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Sample records for affect task performance

  1. Socially triggered negative affect impairs performance in simple cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Böttcher, Svenja; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of a social-evaluative context on simple cognitive tasks. While another person present in the room evaluated photographs of beautiful women or landscapes by beauty/attractiveness, female participants had to perform a combination of digit-categorization and spatial-compatibility task. There, before every trial, one of the women or landscape pictures was presented. Results showed selective performance impairments: the numerical distance effects increased on trials that followed women pictures but only, if another person concurrently evaluated these women pictures. In a second experiment, using the affective priming paradigm, the authors show that female pictures have a more negative connotation when they are concurrently evaluated by another person (social-evaluative context) than when they are not evaluated (neutral context). Together, these results suggest that the social-evaluative context triggers mild negative affective reactions to women pictures which then impair performance in an unrelated task. PMID:23423348

  2. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance. Revision

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M.; Fein, G.; Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F.

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m{sup 2} and 73 cd/m{sup 2}. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  3. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M. ); Fein, G. ); Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F. )

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m[sup 2] and 73 cd/m[sup 2]. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  4. Embodied Information in Cognitive Tasks: Haptic Weight Sensations Affect Task Performance and Processing Style

    PubMed Central

    Kaspar, Kai; Vennekötter, Alina

    2015-01-01

    Research in the field of embodied cognition showed that incidental weight sensations influence peoples’ judgments about a variety of issues and objects. Most studies found that heaviness compared to lightness increases the perception of importance, seriousness, and potency. In two experiments, we broadened this scope by investigating the impact of weight sensations on cognitive performance. In Experiment 1, we found that the performance in an anagram task was reduced when participants held a heavy versus a light clipboard in their hands. Reduced performance was accompanied by an increase in the perceived effort. In Experiment 2, a heavy clipboard elicited a specific response heuristic in a two-alternative forced-choice task. Participants showed a significant right side bias when holding a heavy clipboard in their hands. After the task, participants in the heavy clipboard condition reported to be more frustrated than participants in the light clipboard condition. In both experiments, we did not find evidence for mediated effects that had been proposed by previous literature. Overall, the results indicate that weight effects go beyond judgment formation and highlight new avenues for future research. PMID:26421084

  5. To branch out or stay focused? Affective shifts differentially predict organizational citizenship behavior and task performance.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liu-Qin; Simon, Lauren S; Wang, Lei; Zheng, Xiaoming

    2016-06-01

    We draw from personality systems interaction (PSI) theory (Kuhl, 2000) and regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) to examine how dynamic positive and negative affective processes interact to predict both task and contextual performance. Using a twice-daily diary design over the course of a 3-week period, results from multilevel regression analysis revealed that distinct patterns of change in positive and negative affect optimally predicted contextual and task performance among a sample of 71 employees at a medium-sized technology company. Specifically, within persons, increases (upshifts) in positive affect over the course of a workday better predicted the subsequent day's organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) when such increases were coupled with decreases (downshifts) in negative affect. The optimal pattern of change in positive and negative affect differed, however, in predicting task performance. That is, upshifts in positive affect over the course of the workday better predicted the subsequent day's task performance when such upshifts were accompanied by upshifts in negative affect. The contribution of our findings to PSI theory and the broader affective and motivation regulation literatures, along with practical implications, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26882443

  6. Distractions, distractions: does instant messaging affect college students' performance on a concurrent reading comprehension task?

    PubMed

    Fox, Annie Beth; Rosen, Jonathan; Crawford, Mary

    2009-02-01

    Instant messaging (IM) has become one of the most popular forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and is especially prevalent on college campuses. Previous research suggests that IM users often multitask while conversing online. To date, no one has yet examined the cognitive effect of concurrent IM use. Participants in the present study (N = 69) completed a reading comprehension task uninterrupted or while concurrently holding an IM conversation. Participants who IMed while performing the reading task took significantly longer to complete the task, indicating that concurrent IM use negatively affects efficiency. Concurrent IM use did not affect reading comprehension scores. Additional analyses revealed that the more time participants reported spending on IM, the lower their reading comprehension scores. Finally, we found that the more time participants reported spending on IM, the lower their self-reported GPA. Implications and future directions are discussed. PMID:19006461

  7. The Functional Effect of Teacher Positive and Neutral Affect on Task Performance of Students with Significant Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Sungho; Singer, George H. S.; Gibson, Mary

    2005-01-01

    The study uses an alternating treatment design to evaluate the functional effect of teacher's affect on students' task performance. Tradition in special education holds that teachers should engage students using positive and enthusiastic affect for task presentations and praise. To test this assumption, we compared two affective conditions. Three…

  8. Factors affecting numerical typing performance of young adults in a hear-and-type task.

    PubMed

    Lin, Cheng-Jhe; Wu, Changxu

    2011-12-01

    Numerical hear-and-type tasks, i.e. making immediate keypresses according to verbally presented numbers, possess both practical and theoretical importance but received relatively little attention. Effects of speech rates (500-ms vs. 1000-ms interval), urgency (urgent condition: performance-based monetary incentive plus time limit vs. non-urgent condition: flat-rate compensation) and finger strategies (single vs. multi-finger typing) on typing speed and accuracy were investigated. Fast speech rate and multi-finger typing produced more errors and slower typing speed. Urgency improved typing speed but decreased accuracy. Errors were almost doubled under urgent condition, while urgency effect on speed was similar to that of speech rate. Examination of error patterns did not fully support Salthouse's (1986) speculations about error-making mechanisms. The results implied that urgency could play a more important role in error-making than task demands. Numerical keyboard design and error detection could benefit from spatial incidence of errors found in this study. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: This study revealed that classic speculations about error-making mechanisms in alphabetical typing do not necessarily translate to numerical typing. Factors other than external task demands such as urgency can affect typing performance to a similar or greater extent. Investigations of intrinsic error-making factors in non-traditional typing tasks are encouraged. PMID:22103724

  9. Does Listening to Slow Tempo Classical Music During Independent Writing Affect Children's On-Task Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKnight, Rosemary

    This project explored the effects of slow tempo classical music on children's on-task performance during independent writing. The project sample consisted of 24 students from a first grade classroom in the New York City Public School System. The students' on-task behavior was observed with and without use of slow tempo classical music playing, and…

  10. Hemodynamic and affective correlates assessed during performance on the Columbia card task (CCT).

    PubMed

    Holper, Lisa; Murphy, Ryan O

    2014-12-01

    The study aimed to test the potential of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in combination with electrodermal activity (EDA) in a decision paradigm by means of the Columbia card task (CCT). The CCT is a dynamic decision task characterized by assessing subjects' risk-taking via eliciting voluntary stopping points in a series of incrementally increasingly risky choices. Using the combined fNIRS-EDA approach, we aim to examine the hemodynamic and affective correlates of both decision and outcome responses during performance on the CCT. Twenty healthy subjects completed the Cold and Hot CCT version while fNIRS over prefrontal cortex and EDA were recorded. Results showed that (1) in the decision phase fNIRS revealed larger total hemoglobin concentration changes [tHb] in the Cold as compared to the Hot CCT, whereas EDA revealed an opposite pattern with larger skin conductance responses (SCRs) to the Hot as compared to the Cold CCT. (2) No significant [tHb] signals or SCRs were found in the outcome phase. (3) Coherence calculations between fNIRS and EDA in the heart rate frequency showed a significant increase during the Hot as compared to the Cold CCT. Our findings designate fNIRS as suitable tool for monitoring decision-making processes. The combination of fNIRS and EDA demonstrates the potential of simultaneously assessing the interaction between hemodynamic and affective responses which can provide additional information concerning the relationship between these two physiological systems for various research areas. PMID:24242358

  11. Factors affecting performance on a target monitoring task employing an automatic tracker.

    PubMed

    McFadden, Sharon M; Vimalachandran, Abhirami; Blackmore, Elizabeth

    2004-02-26

    The experiments in this paper examined the extent to which performance on a task employing an automatic tracker was similar to performance on tasks employing other types of automation that have been studied more extensively. Automated target tracking is being used in many sensor and navigation systems to improve performance and help the operator cope with increased data loads. With many automated systems these goals are not met. In particular, the operator often misses errors made by the automated system and may report no decrease in workload. Several hypotheses have been offered for the operator's failure to monitor an automated system adequately. These include lack of experience with the manual task, a vigilance decrement, complacency, and inappropriate level of automation. The relevance of each of these hypotheses to failure to monitor an automatic tracker adequately was examined. Performance and perceived workload on a target tracking task employing an automatic tracker, in which participants had to detect and then update the position of several targets (e.g. ships) at regular intervals, were measured as a function of number of targets, training with the manual task, experience, and time on task. The results suggested that failure to detect errors made by the automated system was due largely to the lack of visibility of the automation errors relative to other errors. However, complacency could not be ruled out entirely. Unlike some other tasks, the availability of a reliable automatic tracker did lead to a substantial reduction in perceived workload. PMID:14668161

  12. Self-Reported Stickiness of Mind-Wandering Affects Task Performance.

    PubMed

    van Vugt, Marieke K; Broers, Nico

    2016-01-01

    When asked to perform a certain task, we typically spend a decent amount of time thinking thoughts unrelated to that task-a phenomenon referred to as "mind-wandering." It is thought that this mind-wandering is driven at least in part by our unfinished goals and concerns. Previous studies have shown that just after presenting a participant with their own concerns, their reports of task-unrelated thinking increased somewhat. However, effects of these concerns on task performance were somewhat inconsistent. In this study we take the opposite approach, and examine whether task performance depends on the self-reported thought content. Specifically, a particularly intriguing aspect of mind-wandering that has hitherto received little attention is the difficulty of disengaging from it, in other words, the "stickiness" of the thoughts. While presenting participants with their own concerns was not associated with clear effects on task performance, we showed that the reports of off-task thinking and variability of response times increased with the amount of self-reported stickiness of thoughts. This suggests that the stickiness of mind-wandering is a relevant variable, and participants are able to meaningfully report on it. PMID:27242636

  13. Self-Reported Stickiness of Mind-Wandering Affects Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    van Vugt, Marieke K.; Broers, Nico

    2016-01-01

    When asked to perform a certain task, we typically spend a decent amount of time thinking thoughts unrelated to that task–a phenomenon referred to as “mind-wandering.” It is thought that this mind-wandering is driven at least in part by our unfinished goals and concerns. Previous studies have shown that just after presenting a participant with their own concerns, their reports of task-unrelated thinking increased somewhat. However, effects of these concerns on task performance were somewhat inconsistent. In this study we take the opposite approach, and examine whether task performance depends on the self-reported thought content. Specifically, a particularly intriguing aspect of mind-wandering that has hitherto received little attention is the difficulty of disengaging from it, in other words, the “stickiness” of the thoughts. While presenting participants with their own concerns was not associated with clear effects on task performance, we showed that the reports of off-task thinking and variability of response times increased with the amount of self-reported stickiness of thoughts. This suggests that the stickiness of mind-wandering is a relevant variable, and participants are able to meaningfully report on it. PMID:27242636

  14. Emotional task management: neural correlates of switching between affective and non-affective task-sets

    PubMed Central

    Reeck, Crystal

    2015-01-01

    Although task-switching has been investigated extensively, its interaction with emotionally salient task content remains unclear. Prioritized processing of affective stimulus content may enhance accessibility of affective task-sets and generate increased interference when switching between affective and non-affective task-sets. Previous research has demonstrated that more dominant task-sets experience greater switch costs, as they necessitate active inhibition during performance of less entrenched tasks. Extending this logic to the affective domain, the present experiment examined (a) whether affective task-sets are more dominant than non-affective ones, and (b) what neural mechanisms regulate affective task-sets, so that weaker, non-affective task-sets can be executed. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging, participants categorized face stimuli according to either their gender (non-affective task) or their emotional expression (affective task). Behavioral results were consistent with the affective task dominance hypothesis: participants were slower to switch to the affective task, and cross-task interference was strongest when participants tried to switch from the affective to the non-affective task. These behavioral costs of controlling the affective task-set were mirrored in the activation of a right-lateralized frontostriatal network previously implicated in task-set updating and response inhibition. Connectivity between amygdala and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was especially pronounced during cross-task interference from affective features. PMID:25552571

  15. Human factors with nonhumans - Factors that affect computer-task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.

    1992-01-01

    There are two general strategies that may be employed for 'doing human factors research with nonhuman animals'. First, one may use the methods of traditional human factors investigations to examine the nonhuman animal-to-machine interface. Alternatively, one might use performance by nonhuman animals as a surrogate for or model of performance by a human operator. Each of these approaches is illustrated with data in the present review. Chronic ambient noise was found to have a significant but inconsequential effect on computer-task performance by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Additional data supported the generality of findings such as these to humans, showing that rhesus monkeys are appropriate models of human psychomotor performance. It is argued that ultimately the interface between comparative psychology and technology will depend on the coordinated use of both strategies of investigation.

  16. How Explicit and Implicit Test Instructions in an Implicit Learning Task Affect Performance

    PubMed Central

    Witt, Arnaud; Puspitawati, Ira; Vinter, Annie

    2013-01-01

    Typically developing children aged 5 to 8 years were exposed to artificial grammar learning. Following an implicit exposure phase, half of the participants received neutral instructions at test while the other half received instructions making a direct, explicit reference to the training phase. We first aimed to assess whether implicit learning operated in the two test conditions. We then evaluated the differential impact of age on learning performances as a function of test instructions. The results showed that performance did not vary as a function of age in the implicit instructions condition, while age effects emerged when explicit instructions were employed at test. However, performance was affected differently by age and the instructions given at test, depending on whether the implicit learning of short or long units was assessed. These results suggest that the claim that the implicit learning process is independent of age needs to be revised. PMID:23326409

  17. Does head-only exposure to GSM-900 electromagnetic fields affect the performance of rats in spatial learning tasks?

    PubMed

    Dubreuil, Diane; Jay, Thérèse; Edeline, Jean-Marc

    2002-02-01

    The rapid expansion of mobile communication has generated intense interest, but has also fuelled ongoing concerns. In both humans and animals, radiofrequency radiations are suspected to affect cognitive functions. More specifically, several studies performed in rodents have suggested that spatial learning can be impaired by electromagnetic field exposure. However, none of these previous studies have simulated the common conditions of GSM mobile phones use. This study is the first using a head-only exposure system emitting a 900-MHz GSM electromagnetic field (pulsed at 217 Hz). The two behavioural tasks that were evaluated here have been used previously to demonstrate performance deficits in spatial learning after electromagnetic field exposure: a classical radial maze elimination task and a spatial navigation task in an open-field arena (dry-land version of the Morris water maze). The performances of rats exposed for 45 min to a 900-MHz electromagnetic field (1 and 3.5 W/kg) were compared to those of sham-exposed and cage-control rats. There were no differences among exposed, sham, and cage-control rats in the two spatial learning tasks. The discussion focuses on the potential reasons that led previous studies to conclude that learning deficits do occur after electromagnetic field exposure. PMID:11809512

  18. Differences in cortical activity between methamphetamine-dependent and healthy individuals performing a facial affect matching task.

    PubMed

    Payer, Doris E; Lieberman, Matthew D; Monterosso, John R; Xu, Jiansong; Fong, Timothy W; London, Edythe D

    2008-01-11

    As individuals who abuse methamphetamine (MA) often exhibit socially maladaptive behaviors such as violence and aggression, it is possible that they respond abnormally to social cues. To investigate this issue, we exposed 12 MA-dependent participants (abstinent 5-16 days) and 12 healthy comparison participants to fearful and angry faces while they performed an affect matching task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Although the groups did not differ in task performance, the healthy participants showed more task-related activity than the MA-dependent participants in a set of cortical regions consisting of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), temporoparietal junction (TPJ), anterior and posterior temporal cortex, and fusiform gyrus in the right hemisphere, and the cuneus in the left hemisphere. In contrast, the MA-dependent participants showed more task-related activity than the healthy participants in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). As expected, the task elicited activation of the amygdala in both groups; however, contrary to expectation, we found no difference between groups in this activation. Dorsal ACC hyperactivity, along with high self-ratings of hostility and interpersonal sensitivity in the MA-dependent group, suggest a hyper-sensitivity to socially threatening cues in the MA-dependent participants, while lower VLPFC activation could point to a deficit in integrating socio-emotional information and/or regulating this limbic hyperactivity. Additional activation differences in neural circuitry related to social cognition (TPJ, anterior, and posterior temporal cortex) suggest further socio-emotional deficits. Together, the results point to cortical abnormalities that could underlie the socially inappropriate behaviors often shown by individuals who abuse MA. PMID:17964741

  19. Task-specific kinetic finger tremor affects the performance of carrom players.

    PubMed

    Kahathuduwa, Chanaka N; Weerasinghe, Vajira S; Dassanayake, Tharaka L; Priyadarshana, Rajeewa; Dissanayake, Arunika L; Perera, Christine

    2016-05-01

    We aimed to determine the effect of task-specific kinetic finger tremor, as indexed by surface electromyography (EMG), on the accuracy of a carrom stroke. Surface EMG of extensor digitorum communis muscle of the playing arm was recorded during rest, isometric contraction and stroke execution in 17 male carrom players with clinically observed finger tremor and 18 skill- and age-matched controls. Log-transformed power spectral densities (LogPSDs) of surface EMG activity (signifying tremor severity) at a 1-s pre-execution period correlated with angular error of the stroke. LogPSDs in 4-10 Hz range were higher in players with tremor than controls during pre-execution (P < 0.001), but not during the resting state (P = 0.067). Pre-execution tremor amplitude correlated with angular deviation (r = 0.45, P = 0.007). For the first time, we document a task-specific kinetic finger tremor in carrom players. This finger tremor during the immediate pre-execution phase appears to be a significant determinant of stroke accuracy. PMID:26280452

  20. Generalizing Screen Inferiority--Does the Medium, Screen versus Paper, Affect Performance Even with Brief Tasks?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidi, Yael; Ophir, Yael; Ackerman, Rakefet

    2016-01-01

    Screen inferiority in performance and metacognitive processes has been repeatedly found with text learning. Common explanations for screen inferiority relate to technological and physiological disadvantages associated with extensive reading on screen. However, recent studies point to lesser recruitment of mental effort on screen than on paper.…

  1. The use of a displacement device negatively affects the performance of dogs (Canis familiaris) in visible object displacement tasks

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Corsin A.; Riemer, Stefanie; Range, Friederike; Huber, Ludwig

    2014-01-01

    Visible and invisible displacement tasks have been used widely for comparative studies of animals’ understanding of object permanence, with evidence accumulating that some species can solve invisible displacement tasks and thus reach Piagetian stage 6 of object permanence. In contrast, dogs appear to rely on associative cues, such as the location of the displacement device, during invisible displacement tasks. It remains unclear, however, whether dogs, and other species that failed in invisible displacement tasks, do so due to their inability to form a mental representation of the target object, or simply due to the involvement of a more salient but potentially misleading associative cue, the displacement device. Here we show that the use of a displacement device impairs the performance of dogs also in visible displacement tasks: their search accuracy was significantly lower when a visible displacement was performed with a displacement device, and only two of initially 42 dogs passed the sham-baiting control conditions. The negative influence of the displacement device in visible displacement tasks may be explained by strong associative cues overriding explicit information about the target object’s location, reminiscent of an overshadowing effect, and/or object individuation errors as the target object is placed within the displacement device and moves along a spatiotemporally identical trajectory. Our data suggest that a comprehensive appraisal of a species’ performance in object permanence tasks should include visible displacement tasks with the same displacement device used in invisible displacements, which typically has not been done in the past. PMID:24611641

  2. Can stereotype threat affect motor performance in the absence of explicit monitoring processes? Evidence using a strength task.

    PubMed

    Chalabaev, Aïna; Brisswalter, Jeanick; Radel, Rémi; Coombes, Stephen A; Easthope, Christopher; Clément-Guillotin, Corentin

    2013-04-01

    Previous evidence shows that stereotype threat impairs complex motor skills through increased conscious monitoring of task performance. Given that one-step motor skills may not be susceptible to these processes, we examined whether performance on a simple strength task may be reduced under stereotype threat. Forty females and males performed maximum voluntary contractions under stereotypical or nullified-stereotype conditions. Results showed that the velocity of force production within the first milliseconds of the contraction decreased in females when the negative stereotype was induced, whereas maximal force did not change. In males, the stereotype induction only increased maximal force. These findings suggest that stereotype threat may impair motor skills in the absence of explicit monitoring processes, by influencing the planning stage of force production. PMID:23535978

  3. Tablet Keyboard Configuration Affects Performance, Discomfort and Task Difficulty for Thumb Typing in a Two-Handed Grip.

    PubMed

    Trudeau, Matthieu B; Catalano, Paul J; Jindrich, Devin L; Dennerlein, Jack T

    2013-01-01

    When holding a tablet computer with two hands, the touch keyboard configuration imposes postural constraints on the user because of the need to simultaneously hold the device and type with the thumbs. Designers have provided users with several possible keyboard configurations (device orientation, keyboard layout and location). However, potential differences in performance, usability and postures among these configurations have not been explored. We hypothesize that (1) the narrower standard keyboard layout in the portrait orientation leads to lower self-reported discomfort and less reach than the landscape orientation; (2) a split keyboard layout results in better overall outcomes compared to the standard layout; and (3) the conventional bottom keyboard location leads to the best outcomes overall compared to other locations. A repeated measures laboratory experiment of 12 tablet owners measured typing speed, discomfort, task difficulty, and thumb/wrist joint postures using an active marker system during typing tasks for different combinations of device orientation (portrait and landscape), keyboard layout (standard and split), and keyboard location (bottom, middle, top). The narrower standard keyboard with the device in the portrait orientation was associated with less discomfort (least squares mean (and S.E.) 2.9±0.6) than the landscape orientation (4.5±0.7). Additionally, the split keyboard decreased the amount of reaching required by the thumb in the landscape orientation as defined by a reduced range of motion and less MCP extension, which may have led to reduced discomfort (2.7±0.6) compared to the standard layout (4.5±0.7). However, typing speed was greater for the standard layout (127±5 char./min.) compared to the split layout (113±4 char./min.) regardless of device orientation and keyboard location. Usage guidelines and designers can incorporate these findings to optimize keyboard design parameters and form factors that promote user performance and

  4. Tablet Keyboard Configuration Affects Performance, Discomfort and Task Difficulty for Thumb Typing in a Two-Handed Grip

    PubMed Central

    Trudeau, Matthieu B.; Catalano, Paul J.; Jindrich, Devin L.; Dennerlein, Jack T.

    2013-01-01

    When holding a tablet computer with two hands, the touch keyboard configuration imposes postural constraints on the user because of the need to simultaneously hold the device and type with the thumbs. Designers have provided users with several possible keyboard configurations (device orientation, keyboard layout and location). However, potential differences in performance, usability and postures among these configurations have not been explored. We hypothesize that (1) the narrower standard keyboard layout in the portrait orientation leads to lower self-reported discomfort and less reach than the landscape orientation; (2) a split keyboard layout results in better overall outcomes compared to the standard layout; and (3) the conventional bottom keyboard location leads to the best outcomes overall compared to other locations. A repeated measures laboratory experiment of 12 tablet owners measured typing speed, discomfort, task difficulty, and thumb/wrist joint postures using an active marker system during typing tasks for different combinations of device orientation (portrait and landscape), keyboard layout (standard and split), and keyboard location (bottom, middle, top). The narrower standard keyboard with the device in the portrait orientation was associated with less discomfort (least squares mean (and S.E.) 2.9±0.6) than the landscape orientation (4.5±0.7). Additionally, the split keyboard decreased the amount of reaching required by the thumb in the landscape orientation as defined by a reduced range of motion and less MCP extension, which may have led to reduced discomfort (2.7±0.6) compared to the standard layout (4.5±0.7). However, typing speed was greater for the standard layout (127±5 char./min.) compared to the split layout (113±4 char./min.) regardless of device orientation and keyboard location. Usage guidelines and designers can incorporate these findings to optimize keyboard design parameters and form factors that promote user performance and

  5. Learning task affects ERP-correlates of the own-race bias, but not recognition memory performance.

    PubMed

    Stahl, Johanna; Wiese, Holger; Schweinberger, Stefan R

    2010-06-01

    People are generally better in recognizing faces from their own ethnic group as opposed to faces from another ethnic group, a finding which has been interpreted in the context of two opposing theories. Whereas perceptual expertise theories stress the role of long-term experience with one's own ethnic group, race feature theories assume that the processing of an other-race-defining feature triggers inferior coding and recognition of faces. The present study tested these hypotheses by manipulating the learning task in a recognition memory test. At learning, one group of participants categorized faces according to ethnicity, whereas another group rated facial attractiveness. Subsequent recognition tests indicated clear and similar own-race biases for both groups. However, ERPs from learning and test phases demonstrated an influence of learning task on neurophysiological processing of own- and other-race faces. While both groups exhibited larger N170 responses to Asian as compared to Caucasian faces, task-dependent differences were seen in a subsequent P2 ERP component. Whereas the P2 was more pronounced for Caucasian faces in the categorization group, this difference was absent in the attractiveness rating group. The learning task thus influences early face encoding. Moreover, comparison with recent research suggests that this attractiveness rating task influences the processes reflected in the P2 in a similar manner as perceptual expertise for other-race faces does. By contrast, the behavioural own-race bias suggests that long-term expertise is required to increase other-race face recognition and hence attenuate the own-race bias. PMID:20362599

  6. Comparison versus Contrast: Task Specifics Affect Category Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ankowski, Amber A.; Vlach, Haley A.; Sandhofer, Catherine M.

    2013-01-01

    A large literature has documented that comparison and contrast lead to better performance in a variety of tasks. However, studies of comparison and contrast present contradictory conclusions as to when and how these processes benefit learners. Across four studies, we examined how the specifics of the comparison and contrast task affect performance…

  7. Dual task performance with LPC (Linear Predictive Coding) degraded speech in a sentence verification task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt-Nielsen, Astrid; Kallman, Howard J.; Meijer, Corinne

    1989-10-01

    The results of a preliminary study on the effects of reduced speech intelligibility on dual task performance are reported. The speech task was a sentence verification task, and the speech degradation was accomplished using a narrowband digital voice transmission system operating with and without random bit errors. The second task was a visual picture sorting task. There was a dual task decrement on the sorting task, and in addition, there was a further decrease in sorts per minute as the speech was increasingly degraded. Reaction time for the speech task increased with the concurrent sorting task, but the dual task condition did not affect speech task error rates.

  8. Time up and go task performance improves after transcranial direct current stimulation in patient affected by Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Manenti, Rosa; Brambilla, Michela; Rosini, Sandra; Orizio, Italo; Ferrari, Clarissa; Borroni, Barbara; Cotelli, Maria

    2014-09-19

    Locomotor disturbances represent one of the major distress in everyday life in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Timed up and go test (TUG) has been advocated a useful and reliable tool for quantifying locomotor performance. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during timed up and go test (TUG) in a group of patients with PD. Ten participants underwent two sessions of anodal tDCS (left and right) and one session of placebo tDCS. TUG was performed before and after each tDCS session (anodal or placebo). A significant motor improvement after right DLPFC stimulation vs. placebo stimulation was observed. These results suggest that anodal tDCS can be a relevant tool to modulate walking abilities in PD. PMID:25107738

  9. Predictive performance models and multiple task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Task Importance Affects Event-based Prospective Memory Performance in Adults with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders and HIV-infected Young Adults with Problematic Substance Use

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Steven Paul; Doyle, Katie L.; Morgan, Erin E.; Naar-King, Sylvie; Outlaw, Angulique Y.; Nichols, Sharon L.; Loft, Shayne

    2014-01-01

    Objective Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of task importance on event-based prospective memory (PM) in separate samples of adults with HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) and HIV-infected young adults with Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Method All participants completed three conditions of an ongoing lexical decision task: 1) without PM task requirements; 2) with PM task requirements that emphasized the importance of the ongoing task; and 3) with PM task requirements that emphasized the importance of the PM task. Results In both experiments, all HIV+ groups showed the expected increase in response costs to the ongoing task when the PM task’s importance was emphasized. In Experiment 1, individuals with HAND showed significantly lower PM accuracy as compared to HIV+ subjects without HAND when the importance of the ongoing task was emphasized, but improved significantly and no longer differed from HIV+ subjects without HAND when the PM task was emphasized. A similar pattern of findings emerged in Experiment 2, whereby HIV+ young adults with SUD (especially cannabis) showed significant improvements in PM accuracy when the PM task was emphasized. Conclusions Findings suggest that both HAND and SUD may increase the amount of cognitive attentional resources that need to be allocated to support PM performance in persons living with HIV infection. PMID:24834469

  11. Mechanical objects and the engineering learner: An experimental study of how the presence of objects affects students' performance on engineering related tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bairaktarova, Diana N.

    People display varying levels of interaction with the mechanical objects in their environment; engineers in particular as makers and users of these objects display a higher level of interaction with them. Investigating the educational potential of mechanical objects in stimulating and supporting learning in engineering is warranted by the fact that practicing engineers work with mechanical objects as they design, test and improve devices. It is possible that mechanical objects can facilitate learning by providing opportunities to authenticate the teaching and learning experience. More importantly, mechanical objects can serve as an instrument in transferring the knowledge of abstract concepts to practical applications. What remains unclear is how individual differences in interests and aptitudes are related to these interactions in engineering students. This study investigated how individual differences related to thing orientation and mechanical aptitude affect interaction with mechanical objects in engineering education instruction. The study introduces a task designed to replicate a real-world engineering application and uses this task to examine the effect of these aptitudes, interests, and direct manipulation of mechanical objects on performance.

  12. Can short-term oral fine motor training affect precision of task performance and induce cortical plasticity of the jaw muscles?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Kumar, Abhishek; Kothari, Mohit; Luo, Xiaoping; Trulsson, Mats; Svensson, Krister G; Svensson, Peter

    2016-07-01

    The aim was to test the hypothesis that short-term oral sensorimotor training of the jaw muscles would increase the precision of task performance and induce neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. Fifteen healthy volunteers performed six series with ten trials of an oral sensorimotor task. The task was to manipulate and position a spherical chocolate candy in between the anterior teeth and split it into two equal halves. The precision of the task performance was evaluated by comparing the ratio between the two split halves. A series of "hold-and-split" tasks was also performed before and after the training. The hold force and split force along with the electromyographic (EMG) activity of jaw muscles were recorded. Motor-evoked potentials and cortical motor maps of the right masseter muscle were evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation. There was a significant effect of series on the precision of the task performance during the short-term oral sensorimotor training (P < 0.002). The hold force during the "hold-and-split" task was significantly lower after training than before the short-term training (P = 0.011). However, there was no change in the split force and the EMG activity of the jaw muscles before and after the training. Further, there was a significant increase in the amplitude of the motor-evoked potentials (P < 0.016) and in the motor cortex map areas (P = 0.033), after the short-term oral sensorimotor training. Therefore, short-term oral sensorimotor task training increased the precision of task performance and induced signs of neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. PMID:26914481

  13. Assessing L2 Task Performance: Understanding Effects of Task Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tavakoli, Parvaneh

    2009-01-01

    The overarching aim of the research reported here was to investigate the effects of task structure and storyline complexity of oral narrative tasks on second language task performance. Participants were 60 Iranian language learners of English who performed six narrative tasks of varying degree of structure and storyline complexity in an assessment…

  14. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  15. Does language dominance affect cognitive performance in bilinguals? Lifespan evidence from preschoolers through older adults on card sorting, Simon, and metalinguistic tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gathercole, Virginia C. Mueller; Thomas, Enlli M.; Kennedy, Ivan; Prys, Cynog; Young, Nia; Viñas Guasch, Nestor; Roberts, Emily J.; Hughes, Emma K.; Jones, Leah

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the extent to which a bilingual advantage can be observed for three tasks in an established population of fully fluent bilinguals from childhood through adulthood. Welsh-English simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals, as well as English monolinguals, aged 3 years through older adults, were tested on three sets of cognitive and executive function tasks. Bilinguals were Welsh-dominant, balanced, or English-dominant, with only Welsh, Welsh and English, or only English at home. Card sorting, Simon, and a metalinguistic judgment task (650, 557, and 354 participants, respectively) reveal little support for a bilingual advantage, either in relation to control or globally. Primarily there is no difference in performance across groups, but there is occasionally better performance by monolinguals or persons dominant in the language being tested, and in one case-in one condition and in one age group-lower performance by the monolinguals. The lack of evidence for a bilingual advantage in these simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals suggests the need for much closer scrutiny of what type of bilingual might demonstrate the reported effects, under what conditions, and why. PMID:24550853

  16. Does language dominance affect cognitive performance in bilinguals? Lifespan evidence from preschoolers through older adults on card sorting, Simon, and metalinguistic tasks.

    PubMed

    Gathercole, Virginia C Mueller; Thomas, Enlli M; Kennedy, Ivan; Prys, Cynog; Young, Nia; Viñas Guasch, Nestor; Roberts, Emily J; Hughes, Emma K; Jones, Leah

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the extent to which a bilingual advantage can be observed for three tasks in an established population of fully fluent bilinguals from childhood through adulthood. Welsh-English simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals, as well as English monolinguals, aged 3 years through older adults, were tested on three sets of cognitive and executive function tasks. Bilinguals were Welsh-dominant, balanced, or English-dominant, with only Welsh, Welsh and English, or only English at home. Card sorting, Simon, and a metalinguistic judgment task (650, 557, and 354 participants, respectively) reveal little support for a bilingual advantage, either in relation to control or globally. Primarily there is no difference in performance across groups, but there is occasionally better performance by monolinguals or persons dominant in the language being tested, and in one case-in one condition and in one age group-lower performance by the monolinguals. The lack of evidence for a bilingual advantage in these simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals suggests the need for much closer scrutiny of what type of bilingual might demonstrate the reported effects, under what conditions, and why. PMID:24550853

  17. Task appraisals, emotions, and performance goal orientation.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Cynthia D; Minbashian, Amirali; Beckmann, Nadin; Wood, Robert E

    2013-03-01

    We predict real-time fluctuations in employees' positive and negative emotions from concurrent appraisals of the immediate task situation and individual differences in performance goal orientation. Task confidence, task importance, positive emotions, and negative emotions were assessed 5 times per day for 3 weeks in an experience sampling study of 135 managers. At the within-person level, appraisals of task confidence, task importance, and their interaction predicted momentary positive and negative emotions as hypothesized. Dispositional performance goal orientation was expected to moderate emotional reactivity to appraisals of task confidence and task importance. The hypothesized relationships were significant in the case of appraisals of task importance. Those high on performance goal orientation reacted to appraisals of task importance with stronger negative and weaker positive emotions than those low on performance goal orientation. PMID:23276116

  18. Why Does Background Noise Debilitate Simple Task Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohfeld, David L.; Goedecke, Dennis W.

    An earlier study indicated that a subject's performance on simple mental tasks, such as tracing soluble and unsoluble geometric designs and proofreading, was not affected by background noise regardless of its intensity, unpredictability, or uncontrollability. But, since background noise did have a significant effect on postnoise task performance,…

  19. Task Board Tests Manipulator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, J. W.

    1983-01-01

    Task board constructed to facilitate time-and-motion studies for remote manipulators. Apparatus equipped with holes, objects of various shapes to be grasped and sensors with switches to indicate contact. Useful in industrial robots programmed to assemble parts.

  20. The influence of degree of expertise and objective task complexity on perceived task complexity and performance.

    PubMed

    Haerem, Thorvald; Rau, Devaki

    2007-09-01

    Research on expertise has shown that nonexperts may sometimes outperform experts. Some researchers have suggested that superior performance by experts depends on the match between the experts' cognition and the demands of the task. The authors explored this issue using a quasi-experiment set in an organization. They examined how 3 sets of similar tasks that differ in their type of complexity can lead to differences in task perceptions and performance among experts, intermediates, and novices. The results suggest that experts and novices pay attention to different aspects of a task and that this affects both their perceptions of task complexity (i.e., task analyzability and variability) and their performance on the task. PMID:17845088

  1. Exposure of baboons to combined 60 Hz electric and magnetic fields does not produce work stoppage or affect operant performance on a match-to-sample task

    SciTech Connect

    Orr, J.L.; Rogers, W.R.; Smith, H.D.

    1995-12-31

    The authors examined the effects of combined 60 Hz electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure on performance of delayed match-to-sample (MTS) procedure involving the flash rate of a light as the stimulus. Six baboons (Papio cynocephalus) fully acquired the task; four others functioned accurately only when cued. All ten subjects were assigned to EMF-exposed or sham-exposed groups of five and were used to test for a work-stoppage effect that was previously observed with initial exposure to electric fields (EF) of 30 or 60 kV/m. Here, the authors report the results of two experiments, each consisting of 6 week preexposure, exposure, and postexposure periods. They found no evidence of work stoppage with fields of 6 kV/m and 50 {micro}T (0.5 G) or with 30 kV/m and 100 {micro}T (1.0 G). In neither experiment was there evidence of an adverse effect of 60 Hz EMF exposure on MTS performance.

  2. Human Performance on the Temporal Bisection Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kopec, Charles D.; Brody, Carlos D.

    2010-01-01

    The perception and processing of temporal information are tasks the brain must continuously perform. These include measuring the duration of stimuli, storing duration information in memory, recalling such memories, and comparing two durations. How the brain accomplishes these tasks, however, is still open for debate. The temporal bisection task,…

  3. Positive Affect Increases Cognitive Control in the Antisaccade Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Imants, Puck; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard

    2011-01-01

    To delineate the modulatory effects of induced positive affect on cognitive control, the current study investigated whether positive affect increases the ability to suppress a reflexive saccade in the antisaccade task. Results of the antisaccade task showed that participants made fewer erroneous prosaccades in the condition in which a positive…

  4. Neuroimaging explanations of age-related differences in task performance

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Barulli, Daniel; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2014-01-01

    Advancing age affects both cognitive performance and functional brain activity and interpretation of these effects has led to a variety of conceptual research models without always explicitly linking the two effects. However, to best understand the multifaceted effects of advancing age, age differences in functional brain activity need to be explicitly tied to the cognitive task performance. This work hypothesized that age-related differences in task performance are partially explained by age-related differences in functional brain activity and formally tested these causal relationships. Functional MRI data was from groups of young and old adults engaged in an executive task-switching experiment. Analyses were voxel-wise testing of moderated-mediation and simple mediation statistical path models to determine whether age group, brain activity and their interaction explained task performance in regions demonstrating an effect of age group. Results identified brain regions whose age-related differences in functional brain activity significantly explained age-related differences in task performance. In all identified locations, significant moderated-mediation relationships resulted from increasing brain activity predicting worse (slower) task performance in older but not younger adults. Findings suggest that advancing age links task performance to the level of brain activity. The overall message of this work is that in order to understand the role of functional brain activity on cognitive performance, analysis methods should respect theoretical relationships. Namely, that age affects brain activity and brain activity is related to task performance. PMID:24672481

  5. Pleasantness of Creative Tasks and Creative Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Turbine Performance Optimization Task Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Lisa W.; Turner, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Capability to optimize for turbine performance and accurately predict unsteady loads will allow for increased reliability, Isp, and thrust-to-weight. The development of a fast, accurate aerodynamic design, analysis, and optimization system is required.

  7. Emotional reactivity and awareness of task performance in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Mograbi, Daniel C; Brown, Richard G; Salas, Christian; Morris, Robin G

    2012-07-01

    Lack of awareness about performance in tasks is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, clinical anecdotes have suggested that patients may show emotional or behavioural responses to the experience of failure despite reporting limited awareness, an aspect which has been little explored experimentally. The current study investigated emotional reactions to success or failure in tasks despite unawareness of performance in Alzheimer's disease. For this purpose, novel computerised tasks which expose participants to systematic success or failure were used in a group of Alzheimer's disease patients (n=23) and age-matched controls (n=21). Two experiments, the first with reaction time tasks and the second with memory tasks, were carried out, and in each experiment two parallel tasks were used, one in a success condition and one in a failure condition. Awareness of performance was measured comparing participant estimations of performance with actual performance. Emotional reactivity was assessed with a self-report questionnaire and rating of filmed facial expressions. In both experiments the results indicated that, relative to controls, Alzheimer's disease patients exhibited impaired awareness of performance, but comparable differential reactivity to failure relative to success tasks, both in terms of self-report and facial expressions. This suggests that affective valence of failure experience is processed despite unawareness of task performance, which might indicate implicit processing of information in neural pathways bypassing awareness. PMID:22609573

  8. Achievement Goals in a Presentation Task: Performance Expectancy, Achievement Goals, State Anxiety, and Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanaka, Ayumi; Takehara, Takuma; Yamauchi, Hirotsugu

    2006-01-01

    The aims of the study were to test the linkages between achievement goals to task performance, as mediated by state anxiety arousal. Performance expectancy was also examined as antecedents of achievement goals. A presentation task in a computer practice class was used as achievement task. Fifty-three undergraduates (37 females and 16 males) were…

  9. Task Performance in Astronomical Adaptive Optics

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    In objective or task-based assessment of image quality, figures of merit are defined by the performance of some specific observer on some task of scientific interest. This methodology is well established in medical imaging but is just beginning to be applied in astronomy. In this paper we survey the theory needed to understand the performance of ideal or ideal-linear (Hotelling) observers on detection tasks with adaptive-optical data. The theory is illustrated by discussing its application to detection of exoplanets from a sequence of short-exposure images. PMID:20890393

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Affective differences in Iowa Gambling Task performance associated with sexual risk taking and substance use among HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men

    PubMed Central

    Golub, Sarit A.; Thompson, Louisa I.; Kowalczyk, William J.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between emotional distress and decision-making in sexual risk and substance use behavior among 174 (ages 25 to 50, 53% black) men who have sex with men (MSM), a population at increased risk for HIV. The sample was stratified by HIV status. Measures of affective decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task, IGT, Bechara et al., 1994), depression, anxiety, sex acts, and substance use during the past 60 days were collected at our research center. Negative binomial regression models were used to examine the relationship between age, HIV status, anxiety, depression, and IGT performance in the prediction of number of risky sex acts and substance use days. Among those without anxiety or depression, both number of risky sex acts and drug use days decreased with better performance during risky trials (i.e., last two blocks) of the IGT. For those with higher rates of anxiety, but not depression, IGT risk trial performance and risky sex acts increased concomitantly. Anxiety also interacted with IGT performance across all trials to predict substance use, such that anxiety was associated with greater substance use among those with better IGT performance. The opposite was true for those with depression, but only during risk trials. HIV-positive participants reported fewer substance use days than HIV-negative participants, but there was no difference in association between behavior and IGT performance by HIV status. Our findings suggest that anxiety may exacerbate risk-taking behavior when affective decision-making ability is intact. The relationship between affective decision-making and risk taking may be sensitive to different profiles of emotional distress, as well as behavioral context. Investigations of affective decision-making in sexual risk taking and substance use should examine different distress profiles separately, with implications for HIV prevention efforts. PMID:26745769

  12. The Relationship between Levels of Expertise, Task Difficulty, Perceived Self-Efficacy, and Mental Effort Investment in Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Hsin-Ning

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the impact of different levels of task difficulty and expertise on self-efficacy judgments. In addition, the study examines how self-efficacy judgments affect the amount of mental effort investment and task performance under different levels of task difficulty and expertise. Results from this study are used to build a…

  13. Does a Speaking Task Affect Second Language Comprehensibility?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowther, Dustin; Trofimovich, Pavel; Isaacs, Talia; Saito, Kazuya

    2015-01-01

    The current study investigated task effects on listener perception of second language (L2) comprehensibility (ease of understanding). Sixty university-level adult speakers of English from 4 first language (L1) backgrounds (Chinese, Romance, Hindi, Farsi), with 15 speakers per group, were recorded performing 2 tasks (IELTS long-turn speaking task…

  14. Manipulator Performance Evaluation Using Fitts' Taping Task

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-04-25

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Arzeno, N. H.; Buxton, R. E.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I. S.; Lee, S. M. C.; Miller, C. A.; Mulavara, A. P.; Platts, S. H.; Peters, B. T.; Phillips, T.; Ploutz-Snyder, L. L.; Reschke, M. F.; Ryder, J. W.; Spiering, B. A.; Stenger, M. B.; Taylor, L. C.; Wickwire, P. J.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Mental and psychomotor task performance in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The possible adverse effects of noise on mental and psychomotor task performance were a matter of practical concern for centuries and continue to be a matter of scientific controversy. A review indicates that except for the masking or interferences with the hearing of sounds needed to perform a given task, noise does not necessarily interfer with work performance. However, because of difficulties in the experimental control of some of these possible effects, the results of research on work performance in noise were inconsistent and difficult to encompass in any simple theoretical construct. Indeed, reviews of research in this area conclude that simple generalizations about possible effects of noise on work performance cannot be made. Nevertheless, several general theories were put forth.

  18. Performance Tasks and the Pedagogy of Broadway

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chun, Marc

    2012-01-01

    If educators want students to practice and prepare for challenges they might eventually face, there are a number of useful strategies to connect academic learning to the "real world." One is to ask students to complete what are variously called "performance tasks," "case studies," "simulations," or "project- or problem-based learning units."…

  19. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    PubMed

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

    Use of touch-screen-based interactions is growing rapidly. Hence, knowing the maneuvering efficacy of touch screens relative to other pointing devices is of great importance in the context of graphical user interfaces. Movement time, accuracy, and user preferences of four pointing device settings were evaluated on a computer with 14 participants aged 20.1 ± 3.13 years. It was found that, depending on the difficulty of the task, the optimal settings differ for ballistic and visual control tasks. With a touch screen, resting the arm increased movement time for steering tasks. When both performance and comfort are considered, whether to use a mouse or a touch screen for person-computer interaction depends on the steering difficulty. Hence, a input device should be chosen based on the application, and should be optimized to match the graphical user interface. PMID:27216944

  20. Learners Performing Tasks in a Japanese EFL Classroom: A Multimodal and Interpersonal Approach to Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Paul

    2012-01-01

    In this paper I describe and analyse learner task-based interactions from a multimodal perspective with the aim of better understanding how learners' interpersonal relationships might affect task performance. Task-based pedagogy is focused on classroom interaction between learners, yet analysis of tasks has often neglected the analysis of this…

  1. Estimating endogenous changes in task performance from EEG

    PubMed Central

    Touryan, Jon; Apker, Gregory; Lance, Brent J.; Kerick, Scott E.; Ries, Anthony J.; McDowell, Kaleb

    2014-01-01

    Brain wave activity is known to correlate with decrements in behavioral performance as individuals enter states of fatigue, boredom, or low alertness.Many BCI technologies are adversely affected by these changes in user state, limiting their application and constraining their use to relatively short temporal epochs where behavioral performance is likely to be stable. Incorporating a passive BCI that detects when the user is performing poorly at a primary task, and adapts accordingly may prove to increase overall user performance. Here, we explore the potential for extending an established method to generate continuous estimates of behavioral performance from ongoing neural activity; evaluating the extended method by applying it to the original task domain, simulated driving; and generalizing the method by applying it to a BCI-relevant perceptual discrimination task. Specifically, we used EEG log power spectra and sequential forward floating selection (SFFS) to estimate endogenous changes in behavior in both a simulated driving task and a perceptual discrimination task. For the driving task the average correlation coefficient between the actual and estimated lane deviation was 0.37 ± 0.22 (μ ± σ). For the perceptual discrimination task we generated estimates of accuracy, reaction time, and button press duration for each participant. The correlation coefficients between the actual and estimated behavior were similar for these three metrics (accuracy = 0.25 ± 0.37, reaction time = 0.33 ± 0.23, button press duration = 0.36 ± 0.30). These findings illustrate the potential for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance from concurrent measures of neural activity. PMID:24994968

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

    PubMed

    Lim, Seung-Lark; Bruce, Amanda S; Aupperle, Robin L

    2014-01-01

    In a dual-task paradigm, participants performed a spatial location working memory task and a forced two-choice perceptual decision task (neutral vs. fearful) with gradually morphed emotional faces (neutral ∼ fearful). Task-irrelevant word distractors (negative, neutral, and control) were experimentally manipulated during spatial working memory encoding. We hypothesized that, if affective perception is influenced by concurrent cognitive load using a working memory task, task-irrelevant emotional distractors would bias subsequent perceptual decision-making on ambiguous facial expression. We found that when either neutral or negative emotional words were presented as task-irrelevant working-memory distractors, participants more frequently reported fearful face perception - but only at the higher emotional intensity levels of morphed faces. Also, the affective perception bias due to negative emotional distractors correlated with a decrease in working memory performance. Taken together, our findings suggest that concurrent working memory load by task-irrelevant distractors has an impact on affective perception of facial expressions. PMID:25347772

  3. Assessing Affect after Mathematical Problem Solving Tasks: Validating the Chamberlin Affective Instrument for Mathematical Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chamberlin, Scott A.; Powers, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    The focus of the article is the validation of an instrument to assess gifted students' affect after mathematical problem solving tasks. Participants were 225 students identified by their district as gifted in grades four to six. The Chamberlin Affective Instrument for Mathematical Problem Solving was used to assess feelings, emotions, and…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Situation awareness and driving performance in a simulated navigation task.

    PubMed

    Ma, R; Kaber, D B

    2007-08-01

    The objective of this study was to identify task and vehicle factors that may affect driver situation awareness (SA) and its relationship to performance, particularly in strategic (navigation) tasks. An experiment was conducted to assess the effects of in-vehicle navigation aids and reliability on driver SA and performance in a simulated navigation task. A total of 20 participants drove a virtual car and navigated a large virtual suburb. They were required to follow traffic signs and navigation directions from either a human aid via a mobile phone or an automated aid presented on a laptop. The navigation aids operated under three different levels of information reliability (100%, 80% and 60%). A control condition was used in which each aid presented a telemarketing survey and participants navigated using a map. Results revealed perfect navigation information generally improved driver SA and performance compared to unreliable navigation information and the control condition (task-irrelevant information). In-vehicle automation appears to mediate the relationship of driver SA to performance in terms of operational and strategic (navigation) behaviours. The findings of this work support consideration of driver SA in the design of future vehicle automation for navigation tasks. PMID:17558674

  6. Investigating Effects of Task Structure on EFL Learner's Oral Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahimpour, Massoud; Mehrang, Faezeh

    2010-01-01

    It is argued that tasks with different structures yield different performances in terms of accuracy, fluency and complexity. The present study is thus an attempt to investigate the impact of task structure on second language task performance. Thirty two upper-intermediate Iranian learners of English performed two narrative tasks (Structured vs.…

  7. Developmental and individual differences in performance on phonological synthesis tasks.

    PubMed

    Torgesen, J K; Wagner, R K; Balthazar, M; Davis, C; Morgan, S; Simmons, K; Stage, S; Zirps, F

    1989-06-01

    This study was conducted in order to examine the role of individual differences in working memory and lexical access in accounting for age and reading skill related differences in performance on phonological synthesis tasks. The performance of 28 kindergarten, first-, and second-grade children with normal reading skills, as well as that of 28 reading-disabled second graders, was compared under four testing conditions. The testing conditions were formed by completely crossing rate of presentation of phoneme strings with type of stimulus to be blended (real or nonword). Both independent variables affected performance on the blending tasks, with better performance obtained at faster presentation rates and with real words. There was a developmental discontinuity in overall performance, with the kindergarten children obtaining substantially lower scores than the first or second graders. In the comparison of second-grade good and poor readers, there was a significant interaction between groups, presentation rates, and type of stimulus. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for a general model of performance on the sound blending task, as well as their value for interpreting individual differences on the task. PMID:2738517

  8. Changes in cognitive task performance across the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Broverman, D M; Vogel, W; Klaiber, E L; Majcher, D; Shea, D; Paul, V

    1981-08-01

    Menstrual-cycle-related changes in estrogen were expected to differentially affect various cognitive tests. Specifically, the estrogen peak occurring at midcycle in ovulatory women was expected to facilitate performance of highly practiced "automatized" tasks and to impair performance of "perceptual-restructuring" tasks, compared with performance of these tasks in the postovulatory phase of the cycle when progesterone is thought to counteract the action of estrogen. Perceptual-restructuring tasks are defined as tasks in which the initial percepts to obvious stimulus attributes are wrong and must be set aside in favor of percepts to less obvious stimulus attributes. Eight-seven regularly menstruating undergraduate women were studied. Odd-numbered subjects were tested first on or about Day 10 of their cycle and then again on Day 20; even-numbered subjects, in the reverse sequence. Daily basal body temperature records were obtained. These temperature records suggested that 21, or 24%, of the subjects did not ovulate in the cycle(s) studied. No main effect of Day 10 versus Day 20 occurred for any task in the 66 women who did appear to ovulate. However, the magnitude of predicted shifts in performance was significantly correlated with proximity of the "Day 10" testing day to the thermal nadir of the basal body temperature record, the presumed preovulatory estrogen peak; and to the "Day 20" proximity to the basal body temperature thermal peak, the presumed progesterone peak. Subjects tested 3 or fewer days before the thermal nadir and on or after the thermal peak had the predicted significant changes on three of the four administered tasks. No other temporally defined group produced significant changes. The results of the study support the experimental hypotheses and also indicate that precise timing is essential to demonstrate the phenomena. PMID:7276285

  9. Effect of music tempo on task performance.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, C; Moss, S

    1989-12-01

    Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of music tempo on task performance. In Study 1, 44 undergraduate business students were asked to be "workers" in a stock market project by collecting closing stock prices and calculating the percentage of change in the price from week to week. Subjects were randomly divided into groups such that they either listened to fast-paced music while they worked, to slow-paced music, or to no music. Analyses of variance and covariance were conducted on both the quantity and quality of the subjects' work, using music listening habits as a covariate. There were no differences in either the quantity or quality of the work produced by the groups. There were some methodological concerns regarding Study 1, so a second study was conducted. The 70 undergraduate business students in Study 2 completed the same task under the same music conditions as in Study 1. Analyses of variance indicated women performed significantly better than men, performance was significantly higher in the rock condition than in the heartbeat condition, and subjects in the rock condition had a significantly higher perceived level of distraction by the music. PMID:2623126

  10. How Cross-Language Similarity and Task Demands Affect Cognate Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dijkstra, Ton; Miwa, Koji; Brummelhuis, Bianca; Sappelli, Maya; Baayen, Harald

    2010-01-01

    This study examines how the cross-linguistic similarity of translation equivalents affects bilingual word recognition. Performing one of three tasks, Dutch-English bilinguals processed cognates with varying degrees of form overlap between their English and Dutch counterparts (e.g., "lamp-lamp" vs. "flood-vloed" vs. "song-lied"). In lexical…

  11. Interpersonal synergies: static prehension tasks performed by two actors.

    PubMed

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2016-08-01

    We investigated multidigit synergies stabilizing components of the resultant force vector during joint performance of a static prehension task by two persons as compared to similar tasks performed by a single person using both hands. Subjects transferred the instrumented handle from the right hand to the left hand (one-person condition) or passed that handle to another person (two-person condition) while keeping the handle's position and orientation stationary. Only three digits were involved per hand, the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger; the forces and moments produced by the digits were measured by six-component sensors. We estimated the performance-stabilizing synergies within the uncontrolled manifold framework by quantifying the intertrial variance structure of digit forces and moments. The analysis was performed at three levels: between hands, between virtual finger and virtual thumb (imagined digits producing the same mechanical variables as the corresponding actual digits combined) produced by the two hands (in both interpersonal and intrapersonal conditions), and between the thumb and virtual finger for one hand only. Additionally, we performed correlation and phase synchronization analyses of resultant tangential forces and internal normal forces. Overall, the one-person conditions were characterized by higher amount of intertrial variance that did not affect resultant normal force components, higher internal components of normal forces, and stronger synchronization of the normal forces generated by the hands. Our observations suggest that in two-person tasks, when participants try to achieve a common mechanical outcome, the performance-stabilizing synergies depend on non-visual information exchange, possibly via the haptic and proprioceptive systems. Therefore, synergies quantified in tasks using visual feedback only may not be generalizable to more natural tasks. PMID:27021074

  12. "My legs affect me a lot. … I can no longer walk to the forest to fetch firewood": challenges related to health and the performance of daily tasks for older women in a high HIV context.

    PubMed

    Schatz, Enid; Gilbert, Leah

    2014-01-01

    Compromised health negatively impacts older persons' ability to participate in expected social roles. Researchers have published little empirical work, however, to explore these issues in HIV endemic African settings. Qualitative interviews with 30 women, aged 60-plus, in rural South Africa, provide insight into the relationship between health and daily activities, with attention to the fulfillment of social roles. In this poor HIV endemic context, older women make connections between their compromised health and their (lack of) capacity to perform the daily tasks that they view as expected of them. By expanding the conceptualization of health to include the capacity to achieve the expectations and perform the tasks expected of one, we better understand how and why health and performance of daily activities are so intricately linked in the minds of respondents. This also provides a starting point for thinking about the social and structural support needed by older persons in these settings, especially as HIV erodes familial supports. PMID:24628607

  13. Quantum Tunneling Affects Engine Performance.

    PubMed

    Som, Sibendu; Liu, Wei; Zhou, Dingyu D Y; Magnotti, Gina M; Sivaramakrishnan, Raghu; Longman, Douglas E; Skodje, Rex T; Davis, Michael J

    2013-06-20

    We study the role of individual reaction rates on engine performance, with an emphasis on the contribution of quantum tunneling. It is demonstrated that the effect of quantum tunneling corrections for the reaction HO2 + HO2 = H2O2 + O2 can have a noticeable impact on the performance of a high-fidelity model of a compression-ignition (e.g., diesel) engine, and that an accurate prediction of ignition delay time for the engine model requires an accurate estimation of the tunneling correction for this reaction. The three-dimensional model includes detailed descriptions of the chemistry of a surrogate for a biodiesel fuel, as well as all the features of the engine, such as the liquid fuel spray and turbulence. This study is part of a larger investigation of how the features of the dynamics and potential energy surfaces of key reactions, as well as their reaction rate uncertainties, affect engine performance, and results in these directions are also presented here. PMID:26283246

  14. New paradigm for task switching strategies while performing multiple tasks: entropy and symbolic dynamics analysis of voluntary patterns.

    PubMed

    Guastello, Stephen J; Gorin, Hillary; Huschen, Samuel; Peters, Natalie E; Fabisch, Megan; Poston, Kirsten

    2012-10-01

    It has become well established in laboratory experiments that switching tasks, perhaps due to interruptions at work, incur costs in response time to complete the next task. Conditions are also known that exaggerate or lessen the switching costs. Although switching costs can contribute to fatigue, task switching can also be an adaptive response to fatigue. The present study introduces a new research paradigm for studying the emergence of voluntary task switching regimes, self-organizing processes therein, and the possibly conflicting roles of switching costs and minimum entropy. Fifty-four undergraduates performed 7 different computer-based cognitive tasks producing sets of 49 responses under instructional conditions requiring task quotas or no quotas. The sequences of task choices were analyzed using orbital decomposition to extract pattern types and lengths, which were then classified and compared with regard to Shannon entropy, topological entropy, number of task switches involved, and overall performance. Results indicated that similar but different patterns were generated under the two instructional conditions, and better performance was associated with lower topological entropy. Both entropy metrics were associated with the amount of voluntary task switching. Future research should explore conditions affecting the trade-off between switching costs and entropy, levels of automaticity between task elements, and the role of voluntary switching regimes on fatigue. PMID:22980455

  15. Tool and Task Analysis Guide for Vocational Welding (150 Tasks). Performance Based Vocational Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    John H. Hinds Area Vocational School, Elwood, IN.

    This book contains a task inventory, a task analysis of 150 tasks from that inventory, and a tool list for performance-based welding courses in the state of Indiana. The task inventory and tool list reflect 28 job titles found in Indiana. In the first part of the guide, tasks are listed by these domains: carbon-arc, electron beam, G.M.A.W., gas…

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

    PubMed

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  19. The Effect of Background Music and Background Noise on the Task Performance of Introverts and Extraverts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassidy, Gianna; MacDonald, Raymond A. R.

    2007-01-01

    The study investigated the effects of music with high arousal potential and negative affect (HA), music with low arousal potential and positive affect (LA), and everyday noise, on the cognitive task performance of introverts and extraverts. Forty participants completed five cognitive tasks: immediate recall, free recall, numerical and delayed…

  20. Success Estimations and Performance in Children as Influenced by Age, Gender, and Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Amelia M.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Randomly assigned 80 boys and girls in grades 3 and 7 to either a football-related or a dance-related group. Performance expectancies obtained prior to engaging in a novel motor task can be affected by the way a task is presented. Boys were more affected than girls by labels of sex appropriateness. (Author/BJV)

  1. Distraction affects the performance of obstacle avoidance during walking.

    PubMed

    Weerdesteyn, V; Schillings, A M; van Galen, G P; Duysens, J

    2003-03-01

    In this study, dual-task interference in obstacle-avoidance tasks during human walking was examined. Ten healthy young adults participated in the experiment. While they were walking on a treadmill, an obstacle suddenly fell on the treadmill in front of their left leg during either midswing, early stance, or late stance of the ipsilateral leg. Participants were instructed to avoid the obstacle, both as a single task and while they were concurrently performing a cognitive secondary task (dual task). Rates of failure, avoidance strategy, and a number of kinematic parameters were studied under both task conditions. When only a short response time was available, rates of failure on the avoidance task were larger during the dual task than during the single task. Smaller crossing swing velocities were found during the dual task as compared with those observed in the single task. The difference in crossing swing velocities was attributable to increased stiffness of the crossing swing limb. The results of the present study indicated that divided attention affects young and healthy individuals' obstacle-avoidance performance during walking. PMID:12724099

  2. Performance assessment task team progress report

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-05-01

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

  3. Aging and Concurrent Task Performance: Cognitive Demand and Motor Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albinet, Cedric; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Beasman, Kathryn

    2006-01-01

    A motor task that requires fine control of upper limb movements and a cognitive task that requires executive processing--first performing them separately and then concurrently--was performed by 18 young and 18 older adults. The motor task required participants to tap alternatively on two targets, the sizes of which varied systematically. The…

  4. Task Interspersal and Performance of Matching Tasks by Preschoolers with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benavides, Christian A.; Poulson, Claire L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the effects of task interspersal on the performance of matching-to-sample tasks by three children with autism. A pre-baseline assessed each child's mastery level of a large body of matching stimuli. These matching tasks included matching identical and non-identical animals, numbers, letters, and shapes. Through this…

  5. Modeling Task Switching without Switching Tasks: A Short-Term Priming Account of Explicitly Cued Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2005-01-01

    Switch costs in task switching are commonly attributed to an executive control process of task-set reconfiguration, particularly in studies involving the explicit task-cuing procedure. The authors propose an alternative account of explicitly cued performance that is based on 2 mechanisms: priming of cue encoding from residual activation of cues in…

  6. Lucid dreaming and ventromedial versus dorsolateral prefrontal task performance.

    PubMed

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T

    2011-06-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for 1 week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  7. Lucid Dreaming and Ventromedial versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T.

    2010-01-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for one week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  8. Food-cue affected motor response inhibition and self-reported dieting success: a pictorial affective shifting task

    PubMed Central

    Meule, Adrian; Lutz, Annika P. C.; Krawietz, Vera; Stützer, Judith; Vögele, Claus; Kübler, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition is one of the basic facets of executive functioning and is closely related to self-regulation. Impulsive reactions, that is, low inhibitory control, have been associated with higher body mass index (BMI), binge eating, and other problem behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, pathological gambling, etc.). Nevertheless, studies which investigated the direct influence of food-cues on behavioral inhibition have been fairly inconsistent. In the current studies, we investigated food-cue affected behavioral inhibition in young women. For this purpose, we used a go/no-go task with pictorial food and neutral stimuli in which stimulus-response mapping is reversed after every other block (affective shifting task). In study 1, hungry participants showed faster reaction times to and omitted fewer food than neutral targets. Low dieting success and higher BMI were associated with behavioral disinhibition in food relative to neutral blocks. In study 2, both hungry and satiated individuals were investigated. Satiation did not influence overall task performance, but modulated associations of task performance with dieting success and self-reported impulsivity. When satiated, increased food craving during the task was associated with low dieting success, possibly indicating a preload-disinhibition effect following food intake. Food-cues elicited automatic action and approach tendencies regardless of dieting success, self-reported impulsivity, or current hunger levels. Yet, associations between dieting success, impulsivity, and behavioral food-cue responses were modulated by hunger and satiation. Future research investigating clinical samples and including other salient non-food stimuli as control category is warranted. PMID:24659978

  9. Selecting Tasks for Evaluating Human Performance as a Function of Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norcross, Jason R.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    A challenge in understanding human performance as a function of gravity is determining which tasks to research. Initial studies began with treadmill walking, which was easy to quantify and control. However, with the development of pressurized rovers, it is less important to optimize human performance for ambulation as pressurized rovers will likely perform gross translation for them. Future crews are likely to spend much of their extravehicular activity (EVA) performing geology, construction,a nd maintenance type tasks. With these types of tasks, people have different performance strategies, and it is often difficult to quantify the task and measure steady-state metabolic rates or perform biomechanical analysis. For many of these types of tasks, subjective feedback may be the only data that can be collected. However, subjective data may not fully support a rigorous scientific comparison of human performance across different gravity levels and suit factors. NASA would benefit from having a wide variety of quantifiable tasks that allow human performance comparison across different conditions. In order to determine which tasks will effectively support scientific studies, many different tasks and data analysis techniques will need to be employed. Many of these tasks and techniques will not be effective, but some will produce quantifiable results that are sensitive enough to show performance differences. One of the primary concerns related to EVA performance is metabolic rate. The higher the metabolic rate, the faster the astronaut will exhaust consumables. The focus of this poster will be on how different tasks affect metabolic rate across different gravity levels.

  10. Effects of Selected Task Performance Criteria at Initiating Adaptive Task Real locations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Demaris A.

    2001-01-01

    In the current report various performance assessment methods used to initiate mode transfers between manual control and automation for adaptive task reallocation were tested. Participants monitored two secondary tasks for critical events while actively controlling a process in a fictional system. One of the secondary monitoring tasks could be automated whenever operators' performance was below acceptable levels. Automation of the secondary task and transfer of the secondary task back to manual control were either human- or machine-initiated. Human-initiated transfers were based on the operator's assessment of the current task demands while machine-initiated transfers were based on the operators' performance. Different performance assessment methods were tested in two separate experiments.

  11. Affective ERP Processing in a Visual Oddball Task: Arousal, Valence, and Gender

    PubMed Central

    Rozenkrants, Bella; Polich, John

    2008-01-01

    Objective To assess affective event-related brain potentials (ERPs) using visual pictures that were highly distinct on arousal level/valence category ratings and a response task. Methods Images from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS) were selected to obtain distinct affective arousal (low, high) and valence (negative, positive) rating levels. The pictures were used as target stimuli in an oddball paradigm, with a visual pattern as the standard stimulus. Participants were instructed to press a button whenever a picture occurred and to ignore the standard. Task performance and response time did not differ across conditions. Results High-arousal compared to low-arousal stimuli produced larger amplitudes for the N2, P3, early slow wave, and late slow wave components. Valence amplitude effects were weak overall and originated primarily from the later waveform components and interactions with electrode position. Gender differences were negligible. Conclusion The findings suggest that arousal level is the primary determinant of affective oddball processing, and valence minimally influences ERP amplitude. Significance Affective processing engages selective attentional mechanisms that are primarily sensitive to the arousal properties of emotional stimuli. The application and nature of task demands are important considerations for interpreting these effects. PMID:18783987

  12. Individual Differences and Development in Water-Level Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Hoben; Turner, Geoffrey, F. W.

    1991-01-01

    Presents research on individuals' ability to perform Piaget's water-level task. At almost every age and for each sex, some subjects had high probability of success and some had low. Age-related improvement was not a result of children's increasing accuracy in task performance. Differences in performance between sexes were evident at all ages.…

  13. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kormos, Judit; Trebits, Anna

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Characterization of Task-free and Task-performance Brain States via Functional Connectome Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xin; Guo, Lei; Li, Xiang; Zhang, Tuo; Zhu, Dajiang; Li, Kaiming; Chen, Hanbo; Lv, Jinglei; Jin, Changfeng; Zhao, Qun; Li, Lingjiang; Liu, Tianming

    2014-01-01

    Both resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) and task-based fMRI (T-fMRI) have been widely used to study the functional activities of the human brain during task-free and task-performance periods, respectively. However, due to the difficulty in strictly controlling the participating subject's mental status and their cognitive behaviors during R-fMRI/T-fMRI scans, it has been challenging to ascertain whether or not an R-fMRI/T-fMRI scan truly reflects the participant's functional brain states during task-free/task-performance periods. This paper presents a novel computational approach to characterizing and differentiating the brain's functional status into task-free or task-performance states, by which the functional brain activities can be effectively understood and differentiated. Briefly, the brain's functional state is represented by a whole-brain quasi-stable connectome pattern (WQCP) of R-fMRI or T-fMRI data based on 358 consistent cortical landmarks across individuals, and then an effective sparse representation method was applied to learn the atomic connectome patterns (ACP) of both task-free and task-performance states. Experimental results demonstrated that the learned ACPs for R-fMRI and T-fMRI datasets are substantially different, as expected. A certain portion of ACPs from R-fMRI and T-fMRI data were overlapped, suggesting some subjects with overlapping ACPs were not in the expected task-free/task-performance brain states. Besides, potential outliers in the T-fMRI dataset were further investigated via functional activation detections in different groups, and our results revealed unexpected task-performances of some subjects. This work offers novel insights into the functional architectures of the brain. PMID:23938590

  17. How important tasks are performed: peer review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartonen, T.; Alava, M. J.

    2013-04-01

    The advancement of various fields of science depends on the actions of individual scientists via the peer review process. The referees' work patterns and stochastic nature of decision making both relate to the particular features of refereeing and to the universal aspects of human behavior. Here, we show that the time a referee takes to write a report on a scientific manuscript depends on the final verdict. The data is compared to a model, where the review takes place in an ongoing competition of completing an important composite task with a large number of concurrent ones - a Deadline -effect. In peer review human decision making and task completion combine both long-range predictability and stochastic variation due to a large degree of ever-changing external ``friction''.

  18. Task-free MRI predicts individual differences in brain activity during task performance.

    PubMed

    Tavor, I; Parker Jones, O; Mars, R B; Smith, S M; Behrens, T E; Jbabdi, S

    2016-04-01

    When asked to perform the same task, different individuals exhibit markedly different patterns of brain activity. This variability is often attributed to volatile factors, such as task strategy or compliance. We propose that individual differences in brain responses are, to a large degree, inherent to the brain and can be predicted from task-independent measurements collected at rest. Using a large set of task conditions, spanning several behavioral domains, we train a simple model that relates task-independent measurements to task activity and evaluate the model by predicting task activation maps for unseen subjects using magnetic resonance imaging. Our model can accurately predict individual differences in brain activity and highlights a coupling between brain connectivity and function that can be captured at the level of individual subjects. PMID:27124457

  19. Improving older adults’ memory performance using prior task success

    PubMed Central

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M.

    2012-01-01

    Holding negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. We attempted to improve older adults’ memory performance by giving them task experience that would counter their negative performance expectations. Before participating in a memory experiment, younger and older adults were given a cognitive task that they could either successfully complete, not successfully complete, or they were given no prior task. For older adults, recall was significantly higher and self-reported anxiety was significantly lower for the prior task success group relative to the other groups. There was no effect of prior task experience on younger adults’ memory performance. Results suggest that older adults’ memory can be improved with a single successful prior task experience. PMID:23066803

  20. Sleep Deprivation and Time-on-Task Performance Decrement in the Rat Psychomotor Vigilance Task

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: The rat psychomotor vigilance task (rPVT) was developed as a rodent analog of the human psychomotor vigilance task (hPVT). We examined whether rPVT performance displays time-on-task effects similar to those observed on the hPVT. Design: The rPVT requires rats to respond to a randomly presented light stimulus to obtain a water reward. Rats were water deprived for 22 h prior to each 30-min rPVT session to motivate performance. We analyzed rPVT performance over time on task and as a function of the response-stimulus interval, at baseline and after sleep deprivation. Setting: The study was conducted in an academic research vivarium. Participants: Male Long-Evans rats were trained to respond to a 0.5 sec stimulus light within 3 sec of stimulus onset. Complete data were available for n = 20 rats. Interventions: Rats performed the rPVT for 30 min at baseline and after 24 h total sleep deprivation by gentle handling. Measurements and Results: Compared to baseline, sleep deprived rats displayed increased performance lapses and premature responses, similar to hPVT lapses of attention and false starts. However, in contrast to hPVT performance, the time-on-task performance decrement was not significantly enhanced by sleep deprivation. Moreover, following sleep deprivation, rPVT response times were not consistently increased after short response-stimulus intervals. Conclusions: The rat psychomotor vigilance task manifests similarities to the human psychomotor vigilance task in global performance outcomes, but not in post-sleep deprivation effects of time on task and response-stimulus interval. Citation: Oonk M, Davis CJ, Krueger JM, Wisor JP, Van Dongen HPA. Sleep deprivation and time-on-task performance decrement in the rat psychomotor vigilance task. SLEEP 2015;38(3):445–451. PMID:25515099

  1. Is performance in task-cuing experiments mediated by task set selection or associative compound retrieval?

    PubMed

    Forrest, Charlotte L D; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P L

    2014-07-01

    Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed, after a short or long interval, by a digit to which 1 of 2 responses was required. In a tasks condition, participants were (as usual) directed to interpret the cue as an instruction to perform either an odd/even or a high/low classification task. In a cue + stimulus → response (CSR) condition, to induce learning of mappings between cue-stimulus compound and response, participants were, in Experiment 1, given standard task instructions and additionally encouraged to learn the CSR mappings; in Experiment 2, informed of all the CSR mappings and asked to learn them, without standard task instructions; in Experiment 3, required to learn the mappings by trial and error. The effects of a task switch, response congruence, preparation, and transfer to a new set of stimuli differed substantially between the conditions in ways indicative of classification according to task rules in the tasks condition, and retrieval of responses specific to stimulus-cue combinations in the CSR conditions. Qualitative features of the latter could be captured by an associative learning network. Hence associatively based compound retrieval can serve as the basis for performance with a small stimulus set. But when organization by tasks is apparent, control via task set selection is the natural and efficient strategy. PMID:24564543

  2. Human performance evaluation in dual-axis critical task tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ritchie, M. L.; Nataraj, N. S.

    1975-01-01

    A dual axis tracking using a multiloop critical task was set up to evaluate human performance. The effects of control stick variation and display formats are evaluated. A secondary loading was used to measure the degradation in tracking performance.

  3. Prior task experience affects temporal prediction and estimation

    PubMed Central

    Tobin, Simon; Grondin, Simon

    2015-01-01

    It has been shown that prior experience with a task improves temporal prediction, even when the amount of prior experience with the task is often limited. The present study targeted the role of extensive training on temporal prediction. Expert and intermediate runners had to predict the time of a 5 km running competition. Furthermore, after the race’s completion, participants had to estimate their running time so that it could be compared with the predicted time. Results show that expert runners were more accurate than intermediate runners for both predicting and estimating their running time. Furthermore, only expert runners had an estimation that was more accurate than their initial prediction. The results confirm the role of prior task experience in both temporal prediction and estimation. PMID:26217261

  4. EFFECTIVE INDICES FOR MONITORING MENTAL WORKLOAD WHILE PERFORMING MULTIPLE TASKS.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Bin-Wei; Wang, Mao-Jiun J; Chen, Chi-Yuan; Chen, Fang

    2015-08-01

    This study identified several physiological indices that can accurately monitor mental workload while participants performed multiple tasks with the strategy of maintaining stable performance and maximizing accuracy. Thirty male participants completed three 10-min. simulated multitasks: MATB (Multi-Attribute Task Battery) with three workload levels. Twenty-five commonly used mental workload measures were collected, including heart rate, 12 HRV (heart rate variability), 10 EEG (electroencephalography) indices (α, β, θ, α/θ, θ/β from O1-O2 and F4-C4), and two subjective measures. Analyses of index sensitivity showed that two EEG indices, θ and α/θ (F4-C4), one time-domain HRV-SDNN (standard deviation of inter-beat intervals), and four frequency-domain HRV: VLF (very low frequency), LF (low frequency), %HF (percentage of high frequency), and LF/HF were sensitive to differentiate high workload. EEG α/θ (F4-C4) and LF/HF were most effective for monitoring high mental workload. LF/HF showed the highest correlations with other physiological indices. EEG α/θ (F4-C4) showed strong correlations with subjective measures across different mental workload levels. Operation strategy would affect the sensitivity of EEG α (F4-C4) and HF. PMID:26226284

  5. Deep Thinking Increases Task-Set Shielding and Reduces Shifting Flexibility in Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Rico; Hommel, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    Performing two tasks concurrently is difficult, which has been taken to imply the existence of a structural processing bottleneck. Here we sought to assess whether and to what degree one's multitasking abilities depend on the cognitive-control style one engages in. Participants were primed with creativity tasks that either called for divergent…

  6. Viewer Perspective Affects Central Bottleneck Requirements in Spatial Translation Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franz, Elizabeth A.; Sebastian, Alexandra; Hust, Christina; Norris, Tom

    2008-01-01

    A psychological refractory period (PRP) approach and the locus of slack logic were applied to examine the novel question of whether spatial translation processes can begin before the central bottleneck when effector or noneffector stimuli are processed from an egocentric (viewer-centered) perspective. In single tasks, trials requiring spatial…

  7. Nicotine withdrawal modulates frontal brain function during an affective Stroop task

    PubMed Central

    Modlin, Leslie; Wang, Lihong; Kozink, Rachel V.; McClernon, F. Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Background Among nicotine-dependent smokers, smoking abstinence disrupts multiple cognitive and affective processes including conflict resolution and emotional information processing (EIP). However, the neurobiological basis of abstinence effects on resolving emotional interference on cognition remains largely uncharacterized. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate smoking abstinence effects on emotion–cognition interactions. Methods Smokers (n=17) underwent fMRI while performing an affective Stroop task (aST) over two sessions: once following 24-h abstinence and once following smoking as usual. The aST includes trials that serially present incongruent or congruent numerical grids bracketed by neutral or negative emotional distractors and view-only emotional image trials. Statistical analyses were conducted using a statistical threshold of p<0.05 cluster corrected. Results Smoking abstinence increased Stroop blood-oxygenation-level-dependent response in the right middle frontal and rostral anterior cingulate gyri. Moreover, withdrawal-induced negative affect was associated with less activation in frontoparietal regions during negative emotional information processing; whereas, during Stroop trials, negative affect predicted greater activation in frontal regions during negative, but not neutral emotional distractor trials. Conclusion Hyperactivation in the frontal executive control network during smoking abstinence may represent a need to recruit additional executive resources to meet task demands. Moreover, abstinence-induced negative affect may disrupt cognitive control neural circuitry during EIP and place additional demands on frontal executive neural resources during cognitive demands when presented with emotionally distracting stimuli. PMID:21989805

  8. Short-term memory and dual task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, J. E.

    1982-01-01

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

  9. Dual Task Performance in Normal Aging: A Comparison of Choice Reaction Time Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Vaportzis, Eleftheria; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie; Stout, Julie C.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined dual task performance in 28 younger (18–30 years) and 28 older (>60 years) adults using two sets of choice reaction time (RT) tasks paired with digit tasks. Set one paired simple choice RT with digit forward; set two paired complex choice RT with digit backward. Each task within each set had easy and hard conditions. For the simple choice RT, participants viewed single letters and pressed a specified keyboard key if the letter was X or Z or a different key for other letters (easy). For the hard condition, there were 4 target letters (X, Z, O, Y). Digit forward consisted of 4 (easy) or 5 (hard) digits. For the complex choice RT, participants viewed 4×4 matrices of Xs and Os, and indicated whether four Xs (easy) or four Xs or four Os (hard) appeared in a row. Digit backward consisted of 3 (easy) or 4 (hard) digits. Within each set, participants performed every possible combination of tasks. We found that in the simple choice RT tasks older adults were significantly slower than, but as accurate as younger adults. In the complex choice RT tasks, older adults were significantly less accurate, but as fast as younger adults. For both age groups and both dual task sets, RT decreased and error rates increased with greater task difficulty. Older adults had greater dual task costs for error rates in the simple choice RT, whereas in the complex choice RT, it was the younger group that had greater dual task costs. Findings suggest that younger and older adults may adopt differential behavioral strategies depending on complexity and difficulty of dual tasks. PMID:23555937

  10. Crew performance and communication: Performing a terrain navigation task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Battiste, Vernol; Delzell, Susanne

    1993-01-01

    A study was conducted to examine the map and route cues pilots use while navigating under controlled, but realistic, nap-of-the-earth (NOE) flight conditions. US Army helicopter flight crews were presented a map and route overlay and asked to perform normal mission planning. They then viewed a video-recording of the out-the-window scene during low-level flights, without the route overlay, and were asked periodically to locate their current position on the map. The pilots and navigators were asked to communicate normally during the planning and flight phases. During each flight the navigator's response time, accuracy, and subjective workload were assessed. Post-flight NASA-TLX workload ratings were collected. No main effect of map orientation (north-up vs. track-up) was found for errors or response times on any of the tasks evaluated. Navigators in the north-up group rated their workload lower than those in the track-up group.

  11. Comparing species decisions in a dichotomous choice task: adjusting task parameters improves performance in monkeys.

    PubMed

    Prétôt, Laurent; Bshary, Redouan; Brosnan, Sarah F

    2016-07-01

    In comparative psychology, both similarities and differences among species are studied to better understand the evolution of their behavior. To do so, we first test species in tasks using similar procedures, but if differences are found, it is important to determine their underlying cause(s) (e.g., are they due to ecology, cognitive ability, an artifact of the study, and/or some other factor?). In our previous work, primates performed unexpectedly poorly on an apparently simple two-choice discrimination task based on the natural behavior of cleaner fish, while the fish did quite well. In this task, if the subjects first chose one of the options (ephemeral) they received both food items, but if they chose the other (permanent) option first, the ephemeral option disappeared. Here, we test several proposed explanations for primates' relatively poorer performance. In Study 1, we used a computerized paradigm that differed from the previous test by removing interaction with human experimenters, which may be distracting, and providing a more standardized testing environment. In Study 2, we adapted the computerized paradigm from Study 1 to be more relevant to primate ecology. Monkeys' overall performance in these adapted tasks matched the performance of the fish in the original study, showing that with the appropriate modifications they can solve the task. We discuss these results in light of comparative research, which requires balancing procedural similarity with considerations of how the details of the task or the context may influence how different species perceive and solve tasks differently. PMID:27086302

  12. Bimanual interference in children performing a dual motor task.

    PubMed

    Otte, E; van Mier, H I

    2006-10-01

    The present study addressed the development of bimanual interference in children performing a dual motor task, in which each hand executes a different task simultaneously. Forty right-handed children (aged 4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-11years, ten in each age group) were asked to perform a bimanual task in which they had to tap with a pen using the non-preferred hand and simultaneously trace a circle or a square with a pen using the preferred hand as quickly as possible. Tapping and tracing were also performed unimanually. Differences between unimanual and bimanual performance were assessed for number of taps, length of tap trace and mean tracing velocity. It was assumed that with increasing age, better bimanual coordination would result in better performance on the dual task showing less intermanual interference. The results showed that tapping and tracing performance increased with age, unimanually as well as bimanually, consistent with developmental advancement. However, the percentage of intermanual interference due to bimanual performance was not significantly different in the four age groups. Although performing the dual task resulted in mutual intermanual interference, all groups showed a significant effect of tracing shape. More specifically, all age groups showed a larger percentage decrease in tracing velocity when performing the circle compared to the square in the dual task. The present study reveals that children as young as four years are able to coordinate both hands when tapping and tracing bimanually. PMID:17011654

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Interference effects of vocalization on dual task performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, J. M.; Goodman, L. S.; Pianka, M. J.

    1984-09-01

    Voice command and control systems have been proposed as a potential means of off-loading the typically overburdened visual information processing system. However, prior to introducing novel human-machine interfacing technologies in high workload environments, consideration must be given to the integration of the new technologists within existing task structures to ensure that no new sources of workload or interference are systematically introduced. This study examined the use of voice interactive systems technology in the joint performance of two cognitive information processing tasks requiring continuous memory and choice reaction wherein a basis for intertask interference might be expected. Stimuli for the continuous memory task were presented aurally and either voice or keyboard responding was required in the choice reaction task. Performance was significantly degraded in each task when voice responding was required in the choice reaction time task. Performance degradation was evident in higher error scores for both the choice reaction and continuous memory tasks. Performance decrements observed under conditions of high intertask stimulus similarity were not statistically significant. The results signal the need to consider further the task requirements for verbal short-term memory when applying speech technology in multitask environments.

  15. Modeling Cognitive Strategies during Complex Task Performing Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazman, Sacide Guzin; Altun, Arif

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine individuals' computer based complex task performing processes and strategies in order to determine the reasons of failure by cognitive task analysis method and cued retrospective think aloud with eye movement data. Study group was five senior students from Computer Education and Instructional Technologies…

  16. Levels-of-processing effects in subject-performed tasks.

    PubMed

    Zimmer, H D; Engelkamp, J

    1999-09-01

    In memory for subject-performed tasks (SPTs), subjects encode a list of simple action phrases (e.g., thumb through a book, knock at the door) by performing these actions during learning. In three experiments, we investigated the size of the levels-of-processing effects in SPTs as compared with those in standard verbal learning tasks (VTs). Subjects under SPT and VT conditions learned lists of action phrases in a surface or a conceptual orienting task. Under both encoding conditions, the subjects recalled fewer items with surface orienting tasks than with conceptual orienting tasks, but the levels-of-processing effects were strongly reduced in the SPT condition. In the SPT condition, items that were encoded in a surface orienting task were still substantially recalled. The items were recalled almost as well as the conceptually encoded items in the VT condition. The distinct reduction of the levels-of-processing effect is caused by the fact that, in SPT encoding even with a verbal surface orienting task, subjects process conceptual information in order to perform the denoted action. We attribute the small conceptual advantage, which remains with SPT despite the conceptual processing for performing, to the fact that items are not as well integrated into memory as they are when conceptual processing is focused on the action component, rather than on the semantic contexts. This lower integration reduces the accessibility of items in the verbal surface task, even with SPT encoding. PMID:10540819

  17. Business Students' Learning Preferences and Associated Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Fred

    1999-01-01

    Accounting students (n=202) had different preferences for learning discrete facts, quick and easy problems, and new and ambiguous situations. On a multiple-choice test and unstructured task completed by 73 students, preference for quick and easy problems distinguished poor and good performers on the task but not on the test. (SK)

  18. Task-focused behavior mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and students' academic performance.

    PubMed

    Kiuru, Noona; Pakarinen, Eija; Vasalampi, Kati; Silinskas, Gintautas; Aunola, Kaisa; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Metsäpelto, Riitta-Leena; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2014-04-01

    In the longitudinal study presented here, we tested the theoretical assumption that children's task-focused behavior in learning situations mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and academic performance. The sample consisted of 2,137 Finnish-speaking children. Data on supportive interpersonal environments (characterized by authoritative parenting, positive teacher affect toward the child, and peer acceptance) were gathered in Grade 1. The children's task-focused behavior was measured in Grades 2 and 3, and academic performance was measured in Grades 1 and 4. The results supported our assumption by showing that all three supportive environments were positively associated with children's subsequent academic performance via increased task-focused behavior in learning situations. These findings suggest that students' academic performance can be promoted by increasing the support they receive from peers, parents, and teachers because such increased support leads to better task focus in learning tasks. PMID:24532054

  19. Development of task network models of human performance in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, Manuel F.; Adam, Susan

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the utility of task-network modeling for quantifying human performance variability in microgravity. The data are gathered for: (1) improving current methodologies for assessing human performance and workload in the operational space environment; (2) developing tools for assessing alternative system designs; and (3) developing an integrated set of methodologies for the evaluation of performance degradation during extended duration spaceflight. The evaluation entailed an analysis of the Remote Manipulator System payload-grapple task performed on many shuttle missions. Task-network modeling can be used as a tool for assessing and enhancing human performance in man-machine systems, particularly for modeling long-duration manned spaceflight. Task-network modeling can be directed toward improving system efficiency by increasing the understanding of basic capabilities of the human component in the system and the factors that influence these capabilities.

  20. Iowa gambling task performance in currently depressed suicide attempters.

    PubMed

    Gorlyn, Marianne; Keilp, John G; Oquendo, Maria A; Burke, Ainsley K; John Mann, J

    2013-05-30

    Deficits in decision-making using the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) have been found in past suicide attempters, but primarily euthymic and/or medicated patients. This study compared IGT performance among medication-free, currently depressed patients (unipolar and bipolar) with (n=26) and without (n=46) a past history of suicide attempt, and healthy volunteers (n=42). Attempter status, in a sample whose attempts were predominantly non-violent, was not associated with impaired IGT performance even when accounting for sex, mood disorder type, and comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder. A non-significant trend towards poorer performance was found in a small subgroup of past attempters who had used a violent method, consistent with prior studies. Suicide intent and ideation were unrelated to IGT scores. There were no consistent associations between IGT performance and ratings of impulsiveness (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS)), hostility (Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI)) or aggression (Brown-Goodwin Aggression Inventory (BGAI)). Results suggest that decision-making impairment is related to specific subtypes of suicidal behavior, but may not be universally sensitive to suicide risk in all types of attempters, especially those using non-violent means. Psychometric and conceptual issues surrounding the IGT also appear to affect its utility as a general marker of suicidal behavior risk. PMID:23489594

  1. Reducing postural sway by concurrently performing challenging cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Polskaia, Nadia; Lajoie, Yves

    2016-04-01

    The present experiment varied cognitive complexity and sensory modality on postural control in young adults. Seventeen participants (23.71±1.99years) were instructed to stand feet together on a force platform while concurrently performing cognitive tasks of varying degrees of difficulty (easy, moderate and difficult). The cognitive tasks were presented both, auditorily and visually. Auditory tasks consisted of counting the occurrence of one or two letters and repeating a string of words. Visual tasks consisted of counting the occurrence of one or two numbers. With increasing cognitive demand, area of 95% confidence ellipse and ML sway variability was significantly reduced. The visual tasks reduced ML sway variability, whereas the auditory tasks increased COP irregularity. We suggest that these findings are primarily due to an increase in sensorimotor integration as a result of a shift in attentional focus. PMID:26796418

  2. Isolating the neural mechanisms of interference during continuous multisensory dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Kasper, Ryan W; Cecotti, Hubert; Touryan, Jon; Eckstein, Miguel P; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2014-03-01

    The need to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously is often encountered in everyday experience, but coordinating between two or more tasks can lead to impaired performance. Typical investigations of multitasking impairments have focused on the performance of two tasks presented in close temporal proximity on discrete trials; however, such paradigms do not match well with the continuous performance situations more typically encountered outside the laboratory. As a result, the stages of information processing that are affected during multisensory continuous dual tasks and how these changes in processing relate to behavior remain unclear. To address these issues, participants were presented simultaneous rapid visual and auditory stimulus sequences under three conditions: attend visual only, attend auditory only, and dual attention (attend both visual and auditory). Performance, measured in terms of response time and perceptual sensitivity (d'), revealed dual-task impairments only in the auditory task. Neural activity, measured by the ERP technique, revealed that both early stage sensory processing and later cognitive processing of the auditory task were affected by dual-task performance, but similar stages of processing of the visual task were not. Critically, individual differences in neural activity at both early and late stages of information processing accurately rank-ordered individuals based on the observed difference in behavioral performance between the single and dual attention conditions. These results reveal relationships between behavioral performance and the neural correlates of both early and late stage information processing that provide key insights into the complex interplay between the brain and behavior when multiple tasks are performed continuously. PMID:24047391

  3. An action-incongruent secondary task modulates prediction accuracy in experienced performers: evidence for motor simulation.

    PubMed

    Mulligan, Desmond; Lohse, Keith R; Hodges, Nicola J

    2016-07-01

    We provide behavioral evidence that the human motor system is involved in the perceptual decision processes of skilled performers, directly linking prediction accuracy to the (in)ability of the motor system to activate in a response-specific way. Experienced and non-experienced dart players were asked to predict, from temporally occluded video sequences, the landing position of a dart thrown previously by themselves (self) or another (other). This prediction task was performed while additionally performing (a) an action-incongruent secondary motor task (right arm force production), (b) a congruent secondary motor task (mimicking) or (c) an attention-matched task (tone-monitoring). Non-experienced dart players were not affected by any of the secondary task manipulations, relative to control conditions, yet prediction accuracy decreased for the experienced players when additionally performing the force-production, motor task. This interference effect was present for 'self' as well as 'other' decisions, reducing the accuracy of experienced participants to a novice level. The mimicking (congruent) secondary task condition did not interfere with (or facilitate) prediction accuracy for either group. We conclude that visual-motor experience moderates the process of decision making, such that a seemingly visual-cognitive prediction task relies on activation of the motor system for experienced performers. This fits with a motor simulation account of action prediction in sports and other tasks, and alerts to the specificity of these simulative processes. PMID:26021748

  4. Sleep Restriction during Simulated Wildfire Suppression: Effect on Physical Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the effects of sleep restriction on firefighters’ physical task performance during simulated wildfire suppression. Methods Thirty-five firefighters were matched and randomly allocated to either a control condition (8-hour sleep opportunity, n = 18) or a sleep restricted condition (4-hour sleep opportunity, n = 17). Performance on physical work tasks was evaluated across three days. In addition, heart rate, core temperature, and worker activity were measured continuously. Rate of perceived and exertion and effort sensation were evaluated during the physical work periods. Results There were no differences between the sleep-restricted and control groups in firefighters’ task performance, heart rate, core temperature, or perceptual responses during self-paced simulated firefighting work tasks. However, the sleep-restricted group were less active during periods of non-physical work compared to the control group. Conclusions Under self-paced work conditions, 4 h of sleep restriction did not adversely affect firefighters’ performance on physical work tasks. However, the sleep-restricted group were less physically active throughout the simulation. This may indicate that sleep-restricted participants adapted their behaviour to conserve effort during rest periods, to subsequently ensure they were able to maintain performance during the firefighter work tasks. This work contributes new knowledge to inform fire agencies of firefighters’ operational capabilities when their sleep is restricted during multi-day wildfire events. The work also highlights the need for further research to explore how sleep restriction affects physical performance during tasks of varying duration, intensity, and complexity. PMID:25615988

  5. Computer task performance by subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Aims Two specific objectives were established to quantify computer task performance among people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). First, we compared simple computational task performance between subjects with DMD and age-matched typically developing (TD) subjects. Second, we examined correlations between the ability of subjects with DMD to learn the computational task and their motor functionality, age, and initial task performance. Method The study included 84 individuals (42 with DMD, mean age of 18±5.5 years, and 42 age-matched controls). They executed a computer maze task; all participants performed the acquisition (20 attempts) and retention (five attempts) phases, repeating the same maze. A different maze was used to verify transfer performance (five attempts). The Motor Function Measure Scale was applied, and the results were compared with maze task performance. Results In the acquisition phase, a significant decrease was found in movement time (MT) between the first and last acquisition block, but only for the DMD group. For the DMD group, MT during transfer was shorter than during the first acquisition block, indicating improvement from the first acquisition block to transfer. In addition, the TD group showed shorter MT than the DMD group across the study. Conclusion DMD participants improved their performance after practicing a computational task; however, the difference in MT was present in all attempts among DMD and control subjects. Computational task improvement was positively influenced by the initial performance of individuals with DMD. In turn, the initial performance was influenced by their distal functionality but not their age or overall functionality. PMID:26766911

  6. Task Switching versus Cue Switching: Using Transition Cuing to Disentangle Sequential Effects in Task-Switching Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2007-01-01

    Recent methodological advances have allowed researchers to address confounds in the measurement of task-switch costs in task-switching performance by dissociating cue switching from task switching. For example, in the transition-cuing procedure, which involves presenting cues for task transitions rather than for tasks, cue transitions (cue…

  7. Uniform task level definitions for robotic system performance comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Charles; Tesar, Delbert

    1989-01-01

    A series of ten task levels of increasing difficulty was compiled for use in comparative performance evaluations of available and future robotics technology. Each level has a breakdown of ten additional levels of difficulty to provide a layering of 100 levels. It is assumed that each level of task performance must be achieved by the system before it can be appropriately considered for the next level.

  8. Habitual routines in task-performing groups

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gersick, C. J.; Hackman, J. R.

    1990-01-01

    Groups, like individuals, often develop habitual routines for dealing with frequently encountered stimuli. Although such routines are consequential for group life and work, little is known about them. This paper reconnoiters the territory of habitual behavior in groups that perform work within organizations. We offer a definition of group habits, identify their functions and dysfunctions, suggest how they develop and are maintained, and identify the circumstances when they are likely to be altered or abandoned. Throughout, we give special attention to the social nature of habitual routines in groups, to the interaction between habitual behavior and group life cycle phenomena, and to the role of the organizational context in prompting, shaping, and terminating habitual routines.

  9. How Coriolis meter design affects field performance

    SciTech Connect

    Levien, A.; Dudiak, A.

    1995-12-31

    Although many possibilities exist for the design of Coriolis flowmeters, a common set of fundamental physical principles affect practical meter design. Design criteria such as tube geometry, alloy section, operating frequencies, stress levels, and tubing wall thickness have varying impacts on meter performance. Additionally, field conditions such as changing temperature, pressure, pipeline stress and vibration affect measurement performance. The challenge created in Coriolis flow meter design is to maximize the sensitivity of the meter Coriolis forces, while minimizing the impact of outside environmental influences. Data are presented on the physical principles that affect Coriolis flowmeters, and how the various aspects of meter design influence field performance.

  10. An initial test of a normative Figure Of Merit for the quality of overall task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemay, Moira; Comstock, J. R., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    An overall indicator, or Figure Of Merit (FOM), of the quality of crew/vehicle system performance is needed to establish the effect of workload on efficiency and to identify overload conditions. A normative FOM is proposed in which performance is measured on a representative task and a normative data base obtained. FOMs for subsequent executions of the task are then reported in terms of weighted deviations from average task performance. Performance of discrete tasks is measured primarily in terms of subtask time and errors. Discrete task performance is then combined with a measure of continuous vehicle control. In order to test the normative FOM procedure, the technique was applied to an existing set of data from a simulated landing task in which standard communications with ATC was compared with a data link communications system. The results indicated that while mean task performance was not affected, task variability, as measured by the FOM, was significantly higher when data link communications were used. In order to establish the sensitivity of the normative FOM method, further testing of the measure is recommended.

  11. Accommodation in Astigmatic Children During Visual Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Erin M.; Miller, Joseph M.; Apple, Howard P.; Parashar, Pavan; Twelker, J. Daniel; Crescioni, Mabel; Davis, Amy L.; Leonard-Green, Tina K.; Campus, Irene; Sherrill, Duane L.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To determine the accuracy and stability of accommodation in uncorrected children during visual task performance. Methods. Subjects were second- to seventh-grade children from a highly astigmatic population. Measurements of noncycloplegic right eye spherical equivalent (Mnc) were obtained while uncorrected subjects performed three visual tasks at near (40 cm) and distance (2 m). Tasks included reading sentences with stimulus letter size near acuity threshold and an age-appropriate letter size (high task demands) and viewing a video (low task demand). Repeated measures ANOVA assessed the influence of astigmatism, task demand, and accommodative demand on accuracy (mean Mnc) and variability (mean SD of Mnc) of accommodation. Results. For near and distance analyses, respectively, sample size was 321 and 247, mean age was 10.37 (SD 1.77) and 10.30 (SD 1.74) years, mean cycloplegic M was 0.48 (SD 1.10) and 0.79 diopters (D) (SD 1.00), and mean astigmatism was 0.99 (SD 1.15) and 0.75 D (SD 0.96). Poor accommodative accuracy was associated with high astigmatism, low task demand (video viewing), and high accommodative demand. The negative effect of accommodative demand on accuracy increased with increasing astigmatism, with the poorest accommodative accuracy observed in high astigmats (≥3.00 D) with high accommodative demand/high hyperopia (1.53 D and 2.05 D of underaccommodation for near and distant stimuli, respectively). Accommodative variability was greatest in high astigmats and was uniformly high across task condition. No/low and moderate astigmats showed higher variability for the video task than the reading tasks. Conclusions. Accuracy of accommodation is reduced in uncorrected children with high astigmatism and high accommodative demand/high hyperopia, but improves with increased visual task demand (reading). High astigmats showed the greatest variability in accommodation. PMID:25103265

  12. Effects of a standing and three dynamic workstations on computer task performance and cognitive function tests.

    PubMed

    Commissaris, Dianne A C M; Könemann, Reinier; Hiemstra-van Mastrigt, Suzanne; Burford, Eva-Maria; Botter, Juliane; Douwes, Marjolein; Ellegast, Rolf P

    2014-11-01

    Sedentary work entails health risks. Dynamic (or active) workstations, at which computer tasks can be combined with physical activity, may reduce the risks of sedentary behaviour. The aim of this study was to evaluate short term task performance while working on three dynamic workstations: a treadmill, an elliptical trainer, a bicycle ergometer and a conventional standing workstation. A standard sitting workstation served as control condition. Fifteen Dutch adults performed five standardised but common office tasks in an office-like laboratory setting. Both objective and perceived work performance were measured. With the exception of high precision mouse tasks, short term work performance was not affected by working on a dynamic or a standing workstation. The participant's perception of decreased performance might complicate the acceptance of dynamic workstations, although most participants indicate that they would use a dynamic workstation if available at the workplace. PMID:24951234

  13. Differential Effects of Single-Dose Escitalopram on Cognitive and Affective Interference during Stroop Task

    PubMed Central

    Rahm, Christoffer; Liberg, Benny; Kristoffersen-Wiberg, Maria; Aspelin, Peter; Msghina, Mussie

    2014-01-01

    Background and objective: Our aim was to study the regulatory role of serotonin [(5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] on two key nodes in the cognitive control networks – the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). We hypothesized that increasing the levels of 5-HT would preferentially modulate the activity in ACC during cognitive control during interference by negative affects compared to cognitive control during interference by a superimposed cognitive task. Methods: We performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation on 11 healthy individuals, comparing the effects of the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor escitalopram on brain oxygenation level dependent signals in the ACC and the DLPFC using affective and cognitive counting Stroop paradigms (aStroop and cStroop). Results: Escitalopram significantly decreased the activity in rostral ACC during aStroop compared to cStroop (p < 0.05). In the absence of escitalopram, both aStroop and cStroop significantly activated ACC and DLPFC (Z ≥ 2.3, p < 0.05). Conclusion: We conclude that escitalopram in a region and task specific manner modified the cognitive control networks and preferentially decreased activity induced by affective interference in the ACC. PMID:24616708

  14. Coupling of postural and manual tasks in expert performers.

    PubMed

    Amado, A C; Palmer, C J; Hamill, J; van Emmerik, R E A

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the integration of bimanual rhythmic movements and posture in expert marching percussionists. Participants (N=11) performed three rhythmic manual tasks [1:1, 2:3, and 2:3-F (2:3 rhythm played faster at a self-selected tempo)] in one of three postures: sitting, standing on one foot, and standing on two feet. Discrete relative phase, postural time-to-contact, and coherence analysis were used to analyze the performance of the manual task, postural control, and the integration between postural and manual performance. Across all three rhythms, discrete relative phase mean and variability results showed no effects of posture on rhythmic performance. The complexity of the manual task (1:1 vs. 2:3) had no effect on postural time-to-contact. However, increasing the tempo of the manual task (2:3 vs. 2:3-F) did result in a decreased postural time-to-contact in the two-footed posture. Coherence analysis revealed that the coupling between the postural and manual task significantly decreased as a function of postural difficulty (going from a two-footed to a one-footed posture) and rhythmic complexity (1:1 vs. 2:3). Taken together, these results demonstrate that expert marching percussionists systematically decouple postural and manual fluctuations in order to preserve the performance of the rhythmic movement task. PMID:26803676

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Student Performance in Water Pouring and Balance Beam Tasks: Effect of Manipulation of Perceptual Field Factor.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    1988-01-01

    The effect of manipulation of the perceptual field factors on undergraduate student performance in proportional reasoning tasks was investigated. Evidence was found to support the hypothesis that the manipulation of the perceptual field factor can affect student performance. Reports data correlated with the Group Embedded-Figures Test. (CW)

  17. Psychological and physiological correlates of stress: Performance on a cooperative task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roessler, R.; Lester, J.; Knapp, T.

    1976-01-01

    The relationship of personality dimensions to performance was investigated. The personality measure used to select subjects, the Barratt impulsiveness scale, is hypothesized to be related to a style of behavior which should affect the trend of choices which various subjects will make. Personality dimensions were specifically examined during performance of a cooperative task, the Prisoner's Dilemma.

  18. Studying Orientations and Performance on Verbal Fluency Tasks in a Second Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andreou, Eleni; Andreou, Georgia; Vlachos, Filippos

    2005-01-01

    Previous research has shown that studying orientations are important factors in determining academic performance. The main purpose of this study was to investigate how Greek students' approaches to studying in combination with gender, academic discipline, and professional degree in English affect performance on verbal fluency tasks in English as a…

  19. Impact of fMRI Scanner Noise on Affective State and Attentional Performance

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, Shawna N.; Shear, Paula K.; Norris, Matthew; Smith, Matthew; Osterhage, Jeff; Strakowski, Stephen M.; Cerullo, Michael; Fleck, David E.; Lee, Jing-Huei; Eliassen, James C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Previous research has shown that performance on cognitive tasks administered in the scanner can be altered by the scanner environment. There are no previous studies that have investigated the impact of scanner noise using a well-validated measure of affective change. The goal of this study was to determine whether performance on an affective attentional task or emotional response to the task would change in the presence of distracting acoustic noise, such as that encountered in an MRI environment. Method Thirty-four young adults with no self-reported history of neurologic disorder or mental illness completed three blocks of the affective Posner task outside of the scanner. The task was meant to induce frustration through monetary contingencies and rigged feedback. Participants completed a self-assessment manikin at the end of each block to rate their mood, arousal level, and sense of dominance. During the task, half of the participants heard noise (recorded from a 4T MRI system), and half heard no noise. Results The affective Posner task led to significant reductions in mood and increases in arousal in healthy participants. The presence of scanner noise did not impact task performance; however, individuals in the noise group did report significantly poorer mood throughout the task. Conclusions The results of the present study suggest that the acoustic qualities of MRI enhance frustration effects on an affective attentional task and that scanner noise may influence mood during similar fMRI tasks. PMID:26059389

  20. Task demands, task interest, and task performance: implications for human subjects research and practicing what we preach.

    PubMed

    Eveleth, Daniel M; Pillutla, Arun

    2003-01-01

    Through the continuous investigation of humans in organizations, we have learned much about motivation, attitudes, and performance. For example, Yukl and others have helped increase our understanding of influence tactics and the effect they have on the performance of subordinates, supervisors, and peers. Some tactics (and combinations of tactics) lead to resistance, some lead to compliance, and some lead to commitment. In this study, we raise the question of whether or not we incorporate our knowledge of these research findings into the design, implementation, and interpretation of our own research studies that require the participation of human subjects. In a survey of 134 subjects from a previous social science study, we found that performance varied across the sample, consistent with the concepts of resistance, compliance, and commitment. In addition, the variance in performance could be explained, in part, by task interest and perceived task demands. Implications are discussed. PMID:14552313

  1. Influence of gender on psychomotor vigilance task performance by adolescents.

    PubMed

    Beijamini, F; Silva, A G T; Peixoto, C A T; Louzada, F M

    2008-08-01

    During adolescence, the sleep phase delay associated with early school times increases daytime sleepiness and reduces psychomotor performance. Some studies have shown an effect of gender on psychomotor performance in adults and children. Males present faster reaction times (RT) compared with females. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of gender on Palm psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performance in adolescents. Thirty-four adolescents (19 girls, 13 to 16 years old) attending morning school classes of a public school in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, participated in the study. Sleep patterns were measured using actigraphy and sleepiness data were accessed with the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). KSS and PVT measurements were collected at two times in the morning (8:00 and 11:00 h). The data were compared using one-way ANOVA, considering gender as a factor. ANOVA indicated that gender did not affect sleep patterns and subjective somnolence; however, a statistically significant effect of gender was detected for PVT performance. Boys presented faster RT (RT-PVT1: 345.51 ms, F = 6.08, P < 0.05; RT-PVT2: 343.30 ms, F = 6.35, P < 0.05) and fewer lapses (lapses-PVT1: 8.71, F = 4.45, P < 0.05; lapses-PVT2: 7.82, F = 7.06, P < 0.05) compared with girls (RT-PVT1: 402.96; RT-PVT2: 415.70; lapses-PVT1: 16.33; lapses-PVT2: 17.80). These results showed that this effect of gender, already reported in adults and children, is also observed in adolescents. The influence of gender should be taken into account in studies that use Palm PVT to evaluate psychomotor performance in this age range. PMID:18797710

  2. Task-induced fatigue states and simulated driving performance.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Gerald; Desmond, Paula A

    2002-04-01

    States of fatigue are implicated in driver impairment and motor vehicle accidents. This article reports two studies investigating two possible mechanisms for performance impairment: (1) loss of attentional resources; and (2) active regulation of matching effort to task demands. The first hypothesis predicts that fatigue effects will be accentuated by high task demands, but the second hypothesis predicts that fatigue effects will be strongest in "underload" conditions. In two studies, drivers performed a stimulated driving task, in which task demands were manipulated by varying road curvature. In a "fatigue induction" condition, the early part of the drive was occupied by performance of a demanding secondary task concurrently with driving, after which the concurrent task ceased. Post-induction driving performance was compared with a control condition in which drivers were not exposed to the induction. In both studies, the fatigue induction elicited various subjective fatigue and stress symptoms, and also raised reported workload. Fatigue effects on vehicle control and signal detection were assessed during and after the fatigue induction. The fatigue induction increased heading error, reduced steering activity, and, in the second study, reduced perceptual sensitivity on a secondary detection task. These effects were confined to driving on straight rather than on curved road sections, consistent with the effort regulation hypothesis. The second study showed that fatigue effects were moderated by a motivational manipulation. Results are interpreted within a control model, such that task-induced fatigue may reduce awareness of performance impairment, rather than reluctance or inability to mobilize compensatory effort following detection of impairment. PMID:12047065

  3. Seniors' attributions for task performance difficulties: implications for feelings of task efficacy.

    PubMed

    Chipperfield, J G; Segall, A

    1996-11-01

    Some seniors face difficulties carrying out simple everyday tasks such as opening containers and turning doorknobs. This study began with the premise that seniors' appraisals about such difficulties may have consequences for feelings of task efficacy (e.g., feelings of control and optimism). Attributions to poor product design (an external/environmental factor) and to limitations (an internal/personal factor) were considered in addition to joint attributions to both factors. After controlling for health and gender, type of attribution for task difficulties was found to relate to feelings of task efficacy. Overall, the results suggest that seniors may be advantaged by viewing their performance difficulties as a consequence of poor product design. Compared to their counterparts, these individuals reported the highest levels of control, ability to cope, optimism, and beliefs about overcoming problems. Individuals who made joint attributions reported feeling most helpless and unable to cope with the present problems. PMID:10182383

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

    PubMed

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

    Children in elementary school, along with college adults, were tested on a battery of basic mathematical tasks, including digit naming, number comparison, dot enumeration, and simple addition or subtraction. Beyond cataloguing performance to these standard tasks in Grades 1 to 5, we also examined relationships among the tasks, including previously reported results on a number line estimation task. Accuracy and latency improved across grades for all tasks, and classic interaction patterns were found, for example, a speed-up of subitizing and counting, increasingly shallow slopes in number comparison, and progressive speeding of responses especially to larger addition and subtraction problems. Surprisingly, digit naming was faster than subitizing at all ages, arguing against a pre-attentive processing explanation for subitizing. Estimation accuracy and speed were strong predictors of children's addition and subtraction performance. Children who gave exponential responses on the number line estimation task were slower at counting in the dot enumeration task and had longer latencies on addition and subtraction problems. The results provided further support for the importance of estimation as an indicator of children's current and future mathematical expertise. PMID:25814266

  5. [Study of tasks performed by nurses in a teaching hospital].

    PubMed

    Costa, Rita de Almeida; Shimizu, Helena Eri

    2006-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze tasks performed by nurses at hospitalization units (maternity, general medicine, surgical and pediatric) in a training hospital in order to better know which factors make it difficult to outline their role as well as the meaning of their actions. It's a descriptive-type qualitative research. Twenty nurses were interviewed following a half-structured script. Nurses perceive that they perform help-providing tasks more frequently, followed by administrative tasks, dealing with the information system and educational tasks. The lack of skilled human resources, essentially nurses, infrastructure, valorization of nursing care and its workers, work organization and integration among members of the multi-disciplinary staff were identified as work-hampering factors. PMID:17094327

  6. Dual-task performance under acute stress in female adolescents with borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Kaess, Michael; Parzer, Peter; Koenig, Julian; Resch, Franz; Brunner, Romuald

    2016-09-01

    Research to elucidate early alterations of higher cognitive processes in adolescents with BPD is rare. This study investigated differences in dual-task performance in adolescents with BPD during stress and non-stress conditions. The study sample comprised 30 female adolescents with BPD and 34 healthy controls. The impact of stress on dual-task performance was measured using a standardized stressor. Self-reports of distress and measures of heart rate (HR) were obtained to measure stress reactivity. There were no group differences in task performance. Under stress conditions, the performance on the auditory task decreased in both groups but without significant group differences. Healthy controls showed an increase of mean HR after stress induction compared to no change in the BPD group. The finding of attenuated HR response to acute stress in adolescent patients with BPD may contradict current theories that the affective hyperresponsivity in BPD is based on a biologically determined mechanism. PMID:26852226

  7. Background music for repetitive task performance of severely retarded individuals.

    PubMed

    Richman, J S

    1976-11-01

    Environmental manipulation in the form of specific tempo background music was used to assist in the habilitation of severely retarded persons. Thirty institutionalized retarded males were tested on a repetitive manual performance task judged to be similar to the type of tasks found in sheltered workshops. Each subject received each of the background treatments noncontingently: no music, slow tempo music, regular tempo music, fast tempo music. The results indicated that the regular tempo of background music facilitated the greatest improvement in performance, suggesting that the effect of music on performance is more complex than the issue of contingent presentation. PMID:998661

  8. Competitive Game Play Attenuates Self-Other Integration during Joint Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Ruissen, Margit I.; de Bruijn, Ellen R. A.

    2016-01-01

    Joint task performance is facilitated by sharing and integrating each other’s action representations. Research has shown that the amount of this so-called self-other integration depends on situational aspects related to the social context, including differences in the social relationship between co-acting individuals. There are indications that a cooperative relationship facilitates self-other integration while a competitive relationship results in more individualistic task performance. However, findings from previous studies in which the cooperative or competitive element was manipulated during task performance are inconsistent. Therefore, the present study aimed to manipulate the social relationship between two individuals prior to performing a social Simon task. This task is frequently used to measure self-other integration and distinction processes. A mixed-within-and-between-subjects design was used in which three groups of participants performed both a standard Simon task and a social Simon task after having played a Tetris game either individually, in cooperation with a co-actor, or in competition against another participant. Performance on the standard Simon task was not affected by the Tetris manipulation. However, a sustained effect of the induced cooperative versus competitive relationship was found on the social Simon Task. Less self-other integration was found in participants who had first played a competitive Tetris game compared to participants who had played a cooperative or solo version of the game. The current study thus demonstrates that an established cooperative or competitive relationship is sufficient to modulate the degree of self-other integration on subsequent joint task performance. Importantly, by using Tetris, attention to others’ actions was beneficial both during cooperative and competitive game play and can thus not explain the competition-induced reduction of self-other integration. PMID:26973571

  9. Competitive Game Play Attenuates Self-Other Integration during Joint Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Ruissen, Margit I; de Bruijn, Ellen R A

    2016-01-01

    Joint task performance is facilitated by sharing and integrating each other's action representations. Research has shown that the amount of this so-called self-other integration depends on situational aspects related to the social context, including differences in the social relationship between co-acting individuals. There are indications that a cooperative relationship facilitates self-other integration while a competitive relationship results in more individualistic task performance. However, findings from previous studies in which the cooperative or competitive element was manipulated during task performance are inconsistent. Therefore, the present study aimed to manipulate the social relationship between two individuals prior to performing a social Simon task. This task is frequently used to measure self-other integration and distinction processes. A mixed-within-and-between-subjects design was used in which three groups of participants performed both a standard Simon task and a social Simon task after having played a Tetris game either individually, in cooperation with a co-actor, or in competition against another participant. Performance on the standard Simon task was not affected by the Tetris manipulation. However, a sustained effect of the induced cooperative versus competitive relationship was found on the social Simon Task. Less self-other integration was found in participants who had first played a competitive Tetris game compared to participants who had played a cooperative or solo version of the game. The current study thus demonstrates that an established cooperative or competitive relationship is sufficient to modulate the degree of self-other integration on subsequent joint task performance. Importantly, by using Tetris, attention to others' actions was beneficial both during cooperative and competitive game play and can thus not explain the competition-induced reduction of self-other integration. PMID:26973571

  10. Task Level Job Performance Criteria Development. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Llewellyn N.; Hahn, Clifford P.

    This study investigated possibilities for improving identification of job performance requirements by examining job incumbent's performance on separate tasks. Three specialties were studied: 291X0, Telecommunications Operation Specialist; 304X4, Group Radio Communications Equipment Repairman; and 431X1C, Aircraft Maintenance Specialist.…

  11. Learning Styles and Performance in Second Language Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andreou, Eleni; Andreou, Georgia; Vlachos, Filippos

    2008-01-01

    Given the paucity of research that has examined associations between learning styles and chosen academic discipline in connection with performance on different second language (L2) verbal fluency tasks, the authors undertook the current study with the aim of investigating the relationship between Greek students' learning styles and performance on…

  12. Interaction between Task Oriented and Affective Information Processing in Cognitive Robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haazebroek, Pascal; van Dantzig, Saskia; Hommel, Bernhard

    There is an increasing interest in endowing robots with emotions. Robot control however is still often very task oriented. We present a cognitive architecture that allows the combination of and interaction between task representations and affective information processing. Our model is validated by comparing simulation results with empirical data from experimental psychology.

  13. Neuronal Substrates Underlying Performance Variability in Well-Trained Skillful Motor Task in Humans

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Motor performance fluctuates trial by trial even in a well-trained motor skill. Here we show neural substrates underlying such behavioral fluctuation in humans. We first scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging while healthy participants repeatedly performed a 10 s skillful sequential finger-tapping task. Before starting the experiment, the participants had completed intensive training. We evaluated task performance per trial (number of correct sequences in 10 s) and depicted brain regions where the activity changes in association with the fluctuation of the task performance across trials. We found that the activity in a broader range of frontoparietocerebellar network, including the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices, and left cerebellar hemisphere, was negatively correlated with the task performance. We further showed in another transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) experiment that task performance deteriorated, when we applied anodal tDCS to the right DLPFC. These results indicate that fluctuation of brain activity in the nonmotor frontoparietocerebellar network may underlie trial-by-trial performance variability even in a well-trained motor skill, and its neuromodulation with tDCS may affect the task performance. PMID:27516909

  14. Development of additional tasks for the executive function performance test.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Bridget; Baum, Carolyn; Moore, Jennifer; Ehrlich-Jones, Linda; Spoeri, Susan; Doherty, Meghan; Wolf, Timothy J

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. The Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT) is a reliable and valid performance-based assessment of executive function for people with stroke. The objective of this study was to enhance the clinical utility of the EFPT by developing and testing additional tasks for the EFPT in the Alternate EFPT (aEFPT). METHOD. We performed a cross-sectional study with poststroke participants (n = 25) and healthy control participants (n = 25). All participants completed a neuropsychological assessment battery and both the EFPT and the aEFPT. RESULTS. No statistically significant differences were found between the EFPT and the aEFPT when examining total scores, construct scores, and two overall task scores. Correlations between the aEFPT and the neuropsychological measures were adequate to strong (r2s = .59-.83). CONCLUSION. The aEFPT tasks are comparable to the original EFPT tasks, providing occupational therapy practitioners with additional tasks that can be used clinically to identify performance-based executive function deficits in people with stroke. PMID:25397771

  15. Human task animation from performance models and natural language input

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esakov, Jeffrey; Badler, Norman I.; Jung, Moon

    1989-01-01

    Graphical manipulation of human figures is essential for certain types of human factors analyses such as reach, clearance, fit, and view. In many situations, however, the animation of simulated people performing various tasks may be based on more complicated functions involving multiple simultaneous reaches, critical timing, resource availability, and human performance capabilities. One rather effective means for creating such a simulation is through a natural language description of the tasks to be carried out. Given an anthropometrically-sized figure and a geometric workplace environment, various simple actions such as reach, turn, and view can be effectively controlled from language commands or standard NASA checklist procedures. The commands may also be generated by external simulation tools. Task timing is determined from actual performance models, if available, such as strength models or Fitts' Law. The resulting action specification are animated on a Silicon Graphics Iris workstation in real-time.

  16. Effects of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

  17. Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-05-01

    The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies. PMID:27089530

  18. Erroneous Knowledge of Results Affects Decision and Memory Processes on Timing Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Lawrence J.; Fritz, Matthew S.

    2007-01-01

    On mental timing tasks, erroneous knowledge of results (KR) leads to incorrect performance accompanied by the subjective judgment of accurate performance. Using the start-stop technique (an analogue of the peak interval procedure) with both reproduction and production timing tasks, the authors analyze what processes erroneous KR alters. KR…

  19. Effect of task load and task load increment on performance and workload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, P. A.; Williams, G.

    1993-01-01

    The goal of adaptive automated task allocation is the 'seamless' transfer of work demand between human and machine. Clearly, at the present time, we are far from this objective. One of the barriers to achieving effortless human-machine symbiosis is an inadequate understanding of the way in which operators themselves seek to reallocate demand among their own personal 'resources.' The paper addresses this through an examination of workload response, which scales an individual's reaction to common levels of experienced external demand. The results indicate the primary driver of performance is the absolute level of task demand over the increment in that demand.

  20. SpaceDock: A Performance Task Platform for Spaceflight Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshburn, Thomas H.; Strangman, Gary E.; Strauss, Monica S.; Sutton, Jeffrey P.

    2003-01-01

    Preliminary evidence during both short- and long-duration spaceflight indicates that perceptual-motor coordination changes occur and persist in-flight. However, there is presently no in-flight method for evaluating astronaut performance on mission-critical tasks such as docking. We present a portable platform we have developed for attempting and evaluating docking, and describe the results of a pilot study wherein flight novices learned the docking task. Methods: A dual-joystick, six degrees of freedom platform-called SpaceDock-was developed to enable portable, adaptable performance testing in a spaceflight operations setting. Upon this platform, a simplified docking task was created, involving a constant rate of approach towards a docking target and requiring the user to correct translation in two dimensions and attitude orientation along one dimension (either pitch or roll). Ten flight naive subjects performed the task over a 45 min period and all joystick inputs and timings were collected, from which we could successfully reconstruct travel paths, input profiles and relative target displacements. Results: Subjects exhibited significant improvements in docking over the course of the experiment. Learning to compensate for roll-alterations was robust, whereas compensation for pitch-alterations was not in evidence in this population and relatively short training period. Conclusion: The SpaceDock platform can provide a novel method for training and testing subjects, on a spaceflight-relevant task, and can be used to examine behavioral learning, strategy use, and has been adapted for use in brain imaging experiments.

  1. Emotional reactivity and cognitive performance in aversively motivated tasks: a comparison between four rat strains

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Cognitive function might be affected by the subjects' emotional reactivity. We assessed whether behavior in different tests of emotional reactivity is correlated with performance in aversively motivated learning tasks, using four strains of rats generally considered to have a different emotional reactivity. Methods The performance of male Brown Norway, Lewis, Fischer 344, and Wistar Kyoto rats in open field (OF), elevated plus-maze (EPM), and circular light-dark preference box (cLDB) tasks, which are believed to provide measures of emotional reactivity, was evaluated. Spatial working and reference memory were assessed in two aversively motivated learning and memory tasks: the standard and the "repeated acquisition" versions of the Morris water maze escape task, respectively. All rats were also tested in a passive avoidance task. At the end of the study, levels of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and 5-HT turnover in the hippocampus and frontal cortex were determined. Results Strain differences showed a complex pattern across behavioral tests and serotonergic measures. Fischer 344 rats had the poorest performance in both versions of the Morris water escape task, whereas Brown Norway rats performed these tasks very well but the passive avoidance task poorly. Neither correlation analysis nor principal component analysis provided convincing support for the notion that OF, EPM, and cLDB tasks measure the same underlying trait. Conclusions Our findings do not support the hypothesis that the level of emotional reactivity modulates cognitive performance in aversively motivated tasks. Concepts such as "emotional reactivity" and "learning and memory" cannot adequately be tapped with only one behavioral test. Our results emphasize the need for multiple testing. PMID:20003525

  2. How gender and task difficulty affect a sport-protective response in young adults

    PubMed Central

    Lipps, David B.; Eckner, James T.; Richardson, James K.; Ashton-Miller, James A.

    2013-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that gender and task difficulty affect the reaction, movement, and total response times associated with performing a head protective response. Twenty-four healthy young adults (13 females) performed a protective response of raising their hands from waist level to block a foam ball fired at their head from an air cannon. Participants initially stood 8.25 m away from the cannon (‘low difficulty’), and were moved successively closer in 60 cm increments until they failed to block at least 5 of 8 balls (‘high difficulty’). Limb motion was quantified using optoelectronic markers on the participants’ left wrist. Males had significantly faster total response times (p = 0.042), a trend towards faster movement times (p = 0.054), and faster peak wrist velocity (p < .001) and acceleration (p = 0.032) than females. Reaction time, movement time, and total response time were significantly faster under high difficulty conditions for both genders (p < .001). This study suggests that baseball and softball pitchers and fielders should have sufficient time to protect their head from a batted ball under optimal conditions if they are adequately prepared for the task. PMID:23234296

  3. How gender and task difficulty affect a sport-protective response in young adults.

    PubMed

    Lipps, David B; Eckner, James T; Richardson, James K; Ashton-Miller, James A

    2013-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that gender and task difficulty affect the reaction, movement, and total response times associated with performing a head protective response. Twenty-four healthy young adults (13 females) performed a protective response by raising their hands from waist level to block a foam ball fired at their head from an air cannon. Participants initially stood 8.25 m away from the cannon ('low difficulty'), and were moved successively closer in 60 cm increments until they failed to block at least five of eight balls ('high difficulty'). Limb motion was quantified using optoelectronic markers on the participants' left wrist. Males had significantly faster total response times (P = 0.042), a trend towards faster movement times (P = 0.054), and faster peak wrist velocity (P < 0.001) and acceleration (P = 0.032) than females. Reaction time, movement time, and total response time were significantly faster under high difficulty conditions for both genders (P < 0.001). This study suggests that baseball and softball pitchers and fielders should have sufficient time to protect their head from a batted ball under optimal conditions if they are adequately prepared for the task. PMID:23234296

  4. Secondary task performance during challenging walking tasks and freezing episodes in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Dibilio, Valeria; Stummer, Claudia; Drenthen, Linda; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Nonnekes, Jorik; Weerdesteyn, Vivian

    2016-05-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) patients likely use attentional strategies to compensate for their gait deficits, which increases the cognitive challenge of walking. The interplay between cognitive functions and gait can be investigated by evaluating the subject's attendance to a secondary task during walking. We hypothesized that the ability to attend to a secondary task decreases during challenging walking conditions in PD, particularly during freezing of gait (FOG)-episodes. Twenty-nine PD patients and 14 age-matched controls performed a simple reaction task that involved squeezing a ball as fast as possible in response to an auditory stimulus. Participants performed this reaction task during four conditions: (1) walking at preferred speed; (2) walking with short steps at preferred speed; (3) walking with short steps, as rapidly as possible; (4) making rapid full turns. We used surface electromyography to determine reaction times, and a pressure sensor located within the ball to determine movement onset. Reaction times of PD patients were slower (on average by 42 ms) compared to controls, regardless of the walking task. In both groups, reaction times were significantly longer during the turning condition compared to all other conditions. FOG-episodes were most often seen during the turning condition. In PD patients, reaction times were significantly longer during FOG-episodes compared to trials without FOG. Our results suggest that turning requires more attentional resources than other walking tasks. The observation of delayed reaction times during FOG-episodes compared to trials without FOG suggests that freezers use additional resources to overcome their FOG-episodes. PMID:27032775

  5. Performance under dichoptic versus binocular viewing conditions - Effects of attention and task requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimchi, Ruth; Gopher, Daniel; Rubin, Yifat; Raij, David

    1993-01-01

    Three experiments investigated subjects' ability to allocate attention and cope with task requirements under dichoptic versus binocular viewing conditions. Experiments 1 and 2 employed a target detection task in compound and noncompound stimuli, and Experiment 3 employed a relative-proximity judgment task. The tasks were performed in a focused attention condition in which subjects had to attend to the stimulus presented to one eye or field (under dichoptic and binocular viewing conditions, respectively) while ignoring the stimulus presented to the other eye or field, and in a divided attention condition in which subjects had to attend to the stimuli presented to both eyes or fields. Subjects' performance was affected by the interaction of attention conditions with task requirements, but it was generally the same under dichoptic and binocular viewing conditions. The more dependent the task was on finer discrimination, the more performance was impaired by divided attention. These results suggest that at least with discrete tasks and relatively short exposure durations, performance when each eye is presented with a separate stimulus is the same as when the entire field of stimulation is viewed by both eyes.

  6. Spatial cognition following early-life seizures in rats: Performance deficits are dependent on task demands.

    PubMed

    Barry, Jeremy M; Tian, Chengju; Spinella, Anthony; Page, Matias; Holmes, Gregory L

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive impairment is a common comorbidity in childhood epilepsy. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that frequent seizures during the first weeks of life result in impaired spatial cognition when the rats are tested as juvenile or adults. To determine if spatial cognitive deficits following early-life seizures are task-specific or similar across spatial tasks, we compared the effects of early-life seizures in two spatial assays: 1) the Morris water maze, a hippocampal-dependent task of spatial cognition and 2) the active avoidance task, a task that associates an aversive shock stimulus with a static spatial location that requires intact hippocampal-amygdala networks. Rats with early-life seizures tested as adults did not differ from control rats in the water maze. However, while animals with early-life seizures showed some evidence of learning the active avoidance task, they received significantly more shocks in later training trials, particularly during the second training day, than controls. One possibility for the performance differences between the tasks is that the active avoidance task requires multiple brain regions and that interregional communication could be affected by alterations in white matter integrity. However, there were no measurable group differences with regard to levels of myelination. The study suggests that elucidation of mild cognitive deficits seen following early-life seizures may be dependent on task features of active avoidance. PMID:27152463

  7. Daily fluctuations in positive affect positively co-vary with working memory performance.

    PubMed

    Brose, Annette; Lövdén, Martin; Schmiedek, Florian

    2014-02-01

    Positive affect is related to cognitive performance in multiple ways. It is associated with motivational aspects of performance, affective states capture attention, and information processing modes are a function of affect. In this study, we examined whether these links are relevant within individuals across time when they experience minor ups and downs of positive affect and work on cognitive tasks in the laboratory on a day-to-day basis. Using a microlongitudinal design, 101 younger adults (20-31 years of age) worked on 3 working memory tasks on about 100 occasions. Every day, they also reported on their momentary affect and their motivation to work on the tasks. In 2 of the 3 tasks, performance was enhanced on days when positive affect was above average. This performance enhancement was also associated with more motivation. Importantly, increases in task performance on days with above-average positive affect were mainly unrelated to variations in negative affect. This study's results are in line with between-person findings suggesting that high levels of well-being are associated with successful outcomes. They imply that success on cognitively demanding tasks is more likely on days when feeling happier. PMID:24364855

  8. Brain Activity in Cigarette Smokers Performing a Working Memory Task: Effect of Smoking Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiansong; Mendrek, Adrianna; Cohen, Mark S.; Monterosso, John; Rodriguez, Paul; Simon, Sara L.; Brody, Arthur; Jarvik, Murray; Domier, Catherine P.; Olmstead, Richard; Ernst, Monique; London, Edythe D.

    2009-01-01

    Background When nicotine-dependent human subjects abstain from cigarette smoking, they exhibit deficits in working memory. An understanding of the neural substrates of such impairments may help to understand how nicotine affects cognition. Our aim, therefore, was to identify abnormalities in the circuitry that mediates working memory in nicotine-dependent subjects after they initiate abstinence from smoking. Methods We used blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study eight smokers while they performed a letter version of the N-Back working memory task under satiety (≤1.5 hours abstinence) and abstinence (≥14 hours abstinence) conditions. Results Task-related activity in the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed a significant interaction between test session (satiety, abstinence) and task load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back). This interaction reflected the fact that task-related activity in the satiety condition was relatively low during performance of the 1-back task but greater at the more difficult task levels, whereas task-related activity in the abstinence condition was relatively high at the 1-back level and did not increase at the more difficult task levels. Conclusions We conclude that neural processing related to working memory in the left DLPFC is less efficient during acute abstinence from smoking than at smoking satiety. PMID:16038685

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rauscher, Frances H.; And Others

    This research paper reports on testing the hypothesis that music and spatial task performance are causally related. Two complementary studies are presented that replicate and explore previous findings. One study of college students showed that listening to a Mozart sonata induces subsequent short-term spatial reasoning facilitation and tested the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Analytic versus Holistic Scoring of Science Performance Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klein, Stephen P.; Stecher, Brian M.; Shavelson, Richard J.; McCaffrey, Daniel; Ormseth, Tor; Bell, Robert M.; Comfort, Kathy; Othman, Abdul R.

    1998-01-01

    Two studies involving 368 elementary and high school students and 29 readers were conducted to investigate reader consistency, score reliability, and reader time requirements of three hands-on science performance tasks. Holistic scores were as reliable as analytic scores, and there was a high correlation between them after they were disattenuated…

  13. Performance of Down syndrome subjects during a coincident timing task

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The time synchronization is a very important ability for the acquisition and performance of motor skills that generate the need to adapt the actions of body segments to external events of the environment that are changing their position in space. Down Syndrome (DS) individuals may present some deficits to perform tasks with synchronization demand. We aimed to investigate the performance of individuals with DS in a simple Coincident Timing task. Method 32 individuals were divided into 2 groups: the Down syndrome group (DSG) comprised of 16 individuals with average age of 20 (+/− 5 years old), and a control group (CG) comprised of 16 individuals of the same age. All individuals performed the Simple Timing (ST) task and their performance was measured in milliseconds. The study was conducted in a single phase with the execution of 20 consecutive trials for each participant. Results There was a significant difference in the intergroup analysis for the accuracy adjustment - Absolute Error (Z = 3.656, p = 0.001); and for the performance consistence - Variable Error (Z = 2.939, p = 0.003). Conclusion DS individuals have more difficulty in integrating the motor action to an external stimulus and they also present more inconsistence in performance. Both groups presented the same tendency to delay their motor responses. PMID:23618314

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

    PubMed

    Conde, Virginia; Altenmüller, Eckart; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    An efficient and fast auditory-motor network is a basic resource for trained musicians due to the importance of motor anticipation of sound production in musical performance. When playing an instrument, motor performance always goes along with the production of sounds and the integration between both modalities plays an essential role in the course of musical training. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of task-irrelevant auditory feedback during motor performance in musicians using a serial reaction time task (SRTT). Our hypothesis was that musicians, due to their extensive auditory-motor practice routine during musical training, have superior performance and learning capabilities when receiving auditory feedback during SRTT relative to musicians performing the SRTT without any auditory feedback. Behaviorally, we found that auditory feedback reinforced SRTT performance of the right hand (referring to absolute response speed) while learning capabilities remained unchanged. This finding highlights a potential important role for task-irrelevant auditory feedback in motor performance in musicians, a finding that might provide further insight into auditory-motor integration independent of the trained musical context. PMID:22623920

  15. Human task performance baseline: results from a cross-band facial identification perception study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrd, Kenneth A.; Choi, Hee-Sue

    2015-05-01

    Cross-band facial recognition is a difficult task, even for the most robust matching algorithms. Inherent factors such as camera effects (blur, noise, and sampling), and variation in pose and illumination, are known to negatively affect algorithm performance. Because cross-band matching algorithms are in the infancy of development, it is currently unclear if their performance is superior to human observers performing this task. In this paper, we present findings from a pilot study aimed at analyzing the ability of an ensemble of human observers to perform the 1:N cross-band facial identification task on degraded facial images, where the probe and gallery images were captured in different spectral bands (visible, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR). Results from our 11-alternative forced choice perception study indicate that: 1) a group of observers familiar with even a subset of subjects in a gallery set are, on average, able to perform the task with higher probability (p > 0.15) than a group of observers with no prior exposure, and 2) task performance for both the familiar and unfamiliar groups increased 1.5-3.4% when matching multi-spectral probe images to galleries of 24-bit color facial images vs. 8-bit monochrome facial images. For the SWIR case, however, we observed a 9.1% increase in performance with 24-bit facial images vs. 8-bit facial images. Results from this study can be leveraged for future work directly comparing cross-band matching performance of humans vs. algorithms.

  16. Signal detection theory and methods for evaluating human performance in decision tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obrien, Kevin; Feldman, Evan M.

    1993-01-01

    Signal Detection Theory (SDT) can be used to assess decision making performance in tasks that are not commonly thought of as perceptual. SDT takes into account both the sensitivity and biases in responding when explaining the detection of external events. In the standard SDT tasks, stimuli are selected in order to reveal the sensory capabilities of the observer. SDT can also be used to describe performance when decisions must be made as to the classification of easily and reliably sensed stimuli. Numbers are stimuli that are minimally affected by sensory processing and can belong to meaningful categories that overlap. Multiple studies have shown that the task of categorizing numbers from overlapping normal distributions produces performance predictable by SDT. These findings are particularly interesting in view of the similarity between the task of the categorizing numbers and that of determining the status of a mechanical system based on numerical values that represent sensor readings. Examples of the use of SDT to evaluate performance in decision tasks are reviewed. The methods and assumptions of SDT are shown to be effective in the measurement, evaluation, and prediction of human performance in such tasks.

  17. Gait characteristics in patients with major depression performing cognitive and motor tasks while walking.

    PubMed

    Radovanović, Saša; Jovičić, Milica; Marić, Nadja P; Kostić, Vladimir

    2014-06-30

    Depressed patients demonstrate alterations in motor and cognitive functioning that can affect their adjustments to the variations in everyday life environment. The objective was to explore gait parameters and variability of patients with major depressive disorder in dual task walking situations. Eight patients and 20 healthy controls performed motor, mental and combined motor+mental tasks while walking. Calculated parameters were cycle time, stride length, swing time, double support time and their coefficients of variation (CV). Patients demonstrated greater gait variability (swing time CV) than controls during baseline walk (t(26)=2.64, p<0.05) and motor dual task (t(26)=3.68, p<0.05). Moreover, the transition from mental to combined task decreased stride length (M=126.48±15.35 and M=121.19±13.55, p<0.001) and increased double support time (M=0.266±0.072 and M=0.287±0.076, p<0.01) only in controls. Also, gait variability increased in controls during the combined task, while remaining the same or decreasing in patients. Tasks that required greater cognitive involvement affected gait variability in patients more than controls, but only up to a certain level, after which patients׳ stability appeared unaffected by the increase of cognitive demand. This could be explained by a tendency of patients to neglect complex cognitive tasks while walking in order to preserve stability and prevent possible falls. PMID:24613201

  18. Effects of task complexity on rhythmic reproduction performance in adults.

    PubMed

    Iannarilli, Flora; Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Iosa, Marco; Pesce, Caterina; Capranica, Laura

    2013-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of task complexity on the capability to reproduce rhythmic patterns. Sedentary musically illiterate individuals (age: 34.8±4.2 yrs; M±SD) were administered a rhythmic test including three rhythmic patterns to be reproduced by means of finger-tapping, foot-tapping and walking. For the quantification of subjects' ability in the reproduction of rhythmic patterns, qualitative and quantitative parameters were submitted to analysis. A stereophotogrammetric system was used to reconstruct and evaluate individual performances. The findings indicated a good internal stability of the rhythmic reproduction, suggesting that the present experimental design is suitable to discriminate the participants' rhythmic ability. Qualitative aspects of rhythmic reproduction (i.e., speed of execution and temporal ratios between events) varied as a function of the perceptual-motor requirements of the rhythmic reproduction task, with larger reproduction deviations in the walking task. PMID:23452943

  19. Do Content, Format, and Level of Inquiry Affect Scores on Open-Ended Science Tasks?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stecher, Brian M.; Klein, Stephen P.; Solano-Flores, Guillermo; McCaffrey, Dan; Robyn, Abby; Shavelson, Richard J.; Haertel, Edward

    This study investigated three factors that may contribute to the large variation in student performance across open-ended measures. These factors are content domain, format (whether the task required only pencil and paper or involved a hands-on manipulation of equipment), and level of inquiry (whether the task guided the student toward the…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-04-01

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

  1. Examining the association between rumination, negative affectivity, and negative affect induced by a paced auditory serial addition task.

    PubMed

    Feldner, Matthew T; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W; Zvolensky, Michael J; Lejuez, C W

    2006-09-01

    The present study examined the relations among a depressive ruminative response style, a general propensity to experience negative affectivity, and negative affect induced by a paced serial auditory addition task (PASAT). Ninety nonclinical individuals completed a computerized version of the PASAT, which elicits a generalized negative affect response [Lejuez, C. W., Kahler, C. W., & Brown, R. A. (2003). A modified computer version of the paced auditory serial addition task (PASAT) as a laboratory-based stressor: Implications for behavioral assessment. Behavior Therapist, 26, 290-292]. As hypothesized, there was a moderate correlation between depressive rumination and a propensity to experience negative affect, as indexed both by a significant association with a negative affect personality factor and the prediction of negative affect elicited during the provocation. Findings also suggested that dispositional negative affectivity moderated the effects of a depressive ruminative response style on the valence but not arousal dimensions of emotional responding to the challenge. These findings are discussed in terms of improving our understanding of rumination and its potential role in emotional vulnerability processes. PMID:16139240

  2. The effect of exercise-induced arousal on cognitive task performance: a meta-regression analysis.

    PubMed

    Lambourne, Kate; Tomporowski, Phillip

    2010-06-23

    The effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance were examined using meta-analytic techniques. The overall mean effect size was dependent on the timing of cognitive assessment. During exercise, cognitive task performance was impaired by a mean effect of -0.14. However, impairments were only observed during the first 20min of exercise. Otherwise, exercise-induced arousal enhanced performance on tasks that involved rapid decisions and automatized behaviors. Following exercise, cognitive task performance improved by a mean effect of 0.20. Arousal continued to facilitate speeded mental processes and also enhanced memory storage and retrieval. Positive effects were observed following exercise regardless of whether the study protocol was designed to measure the effects of steady-state exercise, fatiguing exercise, or the inverted-U hypothesis. Finally, cognitive performance was affected differentially by exercise mode. Cycling was associated with enhanced performance during and after exercise, whereas treadmill running led to impaired performance during exercise and a small improvement in performance following exercise. These results are indicative of the complex relation between exercise and cognition. Cognitive performance may be enhanced or impaired depending on when it is measured, the type of cognitive task selected, and the type of exercise performed. PMID:20381468

  3. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Brouwers, Sue; Wiggins, Mark W.; Helton, William; O’Hare, David; Griffin, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to examine whether differences in cue utilization were associated with differences in performance during a novel, simulated rail control task, and whether these differences reflected a reduction in cognitive load. Two experiments were conducted, the first of which involved the completion of a 20-min rail control simulation that required participants to re-route trains that periodically required a diversion. Participants with a greater level of cue utilization recorded a consistently greater response latency, consistent with a strategy that maintained accuracy, but reduced the demands on cognitive resources. In the second experiment, participants completed the rail task, during which a concurrent, secondary task was introduced. The results revealed an interaction, whereby participants with lesser levels of cue utilization recorded an increase in response latency that exceeded the response latency recorded for participants with greater levels of cue utilization. The relative consistency of response latencies for participants with greater levels of cue utilization, across all blocks, despite the imposition of a secondary task, suggested that those participants with greater levels of cue utilization had adopted a strategy that was effectively minimizing the impact of additional sources of cognitive load on their performance. PMID:27064669

  4. The effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on task-switching performance.

    PubMed

    Couyoumdjian, Alessandro; Sdoia, Stefano; Tempesta, Daniela; Curcio, Giuseppe; Rastellini, Elisabetta; DE Gennaro, Luigi; Ferrara, Michele

    2010-03-01

    Neural systems of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) involved in executive functions are particularly vulnerable to sleep deprivation (SD). In this study, we investigated whether SD selectively affects specific components of the executive control processes involved in task-switching performance. Two different tasks are performed in rapid and random succession in this procedure, so that the to-be-executed task may change from one trial to the next (switch trial), or may be repeated (repetition trial). Task-switches are usually slower than task repetitions, giving way to the 'switch cost'. One hundred and eight university students were assigned randomly to the sleep (S) or the SD group. Each of them was tested on a task-switching paradigm before and after an experimental night (S or SD), and after one recovery night. SD impaired both task-switching accuracy and speed. A higher proportion of errors and increased switch costs after SD have been observed, compared to normal sleep. Control analyses on switch and repetition trials showed that the SD group was significantly worse only on the switch trials. The effects of SD are reverted by one night of recovery sleep. It is concluded that the ability to adjust behaviour rapidly and flexibly to changing environmental demands, which relies on the functional integrity of the PFC, is impacted negatively by sleep loss. PMID:19878450

  5. Variations in task constraints shape emergent performance outcomes and complexity levels in balancing.

    PubMed

    Caballero Sánchez, Carla; Barbado Murillo, David; Davids, Keith; Moreno Hernández, Francisco J

    2016-06-01

    This study investigated the extent to which specific interacting constraints of performance might increase or decrease the emergent complexity in a movement system, and whether this could affect the relationship between observed movement variability and the central nervous system's capacity to adapt to perturbations during balancing. Fifty-two healthy volunteers performed eight trials where different performance constraints were manipulated: task difficulty (three levels) and visual biofeedback conditions (with and without the center of pressure (COP) displacement and a target displayed). Balance performance was assessed using COP-based measures: mean velocity magnitude (MVM) and bivariate variable error (BVE). To assess the complexity of COP, fuzzy entropy (FE) and detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were computed. ANOVAs showed that MVM and BVE increased when task difficulty increased. During biofeedback conditions, individuals showed higher MVM but lower BVE at the easiest level of task difficulty. Overall, higher FE and lower DFA values were observed when biofeedback was available. On the other hand, FE reduced and DFA increased as difficulty level increased, in the presence of biofeedback. However, when biofeedback was not available, the opposite trend in FE and DFA values was observed. Regardless of changes to task constraints and the variable investigated, balance performance was positively related to complexity in every condition. Data revealed how specificity of task constraints can result in an increase or decrease in complexity emerging in a neurobiological system during balance performance. PMID:26838357

  6. Influence of drive and timing mechanisms on breathing pattern and ventilation during mental task performance.

    PubMed

    Wientjes, C J; Grossman, P; Gaillard, A W

    1998-09-01

    Assessment of multiple respiratory measures may provide insight into how behavioral demands affect the breathing pattern. This is illustrated by data from a study among 44 subjects, in which tidal volume, respiration rate, minute ventilation and indices of central drive and timing mechanisms were assessed via inductive plethysmography, in addition to end-tidal PCO2. After a baseline, three conditions of a memory comparison task were presented. The first two conditions differed only with regard to the presence or absence of feedback of performance (NFB and FB). In the third 'all-or-nothing' (AON) condition, subjects only received a monetary bonus, if their performance exceeded that of the previous two conditions. Minute ventilation increased from baseline to all task conditions, and from NFB and FB to AON. Respiration rate increased in all task conditions, but there were no differences between task conditions. Tidal volume decreased during NFB, but was equal to baseline during FB and AON. Of the respiratory control indices, inspiratory flow rate covaried much more closely with minute ventilation than duty cycle. The task performance induced a minor degree of hyperventilation. The discussion focusses on how behavioral demands affect respiratory control processes to produce alterations in breathing pattern and ventilation. PMID:9792484

  7. Alzheimer's disease, but not ageing or depression, affects dual-tasking.

    PubMed

    Kaschel, Reiner; Logie, Robert H; Kazén, Miguel; Della Sala, Sergio

    2009-11-01

    Two experiments are reported that assess dual task performance in Alzheimer's disease (AD), in chronic depression and in healthy old age. Results suggest that dual task impairments are present in AD but are not shown in depression. This is true even when episodic memory performance is equated between the groups. These results, together with those of previous studies, point to dual task performance as an aid to diagnosis of AD relative to depression. This is of particular relevance when episodic memory tests cannot distinguish between the two conditions. The dual task paradigm appears to have considerable promise in assisting the early detection of the specific cognitive deficits associated with AD, and in monitoring their progression, both in the laboratory setting and in everyday tasks. Results also are of theoretical interest in pointing to a specific dual task coordination function in the healthy human cognitive system that allows for the coordination of two tasks performed simultaneously and which is damaged in AD but not in depression. PMID:19543789

  8. Amphetamine affects the start of responding in the peak interval timing task.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Kathleen M; Horvitz, Jon C; Balsam, Peter D

    2007-02-22

    In this paper we investigate how amphetamine affects performance in a PI task by comparing two analyses of responding during peak trials. After training on 24 s fixed interval (FI-24) with 96 s peak trials, rats were given amphetamine for 4 consecutive days at doses of .5 and 1.0 mg/kg. Responses during peak trials were fitted with a Gaussian distribution to estimate the expected time of reinforcement from the peak time. A single trials analysis was also performed to determine the start time and stop time of the transition into and out of a high rate of responding on each peak trial. Amphetamine significantly decreased peak times as measured with the Gaussian curve fitting. However, in the single trials analysis, animals initiated responding significantly earlier, but did not stop responding earlier. Thus, fitting a Gaussian to the average performance across trials sometimes provides a different characterization of the timing process than does analyzing the start and stop of responding on individual trials. In the current experiment, the latter approach provided a more precise characterization of the effects of amphetamine on response timing. PMID:17222991

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, C.L.

    1995-10-01

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

  10. [Gender related strategies of visual-spatial task performance].

    PubMed

    Slavutskaia, A V; Gerasimenko, N Iu; Mikhaĭlova, E S

    2012-11-01

    In 31 subjects (16 men and 15 women) in model of the gender differences the brain mechanisms of two different strategies of visual-spatial tasks performance were studied. Although we did not find gender differences in the performing of visual-construction task the pattern of evoked activity was unequal in men and women. In men the early answer of the parietal cortex was related with spatial transformation of figure: the more was rotation of figures details, the more was amplitude of P1 wave. Moreover the amplitude of P1 wave in parietal area decreased with incorrect answers. In opposite, in women we did not find any ERP changes reflecting the details rotation. At the same time, in women we observed the increase of N150 negativity in occipital and infero-temporal cortex area when figure ungrouped into separate details. Our results shed light on some additional information concerning the basis of gender differences in performing of visuo-spatial tasks. Our data show that different strategies are not only defined by the later, but also the early stages of visual processing. PMID:23431764

  11. Typical and atypical antipsychotic medications differentially affect two nondeclarative memory tasks in schizophrenic patients: a double dissociation.

    PubMed

    Beninger, Richard J; Wasserman, James; Zanibbi, Katherine; Charbonneau, Danielle; Mangels, Jennifer; Beninger, Bruce V

    2003-06-01

    Nondeclarative memory (NDM) has subtypes associated with different brain regions; learning of a probabilistic classification task is impaired by striatal damage and learning of a gambling task is impaired by ventromedial prefrontocortical damage. Typical and atypical antipsychotic medications differentially affect immediate early gene expression in the striatum and frontal cortex in normal rats. This suggested the hypothesis that schizophrenic patients treated with typical antipsychotics will have impaired probabilistic classification learning (PCL) and that similar patients treated with atypical antipsychotics will have impaired learning of the gambling task. Groups of schizophrenia patients treated with typical or atypical antipsychotics did not differ from each other on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) or a number of indexes of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) but performed worse than normal controls on these instruments. In the first study, patients treated with typicals (n=20) but not atypicals (n=20) or normal controls (n=32) were impaired in probabilistic classification. In the second study, those treated with atypicals (n=18) but not typicals (n=18) or normal controls (n=18) were impaired in the gambling task. Results suggest that typical and atypical antipsychotics differentially affect nondeclarative memory mediated by different brain regions. PMID:12729880

  12. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    PubMed

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of cognitive control in response to conflict. Participants performed a Simon task in which congruent and incongruent trials were equiprobable, but in which the proportion of congruency repetitions (congruent trials followed by congruent trials or incongruent trials followed by incongruent trials) and thus the need for trial-by-trial adjustments in cognitive control varied by block. The overall Simon effect did not depend on WMC capacity. However, for the low-WMC participants the Simon effect decreased as the proportion of congruency repetitions decreased, whereas for the high- and average-WMC participants it was relatively constant across conditions. Distribution analysis of the Simon effect showed more evidence for the inhibition of stimulus location in the low- than in the high-WMC participants, especially when the proportion of congruency repetitions was low. We hypothesize that low-WMC individuals exhibit more interference from task-irrelevant information due to weaker preparatory control prior to stimulus presentation and, thus, stronger reliance on reactive recruitment of cognitive control. PMID:24199908

  13. Comparing the Predictive Value of Task Performance and Task-Specific Sensitivity During Physical Function Testing Among People With Knee Osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Wideman, Timothy H; Edwards, Robert R; Finan, Patrick H; Haythornthwaite, Jennifer A; Smith, Michael T

    2016-05-01

    Study Design Cross-sectional cohort. Background Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of pain and mobility restriction. Past research has advocated the use of brief, functional tasks to evaluate these restrictions, such as the six-minute-walk test and the timed up-and-go test. Typically, only task performance (ie, walking distance, completion time) is used to inform clinical practice. Recent research, however, suggests that individual variance in how people feel while completing these tasks (ie, task sensitivity) might also have important clinical value. Objective To compare the predictive value of task performance and task-specific sensitivity in determining OA-related physical function (measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) and pain-related interference (measured by the Multidimensional Pain Inventory). Methods One hundred eight participants with chronic knee OA completed the six-minute-walk test and the timed up-and-go test, and reported levels of discomfort and affective response (mood) associated with each test. Results In separate regression models, both task performance and task-specific sensitivity predicted OA-related physical function and pain-related interference. A final regression model including all significant predictors showed that task-specific sensitivity (specifically, post-six-minute-walk discomfort) emerged as a unique predictor of both outcomes. Conclusion These findings highlight the value of a novel clinical assessment strategy for patients with knee OA. While clinicians commonly focus on how patients perform on standardized functional tasks, these results highlight the value of also considering levels of posttask sensitivity. Measures of task-specific sensitivity relate to Maitland's concept of pain irritability, which may be a useful framework for future research on sensitizing factors and pain-related disability. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2016;46(5):346-356. Epub 21 Mar 2016. doi:10

  14. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: a closer look at task switching and dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. PMID:25289704

  15. Comparison of School Counselors and School Social Workers: Performance of Tasks and Perceived Preparedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldman, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    This study compares the professional roles of school counselors and school social workers in terms of the frequency of performing various practice tasks, feelings of preparedness to perform various practice tasks, discrepancies between frequency of task performance and feelings of preparedness to perform said tasks, and factors that may affect…

  16. Attentional Mechanisms during the Performance of a Subsecond Timing Task

    PubMed Central

    Velázquez-Martínez, David N.

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that timing processes in the suprasecond scale are modulated by attentional mechanisms; in addition, some studies have shown that attentional mechanisms also affect timing in the subsecond scale. Our aim was to study eye movements and pupil diameter during a temporal bisection task in the subsecond range. Subjects were trained to discriminate anchor intervals of 200 or 800 msec, and were then confronted with intermediate durations. Eye movements revealed that subjects used different cognitive strategies during the bisection timing task. When the stimulus to be timed appeared randomly at a central or 4 peripheral positions on a screen, some subjects choose to maintain their gaze toward the central area while other followed the peripheral placement of the stimulus; some others subjects used both strategies. The time of subjective equality did not differ between subjects who employed different attentional mechanisms. However, differences emerged in the timing variance and attentional indexes (time taken to initial fixation, latency to respond, pupil dilatation and duration and number of fixations to stimulus areas). Timing in the subsecond range seems invariant despite the use of different attentional strategies. Future research should determine whether the selection of attentional mechanisms is related to particular timing tasks or instructions or whether it represents idiosyncratic cognitive “styles”. PMID:27467762

  17. Attentional Mechanisms during the Performance of a Subsecond Timing Task.

    PubMed

    Toscano-Zapién, Anna L; Velázquez-López, Daniel; Velázquez-Martínez, David N

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that timing processes in the suprasecond scale are modulated by attentional mechanisms; in addition, some studies have shown that attentional mechanisms also affect timing in the subsecond scale. Our aim was to study eye movements and pupil diameter during a temporal bisection task in the subsecond range. Subjects were trained to discriminate anchor intervals of 200 or 800 msec, and were then confronted with intermediate durations. Eye movements revealed that subjects used different cognitive strategies during the bisection timing task. When the stimulus to be timed appeared randomly at a central or 4 peripheral positions on a screen, some subjects choose to maintain their gaze toward the central area while other followed the peripheral placement of the stimulus; some others subjects used both strategies. The time of subjective equality did not differ between subjects who employed different attentional mechanisms. However, differences emerged in the timing variance and attentional indexes (time taken to initial fixation, latency to respond, pupil dilatation and duration and number of fixations to stimulus areas). Timing in the subsecond range seems invariant despite the use of different attentional strategies. Future research should determine whether the selection of attentional mechanisms is related to particular timing tasks or instructions or whether it represents idiosyncratic cognitive "styles". PMID:27467762

  18. Factors affecting performance of dispenser photocathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, Nathan A.; Jensen, Kevin L.; Feldman, Donald W.; Montgomery, Eric J.; O'Shea, Patrick G.

    2007-11-01

    Usable lifetime has long been a limitation of high efficiency photocathodes in high average current accelerator applications such as free electron lasers, where poor vacuum conditions and high incident laser power contribute to early degradation in electron beam emission. Recent progress has been made in adapting well known thermionic dispenser techniques to photocathodes, resulting in a dispenser photocathode whose photosensitive surface coating of cesium can be periodically replenished to extend effective lifetime. This article details the design and fabrication process of a prototype cesium dispenser photocathode and describes in detail the dominant factors affecting its performance: activation procedure, surface cleanliness, temperature, and substrate microstructure.

  19. Effects of age and task difficulty on recognition of facial affect.

    PubMed

    Orgeta, Vasiliki

    2010-05-01

    Current evidence suggests that older adults are less accurate than young adults in their ability to identify facial expressions of emotion. In the present study, young and older adults' ability to correctly recognize facial affect representative of 6 different emotions (happiness, surprise, disgust, fear, anger, and sadness) was examined in 3 conditions varying in difficulty. Task difficulty was measured by varying the number of labels available in a forced choice recognition task to 2, 4, and 6. Results showed that age differences were present in the 2 more difficult conditions for fear and sadness. Older adults were impaired in recognizing facial expressions of surprise only in the 4-label condition. Current findings suggest that task difficulty moderates age differences in emotion labeling. The present study has contributed to previous research by illuminating the conditions under which age differences in the accuracy of labeling of facial affect are more likely to be observed. PMID:20176659

  20. A wavelet contrast metric for the targeting task performance metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preece, Bradley L.; Flug, Eric A.

    2016-05-01

    Target acquisition performance depends strongly on the contrast of the target. The Targeting Task Performance (TTP) metric, within the Night Vision Integrated Performance Model (NV-IPM), uses a combination of resolution, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast to predict and model system performance. While the dependence on resolution and SNR are well defined and understood, defining a robust and versatile contrast metric for a wide variety of acquisition tasks is more difficult. In this correspondence, a wavelet contrast metric (WCM) is developed under the assumption that the human eye processes spatial differences in a manner similar to a wavelet transform. The amount of perceivable information, or useful wavelet coefficients, is used to predict the total viewable contrast to the human eye. The WCM is intended to better match the measured performance of the human vision system for high-contrast, low-contrast, and low-observable targets. After further validation, the new contrast metric can be incorporated using a modified TTP metric into the latest Army target acquisition software suite, the NV-IPM.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Comparison of unilateral versus bilateral upper extremity task performance after stroke

    PubMed Central

    DeJong, Stacey L.; Lang, Catherine E.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND Previous studies have suggested that practicing functional tasks bilaterally instead of unilaterally may improve paretic limb performance after stroke. OBJECTIVE The purposes of this study were to determine whether the bilateral movement condition alters paretic limb performance of a functional task in people with post-stroke hemiparesis, and to identify specifically which parameters of performance may be affected. METHODS In this single-session study, we examined immediate effects of the bilateral vs. unilateral movement condition on performance of a reach-grasp-lift-release task at preferred-speed in 16 people with mild to moderate post-stroke hemiparesis and in 12 healthy controls. Performance was quantified using motion analysis variables, including durations of the reach and grasp phases, reach path straightness, maximum thumb-index finger aperture, efficiency of finger movement, peak grip force, and timing of release. RESULTS We found no evidence of immediate improvement in paretic-limb performance in the bilateral condition. In both groups, release timing occurred later when participants moved bilaterally instead of unilaterally, possibly representing a divided-attention effect. Other variables did not differ across conditions. CONCLUSIONS Our findings suggest little immediate impact of the bilateral condition on motor performance of a reach-grasp-lift-release task at preferred speed, in people with mild to moderate hemiparesis. PMID:22750959

  4. The Effect of School and Task Structure on Teacher Interaction, Classroom Organization and Student Affects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abramowitz, Susan

    This research paper sought to determine whether smaller sized schools decrease student alienation and increase program diversity both within the school and compared to others. Hypotheses tested were: (1) participation in small work units positively affects teacher task interdependence resulting in greater teacher interaction; (2) teacher…

  5. The Effect of a Workload-Preview on Task-Prioritization and Task-Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minotra, Dev

    2012-01-01

    With increased volume and sophistication of cyber attacks in recent years, maintaining situation awareness and effective task-prioritization strategy is critical to the task of cybersecurity analysts. However, high levels of mental-workload associated with the task of cybersecurity analyst's limits their ability to prioritize tasks.…

  6. Is Performance in Task-Cuing Experiments Mediated by Task Set Selection or Associative Compound Retrieval?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forrest, Charlotte L. D.; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P. L.

    2014-01-01

    Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed,…

  7. Modeling boost performance using a two dimensional implementation of the targeting task performance metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preece, Bradley L.; Haefner, David P.; Fanning, Jonathan D.

    2012-06-01

    Using post-processing filters to enhance image detail, a process commonly referred to as boost, can significantly affect the performance of an EO/IR system. The US Army's target acquisition models currently use the Targeting Task Performance (TTP) metric to quantify sensor performance. The TTP metric accounts for each element in the system including: blur and noise introduced by the imager, any additional post-processing steps, and the effects of the Human Visual System (HVS). The current implementation of the TTP metric assumes spatial separability, which can introduce significant errors when the TTP is applied to systems using non-separable filters. To accurately apply the TTP metric to systems incorporating boost, we have implement a two-dimensional (2D) version of the TTP metric. The accuracy of the 2D TTP metric was verified through a series of perception experiments involving various levels of boost. The 2D TTP metric has been incorporated into the Night Vision Integrated Performance Model (NV-IPM) allowing accurate system modeling of non-separable image filters.

  8. Effects of the presentation of false heart-rate feedback on the performance of two common heartbeat-detection tasks.

    PubMed

    Phillips, G C; Jones, G E; Rieger, E J; Snell, J B

    1999-07-01

    Research has indicated that performance on heartbeat counting tasks may be influenced by beliefs about heart rate. Sixty male subjects were administered the Schandry heartbeat counting task after viewing fast, slow, or no heart rate feedback. Subjects were also administered the Whitehead signal-detection type task. Results indicated that subjects who received fast or no heartbeat feedback performed better on the Schandry task than subjects who received slow feedback. Feedback presentation did not affect performance on the Whitehead task. These results suggest that the Schandry task is influenced by external variables (expectations, beliefs) beyond pure awareness of "discrete" visceral sensations and, thus, may not be as powerful a method for determining awareness of individual heartbeats as some other paradigms. PMID:10432800

  9. Gait in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Is gait pattern differently affected in spinal and bulbar onset of the disease during dual task walking?

    PubMed

    Radovanović, Sasa; Milićev, Milena; Perić, Stojan; Basta, Ivana; Kostić, Vladimir; Stević, Zorica

    2014-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by weakness, fatigue, loss of balance and coordination. The purpose of the study was to examine gait in ALS patients. Gait was compared in ALS with spinal and bulbar onset, while performing dual mental and motor tasks. Dual-task walking was performed by 27 ALS patients, 13 with spinal- and 14 with bulbar-onset disease. Twenty-nine healthy subjects were used as a control group. The subjects performed a basic, simple walking task, dual-motor task, dual-mental task, and combined motor and mental tasks. Results showed that dual-task paradigm has an effect on gait in ALS patients. Gait was differently affected in spinal and bulbar onset of ALS by some of the given tasks. Mental tasks had a larger effect than motor tasks in all gait parameters. In conclusion, both ALS forms have impaired gait in dual tasks. Simple walk in patients with spinal onset shows higher variability of certain gait parameters compared to bulbar-onset patients and controls. Differences in gait could also indicate postural instability and possible falls in complex walking situations. PMID:24918304

  10. Benefits of Stimulus Exposure: Developmental Learning Independent of Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Green, David B.; Ohlemacher, Jocelyn; Rosen, Merri J.

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning (training-induced performance improvement) can be elicited by task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in humans. In contrast, task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in animals typically disrupts perception in juveniles while causing little to no effect in adults. This may be due to the extent of exposure, which is brief in humans while chronic in animals. Here we assessed the effects of short bouts of passive stimulus exposure on learning during development in gerbils, compared with non-passive stimulus exposure (i.e., during testing). We used prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, a method that can be applied at any age, to measure gap detection thresholds across four age groups, spanning development. First, we showed that both gap detection thresholds and gap detection learning across sessions displayed a long developmental trajectory, improving throughout the juvenile period. Additionally, we demonstrated larger within- and across-animal performance variability in younger animals. These results are generally consistent with results in humans, where there are extended developmental trajectories for both the perception of temporally-varying signals, and the effects of perceptual training, as well as increased variability and poorer performance consistency in children. We then chose an age (mid-juveniles) that displayed clear learning over sessions in order to assess effects of brief passive stimulus exposure on this learning. We compared learning in mid-juveniles exposed to either gap detection testing (gaps paired with startles) or equivalent gap exposure without testing (gaps alone) for three sessions. Learning was equivalent in both these groups and better than both naïve age-matched animals and controls receiving no gap exposure but only startle testing. Thus, short bouts of exposure to gaps independent of task performance is sufficient to induce learning at this age, and is as effective as gap detection testing. PMID:27378837

  11. Benefits of Stimulus Exposure: Developmental Learning Independent of Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Green, David B; Ohlemacher, Jocelyn; Rosen, Merri J

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning (training-induced performance improvement) can be elicited by task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in humans. In contrast, task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in animals typically disrupts perception in juveniles while causing little to no effect in adults. This may be due to the extent of exposure, which is brief in humans while chronic in animals. Here we assessed the effects of short bouts of passive stimulus exposure on learning during development in gerbils, compared with non-passive stimulus exposure (i.e., during testing). We used prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, a method that can be applied at any age, to measure gap detection thresholds across four age groups, spanning development. First, we showed that both gap detection thresholds and gap detection learning across sessions displayed a long developmental trajectory, improving throughout the juvenile period. Additionally, we demonstrated larger within- and across-animal performance variability in younger animals. These results are generally consistent with results in humans, where there are extended developmental trajectories for both the perception of temporally-varying signals, and the effects of perceptual training, as well as increased variability and poorer performance consistency in children. We then chose an age (mid-juveniles) that displayed clear learning over sessions in order to assess effects of brief passive stimulus exposure on this learning. We compared learning in mid-juveniles exposed to either gap detection testing (gaps paired with startles) or equivalent gap exposure without testing (gaps alone) for three sessions. Learning was equivalent in both these groups and better than both naïve age-matched animals and controls receiving no gap exposure but only startle testing. Thus, short bouts of exposure to gaps independent of task performance is sufficient to induce learning at this age, and is as effective as gap detection testing. PMID:27378837

  12. Characterization of cognitive and motor performance during dual-tasking in healthy older adults and patients with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Wild, Lucia Bartmann; de Lima, Daiane Borba; Balardin, Joana Bisol; Rizzi, Luana; Giacobbo, Bruno Lima; Oliveira, Henrique Bianchi; de Lima Argimon, Irani Iracema; Peyré-Tartaruga, Leonardo Alexandre; Rieder, Carlos R M; Bromberg, Elke

    2013-02-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of dual-tasking on cognitive performance and gait parameters in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) without dementia. The impact of cognitive task complexity on cognition and walking was also examined. Eighteen patients with PD (ages 53-88, 10 women; Hoehn and Yahr stage I-II) and 18 older adults (ages 61-84; 10 women) completed two neuropsychological measures of executive function/attention (the Stroop Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). Cognitive performance and gait parameters related to functional mobility of stride were measured under single (cognitive task only) and dual-task (cognitive task during walking) conditions with different levels of difficulty and different types of stimuli. In addition, dual-task cognitive costs were calculated. Although cognitive performance showed no significant difference between controls and PD patients during single or dual-tasking conditions, only the patients had a decrease in cognitive performance during walking. Gait parameters of patients differed significantly from controls at single and dual-task conditions, indicating that patients gave priority to gait while cognitive performance suffered. Dual-task cognitive costs of patients increased with task complexity, reaching significantly higher values then controls in the arithmetic task, which was correlated with scores on executive function/attention (Stroop Color-Word Page). Baseline motor functioning and task executive/attentional load affect the performance of cognitive tasks of PD patients while walking. These findings provide insight into the functional strategies used by PD patients in the initial phases of the disease to manage dual-task interference. PMID:23052601

  13. Sex Differences in Performance on Piagetian Spatial Tasks: Differences in Competence or Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liben, Lynn S.; Golbeck, Susan L.

    1980-01-01

    Results indicate that the performance factors examined do, in part, account for subjects' difficulties on standard Piagetian horizontality and verticality tasks but that they cannot fully account for the overall sex differences. (RH)

  14. Manipulations of Start and Food Locations Affect Navigation on a Foraging Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Gerard M.; Pirzada, Ashar; Bridger, Alexander; Tomlin, Julian; Thorpe, Christina M.; Skinner, Darlene M.

    2011-01-01

    Rats were able to search multiple food cups in a foraging task and successfully return to a fixed, but not a variable, start location. Reducing the number of food cups to be searched resulted in an improvement in performance in the variable start condition. Performance was better when only one or two food cups had to be visited but was still…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    The functional task test is a multi-disciplinary study investigating how space-flight induced changes to physiological systems impacts functional task performance. Impairment of neuromuscular function would be expected to negatively affect functional performance of crewmembers following exposure to microgravity. This presentation reports the results for muscle performance testing in crewmembers. Functional task performance will be presented in the abstract "Functional Task Test 1: sensory motor adaptations associated with postflight alternations in astronaut functional task performance." METHODS: Muscle performance measures were obtained in crewmembers before and after short-duration space flight aboard the Space Shuttle and long-duration International Space Station (ISS) missions. The battery of muscle performance tests included leg press and bench press measures of isometric force, isotonic power and total work. Knee extension was used for the measurement of central activation and maximal isometric force. Upper and lower body force steadiness control were measured on the bench press and knee extension machine, respectively. Tests were implemented 60 and 30 days before launch, on landing day (Shuttle crew only), and 6, 10 and 30 days after landing. Seven Space Shuttle crew and four ISS crew have completed the muscle performance testing to date. RESULTS: Preliminary results for Space Shuttle crew reveal significant reductions in the leg press performance metrics of maximal isometric force, power and total work on R+0 (p<0.05). Bench press total work was also significantly impaired, although maximal isometric force and power were not significantly affected. No changes were noted for measurements of central activation or force steadiness. Results for ISS crew were not analyzed due to the current small sample size. DISCUSSION: Significant reductions in lower body muscle performance metrics were observed in returning Shuttle crew and these adaptations are likely

  16. Changes in Interest and Affect during a Difficult Reading Task: Relationships with Perceived Difficulty and Reading Fluency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulmer, Sara M.; Tulis, Maria

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated changes in middle school students' interest and affect during a moderately difficult reading task. The aim was to explore how changes in interest (topic and situational) and affect were related to students' reading fluency throughout the task and perceived difficulty. Interest and affect were recorded at four time points:…

  17. How Mood and Task Complexity Affect Children's Recognition of Others’ Emotions

    PubMed Central

    Cummings, Andrew J.; Rennels, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies examined how mood affects children's accuracy in matching emotional expressions and labels (label-based tasks). This study was the first to assess how induced mood (positive, neutral, or negative) influenced 5- to 8-year-olds’ accuracy and reaction time using both context-based tasks, which required inferring a character's emotion from a vignette, and label-based tasks. Both tasks required choosing one of four facial expressions to respond. Children responded more accurately to label-based questions relative to context-based questions at 5 to 7 years of age, but showed no differences at 8 years of age, and when the emotional expression being identified was happiness, sadness, or surprise, but not disgust. For the context-based questions, children were more accurate at inferring sad and disgusted emotions compared to happy and surprised emotions. Induced positive mood facilitated 5-year-olds’ processing (decreased reaction time) in both tasks compared to induced negative and neutral moods. Results demonstrate how task type and children's mood influence children's emotion processing at different ages. PMID:24489442

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The experiments described in this paper compared the performance of four operators using HDTV with their performance while using other television systems. The experiments included four television systems: (1) high-definition color television, (2) high-definition monochromatic television, (3) standard-resolution monochromatic television, and (4) standard-resolution stereoscopic monochromatic television. The stereo system accomplished stereoscopy by displaying two cross-polarized images, one reflected by a half-silvered mirror and one seen through the mirror. Observers wore a pair of glasses with cross-polarized lenses so that the left eye received only the view from the left camera and the right eye received only the view from the right camera.

  19. Human problem solving performance in a fault diagnosis task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, W. B.

    1978-01-01

    It is proposed that humans in automated systems will be asked to assume the role of troubleshooter or problem solver and that the problems which they will be asked to solve in such systems will not be amenable to rote solution. The design of visual displays for problem solving in such situations is considered, and the results of two experimental investigations of human problem solving performance in the diagnosis of faults in graphically displayed network problems are discussed. The effects of problem size, forced-pacing, computer aiding, and training are considered. Results indicate that human performance deviates from optimality as problem size increases. Forced-pacing appears to cause the human to adopt fairly brute force strategies, as compared to those adopted in self-paced situations. Computer aiding substantially lessens the number of mistaken diagnoses by performing the bookkeeping portions of the task.

  20. SANDROS: A motion planner with performance proportional to task difficulty

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Pang C.; Hwang, Yong K.

    1991-09-10

    To address the need of a practical motion planner for manipulators, we present an efficient and resolution-complete algorithm that has performance commensurate with task difficulty. The algorithm uses SANDROS, a new search strategy that combines hierarchical, nonuniform-multi-resolution, and best-fit search to find a near-optimal solution in the configuration space. This algorithm can be applied to any manipulator, and has been tested with 5 and 6-degree-of-freedom robots, with execution time ranging from 20 seconds to 10 minutes on a 16 MIPS workstation. 14 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Testing the embodied account of object naming: a concurrent motor task affects naming artifacts and animals.

    PubMed

    Matheson, Heath E; White, Nicole; McMullen, Patricia A

    2014-01-01

    Embodied theories of object representation propose that the same neural networks are involved in encoding and retrieving object knowledge. In the present study, we investigated whether motor programs play a causal role in the retrieval of object names. Participants performed an object-naming task while squeezing a sponge with either their right or left hand. The objects were artifacts (e.g. hammer) or animals (e.g. giraffe) and were presented in an orientation that favored a grasp or not. We hypothesized that, if activation of motor programs is necessary to retrieve object knowledge, then concurrent motor activity would interfere with naming manipulable artifacts but not non-manipulable animals. In Experiment 1, we observed naming interference for all objects oriented towards the occupied hand. In Experiment 2, we presented the objects in more 'canonical orientations'. Participants named all objects more quickly when they were oriented towards the occupied hand. Together, these interference/facilitation effects suggest that concurrent motor activity affects naming for both categories. These results also suggest that picture-plane orientation interacts with an attentional bias that is elicited by the objects and their relationship to the occupied hand. These results may be more parsimoniously accounted for by a domain-general attentional effect, constraining the embodied theory of object representations. We suggest that researchers should scrutinize attentional accounts of other embodied cognitive effects. PMID:24291119

  2. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks

    PubMed Central

    Pilcher, June J.; Baker, Victoria C.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  3. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, June J; Baker, Victoria C

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  4. Young Children's Knowledge About Effects of Affect on Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Jean W.

    1985-01-01

    Addresses the issue of whether preschoolers are aware of the connection between their emotions, their performance on a task of eye-hand coordination, and their evaluation of the task and their performance. Results indicate a developmental trend that children's predictions conform more to mood congruity theory as they grow older. (Author/DST)

  5. Counting-On, Trading and Partitioning: Effects of Training and Prior Knowledge on Performance on Base-10 Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxton, Matthew; Cakir, Kadir

    2006-01-01

    Factors affecting performance on base-10 tasks were investigated in a series of four studies with a total of 453 children aged 5-7 years. Training in counting-on was found to enhance child performance on base-10 tasks (Studies 2, 3, and 4), while prior knowledge of counting-on (Study 1), trading (Studies 1 and 3), and partitioning (Studies 1 and…

  6. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-Disciplinary Review

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1) knowledge about one's own cognitive functioning; and, (2) control over one's own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of meta-cognition and the autonoetic (self) knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on meta-cognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of meta-cognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of meta-cognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in controlling the meta-cognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners' self-efficacy. PMID:26779050

  7. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-Disciplinary Review.

    PubMed

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2015-01-01

    Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1) knowledge about one's own cognitive functioning; and, (2) control over one's own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of meta-cognition and the autonoetic (self) knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on meta-cognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of meta-cognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of meta-cognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in controlling the meta-cognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners' self-efficacy. PMID:26779050

  8. EPIC Computational Models of Psychological Refractory-Period Effects in Human Multiple-Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, David E.; Kieras, David E.

    Perceptual-motor and cognitive processes whereby people perform multiple concurrent tasks have been studied through an overlapping-tasks procedure in which two successive choice-reaction tasks are performed with a variable interval (stimulus onset asynchrony, or SOA) between the beginning of the first and second tasks. The increase in subjects'…

  9. Priming affects poor sleepers but not normal sleepers on an insomnia ambiguity task.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Jason; Gardani, Maria; Hogh, Henriette

    2010-03-01

    With increasing importance being placed on the role of cognitive biases as a maintaining factor in insomnia, the influence of order effects on interpretative responses should be examined and subsequently accounted for. The aim of the present study was to examine whether asking participants about their sleep experiences, prior to testing for a perceptual bias, affects responses on a sleep-related ambiguity task. One hundred and seventeen undergraduate students, blind to the aims of the experiment, were issued either the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes to Sleep scale (DBAS-10) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) before, or following, completion of an Insomnia Ambiguity Task (IAT). As expected, a multivariate analysis of variance showed that the order in which participants completed the task affected the responses on the IAT with those given the DBAS-10 and ISI first, showing greater insomnia-related interpretations than those given the IAT first. However, on closer examination, this effect was evident only for those who were defined as poor sleepers, and that normal sleepers were largely unaffected by the order in which the tests are given. The results are discussed in terms of design and management of sleep-related research protocols involving implicit cognitive tasks. PMID:19895424

  10. The effect of age on postural and cognitive task performance while using vibrotactile feedback.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chia-Cheng; Whitney, Susan L; Loughlin, Patrick J; Furman, Joseph M; Redfern, Mark S; Sienko, Kathleen H; Sparto, Patrick J

    2015-04-01

    Vibrotactile feedback (VTF) has been shown to improve balance performance in healthy people and people with vestibular disorders in a single-task experimental condition. It is unclear how age-related changes in balance affect the ability to use VTF and if there are different attentional requirements for old and young adults when using VTF. Twenty younger and 20 older subjects participated in this two-visit study to examine the effect of age, VTF, sensory condition, cognitive task, duration of time, and visit on postural and cognitive performance. Postural performance outcome measures included root mean square of center of pressure (COP) and trunk tilt, and cognitive performance was assessed using the reaction time (RT) from an auditory choice RT task. The results showed that compared with younger adults, older adults had an increase in COP in fixed platform conditions when using VTF, although they were able to reduce COP during sway-referenced platform conditions. Older adults also did not benefit fully from using VTF in their first session. The RTs for the secondary cognitive tasks increased significantly while using the VTF in both younger and older adults. Older adults had a larger increase compared with younger adults, suggesting that greater attentional demands were required in older adults when using VTF information. Future training protocols for VTF should take into consideration the effect of aging. PMID:25589585

  11. Nogo Receptor 1 Limits Tactile Task Performance Independent of Basal Anatomical Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kast, Ryan J.; Chapman, Katherine S.; Dorton, Hilary M.; Stephany, Céleste-Élise; Arnett, Megan T.; Herman, David H.; McGee, Aaron W.

    2014-01-01

    The genes that govern how experience refines neural circuitry and alters synaptic structural plasticity are poorly understood. The nogo-66 receptor 1 gene (ngr1) is one candidate that may restrict the rate of learning as well as basal anatomical plasticity in adult cerebral cortex. To investigate if ngr1 limits the rate of learning we tested adult ngr1 null mice on a tactile learning task. Ngr1 mutants display greater overall performance despite a normal rate of improvement on the gap-cross assay, a whisker-dependent learning paradigm. To determine if ngr1 restricts basal anatomical plasticity in the associated sensory cortex, we repeatedly imaged dendritic spines and axonal varicosities of both constitutive and conditional adult ngr1 mutant mice in somatosensory barrel cortex for two weeks through cranial windows with two-photon chronic in vivo imaging. Neither constant nor acute deletion of ngr1 affected turnover or stability of dendritic spines or axonal boutons. The improved performance on the gap-cross task is not attributable to greater motor coordination, as ngr1 mutant mice possess a mild deficit in overall performance and a normal learning rate on the rotarod, a motor task. Mice lacking ngr1 also exhibit normal induction of tone-associated fear conditioning yet accelerated fear extinction and impaired consolidation. Thus, ngr1 alters tactile and motor task performance but does not appear to limit the rate of tactile or motor learning, nor determine the low set point for synaptic turnover in sensory cortex. PMID:25386856

  12. The effect of age on postural and cognitive task performance while using vibrotactile feedback

    PubMed Central

    Whitney, Susan L.; Loughlin, Patrick J.; Furman, Joseph M.; Redfern, Mark S.; Sienko, Kathleen H.; Sparto, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Vibrotactile feedback (VTF) has been shown to improve balance performance in healthy people and people with vestibular disorders in a single-task experimental condition. It is unclear how age-related changes in balance affect the ability to use VTF and if there are different attentional requirements for old and young adults when using VTF. Twenty younger and 20 older subjects participated in this two-visit study to examine the effect of age, VTF, sensory condition, cognitive task, duration of time, and visit on postural and cognitive performance. Postural performance outcome measures included root mean square of center of pressure (COP) and trunk tilt, and cognitive performance was assessed using the reaction time (RT) from an auditory choice RT task. The results showed that compared with younger adults, older adults had an increase in COP in fixed platform conditions when using VTF, although they were able to reduce COP during sway-referenced platform conditions. Older adults also did not benefit fully from using VTF in their first session. The RTs for the secondary cognitive tasks increased significantly while using the VTF in both younger and older adults. Older adults had a larger increase compared with younger adults, suggesting that greater attentional demands were required in older adults when using VTF information. Future training protocols for VTF should take into consideration the effect of aging. PMID:25589585

  13. Effects of Task-oriented Approach on Affected Arm Function in Children with Spastic Hemiplegia Due to Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Song, Chiang-Soon

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of task-oriented approach on motor function of the affected arm in children with spastic hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy. [Subjects] Twelve children were recruited by convenience sampling from 2 local rehabilitation centers. The present study utilized a one-group pretest-posttest design. All of children received task-oriented training for 6 weeks (40 min/day, 5 days/week) and also underwent regular occupational therapy. Three clinical tests, Box and Block Test (BBT), Manual Ability Measure (MAM-16), and Wee Functional Independence Measure (WeeFIM) were performed 1 day before and after training to evaluate the effects of the training. [Results] Compared with the pretest scores, there was a significant increase in the BBT, MAM-16, and WeeFIM scores of the children after the 6-week practice period. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that a task-oriented approach to treatment of the affected arm improves functional activities, such as manual dexterity and fine motor performance, as well as basic daily activities of patients with spastic hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy. PMID:25013269

  14. Effects of Task-oriented Approach on Affected Arm Function in Children with Spastic Hemiplegia Due to Cerebral Palsy.

    PubMed

    Song, Chiang-Soon

    2014-06-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of task-oriented approach on motor function of the affected arm in children with spastic hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy. [Subjects] Twelve children were recruited by convenience sampling from 2 local rehabilitation centers. The present study utilized a one-group pretest-posttest design. All of children received task-oriented training for 6 weeks (40 min/day, 5 days/week) and also underwent regular occupational therapy. Three clinical tests, Box and Block Test (BBT), Manual Ability Measure (MAM-16), and Wee Functional Independence Measure (WeeFIM) were performed 1 day before and after training to evaluate the effects of the training. [Results] Compared with the pretest scores, there was a significant increase in the BBT, MAM-16, and WeeFIM scores of the children after the 6-week practice period. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that a task-oriented approach to treatment of the affected arm improves functional activities, such as manual dexterity and fine motor performance, as well as basic daily activities of patients with spastic hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy. PMID:25013269

  15. Upper limb performance and the structuring of joint movement in teenagers with cerebral palsy: the reciprocal role of task demands and action capabilities.

    PubMed

    Figueiredo, Priscilla Rezende Pereira; Silva, Paula Lanna; Avelar, Bruna Silva; da Fonseca, Sérgio Teixeira; Bootsma, Reinoud J; Mancini, Marisa Cotta

    2015-04-01

    Individuals with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) demonstrate reduced performance in upper limb tasks compared to typically developing (TD) peers. We examined whether task conditions modify differences between teenagers with and without CP during a reciprocal aiming task. Twenty teenagers (nine CP and 11 TD) moved a pointer between two targets as fast as possible without missing a target. Task conditions were manipulated by changing the targets' size, by modifying the inertial properties of the pointer and by varying the upper limb used to perform the task (preferred/non-affected and non-preferred/affected upper limbs). While compared to TD peers, CP teenagers exhibited lower performance (longer movement times). Such differences were attenuated when the task was performed with the preferred upper limb and when accuracy requirements were less stringent. CP teenagers were not differentially affected by the pointer inertia manipulation. Task conditions not only affected performance but also joint kinematics. CP teenagers revealed less movement at the elbow and more movement at the shoulder when performing the task with their less skilled upper limb. However, both CP and TD teenagers demonstrated a larger contribution of trunk movement when facing more challenging task conditions. The overall pattern of results indicated that the joint kinematics employed by individuals with unilateral CP constituted adaptive responses to task requirements. Thus, the explanation of the effects of unilateral CP on upper limb behavior needs to go beyond a context-indifferent manifestation of the brain injury to include the interaction between task demands and action capabilities. PMID:25579662

  16. Gum chewing affects academic performance in adolescents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chewing gum may have an impact on improved memory during specific tasks of recognition and sustained attention. Research objective was to determine the effect of gum chewing on standardized test scores and math class grades of eighth grade students. Four math classes, 108 students, were randomized i...

  17. ERP measures of math anxiety: how math anxiety affects working memory and mental calculation tasks?

    PubMed Central

    Klados, Manousos A.; Simos, Panagiotis; Micheloyannis, Sifis; Margulies, Daniel; Bamidis, Panagiotis D.

    2015-01-01

    There have been several attempts to account for the impact of Mathematical Anxiety (MA) on brain activity with variable results. The present study examines the effects of MA on ERP amplitude during performance of simple arithmetic calculations and working memory tasks. Data were obtained from 32 university students as they solved four types of arithmetic problems (one- and two-digit addition and multiplication) and a working memory task comprised of three levels of difficulty (1, 2, and 3-back task). Compared to the Low-MA group, High-MA individuals demonstrated reduced ERP amplitude at frontocentral (between 180–320 ms) and centroparietal locations (between 380–420 ms). These effects were independent of task difficulty/complexity, individual performance, and general state/trait anxiety levels. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported MA are associated with lower cortical activation during the early stages of the processing of numeric stimuli in the context of cognitive tasks. PMID:26578912

  18. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child…

  19. Musical Training, Bilingualism, and Executive Function: A Closer Look at Task Switching and Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician)…

  20. How Stimulus and Task Complexity Affect Monitoring in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koolen, Sophieke; Vissers, Constance Th. W. M.; Egger, Jos I. M.; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are able to update and monitor working memory representations of visual input, and whether performance is influenced by stimulus and task complexity. 15 high-functioning adults with ASD and 15 controls were asked to allocate either elements of abstract figures or…

  1. Gender and Prior Science Achievement Affect Categorization on a Procedural Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hong, Jon-Chao; Lu, Chow-Chin; Wang, Jen-Lian; Liao, Shin; Wu, Ming-Ray; Hwang, Ming-Yueh; Lin, Pei-Hsin

    2013-01-01

    Categorization is one of the main mental processes by which perception and conception develop. Nevertheless, categorization receives little attention with the development of critical thinking in Taiwan elementary schools. Thus, the present study investigates the effect that individual differences have on performing categorization tasks.…

  2. Blind insight: metacognitive discrimination despite chance task performance.

    PubMed

    Scott, Ryan B; Dienes, Zoltan; Barrett, Adam B; Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K

    2014-12-01

    Blindsight and other examples of unconscious knowledge and perception demonstrate dissociations between judgment accuracy and metacognition: Studies reveal that participants' judgment accuracy can be above chance while their confidence ratings fail to discriminate right from wrong answers. Here, we demonstrated the opposite dissociation: a reliable relationship between confidence and judgment accuracy (demonstrating metacognition) despite judgment accuracy being no better than chance. We evaluated the judgments of 450 participants who completed an AGL task. For each trial, participants decided whether a stimulus conformed to a given set of rules and rated their confidence in that judgment. We identified participants who performed at chance on the discrimination task, utilizing a subset of their responses, and then assessed the accuracy and the confidence-accuracy relationship of their remaining responses. Analyses revealed above-chance metacognition among participants who did not exhibit decision accuracy. This important new phenomenon, which we term blind insight, poses critical challenges to prevailing models of metacognition grounded in signal detection theory. PMID:25384551

  3. Performance stability in simultaneous tasks of pedalling and reaction time.

    PubMed

    Arcelin, R; Brisswalter, J

    1999-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to examine the within-subject variability in heart rate, pedal rate, choice reaction time, and error rate during simultaneous tasks of cycling and reaction time. Students in physical education classes exercised a 10-min. submaximal cycloergometer test at a relative power output corresponding to 60% of their own maximal aerobic power, in a replication procedure. Concomitantly, the subjects performed a 2-choice reaction time task from Min. 3 of the exercise bout. No significant differences (p > .05) were found between the individual means in the tests for the diverse parameters. The total intraindividual variability averaged 1.3% for heart rate, 2.2% for pedal rate, and 13.3% for choice reaction time. Because wide within-subject variability was observed (from 7.7 to 16.7%), the reliability of choice reaction time was low. These data suggest that it is necessary to quantify more accurately the intraindividual differences of reaction time measures for the interpretation of exercise-changes in cognitive functioning. PMID:10485101

  4. Effect of caffeine on performances of a perceptual-restructuring task at different stages of practice.

    PubMed

    Broverman, D M; Casagrande, E

    1982-01-01

    Caffeine, a sympathomimetic drug which stimulates the adrenergic nervous system, was hypothesized to exert opposite effects upon performances of a perceptual-restructuring task (the Embedded Figures Task) at different stages of practice. Specifically, caffeine was hypothesized to impair performances of perceptual-restructuring tasks when the task is still novel in early trials; and to facilitate practice induced gains in task performance as the task becomes less novel. Sixty male undergraduates were studied. Each subject was tested on the Embedded Figures Task twice, in one of the following three sequences: caffeine-placebo; placebo-caffeine; and placebo-placebo. Both hypotheses received statistically significant support. PMID:6818581

  5. How sleep deprivation affects psychological variables related to college students' cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, J J; Walters, A S

    1997-11-01

    The effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance psychological variables related to cognitive performance were studied in 44 college students. Participants completed the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal after either 24 hours of sleep deprivation or approximately 8 hours of sleep. After completing the cognitive task, the participants completed 2 questionnaires, one assessing self-reported effort, concentration, and estimated performance, the other assessing off-task cognitions. As expected, sleep-deprived participants performed significantly worse than the nondeprived participants on the cognitive task. However, the sleep-deprived participants rated their concentration and effort higher than the nondeprived participants did. In addition, the sleep-deprived participants rated their estimated performance significantly higher than the nondeprived participants did. The findings indicate that college students are not aware of the extent to which sleep deprivation negatively affects their ability to complete cognitive tasks. PMID:9394089

  6. Boon and Bane of Being Sure: The Effect of Performance Certainty and Expectancy on Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schindler, Simon; Reinhard, Marc-André; Dickhäuser, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has suggested certainty to be an important factor when investigating effects of level of expectancies on future behavior. With the present study, we addressed the interplay of expectancy certainty and level of expectancies regarding task performance. We assumed that certain performance expectancies provide a better basis for the…

  7. Effect of temperature on task performance in officeenvironment

    SciTech Connect

    Seppanen, Olli; Fisk, William J.; Lei, Q.H.

    2006-07-01

    Indoor temperature is one of the fundamental characteristics of the indoor environment. It can be controlled with a degree of accuracy dependent on the building and its HVAC system. The indoor temperature affects several human responses, including thermal comfort, perceived air quality, sick building syndrome symptoms and performance at work. In this study, we focused on the effects of temperature on performance at office work. We included those studies that had used objective indicators of performance that are likely to be relevant in office type work, such as text processing, simple calculations (addition, multiplication), length of telephone customer service time, and total handling time per customer for call-center workers. We excluded data from studies of industrial work performance. We calculated from all studies the percentage of performance change per degree increase in temperature, and statistically analyzed measured work performance with temperature. The results show that performance increases with temperature up to 21-22 C, and decreases with temperature above 23-24 C. The highest productivity is at temperature of around 22 C. For example, at the temperature of 30 C, the performance is only 91.1% of the maximum i.e. the reduction in performance is 8.9%

  8. Instructional Cues Modify Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balodis, Iris M.; MacDonald, Tara K.; Olmstead, Mary C.

    2006-01-01

    The current study investigated whether acute alcohol intoxication produces impaired decision-making on tasks assessing ventromedial prefrontal (VMF) cortex functioning and impulsive responding. Participants completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a decision-making test targeting the VMF, and the Newman Perseveration Task (NT), a measure of…

  9. The Impact of Assessment Tasks on Subsequent Examination Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Gaal, Frank; De Ridder, Annemieke

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the impact of assessment tasks on examination result (measured by examination grades) is investigated. Although many describe the advantages of electronic assessment tasks, few studies have been undertaken which compare a traditional approach using a classical examination with a new approach using assessment tasks. The main…

  10. One Night of Sleep Deprivation Affects Reaction Time, but Not Interference or Facilitation in a Stroop Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cain, Sean W.; Silva, Edward J.; Chang, Anne-Marie; Ronda, Joseph M.; Duffy, Jeanne F.

    2011-01-01

    The Stroop color-naming task is one of the most widely studied tasks involving the inhibition of a prepotent response, regarded as an executive function. Several studies have examined performance on versions of the Stroop task under conditions of acute sleep deprivation. Though these studies revealed effects on Stroop performance, the results…

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

    PubMed

    Botzer, Assaf; Meyer, Joachim; Parmet, Yisrael

    2016-09-01

    Binary cues help operators perform binary categorization tasks, such as monitoring for system failures. They may also allow them to attend to other tasks they concurrently perform. If the time saved by using cues is allocated to other concurrent tasks, users' overall effort may remain unchanged. In 2 experiments, participants performed a simulated quality control task, together with a tracking task. In half the experimental blocks cues were available, and participants could use them in their decisions about the quality of products (intact or faulty). In Experiment 1, the difficulty of tracking was constant, while in Experiment 2, tracking difficulty differed in the 2 halves of the experiment. In both experiments, participants reported on the NASA Task Load Index that cues improved their performance and reduced their frustration. Consequently, their overall score on mental workload (MWL) was lower with cues. They also reported, however, that cues did not reduce their effort. We conclude that cues and other forms of automation may support task performance and reduce overall MWL, but this will not necessarily mean that users will work less hard. Thus, effort and overall MWL should be evaluated separately, if one wants to obtain a full picture of the effects of automation. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27505049

  12. Characterizing “fibrofog”: Subjective appraisal, objective performance, and task-related brain activity during a working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Walitt, Brian; Čeko, Marta; Khatiwada, Manish; Gracely, John L.; Rayhan, Rakib; VanMeter, John W.; Gracely, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The subjective experience of cognitive dysfunction (“fibrofog”) is common in fibromyalgia. This study investigated the relation between subjective appraisal of cognitive function, objective cognitive task performance, and brain activity during a cognitive task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sixteen fibromyalgia patients and 13 healthy pain-free controls completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Multiple Ability Self-Report Questionnaire (MASQ), a measure of self-perceived cognitive difficulties. Participants were evaluated for working memory performance using a modified N-back working memory task while undergoing Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI measurements. Fibromyalgia patients and controls did not differ in working memory performance. Subjective appraisal of cognitive function was associated with better performance (accuracy) on the working memory task in healthy controls but not in fibromyalgia patients. In fibromyalgia patients, increased perceived cognitive difficulty was positively correlated with the severity of their symptoms. BOLD response during the working memory task did not differ between the groups. BOLD response correlated with task accuracy in control subjects but not in fibromyalgia patients. Increased subjective cognitive impairment correlated with decreased BOLD response in both groups but in different anatomic regions. In conclusion, “fibrofog” appears to be better characterized by subjective rather than objective impairment. Neurologic correlates of this subjective experience of impairment might be separate from those involved in the performance of cognitive tasks. PMID:26955513

  13. Alterations in cognitive performance during passive hyperthermia are task dependent

    PubMed Central

    Gaoua, Nadia; Racinais, Sebastien; Grantham, Justin; Massioui, Farid El

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) assess the effect of passive heating upon attention and memory task performance, and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of the application of cold packs to the head on preserving these functions. Using a counterbalance design 16 subjects underwent three trials: a control (CON, 20°C, 40% rH), hot (HOT, 50°C, 50% rH) and hot with the head kept cool (HHC). In each condition, three attention tests and two memory tests were performed. Mean core, forehead and tympanic temperatures were all significantly higher (p< 0.05) during HOT (38.6° ±0.1°, 39.6° ±0.2° and 38.8°±0.1°C, respectively) and HHC (38°±0.2, 37.7°±0.3° and 37.7°C, respectively) than in CON (37.1°±0.6°, 33.3° ±0.2° and 35.9°±0.3°C, respectively). Results indicate that there was impairment in working memory with heat exposure (p < 0.05) without alteration in attentional processes. The regular application of cold packs only prevented the detrimental effect of hyperthermia on short-term memory. Our results show that impairments in cognitive function with passive hyperthermia and the beneficial effect of head cooling are task dependent and suggests that exposure to a hot environment is a competing variable to the cognitive processes. PMID:21070137

  14. Trait Anxiety Modulates Brain Activity during Performance of Verbal Fluency Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gawda, Barbara; Szepietowska, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Trait anxiety is thought to be associated with pathological anxiety, and a risk factor for psychiatric disorders. The present study examines the brain mechanisms associated with trait anxiety during the performing of verbal fluency tasks. The aim is to show how trait anxiety modulates executive functions as measured by verbal fluency, and to explore the link between verbal fluency and anxiety due to the putative negative biases in high-anxious individuals. Seven tasks of verbal fluency were used: letter “k,” “f,” verbs, “animals,” “vehicles,” “joy,” and “fear.” The results of 35 subjects (whole sample), and 17 subjects (nine men, eight women) selected from the whole sample for the low/high-anxious groups on the basis of Trait Anxiety scores were analyzed. The subjects were healthy, Polish speaking, right-handed and aged from 20 to 35 years old. fMRI (whole-brain analysis with FWE corrections) was used to show the neural signals under active participation in verbal fluency tasks. The results confirm that trait anxiety slightly modulates neural activation during the performance of verbal fluency tasks, especially in the more difficult tasks. Significant differences were found in brain activation during the performance of more complex tasks between individuals with low anxiety and those with high anxiety. Greater activation in the right hemisphere, frontal gyri, and cerebellum was found in people with low anxiety. The results reflect better integration of cognitive and affective capacities in individuals with low anxiety. PMID:26903827

  15. [Psychological and stabilographic features in healthy persons performing dual tasks with different quality].

    PubMed

    2013-01-01

    The results of performance of 40 healthy volunteers (29.8 ± 2.47 y.o.) in four dual tasks that included postural balance task as a motor sub-task and calculation as a cognitive sub-task were compared to results of individual psychological assessment which measured working and spatial memory capacity, speed of attention switch etc. Performance of participants in dual tasks was not uniform. For each of four tasks four types of performance were observed. Those included decrease of performance in both or one task and increase of performance in both tasks. In one of the four dual tasks 30% of the group of participants performed in both components of dual task better then in separate motor and cognitive tasks. Better performance in this dual task correlated with higher speed of attention switch, higher estimates of spatial and working memory. Analysis of results of psychological and stabilografic investigations showed negative correlation between speed of sway of center of pressure (CoP) and speed of attention switch test, and also between amplitude of CoP sway along frontal axis and capacity of spatial and working memory. These correlations reflect involvement of cognitive resources in voluntary postural control and motor automatism in successful dual task performance. Selected variant of dual task could be used as an instrument of selection of individuals for activities related to high informational loads. PMID:25508959

  16. [Psychological and stabilographic features in healthy persons performing dual tasks with different quality].

    PubMed

    Zharikov, A V; Zhavoronkova, L A; Kuptsova, S B; Kushnir, E M; Kulikov, M A; Mikhalkova, A A

    2013-01-01

    The results of performance of 40 healthy volunteers (29.8 ± 2.47 y.o.) in four dual tasks that included postural balance task as a motor sub-task and calculation as a cognitive sub-task were compared to results of individual psychological assessment which measured working and spatial memory capacity, speed of attention switch etc. Performance of participants in dual tasks was not uniform. For each of four tasks four types of performance were observed. Those included decrease of performance in both or one task and increase of performance in both tasks. In one of the four dual tasks 30% of the group of participants performed in both components of dual task better then in separate motor and cognitive tasks. Better performance in this dual task correlated with higher speed of attention switch, higher estimates of spatial and working memory. Analysis of results of psychological and stabilografic investigations showed negative correlation between speed of sway of center of pressure (CoP) and speed of attention switch test, and also between amplitude of CoP sway along frontal axis and capacity of spatial and working memory. These correlations reflect involvement of cognitive resources in voluntary postural control and motor automatism in successful dual task performance. Selected variant of dual task could be used as an instrument of selection of individuals for activities related to high informational loads. PMID:25486828

  17. Self-Esteem, Locus of Control, and Task Difficulty as Determinants of Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Richard S.; Lefkowitz, Joel

    1977-01-01

    High school students (N=126) responded to questionnaire measures of chronic self-esteem (CSD), task-specific self-esteem (TSSE), and locus of control of reinforcements (L of C) varied in level of task difficulty (TD). The overall relationships of TSSE and L of C with TP were each moderated significantly by TD. (Author)

  18. Task Complexity, Student Perceptions of Vocabulary Learning in EFL, and Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    Background: The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-ef?cacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a ?ne-tuned task-speci?c level. Aim: The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-ef?cacy beliefs, domain-related…

  19. Simulated Firefighting Task Performance and Physiology Under Very Hot Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Brianna; Snow, Rod; Williams-Bell, Michael; Aisbett, Brad

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the impact of very hot (45°C) conditions on the performance of, and physiological responses to, a simulated firefighting manual-handling task compared to the same work in a temperate environment (18°C). Methods: Ten male volunteer firefighters performed a 3-h protocol in both 18°C (CON) and 45°C (VH). Participants intermittently performed 12 × 1-min bouts of raking, 6 × 8-min bouts of low-intensity stepping, and 6 × 20-min rest periods. The area cleared during the raking task determined work performance. Core temperature, skin temperature, and heart rate were measured continuously. Participants also periodically rated their perceived exertion (RPE) and thermal sensation. Firefighters consumed water ad libitum. Urine specific gravity (USG) and changes in body mass determined hydration status. Results: Firefighters raked 19% less debris during the VH condition. Core and skin temperature were 0.99 ± 0.20 and 5.45 ± 0.53°C higher, respectively, during the VH trial, and heart rate was 14–36 beats.min−1 higher in the VH trial. Firefighters consumed 2950 ± 1034 mL of water in the VH condition, compared to 1290 ± 525 in the CON trial. Sweat losses were higher in the VH (1886 ± 474 mL) compared to the CON trial (462 ± 392 mL), though both groups were hydrated upon protocol completion (USG < 1.020). Participants' average RPE was higher in the VH (15.6 ± 0.9) compared to the CON trial (12.6 ± 0.9). Similarly, the firefighers' thermal sensation scores were significantly higher in the VH (6.4 ± 0.5) compared to the CON trial (4.4 ± 0.4). Conclusions: Despite the decreased work output and aggressive fluid replacement observed in the VH trial, firefighters' experienced increases in thermal stress, and exertion. Fire agencies should prioritize the health and safety of fire personnel in very hot temperatures, and consider the impact of reduced productivity on fire suppression efforts. PMID:26617527

  20. In vivo measurements of limbic glutamate and GABA concentrations in epileptic patients during affective and cognitive tasks: A microdialysis study.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Robert J; Gjini, Klevest; Modur, Pradeep; Meier, Kevin T; Nadasdy, Zoltan; Robinson, Jennifer L

    2016-05-01

    Limbic system structures such as the amygdala (AMG) and the hippocampus (HIPP) are involved in affective and cognitive processing. However, because of the limitations in noninvasive technology, absolute concentrations of the neurotransmitters underlying limbic system engagement are not known. Here, we report changes in the concentrations of the neurotransmitters glutamate (Glu) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the HIPP and the AMG of patients with nonlesional temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing surgery for intracranial subdural and depth electrode implantation. We utilized an in-vivo microdialysis technique while subjects were engaged in cognitive tasks with or without emotional content. The performance of an emotion learning task (EmoLearn) was associated with a significant increase in the concentration of glutamate in the HIPP when images with high valence content were processed, as compared to its concentration while processing images with low valence. In addition, significantly decreased levels of glutamate were found in the AMG when images with predominantly low valence content were processed, as compared to its concentration at baseline. The processing of face stimuli with anger/fear content (FaceMatch task) was accompanied with significantly decreased concentrations of GABA in the AMG and HIPP compared to its levels at the baseline. The processing of shapes on the other hand was accompanied with a significantly decreased concentration of the glutamate in the AMG as well as in the HIPP compared to the baseline. Finally, the performance of a nondeclarative memory task (weather prediction task-WPT) was associated with relatively large and opposite changes in the GABA levels compared to the baseline in the AMG (decrease) and the HIPP (increase). These data are relevant for showing an involvement of the amygdala and the hippocampus in emotional processing and provide additional neurochemical clues towards a more refined model of the functional circuitry of the

  1. A Nonverbal False Belief Task: The Performance of Children and Great Apes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Compared performance of preschool children, chimpanzees, and orangutans on nonverbal task of false-belief understanding and tested children's performance on a verbal version of the same task. Found that children's performance on verbal and nonverbal tasks were highly correlated, and no chimp or orangutan succeeded in the nonverbal false-belief…

  2. Trajectories of Resilience during Dyadic Task Performance among Children Six to Seven Years of Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mykkänen, Arttu; Kronqvist, Eeva-Liisa; Järvelä, Sanna

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to analyse resilience displayed by young children in dyadic task performance situations. Data were collected by videotaping children (aged six to seven years; N?=?40) during a geometrical task performance. Results describe ways in which children confronted the challenges during task performance, and the order in which the…

  3. Context-Sensitive Adjustment of Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Rico; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-01-01

    Performing 2 highly similar tasks at the same time requires an adaptive regulation of cognitive control to shield prioritized primary task processing from between-task (cross-talk) interference caused by secondary task processing. In the present study, the authors investigated how implicitly and explicitly delivered information promotes the…

  4. Summary document of tasks performed on the Shuttle-C/NLS contract

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    During FY92, USBI performed many programmatic related tasks. These programmatic tasks have been categorized as follows: (1) acquisition; (2) project engineering/program planning; and (3) cost. The reports associated with these tasks follow in paragraphs 1.1.1 through 1.3.3. Proceeding each task report is a brief description of the contents contained within.

  5. Exploring the Effect of Red and Blue on Cognitive Task Performances

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Tiansheng; Song, Lu; Wang, Ting T.; Tan, Ling; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on the effect of color on cognitive task performances and have led to two different views. Some researchers think that the influence of red and blue on cognitive tasks is modulated by the difficulty of the task, and other researchers suggest that the influence mainly depends on the type of task. The current study combined these factors to investigate the effect of color on cognitive task performance. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the difficulty of the task to investigate the effect of red and blue on detail-oriented task performance (the proofreading task), whereas in Experiment 2 we manipulated task difficulty to explore the effect of red and blue on creative task performance (the Remote Associates Test). The results showed that red enhanced the performance on a simple detail-oriented task. However, blue improved the performance on a difficult detail-oriented task as well as on both simple and difficult creative tasks. The results of the current study indicate that the type and difficulty of the task together modulate the effect of color on cognitive performances. PMID:27303343

  6. Hydration effects on cognitive performance during military tasks in temperate and cold environments.

    PubMed

    Adam, Gina E; Carter, Robert; Cheuvront, Samuel N; Merullo, Donna J; Castellani, John W; Lieberman, Harris R; Sawka, Michael N

    2008-03-18

    Body water deficits or hypohydration (HYP) may degrade cognitive performance during heat exposure and perhaps temperate conditions. Cold exposure often induces HYP, but the combined effects of cold and HYP on cognitive performance are unknown. This study investigated whether HYP degrades cognitive performance during cold exposure and if physical exercise could mitigate any cold-induced performance decline. On four occasions, eight volunteers completed one hour of militarily-relevant cognitive testing: 30 min of simulated sentry duty/marksmanship, 20 min of a visual vigilance task, a self-report workload assessment, and a mood questionnaire. Testing was conducted in a cold (2 degrees C) or temperate (20 degrees C) environment before and after cycle ergometer (60 min at 60% of VO(2peak)) exercise. Each trial was preceded by 3 h of passive heat stress (45 degrees C) in the early morning with (euhydration, EUH) or without (hypohydration, HYP; 3% body mass) fluid replacement followed by prolonged recovery. HYP did not alter any cognitive, psychomotor, or self-report parameter in either environment before or after exercise. Cold exposure increased (p<0.05) target detection latency in the sentry duty task, adversely affected mood and workload ratings, but had no impact on any other cognitive or psychomotor measure. After completing the exercise bout, there were modest improvements in friend-foe discrimination and total response latency in the sentry duty task, but not on any other performance measures. Moderate HYP had no effect on cognitive and psychomotor performance in either environment, cold exposure produced equivocal effects, and aerobic exercise improved some aspects of military task performance. PMID:18166204

  7. Young L2 learners' performance on a novel morpheme task.

    PubMed

    Kohnert, Kathryn; Danahy, Kerry

    2007-07-01

    The teaching of an invented language rule has been proposed as a possible non-biased, language-independent assessment technique useful in differentiating young L2 learners with specific language impairment from their typically developing peers. The current study explores these notions by testing typically developing sequential bilingual children's ability to learn an invented language rule in either L1 (Spanish) or L2 (English). Participants were 20 children, age 3:6-5:8, who attended a Head Start programme. For all children, Spanish was the primary language spoken in the home and English was the primary language of instruction. Children were randomly assigned two groups. Group L1 was taught the novel language rule in Spanish; Group L2 was taught the novel language rule in English. Performance was better for the L1 group than for the L2 group. Moreover, not all of these typical language learners were able to learn the new rule, even in their strongest language. These findings suggest that even for typically developing children, specific language proficiency as well as individual differences are closely linked to performance on this novel morpheme learning task. PMID:17564857

  8. Transformation of OODT CAS to Perform Larger Tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mattmann, Chris; Freeborn, Dana; Crichton, Daniel; Hughes, John; Ramirez, Paul; Hardman, Sean; Woollard, David; Kelly, Sean

    2008-01-01

    A computer program denoted OODT CAS has been transformed to enable performance of larger tasks that involve greatly increased data volumes and increasingly intensive processing of data on heterogeneous, geographically dispersed computers. Prior to the transformation, OODT CAS (also alternatively denoted, simply, 'CAS') [wherein 'OODT' signifies 'Object-Oriented Data Technology' and 'CAS' signifies 'Catalog and Archive Service'] was a proven software component used to manage scientific data from spaceflight missions. In the transformation, CAS was split into two separate components representing its canonical capabilities: file management and workflow management. In addition, CAS was augmented by addition of a resource-management component. This third component enables CAS to manage heterogeneous computing by use of diverse resources, including high-performance clusters of computers, commodity computing hardware, and grid computing infrastructures. CAS is now more easily maintainable, evolvable, and reusable. These components can be used separately or, taking advantage of synergies, can be used together. Other elements of the transformation included addition of a separate Web presentation layer that supports distribution of data products via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and provision for full Resource Description Framework (RDF) exports of metadata.

  9. Executive Functions are not Affected by 24 Hours of Sleep Deprivation: A Color-Word Stroop Task Study

    PubMed Central

    Dixit, Abhinav; Mittal, Tushar

    2015-01-01

    Background: Sleep is an important factor affecting cognitive performance. Sleep deprivation results in fatigue, lack of concentration, confusion and sleepiness along with anxiety, depression and irritability. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences in professions like armed forces and medicine where quick decisions and actions need to be taken. Color-Word Stroop task is one of the reliable tests to assess attention and it analyzes the processing of information in two dimensions i.e., reading of words and naming of colour. The evidence regarding the effect of sleep deprivation on Stroop interference is conflicting. The present study evaluated the effect of 24 hours of sleep deprivation on reaction time and interference in Stroop task. Materials and Methods: The present study was done on 30 healthy male medical student volunteers in the age group of 18-25 years after taking their consent and clearance from Institute Ethics Committee. Recordings of Stroop task were at three times: baseline (between 7-9 am), after 12 hours (7-9 pm) and after 24 hours (7-9 am, next day). The subjects were allowed to perform normal daily activities. Results: The study revealed a significant increase in reaction time after 24 hours of sleep deprivation in comparison to baseline and after 12 hours of sleep deprivation. There was no significant change in interference and facilitation after sleep deprivation in comparison to baseline. The number of errors also did not show any significant change after sleep deprivation. Conclusion: The study indicated that there was slowing of responses without change in executive functions after 24 hours of sleep deprivation. It is probable that 24 hours of sleep deprivation does not bring about change in areas of brain affecting executive functions in healthy individuals who have normal sleep cycle. The present study indicated that in professions like armed forces and medicine working 24 hours at a stretch can lead to decrease in motor responses

  10. Examining age differences in performance of a complex information search and retrieval task.

    PubMed

    Czaja, S J; Sharit, J; Ownby, R; Roth, D L; Nair, S

    2001-12-01

    This study examined age differences in performance of a complex information search and retrieval task by using a simulated real-world task typical of those performed by customer service representatives. The study also investigated the influence of task experience and the relationships between cognitive abilities and task performance. One hundred seventeen participants from 3 age groups, younger (20-39 years). middle-aged (40-59 years), and older (60-75 years), performed the task for 3 days. Significant age differences were found for all measures of task performance with the exception of navigational efficiency and number of problems correctly navigated per attempt. There were also effects of task experience. The findings also indicated significant direct and indirect relations between component cognitive abilities and task performance. PMID:11766912

  11. Amygdala responses to unpleasant pictures are influenced by task demands and positive affect trait

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Tiago A.; Mocaiber, Izabela; Erthal, Fatima S.; Joffily, Mateus; Volchan, Eliane; Pereira, Mirtes G.; de Araujo, Draulio B.; Oliveira, Leticia

    2015-01-01

    The role of attention in emotional processing is still the subject of debate. Recent studies have found that high positive affect in approach motivation narrows attention. Furthermore, the positive affect trait has been suggested as an important component for determining human variability in threat reactivity. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether different states of attention control would modulate amygdala responses to highly unpleasant pictures relative to neutral and whether this modulation would be influenced by the positive affect trait. Participants (n = 22, 12 male) were scanned while viewing neutral (people) or unpleasant pictures (mutilated bodies) flanked by two peripheral bars. They were instructed to (a) judge the picture content as unpleasant or neutral or (b) to judge the difference in orientation between the bars in an easy condition (0 or 90∘ orientation difference) or (c) in a hard condition (0 or 6∘ orientation difference). Whole brain analysis revealed a task main effect of brain areas related to the experimental manipulation of attentional control, including the amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and posterior parietal cortex. Region of interest analysis showed an inverse correlation (r = -0.51, p < 0.01) between left amygdala activation and positive affect level when participants viewed unpleasant stimuli and judged bar orientation in the easy condition. This result suggests that subjects with high positive affect exhibit lower amygdala reactivity to distracting unpleasant pictures. In conclusion, the current study suggests that positive affect modulates attention effect on unpleasant pictures, therefore attenuating emotional responses. PMID:25788883

  12. How chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) perform in a modified emotional Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Allritz, Matthias; Call, Josep; Borkenau, Peter

    2016-05-01

    The emotional Stroop task is an experimental paradigm developed to study the relationship between emotion and cognition. Human participants required to identify the color of words typically respond more slowly to negative than to neutral words (emotional Stroop effect). Here we investigated whether chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) would show a comparable effect. Using a touch screen, eight chimpanzees were trained to choose between two simultaneously presented stimuli based on color (two identical images with differently colored frames). In Experiment 1, the images within the color frames were shapes that were either of the same color as the surrounding frame or of the alternative color. Subjects made fewer errors and responded faster when shapes were of the same color as the frame surrounding them than when they were not, evidencing that embedded images affected target selection. Experiment 2, a modified version of the emotional Stroop task, presented subjects with four different categories of novel images: three categories of pictures of humans (veterinarian, caretaker, and stranger), and control stimuli showing a white square. Because visits by the veterinarian that include anaesthetization can be stressful for subjects, we expected impaired performance in trials presenting images of the veterinarian. For the first session, we found correct responses to be indeed slower in trials of this category. This effect was more pronounced for subjects whose last anaesthetization experience was more recent, indicating that emotional valence caused the slowdown. We propose our modified emotional Stroop task as a simple method to explore which emotional stimuli affect cognitive performance in nonhuman primates. PMID:26613593

  13. Changes in task self-efficacy and emotion across competitive performances in golf.

    PubMed

    Boardley, Ian D; Jackson, Ben; Simmons, Alexander

    2015-08-01

    This research aimed to investigate (a) the effect of golfers' perceptions of coach motivation efficacy on golfers' precompetition task self-efficacy, (b) the effect of performance on pre-to-postround changes in self-efficacy, (c) the effect of pre-to-postround changes in self-efficacy on pre-to-postround changes in affect and emotion, and (d) whether any effects of performance on pre-to-postcompetition changes in affect and emotion were mediated by pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy. In Study 1, a scale measuring golf self-efficacy was developed and validated using data from 197 golfers. In Study 2, 200 golfers completed this measure alongside measures of coach motivation efficacy, and positive and negative affect before a golf competition; all measures (except coach motivation efficacy) were again completed following the competition. Structural equation modeling showed that coach motivation efficacy positively predicted precompetition self-efficacy, performance positively predicted pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy, which had positive and negative effects, respectively, on pre-to-postcompetition changes in positive and negative affect; mediation analyses demonstrated that pre-to-postcompetition changes in self-efficacy mediated effects of performance on pre-to-postcompetition changes in positive and negative affect. In Study 3, the Study-2 procedures were replicated with a separate sample of 212 golfers, except measures of excitement, concentration disruption, somatic anxiety, and worry replaced those for positive and negative affect. Structural analyses showed the findings from Study 2 were largely replicated when specific emotions were investigated in place of general indices of affect. This investigation makes novel contributions regarding the potential importance of perceptions of coach efficacy for golfers' own efficacy beliefs, and the role personal efficacy beliefs may play in facilitating the effects of performance on affective

  14. An empirically derived figure of merit for the quality of overall task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemay, Moira

    1989-01-01

    The need to develop an operationally relevant figure of merit for the quality of performance of a complex system such as an aircraft cockpit stems from a hypothesized dissociation between measures of performance and those of workload. Performance can be measured in terms of time, errors, or a combination of these. In most tasks performed by expert operators, errors are relatively rare and often corrected in time to avoid consequences. Moreover, perfect performance is seldom necessary to accomplish a particular task. Moreover, how well an expert performs a complex task consisting of a series of discrete cognitive tasks superimposed on a continuous task, such as flying an aircraft, does not depend on how well each discrete task is performed, but on their smooth sequencing. This makes the amount of time spent on each subtask of paramount importance in measuring overall performance, since smooth sequencing requires a minimum amount of time spent on each task. Quality consists in getting tasks done within a crucial time interval while maintaining acceptable continuous task performance. Thus, a figure of merit for overall quality of performance should be primarily a measure of time to perform discrete subtasks combined with a measure of basic vehicle control. Thus, the proposed figure of merit requires doing a task analysis on a series of performance, or runs, of a particular task, listing each discrete task and its associated time, and calculating the mean and standard deviation of these times, along with the mean and standard deviation of tracking error for the whole task. A set of simulator data on 30 runs of a landing task was obtained and a figure of merit will be calculated for each run. The figure of merit will be compared for voice and data link, so that the impact of this technology on total crew performance (not just communication performance) can be assessed. The effect of data link communication on other cockpit tasks will also be considered.

  15. Dizocilpine (MK-801) impairs learning in the active place avoidance task but has no effect on the performance during task/context alternation.

    PubMed

    Vojtechova, Iveta; Petrasek, Tomas; Hatalova, Hana; Pistikova, Adela; Vales, Karel; Stuchlik, Ales

    2016-05-15

    The prevention of engram interference, pattern separation, flexibility, cognitive coordination and spatial navigation are usually studied separately at the behavioral level. Impairment in executive functions is often observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia. We have designed a protocol for assessing these functions all together as behavioral separation. This protocol is based on alternated or sequential training in two tasks testing different hippocampal functions (the Morris water maze and active place avoidance), and alternated or sequential training in two similar environments of the active place avoidance task. In Experiment 1, we tested, in adult rats, whether the performance in two different spatial tasks was affected by their order in sequential learning, or by their day-to-day alternation. In Experiment 2, rats learned to solve the active place avoidance task in two environments either alternately or sequentially. We found that rats are able to acquire both tasks and to discriminate both similar contexts without obvious problems regardless of the order or the alternation. We used two groups of rats, controls and a rat model of psychosis induced by a subchronic intraperitoneal application of 0.08mg/kg of dizocilpine (MK-801), a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. Dizocilpine had no selective effect on parallel/sequential learning of tasks/contexts. However, it caused hyperlocomotion and a significant deficit in learning in the active place avoidance task regardless of the task alternation. Cognitive coordination tested by this task is probably more sensitive to dizocilpine than spatial orientation because no hyperactivity or learning impairment was observed in the Morris water maze. PMID:26970577

  16. Potential Performance Theory (PPT): A General Theory of Task Performance Applied to Morality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trafimow, David; Rice, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    People can use a variety of different strategies to perform tasks and these strategies all have two characteristics in common. First, they can be evaluated in comparison with either an absolute or a relative standard. Second, they can be used at varying levels of consistency. In the present article, the authors develop a general theory of task…

  17. Differential effects of emotionally versus neutrally cued autobiographical memories on performance of a subsequent cognitive task: effects of task difficulty

    PubMed Central

    Young, Kymberly D.; Erickson, Kristine; Drevets, Wayne C.

    2012-01-01

    Attention is a limited resource, and in order to improve processing of the attended information, competing processes must be suppressed. Although it is well established that an experimentally induced change in mood state comprises one type of competing process that can impair performance on a subsequent task, no study has investigated whether an emotionally valenced autobiographical memory (AM) also can alter performance on a subsequent task. We therefore examined the effects of AM recall on cognitive performance. Healthy participants (n = 20 per experiment) recalled AMs in response to positive, negative, and neutral cue words. Following each AM participants completed a simple perceptual task (Experiment 1) or solved moderately difficult subtraction problems (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1 participants performed less accurately following exposure to positive or negative versus neutral cue words (ps < 0.001), and also were less accurate following negative versus positive cue words (p < 0.001). In Experiment 2, in contrast, no difference in accuracy or response times reached statistical significance. Performance accuracy even trended toward being higher following exposure to negative versus neutral cue words (p = 0.08). The results of Experiment 1 suggested that recalling emotionally salient AMs reduces the attention directed toward a simple continuous performance task administered immediately following the AM task, conceivably due to persistent contemplation of the AM. The negative results of Experiment 2 suggested that the effect of AMs on attention was attenuated, however, by increasing the difficulty of the subsequent task. Our results have implications for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), as performing cognitively demanding tasks may allow them to attenuate the impairing effects of negative rumination on cognition. PMID:23060823

  18. Abacus Training Affects Math and Task Switching Abilities and Modulates Their Relationships in Chinese Children.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunjie; Geng, Fengji; Yao, Yuan; Weng, Jian; Hu, Yuzheng; Chen, Feiyan

    2015-01-01

    Our previous work demonstrated that abacus-based mental calculation (AMC), a traditional Chinese calculation method, could help children improve their math abilities (e.g. basic arithmetical ability) and executive function (e.g. working memory). This study further examined the effects of long-term AMC training on math ability in visual-spatial domain and the task switching component of executive function. More importantly, this study investigated whether AMC training modulated the relationship between math abilities and task switching. The participants were seventy 7-year-old children who were randomly assigned into AMC and control groups at primary school entry. Children in AMC group received 2-hour AMC training every week since primary school entry. On the contrary, children in the control group had never received any AMC training. Math and task switching abilities were measured one year and three years respectively after AMC training began. The results showed that AMC children performed better than their peers on math abilities in arithmetical and visual-spatial domains. In addition, AMC group responded faster than control group in the switching task, while no group difference was found in switch cost. Most interestingly, group difference was present in the relationships between math abilities and switch cost. These results implied the effect of AMC training on math abilities as well as its relationship with executive function. PMID:26444689

  19. Abacus Training Affects Math and Task Switching Abilities and Modulates Their Relationships in Chinese Children

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Yuan; Weng, Jian; Hu, Yuzheng; Chen, Feiyan

    2015-01-01

    Our previous work demonstrated that abacus-based mental calculation (AMC), a traditional Chinese calculation method, could help children improve their math abilities (e.g. basic arithmetical ability) and executive function (e.g. working memory). This study further examined the effects of long-term AMC training on math ability in visual-spatial domain and the task switching component of executive function. More importantly, this study investigated whether AMC training modulated the relationship between math abilities and task switching. The participants were seventy 7-year-old children who were randomly assigned into AMC and control groups at primary school entry. Children in AMC group received 2-hour AMC training every week since primary school entry. On the contrary, children in the control group had never received any AMC training. Math and task switching abilities were measured one year and three years respectively after AMC training began. The results showed that AMC children performed better than their peers on math abilities in arithmetical and visual-spatial domains. In addition, AMC group responded faster than control group in the switching task, while no group difference was found in switch cost. Most interestingly, group difference was present in the relationships between math abilities and switch cost. These results implied the effect of AMC training on math abilities as well as its relationship with executive function. PMID:26444689

  20. Intelligence, but Not Emotional Intelligence, Predicts Iowa Gambling Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demaree, Heath A.; Burns, Kevin J.; DeDonno, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a famous and frequently-used neuropsychological task that is thought to reflect real-world decision-making. There has been some debate, however, about the degree to which the IGT involves cold (cognitive) versus hot (emotional) processing. The present study incorporated 68 healthy individuals and used measures of…

  1. The significance of task significance: Job performance effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions.

    PubMed

    Grant, Adam M

    2008-01-01

    Does task significance increase job performance? Correlational designs and confounded manipulations have prevented researchers from assessing the causal impact of task significance on job performance. To address this gap, 3 field experiments examined the performance effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions of task significance. In Experiment 1, fundraising callers who received a task significance intervention increased their levels of job performance relative to callers in 2 other conditions and to their own prior performance. In Experiment 2, task significance increased the job dedication and helping behavior of lifeguards, and these effects were mediated by increases in perceptions of social impact and social worth. In Experiment 3, conscientiousness and prosocial values moderated the effects of task significance on the performance of new fundraising callers. The results provide fresh insights into the effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions of task significance, offering noteworthy implications for theory, research, and practice on job design, social information processing, and work motivation and performance. PMID:18211139

  2. Do general intellectual functioning and socioeconomic status account for performance on the Children's Gambling Task?

    PubMed Central

    Mata, Fernanda; Sallum, Isabela; Miranda, Débora M.; Bechara, Antoine; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F.

    2013-01-01

    Studies that use the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and its age-appropriate versions as indices of affective decision-making during childhood and adolescence have demonstrated significant individual differences in scores. Our study investigated the association between general intellectual functioning and socioeconomic status (SES) and its effect on the development of affective decision-making in preschoolers by using a computerized version of the Children's Gambling Task (CGT). We administered the CGT and the Columbia Mental Maturity Scale (CMMS) to 137 Brazilian children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old to assess their general intellectual functioning. We also used the Brazilian Criterion of Economic Classification (CCEB) to assess their SES. Age differences between 3- and 4-years-old, but not between 4- and 5-years-old, confirmed the results obtained by Kerr and Zelazo (2004), indicating the rapid development of affective decision-making during the preschool period. Both 4- and 5-years-old performed significantly above chance on blocks 3, 4, and 5 of the CGT, whereas 3-years-old mean scores did not differ from chance. We found that general intellectual functioning was not related to affective decision-making. On the other hand, our findings showed that children with high SES performed better on the last block of the CGT in comparison to children with low SES, which indicates that children from the former group seem more likely to use the information about the gain/loss aspects of the decks to efficiently choose cards from the advantageous deck throughout the task. PMID:23760222

  3. Does Motivation Affect Performance via Persistence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollmeyer, Regina; Rheinberg, Falko

    2000-01-01

    Studied the relationships among motivation, persistence, and performance in a sample of 51 German college students. Path analysis showed that initial motivation influenced persistence but that the relationship between persistence and performance was disrupted because learners with more knowledge stopped sooner. (SLD)

  4. Complexity, Accuracy, Fluency and Lexis in Task-Based Performance: A Synthesis of the Ealing Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skehan, Peter; Foster, Pauline

    2012-01-01

    This chapter will present a research synthesis of a series of studies, termed here the Ealing research. The studies use the same general framework to conceptualise tasks and task performance, enabling easier comparability. The different studies, although each is self-contained, build into a wider picture of task performance. The major point of…

  5. Internalizing versus Externalizing Control: Different Ways to Perform a Time-Based Prospective Memory Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Tracy; Loft, Shayne; Humphreys, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    "Time-based prospective memory" (PM) refers to performing intended actions at a future time. Participants with time-based PM tasks can be slower to perform ongoing tasks (costs) than participants without PM tasks because internal control is required to maintain the PM intention or to make prospective-timing estimates. However, external…

  6. Effects of imperfect automation and individual differences on concurrent performance of military and robotics tasks in a simulated multitasking environment.

    PubMed

    Chen, J Y C; Terrence, P I

    2009-08-01

    This study investigated the performance and workload of the combined position of gunner and robotics operator in a simulated military multitasking environment. Specifically, the study investigated how aided target recognition (AiTR) capabilities for the gunnery task with imperfect reliability (false-alarm-prone vs. miss-prone) might affect the concurrent robotics and communication tasks. Additionally, the study examined whether performance was affected by individual differences in spatial ability and attentional control. Results showed that when the robotics task was simply monitoring the video, participants had the best performance in their gunnery and communication tasks and the lowest perceived workload, compared with the other robotics tasking conditions. There was a strong interaction between the type of AiTR unreliability and participants' perceived attentional control. Overall, for participants with higher perceived attentional control, false-alarm-prone alerts were more detrimental; for low attentional control participants, conversely, miss-prone automation was more harmful. Low spatial ability participants preferred visual cueing and high spatial ability participants favoured tactile cueing. Potential applications of the findings include personnel selection for robotics operation, robotics user interface designs and training development. The present results will provide further understanding of the interplays among automation reliability, multitasking performance and individual differences in military tasking environments. These results will also facilitate the implementation of robots in military settings and will provide useful data to military system designs. PMID:19629806

  7. Performance environment and nested task constraints influence long jump approach run: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Panteli, Flora; Smirniotou, Athanasia; Theodorou, Apostolos

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate possible changes at step pattern and technical performance of the long jump approach run in seven young long jumpers by modifying the performance environment (long jump runway versus track lane) and the nested actions (run-through with take-off versus complete long jump). Our findings suggest that the step pattern and technical aspects of the approach run are affected by environmental context and nested task constraints. In terms of environmental context, it appears that practising the training routine of run-through followed by take-off on the long jump runway allows athletes to simulate competition conditions in terms of step regulation and technical efficacy. The task of run-through followed by take-off on the track lane failed to initiate visual perception, step regulation and technical efficiency at the steps preceding the instant of take-off. In terms of nested task constraints, when run-ups were followed by jump for distance instead of only a take-off, a higher level of consistency was achieved and step regulation was based on perception-action coupling. Practising long jump run-up accuracy at a setting not containing the informational elements of the performance environment fails to develop the key elements of the skill. PMID:26390236

  8. The Effect of Predicted Vehicle Displacement on Ground Crew Task Performance and Hardware Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atencio, Laura Ashley; Reynolds, David W.

    2011-01-01

    NASA continues to explore new launch vehicle concepts that will carry astronauts to low- Earth orbit to replace the soon-to-be retired Space Transportation System (STS) shuttle. A tall vertically stacked launch vehicle (> or =300 ft) is exposed to the natural environment while positioned on the launch pad. Varying directional winds and vortex shedding cause the vehicle to sway in an oscillating motion. Ground crews working high on the tower and inside the vehicle during launch preparations will be subjected to this motion while conducting critical closeout tasks such as mating fluid and electrical connectors and carrying heavy objects. NASA has not experienced performing these tasks in such environments since the Saturn V, which was serviced from a movable (but rigid) service structure; commercial launchers are likewise attended by a service structure that moves away from the vehicle for launch. There is concern that vehicle displacement may hinder ground crew operations, impact the ground system designs, and ultimately affect launch availability. The vehicle sway assessment objective is to replicate predicted frequencies and displacements of these tall vehicles, examine typical ground crew tasks, and provide insight into potential vehicle design considerations and ground crew performance guidelines. This paper outlines the methodology, configurations, and motion testing performed while conducting the vehicle displacement assessment that will be used as a Technical Memorandum for future vertically stacked vehicle designs.

  9. The effects of mental representation on performance in a navigation task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barshi, Immanuel; Healy, Alice F.

    2002-01-01

    In three experiments, we investigated the mental representations employed when instructions were followed that involved navigation in a space displayed as a grid on a computer screen. Performance was affected much more by the number of instructional units than by the number of words per unit. Performance in a three-dimensional space was independent of the number of dimensions along which participants navigated. However, memory for and accuracy in following the instructions were reduced when the task required mentally representing a three-dimensional space, as compared with representing a two-dimensional space, although the words used in the instructions were identical in the two cases. These results demonstrate the interdependence of verbal and spatial memory representations, because individuals' immediate memory for verbal navigation instructions is affected by their mental representation of the space referred to by the instructions.

  10. Voice command and the change of mental representation during task performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amalberti, R.; Batejat, D.; Menu, J.-P.

    1987-02-01

    A two task experiment was performed to assess the distribution of mental resources and the competition between mental and speaking resources during task performance. The experiment was designed so that a primary surveillance/detection task was performed along with a secondary task involving the input of flight related information by either keyboard or voice command. Detection time was measured for the primary task and accuracy was determined for both the primary and secondary tasks. Quantitative results show that the use of voice command favors the performance of the primary surveillance task, but, for the secondary task, the voice input was less accurate than the manual keyboard input. Qualitative results with regard to pilot visual comportment and vocal errors are also discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Affectively salient meaning in random noise: a task sensitive to psychosis liability.

    PubMed

    Galdos, Mariana; Simons, Claudia; Fernandez-Rivas, Aranzazu; Wichers, Marieke; Peralta, Concepción; Lataster, Tineke; Amer, Guillermo; Myin-Germeys, Inez; Allardyce, Judith; Gonzalez-Torres, Miguel Angel; van Os, Jim

    2011-11-01

    Stable differences in the tendency to attribute meaning and emotional value to experience may represent an indicator of liability to psychosis. A brief task was developed assessing variation in detecting affectively meaningful speech (speech illusion) in neutral random signals (white noise) and the degree to which this was associated with psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis. Thirty patients, 28 of their siblings, and 307 controls participated. The rate of speech illusion was compared between cases and controls. In controls, the association between speech illusion and interview-based positive schizotypy was assessed. The hypothesis of a dose-response increase in rate of speech illusion across increasing levels of familial vulnerability for psychosis (controls, siblings of patients, and patients) was examined. Patients were more likely to display speech illusions than controls (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-11.7), also after controlling for neurocognitive variables (OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.04-14.1). The case-control difference was more accentuated for speech illusion perceived as affectively salient (positively or negatively appraised) than for neutrally appraised speech illusions. Speech illusion in the controls was strongly associated with positive schizotypy but not with negative schizotypy. In addition, the rate of speech illusion increased with increasing level of familial risk for psychotic disorder. The data suggest that the white noise task may be sensitive to psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis associated with alterations in top-down processing and/or salience attribution. PMID:20360211

  13. Spatiotemporal object history affects the selection of task-relevant properties.

    PubMed

    Schreij, Daniel; Olivers, Christian N L

    2013-02-01

    For stable perception, we maintain mental representations of objects across space and time. What information is linked to such a representation? In this study, we extended our work showing that the spatiotemporal history of an object affects the way the object is attended the next time it is encountered. Observers conducted a visual search for a target among multiple distractors. Either the target location (Experiment 1) or the target feature (Experiment 2) could repeat from trial to trial. The entire visual search display was part of an object that could move in and out of view. Search was speeded when the target property repeated, but especially when the motion trajectory suggested that the same object had emerged. We show that this same-object benefit is tied to both the features and the spatial location of the target. It is most prominent for task-relevant features, but is weak to absent for task-irrelevant target features or for distractors carrying a salient feature. We conclude that attention uses an object-specific memory for relevant target information. Finally, we show that this object-specific memory is not affected by a change in the exterior appearance of the object, but depends on the spatiotemporal history (Experiment 3). PMID:22390295

  14. Effects of amphetamine, morphine, and CP 55, 940 on Go/No-Go task performance in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Koek, Wouter; Gerak, Lisa R; France, Charles P

    2015-08-01

    In humans, impulsivity measured as false alarms in a Go/No-Go task is reportedly decreased by amphetamine and is not affected by oxycodone and delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. To model these findings in animals, three rhesus monkeys were trained to perform a food-reinforced Go/No-Go task. In this task, amphetamine was found to decrease false alarms (i.e. responding during No-Go trials), but only at doses that also decreased hits (i.e. responding during Go trials). Morphine generally decreased hits but not false alarms. The cannabinoid receptor agonist CP 55, 940 decreased both false alarms and hits, but only at doses that also decreased the number of trials completed. Additional studies in animals and humans are necessary to delineate the conditions under which amphetamine and other psychoactive drugs affect impulsivity in Go/No-Go tasks. PMID:26061355

  15. Effects of multitasking on operator performance using computational and auditory tasks.

    PubMed

    Fasanya, Bankole K

    2016-09-01

    This study investigated the effects of multiple cognitive tasks on human performance. Twenty-four students at North Carolina A&T State University participated in the study. The primary task was auditory signal change perception and the secondary task was a computational task. Results showed that participants' performance in a single task was statistically significantly different from their performance in combined tasks: (a) algebra problems (algebra problem primary and auditory perception secondary); (b) auditory perception tasks (auditory perception primary and algebra problems secondary); and (c) mean false-alarm score in auditory perception (auditory detection primary and algebra problems secondary). Using signal detection theory (SDT), participants' performance measured in terms of sensitivity was calculated as -0.54 for combined tasks (algebra problems the primary task) and -0.53 auditory perceptions the primary task. During auditory perception tasks alone, SDT was found to be 2.51. Performance was 83% in a single task compared to 17% when combined tasks. PMID:26886505

  16. The dual task-cost of standing balance affects quality of life in mildly disabled MS people.

    PubMed

    Castelli, Letizia; De Luca, Francesca; Marchetti, Maria Rita; Sellitto, Giovanni; Fanelli, Fulvia; Prosperini, Luca

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the correlations between the dual-task cost (DTC) of standing balance and quality of life (QoL) in mildly disabled patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this cross-sectional study, patients affected by MS with an expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score of 3.0 or less and without an overt balance impairment were tested by means of static posturography under eyes-opened (single-task condition) and while performing the Stroop word-color test (dual-task condition), to estimate the DTC of standing balance. The self-reported 54-item MS quality of life questionnaire (MSQoL-54) was also administered to obtain a MS-specific assessment of health-related QoL. Among the 120 screened patients, 75 (53 women, 22 men) were tested. Although there was no impact of the DTC of standing balance on the physical and mental composite scores of MSQoL-54, patients who had a greater DTC of standing balance scored worse on role limitations due to physical problems (p = 0.007) and social function (p < 0.001), irrespective of demographic and other clinical characteristics including walking performance and cognitive status. However, the EDSS step and fatigue also contributed to reduced scores in these two QoL domains (p-values < 0.01). In conclusion, the phenomenon of cognitive-motor interference, investigated as DTC of standing balance, may affect specific QoL domains even in mildly disabled patients with MS and in the absence of an overt balance dysfunction. PMID:26728268

  17. The eccentricity effect: target eccentricity affects performance on conjunction searches.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, M; Evert, D L; Chang, I; Katz, S M

    1995-11-01

    The serial pattern found for conjunction visual-search tasks has been attributed to covert attentional shifts, even though the possible contributions of target location have not been considered. To investigate the effect of target location on orientation x color conjunction searches, the target's duration and its position in the display were manipulated. The display was present either until observers responded (Experiment 1), for 104 msec (Experiment 2), or for 62 msec (Experiment 3). Target eccentricity critically affected performance: A pronounced eccentricity effect was very similar for all three experiments; as eccentricity increased, reaction times and errors increased gradually. Furthermore, the set-size effect became more pronounced as target eccentricity increased, and the extent of the eccentricity effect increased for larger set sizes. In addition, according to stepwise regressions, target eccentricity as well as its interaction with set size were good predictors of performance. We suggest that these findings could be explained by spatial-resolution and lateral-inhibition factors. The serial self-terminating hypothesis for orientation x color conjunction searches was evaluated and rejected. We compared the eccentricity effect as well as the extent of the orientation asymmetry in these three conjunction experiments with those found in feature experiments (Carrasco & Katz, 1992). The roles of eye movements, spatial resolution, and covert attention in the eccentricity effect, as well as their implications, are discussed. PMID:8539099

  18. Aspects of Performance on Line Graph Description Tasks: Influenced by Graph Familiarity and Different Task Features

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xi, Xiaoming

    2010-01-01

    Motivated by cognitive theories of graph comprehension, this study systematically manipulated characteristics of a line graph description task in a speaking test in ways to mitigate the influence of graph familiarity, a potential source of construct-irrelevant variance. It extends Xi (2005), which found that the differences in holistic scores on…

  19. Iowa gambling task performance in overweight children and adolescents at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

    PubMed

    McNally, Kelly A; Shear, Paula K; Tlustos, Sarah; Amin, Raouf S; Beebe, Dean W

    2012-05-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a nocturnal respiratory disorder associated with cognitive and behavioral sequelae, including impairments in executive functioning (EF). Previous literature has focused on "cool" EF, meaning abilities such as working memory and planning that do not involve affective control requirements. Little is known about the impact OSA may have on "hot" EF that involves regulation of affect and risk-related decision-making, and that may be particularly salient during adolescence, when these skills are rapidly developing. This study examined performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a task believed to assess aspects of "hot" EF, in overweight adolescents at risk for OSA. Consistent with hypotheses, individuals without OSA made more beneficial decisions on the IGT over time, but participants with OSA did not benefit from feedback and continued to make choices associated with higher initial rewards, but greater long-term losses. The relationship between developmental level and IGT performance was moderated by OSA status. Individuals with OSA did not demonstrate the expected developmental gains in performance during the IGT. This finding suggests that OSA may impact the development of critical aspects of EF, or at least the expression of these skills during the developmentally important period of adolescence. PMID:22300670

  20. Student Profiles and Factors Affecting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chansarkar, B. A.; Michaeloudis, A.

    2001-01-01

    Studies the profiling of first year students studying the Quantitative Methods for Business module at a British university, and makes policy recommendations to improve student performance. Indicates that the highest proportion of students are United Kingdom students, 58% of the students are male, and only 30% of the students are mature students.…

  1. Factors affecting performance of engineered barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Blink, J. A., LLNL

    1998-03-01

    For the Yucca Mountain Viability Assessment (VA), a reference design was tentatively selected` In September 1997, and a series of model abstractions are being prepared for the performance assessment (PA) of that design. To determine the sensitivity of peak dose rate at the accessible environment to engineered components, several design options were subjected to the PA models available late in FY97.

  2. FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE OF ENGINEERED BARRIERS

    SciTech Connect

    Blink, J. A.; Bailey, T. W.; Doering, W.; Lee, J. K.; Mccoy, J. K.; McKenzie, D. G.; Sevougian, D.; Vallikat, V.

    1998-03-01

    For the Yucca Mountain Viability Assessment (VA), a reference design was tentatively selected in September 1997, and a series of model abstractions are being prepared for the performance assessment (PA) of that design. To determine the sensitivity of peak dose rate at the accessible environment to engineered components, several design options were subjected to the PA models available late in FY97.

  3. Rotation during lifting tasks: effects of rotation frequency and task order on localized muscle fatigue and performance.

    PubMed

    Horton, Leanna M; Nussbaum, Maury A; Agnew, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Though widely considered to reduce the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, there is limited evidence suggesting that rotating between tasks is effective in doing so. The purpose of the current study was to quantify the effects of rotation and parameters of rotation (frequency and task order) on muscle fatigue and performance. This was done using a simulated lifting task, with rotation between two levels of loading of the same muscle groups. Twelve participants completed six experimental sessions during which repetitive box lifting was performed for one hour either with or without rotation. When rotation was present, it occurred every 15 minutes or every 30 minutes and was between two load levels (box weights). Rotation reduced fatigue and cardiovascular demand compared to the heavier load without rotation, with a mean reduction of ∼33% in perceived discomfort and a ∼17% reduction in percentage of heart rate reserve. Further, rotation increased fatigue and cardiovascular demand compared to the lighter load without rotation, with a mean increase of ∼34% perceived discomfort and a ∼19% increase in percentage of heart rate reserve. Neither rotation frequency nor task order had definitive effects, though maximum discomfort ratings were nearly 20% higher when starting with the lighter load task. These parameters of rotation should be further evaluated under more realistic task conditions. PMID:25551257

  4. Affective and Deliberative Processes in Risky Choice: Age Differences in Risk Taking in the Columbia Card Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Figner, Bernd; Mackinlay, Rachael J.; Wilkening, Friedrich; Weber, Elke U.

    2009-01-01

    The authors investigated risk taking and underlying information use in 13- to 16- and 17- to 19-year-old adolescents and in adults in 4 experiments, using a novel dynamic risk-taking task, the Columbia Card Task (CCT). The authors investigated risk taking under differential involvement of affective versus deliberative processes with 2 versions of…

  5. The Influence of Parkinson's Disease Motor Symptom Asymmetry on Hand Performance: An Examination of the Grooved Pegboard Task

    PubMed Central

    Scharoun, Sara M.; Bryden, Pamela J.; Sage, Michael D.; Almeida, Quincy J.; Roy, Eric A.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the influence of motor symptom asymmetry in Parkinson's disease (PD) on Grooved Pegboard (GP) performance in right-handed participants. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale was used to assess motor symptoms and separate participants with PD into two groups (right-arm affected, left-arm affected) for comparison with a group of healthy older adults. Participants completed the place and replace GP tasks two times with both hands. Laterality quotients were computed to quantify performance differences between the two hands. Comparisons among the three groups indicated that when the nonpreferred hand is affected by PD motor symptoms, superior preferred hand performance (as seen in healthy older adults) is further exaggerated in tasks that require precision (i.e., place task). Regardless of the task, when the preferred hand is affected, there is an evident shift to superior left-hand performance, which may inevitably manifest as a switch in hand preference. Results add to the discussion of the relationship between handedness and motor symptom asymmetry in PD. PMID:26693383

  6. Learning Style and Task Performance in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication: A Case Study of Iranian EFL Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hedayati, Mohsen; Foomani, Elham Mohammadi

    2015-01-01

    The study reported here explores whether English as a foreign Language (EFL) learners' preferred ways of learning (i.e., learning styles) affect their task performance in computer-mediated communication (CMC). As Ellis (2010) points out, while the increasing use of different sorts of technology is witnessed in language learning contexts, it is…

  7. Native Speakers and Task Performance: Comparing Effects on Complexity, Fluency, and Lexical Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Pauline; Tavakoli, Parvaneh

    2009-01-01

    This article argues that a native-speaker baseline is a neglected dimension of studies into second language (L2) performance. If we investigate how learners perform language tasks, we should distinguish what performance features are due to their processing an L2 and which are due to their performing a particular task. Having defined what we mean…

  8. [Tasks performed by nurses at inpatient units in a training hospital].

    PubMed

    Costa, Rita de Almeida; Shimizu, Helena Eri

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze tasks performed by nurses at inpatient units in a large general hospital in Brasilia, Federal District, which also functions as a training hospital. A quantitative, exploratory, descriptive study was carried out and involved a total of 612 hours of direct observation of the activities performed by 18 nurses at the General Medicine, Surgical, Pediatric and Maternity units. The tasks observed were classified as: administration, nursing care delivery, education and related to information system. Nurses dedicate a large part of their time to administrative tasks, followed by tasks related to nursing care delivery and information system, performing almost no educative tasks. PMID:16308621

  9. The difficulty of the postural control task affects multi-muscle control during quiet standing.

    PubMed

    García-Massó, X; Pellicer-Chenoll, M; Gonzalez, L M; Toca-Herrera, J L

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the electromyographic (EMG) coherence between the lower limb and the core muscles when carrying out two postural tasks at different difficulty levels. EMG was recorded in 20 healthy male subjects while performing two independent quiet standing tasks. The first one involved a bipedal stance with the eyes open, while the second consisted of a dominant unipedal stance also with the eyes open. The obtained EMG signals were analysed by computing estimations of EMG-EMG coherence between muscle pairs, both singly (single-pair estimations) and combined (pooled estimations). Pooled and single coherence of anterior, posterior, core, antagonist and mixed pairs of muscles were significant in the 0-5 Hz frequency band. The results indicate that core and antagonist muscle groups, such as the anterior and posterior muscles, share low-frequency neural inputs (0-5 Hz) which could be responsible of the M-modes assembly. The core muscles could therefore provide the necessary synergy to maintain spine stability during the balancing exercise. Finally, differences in EMG-EMG coherence suggest that the muscle synergies formed during unipedal stance tasks are different from those established during bipedal stance. PMID:26942928

  10. Instructions and skill level influence reliability of dual-task performance in young adults.

    PubMed

    Plummer, Prudence; Grewal, Gurtej; Najafi, Bijan; Ballard, Amy

    2015-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the trial-to-trial repeatability of dual-task performance and establish the minimal detectable change (MDC95) of gait-related dual-task interference. Thirty-one healthy young adults (22.5, SD 2.1 years) performed texting and walking tasks in isolation (single-task) and in combination (dual-task). The dual-task was repeated with three different instructional sets regarding how attention should be prioritized (no-priority, gait-priority, texting-priority) in two different environments (low-distraction, high-distraction). Participants performed two trials for each condition. Trial-to-trial repeatability of gait speed, texting speed, texting accuracy, and the relative dual-task effects (DTE) on each was examined using intraclass correlation coefficients and standard error of measurement. MDC95 scores were also computed for each performance measure. Among young adults, reliability of gait speed in a challenging dual-task situation is excellent, even in a high-distraction environment. In the absence of specific task prioritization instructions, changes in dual-task gait speed greater than 0.15m/s or 11.9% DTE represent real change. Reliability of the more novel, non-gait task has poor to good reliability. Dual-task effects are more reliable when participants are given specific instructions about how to prioritize their attention. The findings also suggest that reliability of dual-task performance in a novel or challenging task is greater when individuals are more skilled at the task. Implications for clinical assessment of dual-task performance are discussed. PMID:25891529

  11. Operant Task Performance and Corticosterone Concentrations in Rats Housed Directly on Bedding and on Wire

    PubMed Central

    Freed, Carrie; Martinez, Vicente; Sarter, Martin; DeVries, Courtney; Bergdall, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    The present experiment was designed to investigate the effect of housing conditions on task performance and corticosterone response. Two groups of male F344BNF1 rats were housed on a ventilated rack with ad libitum access to water and a restricted feeding regime. Group 1 was housed in solid-bottom caging with corn cob bedding, whereas group 2 was housed in wire-bottom caging. After learning an operant task, each rat was exposed to acute restraint followed 48 h later by exposure to continuous light. Corticosterone concentrations were determined before and after exposure to each intervention. Contrary to assumptions, housing did not affect task performance. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were similar for the 2 experimental groups, but corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher for the wire-bottom group than the solid-bottom group immediately after the restraint and remained elevated 2 d later. Corticosterone levels decreased in both groups after exposure to continuous light. Overall, the data indicate that subtle but significant differences occur in responses of rats housed on wire-bottom versus solid-bottom caging when the animals are exposed to acute restraint. PMID:18947165

  12. Frontal midline theta reflects individual task performance in a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Maurer, Urs; Brem, Silvia; Liechti, Martina; Maurizio, Stefano; Michels, Lars; Brandeis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Frontal midline (fm-)theta activity has been related to working memory (WM) processes, as it typically increases with WM load. The robustness of this effect, however, varies across studies and subjects, putting limits to its interpretation. We hypothesized that variation in the fm-theta effect may reflect individual differences in task difficulty with increasing WM load as indicated by behavioural responses. We further tested whether effects in the alpha range are robust markers of WM load. We recorded 64-channel EEG from 24 healthy adults while they memorized either 2 or 4 unfamiliar symbols (low vs. high WM load) in a modified Sternberg task. The last 2 s of the retention phase were analyzed for WM load-related changes in the theta (5-7 Hz) and alpha range (lower: 8-10 Hz, upper: 10.5-12.5 Hz). Higher WM load led to less accurate and slower responses. The increase of fm-theta with WM load was most pronounced at fm electrodes, localized to anterior cingulate regions, and correlated with the participants' decrease in accuracy due to higher WM load. Alpha peak frequency increased in the high compared to the low WM load condition, corresponding to a decrease in lower alpha range across all channels. The results demonstrate that previously reported variation in fm-theta workload effects can partly be explained by variation in task difficulty indexed by individual task accuracy. Moreover, the results also demonstrate that alpha WM load effects are prominent when separating upper and lower alpha. PMID:24687327

  13. Method and Apparatus for Performance Optimization Through Physical Perturbation of Task Elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinzel, Lawrence J., III (Inventor); Pope, Alan T. (Inventor); Palsson, Olafur S. (Inventor); Turner, Marsha J. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    The invention is an apparatus and method of biofeedback training for attaining a physiological state optimally consistent with the successful performance of a task, wherein the probability of successfully completing the task is made is inversely proportional to a physiological difference value, computed as the absolute value of the difference between at least one physiological signal optimally consistent with the successful performance of the task and at least one corresponding measured physiological signal of a trainee performing the task. The probability of successfully completing the task is made inversely proportional to the physiological difference value by making one or more measurable physical attributes of the environment in which the task is performed, and upon which completion of the task depends, vary in inverse proportion to the physiological difference value.

  14. Thermal effects on human performance in office environment measured by integrating task speed and accuracy.

    PubMed

    Lan, Li; Wargocki, Pawel; Lian, Zhiwei

    2014-05-01

    We have proposed a method in which the speed and accuracy can be integrated into one metric of human performance. This was achieved by designing a performance task in which the subjects receive feedback on their performance by informing them whether they have committed errors, and if did, they can only proceed when the errors are corrected. Traditionally, the tasks are presented without giving this feedback and thus the speed and accuracy are treated separately. The method was examined in a subjective experiment with thermal environment as the prototypical example. During exposure in an office, 12 subjects performed tasks under two thermal conditions (neutral & warm) repeatedly. The tasks were presented with and without feedback on errors committed, as outlined above. The results indicate that there was a greater decrease in task performance due to thermal discomfort when feedback was given, compared to the performance of tasks presented without feedback. PMID:23871091

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    Although prior work has proposed a number of conditions under which task conflict in teams may improve performance, composition variables have been left unexplored. Given the effects of personality traits on team processes and outcomes demonstrated in prior work, investigating whether specific personality compositions influence the effect of task conflict on team performance is critical to researchers' understanding of conflict in teams. Our results indicate that team-level averages of both openness to experience and emotional stability function as moderators of the relationship between task conflict and team performance. Specifically, task conflict had a positive impact on performance in teams with high levels of openness or emotional stability; in contrast, task conflict had a negative impact on performance in teams with low levels of openness or emotional stability. Thus, when task conflict emerges, teams composed of members who are open minded or emotionally stable are best able to leverage conflict to improve performance. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. PMID:22963513

  16. The Effects of Differential Goal Weights on the Performance of a Complex Financial Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edmister, Robert O.; Locke, Edwin A.

    1987-01-01

    Determined whether people could obtain outcomes on a complex task that would be in line with differential goal weights corresponding to different aspects of the task. Bank lending officers were run through lender-simulation exercises. Five performance goals were weighted. Demonstrated effectiveness of goal setting with complex tasks, using group…

  17. Revisiting the Development of Time Sharing Using a Dual Motor Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getchell, Nancy; Pabreja, Priya

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss and examine how to develop time sharing using a dual motor task and its effects. They state that when one is required to perform two tasks at the same time (time sharing), an individual may experience difficulty in expressing one or both of the tasks. This phenomenon, known as interference, has been studied…

  18. Concurrent cognitive task may improve motor work performance and reduce muscle fatigue.

    PubMed

    Evstigneeva, Maria; Aleksandrov, Aleksandr; Mathiassen, Svend Erik; Lyskov, Eugene

    2012-01-01

    Performance of certain cognitive tasks either during physical load or in rest pauses between boosts might lead to slowing of muscle fatigue and fatigue related decline in performance. Seventeen right-handed healthy volunteers (age 24 ± 1.4, 8 males) participated in this study, aiming to investigate the effect of the level of the cognitive information processing - 1) passive perception of audio stimuli, 2) active stimuli discrimination, 3) active stimuli discrimination following motor response - on motor task performance (handgrip test 30% and 7% of MVC) and muscle fatigue development. Cognitive tasks show the following effects on motor work: i) Perceived fatigue during 30 % MVC (fatiguing) condition developed slower if participant pressed button in response to deviant acoustic stimuli, as compared to passive listening. Counting task, an active task without motor component, took the intermediate position and did not differ significantly from two other cognitive tasks. ii) MVC after 30% MVC (fatiguing) condition tended to decrease stronger when accompanied with passive listening in comparison with both active tasks. iii) Motor task performance during 30% MVC (fatiguing) condition was better for active cognitive task with motor component than for passive task. Active task without motor component took the intermediate position and did not differ significantly from both the other cognitive tasks. PMID:22317158

  19. Operational testing of a figure of merit for overall task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemay, Moira

    1990-01-01

    An overall indicator or figure of merit (FOM), for the quality of pilot performance is needed to define optimal workload levels, predict system failure, measure the impact of new automation in the cockpit, and define the relative contributions of subtasks to overall task performance. A normative FOM was developed based on the calculation of a standard score for each component of a complex task. It reflected some effects, detailed in an earlier study, of the introduction of new data link technology into the cockpit. Since the technique showed promise, further testing was done. A new set of data was obtained using the recently developed Multi-Attribute Task Battery. This is a complex battery consisting of four tasks which can be varied in task demand, and on which performance measures can be obtained. This battery was presented to 12 subjects in a 20 minute trial at each of three levels of workload or task demand, and performance measures collected on all four tasks. The NASA-TLX workload rating scale was presented at minutes 6, 12, and 18, of each trial. A figure of merit was then obtained for each run of the battery by calculating a mean, SD, and standard score for each task. Each task contributed its own proportion to the overall FOM, and relative contributions changed with increasing workload. Thus, the FOM shows the effect of task changes, not only on the individual task that is changed, but also on the performance of other tasks and of the whole task. The cost to other tasks of maintaining constant performance on an individual task can be quantified.

  20. Affectively Salient Meaning in Random Noise: A Task Sensitive to Psychosis Liability

    PubMed Central

    Galdos, Mariana; Simons, Claudia; Fernandez-Rivas, Aranzazu; Wichers, Marieke; Peralta, Concepción; Lataster, Tineke; Amer, Guillermo; Myin-Germeys, Inez; Allardyce, Judith; Gonzalez-Torres, Miguel Angel; van Os, Jim

    2011-01-01

    Stable differences in the tendency to attribute meaning and emotional value to experience may represent an indicator of liability to psychosis. A brief task was developed assessing variation in detecting affectively meaningful speech (speech illusion) in neutral random signals (white noise) and the degree to which this was associated with psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis. Thirty patients, 28 of their siblings, and 307 controls participated. The rate of speech illusion was compared between cases and controls. In controls, the association between speech illusion and interview-based positive schizotypy was assessed. The hypothesis of a dose-response increase in rate of speech illusion across increasing levels of familial vulnerability for psychosis (controls, siblings of patients, and patients) was examined. Patients were more likely to display speech illusions than controls (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4–11.7), also after controlling for neurocognitive variables (OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.04–14.1). The case-control difference was more accentuated for speech illusion perceived as affectively salient (positively or negatively appraised) than for neutrally appraised speech illusions. Speech illusion in the controls was strongly associated with positive schizotypy but not with negative schizotypy. In addition, the rate of speech illusion increased with increasing level of familial risk for psychotic disorder. The data suggest that the white noise task may be sensitive to psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis associated with alterations in top-down processing and/or salience attribution. PMID:20360211

  1. Understanding the Effects of Long-duration Space Flight on Astronant Functional Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Batson, Crystal D.; Buxton, Roxanne E.; Feiveson, Al H.; Kofman, Igor S.; Lee, Stuart M. C.; Miller, Chris A.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Peters, Brian T.; Phillips, Tiffany; Platts, Steven H.; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori L.; Reschke, Millard F.; Ryder, Jeff W.; Stenger, Michael B.; Taylor, Laura C.

    2014-01-01

    Space flight is known to cause alterations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These physiological changes cause balance, gait and visual disturbances, cardiovascular deconditioning, and loss of muscle mass and strength. These changes may affect a crewmember's ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. To understand how changes in physiological function affect functional performance, an interdisciplinary pre- and postflight testing regimen, Functional Task Test (FTT), was developed to systematically evaluate both astronaut functional performance and related physiological changes. Ultimately this information will be used to assess performance risks and inform the design of countermeasures for exploration class missions. We are currently conducting the FTT study on International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers before and after 6-month expeditions. Additionally, in a corresponding study we are using the FTT protocol on subjects before and after 70 days of 6deg head-down bed-rest as an analog for space flight. Bed-rest provides the opportunity for us to investigate the role of prolonged axial body unloading in isolation from the other physiological effects produced by exposure to the microgravity environment of space flight. Therefore, the bed rest analog allows us to investigate the impact of body unloading on both functional tasks and on the underlying physiological factors that lead to decrement in performance and then compare them with the results obtained in our space flight study. Functional tests included ladder climbing, hatch opening, jump down, manual manipulation of objects and tool use, seat egress and obstacle avoidance, recovery from a fall and object translation tasks. Physiological measures included assessments of postural and gait control, dynamic visual acuity, fine motor control, plasma volume, heart rate, blood pressure

  2. An Analysis of Tasks Performed in the Ornamental Horticulture Industry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berkey, Arthur L.; Drake, William E.

    This publication is the result of a detailed task analysis study of the ornamental horticulture industry in New York State. Nine types of horticulture businesses identified were: (1) retail florists, (2) farm and garden supply store, (3) landscape services, (4) greenhouse production, (5) nursery production, (6) turf production, (7) arborist…

  3. Performance of Healthy Participants on the Iowa Gambling Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steingroever, Helen; Wetzels, Ruud; Horstmann, Annette; Neumann, Jane; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2013-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994) is often used to assess decision-making deficits in clinical populations. The interpretation of the results hinges on 3 key assumptions: (a) healthy participants learn to prefer the good options over the bad options; (b) healthy participants show homogeneous choice behavior;…

  4. Increasing On-Task Performance for Students with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowler, Mary

    2010-01-01

    Inattention and/or impulsivity and hyperactivity are the core symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the day-to-day grind of teaching, when problems emerge, the teachers' best intentions and sensitivities are tested. Fidgety, loud, disorganized, disruptive, hurried, careless, and off-task behavior coupled with messy,…

  5. Early Electro-Cortical Correlates of Inspection Time Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, David; Saville, Christopher W. N.; Kiely, Siobhan; Roberts, Mark V.; Boehm, Stephan G.; Haenschel, Corinna; Klein, Christoph

    2011-01-01

    The concept of general intelligence ("g") summarizes the well established finding that scores on separate cognitive tasks are positively correlated, indicating a trait common to many aspects of information processing. Inspection time is a well-established correlate of IQ, where those of a higher IQ can correctly identify a briefly presented…

  6. The Attentional Boost Effect: Transient Increases in Attention to One Task Enhance Performance in a Second Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swallow, Khena M.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2010-01-01

    Recent work on event perception suggests that perceptual processing increases when events change. An important question is how such changes influence the way other information is processed, particularly during dual-task performance. In this study, participants monitored a long series of distractor items for an occasional target as they…

  7. Modeling the Psychometric Properties of Complex Performance Assessment Tasks Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis: A Multistage Model for Calibrating Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahraman, Nilufer; De Champlain, Andre; Raymond, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Item-level information, such as difficulty and discrimination are invaluable to the test assembly, equating, and scoring practices. Estimating these parameters within the context of large-scale performance assessments is often hindered by the use of unbalanced designs for assigning examinees to tasks and raters because such designs result in very…

  8. Hippocampal lesions impair performance on a conditional delayed matching and non-matching to position task in the rat.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Hazel L; Döbrössy, Màtè; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2006-08-10

    The hippocampus is thought to be involved in a range of cognitive processes, from the ability to acquire new memories, to the ability to learn about spatial relationships. Humans and monkeys with damage to the hippocampus are typically impaired on delayed matching to sample tasks, of which the operant delayed matching to position task (DMTP) is a rat analogue. The reported effects of hippocampal damage on DMTP vary, ranging from delay-dependent deficits to no deficit whatsoever. The present study investigates a novel memory task; the conditional delayed matching/non-matching to position task (CDM/NMTP) in the Skinner box. CDM/NMTP uses the presence of specific stimulus cues to signify whether a particular trial is matching or non-matching in nature. Thus, it incorporates both the task contingencies within one session, and supplements the requirement for remembering the side of the lever in the sample phase with attending to the stimulus and remembering the conditional discrimination for the rule. Rats were trained preoperatively and the effects of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the hippocampus were examined on postoperative retention of the task. Rats with lesions of the hippocampus incurred a significant impairment on the task that was manifest at all delays intervals. Despite a bias towards matching during training, trials of either type were performed with equivalent accuracy and neither rule was affected differentially by the lesion. This task may prove useful in determining the cognitive roles of a range of brain areas. PMID:16697059

  9. Striatal dopaminergic dysfunction at rest and during task performance in writer’s cramp

    PubMed Central

    Hallett, Mark; Herscovitch, Peter; Simonyan, Kristina

    2013-01-01

    Writer’s cramp is a task-specific focal hand dystonia characterized by involuntary excessive muscle contractions during writing. Although abnormal striatal dopamine receptor binding has been implicated in the pathophysiology of writer’s cramp and other primary dystonias, endogenous dopamine release during task performance has not been previously investigated in writer’s cramp. Using positron emission tomography imaging with the D2/D3 antagonist 11C-raclopride, we analysed striatal D2/D3 availability at rest and endogenous dopamine release during sequential finger tapping and speech production tasks in 15 patients with writer’s cramp and 15 matched healthy control subjects. Compared with control subjects, patients had reduced 11C-raclopride binding to D2/D3 receptors at rest in the bilateral striatum, consistent with findings in previous studies. During the tapping task, patients had decreased dopamine release in the left striatum as assessed by reduced change in 11C-raclopride binding compared with control subjects. One cluster of reduced dopamine release in the left putamen during tapping overlapped with a region of reduced 11C-raclopride binding to D2/D3 receptors at rest. During the sentence production task, patients showed increased dopamine release in the left striatum. No overlap between altered dopamine release during speech production and reduced 11C-raclopride binding to D2/D3 receptors at rest was seen. Striatal regions where D2/D3 availability at rest positively correlated with disease duration were lateral and non-overlapping with striatal regions showing reduced D2/D3 receptor availability, except for a cluster in the left nucleus accumbens, which showed a negative correlation with disease duration and overlapped with striatal regions showing reduced D2/D3 availability. Our findings suggest that patients with writer’s cramp may have divergent responses in striatal dopamine release during an asymptomatic motor task involving the dystonic hand

  10. [Effects of long term mental arithmetic on physiological parameters, subjective indices and task performances].

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shimpei; Miyake, Shinji

    2007-03-01

    This study examined the effects of long term mental arithmetic on physiological parameters, subjective indices and task performances to investigate the psychophysiological changes induced by mental tasks. Fifteen male university students performed six successive trials of a ten-minute mental arithmetic task. They took a five-minute resting period before and after the tasks. CFF (Critical Flicker Fusion frequency) and subjective fatigue scores using a visual analog scale, POMS (Profiles of Mood States) and SFF (Subjective Feelings of Fatigue) were obtained after each task and resting period. The voices of participants who were instructed to speak five Japanese vowels ('a', 'i', 'u', 'e', 'o') were recorded after each block to investigate a chaotic property of vocal signals that is reported to be changed by fatigue. Subjective workload ratings were also obtained by the NASA-TLX (National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index) after the task. Physiological signals of ECG (Electrocardiogram), PTG (Photoelectric Plethysmogram), SCL (Skin Conductance Level), TBV (Tissue Blood Volume) and Respiration were recorded for all experimental blocks. The number of answers, correct rates and average levels of task difficulty for each ten-minute task were used as task performance indices. In this experiment, the task performance did not decrease, whereas subjective fatigue increased. Activation of the sympathetic nervous system was suggested by physiological parameters. PMID:17380727

  11. Effects of environmental enrichment on cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial holeboard discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Grimberg-Henrici, Charlotte G E; Vermaak, Paul; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, F Josef

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the effects of environmental enrichment on the cognitive performance of female conventional farm (growing) pigs in a spatial holeboard task. Ten pairs of littermates matched for weight were used. From each litter, one piglet was randomly assigned to a barren environment; the other was assigned to an enriched environment from 4 weeks of age. The enriched environment was double the size of the barren environment, had a floor covered with straw, a rooting area filled with peat, and one of the four different enrichment toys which were exchanged daily. Starting at 11 weeks of age, all pigs were tested in a spatial holeboard discrimination task in which 4 out of 16 holes were baited. Furthermore, basal salivary cortisol levels of all pigs were determined after the end of all testing. All pigs were able to acquire the pattern of baited holes (acquisition phase, 40 trials) and the diagonally mirrored pattern (reversal phase, 20 trials). During the acquisition phase, the reference memory performance of the enriched-housed pigs was better than that of their barren-housed littermates, i.e. they reduced visits to the unbaited set of holes. During the reversal phase, enriched-housed pigs had a better general working memory performance than the barren-housed pigs as indicated by reduced revisits to holes already visited during a trial, irrespective of whether they were of the baited or the unbaited set. The enriched-housed pigs also searched for the hidden bait faster during both phases. The environments did not affect basal salivary cortisol levels. In conclusion, environmental enrichment slightly improved the cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial learning task. We hypothesise that the long period of habituation to and testing in the holeboard acted as enrichment that partially reduced the effects of barren housing. PMID:26520648

  12. Differences in MEG gamma oscillatory power during performance of a prosaccade task in adolescents with FASD

    PubMed Central

    Stephen, Julia M.; Coffman, Brian A.; Stone, David B.; Kodituwakku, Piyadasa

    2013-01-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by a broad range of behavioral and cognitive deficits that impact the long-term quality of life for affected individuals. However, the underlying changes in brain structure and function associated with these cognitive impairments are not well-understood. Previous studies identified deficits in behavioral performance of prosaccade tasks in children with FASD. In this study, we investigated group differences in gamma oscillations during performance of a prosaccade task. We collected magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from 15 adolescents with FASD and 20 age-matched healthy controls (HC) with a mean age of 15.9 ± 0.4 years during performance of a prosaccade task. Eye movement was recorded and synchronized to the MEG data using an MEG compatible eye-tracker. The MEG data were analyzed relative to the onset of the visual saccade. Time-frequency analysis was performed using Fieldtrip with a focus on group differences in gamma-band oscillations. Following left target presentation, we identified four clusters over right frontal, right parietal, and left temporal/occipital cortex, with significantly different gamma-band (30–50 Hz) power between FASD and HC. Furthermore, visual M100 latencies described in Coffman etal. (2012) corresponded with increased gamma power over right central cortex in FASD only. Gamma-band differences were not identified for stimulus-averaged responses implying that these gamma-band differences were related to differences in saccade network functioning. These differences in gamma-band power may provide indications of atypical development of cortical networks in individuals with FASD. PMID:24399957

  13. Differences in MEG gamma oscillatory power during performance of a prosaccade task in adolescents with FASD.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Julia M; Coffman, Brian A; Stone, David B; Kodituwakku, Piyadasa

    2013-01-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by a broad range of behavioral and cognitive deficits that impact the long-term quality of life for affected individuals. However, the underlying changes in brain structure and function associated with these cognitive impairments are not well-understood. Previous studies identified deficits in behavioral performance of prosaccade tasks in children with FASD. In this study, we investigated group differences in gamma oscillations during performance of a prosaccade task. We collected magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from 15 adolescents with FASD and 20 age-matched healthy controls (HC) with a mean age of 15.9 ± 0.4 years during performance of a prosaccade task. Eye movement was recorded and synchronized to the MEG data using an MEG compatible eye-tracker. The MEG data were analyzed relative to the onset of the visual saccade. Time-frequency analysis was performed using Fieldtrip with a focus on group differences in gamma-band oscillations. Following left target presentation, we identified four clusters over right frontal, right parietal, and left temporal/occipital cortex, with significantly different gamma-band (30-50 Hz) power between FASD and HC. Furthermore, visual M100 latencies described in Coffman etal. (2012) corresponded with increased gamma power over right central cortex in FASD only. Gamma-band differences were not identified for stimulus-averaged responses implying that these gamma-band differences were related to differences in saccade network functioning. These differences in gamma-band power may provide indications of atypical development of cortical networks in individuals with FASD. PMID:24399957

  14. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks.

    PubMed

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing children with no known disorders. The research is reviewed here with a focus on the types of cognitive and academic tasks that have been related to insufficient sleep. A series of studies is described that relates sleep parameters to the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and other, similar measures. Implications for educators and psychologists who work with children are discussed. PMID:25279390

  15. Effects of task performance, helping, voice, and organizational loyalty on performance appraisal ratings.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Steven W; Podsakoff, Philip M; Pierce, Jason R

    2008-01-01

    Despite the fact that several studies have investigated the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and performance appraisal ratings, the vast majority of these studies have been cross-sectional, correlational investigations conducted in organizational settings that do not allow researchers to establish the causal nature of this relationship. To address this lack of knowledge regarding causality, the authors conducted 2 studies designed to investigate the effects of task performance, helping behavior, voice, and organizational loyalty on performance appraisal evaluations. Findings demonstrated that each of these forms of behavior has significant effects on performance evaluation decisions and suggest that additional attention should be directed at both voice and organizational loyalty as important forms of citizenship behavior aimed at the organization. PMID:18211140

  16. Learners' Perceptions of the Benefits of Voice Tool-Based Tasks on Their Spoken Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilches, Astrid

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate learners' perceptions of the benefits of tasks using voice tools to reinforce their oral skills. Additionally, this study seeks to determine what aspects of task design affected the students' perceptions. Beginner learners aged 18 to 36 with little or no experience in the use of technological tools for…

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

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo-Moreno, Geisa B.; González-Garrido, Andrés A.; Gudayol-Ferré, Esteban; Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the effects of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) on cognitive functions. T1D onset usually occurs during childhood, so it is possible that the brain could be affected during neurodevelopment. We selected young patients of normal intelligence with T1D onset during neurodevelopment, no complications from diabetes, and adequate glycemic control. The purpose of this study was to compare the neural BOLD activation pattern in a group of patients with T1D versus healthy control subjects while performing a visuospatial working memory task. Sixteen patients and 16 matched healthy control subjects participated. There was no significant statistical difference in behavioral performance between the groups, but, in accordance with our hypothesis, results showed distinct brain activation patterns. Control subjects presented the expected activations related to the task, whereas the patients had greater activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, basal ganglia, posterior cerebellum, and substantia nigra. These different patterns could be due to compensation mechanisms that allow them to maintain a behavioral performance similar to that of control subjects. PMID:26266268

  18. Performance-based workload assessment: Allocation strategy and added task sensitivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vidulich, Michael A.

    1990-01-01

    The preliminary results of a research program investigating the use of added tasks to evaluate mental workload are reviewed. The focus of the first studies was a reappraisal of the traditional secondary task logic that encouraged the use of low-priority instructions for the added task. It was believed that such low-priority tasks would encourage subjects to split their available resources among the two tasks. The primary task would be assigned all the resources it needed, and any remaining reserve capacity would be assigned to the secondary task. If the model were correct, this approach was expected to combine sensitivity to primary task difficulty with unintrusiveness to primary task performance. The first studies of the current project demonstrated that a high-priority added task, although intrusive, could be more sensitive than the traditional low-priority secondary task. These results suggested that a more appropriate model of the attentional effects associated with added task performance might be based on capacity switching, rather than the traditional optimal allocation model.

  19. Test of a model linking employee positive moods and task performance.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Wei-Chi; Chen, Chien-Cheng; Liu, Hui-Lu

    2007-11-01

    Past empirical evidence has demonstrated that employees' positive mood states predict task performance. This study extends previous research by proposing and testing a model that examines mediating processes underlying the relationship between employee positive moods and task performance. Two longitudinal studies used data collected from 306 (Study 1) and 263 (Study 2) insurance sales agents in Taiwan. The results showed that employee positive moods predicted task performance indirectly through both interpersonal (helping other coworkers and coworker helping and support) and motivational (self-efficacy and task persistence) processes. PMID:18020797

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Changes in task-extrinsic context do not affect the persistence of long-term cumulative structural priming.

    PubMed

    Kutta, Timothy J; Kaschak, Michael P

    2012-11-01

    We present two experiments exploring the role of extrinsic memory factors (i.e., factors that are extrinsic to the primary task that is being performed) and intrinsic memory factors (i.e., factors that are intrinsic to the primary task being completed) in the persistence of cumulative structural priming effects. Participants completed a two-phase experiment, where the first phase established a bias toward producing either the double object or prepositional object construction, and the second phase assessed the effects of this bias. Extrinsic memory factors were manipulated by having participants complete the two phases of the study in the same or different locations (physical context change) or while watching the same or different videos (video context change). Participants completed the second phase of the study 10 min after the first phase of the study in Experiment 1, and after a delay of 1 week in Experiment 2. Results suggest that the observed structural priming effects were not affected by manipulations of extrinsic memory factors. These data suggest that explicit memory does not play a large role in the long-term persistence of cumulative structural priming effects. PMID:23103416

  3. Timing Is Affected by Demands in Memory Search but Not by Task Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fortin, Claudette; Schweickert, Richard; Gaudreault, Remi; Viau-Quesnel, Charles

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that timing and tasks involving executive control processes might require the same attentional resources. This should lead to interference when timing and executive tasks are executed concurrently. This study examined the interference between timing and task switching, an executive function. In 4 experiments, memory search…

  4. Which Factors Affect Hand Selection in Children's Grasping in Hemispace? Combined Effects of Task Demand and Motor Dominance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leconte, Pascale; Fagard, Jacqueline

    2006-01-01

    Sixty-five right- and left-handed preschool and school children were tested on three reach-to-grasp tasks of different levels of complexity, performed in three space locations. Our goal was to evaluate how the effect of attentional information related to object location interacts with task complexity and degree of handedness on children's hand…

  5. Exploring the Performance Differences on the Flicker Task and the Conners' Continuous Performance Test in Adults with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Andrew L.; Shapiro, Steven K.

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To examine the ability of the flicker task to demonstrate greater utility in discriminating performance in young adults with and without ADHD compared to the Conners' CPT (CCPT). Method: Flicker task and CCPT performance were compared between an ADHD (n = 28) and control (n = 30) group of college students. Results: This study replicated…

  6. The effects of voice and manual control mode on dual task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wickens, C. D.; Zenyuh, J.; Culp, V.; Marshak, W.

    1986-01-01

    Two fundamental principles of human performance, compatibility and resource competition, are combined with two structural dichotomies in the human information processing system, manual versus voice output, and left versus right cerebral hemisphere, in order to predict the optimum combination of voice and manual control with either hand, for time-sharing performance of a dicrete and continuous task. Eight right handed male subjected performed a discrete first-order tracking task, time-shared with an auditorily presented Sternberg Memory Search Task. Each task could be controlled by voice, or by the left or right hand, in all possible combinations except for a dual voice mode. When performance was analyzed in terms of a dual-task decrement from single task control conditions, the following variables influenced time-sharing efficiency in diminishing order of magnitude, (1) the modality of control, (discrete manual control of tracking was superior to discrete voice control of tracking and the converse was true with the memory search task), (2) response competition, (performance was degraded when both tasks were responded manually), (3) hemispheric competition, (performance degraded whenever two tasks were controlled by the left hemisphere) (i.e., voice or right handed control). The results confirm the value of predictive models invoice control implementation.

  7. The Impact of Moderate Sleep Loss on Neurophysiologic Signals during Working-Memory Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael E.; McEvoy, Linda K.; Gevins, Alan

    2006-01-01

    Study Objectives This study examined how sleep loss affects neurophysiologic signals related to attention and working memory. Design Subjective sleepiness, resting-state electroencephalogram, and behavior and electroencephalogram during performance of working-memory tasks were recorded in a within-subject, repeated-measures design. Setting Data collection occurred in a computerized laboratory setting. Participants Sixteen healthy adults (mean age, 26 years; 8 female) Interventions Data from alert daytime baseline tests were compared with data from tests during a late-night, extended-wakefulness session that spanned up to 21 hours of sleep deprivation. Measurements and Results Alertness measured both subjectively and electrophysiologically decreased monotonically with increasing sleep deprivation. A lack of alertness-related changes in electroencephalographic measures of the overall mental effort exerted during task execution indicated that participants attempted to maintain high levels of performance throughout the late-night tests. Despite such continued effort, responses became slower, more variable, and more error prone within 1 hour after participants' normal time of sleep onset. This behavior failure was accompanied by significant degradation of event-related brain potentials related to the transient focusing of attention. Conclusions Moderate sleep loss compromises the function of neural circuits critical to subsecond attention allocation during working-memory tasks, even when an effort is made to maintain wakefulness and performance. Multivariate analyses indicate that combinations of working-memory-related behavior and neurophysiologic measures can be sensitive enough to permit reliable detection of such effects of sleep loss in individuals. Similar methods might prove useful for assessment of functional alertness in patients with sleep disorders. PMID:12405615

  8. Factors Influencing Children's Performances of a Steady-State Bimanual Coordination Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lantero, Dawn A.; Ringenbach, Shannon D.

    2009-01-01

    Children ages 4, 6, and 8 years and adults performed self-selected, continuous, unimanual and bimanual coordination tasks for 30 s. The length of time performing the task was investigated as a potential control parameter. As hypothesized, all groups spent less time in antiphase than in in-phase coordination as the trial continued. These results…

  9. Social Class, Sex Differences and Performance on Cognitive Tasks Among Two-Year-Old Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reppucci, N. Dickon

    The goal of the present study was to investigate the relation between sex, social class as indexed by parental education level, and performance on three different types of cognitive tasks among two year old children. It was expected that social class would be related positively to superior performance on all the tasks for girls but unrelated for…

  10. The Effects of Background Music on Primary School Pupils' Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hallam, Susan; Price, John; Katsarou, Georgia

    2002-01-01

    Presents two studies that explored the effects of music perceived as calming and relaxing on arithmetic and memory performance tasks of 10- to 12-year-old children. Reports that the calming music led to better performance on both tasks when compared with the non-music condition. Includes references. (CMK)

  11. Effects of Music Loudness on Task Performance and Self-Report of College-Aged Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfe, David E.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of the loudness of background music on task performance of college students was studied. Results indicated that the experimental conditions had no significant effect on task performance; the majority of students did recognize the music; and students in the 80-90 B group perceived the music as most distracting. (Author/IS)

  12. An Investigation of the Performance of Kindergarten Children on Quantitative Class Inclusion Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Violet B.

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether kindergarten children could perform successfully on Piagetian class inclusion tasks and whether their performance was a function of the types of conditions under which the task was presented. Children were asked to classify items based on a physical attribute not visually perceptible (painted…

  13. Tasks Essential to Successful Performance as a Tobacco Producer. Summary of Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, David M.; And Others

    The major purpose of the occupational survey was to identify the skills which are performed and essential for success for a tobacco producer. The specific objectives of this survey were: (1) develop and validate an initial task inventory for the tobacco producer, (2) identify the specific tasks performed by the tobacco producer, and (3) determine…

  14. The Effects of Planning Time and Language Levels on Task Performance of English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Righettini, Marielena

    2009-01-01

    This quantitative study examined the effects of planning time and high and low language levels on the task-based language performance of 51 first and second grade English language learners. Language performance during the task was assessed in terms of accuracy, complexity, and fluency. Quantitative analysis made use of four 2 x 2 factorial ANOVAs…

  15. Task Goal Attributes, n Achievement, and Supervisory Performance. Technical Report No. 30.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steers, Richard M.

    A review of the research literature on goal-setting in organizational settings reveals that goal-setting on an individual job results in better task performance. However, the processes behind their effectiveness is unclear. For example, how are various job attributes of task goals related to performance, and how do various individual differences…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Working memory and acquisition of implicit knowledge by imagery training, without actual task performance.

    PubMed

    Helene, A F; Xavier, G F

    2006-04-28

    This study investigated acquisition of a mirror-reading skill via imagery training, without the actual performance of a mirror-reading task. In experiment I, healthy volunteers simulated writing on an imaginary, transparent screen placed at eye level, which could be read by an experimenter facing the subject. Performance of this irrelevant motor task required the subject to imagine the letters inverted, as if seen in a mirror from their own point of view (imagery training). A second group performed the same imagery training interspersed with a complex, secondary spelling and counting task. A third, control, group simply wrote the words as they would normally appear from their own point of view. After training with 300 words, all subjects were tested in a mirror-reading task using 60 non-words, constructed according to acceptable letter combinations of the Portuguese language. Compared with control subjects, those exposed to imagery training, including those who switched between imagery and the complex task, exhibited shorter reading times in the mirror-reading task. Experiment II employed a 2 x 3 design, including two training conditions (imagery and actual mirror-reading) and three competing task conditions (a spelling and counting switching task, a visual working memory concurrent task, and no concurrent task). Training sessions were interspersed with mirror-reading testing sessions for non-words, allowing evaluation of the mirror-reading acquisition process during training. The subjects exposed to imagery training acquired the mirror-reading skill as quickly as those exposed to the actual mirror-reading task. Further, performance of concurrent tasks together with actual mirror-reading training severely disrupted mirror-reading skill acquisition; this interference effect was not seen in subjects exposed to imagery training and performance of the switching and the concurrent tasks. These results unequivocally show that acquisition of implicit skills by top

  18. Examination of the Role of Expectancies on Task Performance in College Students Concerned about ADHD.

    PubMed

    Wei, Christina; Suhr, Julie A

    2015-01-01

    Prior research has shown that performance on cognitive tasks can be influenced by expectations (Smith & Sullivan, 2003 ; Suhr & Gunstad, 2002 , 2005 ). The current study examined whether cuing a belief about the diagnostic saliency of a cognitive task among young adults who expressed concern about having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) influenced task performance. Participants were randomly assigned to either receive neutral directions or be cued to a belief that the task had diagnostic saliency prior to completing a working-memory task. Supporting our hypothesis, college students with higher prestudy report of ADHD symptoms who were cued with a belief about the diagnostic saliency of the task performed worse compared with students who received neutral instructions. As many researchers and clinicians currently rely exclusively on self-reported symptoms and neuropsychological tests to diagnose ADHD, our findings highlight the importance of comprehensive assessment for provision of appropriate clinical services to adults presenting with ADHD concerns. PMID:25255846

  19. Perceived control in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) - Enhanced video-task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Hopkins, William D.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1991-01-01

    This investigation was designed to determine whether perceived control effects found in humans extend to rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) tested in a video-task format, using a computer-generated menu program, SELECT. Choosing one of the options in SELECT resulted in presentation of five trials of a corresponding task and subsequent return to the menu. In Experiments 1-3, the animals exhibited stable, meaningful response patterns in this task (i.e., they made choices). In Experiment 4, performance on tasks that were selected by the animals significantly exceeded performance on identical tasks when assigned by the experimenter under comparable conditions (e.g., time of day, order, variety). The reliable and significant advantage for performance on selected tasks, typically found in humans, suggests that rhesus monkeys were able to perceive the availability of choices.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A Quality Improvement Study on Avoidable Stressors and Countermeasures Affecting Surgical Motor Performance and Learning

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Claudius; Konuk, Yusuf; Werner, Paul D.; Cao, Caroline G.; Warshaw, Andrew L.; Rattner, David W.; Stangenberg, Lars; Ott, Harald C.; Jones, Daniel B.; Miller, Diane L; Gee, Denise W.

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To explore how the two most important components of surgical performance - speed and accuracy - are influenced by different forms of stress and what the impact of music on these factors is. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA Based on a recently published pilot study on surgical experts, we designed an experiment examining the effects of auditory stress, mental stress, and music on surgical performance and learning, and then correlated the data psychometric measures to the role of music in a novice surgeon’s life. METHODS 31 surgeons were recruited for a crossover study. Surgeons were randomized to four simple standardized tasks to be performed on the Surgical SIM VR laparoscopic simulator, allowing exact tracking of speed and accuracy. Tasks were performed under a variety of conditions, including silence, dichotic music (auditory stress), defined classical music (auditory relaxation), and mental loading (mental arithmetic tasks). Tasks were performed twice to test for memory consolidation and to accommodate for baseline variability. Performance was correlated to the Brief Musical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ). RESULTS Mental loading influences performance with respect to accuracy, speed, and recall more negatively than does auditory stress. Defined classical music might lead to minimally worse performance initially, but leads to significantly improved memory consolidation. Furthermore, psychologic testing of the volunteers suggests that surgeons with greater musical commitment, measured by the MEQ, perform worse under the mental loading condition. CONCLUSION Mental distraction and auditory stress negatively affect specific components of surgical learning and performance. If used appropriately, classical music may positively affect surgical memory consolidation. It also may be possible to predict surgeons’ performance and learning under stress through psychological tests on the role of music in a surgeon’s life. Further investigation is necessary to determine

  2. Muscle activity and hand motion in veterinarians performing laparoscopic training tasks with a box trainer.

    PubMed

    Tapia-Araya, Angelo E; Usón-Gargallo, Jesús; Sánchez-Margallo, Juan A; Pérez-Duarte, Francisco J; Martin-Portugués, Idoia Díaz-Güemes; Sánchez-Margallo, Francisco M

    2016-02-01

    OBJECTIVE To evaluate muscle activity and hand motion in veterinarians performing a standard set of laparoscopic training tasks. SAMPLE 12 veterinarians with experience performing laparoscopic procedures. PROCEDURES Participants were asked to perform peg transfer, coordination, precision cutting, and suturing tasks in a laparoscopic box trainer. Activity of the right biceps brachii, triceps brachii, forearm flexor, forearm extensor, and trapezius muscles was analyzed by means of surface electromyography. Right hand movements and wrist angle data were registered through the use of a data glove, and risk levels for the wrist joint were determined by use of a modified rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) method. One-way repeated-measures ANOVA with a Bonferroni post hoc test was performed to compare values between tasks. RESULTS Activity in the biceps muscle did not differ significantly among the 4 tasks. Activity in the triceps, forearm flexor, and forearm extensor muscles was significantly higher during precision cutting than during the coordination task. Activity in the trapezius muscle was highest during the suturing task and did not differ significantly among the other 3 tasks. The RULA score was unacceptable (score, 3) for the coordination, peg transfer, and precision cutting tasks but was acceptable (score, 2) for the suturing task. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the ergonomics of laparoscopic training depended on the tasks performed and the design of the instruments used. Precision cutting and suturing tasks were associated with the highest muscle activity. Acceptable wrist position, as determined with the RULA method, was found with the suturing task, which was performed with an axial-handled instrument. (Am J Vet Res 2016;77:186-193). PMID:27027713

  3. The differential influences of positive affect, random reward, and performance-contingent reward on cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Fröber, Kerstin; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-06-01

    Growing evidence suggests that positive affect and reward have differential effects on cognitive control. So far, however, these effects have never been studied together. Here, the authors present one behavioral study investigating the influences of positive affect and reward (contingent and noncontingent) on proactive control. A modified version of the AX-continuous performance task, which has repeatedly been shown to be sensitive to reward and affect manipulations, was used. In a first phase, two experimental groups received either neutral or positive affective pictures before every trial. In a second phase, the two halves of a given affect group additionally received, respectively, performance-contingent or random rewards. The results replicated the typical affect effect, in terms of reduced proactive control under positive as compared to neutral affect. Also, the typical reward effects associated with increased proactive control were replicated. Most interestingly, performance-contingent reward counteracted the positive affect effect, whereas random reward mirrored that effect. In sum, this study provides first evidence that performance-contingent reward, on the one hand, and positive affect and performance-noncontingent reward, on the other hand, have oppositional effects on cognitive control: Only performance-contingent reward showed a motivational effect in terms of a strategy shift toward increased proactive control, whereas positive affect alone and performance-noncontingent reward reduced proactive control. Moreover, the integrative design of this study revealed the vulnerability of positive affect effects to motivational manipulations. The results are discussed with respect to current neuroscientific theories of the effects of dopamine on affect, reward, and cognitive control. PMID:24659000

  4. Selecting Tasks for Evaluating Human Performance as a Function of Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norcross, J. R.; Gernhardt, M. L.

    2010-01-01

    A challenge in understanding human performance as a function of gravity is determining which tasks to research. Initial studies began with treadmill walking, which was easy to quantify and control. However, with the development of pressurized rovers, it is less important to optimize human performance for ambulation as rovers will likely perform gross translation for them. Future crews are likely to spend much of their extravehicular activity (EVA) performing geology, construction and maintenance type tasks, for which it is difficult to measure steady-state-workloads. To evaluate human performance in reduced gravity, we have collected metabolic, biomechanical and subjective data for different tasks at varied gravity levels. Methods: Ten subjects completed 5 different tasks including weight transfer, shoveling, treadmill walking, treadmill running and treadmill incline walking. All tasks were performed shirt-sleeved at 1-g, 3/8-g and 1/6-g. Off-loaded conditions were achieved via the Active Response Gravity Offload System. Treadmill tasks were performed for 3 minutes with reported oxygen consumption (VO2) averaged over the last 2 minutes. Shoveling was performed for 3 minutes with metabolic cost reported as ml O2 consumed per kg material shoveled. Weight transfer reports metabolic cost as liters O2 consumed to complete the task. Statistical analysis was performed via repeated measures ANOVA. Results: Statistically significant metabolic differences were noted between all 3 gravity levels for treadmill running and incline walking. For the other 3 tasks, there were significant differences between 1-g and each reduced gravity, but not between 1/6-g and 3/8-g. For weight transfer, significant differences were seen between gravities in both trial-average VO2 and time-to-completion with noted differences in strategy for task completion. Conclusion: To determine if gravity has a metabolic effect on human performance, this research may indicate that tasks should be selected

  5. How task complexity and stimulus modality affect motor execution: target accuracy, response timing and hesitations.

    PubMed

    Parrington, Lucy; MacMahon, Clare; Ball, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Elite sports players are characterized by the ability to produce successful outcomes while attending to changing environmental conditions. Few studies have assessed whether the perceptual environment affects motor skill execution. To test the effect of changing task complexity and stimulus conditions, the authors examined response times and target accuracy of 12 elite Australian football players using a passing-based laboratory test. Data were assessed using mixed modeling and chi-square analyses. No differences were found in target accuracy for changes in complexity or stimulus condition. Decision, movement and total disposal time increased with complexity and decision hesitations were greater when distractions were present. Decision, movement and disposal time were faster for auditory in comparison to visual signals, and when free to choose, players passed more frequently to auditory rather than visual targets. These results provide perspective on how basic motor control processes such as reaction and response to stimuli are influenced in a complex motor skill. Findings suggest auditory stimuli should be included in decision-making studies and may be an important part of a decision-training environment. PMID:25584721

  6. What do verbal fluency tasks measure? Predictors of verbal fluency performance in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Zeshu; Janse, Esther; Visser, Karina; Meyer, Antje S.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the contributions of verbal ability and executive control to verbal fluency performance in older adults (n = 82). Verbal fluency was assessed in letter and category fluency tasks, and performance on these tasks was related to indicators of vocabulary size, lexical access speed, updating, and inhibition ability. In regression analyses the number of words produced in both fluency tasks was predicted by updating ability, and the speed of the first response was predicted by vocabulary size and, for category fluency only, lexical access speed. These results highlight the hybrid character of both fluency tasks, which may limit their usefulness for research and clinical purposes. PMID:25101034

  7. The effects of bedrest on crew performance during simulated shuttle reentry. Volume 2: Control task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jex, H. R.; Peters, R. A.; Dimarco, R. J.; Allen, R. W.

    1974-01-01

    A simplified space shuttle reentry simulation performed on the NASA Ames Research Center Centrifuge is described. Anticipating potentially deleterious effects of physiological deconditioning from orbital living (simulated here by 10 days of enforced bedrest) upon a shuttle pilot's ability to manually control his aircraft (should that be necessary in an emergency) a comprehensive battery of measurements was made roughly every 1/2 minute on eight military pilot subjects, over two 20-minute reentry Gz vs. time profiles, one peaking at 2 Gz and the other at 3 Gz. Alternate runs were made without and with g-suits to test the help or interference offered by such protective devices to manual control performance. A very demanding two-axis control task was employed, with a subcritical instability in the pitch axis to force a high attentional demand and a severe loss-of-control penalty. The results show that pilots experienced in high Gz flying can easily handle the shuttle manual control task during 2 Gz or 3 Gz reentry profiles, provided the degree of physiological deconditioning is no more than induced by these 10 days of enforced bedrest.

  8. [Preschooler peer interaction and performance on Doise spatial task].

    PubMed

    Hayashi, S

    1998-06-01

    Using Doise spatial task, this study examined the following three hypotheses about preschoolers' attainment of spatial skills: (1) A different viewpoint promotes faster advancement through developmental levels of spatial skills than the same viewpoint. (2) An interaction partner with a different skill level, rather than the same level, promotes faster advancement. And (3) a socio-cognitive conflict with the partner promotes faster advancement. To test these hypotheses, the method of Doise and Mugny (1984) was used in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, the method was modified in several ways. Most notably by pointing out and changing the shape of the marker, and by decreasing the number of objects to be arranged. Results of the experiments supported Hypothesis 3, but not 1 or 2. It was concluded that socio-cognitive conflicts in preschooler peer interaction contributed to children's development of spatial skills. PMID:9755469

  9. Object Boundaries Influence Toddlers' Performance in a Search Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shutts, Kristin; Keen, Rachel; Spelke, Elizabeth S.

    2006-01-01

    Previous research has shown that young children have difficulty searching for a hidden object whose location depends on the position of a partly visible physical barrier. Across four experiments, we tested whether children's search errors are affected by two variables that influence adults' object-directed attention: object boundaries and…

  10. Performance processes within affect-related performance zones: a multi-modal investigation of golf performance.

    PubMed

    van der Lei, Harry; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2012-12-01

    Individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) method utilizing Kamata et al. (J Sport Exerc Psychol 24:189-208, 2002) probabilistic model of determining the individual zone of optimal functioning was utilized as idiosyncratic affective patterns during golf performance. To do so, three male golfers of a varsity golf team were observed during three rounds of golf competition. The investigation implemented a multi-modal assessment approach in which the probabilistic relationship between affective states and both, performance process and performance outcome, measures were determined. More specifically, introspective (i.e., verbal reports) and objective (heart rate and respiration rate) measures of arousal were incorporated to examine the relationships between arousal states and both, process components (i.e., routine consistency, timing), and outcome scores related to golf performance. Results revealed distinguishable and idiosyncratic IAPZs associated with physiological and introspective measures for each golfer. The associations between the IAPZs and decision-making or swing/stroke execution were strong and unique for each golfer. Results are elaborated using cognitive and affect-related concepts, and applications for practitioners are provided. PMID:22562463

  11. The effects of vocal versus manual response modalities on multi-task performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, G. R.; Mosko, J. D.

    1985-02-01

    The increasing complexity of display and control instrumentation in modern high performance aircraft has the potential to overload the human operator and result in diminished system performance. Interactive voice technology has been proposed as a method to reduce the high workload placed on the pilots of military aircraft. This report presents the results of an experiment designed to evaluate the effects on human performance of vocal versus manual response modalities on single and multiple tasks simulating some conditions of flight. Results indicated a significant increase in performance precision on a psychomotor task when a vocal, rather than a manual response mode was used on the simultaneous performance of multiple tasks. These results suggest that human performance on visually oriented multiple tasks requiring simultaneous execution may be improved if some of the work effort can be performed using a vocal input/output.

  12. Inharmonic music elicits more negative affect and interferes more with a concurrent cognitive task than does harmonic music.

    PubMed

    Bonin, Tanor; Smilek, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    We evaluated whether task-irrelevant inharmonic music produces greater interference with cognitive performance than task-irrelevant harmonic music. Participants completed either an auditory (Experiment 1) or a visual (Experiment 2) version of the cognitively demanding 2-back task in which they were required to categorize each digit in a sequence of digits as either being a target (a digit also presented two positions earlier in the sequence) or a distractor (all other items). They were concurrently exposed to either task-irrelevant harmonic music (judged to be consonant), task-irrelevant inharmonic music (judged to be dissonant), or no music at all as a distraction. The main finding across both experiments was that performance on the 2-back task was worse when participants were exposed to inharmonic music than when they were exposed to harmonic music. Interestingly, performance on the 2-back task was generally the same regardless of whether harmonic music or no music was played. We suggest that inharmonic, dissonant music interferes with cognitive performance by requiring greater cognitive processing than harmonic, consonant music, and speculate about why this might be. PMID:26715513

  13. Mathematics Anxiety and the Affective Drop in Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashcraft, Mark H.; Moore, Alex M.

    2009-01-01

    The authors provide a brief review of the history and assessment of math anxiety, its relationship to personal and educational consequences, and its important impact on measures of performance. Overall, math anxiety causes an "affective drop," a decline in performance when math is performed under timed, high-stakes conditions, both in laboratory…

  14. Self-Evaluation Accuracy and Satisfaction with Performance: Are there Affective Costs or Benefits of Positive Self-Evaluation Bias?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Narciss, Susanne; Koerndle, Hermann; Dresel, Markus

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines how self-evaluation biases may influence satisfaction with performance. A review of theoretical positions suggests there are two views, both of which are supported by studies involving laboratory tasks. The first view predicts affective costs, and the second affective benefits of positive self-evaluation bias. We test the…

  15. Performance assessment in complex individual and team tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eddy, Douglas R.

    1992-01-01

    Described here is an eclectic, performance based approach to assessing cognitive performance from multiple perspectives. The experience gained from assessing the effects of antihistamines and scenario difficulty on C (exp 2) decision making performance in Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) weapons director (WD) teams can serve as a model for realistic simulations in space operations. Emphasis is placed on the flexibility of measurement, hierarchical organization of measurement levels, data collection from multiple perspectives, and the difficulty of managing large amounts of data.

  16. Time estimation as a secondary task to measure workload. [attention sharing effect on operator performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, S. G.

    1975-01-01

    Variation in the length of time productions and verbal estimates of duration was investigated to determine the influence of concurrent activity on operator time perception. The length of 10-, 20-, and 30-sec intervals produced while performing six different compensatory tracking tasks was significantly longer, 23% on the average, than those produced while performing no other task. Verbal estimates of session duration, taken at the end of each of 27 experimental sessions, reflected a parallel increase in subjective underestimation of the passage of time as the difficulty of the task performed increased. These data suggest that estimates of duration made while performing a manual control task provide stable and sensitive measures of the workload imposed by the primary task, with minimal interference.

  17. P50 sensory gating is related to performance on select tasks of cognitive inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Yadon, Carly A.; Bugg, Julie M.; Kisley, Michael A.; Davalos, Deana B.

    2009-01-01

    P50 suppression deficits have been documented in clinical and nonclinical populations, but the behavioral correlates of impaired auditory sensory gating remain poorly understood. In the present study, we examined the relationship between P50 gating and healthy adults’ performance on cognitive inhibition tasks. On the basis of load theory (Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004), we predicted that a high perceptual load, a possible consequence of poor auditory P50 sensory gating, would have differential (i.e., positive vs. negative) effects on performance of cognitive inhibition tasks. A dissociation was observed such that P50 gating was negatively related to interference resolution on a Stroop task and positively related to response inhibition on a go/no-go task. Our findings support the idea that a high perceptual load may be beneficial to Stroop performance because of the reduced processing of distractors but detrimental to performance on the go/no-go task because of interference with stimulus discrimination. PMID:19897797

  18. Poor performance on cognitive tasks in depression: Doing too much or not enough?

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Neil P.; Siegle, Greg J.; Muelly, Emilie R.; Haggerty, Agnes; Ghinassi, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Depressed people perform poorly on cognitive tasks – it is unclear whether these deficits are due to decreased devotion of task-related resources or increased attention to non-task-related information. We examined the degree to which depressed and healthy adults displayed pupillary motility which varied at the frequency of presented stimuli on a cognitive task, which we interpreted as task-related processing, and at other frequencies which we interpreted as reflecting intrinsic processing. Depressed participants made more consecutive errors compared to controls. More pupillary motility at other frequencies was associated with poorer performance whereas more pupillary motility at the frequency of presented stimuli was associated with better performance. Depressed participants had more pupillary motility at other frequencies which partially mediated observed deficits in cognitive performance. These findings support the hypothesis that allocating cognitive resources to intrinsic processing, contributes to observed cognitive deficits in depression. PMID:20233961

  19. The Functional Task Test (FTT): An Interdisciplinary Testing Protocol to Investigate the Factors Underlying Changes in Astronaut Functional Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Lawrence, E. L.; Arzeno, N. M.; Buxton, R. E.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I. S.; Lee, S. M. C.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Platts. S. H.; Ploutz-Snyder, L. L.; Reschke, M. F.; Ryder, J. W.; Spiering, B. A.; Stenger, M. B.; Taylor, L. C.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to space flight causes adaptations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These changes may affect a crewmember s ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of this project is to determine the effects of space flight on functional tests that are representative of high priority exploration mission tasks and to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to decrements in performance. To achieve this goal we developed an interdisciplinary testing protocol (Functional Task Test, FTT) that evaluates both astronaut functional performance and related physiological changes. Functional tests include ladder climbing, hatch opening, jump down, manual manipulation of objects and tool use, seat egress and obstacle avoidance, recovery from a fall and object translation tasks. Physiological measures include assessments of postural and gait control, dynamic visual acuity, fine motor control, plasma volume, orthostatic intolerance, upper- and lower-body muscle strength, power, endurance, control, and neuromuscular drive. Crewmembers perform this integrated test protocol before and after short (Shuttle) and long-duration (ISS) space flight. Data are collected on two sessions before flight, on landing day (Shuttle only) and 1, 6 and 30 days after landing. Preliminary results from both Shuttle and ISS crewmembers indicate decrement in performance of the functional tasks after both short and long-duration space flight. On-going data collection continues to improve the statistical power required to map changes in functional task performance to alterations in physiological systems. The information obtained from this study will be used to design and implement countermeasures that specifically target the physiological systems most responsible for the altered functional performance associated with space flight.

  20. The effect of processing code, response modality and task difficulty on dual task performance and subjective workload in a manual system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yili; Wickens, Christopher D.

    1987-01-01

    This paper reports on the first experiment of a series studying the effect of task structure and difficulty demand on time-sharing performance and workload in both automated and corresponding manual systems. The experimental task involves manual control time-shared with spatial and verbal decisions tasks of two levels of difficulty and two modes of response (voice or manual). The results provide strong evidence that tasks and processes competing for common processing resources are time shared less effecively and have higher workload than tasks competing for separate resources. Subjective measures and the structure of multiple resources are used in conjunction to predict dual task performance. The evidence comes from both single-task and from dual-task performance.

  1. Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor.

    PubMed

    Barker, Shannon; Grayhem, Pamela; Koon, Jerrod; Perkins, Jessica; Whalen, Allison; Raudenbush, Bryan

    2003-12-01

    Previous research indicates the presence of certain odors is associated with enhanced task performance. The present study investigated use of peppermint odor during typing performance, memorization, and alphabetization. Participants completed the protocol twice--once with peppermint odor present and once without. Analysis indicated significant differences in the gross speed, net speed, and accuracy on the typing task, with odor associated with improved performance. Alphabetization also improved significantly under the odor condition but not typing duration or memorization. These results suggest peppermint odor may promote a general arousal of attention, so participants stay focused on their task and increase performance. PMID:14738372

  2. Defining Administrative Tasks, Evaluating Performance, and Developing Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Janice L.; Herman, Jerry J.

    1995-01-01

    To ensure high performance, administrators should develop an articulated structure and process systems approach that identifies the critical success factors (CSFs) of performance for each position; appropriate indicators and scales; and a personal-improvement plan based on last year's evaluation. Once CSFs are identified and written into the…

  3. Using representations in geometry: a model of students' cognitive and affective performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panaoura, Areti

    2014-05-01

    Self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics, as a dimension of the affective domain, are related with students' performance on solving tasks and mainly on overcoming cognitive obstacles. The present study investigated the interrelations of cognitive performance on geometry and young students' self-efficacy beliefs about using representations for solving geometrical tasks. The emphasis was on confirming a theoretical model for the primary-school and secondary-school students and identifying the differences and similarities for the two ages. A quantitative study was developed and data were collected from 1086 students in Grades 5-8. Confirmatory factor analysis affirmed the existence of a coherent model of affective dimensions about the use of representations for understanding the geometrical concepts, which becomes more stable across the educational levels.

  4. Preempting Performance Challenges: The Effects of Inoculation Messaging on Attacks to Task Self-Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Ben; Compton, Josh; Whiddett, Ryan; Anthony, David R.; Dimmock, James A.

    2015-01-01

    Although inoculation messages have been shown to be effective for inducing resistance to counter-attitudinal attacks, researchers have devoted relatively little attention toward studying the way in which inoculation theory principles might support challenges to psychological phenomena other than attitudes (e.g., self-efficacy). Prior to completing a physical (i.e., balance) task, undergraduates (N = 127, Mage = 19.20, SD = 2.16) were randomly assigned to receive either a control or inoculation message, and reported their confidence in their ability regarding the upcoming task. During the task, a confederate provided standardized negative feedback to all participants regarding their performance, and following the completion of the task, participants again reported their self-efficacy along with measures assessing in-task processes. Findings supported the viability of efficacy inoculation; controlling for pre-task self-efficacy, task performance, and relevant psycho-social variables (e.g., resilience, self-confidence robustness), participants in the inoculation condition reported greater confidence in their ability (i.e., task self-efficacy) than those in the control condition at post-task. Relative to those in the inoculation condition, participants in the control condition also experienced greater concentration disruption and self-presentation concerns during the task. PMID:25898287

  5. Barriers and traps: great apes' performance in two functionally equivalent tasks.

    PubMed

    Martin-Ordas, Gema; Jaeck, Franka; Jaek, Franka; Call, Josep

    2012-09-01

    Tool-using tasks that require subjects to overcome the obstacles to get a reward have been a major component of research investigating causal knowledge in primates. Much of the debate in this research has focused on whether subjects simply use certain stimulus features or instead use more functionally relevant information regarding the effect that certain features may have on a moving reward. Here, we presented two obstacle tasks, a trap platform and a barrier platform, to 22 great apes. Although perceptually similar, these two tasks contain two perceptually different but functionally equivalent obstacles: a trap and a barrier. In a pre-exposure phase, subjects either experienced an obstacle task or a task without any obstacle. In the transfer phase, all subjects were presented with an obstacle task, either the trap platform or the barrier platform. Our results show that those subjects who received an obstacle task prior to the second task performed better than those who first received a non-obstacle task. The type of obstacle task that subjects received first did not have any effect on their performance in the transfer phase. We suggest that apes possess some knowledge about the effects that obstacles have on slow-moving unsupported objects. PMID:22544302

  6. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    attention, were most affected. Conclusions The game proved to be a user-friendly tool capable to detect and quantify the influence of color on the performance of people executing tasks that require attention and showed to be attractive for people with ADHD. PMID:21854630

  7. Machine Learning Based Online Performance Prediction for Runtime Parallelization and Task Scheduling

    SciTech Connect

    Li, J; Ma, X; Singh, K; Schulz, M; de Supinski, B R; McKee, S A

    2008-10-09

    With the emerging many-core paradigm, parallel programming must extend beyond its traditional realm of scientific applications. Converting existing sequential applications as well as developing next-generation software requires assistance from hardware, compilers and runtime systems to exploit parallelism transparently within applications. These systems must decompose applications into tasks that can be executed in parallel and then schedule those tasks to minimize load imbalance. However, many systems lack a priori knowledge about the execution time of all tasks to perform effective load balancing with low scheduling overhead. In this paper, we approach this fundamental problem using machine learning techniques first to generate performance models for all tasks and then applying those models to perform automatic performance prediction across program executions. We also extend an existing scheduling algorithm to use generated task cost estimates for online task partitioning and scheduling. We implement the above techniques in the pR framework, which transparently parallelizes scripts in the popular R language, and evaluate their performance and overhead with both a real-world application and a large number of synthetic representative test scripts. Our experimental results show that our proposed approach significantly improves task partitioning and scheduling, with maximum improvements of 21.8%, 40.3% and 22.1% and average improvements of 15.9%, 16.9% and 4.2% for LMM (a real R application) and synthetic test cases with independent and dependent tasks, respectively.

  8. Perfectionism, Performance, and State Positive Affect and Negative Affect after a Classroom Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flett, Gordon L.; Blankstein, Kirk R.; Hewitt, Paul L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the associations among trait dimensions of perfectionism, test performance, and levels of positive and negative affect after taking a test. A sample of 92 female university students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale one week prior to an actual class test. Measures of positive affect and negative affect…

  9. Human footprint variation while performing load bearing tasks.

    PubMed

    Wall-Scheffler, Cara M; Wagnild, Janelle; Wagler, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Human footprint fossils have provided essential evidence about the evolution of human bipedalism as well as the social dynamics of the footprint makers, including estimates of speed, sex and group composition. Generally such estimates are made by comparing footprint evidence with modern controls; however, previous studies have not accounted for the variation in footprint dimensions coming from load bearing activities. It is likely that a portion of the hominins who created these fossil footprints were carrying a significant load, such as offspring or foraging loads, which caused variation in the footprint which could extend to variation in any estimations concerning the footprint's maker. To identify significant variation in footprints due to load-bearing tasks, we had participants (N = 30, 15 males and 15 females) walk at a series of speeds carrying a 20kg pack on their back, side and front. Paint was applied to the bare feet of each participant to create footprints that were compared in terms of foot length, foot width and foot area. Female foot length and width increased during multiple loaded conditions. An appreciation of footprint variability associated with carrying loads adds an additional layer to our understanding of the behavior and morphology of extinct hominin populations. PMID:25738496

  10. Human Footprint Variation while Performing Load Bearing Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Wall-Scheffler, Cara M.; Wagnild, Janelle; Wagler, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Human footprint fossils have provided essential evidence about the evolution of human bipedalism as well as the social dynamics of the footprint makers, including estimates of speed, sex and group composition. Generally such estimates are made by comparing footprint evidence with modern controls; however, previous studies have not accounted for the variation in footprint dimensions coming from load bearing activities. It is likely that a portion of the hominins who created these fossil footprints were carrying a significant load, such as offspring or foraging loads, which caused variation in the footprint which could extend to variation in any estimations concerning the footprint’s maker. To identify significant variation in footprints due to load-bearing tasks, we had participants (N = 30, 15 males and 15 females) walk at a series of speeds carrying a 20kg pack on their back, side and front. Paint was applied to the bare feet of each participant to create footprints that were compared in terms of foot length, foot width and foot area. Female foot length and width increased during multiple loaded conditions. An appreciation of footprint variability associated with carrying loads adds an additional layer to our understanding of the behavior and morphology of extinct hominin populations. PMID:25738496

  11. Regularities in responding during performance of a complex choice task.

    PubMed

    Mercado, Eduardo; Orduña, Vladimir

    2015-12-01

    Systematic variations in the rate and temporal patterns of responding under a multiple concurrent-chains schedule were quantified using recurrence metrics and self-organizing maps to assess whether individual rats showed consistent or idiosyncratic patterns. The results indicated that (1) the temporal regularity of response patterns varied as a function of number of training sessions, time on task, magnitude of reinforcement, and reinforcement contingencies; (2) individuals showed heterogeneous, stereotyped patterns of responding, despite similarities in matching behavior; (3) the specific trajectories of behavioral variation shown by individuals were less evident in group-level analyses; and (4) reinforcement contingencies within terminal links strongly modulated response patterns within initial links. Temporal regularity in responding was most evident for responses that led to minimally delayed reinforcers of larger magnitude. Models of response production and selection that take into account the time between individual responses, probabilities of transitions between response options, periodicity within response sequences, and individual differences in response dynamics can clarify the mechanisms that drive behavioral adjustments during operant conditioning. PMID:26077440

  12. Performance of visually guided tasks using simulated prosthetic vision and saliency-based cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parikh, N.; Itti, L.; Humayun, M.; Weiland, J.

    2013-04-01

    Objective. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the benefits provided by a saliency-based cueing algorithm to normally sighted volunteers performing mobility and search tasks using simulated prosthetic vision. Approach. Human subjects performed mobility and search tasks using simulated prosthetic vision. A saliency algorithm based on primate vision was used to detect regions of interest (ROI) in an image. Subjects were cued to look toward the directions of these ROI using visual cues superimposed on the simulated prosthetic vision. Mobility tasks required the subjects to navigate through a corridor, avoid obstacles and locate a target at the end of the course. Two search task experiments involved finding objects on a tabletop under different conditions. Subjects were required to perform tasks with and without any help from cues. Results. Head movements, time to task completion and number of errors were all significantly reduced in search tasks when subjects used the cueing algorithm. For the mobility task, head movements and number of contacts with objects were significantly reduced when subjects used cues, whereas time was significantly reduced when no cues were used. The most significant benefit from cues appears to be in search tasks and when navigating unfamiliar environments. Significance. The results from the study show that visually impaired people and retinal prosthesis implantees may benefit from computer vision algorithms that detect important objects in their environment, particularly when they are in a new environment.

  13. Sniffing Behavior of Mice during Performance in Odor-Guided Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Donahou, Tanya N.; Johnson, Marc O.; Wachowiak, Matt

    2008-01-01

    Sniffing, a rhythmic inhalation and exhalation of air through the nose, is a behavior thought to play a critical role in shaping how odor information is represented and processed by the nervous system. Although the mouse has become a prominent model for studying olfaction, little is known about sniffing behavior in mice. Here, we characterized mouse sniffing behavior by measuring intranasal pressure transients in behaving mice. Sniffing was monitored during unstructured exploratory behavior and during performance of 3 commonly used olfactory paradigms: a habituation/dishabituation task, a sand digging–based discrimination task, and a nose poke–based discrimination task. We found that respiration frequencies in quiescent mice ranged from 3 to 5 Hz—higher than that reported for rats. During exploration, sniff frequency increased up to ∼12 Hz and was highly dynamic, with rapid changes in frequency, amplitude, and waveform. Sniffing behavior varied strongly between tasks as well as for different behavioral epochs of each task. For example, mice performing the digging-based task showed little increase in sniff frequency prior to digging, whereas mice performing a nose poke–based task showed robust increases. Mice showed large increases in sniff frequency prior to reward delivery in all tasks. Mice also showed increases in sniff frequency when nose poking in a nonodor-guided task. These results show that mouse sniffing behavior is highly dynamic, varies with behavioral context, and is strongly modulated by olfactory as well as nonolfactory events. PMID:18534995

  14. On the role of positive and negative affectivity in job performance: a meta-analytic investigation.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Seth; Bradley, Jill C; Luchman, Joseph N; Haynes, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    Although interest regarding the role of dispositional affect in job behaviors has surged in recent years, the true magnitude of affectivity's influence remains unknown. To address this issue, the authors conducted a qualitative and quantitative review of the relationships between positive and negative affectivity (PA and NA, respectively) and various performance dimensions. A series of meta-analyses based on 57 primary studies indicated that PA and NA predicted task performance in the hypothesized directions and that the relationships were strongest for subjectively rated versus objectively rated performance. In addition, PA was related to organizational citizenship behaviors but not withdrawal behaviors, and NA was related to organizational citizenship behaviors, withdrawal behaviors, counterproductive work behaviors, and occupational injury. Mediational analyses revealed that affect operated through different mechanisms in influencing the various performance dimensions. Regression analyses documented that PA and NA uniquely predicted task performance but that extraversion and neuroticism did not, when the four were considered simultaneously. Discussion focuses on the theoretical and practical implications of these findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:19186902

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Whereas several studies have demonstrated that core self-evaluations (CSE)–or one’s appraisals about one’s own self-worth, capabilities, and competences–relate to job outcomes, less is known about the mechanisms underlying these relationships. In the present study, we address this issue by examining the role of within- and between-person variation in CSE in the relationship between work pressure and task performance. We hypothesized that (a) work pressure relates to task performance in a curvilinear way, (b) state CSE mediates the curvilinear relationship between work pressure and task performance, and (c) the relationship between work pressure and state CSE is moderated by trait CSE. Our hypotheses were tested via a 10-day daily diary study with 55 employees in which trait CSE was measured at baseline, while work pressure, task performance, and state CSE were assessed on a daily basis. Bayesian multilevel path analysis showed that work pressure affects task performance via state CSE, with state CSE increasing as long as the employee feels that (s)he is able to handle the work pressure, while it decreases when the level of work pressure exceeds the employees’ coping abilities. Moreover, we found that for people low on trait CSE, the depleting effect of work pressure via state CSE happens for low levels of work pressure, while for people high in trait CSE the depleting effect is located at high levels of work pressure. Together, our findings suggest that the impact of work pressure on task performance is driven by a complex interplay of between- and within-person differences in CSE. PMID:26579053

  16. Cognitive tasks during expectation affect the congruency ERP effects to facial expressions

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Huiyan; Schulz, Claudia; Straube, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Expectancy congruency has been shown to modulate event-related potentials (ERPs) to emotional stimuli, such as facial expressions. However, it is unknown whether the congruency ERP effects to facial expressions can be modulated by cognitive manipulations during stimulus expectation. To this end, electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded while participants viewed (neutral and fearful) facial expressions. Each trial started with a cue, predicting a facial expression, followed by an expectancy interval without any cues and subsequently the face. In half of the trials, participants had to solve a cognitive task in which different letters were presented for target letter detection during the expectancy interval. Furthermore, facial expressions were congruent with the cues in 75% of all trials. ERP results revealed that for fearful faces, the cognitive task during expectation altered the congruency effect in N170 amplitude; congruent compared to incongruent fearful faces evoked larger N170 in the non-task condition but the congruency effect was not evident in the task condition. Regardless of facial expression, the congruency effect was generally altered by the cognitive task during expectation in P3 amplitude; the amplitudes were larger for incongruent compared to congruent faces in the non-task condition but the congruency effect was not shown in the task condition. The findings indicate that cognitive tasks during expectation reduce the processing of expectation and subsequently, alter congruency ERP effects to facial expressions. PMID:26578938

  17. Relationships among gender, cognitive style, academic major, and performance on the Piaget water-level task.

    PubMed

    Hammer, R E; Hoffer, N; King, W L

    1995-06-01

    Many researchers have found that more college-age adults than would be expected fail Piaget's water-level task, with women failing more frequently than men. It has been hypothesized that differences in cognitive style may account for performance differences on the water-level task. In the present study, 27 male and 27 female architectural students and 27 male and 27 female liberal-arts students were assessed for their performance on both Piaget's Water-level Task and Witkin's Group Embedded Figures Test. No difference was found in performance of male and female architectural students on either task, but male liberal-arts students scored significantly higher than female liberal-arts students on both measures. A disembedding cognitive style predicted success on the water-level task for the architectural students but not for the liberal arts students. PMID:7567394

  18. Nonparametric EROC analysis for observer performance evaluation on joint detection and estimation tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wunderlich, Adam; Goossens, Bart

    2014-03-01

    The majority of the literature on task-based image quality assessment has focused on lesion detection tasks, using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, or related variants, to measure performance. However, since many clinical image evaluation tasks involve both detection and estimation (e.g., estimation of kidney stone composition, estimation of tumor size), there is a growing interest in performance evaluation for joint detection and estimation tasks. To evaluate observer performance on such tasks, Clarkson introduced the estimation ROC (EROC) curve, and the area under the EROC curve as a summary figure of merit. In the present work, we propose nonparametric estimators for practical EROC analysis from experimental data, including estimators for the area under the EROC curve and its variance. The estimators are illustrated with a practical example comparing MRI images reconstructed from different k-space sampling trajectories.

  19. Performances on a cognitive theory of mind task: specific decline or general cognitive deficits? Evidence from normal aging.

    PubMed

    Fliss, Rafika; Lemerre, Marion; Mollard, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Compromised theory of mind (ToM) can be explained either by a failure to implement specific representational capacities (mental state representations) or by more general executive selection demands. In older adult populations, evidence supporting affected executive functioning and cognitive ToM in normal aging are reported. However, links between these two functions remain unclear. In the present paper, we address these shortcomings by using a specific task of ToM and classical executive tasks. We studied, using an original cognitive ToM task, the effect of age on ToM performances, in link with the progressive executive decline. 96 elderly participants were recruited. They were asked to perform a cognitive ToM task, and 5 executive tests (Stroop test and Hayling Sentence Completion Test to appreciate inhibitory process, Trail Making Test and Verbal Fluency for shifting assessment and backward span dedicated to estimate working memory capacity). The results show changes in cognitive ToM performance according to executive demands. Correlational studies indicate a significant relationship between ToM performance and the selected executive measures. Regression analyzes demonstrates that level of vocabulary and age as the best predictors of ToM performance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that ToM deficits are related to age-related domain-general decline rather than as to a breakdown in specialized representational system. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition tests in normal aging are also discussed. PMID:27277154

  20. Lost in the move? Secondary task performance impairs tactile change detection on the body.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Zeeden, Sophia; Röder, Brigitte; Spence, Charles

    2010-03-01

    Change blindness, the surprising inability of people to detect significant changes between consecutively-presented visual displays, has recently been shown to affect tactile perception as well. Visual change blindness has been observed during saccades and eye blinks, conditions under which people's awareness of visual information is temporarily suppressed. In the present study, we demonstrate change blindness for suprathreshold tactile stimuli resulting from the execution of a secondary task requiring bodily movement. In Experiment 1, the ability of participants to detect changes between two sequentially-presented vibrotactile patterns delivered on their arms and legs was compared while they performed a secondary task consisting of either the execution of a movement with the right arm toward a visual target or the verbal identification of the target side. The results demonstrated that a motor response gave rise to the largest drop in perceptual sensitivity (as measured by changes in d') in detecting changes to the tactile display. In Experiment 2, we replicated these results under conditions in which the participants had to detect tactile changes while turning a steering wheel instead. These findings are discussed in terms of the role played by bodily movements, sensory suppression, and higher order information processing in modulating people's awareness of tactile information across the body surface. PMID:19647451

  1. Can Spectro-Temporal Complexity Explain the Autistic Pattern of Performance on Auditory Tasks?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Fabienne; Mottron, Laurent; Jemel, Boutheina; Belin, Pascal; Ciocca, Valter

    2006-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that level of neural complexity explain the relative level of performance and brain activity in autistic individuals, available behavioural, ERP and imaging findings related to the perception of increasingly complex auditory material under various processing tasks in autism were reviewed. Tasks involving simple material…

  2. The Developmental Dynamics of Task-Avoidant Behavior and Math Performance in Kindergarten and Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirvonen, Riikka; Tolvanen, Asko; Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2012-01-01

    Besides cognitive factors, children's learning at school may be influenced by more dynamic phenomena, such as motivation and achievement-related task-avoidant behavior. The present study examined the developmental dynamics of task-avoidant behavior and math performance from kindergarten to Grade 4. A total of 225 children were tested for their…

  3. On-Line Computer Terminal Performance on Science Related Tasks of Concept-Attainment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Thomas Eugene

    This study was designed to identify patterns of selections and performance characteristics displayed by individuals during a concept-attainment task. The relationships between selection patterns and individual characteristics were studied in addition to the effects of changes in task characteristics on selection patterns. The population was 200…

  4. Age-Related Differences in Reaction Time Task Performance in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiselev, Sergey; Espy, Kimberlay Andrews; Sheffield, Tiffany

    2009-01-01

    Performance of reaction time (RT) tasks was investigated in young children and adults to test the hypothesis that age-related differences in processing speed supersede a "global" mechanism and are a function of specific differences in task demands and processing requirements. The sample consisted of 54 4-year-olds, 53 5-year-olds, 59 6-year-olds,…

  5. Speech responses and dual-task performance - Better time-sharing or asymmetric transfer?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vidulich, Michael A.

    1988-01-01

    The value of speech controls in a dual-task experiment that also evaluated asymmetric transfer effects is considered. There was no evidence of asymmetric transfer in spite of significant effects supporting the advantage of mixing manual and speech responses. The data suggest that speech controls can be used to enhance performance in operational multiple-task environments.

  6. Students Successfully Grapple with Lessons of History in Innovative Group Performance Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Lynn Drew

    1992-01-01

    Describes the California Assessment Program's (CAP) group performance assessment task. Provides a sample task field test in world history, including written and culminating exercises. Suggests that such assessment exercises are popular with students and provide the teacher with an amalgam of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. (DK)

  7. Effects of Concurrent Motor, Linguistic, or Cognitive Tasks on Speech Motor Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dromey, Christopher; Benson, April

    2003-01-01

    This study examined the influence of 3 different types of concurrent tasks on speech motor performance. The goal was to uncover potential differences in speech movements relating to the nature of the secondary task. Twenty young adults repeated sentences either with or without simultaneous distractor activities. These distractions included a motor…

  8. Consciousness Raising and Noticing through Focus on Form: Grammar Task Performance versus Formal Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fotos, Sandra S.

    1993-01-01

    Research is presented that investigates the amount of learner noticing produced by two types of grammar consciousness-raising treatments: teacher-fronted grammar lessons and interactive, grammar problem-solving tasks. Results indicate that task performance is as effective as formal instruction in promoting noticing. (Contains 33 references.)…

  9. Age, Gender, and Training in Children's Performance of Piaget's Horizontality Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parameswaran, Gowri

    2003-01-01

    Presents a study in which children (n=600), ages five to nine, completed Jean Piaget's horizontality task using a square water bottle. Finds a significant sex difference in the pretest performance of the horizontality task beginning with eight year olds. Includes references. (CMK)

  10. Performance on Phonological and Grammatical Awareness Metalinguistic Tasks by Children Who Stutter and Their Fluent Peers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bajaj, Amit; Hodson, Barbara; Schommer-Aikins, Marlene

    2004-01-01

    This study was undertaken to examine the performance of 23 children who stutter (CWS) and 23 children who do not stutter (CWNS) on three metalinguistic tasks. These included two phonological awareness assessment procedures (The Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization Test (LAC) and a Phoneme Reversal Task) and one modified Grammar Judgments Task…

  11. Self-enhancing effect of social feedback on cognitive task performance.

    PubMed

    Waldie, K E; Mosley, J L

    1996-05-01

    The influence of feedback on the cognitive task performance of individuals with high and low self-esteem was assessed (Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, Form A). A median split technique segregated each group (30 adults with mental retardation and 30 MA-matched controls) into high and low self-esteem individuals. All subjects performed two memory tasks (easy, difficult) but were randomly assigned to only one of three feedback conditions (social, computer, and no feedback). Findings indicated that social feedback can alter the normally positive relation between self-esteem and cognitive task performance. PMID:8735575

  12. Housing conditions affect rat responses to two types of ambiguity in a reward–reward discrimination cognitive bias task

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Richard M.A.; Paul, Elizabeth S.; Burman, Oliver H.P.; Browne, William J.; Mendl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making under ambiguity in cognitive bias tasks is a promising new indicator of affective valence in animals. Rat studies support the hypothesis that animals in a negative affective state evaluate ambiguous cues negatively. Prior automated operant go/go judgement bias tasks have involved training rats that an auditory cue of one frequency predicts a Reward and a cue of a different frequency predicts a Punisher (RP task), and then measuring whether ambiguous cues of intermediate frequency are judged as predicting reward (‘optimism’) or punishment (‘pessimism’). We investigated whether an automated Reward–Reward (RR) task yielded similar results to, and was faster to train than, RP tasks. We also introduced a new ambiguity test (simultaneous presentation of the two training cues) alongside the standard single ambiguous cue test. Half of the rats experienced an unpredictable housing treatment (UHT) designed to induce a negative state. Control rats were relatively ‘pessimistic’, whilst UHT rats were quicker, but no less accurate, in their responses in the RR test, and showed less anxiety-like behaviour in independent tests. A possible reason for these findings is that rats adapted to and were stimulated by UHT, whilst control rats in a predictable environment were more sensitive to novelty and change. Responses in the new ambiguity test correlated positively with those in single ambiguous cue tests, and may provide a measure of attention bias. The RR task was quicker to train than previous automated RP tasks. Together, they could be used to disentangle how reward and punishment processes underpin affect-induced cognitive biases. PMID:25106739

  13. Housing conditions affect rat responses to two types of ambiguity in a reward-reward discrimination cognitive bias task.

    PubMed

    Parker, Richard M A; Paul, Elizabeth S; Burman, Oliver H P; Browne, William J; Mendl, Michael

    2014-11-01

    Decision-making under ambiguity in cognitive bias tasks is a promising new indicator of affective valence in animals. Rat studies support the hypothesis that animals in a negative affective state evaluate ambiguous cues negatively. Prior automated operant go/go judgement bias tasks have involved training rats that an auditory cue of one frequency predicts a Reward and a cue of a different frequency predicts a Punisher (RP task), and then measuring whether ambiguous cues of intermediate frequency are judged as predicting reward ('optimism') or punishment ('pessimism'). We investigated whether an automated Reward-Reward (RR) task yielded similar results to, and was faster to train than, RP tasks. We also introduced a new ambiguity test (simultaneous presentation of the two training cues) alongside the standard single ambiguous cue test. Half of the rats experienced an unpredictable housing treatment (UHT) designed to induce a negative state. Control rats were relatively 'pessimistic', whilst UHT rats were quicker, but no less accurate, in their responses in the RR test, and showed less anxiety-like behaviour in independent tests. A possible reason for these findings is that rats adapted to and were stimulated by UHT, whilst control rats in a predictable environment were more sensitive to novelty and change. Responses in the new ambiguity test correlated positively with those in single ambiguous cue tests, and may provide a measure of attention bias. The RR task was quicker to train than previous automated RP tasks. Together, they could be used to disentangle how reward and punishment processes underpin affect-induced cognitive biases. PMID:25106739

  14. Dual Motor-Cognitive Virtual Reality Training Impacts Dual-Task Performance in Freezing of Gait.

    PubMed

    Killane, Isabelle; Fearon, Conor; Newman, Louise; McDonnell, Conor; Waechter, Saskia M; Sons, Kristian; Lynch, Timothy; Reilly, Richard B

    2015-11-01

    Freezing of gait (FOG), an episodic gait disturbance characterized by the inability to generate effective stepping, occurs in more than half of Parkinson's disease patients. It is associated with both executive dysfunction and attention and becomes most evident during dual tasking (performing two tasks simultaneously). This study examined the effect of dual motor-cognitive virtual reality training on dual-task performance in FOG. Twenty community dwelling participants with Parkinson's disease (13 with FOG, 7 without FOG) participated in a pre-assessment, eight 20-minute intervention sessions, and a post-assessment. The intervention consisted of a virtual reality maze (DFKI, Germany) through which participants navigated by stepping-in-place on a balance board (Nintendo, Japan) under time pressure. This was combined with a cognitive task (Stroop test), which repeatedly divided participants' attention. The primary outcome measures were pre- and post-intervention differences in motor (stepping time, symmetry, rhythmicity) and cognitive (accuracy, reaction time) performance during single- and dual-tasks. Both assessments consisted of 1) a single cognitive task 2) a single motor task, and 3) a dual motor-cognitive task. Following the intervention, there was significant improvement in dual-task cognitive and motor parameters (stepping time and rhythmicity), dual-task effect for those with FOG and a noteworthy improvement in FOG episodes. These improvements were less significant for those without FOG. This is the first study to show benefit of a dual motor-cognitive approach on dual-task performance in FOG. Advances in such virtual reality interventions for home use could substantially improve the quality of life for patients who experience FOG. PMID:26394439

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

    PubMed

    Mehta, Ravi; Zhu, Rui Juliet

    2009-02-27

    Existing research reports inconsistent findings with regard to the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Some research suggests that blue or green leads to better performances than red; other studies record the opposite. Current work reconciles this discrepancy. We demonstrate that red (versus blue) color induces primarily an avoidance (versus approach) motivation (study 1, n = 69) and that red enhances performance on a detail-oriented task, whereas blue enhances performance on a creative task (studies 2 and 3, n = 208 and 118). Further, we replicate these results in the domains of product design (study 4, n = 42) and persuasive message evaluation (study 5, n = 161) and show that these effects occur outside of individuals' consciousness (study 6, n = 68). We also provide process evidence suggesting that the activation of alternative motivations mediates the effect of color on cognitive task performances. PMID:19197022

  16. Performance of fine motor and spatial tasks during the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Simić, Nataša; Tokić, Andrea; Peričić, Marina

    2010-12-01

    Various studies have shown fluctuations in task performance during the menstrual cycle. The aim of this study was to see the effects of the menstrual cycle on performing fine motor and spatial tasks of different level of complexity in twenty students aged 18 to 21 years, with regular menstrual cycle (28 to 30 days). The students performed O'Connor Finger Dexterity Test and mental rotation test during the menstrual, late follicular, and midluteal phase. Before the tests were performed, we administered Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for each phase. After the tasks were completed, the subjects ranked their difficulty on Borg's scale.The results showed the best performance in both tests in the midluteal phase (with sex hormones at their peak). The anxiety level and task difficulty ranking were the highest in the menstrual phase, when the hormone levels were the lowest. PMID:21183432

  17. Young Children's Affective Decision-Making in a Gambling Task: Does Difficulty in Learning the Gain/Loss Schedule Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gao, Shan; Wei, Yonggang; Bai, Junjie; Lin, Chongde; Li, Hong

    2009-01-01

    This research investigated the development of affective decision-making (ADM) during early childhood, in particular role of difficulty in learning a gain/loss schedule. In Experiment 1, we administrated the Children's Gambling Task (CGT) to 60 Chinese children aged 3 and 4, replicating the results obtained by Kerr and Zelazo [Kerr, A., & Zelazo,…

  18. Expertise, attention, and memory in sensorimotor skill execution: impact of novel task constraints on dual-task performance and episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Beilock, Sian L; Wierenga, Sarah A; Carr, Thomas H

    2002-10-01

    Two experiments explored the attention and memory processes governing sensorimotor skill. Experiment 1 compared novice and experienced golf putting performance in single-task (putting in isolation) and dual-task conditions (putting while performing an auditory word search task). At specific intervals, participants also produced episodic descriptions of specific putts. Experiment 2 assessed novice performance following training on the same putting task. In Experiment 1, experienced golfers did not differ in putting accuracy from single-to dual-task conditions and, compared to novices, had higher recognition memory for words heard while putting but diminished episodic memories of specific putts. However, when using an s-shaped arbitrarily weighted "funny putter" designed to disrupt the mechanics of skill execution, experienced golfers produced extensive episodic memories of specific putts but showed decreased dual-task putting accuracy and recognition memory for secondary task words. Trained novices produced results intermediate between the untrained novices and experienced golfers. As predicted by current theories of practice-based automaticity, expertise leads to proceduralized control that does not require constant attention. Resources are free to devote to secondary task demands, yet episodic memory for primary task performance is impoverished. Novel task constraints (e.g., a funny putter) increase attention to execution, compromising secondary task performance but enhancing memory for skill execution. PMID:12420993

  19. Interactions of Task and Subject Variables among Continuous Performance Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denney, Colin B.; Rapport, Mark D.; Chung, Kyong-Mee

    2005-01-01

    Background: Contemporary models of working memory suggest that target paradigm (TP) and target density (TD) should interact as influences on error rates derived from continuous performance tests (CPTs). The present study evaluated this hypothesis empirically in a typically developing, ethnically diverse sample of children. The extent to which…

  20. A Model of Physical Performance for Occupational Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogan, Joyce

    This report acknowledges the problems faced by industrial/organizational psychologists who must make personnel decisions involving physically demanding jobs. The scarcity of criterion-related validation studies and the difficulty of generalizing validity are considered, and a model of physical performance that builds on Fleishman's (1984)…

  1. Toward a mathematical formalism of performance, task difficulty, and activation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Samaras, George M.

    1988-01-01

    The rudiments of a mathematical formalism for handling operational, physiological, and psychological concepts are developed for use by the man-machine system design engineer. The formalism provides a framework for developing a structured, systematic approach to the interface design problem, using existing mathematical tools, and simplifying the problem of telling a machine how to measure and use performance.

  2. Great Performances: Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks. Second Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shoemaker, Betty; Lewin, Larry

    2011-01-01

    Get an in-depth understanding of how to create fun, engaging, and challenging performance assessments that require students to elaborate on content and demonstrate mastery of skills. This update of an ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) classic includes new scoring methods, reading assessments, and insights on navigating…

  3. Children's Working Memory: Investigating Performance Limitations in Complex Span Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conlin, J.A.; Gathercole, S.E.; Adams, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the roles of resource-sharing and intrinsic memory demands in complex working memory span performance in 7- and 9-year-olds. In Experiment 1, the processing complexity of arithmetic operations was varied under conditions in which processing times were equivalent. Memory span did not differ as a function of processing…

  4. Driving Performance Under Alcohol in Simulated Representative Driving Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Kenntner-Mabiala, Ramona; Kaussner, Yvonne; Jagiellowicz-Kaufmann, Monika; Hoffmann, Sonja; Krüger, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Comparing drug-induced driving impairments with the effects of benchmark blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) is an approved approach to determine the clinical relevance of findings for traffic safety. The present study aimed to collect alcohol calibration data to validate findings of clinical trials that were derived from a representative test course in a dynamic driving simulator. The driving performance of 24 healthy volunteers under placebo and with 0.05% and 0.08% BACs was measured in a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Trained investigators assessed the subjects’ driving performance and registered their driving errors. Various driving parameters that were recorded during the simulation were also analyzed. Generally, the participants performed worse on the test course (P < 0.05 for the investigators’ assessment) under the influence of alcohol. Consistent with the relevant literature, lane-keeping performance parameters were sensitive to the investigated BACs. There were significant differences between the alcohol and placebo conditions in most of the parameters analyzed. However, the total number of errors was the only parameter discriminating significantly between all three BAC conditions. In conclusion, data show that the present experimental setup is suitable for future psychopharmacological research. Thereby, for each drug to be investigated, we recommend to assess a profile of various parameters that address different levels of driving. On the basis of this performance profile, the total number of driving errors is recommended as the primary endpoint. However, this overall endpoint should be completed by a specifically sensitive parameter that is chosen depending on the effect known to be induced by the tested drug. PMID:25689289

  5. The Persistence of Experience: Prior Attentional and Emotional State Affects Network Functioning in a Target Detection Task.

    PubMed

    Stern, Emily R; Muratore, Alexandra F; Taylor, Stephan F; Abelson, James L; Hof, Patrick R; Goodman, Wayne K

    2015-09-01

    Efficient, adaptive behavior relies on the ability to flexibly move between internally focused (IF) and externally focused (EF) attentional states. Despite evidence that IF cognitive processes such as event imagination comprise a significant amount of awake cognition, the consequences of internal absorption on the subsequent recruitment of brain networks during EF tasks are unknown. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study employed a novel attentional state switching task. Subjects imagined positive and negative events (IF task) or performed a working memory task (EF task) before switching to a target detection (TD) task also requiring attention to external information, allowing for the investigation of neural functioning during external attention based on prior attentional state. There was a robust increase of activity in frontal, parietal, and temporal regions during TD when subjects were previously performing the EF compared with IF task, an effect that was most pronounced following negative IF. Additionally, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was less negatively coupled with ventromedial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices during TD following IF compared with EF. These findings reveal the striking consequences for brain activity following immersion in an IF attentional state, which have strong implications for psychiatric disorders characterized by excessive internal focus. PMID:24904075

  6. Multi-attribute subjective evaluations of manual tracking tasks vs. objective performance of the human operator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siapkaras, A.

    1977-01-01

    A computational method to deal with the multidimensional nature of tracking and/or monitoring tasks is developed. Operator centered variables, including the operator's perception of the task, are considered. Matrix ratings are defined based on multidimensional scaling techniques and multivariate analysis. The method consists of two distinct steps: (1) to determine the mathematical space of subjective judgements of a certain individual (or group of evaluators) for a given set of tasks and experimental conditionings; and (2) to relate this space with respect to both the task variables and the objective performance criteria used. Results for a variety of second-order trackings with smoothed noise-driven inputs indicate that: (1) many of the internally perceived task variables form a nonorthogonal set; and (2) the structure of the subjective space varies among groups of individuals according to the degree of familiarity they have with such tasks.

  7. Path Analysis Examining Self-Efficacy and Decision-Making Performance on a Simulated Baseball Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hepler, Teri J.; Feltz, Deborah L.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between decision-making self-efficacy and decision-making performance in sport. Undergraduate students (N = 78) performed 10 trials of a decision-making task in baseball. Self-efficacy was measured before performing each trial. Decision-making performance was assessed by decision speed and…

  8. Genetic algorithm based task reordering to improve the performance of batch scheduled massively parallel scientific applications

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Sankaran, Ramanan; Angel, Jordan; Brown, W. Michael

    2015-04-08

    The growth in size of networked high performance computers along with novel accelerator-based node architectures has further emphasized the importance of communication efficiency in high performance computing. The world's largest high performance computers are usually operated as shared user facilities due to the costs of acquisition and operation. Applications are scheduled for execution in a shared environment and are placed on nodes that are not necessarily contiguous on the interconnect. Furthermore, the placement of tasks on the nodes allocated by the scheduler is sub-optimal, leading to performance loss and variability. Here, we investigate the impact of task placement on themore » performance of two massively parallel application codes on the Titan supercomputer, a turbulent combustion flow solver (S3D) and a molecular dynamics code (LAMMPS). Benchmark studies show a significant deviation from ideal weak scaling and variability in performance. The inter-task communication distance was determined to be one of the significant contributors to the performance degradation and variability. A genetic algorithm-based parallel optimization technique was used to optimize the task ordering. This technique provides an improved placement of the tasks on the nodes, taking into account the application's communication topology and the system interconnect topology. As a result, application benchmarks after task reordering through genetic algorithm show a significant improvement in performance and reduction in variability, therefore enabling the applications to achieve better time to solution and scalability on Titan during production.« less

  9. Genetic algorithm based task reordering to improve the performance of batch scheduled massively parallel scientific applications

    SciTech Connect

    Sankaran, Ramanan; Angel, Jordan; Brown, W. Michael

    2015-04-08

    The growth in size of networked high performance computers along with novel accelerator-based node architectures has further emphasized the importance of communication efficiency in high performance computing. The world's largest high performance computers are usually operated as shared user facilities due to the costs of acquisition and operation. Applications are scheduled for execution in a shared environment and are placed on nodes that are not necessarily contiguous on the interconnect. Furthermore, the placement of tasks on the nodes allocated by the scheduler is sub-optimal, leading to performance loss and variability. Here, we investigate the impact of task placement on the performance of two massively parallel application codes on the Titan supercomputer, a turbulent combustion flow solver (S3D) and a molecular dynamics code (LAMMPS). Benchmark studies show a significant deviation from ideal weak scaling and variability in performance. The inter-task communication distance was determined to be one of the significant contributors to the performance degradation and variability. A genetic algorithm-based parallel optimization technique was used to optimize the task ordering. This technique provides an improved placement of the tasks on the nodes, taking into account the application's communication topology and the system interconnect topology. As a result, application benchmarks after task reordering through genetic algorithm show a significant improvement in performance and reduction in variability, therefore enabling the applications to achieve better time to solution and scalability on Titan during production.

  10. Factors Affecting Performance of Undergraduate Students in Construction Related Disciplines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olatunji, Samuel Olusola; Aghimien, Douglas Omoregie; Oke, Ayodeji Emmanuel; Olushola, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    Academic performance of students in Nigerian institutions has been of much concern to all and sundry hence the need to assess the factors affecting performance of undergraduate students in construction related discipline in Nigeria. A survey design was employed with questionnaires administered on students in the department of Quantity Surveying,…

  11. Focus of Attention Affects Performance of Motor Skills in Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Robert A.; Cash, Carla Davis; Allen, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    To test the extent to which learners performing a simple keyboard passage would be affected by directing their focus of attention to different aspects of their movements, 16 music majors performed a brief keyboard passage under each of four focus conditions arranged in a counterbalanced design--a total of 64 experimental sessions. As they…

  12. Sensorimotor Adaptability Training Improves Motor and Dual-Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.

    2009-01-01

    The overall objective of our project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The goal of our current study was to determine if SA training using variation in visual flow and support surface motion produces improved performance in a novel sensory environment and demonstrate the retention characteristics of SA training.

  13. Age-Related Changes in Brain Activation Underlying Single- and Dual-Task Performance: Visuomanual Drawing and Mental Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Impe, A.; Coxon, J. P.; Goble, D. J.; Wenderoth, N.; Swinnen, S. P.

    2011-01-01

    Depending on task combination, dual-tasking can either be performed successfully or can lead to performance decrements in one or both tasks. Interference is believed to be caused by limitations in central processing, i.e. structural interference between the neural activation patterns associated with each task. In the present study, single- and…

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

    PubMed

    Syrek, Christine J; Antoni, Conny H

    2014-10-01

    This study examines the relationship between time pressure and unfinished tasks as work stressors on employee well-being. Relatively little is known about the effect of unfinished tasks on well-being. Specifically, excluding the impact of time pressure, we examined whether the feeling of not having finished the week's tasks fosters perseverative cognitions and impairs sleep. Additionally, we proposed that leader performance expectations moderate these relationships. In more detail, we expected the detrimental effect of unfinished tasks on both rumination and sleep would be enhanced if leader expectations were perceived to be high. In total, 89 employees filled out online diary surveys both before and after the weekend over a 5-week period. Multilevel growth modeling revealed that time pressure and unfinished tasks impacted rumination and sleep on the weekend. Further, our results supported our hypothesis that unfinished tasks explain unique variance in the dependent variables above and beyond the influence of time pressure. Moreover, we found the relationship between unfinished tasks and both rumination and sleep was moderated by leader performance expectations. Our results emphasize the importance of unfinished tasks as a stressor and highlight that leadership, specifically in the form of performance expectations, contributes significantly to the strength of this relationship. PMID:24933596

  15. Performance gains from directed training do not transfer to untrained tasks.

    PubMed

    Lee, HyunKyu; Boot, Walter R; Basak, Chandramallika; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Neider, Mark; Erickson, Kirk I; Simons, Daniel J; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele; Low, Kathy A; Kramer, Arthur F

    2012-01-01

    Given the increasing complexity of the tasks and skills needed in modern society, developing effective training strategies is of tremendous practical importance. Furthermore, training that improves performance of both trained and untrained tasks would be highly efficient. In the present study, we examined how directed training contributes to skill acquisition, and more importantly, to engendering transfer of training to untrained tasks. Participants learned a complex video game for 30 h (Space Fortress, Donchin, Fabiani, & Sanders, 1989) using one of two training regimens: Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priority, or Full Emphasis Training (FET) in which participants simply practiced the game to obtain the highest overall score. We compared game performance, retention of training gains, and transfer of training to untrained tasks as a function of the training regimen. Compared to FET, HVT learners reached higher levels of mastery on the game and HVT was particularly beneficial for initially poor performing participants. This benefit persisted seven months after training. However, contrary to expectation, both HVT and FET were unsuccessful in producing transfer to untrained tasks compared to a group that received limited game experience, suggesting that directed training and practice can produce task-specific improvements, but improvements do not necessarily transfer from trained to untrained tasks. PMID:22133724

  16. Evaluation of an operant successive negative contrast task as a method to study affective state in rodents.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Emma N; Marston, Hugh M; Nutt, David J; Robinson, Emma S J

    2012-10-01

    Successive negative contrast (SNC) describes a change in an animal's behaviour following a downshift in the quantitative or qualitative value of a reward. Previous studies suggest both consummatory and instrumental paradigms have the potential to provide an objective measure of affective state in rodents. We first investigated whether an SNC effect is observed in an operant task based on the 5 choice serial reaction time task. We then tested whether this SNC effect was sensitive to differences in affective state induced by manipulating the home cage environment. In animals trained to receive a four pellet food reward, reinforcer downshift to a single reward pellet induced a significant slowing of both correct response and collection latencies to levels below that of animals which had only ever received the lower value reward, indicating a SNC effect. Home cage environmental enrichment resulted in a paradoxical effect on responses in this SNC task where animals housed in a barren environment showed faster baseline response times and the SNC effect was significantly attenuated. These data suggest that the animals housed in the barren conditions were in a more positive affective and/or motivational state during testing than animals housed in enriched cages. Although opposite to the effects of housing conditions in a runway SNC task, these data could be explained by the enriching effects of daily training in an operant task. Rather than inducing a negative affective state in rats, the barren housing conditions resulted in a relatively more positive affective state in the chamber when compared to animals living in a highly enriched environment. PMID:22732261

  17. Affect and Managerial Performance: A Test of the Sadder-but-Wiser vs. Happier-and-Smarter Hypotheses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staw, Barry M.; Barsade, Sigal G.

    1993-01-01

    Provides a comparative test of two psychological theories concerning the relationship between affect and performance. Used managerial simulations to test whether people with positive dispositions perform better or worse on both decisional and interpersonal tasks. Results support the happier-and-smarter, as opposed to the sadder-but-wiser,…

  18. Do frailty and cognitive impairment affect dual-task cost during walking in the oldest old institutionalized patients?

    PubMed

    Cadore, Eduardo L; Casas-Herrero, Alvaro; Zambom-Ferraresi, Fabricio; Martínez-Ramírez, Alicia; Millor, Nora; Gómez, Marisol; Moneo, Ana B Bays; Izquierdo, Mikel

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate dual-task costs in several elderly populations, including robust oldest old, frail oldest old with MCI, frail oldest old without MCI, and frail elderly with dementia. Sixty-four elderly men and women categorized into frail without MCI (age 93.4 ± 3.2 years, n = 20), frail with MCI (age 92.4 ± 4.2 years, n = 13), robust (age 88.2 ± 4.1 years, n = 10), and patients with dementia (age 88.1 ± 5.1 years, n = 21). Five-meter gait ability and timed-up-and-go (TUG) tests with single and dual-task performance were assessed in the groups. Dual-task cost in both 5-m habitual gait velocity test and TUG test was calculated by the time differences between single and dual-task performance. The robust group exhibited better 5-m gait and TUG test performances in the single and dual-task conditions compared with the other three groups (P < 0.001), and the frail and frail + MCI groups exhibited better performances than the dementia group (P < 0.001). No significant differences were observed between the frail and frail + MCI groups. However, all groups exhibited lower gait velocities in the verbal and arithmetic task conditions, but the dual-task cost of the groups were similar. Robust individuals exhibited superior single and dual-task walking performances than the other three groups, and the frail and frail + MCI individuals exhibited performances that were superior to those of the patients with dementia. However, the dual-task costs, i.e., the changes in gait performance when elderly participants switch from a single to a dual task, were similar among all four of the investigated groups. Therefore, these results demonstrated that the magnitude of the impairment in gait pattern is independent of frailty and cognitive impairment status. PMID:26667940

  19. Caffeine increases psychomotor performance on the effort expenditure for rewards task

    PubMed Central

    Wardle, Margaret C.; Treadway, Michael T.; de Wit, Harriet

    2013-01-01

    Preclinical studies suggest that cost/benefit decision-making involves interactions between adenosine and dopamine (DA). In rats, DA depletion decreases willingness to incur effort costs, while adenosine antagonism reverses these effects, likely by increasing DA transmission. Caffeine is a non-selective adenosine antagonist commonly used to facilitate effortful tasks, and thus may affect decisions involving effort costs in humans. The current study examined acute effects of 200 mg of caffeine on willingness to exert effort for monetary rewards at varying levels of reward value and reward probability, in young adult light caffeine users. Based on previous findings with amphetamine, we predicted that caffeine would increase willingness to exert effort. At separate sessions, 23 healthy normal adults received placebo or 200 mg caffeine under counterbalanced double-blind conditions, then completed the effort expenditure for rewards task (EEfRT). Measures of subjective and cardiovascular effects were obtained at regular intervals. Caffeine produced small but significant subjective and cardiovascular effects, and sped psychomotor performance on the EEfRT. Caffeine did not alter willingness to exert effort, except in high cardiovascular responders to caffeine, in whom it decreased willingness to exert effort. These results were contrary to our predictions, but consistent with rodent studies suggesting that moderate doses of caffeine alone do not affect effort, but rather only influence effort in the context of DA antagonism. Our results demonstrate that psychomotor speeding and decisional effects on the EEfRT are dissociable, providing additional evidence for the EEfRT as a specific measure of effort-based decision-making. This study provides a starting point for exploring contributions of the adenosine system to motivation in humans. PMID:22750066

  20. Male bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, perform equally well as workers in a serial colour-learning task

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Stephan; Chittka, Lars

    2016-01-01

    The learning capacities of males and females may differ with sex-specific behavioural requirements. Bumblebees provide a useful model system to explore how different lifestyles are reflected in learning abilities, because their (female but sterile) workers and males engage in fundamentally different behaviour routines. Bumblebee males, like workers, embark on active flower foraging but in contrast to workers they have to trade off their feeding with mate search, potentially affecting their abilities to learn and utilize floral cues efficiently during foraging. We used a serial colour-learning task with freely flying males and workers to compare their ability to flexibly learn visual floral cues with reward in a foraging scenario that changed over time. Male bumblebees did not differ from workers in both their learning speed and their ability to overcome previously acquired associations, when these ceased to predict reward. In all foraging tasks we found a significant improvement in choice accuracy in both sexes over the course of the training. In both sexes, the characteristics of the foraging performance depended largely on the colour difference of the two presented feeder types. Large colour distances entailed fast and reliable learning of the rewarding feeders whereas choice accuracy on highly similar colours improved significantly more slowly. Conversely, switching from a learned feeder type to a novel one was fastest for similar feeder colours and slow for highly different ones. Overall, we show that behavioural sex dimorphism in bumblebees did not affect their learning abilities beyond the mating context. We discuss the possible drivers and limitations shaping the foraging abilities of males and workers and implications for pollination ecology. We also suggest stingless male bumblebees as an advantageous alternative model system for the study of pollinator cognition. PMID:26877542

  1. The Effect of Personality on Collaborative Task Performance and Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Givney, Sinéad Mc; Smeaton, Alan F.; Lee, Hyowon

    Collocated, multi-user technologies, which support group-work are becoming increasingly popular. Examples include MERL’s Diamondtouch and Microsoft’s Surface, both of which have evolved from research prototypes to commercial products. Many applications have been developed for such technologies which support the work and entertainment needs of small groups of people. None of these applications however, have been studied in terms of the interactions and performances of their users with regards to their personality. In this paper, we address this research gap by conducting a series of user studies involving dyads working on a number of multi-user applications on the DiamondTouch tabletop device.

  2. Influence of Planning on Students' Language Performance in Task-Based Language Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Yingli

    2008-01-01

    Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is an important second language teaching method. Planning is one of the significant factors in the studies of TBLT. This paper will mainly discuss the influence of planning on students' language performance in TBLT.

  3. A methodology to assess performance of human-robotic systems in achievement of collective tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Ayanna M.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, we present a methodology to assess system performance of human-robotic systems in achievement of collective tasks such as habitat construction, geological sampling, and space exploration.

  4. Investigating Conversational Dynamics: Interactive Alignment, Interpersonal Synergy, and Collective Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fusaroli, Riccardo; Tylén, Kristian

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates interpersonal processes underlying dialog by comparing two approaches, "interactive alignment" and "interpersonal synergy", and assesses how they predict collective performance in a joint task. While the interactive alignment approach highlights imitative patterns between interlocutors, the synergy…

  5. Lexical Access and Dual-Task Performance: Determining the Locus of the Bottleneck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Phil

    2004-01-01

    During the two years of funding for NASA Grant "NCC21325, Lexical access and dual-task performance: Determining the locus of the bottleneck," we completed three experiments involving the psychological refractory period (PRP) and word frequency.

  6. Developmental stress impairs performance on an association task in male and female songbirds, but impairs auditory learning in females only.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    In songbirds, early-life environments critically shape song development. Many studies have demonstrated that developmental stress impairs song learning and the development of song-control regions of the brain in males. However, song has evolved through signaller-receiver networks and the effect stress has on the ability to receive auditory signals is equally important, especially for females who use song as an indicator of mate quality. Female song preferences have been the metric used to evaluate how developmental stress affects auditory learning, but preferences are shaped by many non-cognitive factors and preclude the evaluation of auditory learning abilities in males. To determine whether developmental stress specifically affects auditory learning in both sexes, we subjected juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to either an ad libitum or an unpredictable food supply treatment from 35 to 115 days of age. In adulthood, we assessed learning of both auditory and visual discrimination tasks. Females reared in the experimental group were slower than females in the control group to acquire a relative frequency auditory task, and slower than their male counterparts to acquire an absolute frequency auditory task. There was no difference in auditory performance between treatment groups for males. However, on the colour association task, birds from the experimental group committed more errors per trial than control birds. There was no correlation in performance across the cognitive tasks. Developmental stress did not affect all cognitive processes equally across the sexes. Our results suggest that the male auditory system may be more robust to developmental stress than that of females. PMID:26238792

  7. Cognition and dual-task performance in older adults with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Christofoletti, Gustavo; Andrade, Larissa Pires; Beinotti, Fernanda; Borges, Guilherme

    2014-01-01

    Background Patients with neurodegenerative diseases usually experience significant functional deficits. Older adults with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may suffer from both motor and cognitive impairments, making them especially vulnerable to poor dual-task performance. Objective To analyze the dual-task cost of walking in subjects with PD and AD exposed to motor and cognitive distracters. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 126 older adults comprising three groups: PD (n=43), AD (n=38), and control (n=45). The subjects were evaluated using the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test administered with motor and cognitive distracters. Mixed-design analysis of variance (ANOVA) with cognition as a covariant factor was used to test the possible main effects of dual-task on motion. A 5% threshold for significance was set, with a 95% confidence interval (CI). The partial eta square (n2p) analysis was included to estimate the magnitude of effect. Results Examining the effects for dual-task, ANOVA revealed the main effect for group×task interactions (F=13.09; P=0.001; n2p =0.178), for task (F=8.186; P=0.001; n2p =0.063) but not for group (F=2.954; P=0.056; n2p =0.047). Cognition applied as a covariant factor indicated interference on dual-tasks (F=30.43; P=0.001; n2p =0.201). Conclusion The findings of this study suggest that dual-task interference is a particularly noticeable problem in PD and AD, affecting subjects’ ability to appropriately adapt to environmental challenges. PMID:25092996

  8. Dual-Task Performance with Ideomotor-Compatible Tasks: Is the Central Processing Bottleneck Intact, Bypassed, or Shifted in Locus?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lien, Mei-Ching; McCann, Robert S.; Ruthruff, Eric; Proctor, Robert W.

    2005-01-01

    The present study examined whether the central bottleneck, assumed to be primarily responsible for the psychological refractory period (PRP) effect, is intact, bypassed, or shifted in locus with ideomotor (IM)-compatible tasks. In 4 experiments, factorial combinations of IM- and non-IM-compatible tasks were used for Task 1 and Task 2. All…

  9. Impairments in working memory associated with naturalistic dieting in women: no relationship between task performance and urinary 5-HIAA levels.

    PubMed

    Green, Michael W; Jones, A David; Smith, Ian D; Cobain, Mark R; Williams, J Mark G; Healy, Helen; Cowen, Philip J; Powell, Jonathan; Durlach, Paula J

    2003-04-01

    The present study investigated the question of whether the previously observed impairments of working memory characteristic of dieting to lose weight can be explained in terms of preoccupying cognitions relating to body shape or to alterations in serotonergic function resulting from a low dietary intake of tryptophan. The population comprised female non-dieting, lower restrained eaters (N=23), non-dieting higher restrained eaters (N=11) and current dieters (N=19). Each participant completed three tasks, each of which selectively loaded on to a different sub-component of working memory. The tasks comprised the Tower of London task, a letter string recall task and a mental rotation task. In addition, all participants completed self-report measures of body shape concern and affective state. Serotonin turnover was assessed by means of 24 h urine sample collection for each participant on their day of testing. This was analysed (via HPLC) for levels of the main serotonin metabolite 5-HIAA.The results of the present study broadly replicated previous findings of a Central Executive and Phonological Loop (but not Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad) deficit in those subjects who reported themselves to be currently dieting. Tower of London task performance also significantly correlated with self-reported feelings of fatness and body shape disparagement. There were no group differences in 5-HIAA levels nor did 5-HIAA levels correlate with task performance. However, there was a significant negative correlation between 5-HIAA levels and self-reported depression. These results support the hypothesis that the variables mediating this deficit are preoccupying cognitions concerning body shape. They do not support the hypothesis that the serotonergic function of dieters is compromised, although this conclusion is tentative. PMID:12781164

  10. The effects of achievement goals on performance, enjoyment, and practice of a novel motor task.

    PubMed

    Kavussanu, Maria; Morris, Rebecca L; Ring, Christopher

    2009-10-01

    We examined the effects of trichotomous achievement goals on performance, enjoyment, and practice of a golf-putting task. Male (n = 39) and female (n = 63) undergraduate students participated in the experiment in exchange for course credit. Participants were assigned to a mastery, performance-approach, or performance-avoidance goal condition and completed seven blocks of 10 trials (one for baseline, four for the experimental phase, and two for the transfer phase) of a golf-putting task. Distance from the target was measured and performance measures of accuracy and consistency were calculated. Self-reported enjoyment during the baseline and experimental phases and practice during a 5-min period before and following the experimental task were also assessed. Performance accuracy and consistency improved similarly among the three groups. Individuals in all three conditions reported enjoying the task to the same extent. Mastery participants practiced for longer than performance-approach participants during the practice period. Performance-avoidance participants did not differ significantly from the other two groups. The three goals were equally effective in promoting performance and enjoyment of the golf-putting task. The differential practice results for the two performance goals suggest that they should be considered separately. PMID:19735037

  11. Time-on-task decrements in "steer clear" performance of patients with sleep apnea and narcolepsy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Findley, L. J.; Suratt, P. M.; Dinges, D. F.

    1999-01-01

    Loss of attention with time-on-task reflects the increasing instability of the waking state during performance in experimentally induced sleepiness. To determine whether patients with disorders of excessive sleepiness also displayed time-on-task decrements indicative of wake state instability, visual sustained attention performance on "Steer Clear," a computerized simple RT driving simulation task, was compared among 31 patients with untreated sleep apnea, 16 patients with narcolepsy, and 14 healthy control subjects. Vigilance decrement functions were generated by analyzing the number of collisions in each of six four-minute periods of Steer Clear task performance in a mixed-model analysis of variance and linear regression equations. As expected, patients had more Steer Clear collisions than control subjects (p=0.006). However, the inter-subject variability in errors among the narcoleptic patients was four-fold that of the apnea patients, and 100-fold that of the controls volunteers; the variance in errors among untreated apnea patients was 27-times that of controls. The results of transformed collision data revealed main effects for group (p=0.006), time-on-task (p=0.001), and a significant interaction (p=0.022). Control subjects showed no clear evidence of increasing collision errors with time-on-task (adjusted R2=0.22), while apnea patients showed a trend toward vigilance decrement (adjusted R2=0.42, p=0.097), and narcolepsy patients evidenced a robust linear vigilance decrement (adjusted R2=0.87, p=0.004). The association of disorders of excessive somnolence with escalating time-on-task decrements makes it imperative that when assessment of neurobehavioral performance is conducted in patients, it involves task durations and analyses that will evaluate the underlying vulnerability of potentially sleepy patients to decrements over time in tasks that require sustained attention and timely responses, both of which are key components in safe driving performance.

  12. Performance of a motor task learned on levodopa deteriorates when subsequently practiced off.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Elise D; Horak, Fay B; Lasarev, Michael R; Nutt, John G

    2014-01-01

    Studies in animals and in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) demonstrate complex effects of dopamine on learning motor tasks; its effect on retention of motor learning has received little attention. Recent animal studies demonstrate that practicing a task in the off state, when initially learned in the on state, leads to progressive deterioration in performance. We measured the acquisition and retention of 3 different motor tasks in the presence and absence of levodopa. Twenty individuals with Hoehn and Yahr Stage 1.5 to 3 PD practiced the tasks daily for two 4-day weeks, one half practicing on L-dopa the first week and off the second week. The other half practiced off l-dopa both weeks. The tasks were (1) alternate tapping of 2 keys, (2) moving the body toward 2 targets on a posturography device, and (3) mirror drawing of a star. For the tapping and body movement tests, those who practiced on the first week had a progressive decline in performance with practice during week 2, while subjects off during week 1 maintained or improved. In contrast, for the mirror task, subjects on L-dopa initially had much more difficulty completing the task compared to subjects who practiced off. Both groups improved with practice the first week and had flat performance the second week. These data suggest that performance of speed-accuracy tasks learned in the on state may progressively worsen if subsequently practiced in the off state. In addition, performance, but not learning, of some tasks may be impeded by L-dopa. PMID:24132873

  13. THE EFFECTS OF SEX, TOPOLOGICAL STRUCTURE, AND TASK TYPE ON HYPERTEXT NAVIGATIONAL PERFORMANCE.

    PubMed

    Chang, Wen-Te; Chien, Yu-Hung

    2015-06-01

    Currently, almost all online materials use hyperlinks to provide users access to background, supplemental, or alternative information presented in context, greatly increasing the potential integration of information. However, a major problem is that people do not navigate hyperlinks effectively when the links become more topologically complex. Thus, identification of the variables that lead to navigational errors is necessary for the effective design of hyperlinks. Ninety-one participants (45 women, 46 men) were recruited for this experiment. All were college students and ranged in age from 19 to 23 yr. (M = 20.87, SD = 1.02). Navigational performance was examined in relation to sex, topological structure, and task type. A network topology with single-node task was superior to one with a linear topology under a single-node task condition, but equal to one with a linear topology under a multi-node task condition. Men navigated the linear topology with multi-node task and a network topology with a single-node task significantly faster than women, whereas no significant differences were observed under the other conditions. Sex interacted with topological structure and task type. This study extended the research in this domain by demonstrating an interactive effect among sex, topological structure, and task type on the navigational performance of users and can contribute to research regarding web page design. PMID:26057417

  14. Effect of Task Constraint on Reaching Performance in Children with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ju, Yun-Huei; You, Jia-Yuan; Cherng, Rong-Ju

    2010-01-01

    The purposes of the study were to examine the effect of task constraint on the reaching performance in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and to examine the correlations between the reaching performance and postural control. Eight children with CP and 16 typically developing (TD) children participated in the study. They performed a…

  15. Does Performance on the Standard Antisaccade Task Meet the Co-Familiality Criterion for an Endophenotype?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Deborah L.; Bowman, Elizabeth A.; Abel, Larry; Krastoshevsky, Olga; Krause, Verena; Mendell, Nancy R.

    2008-01-01

    The "co-familiality" criterion for an endophenotype has two requirements: (1) clinically unaffected relatives as a group should show both a shift in mean performance and an increase in variance compared with controls; (2) performance scores should be heritable. Performance on the antisaccade task is one of several candidate endophenotypes for…

  16. Alpha suppression following performance errors is correlated with depression, affect, and coping behaviors.

    PubMed

    Compton, Rebecca J; Hofheimer, Julia; Kazinka, Rebecca; Levinson, Amanda; Zheutlin, Amanda

    2013-10-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that enhanced neural arousal in response to performance errors would predict poor affect and coping behaviors in everyday life. Participants were preselected as either low-depressed (LD) or high-depressed (HD) based on a screening questionnaire, and they then completed a laboratory Stroop task while EEG was recorded, followed by a 2-week period of daily reports of affect and coping behaviors. The EEG measure of arousal response to errors was the degree of error-related alpha suppression (ERAS) in the intertrial interval, that is the reduction in alpha power following errors compared with correct responses. ERAS was relatively heightened at frontal sites for the HD versus the LD group, and frontal ERAS predicted lower positive affect, higher negative affect, and less adaptive coping behaviors in the daily reports. Together, the results imply that heightened arousal following mistakes is associated with suboptimal emotion and coping with stressors. PMID:23731439

  17. Study of how sash movement affects performance of fume hoods

    SciTech Connect

    Hardwick, T.

    1997-12-31

    This study was conducted to determine how sash movements affect the performance of fume hoods. The performance of two fume hoods was studied as the sashes were moved from closed to open position at speeds of 2 ft/s, 1.5 ft/s, and 1 ft/s. The tests were conducted with fume hoods operated at both constant volume and variable air volume. The tests indicate that sash movements can disturb airflow patterns at the face of the hood and potentially affect the performance of the hood. The effect of the sash movement varied with hood type and speed of sash movement. The faster sash movements of 2 ft/s and 1.5 ft/s had a greater effect on the performance of the hoods than the slower movement of 1 ft/s. Constant-volume hoods and variable-air-volume hoods were both affected by sash movements. Constant-volume hoods set to a full open face velocity of 60 ft/min were more susceptible to the sash movement than at 100 ft/min full open face velocity. The performance of variable-air-volume hoods is affected not only by sash movement speed but also by the response time of the controller. The drop in face velocity that occurs when the sash is moved is determined by the speed of the VAV controller. The required response time for containment depends on the fume hood design and the speed of the sash movement.

  18. The effects of smoking and cigarette nicotine content on smokers' preparation and performance of a psychosocially stressful task.

    PubMed

    Hatch, J P; Bierner, S M; Fisher, J G

    1983-06-01

    This study examined the effects of tobacco smoking and cigarette nicotine content on four dimensions of emotional behavior (peripheral autonomic, electrocortical, cognitive, and overt motor) during both the preparation for and the performance of a psychosocially stressful task (extemporaneous speaking). Three groups of experienced smokers either did not smoke, smoked a low-nicotine cigarette, or smoked a high-nicotine cigarette while they were preparing to perform the speaking task. All subjects reported prior to the experiment that they did experience smoking as relaxing and that they did experience a stronger desire to smoke under a variety of negative affective states compared to a variety of positive affective states. In spite of these verbal reports, however, neither the smoking ritual nor the nicotine content of the cigarette smoked had a significant effect on any of the four dimensions of the emotional behavior studied during either the preparation for or the performance of the task. These results were discussed in terms of previous psychophysiological studies utilizing different types of stressors and behavioral indices of emotion. PMID:6620373

  19. 'Yes' ifs, ands or buts: examining performance and correlates of the repetition task in the mini-mental state examination.

    PubMed

    Werner, P; Heinik, J; Lin, R; Bleich, A

    1999-09-01

    The aim of this study was to examine whether the type of sentence used in the repetition task included in the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) affected performance in a group of 79 demented and 19 non-demented Hebrew-speaking elderly persons. The cognitive functioning of the participants was assessed using the MMSE and CAMCOG examinations. The performance of the repetition task was evaluated by using three sentences: the literal translation of the English language expression used in the original MMSE; a well-known Hebrew proverb consisting of monosyllabic words and rhythmic effects; and another well-known Hebrew proverb without such attributes. Only a third of the participants successfully repeated the literally translated expression. It showed low predictive value and was highly affected by education. The well-known Hebrew monosyllabic proverb showed moderate predictive value but no discriminatory ability. The other well-known Hebrew proverb performed the best. The translation of the repetition task in the MMSE to other languages is problematic. Strict adherence to the original language proved to be the least desirable choice. PMID:10479742

  20. Simultaneous dual-task performance reveals parallel response selection after practice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hazeltine, Eliot; Teague, Donald; Ivry, Richard B.

    2002-01-01

    E. H. Schumacher, T. L. Seymour, J. M. Glass, D. E. Kieras, and D. E. Meyer (2001) reported that dual-task costs are minimal when participants are practiced and give the 2 tasks equal emphasis. The present research examined whether such findings are compatible with the operation of an efficient response selection bottleneck. Participants trained until they were able to perform both tasks simultaneously without interference. Novel stimulus pairs produced no reaction time costs, arguing against the development of compound stimulus-response associations (Experiment 1). Manipulating the relative onsets (Experiments 2 and 4) and durations (Experiments 3 and 4) of response selection processes did not lead to dual-task costs. The results indicate that the 2 tasks did not share a bottleneck after practice.

  1. Dual-task performance with ideomotor-compatible tasks: is the central processing bottleneck intact, bypassed, or shifted in locus?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lien, Mei-Ching; McCann, Robert S.; Ruthruff, Eric; Proctor, Robert W.

    2005-01-01

    The present study examined whether the central bottleneck, assumed to be primarily responsible for the psychological refractory period (PRP) effect, is intact, bypassed, or shifted in locus with ideomotor (IM)-compatible tasks. In 4 experiments, factorial combinations of IM- and non-IM-compatible tasks were used for Task 1 and Task 2. All experiments showed substantial PRP effects, with a strong dependency between Task 1 and Task 2 response times. These findings, along with model-based simulations, indicate that the processing bottleneck was not bypassed, even with two IM-compatible tasks. Nevertheless, systematic changes in the PRP and correspondence effects across experiments suggest that IM compatibility shifted the locus of the bottleneck. The findings favor an engage-bottleneck-later hypothesis, whereby parallelism between tasks occurs deeper into the processing stream for IM- than for non-IM-compatible tasks, without the bottleneck being actually eliminated.

  2. Brain networks subserving fixed versus performance-adjusted delay stop trials in a stop signal task.

    PubMed

    Fauth-Bühler, Mira; de Rover, Mischa; Rubia, Katya; Garavan, Hugh; Abbott, Sanja; Clark, Luke; Vollstädt-Klein, Sabine; Mann, Karl; Schumann, Gunter; Robbins, Trevor W

    2012-11-01

    The stop signal task is a widely used tool for assessing inhibitory motor control. Two main task variants exist: (1) a fixed delay version, where all volunteers complete the same trials, resulting in performance differences due to individual variation in inhibitory capacity, and (2) a performance-adjusted version that uses a tracking algorithm to equate performance and task difficulty across subjects, leading to ∼50% successful inhibition for every participant. Our aim was to investigate commonalities, mean differences and between-subject variability in brain activation for successful response inhibition between the performance-adjusted and fixed delay version. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in 18 healthy individuals, using a within-subject, within-task design where both adjusting and fixed delay trials were analysed separately. Conjunction analyses identified a network of areas involved in successful response inhibition in both task versions. In comparing the fixed and performance-adjusted versions, we found no significant differences between delay conditions during successful inhibition. While activation measures in the inhibitory networks of both delay variants were highly comparable, the neural responses to fixed delay trials were more variable across participants. This suggests that performance-adjusted stop signal tasks may be more suitable for studies in which the performance differences need to be controlled for, such as for developmental or clinical studies. Fixed delay stop signal tasks may be more appropriate in studies assessing the neural basis of individual differences in performance, such as studies of personality traits or genetic associations. PMID:22820235

  3. Whole-body task energy metrics for robots performing useful work in unstructured environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmann, Andreas; Theobald, Daniel

    2010-04-01

    When considering energy requirements and optimization for robots, it is important to consider mission requirements, and the type of robot performing the mission. For example, the small robots used in today's reconnaissance and explosive ordnance disposal applications have weak manipulators, and do not perform significant physical work on their surrounding environment. In this paper, we focus on robots that will be required to do much more physically demanding tasks, such as manipulating large heavy objects in unstructured environments, and carrying such objects over challenging terrain. Energy considerations for such systems must include models of physical work performed for basic manipulation, pose transition, and locomotion maneuvers. Given the scarcity of robots that can perform useful work in unstructured environments, it is useful to begin the investigation of energy optimization for such robots by considering typical tasks they might perform. This paper makes three contributions in this direction. First, we develop a set of standard tasks that would be useful in unstructured environments. The tasks are expressed in terms of the objects being manipulated, and the work being done, so they are independent of robot morphology. Second, we develop energy metrics and analytical results for theoretical energy requirements for these tasks. These requirements assume no losses due to friction, so they give a best-case estimate of what is achievable. Such metrics are useful in subsequent evaluation of real systems that are not as efficient. Third, we perform preliminary comparisons between different actuation technologies in performing these tasks. These actuation technologies will include electro-mechanical and hydraulic systems. We compare these technologies in terms of power density, and evaluate expected energy efficiency when performing the metric tasks.

  4. Glutamate and GABA concentration changes in the globus pallidus internus of Parkinson's patients during performance of implicit and declarative memory tasks: a report of two subjects.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Robert J; Gjini, Klevest; Darrow, David; Varga, Georgeta; Robinson, Jennifer L; Nadasdy, Zoltan

    2015-03-01

    The basal ganglia, typically associated with motor function, are involved in human cognitive processes, as demonstrated in behavioral, lesion, and noninvasive functional neuroimaging studies. Here we report task-contingent changes in concentrations of the neurotransmitters glutamate (Glu) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the globus pallidus internus (GPi) of two patients with Parkinson's disease undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery by utilizing in-vivo microdialysis measurements during performance of implicit and declarative memory tasks. Performance of an implicit memory task (weather prediction task-WPT) was associated with increased levels of glutamate and GABA in the GPi compared to their concentrations at baseline. On the other hand, performance of a declarative memory task (verbal learning task-VLT) was associated with decreased levels of glutamate and GABA in GPi compared to baseline during the encoding and immediate recall phase with less conclusive results during the delayed recall phase. These results are in line with hypothesized changes in these neurotransmitter levels: an increase of excitatory (Glu) input from subthalamic nucleus (STN) to GPi during implicit memory task performance and a decrease of inhibitory inputs (GABA) from globus pallidus externus (GPe) and striatum to GPi during declarative memory performance. Consistent with our previous report on in-vivo neurotransmitter changes during tasks in STN, these data provide corroborative evidence for the direct involvement of basal ganglia in cognitive functions and complements our model of the functional circuitry of basal ganglia in the healthy and Parkinson's disease affected brain. PMID:25596441

  5. Free-Throw Shooting during Dual-Task Performance: Implications for Attentional Demand and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Jayme; Gill, Diane L.; Etnier, Jennifer; Kornatz, Kurt

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the dual-task paradigm was used to determine peak attentional demand during the free-throw process. Thirty participants completed 40 free-throw trials. The free throw was the primary task, but participants also verbally responded to a tone administered at one of four probe positions (PP). Repeated measures analysis of variance…

  6. Task- and resting-state functional connectivity of brain regions related to affection and susceptible to concurrent cognitive demand

    PubMed Central

    Kellermann, Tanja S.; Caspers, Svenja; Fox, Peter T.; Zilles, Karl; Roski, Christian; Laird, Angela R.; Turetsky, Bruce I.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    A recent fMRI-study revealed neural responses for affective processing of stimuli for which overt attention irrespective of stimulus valence was required in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and bilateral amygdala (AMY): activation decreased with increasing cognitive demand. To further characterize the network putatively related to this attenuation, we here characterized these regions with respect to their functional properties and connectivity patterns in task-dependent and task-independent states. All experiments of the BrainMap database activating the seed regions OFC and bilateral AMY were identified. Their functional characteristics were quantitatively inferred using the behavioral meta-data of the retrieved experiments. Task-dependent functional connectivity was characterized by meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) of significant co-activations with these seed regions. Task-independent resting-state functional connectivity analysis in a sample of 100 healthy subjects complemented these analyses. All three seed regions co-activated with subgenual cingulum (SGC), precuneus (PCu) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) in the task-dependent MACM analysis. Task-independent resting-state connectivity revealed significant coupling of the seeds only with the SGC, but not the PCu and the NAcc. The former region (SGC) moreover was shown to feature significant resting-state connectivity with all other regions implicated in the network connected to regions where emotional processing may be modulated by a cognitive distractor. Based on its functional profile and connectivity pattern, we suggest that the SGC might serve as a key hub in the identified network, as such linking autobiographic information [PCu], reward [NAcc], (reinforce) values [OFC] and emotional significance [AMY]. Such a role, in turn, may allow the SGC to influence the OFC and AMY to modulate affective processing. PMID:23370055

  7. Effects of Night Work, Sleep Loss and Time on Task on Simulated Threat Detection Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Marginal neurofunctional changes in high-performing older adults in a verbal fluency task.

    PubMed

    Marsolais, Yannick; Methqal, Ikram; Joanette, Yves

    2015-01-01

    The maintenance of a high level of performance in aging has often been associated with changes in cerebral activations patterns for various cognitive components. However, relatively few studies have investigated this phenomenon in light of lexical speech production abilities, which have not been systematically found to benefit from neurofunctional reorganization during verbal fluency tasks. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess overt self-paced semantic and orthographic verbal fluency tasks performed by healthy younger and older adults within a mixed block/event-related fMRI design. Behavioral results indicated similarly high levels of performance between tasks and age groups, while whole brain analysis revealed significant task-related differences in patterns of brain activity, but no significant effect of age or task-by-age interaction across the speech conditions. Only local activity differences were found between age groups. These marginal neurofunctional changes in high-performing older adults are discussed in terms of task demands. PMID:25461916

  9. Board task performance: An exploration of micro- and macro-level determinants of board effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Minichilli, Alessandro; Zattoni, Alessandro; Nielsen, Sabina; Huse, Morten

    2012-01-01

    This paper addresses recent calls to narrow the micro–macro gap in management research (Bamberger, 2008), by incorporating a macro-level context variable (country) in exploring micro-level determinants of board effectiveness. Following the integrated model proposed by Forbes and Milliken (1999), we identify three board processes as micro-level determinants of board effectiveness. Specifically, we focus on effort norms, cognitive conflicts and the use of knowledge and skills as determinants of board control and advisory task performance. Further, we consider how two different institutional settings influence board tasks, and how the context moderates the relationship between processes and tasks. Our hypotheses are tested on a survey-based dataset of 535 medium-sized and large industrial firms in Italy and Norway, which are considered to substantially differ along legal and cultural dimensions. The findings show that: (i) Board processes have a larger potential than demographic variables to explain board task performance; (ii) board task performance differs significantly between boards operating in different contexts; and (iii) national context moderates the relationships between board processes and board task performance. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:23365485

  10. Identification of tasks performed by stroke patients using a mobility assistive device.

    PubMed

    Hester, Todd; Sherrill, Delsey M; Hamel, Mathieu; Perreault, Karine; Boissy, Patrick; Bonato, Paolo

    2006-01-01

    Many stroke patients are prescribed canes or other mobility assistive devices. Once taken home, these mobility assistive devices are often abandoned or misused. A means for assessing the use of the cane in the home and community settings is required to assist clinicians in the prescription of these devices. In this study, we propose the use of wearable sensors to identify tasks performed by stroke patients with a mobility assistive device. Subjects performed ten tasks with a three-axis accelerometer attached to their ankle and a neural network was trained to identify the task being performed. Results from 15 stroke patients indicated that these motor tasks can be reliably identified with a median sensitivity of 90 % at a median specificity of 95%. These results indicate that it is possible to use a single module with a three-axis accelerometer attached to the ankle to reliably identify motor tasks associated with the use of a cane. Therefore, we envision that the methodology presented in this paper could be used to evaluate the use of a cane in the context of the task being performed. PMID:17946896

  11. Rapid cognitive flexibility of rhesus macaques performing psychophysical task-switching.

    PubMed

    Avdagic, Ema; Jensen, Greg; Altschul, Drew; Terrace, Herbert S

    2014-05-01

    Three rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performed a simultaneous chaining task in which stimuli had to be sorted according to their visual properties. Each stimulus could vary independently along two dimensions (luminosity and radius), and a cue indicating which dimension to sort by was random trial to trial. These rapid and unpredictable changes constitute a task-switching paradigm, in which subjects must encode task demands and shift to whichever task-set is presently activated. In contrast to the widely reported task-switching delay observed in human studies, our subjects show no appreciable reduction in reaction times following a switch in the task requirements. Also, in contrast to the results of studies on human subjects, monkeys experienced enduring interference from trial-irrelevant stimulus features, even after exhaustive training. These results are consistent with a small but growing body of evidence that task-switching in rhesus macaques differs in basic ways from the pattern of behavior reported in studies of human cognition. Given the importance of task-switching paradigms in cognitive and clinical assessment, and the frequency with which corresponding animal models rely on non-human primates, understanding these differences in behavior is essential to the comparative study of cognitive impairment. PMID:24132412

  12. Relations among Epistemological Beliefs, Academic Achievement, and Task Performance in Secondary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodewyk, Ken R.

    2007-01-01

    Students with differing profiles of epistemological beliefs--their beliefs about personal epistemology, intelligence, and learning--vary in thinking, reasoning, motivation, and use of strategies while working on academic tasks, each of which affect learning. This study examined students' epistemological beliefs according to gender, school…

  13. Economy Affects Students' Academic Performance as Well as Spending Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sander, Libby

    2012-01-01

    Like many Americans caught up in the economic downturn, college students are worried about money. Now research indicates that financial worries may affect their academic performance. The author presents the results of this year's National Survey of Student Engagement. The survey reveals that more than a third of seniors and more than a quarter of…

  14. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Determinants of Performance: A Process Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorfman, Peter W.; Stephan, Walter G.

    Literature from organizational and social psychology has suggested that three types of factors influence performance, i.e., cognitive, affective and behavioral. A model was developed to test a set of propositions concerning the relationship between the three kinds of factors, and included attributions, expectancies, general emotional responses to…

  15. Principals' Perception regarding Factors Affecting the Performance of Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akram, Muhammad Javaid; Raza, Syed Ahmad; Khaleeq, Abdur Rehman; Atika, Samrana

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the perception of principals on how the factors of subject mastery, teaching methodology, personal characteristics, and attitude toward students affect the performance of teachers at higher secondary level in the Punjab. All principals of higher secondary level in the Punjab were part of the population of the study. From…

  16. Factors Affecting Performance in an Introductory Sociology Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwenda, Maxwell

    2011-01-01

    This study examines factors affecting students' performances in an Introductory Sociology course over five semesters. Employing simple and ordered logit regression models, the author explains final grades by focusing on individual demographic and educational characteristics that students bring into the classroom. The results show that a student's…

  17. Sibsize, Family Environment, Cognitive Performance, and Affective Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marjoribanks, Kevin

    1976-01-01

    Incorporates measures of family environment (parent-child interaction) into research methodology to study the effects of sibsize (family size and birth order) on a child's cognitive performance and affective behavior. Provides tentative support for the confluence model of sibsize influences on children's behaviors. (RL)

  18. Performance monitoring following total sleep deprivation: effects of task type and error rate.

    PubMed

    Renn, Ryan P; Cote, Kimberly A

    2013-04-01

    There is a need to understand the neural basis of performance deficits that result from sleep deprivation. Performance monitoring tasks generate response-locked event-related potentials (ERPs), generated from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) located in the medial surface of the frontal lobe that reflect error processing. The outcome of previous research on performance monitoring during sleepiness has been mixed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate performance monitoring in a controlled study of experimental sleep deprivation using a traditional Flanker task, and to broaden this examination using a response inhibition task. Forty-nine young adults (24 male) were randomly assigned to a total sleep deprivation or rested control group. The sleep deprivation group was slower on the Flanker task and less accurate on a Go/NoGo task compared to controls. General attentional impairments were evident in stimulus-locked ERPs for the sleep deprived group: P300 was delayed on Flanker trials and smaller to Go-stimuli. Further, N2 was smaller to NoGo stimuli, and the response-locked ERN was smaller on both tasks, reflecting neurocognitive impairment during performance monitoring. In the Flanker task, higher error rate was associated with smaller ERN amplitudes for both groups. Examination of ERN amplitude over time showed that it attenuated in the rested control group as error rate increased, but such habituation was not apparent in the sleep deprived group. Poor performing sleep deprived individuals had a larger Pe response than controls, possibly indicating perseveration of errors. These data provide insight into the neural underpinnings of performance failure during sleepiness and have implications for workplace and driving safety. PMID:23384887

  19. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role. PMID:26217252

  20. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role. PMID:26217252

  1. Gamma-L-glutamyl-L-aspartate, interacting with NMDA receptors, affects appetitive visual discrimination tasks in mice.

    PubMed

    Melan, C; De Barry, J; Ungerer, A

    1991-05-01

    gamma-L-glutamyl-L-aspartate (gamma-LGLA), which interacts with NMDA receptors, has been shown to impair retention of an active avoidance task in mice. Here, we specified the behavioral effects of gamma-LGLA on acquisition and retention of appetitive nondelayed visual discrimination tasks. Three experiments were conducted: the peptide (0.25 and 2.5 microM/kg/25 ml. ip) was administered 3 min after each of the first six sessions of either original learning, reversal 1 or reversal 3. gamma-LGLA affected acquisition of the original task and of the first reversal, as revealed by an absence of improvement on initial sessions and an increased number of sessions to reach criterion fixed at 7 of 10 correct choices on three consecutive sessions. This deficit did not result from an action of the peptide on position habits (repetition of spatial choices) nor on motivational processes, suggesting a specific interference of gamma-LGLA with acquisition and memorization of the visual rule. In contrast, gamma-LGLA had no effect on acquisition of the third reversal, in which the positively reinforced visual stimulus was identical to that used on the first reversal. These results show that the behavioral deficits of gamma-LGLA, which had previously been demonstrated in an aversive task, can be generalized to appetitive tasks based on acquisition of a new rule. PMID:1829354

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

    PubMed

    Levin, Yulia; Tzelgov, Joseph

    2016-02-01

    A contingency learning account of the item-specific proportion congruent effect has been described as an associative stimulus-response learning process that has nothing to do with controlling the Stroop conflict. As supportive evidence, contingency learning has been demonstrated with response conflict-free stimuli, such as neutral words. However, what gives rise to response conflict and to Stroop interference in general is task conflict. The present study investigated whether task conflict can constitute a trigger or, alternatively, a booster to the contingency learning process. This was done by employing a "task conflict-free" condition (i.e., geometric shapes) and comparing it with a "task conflict" condition (i.e., neutral words). The results showed a significant contingency learning effect in both conditions, refuting the possibility that contingency learning is triggered by the presence of a task conflict. Contingency learning was also not enhanced by the task conflict experience, indicating its complete insensitivity to Stroop conflict(s). Thus, the results showed no evidence that performance optimization as a result of contingency learning is greater under conflict, implying that contingency learning is not recruited to assist the control system to overcome conflict. PMID:26720099

  3. Text Familiarity, Reading Tasks, and ESP Test Performance: A Study on Iranian LEP and Non-LEP University Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salmani-Nodoushan, Muhammad Ali

    2003-01-01

    Studied the effects of text familiarity, task type, and language proficiency on university students' language for specific purposes test and task performances. Students majoring in electronics took the the Task Based Reading Test. Analyses indicated that text familiarity, task type, and language proficiency resulted in significant differences in…

  4. Age-Related Effects of Study Time Allocation on Memory Performance in a Verbal and a Spatial Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krueger, Lacy E.

    2012-01-01

    Past studies have suggested that study time allocation partially mediates age relations on memory performance in a verbal task. To identify whether this applied to a different material modality, participants ages 20-87 completed a spatial task in addition to a traditional verbal task. In both the verbal and the spatial task, increased age was…

  5. Operator performance and localized muscle fatigue in a simulated space vehicle control task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, J. L., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Fourier transforms in a special purpose computer were utilized to obtain power spectral density functions from electromyograms of the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, brachioradialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, brachialis, and pronator teres in eight subjects performing isometric tracking tasks in two directions utilizing a prototype spacecraft rotational hand controller. Analysis of these spectra in general purpose computers aided in defining muscles involved in performing the task, and yielded a derived measure potentially useful in predicting task termination. The triceps was the only muscle to show significant differences in all possible tests for simple effects in both tasks and, overall, was the most consistently involved of the six muscles. The total power monitored for triceps, biceps, and brachialis dropped to minimal levels across all subjects earlier than for other muscles. However, smaller variances existed for the biceps, brachioradialis, brachialis, and flexor carpi ulnaris muscles and could provide longer predictive times due to smaller standard deviations for a greater population range.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  7. Is soccer kick performance better after a "faking" (cutting) maneuver task?

    PubMed

    Katis, Athanasios; Kellis, Eleftherios

    2011-03-01

    Cutting in soccer is a common skill used to avoid the opponent's pressure but the potential effects of such a skill on instep kicking performance have not been previously investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in lower limb biomechanics between straight approach soccer kicks and kicks performed following a cutting maneuver task. Ten young amateur soccer players performed, in a random order, instep kicks after a two-step straight approach run and kicks after a double "faking" cutting maneuver task. The results showed that kicking after a cutting maneuver task displayed significantly lower ball speed values compared with the straight approach instep kicking (16.73 vs. 19.78 m/s, respectively; p < 0.05). Moreover, analysis of variance showed significant differences between the two kicking conditions in ankle, knee and hip joint displacements. The present study indicated that performing instep kicks after a double-cutting maneuver reduces ball and foot speed probably due to increasing joint frontal and transverse plane rotations. Improvements in the performance of the cutting maneuver task through training might result in better transfer of energy and speed to the kicking task thus permitting players to perform more powerful kicks under realistic game conditions. PMID:21560750

  8. Observational training improves adult womens' performance on Piaget's water-level task.

    PubMed

    Krekling, S; Nordvik, H

    1992-01-01

    Among women university students who lacked conceptual understanding of the principle that the surface of still water is always horizontal, a specific task procedure designed to optimize self-discovery of the principle proved effective. Successful learning was reflected in more accurate responses on an adjustment task and by a significant increase (p less than .01) in the number of subjects able to verbalize a correct strategy. In contrast to previous research the results show that adult womens' performance on the water-level task can be improved by observational training, suggesting that the female lag in spatial skills may depend on experiential factors. PMID:1641606

  9. Effects of aging and tactile stochastic resonance on postural performance and postural control in a sensory conflict task.

    PubMed

    Dettmer, Marius; Pourmoghaddam, Amir; Lee, Beom-Chan; Layne, Charles S

    2015-01-01

    Postural control in certain situations depends on functioning of tactile or proprioceptive receptors and their respective dynamic integration. Loss of sensory functioning can lead to increased risk of falls in challenging postural tasks, especially in older adults. Stochastic resonance, a concept describing better function of systems with addition of optimal levels of noise, has shown to be beneficial for balance performance in certain populations and simple postural tasks. In this study, we tested the effects of aging and a tactile stochastic resonance stimulus (TSRS) on balance of adults in a sensory conflict task. Nineteen older (71-84 years of age) and younger participants (22-29 years of age) stood on a force plate for repeated trials of 20 s duration, while foot sole stimulation was either turned on or off, and the visual surrounding was sway-referenced. Balance performance was evaluated by computing an Equilibrium Score (ES) and anterior-posterior sway path length (APPlength). For postural control evaluation, strategy scores and approximate entropy (ApEn) were computed. Repeated-measures ANOVA, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests, and Mann-Whitney U-tests were conducted for statistical analysis. Our results showed that balance performance differed between older and younger adults as indicated by ES (p = 0.01) and APPlength (0.01), and addition of vibration only improved performance in the older group significantly (p = 0.012). Strategy scores differed between both age groups, whereas vibration only affected the older group (p = 0.025). Our results indicate that aging affects specific postural outcomes and that TSRS is beneficial for older adults in a visual sensory conflict task, but more research is needed to investigate the effectiveness in individuals with more severe balance problems, for example, due to neuropathy. PMID:25884289

  10. Associations between Tactile Sensory Threshold and Postural Performance and Effects of Healthy Aging and Subthreshold Vibrotactile Stimulation on Postural Outcomes in a Simple Dual Task.

    PubMed

    Dettmer, Marius; Pourmoghaddam, Amir; Lee, Beom-Chan; Layne, Charles S

    2016-01-01

    Specific activities that require concurrent processing of postural and cognitive tasks may increase the risk for falls in older adults. We investigated whether peripheral receptor sensitivity was associated with postural performance in a dual-task and whether an intervention in form of subthreshold vibration could affect performance. Ten younger (age: 20-35 years) and ten older adults (70-85 years) performed repeated auditory-verbal 1-back tasks while standing quietly on a force platform. Foot sole vibration was randomly added during several trials. Several postural control and performance measures were assessed and statistically analyzed (significance set to α-levels of .05). There were moderate correlations between peripheral sensitivity and several postural performance and control measures (r = .45 to .59). Several postural performance measures differed significantly between older and younger adults (p < 0.05); addition of vibration did not affect outcome measures. Aging affects healthy older adults' performance in dual-tasks, and peripheral sensitivity may be a contributor to the observed differences. A vibration intervention may only be useful when there are more severe impairments of the sensorimotor system. Hence, future research regarding the efficacy of sensorimotor interventions in the form of vibrotactile stimulation should focus on older adults whose balance is significantly affected. PMID:27143967

  11. Associations between Tactile Sensory Threshold and Postural Performance and Effects of Healthy Aging and Subthreshold Vibrotactile Stimulation on Postural Outcomes in a Simple Dual Task

    PubMed Central

    Dettmer, Marius; Pourmoghaddam, Amir; Lee, Beom-Chan; Layne, Charles S.

    2016-01-01

    Specific activities that require concurrent processing of postural and cognitive tasks may increase the risk for falls in older adults. We investigated whether peripheral receptor sensitivity was associated with postural performance in a dual-task and whether an intervention in form of subthreshold vibration could affect performance. Ten younger (age: 20–35 years) and ten older adults (70–85 years) performed repeated auditory-verbal 1-back tasks while standing quietly on a force platform. Foot sole vibration was randomly added during several trials. Several postural control and performance measures were assessed and statistically analyzed (significance set to α-levels of .05). There were moderate correlations between peripheral sensitivity and several postural performance and control measures (r = .45 to .59). Several postural performance measures differed significantly between older and younger adults (p < 0.05); addition of vibration did not affect outcome measures. Aging affects healthy older adults' performance in dual-tasks, and peripheral sensitivity may be a contributor to the observed differences. A vibration intervention may only be useful when there are more severe impairments of the sensorimotor system. Hence, future research regarding the efficacy of sensorimotor interventions in the form of vibrotactile stimulation should focus on older adults whose balance is significantly affected. PMID:27143967

  12. Non-image forming effects of illuminance level: Exploring parallel effects on physiological arousal and task performance.

    PubMed

    Huiberts, Laura M; Smolders, Karin C H J; de Kort, Yvonne A W

    2016-10-01

    This study investigated diurnal non-image forming (NIF) effects of illuminance level on physiological arousal in parallel to NIF effects on vigilance and working memory performance. We employed a counterbalanced within-subjects design in which thirty-nine participants (mean age=21.2; SD=2.1; 11 male) completed three 90-min sessions (165 vs. 600lx vs. 1700lx at eye level) either in the morning (N=18) or afternoon (N=21). During each session, participants completed four measurement blocks (incl. one baseline block) each consisting of a 10-min Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) and a Backwards Digit-Span Task (BDST) including easy trials (4-6 digits) and difficult trials (7-8 digits). Heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were measured continuously. The results revealed significant improvements in performance on the BDST difficult trials under 1700lx vs. 165lx (p=0.01), while illuminance level did not affect performance on the PVT and BDST easy trials. Illuminance level impacted HR and SCL, but not SBP. In the afternoon sessions, HR was significantly higher under 1700lx vs. 165lx during PVT performance (p=0.05), while during BDST performance, HR was only slightly higher under 600 vs. 165lx (p=0.06). SCL was significantly higher under 1700lx vs. 165lx during performance on BDST easy trials (p=0.02) and showed similar, but nonsignificant trends during the PVT and BDST difficult trials. Although both physiology and performance were affected by illuminance level, no consistent pattern emerged with respect to parallel changes in physiology and performance. Rather, physiology and performance seemed to be affected independently, via unique pathways. PMID:27221368

  13. An abbreviated task-oriented assessment (Bay Area Functional Performance Evaluation).

    PubMed

    Mann, W C; Huselid, R

    1993-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore development of an abbreviated version of the Task-Oriented Assessment component of the Bay Area Functional Performance Evaluation (BaFPE). The BaFPE is widely used by occupational therapists practicing in mental health, but therapists have requested an instrument that could be administered and scored more quickly. Both a subjective and objective analysis support the development of an abbreviated version of the Task-Oriented Assessment. PMID:8470740

  14. Effects of Alcohol on Performance on a Distraction Task During Simulated Driving

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Allyssa J.; Meda, Shashwath A.; Skudlarski, Pawel; Calhoun, Vince; Astur, Robert; Ruopp, Kathryn C.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Prior studies report that accidents involving intoxicated drivers are more likely to occur during performance of secondary tasks. We studied this phenomenon, using a dual-task paradigm, involving performance of a visual oddball (VO) task while driving in an alcohol challenge paradigm. Previous functional MRI (fMRI) studies of the VO task have shown activation in the anterior cingulate, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Thus, we predicted dose-dependent decreases in activation of these areas during VO performance. Methods Forty healthy social drinkers were administered 3 different doses of alcohol, individually tailored to their gender and weight. Participants performed a VO task while operating a virtual reality driving simulator in a 3T fMRI scanner. Results Analysis showed a dose-dependent linear decrease in Blood Oxygen Level Dependent activation during task performance, primarily in hippocampus, anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal areas, with the least activation occurring during the high dose. Behavioral analysis showed a dose-dependent linear increase in reaction time, with no effects associated with either correct hits or false alarms. In all dose conditions, driving speed decreased significantly after a VO stimulus. However, at the high dose this decrease was significantly less. Passenger-side line crossings significantly increased at the high dose. Conclusions These results suggest that driving impairment during secondary task performance may be associated with alcohol-related effects on the above brain regions, which are involved with attentional processing/decision-making. Drivers with high blood alcohol concentrations may be less able to orient or detect novel or sudden stimuli during driving. PMID:19183133

  15. When the going gets tough the beautiful get going: aesthetic appeal facilitates task performance.

    PubMed

    Reppa, Irene; McDougall, Siné

    2015-10-01

    The current studies examined the effect of aesthetic appeal on performance. According to one hypothesis, appeal would lead to overall decrements or enhancements in performance [e.g. Sonderegger & Sauer, (Applied Ergonomics, 41, 403-410, 2010)]. Alternatively, appeal might influence performance only in problem situations, such as when the task is difficult [e.g. Norman, (2004)]. The predictions of these hypotheses were examined in the context of an icon search-and-localisation task. Icons were used because they are well-defined stimuli and pervasive to modern everyday life. When search was made difficult using visually complex stimuli (Experiment 1), or abstract and unfamiliar stimuli (Experiment 2), icons that were appealing were found more quickly than their unappealing counterparts. These findings show that in a low-level visual processing task, with demand characteristics related to appeal eliminated, appeal can influence performance, especially under duress. PMID:25595208

  16. Investigating the correlation between the neural activity and task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongze; Sun, Yu; Lim, Julian; Thakor, Nitish; Bezerianos, Anastasios

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity is known to correlate with decrements in task performance as individuals enter the state of mental fatigue which might lead to lowered productivity and increased safety risks. Incorporating a passive brain computer interface (BCI) technique that detects changes in subject's neural activity and predicts the behavioral performance when the subject is underperforming might be a promising approach to reduce human error in real-world situations. Here, we developed a reliable model using EEG power spectrum to estimate time-on-task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) which can fit across individuals. High correlation between the estimated and actual reaction time was achieved. Hence, our results illustrate the feasibility for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance among different individuals from their brainwave activity, with potential applications in several domains, including traffic and industrial safety. PMID:26737349

  17. A relationship between eye movement patterns and performance in a precognitive tracking task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Repperger, D. W.; Hartzell, E. J.

    1977-01-01

    Eye movements made by various subjects in the performance of a precognitive tracking task are studied. The tracking task persented by an antiaircraft artillery (AAA) simulator has an input forcing function represented by a deterministic aircraft fly-by. The performance of subjects is ranked by two metrics. Good, mediocre, and poor trackers are selected for analysis based on performance during the difficult segment of the tracking task and over replications. Using phase planes to characterize both the eye movement patterns and the displayed error signal, a simple metric is developed to study these patterns. Two characterizations of eye movement strategies are defined and quantified. Using these two types of eye strategies, two conclusions are obtained about good, mediocre, and poor trackers. First, the eye tracker who used a fixed strategy will consistently perform better. Secondly, the best fixed strategy is defined as a Crosshair Fixator.

  18. Flight tests for the assessment of task performance and control activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pausder, H. J.; Hummes, D.

    1982-01-01

    The tests were performed with the helicopters BO 105 and UH-1D. Closely connected with tactical demands the six test pilots' task was to minimize the time and the altitude over the obstacles. The data reduction yields statistical evaluation parameters describing the control activity of the pilots and the achieved task performance. The results are shown in form of evaluation diagrams. Additionally dolphin tests with varied control strategy were performed to get more insight into the influence of control techniques. From these test results recommendations can be derived to emphasize the direct force control and to reduce the collective to pitch crosscoupling for the dolphin.

  19. Stability control during the performance of a simultaneous obstacle avoidance and auditory Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Worden, Timothy A; Vallis, Lori Ann

    2016-02-01

    Navigation through complex environments requires a greater degree of control and attentional resources from the central nervous system to ensure postural stability and efficient goal completion as compared to quiet standing or unobstructed walking. Furthermore, when a cognitive task is also performed in a dual-task scenario, additional resources may be required. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive (auditory Stroop task) and complex locomotor task (with a stationary or dynamic obstacle) on frontal plane stability control quantified using a margin of stability (MOS) measure. Fourteen healthy young adults performed 40 dual-task trials (randomized in a balanced design for auditory Stroop congruency and obstacle movement). Results indicated that frontal plane MOS was greatest for the obstacle crossing step and was greater for the dynamic obstacle as compared to the stationary obstacle. Conversely, frontal plane MOS was the smallest for the pre-crossing step, indicating that this point in the obstacle stepping strategy may be the least stable. No effect of cognitive task difficulty was observed for any of the experimental conditions, providing support for a 'posture-first' strategy. These findings suggest that an increase in stability is prioritized for the obstacle crossing step, potentially at the expense of reduced stability in the step immediately preceding the obstacle. These results have implications for better understanding how the CNS controls stability at different events during the obstacle crossing strategy in a complex environment. PMID:26487180

  20. Sensitivity of negative subsequent memory and task-negative effects to age and associative memory performance.

    PubMed

    de Chastelaine, Marianne; Mattson, Julia T; Wang, Tracy H; Donley, Brian E; Rugg, Michael D

    2015-07-01

    The present fMRI experiment employed associative recognition to investigate the relationships between age and encoding-related negative subsequent memory effects and task-negative effects. Young, middle-aged and older adults (total n=136) were scanned while they made relational judgments on visually presented word pairs. In a later memory test, the participants made associative recognition judgments on studied, rearranged (items studied on different trials) and new pairs. Several regions, mostly localized to the default mode network, demonstrated negative subsequent memory effects in an across age-group analysis. All but one of these regions also demonstrated task-negative effects, although there was no correlation between the size of the respective effects. Whereas negative subsequent memory effects demonstrated a graded attenuation with age, task-negative effects declined markedly between the young and the middle-aged group, but showed no further reduction in the older group. Negative subsequent memory effects did not correlate with memory performance within any age group. By contrast, in the older group only, task-negative effects predicted later memory performance. The findings demonstrate that negative subsequent memory and task-negative effects depend on dissociable neural mechanisms and likely reflect distinct cognitive processes. The relationship between task-negative effects and memory performance in the older group might reflect the sensitivity of these effects to variations in amount of age-related neuropathology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Memory. PMID:25264353