Rahel G

    2013-01-01

    Over 91,000 new cases of gynecological cancers are expected to be diagnosed in 2013 in the US alone. As cancer detection technology and treatment options improve, the number of working-age cancer survivors continues to grow. To describe US gynecological cancer survivors' perceptions of the effects of cancer and treatment on their job tasks. 104 adult gynecological cancer survivors who were working at the time of their cancer diagnosis, treated at a University-based women's health clinic, diagnosed in the previous 24 months, and spoke English. Women completed written surveys to describe their work experiences following diagnosis. Clinical characteristics were obtained through medical record review. Descriptive statistics and cross tabulations were performed to describe characteristics and associations. Fifteen percent of women had chemotherapy and radiation treatment; 48% had only chemotherapy, 9% only radiation therapy, and 28% had neither. Survivors described the frequency of performing seven job tasks, such as 'intense concentration', 'analyzing data', and 'lifting heavy loads.' Women who had undergone radiation treatment were more likely to indicate limitations for physical tasks; women undergoing chemotherapy were more likely to report limitations in more analytic tasks. Only 29% of women noted an employer-based policy facilitated their return-to-work process. Cancer and treatment have important effects on job performance and may vary by type of treatment. Employer-based policies focusing on improved communication and work accommodations may improve the return to work process.

  16. GABA level, gamma oscillation, and working memory performance in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Ming A. Chen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A relationship between working memory impairment, disordered neuronal oscillations, and abnormal prefrontal GABA function has been hypothesized in schizophrenia; however, in vivo GABA measurements and gamma band neural synchrony have not yet been compared in schizophrenia. This case–control pilot study (N = 24 compared baseline and working memory task-induced neuronal oscillations acquired with high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs to GABA levels measured in vivo with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Working memory performance, baseline GABA level in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, and measures of gamma oscillations from EEGs at baseline and during a working memory task were obtained. A major limitation of this study is a relatively small sample size for several analyses due to the integration of diverse methodologies and participant compliance. Working memory performance was significantly lower for patients than for controls. During the working memory task, patients (n = 7 had significantly lower amplitudes in gamma oscillations than controls (n = 9. However, both at rest and across working memory stages, there were significant correlations between gamma oscillation amplitude and left DLPFC GABA level. Peak gamma frequency during the encoding stage of the working memory task (n = 16 significantly correlated with GABA level and working memory performance. Despite gamma band amplitude deficits in patients across working memory stages, both baseline and working memory-induced gamma oscillations showed strong dependence on baseline GABA levels in patients and controls. These findings suggest a critical role for GABA function in gamma band oscillations, even under conditions of system and cognitive impairments as seen in schizophrenia.

  17. GABA level, gamma oscillation, and working memory performance in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chi-Ming A; Stanford, Arielle D; Mao, Xiangling; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Shungu, Dikoma C; Lisanby, Sarah H; Schroeder, Charles E; Kegeles, Lawrence S

    2014-01-01

    A relationship between working memory impairment, disordered neuronal oscillations, and abnormal prefrontal GABA function has been hypothesized in schizophrenia; however, in vivo GABA measurements and gamma band neural synchrony have not yet been compared in schizophrenia. This case-control pilot study (N = 24) compared baseline and working memory task-induced neuronal oscillations acquired with high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs) to GABA levels measured in vivo with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Working memory performance, baseline GABA level in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and measures of gamma oscillations from EEGs at baseline and during a working memory task were obtained. A major limitation of this study is a relatively small sample size for several analyses due to the integration of diverse methodologies and participant compliance. Working memory performance was significantly lower for patients than for controls. During the working memory task, patients (n = 7) had significantly lower amplitudes in gamma oscillations than controls (n = 9). However, both at rest and across working memory stages, there were significant correlations between gamma oscillation amplitude and left DLPFC GABA level. Peak gamma frequency during the encoding stage of the working memory task (n = 16) significantly correlated with GABA level and working memory performance. Despite gamma band amplitude deficits in patients across working memory stages, both baseline and working memory-induced gamma oscillations showed strong dependence on baseline GABA levels in patients and controls. These findings suggest a critical role for GABA function in gamma band oscillations, even under conditions of system and cognitive impairments as seen in schizophrenia.

  18. Is it health information technology? : Task complexity and work substitution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Medina Palomino, Hector; Rutkowski, Anne; Verhulst, Matthijs

    2015-01-01

    New technology is making it possible to replace professions built on complex knowledge, e.g. medicine. In our exploratory research we examined how Information Technologies might be replacing some of the tasks formerly processed by physician anesthesiologists (MDAs). Data (N=1178) were collected at a

  19. Working with Group-Tasks and Group Cohesiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anwar, Khoirul

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed at exploring the connection between the use of group task and group cohesiveness. This study is very important because the nature of the learner's success is largely determined by the values of cooperation, interaction, and understanding of the learning objectives together. Subjects of this study are 28 students on the course…

  20. Identifying the neural substrates of intrinsic motivation during task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Woogul; Reeve, Johnmarshall

    2017-10-01

    Intrinsic motivation is the inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenge, to explore and investigate, and to stretch and extend one's capacities. When people imagine performing intrinsically motivating tasks, they show heightened anterior insular cortex (AIC) activity. To fully explain the neural system of intrinsic motivation, however, requires assessing neural activity while people actually perform intrinsically motivating tasks (i.e., while answering curiosity-inducing questions or solving competence-enabling anagrams). Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that the neural system of intrinsic motivation involves not only AIC activity, but also striatum activity and, further, AIC-striatum functional interactions. These findings suggest that subjective feelings of intrinsic satisfaction (associated with AIC activations), reward processing (associated with striatum activations), and their interactions underlie the actual experience of intrinsic motivation. These neural findings are consistent with the conceptualization of intrinsic motivation as the pursuit and satisfaction of subjective feelings (interest and enjoyment) as intrinsic rewards.

  1. Trajectory generation for two robots cooperating to perform a task

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, C.L.

    1995-01-01

    This paper formulates an algorithm for trajectory generation for two robots cooperating to perform an assembly task. Treating the two robots as a single redundant system, this paper derives two Jacobian matrices which relate the joint rates of the entire system to the relative motion of the grippers with respect to one another. The advantage of this formulation over existing methods is that a variety of secondary criteria can be conveniently satisfied using motion in the null-space of the relative Jacobian. This paper presents methods for generating dual-arm joint trajectories which perform assembly tasks while at the same time avoiding obstacles and joint limits, and also maintaining constraints on the absolute position and orientation of the end-effectors

  2. Influence of Task Difficulty and Background Music on Working Memory Activity: Developmental Considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniel, Shlomo; Aram, Dorit

    1998-01-01

    A study of 300 children in kindergarten, grade 2, and grade 6 found that background music improved visual discrimination task performance at the youngest and middle ages and had no effect on the oldest participants. On a square identification task, background music had no influence on easy and difficult tasks but lowered performance on…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Starcke

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, Edith; Mélan, Claudine

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyeed Mohammad Alavi

    2012-05-01

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

  6. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing children with no known disorders. The research is reviewed here with a focus on the types of cognitive and academic tasks that have been related to insufficient sleep. A series of studies is described that relates sleep parameters to the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and other, similar measures. Implications for educators and psychologists who work with children are discussed.

  7. Gait performance is not influenced by working memory when walking at a self-selected pace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubaugh, Jordan; Rhea, Christopher K

    2014-02-01

    Gait performance exhibits patterns within the stride-to-stride variability that can be indexed using detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Previous work employing DFA has shown that gait patterns can be influenced by constraints, such as natural aging or disease, and they are informative regarding a person's functional ability. Many activities of daily living require concurrent performance in the cognitive and gait domains; specifically working memory is commonly engaged while walking, which is considered dual-tasking. It is unknown if taxing working memory while walking influences gait performance as assessed by DFA. This study used a dual-tasking paradigm to determine if performance decrements are observed in gait or working memory when performed concurrently. Healthy young participants (N = 16) performed a working memory task (automated operation span task) and a gait task (walking at a self-selected speed on a treadmill) in single- and dual-task conditions. A second dual-task condition (reading while walking) was included to control for visual attention, but also introduced a task that taxed working memory over the long term. All trials involving gait lasted at least 10 min. Performance in the working memory task was indexed using five dependent variables (absolute score, partial score, speed error, accuracy error, and math error), while gait performance was indexed by quantifying the mean, standard deviation, and DFA α of the stride interval time series. Two multivariate analyses of variance (one for gait and one for working memory) were used to examine performance in the single- and dual-task conditions. No differences were observed in any of the gait or working memory dependent variables as a function of task condition. The results suggest the locomotor system is adaptive enough to complete a working memory task without compromising gait performance when walking at a self-selected pace.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zoethout, Kees; Jager, Wander; Molleman, Eric

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-22

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

  10. Analyses of User Rationality and System Learnability: Performing Task Variants in User Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Effie Lai-Chong; Blazic, Borka Jerman; Pipan, Matic

    2007-01-01

    No systematic empirical study on investigating the effects of performing task variants on user cognitive strategy and behaviour in usability tests and on learnability of the system being tested has been documented in the literature. The current use-inspired basic research work aims to identify the underlying cognitive mechanisms and the practical…

  11. Developmental Progression of Looking and Reaching Performance on the A-Not-B Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2010-01-01

    From a neuropsychological perspective, the cognitive skills of working memory, inhibition, and attention and the maturation of the frontal lobe are requisites for successful A-not-B performance on both the looking and reaching versions of the task. This study used a longitudinal design to examine the developmental progression of infants'…

  12. Individual differences and the effects of an information aid in performance of a fault diagnosis task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaijmakers, J.G.W.; Verduyn, W.W.

    1996-01-01

    Two experiments are reported that investigated the performance of operators in a fault diagnosis task. Naval engineers working in the Ship's Control Centre (SCC) on board of frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy were asked to solve a number of unfamiliar fault problems. In the first experiment, it

  13. System structure and cognitive ability as predictors of performance in dynamic system control tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Hundertmark

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In dynamic system control, cognitive mechanisms and abilities underlying performance may vary depending on the nature of the task. We therefore investigated the effects of system structure and its interaction with cognitive abilities on system control performance. A sample of 127 university students completed a series of different system control tasks that were manipulated in terms of system size and recurrent feedback, either with or without a cognitive load manipulation. Cognitive abilities assessed included reasoning ability, working memory capacity, and cognitive reflection. System size and recurrent feedback affected overall performance as expected. Overall, the results support that cognitive ability is a good predictor of performance in dynamic system control tasks but predictiveness is reduced when the system structure contains recurrent feedback. We discuss this finding from a cognitive processing perspective as well as its implications for individual differences research in dynamic systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straus, S G; McGrath, J E

    1994-02-01

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

  15. The Influence of Levels of Processing on Recall from Working Memory and Delayed Recall Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loaiza, Vanessa M.; McCabe, David P.; Youngblood, Jessie L.; Rose, Nathan S.; Myerson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Recent research in working memory has highlighted the similarities involved in retrieval from complex span tasks and episodic memory tasks, suggesting that these tasks are influenced by similar memory processes. In the present article, the authors manipulated the level of processing engaged when studying to-be-remembered words during a reading…

  16. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M. Harvey

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI and Visual Perception (VMIp. Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88. Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p=0.829. Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p=0.038 and corrected astigmats (p=0.007. Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p=0.209 and corrected astigmats (p=0.124 did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p=0.003. Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtsson, Sara L; Penny, Will D

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara L Bengtsson

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. The relationship between event-based prospective memory and ongoing task performance in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodore A Evans

    Full Text Available Prospective memory is remembering to do something at a future time. A growing body of research supports that prospective memory may exist in nonhuman animals, but the methods used to test nonhuman prospective memory differ from those used with humans. The current work tests prospective memory in chimpanzees using a method that closely approximates a typical human paradigm. In these experiments, the prospective memory cue was embedded within an ongoing task. Tokens representing food items could be used in one of two ways: in a matching task with pictures of items (the ongoing task or to request a food item hidden in a different location at the beginning of the trial. Chimpanzees had to disengage from the ongoing task in order to use the appropriate token to obtain a higher preference food item. In Experiment 1, chimpanzees effectively matched tokens to pictures, when appropriate, and disengaged from the ongoing task when the token matched the hidden item. In Experiment 2, performance did not differ when the target item was either hidden or visible. This suggested no effect of cognitive load on either the prospective memory task or the ongoing task, but performance was near ceiling, which may have contributed to this outcome. In Experiment 3, we created a more challenging version of the task. More errors on the matching task occurred before the prospective memory had been carried out, and this difference seemed to be limited to the hidden condition. This finding parallels results from human studies and suggests that working memory load and prospective memory may have a similar relationship in nonhuman primates.

  2. Effect of temperature on task performance in officeenvironment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seppanen, Olli; Fisk, William J.; Lei, Q.H.

    2006-07-01

    Indoor temperature is one of the fundamental characteristics of the indoor environment. It can be controlled with a degree of accuracy dependent on the building and its HVAC system. The indoor temperature affects several human responses, including thermal comfort, perceived air quality, sick building syndrome symptoms and performance at work. In this study, we focused on the effects of temperature on performance at office work. We included those studies that had used objective indicators of performance that are likely to be relevant in office type work, such as text processing, simple calculations (addition, multiplication), length of telephone customer service time, and total handling time per customer for call-center workers. We excluded data from studies of industrial work performance. We calculated from all studies the percentage of performance change per degree increase in temperature, and statistically analyzed measured work performance with temperature. The results show that performance increases with temperature up to 21-22 C, and decreases with temperature above 23-24 C. The highest productivity is at temperature of around 22 C. For example, at the temperature of 30 C, the performance is only 91.1% of the maximum i.e. the reduction in performance is 8.9%

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reissland, Jessika; Manzey, Dietrich

    2016-07-01

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

  5. The potential impact of 3D telepresence technology on task performance in emergency trauma care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Söderholm, Hanna M.; Sonnenwald, Diane H.; Cairns, Bruce

    2007-01-01

    a simulated emergency situation 60 paramedics diagnosed and treated a trauma victim while working alone or in collaboration with a physician via 2D video or a 3D proxy. Analysis of paramedics' task performance shows that the fewest harmful procedures occurred in the 3D proxy condition. Paramedics in the 3D...... proxy condition also reported higher levels of self-efficacy. These results indicate 3D telepresence technology has potential to improve paramedics' performance of complex emergency medical tasks and improve emergency trauma health care when designed appropriately....

  6. Is Performance in Task-Cuing Experiments Mediated by Task Set Selection or Associative Compound Retrieval?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrest, Charlotte L. D.; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P. L.

    2014-01-01

    Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed,…

  7. The Effect of a Workload-Preview on Task-Prioritization and Task-Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minotra, Dev

    2012-01-01

    With increased volume and sophistication of cyber attacks in recent years, maintaining situation awareness and effective task-prioritization strategy is critical to the task of cybersecurity analysts. However, high levels of mental-workload associated with the task of cybersecurity analyst's limits their ability to prioritize tasks.…

  8. A Novel Method for Assessing Task Complexity in Outpatient Clinical-Performance Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Amspoker, Amber B; Petersen, Laura A

    2016-04-01

    Clinical-performance measurement has helped improve the quality of health-care; yet success in attaining high levels of quality across multiple domains simultaneously still varies considerably. Although many sources of variability in care quality have been studied, the difficulty required to complete the clinical work itself has received little attention. We present a task-based methodology for evaluating the difficulty of clinical-performance measures (CPMs) by assessing the complexity of their component requisite tasks. Using Functional Job Analysis (FJA), subject-matter experts (SMEs) generated task lists for 17 CPMs; task lists were rated on ten dimensions of complexity, and then aggregated into difficulty composites. Eleven outpatient work SMEs; 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Clinical Performance: 17 outpatient CPMs (2000-2008) at 133 VA Medical Centers nationwide. Measure Difficulty: for each CPM, the number of component requisite tasks and the average rating across ten FJA complexity scales for the set of tasks comprising the measure. Measures varied considerably in the number of component tasks (M = 10.56, SD = 6.25, min = 5, max = 25). Measures of chronic care following acute myocardial infarction exhibited significantly higher measure difficulty ratings compared to diabetes or screening measures, but not to immunization measures ([Formula: see text] = 0.45, -0.04, -0.05, and -0.06 respectively; F (3, 186) = 3.57, p = 0.015). Measure difficulty ratings were not significantly correlated with the number of component tasks (r = -0.30, p = 0.23). Evaluating the difficulty of achieving recommended CPM performance levels requires more than simply counting the tasks involved; using FJA to assess the complexity of CPMs' component tasks presents an alternate means of assessing the difficulty of primary-care CPMs and accounting for performance variation among measures and performers. This in turn could be used in designing

  9. Uncovering the relationship between transformational leaders and followers' task performance.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breevaart, K.; Bakker, A. B.; Demerouti, E.; Sleebos, D. M.; Maduro, V.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to unravel the mechanisms underlying the relationship between transformational leadership, follower work engagement, and follower job performance and to investigate a possible boundary condition of transformational leadership. We used structural equation modeling

  10. A Male Advantage for Spatial and Object but Not Verbal Working Memory Using the N-Back Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejbak, Lisa; Crossley, Margaret; Vrbancic, Mirna

    2011-01-01

    Sex-related differences have been reported for performance and neural substrates on some working memory measures that carry a high cognitive load, including the popular n-back neuroimaging paradigm. Despite some evidence of a sex effect on the task, the influence of sex on performance represents a potential confound in neuroimaging research. The…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Right prefrontal activity reflects the ability to overcome sleepiness during working memory tasks: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Motoyasu Honma

    Full Text Available It has been speculated that humans have an inherent ability to overcome sleepiness that counteracts homeostatic sleep pressure. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in the ability to overcome sleepiness during the execution of cognitive tasks. Here we sought to confirm that this ability to overcome sleepiness in task execution improves performance on cognitive tasks, showing activation of neural substrates in the frontal cortex, by using a modified n-back (2- and 0-back working memory task and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The change in alertness was just correlated with performances on the 2-back task. Activity in the right prefrontal cortex changed depending on alertness changes on the 2- and 0-back tasks independently, which indicates that activity in this region clearly reflects the ability to overcome sleepiness; it may contribute to the function of providing sufficient activity to meet the task load demands. This study reveals characteristics of the ability to overcome sleepiness during the n-back working memory task which goes beyond the attention-control function traditionally proposed.

  13. Influence of visual feedback on human task performance in ITER remote handling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schropp, Gwendolijn Y.R., E-mail: g.schropp@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Utrecht University, Utrecht (Netherlands); Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Noordwijk (Netherlands); Heemskerk, Cock J.M. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Noordwijk (Netherlands); Kappers, Astrid M.L.; Tiest, Wouter M. Bergmann [Helmholtz Institute-Utrecht University, Utrecht (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, Ben S.Q. [FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, Association EURATOM/FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Clusterand ITER-NL, PO box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Bult, David [FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, Association EURATOM/FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Clusterand ITER-NL, PO box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands)

    2012-08-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The performance of human operators in an ITER-like test facility for remote handling. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Different sources of visual feedback influence how fast one can complete a maintenance task. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Insights learned could be used in design of operator work environment or training procedures. - Abstract: In ITER, maintenance operations will be largely performed by remote handling (RH). Before ITER can be put into operation, safety regulations and licensing authorities require proof of maintainability for critical components. Part of the proof will come from using standard components and procedures. Additional verification and validation is based on simulation and hardware tests in 1:1 scale mockups. The Master Slave manipulator system (MS2) Benchmark Product was designed to implement a reference set of maintenance tasks representative for ITER remote handling. Experiments were performed with two versions of the Benchmark Product. In both experiments, the quality of visual feedback varied by exchanging direct view with indirect view (using video cameras) in order to measure and analyze its impact on human task performance. The first experiment showed that both experienced and novice RH operators perform a simple task significantly better with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. A more complex task showed a large variation in results and could not be completed by many novice operators. Experienced operators commented on both the mechanical design and visual feedback. In a second experiment, a more elaborate task was tested on an improved Benchmark product. Again, the task was performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance.

  14. Influence of visual feedback on human task performance in ITER remote handling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schropp, Gwendolijn Y.R.; Heemskerk, Cock J.M.; Kappers, Astrid M.L.; Tiest, Wouter M. Bergmann; Elzendoorn, Ben S.Q.; Bult, David

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► The performance of human operators in an ITER-like test facility for remote handling. ► Different sources of visual feedback influence how fast one can complete a maintenance task. ► Insights learned could be used in design of operator work environment or training procedures. - Abstract: In ITER, maintenance operations will be largely performed by remote handling (RH). Before ITER can be put into operation, safety regulations and licensing authorities require proof of maintainability for critical components. Part of the proof will come from using standard components and procedures. Additional verification and validation is based on simulation and hardware tests in 1:1 scale mockups. The Master Slave manipulator system (MS2) Benchmark Product was designed to implement a reference set of maintenance tasks representative for ITER remote handling. Experiments were performed with two versions of the Benchmark Product. In both experiments, the quality of visual feedback varied by exchanging direct view with indirect view (using video cameras) in order to measure and analyze its impact on human task performance. The first experiment showed that both experienced and novice RH operators perform a simple task significantly better with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. A more complex task showed a large variation in results and could not be completed by many novice operators. Experienced operators commented on both the mechanical design and visual feedback. In a second experiment, a more elaborate task was tested on an improved Benchmark product. Again, the task was performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance.

  15. Role of the Frontal Cortex in Standing Postural Sway Tasks While Dual-Tasking: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study Examining Working Memory Capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Fujita

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Posture control during a dual-task involves changing the distribution of attention resources between the cognitive and motor tasks and involves the frontal cortex working memory (WM. The present study aimed to better understand the impact of frontal lobe activity and WM capacity in postural control during a dual-task. High and low WM-span groups were compared using their reading span test scores. High and low WM capacity were compared based on cognitive and balance performance and hemoglobin oxygenation (oxyHb levels during standing during single (S-S, standing during dual (S-D, one leg standing during single (O-S, and one leg standing during dual (O-D tasks. For sway pass length, significant difference in only the O-D task was observed between both groups. oxyHb levels were markedly increased in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and supplementary motor area in the high-span group during a dual-task. Therefore, WM capacity influenced the allocation of attentional resources and motor performance.

  16. What limits dual-tasking in working memory? An investigation of the effect of sub-task demand on maintenance mechanisms employed during dual-tasking

    OpenAIRE

    Doherty, Jason Michael

    2016-01-01

    A number of models of working memory have been proposed since the seminal work of Baddeley and Hitch (1974) on the Multiple Component Model (MCM). Subsequent MCM research focussed on developing a theoretical framework based on modality-specific stores that can operate in parallel during dual-tasking. The MCM can be contrasted with theories of working memory that assume an attention-based domain-general shared resource responsible for both short term retention as well as on-line...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-01

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

  19. Correlations in background activity control persistent state stability and allow execution of working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dipoppa, Mario; Gutkin, Boris S

    2013-01-01

    Working memory (WM) requires selective information gating, active information maintenance, and rapid active updating. Hence performing a WM task needs rapid and controlled transitions between neural persistent activity and the resting state. We propose that changes in correlations in neural activity provides a mechanism for the required WM operations. As a proof of principle, we implement sustained activity and WM in recurrently coupled spiking networks with neurons receiving excitatory random background activity where background correlations are induced by a common noise source. We first characterize how the level of background correlations controls the stability of the persistent state. With sufficiently high correlations, the sustained state becomes practically unstable, so it cannot be initiated by a transient stimulus. We exploit this in WM models implementing the delay match to sample task by modulating flexibly in time the correlation level at different phases of the task. The modulation sets the network in different working regimes: more prompt to gate in a signal or clear the memory. We examine how the correlations affect the ability of the network to perform the task when distractors are present. We show that in a winner-take-all version of the model, where two populations cross-inhibit, correlations make the distractor blocking robust. In a version of the mode where no cross inhibition is present, we show that appropriate modulation of correlation levels is sufficient to also block the distractor access while leaving the relevant memory trace in tact. The findings presented in this manuscript can form the basis for a new paradigm about how correlations are flexibly controlled by the cortical circuits to execute WM operations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The experiments described in this paper compared the performance of four operators using HDTV with their performance while using other television systems. The experiments included four television systems: (1) high-definition color television, (2) high-definition monochromatic television, (3) standard-resolution monochromatic television, and (4) standard-resolution stereoscopic monochromatic television. The stereo system accomplished stereoscopy by displaying two cross-polarized images, one reflected by a half-silvered mirror and one seen through the mirror. Observers wore a pair of glasses with cross-polarized lenses so that the left eye received only the view from the left camera and the right eye received only the view from the right camera

  1. Helicopter Pilot Performance for Discrete-maneuver Flight Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffley, R. K.; Bourne, S. M.; Hindson, W. S.

    1984-01-01

    This paper describes a current study of several basic helicopter flight maneuvers. The data base consists of in-flight measurements from instrumented helicopters using experienced pilots. The analysis technique is simple enough to apply without automatic data processing, and the results can be used to build quantitative matah models of the flight task and some aspects of the pilot control strategy. In addition to describing the performance measurement technqiue, some results are presented which define the aggressiveness and amplitude of maneuvering for several lateral maneuvers including turns and sidesteps.

  2. The Effect of Corrective Feedback on Performance in Basic Cognitive Tasks: An Analysis of RT Components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Moret-Tatay

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The current work examines the effect of trial-by-trial feedback about correct and error responding on performance in two basic cognitive tasks: a classic Stroop task (n = 40 and a color-word matching task ('n' = 30. Standard measures of both RT and accuracy were examined in addition to measures obtained from fitting the ex-Gaussian distributional model to the correct RTs. For both tasks, RTs were faster in blocks of trials with feedback than in blocks without feedback, but this difference was not significant. On the other hand, with respect to the distributional analyses, providing feedback served to significantly reduce the size of the tails of the RT distributions. Such results suggest that, for conditions in which accuracy is fairly high, the effect of corrective feedback might either be to reduce the tendency to double-check before responding or to decrease the amount of attentional lapsing.

  3. Prefrontal spatial working memory network predicts animal's decision making in a free choice saccade task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochizuki, Kei; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2016-01-01

    While neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode spatial information during the performance of working memory tasks, they are also known to participate in subjective behavior such as spatial attention and action selection. In the present study, we analyzed the activity of primate PFC neurons during the performance of a free choice memory-guided saccade task in which the monkeys needed to choose a saccade direction by themselves. In trials when the receptive field location was subsequently chosen by the animal, PFC neurons with spatially selective visual response started to show greater activation before cue onset. This result suggests that the fluctuation of firing before cue presentation prematurely biased the representation of a certain spatial location and eventually encouraged the subsequent choice of that location. In addition, modulation of the activity by the animal's choice was observed only in neurons with high sustainability of activation and was also dependent on the spatial configuration of the visual cues. These findings were consistent with known characteristics of PFC neurons in information maintenance in spatial working memory function. These results suggest that precue fluctuation of spatial representation was shared and enhanced through the working memory network in the PFC and could finally influence the animal's free choice of saccade direction. The present study revealed that the PFC plays an important role in decision making in a free choice condition and that the dynamics of decision making are constrained by the network architecture embedded in this cortical area. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  4. Prefrontal spatial working memory network predicts animal's decision making in a free choice saccade task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochizuki, Kei

    2015-01-01

    While neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode spatial information during the performance of working memory tasks, they are also known to participate in subjective behavior such as spatial attention and action selection. In the present study, we analyzed the activity of primate PFC neurons during the performance of a free choice memory-guided saccade task in which the monkeys needed to choose a saccade direction by themselves. In trials when the receptive field location was subsequently chosen by the animal, PFC neurons with spatially selective visual response started to show greater activation before cue onset. This result suggests that the fluctuation of firing before cue presentation prematurely biased the representation of a certain spatial location and eventually encouraged the subsequent choice of that location. In addition, modulation of the activity by the animal's choice was observed only in neurons with high sustainability of activation and was also dependent on the spatial configuration of the visual cues. These findings were consistent with known characteristics of PFC neurons in information maintenance in spatial working memory function. These results suggest that precue fluctuation of spatial representation was shared and enhanced through the working memory network in the PFC and could finally influence the animal's free choice of saccade direction. The present study revealed that the PFC plays an important role in decision making in a free choice condition and that the dynamics of decision making are constrained by the network architecture embedded in this cortical area. PMID:26490287

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borlund, Pia

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Ida E H; Tripathi, Manisha; Borritz, Marianne; Rugulies, Reiner

    2014-11-01

    According to the "stress-as-offense-to-self" perspective, work tasks that are considered unnecessary or unreasonable - so-called "illegitimate work tasks" - are likely to elicit stress-reactions. Previous studies, mostly cross-sectional, have shown that illegitimate tasks are associated with increased self-reported stress, cortisol, and counterproductive work behavior. In this article, we examine the prospective association between unnecessary work tasks, one type of illegitimate work tasks, and mental health among Danish human service workers. Further, we explore whether this association is modified by sex, age, occupational position, and baseline mental health status. The data were obtained from self-administered questionnaires from 1351 Danish human service workers in three waves of data-collection during 1999-2005. We measured unnecessary work tasks by a single item, and assessed mental health using the 5-item mental health inventory from the Short form 36 questionnaire. We analyzed data using multi-level modeling, adjusting for potential confounding by sex, age, cohabitation, occupational position, and baseline mental health. Unnecessary work tasks were prospectively associated with a decreased level of mental health. This association was stronger for employees with poor baseline mental health and tended to be more pronounced among older employees. Among participants with poor baseline mental health, the association was explained by neither psychological demands nor decision latitude. Our findings suggest that the prevention of unnecessary work tasks may benefit employee mental health, particularly among employees with pre-existing mental health problems.

  7. Complex Span versus Updating Tasks of Working Memory: The Gap Is Not that Deep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmiedek, Florian; Hildebrandt, Andrea; Lovden, Martin; Wilhelm, Oliver; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2009-01-01

    How to best measure working memory capacity is an issue of ongoing debate. Besides established complex span tasks, which combine short-term memory demands with generally unrelated secondary tasks, there exists a set of paradigms characterized by continuous and simultaneous updating of several items in working memory, such as the n-back, memory…

  8. Task-Contingent Conscientiousness as a Unit of Personality at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minbashian, Amirali; Wood, Robert E.; Beckmann, Nadin

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the viability of incorporating task-contingent units into the study of personality at work, using conscientiousness as an illustrative example. We used experience-sampling data from 123 managers to show that (a) momentary conscientiousness at work is contingent on the difficulty and urgency demands of the tasks people…

  9. Neurophysiological capacity in a working memory task differentiates dependent from nondependent heavy drinkers and controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesley, Michael J; Lile, Joshua A; Fillmore, Mark T; Porrino, Linda J

    2017-06-01

    Determining the neurobehavioral profiles that differentiate heavy drinkers who are and are not alcohol dependent will inform treatment efforts. Working memory is linked to substance use disorders and can serve as a representation of the demand placed on the neurophysiology associated with cognitive control. Behavior and brain activity (via fMRI) were recorded during an N-Back working memory task in controls (CTRL), nondependent heavy drinkers (A-ND) and dependent heavy drinkers (A-D). Typical and novel step-wise analyses examined profiles of working memory load and increasing task demand, respectively. Performance was significantly decreased in A-D during high working memory load (2-Back), compared to CTRL and A-ND. Analysis of brain activity during high load (0-Back vs. 2- Back) showed greater responses in the dorsal lateral and medial prefrontal cortices of A-D than CTRL, suggesting increased but failed compensation. The step-wise analysis revealed that the transition to Low Demand (0-Back to 1-Back) was associated with robust increases and decreases in cognitive control and default-mode brain regions, respectively, in A-D and A-ND but not CTRL. The transition to High Demand (1-Back to 2-Back) resulted in additional engagement of these networks in A-ND and CTRL, but not A-D. Heavy drinkers engaged working memory neural networks at lower demand than controls. As demand increased, nondependent heavy drinkers maintained control performance but relied on additional neurophysiological resources, and dependent heavy drinkers did not display further resource engagement and had poorer performance. These results support targeting these brain areas for treatment interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. NASA Engineering Safety Center NASA Aerospace Flight Battery Systems Working Group 2007 Proactive Task Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo, Michelle A.

    2007-01-01

    In 2007, the NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC) chartered the NASA Aerospace Flight Battery Systems Working Group to bring forth and address critical battery-related performance/manufacturing issues for NASA and the aerospace community. A suite of tasks identifying and addressing issues related to Ni-H2 and Li-ion battery chemistries was submitted and selected for implementation. The current NESC funded are: (1) Wet Life of Ni-H2 Batteries (2) Binding Procurement (3) NASA Lithium-Ion Battery Guidelines (3a) Li-Ion Performance Assessment (3b) Li-Ion Guidelines Document (3b-i) Assessment of Applicability of Pouch Cells for Aerospace Missions (3b-ii) High Voltage Risk Assessment (3b-iii) Safe Charge Rates for Li-Ion Cells (4) Availability of Source Material for Li-Ion Cells (5) NASA Aerospace Battery Workshop This presentation provides a brief overview of the tasks in the 2007 plan and serves as an introduction to more detailed discussions on each of the specific tasks.

  11. A study of the use of simulated work task situations in interactive information retrieval evaluations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borlund, Pia

    2016-01-01

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report a study of how the test instrument of a simulated work task situation is used in empirical evaluations of interactive information retrieval (IIR) and reported in the research literature. In particular, the author is interested to learn whether....... The paper addresses the need to carefully design and tailor simulated work task situations to suit the test participants in order to obtain the intended authentic and realistic IIR under study. Keywords Interactive information retrieval study, IIR study, Test design, Simulated work task situations, Meta-evaluation...... situations in IIR evaluations. In particular, with respect to the design and creation of realistic simulated work task situations. There is a lack of tailoring of the simulated work task situations to the test participants. Likewise, the requirement to include the test participants’ personal information...

  12. Work zone performance measures pilot test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    Currently, a well-defined and validated set of metrics to use in monitoring work zone performance do not : exist. This pilot test was conducted to assist state DOTs in identifying what work zone performance : measures can and should be targeted, what...

  13. Some Factors Underlying Mathematical Performance: The Role of Visuospatial Working Memory and Non-Verbal Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyttala, Minna; Lehto, Juhani E.

    2008-01-01

    Passive and active visuospatial working memory (VSWM) were investigated in relation to maths performance. The mental rotation task was employed as a measure of active VSWM whereas passive VSWM was investigated using a modified Corsi Blocks task and a matrix pattern task. The Raven Progressive Matrices Test measured fluid intelligence. A total of…

  14. A Psychobiological Perspective on Working Memory Performance at 8 Months of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-01-01

    Fifty 8-month-old infants participated in a study of the interrelations among cognition, temperament, and electrophysiology. Better performance on a working memory task (assessed using a looking version of the A-not-B task) was associated with increases in frontal-parietal EEG coherence from baseline to task, as well as elevated levels of…

  15. A new modified listening span task to enhance validity of working memory assessment for people with and without aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Maria V; Hallowell, Brooke

    2014-01-01

    Deficits in working memory (WM) are an important subset of cognitive processing deficits associated with aphasia. However, there are serious limitations to research on WM in aphasia largely due to the lack of an established valid measure of WM impairment for this population. The aim of the current study was to address shortcomings of previous measures by developing and empirically evaluating a novel WM task with a sentence-picture matching processing component designed to circumvent confounds inherent in existing measures of WM in aphasia. The novel WM task was presented to persons with (n=27) and without (n=33) aphasia. Results demonstrated high concurrent validity of a novel WM task. Individuals with aphasia performed significantly worse on all conditions of the WM task compared to individuals without aphasia. Different patterns of performance across conditions were observed for the two groups. Additionally, WM capacity was significantly related to auditory comprehension abilities in individuals with mild aphasia but not those with moderate aphasia. Strengths of the novel WM task are that it allows for differential control for length versus complexity of verbal stimuli and indexing of the relative influence of each, minimizes metalinguistic requirements, enables control for complexity of processing components, allows participants to respond with simple gestures or verbally, and eliminates reading requirements. Results support the feasibility and validity of using a novel task to assess WM in individuals with and without aphasia. Readers will be able to (1) discuss the limitations of current working memory measures for individuals with aphasia; (2) describe how task design features of a new working memory task for people with aphasia address shortcomings of existing measures; (3) summarize the evidence supporting the validity of the novel working memory task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Katayama, Takashi; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2018-02-10

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

  18. Measuring individual work performance: identifying and selecting indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopmans, Linda; Bernaards, Claire M; Hildebrandt, Vincent H; de Vet, Henrica C W; van der Beek, Allard J

    2014-01-01

    Theoretically, individual work performance (IWP) can be divided into four dimensions: task performance, contextual performance, adaptive performance, and counterproductive work behavior. However, there is no consensus on the indicators used to measure these dimensions. This study was designed to (1) identify indicators for each dimension, (2) select the most relevant indicators, and (3) determine the relative weight of each dimension in ratings of work performance. IWP indicators were identified from multiple research disciplines, via literature, existing questionnaires, and expert interviews. Subsequently, experts selected the most relevant indicators per dimension and scored the relative weight of each dimension in ratings of IWP. In total, 128 unique indicators were identified. Twenty-three of these indicators were selected by experts as most relevant for measuring IWP. Task performance determined 36% of the work performance rating, while the other three dimensions respectively determined 22%, 20% and 21% of the rating. Notable consensus was found on relevant indicators of IWP, reducing the number from 128 to 23 relevant indicators. This provides an important step towards the development of a standardized, generic and short measurement instrument for assessing IWP.

  19. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-disciplinary Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian eClark

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1 knowledge about one’s own cognitive functioning; and, (2 control over one’s own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of metacognition and the autonoetic (self knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on metacognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of metacognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of metacognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in controlling the metacognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners’ self-efficacy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-Disciplinary Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1) knowledge about one's own cognitive functioning; and, (2) control over one's own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of meta-cognition and the autonoetic (self) knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on meta-cognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of meta-cognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of meta-cognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in controlling the meta-cognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners' self-efficacy. PMID:26779050

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Observing Pair-Work Task in an English Speaking Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achmad, Diana; Yusuf, Yunisrina Qismullah

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on students' pair-work interactions to develop their speaking skills in an ELT classroom which consisted of international learners. A number of 16 learners of intermediate proficiency with IELTS score band 5.5 were observed. The teacher had paired those he considered among them to be the more competent ones (hereafter, stronger)…

  4. Why is working memory capacity related to matrix reasoning tasks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Tyler L; Shipstead, Zach; Engle, Randall W

    2015-04-01

    One of the reasons why working memory capacity is so widely researched is its substantial relationship with fluid intelligence. Although this relationship has been found in numerous studies, researchers have been unable to provide a conclusive answer as to why the two constructs are related. In a recent study, researchers examined which attributes of Raven's Progressive Matrices were most strongly linked with working memory capacity (Wiley, Jarosz, Cushen, & Colflesh, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 256-263, 2011). In that study, Raven's problems that required a novel combination of rules to solve were more strongly correlated with working memory capacity than were problems that did not. In the present study, we wanted to conceptually replicate the Wiley et al. results while controlling for a few potential confounds. Thus, we experimentally manipulated whether a problem required a novel combination of rules and found that repeated-rule-combination problems were more strongly related to working memory capacity than were novel-rule-combination problems. The relationship to other measures of fluid intelligence did not change based on whether the problem required a novel rule combination.

  5. Remote participation at JET Task Force work: users' experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suttrop, W.; Kinna, D.; Farthing, J.; Hemming, O.; How, J.; Schmidt, V.

    2002-01-01

    The Joint European Torus (JET) fusion experiment is now operated with strong involvement of physicists from outside research laboratories, which often requires remote participation in JET physics experiments. Users' experience with tools for remote collaborative work is reported, including remote computer and data access, remote meetings, shared documentation and various other communication channels

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Aaron L; Haith, Adrian M

    2017-03-03

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

  7. Investigating the Effects of Concurrent Performance of Physical and Cognitive Demanding Task in Paced Assembly Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shakil Ahmed Shaikh

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The study was undertaken to investigate the effects of pacing on aspects of performance at an assembly task and on the operators' responses related to work behaviour, perceived workload and perceived stress. A particular objective of the study was to investigate whether physical and cognitive demands may interact in their influences on these effects. An assembly task was simulated in the laboratory and the level of pacing imposed, work height and memory load within the task were all varied. The results showed that the type of pacing commonly imposed (as is common with a lean manufacturing Takt time system in industry can significantly affect both performance and perceived workload and stress. Physical demands (through work height affecting posture and mental demand (through memory load were also found to have significant effects, as would be expected from the many studies of these in the literature. More importantly, some interactions were found between pacing and work height in their effects on quality of assembly and the operator's own rating of performance, and between work height and memory load in their effects on errors. These findings will need to be taken into account by companies when implementing Takt time systems.

  8. Work performance decrements are associated with Australian working conditions, particularly the demand to work longer hours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Libby; Scuffham, Paul A; Hilton, Michael F; Vecchio, Nerina N; Whiteford, Harvey A

    2010-03-01

    To demonstrate the importance of including a range of working conditions in models exploring the association between health- and work-related performance. The Australian Work Outcomes Research Cost-benefit study cross-sectional screening data set was used to explore health-related absenteeism and work performance losses on a sample of approximately 78,000 working Australians, including available demographic and working condition factors. Data collected using the World Health Organization Health and Productivity Questionnaire were analyzed with negative binomial logistic regression and multinomial logistic regressions for absenteeism and work performance, respectively. Hours expected to work, annual wage, and job insecurity play a vital role in the association between health- and work-related performance for both work attendance and self-reported work performance. Australian working conditions are contributing to both absenteeism and low work performance, regardless of health status.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Identifying the critical physical demanding tasks of paramedic work: Towards the development of a physical employment standard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Steven L; Sinden, Kathryn E; MacPhee, Renee S

    2017-11-01

    Public safety related occupations including police, fire and military commonly apply physical employment standard (PES) to facilitate job matching, an approach to evaluate if candidates demonstrate acceptable physical capabilities as required to perform the job safely and effectively. In Canada, paramedics remain as one of the few public safety occupations without an evidence-based, validated PES. The purpose of this study was to document and describe the physical demands of paramedic work and to identify the most physically demanding tasks. These outcomes are essential to inform the design and development of an evidence-based PES for the paramedic sector. Physical demands of paramedic work were documented and described using a direct observation-based task analysis technique. Five paramedic's were trained to document the physical demands of their work, then applied their training to observe more than 90 calls over the course of 20 full 12-h work shifts. Physical demands data were then listed in a survey, administered service-wide, where 155 frontline paramedics identified critically demanding tasks and rank-ordered physical demands from not physically demanding to very strongly demanding. Critically important and physically demanding tasks were identified such as: transferring a patient; loading or unloading a stretcher in to or out of the ambulance; performing CPR; and, raising and lowering a stretcher. It is important that a paramedic-based PES evaluate a candidate's physical capabilities to perform the critical and physically demanding tasks identified in this study. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Eendebak, P.T.; Schropp, G.Y.R.; Hermes, H.V.; Elzendoorn, B.S.Q.; Magielsen, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not

  12. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M., E-mail: c.heemskerk@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Eendebak, P.T. [TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Netherlands); Schropp, G.Y.R. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Hermes, H.V. [TU Eindhoven (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, B.S.Q. [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, P.O. Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Magielsen, A.J. [NRG, P.O. Box 25, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-05

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

  15. Transfer Effects to a Multimodal Dual-Task after Working Memory Training and Associated Neural Correlates in Older Adults - A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinzel, Stephan; Rimpel, Jérôme; Stelzel, Christine; Rapp, Michael A

    2017-01-01

    Working memory (WM) performance declines with age. However, several studies have shown that WM training may lead to performance increases not only in the trained task, but also in untrained cognitive transfer tasks. It has been suggested that transfer effects occur if training task and transfer task share specific processing components that are supposedly processed in the same brain areas. In the current study, we investigated whether single-task WM training and training-related alterations in neural activity might support performance in a dual-task setting, thus assessing transfer effects to higher-order control processes in the context of dual-task coordination. A sample of older adults (age 60-72) was assigned to either a training or control group. The training group participated in 12 sessions of an adaptive n-back training. At pre and post-measurement, a multimodal dual-task was performed in all participants to assess transfer effects. This task consisted of two simultaneous delayed match to sample WM tasks using two different stimulus modalities (visual and auditory) that were performed either in isolation (single-task) or in conjunction (dual-task). A subgroup also participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during the performance of the n-back task before and after training. While no transfer to single-task performance was found, dual-task costs in both the visual modality ( p task costs, while neural activity changes in right DLPFC during three-back predicted visual dual-task costs. Results might indicate an improvement in central executive processing that could facilitate both WM and dual-task coordination.

  16. Stress in nonregular work arrangements: A longitudinal study of task- and employment-related aspects of stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vahle-Hinz, Tim

    2016-10-01

    In nonregular forms of employment, such as fixed-term or temporary agency work, 2 sources of stress must be distinguished: task-related stress components (e.g., time pressure) and employment-related stress components (e.g., effort to maintain employment). The present study investigated the relationship between task- and employment-related demands and resources and indicators of strain, well-being, work engagement, and self-rated performance in a sample of nonregular employed workers. Using a 2-wave longitudinal design, the results of autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation models demonstrated that time pressure, as a task-related demand, is positively related to strain and negatively related to well-being and self-rated performance. Autonomy, as a task-related resource, exhibited no significant relationships in the current study. Employment-related demands exhibited negative relationships with well-being and work engagement as well as negative and positive relationships with self-rated performance over time. Employment-related resources were primarily positive predictors of well-being and self-rated performance. Fit indices of comparative models indicated that reciprocal effect models (which enable causal and reverse effects) best fit the data. Accordingly, demands and resources predicted strain, well-being, work engagement, and self-rated performance over time and vice versa. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Social cognition and prefrontal hemodynamic responses during a working memory task in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Yamada, Takeshi; Itakura, Masashi; Yamanashi, Takehiko; Yamada, Sayaka; Masai, Mieko; Miura, Akihiko; Yamauchi, Takahira; Satake, Takahiro; Iwata, Masaaki; Nagata, Izumi; Roberts, David L; Kaneko, Koichi

    2016-03-01

    Social cognition is an important determinant of functional impairment in schizophrenia, but its relationship with the prefrontal functional abnormalities associated with the condition is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between social cognition and prefrontal function in patients with schizophrenia using 52-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Twenty-six patients with schizophrenia and 26 age-, gender-, and intelligence quotient-matched healthy controls (HCs) participated in the study. Hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortical regions were assessed during a working memory task using NIRS. Social cognition was assessed using the Social Cognition Screening Questionnaire (SCSQ). The observed hemodynamic responses were significantly reduced in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), the frontopolar cortex, and temporal regions in subjects with schizophrenia compared to HCs. Additionally, lateral PFC hemodynamic responses assessed during the working memory task demonstrated a strong positive correlation with the SCSQ theory of mind (ToM) subscale score even after controlling for working memory performance. These results suggest that ToM integrity is closely related to lateral PFC functional abnormalities found in patients with schizophrenia. In addition, this study provides evidence to suggest that NIRS could be used to identify biomarkers of social cognition function in subjects with schizophrenia.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Dual tasking, or the simultaneous execution of two continuous tasks, is frequently associated with a performance decline that can be explained within a capacity sharing framework. In this study, we assessed the effects of a concurrent motor task on the efficiency of visual information uptake based on the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA). TVA provides parameter estimates reflecting distinct components of visual processing capacity: perceptual threshold, visual processing speed, and visual sh...

  19. 78 FR 15112 - Rulemaking Advisory Committee; Transport Airplane Performance and Handling Characteristics-New Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-08

    ... Committee; Transport Airplane Performance and Handling Characteristics--New Task AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of new task assignment for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee... findings. The Task The FAA tasked ARAC to consider several areas within the airplane performance and...

  20. 'Blue' social capital and work performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grøn, Sisse; Svendsen, Gunnar Lind Haase

    2012-01-01

    (Progoulaki & Roe 2011). This challenges social capital on board, i.e. the resources inherent in network cooperation associated with norms of reciprocity and trust (Putnam 2000: 19). Fragmentizing ‘blue’ social capital should however be restored, because work performance depends on the quality of cooperation...... findings suggest that a balance between three types of social capital – bonding, bridging and linking – is needed to achieve a high-performance work system (Gittell et al. 2010). Hence, main actors within the shipping sector should take ‘blue’ social capital into account in order to increase work...... efficiency and economic performance....

  1. Working mothers: Family-work conflict, job performance and family/work variables

    OpenAIRE

    Cynthia J Patel; Vasanthee Govender; Zubeda Paruk; Sarojini Ramgoon

    2006-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between family-work conflict, job performance and selected work and family characteristics in a sample of working mothers employed at a large retail organization. The hypothesis of a negative relationship between family-work conflict and job performance was rejected. Married women reported significantly higher family-work conflict than unmarried women, while women in the highest work category gained the highest job performance rating. More than half...

  2. Boon and Bane of Being Sure: The Effect of Performance Certainty and Expectancy on Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Simon; Reinhard, Marc-André; Dickhäuser, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has suggested certainty to be an important factor when investigating effects of level of expectancies on future behavior. With the present study, we addressed the interplay of expectancy certainty and level of expectancies regarding task performance. We assumed that certain performance expectancies provide a better basis for the…

  3. Modeling Brain Responses in an Arithmetic Working Memory Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamid, Aini Ismafairus Abd; Yusoff, Ahmad Nazlim; Mukari, Siti Zamratol-Mai Sarah; Mohamad, Mazlyfarina; Manan, Hanani Abdul; Hamid, Khairiah Abdul

    2010-07-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate brain responses due to arithmetic working memory. Nine healthy young male subjects were given simple addition and subtraction instructions in noise and in quiet. The general linear model (GLM) and random field theory (RFT) were implemented in modelling the activation. The results showed that addition and subtraction evoked bilateral activation in Heschl's gyrus (HG), superior temporal gyrus (STG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), supramarginal gyrus (SG) and precentral gyrus (PCG). The HG, STG, SG and PCG activate higher number of voxels in noise as compared to in quiet for addition and subtraction except for IFG that showed otherwise. The percentage of signal change (PSC) in all areas is higher in quiet as compared to in noise. Surprisingly addition (not subtraction) exhibits stronger activation.

  4. Effect of intrinsic rewards on task performance of employees: Mediating role of motivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rizwan Qaiser Danish

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The basic purpose of this study was to examine the effect of reward management system, especially intrinsic rewards on task performance with the mediating role of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation of employees working in the banks in the capital of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. The secondary purpose of this study was to explore what level of performance these employees demonstrate towards their organizations when they are rewarded intrinsically and when they are motivated due to these reward management system accordingly. In this study, we collected data through self-administered questionnaires applying correlational explanatory research design. We distributed 300 questionnaires among which 290 were returned resulting in a response rate of 96%. The analysis of the data revealed that intrinsic rewards have positive impact on task performance of employees working in banks and motivation and its dimensions, i.e., intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and job satisfaction mediated this relationship. Considering the importance of appreciations received by bankers in the form of rewards and their effect on extra role performance and sophisticated management, policy makers should take necessary steps for improving the reward management system which will increase the task performance of employees because they will be motivated by these performance appraisal techniques.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child that…

  9. Synthesis of work-zone performance measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    The main objective of this synthesis was to identify and summarize how agencies collect, analyze, and report different work-zone : traffic-performance measures, which include exposure, mobility, and safety measures. The researchers also examined comm...

  10. Responsiveness of the individual work performance questionnaire

    OpenAIRE

    Koopmans, Linda; Coffeng, Jennifer K; Bernaards, Claire M; Boot, Cécile RL; Hildebrandt, Vincent H; de Vet, Henrica CW; van der Beek, Allard J

    2014-01-01

    Background: Individual work performance is an important outcome measure in studies in the workplace. Nevertheless, its conceptualization and measurement has proven challenging. To overcome limitations of existing scales, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) was recently developed. The aim of the current study was to gain insight into the responsiveness of the IWPQ. Methods. Data were used from the Be Active & Relax randomized controlled trial. The aim of the trial was to inves...

  11. The Effects of Multiple Exemplar Training on a Working Memory Task Involving Sequential Responding in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltruschat, Lisa; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Tarbox, Jonathan; Dixon, Dennis R.; Najdowski, Adel; Mullins, Ryan David; Gould, Evelyn

    2012-01-01

    This study is part of a programmatic line of research into the use of basic positive reinforcement procedures for improving working memory in children with autism spectrum disorders. The authors evaluated the effects of multiple exemplar training, utilizing positive reinforcement, on performance of a "digit span backwards" task--a test of working…

  12. 3 CFR - White House Task Force on Middle-Class Working Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 3 The President 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false White House Task Force on Middle-Class Working Families Presidential Documents Other Presidential Documents Memorandum of January 30, 2009 White House... times. To these ends, I hereby direct the following: Section 1. White House Task Force on Middle-Class...

  13. The Effect of Pair Work on a Word-Building Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baleghizadeh, Sasan

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports on a study that was carried out to investigate the effect of pair work on a word-building task in two EFL classes. Forty Iranian adult students participated in this study. The participants in the experimental group completed the word-building task in pairs following the Think-Pair-Share technique, whereas the participants in the…

  14. Interplay of task and outcome interdependence in generating work team members' affective responses : Some new findings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Emans, B J M; Van der Vegt, G S; Van de Vliert, E; Vartiainen, M; Avallone, F; Anderson, N

    2000-01-01

    Two distinct, basic dimensions of a work team's internal structure are outcome interdependence and task interdependence. Task interdependence is a characteristic of team members' jobs. It is defined as their interconnectedness with jobs of co-members. Outcome interdependence is a characteristic of

  15. Differences in Attainment and Performance in a Foreign Language: The Role of Working Memory Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilabert, Roger; Munoz, Carmen

    2010-01-01

    The goal of this study is to investigate the role of working memory capacity in L2 attainment and performance. The study uses an L1 reading span task to measure working memory of a group of 59 high-intermediate/advanced learners of English, and a film retelling task to measure their oral production. The analysis first showed a moderate to high…

  16. The concentric model of human working memory: A validation study using complex span and updating tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Velichkovsky B. B.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background. Working memory (WM seems to be central to most forms of high-level cognition. This fact is fueling the growing interest in studying its structure and functional organization. The influential “concentric model” (Oberauer, 2002 suggests that WM contains a processing component and two storage components with different capacity limitations and sensitivity to interference. There is, to date, only limited support for the concentric model in the research literature, and it is limited to a number of specially designed tasks. Objective. In the present paper, we attempted to validate the concentric model by testing its major predictions using complex span and updating tasks in a number of experimental paradigms. Method. The model predictions were tested with the help of review of data obtained primarily in our own experiments in several research domains, including Sternberg’s additive factors method; factor structure of WM; serial position effects in WM; and WM performance in a sample with episodic long-term memory deficits. Results. Predictions generated by the concentric model were shown to hold in all these domains. In addition, several new properties of WM were identified. In particular, we recently found that WM indeed contains a processing component which functions independent of storage components. In turn, the latter were found to form a storage hierarchy which balances fast access to selected items, with the storing of large amounts of potentially relevant information. Processing and storage in WM were found to be dependent on shared cognitive resources which are dynamically allocated between WM components according to actual task requirements. e implications of these findings for the theory of WM are discussed. Conclusion. The concentric model was shown to be valid with respect to standard WM tasks. The concentric model others promising research perspectives for the study of higher- order cognition, including underlying

  17. The joint effects of personality and workplace social exchange relationships in predicting task performance and citizenship performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamdar, Dishan; Van Dyne, Linn

    2007-09-01

    This field study examines the joint effects of social exchange relationships at work (leader-member exchange and team-member exchange) and employee personality (conscientiousness and agreeableness) in predicting task performance and citizenship performance. Consistent with trait activation theory, matched data on 230 employees, their coworkers, and their supervisors demonstrated interactions in which high quality social exchange relationships weakened the positive relationships between personality and performance. Results demonstrate the benefits of consonant predictions in which predictors and outcomes are matched on the basis of specific targets. We discuss theoretical and practical implications. (c) 2007 APA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, M Karl; Miyake, Akira

    2009-04-01

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

  19. Task Complexity, Student Perceptions of Vocabulary Learning in EFL, and Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Background: The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-ef?cacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a ?ne-tuned task-speci?c level. Aim: The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-ef?cacy beliefs, domain-related…

  20. The WorkQueue project - a task queue for the CMS workload management system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, S.; Wakefield, S.

    2012-12-01

    We present the development and first experience of a new component (termed WorkQueue) in the CMS workload management system. This component provides a link between a global request system (Request Manager) and agents (WMAgents) which process requests at compute and storage resources (known as sites). These requests typically consist of creation or processing of a data sample (possibly terabytes in size). Unlike the standard concept of a task queue, the WorkQueue does not contain fully resolved work units (known typically as jobs in HEP). This would require the WorkQueue to run computationally heavy algorithms that are better suited to run in the WMAgents. Instead the request specifies an algorithm that the WorkQueue uses to split the request into reasonable size chunks (known as elements). An advantage of performing lazy evaluation of an element is that expanding datasets can be accommodated by having job details resolved as late as possible. The WorkQueue architecture consists of a global WorkQueue which obtains requests from the request system, expands them and forms an element ordering based on the request priority. Each WMAgent contains a local WorkQueue which buffers work close to the agent, this overcomes temporary unavailability of the global WorkQueue and reduces latency for an agent to begin processing. Elements are pulled from the global WorkQueue to the local WorkQueue and into the WMAgent based on the estimate of the amount of work within the element and the resources available to the agent. WorkQueue is based on CouchDB, a document oriented NoSQL database. The WorkQueue uses the features of CouchDB (map/reduce views and bi-directional replication between distributed instances) to provide a scalable distributed system for managing large queues of work. The project described here represents an improvement over the old approach to workload management in CMS which involved individual operators feeding requests into agents. This new approach allows for a

  1. The WorkQueue project - a task queue for the CMS workload management system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryu, S; Wakefield, S

    2012-01-01

    We present the development and first experience of a new component (termed WorkQueue) in the CMS workload management system. This component provides a link between a global request system (Request Manager) and agents (WMAgents) which process requests at compute and storage resources (known as sites). These requests typically consist of creation or processing of a data sample (possibly terabytes in size). Unlike the standard concept of a task queue, the WorkQueue does not contain fully resolved work units (known typically as jobs in HEP). This would require the WorkQueue to run computationally heavy algorithms that are better suited to run in the WMAgents. Instead the request specifies an algorithm that the WorkQueue uses to split the request into reasonable size chunks (known as elements). An advantage of performing lazy evaluation of an element is that expanding datasets can be accommodated by having job details resolved as late as possible. The WorkQueue architecture consists of a global WorkQueue which obtains requests from the request system, expands them and forms an element ordering based on the request priority. Each WMAgent contains a local WorkQueue which buffers work close to the agent, this overcomes temporary unavailability of the global WorkQueue and reduces latency for an agent to begin processing. Elements are pulled from the global WorkQueue to the local WorkQueue and into the WMAgent based on the estimate of the amount of work within the element and the resources available to the agent. WorkQueue is based on CouchDB, a document oriented NoSQL database. The WorkQueue uses the features of CouchDB (map/reduce views and bi-directional replication between distributed instances) to provide a scalable distributed system for managing large queues of work. The project described here represents an improvement over the old approach to workload management in CMS which involved individual operators feeding requests into agents. This new approach allows for a

  2. The WorkQueue project: A task queue for the CMS workload management system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryu, S. [Fermilab; Wakefield, Stuart [Imperial Coll., London

    2012-01-01

    We present the development and first experience of a new component (termed WorkQueue) in the CMS workload management system. This component provides a link between a global request system (Request Manager) and agents (WMAgents) which process requests at compute and storage resources (known as sites). These requests typically consist of creation or processing of a data sample (possibly terabytes in size). Unlike the standard concept of a task queue, the WorkQueue does not contain fully resolved work units (known typically as jobs in HEP). This would require the WorkQueue to run computationally heavy algorithms that are better suited to run in the WMAgents. Instead the request specifies an algorithm that the WorkQueue uses to split the request into reasonable size chunks (known as elements). An advantage of performing lazy evaluation of an element is that expanding datasets can be accommodated by having job details resolved as late as possible. The WorkQueue architecture consists of a global WorkQueue which obtains requests from the request system, expands them and forms an element ordering based on the request priority. Each WMAgent contains a local WorkQueue which buffers work close to the agent, this overcomes temporary unavailability of the global WorkQueue and reduces latency for an agent to begin processing. Elements are pulled from the global WorkQueue to the local WorkQueue and into the WMAgent based on the estimate of the amount of work within the element and the resources available to the agent. WorkQueue is based on CouchDB, a document oriented NoSQL database. The WorkQueue uses the features of CouchDB (map/reduce views and bi-directional replication between distributed instances) to provide a scalable distributed system for managing large queues of work. The project described here represents an improvement over the old approach to workload management in CMS which involved individual operators feeding requests into agents. This new approach allows for a

  3. Intelligence, Working Memory, and Multitasking Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colom, Roberto; Martinez-Molina, Agustin; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, Jose

    2010-01-01

    Multitasking performance is relevant in everyday life and job analyses highlight the influence of multitasking over several diverse occupations. Intelligence is the best single predictor of overall job performance and it is also related to individual differences in multitasking. However, it has been shown that working memory capacity (WMC) is…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  5. Task complexity as a driver for collaborative learning efficiency: The collective working-memory effect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirschner, Femke; Paas, Fred; Kirschner, Paul A.

    2010-01-01

    Kirschner, F., Paas, F., & Kirschner, P. A. (2011). Task complexity as a driver for collaborative learning efficiency: The collective working-memory effect. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 615–624. doi: 10.1002/acp.1730.

  6. Methylphenidate decreased the amount of glucose needed by the brain to perform a cognitive task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora D Volkow

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of stimulants (methylphenidate and amphetamine as cognitive enhancers by the general public is increasing and is controversial. It is still unclear how they work or why they improve performance in some individuals but impair it in others. To test the hypothesis that stimulants enhance signal to noise ratio of neuronal activity and thereby reduce cerebral activity by increasing efficiency, we measured the effects of methylphenidate on brain glucose utilization in healthy adults. We measured brain glucose metabolism (using Positron Emission Tomography and 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose in 23 healthy adults who were tested at baseline and while performing an accuracy-controlled cognitive task (numerical calculations given with and without methylphenidate (20 mg, oral. Sixteen subjects underwent a fourth scan with methylphenidate but without cognitive stimulation. Compared to placebo methylphenidate significantly reduced the amount of glucose utilized by the brain when performing the cognitive task but methylphenidate did not affect brain metabolism when given without cognitive stimulation. Whole brain metabolism when the cognitive task was given with placebo increased 21% whereas with methylphenidate it increased 11% (50% less. This reflected both a decrease in magnitude of activation and in the regions activated by the task. Methylphenidate's reduction of the metabolic increases in regions from the default network (implicated in mind-wandering was associated with improvement in performance only in subjects who activated these regions when the cognitive task was given with placebo. These results corroborate prior findings that stimulant medications reduced the magnitude of regional activation to a task and in addition document a "focusing" of the activation. This effect may be beneficial when neuronal resources are diverted (i.e., mind-wandering or impaired (i.e., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it could be detrimental when

  7. Pupil diameter, working distance and illumination during habitual tasks. Implications for simultaneous vision contact lenses for presbyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Genís; López, Sílvia

    2016-01-01

    To determine working distance, pupil diameter and illumination in real life conditions in a sample of presbyopic participants performing habitual tasks. A total of 59 presbyopic subjects (aged between 45 and 63 years) with different occupational backgrounds participated in the study. Participants were first interviewed regarding their habitual tasks with the aid of an ad hoc questionnaire, following which in-office photopic and mesopic pupil diameter was determined. Pupil diameter was also evaluated while participants conducted each of the self-reported habitual tasks by taking a photograph, which was later submitted to image analysis. In addition, working distance was determined with a measuring tape and the illumination that reached the pupil during each of the different tasks was measured, in lux, with a light meter. The four most common habitual tasks were computer use, reading, sewing and sports. A high intersubject variability was found in pupil diameter, working distance and illumination conditions while conducting the same task. Statistically significant differences were found between the in-office measured photopic and mesopic pupil diameters and those obtained while participants were conducting their habitual tasks in real life conditions (all p<0.001). Potential multifocal contact lens users may present with different ages, different jobs or hobbies and different preferences regarding lighting conditions and working distances. This results in different pupil size, even within the same task. This information may be critical when selecting a particular lens design and add power. Eye care practitioners are therefore advised to assess pupil diameter in real life conditions. Copyright © 2015 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozen, Lana J; Fernandes, Myra A

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Contralateral Delay Activity Tracks Fluctuations in Working Memory Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Kirsten C S; Robison, Matthew K; Vogel, Edward K

    2018-01-08

    Neural measures of working memory storage, such as the contralateral delay activity (CDA), are powerful tools in working memory research. CDA amplitude is sensitive to working memory load, reaches an asymptote at known behavioral limits, and predicts individual differences in capacity. An open question, however, is whether neural measures of load also track trial-by-trial fluctuations in performance. Here, we used a whole-report working memory task to test the relationship between CDA amplitude and working memory performance. If working memory failures are due to decision-based errors and retrieval failures, CDA amplitude would not differentiate good and poor performance trials when load is held constant. If failures arise during storage, then CDA amplitude should track both working memory load and trial-by-trial performance. As expected, CDA amplitude tracked load (Experiment 1), reaching an asymptote at three items. In Experiment 2, we tracked fluctuations in trial-by-trial performance. CDA amplitude was larger (more negative) for high-performance trials compared with low-performance trials, suggesting that fluctuations in performance were related to the successful storage of items. During working memory failures, participants oriented their attention to the correct side of the screen (lateralized P1) and maintained covert attention to the correct side during the delay period (lateralized alpha power suppression). Despite the preservation of attentional orienting, we found impairments consistent with an executive attention theory of individual differences in working memory capacity; fluctuations in executive control (indexed by pretrial frontal theta power) may be to blame for storage failures.

  10. Trajectories of Resilience during Dyadic Task Performance among Children Six to Seven Years of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mykkänen, Arttu; Kronqvist, Eeva-Liisa; Järvelä, Sanna

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to analyse resilience displayed by young children in dyadic task performance situations. Data were collected by videotaping children (aged six to seven years; N?=?40) during a geometrical task performance. Results describe ways in which children confronted the challenges during task performance, and the order in which the…

  11. Effect of heat on firefighters' work performance and physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Brianna; Snow, Rodney; Aisbett, Brad

    2015-10-01

    Wildland firefighters often perform their duties under both hot and mild ambient temperatures. However, the direct impact of different ambient temperatures on firefighters' work performance has not been quantified. This study compared firefighters' work performance and physiology during simulated wildland firefighting work in hot (HOT; 32°C, 43% RH) and temperate (CON; 19°C, 56% RH) conditions. Firefighters (n=38), matched and allocated to either the CON (n=18) or HOT (n=20) condition, performed simulated self-paced wildland fire suppression tasks (e.g., hose rolling/dragging, raking) in firefighting clothing for six hours, separated by dedicated rest breaks. Task repetitions were counted (and converted to distance or area). Core temperature (Tc), skin temperature (Tsk), and heart rate were recorded continuously throughout the protocol. Urine output was measured before and during the protocol, and urine specific gravity (USG) analysed, to estimate hydration. Ad libitum fluid intake was also recorded. There were no differences in overall work output between conditions for any physical task. Heart rate was higher in the HOT (55±2% HRmax) compared to the CON condition (51±2% HRmax) for the rest periods between bouts, and for the static hose hold task (69±3% HRmax versus 65±3% HRmax). Tc and Tsk were 0.3±0.1°C and 3.1±0.2°C higher in the HOT compared to the CON trial. Both pre- and within- shift fluid intake were increased two-fold in the heat, and participants in the heat recorded lower USG results than their CON counterparts. There was no difference between the CON and HOT conditions in terms of their work performance, and firefighters in both experimental groups increased their work output over the course of the simulated shift. Though significantly hotter, participants in the heat also managed to avoid excessive cardiovascular and thermal strain, likely aided by the frequent rest breaks in the protocol, and through doubling their fluid intake. Therefore

  12. Proactive interference does not meaningfully distort visual working memory capacity estimates in the canonical change detection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Po-Han; Luck, Steven J

    2012-01-01

    The change detection task has become a standard method for estimating the storage capacity of visual working memory. Most researchers assume that this task isolates the properties of an active short-term storage system that can be dissociated from long-term memory systems. However, long-term memory storage may influence performance on this task. In particular, memory traces from previous trials may create proactive interference that sometimes leads to errors, thereby reducing estimated capacity. Consequently, the capacity of visual working memory may be higher than is usually thought, and correlations between capacity and other measures of cognition may reflect individual differences in proactive interference rather than individual differences in the capacity of the short-term storage system. Indeed, previous research has shown that change detection performance can be influenced by proactive interference under some conditions. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the canonical version of the change detection task - in which the to-be-remembered information consists of simple, briefly presented features - is influenced by proactive interference. Two experiments were conducted using methods that ordinarily produce substantial evidence of proactive interference, but no proactive interference was observed. Thus, the canonical version of the change detection task can be used to assess visual working memory capacity with no meaningful influence of proactive interference.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-02

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

  14. Thermal effects on human performance in office environment measured by integrating task speed and accuracy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lan, Li; Wargocki, Pawel; Lian, Zhiwei

    2014-01-01

    We have proposed a method in which the speed and accuracy can be integrated into one metric of human performance. This was achieved by designing a performance task in which the subjects receive feedback on their performance by informing them whether they have committed errors, and if did, they can......, 12 subjects performed tasks under two thermal conditions (neutral & warm) repeatedly. The tasks were presented with and without feedback on errors committed, as outlined above. The results indicate that there was a greater decrease in task performance due to thermal discomfort when feedback was given......, compared to the performance of tasks presented without feedback....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Rico; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Chronic pain, work performance and litigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blyth, Fiona M; March, Lyn M; Nicholas, Michael K; Cousins, Michael J

    2003-05-01

    The overall population impact of chronic pain on work performance has been underestimated as it has often been described in terms of work-related absence, excluding more subtle effects that chronic pain may have on the ability to work effectively. Additionally, most studies have focussed on occupational and/or patient cohorts and treatment seeking, rather than sampling from the general population. We undertook a population-based random digit dialling computer-assisted telephone survey with participants randomly selected within households in order to measure the impact of chronic pain on work performance. In addition, we measured the association between pain-related disability and litigation. The study took place in Northern Sydney Health Area, a geographically defined urban area of New South Wales, Australia, and included 484 adults aged 18 or over with chronic pain. The response rate was 73.4%. Working with pain was more common (on an average 83.8 days in 6 months) than lost work days due to pain (4.5 days) among chronic pain participants in full-time or part-time employment. When both lost work days and reduced-effectiveness work days were summed, an average of 16.4 lost work day equivalents occurred in a 6-month period, approximately three times the average number of lost work days. In multiple logistic regression modelling with pain-related disability as the dependent variable, past or present pain-related litigation had the strongest association (odds ratio (OR)=3.59, P=0.001). In conclusion, chronic pain had a larger impact on work performance than has previously been recognised, related to reduced performance while working with pain. A significant proportion were able to work effectively with pain, suggesting that complete relief of pain may not be an essential therapeutic target. Litigation (principally work-related) for chronic pain was strongly associated with higher levels of pain-related disability, even after taking into account other factors

  17. Potential Performance Theory (PPT): A General Theory of Task Performance Applied to Morality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trafimow, David; Rice, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    People can use a variety of different strategies to perform tasks and these strategies all have two characteristics in common. First, they can be evaluated in comparison with either an absolute or a relative standard. Second, they can be used at varying levels of consistency. In the present article, the authors develop a general theory of task…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennine Harvey

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Contrasting single and multi-component working-memory systems in dual tasking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2016-05-01

    Working memory can be a major source of interference in dual tasking. However, there is no consensus on whether this interference is the result of a single working memory bottleneck, or of interactions between different working memory components that together form a complete working-memory system. We report a behavioral and an fMRI dataset in which working memory requirements are manipulated during multitasking. We show that a computational cognitive model that assumes a distributed version of working memory accounts for both behavioral and neuroimaging data better than a model that takes a more centralized approach. The model's working memory consists of an attentional focus, declarative memory, and a subvocalized rehearsal mechanism. Thus, the data and model favor an account where working memory interference in dual tasking is the result of interactions between different resources that together form a working-memory system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

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

  1. Neuronal activity in primate prefrontal cortex related to goal-directed behavior during auditory working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ying; Brosch, Michael

    2016-06-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been documented to play critical roles in goal-directed behaviors, like representing goal-relevant events and working memory (WM). However, neurophysiological evidence for such roles of PFC has been obtained mainly with visual tasks but rarely with auditory tasks. In the present study, we tested roles of PFC in auditory goal-directed behaviors by recording local field potentials in the auditory region of left ventrolateral PFC while a monkey performed auditory WM tasks. The tasks consisted of multiple events and required the monkey to change its mental states to achieve the reward. The events were auditory and visual stimuli, as well as specific actions. Mental states were engaging in the tasks and holding task-relevant information in auditory WM. We found that, although based on recordings from one hemisphere in one monkey only, PFC represented multiple events that were important for achieving reward, including auditory and visual stimuli like turning on and off an LED, as well as bar touch. The responses to auditory events depended on the tasks and on the context of the tasks. This provides support for the idea that neuronal representations in PFC are flexible and can be related to the behavioral meaning of stimuli. We also found that engaging in the tasks and holding information in auditory WM were associated with persistent changes of slow potentials, both of which are essential for auditory goal-directed behaviors. Our study, on a single hemisphere in a single monkey, reveals roles of PFC in auditory goal-directed behaviors similar to those in visual goal-directed behaviors, suggesting that functions of PFC in goal-directed behaviors are probably common across the auditory and visual modality. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Is performance on probed serial recall tasks in schizophrenia related to duration of Attentional Blink?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P. McAllindon

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is associated with a deficit in working memory, with the degree of working memory impairment related to the level of social and occupational functioning. This study tests the hypothesis that the working memory deficits in individuals with schizophrenia can be explained by slow processing of visual stimuli, as measured by the attentional blink (AB task. Individuals with schizophrenia (SC and controls (HC were recruited from an early intervention service for psychosis and the local community. Data from 16 SC (11M/5F, mean = 26.4 yo and 20 age-matched HC (11M/9F, mean = 25.8 yo were analyzed. Each subject performed an AB task to determine their AB duration, defined as the lag to reach their plateau performance (ltpp. As expected, mean AB duration in the SC group (575 ms was significantly slower than HC (460 ms; p = 0.007. Recall accuracy of the SC group on a working memory task, a 6-item probed serial recall task (PSR, was reduced compared to the HC group at a standard interstimulus interval (ISI (p = 0.002. When the individual's AB duration was then used to adjust the ISI on the PSR task to three relative ISI rates (Slow (2 × ltpp, Medium (ltpp and Fast (1/2 × ltpp, performance on the PSR task was affected by group, position and ISI and qualified by an ISI ∗ position (p = 0.001 and a trend to a triple interaction (p = 0.054. There was main effect of group at all ISIs, but group ∗ position interaction only at Slow ISI (p = 0.01. Our interpretation of the results is that absolute ISI, rather than ISI relative to AB duration, affected performance.

  3. Group cohesion, task performance, and the experimenter expectancy effect.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogstraten, J.; Vorst, H.C.M.

    1978-01-01

    Studied the effects of cohesion on task fulfillment and explored the influence of task fulfillment on the initial level of cohesion. Within 4-person groups of undergraduates, cohesion was manipulated successfully by a triple procedure. The level of cohesion was ascertained directly after the

  4. Re: Madsen et al. "Unnecessary work tasks and mental health: a prospective analysis of Danish human service workers".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand-Moreau, Quentin; Loddé, Brice; Dewitte, Jean-Dominique

    2015-03-01

    is to reduce the size of questionnaires because they are too long and cannot be used in a routine practice. But an analysis performed on a single question is quite risky: in psychometrics, redundancy is used to confirm a measurement. We lose precision on what exactly we are testing by asking a single question. Madsen et al's results show that among workers saying they are always or often performing unnecessary tasks, the MHI mean score was 74.00 versus 78.20 for people who never or almost never perform unnecessary tasks (P=0.0038). Even though it is a statistically significant result, its clinical relevance is never questioned. What is the impact of losing 4.20 points at MHI test instead of losing 20 points for instance? Statistical difference does not mean clinical relevance. These results show a statistical association, not a causality relationship. The authors did not show that performing unnecessary tasks lowers the level of mental health. It may be the exact opposite. Maybe having poorer mental health (eg, depression, with anhedonia) may make the workers think that what they're doing is useless. In their conclusion, Madsen et al suggest that the elimination of unnecessary work tasks may be beneficial for employees' mental health. To our mind, on the contrary, it may increase psychic suffering. If we suggest to fight unnecessary tasks in workplaces, this may encourage reduction of the margin of manoeuvre (3). The principle of removing unnecessary tasks is part of a Taylorized organization. Some tasks may seem unnecessary or bothersome, but may correspond to work periods that allow for temporary rest. Concretely, in the workplace, managers rather than the employee will be the ones to decide whether a task is useless or not. To improve well-being in the workplace, a global vision of work organization is required. From our point of view, the conclusion drawn from this study should not be that we must eliminate unnecessary tasks, but that we should focus on what

  5. Offshore vertical wind shear: Final report on NORSEWInD’s work task 3.1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pena Diaz, Alfredo; Mikkelsen, Torben; Gryning, Sven-Erik

    of power outputs. Background related to the parametrization of the vertical wind speed profile and the behavior of the vertical wind shear in and beyond the atmospheric surface layer is presented together with the application of the long-term atmospheric stability parameters for the analysis of the long......This document reports on the analysis performed by the work task 3.1 of the EU NORSEWInD project and includes the following deliverables: 3.2 Calculated vertical wind shears 3.3 Multi-variational correlation analysis 3.4 NWP data for wind shear model 3.5 Vertical extrapolation methodology 3.......6 Results input into satellite maps The nature of the offshore vertical wind shear is investigated using acquired data from the NORSEWInD network of mast and wind lidar stations. The importance of the knowledge of the vertical wind speed profile and wind shear is first illustrated for the evaluation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemay, Moira

    1989-01-01

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

  7. Assessing the role of memory in preschoolers' performance on episodic foresight tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atance, Cristina M; Sommerville, Jessica A

    2014-01-01

    A total of 48 preschoolers (ages 3, 4, and 5) received four tasks modelled after prior work designed to assess the development of "episodic foresight". For each task, children encountered a problem in one room and, after a brief delay, were given the opportunity in a second room to select an item to solve the problem. Importantly, after selecting an item, children were queried about their memory for the problem. Age-related changes were found both in children's ability to select the correct item and their ability to remember the problem. However, when we controlled for children's memory for the problem, there were no longer significant age-related changes on the item choice measure. These findings suggest that age-related changes in children's performance on these tasks are driven by improvements in children's memory versus improvements in children's future-oriented thinking or "foresight" per se. Our results have important implications for how best to structure tasks to measure children's episodic foresight, and also for the relative role of memory in this task and in episodic foresight more broadly.

  8. [Job performance in work organizations: the effects of management by group goals and job interdependence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Hiroshi; Furukawa, Hisataka

    2015-04-01

    cThis study examined the interactive effect of management by group goals and job interdependence on employee's activities in terms of task and contextual performance. A survey was conducted among 140 Japanese employees. Results indicated that management by group goals was related only to contextual performance. Job interdependence, however, had a direct effect on both task and contextual performance. Moreover, moderated regression analyses revealed that for work groups requiring higher interdependence among employees, management by group goals had a positive relation to contextual performance but not to task performance. When interdependence was not necessarily required, however, management by group goals had no relation to contextual performance and even negatively impacted task performance, respectively. These results show that management by group goals affects task and contextual performance, and that this effect is moderated by job interdependence. This provides a theoretical extension as well as a practical application to the setting and management of group goals.

  9. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN WORKING MEMORY PERFORMANCE: «OVERLOAD» EFFECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri G. Pavlov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to study the relationship betweenfrontal midline theta rhythm changes and individual differences in working memory performance.Methods. The methods involve behavioural testing on the basis of the program for a presentation of stimulus and registration of answers «PsyTask»; method of EEG (electroencephalography; a technique of measurement of efficiency of working memory; the comparative analysis. Software packages EEGLab for Matlab and Fieldtrip are applied while data processing.Results. After the behavioral test all subjects were separated into 2 groups according to their performance: with «highly productive» and «low productive» memory. Specially prepared author’s complete set of the tasks which complexity varied from average to ultrahigh level was offered to participants of experiment –students and employees of the Ural Federal University and Ural Legal Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Working memory tasks included sets of verbal stimuli for memorizing in strict order without any mental manipulation and sets of similar stimuli for memorizing in alphabetical order (with manipulations. Measured characteristics of theta-rhythm of EEG during information deduction in memory were compared of two groups’ representatives. The obtained data has shown rather uniform and similar dynamics of decrease in quantity of right answers in process of increasing tasks’ complexity. However, changes of a thetarhythm in different groups had sharply expressed distinctions. «Highly productive» examinees have systematic expansion of a theta-rhythm in the central assignments with stabilisation on the most difficult tasks; «low productive» – while tasks performance of average complexity, a sharp falling of theta-rhythm activity is observed after achievement of its maximum activation.Scientific novelty. The working memory «overload» effect and its EEG correlates are demonstrated on a big sample of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kymberly eYoung

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayman A. Mohamed

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Ewa Król

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Król, Magdalena Ewa; Król, Michał

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Vulnerability of the frontal and parietal regions in hypertensive patients during working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Wang, Wenxiao; Wang, Ailin; Li, Peng; Zhang, Junying; Tao, Wuhai; Zhang, Zhanjun

    2017-05-01

    Hypertension is related with cognitive decline in the elderly. The frontal-parietal executive system plays an important role in cognitive aging and is also vulnerable to damage in elderly patients with hypertension. Examination of the brain's functional characteristics in frontal-parietal regions of hypertension is likely to be important for understanding the neural mechanisms of hypertension's effect on cognitive aging. We address this issue by comparing hypertension and control-performers in a functional MRI study. Twenty-eight hypertensive patients and 32 elderly controls were tested with n-back task with two load levels. The hypertensive patients exhibited worse executive and memory abilities than control subjects. The patterns of brain activation changed under different working memory loads in the hypertensive patients, who exhibited reduced activation only in the precentral gyrus under low loads and reduced activation in the middle frontal gyrus, left medial superior frontal gyrus and right precuneus under high loads. Thus, more regions of diminished activation were observed in the frontal and parietal regions with increasing task difficulty. More importantly, we found that lower activation in changed frontal and parietal regions was associated with worse cognitive function in high loads. The results demonstrate the relationship between cognitive function and frontoparietal functional activation in hypertension and their relevance to cognitive aging risk. Our findings provide a better understanding of the mechanism of cognitive decline in hypertension and highlight the importance of brain protection in hypertension.

  15. A new modified listening span task to enhance validity of working memory assessment for people with and without aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Maria V.; Hallowell, Brooke

    2014-01-01

    Deficits in working memory (WM) are an important subset of cognitive processing deficits associated with aphasia. However, there are serious limitations to research on WM in aphasia largely due to the lack of an established valid measure of WM impairment for this population. The aim of the current study was to address shortcomings of previous measures by developing and empirically evaluating a novel WM task with a sentence-picture matching processing component designed to circumvent confounds inherent in existing measures of WM in aphasia. The novel WM task was presented to persons with (n = 27) and without (n = 33) aphasia. Results demonstrated high concurrent validity of a novel WM task. Individuals with aphasia performed significantly worse on all conditions of the WM task compared to individuals without aphasia. Different patterns of performance across conditions were observed for the two groups. Additionally, WM capacity was significantly related to auditory comprehension abilities in individuals with mild aphasia but not those with moderate aphasia. Strengths of the novel WM task are that it allows for differential control for length versus complexity of verbal stimuli and indexing of the relative influence of each, minimizes metalinguistic requirements, enables control for complexity of processing components, allows participants to respond with simple gestures or verbally, and eliminates reading requirements. Results support the feasibility and validity of using a novel task to assess WM in individuals with and without aphasia. PMID:24986153

  16. The application of metal cutting technologies in tasks performed in radioactive environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fogle, R.F.; Younkins, R.M.

    1997-01-01

    The design and use of equipment to perform work in radioactive environments is uniquely challenging. Some tasks require that the equipment be operated by a person wearing a plastic suit or full face respirator and donning several pairs of rubber gloves. Other applications may require that the equipment be remotely controlled. Other important, design considerations include material compatibility, mixed waste issues, tolerance to ionizing radiation, size constraints and weight capacities. As always, there is the ''We need it ASAP'' design criteria. This paper describes four applications where different types of metal cutting technologies were used to successfully perform tasks in radioactive environments. The technologies include a plasma cutting torch, a grinder with an abrasive disk, a hydraulic shear, and a high pressure abrasive water jet cutter

  17. Stress-Induced Impairment of a Working Memory Task: Role of Spiking Rate and Spiking History Predicted Discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devilbiss, David M.; Jenison, Rick L.; Berridge, Craig W.

    2012-01-01

    Stress, pervasive in society, contributes to over half of all work place accidents a year and over time can contribute to a variety of psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Stress impairs higher cognitive processes, dependent on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and that involve maintenance and integration of information over extended periods, including working memory and attention. Substantial evidence has demonstrated a relationship between patterns of PFC neuron spiking activity (action-potential discharge) and components of delayed-response tasks used to probe PFC-dependent cognitive function in rats and monkeys. During delay periods of these tasks, persistent spiking activity is posited to be essential for the maintenance of information for working memory and attention. However, the degree to which stress-induced impairment in PFC-dependent cognition involves changes in task-related spiking rates or the ability for PFC neurons to retain information over time remains unknown. In the current study, spiking activity was recorded from the medial PFC of rats performing a delayed-response task of working memory during acute noise stress (93 db). Spike history-predicted discharge (SHPD) for PFC neurons was quantified as a measure of the degree to which ongoing neuronal discharge can be predicted by past spiking activity and reflects the degree to which past information is retained by these neurons over time. We found that PFC neuron discharge is predicted by their past spiking patterns for nearly one second. Acute stress impaired SHPD, selectively during delay intervals of the task, and simultaneously impaired task performance. Despite the reduction in delay-related SHPD, stress increased delay-related spiking rates. These findings suggest that neural codes utilizing SHPD within PFC networks likely reflects an additional important neurophysiological mechanism for maintenance of past information over time. Stress

  18. High Performance Work Systems for Online Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contacos-Sawyer, Jonna; Revels, Mark; Ciampa, Mark

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to identify the key elements of a High Performance Work System (HPWS) and explore the possibility of implementation in an online institution of higher learning. With the projected rapid growth of the demand for online education and its importance in post-secondary education, providing high quality curriculum, excellent…

  19. Performance and Quality of Working Life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H.D. Pruijt (Hans)

    2000-01-01

    textabstractAn examination of the deep structure of the discourse on the organization of work shows that the most successful texts share a common structure: they construct an ideal model in which performance and quality go hand in hand. They provide explanations for the self-constructed gap between

  20. Color coding of televised task elements in remote work: a literature review with practical recommendations for a fuel reprocessing facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clarke, M.M.; Preston-Anderson, A.

    1981-11-01

    The experimental literature on the effects of color visual displays was reviewed with particular reference to the performance of remote work in a Hot Experimental Facility (HEF) using real scene closed-circult television systems. It was also reviewed with more general reference to the broader range of work-related issues of operator learning and preference, and display specifications. Color has been shown to enhance the performance of tasks requiring search and location and may also enhance tracking/transportation tasks. However, both HEF large-volume searching and tracking can be computer augmented, alleviating some of the necessity for a color code to assist an operator. Although color enhances long-term memory and is preferred to black and white displays, it has not been shown to have a specific advantage in the performance of unique tasks (where computer augmentation is more problematic and visual input to operator is critical). Practical display specifications are discussed with reference to hue and size of color code, target size, ambient illumination, multiple displays, and coatings. The authors conclude that the disadvantages to color television in the HEF far outweigh any possible advantages and recommend the use of high-resolution black and white systems, unless future experiments unequivocally indicate that (1) color is superior to black and white for in-situ task performance or (2) it is imperative in terms of long-range psychological well-being

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Complexity, Accuracy, Fluency and Lexis in Task-Based Performance: A Synthesis of the Ealing Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skehan, Peter; Foster, Pauline

    2012-01-01

    This chapter will present a research synthesis of a series of studies, termed here the Ealing research. The studies use the same general framework to conceptualise tasks and task performance, enabling easier comparability. The different studies, although each is self-contained, build into a wider picture of task performance. The major point of…

  3. Routing Cooperating Vehicles to Perform Precedence-Linked Tasks

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Vakhutinsky, Andrew; Wu, Cynara

    2005-01-01

    The problem of scheduling cooperating vehicles is a generalization of the classical vehicle routing problem where certain tasks are linked by precedence constraints and vehicles have varying constrained resources...

  4. Dieting and food cue-related working memory performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Meule

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Executive functioning (e.g., working memory is tightly intertwined with self-regulation. For example, food cue-elicited craving has been found to impair working memory performance. Furthermore, current dieters have been found to show lower working memory performance than non-dieters. Recent research, however, suggests that it is crucial to consider dieting success in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating in order to reveal cognitive mechanisms that are associated with successful eating-related self-regulation. The current study investigated food cue-related working memory performance as a function of dieting status and dieting success in female students. Participants performed an n-back task with pictures of food and neutral objects. Reaction time in response to food pictures was slower than in response to neutral pictures, whereas omission errors did not differ between picture types. Current food craving was increased after performing the food block, but not after the neutral block. There was an indirect effect of current dieting status on higher food craving after the food block, which was mediated by slower reaction time to food vs. neutral pictures. Furthermore, higher dieting success was associated with fewer omission errors in the food vs. neutral block in current dieters. There were no relationships of restrained eating with current food craving and task performance. Results further highlight the need to differentiate between successful and unsuccessful dieting in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating when examining possible mechanisms of overeating or successful restraint. Although palatable food cues induce food craving regardless of dieting success, they may boost executive functioning in successful dieters, which helps them to overcome these temptations.

  5. Dieting and Food Cue-Related Working Memory Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meule, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (e.g., working memory) is tightly intertwined with self-regulation. For example, food cue-elicited craving has been found to impair working memory performance. Furthermore, current dieters have been found to show lower working memory performance than non-dieters. Recent research, however, suggests that it is crucial to consider dieting success in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating in order to reveal cognitive mechanisms that are associated with successful eating-related self-regulation. The current study investigated food cue-related working memory performance as a function of dieting status and dieting success in female students. Participants performed an n -back task with pictures of food and neutral objects. Reaction time in response to food pictures was slower than in response to neutral pictures, whereas omission errors did not differ between picture types. Current food craving was increased after performing the food block, but not after the neutral block. There was an indirect effect of current dieting status on higher food craving after the food block, which was mediated by slower reaction time to food vs. neutral pictures. Furthermore, higher dieting success was associated with fewer omission errors in the food vs. neutral block in current dieters. There were no relationships of restrained eating with current food craving and task performance. Results further highlight the need to differentiate between successful and unsuccessful dieting in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating when examining possible mechanisms of overeating or successful restraint. Although palatable food cues induce food craving regardless of dieting success, they may boost executive functioning in successful dieters, which helps them to overcome these temptations.

  6. Work Engagement Accumulation of Task, Social, Personal Resources: A Three-Wave Structural Equation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigl, Matthias; Hornung, Severin; Parker, Sharon K.; Petru, Raluca; Glaser, Jurgen; Angerer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Drawing on Conservation of Resources Theory and previous research on work engagement, the present study investigates gain spirals between employees' engagement and their task, social, and personal resources. It focuses on the key resources of job control, positive work relationships, and active coping behavior. In a three-wave design, work…

  7. IEA SHC Task 42 / ECES Annex 29 - Working Group B: Applications of Compact Thermal Energy Storage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helden, W. van; Yamaha, M.; Rathgeber, C.; Hauer, A.; Huaylla, F.; Le Pierrès, N.; Stutz, B.; Mette, B.; Dolado, P.; Lazaro, A.; Mazo, J.; Dannemand, M.; Furbo, S.; Campos-Celador, A.; Diarce, G.; Cuypers, R.; König-Haagen, A.; Höhlein, S.; Brüggemann, D.; Fumey, B.; Weber, R.; Köll, R.; Wagner, W.; Daguenet-Frick, X.; Gantenbein, P.; Kuznik, F.

    2016-01-01

    The IEA joint Task 42 / Annex 29 is aimed at developing compact thermal energy storage materials and systems. In Working Group B, experts are working on the development of compact thermal energy storage applications, in the areas cooling, domestic heating and hot water and industry. The majority of

  8. When Does a Good Working Memory Counteract Proactive Interference? Surprising Evidence from a Probe Recognition Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott

    2013-01-01

    It is often proposed that individuals with high working memory span overcome proactive interference (PI) from previous trials, saving working me