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Sample records for predict attentional modulation

  1. Spatial Attention and Temporal Expectation Under Timed Uncertainty Predictably Modulate Neuronal Responses in Monkey V1.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Jitendra; Sugihara, Hiroki; Katz, Yarden; Schummers, James; Tenenbaum, Joshua; Sur, Mriganka

    2015-09-01

    The brain uses attention and expectation as flexible devices for optimizing behavioral responses associated with expected but unpredictably timed events. The neural bases of attention and expectation are thought to engage higher cognitive loci; however, their influence at the level of primary visual cortex (V1) remains unknown. Here, we asked whether single-neuron responses in monkey V1 were influenced by an attention task of unpredictable duration. Monkeys covertly attended to a spot that remained unchanged for a fixed period and then abruptly disappeared at variable times, prompting a lever release for reward. We show that monkeys responded progressively faster and performed better as the trial duration increased. Neural responses also followed monkey's task engagement-there was an early, but short duration, response facilitation, followed by a late but sustained increase during the time monkeys expected the attention spot to disappear. This late attentional modulation was significantly and negatively correlated with the reaction time and was well explained by a modified hazard function. Such bimodal, time-dependent changes were, however, absent in a task that did not require explicit attentional engagement. Thus, V1 neurons carry reliable signals of attention and temporal expectation that correlate with predictable influences on monkeys' behavioral responses. PMID:24836689

  2. Effect of temporal predictability on exogenous attentional modulation of feedforward processing in the striate cortex.

    PubMed

    Dassanayake, Tharaka L; Michie, Patricia T; Fulham, Ross

    2016-07-01

    Non-informative peripheral visual cues facilitate extrastriate processing of targets [as indexed by enhanced amplitude of contralateral P1 event-related potential (ERP) component] presented at the cued location as opposed to those presented at uncued locations, at short cue-target stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). Recently, two lines of research are emerging to suggest that the locus of attentional modulation is flexible and depends on 1) perceptual load and 2) temporal predictability of visual stimuli. We aimed to examine the effect of temporal predictability on attentional modulation of feed-forward activation of the striate cortex (as indexed by the C1 ERP component) by high-perceptual-load (HPL) stimuli. We conducted two ERP experiments where exogenously-cued HPL targets were presented under two temporal predictability conditions. In Experiment 1 [high-temporal-predictability (HTP) condition], 17 healthy subjects (age 18-26years) performed a line-orientation discrimination task on HPL targets presented in the periphery of the left upper or diagonally opposite right lower visual field, validly or invalidly cued by peripheral cues. SOA was fixed at 160ms. In Experiment 2 [low-temporal-predictability (LTP) condition], (n=10, age 19-36years) we retained HPL stimuli but randomly intermixed short-SOA trials with long-SOA (1000ms) trials in the task-blocks. In Experiment 1 and the short-SOA condition of the Experiment 2, validly-cued targets elicited significantly faster reaction times and larger contralateral P1, consistent with previous literature. A significant attentional enhancement of C1 amplitude was also observed in the HTP, but not LTP condition. The findings suggest that exogenous visual attention can facilitate the earliest stage of cortical processing under HTP conditions. PMID:27114044

  3. Unconscious attention modulates the silencing effect of top-down predictions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu; Ran, Guangming; Zhang, Qi; Hu, Tianqiang

    2015-07-01

    The brain is considered to be proactive in that it continuously generates predictions about external environment stimuli. Recent Bayesian models of perception have demonstrated that prediction and attention operate synergistically to optimize stimulus processing. However, the relation between prediction and unconscious attention remains unclear given the relative neglect of unconscious attention in scholarly literatures. To investigate this issue, twenty participants (12 women) performed an orientation identification task in which a circular grating appeared either in the left or in the right visual field in a single 30-40min session, during which 64-channel EEG data were acquired. Behavioral results showed an unconscious-attended effect and a facilitated effect. Importantly, prediction-related P1 and N1 silencing effects were observed in the unconscious-attended condition, probably reflecting that unconscious attention improves the precision of top-down predictions at an early stage of processing, thereby increasing the synaptic gain of predictor neurons. Moreover, unlike the early ERP components, P3 revealed a reversed pattern of results, which displayed a silencing effect of prediction only in the unattended condition, suggesting that the influence of unconscious attention on the silencing effect may change over time. PMID:25841210

  4. Optimal attentional modulation of a neural population

    PubMed Central

    Borji, Ali; Itti, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Top-down attention has often been separately studied in the contexts of either optimal population coding or biasing of visual search. Yet, both are intimately linked, as they entail optimally modulating sensory variables in neural populations according to top-down goals. Designing experiments to probe top-down attentional modulation is difficult because non-linear population dynamics are hard to predict in the absence of a concise theoretical framework. Here, we describe a unified framework that encompasses both contexts. Our work sheds light onto the ongoing debate on whether attention modulates neural response gain, tuning width, and/or preferred feature. We evaluate the framework by conducting simulations for two tasks: (1) classification (discrimination) of two stimuli sa and sb and (2) searching for a target T among distractors D. Results demonstrate that all of gain, tuning, and preferred feature modulation happen to different extents, depending on stimulus conditions and task demands. The theoretical analysis shows that task difficulty (linked to difference Δ between sa and sb, or T, and D) is a crucial factor in optimal modulation, with different effects in discrimination vs. search. Further, our framework allows us to quantify the relative utility of neural parameters. In easy tasks (when Δ is large compared to the density of the neural population), modulating gains and preferred features is sufficient to yield nearly optimal performance; however, in difficult tasks (smaller Δ), modulating tuning width becomes necessary to improve performance. This suggests that the conflicting reports from different experimental studies may be due to differences in tasks and in their difficulties. We further propose future electrophysiology experiments to observe different types of attentional modulation in a same neuron. PMID:24723881

  5. Attention modulates emotional expression processing.

    PubMed

    Wronka, Eligiusz; Walentowska, Wioleta

    2011-08-01

    To investigate the time course of emotional expression processing, we recorded ERPs to facial stimuli. The first task was to discriminate emotional expressions. Enhanced negativity of the face-specific N170 was elicited by emotional as opposed to neutral faces, followed by the occipital negativity (240-340 ms poststimulus). The second task was to classify face gender. Here, N170 was unaffected by the emotional expression. However, emotional expression effect was expressed in the anterior positivity (160-250 ms poststimulus) and subsequent occipital negativity (240-340 ms poststimulus). Results support the thesis that structural encoding relevant to gender recognition and simultaneous expression analysis are independent processes. Attention modulates facial emotion processing 140-185 ms poststimulus. Involuntary differentiation of facial expression was observed later (160-340 ms poststimulus), suggesting unintentional attention capture. PMID:21332489

  6. Difficulty of Discrimination Modulates Attentional Capture by Regulating Attentional Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawaki, Risa; Katayama, Jun'ichi

    2009-01-01

    Attentional capture for distractors is enhanced by increasing the difficulty of discrimination between the standard and the target in the three-stimulus oddball paradigm. In this study, we investigated the cognitive mechanism of this modulation of attentional capture. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from participants while they…

  7. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…

  8. Attentional modulation of perceptual stabilization.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Ryota; Verstraten, Frans A J

    2006-05-22

    Perceptual priming is generally regarded as a passive and automatic process, as it is obtained even without awareness of the prime. Recent studies have introduced a more active form of perceptual priming in which priming for a subsequent ambiguous stimulus is triggered by the subjective percept, that is, interpretation of a previous ambiguous stimulus. This phenomenon known as stabilization does not require a conscious effort to actively maintain one perceptual interpretation. In this study, we show that distraction of attention, during and even after the prime presentation, interferes with the build-up of perceptual memory for stabilization. This implies that despite the apparent automaticity, stabilization involves an active attentional process for encoding and retention. The disruption during the encoding can be attributed to the reduction in sensory signals for the prime. However, the disruption during the retention suggests that the implicit memory trace of the prime necessitates the attentional resource to fully develop. The active nature of the build-up of perceptual memory for stabilization is consistent with the idea that perceptual memory increases its strength gradually over a few seconds. These findings suggest that seemingly automatic and effortless cognitive processes can compete with online perceptual processing for common attentional resources. PMID:16720394

  9. Attention modulates sensory suppression during back movements.

    PubMed

    Van Hulle, Lore; Juravle, Georgiana; Spence, Charles; Crombez, Geert; Van Damme, Stefaan

    2013-06-01

    Tactile perception is often impaired during movement. The present study investigated whether such sensory suppression also occurs during back movements, and whether this would be modulated by attention. In two tactile detection experiments, participants simultaneously engaged in a movement task, in which they executed a back-bending movement, and a perceptual task, consisting of the detection of subtle tactile stimuli administered to their upper or lower back. The focus of participants' attention was manipulated by raising the probability that one of the back locations would be stimulated. The results revealed that tactile detection was suppressed during the execution of the back movements. Furthermore, the results of Experiment 2 revealed that when the stimulus was always presented to the attended location, tactile suppression was substantially reduced, suggesting that sensory suppression can be modulated by top-down attentional processes. The potential of this paradigm for studying tactile information processing in clinical populations is discussed. PMID:23454431

  10. Social traits modulate attention to affiliative cues

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Sarah R.; Fu, Yu; Depue, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Neurobehavioral models of personality suggest that the salience assigned to particular classes of stimuli vary as a function of traits that reflect both the activity of neurobiological encoding and relevant social experience. In turn, this joint influence modulates the extent that salience influences attentional processes, and hence learning about and responding to those stimuli. Applying this model to the domain of social valuation, we assessed the differential effects on attentional guidance by affiliative cues of (i) a higher-order temperament trait (Social Closeness), and (ii) attachment style in a sample of 57 women. Attention to affiliative pictures paired with either incentive or neutral pictures was assessed using camera eye-tracking. Trait social closeness and attachment avoidance interacted to modulate fixation frequency on affiliative but not on incentive pictures, suggesting that both traits influence the salience assigned to affiliative cues specifically. PMID:25009524

  11. Attention to individual identities modulates face processing.

    PubMed

    Ruz, María; Aranda, Clara; Sarmiento, Beatriz R; Sanabria, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    The ability of attention to apply in a flexible manner to several types of information at various stages of processing has been studied extensively. However, the susceptibility of these effects to the nature of the idiosyncratic items being attended is less understood. In the current study, we used symbolic cues to orient the attention of participants to the subsequent appearance of the face of a famous person (the former king of Spain) or an unfamiliar face. These were matched in perceptual characteristics. Behavioral effects showed that face-specific attention optimized response speed in an orthogonal task when the target matched the cue (valid trials) compared to when it did not (invalid trials). According to topographical analyses of the electrophysiological data, the famous and unfamiliar faces engaged dissociable brain circuits in two different temporal windows, from 144 to 300 ms after target processing, and at a later 456-492 ms epoch. In addition, orienting attention to specific faces modulated the perceptual stages reflected in the P1 and N170 potentials but with a different laterality pattern that depended on the familiarity of the faces. Whereas only attention to the famous face enhanced the P1 potential at left posterior electrodes, with no corresponding effect for the unfamiliar face at this stage, the N170 was modulated at left posterior sites for the famous item and at right homologous electrodes for the unfamiliar face. Intermediate processing stages, previously linked to facial identity processing indexed by the P2 and N2 potentials, reflected item familiarity but were not affected by the cueing manipulation. At the P3 level, attention influenced again item processing but did so in an equivalent manner for the famous and unfamiliar face. Our results, showing that identity-specific attention modulates perceptual stages of facial processing at different locations depending on idiosyncratic stimulus familiarity, may inform comparison of studies

  12. Hemispheric modulations of the attentional networks.

    PubMed

    Spagna, Alfredo; Martella, Diana; Fuentes, Luis J; Marotta, Andrea; Casagrande, Maria

    2016-10-01

    Although several recent studies investigated the hemispheric contributions to the attentional networks using the Attention Network Test (ANT), the role of the cerebral hemispheres in modulating the interaction among them remains unclear. In this study, two lateralized versions of this test (LANT) were used to investigate theal effects on the attentional networks under different conflict conditions. One version, the LANTI-A, presented arrows as target and flankers, while the other version, the LANTI-F, had fruits as target and flankers. Data collected from forty-seven participants confirmed well-known results on the efficiency and interactions among the attentional networks. Further, a left visual field advantage was found when a target occurred in an unattended location (e.g. invalid trials), only with the LANTI-F, but not with LANTI-A. The present study adds more evidence to the hemispheric asymmetry of the orienting of attention, and further reveals patterns of interactions between the attentional networks and the visual fields across different conflicting conditions, underlying the dynamic control of attention in complex environments. PMID:27566000

  13. Attentional awakening: gradual modulation of temporal attention in rapid serial visual presentation.

    PubMed

    Ariga, Atsunori; Yokosawa, Kazuhiko

    2008-03-01

    Orienting attention to a point in time facilitates processing of an item within rapidly changing surroundings. We used a one-target RSVP task to look for differences in accuracy in reporting a target related to when the target temporally appeared in the sequence. The results show that observers correctly report a target early in the sequence less frequently than later in the sequence. Previous RSVP studies predicted equivalently accurate performances for one target wherever it appeared in the sequence. We named this new phenomenon attentional awakening, which reflects a gradual modulation of temporal attention in a rapid sequence. PMID:17106706

  14. Interaural attention modulates outer hair cell function.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Sridhar; Keil, Andreas; Stratis, Kyle; Osborne, Aaron F; Cerwonka, Colin; Wong, Jennifer; Rieger, Brenda L; Polcz, Valerie; Smith, David W

    2014-12-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that auditory attention tasks may modulate the sensitivity of the cochlea by way of the corticofugal and the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent pathways. Here, we studied the extent to which a separate efferent tract, the 'uncrossed' MOC, which functionally connects the two ears, mediates inter-aural selective attention. We compared distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) in one ear with binaurally presented primaries, using an intermodal target detection task in which participants were instructed to report the occurrence of brief target events (visual changes, tones). Three tasks were compared under identical physical stimulation: (i) report brief tones in the ear in which DPOAE responses were recorded; (ii) report brief tones presented to the contralateral, non-recorded ear; and (iii) report brief phase shifts of a visual grating at fixation. Effects of attention were observed as parallel shifts in overall DPOAE contour level, with DPOAEs relatively higher in overall level when subjects ignored the auditory stimuli and attended to the visual stimulus, compared with both of the auditory-attending conditions. Importantly, DPOAE levels were statistically lowest when attention was directed to the ipsilateral ear in which the DPOAE recordings were made. These data corroborate notions that top-down mechanisms, via the corticofugal and medial efferent pathways, mediate cochlear responses during intermodal attention. New findings show attending to one ear can significantly alter the physiological response of the contralateral, unattended ear, probably through the uncrossed-medial olivocochlear efferent fibers connecting the two ears. PMID:25302959

  15. Attentional Modulation of Eye Torsion Responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, Scott B.; Mahadevan, Madhumitha S.; Mulligan, Jeffrey B.

    2016-01-01

    Eye movements generally have both reflexive and voluntary aspects, but torsional eye movements are usually thought of as a reflexive response to image rotation around the line of sight (torsional OKN) or to head roll (torsional VOR). In this study we asked whether torsional responses could be modulated by attention in a case where two stimuli rotated independently, and whether attention would influence the latency of responses. The display consisted of rear-projected radial "pinwheel" gratings, with an inner annulus segment extending from the center to 22 degrees eccentricity, and an outer annulus segment extending from 22 degrees out to 45 degrees eccentricity. The two segments rotated around the center in independent random walks, stepping randomly 4 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise at 60 Hz. Subjects were asked to attend to one or the other while keeping fixation steady at the center of the display. To encourage attention on one or the other segment of the display, subjects were asked to move a joystick in synchrony with the back and forth rotations of one part of the image while ignoring the other. Eye torsion was recorded with the scleral search coil technique, sampled at 500 Hz. All four subjects showed roughly 50% stronger torsion responses to the attended compared to unattended segments. Latency varied from 100 to 150 msec across subjects and was unchanged by attention. These findings suggest that attention can influence eye movement responses that are not typically under voluntary control.

  16. Expectation and Attention in Hierarchical Auditory Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Noreika, Valdas; Gueorguiev, David; Blenkmann, Alejandro; Kochen, Silvia; Ibáñez, Agustín; Owen, Adrian M.; Bekinschtein, Tristan A.

    2013-01-01

    Hierarchical predictive coding suggests that attention in humans emerges from increased precision in probabilistic inference, whereas expectation biases attention in favor of contextually anticipated stimuli. We test these notions within auditory perception by independently manipulating top-down expectation and attentional precision alongside bottom-up stimulus predictability. Our findings support an integrative interpretation of commonly observed electrophysiological signatures of neurodynamics, namely mismatch negativity (MMN), P300, and contingent negative variation (CNV), as manifestations along successive levels of predictive complexity. Early first-level processing indexed by the MMN was sensitive to stimulus predictability: here, attentional precision enhanced early responses, but explicit top-down expectation diminished it. This pattern was in contrast to later, second-level processing indexed by the P300: although sensitive to the degree of predictability, responses at this level were contingent on attentional engagement and in fact sharpened by top-down expectation. At the highest level, the drift of the CNV was a fine-grained marker of top-down expectation itself. Source reconstruction of high-density EEG, supported by intracranial recordings, implicated temporal and frontal regions differentially active at early and late levels. The cortical generators of the CNV suggested that it might be involved in facilitating the consolidation of context-salient stimuli into conscious perception. These results provide convergent empirical support to promising recent accounts of attention and expectation in predictive coding. PMID:23825422

  17. Tough doughnuts: affect and the modulation of attention

    PubMed Central

    Dhinakaran, Janani; De Vos, Maarten; Thorne, Jeremy D.; Braun, Niclas; Janson, Jolanda; Kranczioch, Cornelia

    2013-01-01

    Positive affect has been associated with improvement in performance in various attentional domains. Negative affect has been associated with narrowing of attention and lowering of performance in attentional tasks. Previous behavioral studies have put forth the diffuse mental state idea as the mechanism of these effects, where attentional resources are more evenly distributed during positive affect and more focused during negative affect. To explore neural correlates of this mechanism, a two-stream rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm with centrally presented, overlapping streams was used. Participants attended one of the streams at a time and steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEP) in response to the attended and unattended streams were recorded in a positive, negative or neutral affect state. We predicted that in the positive affect condition, ssVEP responses to the attended and the unattended stream would be more alike than in a neutral condition. In the negative affect condition, as an expression of a less diffuse mental state, ssVEP responses were predicted to be more dissimilar. Self-assessments confirmed the effectiveness of the emotional manipulation. In the negative affect condition power was found to be higher than in the neutral condition. However, the modulations in the ssVEP did not reflect the predicted neural correlate of the diffuse mental state mechanism. Thus, the results provide evidence for negative affect modulating attention but suggest that the diffuse mental state is not a spatially oriented phenomenon. PMID:24391570

  18. Multiple measures of visual attention predict novice motor skill performance when attention is focused externally.

    PubMed

    Kasper, Ryan W; Elliott, James C; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2012-10-01

    Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the control of attention and motor skill performance are related. Athletes of various skill levels differ in terms of their control over the focus of attention and directing athletes to adopt an internal or external focus of attention modulates performance. However, it is unclear (a) whether the relationship between skill level and attentional control arises from preexisting individual differences in attention or from practice of the motor skill and (b) whether the effect of adopting an internal or external focus of attention on motor performance is influenced by individual differences in attention. To address these issues, individuals were measured on three distinct attention functions - orienting, alerting, and executive - prior to engaging in a novel golf-putting task performed with either external or internal focus instructions. The results indicated that, on average, attentional functioning and putting performance were related but that the strong relationships with orienting and executive attention were only present in the group given external focus instructions. These findings suggest that individual differences in attentional abilities are predictive of novel skill performance under an external focus of attention and they shed light on the mechanisms underlying the effects of focus instructions during motor performance. PMID:22516836

  19. Noradrenergic Genotype Predicts Lapses in Sustained Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Ciara M.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Gill, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.

    2009-01-01

    Sustained attention is modulated by the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. The balance of dopamine and noradrenaline in the cortex is controlled by the DBH gene. The principal variant in this gene is a C/T change at position-1021, and the T allele at this locus is hypothesised to result in a slower rate of dopamine to noradrenaline conversion than…

  20. Attention-Modulating Effects of Cognitive Enhancers

    EPA Science Inventory

    Attention can be readily measured in experimental animal models. Animal models of attention have been used to better understand the neural systems involved in attention, how attention is impaired, and how therapeutic treatments can ameliorate attentional deficits. This review fo...

  1. Musical Meter Modulates the Allocation of Attention across Time.

    PubMed

    Fitzroy, Ahren B; Sanders, Lisa D

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic attending theory predicts that attention is allocated hierarchically across time during processing of hierarchical rhythmic structures such as musical meter. ERP research demonstrates that attention to a moment in time modulates early auditory processing as evidenced by the amplitude of the first negative peak (N1) approximately 100 msec after sound onset. ERPs elicited by tones presented at times of high and low metric strength in short melodies were compared to test the hypothesis that hierarchically structured rhythms direct attention in a manner that modulates early perceptual processing. A more negative N1 was observed for metrically strong beats compared with metrically weak beats; this result provides electrophysiological evidence that hierarchical rhythms direct attention to metrically strong times during engaged listening. The N1 effect was observed only on fast tempo trials, suggesting that listeners more consistently invoke selective processing based on hierarchical rhythms when sounds are presented rapidly. The N1 effect was not modulated by musical expertise, indicating that the allocation of attention to metrically strong times is not dependent on extensive training. Additionally, changes in P2 amplitude and a late negativity were associated with metric strength under some conditions, indicating that multiple cognitive processes are associated with metric perception. PMID:26284995

  2. Notational usage modulates attention networks in binumerates

    PubMed Central

    Koul, Atesh; Tyagi, Vaibhav; Singh, Nandini C.

    2014-01-01

    Multicultural environments require learning multiple number notations wherein some are encountered more frequently than others. This leads to differences in exposure and consequently differences in usage between notations. We find that differential notational usage imposes a significant neurocognitive load on number processing. Despite simultaneous acquisition, twenty four adult binumerates, familiar with two positional writing systems namely Hindu Nagari digits and Hindu Arabic digits, reported significantly lower preference and usage for Nagari as compared to Arabic. Twenty-four participants showed significantly increased reaction times and reduced accuracy while performing magnitude comparison tasks in Nagari with respect to Arabic. Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that processing Nagari elicited significantly greater activity in number processing and attention networks. A direct subtraction of networks for Nagari and Arabic notations revealed a neural circuit comprising of bilateral Intra-parietal Sulcus (IPS), Inferior and Mid Frontal Gyri, Fusiform Gyrus and the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (FDR p < 0.005). Additionally, whole brain correlation analysis showed that activity in the left inferior parietal region was modulated by task performance in Nagari. We attribute the increased activation in Nagari to increased task difficulty due to infrequent exposure and usage. Our results reiterate the role of left IPS in modulating performance in numeric tasks and highlight the role of the attention network for monitoring symbolic notation mode in binumerates. PMID:24904366

  3. Components of attention modulated by temporal expectation.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus

    2015-01-01

    By varying the probabilities that a stimulus would appear at particular times after the presentation of a cue and modeling the data by the theory of visual attention (Bundesen, 1990), Vangkilde, Coull, and Bundesen (2012) provided evidence that the speed of encoding a singly presented stimulus letter into visual short-term memory (VSTM) is modulated by the observer's temporal expectations. We extended the investigation from single-stimulus recognition to whole report (Experiment 1) and partial report (Experiment 2). Cue-stimulus foreperiods were distributed geometrically using time steps of 500 ms. In high expectancy conditions, the probability that the stimulus would appear on the next time step, given that it had not yet appeared, was high, whereas in low expectancy conditions, the probability was low. The speed of encoding the stimuli into VSTM was higher in the high expectancy conditions. In line with the Easterbrook (1959) hypothesis, under high temporal expectancy, the processing was also more focused (selective). First, the storage capacity of VSTM was lower, so that fewer stimuli were encoded into VSTM. Second, the distribution of attentional weights across stimuli was less even: The efficiency of selecting targets rather than distractors for encoding into VSTM was higher, as was the spread of the attentional weights of the target letters. PMID:25068851

  4. Attention modulation by proportion congruency: the asymmetrical list shifting effect.

    PubMed

    Abrahamse, Elger L; Duthoo, Wout; Notebaert, Wim; Risko, Evan F

    2013-09-01

    Proportion congruency effects represent hallmark phenomena in current theorizing about cognitive control. This is based on the notion that proportion congruency determines the relative levels of attention to relevant and irrelevant information in conflict tasks. However, little empirical evidence exists that uniquely supports such an attention modulation account; moreover, a rivaling account was recently proposed that attributes the effect of proportion congruency to mere contingency learning. In the present study, the influences of shifts in list-wide (Experiment 1) or item-specific (Experiment 2) proportion congruency were investigated. As predicted by attention modulation but not by contingency learning, strong asymmetries were observed in such shifting: An increase in the proportion of congruent trials had only limited impact on the size of the congruency effect when participants were initially trained with a mostly incongruent list, but the impact was substantial for an equivalent increase of incongruent trials when participants were initially trained with a mostly congruent list. This asymmetrical list shifting effect directly supports attention modulation by proportion congruency manipulations and as such provides a novel tool for exploring cognitive control. Implications of our findings for existing theories of cognitive control are discussed. PMID:23565794

  5. Spatial attention modulates early face processing.

    PubMed

    Feng, Wenfeng; Martinez, Antigona; Pitts, Michael; Luo, Yue-Jia; Hillyard, Steven A

    2012-12-01

    It is widely reported that inverting a face dramatically affects its recognition. Previous studies have shown that face inversion increases the amplitude and delays the latency of the face-specific N170 component of the event-related potential (ERP) and also enhances the amplitude of the occipital P1 component (latency 100-132 ms). The present study investigates whether these effects of face inversion can be modulated by visual spatial attention. Participants viewed two streams of visual stimuli, one to the left and one to the right of fixation. One stream consisted of a sequence of alphanumeric characters at 6.67 Hz, and the other stream consisted of a series of upright and inverted images of faces and houses presented in randomized order. The participants' task was to attend selectively to one or the other of the streams (during different blocks) in order to detect infrequent target stimuli. ERPs elicited by inverted faces showed larger P1 amplitudes compared to upright faces, but only when the faces were attended. In contrast, the N170 amplitude was larger to inverted than to upright faces only when the faces were not attended. The N170 peak latency was delayed to inverted faces regardless of attention condition. These inversion effects were face specific, as similar effects were absent for houses. These results suggest that early stages of face-specific processing can be enhanced by attention, but when faces are not attended the onset of face-specific processing is delayed until the latency range of the N170. PMID:23017595

  6. Attention and prediction in human audition: a lesson from cognitive psychophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Schröger, Erich; Marzecová, Anna; SanMiguel, Iria

    2015-01-01

    Attention is a hypothetical mechanism in the service of perception that facilitates the processing of relevant information and inhibits the processing of irrelevant information. Prediction is a hypothetical mechanism in the service of perception that considers prior information when interpreting the sensorial input. Although both (attention and prediction) aid perception, they are rarely considered together. Auditory attention typically yields enhanced brain activity, whereas auditory prediction often results in attenuated brain responses. However, when strongly predicted sounds are omitted, brain responses to silence resemble those elicited by sounds. Studies jointly investigating attention and prediction revealed that these different mechanisms may interact, e.g. attention may magnify the processing differences between predicted and unpredicted sounds. Following the predictive coding theory, we suggest that prediction relates to predictions sent down from predictive models housed in higher levels of the processing hierarchy to lower levels and attention refers to gain modulation of the prediction error signal sent up to the higher level. As predictions encode contents and confidence in the sensory data, and as gain can be modulated by the intention of the listener and by the predictability of the input, various possibilities for interactions between attention and prediction can be unfolded. From this perspective, the traditional distinction between bottom-up/exogenous and top-down/endogenous driven attention can be revisited and the classic concepts of attentional gain and attentional trace can be integrated. PMID:25728182

  7. Endogenous attention modulates attentional and motor interference from distractors: evidence from behavioral and electrophysiological results

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Arévalo, Elisa; Lupiáñez, Juan; Botta, Fabiano; Chica, Ana B.

    2015-01-01

    Selective visual attention enhances the processing of relevant stimuli and filters out irrelevant stimuli and/or distractors. However, irrelevant information is sometimes processed, as demonstrated by the Simon effect (Simon and Rudell, 1967). We examined whether fully irrelevant distractors (task and target-irrelevant) produce interference (measured as the Simon effect), and whether endogenous orienting modulated this interference. Despite being fully irrelevant, distractors were attentionally coded (as reflected by the distractor-related N2pc component), and interfered with the processing of the target response (as reflected by the target-related lateralized readiness potential component). Distractors’ attentional capture depended on endogenous attention, and their interference with target responses was modulated by both endogenous attention and distractor location repetition. These results demonstrate both endogenous attentional and motor modulations over the Simon effect produced by fully irrelevant distractors. PMID:25750629

  8. Attentional Modulation of the Mere Exposure Effect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yagi, Yoshihiko; Ikoma, Shinobu; Kikuchi, Tadashi

    2009-01-01

    The "mere exposure effect" refers to the phenomenon where previous exposures to stimuli increase participants' subsequent affective preference for those stimuli. This study explored the effect of selective attention on the mere exposure effect. The experiments manipulated the to-be-attended drawings in the exposure period (either red or green…

  9. Components of Attention Modulated by Temporal Expectation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus

    2015-01-01

    By varying the probabilities that a stimulus would appear at particular times after the presentation of a cue and modeling the data by the theory of visual attention (Bundesen, 1990), Vangkilde, Coull, and Bundesen (2012) provided evidence that the speed of encoding a singly presented stimulus letter into visual short-term memory (VSTM) is…

  10. Feature-based attention modulates surround suppression

    PubMed Central

    Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Murray, Scott O.

    2015-01-01

    Stimuli appearing in the surround of the classical receptive field (CRF) can reduce neuronal firing and perceived contrast of a preferred stimulus in the CRF, a phenomenon referred to as surround suppression. Suppression is greatest when the surrounding stimulus has the same orientation and spatial frequency (SF) as the central target. Although spatial attention has been shown to influence surround suppression, the effects of feature-based attention have yet to be characterized. Using behavioral contrast adaptation in humans, we examined center-surround interactions between SF and orientation, and asked whether attending to one feature dimension versus the other influenced suppression. A center-surround triplet comprised of a central target Gabor and two flanking Gabors were used for adaptation. The flankers could have the same SF and orientation as the target, or differ in one or both of the feature dimensions. Contrast thresholds were measured for the target before and after adapting to center-surround triplets, and postadaptation thresholds were taken as an indirect measure of surround suppression. Both feature dimensions contributed to surround suppression and did not summate. Moreover, when center and surround had the same feature value in one dimension (e.g., same orientation) but had different values in the other dimension (e.g., different SF), there was more suppression when attention was directed to the feature dimension that matched between center and surround than when attention was directed to the feature dimension that differed. These results demonstrate that feature-based attention can influence center-surround interactions by enhancing the effects of the attended dimension. PMID:25630380

  11. Modulation of visual attention by object affordance.

    PubMed

    Garrido-Vásquez, Patricia; Schubö, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Some objects in our environment are strongly tied to motor actions, a phenomenon called object affordance. A cup, for example, affords us to reach out to it and grasp it by its handle. Studies indicate that merely viewing an affording object triggers motor activations in the brain. The present study investigated whether object affordance would also result in an attention bias, that is, whether observers would rather attend to graspable objects within reach compared to non-graspable but reachable objects or to graspable objects out of reach. To this end, we conducted a combined reaction time and motion tracking study with a table in a virtual three-dimensional space. Two objects were positioned on the table, one near, the other one far from the observer. In each trial, two graspable objects, two non-graspable objects, or a combination of both was presented. Participants were instructed to detect a probe appearing on one of the objects as quickly as possible. Detection times served as indirect measure of attention allocation. The motor association with the graspable object was additionally enhanced by having participants grasp a real object in some of the trials. We hypothesized that visual attention would be preferentially allocated to the near graspable object, which should be reflected in reduced reaction times in this condition. Our results confirm this assumption: probe detection was fastest at the graspable object at the near position compared to the far position or to a non-graspable object. A follow-up experiment revealed that in addition to object affordance per se, immediate graspability of an affording object may also influence this near-space advantage. Our results suggest that visuospatial attention is preferentially allocated to affording objects which are immediately graspable, and thus establish a strong link between an object' s motor affordance and visual attention. PMID:24567725

  12. Observing Shared Attention Modulates Gaze Following

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2011-01-01

    Humans' tendency to follow others' gaze is considered to be rather resistant to top-down influences. However, recent evidence indicates that gaze following depends on prior eye contact with the observed agent. Does observing two people engaging in eye contact also modulate gaze following? Participants observed two faces looking at each other or…

  13. Target Predictability, Sustained Attention, and Response Inhibition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Leonie; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.

    2013-01-01

    We examined whether the sustained attention to response task is a better measure of response inhibition or sustained attention. Participants performed a number detection task for 37.3 min using either a Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; high Go low No-Go) or a more traditionally formatted vigilance task (TFT; high No-Go low Go) response…

  14. Individual differences in attentional modulation of cortical responses correlate with selective attention performance.

    PubMed

    Choi, Inyong; Wang, Le; Bharadwaj, Hari; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara

    2014-08-01

    Many studies have shown that attention modulates the cortical representation of an auditory scene, emphasizing an attended source while suppressing competing sources. Yet, individual differences in the strength of this attentional modulation and their relationship with selective attention ability are poorly understood. Here, we ask whether differences in how strongly attention modulates cortical responses reflect differences in normal-hearing listeners' selective auditory attention ability. We asked listeners to attend to one of three competing melodies and identify its pitch contour while we measured cortical electroencephalographic responses. The three melodies were either from widely separated pitch ranges ("easy trials"), or from a narrow, overlapping pitch range ("hard trials"). The melodies started at slightly different times; listeners attended either the leading or lagging melody. Because of the timing of the onsets, the leading melody drew attention exogenously. In contrast, attending the lagging melody required listeners to direct top-down attention volitionally. We quantified how attention amplified auditory N1 response to the attended melody and found large individual differences in the N1 amplification, even though only correctly answered trials were used to quantify the ERP gain. Importantly, listeners with the strongest amplification of N1 response to the lagging melody in the easy trials were the best performers across other types of trials. Our results raise the possibility that individual differences in the strength of top-down gain control reflect inherent differences in the ability to control top-down attention. PMID:24821552

  15. Attentional Modulation and Selection – An Integrated Approach

    PubMed Central

    Rothenstein, Albert L.; Tsotsos, John K.

    2014-01-01

    Various models of the neural mechanisms of attentional modulation in the visual cortex have been proposed. In general, these models assume that an ‘attention’ parameter is provided separately. Its value as well as the selection of neuron(s) to which it applies are assumed, but its source and the selection mechanism are unspecified. Here we show how the Selective Tuning model of visual attention can account for the modulation of the firing rate at the single neuron level, and for the temporal pattern of attentional modulations in the visual cortex, in a self-contained formulation that simultaneously determines the stimulus elements to be attended while modulating the relevant neural processes. PMID:24963827

  16. Module coupling and predictability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knopf, B.; Held, H.

    2003-04-01

    Successive coupling of several nonlinear submodules seems to be the implicit master strategy of the current world-wide modelling endeavour. The process of coupling is investigated by using different methods of examining low order coupled atmosphere-ocean systems. As a first step, a coupled atmosphere-ocean system, based on the Lorenz84 atmosphere is considered, operated in a forced versus the truly coupled mode. In [1] it is shown that forcing cannot emulate the fully coupled system, yet quite the contrary, generates time series of intermittently high predictability ("locking"). Standard linear stability analysis is incapable to explain the locking phenomenon. While regions of linear asymptotic stability can be evaluated, it turns out that this criterion is too conservative and does not explain the standard locking situation, as the trajectory periodically leaves the region of stability during a locking phase. We therefore propose that the locking phenomenon needs to be analysed in the framework of non-linear dynamics. Preliminary analysis of the statistic of locking-periods displays a similarity to type III intermittency. Bifurcation diagrams obtained from the continuation software AUTO indicate a rich phase space structure which makes the interpretation of the locking phenomenon intricate. Systematic variation of coupling constants appears to be a promising task as the key effects could be followed into parameter regimes of more transparent phase space structure. begin{thebibliography}{0} bibitem{Wittenberg98}A. T. Wittenberg, J. L. Anderson. Dynamical implications of prescribing part of a coupled system: Results from a low order model. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 5: 167-179, 1998.

  17. Degraded attentional modulation of cortical neural populations in strabismic amblyopia.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chuan; Kim, Yee-Joon; Lai, Xin Jie; Verghese, Preeti

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral studies have reported reduced spatial attention in amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision. However, the neural populations in the visual cortex linked with these behavioral spatial attention deficits have not been identified. Here, we use functional MRI-informed electroencephalography source imaging to measure the effect of attention on neural population activity in the visual cortex of human adult strabismic amblyopes who were stereoblind. We show that compared with controls, the modulatory effects of selective visual attention on the input from the amblyopic eye are substantially reduced in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as in extrastriate visual areas hV4 and hMT+. Degraded attentional modulation is also found in the normal-acuity fellow eye in areas hV4 and hMT+ but not in V1. These results provide electrophysiological evidence that abnormal binocular input during a developmental critical period may impact cortical connections between the visual cortex and higher level cortices beyond the known amblyopic losses in V1 and V2, suggesting that a deficit of attentional modulation in the visual cortex is an important component of the functional impairment in amblyopia. Furthermore, we find that degraded attentional modulation in V1 is correlated with the magnitude of interocular suppression and the depth of amblyopia. These results support the view that the visual suppression often seen in strabismic amblyopia might be a form of attentional neglect of the visual input to the amblyopic eye. PMID:26885628

  18. Degraded attentional modulation of cortical neural populations in strabismic amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Chuan; Kim, Yee-Joon; Lai, Xin Jie; Verghese, Preeti

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral studies have reported reduced spatial attention in amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision. However, the neural populations in the visual cortex linked with these behavioral spatial attention deficits have not been identified. Here, we use functional MRI–informed electroencephalography source imaging to measure the effect of attention on neural population activity in the visual cortex of human adult strabismic amblyopes who were stereoblind. We show that compared with controls, the modulatory effects of selective visual attention on the input from the amblyopic eye are substantially reduced in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as in extrastriate visual areas hV4 and hMT+. Degraded attentional modulation is also found in the normal-acuity fellow eye in areas hV4 and hMT+ but not in V1. These results provide electrophysiological evidence that abnormal binocular input during a developmental critical period may impact cortical connections between the visual cortex and higher level cortices beyond the known amblyopic losses in V1 and V2, suggesting that a deficit of attentional modulation in the visual cortex is an important component of the functional impairment in amblyopia. Furthermore, we find that degraded attentional modulation in V1 is correlated with the magnitude of interocular suppression and the depth of amblyopia. These results support the view that the visual suppression often seen in strabismic amblyopia might be a form of attentional neglect of the visual input to the amblyopic eye. PMID:26885628

  19. Social comparison modulates reward-driven attentional capture.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Jun; Du, Feng; He, Xiaosong; Zhang, Kan

    2015-10-01

    It is well established that attention can be captured by task irrelevant and non-salient objects associated with value through reward learning. However, it is unknown whether social comparison influences reward-driven attentional capture. The present study created four social contexts to examine whether different social comparisons modulate the reward-driven capture of attention. The results showed that reward-driven attentional capture varied with different social comparison conditions. Most prominently, reward-driven attentional capture is dramatically reduced in the disadvantageous social comparison context, in which an individual is informed that the other participant is earning more monetary reward for performing the same task. These findings suggest that social comparison can affect the reward-driven capture of attention. PMID:25711184

  20. Emotional modulation of the attentional blink is awareness-dependent.

    PubMed

    Qian, Wenli; Meng, Qianli; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Ke

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that emotion can modulate attentional processes. Previous studies have shown that even under restricted awareness, emotional facial expressions (especially threat-related) can guide the direction of spatial attention. However, it remains unclear whether emotional facial expressions under restricted awareness can affect temporal attention. To address this issue, we used a modified attentional blink (AB) paradigm in which masked (Experiment 1) or unmasked (Experiment 2) emotional faces (fearful or neutral) were presented before the AB sequence. We found that, in comparison with neutral faces, masked fearful faces significantly decreased the AB magnitude (Experiment 1), whereas unmasked fearful faces significantly increased the AB magnitude (Experiment 2). These results indicate that effects of emotional expression on the AB are modulated by the level of awareness. PMID:23029507

  1. Emotional Modulation of the Attentional Blink Is Awareness-Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Wenli; Meng, Qianli; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Ke

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that emotion can modulate attentional processes. Previous studies have shown that even under restricted awareness, emotional facial expressions (especially threat-related) can guide the direction of spatial attention. However, it remains unclear whether emotional facial expressions under restricted awareness can affect temporal attention. To address this issue, we used a modified attentional blink (AB) paradigm in which masked (Experiment 1) or unmasked (Experiment 2) emotional faces (fearful or neutral) were presented before the AB sequence. We found that, in comparison with neutral faces, masked fearful faces significantly decreased the AB magnitude (Experiment 1), whereas unmasked fearful faces significantly increased the AB magnitude (Experiment 2). These results indicate that effects of emotional expression on the AB are modulated by the level of awareness. PMID:23029507

  2. Attention modulation of stimulus rivalry under swapping paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Doualot, Audrey; Simard, Mathieu; Saint-Amour, Dave

    2014-01-01

    Stimulus rivalry refers to the sustained periods of perceptual dominance that occur when different visual stimuli are swapped at a regular rate between eyes. This phenomenon is thought to involve mainly eye-independent mechanisms. Although several studies have reported that attention can increase image predominance in conventional binocular rivalry, it is unknown whether attention can specifically modulate stimulus rivalry. We addressed this question and manipulated the spatial characteristic of the stimuli to assess whether such an attention modulation could depend on visual processing hierarchy. The results showed that selective attention of stimulus rivalry significantly increased the predominance of the attended stimulus, regardless of the stimulus' spatial characteristics. No effect was observed on the swapping percept. The findings are discussed in the context of recent models attempting to characterize stimulus rivalry between eye-dependent and eye-independent levels. PMID:25469220

  3. Deficient attention modulation of lateralized alpha power in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kustermann, Thomas; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Kienle, Johanna; Miller, Gregory A; Popov, Tzvetan

    2016-06-01

    Modulation of 8-14 Hz (alpha) activity in posterior brain regions is associated with covert attention deployment in visuospatial tasks. Alpha power decrease contralateral to to-be-attended stimuli is believed to foster subsequent processing, such as retention of task-relevant input. Degradation of this alpha-regulation mechanism may reflect an early stage of disturbed attention regulation contributing to impaired attention and working memory commonly found in schizophrenia. The present study tested this hypothesis of early disturbed attention regulation by examining alpha power modulation in a lateralized cued delayed response task in 14 schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 25 healthy controls (HC). Participants were instructed to remember the location of a 100-ms saccade-target cue in the left or right visual hemifield in order to perform a delayed saccade to that location after a retention interval. As expected, alpha power decrease during the retention interval was larger in contralateral than ipsilateral posterior regions, and SZ showed less of this lateralization than did HC. In particular, SZ failed to show hemifield-specific alpha modulation in posterior right hemisphere. Results suggest less efficient modulation of alpha oscillations that are considered critical for attention deployment and item encoding and, hence, may affect subsequent spatial working memory performance. PMID:26854181

  4. Attentional Bias Predicts Outcome in Smoking Cessation

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Andrew J.; Shiffman, Saul; Sayette, Michael A.; Paty, Jean A.; Gwaltney, Chad J.; Balabanis, Mark H.

    2007-01-01

    Most attempts to quit smoking end in failure, with many quitters relapsing in the first few days. Responses to smoking-related cues may precipitate relapse. A modified emotional Stroop task—which measures the extent to which smoking-related words disrupt performance on a reaction time (RT) task—was used to index the distracting effects of smoking-related cues. Smokers (N = 158) randomized to a high-dose nicotine patch (35 mg) or placebo patch completed the Stroop task on the 1st day of a quit attempt. Smokers using an active patch exhibited less attentional bias, making fewer errors on smoking-related words. Smokers who showed greater attentional bias (slowed RT on the first block of smoking words) were significantly more likely to lapse in the short-term, even when controlling for self-reported urges at the test session. Attentional bias measures may tap an important component of dependence. PMID:12940394

  5. Sustained Attention at Age 5 Predicts Attention-Related Problems at Age 9

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Anne; Razza, Rachel A.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

    2012-01-01

    This study tested whether two aspects of sustained attention (focused attention and lack of impulsivity) measured at child age 5 predicted attention problems reported by mothers and teachers at age 9. Because lack of impulsivity reflects the executive control network, and ADHD is commonly characterized as a deficit in executive function, it was…

  6. Evidence against attentional state modulating scalp-recorded auditory brainstem steady-state responses.

    PubMed

    Varghese, Leonard; Bharadwaj, Hari M; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2015-11-11

    Auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and their steady-state counterpart (subcortical steady-state responses, SSSRs) are generally thought to be insensitive to cognitive demands. However, a handful of studies report that SSSRs are modulated depending on the subject׳s focus of attention, either towards or away from an auditory stimulus. Here, we explored whether attentional focus affects the envelope-following response (EFR), which is a particular kind of SSSR, and if so, whether the effects are specific to which sound elements in a sound mixture a subject is attending (selective auditory attentional modulation), specific to attended sensory input (inter-modal attentional modulation), or insensitive to attentional focus. We compared the strength of EFR-stimulus phase locking in human listeners under various tasks: listening to a monaural stimulus, selectively attending to a particular ear during dichotic stimulus presentation, and attending to visual stimuli while ignoring dichotic auditory inputs. We observed no systematic changes in the EFR across experimental manipulations, even though cortical EEG revealed attention-related modulations of alpha activity during the task. We conclude that attentional effects, if any, on human subcortical representation of sounds cannot be observed robustly using EFRs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention. PMID:26187756

  7. Attentional bias toward safety predicts safety behaviors.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yaoshan; Li, Yongjuan; Wang, Guangxi; Yuan, Xiao; Ding, Weidong; Shen, Zhongxiang

    2014-10-01

    Safety studies have primarily focused on how explicit processes and measures affect safety behavior and subsequent accidents and injuries. Recently, safety researchers have paid greater attention to the role of implicit processes. Our research focuses on the role of attentional bias toward safety (ABS) in workplace safety. ABS is a basic, early-stage cognitive process involving the automatic and selective allocation of attentional resources toward safety cues, which reflect the implicit motivational state of employees regarding safety goal. In this study, we used two reaction time-based paradigms to measure the ABS of employees in three studies: two modified Stroop tasks (Studies 1 and 2) and a visual dot-probe task (Study 3). Results revealed that employees with better safety behavior showed significant ABS (Study 2), and greater ABS than employees with poorer safety behavior (Studies 1 and 2). Moreover, ABS was positively associated with the perceived safety climate and safety motivation of employees, both of which mediate the effect of ABS on safety behavior (Study 3). These results contributed to a deeper understanding of how early-stage automatic perceptual processing affects safety behavior. The practical implications of these results were also discussed. PMID:24922613

  8. Attentional Modulation of Perceptual Comparison for Feature Binding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Rotshtein, Pia; Yeh, Yei-Yu

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the neural correlates of attentional modulation in the perceptual comparison process for detecting feature-binding changes in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment. Participants performed a variant of a cued change detection task. They viewed a memory array, a spatial retro-cue, and later a probe…

  9. Top-down modulation: Bridging selective attention and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Gazzaley, Adam; Nobre, Anna C.

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention, the ability to focus our cognitive resources on information relevant to our goals, influences working memory (WM) performance. Indeed, attention and working memory are increasingly viewed as overlapping constructs. Here, we review recent evidence from human neurophysiological studies demonstrating that top-down modulation serves as a common neural mechanism underlying these two cognitive operations. The core features include activity modulation in stimulus-selective sensory cortices with concurrent engagement of prefrontal and parietal control regions that function as sources of top-down signals. Notably, top-down modulation is engaged during both stimulus-present and stimulus-absent stages of WM tasks, i.e., expectation of an ensuing stimulus to be remembered, selection and encoding of stimuli, maintenance of relevant information in mind and memory retrieval. PMID:22209601

  10. How does visuospatial attention modulate motor preparation during gait initiation?

    PubMed

    Tard, Céline; Dujardin, Kathy; Girard, Amandine; Debaughrien, Marion; Derambure, Philippe; Defebvre, Luc; Delval, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Gait initiation is an automatized motor program that is preceded by anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs). These adjustments create the propulsive forces required to reach the steady-state gait at the end of the first step and can be studied by the displacement of the centre of pressure. The objective of this study was to demonstrate that APAs can be modulated by visuospatial attentional processes prior to motor execution. An adaptation of the Posner paradigm was used to assess attention during step initiation. Twelve healthy subjects performed a gait initiation task under three conditions: a no-cue condition (the control experiment), a double-cue condition (alerting attention) and a single-cue condition (orienting attention). The kinetic and kinematic parameters of the APAs and step initiation were recorded. The time to step initiation was significantly shorter in the alerting condition than in the control condition. This effect was associated with the earlier occurrence of APAs. Orienting condition also had an effect and was associated with the modulation of APA errors (defined as a contralateral shift of the CoP on the cue side before corrective shifting to the target side). Behavioural measurements (such as postural preparation of step initiation) may reflect the interaction between attention and locomotion. Our results show that the different components of attention each have a specific influence on step initiation parameters. PMID:26358126

  11. Strategic allocation of attention reduces temporally predictable stimulus conflict

    PubMed Central

    Appelbaum, L. Gregory; Boehler, Carsten N.; Won, Robert; Davis, Lauren; Woldorff, Marty G.

    2013-01-01

    Humans are able to continuously monitor environmental situations and adjust their behavioral strategies to optimize performance. Here we investigate the behavioral and brain adjustments that occur when conflicting stimulus elements are, or are not, temporally predictable. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were collected while manual-response variants of the Stroop task were performed in which the stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) between the relevant-color and irrelevant-word stimulus components were either randomly intermixed, or held constant, within each experimental run. Results indicated that the size of both the neural and behavioral effects of stimulus incongruency varied with the temporal arrangement of the stimulus components, such that the random-SOA arrangements produced the greatest incongruency effects at the earliest irrelevant-first SOA (−200 ms) and the constant-SOA arrangements produced the greatest effects with simultaneous presentation. These differences in conflict processing were accompanied by rapid (~150 ms) modulations of the sensory ERPs to the irrelevant distracter components when they occurred consistently first. These effects suggest that individuals are able to strategically allocate attention in time to mitigate the influence of a temporally predictable distracter. As these adjustments are instantiated by the subjects without instruction, they reveal a form of rapid strategic learning for dealing with temporally predictable stimulus incongruency. PMID:22360623

  12. Distribution of attention modulates salience signals in early visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Mulckhuyse, Manon; Belopolsky, Artem V; Heslenfeld, Dirk; Talsma, Durk; Theeuwes, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has shown that the extent to which people spread attention across the visual field plays a crucial role in visual selection and the occurrence of bottom-up driven attentional capture. Consistent with previous findings, we show that when attention was diffusely distributed across the visual field while searching for a shape singleton, an irrelevant salient color singleton captured attention. However, while using the very same displays and task, no capture was observed when observers initially focused their attention at the center of the display. Using event-related fMRI, we examined the modulation of retinotopic activity related to attentional capture in early visual areas. Because the sensory display characteristics were identical in both conditions, we were able to isolate the brain activity associated with exogenous attentional capture. The results show that spreading of attention leads to increased bottom-up exogenous capture and increased activity in visual area V3 but not in V2 and V1. PMID:21637812

  13. An Evaluation of the Response Modulation Hypothesis in Relation to Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farmer, Richard F.; Rucklidge, Julia J.

    2006-01-01

    Several hypotheses related to Newman's (e.g., Patterson & Newman, 1993) response modulation hypothesis were examined among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 18) and normal controls (n = 23). Consistent with predictions, youth with ADHD committed more passive avoidance errors (PAEs) than controls during the latter…

  14. Category-selective attention modulates unconscious processes in the middle occipital gyrus.

    PubMed

    Tu, Shen; Qiu, Jiang; Martens, Ulla; Zhang, Qinglin

    2013-06-01

    Many studies have revealed the top-down modulation (spatial attention, attentional load, etc.) on unconscious processing. However, there is little research about how category-selective attention could modulate the unconscious processing. In the present study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the results showed that category-selective attention modulated unconscious face/tool processing in the middle occipital gyrus (MOG). Interestingly, MOG effects were of opposed direction for face and tool processes. During unconscious face processing, activation in MOG decreased under the face-selective attention compared with tool-selective attention. This result was in line with the predictive coding theory. During unconscious tool processing, however, activation in MOG increased under the tool-selective attention compared with face-selective attention. The different effects might be ascribed to an interaction between top-down category-selective processes and bottom-up processes in the partial awareness level as proposed by Kouider, De Gardelle, Sackur, and Dupoux (2010). Specifically, we suppose an "excessive activation" hypothesis. PMID:23518233

  15. The Interplay of Attention and Emotion: Top-down Attention Modulates Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Christine L.; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Stout, Daniel M.; Balderston, Nicholas L.; Curtin, John J.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence demonstrates that fear potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention but, to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala, or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopathy-related differences in amygdala activation appear and disappear as a function of goal-directed attention. Specifically, decreased amygdala activity was observed in psychopathic offenders only when attention was engaged in an alternative goal-relevant task prior to presenting threat-relevant information. Under this condition, psychopaths also exhibited greater activation in selective attention regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) than non-psychopaths, and this increased LPFC activation mediated psychopathy’s association with decreased amygdala activation. In contrast, when explicitly attending to threat, amygdala activation in psychopaths did not differ from non-psychopaths. This pattern of amygdala activation highlights the potential role of LPFC in mediating the failure of psychopathic individuals to process fear and other important information when it is peripheral to the primary focus of goal-directed attention. PMID:23712665

  16. Attention modulates beta oscillations during prolonged tactile stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Bardouille, T.; Picton, T. W.; Ross, B.

    2016-01-01

    The inter-play between changes in beta-band (14–30-Hz) cortical rhythms and attention during somatosensation informs us about where and when relevant processes occur in the brain. As such, we investigated the effects of attention on somatosensory evoked and induced responses using vibrotactile stimulation and magnetoencephalographic recording. Subjects received trains of vibration at 23 Hz to the right index finger while watching a movie and ignoring the somatosensory stimuli or paying attention to the stimuli to detect a change in the duration of the stimulus. The amplitude of the evoked 23-Hz steady-state response in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI) was enhanced by attention and the underlying dipole source was located 2 mm more medially, indicating top-down recruitment of additional neuronal populations for the functionally relevant stimulus. Attentional modulation of the somatosensory evoked response indicates facilitation of early processing of the tactile stimulus. Beta-band activity increased after vibration offset in the contralateral primary motor cortex (MI) [event-related synchronization (ERS)] and this increase was larger for attended than ignored stimuli. Beta-band activity decreased in the ipsilateral SI prior to stimulus offset [event-related desynchronization (ERD)] for attended stimuli only. Whereas attention modulation of the evoked response was confined to the contralateral SI, event-related changes of beta-band activity involved contralateral SI–MI and inter-hemispheric SI–SI connections. Modulation of neural activity in such a large sensorimotor network indicates a role for beta activity in higher-order processing. PMID:20384818

  17. The time course of attentional modulation on emotional conflict processing.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Pingyan; Yang, Guochun; Nan, Weizhi; Liu, Xun

    2016-06-01

    Cognitive conflict resolution is critical to human survival in a rapidly changing environment. However, emotional conflict processing seems to be particularly important for human interactions. This study examined whether the time course of attentional modulation on emotional conflict processing was different from cognitive conflict processing during a flanker task. Results showed that emotional N200 and P300 effects, similar to colour conflict processing, appeared only during the relevant task. However, the emotional N200 effect preceded the colour N200 effect, indicating that emotional conflict can be identified earlier than cognitive conflict. Additionally, a significant emotional N100 effect revealed that emotional valence differences could be perceived during early processing based on rough aspects of input. The present data suggest that emotional conflict processing is modulated by top-down attention, similar to cognitive conflict processing (reflected by N200 and P300 effects). However, emotional conflict processing seems to have more time advantages during two different processing stages. PMID:25809920

  18. Object-based attentional selection modulates anticipatory alpha oscillations.

    PubMed

    Knakker, Balázs; Weiss, Béla; Vidnyánszky, Zoltán

    2014-01-01

    Visual cortical alpha oscillations are involved in attentional gating of incoming visual information. It has been shown that spatial and feature-based attentional selection result in increased alpha oscillations over the cortical regions representing sensory input originating from the unattended visual field and task-irrelevant visual features, respectively. However, whether attentional gating in the case of object based selection is also associated with alpha oscillations has not been investigated before. Here we measured anticipatory electroencephalography (EEG) alpha oscillations while participants were cued to attend to foveal face or word stimuli, the processing of which is known to have right and left hemispheric lateralization, respectively. The results revealed that in the case of simultaneously displayed, overlapping face and word stimuli, attending to the words led to increased power of parieto-occipital alpha oscillations over the right hemisphere as compared to when faces were attended. This object category-specific modulation of the hemispheric lateralization of anticipatory alpha oscillations was maintained during sustained attentional selection of sequentially presented face and word stimuli. These results imply that in the case of object-based attentional selection-similarly to spatial and feature-based attention-gating of visual information processing might involve visual cortical alpha oscillations. PMID:25628554

  19. Surprise? Early visual novelty processing is not modulated by attention

    PubMed Central

    Tarbi, Elise C.; Sun, Xue; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Daffner, Kirk R.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of direction of attention on the early detection of visual novelty, as indexed by the anterior N2. The anterior N2 was measured in young subjects (n=32) under an Attend and Ignore condition. Subjects were presented standard, target/rare, and perceptually novel visual stimuli under both conditions, but under the Ignore condition, attention was directed towards an auditory n-back task. The size of the anterior N2 to novel stimuli did not differ between conditions and was significantly larger than the anterior N2 to all other stimulus types. Furthermore, under the Ignore condition, the anterior N2 to visual novel stimuli was not affected by the level of difficulty of the auditory n-back task (3-back vs. 2-back). Our findings suggest that the early processing of visual novelty, as measured by the size of the anterior N2, is not strongly modulated by direction of attention. PMID:20880260

  20. Lateralization in Alpha-Band Oscillations Predicts the Locus and Spatial Distribution of Attention.

    PubMed

    Ikkai, Akiko; Dandekar, Sangita; Curtis, Clayton E

    2016-01-01

    Attending to a task-relevant location changes how neural activity oscillates in the alpha band (8-13Hz) in posterior visual cortical areas. However, a clear understanding of the relationships between top-down attention, changes in alpha oscillations in visual cortex, and attention performance are still poorly understood. Here, we tested the degree to which the posterior alpha power tracked the locus of attention, the distribution of attention, and how well the topography of alpha could predict the locus of attention. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data while subjects performed an attention demanding visual discrimination task that dissociated the direction of attention from the direction of a saccade to indicate choice. On some trials, an endogenous cue predicted the target's location, while on others it contained no spatial information. When the target's location was cued, alpha power decreased in sensors over occipital cortex contralateral to the attended visual field. When the cue did not predict the target's location, alpha power again decreased in sensors over occipital cortex, but bilaterally, and increased in sensors over frontal cortex. Thus, the distribution and the topography of alpha reliably indicated the locus of covert attention. Together, these results suggest that alpha synchronization reflects changes in the excitability of populations of neurons whose receptive fields match the locus of attention. This is consistent with the hypothesis that alpha oscillations reflect the neural mechanisms by which top-down control of attention biases information processing and modulate the activity of neurons in visual cortex. PMID:27144717

  1. The modulation of spatial congruency by object-based attention: analysing the "locus" of the modulation.

    PubMed

    Luo, Chunming; Lupiáñez, Juan; Funes, María Jesús; Fu, Xiaolan

    2011-12-01

    Earlier studies have demonstrated that spatial cueing differentially reduces stimulus-stimulus congruency (e.g., spatial Stroop) interference but not stimulus-response congruency (e.g., Simon; e.g., Lupiáñez & Funes, 2005). This spatial cueing modulation over spatial Stroop seems to be entirely attributable to object-based attention (e.g., Luo, Lupiáñez, Funes, & Fu, 2010). In the present study, two experiments were conducted to further explore whether the cueing modulation of spatial Stroop is object based and/or space based and to analyse the "locus" of this modulation. In Experiment 1, we found that the cueing modulation over spatial Stroop is entirely object based, independent of stimulus-response congruency. In Experiment 2, we observed that the modulation of object-based attention over the spatial Stroop only occurred at a short cue-target interval (i.e., stimulus onset asynchrony; SOA), whereas the stimulus-response congruency effect was not modulated either by object-based or by location-based attentional cueing. The overall pattern of results suggests that the spatial cueing modulation over spatial Stroop arises from object-based attention and occurs at the perceptual stage of processing. PMID:21923623

  2. Attentional Bias towards Positive Emotion Predicts Stress Resilience.

    PubMed

    Thoern, Hanna A; Grueschow, Marcus; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit

    2016-01-01

    There is extensive evidence for an association between an attentional bias towards emotionally negative stimuli and vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology. Less is known about whether selective attention towards emotionally positive stimuli relates to mental health and stress resilience. The current study used a modified Dot Probe task to investigate if individual differences in attentional biases towards either happy or angry emotional stimuli, or an interaction between these biases, are related to self-reported trait stress resilience. In a nonclinical sample (N = 43), we indexed attentional biases as individual differences in reaction time for stimuli preceded by either happy or angry (compared to neutral) face stimuli. Participants with greater attentional bias towards happy faces (but not angry faces) reported higher trait resilience. However, an attentional bias towards angry stimuli moderated this effect: The attentional bias towards happy faces was only predictive for resilience in those individuals who also endorsed an attentional bias towards angry stimuli. An attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli may thus be a protective factor contributing to stress resilience, specifically in those individuals who also endorse an attentional bias towards negative emotional stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest a novel target for prevention and treatment interventions addressing stress-related psychopathology. PMID:27008475

  3. Attentional Bias towards Positive Emotion Predicts Stress Resilience

    PubMed Central

    Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C.; Kleim, Birgit

    2016-01-01

    There is extensive evidence for an association between an attentional bias towards emotionally negative stimuli and vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology. Less is known about whether selective attention towards emotionally positive stimuli relates to mental health and stress resilience. The current study used a modified Dot Probe task to investigate if individual differences in attentional biases towards either happy or angry emotional stimuli, or an interaction between these biases, are related to self-reported trait stress resilience. In a nonclinical sample (N = 43), we indexed attentional biases as individual differences in reaction time for stimuli preceded by either happy or angry (compared to neutral) face stimuli. Participants with greater attentional bias towards happy faces (but not angry faces) reported higher trait resilience. However, an attentional bias towards angry stimuli moderated this effect: The attentional bias towards happy faces was only predictive for resilience in those individuals who also endorsed an attentional bias towards angry stimuli. An attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli may thus be a protective factor contributing to stress resilience, specifically in those individuals who also endorse an attentional bias towards negative emotional stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest a novel target for prevention and treatment interventions addressing stress-related psychopathology. PMID:27008475

  4. Dynamic filtering improves attentional state prediction with fNIRS.

    PubMed

    Harrivel, Angela R; Weissman, Daniel H; Noll, Douglas C; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J

    2016-03-01

    Brain activity can predict a person's level of engagement in an attentional task. However, estimates of brain activity are often confounded by measurement artifacts and systemic physiological noise. The optimal method for filtering this noise - thereby increasing such state prediction accuracy - remains unclear. To investigate this, we asked study participants to perform an attentional task while we monitored their brain activity with functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We observed higher state prediction accuracy when noise in the fNIRS hemoglobin [Hb] signals was filtered with a non-stationary (adaptive) model as compared to static regression (84% ± 6% versus 72% ± 15%). PMID:27231602

  5. Dynamic filtering improves attentional state prediction with fNIRS

    PubMed Central

    Harrivel, Angela R.; Weissman, Daniel H.; Noll, Douglas C.; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Brain activity can predict a person’s level of engagement in an attentional task. However, estimates of brain activity are often confounded by measurement artifacts and systemic physiological noise. The optimal method for filtering this noise – thereby increasing such state prediction accuracy – remains unclear. To investigate this, we asked study participants to perform an attentional task while we monitored their brain activity with functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We observed higher state prediction accuracy when noise in the fNIRS hemoglobin [Hb] signals was filtered with a non-stationary (adaptive) model as compared to static regression (84% ± 6% versus 72% ± 15%). PMID:27231602

  6. Eye Movements during Auditory Attention Predict Individual Differences in Dorsal Attention Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Braga, Rodrigo M.; Fu, Richard Z.; Seemungal, Barry M.; Wise, Richard J. S.; Leech, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The neural mechanisms supporting auditory attention are not fully understood. A dorsal frontoparietal network of brain regions is thought to mediate the spatial orienting of attention across all sensory modalities. Key parts of this network, the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the superior parietal lobes (SPL), contain retinotopic maps and elicit saccades when stimulated. This suggests that their recruitment during auditory attention might reflect crossmodal oculomotor processes; however this has not been confirmed experimentally. Here we investigate whether task-evoked eye movements during an auditory task can predict the magnitude of activity within the dorsal frontoparietal network. A spatial and non-spatial listening task was used with on-line eye-tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). No visual stimuli or cues were used. The auditory task elicited systematic eye movements, with saccade rate and gaze position predicting attentional engagement and the cued sound location, respectively. Activity associated with these separate aspects of evoked eye-movements dissociated between the SPL and FEF. However these observed eye movements could not account for all the activation in the frontoparietal network. Our results suggest that the recruitment of the SPL and FEF during attentive listening reflects, at least partly, overt crossmodal oculomotor processes during non-visual attention. Further work is needed to establish whether the network’s remaining contribution to auditory attention is through covert crossmodal processes, or is directly involved in the manipulation of auditory information. PMID:27242465

  7. The Predictive Brain State: Asynchrony in Disorders of Attention?

    PubMed Central

    Ghajar, Jamshid; Ivry, Richard B.

    2015-01-01

    It is postulated that a key function of attention in goal-oriented behavior is to reduce performance variability by generating anticipatory neural activity that can be synchronized with expected sensory information. A network encompassing the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobe, and cerebellum may be critical in the maintenance and timing of such predictive neural activity. Dysfunction of this temporal process may constitute a fundamental defect in attention, causing working memory problems, distractibility, and decreased awareness. PMID:19074688

  8. Flexible establishment of functional brain networks supports attentional modulation of unconscious cognition.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Martin; Adams, Sarah C; Kiefer, Markus

    2014-11-01

    In classical theories of attention, unconscious automatic processes are thought to be independent of higher-level attentional influences. Here, we propose that unconscious processing depends on attentional enhancement of task-congruent processing pathways implemented by a dynamic modulation of the functional communication between brain regions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we tested our model with a subliminally primed lexical decision task preceded by an induction task preparing either a semantic or a perceptual task set. Subliminal semantic priming was significantly greater after semantic compared to perceptual induction in ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) and inferior frontal cortex, brain areas known to be involved in semantic processing. The functional connectivity pattern of vOT varied depending on the induction task and successfully predicted the magnitude of behavioral and neural priming. Together, these findings support the proposal that dynamic establishment of functional networks by task sets is an important mechanism in the attentional control of unconscious processing. PMID:24954512

  9. Attentional Bias toward Suicide-Related Stimuli Predicts Suicidal Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Cha, Christine B.; Najmi, Sadia; Park, Jennifer M.; Finn, Christine T.; Nock, Matthew K.

    2010-01-01

    A long-standing challenge for scientific and clinical work on suicidal behavior is that people often are motivated to deny or conceal suicidal thoughts. We proposed that people considering suicide would possess an objectively measurable attentional bias toward suicide-related stimuli, and that this bias would predict future suicidal behavior. Participants were 124 adults presenting to a psychiatric emergency department who were administered a modified emotional Stroop task and followed for six months. Suicide attempters showed an attentional bias toward suicide-related words relative to neutral words, and this bias was strongest among those who had made a more recent attempt. Importantly, this suicide-specific attentional bias predicted which people made a suicide attempt over the next six months, above and beyond other clinical predictors. Attentional bias toward more general negatively-valenced words did not predict any suicide-related outcomes, supporting the specificity of the observed effect. These results suggest that suicide-specific attentional bias can serve as a behavioral marker for suicidal risk, and ultimately improve scientific and clinical work on suicide-related outcomes. PMID:20677851

  10. Infants' Joint Attention Skills Predict Toddlers' Emerging Mental State Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kristen, Susanne; Sodian, Beate; Thoermer, Claudia; Perst, Hannah

    2011-01-01

    To assess predictive relations between joint attention skills, intention understanding, and mental state vocabulary, 88 children were tested with measures of comprehension of gaze and referential pointing, as well as the production of declarative gestures and the comprehension and production of imperative gestures, at the ages of 7-18 months.…

  11. Anxiety modulates the effects of emotion and attention on early vision.

    PubMed

    Ferneyhough, Emma; Kim, Min K; Phelps, Elizabeth A; Carrasco, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    At attended locations emotion and attention interact to benefit contrast sensitivity, a basic visual dimension. Whether there are associated costs at unattended locations is unknown. Furthermore, emotion and attention affect response time, and anxiety modulates these effects. We investigated how trait-anxiety influences the interaction of emotion and attention on contrast sensitivity. On each trial, non-predictive pre-cues (neutral or fearful faces) directed exogenous attention to four contrast-varying, tilted stimuli (Gabor patches). Attention was cued toward the target (valid), a distracter (invalid), or distributed over all locations. Observers discriminated target orientation, and completed self-report measures of anxiety. Effects of fearful expressions were mediated by trait anxiety. Only high-trait-anxious individuals showed decreased target contrast sensitivity after attention was diverted to a distracter by a fearful cue, and anxiety score correlated with degree of impairment across participants. This indicates that increasing anxiety exacerbates threat-related attentional costs to visual perception, hampering processing at non-threat-related locations. PMID:22784014

  12. Attention effects on vicarious modulation of nociception and pain.

    PubMed

    Khatibi, Ali; Vachon-Presseau, Etienne; Schrooten, Martien; Vlaeyen, Johan; Rainville, Pierre

    2014-10-01

    The observation of others' facial expressions of pain has been shown to facilitate the observer's nociceptive responses and to increase pain perception. We investigated how this vicarious facilitation effect is modulated by directing the observer's attention toward the meaning of pain expression or the facial movements. In separate trials, participants were instructed to assess the "intensity of the pain expression"(meaning) or to "discriminate the facial movements" in the upper vs lower part of the face shown in 1-second dynamic clips displaying mild, moderate, or strong pain expressions or a neutral control. In 50% of the trials, participants received a painful electrical stimulation to the sural nerve immediately after the presentation of the expression. Low-level nociceptive reactivity was measured with the RIII-response, and pain perception was assessed using pain ratings. Pain induced by the electrical stimulation increased after viewing stronger pain expressions in both tasks, but the RIII-response showed this vicarious facilitation effect only in the movement discrimination task at the strongest expression intensity. These findings are consistent with the notion that vicarious processes facilitate self-pain and may prime automatic nociceptive responses. However, this priming effect is influenced by top-down attentional processes. These results provide another case of dissociation between reflexive and perceptual processes, consistent with the involvement of partly separate brain networks in the regulation of cortical and lower-level nociceptive responses. Combined with previous results, these findings suggest that vicarious pain facilitation is an automatic process that may be diminished by top-down attentional processes directed at the meaning of the expression. PMID:25016217

  13. Attentional modulation of the carry over of eye-movements between tasks.

    PubMed

    Hills, Peter J; Thompson, Catherine; Jones, Scott P; Piech, Richard M; Painter, Lee; Pake, J Michael

    2016-06-01

    Task demands that influence scanning behaviour in one task can cause that behaviour to persist to a second unrelated task (carry over). This can also affect performance on a second task (e.g., hazard perception ratings), and has been attributed to a process of attentional bias that is modulated by top-down influences (Thompson & Crundall, 2011). In a series of experiments we explored how these top-down influences impact upon carry over. In all experiments, participants searched letters that were presented horizontally, vertically, or in a random array. They were then presented with a driving scene and rated the hazardousness of the scene. Carry over of eye-movements from the letter search to the scene was observed in all experiments. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that this carry over effect influenced hazard perception accuracy. The magnitude of carry over was correlated with task switching abilities, attentional conflicting, and attentional orienting (Experiment 1), and was affected by predictability of the primary task (Experiment 2). Furthermore, direct current stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and parietal areas affected the magnitude of the effect (Experiment 3). These results indicate that carry over is modulated by the specific ability to orient attention and disengage from this orientation. Over orienting leads to increased carry over and insufficient task switching is detrimental to task performance. As a result the current experiments provide evidence that the carry over effect is strongly influenced by attentional processes, namely orienting, inhibition, and task switching. PMID:27065011

  14. Lateralization in Alpha-Band Oscillations Predicts the Locus and Spatial Distribution of Attention

    PubMed Central

    Ikkai, Akiko; Dandekar, Sangita; Curtis, Clayton E.

    2016-01-01

    Attending to a task-relevant location changes how neural activity oscillates in the alpha band (8–13Hz) in posterior visual cortical areas. However, a clear understanding of the relationships between top-down attention, changes in alpha oscillations in visual cortex, and attention performance are still poorly understood. Here, we tested the degree to which the posterior alpha power tracked the locus of attention, the distribution of attention, and how well the topography of alpha could predict the locus of attention. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data while subjects performed an attention demanding visual discrimination task that dissociated the direction of attention from the direction of a saccade to indicate choice. On some trials, an endogenous cue predicted the target’s location, while on others it contained no spatial information. When the target’s location was cued, alpha power decreased in sensors over occipital cortex contralateral to the attended visual field. When the cue did not predict the target’s location, alpha power again decreased in sensors over occipital cortex, but bilaterally, and increased in sensors over frontal cortex. Thus, the distribution and the topography of alpha reliably indicated the locus of covert attention. Together, these results suggest that alpha synchronization reflects changes in the excitability of populations of neurons whose receptive fields match the locus of attention. This is consistent with the hypothesis that alpha oscillations reflect the neural mechanisms by which top-down control of attention biases information processing and modulate the activity of neurons in visual cortex. PMID:27144717

  15. Attention Modulates TMS-Locked Alpha Oscillations in the Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O

    2015-10-28

    Cortical oscillations, such as 8-12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive ("entrain") these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation. PMID:26511236

  16. Selective attention modulates early human evoked potentials during emotional face-voice processing.

    PubMed

    Ho, Hao Tam; Schröger, Erich; Kotz, Sonja A

    2015-04-01

    Recent findings on multisensory integration suggest that selective attention influences cross-sensory interactions from an early processing stage. Yet, in the field of emotional face-voice integration, the hypothesis prevails that facial and vocal emotional information interacts preattentively. Using ERPs, we investigated the influence of selective attention on the perception of congruent versus incongruent combinations of neutral and angry facial and vocal expressions. Attention was manipulated via four tasks that directed participants to (i) the facial expression, (ii) the vocal expression, (iii) the emotional congruence between the face and the voice, and (iv) the synchrony between lip movement and speech onset. Our results revealed early interactions between facial and vocal emotional expressions, manifested as modulations of the auditory N1 and P2 amplitude by incongruent emotional face-voice combinations. Although audiovisual emotional interactions within the N1 time window were affected by the attentional manipulations, interactions within the P2 modulation showed no such attentional influence. Thus, we propose that the N1 and P2 are functionally dissociated in terms of emotional face-voice processing and discuss evidence in support of the notion that the N1 is associated with cross-sensory prediction, whereas the P2 relates to the derivation of an emotional percept. Essentially, our findings put the integration of facial and vocal emotional expressions into a new perspective-one that regards the integration process as a composite of multiple, possibly independent subprocesses, some of which are susceptible to attentional modulation, whereas others may be influenced by additional factors. PMID:25269113

  17. Infant attention to intentional action predicts preschool theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Wellman, Henry M; Lopez-Duran, Sarah; LaBounty, Jennifer; Hamilton, Betsy

    2008-03-01

    This research examines whether there are continuities between infant social attention and later theory of mind. Forty-five children were studied as infants and then again as 4-year-olds. Measures of infant social attention (decrement of attention during habituation to displays of intentional action) significantly predicted later theory of mind (false-belief understanding). Possibly, this longitudinal association could have been explained by more general developments in IQ, verbal competence, or executive function (rather than continuities in the realm of social cognition). However, the association remained significant and undiminished even when IQ, verbal competence, and executive function were controlled. The findings thus provide strong support for an important continuity in social cognition separable from continuities in more general information processing. PMID:18331149

  18. Humans are sensitive to attention control when predicting others' actions.

    PubMed

    Pesquita, Ana; Chapman, Craig S; Enns, James T

    2016-08-01

    Studies of social perception report acute human sensitivity to where another's attention is aimed. Here we ask whether humans are also sensitive to how the other's attention is deployed. Observers viewed videos of actors reaching to targets without knowing that those actors were sometimes choosing to reach to one of the targets (endogenous control) and sometimes being directed to reach to one of the targets (exogenous control). Experiments 1 and 2 showed that observers could respond more rapidly when actors chose where to reach, yet were at chance when guessing whether the reach was chosen or directed. This implicit sensitivity to attention control held when either actor's faces or limbs were masked (experiment 3) and when only the earliest actor's movements were visible (experiment 4). Individual differences in sensitivity to choice correlated with an independent measure of social aptitude. We conclude that humans are sensitive to attention control through an implicit kinematic process linked to empathy. The findings support the hypothesis that social cognition involves the predictive modeling of others' attentional states. PMID:27436897

  19. Impairment in Emotional Modulation of Attention and Memory in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Walsh-Messinger, Julie; Ramirez, Paul Michael; Wong, Philip; Antonius, Daniel; Aujero, Nicole; McMahon, Kevin; Opler, Lewis A.; Malaspina, Dolores

    2014-01-01

    Emotion plays a critical role in cognition and goal-directed behavior via complex interconnections between the emotional and motivational systems. It has been hypothesized that the impairment in goal-directed behavior widely noted in schizophrenia may result from defects in the interaction between the neural (ventral) emotional system and (rostral) cortical processes. The present study examined the impact of emotion on attention and memory in schizophrenia. Twenty-five individuals with schizophrenia related psychosis and 25 healthy control subjects were administered a computerized task in which they were asked to search for target images during a rapid serial visual presentation of pictures. Target stimuli were either positive, negative, or neutral images presented at either 200ms or 700ms lag. Additionally, a visual hedonics task was used to assess differences between the schizophrenia group and controls on ratings of valence and arousal from the picture stimuli. Compared to controls, individuals with schizophrenia detected fewer emotional images under both the 200ms and 700ms lag conditions. Multivariate analyses showed that the schizophrenia group also detected fewer positive images under the 700 lag condition and fewer negative images under the 200 lag condition. Individuals with schizophrenia reported higher pleasantness and unpleasantness ratings than controls in response to neutral stimuli, while controls reported higher arousal ratings for neutral and positive stimuli compared to the schizophrenia group. These results highlight dysfunction in the neural modulation of emotion, attention, and cortical processing in schizophrenia, adding to the growing but mixed body of literature on emotion processing in the disorder. PMID:24910446

  20. [Independent resource of each hemisphere modulates selective attention].

    PubMed

    Yoshizaki, Kazuhito; Nishimura, Ritsuko

    2008-06-01

    Based on the load theory and the assumption that each hemisphere has independent resources, we examined the effects of perceptual load in each hemisphere on the compatibility effect. In Experiments 1, and 2ab, two letter-strings were presented to the left and right visual-fields with a distracter, which was presented on the center of the screen. Two conditions were prepared by pairing a letter-string which contained a target with one which did not. Right-handed participants were asked to identify the target in the letter-strings while ignoring the distracter. The results showed that the compatibility effect was larger when the perceptual load of the letter-string which did not contain a target was low. This suggests that the residual resources of the hemisphere where the target was not projected facilitated the processing of the distracter. In Experiment 3, two letter-strings were presented to both hemispheres. The results showed that the compatibility effect was constant, irrespective of the perceptual load of the letter-string. Our findings suggested that selective attention is modulated by the resources of each hemisphere. PMID:18678063

  1. Silent Expectations: Dynamic Causal Modeling of Cortical Prediction and Attention to Sounds That Weren't

    PubMed Central

    Noreika, Valdas; Gueorguiev, David; Shtyrov, Yury; Bekinschtein, Tristan A.; Henson, Richard

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that human perception is realized by a hierarchy of neural processes in which predictions sent backward from higher levels result in prediction errors that are fed forward from lower levels, to update the current model of the environment. Moreover, the precision of prediction errors is thought to be modulated by attention. Much of this evidence comes from paradigms in which a stimulus differs from that predicted by the recent history of other stimuli (generating a so-called “mismatch response”). There is less evidence from situations where a prediction is not fulfilled by any sensory input (an “omission” response). This situation arguably provides a more direct measure of “top-down” predictions in the absence of confounding “bottom-up” input. We applied Dynamic Causal Modeling of evoked electromagnetic responses recorded by EEG and MEG to an auditory paradigm in which we factorially crossed the presence versus absence of “bottom-up” stimuli with the presence versus absence of “top-down” attention. Model comparison revealed that both mismatch and omission responses were mediated by increased forward and backward connections, differing primarily in the driving input. In both responses, modeling results suggested that the presence of attention selectively modulated backward “prediction” connections. Our results provide new model-driven evidence of the pure top-down prediction signal posited in theories of hierarchical perception, and highlight the role of attentional precision in strengthening this prediction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human auditory perception is thought to be realized by a network of neurons that maintain a model of and predict future stimuli. Much of the evidence for this comes from experiments where a stimulus unexpectedly differs from previous ones, which generates a well-known “mismatch response.” But what happens when a stimulus is unexpectedly omitted altogether? By measuring the brain

  2. Electrocortical indices of selective attention predict adolescent executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Lackner, Christine L; Santesso, Diane L; Dywan, Jane; Wade, Terrance J; Segalowitz, Sidney J

    2013-05-01

    Executive functioning is considered a powerful predictor of behavioral and mental health outcomes during adolescence. Our question was whether executive functioning skills, normally considered "top-down" processes, are related to automatic aspects of selective attention. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from typically-developing 12-14-year-old adolescents as they responded to tones presented in attended and unattended channels in an auditory selective attention task. Examining these ERPs in relation to parental reports on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) revealed that an early frontal positivity (EFP) elicited by to-be-ignored/unattended tones was larger in those with poorer executive functions, driven by scores on the BRIEF Metacognition Index. As is traditionally found, N1 amplitudes were more negative for the to-be-attended rather than unattended tones. Additionally, N1 latencies to unattended tones correlated with parent-ratings on the BRIEF Behavior Regulation Index, where shorter latencies predicted better executive functions. Results suggest that the ability to disengage attention from distractor information in the early stages of stimulus processing is associated with adolescent executive functioning skills. PMID:23528784

  3. Context Modulates Attention to Social Scenes in Toddlers with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chawarska, Katarzyna; Macari, Suzanne; Shic, Frederick

    2012-01-01

    Background: In typical development, the unfolding of social and communicative skills hinges upon the ability to allocate and sustain attention toward people, a skill present moments after birth. Deficits in social attention have been well documented in autism, though the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Methods: In order to parse the…

  4. Attention Modulates TMS-Locked Alpha Oscillations in the Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Herring, Jim D.; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole

    2015-01-01

    Cortical oscillations, such as 8–12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive (“entrain”) these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Rhythmic transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a promising tool to experimentally “entrain” cortical activity. If TMS-locked oscillatory responses actually recruit the same neuronal mechanisms as spontaneous cortical

  5. Can emotion modulate attention? Evidence for reciprocal links in the attentional network test.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Noga; Henik, Avishai; Mor, Nilly

    2011-01-01

    Evolution theory suggests that adaptive behavior depends on our ability to give preferential attention to emotional information when it is necessary for our survival, and to down-regulate irrelevant emotional influence. However, empirical work has shown that the interaction between emotion and attention varies, based on the attentional network in question. The aim of the current research was to examine the influence of stimulus emotionality on attention in three attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive functions. In two studies, using negative and neutral cues in a modified version of the Attention Network Test, it was found that negative cues impaired task performance in the absence of executive conflict, but not when executive processes were activated. Moreover, it was found that the influence of negative cues on task performance in a given trial was attenuated following activation of executive processes in the previous trial. These results suggest that when executive resources are required, inhibitory mechanisms are recruited to decrease the disruptive effect of emotional stimuli. More importantly, these findings indicate that the effect of emotional stimuli on attention is down-regulated both during cognitive conflict and after the conflict has already ended. PMID:20705545

  6. Spatiotemporal dynamics of early spatial and category-specific attentional modulations.

    PubMed

    Ioannides, Andreas A; Poghosyan, Vahe

    2012-04-15

    Different attention types select and focus brain resources on relevant sensory information. However, key questions remain unresolved: when and where cortical visual processing is first modulated by different types of attention? How do such modulatory effects spread thereafter? Here, we address these issues for spatial and category-specific types of attention using magnetoencephalography (MEG). First we identified the dynamics of visual attention-independent sensory processing to serve as a baseline framework for the attentional modulations of interest. We found that visual information is processed through the entire hierarchy of visual areas in at least two phases, in the 40-130 ms and 130-230 ms periods respectively. Spatial attention modulations were identified from the beginning of the initial stimulus-evoked response in the primary visual cortex ~70 ms post-stimulus. Category-specific attention modulated face processing beginning from the first face-specific response in high-level object-related areas ~100 ms post-stimulus, substantially earlier than previously reported for face-directed attention. Thus both attention types modulated responses during the first processing phase, beginning at the earliest brain area capable of coding the attentional target. Thereafter attentional effects propagated through the visual cortex together with the stimulus-evoked activity. Category-specific attention did not affect the first-phase responses in low-level strongly retinotopic visual areas, while the second-phase responses were enhanced when the stimulus was the response target and reduced when it was a distractor. Responses during both phases in high-level object-related areas were enhanced by category-specific attention independent of their target/distractor status. Spatial attention effects were stronger in low-level areas, whereas category-specific attention effects were stronger in high-level object-related areas. PMID:22342803

  7. GRIN2B predicts attention problems among disadvantaged children.

    PubMed

    Riva, Valentina; Battaglia, Marco; Nobile, Maria; Cattaneo, Francesca; Lazazzera, Claudio; Mascheretti, Sara; Giorda, Roberto; Mérette, Chantal; Émond, Claudia; Maziade, Michel; Marino, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    It is well established that adversities and GRIN2B (coding an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit) are independently associated with behavioral and cognitive impairments in childhood. However, a high proportion of children exposed to adversities have good, long-term outcomes. We hypothesized that among children exposed to adversities, GRIN2B variants would predict the worst cognitive and behavioral outcomes. 6 single nucleotide polymorphisms of GRIN2B were genotyped in 625 children aged 6-11 years from an Italian community-based sample. The interacting effect of GRIN2B variants with 4 measures of adversities [low socioeconomic status (SES), preterm delivery, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and absence of breastfeeding] was investigated upon blindly assessed cognitive abilities (vocabulary, block design, digit spans of Wechsler's Intelligence Scale, and Rey complex figure) and parents-rated behavioral problems (Child Behavior Checklist/6-18). Rs2268119 × SES interaction (Hotelling's Trace = 0.07; F(12,1154) = 3.53; p = 0.00004) influenced behavior, with more attention problems among children in the 'either A/T or T/T genotype and low SES' group, compared to all other groups. This interaction effect was not significant in an independent, replication sample of 475 subjects from an Italian community-based sample. GRIN2B variants predict children with the worst outcome in attention functioning among children exposed to low SES. Our findings, if replicated, could help in the identification of children with the highest risk and may prompt cost-effective preventive/treatment strategies. PMID:25316095

  8. Temporal cuing modulates alpha oscillations during auditory attentional blink.

    PubMed

    Shen, Dawei; Ross, Bernhard; Alain, Claude

    2016-07-01

    Attentional blink (AB) refers to the phenomenon whereby the correct identification of a visual or auditory target impairs processing of a subsequent probe. Although it has been shown that knowing in advance, when the probe would be presented, reduces the attentional blink and increases the amplitude of event-related potential (ERP) elicited by the probe, the neural mechanism by which attention mitigates the AB remains unclear. Here, we used time-frequency analysis to further explore the mechanism of the auditory attentional blink. Participants were presented a series of rapid auditory stimuli and asked to indicate whether a target and a probe were present in the sequence. In half of the trials, participants were cued to the probe position relative to the target ('Early' or 'Late'). Probe detection and ERP amplitude elicited by the probe decreased when the probe was presented shortly after the target compared to when it was presented later after the target. Importantly, the behavioral and ERP correlates of probe discrimination significantly improved when the 'Early' cue was presented. The improvement in processing the probe in the cued condition was accompanied by the decrease in alpha activity (8-13 Hz) after the time when the probe was expected; suggesting that successfully directing attention to time window where the probe would likely occur reduces the processing resources needed to suppress distractors. This in turn freed up available processing resources for the target and probe at the short-term consolidation stage, which ultimately reduced the auditory attentional blink. PMID:27152668

  9. Disgust-specific modulation of early attention processes.

    PubMed

    van Hooff, Johanna C; van Buuringen, Melanie; El M'rabet, Ihsane; de Gier, Margot; van Zalingen, Lilian

    2014-10-01

    Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N=46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm incorporating pictures that were either disgust-evoking, fear-evoking, happiness-evoking or neutral. Attention adhesion to these pictures was measured by the time necessary to identify a peripheral target, presented 100, 200, 500, or 800 ms after picture onset. Main results showed that reaction times were delayed for targets following the disgust-evoking pictures by 100 and 200 ms, suggesting that only these pictures temporarily grabbed hold of participants' attention. These delays were similar for ignore- and attend-instructions, and they were not affected by the participants' anxiety levels or disgust sensitivity. The disgust-specific influence on early attention processes thus appeared very robust, occurring in the majority of participants and without contribution of voluntary- and strategic-attention processes. In contrast, a smaller and less reliable effect of all emotional (arousing) pictures was present in the form of delayed responding in the 100 ms cue-target interval. This effect was more transitory and apparent only in participants with relatively high state-anxiety scores. Practical and theoretical consequences of these findings are discussed. PMID:25226546

  10. Emotion Modulation of Visual Attention: Categorical and Temporal Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Ciesielski, Bethany G.; Armstrong, Thomas; Zald, David H.; Olatunji, Bunmi O.

    2010-01-01

    Background Experimental research has shown that emotional stimuli can either enhance or impair attentional performance. However, the relative effects of specific emotional stimuli and the specific time course of these differential effects are unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present study, participants (n = 50) searched for a single target within a rapid serial visual presentation of images. Irrelevant fear, disgust, erotic or neutral images preceded the target by two, four, six, or eight items. At lag 2, erotic images induced the greatest deficits in subsequent target processing compared to other images, consistent with a large emotional attentional blink. Fear and disgust images also produced a larger attentional blinks at lag 2 than neutral images. Erotic, fear, and disgust images continued to induce greater deficits than neutral images at lag 4 and 6. However, target processing deficits induced by erotic, fear, and disgust images at intermediate lags (lag 4 and 6) did not consistently differ from each other. In contrast to performance at lag 2, 4, and 6, enhancement in target processing for emotional stimuli was observed in comparison to neutral stimuli at lag 8. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that task-irrelevant emotion information, particularly erotica, impairs intentional allocation of attention at early temporal stages, but at later temporal stages, emotional stimuli can have an enhancing effect on directed attention. These data suggest that the effects of emotional stimuli on attention can be both positive and negative depending upon temporal factors. PMID:21079773

  11. Attention to Faces Modulates Early Face Processing during Low but not High Face Discriminability

    PubMed Central

    Sreenivasan, Kartik K.; Goldstein, Jonathan M.; Lustig, Audrey G.; Rivas, Luis R.; Jha, Amishi P.

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated if attention to faces results in sensory gain modulation. Participants were cued to attend to faces or scenes in superimposed face-scene images while face discriminability was parametrically manipulated across images. The face-sensitive N170 event-related potential component was used as a measure of early face processing. Attention to faces modulated N170 amplitude, but only when faces were not highly discriminable. Additionally, directing attention to faces modulated later processing (~230–300 msec) for all discriminability levels. These results demonstrate that attention to faces can modulate perceptual processing of faces at multiple stages of processing, including early sensory levels. Critically, the early attentional benefit is present only when the “face signal” (i.e., the perceptual quality of the face) in the environment is suboptimal. PMID:19429962

  12. Emotional prosody modulates attention in schizophrenia patients with hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Alba-Ferrara, L; de Erausquin, G A; Hirnstein, M; Weis, S; Hausmann, M

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings have demonstrated that emotional prosody (EP) attracts attention involuntarily (Grandjean et al., 2008). The automat shift of attention toward emotionally salient stimuli can be overcome by attentional control (Hahn et al., 2010). Attentional control is impaired in schizophrenia, especially in schizophrenic patients with hallucinations because the "voices" capture attention increasing the processing load and competing for top-down resources. The present study investigates how involuntary attention is driven by implicit EP in schizophrenia with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) and without (NAVH). Fifteen AVH patients, 12 NAVH patients and 16 healthy controls (HC) completed a dual-task dichotic listening paradigm, in which an emotional vocal outburst was paired with a neutral vocalization spoken in male and female voices. Participants were asked to report the speaker's gender while attending to either the left or right ear. NAVH patients and HC revealed shorter response times for stimuli presented to the attended left ear than the attended right ear. This laterality effect was not present in AVH patients. In addition, NAVH patients and HC showed faster responses when the EP stimulus was presented to the unattended ear, probably because of less interference between the attention-controlled gender voice identification task and involuntary EP processing. AVH patients did not benefit from presenting emotional stimuli to the unattended ear. The findings suggest that similar to HC, NAVH patients show a right hemispheric bias for EP processing. AVH patients seem to be less lateralized for EP and therefore might be more susceptible to interfering involuntary EP processing; regardless which ear/hemisphere receives the bottom up input. PMID:23459397

  13. The Spatial Attention Network Interacts with Limbic and Monoaminergic Systems to Modulate Motivation-Induced Attention Shifts

    PubMed Central

    Gitelman, Darren R.; Small, Dana M.; Mesulam, M. Marsel

    2008-01-01

    How does the human brain integrate information from multiple domains to guide spatial attention according to motivational needs? To address this question, we measured hemodynamic responses to central cues predicting locations of peripheral attentional targets (food or tool images) in a novel covert spatial attention paradigm. The motivational relevance of food-related attentional targets was experimentally manipulated via hunger and satiety. Amygdala, posterior cingulate, locus coeruleus, and substantia nigra showed selective sensitivity to food-related cues when hungry but not when satiated, an effect that did not generalize to tools. Posterior parietal cortex (PPC), including intraparietal sulcus, posterior cingulate, and the orbitofrontal cortex displayed correlations with the speed of attentional shifts that were sensitive not just to motivational state but also to the motivational value of the target. Stronger functional coupling between PPC and posterior cingulate occurred during attentional biasing toward motivationally relevant food targets. These results reveal conjoint limbic and monoaminergic encoding of motivational salience in spatial attention. They emphasize the interactive role of posterior parietal and cingulate cortices in integrating motivational information with spatial attention, a process that is critical for selective allocation of attentional resources in an environment where target position and relevance can change rapidly. PMID:18308706

  14. Early auditory evoked potential is modulated by selective attention and related to individual differences in visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A

    2014-12-01

    A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526

  15. Self-Attributed Body-Shadows Modulate Tactile Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavani, Francesco; Galfano, Giovanni

    2007-01-01

    Our body-shadows are special stimuli in the visual world. They often have anatomical resemblance with our own body-parts and move as our body moves, with spatio-temporal correlation. Here, we show that self-attributed body-shadows cue attention to the body-part they refer to, rather than the location they occupy. Using speeded spatial…

  16. Attention modulates ‘speech-tracking’ at a Cocktail Party

    PubMed Central

    Zion-Golumbic, Elana; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings by Mesgarani and Chang demonstrate that signals in auditory cortex can reconstruct the spectrotemporal patterns of attended speech tokens better than those of ignored ones. These results help extend the study of attention into the domain of natural speech, posing numerous questions and challenges for future research. PMID:22651956

  17. Attention Modulation by Proportion Congruency: The Asymmetrical List Shifting Effect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrahamse, Elger L.; Duthoo, Wout; Notebaert, Wim; Risko, Evan F.

    2013-01-01

    Proportion congruency effects represent hallmark phenomena in current theorizing about cognitive control. This is based on the notion that proportion congruency determines the relative levels of attention to relevant and irrelevant information in conflict tasks. However, little empirical evidence exists that uniquely supports such an attention…

  18. Central Inhibition Ability Modulates Attention-Induced Motion Blindness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milders, Maarten; Hay, Julia; Sahraie, Arash; Niedeggen, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Impaired motion perception can be induced in normal observers in a rapid serial visual presentation task. Essential for this effect is the presence of motion distractors prior to the motion target, and we proposed that this attention-induced motion blindness results from high-level inhibition produced by the distractors. To investigate this, we…

  19. Social exclusion modulates priorities of attention allocation in cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Jiajin; Ding, Cody; Yang, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how exclusion affects cognitive control and have reported inconsistent results. However, these studies usually treated cognitive control as a unitary concept, whereas it actually involved two main sub-processes: conflict detection and response implementation. Furthermore, existing studies have focused primarily on exclusion's effects on conscious cognitive control, while recent studies have shown the existence of unconscious cognitive control. Therefore, the present study investigated whether and how exclusion affects the sub-processes underlying conscious and unconscious cognitive control differently. The Cyberball game was used to manipulate social exclusion and participants subsequently performed a masked Go/No-Go task during which event-related potentials were measured. For conscious cognitive control, excluded participants showed a larger N2 but smaller P3 effects than included participants, suggesting that excluded people invest more attention in conscious conflict detection, but less in conscious inhibition of impulsive responses. However, for unconscious cognitive control, excluded participants showed a smaller N2 but larger P3 effects than included participants, suggesting that excluded people invest less attention in unconscious conflict detection, but more in unconscious inhibition of impulsive responses. Together, these results suggest that exclusion causes people to rebalance attention allocation priorities for cognitive control according to a more flexible and adaptive strategy. PMID:27511746

  20. Social exclusion modulates priorities of attention allocation in cognitive control

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Jiajin; Ding, Cody; Yang, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how exclusion affects cognitive control and have reported inconsistent results. However, these studies usually treated cognitive control as a unitary concept, whereas it actually involved two main sub-processes: conflict detection and response implementation. Furthermore, existing studies have focused primarily on exclusion’s effects on conscious cognitive control, while recent studies have shown the existence of unconscious cognitive control. Therefore, the present study investigated whether and how exclusion affects the sub-processes underlying conscious and unconscious cognitive control differently. The Cyberball game was used to manipulate social exclusion and participants subsequently performed a masked Go/No-Go task during which event-related potentials were measured. For conscious cognitive control, excluded participants showed a larger N2 but smaller P3 effects than included participants, suggesting that excluded people invest more attention in conscious conflict detection, but less in conscious inhibition of impulsive responses. However, for unconscious cognitive control, excluded participants showed a smaller N2 but larger P3 effects than included participants, suggesting that excluded people invest less attention in unconscious conflict detection, but more in unconscious inhibition of impulsive responses. Together, these results suggest that exclusion causes people to rebalance attention allocation priorities for cognitive control according to a more flexible and adaptive strategy. PMID:27511746

  1. Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation

    PubMed Central

    Kerr, Catherine E.; Sacchet, Matthew D.; Lazar, Sara W.; Moore, Christopher I.; Jones, Stephanie R.

    2013-01-01

    Using a common set of mindfulness exercises, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been shown to reduce distress in chronic pain and decrease risk of depression relapse. These standardized mindfulness (ST-Mindfulness) practices predominantly require attending to breath and body sensations. Here, we offer a novel view of ST-Mindfulness's somatic focus as a form of training for optimizing attentional modulation of 7–14 Hz alpha rhythms that play a key role in filtering inputs to primary sensory neocortex and organizing the flow of sensory information in the brain. In support of the framework, we describe our previous finding that ST-Mindfulness enhanced attentional regulation of alpha in primary somatosensory cortex (SI). The framework allows us to make several predictions. In chronic pain, we predict somatic attention in ST-Mindfulness “de-biases” alpha in SI, freeing up pain-focused attentional resources. In depression relapse, we predict ST-Mindfulness's somatic attention competes with internally focused rumination, as internally focused cognitive processes (including working memory) rely on alpha filtering of sensory input. Our computational model predicts ST-Mindfulness enhances top-down modulation of alpha by facilitating precise alterations in timing and efficacy of SI thalamocortical inputs. We conclude by considering how the framework aligns with Buddhist teachings that mindfulness starts with “mindfulness of the body.” Translating this theory into neurophysiology, we hypothesize that with its somatic focus, mindfulness' top-down alpha rhythm modulation in SI enhances gain control which, in turn, sensitizes practitioners to better detect and regulate when the mind wanders from its somatic focus. This enhanced regulation of somatic mind-wandering may be an important early stage of mindfulness training that leads to enhanced cognitive regulation and metacognition. PMID:23408771

  2. Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Catherine E; Sacchet, Matthew D; Lazar, Sara W; Moore, Christopher I; Jones, Stephanie R

    2013-01-01

    Using a common set of mindfulness exercises, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been shown to reduce distress in chronic pain and decrease risk of depression relapse. These standardized mindfulness (ST-Mindfulness) practices predominantly require attending to breath and body sensations. Here, we offer a novel view of ST-Mindfulness's somatic focus as a form of training for optimizing attentional modulation of 7-14 Hz alpha rhythms that play a key role in filtering inputs to primary sensory neocortex and organizing the flow of sensory information in the brain. In support of the framework, we describe our previous finding that ST-Mindfulness enhanced attentional regulation of alpha in primary somatosensory cortex (SI). The framework allows us to make several predictions. In chronic pain, we predict somatic attention in ST-Mindfulness "de-biases" alpha in SI, freeing up pain-focused attentional resources. In depression relapse, we predict ST-Mindfulness's somatic attention competes with internally focused rumination, as internally focused cognitive processes (including working memory) rely on alpha filtering of sensory input. Our computational model predicts ST-Mindfulness enhances top-down modulation of alpha by facilitating precise alterations in timing and efficacy of SI thalamocortical inputs. We conclude by considering how the framework aligns with Buddhist teachings that mindfulness starts with "mindfulness of the body." Translating this theory into neurophysiology, we hypothesize that with its somatic focus, mindfulness' top-down alpha rhythm modulation in SI enhances gain control which, in turn, sensitizes practitioners to better detect and regulate when the mind wanders from its somatic focus. This enhanced regulation of somatic mind-wandering may be an important early stage of mindfulness training that leads to enhanced cognitive regulation and metacognition. PMID:23408771

  3. Selective Attention Modulates Human Auditory Brainstem Responses: Relative Contributions of Frequency and Spatial Cues

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Alexandre; Schönwiesner, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one’s attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues. PMID:24454869

  4. Modulation of Automatic Semantic Priming by Feature-Specific Attention Allocation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spruyt, Adriaan; De Houwer, Jan; Hermans, Dirk

    2009-01-01

    We argue that the semantic analysis of task-irrelevant stimuli is modulated by feature-specific attention allocation. In line with this hypothesis, we found semantic priming of pronunciation responses to depend upon the extent to which participants focused their attention upon specific semantic stimulus dimensions. In Experiment 1, we examined the…

  5. Nonverbal communicative signals modulate attention to object properties.

    PubMed

    Marno, Hanna; Davelaar, Eddy J; Csibra, Gergely

    2014-04-01

    We investigated whether the social context in which an object is experienced influences the encoding of its various properties. We hypothesized that when an object is observed in a communicative context, its intrinsic features (such as its shape) would be preferentially encoded at the expense of its extrinsic properties (such as its location). In 3 experiments, participants were presented with brief movies, in which an actor either performed a noncommunicative action toward 1 of 5 different meaningless objects, or communicatively pointed at 1 of them. A subsequent static image, in which either the location or the identity of an object changed, tested participants' attention to these 2 kinds of information. Throughout the 3 experiments we found that communicative cues tended to facilitate identity change detection and to impede location change detection, whereas in the noncommunicative contexts we did not find such a bidirectional effect of cueing. The results also revealed that the effect of the communicative context was a result the presence of ostensive-communicative signals before the object-directed action, and not to the pointing gesture per se. We propose that such an attentional bias forms an inherent part of human communication, and function to facilitate social learning by communication. PMID:24294871

  6. Dopamine Transporter Genotype Predicts Attentional Asymmetry in Healthy Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Daniel P.; O'Connell, Redmond G.; Nathan, Pradeep J.; Bellgrove, Mark A.

    2012-01-01

    A number of recent studies suggest that DNA variation in the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) influences spatial attention asymmetry in clinical populations such as ADHD, but confirmation in non-clinical samples is required. Since non-spatial factors such as attentional load have been shown to influence spatial biases in clinical conditions, here…

  7. Sustained Attention and Age Predict Inhibitory Control during Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reck, Sarah G.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2011-01-01

    Executive functioning skills develop rapidly during early childhood. Recent research has focused on specifying this development, particularly predictors of executive functioning skills. Here we focus on sustained attention as a predictor of inhibitory control, one key executive functioning component. Although sustained attention and inhibitory…

  8. Attentional modulation of external speech attribution in patients with hallucinations and delusions.

    PubMed

    Ilankovic, Lana Marija; Allen, Paul P; Engel, Rolf; Kambeitz, Joseph; Riedel, Michael; Müller, Norbert; Hennig-Fast, Kristina

    2011-04-01

    A range of psychological theories have been proposed to account for the experience of auditory hallucinations and delusions in schizophrenic patients. Most influential theories are those implicating the defective self-monitoring of inner speech. Some recent studies measured response bias independently of self-monitoring and found the results inconsistent with the defective self-monitoring model, but explained by an externalizing response bias. We aimed to investigate the role of attentional bias in external misattribution of source by modulating participant's endogenous expectancies. Comparisons were made between patients with paranoid schizophrenia (N=23) and matched healthy controls (N=23) who participated in two different versions of an audio-visual task, which differed based upon level of the cue predictiveness. The acoustic characteristic of voice was altered in half of the trials by shifting the pitch (distortion). Participants passively listened to recordings of single adjectives spoken in their own and another person's voice (alien) preceded by their own or another person's (alien) face and made self/non self judgments about the source. The patients showed increased error rates comparing to controls, when listening to the distorted self spoken words, misidentifying their own speech as produced by others. Importantly, patients made significantly more errors across all the invalid cue conditions. This suggests not only the presence of pathological misattribution bias, but also an inadequate balance between top-down and bottom-up attentional processes in the patients, which could be responsible for misattribution of the ambiguous sensory material. PMID:21241719

  9. Neuronal modulations in visual cortex are associated with only one of multiple components of attention

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Thomas Zhihao; Maunsell, John H. R.

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal signals related to visual attention are found in widespread brain regions, and these signals are generally assumed to participate in a common mechanism of attention. However, the behavioral effects of attention in detection can be separated into two distinct components: spatially selective shifts in either the criterion or sensitivity of the subject. Here we show that a paradigm used by many single-neuron studies of attention conflates behavioral changes in the subject’s criterion and sensitivity. Then, using a task designed to dissociate these two components, we found that multiple aspects of attention-related neuronal modulations in area V4 of monkey visual cortex corresponded to behavioral shifts in sensitivity but not criterion. This result suggests that separate components of attention are associated with signals in different brain regions, and that attention is not a unitary process in the brain but instead consists of distinct neurobiological mechanisms. PMID:26050038

  10. Attentional Requirements on Feature Search Are Modulated by Stimulus Properties

    PubMed Central

    Ettwig, Janne F.; Bronkhorst, Adelbert W.

    2013-01-01

    We report a series of dual-task experiments, in which a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task was combined with a visual search task. Orientation, motion, and color were used as the defining target features in the search task. Lag between target onsets was manipulated and interference between the two tasks was quantified by measuring detection scores for the search task as a function of lag. While simultaneous performance of an orientation detection task with an RSVP letter identification task resulted in a performance decrease for lags up to 320 ms, no such decrease was detected for highly salient motion- and color-defined targets. Subsequently, detectability of the motion and color feature was matched to that of the orientation-feature resulting in the reintroduction of a (smaller) performance decrease, but only during simultaneous performance (lag 0 ms). The results suggest that there are two causes for the impaired search performance occurring when a feature search task is combined with an RSVP task. The first is short-lasting interference probably due to attentional competition; the second, which plays a role only when targets for both tasks share features, is interference that may be attributed to a central processing bottleneck. PMID:23308145

  11. Followers are not followed: Observed group interactions modulate subsequent social attention.

    PubMed

    Capozzi, Francesca; Becchio, Cristina; Willemse, Cesco; Bayliss, Andrew P

    2016-05-01

    We asked whether previous observations of group interactions modulate subsequent social attention episodes. Participants first completed a learning phase with 2 conditions. In the "leader" condition 1 of 3 identities turned her gaze first, followed by the 2 other faces. In the "follower" condition, 1 of the identities turned her gaze after the 2 other faces had first shifted their gaze. Thus, participants observed that some individuals were consistently leaders and others followers of others' attention. In the test phase, the faces of leaders and followers were presented in a gaze cueing paradigm. Remarkably, the followers did not elicit gaze cueing. Our data demonstrate that individuals who do not guide group attention in exploring the environment are ineffective social attention directors in later encounters. Thus, the role played in previous group social attention interactions modulates the relative weight assigned to others' gaze: we ignore the gaze of group followers. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27031224

  12. Attention modulates the dorsal striatum response to love stimuli.

    PubMed

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van der Veen, Frederik M; Röder, Christian H

    2014-02-01

    In previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies concerning romantic love, several brain regions including the caudate and putamen have consistently been found to be more responsive to beloved-related than control stimuli. In those studies, infatuated individuals were typically instructed to passively view the stimuli or to think of the viewed person. In the current study, we examined how the instruction to attend to, or ignore the beloved modulates the response of these brain areas. Infatuated individuals performed an oddball task in which pictures of their beloved and friend served as targets and distractors. The dorsal striatum showed greater activation for the beloved than friend, but only when they were targets. The dorsal striatum actually tended to show less activation for the beloved than the friend when they were distractors. The longer the love and relationship duration, the smaller the response of the dorsal striatum to beloved-distractor stimuli was. We interpret our findings in terms of reinforcement learning. By virtue of using a cognitive task with a full factorial design, we show that the dorsal striatum is not activated by beloved-related information per se, but only by beloved-related information that is attended. PMID:23097247

  13. Meditation-induced states predict attentional control over time.

    PubMed

    Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Baas, Matthijs; Hommel, Bernhard

    2015-12-01

    Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects. Healthy adult non-meditators underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing an Attentional Blink (AB) task - which assesses the efficiency of allocating attention over time. The size of the AB was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM, which suggests that engaging in meditation immediately creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on how people allocate their attention over time. PMID:26320866

  14. Prediction and perception: Defensive startle modulation.

    PubMed

    Sege, Christopher T; Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J

    2015-12-01

    Previous research indicates that predictive cues can dampen subsequent defensive reactions. The present study investigated whether effects of cuing are specific to aversive stimuli, using modulation of the blink startle reflex as a measure of emotional reactivity. Participants viewed pictures depicting violence, romance/erotica, or mundane content. On half of all trials, a cue (color) predicted the content of the upcoming picture; on the remaining trials, scenes were presented without a cue. Acoustic startle probes were presented during picture viewing on trials with predictive cues and trials without a cue. Replicating previous studies, blink reflexes elicited when viewing violent pictures that had not been preceded by a cue were potentiated compared to uncued mundane scenes, and reflexes were attenuated when viewing scenes of erotica/romance that had not been cued. On the other hand, reflex potentiation when viewing scenes of violence (relative to mundane scenes) was eliminated when these pictures were preceded by a predictive cue, whereas scenes of romance prompted reliable reflex attenuation regardless of whether pictures were cued or not. Taken together, the data suggest that cuing elicits an anticipatory coping process that is specific to aversive stimuli. PMID:26399464

  15. Cannabinoid modulation of functional connectivity within regions processing attentional salience.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Falkenberg, Irina; Martin-Santos, Rocio; Atakan, Zerrin; Crippa, Jose A; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Mick; McGuire, Philip

    2015-05-01

    There is now considerable evidence to support the hypothesis that psychotic symptoms are the result of abnormal salience attribution, and that the attribution of salience is largely mediated through the prefrontal cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus. Although these areas show differential activation under the influence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the two major derivatives of cannabis sativa, little is known about the effects of these cannabinoids on the functional connectivity between these regions. We investigated this in healthy occasional cannabis users by employing event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) following oral administration of delta-9-THC, CBD, or a placebo capsule. Employing a seed cluster-based functional connectivity analysis that involved using the average time series from each seed cluster for a whole-brain correlational analysis, we investigated the effect of drug condition on functional connectivity between the seed clusters and the rest of the brain during an oddball salience processing task. Relative to the placebo condition, delta-9-THC and CBD had opposite effects on the functional connectivity between the dorsal striatum, the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus. Delta-9-THC reduced fronto-striatal connectivity, which was related to its effect on task performance, whereas this connection was enhanced by CBD. Conversely, mediotemporal-prefrontal connectivity was enhanced by delta-9-THC and reduced by CBD. Our results suggest that the functional integration of brain regions involved in salience processing is differentially modulated by single doses of delta-9-THC and CBD and that this relates to the processing of salient stimuli. PMID:25249057

  16. Cannabinoid Modulation of Functional Connectivity within Regions Processing Attentional Salience

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Falkenberg, Irina; Martin-Santos, Rocio; Atakan, Zerrin; Crippa, Jose A; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Mick; McGuire, Philip

    2015-01-01

    There is now considerable evidence to support the hypothesis that psychotic symptoms are the result of abnormal salience attribution, and that the attribution of salience is largely mediated through the prefrontal cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus. Although these areas show differential activation under the influence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the two major derivatives of cannabis sativa, little is known about the effects of these cannabinoids on the functional connectivity between these regions. We investigated this in healthy occasional cannabis users by employing event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) following oral administration of delta-9-THC, CBD, or a placebo capsule. Employing a seed cluster-based functional connectivity analysis that involved using the average time series from each seed cluster for a whole-brain correlational analysis, we investigated the effect of drug condition on functional connectivity between the seed clusters and the rest of the brain during an oddball salience processing task. Relative to the placebo condition, delta-9-THC and CBD had opposite effects on the functional connectivity between the dorsal striatum, the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus. Delta-9-THC reduced fronto-striatal connectivity, which was related to its effect on task performance, whereas this connection was enhanced by CBD. Conversely, mediotemporal-prefrontal connectivity was enhanced by delta-9-THC and reduced by CBD. Our results suggest that the functional integration of brain regions involved in salience processing is differentially modulated by single doses of delta-9-THC and CBD and that this relates to the processing of salient stimuli. PMID:25249057

  17. Autonomic arousal and attentional orienting to visual threat are predicted by awareness.

    PubMed

    Hedger, Nicholas; Adams, Wendy J; Garner, Matthew

    2015-06-01

    The rapid detection and evaluation of threat is of fundamental importance for survival. Theories suggest that this evolutionary pressure has driven functional adaptations in a specialized visual pathway that evaluates threat independently of conscious awareness. This is supported by evidence that threat-relevant stimuli rendered invisible by backward masking can induce physiological fear responses and modulate spatial attention. The validity of these findings has since been questioned by research using stringent, objective measures of awareness. Here, we use a modified continuous flash suppression paradigm to ask whether threatening images induce adaptive changes in autonomic arousal, attention, or perception when presented outside of awareness. In trials where stimuli broke suppression to become visible, threatening stimuli induced a significantly larger skin conductance response than nonthreatening stimuli and attracted spatial attention over scrambled images. However, these effects were eliminated in trials where observers were unaware of the stimuli. In addition, concurrent behavioral data provided no evidence that threatening images gained prioritized access to awareness. Taken together, our data suggest that the evaluation and spatial detection of visual threat are predicted by awareness. PMID:25867508

  18. Modulation of early cortical processing during divided attention to non-contiguous locations

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Anita M.; Murphy, Jeremy W.; Molholm, Sophie; Lalor, Edmund C.; Foxe, John J.

    2015-01-01

    We often face the challenge of simultaneously attending to multiple non-contiguous regions of space. There is ongoing debate as to how spatial attention is divided under these situations. While for several years the predominant view was that humans could divide the attentional spotlight, several recent studies argue in favor of a unitary spotlight that rhythmically samples relevant locations. Here, this issue was addressed using high-density electrophysiology in concert with the multifocal m-sequence technique to examine visual evoked responses to multiple simultaneous streams of stimulation. Concurrently, we assayed the topographic distribution of alpha-band oscillatory mechanisms, a measure of attentional suppression. Participants performed a difficult detection task that required simultaneous attention to two stimuli in contiguous (undivided) or non-contiguous parts of space. In the undivided condition, the classical pattern of attentional modulation was observed, with increased amplitude of the early visual evoked response and increased alpha amplitude ipsilateral to the attended hemifield. For the divided condition, early visual responses to attended stimuli were also enhanced and the observed multifocal topographic distribution of alpha suppression was in line with the divided attention hypothesis. These results support the existence of divided attentional spotlights, providing evidence that the corresponding modulation occurs during initial sensory processing timeframes in hierarchically early visual regions and that suppressive mechanisms of visual attention selectively target distracter locations during divided spatial attention. PMID:24606564

  19. Attentional modulation of the inner ear: a combined otoacoustic emission and EEG study.

    PubMed

    Wittekindt, Anna; Kaiser, Jochen; Abel, Cornelius

    2014-07-23

    Attending to a single stimulus in a complex multisensory environment requires the ability to select relevant information while ignoring distracting input. The underlying mechanism and involved neuronal levels of this attentional gain control are still a matter of debate. Here, we investigated the influence of intermodal attention on different levels of auditory processing in humans. It is known that the activity of the cochlear amplifier can be modulated by efferent neurons of the medial olivocochlear complex. We used distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) measurements to monitor cochlear activity during an intermodal cueing paradigm. Simultaneously, central auditory processing was assessed by electroencephalography (EEG) with a steady-state paradigm targeting early cortical responses and analysis of alpha oscillations reflecting higher cognitive control of attentional modulation. We found effects of selective attention at all measured levels of the auditory processing: DPOAE levels differed significantly between periods of visual and auditory attention, showing a reduction during visual attention, but no change during auditory attention. Primary auditory cortex activity, as measured by the auditory steady-state response (ASSR), differed between conditions, with higher ASSRs during auditory than visual attention. Furthermore, the analysis of cortical oscillatory activity revealed increased alpha power over occipitoparietal and frontal regions during auditory compared with visual attention, putatively reflecting suppression of visual processing. In conclusion, this study showed both enhanced processing of attended acoustic stimuli in early sensory cortex and reduced processing of distracting input, both at higher cortical levels and at the most peripheral level of the hearing system, the cochlea. PMID:25057201

  20. Modulation of early cortical processing during divided attention to non-contiguous locations.

    PubMed

    Frey, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Anita M; Murphy, Jeremy W; Molholm, Sophie; Lalor, Edmund C; Foxe, John J

    2014-05-01

    We often face the challenge of simultaneously attending to multiple non-contiguous regions of space. There is ongoing debate as to how spatial attention is divided under these situations. Whereas, for several years, the predominant view was that humans could divide the attentional spotlight, several recent studies argue in favor of a unitary spotlight that rhythmically samples relevant locations. Here, this issue was addressed by the use of high-density electrophysiology in concert with the multifocal m-sequence technique to examine visual evoked responses to multiple simultaneous streams of stimulation. Concurrently, we assayed the topographic distribution of alpha-band oscillatory mechanisms, a measure of attentional suppression. Participants performed a difficult detection task that required simultaneous attention to two stimuli in contiguous (undivided) or non-contiguous parts of space. In the undivided condition, the classic pattern of attentional modulation was observed, with increased amplitude of the early visual evoked response and increased alpha amplitude ipsilateral to the attended hemifield. For the divided condition, early visual responses to attended stimuli were also enhanced, and the observed multifocal topographic distribution of alpha suppression was in line with the divided attention hypothesis. These results support the existence of divided attentional spotlights, providing evidence that the corresponding modulation occurs during initial sensory processing time-frames in hierarchically early visual regions, and that suppressive mechanisms of visual attention selectively target distracter locations during divided spatial attention. PMID:24606564

  1. Intermodal auditory, visual, and tactile attention modulates early stages of neural processing

    PubMed Central

    Karns, Christina M.; Knight, Robert T.

    2011-01-01

    We used event-related potentials (ERPs) and gamma band oscillatory responses (GBRs) to examine whether intermodal attention operates early in the auditory, visual, and tactile modalities. To control for the effects of spatial attention, we spatially coregistered all stimuli and varied the attended modality across counterbalanced blocks in an intermodal selection task. In each block participants selectively responded to either auditory, visual, or vibrotactile stimuli from the stream of intermodal events. Auditory and visual ERPs were modulated at the latencies of early cortical processing, but attention manifested later for tactile ERPs. For ERPs, auditory processing was modulated at the latency of the Na (29 ms) which indexes early cortical or thalamocortical processing and the subsequent P1 (90 ms) ERP components. Visual processing was modulated at the latency of the early phase of the C1 (62-72 ms) thought to be generated in primary visual cortex and the subsequent P1 and N1 (176 ms). Tactile processing was modulated at the latency of the N160 (165 ms) likely generated in secondary association cortex. Intermodal attention enhanced early sensory GBRs for all three modalities: auditory (onset 57 ms), visual (onset 47 ms) and tactile (onset 27 ms). Together, these results suggest that intermodal attention enhances neural processing relatively early in the sensory stream independent from differential effects of spatial and intramodal selective attention. PMID:18564047

  2. Dissociation predicts later attention problems in sexually abused children

    PubMed Central

    Kaplow, Julie B.; Hall, Erin; Koenen, Karestan C.; Dodge, Kenneth A.; Amaya-Jackson, Lisa

    2008-01-01

    Objective The goals of this research are to develop and test a prospective model of attention problems in sexually abused children that includes fixed variables (e.g., gender), trauma, and disclosure-related pathways. Methods At Time 1, fixed variables, trauma variables, and stress reactions upon disclosure were assessed in 156 children aged 8 to 13 years. At the Time 2 follow-up (8 to 36 months following the initial interview), 56 of the children were assessed for attention problems. Results A path analysis involving a series of hierarchically-nested, ordinary least squares multiple regression analyses indicated two direct paths to attention problems including the child’s relationship to the perpetrator (β = .23) and dissociation measured immediately after disclosure (β = .53), while controlling for concurrent externalizing behavior (β = .43). Posttraumatic stress symptoms were only indirectly associated with attention problems via dissociation. Taken together, these pathways accounted for approximately 52% of the variance in attention problems and provided an excellent fit to the data. Conclusions Children who report dissociative symptoms upon disclosure of CSA and/or were sexually abused by someone within their family are at an increased risk of developing attention problems. Practice Implications: Findings from this study indicate that children who experienced sexual abuse at an earlier age, by someone within their family, and/or report symptoms of dissociation during disclosure are especially likely to benefit from intervention. Effective interventions should involve (1) providing emotion regulation and coping skills; and (2) helping children to process traumatic aspects of the abuse to reduce the cyclic nature of traumatic reminders leading to unmanageable stress and dissociation. PMID:18308391

  3. Dissociation Predicts Later Attention Problems in Sexually Abused Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplow, Julie B.; Hall, Erin; Koenen, Karestan C.; Dodge, Kenneth A.; Amaya-Jackson, Lisa

    2008-01-01

    Objective: The goals of this research are to develop and test a prospective model of attention problems in sexually abused children that includes fixed variables (e.g., gender), trauma, and disclosure-related pathways. Methods: At Time 1, fixed variables, trauma variables, and stress reactions upon disclosure were assessed in 156 children aged…

  4. Do Intelligence and Sustained Attention Interact in Predicting Academic Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinmayr, Ricarda; Ziegler, Mattias; Trauble, Birgit

    2010-01-01

    Research in clinical samples suggests that the relationship between intelligence and academic achievement might be moderated by sustained attention. The present study aimed to explore whether this interaction could be observed in a non-clinical sample. We investigated a sample of 11th and 12th grade students (N = 231). An overall performance score…

  5. Attention modulates spatial priority maps in the human occipital, parietal and frontal cortices

    PubMed Central

    Sprague, Thomas C.; Serences, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Computational theories propose that attention modulates the topographical landscape of spatial ‘priority’ maps in regions of visual cortex so that the location of an important object is associated with higher activation levels. While single-unit recording studies have demonstrated attention-related increases in the gain of neural responses and changes in the size of spatial receptive fields, the net effect of these modulations on the topography of region-level priority maps has not been investigated. Here, we used fMRI and a multivariate encoding model to reconstruct spatial representations of attended and ignored stimuli using activation patterns across entire visual areas. These reconstructed spatial representations reveal the influence of attention on the amplitude and size of stimulus representations within putative priority maps across the visual hierarchy. Our results suggest that attention increases the amplitude of stimulus representations in these spatial maps, particularly in higher visual areas, but does not substantively change their size. PMID:24212672

  6. Attention modulates earliest responses in the primary auditory and visual cortices.

    PubMed

    Poghosyan, Vahe; Ioannides, Andreas A

    2008-06-12

    A fundamental question about the neural correlates of attention concerns the earliest sensory processing stage that it can affect. We addressed this issue by recording magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals while subjects performed detection tasks, which required employment of spatial or nonspatial attention, in auditory or visual modality. Using distributed source analysis of MEG signals, we found that, contrary to previous studies that used equivalent current dipole (ECD) analysis, spatial attention enhanced the initial feedforward response in the primary visual cortex (V1) at 55-90 ms. We also found attentional modulation of the putative primary auditory cortex (A1) activity at 30-50 ms. Furthermore, we reproduced our findings using ECD modeling guided by the results of distributed source analysis and suggest a reason why earlier studies using ECD analysis failed to identify the modulation of earliest V1 activity. PMID:18549790

  7. Noise Prediction Module for Offset Stream Nozzles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henderson, Brenda S.

    2011-01-01

    A Modern Design of Experiments (MDOE) analysis of data acquired for an offset stream technology was presented. The data acquisition and concept development were funded under a Supersonics NRA NNX07AC62A awarded to Dimitri Papamoschou at University of California, Irvine. The technology involved the introduction of airfoils in the fan stream of a bypass ratio (BPR) two nozzle system operated at transonic exhaust speeds. The vanes deflected the fan stream relative to the core stream and resulted in reduced sideline noise for polar angles in the peak jet noise direction. Noise prediction models were developed for a range of vane configurations. The models interface with an existing ANOPP module and can be used or future system level studies.

  8. Learned Predictiveness Influences Rapid Attentional Capture: Evidence from the Dot Probe Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Le Pelley, Mike E.; Vadillo, Miguel; Luque, David

    2013-01-01

    Attentional theories of associative learning and categorization propose that learning about the predictiveness of a stimulus influences the amount of attention that is paid to that stimulus. Three experiments tested this idea by looking at the extent to which stimuli that had previously been experienced as predictive or nonpredictive in a…

  9. Attentional modulation of medial olivocochlear inhibition: evidence for immaturity in children.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Srikanta K

    2014-12-01

    Efferent feedback shapes afferent auditory processing. Auditory attention has been shown to modulate medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent activity in human adults. Since auditory attention continues to develop throughout childhood, the present study explored whether attentional control of medial-efferent inhibition in 5-10 year-old children is adult-like. MOC inhibition was measured in adults (n = 14) and children (n = 12) during no-task (contralateral broadband noise), passive (contralateral noise with tone-pips) and active listening conditions (attended tone-pips embedded in contralateral broadband noise). A stronger MOC inhibition was observed when measured during the active listening condition for adults which is consistent with past work. However, the effect of auditory attention on MOC inhibition in children was not robust and was significantly lower compared to that observed for adults. These findings suggest the potential immaturity of the attentional mediation of MOC inhibition in tested children. PMID:25445819

  10. Top-down and bottom-up attention cause the ventriloquism effect with distinct electroencephalography modulations

    PubMed Central

    Kumagai, Toshihiro

    2016-01-01

    The ventriloquism effect is a critical phenomenon for understanding the underlying mechanisms of multisensory integration. Cross-modal spatial attention causes a distortion of sound localization, although the neural basis of the effect remains an unanswered question. We hypothesized that top-down and bottom-up visual-spatial attention causes the ventriloquism effect with different modulations of ongoing neural oscillation. To test this hypothesis, human scalp electroencephalography (EEG) was measured during a sound localization task. Top-down attention suppressed the EEG amplitude in the alpha frequency (10 Hz) over the contralateral temporal electrode sites to visual cue hemifields. Bottom-up attention shifted the EEG phase to the theta frequency (7 Hz), rather than suppressing the amplitude. Two different neural mechanisms of ongoing neural oscillation contributed toward the ventriloquism effect, with different spatial attention. PMID:27128725

  11. Top-down and bottom-up attention cause the ventriloquism effect with distinct electroencephalography modulations.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Toshihiro; Mizuhara, Hiroaki

    2016-06-15

    The ventriloquism effect is a critical phenomenon for understanding the underlying mechanisms of multisensory integration. Cross-modal spatial attention causes a distortion of sound localization, although the neural basis of the effect remains an unanswered question. We hypothesized that top-down and bottom-up visual-spatial attention causes the ventriloquism effect with different modulations of ongoing neural oscillation. To test this hypothesis, human scalp electroencephalography (EEG) was measured during a sound localization task. Top-down attention suppressed the EEG amplitude in the alpha frequency (10 Hz) over the contralateral temporal electrode sites to visual cue hemifields. Bottom-up attention shifted the EEG phase to the theta frequency (7 Hz), rather than suppressing the amplitude. Two different neural mechanisms of ongoing neural oscillation contributed toward the ventriloquism effect, with different spatial attention. PMID:27128725

  12. Dynamic attentional modulation of vision across space and time after right hemisphere stroke and in ageing

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Charlotte; Malhotra, Paresh; Deidda, Cristiana; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Attention modulates the availability of sensory information to conscious perception. In particular, there is evidence of pathological, spatial constriction of the effective field of vision in patients with right hemisphere damage when a central task exhausts available attentional capacity. In the current study we first examined whether this constriction might be modulated across both space and time in right hemisphere stroke patients without neglect. Then we tested healthy elderly people to determine whether non-pathological ageing also leads to spatiotemporal impairments of vision under conditions of high attention load. Methods Right hemisphere stroke patients completed a task at fixation while attempting to discriminate letters appearing in the periphery. Attentional load of the central task was modulated by increasing task difficulty. Peripheral letters appeared simultaneously with the central task or at different times (stimulus onset asynchronies, SOAs) after it. In a second study healthy elderly volunteers were tested with a modified version of this paradigm. Results Under conditions of high attention load right hemisphere stroke patients have a reduced effective visual field, over a significantly extended ‘attentional blink’, worse for items presented to their left. In the second study, older participants were unable to discriminate otherwise salient items across the visual field (left or right) when their attention capacity was loaded on the central task. This deficit extended temporally, with peripheral discrimination ability not returning to normal for up to 450 msec. Conclusions Dynamically tying up attention resources on a task at fixation can have profound effects in patient populations and in normal ageing. These results demonstrate that items can escape conscious detection across space and time, and can thereby impact significantly on visual perception in these groups. PMID:23245427

  13. Attentional modulations of the early and later stages of the neural processing of visual completion

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiang; Zhou, Liang; Qian, Cheng; Gan, Lingyu; Zhang, Daren

    2015-01-01

    The brain effortlessly recognizes objects even when the visual information belonging to an object is widely separated, as well demonstrated by the Kanizsa-type illusory contours (ICs), in which a contour is perceived despite the fragments of the contour being separated by gaps. Such large-range visual completion has long been thought to be preattentive, whereas its dependence on top-down influences remains unclear. Here, we report separate modulations by spatial attention and task relevance on the neural activities in response to the ICs. IC-sensitive event-related potentials that were localized to the lateral occipital cortex were modulated by spatial attention at an early processing stage (130–166 ms after stimulus onset) and modulated by task relevance at a later processing stage (234–290 ms). These results not only demonstrate top-down attentional influences on the neural processing of ICs but also elucidate the characteristics of the attentional modulations that occur in different phases of IC processing. PMID:25666450

  14. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Modulation Disorder: A Comparison of Behavior and Physiology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Lucy Jane; Nielsen, Darci M.; Schoen, Sarah A.

    2012-01-01

    Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive, while children with sensory modulation disorder (SMD), one subtype of Sensory Processing Disorder, have difficulty responding adaptively to daily sensory experiences. ADHD and SMD are often difficult to distinguish. To differentiate these…

  15. Feature- and object-based attentional modulation in the human auditory "where" pathway.

    PubMed

    Krumbholz, Katrin; Eickhoff, Simon B; Fink, Gereon R

    2007-10-01

    Attending to a visual stimulus feature, such as color or motion, enhances the processing of that feature in the visual cortex. Moreover, the processing of the attended object's other, unattended, features is also enhanced. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that attentional modulation in the auditory system may also exhibit such feature- and object-specific effects. Specifically, we found that attending to auditory motion increases activity in nonprimary motion-sensitive areas of the auditory cortical "where" pathway. Moreover, activity in these motion-sensitive areas was also increased when attention was directed to a moving rather than a stationary sound object, even when motion was not the attended feature. An analysis of effective connectivity revealed that the motion-specific attentional modulation was brought about by an increase in connectivity between the primary auditory cortex and nonprimary motion-sensitive areas, which, in turn, may have been mediated by the paracingulate cortex in the frontal lobe. The current results indicate that auditory attention can select both objects and features. The finding of feature-based attentional modulation implies that attending to one feature of a sound object does not necessarily entail an exhaustive processing of the object's unattended features. PMID:18271742

  16. Modulation of the spatial attention network by incentives in healthy aging and mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Bagurdes, Lisa A; Mesulam, Marsel M; Gitelman, Darren R; Weintraub, Sandra; Small, Dana M

    2008-10-01

    Impairments of spatial attention are common in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but may develop earlier in the course of the disease, a condition referred to as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In a previous experiment, we showed that emotional content overcame the AD-related decline in selective attention to novel events [LaBar, K. S., Mesulam, M., Gitelman, D. R., & Weintraub, S. (2000). Emotional curiosity: Modulation of visuospatial attention by arousal is preserved in aging and early-stage Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia, 38(13), 1734-1740]. The current experiment examined the influence of secondary reinforcers upon selective spatial attention in MCI and healthy aging (EC). Subjects performed a covert attention task while undergoing fMRI. They won money for fast responses and lost money for slow responses. In young subjects, this task had shown that the influence of incentive upon spatial attention is mediated by the posterior cingulate (PCC) and orbitofrontal cortices (OFC) [Small, D. M., Gitelman, D., Simmons, K., Bloise, S. M., Parrish, T., & Mesulam, M. M. (2005). Monetary incentives enhance processing in brain regions mediating top-down control of attention. Cerebral Cortex, 15(12), 1855-1865]. Both groups were able to use spatial cues to generate an anticipatory attentional shift towards the cued location. The prospect of winning (but not losing) money enhanced attentional shifts in EC subjects, an effect that was mediated by OFC activation. In contrast, only the prospect of losing money enhanced attentional shifts in MCI subjects, an effect that correlated with PCC activation. Behavioral effects of incentive upon spatial attention are only partially maintained in EC and MCI with corresponding modifications in the underlying neural circuitry. These results suggest a reorganization of the relationships between the limbic system and spatial attention network in healthy aging and MCI. PMID:18602410

  17. Frontal Eye Fields Control Attentional Modulation of Alpha and Gamma Oscillations in Contralateral Occipitoparietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    O'Shea, Jacinta; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O.

    2015-01-01

    Covertly directing visuospatial attention produces a frequency-specific modulation of neuronal oscillations in occipital and parietal cortices: anticipatory alpha (8–12 Hz) power decreases contralateral and increases ipsilateral to attention, whereas stimulus-induced gamma (>40 Hz) power is boosted contralaterally and attenuated ipsilaterally. These modulations must be under top-down control; however, the control mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Here we investigated the causal contribution of the human frontal eye field (FEF) by combining repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with subsequent magnetoencephalography. Following inhibitory theta burst stimulation to the left FEF, right FEF, or vertex, participants performed a visual discrimination task requiring covert attention to either visual hemifield. Both left and right FEF TMS caused marked attenuation of alpha modulation in the occipitoparietal cortex. Notably, alpha modulation was consistently reduced in the hemisphere contralateral to stimulation, leaving the ipsilateral hemisphere relatively unaffected. Additionally, right FEF TMS enhanced gamma modulation in left visual cortex. Behaviorally, TMS caused a relative slowing of response times to targets contralateral to stimulation during the early task period. Our results suggest that left and right FEF are causally involved in the attentional top-down control of anticipatory alpha power in the contralateral visual system, whereas a right-hemispheric dominance seems to exist for control of stimulus-induced gamma power. These findings contrast the assumption of primarily intrahemispheric connectivity between FEF and parietal cortex, emphasizing the relevance of interhemispheric interactions. The contralaterality of effects may result from a transient functional reorganization of the dorsal attention network after inhibition of either FEF. PMID:25632139

  18. Self-construal priming selectively modulates the scope of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhuozhuo; Cheng, Menxue; Peng, Kaiping; Zhang, Dan

    2015-01-01

    Self-concept is one of the major factors to explain the cultural differences between East Asians and Westerners. In the field of visual attention, most studies have focused on the modulation of visual spatial-based attention, whereas possible influences of culture or self-concept on other types of visual attention remain largely unexplored. The present study investigated the possible modulation of visual feature-based attention by self-concept, using a within-group self-construal priming design. The experiment paradigm employed visual stimuli consisted of two intermixing random dot clouds presented in the focal visual field with red and green colors. After primed with an interdependent, independent, or neutral self-construal, the participants were instructed to attend to one of the focally presented dot cloud and respond to occasional luminance decrement events of the attended dot cloud. The detection of the focal events was found to be significantly faster when exogenously cued by a peripheral dot cloud of either the same or different colors as the attended focal dot cloud (congruent/incongruent), compared to the uncued condition. More importantly, the self-construal priming took effect only on the reaction time (RT) differences between the congruent and incongruent cued conditions: the participants responded much slower to incongruent cued events than congruent cued events under interdependent self-construal priming, while the RT difference was significantly smaller under independent self-construal priming. A closer look on the results suggests that the attention scope is selectively modulated by self-construal priming, and the modulation is mainly reflected by varying the degree of suppression on the processing of the incongruent contextual stimuli that do not share visual features with the focal object. Our findings provide new evidences that could possibly extend the current understanding on the cultural influence on visual attention. PMID:26483747

  19. Spatial attention does not modulate holistic face processing, even when multiple faces are present.

    PubMed

    Norman, Liam J; Tokarev, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    The perception of faces is often considered to be unique in comparison with that of other objects in the world. The fact that faces are processed not by their constituent components but by the spatial configuration between those components (holistic face processing--HFP) is often used to support this. Despite two decades of research, however, there is no consensus as to whether or not HFP is a process that is subject to attentional modulation. Here, in two experiments, we used a method to direct spatial attention not previously used in studies of HFP--an exogenous spatial cue--as it offers a robust, rapid, and involuntary method of directing attention. In one experiment we demonstrate that the degree of HFP afforded to a face is not reduced when attention is directed away from that face. In a second experiment we replicate this finding even when the face is simultaneously flanked by other faces--a condition under which a face-specific processing module would, hypothetically, be more sensitive to attentional guidance. These results add to the argument that HFP is carried out independently of attention. PMID:25669051

  20. Temporal Expectation and Attention Jointly Modulate Auditory Oscillatory Activity in the Beta Band

    PubMed Central

    Todorovic, Ana; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric; de Lange, Floris P.

    2015-01-01

    The neural response to a stimulus is influenced by endogenous factors such as expectation and attention. Current research suggests that expectation and attention exert their effects in opposite directions, where expectation decreases neural activity in sensory areas, while attention increases it. However, expectation and attention are usually studied either in isolation or confounded with each other. A recent study suggests that expectation and attention may act jointly on sensory processing, by increasing the neural response to expected events when they are attended, but decreasing it when they are unattended. Here we test this hypothesis in an auditory temporal cueing paradigm using magnetoencephalography in humans. In our study participants attended to, or away from, tones that could arrive at expected or unexpected moments. We found a decrease in auditory beta band synchrony to expected (versus unexpected) tones if they were unattended, but no difference if they were attended. Modulations in beta power were already evident prior to the expected onset times of the tones. These findings suggest that expectation and attention jointly modulate sensory processing. PMID:25799572

  1. Dissociable Modulation of Overt Visual Attention in Valence and Arousal Revealed by Topology of Scan Path

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Jianguang; Jiang, Huihui; Jin, Yixiang; Chen, Nanhui; Wang, Jianhong; Wang, Zhengbo; Luo, Yuejia; Ma, Yuanye; Hu, Xintian

    2011-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness) and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion), have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low). Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal) elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence) elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal. PMID:21494331

  2. How Prediction Errors Shape Perception, Attention, and Motivation

    PubMed Central

    den Ouden, Hanneke E. M.; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.

    2012-01-01

    Prediction errors (PE) are a central notion in theoretical models of reinforcement learning, perceptual inference, decision-making and cognition, and prediction error signals have been reported across a wide range of brain regions and experimental paradigms. Here, we will make an attempt to see the forest for the trees and consider the commonalities and differences of reported PE signals in light of recent suggestions that the computation of PE forms a fundamental mode of brain function. We discuss where different types of PE are encoded, how they are generated, and the different functional roles they fulfill. We suggest that while encoding of PE is a common computation across brain regions, the content and function of these error signals can be very different and are determined by the afferent and efferent connections within the neural circuitry in which they arise. PMID:23248610

  3. Somatosensory spatial attention modulates amplitudes, latencies, and latency jitter of laser-evoked brain potentials

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Marcel; Nickel, Moritz M.; Ritter, Alexander; Miltner, Wolfgang H. R.

    2015-01-01

    Several studies provided evidence that the amplitudes of laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) are modulated by attention. However, previous reports were based on across-trial averaging of LEP responses at the expense of losing information about intertrial variability related to attentional modulation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of somatosensory spatial attention on single-trial parameters (i.e., amplitudes, latencies, and latency jitter) of LEP components (N2 and P2). Twelve subjects participated in a sustained spatial attention paradigm while noxious laser stimuli (left hand) and noxious electrical stimuli (right hand) were sequentially delivered to the dorsum of the respective hand with nonnoxious air puffs randomly interspersed within the sequence of noxious stimuli. Participants were instructed to mentally count all stimuli (i.e., noxious and nonnoxious) applied to the attended location. Laser stimuli, presented to the attended hand (ALS), elicited larger single-trial amplitudes of the N2 component compared with unattended laser stimuli (ULS). In contrast, single-trial amplitudes of the P2 component were not significantly affected by spatial attention. Single-trial latencies of the N2 and P2 were significantly smaller for ALS vs. ULS. Additionally, the across-trial latency jitter of the N2 component was reduced for ALS. Conversely, the latency jitter of the P2 component was smaller for ULS compared with ALS. With the use of single-trial analysis, the study provided new insights into brain dynamics of LEPs related to spatial attention. Our results indicate that single-trial parameters of LEP components are differentially modulated by spatial attention. PMID:25673731

  4. Evidence of strategic effects in the modulation of orienting of attention.

    PubMed

    Nougier, V; Rossi, B; Alain, C; Taddei, F

    1996-09-01

    Two models of visual orienting of attention are frequently described. Voluntary orienting is usually induced by central cues that direct subjects' attention to a given location in the visual space. Automatic orienting is provoked by presentation of peripheral cues. It is shown that automatic orienting induces greater attentional costs and benefits, and is less under a subject's control (Jonides 1981). Furthermore, it is not similarly affected by factors such as signal eccentricity (Umiltà et al. 1991). The present experiment was undertaken to investigate how sensitive automatic orienting produced by peripheral cues is to voluntary modulations of attention. In experiment 1, subjects facing situations daily in which attentional requirements are high, were compared to non-practiced ones. In experiment 2, other groups of practiced subjects facing high or low attentional-demanding situations were tested. In both experiments, subjects were asked to respond to signals, presented in rapid succession, in one of two possible locations in space, on each side of central fixation point. The cue signal automatically oriented attention to one of the two locations in which a first stimulus was presented with 100% probability; 100 ms after the first response (RT1), a second response signal (RT2) was delivered either in the same location (valid condition) or in the opposite location (invalid condition). Four cue probabilities were manipulated for this second stimulus: 100%/0%, 80%/20%, 50%/50%, and 20%/80%. Two eccentricities of 3 degrees and 6 degrees were tested. RT2 data demonstrated that (1) there was no eccentricity effect; (2) the higher the cue probability, the greater were the attentional costs; (3) the attentional effects were smaller in the practiced subjects who faced attention-demanding situations daily, than in the other groups. Put together, these data suggest that automatic orienting of attention can be modulated by voluntary attentional processes, according to cue

  5. Reward expectation differentially modulates attentional behavior and activity in visual area V4.

    PubMed

    Baruni, Jalal K; Lau, Brian; Salzman, C Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Neural activity in visual area V4 is enhanced when attention is directed into neuronal receptive fields. However, the source of this enhancement is unclear, as most physiological studies have manipulated attention by changing the absolute reward associated with a particular location as well as its value relative to other locations. We trained monkeys to discriminate the orientation of two stimuli presented simultaneously in different hemifields while we independently varied the reward magnitude associated with correct discrimination at each location. Behavioral measures of attention were controlled by the relative value of each location. By contrast, neurons in V4 were consistently modulated by absolute reward value, exhibiting increased activity, increased gamma-band power and decreased trial-to-trial variability whenever receptive field locations were associated with large rewards. These data challenge the notion that the perceptual benefits of spatial attention rely on increased signal-to-noise in V4. Instead, these benefits likely derive from downstream selection mechanisms. PMID:26479590

  6. Reward expectation differentially modulates attentional behavior and activity in visual area V4

    PubMed Central

    Baruni, Jalal K.; Lau, Brian; Salzman, C. Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity in visual area V4 is enhanced when attention is directed into neuronal receptive fields. However, the source of this enhancement is unclear since most physiological studies have manipulated attention by changing the absolute reward associated with a particular location as well as its value relative to other locations. We trained monkeys to discriminate the orientation of two stimuli presented simultaneously in different hemifields while independently varying the reward magnitude associated with correct discrimination at each location. Behavioral measures of attention were controlled by the relative value of each location. By contrast, neurons in V4 were consistently modulated by absolute reward value, exhibiting increased activity, increased gamma-band power, and decreased trial-to-trial variability whenever receptive field locations were associated with large rewards. These data challenge the notion that the perceptual benefits of spatial attention rely on increased signal-to-noise in V4. Instead, these benefits likely derive from downstream selection mechanisms. PMID:26479590

  7. The availability of attentional resources modulates the inhibitory strength related to weakly activated priming.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongchun; Wang, Yonghui; Liu, Peng; Dai, Dongyang; Di, Meilin; Chen, Qiang

    2016-08-01

    The current study investigated the role of attention in inhibitory processes (the inhibitory processes described in the current study refer only to those associated with masked or flanked priming) using a mixed paradigm involving the negative compatibility effect (NCE) and object-based attention. Accumulating evidence suggests that attention can be spread more easily within the same object, which increases the availability of attentional resources, than across different objects. Accordingly, we manipulated distractor location (with primes presented in the same object versus presented in different objects) together with prime/target compatibility (compatible versus incompatible) and prime-distractor stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA, 23 ms vs 70 ms). The aim was to investigate whether inhibitory processes related to weakly activated priming, which have been previously assumed to be automatic, depend on the availability of attentional resources. The results of Experiment 1 showed a significant NCE for the 70-ms SOA when the prime and distractor were presented in the same object (greater attentional resource availability); however, reversed NCEs were obtained for all other conditions. Experiment 2 was designed to disentangle whether the results of Experiment 1 were affected by the prime position, and the results indicated that the prime position did not modulate the NCE in Experiment 1. Together, these results are consistent with the claim that the availability of attentional resources modulates the inhibitory strength related to weakly activated priming. Specifically, if attentional resources are assigned to the distractor when it is presented in the same object as the prime, the strength of the inhibition elicited by the distractor may increase and reverse the activation elicited by the prime, which could lead to a significant NCE. PMID:27198916

  8. Selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates initial encoding of auditory words within the left hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Yoncheva, Yuliya; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D

    2014-08-15

    Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by manipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data-driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater recruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings suggest a key role for selective attention in on-line phonological computations. Furthermore, these findings motivate future research on the role that neural mechanisms of attention may

  9. Quantifying attentional modulation of auditory-evoked cortical responses from single-trial electroencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Inyong; Rajaram, Siddharth; Varghese, Lenny A.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.

    2013-01-01

    Selective auditory attention is essential for human listeners to be able to communicate in multi-source environments. Selective attention is known to modulate the neural representation of the auditory scene, boosting the representation of a target sound relative to the background, but the strength of this modulation, and the mechanisms contributing to it, are not well understood. Here, listeners performed a behavioral experiment demanding sustained, focused spatial auditory attention while we measured cortical responses using electroencephalography (EEG). We presented three concurrent melodic streams; listeners were asked to attend and analyze the melodic contour of one of the streams, randomly selected from trial to trial. In a control task, listeners heard the same sound mixtures, but performed the contour judgment task on a series of visual arrows, ignoring all auditory streams. We found that the cortical responses could be fit as weighted sum of event-related potentials evoked by the stimulus onsets in the competing streams. The weighting to a given stream was roughly 10 dB higher when it was attended compared to when another auditory stream was attended; during the visual task, the auditory gains were intermediate. We then used a template-matching classification scheme to classify single-trial EEG results. We found that in all subjects, we could determine which stream the subject was attending significantly better than by chance. By directly quantifying the effect of selective attention on auditory cortical responses, these results reveal that focused auditory attention both suppresses the response to an unattended stream and enhances the response to an attended stream. The single-trial classification results add to the growing body of literature suggesting that auditory attentional modulation is sufficiently robust that it could be used as a control mechanism in brain–computer interfaces (BCIs). PMID:23576968

  10. Selective attention modulates high-frequency activity in the face-processing network.

    PubMed

    Müsch, Kathrin; Hamamé, Carlos M; Perrone-Bertolotti, Marcela; Minotti, Lorella; Kahane, Philippe; Engel, Andreas K; Lachaux, Jean-Philippe; Schneider, Till R

    2014-11-01

    Face processing depends on the orchestrated activity of a large-scale neuronal network. Its activity can be modulated by attention as a function of task demands. However, it remains largely unknown whether voluntary, endogenous attention and reflexive, exogenous attention to facial expressions equally affect all regions of the face-processing network, and whether such effects primarily modify the strength of the neuronal response, the latency, the duration, or the spectral characteristics. We exploited the good temporal and spatial resolution of intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) and recorded from depth electrodes to uncover the fast dynamics of emotional face processing. We investigated frequency-specific responses and event-related potentials (ERP) in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOTC), ventral temporal cortex (VTC), anterior insula, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and amygdala when facial expressions were task-relevant or task-irrelevant. All investigated regions of interest (ROI) were clearly modulated by task demands and exhibited stronger changes in stimulus-induced gamma band activity (50-150 Hz) when facial expressions were task-relevant. Observed latencies demonstrate that the activation is temporally coordinated across the network, rather than serially proceeding along a processing hierarchy. Early and sustained responses to task-relevant faces in VOTC and VTC corroborate their role for the core system of face processing, but they also occurred in the anterior insula. Strong attentional modulation in the OFC and amygdala (300 msec) suggests that the extended system of the face-processing network is only recruited if the task demands active face processing. Contrary to our expectation, we rarely observed differences between fearful and neutral faces. Our results demonstrate that activity in the face-processing network is susceptible to the deployment of selective attention. Moreover, we show that endogenous attention operates along the whole

  11. Mini-review: Prediction errors, attention and associative learning.

    PubMed

    Holland, Peter C; Schiffino, Felipe L

    2016-05-01

    Most modern theories of associative learning emphasize a critical role for prediction error (PE, the difference between received and expected events). One class of theories, exemplified by the Rescorla-Wagner (1972) model, asserts that PE determines the effectiveness of the reinforcer or unconditioned stimulus (US): surprising reinforcers are more effective than expected ones. A second class, represented by the Pearce-Hall (1980) model, argues that PE determines the associability of conditioned stimuli (CSs), the rate at which they may enter into new learning: the surprising delivery or omission of a reinforcer enhances subsequent processing of the CSs that were present when PE was induced. In this mini-review we describe evidence, mostly from our laboratory, for PE-induced changes in the associability of both CSs and USs, and the brain systems involved in the coding, storage and retrieval of these altered associability values. This evidence favors a number of modifications to behavioral models of how PE influences event processing, and suggests the involvement of widespread brain systems in animals' responses to PE. PMID:26948122

  12. Top-down modulation: the crossroads of perception, attention and memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazzaley, Adam

    2010-02-01

    Research in our laboratory focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms that serve at the crossroads of perception, memory and attention, specifically exploring how brain region interactions underlie these abilities. To accomplish this, we study top-down modulation, the process by which we enhance neural activity associated with relevant information and suppress activity for irrelevant information, thus establishing a neural basis for all higher-order cognitive operations. We also study alterations in top-down modulation that occur with normal aging. Our experiments are performed on human participants, using a multimodal approach that integrates functional MRI (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG).

  13. Predicting the Early Developmental Course of Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Stauffenberg, Camilla; Campbell, Susan B.

    2007-01-01

    Data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care were examined to test whether: attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms remain stable from 54 months through early elementary school; behavioral inhibition and attention deficits assessed at 54 months predict ADHD symptoms in elementary…

  14. Predictive Validity of Attentional Functions in Differentiating Children with and without ADHD: A Componential Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufmann, Liane; Zieren, Nikola; Zotter, Sibylle; Karall, Daniela; Scholl-Burgi, Sabine; Haberlandt, Edda; Fimm, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    Aim: The objective of this study was to investigate which attentional components are of predictive utility in differentiating children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, combined type (ADHD-C) from their peers without ADHD. Methods: Thirty-four children participated in the study: 17 males with ADHD-C (mean age 10y 4mo, SD 1y 9mo) and…

  15. Multisensory perception of the six basic emotions is modulated by attentional instruction and unattended modality

    PubMed Central

    Takagi, Sachiko; Hiramatsu, Saori; Tabei, Ken-ichi; Tanaka, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the perception of facial and vocal affective expressions interacts with each other. Facial expressions usually dominate vocal expressions when we perceive the emotions of face–voice stimuli. In most of these studies, participants were instructed to pay attention to the face or voice. Few studies compared the perceived emotions with and without specific instructions regarding the modality to which attention should be directed. Also, these studies used combinations of the face and voice which expresses two opposing emotions, which limits the generalizability of the findings. The purpose of this study is to examine whether the emotion perception is modulated by instructions to pay attention to the face or voice using the six basic emotions. Also we examine the modality dominance between the face and voice for each emotion category. Before the experiment, we recorded faces and voices which expresses the six basic emotions and orthogonally combined these faces and voices. Consequently, the emotional valence of visual and auditory information was either congruent or incongruent. In the experiment, there were unisensory and multisensory sessions. The multisensory session was divided into three blocks according to whether an instruction was given to pay attention to a given modality (face attention, voice attention, and no instruction). Participants judged whether the speaker expressed happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, or surprise. Our results revealed that instructions to pay attention to one modality and congruency of the emotions between modalities modulated the modality dominance, and the modality dominance is differed for each emotion category. In particular, the modality dominance for anger changed according to each instruction. Analyses also revealed that the modality dominance suggested by the congruency effect can be explained in terms of the facilitation effect and the interference effect. PMID:25698945

  16. Temporally Dissociable Mechanisms of Self-Control: Early Attentional Filtering Versus Late Value Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Todd; Rangel, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Optimal decision-making often requires exercising self-control. A growing fMRI literature has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in successful self-control, but due to the limitations inherent in BOLD measures of brain activity, the neurocomputational role of this region has not been resolved. Here we exploit the high temporal resolution and whole-brain coverage of event-related potentials (ERPs) to test the hypothesis that dlPFC affects dietary self-control through two different mechanisms: attentional filtering and value modulation. Whereas attentional filtering of sensory input should occur early in the decision process, value modulation should occur later on, after the computation of stimulus values begins. Hungry human subjects were asked to make food choices while we measured neural activity using ERP in a natural condition, in which they responded freely and did not exhibit a tendency to regulate their diet, and in a self-control condition, in which they were given a financial incentive to lose weight. We then measured various neural markers associated with the attentional filtering and value modulation mechanisms across the decision period to test for changes in neural activity during the exercise of self-control. Consistent with the hypothesis, we found evidence for top-down attentional filtering early on in the decision period (150–200 ms poststimulus onset) as well as evidence for value modulation later in the process (450–650 ms poststimulus onset). We also found evidence that dlPFC plays a role in the deployment of both mechanisms. PMID:24285897

  17. Temporally dissociable mechanisms of self-control: early attentional filtering versus late value modulation.

    PubMed

    Harris, Alison; Hare, Todd; Rangel, Antonio

    2013-11-27

    Optimal decision-making often requires exercising self-control. A growing fMRI literature has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in successful self-control, but due to the limitations inherent in BOLD measures of brain activity, the neurocomputational role of this region has not been resolved. Here we exploit the high temporal resolution and whole-brain coverage of event-related potentials (ERPs) to test the hypothesis that dlPFC affects dietary self-control through two different mechanisms: attentional filtering and value modulation. Whereas attentional filtering of sensory input should occur early in the decision process, value modulation should occur later on, after the computation of stimulus values begins. Hungry human subjects were asked to make food choices while we measured neural activity using ERP in a natural condition, in which they responded freely and did not exhibit a tendency to regulate their diet, and in a self-control condition, in which they were given a financial incentive to lose weight. We then measured various neural markers associated with the attentional filtering and value modulation mechanisms across the decision period to test for changes in neural activity during the exercise of self-control. Consistent with the hypothesis, we found evidence for top-down attentional filtering early on in the decision period (150-200 ms poststimulus onset) as well as evidence for value modulation later in the process (450-650 ms poststimulus onset). We also found evidence that dlPFC plays a role in the deployment of both mechanisms. PMID:24285897

  18. How disgust facilitates avoidance: an ERP study on attention modulation by threats

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yunzhe; Luo, Yuejia

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the attention modulation of disgust in comparison with anger in a dot-probe task. Results indicated a two-stage processing of attention modulation by threats. When participants viewed the cues that were represented by Chinese faces (i.e. the in-group condition), it was found at the early processing stage that an angry face elicited a larger occipital P1 component whereas a disgusted face elicited a smaller P1 for validly than for invalidly cued targets. However, the result pattern was reversed at the later processing stage: the P3 amplitudes were larger for valid disgust cues but were smaller for valid angry cues, when both were compared with invalid cue conditions. In addition, when participants viewed the cues that were represented by foreign faces (i.e. the out-group condition), the attention modulation of disgust/anger diminished at the early stage, whereas enhanced P3 amplitudes were observed in response to validly cued targets in both disgusting and angry conditions at the later stage. The current result implied that although people can perceptually differentiate the emotional categories of out-group faces as accurately as in-group faces, they may still be not able to psychologically understand the subtle differences behind different categories of out-group facial expressions. PMID:24974395

  19. How disgust facilitates avoidance: an ERP study on attention modulation by threats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yunzhe; Zhang, Dandan; Luo, Yuejia

    2015-04-01

    This study investigated the attention modulation of disgust in comparison with anger in a dot-probe task. Results indicated a two-stage processing of attention modulation by threats. When participants viewed the cues that were represented by Chinese faces (i.e. the in-group condition), it was found at the early processing stage that an angry face elicited a larger occipital P1 component whereas a disgusted face elicited a smaller P1 for validly than for invalidly cued targets. However, the result pattern was reversed at the later processing stage: the P3 amplitudes were larger for valid disgust cues but were smaller for valid angry cues, when both were compared with invalid cue conditions. In addition, when participants viewed the cues that were represented by foreign faces (i.e. the out-group condition), the attention modulation of disgust/anger diminished at the early stage, whereas enhanced P3 amplitudes were observed in response to validly cued targets in both disgusting and angry conditions at the later stage. The current result implied that although people can perceptually differentiate the emotional categories of out-group faces as accurately as in-group faces, they may still be not able to psychologically understand the subtle differences behind different categories of out-group facial expressions. PMID:24974395

  20. Modulation of Neuronal Responses by Exogenous Attention in Macaque Primary Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu

    2015-09-30

    Visual perception is influenced by attention deployed voluntarily or triggered involuntarily by salient stimuli. Modulation of visual cortical processing by voluntary or endogenous attention has been extensively studied, but much less is known about how involuntary or exogenous attention affects responses of visual cortical neurons. Using implanted microelectrode arrays, we examined the effects of exogenous attention on neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake monkeys. A bright annular cue was flashed either around the receptive fields of recorded neurons or in the opposite visual field to capture attention. A subsequent grating stimulus probed the cue-induced effects. In a fixation task, when the cue-to-probe stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was <240 ms, the cue induced a transient increase of neuronal responses to the probe at the cued location during 40-100 ms after the onset of neuronal responses to the probe. This facilitation diminished and disappeared after repeated presentations of the same cue but recurred for a new cue of a different color. In another task to detect the probe, relative shortening of monkey's reaction times for the validly cued probe depended on the SOA in a way similar to the cue-induced V1 facilitation, and the behavioral and physiological cueing effects remained after repeated practice. Flashing two cues simultaneously in the two opposite visual fields weakened or diminished both the physiological and behavioral cueing effects. Our findings indicate that exogenous attention significantly modulates V1 responses and that the modulation strength depends on both novelty and task relevance of the stimulus. Significance statement: Visual attention can be involuntarily captured by a sudden appearance of a conspicuous object, allowing rapid reactions to unexpected events of significance. The current study discovered a correlate of this effect in monkey primary visual cortex. An abrupt, salient, flash enhanced neuronal

  1. Right hand presence modulates shifts of exogenous visuospatial attention in near perihand space.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Donna M; Azañón, Elena; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2010-07-01

    To investigate attentional shifting in perihand space, we measured performance on a covert visual orienting task under different hand positions. Participants discriminated visual shapes presented on a screen and responded using footpedals placed under their right foot. With the right hand positioned by the right side of the screen, mean cueing effects were significantly greater for targets presented on the right compared to the left side, at the shortest stimulus onset asynchrony. The right hand still affected attention when the left foot was used to respond and when the right hand was crossed over the midline, indicating that this effect is not restricted to the right hemifield and cannot be accounted for by greater stimulus-response compatibility with the right (responding) foot. These experiments provide preliminary evidence that the presence of the right hand can modulate shifts of visual attention but emphasise the importance of stimulus-response compatibility effects in such investigations. PMID:20403655

  2. Selective Attention to Semantic and Syntactic Features Modulates Sentence Processing Networks in Anterior Temporal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rogalsky, Corianne

    2009-01-01

    Numerous studies have identified an anterior temporal lobe (ATL) region that responds preferentially to sentence-level stimuli. It is unclear, however, whether this activity reflects a response to syntactic computations or some form of semantic integration. This distinction is difficult to investigate with the stimulus manipulations and anomaly detection paradigms traditionally implemented. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study addresses this question via a selective attention paradigm. Subjects monitored for occasional semantic anomalies or occasional syntactic errors, thus directing their attention to semantic integration, or syntactic properties of the sentences. The hemodynamic response in the sentence-selective ATL region (defined with a localizer scan) was examined during anomaly/error-free sentences only, to avoid confounds due to error detection. The majority of the sentence-specific region of interest was equally modulated by attention to syntactic or compositional semantic features, whereas a smaller subregion was only modulated by the semantic task. We suggest that the sentence-specific ATL region is sensitive to both syntactic and integrative semantic functions during sentence processing, with a smaller portion of this area preferentially involved in the later. This study also suggests that selective attention paradigms may be effective tools to investigate the functional diversity of networks involved in sentence processing. PMID:18669589

  3. Modulation of attention network activation under antidepressant agents in healthy subjects.

    PubMed

    Graf, Heiko; Abler, Birgit; Hartmann, Antonie; Metzger, Coraline D; Walter, Martin

    2013-07-01

    While antidepressants are supposed to exert similar effects on mood and drive via various mechanisms of action, diverging effects are observed regarding side-effects and accordingly on neural correlates of motivation, emotion, reward and salient stimuli processing as a function of the drugs impact on neurotransmission. In the context of erotic stimulation, a unidirectional modulation of attentional functioning despite opposite effects on sexual arousal has been suggested for the selective serotonin reuptake-inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine and the selective dopamine and noradrenaline reuptake-inhibitor (SDNRI) bupropion. To further elucidate the effects of antidepressant-related alterations of neural attention networks, we investigated 18 healthy males under subchronic administration (7 d) of paroxetine (20 mg), bupropion (150 mg) and placebo within a randomized placebo-controlled cross-over double-blind functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design during an established preceding attention task. Neuropsychological effects beyond the fMRI-paradigm were assessed by measuring alertness and divided attention. Comparing preceding attention periods of salient vs. neutral pictures, we revealed congruent effects of both drugs vs. placebo within the anterior midcingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, anterior insula and the thalamus. Relatively decreased activation in this network was paralleled by slower reaction times in the divided attention task in both verum conditions compared to placebo. Our results suggest similar effects of antidepressant treatments on behavioural and neural attentional functioning by diverging neurochemical pathways. Concurrent alterations of brain regions within a fronto-parietal and cingulo-opercular attention network for top-down control could point to basic neural mechanisms of antidepressant action irrespective of receptor profiles. PMID:23200084

  4. Selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates initial encoding of auditory words within the left hemisphere

    PubMed Central

    Yoncheva; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason; McCandliss, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective atten tion to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by ma nipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data- driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater re cruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings support the key role of selective attention to phonology in the development of literacy and motivate future research on the neural bases of the interaction between phonological

  5. Attention to Faces Expressing Negative Emotion at 7 Months Predicts Attachment Security at 14 Months.

    PubMed

    Peltola, Mikko J; Forssman, Linda; Puura, Kaija; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Leppänen, Jukka M

    2015-01-01

    To investigate potential infant-related antecedents characterizing later attachment security, this study tested whether attention to facial expressions, assessed with an eye-tracking paradigm at 7 months of age (N = 73), predicted infant-mother attachment in the Strange Situation Procedure at 14 months. Attention to fearful faces at 7 months predicted attachment security, with a smaller attentional bias to fearful expressions associated with insecure attachment. Attachment disorganization in particular was linked to an absence of the age-typical attentional bias to fear. These data provide the first evidence linking infants' attentional bias to negative facial expressions with attachment formation and suggest reduced sensitivity to facial expressions of negative emotion as a testable trait that could link attachment disorganization with later behavioral outcomes. PMID:26011101

  6. Individual Differences in Anterior Cingulate Activation Associated with Attentional Bias Predict Cocaine Use After Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Marhe, Reshmi; Luijten, Maartje; van de Wetering, Ben J M; Smits, Marion; Franken, Ingmar H A

    2013-01-01

    Drug-dependent patients often relapse into drug use after treatment. Behavioral studies show that enhanced attentional bias to drug cues is a precursor of relapse. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined whether brain regions involved in attentional bias are predictive of cocaine use after treatment. Attentional bias-related brain activity was measured—with a cocaine Stroop task—in cocaine-dependent patients during their first week in detoxification treatment and was used to predict cocaine use at 3-month follow-up. The predictive value of attentional bias-related brain activity in a priori defined regions of interest, in addition to other measures such as self-reports of substance severity, craving, and behavioral attentional bias were examined. The results show that craving in the week before treatment and individual variability in attentional bias-related activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were significant predictors of days of cocaine use at 3-month follow-up and accounted for 45% in explained variance. Brain activity in the dACC uniquely contributed 22% of explained variance to the prediction model. These findings suggest that hyperactive attentional bias-related brain activity in the dACC might be a biomarker of relapse vulnerability as early as in the first week of detoxification treatment. Ultimately, this may help to develop individually tailored treatment interventions to reduce relapse risk. PMID:23303067

  7. Temporal trade-off effects in sustained attention: Dynamics in visual cortex predict the target detection performance during distraction

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Matthias J.; Keil, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Models of visual selective attention have suggested that the representation of specific features characterizing a target object is enhanced in the visual cortex, at the cost of competing task-irrelevant information. In psychophysical studies however, such attentional enhancement has been shown to result in reduced perceptual sensitivity when maintained over periods of several seconds. Two experiments examined the relationship between target detection behavior and electrocortical facilitation in human visual cortex during sustained attention under competition, in near real-time. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEPs) were used in a change detection paradigm, in which a stream of flickering grating stimuli containing target events was fully overlapping with distractor faces (experiment 1) or competing complex scenes (experiment 2), covering the same part of the visual field. Beamformer source localization was used to test plausibility of lower-tier visual cortex involvement in modulation of the ssVEP signal. Results of both experiments suggest that early over-allocation of visual cortical resources to the attended stimulus stream is associated with rapid reduction of electrocortical facilitation and poor change detection across the entire trial. By contrast, temporally balanced dynamics in visual cortex predicted accurate change detection. Taken together, the present results support models of sustained selective attention that emphasize competition for resources in lower-tier visual cortex. These models can be extended by a temporal dimension, on which attentive behavior is characterized by frugal resource sharing across the viewing time. PMID:21613491

  8. Attention Modulates Cortical Processing of Pitch Feedback Errors in Voice Control

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Huijing; Liu, Ying; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Liu, Peng; Chen, Shaozhen; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-01-01

    Considerable evidence has shown that unexpected alterations in auditory feedback elicit fast compensatory adjustments in vocal production. Although generally thought to be involuntary in nature, whether these adjustments can be influenced by attention remains unknown. The present event-related potential (ERP) study aimed to examine whether neurobehavioral processing of auditory-vocal integration can be affected by attention. While sustaining a vowel phonation and hearing pitch-shifted feedback, participants were required to either ignore the pitch perturbations, or attend to them with low (counting the number of perturbations) or high attentional load (counting the type of perturbations). Behavioral results revealed no systematic change of vocal response to pitch perturbations irrespective of whether they were attended or not. At the level of cortex, there was an enhancement of P2 response to attended pitch perturbations in the low-load condition as compared to when they were ignored. In the high-load condition, however, P2 response did not differ from that in the ignored condition. These findings provide the first neurophysiological evidence that auditory-motor integration in voice control can be modulated as a function of attention at the level of cortex. Furthermore, this modulatory effect does not lead to a general enhancement but is subject to attentional load. PMID:25589447

  9. Attention modulates cortical processing of pitch feedback errors in voice control.

    PubMed

    Hu, Huijing; Liu, Ying; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Liu, Peng; Chen, Shaozhen; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-01-01

    Considerable evidence has shown that unexpected alterations in auditory feedback elicit fast compensatory adjustments in vocal production. Although generally thought to be involuntary in nature, whether these adjustments can be influenced by attention remains unknown. The present event-related potential (ERP) study aimed to examine whether neurobehavioral processing of auditory-vocal integration can be affected by attention. While sustaining a vowel phonation and hearing pitch-shifted feedback, participants were required to either ignore the pitch perturbations, or attend to them with low (counting the number of perturbations) or high attentional load (counting the type of perturbations). Behavioral results revealed no systematic change of vocal response to pitch perturbations irrespective of whether they were attended or not. At the level of cortex, there was an enhancement of P2 response to attended pitch perturbations in the low-load condition as compared to when they were ignored. In the high-load condition, however, P2 response did not differ from that in the ignored condition. These findings provide the first neurophysiological evidence that auditory-motor integration in voice control can be modulated as a function of attention at the level of cortex. Furthermore, this modulatory effect does not lead to a general enhancement but is subject to attentional load. PMID:25589447

  10. The Primary Visual Cortex Is Differentially Modulated by Stimulus-Driven and Top-Down Attention

    PubMed Central

    Bekisz, Marek; Bogdan, Wojciech; Ghazaryan, Anaida; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J.; Kublik, Ewa; Wróbel, Andrzej

    2016-01-01

    Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i) cortical responses (EPs) evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii) intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation. PMID:26730705

  11. Attention modulations on the perception of social hierarchy at distinct temporal stages: an electrophysiological investigation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Chunliang; Tian, Tengxiang; Feng, Xue; Luo, Yue-Jia

    2015-04-01

    Recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the preferential processing of superior-hierarchy cues. However, it remains poorly understood whether top-down controlled mechanisms modulate temporal dynamics of neurocognitive substrates underlying the preferential processing of these biologically and socially relevant cues. This was investigated in the current study by recording event-related potentials from participants who were presented with superior or inferior social hierarchy. Participants performed a hierarchy-judgment task that required attention to hierarchy cues or a gender-judgment task that withdrew their attention from these cues. Superior-hierarchy cues evoked stronger neural responses than inferior-hierarchy cues at both early (N170/N200) and late (late positive potential, LPP) temporal stages. Notably, the modulations of top-down attention were identified on the LPP component, such that superior-hierarchy cues evoked larger LPP amplitudes than inferior-hierarchy cues only in the attended condition; whereas the modulations of the N170/N200 component by hierarchy cues were evident in both attended and unattended conditions. These findings suggest that the preferential perception of superior-hierarchy cues involves both relatively automatic attentional bias at the early temporal stage as well as flexible and voluntary cognitive evaluation at the late temporal stage. Finally, these hierarchy-related effects were absent when participants were shown the same stimuli which, however, were not associated with social-hierarchy information in a non-hierarchy task (Experiment 2), suggesting that effects of social hierarchy at early and late temporal stages could not be accounted for by differences in physical attributes between these social cues. PMID:25681738

  12. Post-perceptual processing during the attentional blink is modulated by inter-trial task expectancies

    PubMed Central

    Sy, Jocelyn L.; Elliott, James C.; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2013-01-01

    The selective processing of goal-relevant information depends on an attention system that can flexibly adapt to changing task demands and expectations. Evidence from visual search tasks indicates that the perceptual selectivity of attention increases when the bottom-up demands of the task increase and when the expectations about task demands engendered by trial history are violated. Evidence from studies of the attentional blink (AB), which measures the temporal dynamics of attention, also indicates that perceptual selectivity during the AB is increased if the bottom-up task demands are increased. The present work tested whether expectations about task demands engendered by trial history also modulate perceptual selectivity during the AB. Two experiments tested the extent to which inter-trial switches in task demands reduced post-perceptual processing of targets presented during the AB. Experiment 1 indexed post-perceptual processing using the event-related potential (ERP) technique to isolate the context sensitive N400 ERP component evoked by words presented during the AB. Experiment 2 indexed post-perceptual processing using behavioral performance to determine the extent to which personal names survive the AB. The results of both experiments revealed that both electrophysiological (Exp. 1) and behavioral (Exp. 2) indices of post-perceptual processing were attenuated when consecutive trials differed in terms of their perceptual demands. The results are consistent with the notion that the selectivity of attention during the AB is modulated not only by within-trial task demands, but also can be flexibly determined by trial-by-trial expectations. PMID:24115924

  13. Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired with Emotional Faces.

    PubMed

    Aktar, Evin; Mandell, Dorothy J; de Vente, Wieke; Majdandžić, Mirjana; Raijmakers, Maartje E J; Bögels, Susan M

    2016-07-01

    Between 10 and 14 months, infants gain the ability to learn about unfamiliar stimuli by observing others' emotional reactions to those stimuli, so called social referencing (SR). Joint processing of emotion and head/gaze direction is essential for SR. This study tested emotion and head/gaze direction effects on infants' attention via pupillometry in the period following the emergence of SR. Pupil responses of 14-to-17-month-old infants (N = 57) were measured during computerized presentations of unfamiliar objects alone, before-and-after being paired with emotional (happy, sad, fearful vs. neutral) faces gazing towards (vs. away) from objects. Additionally, the associations of infants' temperament, and parents' negative affect/depression/anxiety with infants' pupil responses were explored. Both mothers and fathers of participating infants completed questionnaires about their negative affect, depression and anxiety symptoms and their infants' negative temperament. Infants allocated more attention (larger pupils) to negative vs. neutral faces when the faces were presented alone, while they allocated less attention to objects paired with emotional vs. neutral faces independent of head/gaze direction. Sad (but not fearful) temperament predicted more attention to emotional faces. Infants' sad temperament moderated the associations of mothers' depression (but not anxiety) with infants' attention to objects. Maternal depression predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions in infants low in sad temperament, while it predicted less attention in infants high in sad temperament. Fathers' depression (but not anxiety) predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions independent of infants' temperament. We conclude that infants' own temperamental dispositions for sadness, and their exposure to mothers' and fathers' depressed moods may influence infants' attention to emotion-object associations in social learning contexts. PMID

  14. The spider does not always win the fight for attention: Disengagement from threat is modulated by goal set.

    PubMed

    Vromen, Joyce M G; Lipp, Ottmar V; Remington, Roger W

    2015-01-01

    Stimulus-driven preferential attention to threat can be modulated by goal-driven attention. However, it remains unclear how this goal-driven modulation affects specific attentional components implied in threat interference. We hypothesise that goal-driven modulation most strongly impacts delayed disengagement from threat. A spatial cueing task was used that disentangles delayed disengagement from attentional capture by tightly manipulating the locus of attention at the time of target onset. Different top-down goals were induced by instructing participants to identify bird/fish targets (Experiment 1) or spider/cat targets (Experiment 2) among animal non-targets. Delayed disengagement from a non-target spider was observed only when the spider was part of the target set, not when it was task-irrelevant. This corroborates evidence that threat stimuli do not necessarily override goal-driven attentional control and that extended processing of threatening distractors is not obligatory. PMID:25329044

  15. A New Test of Attention in Listening (TAIL) Predicts Auditory Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Barry, Johanna G.; Moore, David R.; Amitay, Sygal

    2012-01-01

    Attention modulates auditory perception, but there are currently no simple tests that specifically quantify this modulation. To fill the gap, we developed a new, easy-to-use test of attention in listening (TAIL) based on reaction time. On each trial, two clearly audible tones were presented sequentially, either at the same or different ears. The frequency of the tones was also either the same or different (by at least two critical bands). When the task required same/different frequency judgments, presentation at the same ear significantly speeded responses and reduced errors. A same/different ear (location) judgment was likewise facilitated by keeping tone frequency constant. Perception was thus influenced by involuntary orienting of attention along the task-irrelevant dimension. When information in the two stimulus dimensions were congruent (same-frequency same-ear, or different-frequency different-ear), response was faster and more accurate than when they were incongruent (same-frequency different-ear, or different-frequency same-ear), suggesting the involvement of executive control to resolve conflicts. In total, the TAIL yielded five independent outcome measures: (1) baseline reaction time, indicating information processing efficiency, (2) involuntary orienting of attention to frequency and (3) location, and (4) conflict resolution for frequency and (5) location. Processing efficiency and conflict resolution accounted for up to 45% of individual variances in the low- and high-threshold variants of three psychoacoustic tasks assessing temporal and spectral processing. Involuntary orientation of attention to the irrelevant dimension did not correlate with perceptual performance on these tasks. Given that TAIL measures are unlikely to be limited by perceptual sensitivity, we suggest that the correlations reflect modulation of perceptual performance by attention. The TAIL thus has the power to identify and separate contributions of different components of attention

  16. Emotional attentional control predicts changes in diurnal cortisol secretion following exposure to a prolonged psychosocial stressor.

    PubMed

    Lenaert, Bert; Barry, Tom J; Schruers, Koen; Vervliet, Bram; Hermans, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis irregularities have been associated with several psychological disorders. Hence, the identification of individual difference variables that predict variations in HPA-axis activity represents an important challenge for psychiatric research. We investigated whether self-reported attentional control in emotionally demanding situations prospectively predicted changes in diurnal salivary cortisol secretion following exposure to a prolonged psychosocial stressor. Low ability to voluntarily control attention has previously been associated with anxiety and depressive symptomatology. Attentional control was assessed using the Emotional Attentional Control Scale. In students who were preparing for academic examination, salivary cortisol was assessed before (time 1) and after (time 2) examination. Results showed that lower levels of self-reported emotional attentional control at time 1 (N=90) predicted higher absolute diurnal cortisol secretion and a slower decline in cortisol throughout the day at time 2 (N=71). Difficulty controlling attention during emotional experiences may lead to chronic HPA-axis hyperactivity after prolonged exposure to stress. These results indicate that screening for individual differences may foster prediction of HPA-axis disturbances, paving the way for targeted disorder prevention. PMID:26539967

  17. Anxiety type modulates immediate versus delayed engagement of attention-related brain regions

    PubMed Central

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; De Leon, Angeline A; Bredemeier, Keith; Heller, Wendy; Engels, Anna S; Warren, Stacie L; Crocker, Laura D; Sutton, Bradley P; Miller, Gregory A

    2013-01-01

    Background Habituation of the fear response, critical for the treatment of anxiety, is inconsistently observed during exposure to threatening stimuli. One potential explanation for this inconsistency is differential attentional engagement with negatively valenced stimuli as a function of anxiety type. Methods The present study tested this hypothesis by examining patterns of neural habituation associated with anxious arousal, characterized by panic symptoms and immediate engagement with negatively valenced stimuli, versus anxious apprehension, characterized by engagement in worry to distract from negatively valenced stimuli. Results As predicted, the two anxiety types evidenced distinct patterns of attentional engagement. Anxious arousal was associated with immediate activation in attention-related brain regions that habituated over time, whereas anxious apprehension was associated with delayed activation in attention-related brain regions that occurred only after habituation in a worry-related brain region. Conclusions Results further elucidate mechanisms involved in attention to negatively valenced stimuli and indicate that anxiety is a heterogeneous construct with regard to attention to such stimuli. PMID:24392275

  18. Modulation of electrocortical brain activity by attention in individuals with and without tinnitus.

    PubMed

    Paul, Brandon T; Bruce, Ian C; Bosnyak, Daniel J; Thompson, David C; Roberts, Larry E

    2014-01-01

    Age and hearing-level matched tinnitus and control groups were presented with a 40 Hz AM sound using a carrier frequency of either 5 kHz (in the tinnitus frequency region of the tinnitus subjects) or 500 Hz (below this region). On attended blocks subjects pressed a button after each sound indicating whether a single 40 Hz AM pulse of variable increased amplitude (target, probability 0.67) had or had not occurred. On passive blocks subjects rested and ignored the sounds. The amplitude of the 40 Hz auditory steady-state response (ASSR) localizing to primary auditory cortex (A1) increased with attention in control groups probed at 500 Hz and 5 kHz and in the tinnitus group probed at 500 Hz, but not in the tinnitus group probed at 5 kHz (128 channel EEG). N1 amplitude (this response localizing to nonprimary cortex, A2) increased with attention at both sound frequencies in controls but at neither frequency in tinnitus. We suggest that tinnitus-related neural activity occurring in the 5 kHz but not the 500 Hz region of tonotopic A1 disrupted attentional modulation of the 5 kHz ASSR in tinnitus subjects, while tinnitus-related activity in A1 distributing nontonotopically in A2 impaired modulation of N1 at both sound frequencies. PMID:25024849

  19. Rhythm and Attention: Does the Beat Position of a Visual or Auditory Regular Pulse Modulate T2 Detection in the Attentional Blink?

    PubMed Central

    Bermeitinger, Christina; Frings, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The attentional blink (AB) is one impressive demonstration of limited attentional capacities in time: a second target (T2) is often missed when it should be detected within 200–600 ms after a first target. According to the dynamic attending theory, attention cycles oscillatory. Regular rhythms (i.e., pulses) should evoke expectations regarding the point of the next occurrence of a tone/element in the rhythm. At this point, more attentional resources should be provided. Thus, if rhythmic information can be used to optimize attentional release, we assume a modulation of the AB when an additional rhythm is given. We tested this idea in two experiments with a visual (Experiment 1) or an auditory (Experiment 2) rhythm. We found large AB effects. However, the rhythm did not modulate the AB. If the rhythm had an influence at all, then Experiment 2 showed that an auditory rhythm (or stimulus) falling on T2 might generally boost visual processing, irrespective of attentional resources as indexed by the AB paradigm. Our experiments suggest that oscillatory cycling attention does not affect temporal selection as tapped in the AB paradigm. PMID:26648899

  20. Visual attention modulates the asymmetric influence of each cerebral hemisphere on spatial perception

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Meijian; Wang, Xiuhai; Xue, Lingyan; Huang, Dan; Chen, Yao

    2016-01-01

    Although the allocation of brain functions across the two cerebral hemispheres has aroused public interest over the past century, asymmetric interhemispheric cooperation under attentional modulation has been scarcely investigated. An example of interhemispheric cooperation is visual spatial perception. During this process, visual information from each hemisphere is integrated because each half of the visual field predominantly projects to the contralateral visual cortex. Both egocentric and allocentric coordinates can be employed for visual spatial representation, but they activate different areas in primate cerebral hemispheres. Recent studies have determined that egocentric representation affects the reaction time of allocentric perception; furthermore, this influence is asymmetric between the two visual hemifields. The egocentric-allocentric incompatibility effect and its asymmetry between the two hemispheres can produce this phenomenon. Using an allocentric position judgment task, we found that this incompatibility effect was reduced, and its asymmetry was eliminated on an attentional task rather than a neutral task. Visual attention might activate cortical areas that process conflicting information, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, and balance the asymmetry between the two hemispheres. Attention may enhance and balance this interhemispheric cooperation because this imbalance may also be caused by the asymmetric cooperation of each hemisphere in spatial perception. PMID:26758349

  1. Right ear advantage for vocal communication in frogs results from both structural asymmetry and attention modulation.

    PubMed

    Fang, Guangzhan; Xue, Fei; Yang, Ping; Cui, Jianguo; Brauth, Steven E; Tang, Yezhong

    2014-06-01

    Right-ear/left-hemisphere advantage (REA) in processing species-specific vocalizations has been demonstrated in mammals including humans. Two models for REA are typically proposed, a structural model and an attentional model. These hypotheses were tested in an anuran species, the Emei music frog (Babina daunchina) in which females strongly prefer male calls produced from inside mud-retuse burrows (high sexual attractiveness or HSA calls) to those produced in open fields (low sexual attractiveness or LSA calls). Isochronic playbacks were used to control for attention to stimuli presented to either the left or right sides of female subjects while electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were recorded from the left and right midbrain and telencephalon. The results show that relative EEG power in the delta band declined while those of the alpha and beta bands increased with time in the left but not the right midbrain. Since the anuran midbrain receives auditory information derived primarily from the contralateral auditory nerve, these results support the idea that REA occurs in frogs because communication sounds are processed preferentially in the left midbrain. Furthermore, though differences in the dynamic changes of the delta, alpha and beta bands in the left midbrain between acoustic stimuli were not statistically significant, these changes were stronger during the playback of HSA calls toward which females tend to allocate greater attentional resources. These results imply that REA in frogs results from the combined effects of structural asymmetry and attention modulation. PMID:24613236

  2. Spatial scale, rather than nature of task or locomotion, modulates the spatial reference frame of attention

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Won, Bo-Yeong

    2015-01-01

    Visuospatial attention is strongly biased to locations that frequently contained a search target before. However, the function of this bias depends on the reference frame in which attended locations are coded. Previous research has shown a striking difference between tasks administered on a computer monitor and in a large environment, with the former inducing viewer-centered learning and the latter environment-centered learning. Why does environment-centered learning fail on a computer? Here we tested three possibilities: differences in spatial scale, nature of task, and locomotion may influence the reference frame of attention. Participants searched for a target on a monitor placed flat on a stand. On each trial they stood at a different location around the monitor. The target was frequently located in a fixed area of the monitor, but changes in participants’ perspective rendered this area random relative to the participants. Under incidental learning conditions participants failed to acquire environment-centered learning even when (i) the task and display resembled the large-scale task, and (ii) the search task required locomotion. The difficulty in inducing environment-centered learning on a computer underscores the egocentric nature of visual attention. It supports the idea that spatial scale modulates the reference frame of attention. PMID:25867510

  3. Visual attention modulates the asymmetric influence of each cerebral hemisphere on spatial perception.

    PubMed

    Wang, Meijian; Wang, Xiuhai; Xue, Lingyan; Huang, Dan; Chen, Yao

    2016-01-01

    Although the allocation of brain functions across the two cerebral hemispheres has aroused public interest over the past century, asymmetric interhemispheric cooperation under attentional modulation has been scarcely investigated. An example of interhemispheric cooperation is visual spatial perception. During this process, visual information from each hemisphere is integrated because each half of the visual field predominantly projects to the contralateral visual cortex. Both egocentric and allocentric coordinates can be employed for visual spatial representation, but they activate different areas in primate cerebral hemispheres. Recent studies have determined that egocentric representation affects the reaction time of allocentric perception; furthermore, this influence is asymmetric between the two visual hemifields. The egocentric-allocentric incompatibility effect and its asymmetry between the two hemispheres can produce this phenomenon. Using an allocentric position judgment task, we found that this incompatibility effect was reduced, and its asymmetry was eliminated on an attentional task rather than a neutral task. Visual attention might activate cortical areas that process conflicting information, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, and balance the asymmetry between the two hemispheres. Attention may enhance and balance this interhemispheric cooperation because this imbalance may also be caused by the asymmetric cooperation of each hemisphere in spatial perception. PMID:26758349

  4. Body region dissatisfaction predicts attention to body regions on other women.

    PubMed

    Lykins, Amy D; Ferris, Tamara; Graham, Cynthia A

    2014-09-01

    The proliferation of "idealized" (i.e., very thin and attractive) women in the media has contributed to increasing rates of body dissatisfaction among women. However, it remains relatively unknown how women attend to these images: does dissatisfaction predict greater or lesser attention to these body regions on others? Fifty healthy women (mean age=21.8 years) viewed images of idealized and plus-size models; an eye-tracker recorded visual attention. Participants also completed measures of satisfaction for specific body regions, which were then used as predictors of visual attention to these regions on models. Consistent with an avoidance-type process, lower levels of satisfaction with the two regions of greatest reported concern (mid, lower torso) predicted less attention to these regions; greater satisfaction predicted more attention to these regions. While this visual attention bias may aid in preserving self-esteem when viewing idealized others, it may preclude the opportunity for comparisons that could improve self-esteem. PMID:25047004

  5. A Candidate for the Attentional Bottleneck: Set-Size Specific Modulation of the Right TPJ during Attentive Enumeration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vetter, Petra; Butterworth, Brian; Bahrami, Bahador

    2011-01-01

    Several recent behavioral studies have shown that the enumeration of a small number of items (a process termed "subitizing") depends on the availability of attentional resources and is not a preattentive process as previously thought. Here we studied the neural correlates of visual enumeration under different attentional loads in a dual-task…

  6. Modulation of auditory spatial attention by visual emotional cues: differential effects of attentional engagement and disengagement for pleasant and unpleasant cues.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob

    2016-05-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that threatening, compared to neutral pictures, can bias attention towards non-emotional auditory targets. Here we investigated which subcomponents of attention contributed to the influence of emotional visual stimuli on auditory spatial attention. Participants indicated the location of an auditory target, after brief (250 ms) presentation of a spatially non-predictive peripheral visual cue. Responses to targets were faster at the location of the preceding visual cue, compared to at the opposite location (cue validity effect). The cue validity effect was larger for targets following pleasant and unpleasant cues compared to neutral cues, for right-sided targets. For unpleasant cues, the crossmodal cue validity effect was driven by delayed attentional disengagement, and for pleasant cues, it was driven by enhanced engagement. We conclude that both pleasant and unpleasant visual cues influence the distribution of attention across modalities and that the associated attentional mechanisms depend on the valence of the visual cue. PMID:26842012

  7. Reward sensitivity predicts ice cream-related attentional bias assessed by inattentional blindness.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoming; Tao, Qian; Fang, Ya; Cheng, Chen; Hao, Yangyang; Qi, Jianjun; Li, Yu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaochu

    2015-06-01

    The cognitive mechanism underlying the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving is unknown. The present study explored the mechanism by examining the role of reward sensitivity in attentional bias toward ice cream cues. Forty-nine college students who displayed high level of ice cream craving (HICs) and 46 who displayed low level of ice cream craving (LICs) performed an inattentional blindness (IB) task which was used to assess attentional bias for ice cream. In addition, reward sensitivity and coping style were assessed by the Behavior Inhibition System/Behavior Activation System Scales and Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire. Results showed significant higher identification rate of the critical stimulus in the HICs than LICs, suggesting greater attentional bias for ice cream in the HICs. It was indicated that attentional bias for food cues persisted even under inattentional condition. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between the attentional bias and reward sensitivity after controlling for coping style, and reward sensitivity predicted attentional bias for food cues. The mediation analyses showed that attentional bias mediated the relationship between reward sensitivity and food craving. Those findings suggest that the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving may be attributed to attentional bias for food-related cues. PMID:25681293

  8. Mental workload prediction based on attentional resource allocation and information processing.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xu; Wanyan, Xiaoru; Zhuang, Damin

    2015-01-01

    Mental workload is an important component in complex human-machine systems. The limited applicability of empirical workload measures produces the need for workload modeling and prediction methods. In the present study, a mental workload prediction model is built on the basis of attentional resource allocation and information processing to ensure pilots' accuracy and speed in understanding large amounts of flight information on the cockpit display interface. Validation with an empirical study of an abnormal attitude recovery task showed that this model's prediction of mental workload highly correlated with experimental results. This mental workload prediction model provides a new tool for optimizing human factors interface design and reducing human errors. PMID:26406085

  9. Attention, working memory, and phenomenal experience of WM content: memory levels determined by different types of top-down modulation

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, Jane; Jacobs, Christianne; Silvanto, Juha

    2015-01-01

    What is the role of top-down attentional modulation in consciously accessing working memory (WM) content? In influential WM models, information can exist in different states, determined by allocation of attention; placing the original memory representation in the center of focused attention gives rise to conscious access. Here we discuss various lines of evidence indicating that such attentional modulation is not sufficient for memory content to be phenomenally experienced. We propose that, in addition to attentional modulation of the memory representation, another type of top-down modulation is required: suppression of all incoming visual information, via inhibition of early visual cortex. In this view, there are three distinct memory levels, as a function of the top-down control associated with them: (1) Nonattended, nonconscious associated with no attentional modulation; (2) attended, phenomenally nonconscious memory, associated with attentional enhancement of the actual memory trace; (3) attended, phenomenally conscious memory content, associated with enhancement of the memory trace and top-down suppression of all incoming visual input. PMID:26539145

  10. Trait Mindfulness Predicts Efficient Top-Down Attention to and Discrimination of Facial Expressions.

    PubMed

    Quaglia, Jordan T; Goodman, Robert J; Brown, Kirk Warren

    2016-06-01

    In social situations, skillful regulation of emotion and behavior depends on efficiently discerning others' emotions. Identifying factors that promote timely and accurate discernment of facial expressions can therefore advance understanding of social emotion regulation and behavior. The present research examined whether trait mindfulness predicts neural and behavioral markers of early top-down attention to, and efficient discrimination of, socioemotional stimuli. Attention-based event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioral responses were recorded while participants (N = 62; White; 67% female; Mage = 19.09 years, SD = 2.14 years) completed an emotional go/no-go task involving happy, neutral, and fearful facial expressions. Mindfulness predicted larger (more negative) N100 and N200 ERP amplitudes to both go and no-go stimuli. Mindfulness also predicted faster response time that was not attributable to a speed-accuracy trade-off. Significant relations held after accounting for attentional control or social anxiety. This study adds neurophysiological support for foundational accounts that mindfulness entails moment-to-moment attention with lower tendencies toward habitual patterns of responding. Mindfulness may enhance the quality of social behavior in socioemotional contexts by promoting efficient top-down attention to and discrimination of others' emotions, alongside greater monitoring and inhibition of automatic response tendencies. PMID:25676934

  11. Emotional modulation of the attentional blink and the relation to interpersonal reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Kanske, Philipp; Schönfelder, Sandra; Wessa, Michèle

    2013-01-01

    The extent of the attentional blink effect on detection rates in rapid serial visual presentations is modulated by the emotionality of the stimuli. Emotionally salient stimuli are detected more often, even if presented in the attentional blink period, and elicit an enlarged P3 response, which has been interpreted as enhanced consolidation. This effect correlates with individual differences in trait affectivity such as anxiety or dysphoria. Here, we ask if it is also related to the capacity to detect emotions in others, i.e., to interpersonal social traits. We therefore presented emotional and neutral images depicting social scenes as targets in an attentional blink design and measured detection rates and event-related potentials. In addition, we recorded self-reports of empathy as measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The results show enhanced performance for emotional stimuli and increased P3 amplitudes, which correlated with individual differences in empathy. The data suggest that self-reported empathy goes along with enhanced processing of emotion in social stimuli, even under stimulus conditions that are suboptimal for conscious target detection. PMID:24130525

  12. Attention selectively modulates cortical entrainment in different regions of the speech spectrum.

    PubMed

    Baltzell, Lucas S; Horton, Cort; Shen, Yi; Richards, Virginia M; D'Zmura, Michael; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2016-08-01

    Recent studies have uncovered a neural response that appears to track the envelope of speech, and have shown that this tracking process is mediated by attention. It has been argued that this tracking reflects a process of phase-locking to the fluctuations of stimulus energy, ensuring that this energy arrives during periods of high neuronal excitability. Because all acoustic stimuli are decomposed into spectral channels at the cochlea, and this spectral decomposition is maintained along the ascending auditory pathway and into auditory cortex, we hypothesized that the overall stimulus envelope is not as relevant to cortical processing as the individual frequency channels; attention may be mediating envelope tracking differentially across these spectral channels. To test this we reanalyzed data reported by Horton et al. (2013), where high-density EEG was recorded while adults attended to one of two competing naturalistic speech streams. In order to simulate cochlear filtering, the stimuli were passed through a gammatone filterbank, and temporal envelopes were extracted at each filter output. Following Horton et al. (2013), the attended and unattended envelopes were cross-correlated with the EEG, and local maxima were extracted at three different latency ranges corresponding to distinct peaks in the cross-correlation function (N1, P2, and N2). We found that the ratio between the attended and unattended cross-correlation functions varied across frequency channels in the N1 latency range, consistent with the hypothesis that attention differentially modulates envelope-tracking activity across spectral channels. PMID:27195825

  13. Hallucinations predict attentional improvements with rivastigmine in dementia with lewy bodies.

    PubMed

    McKeith, Ian G; Wesnes, Keith A; Perry, Elaine; Ferrara, Roberto

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this analysis of the effects of cholinergic therapy in dementia with Lewy bodies was to determine whether rivastigmine-induced benefits in attention and memory could be predicted by the presence of visual hallucinations. At study entry, 74% of patients were hallucinators and 26% were non-hallucinators. The population was analyzed for two-factor scores: power of attention (PoA) and quality of memory (QoM). A significant effect over placebo on PoA was observed in hallucinators at weeks 12 (p = 0.023) and 20 (p = 0.0019), while no treatment effects were seen in non-hallucinators. Significant treatment effects on QoM were not observed in either subgroup. Visual hallucinations predicted greater improvements in PoA, but not QoM. This may reflect the greater cholinergic deficits in areas of the brain responsible for visual hallucinations, offering greater potential for attentional improvement. PMID:15087584

  14. Attention deficits predict phenotypic outcomes in syndrome-specific and domain-specific ways.

    PubMed

    Cornish, K; Steele, A; Monteiro, C Rondinelli Cobra; Karmiloff-Smith, A; Scerif, G

    2012-01-01

    Attentional difficulties, both at home and in the classroom, are reported across a number of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, exactly how attention influences early socio-cognitive learning remains unclear. We addressed this question both concurrently and longitudinally in a cross-syndrome design, with respect to the communicative domain of vocabulary and to the cognitive domain of early literacy, and then extended the analysis to social behavior. Participants were young children (aged 4-9 years at Time 1) with either Williams syndrome (WS, N = 26) or Down syndrome (DS, N = 26) and typically developing controls (N = 103). Children with WS displayed significantly greater attentional deficits (as indexed by teacher report of behavior typical of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children with DS, but both groups had greater attentional problems than the controls. Despite their attention differences, children with DS and those with WS were equivalent in their cognitive abilities of reading single words, both at Time 1 and 12 months later, at Time 2, although they differed in their early communicative abilities in terms of vocabulary. Greater ADHD-like behaviors predicted poorer subsequent literacy for children with DS, but not for children with WS, pointing to syndrome-specific attentional constraints on specific aspects of early development. Overall, our findings highlight the need to investigate more precisely whether and, if so, how, syndrome-specific profiles of behavioral difficulties constrain learning and socio-cognitive outcomes across different domains. PMID:22798954

  15. Threat Related Selective Attention Predicts Treatment Success in Childhood Anxiety Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.

    2009-01-01

    Threat-related selective attention was found to predict the success of the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders through administering a pictorial dot-probe task to 131 children with anxiety disorders prior to cognitive behavioral therapy. The diagnostic status of the subjects was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview at both pre-…

  16. Foundational Tuning: How Infants' Attention to Speech Predicts Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vouloumanos, Athena; Curtin, Suzanne

    2014-01-01

    Orienting biases for speech may provide a foundation for language development. Although human infants show a bias for listening to speech from birth, the relation of a speech bias to later language development has not been established. Here, we examine whether infants' attention to speech directly predicts expressive vocabulary. Infants…

  17. Predicting Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder from Preschool Diagnostic Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Elizabeth A.; Youngwirth, Sara D.; Thakar, Dhara A.; Errazuriz, Paula A.

    2009-01-01

    The present study examined the power of measures of early preschool behavior to predict later diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD). Participants were 168 children with behavior problems at age 3 who underwent a multimethod assessment of ADHD and ODD symptoms and…

  18. Speed of Inhibition Predicts Teacher--Rated Medication Response in Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheres, Anouk; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sergeant, Joseph A.

    2006-01-01

    This study aimed at investigating whether one of the key deficits in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), slow response inhibition, predicted the response to methylphenidate (MPH) treatment. In order to address this issue, we used Stop Signal Reaction Times (SSRTs) measured at baseline in 20 medication-naive boys with ADHD as…

  19. Sustained and transient attentional processes modulate neural predictors of memory encoding in consecutive time periods

    PubMed Central

    Padovani, Tullia; Koenig, Thomas; Eckstein, Doris; Perrig, Walter J

    2013-01-01

    Memory formation is commonly thought to rely on brain activity following an event. Yet, recent research has shown that even brain activity previous to an event can predict later recollection (subsequent memory effect, SME). In order to investigate the attentional sources of the SME, event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by task cues preceding target words were recorded in a switched task paradigm that was followed by a surprise recognition test. Stay trials, that is, those with the same task as the previous trial, were contrasted with switch trials, which included a task switch compared to the previous trial. The underlying assumption was that sustained attention would be dominant in stay trials and that transient attentional reconfiguration processes would be dominant in switch trials. To determine the SME, local and global statistics of scalp electric fields were used to identify differences between subsequently remembered and forgotten items. Results showed that the SME in stay trials occurred in a time window from 2 to 1 sec before target onset, whereas the SME in switch trials occurred subsequently, in a time window from 1 to 0 sec before target onset. Both SMEs showed a frontal negativity resembling the topography of previously reported effects, which suggests that sustained and transient attentional processes contribute to the prestimulus SME in consecutive time periods. PMID:24381815

  20. Losses as modulators of attention: review and analysis of the unique effects of losses over gains.

    PubMed

    Yechiam, Eldad; Hochman, Guy

    2013-03-01

    It has been shown that in certain situations losses exert a stronger effect on behavior than respective gains, and this has been commonly explained by the argument that losses are given more weight in people's decisions than respective gains. However, although much is understood about the effect of losses on cognitive processes and behavior, 2 major inconsistencies remain. First, recent empirical evidence fails to demonstrate that people avoid incentive structures that carry equivalent gains and losses. Second, findings in experience-based decision tasks indicate that following losses, increased arousal is observed simultaneously with no behavioral loss aversion. To account for these findings, we developed an attention-allocation model as a comprehensive framework for the effect of losses. According to this model losses increase on-task attention, thereby enhancing the sensitivity to the reinforcement structure. In the current article we examine whether this model can account for a broad range of empirical phenomena involving losses. We show that as predicted by the attentional model, asymmetric effects of losses on behavior emerge where gains and losses are presented separately but not concurrently. Yet, even in the absence of loss aversion, losses have distinct effects on performance, arousal, frontal cortical activation, and behavioral consistency. The attentional model of losses thus explains some of the main inconsistencies in previous studies of the effect of losses. PMID:22823738

  1. Sustained and transient attentional processes modulate neural predictors of memory encoding in consecutive time periods.

    PubMed

    Padovani, Tullia; Koenig, Thomas; Eckstein, Doris; Perrig, Walter J

    2013-07-01

    Memory formation is commonly thought to rely on brain activity following an event. Yet, recent research has shown that even brain activity previous to an event can predict later recollection (subsequent memory effect, SME). In order to investigate the attentional sources of the SME, event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by task cues preceding target words were recorded in a switched task paradigm that was followed by a surprise recognition test. Stay trials, that is, those with the same task as the previous trial, were contrasted with switch trials, which included a task switch compared to the previous trial. The underlying assumption was that sustained attention would be dominant in stay trials and that transient attentional reconfiguration processes would be dominant in switch trials. To determine the SME, local and global statistics of scalp electric fields were used to identify differences between subsequently remembered and forgotten items. Results showed that the SME in stay trials occurred in a time window from 2 to 1 sec before target onset, whereas the SME in switch trials occurred subsequently, in a time window from 1 to 0 sec before target onset. Both SMEs showed a frontal negativity resembling the topography of previously reported effects, which suggests that sustained and transient attentional processes contribute to the prestimulus SME in consecutive time periods. PMID:24381815

  2. Attention attraction in an ophthalmic diagnostic device using sound-modulated fixation targets.

    PubMed

    Gramatikov, Boris I; Rangarajan, Shreya; Irsch, Kristina; Guyton, David L

    2016-08-01

    This study relates to eye fixation systems with combined optical and audio systems. Many devices for eye diagnostics and some devices for eye therapeutics require the patient to fixate on a small target for a certain period of time, during which the eyes do not move and data from substructures of one or both eyes are acquired and analyzed. With young pediatric patients, a monotonously blinking target is not sufficient to retain attention steadily. We developed a method for modulating the intensity of a point fixation target using sounds appropriate to the child's age and preference. The method was realized as a subsystem of a Pediatric Vision Screener which employs retinal birefringence scanning for detection of central fixation. Twenty-one children, age 2-18, were studied. Modulation of the fixation target using sounds ensured the eye fixated on the target, and with appropriate choice of sounds, performed significantly better than a monotonously blinking target accompanied by a plain beep. The method was particularly effective with children of ages up to 10, after which its benefit disappeared. Typical applications of target modulation would be as supplemental subsystems in pediatric ophthalmic diagnostic devices, such as scanning laser ophthalmoscopes, optical coherence tomography units, retinal birefringence scanners, fundus cameras, and perimeters. PMID:27245750

  3. Attentional selection of location and modality in vision and touch modulates low-frequency activity in associated sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Kennett, Steffan; Driver, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention allows us to focus on particular sensory modalities and locations. Relatively little is known about how attention to a sensory modality may relate to selection of other features, such as spatial location, in terms of brain oscillations, although it has been proposed that low-frequency modulation (α- and β-bands) may be key. Here, we investigated how attention to space (left or right) and attention to modality (vision or touch) affect ongoing low-frequency oscillatory brain activity over human sensory cortex. Magnetoencephalography was recorded while participants performed a visual or tactile task. In different blocks, touch or vision was task-relevant, whereas spatial attention was cued to the left or right on each trial. Attending to one or other modality suppressed α-oscillations over the corresponding sensory cortex. Spatial attention led to reduced α-oscillations over both sensorimotor and occipital cortex contralateral to the attended location in the cue-target interval, when either modality was task-relevant. Even modality-selective sensors also showed spatial-attention effects for both modalities. The visual and sensorimotor results were generally highly convergent, yet, although attention effects in occipital cortex were dominant in the α-band, in sensorimotor cortex, these were also clearly present in the β-band. These results extend previous findings that spatial attention can operate in a multimodal fashion and indicate that attention to space and modality both rely on similar mechanisms that modulate low-frequency oscillations. PMID:22323628

  4. Effects of Spectral Degradation on Attentional Modulation of Cortical Auditory Responses to Continuous Speech.

    PubMed

    Kong, Ying-Yee; Somarowthu, Ala; Ding, Nai

    2015-12-01

    This study investigates the effect of spectral degradation on cortical speech encoding in complex auditory scenes. Young normal-hearing listeners were simultaneously presented with two speech streams and were instructed to attend to only one of them. The speech mixtures were subjected to noise-channel vocoding to preserve the temporal envelope and degrade the spectral information of speech. Each subject was tested with five spectral resolution conditions (unprocessed speech, 64-, 32-, 16-, and 8-channel vocoder conditions) and two target-to-masker ratio (TMR) conditions (3 and 0 dB). Ongoing electroencephalographic (EEG) responses and speech comprehension were measured in each spectral and TMR condition for each subject. Neural tracking of each speech stream was characterized by cross-correlating the EEG responses with the envelope of each of the simultaneous speech streams at different time lags. Results showed that spectral degradation and TMR both significantly influenced how top-down attention modulated the EEG responses to the attended and unattended speech. That is, the EEG responses to the attended and unattended speech streams differed more for the higher (unprocessed, 64 ch, and 32 ch) than the lower (16 and 8 ch) spectral resolution conditions, as well as for the higher (3 dB) than the lower TMR (0 dB) condition. The magnitude of differential neural modulation responses to the attended and unattended speech streams significantly correlated with speech comprehension scores. These results suggest that severe spectral degradation and low TMR hinder speech stream segregation, making it difficult to employ top-down attention to differentially process different speech streams. PMID:26362546

  5. Rejection positivity predicts trial-to-trial reaction times in an auditory selective attention task: a computational analysis of inhibitory control

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Sufen; Melara, Robert D.

    2014-01-01

    A series of computer simulations using variants of a formal model of attention (Melara and Algom, 2003) probed the role of rejection positivity (RP), a slow-wave electroencephalographic (EEG) component, in the inhibitory control of distraction. Behavioral and EEG data were recorded as participants performed auditory selective attention tasks. Simulations that modulated processes of distractor inhibition accounted well for reaction-time (RT) performance, whereas those that modulated target excitation did not. A model that incorporated RP from actual EEG recordings in estimating distractor inhibition was superior in predicting changes in RT as a function of distractor salience across conditions. A model that additionally incorporated momentary fluctuations in EEG as the source of trial-to-trial variation in performance precisely predicted individual RTs within each condition. The results lend support to the linking proposition that RP controls the speed of responding to targets through the inhibitory control of distractors. PMID:25191244

  6. Attention Modulates Neural Responses to Unpredictable Emotional Faces in Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ran, Guangming; Chen, Xu; Zhang, Qi; Ma, Yuanxiao; Zhang, Xing

    2016-01-01

    Unpredictability about upcoming emotional events disrupts our ability to prepare for them and ultimately results in anxiety. Here, we investigated how attention modulates the neural responses to unpredictable emotional events. Brain activity was recorded using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants performed a variation of the emotional task. Behaviorally, we reported a fear-unpredictable effect and a happy-unpredictable effect. The fMRI results showed increased activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) for unpredictable fear faces (Experiment 1) and decreased activity in the left dlPFC for unpredictable happy faces (Experiment 2) when these faces were unattended, probably reflecting that unpredictability amplifies the negative impact of fear faces and reduces the positive impact of happy faces. More importantly, it was found that the right dlPFC activity to unpredictable fear faces was diminished (Experiment 1) and the left dlPFC activity to unpredictable happy faces was enhanced (Experiment 2) when these faces were attended. These results suggest that attention may contribute to reducing the unpredictability about future emotional events. PMID:27445769

  7. Attentional Modulation of Source Attribution in First-Episode Psychosis: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    PubMed Central

    Kambeitz-Ilankovic, Lana

    2013-01-01

    Background: In patients with schizophrenia, the misattribution of self-generated events to an external source is associated with the presence of psychotic symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate how this misattribution is influenced by dysfunction of attentional processing, which is also impaired in schizophrenia. Methods: Participants underwent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while listening to prerecorded speech. Their expectancies were manipulated using visual cues that were either congruent (valid) or incongruent (invalid) with the speech. The source (self/other) and the acoustic quality (undistorted/distorted) of the speech were also manipulated. Twenty patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and 20 matched healthy controls (HC) were tested. Results: When listening to self-generated speech preceded by an invalid (other speech) cue, relative to HC, FEP patients showed a trend to misidentify their own speech as that of another person. Analysis of fMRI data showed that FEP patients had reduced activation in the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG) and left precuneus (Pc) relative to HC. Within the FEP group, the level of activation in the right MTG was negatively correlated with the severity of their positive psychotic symptoms. Conclusions: Impaired attentional modulation in schizophrenia may contribute to the tendency for FEP patients to misattribute the source of self-generated material, and this may be mediated by the right MTG and Pc, regions that are involved in both self-referential processing and the integration of sensory information. PMID:22987297

  8. Frontolimbic Neural Circuitry at 6 Months Predicts Individual Differences in Joint Attention at 9 Months

    PubMed Central

    Elison, Jed T.; Wolff, Jason J.; Heimer, Debra C.; Paterson, Sarah J.; Gu, Hongbin; Hazlett, Heather C.; Styner, Martin; Gerig, Guido; Piven, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Elucidating the neural basis of joint attention in infancy promises to yield important insights into the development of language and social cognition, and directly informs developmental models of autism. We describe a new method for evaluating responding to joint attention performance in infancy that highlights the 9 to 10 month period as a time interval of maximal individual differences. We then demonstrate that fractional anisotropy in the right uncinate fasciculus, a white matter fiber bundle connecting the amygdala to the ventral-medial prefrontal cortex and anterior temporal pole, measured in 6 month-olds predicts individual differences in responding to joint attention at 9 months of age. The white matter microstructure of the right uncinate was not related to receptive language ability at 9 months. These findings suggest that the development of core nonverbal social communication skills in infancy is largely supported by preceding developments within right lateralized frontotemporal brain systems. PMID:23432829

  9. Frontolimbic neural circuitry at 6 months predicts individual differences in joint attention at 9 months.

    PubMed

    Elison, Jed T; Wolff, Jason J; Heimer, Debra C; Paterson, Sarah J; Gu, Hongbin; Hazlett, Heather C; Styner, Martin; Gerig, Guido; Piven, Joseph

    2013-03-01

    Elucidating the neural basis of joint attention in infancy promises to yield important insights into the development of language and social cognition, and directly informs developmental models of autism. We describe a new method for evaluating responding to joint attention performance in infancy that highlights the 9- to 10-month period as a time interval of maximal individual differences. We then demonstrate that fractional anisotropy in the right uncinate fasciculus, a white matter fiber bundle connecting the amygdala to the ventral-medial prefrontal cortex and anterior temporal pole, measured in 6-month-olds predicts individual differences in responding to joint attention at 9 months of age. The white matter microstructure of the right uncinate was not related to receptive language ability at 9 months. These findings suggest that the development of core nonverbal social communication skills in infancy is largely supported by preceding developments within right lateralized frontotemporal brain systems. PMID:23432829

  10. Attention to the mouth and gaze following in infancy predict language development.

    PubMed

    Tenenbaum, Elena J; Sobel, David M; Sheinkopf, Stephen J; Shah, Rajesh J; Malle, Bertram F; Morgan, James L

    2015-11-01

    We investigated longitudinal relations among gaze following and face scanning in infancy and later language development. At 12 months, infants watched videos of a woman describing an object while their passive viewing was measured with an eye-tracker. We examined the relation between infants' face scanning behavior and their tendency to follow the speaker's attentional shift to the object she was describing. We also collected language outcome measures on the same infants at 18 and 24 months. Attention to the mouth and gaze following at 12 months both predicted later productive vocabulary. The results are discussed in terms of social engagement, which may account for both attentional distribution and language onset. We argue that an infant's inherent interest in engaging with others (in addition to creating more opportunities for communication) leads infants to attend to the most relevant information in a social scene and that this information facilitates language learning. PMID:25403090

  11. Temporal Dynamics Underlying the Modulation of Social Status on Social Attention

    PubMed Central

    Dalmaso, Mario; Galfano, Giovanni; Coricelli, Carol; Castelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Fixating someone suddenly moving the eyes is known to trigger a corresponding shift of attention in the observer. This phenomenon, known as gaze-cueing effect, can be modulated as a function of the social status of the individual depicted in the cueing face. Here, in two experiments, we investigated the temporal dynamics underlying this modulation. To this end, a gaze-cueing paradigm was implemented in which centrally-placed faces depicting high- and low-status individuals suddenly shifted the eyes towards a location either spatially congruent or incongruent with that occupied by a subsequent target stimulus. Social status was manipulated by presenting fictive Curriculum Vitae before the experimental phase. In Experiment 1, in which two temporal intervals (50 ms vs. 900 ms) occurred between the direct-gaze face and the averted-gaze face onsets, a stronger gaze-cueing effect in response to high-status faces than low-status faces was observed, irrespective of the time participants were allowed for extracting social information. In Experiment 2, in which two temporal intervals (200 ms vs. 1000 ms) occurred between the averted-gaze face and target onset, a stronger gaze cueing for high-status faces was observed at the shorter interval only. Taken together, these results suggest that information regarding social status is extracted from faces rapidly (Experiment 1), and that the tendency to selectively attend to the locations gazed by high-status individuals may decay with time (Experiment 2). PMID:24667700

  12. Structural Organization of the Corpus Callosum Predicts Attentional Shifts after Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Glyn W.; Sotiropoulos, Stamatios N.; Kennard, Christopher; Cazzoli, Dario

    2015-01-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in healthy participants has been shown to trigger a significant rightward shift in the spatial allocation of visual attention, temporarily mimicking spatial deficits observed in neglect. In contrast, rTMS applied over the left PPC triggers a weaker or null attentional shift. However, large interindividual differences in responses to rTMS have been reported. Studies measuring changes in brain activation suggest that the effects of rTMS may depend on both interhemispheric and intrahemispheric interactions between cortical loci controlling visual attention. Here, we investigated whether variability in the structural organization of human white matter pathways subserving visual attention, as assessed by diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and tractography, could explain interindividual differences in the effects of rTMS. Most participants showed a rightward shift in the allocation of spatial attention after rTMS over the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS), but the size of this effect varied largely across participants. Conversely, rTMS over the left IPS resulted in strikingly opposed individual responses, with some participants responding with rightward and some with leftward attentional shifts. We demonstrate that microstructural and macrostructural variability within the corpus callosum, consistent with differential effects on cross-hemispheric interactions, predicts both the extent and the direction of the response to rTMS. Together, our findings suggest that the corpus callosum may have a dual inhibitory and excitatory function in maintaining the interhemispheric dynamics that underlie the allocation of spatial attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) controls allocation of attention across left versus right visual fields. Damage to this area results in neglect, characterized by a lack of spatial awareness of the side of space

  13. A cost minimisation and Bayesian inference model predicts startle reflex modulation across species

    PubMed Central

    Bach, Dominik R.

    2015-01-01

    In many species, rapid defensive reflexes are paramount to escaping acute danger. These reflexes are modulated by the state of the environment. This is exemplified in fear-potentiated startle, a more vigorous startle response during conditioned anticipation of an unrelated threatening event. Extant explanations of this phenomenon build on descriptive models of underlying psychological states, or neural processes. Yet, they fail to predict invigorated startle during reward anticipation and instructed attention, and do not explain why startle reflex modulation evolved. Here, we fill this lacuna by developing a normative cost minimisation model based on Bayesian optimality principles. This model predicts the observed pattern of startle modification by rewards, punishments, instructed attention, and several other states. Moreover, the mathematical formalism furnishes predictions that can be tested experimentally. Comparing the model with existing data suggests a specific neural implementation of the underlying computations which yields close approximations to the optimal solution under most circumstances. This analysis puts startle modification into the framework of Bayesian decision theory and predictive coding, and illustrates the importance of an adaptive perspective to interpret defensive behaviour across species. PMID:25660056

  14. Attention modulates specificity effects in spoken word recognition: Challenges to the time-course hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Theodore, Rachel M; Blumstein, Sheila E; Luthra, Sahil

    2015-07-01

    Findings in the domain of spoken word recognition have indicated that lexical representations contain both abstract and episodic information. It has been proposed that processing time determines when each source of information is recruited, with increased processing time being required to access lower-frequency episodic instantiations. The time-course hypothesis of specificity effects has thus identified a strong role for retrieval mechanisms mediating the use of abstract versus episodic information. Here we conducted three recognition memory experiments to examine whether the findings previously attributed to retrieval mechanisms might instead reflect attention during encoding. The results from Experiment 1 showed that talker-specificity effects emerged when subjects attended to the individual speakers, but not when they attended to lexical characteristics, during encoding, even though processing times at retrieval were equivalent. The results from Experiment 2 showed that talker-specificity effects emerged when listeners attended to talker gender but not when they attended to syntactic characteristics, even though the processing times at retrieval were significantly longer in the latter condition. The results from Experiment 3 showed no talker-specificity effects when all listeners attended to lexical characteristics, even when processing at retrieval was slowed by the addition of background noise. Collectively, these results suggest that when processing time during retrieval is decoupled from encoding factors, it fails to predict the emergence of talker-specificity effects. Rather, attention during encoding appears to be the putative variable. PMID:25824889

  15. Attention modulates specificity effects in spoken word recognition: Challenges to the time-course hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Theodore, Rachel M.; Blumstein, Sheila E.; Luthra, Sahil

    2015-01-01

    Findings in the domain of spoken word recognition indicate that lexical representations contain both abstract and episodic information. It has been proposed that processing time determines when each source of information is recruited, with increased processing time required to access lower-frequency episodic instantiations. The time-course hypothesis of specificity effects thus identifies a strong role for retrieval mechanisms mediating the use of abstract versus episodic information. Here we conducted three recognition memory experiments to examine whether findings previously attributed to retrieval mechanisms might reflect attention during encoding. Results from Experiment 1 showed that talker-specificity effects emerged when subjects attended to individual speakers during encoding, but not when they attended to lexical characteristics during encoding, even though processing time at retrieval was equivalent. Results from Experiment 2 showed that talker-specificity effects emerged when listeners attended to talker gender but not when they attended to syntactic characteristics, even though processing time at retrieval was significantly longer in the latter condition. Results from Experiment 3 showed no talker-specificity effects when attending to lexical characteristics even when processing at retrieval was slowed by the addition of background noise. Collectively, these results suggest that when processing time during retrieval is decoupled from encoding factors, it fails to predict the emergence of talker-specificity effects. Rather, attention during encoding appears to be the putative variable. PMID:25824889

  16. Biased ART: a neural architecture that shifts attention toward previously disregarded features following an incorrect prediction.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Gail A; Gaddam, Sai Chaitanya

    2010-04-01

    Memories in Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) networks are based on matched patterns that focus attention on those portions of bottom-up inputs that match active top-down expectations. While this learning strategy has proved successful for both brain models and applications, computational examples show that attention to early critical features may later distort memory representations during online fast learning. For supervised learning, biased ARTMAP (bARTMAP) solves the problem of over-emphasis on early critical features by directing attention away from previously attended features after the system makes a predictive error. Small-scale, hand-computed analog and binary examples illustrate key model dynamics. Two-dimensional simulation examples demonstrate the evolution of bARTMAP memories as they are learned online. Benchmark simulations show that featural biasing also improves performance on large-scale examples. One example, which predicts movie genres and is based, in part, on the Netflix Prize database, was developed for this project. Both first principles and consistent performance improvements on all simulation studies suggest that featural biasing should be incorporated by default in all ARTMAP systems. Benchmark datasets and bARTMAP code are available from the CNS Technology Lab Website: http://techlab.bu.edu/bART/. PMID:19811892

  17. Can Attention Deficits Predict a Genotype? Isolate Attention Difficulties in a Boy with Klinefelter Syndrome Effectively Treated with Methylphenidate

    PubMed Central

    Gagliano, Antonella; Benedetto, Loredana; Masi, Gabriele

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a 17-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Klinefelter syndrome (KS) (XXY) at the age of 16 years. Although cognitive level was absolutely normal, he showed attentional difficulties that negatively affected school adjustment. He was successfully treated with methylphenidate. A significant improvement was observed in the ADHD Rating Scale IV and in the inattention subscale score of the Conners Scales. The CGI-S score improved from 3 to 1, and the CGI-I score at the end point was 1 (very much improved). Also attention measures, particularly forward and backward digit span, improved with MPH treatment. Given the widely variable and often aspecific features, KS may run undiagnosed in a large majority of affected patients. A close attention to the cognitive phenotype may favour a correct diagnosis, and a timely treatment. PMID:25215256

  18. Prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex and its attentional modulation in the human S-ketamine and N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) models of psychosis.

    PubMed

    Heekeren, K; Neukirch, A; Daumann, J; Stoll, M; Obradovic, M; Kovar, K-A; Geyer, M A; Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E

    2007-05-01

    Patients with schizophrenia exhibit diminished prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex and deficits in the attentional modulation of PPI. Pharmacological challenges with hallucinogens are used as models for psychosis in both humans and animals. Remarkably, in contrast to the findings in schizophrenic patients and in animal hallucinogen models of psychosis, previous studies with healthy volunteers demonstrated increased levels of PPI after administration of low to moderate doses of either the antiglutamatergic hallucinogen ketamine or the serotonergic hallucinogen psilocybin. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of moderate and high doses of the serotonergic hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and the N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist S-ketamine on PPI and its attentional modulation in humans. Fifteen healthy volunteers were included in a double-blind cross-over study with two doses of DMT and S-ketamine. Effects on PPI and its attentional modulation were investigated. Nine subjects completed both experimental days with the two doses of both drugs. S-ketamine increased PPI in both dosages, whereas DMT had no significant effects on PPI. S-ketamine decreased and DMT tended to decrease startle magnitude. There were no significant effects of either drug on the attentional modulation of PPI. In human experimental hallucinogen psychoses, and even with high, clearly psychotogenic doses of DMT or S-ketamine, healthy subjects failed to exhibit the predicted attenuation of PPI. In contrast, PPI was augmented and the startle magnitude was decreased after S-ketamine. These data point to important differences between human hallucinogen models and both animal hallucinogen models of psychosis and naturally occurring schizophrenia. PMID:17591658

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Risky multi-tasking, such as texting while driving, may occur because people misestimate the costs of divided attention. In two experiments, participants performed a computerized visual-manual tracking task in which they attempted to keep a mouse cursor within a small target that moved erratically around a circular track. They then separately performed an auditory n-back task. After practicing both tasks separately, participants received feedback on their single-task tracking performance and predicted their dual-task tracking performance before finally performing the two tasks simultaneously. Most participants correctly predicted reductions in tracking performance under dual-task conditions, with a majority overestimating the costs of dual-tasking. However, the between-subjects correlation between predicted and actual performance decrements was near zero. This combination of results suggests that people do anticipate costs of multi-tasking, but have little metacognitive insight on the extent to which they are personally vulnerable to the risks of divided attention, relative to other people. PMID:24490818

  20. Visual Attention Measures Predict Pedestrian Detection in Central Field Loss: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Alberti, Concetta F.; Horowitz, Todd; Bronstad, P. Matthew; Bowers, Alex R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The ability of visually impaired people to deploy attention effectively to maximize use of their residual vision in dynamic situations is fundamental to safe mobility. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate whether tests of dynamic attention (multiple object tracking; MOT) and static attention (Useful Field of View; UFOV) were predictive of the ability of people with central field loss (CFL) to detect pedestrian hazards in simulated driving. Methods 11 people with bilateral CFL (visual acuity 20/30-20/200) and 11 age-similar normally-sighted drivers participated. Dynamic and static attention were evaluated with brief, computer-based MOT and UFOV tasks, respectively. Dependent variables were the log speed threshold for 60% correct identification of targets (MOT) and the increase in the presentation duration for 75% correct identification of a central target when a concurrent peripheral task was added (UFOV divided and selective attention subtests). Participants drove in a simulator and pressed the horn whenever they detected pedestrians that walked or ran toward the road. The dependent variable was the proportion of timely reactions (could have stopped in time to avoid a collision). Results UFOV and MOT performance of CFL participants was poorer than that of controls, and the proportion of timely reactions was also lower (worse) (84% and 97%, respectively; p = 0.001). For CFL participants, higher proportions of timely reactions correlated significantly with higher (better) MOT speed thresholds (r = 0.73, p = 0.01), with better performance on the UFOV divided and selective attention subtests (r = −0.66 and −0.62, respectively, p<0.04), with better contrast sensitivity scores (r = 0.54, p = 0.08) and smaller scotomas (r = −0.60, p = 0.05). Conclusions Our results suggest that brief laboratory-based tests of visual attention may provide useful measures of functional visual ability of individuals with CFL relevant to more

  1. Attentional gain and processing capacity limits predict the propensity to neglect unexpected visual stimuli.

    PubMed

    Papera, Massimiliano; Richards, Anne

    2016-05-01

    Exogenous allocation of attentional resources allows the visual system to encode and maintain representations of stimuli in visual working memory (VWM). However, limits in the processing capacity to allocate resources can prevent unexpected visual stimuli from gaining access to VWM and thereby to consciousness. Using a novel approach to create unbiased stimuli of increasing saliency, we investigated visual processing during a visual search task in individuals who show a high or low propensity to neglect unexpected stimuli. When propensity to inattention is high, ERP recordings show a diminished amplification concomitantly with a decrease in theta band power during the N1 latency, followed by a poor target enhancement during the N2 latency. Furthermore, a later modulation in the P3 latency was also found in individuals showing propensity to visual neglect, suggesting that more effort is required for conscious maintenance of visual information in VWM. Effects during early stages of processing (N80 and P1) were also observed suggesting that sensitivity to contrasts and medium-to-high spatial frequencies may be modulated by low-level saliency (albeit no statistical group differences were found). In accordance with the Global Workplace Model, our data indicate that a lack of resources in low-level processors and visual attention may be responsible for the failure to "ignite" a state of high-level activity spread across several brain areas that is necessary for stimuli to access awareness. These findings may aid in the development of diagnostic tests and intervention to detect/reduce inattention propensity to visual neglect of unexpected stimuli. PMID:26849023

  2. Belief about nicotine selectively modulates value and reward prediction error signals in smokers.

    PubMed

    Gu, Xiaosi; Lohrenz, Terry; Salas, Ramiro; Baldwin, Philip R; Soltani, Alireza; Kirk, Ulrich; Cinciripini, Paul M; Montague, P Read

    2015-02-24

    Little is known about how prior beliefs impact biophysically described processes in the presence of neuroactive drugs, which presents a profound challenge to the understanding of the mechanisms and treatments of addiction. We engineered smokers' prior beliefs about the presence of nicotine in a cigarette smoked before a functional magnetic resonance imaging session where subjects carried out a sequential choice task. Using a model-based approach, we show that smokers' beliefs about nicotine specifically modulated learning signals (value and reward prediction error) defined by a computational model of mesolimbic dopamine systems. Belief of "no nicotine in cigarette" (compared with "nicotine in cigarette") strongly diminished neural responses in the striatum to value and reward prediction errors and reduced the impact of both on smokers' choices. These effects of belief could not be explained by global changes in visual attention and were specific to value and reward prediction errors. Thus, by modulating the expression of computationally explicit signals important for valuation and choice, beliefs can override the physical presence of a potent neuroactive compound like nicotine. These selective effects of belief demonstrate that belief can modulate model-based parameters important for learning. The implications of these findings may be far ranging because belief-dependent effects on learning signals could impact a host of other behaviors in addiction as well as in other mental health problems. PMID:25605923

  3. Attentional blink magnitude is predicted by the ability to keep irrelevant material out of working memory.

    PubMed

    Arnell, Karen M; Stubitz, Shawn M

    2010-09-01

    Participants have difficulty in reporting the second of two masked targets if the second target is presented within 500 ms of the first target-an attentional blink (AB). Individual participants differ in the magnitude of their AB. The present study employed an individual differences design and two visual working memory tasks to examine whether visual working memory capacity and/or the ability to exclude irrelevant information from visual working memory (working memory filtering efficiency) could predict individual differences in the AB. Visual working memory capacity was positively related to filtering efficiency, but did not predict AB magnitude. However, the degree to which irrelevant stimuli were admitted into visual working memory (i.e., poor filtering efficiency) was positively correlated with AB magnitude over and above visual working memory capacity. Good filtering efficiency may benefit the AB by not allowing irrelevant RSVP distractors to gain access to working memory. PMID:19937451

  4. Selective Attention and Inhibitory Deficits in ADHD: Does Subtype or Comorbidity Modulate Negative Priming Effects?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pritchard, Verena E.; Neumann, Ewald; Rucklidge, Julia J.

    2008-01-01

    Selective attention has durable consequences for behavior and neural activation. Negative priming (NP) effects are assumed to reflect a critical inhibitory component of selective attention. The performance of adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was assessed across two conceptually based NP tasks within a selective…

  5. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance.

    PubMed

    Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M; Góngora-Costa, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that temporal prediction errors (PEs, the differences between the expected and the actual stimulus' onset times) modulate the effective connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), causing the activity of the rAI to decrease. The activity of the rAI is associated with efficient performance under uncertainty (e.g., changing a prepared behavior when a change demand is not expected), which leads to hypothesize that temporal PEs might disrupt behavior-change performance under uncertainty. This hypothesis has not been tested at a behavioral level. In this work, we evaluated this hypothesis within the context of task switching and concurrent temporal predictions. Our participants performed temporal predictions while observing one moving ball striking a stationary ball which bounced off with a variable temporal gap. Simultaneously, they performed a simple color comparison task. In some trials, a change signal made the participants change their behaviors. Performance accuracy decreased as a function of both the temporal PE and the delay. Explaining these results without appealing to ad hoc concepts such as "executive control" is a challenge for cognitive neuroscience. We provide a predictive coding explanation. We hypothesize that exteroceptive and proprioceptive minimization of PEs would converge in a fronto-basal ganglia network which would include the rAI. Both temporal gaps (or uncertainty) and temporal PEs would drive and modulate this network respectively. Whereas the temporal gaps would drive the activity of the rAI, the temporal PEs would modulate the endogenous excitatory connections of the fronto-striatal network. We conclude that in the context of perceptual uncertainty, the system is not able to minimize perceptual PE, causing the ongoing behavior to finalize and, in consequence, disrupting task switching. PMID:26379568

  6. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M.; Góngora-Costa, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that temporal prediction errors (PEs, the differences between the expected and the actual stimulus’ onset times) modulate the effective connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), causing the activity of the rAI to decrease. The activity of the rAI is associated with efficient performance under uncertainty (e.g., changing a prepared behavior when a change demand is not expected), which leads to hypothesize that temporal PEs might disrupt behavior-change performance under uncertainty. This hypothesis has not been tested at a behavioral level. In this work, we evaluated this hypothesis within the context of task switching and concurrent temporal predictions. Our participants performed temporal predictions while observing one moving ball striking a stationary ball which bounced off with a variable temporal gap. Simultaneously, they performed a simple color comparison task. In some trials, a change signal made the participants change their behaviors. Performance accuracy decreased as a function of both the temporal PE and the delay. Explaining these results without appealing to ad hoc concepts such as “executive control” is a challenge for cognitive neuroscience. We provide a predictive coding explanation. We hypothesize that exteroceptive and proprioceptive minimization of PEs would converge in a fronto-basal ganglia network which would include the rAI. Both temporal gaps (or uncertainty) and temporal PEs would drive and modulate this network respectively. Whereas the temporal gaps would drive the activity of the rAI, the temporal PEs would modulate the endogenous excitatory connections of the fronto-striatal network. We conclude that in the context of perceptual uncertainty, the system is not able to minimize perceptual PE, causing the ongoing behavior to finalize and, in consequence, disrupting task switching. PMID:26379568

  7. Neonatal brainstem function and 4-month arousal-modulated attention are jointly associated with autism.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Ira L; Gardner, Judith M; Karmel, Bernard Z; Phan, Ha T T; Kittler, Phyllis; Gomez, Tina Rovito; Gonzalez, Maripaz G; Lennon, Elizabeth M; Parab, Santosh; Barone, Anthony

    2013-02-01

    The authors evaluated the contribution of initially abnormal neonatal auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and 4-month arousal-modulated attention visual preference to later autism spectrum disorder (ASD) behaviors in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) graduates. A longitudinal study design was used to compare NICU graduates with normal ABRs (n = 28) to those with initially abnormal ABRs (n = 46) that later resolved. At 4 months postterm age, visual preference (measured after feeding) for a random check pattern flashing at 1, 3, or 8 Hz and gestational age (GA) served as additional predictors. Outcome measures were PDD Behavior Inventory (PDDBI) scores at 3.4 years (standard deviation = 1.2), and developmental quotients (DQ) obtained around the same age with the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS). Preferences for higher rates of stimulation at 4 months were highly correlated with PDDBI scores (all P-values < 0.01) and the GMDS Hearing and Speech DQ, but only in those with initially abnormal ABRs. Effects were strongest for a PDDBI social competence measure most associated with a diagnosis of autism. For those with abnormal ABRs, increases in preference for higher rates of stimulation as infants were linked to nonlinear increases in severity of ASD at 3 years and to an ASD diagnosis. Abnormal ABRs were associated with later reports of repetitive and ritualistic behaviors irrespective of 4-month preference for stimulation. The joint occurrence of initially abnormal neonatal ABRs and preference for more stimulation at 4 months, both indices of early brainstem dysfunction, may be a marker for the development of autism in this cohort. PMID:23165989

  8. Low Fidelity Imitation of Atypical Biological Kinematics in Autism Spectrum Disorders Is Modulated by Self-Generated Selective Attention.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Spencer J; Andrew, Matthew; Elliott, Digby; Gowen, Emma; Bennett, Simon J

    2016-02-01

    We examined whether adults with autism had difficulty imitating atypical biological kinematics. To reduce the impact that higher-order processes have on imitation we used a non-human agent model to control social attention, and removed end-state target goals in half of the trials to minimise goal-directed attention. Findings showed that only neurotypical adults imitated atypical biological kinematics. Adults with autism did, however, become significantly more accurate at imitating movement time. This confirmed they engaged in the task, and that sensorimotor adaptation was self-regulated. The attentional bias to movement time suggests the attenuation in imitating kinematics might be a compensatory strategy due to deficits in lower-level visuomotor processes associated with self-other mapping, or selective attention modulated the processes that represent biological kinematics. PMID:26349922

  9. Predictive coding in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Chennu, Srivas; Bekinschtein, Tristan A; Rattazzi, Alexia; Beraudi, Ana; Tripicchio, Paula; Moyano, Beatriz; Soffita, Yamila; Steinberg, Laura; Adolfi, Federico; Sigman, Mariano; Marino, Julian; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2015-11-01

    Predictive coding has been proposed as a framework to understand neural processes in neuropsychiatric disorders. We used this approach to describe mechanisms responsible for attentional abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We monitored brain dynamics of 59 children (8-15 yr old) who had ASD or ADHD or who were control participants via high-density electroencephalography. We performed analysis at the scalp and source-space levels while participants listened to standard and deviant tone sequences. Through task instructions, we manipulated top-down expectation by presenting expected and unexpected deviant sequences. Children with ASD showed reduced superior frontal cortex (FC) responses to unexpected events but increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to expected events. In contrast, children with ADHD exhibited reduced cortical responses in superior FC to expected events but strong PFC activation to unexpected events. Moreover, neural abnormalities were associated with specific control mechanisms, namely, inhibitory control in ASD and set-shifting in ADHD. Based on the predictive coding account, top-down expectation abnormalities could be attributed to a disproportionate reliance (precision) allocated to prior beliefs in ASD and to sensory input in ADHD. PMID:26311184

  10. Focused attention vs. crossmodal signals paradigm: deriving predictions from the time-window-of-integration model.

    PubMed

    Colonius, Hans; Diederich, Adele

    2012-01-01

    In the crossmodal signals paradigm (CSP) participants are instructed to respond to a set of stimuli from different modalities, presented more or less simultaneously, as soon as a stimulus from any modality has been detected. In the focused attention paradigm (FAP), on the other hand, responses should only be made to a stimulus from a pre-defined target modality and stimuli from non-target modalities should be ignored. Whichever paradigm is being applied, a typical result is that responses tend to be faster to crossmodal stimuli than to unimodal stimuli, a phenomenon often referred to as "crossmodal interaction." Here, we investigate predictions of the time-window-of-integration (TWIN) modeling framework previously proposed by the authors. It is shown that TWIN makes specific qualitative and quantitative predictions on how the two paradigms differ with respect to the probability of multisensory integration and the amount of response enhancement, including the effect of stimulus intensity ("inverse effectiveness"). Introducing a decision-theoretic framework for TWIN further allows comparing the two paradigms with respect to the predicted optimal time window size and its dependence on the prior probability that the crossmodal stimulus information refers to the same event. In order to test these predictions, experimental studies that systematically compare crossmodal effects under stimulus conditions that are identical except for the CSP-FAP instruction should be performed in the future. PMID:22952460

  11. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study.

    PubMed

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event. PMID:27242420

  12. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study

    PubMed Central

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event. PMID:27242420

  13. Cortical Brain Activity Reflecting Attentional Biasing Toward Reward-Predicting Cues Covaries with Economic Decision-Making Performance.

    PubMed

    San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G; Huettel, Scott A; Woldorff, Marty G

    2016-01-01

    Adaptive choice behavior depends critically on identifying and learning from outcome-predicting cues. We hypothesized that attention may be preferentially directed toward certain outcome-predicting cues. We studied this possibility by analyzing event-related potential (ERP) responses in humans during a probabilistic decision-making task. Participants viewed pairs of outcome-predicting visual cues and then chose to wager either a small (i.e., loss-minimizing) or large (i.e., gain-maximizing) amount of money. The cues were bilaterally presented, which allowed us to extract the relative neural responses to each cue by using a contralateral-versus-ipsilateral ERP contrast. We found an early lateralized ERP response, whose features matched the attention-shift-related N2pc component and whose amplitude scaled with the learned reward-predicting value of the cues as predicted by an attention-for-reward model. Consistently, we found a double dissociation involving the N2pc. Across participants, gain-maximization positively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable gain-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional bias toward such cues. Conversely, loss-minimization was negatively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable loss-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional avoidance toward such stimuli. These results indicate that learned stimulus-reward associations can influence rapid attention allocation, and that differences in this process are associated with individual differences in economic decision-making performance. PMID:25139941

  14. Modulation of executive attention by threat stimulus in test-anxious students.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huan; Zhou, Renlai; Zou, Jilin

    2015-01-01

    The study examined whether test anxiety (TA) is related to impaired attentional networks under emotional distraction. High and low test-anxious students completed a modified version of the attention network test (ANT) in which emotional distracters, specifically threat-related or neutral words, were embedded in centrally presented hollow arrows in Experiment 1. Results showed a significant reduction in efficiency of the executive attention in test-anxious students compared to controls when the fillers were threat/test-related words. To evaluate the effect of the test adaptation, the original ANT, which utilized no emotional distracter, was employed as a control task in Experiment 2. We then consolidated the data on efficiency of attentional networks, which were derived from both tasks. Contrasting the two tasks showed that TA reduced executive attention in the revised task only, suggesting an enhanced sensitivity provided by the adaptation from the original task. Taken together, these findings indicate that the attentional deficit in test-anxious individuals represents a situation-related defect of a single component of attention rather than an underlying structural and universal attentional deficit. The results support the hypothesis of attentional control theory and contribute to the understanding of attentional mechanisms in individuals with TA. PMID:26483738

  15. Modulation of executive attention by threat stimulus in test-anxious students

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huan; Zhou, Renlai; Zou, Jilin

    2015-01-01

    The study examined whether test anxiety (TA) is related to impaired attentional networks under emotional distraction. High and low test-anxious students completed a modified version of the attention network test (ANT) in which emotional distracters, specifically threat-related or neutral words, were embedded in centrally presented hollow arrows in Experiment 1. Results showed a significant reduction in efficiency of the executive attention in test-anxious students compared to controls when the fillers were threat/test-related words. To evaluate the effect of the test adaptation, the original ANT, which utilized no emotional distracter, was employed as a control task in Experiment 2. We then consolidated the data on efficiency of attentional networks, which were derived from both tasks. Contrasting the two tasks showed that TA reduced executive attention in the revised task only, suggesting an enhanced sensitivity provided by the adaptation from the original task. Taken together, these findings indicate that the attentional deficit in test-anxious individuals represents a situation-related defect of a single component of attention rather than an underlying structural and universal attentional deficit. The results support the hypothesis of attentional control theory and contribute to the understanding of attentional mechanisms in individuals with TA. PMID:26483738

  16. Modulation of spatial attention by goals, statistical learning, and monetary reward.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W

    2015-10-01

    This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention. PMID:26105657

  17. Reconciling the influence of predictiveness and uncertainty on stimulus salience: a model of attention in associative learning.

    PubMed

    Esber, Guillem R; Haselgrove, Mark

    2011-09-01

    Theories of selective attention in associative learning posit that the salience of a cue will be high if the cue is the best available predictor of reinforcement (high predictiveness). In contrast, a different class of attentional theory stipulates that the salience of a cue will be high if the cue is an inaccurate predictor of reinforcement (high uncertainty). Evidence in support of these seemingly contradictory propositions has led to: (i) the development of hybrid attentional models that assume the coexistence of separate, predictiveness-driven and uncertainty-driven mechanisms of changes in cue salience; and (ii) a surge of interest in identifying the neural circuits underpinning these mechanisms. Here, we put forward a formal attentional model of learning that reconciles the roles of predictiveness and uncertainty in salience modification. The issues discussed are relevant to psychologists, behavioural neuroscientists and neuroeconomists investigating the roles of predictiveness and uncertainty in behaviour. PMID:21653585

  18. Neural correlates of attentional bias for smoking cues: modulation by variance in the dopamine transporter gene

    PubMed Central

    Wetherill, Reagan R.; Jagannathan, Kanchana; Lohoff, Falk W.; Ehrman, Ronald; O’Brien, Charles P.; Childress, Anna Rose; Franklin, Teresa R.

    2014-01-01

    Cigarette-dependent smokers automatically and involuntarily orient attention towards smoking cues (SCs). This attentional bias is clinically significant, as it may contribute to relapse. Thus, identifying neural and genetic correlates of attentional bias is critical for improving interventions. Our previous studies show that the dopamine transporter (DAT) SLC6A3 genotype exerts profound effects on limbic responses to SCs. One potential mechanism underlying these effects is greater attentional bias for SCs. Here, we explored associations between attentional bias for SCs and neural responses to SCs among ‘sated’ smokers genotyped for the SLC6A3 polymorphism. Pseudo-Continuous arterial spin-labeled (pCASL) perfusion fMR images were acquired during SC exposure in 35 smokers genotyped for the SLC6A3 variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism (n=16, 9-repeats; n=19,10/10-repeats). Participants completed a visual dot-probe attentional bias task, which contained pictures of smoking and non-smoking pictures, to examine whether genetic variation in DAT influences attentional bias and to investigate relationships between attentional bias and neural responses to SCs. Although attentional bias to smoking pictures was not significantly different between 9-repeats and 10/10-repeats, 9-repeats showed a positive correlation between attentional bias and increased SC-induced brain activity in the amygdala; whereas, 10/10-repeats showed an inverse correlation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC). In group comparisons, 9-repeats exhibited positive correlations between attentional bias and SCs in the mOFC and amygdala, relative to 10/10-repeats. Findings suggest that genetic variation in the DAT gene influences brain responses associated with attentional bias; thus, providing additional support for a SC-vulnerable endophenotype. PMID:23061530

  19. Interactions between voluntary and involuntary attention modulate the quality and temporal dynamics of visual processing.

    PubMed

    Grubb, Michael A; White, Alex L; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2015-04-01

    Successfully navigating a dynamic environment requires the efficient distribution of finite neural resources. Voluntary (endogenous) covert spatial attention selectively allocates those processing resources to goal-relevant locations in the visual scene in the absence of eye movements. However, the allocation of spatial attention is not always voluntary; abrupt onsets in the visual periphery automatically enhance processing of nearby stimuli (exogenous attention). In dynamic environments, exogenous events and internal goals likely compete to determine the distribution of attention, but how such competition is resolved is not well understood. To investigate how exogenous events interact with the concurrent allocation of voluntary attention, we used a speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure. SAT conjointly measures the rate of information accrual and asymptotic discriminability, allowing us to measure how attentional interactions unfold over time during stimulus processing. We found that both types of attention sped information accrual and improved discriminability. However, focusing endogenous attention at the target location reduced the effects of exogenous cues on the rate of information accrual and rendered negligible their effects on asymptotic discriminability. We verified the robustness of these findings in four additional experiments that targeted specific, critical response delays. In conclusion, the speed and quality of visual processing depend conjointly on internally and externally driven attentional states, but it is possible to voluntarily diminish distraction by irrelevant events in the periphery. PMID:25117089

  20. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Symptoms Predict Alcohol Expectancy Development

    PubMed Central

    Squeglia, Lindsay M.; Brammer, Whitney A.; Ray, Lara A.; Lee, Steve S.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Positive alcohol expectancies and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are independent risk factors for adolescent alcohol problems and substance use disorders. However, the association of early ADHD diagnostic status, as well as its separate dimensions of inattention and hyperactivity, with alcohol expectancies is essentially unknown. Method At baseline (i.e., Wave 1), parents of 139 6-to 9-year-old children (71% male) with (N = 77; 55%) and without (N = 62; 45%) ADHD completed structured diagnostic interviews of child psychopathology. Approximately two years later (i.e., Wave 2), children completed a Memory Model-Based Expectancy Questionnaire (MMBEQ) to ascertain their positive and negative expectancies regarding alcohol use. All children were alcohol naïve at both baseline and follow-up assessments. Results Controlling for age, sex, IQ, as well as the number of Wave 1 oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) symptoms, the number of baseline hyperactivity symptoms prospectively predicted more positive arousing (i.e., MMBEQ “wild and crazy” subscale) alcohol expectancies at Wave 2. No predictive association was observed for the number of Wave 1 inattention symptoms and alcohol expectancies. Conclusions Childhood hyperactivity prospectively and positively predicted expectancies regarding the arousing properties of alcohol, independent of inattention and ODD/CD symptoms, as well as other key covariates. Even in the absence of explicit alcohol engagement, youths with elevated hyperactivity may benefit from targeted intervention given its association with more positive arousing alcohol expectancies. PMID:27110089

  1. Cognitive trait anxiety, situational stress, and mental effort predict shifting efficiency: Implications for attentional control theory.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Elizabeth J; Edwards, Mark S; Lyvers, Michael

    2015-06-01

    Attentional control theory (ACT) predicts that trait anxiety and situational stress interact to impair performance on tasks that involve attentional shifting. The theory suggests that anxious individuals recruit additional effort to prevent shortfalls in performance effectiveness (accuracy), with deficits becoming evident in processing efficiency (the relationship between accuracy and time taken to perform the task). These assumptions, however, have not been systematically tested. The relationship between cognitive trait anxiety, situational stress, and mental effort in a shifting task (Wisconsin Card Sorting Task) was investigated in 90 participants. Cognitive trait anxiety was operationalized using questionnaire scores, situational stress was manipulated through ego threat instructions, and mental effort was measured using a visual analogue scale. Dependent variables were performance effectiveness (an inverse proportion of perseverative errors) and processing efficiency (an inverse proportion of perseverative errors divided by response time on perseverative error trials). The predictors were not associated with performance effectiveness; however, we observed a significant 3-way interaction on processing efficiency. At higher mental effort (+1 SD), higher cognitive trait anxiety was associated with poorer efficiency independently of situational stress, whereas at lower effort (-1 SD), this relationship was highly significant and most pronounced for those in the high-stress condition. These results are important because they provide the first systematic test of the relationship between trait anxiety, situational stress, and mental effort on shifting performance. The data are also consistent with the notion that effort moderates the relationship between anxiety and shifting efficiency, but not effectiveness. PMID:25642722

  2. Predicting Aggressive Tendencies by Visual Attention Bias Associated with Hostile Emotions

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ping-I; Hsieh, Cheng-Da; Juan, Chi-Hung; Hossain, Md Monir; Erickson, Craig A.; Lee, Yang-Han; Su, Mu-Chun

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the current study is to clarify the relationship between social information processing (e.g., visual attention to cues of hostility, hostility attribution bias, and facial expression emotion labeling) and aggressive tendencies. Thirty adults were recruited in the eye-tracking study that measured various components in social information processing. Baseline aggressive tendencies were measured using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Visual attention towards hostile objects was measured as the proportion of eye gaze fixation duration on cues of hostility. Hostility attribution bias was measured with the rating results for emotions of characters in the images. The results show that the eye gaze duration on hostile characters was significantly inversely correlated with the AQ score and less eye contact with an angry face. The eye gaze duration on hostile object was not significantly associated with hostility attribution bias, although hostility attribution bias was significantly positively associated with the AQ score. Our findings suggest that eye gaze fixation time towards non-hostile cues may predict aggressive tendencies. PMID:26901770

  3. Predicting Aggressive Tendencies by Visual Attention Bias Associated with Hostile Emotions.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ping-I; Hsieh, Cheng-Da; Juan, Chi-Hung; Hossain, Md Monir; Erickson, Craig A; Lee, Yang-Han; Su, Mu-Chun

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the current study is to clarify the relationship between social information processing (e.g., visual attention to cues of hostility, hostility attribution bias, and facial expression emotion labeling) and aggressive tendencies. Thirty adults were recruited in the eye-tracking study that measured various components in social information processing. Baseline aggressive tendencies were measured using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Visual attention towards hostile objects was measured as the proportion of eye gaze fixation duration on cues of hostility. Hostility attribution bias was measured with the rating results for emotions of characters in the images. The results show that the eye gaze duration on hostile characters was significantly inversely correlated with the AQ score and less eye contact with an angry face. The eye gaze duration on hostile object was not significantly associated with hostility attribution bias, although hostility attribution bias was significantly positively associated with the AQ score. Our findings suggest that eye gaze fixation time towards non-hostile cues may predict aggressive tendencies. PMID:26901770

  4. Attentional Modulation of Masked Repetition and Categorical Priming in Young and Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fabre, Ludovic; Lemaire, Patrick; Grainger, Jonathan

    2007-01-01

    Three experiments examined the effects of temporal attention and aging on masked repetition and categorical priming for numbers and words. Participants' temporal attention was manipulated by varying the stimulus onset asynchrony (i.e., constant or variable SOA). In Experiment 1, participants performed a parity judgment task and a lexical decision…

  5. Modulation of Attentional Blink with Emotional Faces in Typical Development and in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yerys, Benjamin E.; Ruiz, Ericka; Strang, John; Sokoloff, Jennifer; Kenworthy, Lauren; Vaidya, Chandan J.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The attentional blink (AB) phenomenon was used to assess the effect of emotional information on early visual attention in typically developing (TD) children and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The AB effect is the momentary perceptual unawareness that follows target identification in a rapid serial visual processing…

  6. Spatial Attention-Related Modulation of the N170 by Backward Masked Fearful Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.

    2010-01-01

    Facial expressions are a basic form of non-verbal communication that convey important social information to others. The relevancy of this information is highlighted by findings that backward masked facial expressions facilitate spatial attention. This attention effect appears to be mediated through a neural network consisting of the amygdala,…

  7. Dual-task conditions modulate the efficiency of selective attention mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Festa, Elena K; Heindel, William C; Ott, Brian R

    2010-09-01

    Given previous demonstrations of both selective and divided attention deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, understanding how declines in the integrity of component processes of selective attention in these patients interact with impairments to executive processes mediating dual-task performance has both theoretical and practical relevance. To address this issue, healthy elderly and AD patients performed computerized tasks of spatial orienting, Simon response interference, and visual search both in isolation and while simultaneously engaged in a visuomotor tracking task (i.e., maintaining car position within a simulated driving environment). Results from the single-task conditions confirmed previous demonstrations of selective attention deficits in AD. Dual-task conditions produced in AD patients (but not healthy elderly) a change in the efficiency of the selective attention mechanisms themselves, as reflected in differential effects on cue or display conditions within each task. Rather than exacerbating the selective attention deficits observed under single-task conditions, however, dual-task conditions produced an apparent diminution of these deficits. We suggest this diminution is due to the combination of deficient top-down inhibitory processes along with a decrease in the attention-capturing properties of cue information under dual-task conditions in AD patients. These findings not only increase our understanding of the nature of the attentional deficits in AD patients, but also have implications for understanding the processes mediating attention in neurologically intact individuals. PMID:20621109

  8. Predictive coding and multisensory integration: an attentional account of the multisensory mind

    PubMed Central

    Talsma, Durk

    2015-01-01

    Multisensory integration involves a host of different cognitive processes, occurring at different stages of sensory processing. Here I argue that, despite recent insights suggesting that multisensory interactions can occur at very early latencies, the actual integration of individual sensory traces into an internally consistent mental representation is dependent on both top–down and bottom–up processes. Moreover, I argue that this integration is not limited to just sensory inputs, but that internal cognitive processes also shape the resulting mental representation. Studies showing that memory recall is affected by the initial multisensory context in which the stimuli were presented will be discussed, as well as several studies showing that mental imagery can affect multisensory illusions. This empirical evidence will be discussed from a predictive coding perspective, in which a central top–down attentional process is proposed to play a central role in coordinating the integration of all these inputs into a coherent mental representation. PMID:25859192

  9. Levels of attention and task difficulty in the modulation of interval duration mismatch negativity

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Alana M.; Davalos, Deana B.

    2015-01-01

    Time perception has been described as a fundamental skill needed to engage in a number of higher level cognitive processes essential to successfully navigate everyday life (e.g., planning, sequencing, etc.) Temporal processing is often thought of as a basic neural process that impacts a variety of other cognitive processes. Others, however, have argued that timing in the brain can be affected by a number of variables such as attention and motivation. In an effort to better understand timing in the brain at a basic level with minimal attentional demands, researchers have often employed use of the mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN, specifically duration MMN (dMMN) and interval MMN (iMMN) have been popular methods for studying temporal processing in populations for which attention or motivation may be an issue (e.g., clinical populations, early developmental studies). There are, however, select studies which suggest that attention may in fact modify both temporal processing in general and the MMN event-related potential. It is unclear the degree to which attention affects MMN or whether the effects differ depending on the complexity or difficulty of the MMN paradigm. The iMMN indexes temporal processing and is elicited by introducing a deviant interval duration amid a series of standards. A greater degree of difference in the deviant from the standard elicits a heightened iMMN. Unlike past studies, in which attention was intentionally directed toward a closed-captioned move, the current study had participants partake in tasks involving varying degrees of attention (passive, low, and high) with varying degrees of deviants (small, medium, and large) to better understand the role of attention on the iMMN and to assess whether level of attention paired with changes in task difficulty differentially influence the iMMN electrophysiological responses. Data from 19 subjects were recorded in an iMMN paradigm. The amplitude of the iMMN waveform showed an increase with attention

  10. Levels of attention and task difficulty in the modulation of interval duration mismatch negativity.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Alana M; Davalos, Deana B

    2015-01-01

    Time perception has been described as a fundamental skill needed to engage in a number of higher level cognitive processes essential to successfully navigate everyday life (e.g., planning, sequencing, etc.) Temporal processing is often thought of as a basic neural process that impacts a variety of other cognitive processes. Others, however, have argued that timing in the brain can be affected by a number of variables such as attention and motivation. In an effort to better understand timing in the brain at a basic level with minimal attentional demands, researchers have often employed use of the mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN, specifically duration MMN (dMMN) and interval MMN (iMMN) have been popular methods for studying temporal processing in populations for which attention or motivation may be an issue (e.g., clinical populations, early developmental studies). There are, however, select studies which suggest that attention may in fact modify both temporal processing in general and the MMN event-related potential. It is unclear the degree to which attention affects MMN or whether the effects differ depending on the complexity or difficulty of the MMN paradigm. The iMMN indexes temporal processing and is elicited by introducing a deviant interval duration amid a series of standards. A greater degree of difference in the deviant from the standard elicits a heightened iMMN. Unlike past studies, in which attention was intentionally directed toward a closed-captioned move, the current study had participants partake in tasks involving varying degrees of attention (passive, low, and high) with varying degrees of deviants (small, medium, and large) to better understand the role of attention on the iMMN and to assess whether level of attention paired with changes in task difficulty differentially influence the iMMN electrophysiological responses. Data from 19 subjects were recorded in an iMMN paradigm. The amplitude of the iMMN waveform showed an increase with attention