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Sample records for affect task performance

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Task-irrelevant spider associations affect categorization performance.

    PubMed

    Woud, Marcella L; Ellwart, Thomas; Langner, Oliver; Rinck, Mike; Becker, Eni S

    2011-09-01

    In two studies, the Single Target Implicit Association Test (STIAT) was used to investigate automatic associations toward spiders. In both experiments, we measured the strength of associations between pictures of spiders and either threat-related words or pleasant words. Unlike previous studies, we administered a STIAT version in which stimulus contents was task-irrelevant: The target spider pictures were categorized according to the label picture, irrespective of what they showed. In Study 1, spider-fearful individuals versus non-fearful controls were tested, Study 2 compared spider enthusiasts to non-fearful controls. Results revealed that the novel STIAT version was sensitive to group differences in automatic associations toward spiders. In Study 1, it successfully distinguished between spider-fearful individuals and non-fearful controls. Moreover, STIAT scores predicted automatic fear responses best, whereas controlled avoidance behavior was best predicted by the FAS (German translation of the Fear of Spiders Questionnaire). The results of Study 2 demonstrated that the novel STIAT version was also able to differentiate between spider enthusiasts and non-fearful controls.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Thinking about the weather: How display salience and knowledge affect performance in a graphic inference task.

    PubMed

    Hegarty, Mary; Canham, Matt S; Fabrikant, Sara I

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments examined how bottom-up and top-down processes interact when people view and make inferences from complex visual displays (weather maps). Bottom-up effects of display design were investigated by manipulating the relative visual salience of task-relevant and task-irrelevant information across different maps. Top-down effects of domain knowledge were investigated by examining performance and eye fixations before and after participants learned relevant meteorological principles. Map design and knowledge interacted such that salience had no effect on performance before participants learned the meteorological principles; however, after learning, participants were more accurate if they viewed maps that made task-relevant information more visually salient. Effects of display design on task performance were somewhat dissociated from effects of display design on eye fixations. The results support a model in which eye fixations are directed primarily by top-down factors (task and domain knowledge). They suggest that good display design facilitates performance not just by guiding where viewers look in a complex display but also by facilitating processing of the visual features that represent task-relevant information at a given display location. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Your brain on speed: cognitive performance of a spatial working memory task is not affected by walking speed

    PubMed Central

    Kline, Julia E.; Poggensee, Katherine; Ferris, Daniel P.

    2014-01-01

    When humans walk in everyday life, they typically perform a range of cognitive tasks while they are on the move. Past studies examining performance changes in dual cognitive-motor tasks during walking have produced a variety of results. These discrepancies may be related to the type of cognitive task chosen, differences in the walking speeds studied, or lack of controlling for walking speed. The goal of this study was to determine how young, healthy subjects performed a spatial working memory task over a range of walking speeds. We used high-density electroencephalography to determine if electrocortical activity mirrored changes in cognitive performance across speeds. Subjects stood (0.0 m/s) and walked (0.4, 0.8, 1.2, and 1.6 m/s) with and without performing a Brooks spatial working memory task. We hypothesized that performance of the spatial working memory task and the associated electrocortical activity would decrease significantly with walking speed. Across speeds, the spatial working memory task caused subjects to step more widely compared with walking without the task. This is typically a sign that humans are adapting their gait dynamics to increase gait stability. Several cortical areas exhibited power fluctuations time-locked to memory encoding during the cognitive task. In the somatosensory association cortex, alpha power increased prior to stimulus presentation and decreased during memory encoding. There were small significant reductions in theta power in the right superior parietal lobule and the posterior cingulate cortex around memory encoding. However, the subjects did not show a significant change in cognitive task performance or electrocortical activity with walking speed. These findings indicate that in young, healthy subjects walking speed does not affect performance of a spatial working memory task. These subjects can devote adequate cortical resources to spatial cognition when needed, regardless of walking speed. PMID:24847239

  13. How does a lower predictability of lane changes affect performance in the Lane Change Task?

    PubMed

    Petzoldt, Tibor; Krems, Josef F

    2014-07-01

    The Lane Change Task (LCT) is an established method to assess driver distraction caused by secondary tasks. In the LCT ISO standard, "course following and maneuvering" and "event detection" are mentioned as central task properties. Especially event detection seems to be a reasonable feature, as research suggests that distraction has profound effects on drivers' reactions to sudden, unexpected events. However, closer inspection of the LCT reveals that the events to be detected (lane change signs) and the required response are highly predictable. To investigate how the LCT's distraction assessment of secondary tasks might change if lane change events and responses were less predictable, we implemented three different versions of the LCT - an "original" one, a second one with lowered predictability of event position, and a third one with lowered predictability of event position and response. We tested each of these implementations with the same set of visual and cognitive secondary tasks of varying demand. The results showed that a decrease in predictability resulted in overall degraded performance in the LCT when using the basic lane change model for analysis. However, all secondary task conditions suffered equally. No differential effects were found. We conclude that although an ISO conforming implementation of the LCT might not be excessively valid regarding its depiction of safety relevant events, the results obtained are nevertheless comparable to what would be found in settings of higher validity.

  14. Affective judgment and beneficial decision making: ventromedial prefrontal activity correlates with performance in the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg; Grimm, Simone; Boeker, Heinz; Schmidt, Conny; Bermpohl, Felix; Heinzel, Alexander; Hell, Daniel; Boesiger, Peter

    2006-07-01

    Damasio proposes in his somatic marker theory that not only cognitive but also affective components are critical for decision making. Since affective judgment requires an interplay between affective and cognitive components, it might be considered a key process in decision making that has been linked to neural activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the relationship between VMPFC, emotionally (unexpected)- and cognitively (expected)-accentuated affective judgment, and beneficial decision making (Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) in healthy subjects. Neuronal activity in the VMPFC during unexpected affective judgment significantly correlated with both global and final performance in the IGT task. These findings suggest that the degree to which subjects recruit the VMPFC during affective judgment is related to beneficial performance in decision making in gambling.

  15. VARIABLES AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUNG CHILDREN ON A LETTER DISCRIMINATION TASK.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HALL, VERNON C.; AND OTHERS

    THE PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY WAS TO DETERMINE THE RELATIVE INFLUENCE OF FIVE VARIABLES (INITIAL INSTRUCTIONS, REWARD, LETTER SIZE, TYPE OF WARM-UP, AND FEEDBACK) ON KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN'S PERFORMANCE OF A LETTER DISCRIMINATION TASK. IT HAS BEEN ARGUED THAT ATTENTION IS THE KEY FACTOR IN LETTER DISCRIMINATION. THE PRESENT STUDY PROPOSES THAT A…

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

    PubMed

    Reeck, Crystal; Egner, Tobias

    2015-08-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Causal attribution and affective response as mediated by task performance and self-acceptance.

    PubMed

    Green, T D; Bailey, R C; Zinser, O; Williams, D E

    1994-12-01

    Predictions derived from cognitive consistency theories, self-esteem theories, and ego-serving-bias theory concerning how students would make attributional and affective responses to their academic performance were investigated. 202 university students completed a measure of self-acceptance of their college ability and made attributional and affective responses to an hypothetical examination performance. Analyses showed that students receiving positive feedback perceived greater internal causality and responded with greater positive affect than students receiving negative feedback. Self-acceptance did not moderate the attributions or affective reactions. The results supported the ego-serving-bias theory and provided partial support for self-esteem theory. Findings did not support predictions from cognitive-consistency theory.

  19. How explicit and implicit test instructions in an implicit learning task affect performance.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Thinking about the Weather: How Display Salience and Knowledge Affect Performance in a Graphic Inference Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegarty, Mary; Canham, Matt S.; Fabrikant, Sara I.

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments examined how bottom-up and top-down processes interact when people view and make inferences from complex visual displays (weather maps). Bottom-up effects of display design were investigated by manipulating the relative visual salience of task-relevant and task-irrelevant information across different maps. Top-down effects of…

  1. An Investigation of Factors Affecting Multi-Task Performance in an Immersive Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-12-01

    regarding age, gender , vision and hearing, military service, and computer experience. 3.2.4 Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist - Revised (MAACL-R...Depression, Hostility, Positive Affect, and Sensation Seeking) derived from a one-page list of 132 adjectives. An overall distress score, Dysphoria ...involving personality correlates because it provides maximal specificity at no loss in reproducibility across gender and populations (Zuckerman, Kuhlman

  2. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    The present study examines the moderating role of future interaction expectation in the relationship between affective sharing and work groups' task performance. We argue that group affect, a group defining characteristic, becomes more salient to its members when it is interactively shared, and that the anticipation of future interaction may strengthen the effects of group defining characteristics on subsequent group member behaviour. As a consequence, interactive sharing (vs. non-interactive sharing) of negative affect is more likely to influence work group outcomes when group members expect to meet again. Results from a laboratory experiment with 66 three-person work groups indeed show that interactively shared (vs. non-interactively shared) negative affect facilitated work groups' analytical task performance, whereas it inhibited performance on a creative fluency task when groups have expectations of future interaction and not when they do not have such expectations. The discussion focuses on how these results add to theory on group affect and contribute to insights in the effects of future interaction expectation.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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,…

  15. Task Dependent Differences and Individual Differences in Dual Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-10-01

    conversation with the flight instructor, with the skilled pilot who can easily excercise flight control, and converse in par- allel. A difference...The subjects tested were 35 twelve-year olds , who performed tasks singly first then two dual task pairs and then each singly again. McQueen’s results...conducted by Sverko (1977) on adults in an effort to find evidence for a general factor of time-sharing skill. This study was conducted in order to

  16. Workshift and Antihistamine Effects on Task Performance.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-12-01

    chlorpheniramine maleate), and time on task accompanying three successive drug doses spaced every four hours. Five performance tasks, two work sample tasks, and...four subjective scales were included in the study. In summary, chlorpheniramine maleate alone had a strong negative influence on a wide range of task...Day Shift tended to get better and during the Mid shift tended to get worse. No evidence was found that chlorpheniramine maleate and work shift combine to produce a multiplicative effect.

  17. Task parallelism and high-performance languages

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, I.

    1996-03-01

    The definition of High Performance Fortran (HPF) is a significant event in the maturation of parallel computing: it represents the first parallel language that has gained widespread support from vendors and users. The subject of this paper is to incorporate support for task parallelism. The term task parallelism refers to the explicit creation of multiple threads of control, or tasks, which synchronize and communicate under programmer control. Task and data parallelism are complementary rather than competing programming models. While task parallelism is more general and can be used to implement algorithms that are not amenable to data-parallel solutions, many problems can benefit from a mixed approach, with for example a task-parallel coordination layer integrating multiple data-parallel computations. Other problems admit to both data- and task-parallel solutions, with the better solution depending on machine characteristics, compiler performance, or personal taste. For these reasons, we believe that a general-purpose high-performance language should integrate both task- and data-parallel constructs. The challenge is to do so in a way that provides the expressivity needed for applications, while preserving the flexibility and portability of a high-level language. In this paper, we examine and illustrate the considerations that motivate the use of task parallelism. We also describe one particular approach to task parallelism in Fortran, namely the Fortran M extensions. Finally, we contrast Fortran M with other proposed approaches and discuss the implications of this work for task parallelism and high-performance languages.

  18. Effects of a Coactor's Focus of Attention on Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Coactors take into account certain aspects of each other's tasks even when this is not required to perform their own task. The present experiments investigated whether the way a coactor allocates attention affects one's own attentional relation to stimuli that are attended jointly (Experiment 1), individually (Experiment 2), or in parallel…

  19. L-theanine and caffeine in combination affect human cognition as evidenced by oscillatory alpha-band activity and attention task performance.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Simon P; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Montesi, Jennifer L; Foxe, John J

    2008-08-01

    Recent neuropharmacological research has suggested that certain constituents of tea may have modulatory effects on brain state. The bulk of this research has focused on either L-theanine or caffeine ingested alone (mostly the latter) and has been limited to behavioral testing, subjective rating, or neurophysiological assessments during resting. Here, we investigated the effects of both L-theanine and caffeine, ingested separately or together, on behavioral and electrophysiological indices of tonic (background) and phasic (event-related) visuospatial attentional deployment. Subjects underwent 4 d of testing, ingesting either placebo, 100 mg of L-theanine, 50 mg of caffeine, or these treatments combined. The task involved cued shifts of attention to the left or right visual hemifield in anticipation of an imperative stimulus requiring discrimination. In addition to behavioral measures, we examined overall, tonic attentional focus as well as phasic, cue-dependent anticipatory attentional biasing, as indexed by scalp-recorded alpha-band (8-14 Hz) activity. We found an increase in hit rate and target discriminability (d') for the combined treatment relative to placebo, and an increase in d' but not hit rate for caffeine alone, whereas no effects were detected for L-theanine alone. Electrophysiological results did not show increased differential biasing in phasic alpha across hemifields but showed lower overall tonic alpha power in the combined treatment, similar to previous findings at a larger dosage of L-theanine alone. This may signify a more generalized tonic deployment of attentional resources to the visual modality and may underlie the facilitated behavioral performance on the combined ingestion of these 2 major constituents of tea.

  20. 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.…

  1. Oculomotor tasks affect differently postural control in healthy children.

    PubMed

    Bucci, Maria Pia; Ajrezo, Layla; Wiener-Vacher, Sylvette

    2015-11-01

    Eye movements affect postural stability in children. The present study focuses on the effect of different types of eye movements on postural stability in healthy children. Both eye movements and postural stability have been recorded in 51 healthy children from 6.3 to 15.5 years old. Eye movements were recorded binocularly with a video oculography (MobilEBT(®)), and postural stability was measured while child was standing on a force platform (TechnoConcept(®)). Children performed three oculomotor tasks: saccades, pursuits and reading a text silently. We measured the number of saccades made in the three oculomotor tasks, the number of words read, and the surface area, the length and mean velocity of the center of pressure (CoP). According to previous studies, postural control improves with age until 10-12 years. Saccades toward a target as well as during a reading task reduce significantly the CoP displacement and its velocity, while during pursuit eye movements all children increase postural parameters (i.e., the surface area, the length and mean velocity of the CoP). These results suggest the presence of an interaction between the oculomotor control and the postural system. Visual attention to perform saccades (to stationary targets or to words) influences postural stability more than the frequency of saccade triggering does.

  2. Human performance on the temporal bisection task.

    PubMed

    Kopec, Charles D; Brody, Carlos D

    2010-12-01

    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, which requires subjects to compare temporal stimuli to durations held in memory, is perfectly suited to address these questions. Here we perform a meta-analysis of human performance on the temporal bisection task collected from 148 experiments spread across 18 independent studies. With this expanded data set we are able to show that human performance on this task contains a number of significant peculiarities, which in total no single model yet proposed has been able to explain. Here we present a simple 2-step decision model that is capable of explaining all the idiosyncrasies seen in the data.

  3. Task difficulty in mental arithmetic affects microsaccadic rates and magnitudes.

    PubMed

    Siegenthaler, Eva; Costela, Francisco M; McCamy, Michael B; Di Stasi, Leandro L; Otero-Millan, Jorge; Sonderegger, Andreas; Groner, Rudolf; Macknik, Stephen; Martinez-Conde, Susana

    2014-01-01

    Microsaccades are involuntary, small-magnitude saccadic eye movements that occur during attempted visual fixation. Recent research has found that attention can modulate microsaccade dynamics, but few studies have addressed the effects of task difficulty on microsaccade parameters, and those have obtained contradictory results. Further, no study to date has investigated the influence of task difficulty on microsaccade production during the performance of non-visual tasks. Thus, the effects of task difficulty on microsaccades, isolated from sensory modality, remain unclear. Here we investigated the effects of task difficulty on microsaccades during the performance of a non-visual, mental arithmetic task with two levels of complexity. We found that microsaccade rates decreased and microsaccade magnitudes increased with increased task difficulty. We propose that changes in microsaccade rates and magnitudes with task difficulty are mediated by the effects of varying attentional inputs on the rostral superior colliculus activity map.

  4. The minimum entropy principle and task performance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    According to the minimum entropy principle, efficient cognitive performance is produced with a neurocognitive strategy that involves a minimum of degrees of freedom. Although high performance is often regarded as consistent performance as well, some variability in performance still remains which allows the person to adapt to changing goal conditions or fatigue. The present study investigated the connection between performance, entropy in performance, and four task-switching strategies. Fifty-one undergraduates performed 7 different computer-based cognitive tasks producing sets of 49 responses under instructional conditions requiring task quotas or no quotas. The temporal patterns of performance were analyzed using orbital decomposition to extract pattern types and lengths, which were then compared with regard to Shannon entropy, topological entropy, and overall performance. Task switching strategies from a previous study were available for the same participants as well. Results indicated that both topological entropy and Shannon entropy were negatively correlated with performance. Some task-switching strategies produced lower entropy in performance than others. Stepwise regression showed that the top three predictors of performance were Shannon entropy and arithmetic and spatial abilities. Additional implications for the prediction of work performance with cognitive ability measurements and the applicability of the minimum entropy principle to multidimensional performance criteria and team work are discussed.

  5. Effects of instructed focus and task difficulty on concurrent walking and cognitive task performance in healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Valerie E; Janke, Alexis A; Shumway-Cook, Anne

    2010-11-01

    Dual task paradigms can be used to examine the interactions between cognition and the control of posture and gait. Measuring and interpreting changes in dual task performance is challenging, however, because many factors can influence performance. This study examined the effects of instructed focus and walking task difficulty, and the interaction between these factors, on dual task performance in healthy young adults. Fifteen participants performed a cognitive task while walking with either a usual base or a narrow base of support. Participants were instructed to focus on either the cognitive task or walking. Trade-offs both within and between tasks were assessed using the modified attention allocation index and the performance operating characteristic. Instructed focus influenced both the cognitive task and walking. Performance on the cognitive task was faster with instructions to focus on the cognitive task, and walking was faster (and more accurate in the narrow-base condition) with instructions to focus on walking. Walking task difficulty did not affect cognitive performance but did affect walking, with faster walking in the usual-base versus narrow-base condition. There was evidence of an interaction, with greater effects of instructed focus on the cognitive task during usual versus narrow-base walking. These results support the idea that the ability to flexibly shift attention allocation and task performance in response to instructions depends on the difficulty of the postural control task. The modified attention allocation index and the performance operating characteristic were instrumental in fully characterizing trade-offs between and within tasks in order to understand dual task performance changes. A clearer understanding of the factors that affect dual task walking and the interactions between these factors has important implications for the assessment of dual task performance in both clinical and research settings.

  6. The curvilinear relationship between state neuroticism and momentary task performance.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Effect of Redundant Haptic Information on Task Performance during Visuo-Tactile Task Interruption and Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Hee-Seung; Baek, Jongsoo; Seo, Jiwon

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed that interruption induces disruptive influences on the performance of cognitive tasks. While much research has focused on the use of multimodal channels to reduce the cost of interruption, few studies have utilized haptic information as more than an associative cue. In the present study, we utilized a multimodal task interruption scenario involving the simultaneous presentation of visual information and haptic stimuli in order to investigate how the combined stimuli affect performance on the primary task (cost of interruption). Participants were asked to perform a two-back visuo-tactile task, in which visual and haptic stimuli were presented simultaneously, which was interrupted by a secondary task that also utilized visual and haptic stimuli. Four experimental conditions were evaluated: (1) paired information (visual stimulus + paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; (2) paired information without interruption; (3) non-paired information (visual stimulus + non-paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; and (4) non-paired information without interruption. Our findings indicate that, within a visuo-tactile task environment, redundant haptic information may not only increase accuracy on the primary task but also reduce the cost of interruption in terms of accuracy. These results suggest a new way of understanding the task recovery process within a multimodal environment. PMID:28008321

  9. Effect of Redundant Haptic Information on Task Performance during Visuo-Tactile Task Interruption and Recovery.

    PubMed

    Moon, Hee-Seung; Baek, Jongsoo; Seo, Jiwon

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed that interruption induces disruptive influences on the performance of cognitive tasks. While much research has focused on the use of multimodal channels to reduce the cost of interruption, few studies have utilized haptic information as more than an associative cue. In the present study, we utilized a multimodal task interruption scenario involving the simultaneous presentation of visual information and haptic stimuli in order to investigate how the combined stimuli affect performance on the primary task (cost of interruption). Participants were asked to perform a two-back visuo-tactile task, in which visual and haptic stimuli were presented simultaneously, which was interrupted by a secondary task that also utilized visual and haptic stimuli. Four experimental conditions were evaluated: (1) paired information (visual stimulus + paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; (2) paired information without interruption; (3) non-paired information (visual stimulus + non-paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; and (4) non-paired information without interruption. Our findings indicate that, within a visuo-tactile task environment, redundant haptic information may not only increase accuracy on the primary task but also reduce the cost of interruption in terms of accuracy. These results suggest a new way of understanding the task recovery process within a multimodal environment.

  10. 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

  11. Cognition and affective style: Individual differences in brain electrical activity during spatial and verbal tasks.

    PubMed

    Bell, Martha Ann; Fox, Nathan A

    2003-12-01

    Relations between brain electrical activity and performance on two cognitive tasks were examined in a normal population selected to be high on self-reported measures of Positive or Negative Affectivity. Twenty-five right-handed women, from an original pool of 308 college undergraduates, were the participants. EEG was recorded during baseline and during psychometrically matched spatial and verbal tasks. As predicted, participants who were high in Positive Affectivity performed equally well on the verbal and spatial tasks, while participants who were high in Negative Affectivity had spatial scores that were lower than their verbal scores. There were no group differences in baseline EEG. Both groups exhibited left central activation (i.e., alpha suppression) during the verbal and spatial tasks. When EEG data were analyzed separately for the group high in Positive Affectivity, there was evidence of parietal activation for the spatial task relative to the verbal task. The EEG data for the group high in Negative Affectivity had comparable EEG power values during verbal and spatial tasks at parietal scalp locations. These data suggest that, within a selected normal population, differences in affective style may interact with cognitive performance and with the brain electrical activity associated with that performance.

  12. 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…

  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. 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.

  15. The effects of instructions on dual-task walking and cognitive task performance in people with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Valerie E; Eusterbrock, Alexis J; Shumway-Cook, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Gait impairments are prevalent among people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Instructions to focus on walking can improve walking in PD, but the use of such a cognitive strategy may be limited under dual-task walking conditions, when walking is performed simultaneously with concurrent cognitive or motor tasks. This study examined how dual-task performance of walking and a concurrent cognitive task was affected by instructions in people with PD compared to healthy young and older individuals. Dual-task walking and cognitive task performance was characterized under two sets of instructions as follows: (1) focus on walking and (2) focus on the cognitive task. People with PD and healthy adults walked faster when instructed to focus on walking. However, when focused on walking, people with PD and young adults demonstrated declines in the cognitive task. This suggests that dual-task performance is flexible and can be modified by instructions in people with PD, but walking improvements may come at a cost to cognitive task performance. The ability to modify dual-task performance in response to instructions or other task and environmental factors is critical to mobility in daily life. Future research should continue to examine factors that influence dual-task performance among people with PD.

  16. Shared Learning Shapes Human Performance: Transfer Effects in Task Sharing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milanese, Nadia; Iani, Cristina; Rubichi, Sandro

    2010-01-01

    We investigated whether performing a task with a co-actor shapes the way a subsequent task is performed. In four experiments participants were administered a Simon task after practicing a spatial compatibility task with an incompatible S-R mapping. In Experiment 1 they performed both tasks alongside another person; in Experiment 2 they performed…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Competence and Affect in Task Involvement and Ego Involvement: The Impact of Social Comparison Information.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jagacinski, Carolyn M.; Nicholls, John G.

    1987-01-01

    Two studies investigated the impact of information about the effort and performance of others on students' anticipated affects and judgments of competence given success in task-involving and ego-involving contexts. Without social comparison information, competence and positive affects were judged higher when students were asked to imagine…

  20. Inflight Medical/Nursing Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-01

    was to evaluate and compare the ability of aeromedical evacuation crew members (AECMs) to perform certain specific inflight medical and nursing care tasks...medical and nursing care procedures in conventional war scenarios has been well demonstrated in the past during actual aeromedical evacuation...same medical and nursing care procedures under chemical threat conditions during aeromedical evacuation operations is not as well documented. Low

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of a no-go Task 2 on Task 1 performance in dual - tasking: From benefits to costs.

    PubMed

    Janczyk, Markus; Huestegge, Lynn

    2017-04-01

    When two tasks are combined in a dual-task experiment, characteristics of Task 2 can influence Task 1 performance, a phenomenon termed the backward crosstalk effect (BCE). Besides instances depending on the (spatial) compatibility of both responses, a particularly interesting example was introduced by Miller (2006): If Task 2 was a no-go task (i.e., one not requiring any action at all), responses were slowed in Task 1. Subsequent work, however, also reported the opposite result-that is, faster Task 1 responses in cases of no-go Task 2 trials. We report three experiments aiming to more precisely identify the conditions under which a no-go Task 2 facilitates or impedes Task 1 performance. The results suggest that an adverse no-go BCE is only observed when the Task 2 response(s) are sufficiently prepared in advance, yielding strong inhibitory control demands for Task 2 that eventually hamper Task 1 processing as well (i.e., inhibitory costs). If this is not the case, encountering a no-go Task 2 trial facilitates Task 1 performance, suggesting that the underlying task representation is reduced to a single - task. These results are discussed in the context of other recent work on BCEs and of recently suggested accounts of the no-go BCE.

  4. 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…

  5. Need for Cognitive Closure Modulates How Perceptual Decisions Are Affected by Task Difficulty and Outcome Relevance

    PubMed Central

    Viola, Vanda; Tosoni, Annalisa; Brizi, Ambra; Salvato, Ilaria; Kruglanski, Arie W.; Galati, Gaspare; Mannetti, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which Need for Cognitive Closure (NCC), an individual-level epistemic motivation, can explain inter-individual variability in the cognitive effort invested on a perceptual decision making task (the random motion task). High levels of NCC are manifested in a preference for clarity, order and structure and a desire for firm and stable knowledge. The study evaluated how NCC moderates the impact of two variables known to increase the amount of cognitive effort invested on a task, namely task ambiguity (i.e., the difficulty of the perceptual discrimination) and outcome relevance (i.e., the monetary gain associated with a correct discrimination). Based on previous work and current design, we assumed that reaction times (RTs) on our motion discrimination task represent a valid index of effort investment. Task ambiguity was associated with increased cognitive effort in participants with low or medium NCC but, interestingly, it did not affect the RTs of participants with high NCC. A different pattern of association was observed for outcome relevance; high outcome relevance increased cognitive effort in participants with moderate or high NCC, but did not affect the performance of low NCC participants. In summary, the performance of individuals with low NCC was affected by task difficulty but not by outcome relevance, whereas individuals with high NCC were influenced by outcome relevance but not by task difficulty; only participants with medium NCC were affected by both task difficulty and outcome relevance. These results suggest that perceptual decision making is influenced by the interaction between context and NCC. PMID:26716987

  6. Effects of caffeine on performance of low intensity tasks.

    PubMed

    Scott, William H; Coyne, Karen M; Johnson, Monique M; Lausted, Christopher G; Sahota, Manjit; Johnson, Arthur T

    2002-04-01

    31 college age men and women who consume less than three caffeinated beverages per week agreed to participate as subjects in research on the effects of acute caffeine intake on low intensity task performance. All subjects performed two randomly administered test conditions: (1) caffeine (5 mg/kg) and (2) placebo on separate visits following an initial 1-hr. orientation visit. Subjects were administered the beverage 30 min. prior to performing 12 separate tests assessing basic mathematics, simple response, logical reasoning, hand-eye coordination, and spatial and assembly skills. The Spielberger State Anxiety test was administered immediately after consuming the test beverage and once again at posttest. Analysis showed that caffeine did not significantly affect performance on all tests with the exception of the peripheral awareness (hand-eye coordination) test on which performance was higher after ingesting caffeine. The placebo treatment produced no effect on state anxiety, which contrasted with a significant rise in anxiety after caffeine consumption. State anxiety values were significantly greater after caffeine treatment relative to the placebo at pretest, and this difference persisted at posttest. These results demonstrated that the dose of caffeine increased scores on state anxiety for individuals who consumed less than three caffeinated beverages weekly but had very little effect on performance of low intensity tasks, except for a hand-eye coordination test involving peripheral awareness. Perhaps longer continuous performance of more demanding tasks would be more sensitive.

  7. Group Motivation and Group Task Performance: The Expectancy-Valence Theory Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakanishi, Masayuki

    1988-01-01

    Investigated effects of group motivation on group task performance. Created two levels of valence, expectancy and instrumentality. Valence variable reflected on group productivity on unstructured and task persistence measures. Expectancy variable's effect was on task persistence measure. Instrumentality affected group productivity on structured…

  8. 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.

  9. Recollective performance advantages for implicit memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Sheldon, Signy A M; Moscovitch, Morris

    2010-10-01

    A commonly held assumption is that processes underlying explicit and implicit memory are distinct. Recent evidence, however, suggests that they may interact more than previously believed. Using the remember-know procedure the current study examines the relation between recollection, a process thought to be exclusive to explicit memory, and performance on two implicit memory tasks, lexical decision and word stem completion. We found that, for both implicit tasks, words that were recollected were associated with greater priming effects than were words given a subsequent familiarity rating or words that had been studied but were not recognised (misses). Broadly, our results suggest that non-voluntary processes underlying explicit memory also benefit priming, a measure of implicit memory. More specifically, given that this benefit was due to a particular aspect of explicit memory (recollection), these results are consistent with some strength models of memory and with Moscovitch's (2008) proposal that recollection is a two-stage process, one rapid and unconscious and the other more effortful and conscious.

  10. 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.

  11. Children's construction task performance and spatial ability: controlling task complexity and predicting mathematics performance.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Miles; Hunt, Thomas E; Richardson, Cassandra

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents a methodology to control construction task complexity and examined the relationships between construction performance and spatial and mathematical abilities in children. The study included three groups of children (N = 96); ages 7-8, 10-11, and 13-14 years. Each group constructed seven pre-specified objects. The study replicated and extended previous findings that indicated that the extent of component symmetry and variety, and the number of components for each object and available for selection, significantly predicted construction task difficulty. Results showed that this methodology is a valid and reliable technique for assessing and predicting construction play task difficulty. Furthermore, construction play performance predicted mathematical attainment independently of spatial ability.

  12. 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…

  13. "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.

  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.

  15. Shared learning shapes human performance: Transfer effects in task sharing.

    PubMed

    Milanese, Nadia; Iani, Cristina; Rubichi, Sandro

    2010-07-01

    We investigated whether performing a task with a co-actor shapes the way a subsequent task is performed. In four experiments participants were administered a Simon task after practicing a spatial compatibility task with an incompatible S-R mapping. In Experiment 1 they performed both tasks alongside another person; in Experiment 2 they performed the spatial compatibility task alone, responding to only one stimulus position, and the Simon task with another person; in Experiment 3, they performed the spatial compatibility task with another person and the Simon task alone; finally, in Experiment 4, they performed the spatial compatibility task alone and the Simon task with another person. The incompatible practice eliminated the Simon effect in Experiments 1 and 4. These results indicate that when a task is distributed between two participants with each one performing a different part of it, they tend to represent the whole task rather than their own part of it. This experience can influence the way a subsequent task is performed, as long as this latter occurs in a social context.

  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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the effects of task demand context on facial affect appraisal in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Leitman, David I; Wolf, Daniel H; Loughead, James; Valdez, Jeffrey N; Kohler, Christian G; Brensinger, Colleen; Elliott, Mark A; Turetsky, Bruce I; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients display impaired performance and brain activity during facial affect recognition. These impairments may reflect stimulus-driven perceptual decrements and evaluative processing abnormalities. We differentiated these two processes by contrasting responses to identical stimuli presented under different contexts. Seventeen healthy controls and 16 schizophrenia patients performed an fMRI facial affect detection task. Subjects identified an affective target presented amongst foils of differing emotions. We hypothesized that targeting affiliative emotions (happiness, sadness) would create a task demand context distinct from that generated when targeting threat emotions (anger, fear). We compared affiliative foil stimuli within a congruent affiliative context with identical stimuli presented in an incongruent threat context. Threat foils were analysed in the same manner. Controls activated right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) more to affiliative foils in threat contexts than to identical stimuli within affiliative contexts. Patients displayed reduced OFC/VLPFC activation to all foils, and no activation modulation by context. This lack of context modulation coincided with a 2-fold decrement in foil detection efficiency. Task demands produce contextual effects during facial affective processing in regions activated during affect evaluation. In schizophrenia, reduced modulation of OFC/VLPFC by context coupled with reduced behavioural efficiency suggests impaired ventral prefrontal control mechanisms that optimize affective appraisal.

  4. Optimal performance in a countermanding saccade task

    PubMed Central

    Wong-Lin, KongFatt; Eckhoff, Philip; Holmes, Philip; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2010-01-01

    Countermanding an action is a fundamental form of cognitive control. In a saccade-countermanding task, subjects are instructed that, if a stop signal appears shortly after a target, they are to maintain fixation rather than to make a saccade to the target. In recent years, recordings in the frontal eye fields and superior colliculus of behaving non-human primates have found correlates of such countermanding behavior in movement and fixation neurons. In this work, we extend a previous neural network model of countermanding to account for the high pre-target activity of fixation neurons. We propose that this activity reflects the functioning of control mechanisms responsible for optimizing performance. We demonstrate, using computer simulations and mathematical analysis, that pre-target fixation neuronal activity supports countermanding behavior that maximizes reward rate as a function of the stop signal delay, fraction of stop signal trials, intertrial interval, duration of timeout, and relative reward value. We propose experiments to test these predictions regarding optimal behavior. PMID:20034481

  5. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salimi, Asghar

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Aligning Task Control with Desire for Control: Implications for Performance

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Alex T.; Etcheverry, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    The current study examined whether matches between task control and participants' desire for control over their environment lead to better task performance than mismatches. Work control and desire for control were manipulated, and participants engaged in timed tasks. As predicted, performance was higher in cases of match, even when task control and desire for control were low. Task control and desire for control may predict work performance in combination, highlighting the importance of Person-Environment Fit theory for both selection and work design. By manipulating desire for control, our research also explores the potentially state-dependent quality of this individual difference variable. PMID:26045630

  9. Aligning Task Control with Desire for Control: Implications for Performance.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Alex T; Etcheverry, Paul E

    The current study examined whether matches between task control and participants' desire for control over their environment lead to better task performance than mismatches. Work control and desire for control were manipulated, and participants engaged in timed tasks. As predicted, performance was higher in cases of match, even when task control and desire for control were low. Task control and desire for control may predict work performance in combination, highlighting the importance of Person-Environment Fit theory for both selection and work design. By manipulating desire for control, our research also explores the potentially state-dependent quality of this individual difference variable.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Improving children's affective decision making in the Children's Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Glenda; Moussaumai, Jennifer

    2015-11-01

    Affective decision making was examined in 108 children (3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds) using the Children's Gambling Task (CGT). Children completed the CGT and then responded to awareness questions. Children in the binary_experience and binary_experience+awareness (not control) conditions first completed two simpler versions. Children in the binary_experience+awareness condition also responded to questions about relational components of the simpler versions. Experience with simpler versions facilitated decision making in 4- and 5-year-olds, but 3-year-olds' advantageous choices declined across trial blocks in the binary_experience and control conditions. Responding to questions about relational components further benefited the 4- and 5-year-olds. The 3-year-olds' advantageous choices on the final block were at chance level in the binary_experience+awareness condition but were below chance level in the other conditions. Awareness following the CGT was strongly correlated with advantageous choices and with age. Awareness was demonstrated by 5-year-olds (all conditions) and 4-year-olds (binary_experience and binary_experience+awareness) but not by 3-year-olds. The findings demonstrate the importance of complexity and conscious awareness in cognitive development.

  15. Is Adaptation to Task Complexity Really Beneficial for Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pieschl, Stephanie; Stahl, Elmar; Murray, Tom; Bromme, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    Theories of self-regulated learning assume that learners flexibly adapt their learning process to external task demands and that this is positively related to performance. In this study, university students (n = 119) solved three tasks that greatly differed in complexity. Their learning processes were captured in detail by task-specific…

  16. The ability of people with Parkinson's disease to modify dual-task performance in response to instructions during simple and complex walking tasks.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Valerie E; Shumway-Cook, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Gait impairments are a common and consequential motor symptom in Parkinson's disease (PD). A cognitive strategy that incorporates instructions to concentrate on specific parameters of walking is an effective approach to gait rehabilitation for persons with PD during single-task and simple dual-task walking conditions. This study examined the ability to modify dual-task walking in response to instructions during a complex walking task in people with PD compared to healthy older adults (HOA). Eleven people with PD and twelve HOA performed a cognitive task while walking with either a usual base or a narrow base of support. Dual-task walking and cognitive task performance were characterized under two conditions-when participants were instructed focus on walking and when they were instructed to focus on the cognitive task. During both usual base and narrow base walking, instructions affected cognitive task response latency, with slower performance when instructed to focus on walking compared to the cognitive task. Regardless of task or instructions, cognitive task performance was slower in participants with PD compared to HOA. During usual base walking, instructions influenced gait speed for both people with PD and HOA, with faster gait speed when instructed to focus on walking compared to the cognitive task. In contrast, during the narrow base walking, instructions affected gait speed only for HOA, but not for people with PD. This suggests that among people with PD the ability to modify walking in response to instructions depends on the complexity of the walking task.

  17. Children's Performance on a False-belief Task Is Impaired by Activation of an Evolutionarily-Canalized Response System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keenan, Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J.

    2003-01-01

    Two studies examined how task content that activates predator-avoidance affects preschool children's performance on a false-belief task. Findings indicated that the proportion of correct answers on the playmate-avoidance task was greater than that for the predator-avoidance task, suggesting that activation of the predator-avoidance system…

  18. Colour-induced relationship between affect and reaching kinematics during a goal-directed aiming task.

    PubMed

    Williams, Camille K; Grierson, Lawrence E M; Carnahan, Heather

    2011-08-01

    A link between affect and action has been supported by the discovery that threat information is prioritized through an action-centred pathway--the dorsal visual stream. Magnocellular afferents, which originate from the retina and project to dorsal stream structures, are suppressed by exposure to diffuse red light, which diminishes humans' perception of threat-based images. In order to explore the role of colour in the relationship between affect and action, participants donned different pairs of coloured glasses (red, yellow, green, blue and clear) and completed Positive and Negative Affect Scale questionnaires as well as a series of target-directed aiming movements. Analyses of affect scores revealed a significant main effect for affect valence and a significant interaction between colour and valence: perceived positive affect was significantly smaller for the red condition. Kinematic analyses of variable error in the primary movement direction and Pearson correlation analyses between the displacements travelled prior to and following peak velocity indicated reduced accuracy and application of online control processes while wearing red glasses. Variable error of aiming was also positively and significantly correlated with negative affect scores under the red condition. These results suggest that only red light modulates the affect-action link by suppressing magnocellular activity, which disrupts visual processing for movement control. Furthermore, previous research examining the effect of the colour red on psychomotor tasks and perceptual acceleration of threat-based imagery suggest that stimulus-driven motor performance tasks requiring online control may be particularly susceptible to this effect.

  19. 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…

  20. [Effects of task interdependence and communication technologies synchrony on performance in virtual teams].

    PubMed

    Rico, Ramón; Cohen, Susan G; Gil, Francisco

    2006-11-01

    Effects of task interdependence and communication technologies synchrony on performance in virtual teams. Survey results of 197 employees from 41 work groups in a large multinational software firm were used to investigate the effects of within-group task interdependence and the degree of communication synchrony on performance in virtual teams (VTs). The analyses revealed a moderating effect of task interdependence on the relationship between the degree of communications synchrony and performance in VT. We found that superior VTs performance is contingent on the fit between the nature of the task (i.e., task interdependence) and the choice of communications modality. This study complements previous research providing additional evidence of how task-technology interaction affects VTs performance, and extends previous findings obtained with ad-hoc groups in laboratory settings to natural, organizational teams.

  1. Cardiac data increase association between self-report and both expert ratings of task load and task performance in flight simulator tasks: An exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Lehrer, Paul; Karavidas, Maria; Lu, Shou-En; Vaschillo, Evgeny; Vaschillo, Bronya; Cheng, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    Seven professional airplane pilots participated in a one-session test in a Boeing 737-800 simulator. Mental workload for 18 flight tasks was rated by experienced test pilots (hereinafter called "expert ratings") and by study participants' self-report on NASA's Task Load Index (TLX) scale. Pilot performance was rated by a check pilot. The standard deviation of R-R intervals (SDNN) significantly added 3.7% improvement over the TLX in distinguishing high from moderate-load tasks and 2.3% improvement in distinguishing high from combined moderate and low-load tasks. Minimum RRI in the task significantly discriminated high- from medium- and low-load tasks, but did not add significant predictive variance to the TLX. The low-frequency/high-frequency (LF:HF) RRI ratio based on spectral analysis of R-R intervals, and ventricular relaxation time were each negatively related to pilot performance ratings independently of TLX values, while minimum and average RRI were positively related, showing added contribution of these cardiac measures for predicting performance. Cardiac results were not affected by controlling either for respiration rate or motor activity assessed by accelerometry. The results suggest that cardiac assessment can be a useful addition to self-report measures for determining flight task mental workload and risk for performance decrements. Replication on a larger sample is needed to confirm and extend the results.

  2. 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

    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 years, 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, 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baggett, H. Lane; And Others

    1996-01-01

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

  4. Error framing effects on performance: cognitive, motivational, and affective pathways.

    PubMed

    Steele-Johnson, Debra; Kalinoski, Zachary T

    2014-01-01

    Our purpose was to examine whether positive error framing, that is, making errors salient and cuing individuals to see errors as useful, can benefit learning when task exploration is constrained. Recent research has demonstrated the benefits of a newer approach to training, that is, error management training, that includes the opportunity to actively explore the task and framing errors as beneficial to learning complex tasks (Keith & Frese, 2008). Other research has highlighted the important role of errors in on-the-job learning in complex domains (Hutchins, 1995). Participants (N = 168) from a large undergraduate university performed a class scheduling task. Results provided support for a hypothesized path model in which error framing influenced cognitive, motivational, and affective factors which in turn differentially affected performance quantity and quality. Within this model, error framing had significant direct effects on metacognition and self-efficacy. Our results suggest that positive error framing can have beneficial effects even when tasks cannot be structured to support extensive exploration. Whereas future research can expand our understanding of error framing effects on outcomes, results from the current study suggest that positive error framing can facilitate learning from errors in real-time performance of tasks.

  5. 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''.

  6. Card Perseveration Task performance and post-task feeling states: relationship to drug use in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Martin, C A; Rayens, M K; Kelly, T; Hartung, C; Leukefeld, C; Haigler, E

    2000-05-01

    This study examined whether performance on the Card Perseveration Task (Card Task) and self-report of feeling state after the task are related to self-report of drug use. The evaluation was of 64 adolescents from an adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinic (40 males, aged 15.5 years, SD = 1.6; 24 females aged 16.9 years, SD = 1.5). Drug use histories were obtained using a substance dependence symptom checklist based on DSM-III-R. The Card Task was administered, and after completion, a Post-Task Self-Report (PTSR) was administered. A factor analysis with varimax rotation grouped the 28 items of the PTSR into Distress, Happy, Satisfied, and Wanting to Win subscales. Correlations of drug use with performance on the Card Task and the PTSR subscales were obtained. Cards Played on the Card Task were correlated with alcohol (cc = .31, p < or = .01); marijuana (cc = .35, p < or = .01) and polydrug (cc = .26, p < or = .05) dependence symptoms. Money Won on the Card Task was correlated negatively with nicotine (cc = -.26, p < or = .05) and marijuana (cc = -.27, p < or = .05) dependence symptoms. The PTSR Distress subscale correlated with nicotine (cc = .49, p < or = .001), alcohol (cc = .37, p < or = .01), marijuana (cc = .39, p < or = .01), and polydrug (cc = .49, p < or = .001) dependence symptoms. These findings provide evidence that both the Card Task and feeling states associated with task performance are related to self-reports of drug use.

  7. Improving older adults' memory performance using prior task success.

    PubMed

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M

    2013-06-01

    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.

  8. Gender and Performance in Mathematical Tasks: Does the Context Make a Difference?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zohar, Anat; Gershikov, Anna

    2008-01-01

    This study investigates how the context of mathematical tasks affects the performance of young children (ages 5-11). Subjects were 523 children from age 5 to 11. Three contexts of mathematical tasks (stereotypically boys' contexts, stereotypically girls' contexts and neutral contexts) are examined in three age groups (young, medium, and old).…

  9. 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

    2016-04-08

    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.

  10. 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

  11. The association between media multitasking, task-switching, and dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Alzahabi, Reem; Becker, Mark W

    2013-10-01

    The recent rise in media use has prompted researchers to investigate its influence on users' basic cognitive processes, such as attention and cognitive control. However, most of these investigations have failed to consider that the rise in media use has been accompanied by an even more dramatic rise in media multitasking (engaging with multiple forms of media simultaneously). Here we investigate how one's ability to switch between 2 tasks and to perform 2 tasks simultaneously is associated with media multitasking experience. Participants saw displays comprised of a number-letter pair and classified the number as odd or even and/or the letter as a consonant or vowel. In task-switching blocks, a cue indicated which classification to perform on each trial. In dual-task blocks, participants performed both classifications. Heavy and light media multitaskers showed comparable performance in the dual-task. Across 2 experiments, heavy media multitaskers were better able to switch between tasks in the task-switching paradigm. Thus, while media multitasking was not associated with increased ability to process 2 tasks in parallel, it was associated with an increased ability to shift between discrete tasks.

  12. Transient emotional events and individual affective traits affect emotion recognition in a perceptual decision-making task

    PubMed Central

    Garcia Quesada, Maria; Antico, Lia; Bavelier, Daphne; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Pichon, Swann

    2017-01-01

    Both affective states and personality traits shape how we perceive the social world and interpret emotions. The literature on affective priming has mostly focused on brief influences of emotional stimuli and emotional states on perceptual and cognitive processes. Yet this approach does not fully capture more dynamic processes at the root of emotional states, with such states lingering beyond the duration of the inducing external stimuli. Our goal was to put in perspective three different types of affective states (induced affective states, more sustained mood states and affective traits such as depression and anxiety) and investigate how they may interact and influence emotion perception. Here, we hypothesized that absorption into positive and negative emotional episodes generate sustained affective states that outlast the episode period and bias the interpretation of facial expressions in a perceptual decision-making task. We also investigated how such effects are influenced by more sustained mood states and by individual affect traits (depression and anxiety) and whether they interact. Transient emotional states were induced using movie-clips, after which participants performed a forced-choice emotion classification task with morphed facial expressions ranging from fear to happiness. Using a psychometric approach, we show that negative (vs. neutral) clips increased participants’ propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful during several minutes. In contrast, positive movies biased classification toward happiness only for those clips perceived as most absorbing. Negative mood, anxiety and depression had a stronger effect than transient states and increased the propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful. These results provide the first evidence that absorption and different temporal dimensions of emotions have a significant effect on how we perceive facial expressions. PMID:28151976

  13. Human performance in a multiple-task environment: effects of automation reliability on visual attention allocation.

    PubMed

    Cullen, Ralph H; Rogers, Wendy A; Fisk, Arthur D

    2013-11-01

    Diagnostic automation has been posited to alleviate the high demands of multiple-task environments; however, mixed effects have been found pertaining to performance aid success. To better understand these effects, attention allocation must be studied directly. We developed a multiple-task environment to study the effects of automation on visual attention. Participants interacted with a system providing varying levels of automation and automation reliability and then were transferred to a system with no support. Attention allocation was measured by tracking the number of times each task was viewed. We found that participants receiving automation allocated their time according to the task frequency and that tasks that benefited most from automation were most harmed when it was removed. The results suggest that the degree to which automation affects multiple-task performance is dependent on the relative attributes of the tasks involved. Moreover, there is an inverse relationship between support and cost when automation fails.

  14. Effects of Antihistamine, Age, And Gender on Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-07-01

    This investigation was designed to study the effects of the antihistamine, chlorpheniramine maleate, as well as the influence of age and gender...singly and in combination with chlorpheniramine maleate, on selected types of performance tasks. It was hypothesized that chiorpheniramine maleate would... chlorpheniramine maleate on any dependent measure for any performance task. However, several interactions of age and gender with chlorpheniramine maleate

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

    PubMed

    van der Geer, Eric; van Tuijl, Harrie F J M; Rutte, Christel G

    2009-11-01

    In healthcare, performance indicators are increasingly used to measure and control quality and efficiency of care-providing teams. This article demonstrates that when controllability is emphasized during indicator development, the level of task uncertainty influences the type of resulting performance indicators. We report findings from a field study in a medical rehabilitation centre in The Netherlands, where four low task uncertain teams ('hand trauma', 'heart failure', 'amputation', 'chronic pain'), and four high task uncertain teams ('children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD)', 'parkinson's disease', 'young children (0-4 years) with developmental disorders', and 'acquired brain injuries') participated in the development of performance indicators using the Productivity Measurement and Enhancement System (ProMES) method. Results show that teams higher on task uncertainty developed relatively more process indicators compared to outcome indicators, whereas the reverse was true for teams lower on task uncertainty. Additionally, process indicators developed by high task uncertain teams were more of a problem solving nature than process indicators developed by low task uncertain teams, which had a more procedural character. The study expands existing knowledge by providing a framework which explicates the task processes to be executed under different levels of task uncertainty, and in line with that appropriate performance indicators for healthcare teams.

  16. Distractor onset but not preparation time affects the frequency of task confusions in task switching

    PubMed Central

    Steinhauser, Marco; Gade, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    When participants rapidly switch between tasks that share the same stimuli and responses, task confusions (i.e., the accidental application of the wrong task) can occur. The present study investigated whether these task confusions result from failures of endogenous control (i.e., from ineffective task preparation) or from failures of exogenous control (i.e., from stimulus-induced task conflicts). The frequency of task confusions was estimated by considering the relative proportion of distractor errors, that is, errors that result when participants erroneously respond to the distractor associated with the alternative task. In Experiment 1, the efficiency of exogenous control was manipulated by varying the temporal order of target and distractor presentation. In Experiment 2, the efficiency of endogenous control was manipulated by varying the time available for preparing the task in advance. It turned out that only the efficiency of exogenous control but not the efficiency of endogenous control influenced the proportion of distractor errors. Accordingly, task confusions are more related to failures in exogenous control. PMID:26579050

  17. Thinking About a Task Is Associated with Increased Connectivity in Regions Activated by Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Michael D; Robertson, Edwin M; Manoach, Dara S; Stickgold, Robert

    2016-03-01

    We investigated whether functional neuroimaging of quiet "rest" can reveal the neural correlates of conscious thought. Using resting-state functional MRI, we measured functional connectivity during a resting scan that immediately followed performance of a finger tapping motor sequence task. Self-reports of the amount of time spent thinking about the task during the resting scan correlated with connectivity between regions of the motor network activated during task performance. Thus, thinking about a task is associated with coordinated activity in brain regions responsible for that task's performance. More generally, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using the combination of functional connectivity MRI and self-reports to examine the neural correlates of thought.

  18. 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.

  19. Performance pressure and caffeine both affect cognitive performance, but likely through independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Boere, Julia J; Fellinger, Lizz; Huizinga, Duncan J H; Wong, Sebastiaan F; Bijleveld, Erik

    2016-02-01

    A prevalent combination in daily life, performance pressure and caffeine intake have both been shown to impact people's cognitive performance. Here, we examined the possibility that pressure and caffeine affect cognitive performance via a shared pathway. In an experiment, participants performed a modular arithmetic task. Performance pressure and caffeine intake were orthogonally manipulated. Findings indicated that pressure and caffeine both negatively impacted performance. However, (a) pressure vs. caffeine affected performance on different trial types, and (b) there was no hint of an interactive effect. So, though the evidence is indirect, findings suggest that pressure and caffeine shape performance via distinct mechanisms, rather than a shared one.

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Prior task experience affects temporal prediction and estimation.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Automation, task difficulty, and aircrew performance.

    PubMed

    Bowers, C; Thornton, C; Braun, C; Morgan, B B; Salas, E

    1998-01-01

    The effects of an automated system on team processes and performance were assessed in a laboratory simulation. Two-person crews were required to fly a complex emergency-response scenario under conditions of low and high workload. These flights were completed with or without the aid of an autopilot. The results indicated that the autopilot was effective in reducing subjective workload. However, the automation was associated with improved performance on only 1 of 4 performance measures. Furthermore, it was observed that problem-solving performance was worse in the autopilot condition during the high-workload flights. Investigation of crew process data indicated that workload savings afforded by the autopilot might have been invested in more explicit coordination. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for military aviators' performance, system design, and team training.

  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. Share or compete? Load-dependent recruitment of prefrontal cortex during dual-task performance

    PubMed Central

    Low, Kathy A.; Leaver, Echo E.; Kramer, Arthur F.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2009-01-01

    Dual-task performance requires flexible attention allocation to two or more streams of information. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is considered important for executive function and recent modeling work proposes that attention control may arise from selective activation and inhibition of different processing units within this region. Here we used a tone discrimination task and a visual letter memory task to examine whether this type of competition could be measurable using a neuroimaging technique, the event-related optical signal, with high spatial and temporal resolution. Left and right DLPFC structures were differentially affected by task priority and load, with the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) being preferentially recruited by the visual memory task, whereas the two tasks competed for recruitment, in a spatially segregated manner, in right MFG. The data provide support for a competition view of dual-task processing. PMID:19572909

  8. Job Task Systems Management: A Performance Technology Success Story.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWeaver, Mary J.; Huettner, Charles H.

    1988-01-01

    Description of a management strategy for assessing performance goals called Job Task Systems Management (JTSM) focuses on a study of inspector jobs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The adaptation of business planning strategies to the government sector is discussed, and a job and task analysis is described. (LRW)

  9. The Factor Structure of Test Task Characteristics and Examinee Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Nathan T.

    2006-01-01

    The present study focuses on the task characteristics of reading passages and key sentences in a test of second language reading. Using a new methodological approach to describe variation in test task characteristics and explore how differences in these characteristics might relate to examinee performance, it posed the two following research…

  10. 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.

  11. Learners' Performance in Doing Task with and without Teacher's Presence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahimpour, Massoud; Zakeri, Elham

    2011-01-01

    Recently task-based language teaching has attracted many researchers', testers' and syllabus designers' attention and consequently a lot of studies are carried out in this field. This study was conducted in the task-based realm too. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of teacher's presence on learners' performance in doing…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Circadian Effects on Simple Components of Complex Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Cognitive correlates of hemispheric performance on dichotic tasks.

    PubMed

    Johnson, R C; Green, P; Ahern, F M; Cole, R E

    Older (age 50+) adults were tested twice on three measures of dichotic memory and once on three measures of cognition. Internal consistencies of all three measures generally were adequate. However, test-retest reliabilities, by ear of presentation, were comparatively low for the three dichotic measures. A measure of vocabulary (a left hemisphere dominant cognitive ability) was related to performance on most dichotic tasks. Years of education (an index of left hemisphere mediated crystallized intelligence) was related to performance on left but not right hemisphere function on two of three dichotic tasks. Performance on tests of spatial ability was related to performance on left ear/right hemisphere but not right ear/left hemisphere function on two of three dichotic memory tasks. Individual differences in accuracy of recall and recognition of stimuli presented via dichotic tasks to the right ear/left hemisphere and the left ear/right hemisphere appear to have different cognitive correlates. Right hemisphere performance on dichotic tasks generally shows a significant negative association with age, as did performance on right hemisphere dominant cognitive tasks. On the other hand, most measures of left hemisphere performance showed no decline associated with age.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Physical Activity Predicts Performance in an Unpracticed Bimanual Coordination Task

    PubMed Central

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P.; Serbruyns, Leen; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2017-01-01

    Practice of a given physical activity is known to improve the motor skills related to this activity. However, whether unrelated skills are also improved is still unclear. To test the impact of physical activity on an unpracticed motor task, 26 young adults completed the international physical activity questionnaire and performed a bimanual coordination task they had never practiced before. Results showed that higher total physical activity predicted higher performance in the bimanual task, controlling for multiple factors such as age, physical inactivity, music practice, and computer games practice. Linear mixed models allowed this effect of physical activity to be generalized to a large population of bimanual coordination conditions. This finding runs counter to the notion that generalized motor abilities do not exist and supports the existence of a “learning to learn” skill that could be improved through physical activity and that impacts performance in tasks that are not necessarily related to the practiced activity. PMID:28265253

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y. C.

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on “what might have been”) has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining “what might be if…”) may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic. PMID:27942041

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Vestibular disorders and dual task performance: Impairment when walking a straight path

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Jess C.; Cohen, Helen S.; Sangi-Haghpeykar, Haleh

    2013-01-01

    Locomotion is impaired in some people with vestibular disorders. Performance on cognitive tasks is also impaired in many people with vestibular disorders. The goal of this study was to determine if patients with vestibular disorders have decreased ability to complete a dual task performance involving a cognitive task, an additional motor task or both tasks, combined along a linear path. Subjects were normal, had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or had various vestibular disorders that caused unilateral weakness. They were asked to walk 7.62 m in a straight line with eyes open or closed, without extra tasks, and while nodding the head, naming things, and both nodding and naming. The patients walked significantly slower than controls, especially when performing the cognitive task. Patients had greater ataxia and began veering sooner than normals. The subjects’ veering increased significantly with the addition of cognitive tasks. The patient groups did not differ significantly from each other. The changes in velocity did not affect the veering. These data suggest that patients with vestibular disorders are impaired in their ability to complete a linear path when cognitive tasks are added. PMID:21558642

  10. Aging affects motor skill learning when the task requires inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Brosseau, Julie; Potvin, Marie-Julie; Rouleau, Isabelle

    2007-01-01

    Few studies have examined the influence of aging on motor skill learning (MSL) tasks involving different skills and conditions. Two tasks, each including two different conditions (repeated and nonrepeated), were used: (a) the Mirror Tracing task, requiring the inhibition of an overlearned response and the learning of a new visuomotor association, and (b) the Pursuit Tracking task, mainly requiring the processing of visuospatial stimuli. We hypothesized that older participants would benefit as much as younger participants from the stimuli repetition and that they would exhibit a slower learning rate exclusively on the Mirror Tracing task. As expected, older and younger participants' MSL were not differentially affected by task conditions. They also showed a similar learning rate on the Pursuit Tracking task and a subgroup of older participants exhibited MSL difficulties on the Mirror Tracing task. Problems in the inhibitory control of competing motor memories could explain these age-related MSL difficulties.

  11. Framing of task performance strategies: effects on performance in a multiattribute dynamic decision making environment.

    PubMed

    Nygren, T E

    1997-09-01

    It is well documented that the way a static choice task is "framed" can dramatically alter choice behavior, often leading to observable preference reversals. This framing effect appears to result from perceived changes in the nature or location of a person's initial reference point, but it is not clear how framing effects might generalize to performance on dynamic decision making tasks that are characterized by high workload, time constraints, risk, or stress. A study was conducted to examine the hypothesis that framing can introduce affective components to the decision making process and can influence, either favorably (positive frame) or adversely (negative frame), the implementation and use of decision making strategies in dynamic high-workload environments. Results indicated that negative frame participants were significantly impaired in developing and employing a simple optimal decision strategy relative to a positive frame group. Discussion focuses on implications of these results for models of dynamic decision making.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-01-01

    Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias.

  15. Compensatory mechanisms underlie intact task-switching performance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Jamadar, S; Michie, P; Karayanidis, F

    2010-04-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia tend to perform poorly on many measures of cognitive control. However, recent task-switching studies suggest that they show intact task-switching performance, despite the fact that the regions involved in task-switching are known to be structurally and functionally impaired in the disorder. Behavioral, event-related potential (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures were used to compare the temporal and spatial dynamics of task-switching performance in individuals with schizophrenia and controls. Consistent with previous studies, reaction time (RT) switch cost and its reduction with anticipatory preparation did not differ between groups. There were also no group differences on cue-locked ERP components associated with anticipatory preparation processes. However, both stimulus- and response-locked ERPs were significantly disrupted in schizophrenia, suggesting difficulty with task-set implementation. fMRI analyses indicated that individuals with schizophrenia showed hyperactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. RT-fMRI and ERP-fMRI associations suggested that individuals with schizophrenia employ compensatory mechanisms to overcome difficulties in task-set implementation and thereby achieve the same behavioral outcomes as controls.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The effects of 7.5% carbon dioxide inhalation on task performance in healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Diaper, Alison; Nutt, David J; Munafò, Marcus R; White, Joanna L; Farmer, Eric W; Bailey, Jayne E

    2012-04-01

    Studies have shown that anxiety can positively or negatively affect performance with respect to focusing of attention or distractibility, subjective workload and effort (Humphreys and Revelle, 1984). The inhalation of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) is associated with physiological and psychological effects of anxiety (Bailey et al., 2005) but its effects on performance have rarely been reported. The studies reported here looked at the effects of CO(2) inhalation on physiological and subjective measures and performance on two tasks. Eight healthy male participants completed a tracking task with a reaction time component, and 12 healthy participants (six male) completed a complex target identification task. Tasks were performed during 20-min inhalations of 7.5% CO(2)/21% O(2)/71.5% N(2) mixture or medical air. Continuous heart rate and blood pressure measures were taken, in addition to subjective measures of mood and workload. In comparison with air, CO(2) increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased subjective scores of panic, anxiety, fear, and tension, and reduced subjective scores of relaxation and happiness. Attention was focussed when inhaling CO(2) during the simple task, and central demand was greater when inhaling CO(2) during the complex task. Therefore, inhalation of 7.5% CO(2) produces effects on task performance which are consistent with anxiety.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Conceptions of Ability and Related Affects in Task Involvement and Ego Involvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jagacinski, Carolyn M.; Nicholls, John G.

    1984-01-01

    Five studies were conducted to determine if college students employ different conceptions of ability in self-referenced (task-involving) and interpersonally competitive (ego-involving) situations. Competence and positive affects were associated with higher effort in task-involving situations but negatively associated with higher effort in…

  5. 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.

  6. How tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) perform in a searching task: evidence for strategy use.

    PubMed

    Bartolomucci, A; de Biurrun, G; Fuchs, E

    2001-12-01

    This study investigated how male tree shrews (Tupaia belangen) performed in a searching task while in their home cages and assessed whether different food distributions affected their performance. The animals were faced with a holeboard containing 9 food sources arranged in a 3 x 3 matrix or in 3 clusters, each containing 3 sources. Animals tended to start and end the trials from preferred locations, thereafter solving the task by strategically organizing the reward collection according to a minimum-distance principle. In the cluster configuration, they visited the sources hierarchically. Food distribution did not affect the performance. Comparison with data from mice and capuchin monkeys revealed that tree shrews and capuchins solved the task in a similar strategic way, whereas mice did not. These findings attract particular attention because of the phylogenetic position of tree shrews, which are regarded as closely related to primates.

  7. 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.

  8. Ergonomic factors on task performance in laparoscopic surgery training.

    PubMed

    Xiao, D J; Jakimowicz, Jack J; Albayrak, A; Goossens, R H M

    2012-05-01

    This paper evaluates the effect of ergonomic factors on task performance and trainee posture during laparoscopic surgery training. Twenty subjects without laparoscopic experience were allotted into 2 groups. Group 1 was trained under the optimal ergonomic simulation setting according to current ergonomic guidelines (Condition A). Group 2 was trained under non-optimal ergonomic simulation setting that can often be observed during training in a skills lab (Condition B). Posture analysis showed that the subjects held a much more neutral posture under Condition A than under Condition B (p<0.001). The subjects had less joint excursion and experienced less discomfort in their neck, shoulders, and arms under Condition A. Significant difference in task performance between Conditions A and B (p<0.05) was found. This study shows that the optimal ergonomic simulation setting leads to better task performance. In addition, no significant differences of task performance, for Groups 1 and 2 using the same test setting were found. However, better performance was observed for Group 1. It can be concluded that the optimal and non-optimal training setting have different learning effects on trainees' skill learning.

  9. Performing behavioral tasks in subjects with intracranial electrodes.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew A; Thompson, Susan; Gonzalez-Martinez, Jorge; Park, Hyun-Joo; Bulacio, Juan; Najm, Imad; Kahn, Kevin; Kerr, Matthew; Sarma, Sridevi V; Gale, John T

    2014-10-02

    Patients having stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) electrode, subdural grid or depth electrode implants have a multitude of electrodes implanted in different areas of their brain for the localization of their seizure focus and eloquent areas. After implantation, the patient must remain in the hospital until the pathological area of brain is found and possibly resected. During this time, these patients offer a unique opportunity to the research community because any number of behavioral paradigms can be performed to uncover the neural correlates that guide behavior. Here we present a method for recording brain activity from intracranial implants as subjects perform a behavioral task designed to assess decision-making and reward encoding. All electrophysiological data from the intracranial electrodes are recorded during the behavioral task, allowing for the examination of the many brain areas involved in a single function at time scales relevant to behavior. Moreover, and unlike animal studies, human patients can learn a wide variety of behavioral tasks quickly, allowing for the ability to perform more than one task in the same subject or for performing controls. Despite the many advantages of this technique for understanding human brain function, there are also methodological limitations that we discuss, including environmental factors, analgesic effects, time constraints and recordings from diseased tissue. This method may be easily implemented by any institution that performs intracranial assessments; providing the opportunity to directly examine human brain function during behavior.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Simon, Andrew F

    2006-06-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Dynamic Task Performance, Cohesion, and Communications in Human Groups.

    PubMed

    Giraldo, Luis Felipe; Passino, Kevin M

    2016-10-01

    In the study of the behavior of human groups, it has been observed that there is a strong interaction between the cohesiveness of the group, its performance when the group has to solve a task, and the patterns of communication between the members of the group. Developing mathematical and computational tools for the analysis and design of task-solving groups that are not only cohesive but also perform well is of importance in social sciences, organizational management, and engineering. In this paper, we model a human group as a dynamical system whose behavior is driven by a task optimization process and the interaction between subsystems that represent the members of the group interconnected according to a given communication network. These interactions are described as attractions and repulsions among members. We show that the dynamics characterized by the proposed mathematical model are qualitatively consistent with those observed in real-human groups, where the key aspect is that the attraction patterns in the group and the commitment to solve the task are not static but change over time. Through a theoretical analysis of the system we provide conditions on the parameters that allow the group to have cohesive behaviors, and Monte Carlo simulations are used to study group dynamics for different sets of parameters, communication topologies, and tasks to solve.

  14. Performance on Nonlinguistic Visual Tasks by Children with Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Windsor, Jennifer; Kohnert, Kathryn; Loxtercamp, Amanda L.; Kan, Pui-Fong

    2008-01-01

    The performance of 8- to 13-year-old monolingual English-speaking children with language impairment (LI) on seven nonlinguistic tasks was compared with two groups of typically developing children, monolingual English-speaking children, and proficient Spanish-English sequential bilingual children. Group differences were apparent, with a key finding…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Computer-Aided Performance Training for Diagnostic and Procedural Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigney, Joseph W.; And Others

    Two computer programs for computer-assisted performance training were developed to give the students the opportunity for concentrated practice of troubleshooting and procedural tasks in naval electronics. In contrast to the usual approach taken in computer-assisted instruction (CAI), these programs simulate essential aspects of devices and tasks…

  18. The Relation of Task to Performance in Testing Verbs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gradman, Harry L.; Hanania, Edith

    A study investigated the variability of language performance on different types of testing task, global versus discrete-focus. Three tests (cloze, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank) were developed to measure learners' knowledge of five verb forms. The tests, containing corresponding items designed to elicit equivalent structures, were…

  19. Rules and Development in Triad Classification Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raijmakers, Maartje E. J.; Jansen, Brenda R. J.; van der Maas, Han L. J.

    2004-01-01

    Rule use in perceptual classification was investigated in adults and in 4- to 12-year-old children. Two studies of performance on triad classification tasks with large samples (N=226 and N=328) are presented to (a) contrast theoretical predictions from the holistic-to-analytic-shift theory (Smith & Kemler, 1977) and the differential-sensitivity…

  20. Attention Style and Performance in a Coincident Anticipation Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettleton, Brian

    1982-01-01

    Students were ranked in ability to anticipate the arrival of a relatively fast moving stimulus at a certain point along a trackway and compared with "narrow attentional focus," a measure of attentional style. An association between an individual's field independence and performance on an anticipation task was shown. (Author/CM)

  1. 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

  2. Task-Irrelevant Auditory Feedback Facilitates Motor Performance in Musicians

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood.

    PubMed

    Lane, J D; Kasian, S J; Owens, J E; Marsh, G R

    1998-01-01

    When two tones of slightly different frequency are presented separately to the left and right ears the listener perceives a single tone that varies in amplitude at a frequency equal to the frequency difference between the two tones, a perceptual phenomenon known as the binaural auditory beat. Anecdotal reports suggest that binaural auditory beats within the electroencephalograph frequency range can entrain EEG activity and may affect states of consciousness, although few scientific studies have been published. This study compared the effects of binaural auditory beats in the EEG beta and EEG theta/delta frequency ranges on mood and on performance of a vigilance task to investigate their effects on subjective and objective measures of arousal. Participants (n = 29) performed a 30-min visual vigilance task on three different days while listening to pink noise containing simple tones or binaural beats either in the beta range (16 and 24 Hz) or the theta/delta range (1.5 and 4 Hz). However, participants were kept blind to the presence of binaural beats to control expectation effects. Presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats yielded more correct target detections and fewer false alarms than presentation of theta/delta frequency binaural beats. In addition, the beta-frequency beats were associated with less negative mood. Results suggest that the presentation of binaural auditory beats can affect psychomotor performance and mood. This technology may have applications for the control of attention and arousal and the enhancement of human performance.

  5. 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.

  6. Dynamic Connectivity at Rest Predicts Attention Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Askren, Mary K.; Boord, Peter; Grabowski, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Consistent spatial patterns of coherent activity, representing large-scale networks, have been reliably identified in multiple populations. Most often, these studies have examined “stationary” connectivity. However, there is a growing recognition that there is a wealth of information in the time-varying dynamics of networks which has neural underpinnings, which changes with age and disease and that supports behavior. Using factor analysis of overlapping sliding windows across 25 participants with Parkinson disease (PD) and 21 controls (ages 41–86), we identify factors describing the covarying correlations of regions (dynamic connectivity) within attention networks and the default mode network, during two baseline resting-state and task runs. Cortical regions that support attention networks are affected early in PD, motivating the potential utility of dynamic connectivity as a sensitive way to characterize physiological disruption to these networks. We show that measures of dynamic connectivity are more reliable than comparable measures of stationary connectivity. Factors in the dorsal attention network (DAN) and fronto-parietal task control network, obtained at rest, are consistently related to the alerting and orienting reaction time effects in the subsequent Attention Network Task. In addition, the same relationship between the same DAN factor and the alerting effect was present during tasks. Although reliable, dynamic connectivity was not invariant, and changes between factor scores across sessions were related to changes in accuracy. In summary, patterns of time-varying correlations among nodes in an intrinsic network have a stability that has functional relevance. PMID:25014419

  7. Is dual-task performance necessarily impaired in space?

    PubMed

    Fowler, B; Bock, O; Comfort, D

    2000-01-01

    Recent single-subject experiments in space have reported impaired dual-task performance that could result from either a direct effect of microgravity on the central nervous system or from the multistressor environment. We sought to distinguish between these hypotheses using 6 astronauts in the 16-day NASA Neurolab mission, testing them at intervals with a dual task consisting of primary pursuit tracking without vision of the hand and secondary reaction time (RT). The participants were highly trained, instructed to maintain a fixed attention strategy, and restrained in the apparatus. The results showed that absolute and variable tracking error, as well as correct RT and the standard deviation of RT, were unimpaired. However, RT errors became more variable, an effect attributed to a decrease in strategic control. We conclude that the impairments observed in previous dual-task space experiments can be attributed to stressors rather than to microgravity and that performance deficits are probably not a necessary concomitant of space flight if attention is paid to task design and astronaut training.

  8. 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

  9. Task-Specific Motor Rehabilitation Therapy After Stroke Improves Performance in a Different Motor Task: Translational Evidence.

    PubMed

    El Amki, M; Baumgartner, P; Bracko, O; Luft, A R; Wegener, S

    2017-01-14

    While the stroke survivor with a motor deficit strives for recovery of all aspects of daily life movements, neurorehabilitation training is often task specific and does not generalize to movements other than the ones trained. In rodent models of post-stroke recovery, this problem is poorly investigated as the training task is often the same as the one that measures motor function. The present study investigated whether motor training by pellet reaching translates into enhancement of different motor functions in rats after stroke. Adult rats were subjected to 60-min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Five days after stroke, animals received either training consisting of 7 days of pellet reaching with the affected forelimb (n = 18) or no training (n = 18). Sensorimotor deficits were assessed using the sticky tape test and a composite neuroscore. Infarct volumes were measured by T2-weighted MRI on day 28. Both groups of rats showed similar lesion volume and forelimb impairment after stroke. Trained animals improved in the sticky tape test after day 7 post-stroke reaching peak performance on day 14. More reaching attempts during rehabilitation were associated with a better performance in the sticky tape removal time. Task-oriented motor training generalizes to other motor functions after experimental stroke. Training intensity correlates with recovery.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. CANTAB delayed matching to sample task performance in juvenile baboons.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Jesse S; Zürcher, Nicole R; Bartlett, Thad Q; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Nijland, Mark J

    2011-03-30

    This study reports the administration of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery system's delayed matching to sample (DMTS) task to juvenile baboons. Nine subjects (female=5, male=4) were trained with delay intervals ranging from 0 to 80s. Trial unique stimuli were utilized in combination with matching to sample, in contrast to non-matching to sample, to more accurately assess components of medial temporal lobe (hippocampal formation) mediated working memory. These parameters force subjects to rely on recognition for matching stimuli and overcome their innate tendency to choose novel stimuli (non-matching), thus increasing task difficulty. Testing with delays intervals of 0-2, 4, 8, and 16s revealed decreased percent correct responding as delay intervals increased. An effect of 1 vs. 3 distractor stimuli on accuracy was also noted. Increasing the number of distractors resulted in decreased observing response latencies. The increase in choice response latency seen with increasing delay interval was independent of number of distractor stimuli presented. There were no sex differences in task performance. Our laboratory is focused on understanding the functional consequences of suboptimal conditions during pregnancy and early postnatal life in offspring. The ability of juvenile baboons to perform the DMTS task demonstrates the utility of this non-human primate model in examining pre- and post-natal conditions that impact the development of working memory. Evaluation of causes and consequences of impaired working memory in a variety of human diseases will be assisted by the use of this task in nonhuman primate models of human health and disease.

  14. 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.

  15. [Evaluation of mental workload of short-term memory task by secondary task performance and frontal midline theta rhythm].

    PubMed

    Nakashima, K; Sato, H

    1992-03-01

    The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the mental workload of short-term memory task by two objective measures, the secondary task performance and the frontal midline theta rhythm (Fm theta) of the electroencephalogram (EEG). First, to choose Fm theta appearance subjects EEGs were recorded for 18 male students during performing additional task. On Fm theta appearance subjects (8 males) a series of short-term memory task with changed number of memorable figures was imposed as the primary task, and tracking task as the secondary task. The task that presents seven numbers will be over the subjects' limits of short-term memory, and it was the threshold that the subjects' mental workload will be increased.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Performance of children with developmental dyslexia on high and low topological entropy artificial grammar learning task.

    PubMed

    Katan, Pesia; Kahta, Shani; Sasson, Ayelet; Schiff, Rachel

    2016-10-19

    Graph complexity as measured by topological entropy has been previously shown to affect performance on artificial grammar learning tasks among typically developing children. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of graph complexity on implicit sequential learning among children with developmental dyslexia. Our goal was to determine whether children's performance depends on the complexity level of the grammar system learned. We conducted two artificial grammar learning experiments that compared performance of children with developmental dyslexia with that of age- and reading level-matched controls. Experiment 1 was a high topological entropy artificial grammar learning task that aimed to establish implicit learning phenomena in children with developmental dyslexia using previously published experimental conditions. Experiment 2 is a lower topological entropy variant of that task. Results indicated that given a high topological entropy grammar system, children with developmental dyslexia who were similar to the reading age-matched control group had substantial difficulty in performing the task as compared to typically developing children, who exhibited intact implicit learning of the grammar. On the other hand, when tested on a lower topological entropy grammar system, all groups performed above chance level, indicating that children with developmental dyslexia were able to identify rules from a given grammar system. The results reinforced the significance of graph complexity when experimenting with artificial grammar learning tasks, particularly with dyslexic participants.

  18. Does complexity matter? Meta-analysis of learner performance in artificial grammar tasks.

    PubMed

    Schiff, Rachel; Katan, Pesia

    2014-01-01

    Complexity has been shown to affect performance on artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks (categorization of test items as grammatical/ungrammatical according to the implicitly trained grammar rules). However, previously published AGL experiments did not utilize consistent measures to investigate the comprehensive effect of grammar complexity on task performance. The present study focused on computerizing Bollt and Jones's (2000) technique of calculating topological entropy (TE), a quantitative measure of AGL charts' complexity, with the aim of examining associations between grammar systems' TE and learners' AGL task performance. We surveyed the literature and identified 56 previous AGL experiments based on 10 different grammars that met the sampling criteria. Using the automated matrix-lift-action method, we assigned a TE value for each of these 10 previously used AGL systems and examined its correlation with learners' task performance. The meta-regression analysis showed a significant correlation, demonstrating that the complexity effect transcended the different settings and conditions in which the categorization task was performed. The results reinforced the importance of using this new automated tool to uniformly measure grammar systems' complexity when experimenting with and evaluating the findings of AGL studies.

  19. Comparisons of population subgroups performance on a keyboard psychomotor task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapleford, R. L.

    1973-01-01

    Response time and pass/fail data were obtained from 163 subjects performing a psychomotor task. The basic task comprised a random five digit number briefly displayed to the subject at the start of each trail, and the keyboard on which the subject was to enter the number as fast as he could accurately do so after the display was extinguished. Some tests were run with the addition of a secondary task which required the subject to respond to a displayed light appearing at a random time. Matched pairs of subjects were selected from the group to analyze the effects of age, sex, intelligence, prior keyboard skill, and drinking habits. There was little or no effect due to age or drinking habits. Differences in response time were: average IQ subjects faster than low IQ subjects by 0.5 to 0.6 sec; subjects with prior keyboard skill faster by 0.4 to 0.5 sec; and female subjects faster by 0.2 to 0.3 sec. These effects were generally insensitive to the presence of the secondary task.

  20. Line bisection task performance and resting EEG alpha power.

    PubMed

    Ciçek, Metehan; Nalçaci, Erhan; Kalaycioglu, Canan

    2003-06-01

    Neurologically normal subjects generally err to the left of veridical center when performing a line bisection task, a phenomenon termed "pseudoneglect." We hypothesized that resting electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha oscillations may show relationships with attentional mechanisms and give some clues about the underlying mechanisms of pseudoneglect. We recorded resting EEGs of 41 subjects and tested them with a paper-pencil line bisection task. Our results showed that line bisection scores of men (n=18) were less biased and their performance was higher compared to those of women (n=20), but these differences only approached significance. The eyes open resting EEG alpha power of women was significantly and positively correlated with their line bisection performance. In general, significant relationships were related to the left hand performance when the lines were presented in the left hemispace. Greater resting alpha power was correlated with lower absolute bisection score or, in other words, higher bisection performance. Greater alpha power also correlated with diminished leftward bisection bias (or reduced pseudo-neglect). The resting EEG alpha of men was weakly associated with bisection performance. Results discussed in terms of Kinsbourne's activation-orientation theory and Basar's view on brain oscillations.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Task difficulty and response complexity modulate affective priming by emotional facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Sassi, Federica; Campoy, Guillermo; Castillo, Alejandro; Inuggi, Alberto; Fuentes, Luis J

    2014-05-01

    In this study we used an affective priming task to address the issue of whether the processing of emotional facial expressions occurs automatically independent of attention or attentional resources. Participants had to attend to the emotion expression of the prime face, or to a nonemotional feature of the prime face, the glasses. When participants attended to glasses (emotion unattended), they had to report whether the face wore glasses or not (the glasses easy condition) or whether the glasses were rounded or squared (the shape difficult condition). Affective priming, measured on valence decisions on target words, was mainly defined as interference from incongruent rather than facilitation from congruent trials. Significant priming effects were observed just in the emotion and glasses tasks but not in the shape task. When the key-response mapping increased in complexity, taxing working memory load, affective priming effects were reduced equally for the three types of tasks. Thus, attentional load and working memory load affected additively to the observed reduction in affective priming. These results cast some doubts on the automaticity of processing emotional facial expressions.

  5. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Erin M; Twelker, J Daniel; Miller, Joseph M; Leonard-Green, Tina K; Mohan, Kathleen M; Davis, Amy L; Campus, Irene

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D) or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D) based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and Visual Perception (VMIp). Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88). Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p = 0.829). Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p = 0.038) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.007). Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p = 0.209) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.124) did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction.

  6. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students

    PubMed Central

    Twelker, J. Daniel; Miller, Joseph M.; Mohan, Kathleen M.; Campus, Irene

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D) or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D) based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and Visual Perception (VMIp). Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88). Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p = 0.829). Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p = 0.038) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.007). Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p = 0.209) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.124) did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction. PMID:28293434

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Affect Response to Simulated Information Attack during Complex Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-02

    accepted and utilized personality model among researchers. The “ Big Five” factors of 9 Distribution A: Approved for public release; distribution...instances can be understood in a simplified way” (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008). Additionally, a taxonomy such as the Big Five allows researchers to...establishes a common framework within which to operate and compare results. While the Big Five traits were derived from decades of “analyses of the

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    Schmidt, H. G. Computer Experience and Computer Anxiety. Computers in Human Behavior 2003, 19, 785-797. Bluedorn, A. C.; Kalliath, T. J.; Strube...Training. Computers in Human Behavior 2002, 18, 241-255. Salthouse, T. A. Influence of Experience on Age Differences in Cognitive Functioning... Computers in Human Behavior 1999, 15, 227-242. Todman, J.; Drysdale, E. Effects of Qualitative Differences in Initial and subsequent Computer

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of reaction time variability and age on brain activity during Stroop task performance.

    PubMed

    Tam, Angela; Luedke, Angela C; Walsh, Jeremy J; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan; Garcia, Angeles

    2015-09-01

    Variability in reaction time during task performance may reflect fluctuations in attention and cause reduced performance in goal-directed tasks, yet it is unclear whether the mechanisms behind this phenomenon change with age. Using fMRI, we tested young and cognitively healthy older adults with the Stroop task to determine whether aging affects the neural mechanisms underlying intra-individual reaction time variability. We found significant between-group differences in BOLD activity modulated by reaction time. In older adults, longer reaction times were associated with greater activity in frontoparietal attentional areas, while in younger adults longer reaction times were associated with greater activity in default mode network areas. Our results suggest that the neural correlates of reaction time variability change with healthy aging, reinforcing the concept of functional plasticity to maintain high cognitive function throughout the lifespan.

  13. 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.…

  14. 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,…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. Short-term visual deprivation reduces interference effects of task-irrelevant facial expressions on affective prosody judgments

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Ineke; Nava, Elena; Röder, Brigitte

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that neuroplasticity can be triggered by short-term visual deprivation in healthy adults. Specifically, these studies have provided evidence that visual deprivation reversibly affects basic perceptual abilities. The present study investigated the long-lasting effects of short-term visual deprivation on emotion perception. To this aim, we visually deprived a group of young healthy adults, age-matched with a group of non-deprived controls, for 3 h and tested them before and after visual deprivation (i.e., after 8 h on average and at 4 week follow-up) on an audio–visual (i.e., faces and voices) emotion discrimination task. To observe changes at the level of basic perceptual skills, we additionally employed a simple audio–visual (i.e., tone bursts and light flashes) discrimination task and two unimodal (one auditory and one visual) perceptual threshold measures. During the 3 h period, both groups performed a series of auditory tasks. To exclude the possibility that changes in emotion discrimination may emerge as a consequence of the exposure to auditory stimulation during the 3 h stay in the dark, we visually deprived an additional group of age-matched participants who concurrently performed unrelated (i.e., tactile) tasks to the later tested abilities. The two visually deprived groups showed enhanced affective prosodic discrimination abilities in the context of incongruent facial expressions following the period of visual deprivation; this effect was partially maintained until follow-up. By contrast, no changes were observed in affective facial expression discrimination and in the basic perception tasks in any group. These findings suggest that short-term visual deprivation per se triggers a reweighting of visual and auditory emotional cues, which seems to possibly prevail for longer durations. PMID:25954166

  20. Evidence for the Usefulness of Task Performance, Job Dedication, and Interpersonal Facilitation as Components of Overall Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-08-01

    Rev 2-89) Author: James R. Van Scotter, Major, USAF Title: Evidence for the Usefulness of Task Performance, Job Dedication, and Interpersonal ...task performance, job dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and overall performance had acceptable reliability. Another group of supervisors provided...independent ratings of the task performance, job dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and overall performance of 760 Air Force mechanics in a second

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Worms under cover: relationships between performance in learning tasks and personality in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Amy, Mathieu; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc

    2012-09-01

    In animals, individual differences in learning ability are common and are in part explained by genetic differences, developmental conditions and by general experience. Yet, not all variations in learning are well understood. Individual differences in learning may be associated with elementary individual characteristics that are consistent across situations and over time, commonly referred to as personality or temperament. Here, we tested whether or not male great tits (Parus major) from two selection lines for fast or slow exploratory behaviour, an operational measure for avian personality, vary in their learning performance in two related consecutive tasks. In the first task, birds had to associate a colour with a reward whereas in the second task, they had to associate a new colour with a reward ignoring the previously rewarded colour. Slow explorers had shorter latencies to approach the experimental device compared with fast explorers in both tasks, but birds from the two selection lines did not differ in accomplishing the first task, that is, to associate a colour with a reward. However, in the second task, fast explorers had longer latencies to solve the trials than slow explorers. Moreover, relative to the number of trials needed to reach the learning criteria in the first task, birds from the slow selection line took more trials to associate a new colour with a reward while ignoring the previously learned association compared with birds from the fast selection line. Overall, the experiments suggest that personality in great tits is not strongly related to learning per se in such an association task, but that birds from different selection lines might express different learning strategies as birds from the different selection lines were differently affected by their previous learning performance.

  5. 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)

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

    PubMed

    Cummings, Andrew J; Rennels, Jennifer L

    2014-02-01

    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.

  7. Task difficulty affects the predictive process indexed by visual mismatch negativity.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Motohiro; Takeda, Yuji

    2013-01-01

    Visual mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event-related brain potential (ERP) component that is elicited by prediction-incongruent events in successive visual stimulation. Previous oddball studies have shown that visual MMN in response to task-irrelevant deviant stimuli is insensitive to the manipulation of task difficulty, which supports the notion that visual MMN reflects attention-independent predictive processes. In these studies, however, visual MMN was evaluated in deviant-minus-standard difference waves, which may lead to an underestimation of the effects of task difficulty due to the possible superposition of N1-difference reflecting refractory effects. In the present study, we investigated the effects of task difficulty on visual MMN, less contaminated by N1-difference. While the participant performed a size-change detection task regarding a continuously-presented central fixation circle, we presented oddball sequences consisting of deviant and standard bar stimuli with different orientations (9.1 and 90.9%) and equiprobable sequences consisting of 11 types of control bar stimuli with different orientations (9.1% each) at the surrounding visual fields. Task difficulty was manipulated by varying the magnitude of the size-change. We found that the peak latencies of visual MMN evaluated in the deviant-minus-control difference waves were delayed as a function of task difficulty. Therefore, in contrast to the previous understanding, the present findings support the notion that visual MMN is associated with attention-demanding predictive processes.

  8. 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

  9. Mental Workload Manipulation Using Multiple Homogeneous Tasks: Performance Effects

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-03

    interval, as they were in Colle and Reid (2005) and in Calkin (2007). These accomplishment curves also were related to the SWAT ratings. Performance and...4.0. Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Calkin , B. (2007). Parameters affecting mental workload and the number of simulated

  10. 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

  11. Incidental sequence learning in a motion coherence discrimination task: How response learning affects perception.

    PubMed

    Laubrock, Jochen; Kinder, Annette

    2014-10-01

    The serial reaction time task (SRTT) is a standard task used to investigate incidental sequence learning. Whereas incidental learning of motor sequences is well-established, few and disputed results support learning of perceptual sequences. Here we adapt a motion coherence discrimination task (Newsome & Paré, 1988) to the sequence learning paradigm. The new task has 2 advantages: (a) the stimulus is presented at fixation, thereby obviating overt eye movements, and (b) by varying coherence a perceptual threshold measure is available in addition to the performance measure of RT. Results from 3 experiments show that action relevance of the sequence is necessary for sequence learning to occur, that the amount of sequence knowledge varies with the ease of encoding the motor sequence, and that sequence knowledge, once acquired, has the ability to modify perceptual thresholds.

  12. Motor planning flexibly optimizes performance under uncertainty about task goals

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Aaron L.; Haith, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    In an environment full of potential goals, how does the brain determine which movement to execute? Existing theories posit that the motor system prepares for all potential goals by generating several motor plans in parallel. One major line of evidence for such theories is that presenting two competing goals often results in a movement intermediate between them. These intermediate movements are thought to reflect an unintentional averaging of the competing plans. However, normative theories suggest instead that intermediate movements might actually be deliberate, generated because they improve task performance over a random guessing strategy. To test this hypothesis, we vary the benefit of making an intermediate movement by changing movement speed. We find that participants generate intermediate movements only at (slower) speeds where they measurably improve performance. Our findings support the normative view that the motor system selects only a single, flexible motor plan, optimized for uncertain goals. PMID:28256513

  13. 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...

  14. Cognitive & Affective Predictors of Simulation Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    new measure. Personality and Individual Differences , 31, 519-534. Hill, R.W., Belanich, J., Core, M., Lane, H.C., Forbell, E., Kim, J., Hart, J...simulated quality control task. Personality and Individual Differences , 39, 47-60. Sherer, M., Maddux, J.E., Mercandante, B., Prentice- Dunn, S

  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.

  16. Investigating the mechanisms underlying affective priming effects using a conditional pronunciation task.

    PubMed

    Pecchinenda, Anna; Ganteaume, Christiane; Banse, Rainer

    2006-01-01

    Recently, using a conditional pronunciation task, De Houwer and Randell (2004) reported evidence of affective priming effects only when pronunciation depended on the semantic category of targets. Although these findings support the notion that spreading of activation is the mechanism underlying affective priming effects, an explanation in terms of postlexical mechanism could not be ruled out. To clarify this point, we conducted two experiments in which nouns for both the to-be-pronounced as well as the not-to-be pronounced targets were used and all stimuli were affectively valenced words. In Experiment 1, the to-be-pronounced targets were object-words, and the not-to-be-pronounced targets were person-words, whereas in Experiment 2, the instructions were reversed. Results of experiment 1 showed affective priming effects only when pronunciation of target words was conditional upon their semantic category. Most importantly, affective priming effects were observed for both object-words (Experiment 1) and person-words (Experiment 2). These results are compatible with a spreading activation account, but not with a postlexical mechanism account of affective priming effects in the pronunciation task.

  17. 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)…

  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 that…

  19. 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…

  20. NEQ and task in dual-energy imaging: from cascaded systems analysis to human observer performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richard, Samuel; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.; Tward, Daniel J.

    2008-03-01

    The relationship between theoretical descriptions of imaging performance (Fourier-based cascaded systems analysis) and the performance of real human observers was investigated for various detection and discrimination tasks. Dual-energy (DE) imaging provided a useful basis for investigating this relationship, because it presents a host of acquisition and processing parameters that can significantly affect signal and noise transfer characteristics and, correspondingly, human observer performance. The detectability index was computed theoretically using: 1) cascaded systems analysis of the modulation transfer function (MTF), and noise-power spectrum (NPS) for DE imaging; 2) a Fourier description of imaging task; and 3.) integration of MTF, NPS, and task function according to various observer models, including Fisher-Hotelling and non-prewhitening with and without an eye filter and internal noise. Three idealized tasks were considered: sphere detection, shape discrimination (sphere vs. disk), and texture discrimination (uniform vs. textured disk). Using images of phantoms acquired on a prototype DE imaging system, human observer performance was assessed in multiple-alternative forced choice (MAFC) tests, giving an estimate of area under the ROC curve (A Ζ). The degree to which the theoretical detectability index correlated with human observer performance was investigated, and results agreed well over a broad range of imaging conditions, depending on the choice of observer model. Results demonstrated that optimal DE image acquisition and decomposition parameters depend significantly on the imaging task. These studies provide important initial validation that the detectability index derived theoretically by Fourier-based cascaded systems analysis correlates well with actual human observer performance and represents a meaningful metric for system optimization.

  1. A key role for experimental task performance: effects of math talent, gender and performance on the neural correlates of mental rotation.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, Christian; Fliessbach, Klaus; Stausberg, Sven; Stojanovic, Jelena; Trautner, Peter; Elger, Christian E; Weber, Bernd

    2012-02-01

    The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying superior cognitive performance are a research area of high interest. The majority of studies on the brain-performance relationship assessed the effects of capability-related group factors (e.g. talent, gender) on task-related brain activations while only few studies examined the effect of the inherent experimental task performance factor. In this functional MRI study, we combined both approaches and simultaneously assessed the effects of three relatively independent factors on the neurofunctional correlates of mental rotation in same-aged adolescents: math talent (gifted/controls: 17/17), gender (male/female: 16/18) and experimental task performance (median split on accuracy; high/low: 17/17). Better experimental task performance of mathematically gifted vs. control subjects and male vs. female subjects validated the selected paradigm. Activation of the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) was identified as a common effect of mathematical giftedness, gender and experimental task performance. However, multiple linear regression analyses (stepwise) indicated experimental task performance as the only predictor of parietal activations. In conclusion, increased activation of the IPL represents a positive neural correlate of mental rotation performance, irrespective of but consistent with the obtained neurocognitive and behavioral effects of math talent and gender. As experimental performance may strongly affect task-related activations this factor needs to be considered in capability-related group comparison studies on the brain-performance relationship.

  2. 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%

  3. Using Representations in Geometry: A Model of Students' Cognitive and Affective Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panaoura, Areti

    2014-01-01

    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…

  4. 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

  5. A Decline in Response Variability Improves Neural Signal Detection during Auditory Task Performance.

    PubMed

    von Trapp, Gardiner; Buran, Bradley N; Sen, Kamal; Semple, Malcolm N; Sanes, Dan H

    2016-10-26

    The detection of a sensory stimulus arises from a significant change in neural activity, but a sensory neuron's response is rarely identical to successive presentations of the same stimulus. Large trial-to-trial variability would limit the central nervous system's ability to reliably detect a stimulus, presumably affecting perceptual performance. However, if response variability were to decrease while firing rate remained constant, then neural sensitivity could improve. Here, we asked whether engagement in an auditory detection task can modulate response variability, thereby increasing neural sensitivity. We recorded telemetrically from the core auditory cortex of gerbils, both while they engaged in an amplitude-modulation detection task and while they sat quietly listening to the identical stimuli. Using a signal detection theory framework, we found that neural sensitivity was improved during task performance, and this improvement was closely associated with a decrease in response variability. Moreover, units with the greatest change in response variability had absolute neural thresholds most closely aligned with simultaneously measured perceptual thresholds. Our findings suggest that the limitations imposed by response variability diminish during task performance, thereby improving the sensitivity of neural encoding and potentially leading to better perceptual sensitivity.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. An investigation on task-technology fit of mobile nursing information systems for nursing performance.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Ju-Ling; Chen, Rai-Fu

    2012-05-01

    This study investigates factors affecting the fit between nursing tasks and mobile nursing information systems and the relationships between the task-technology fit of mobile nursing information systems and nurse performance from the perspective of task-technology fit. Survey research recruited nursing staffs as subjects from selected case hospital. A total of 310 questionnaires were sent out, and 219 copies were obtained, indicating a valid response rate of 70.6%. Collected data were analyzed using the structural equation modeling technique. Our study found that dependence tasks have positive effects on information acquisition (γ=0.234, P<.05) and information identification (γ=0.478, P<.001), and independent tasks have significant effects on information acquisition (γ=0.213, P<.05). Therefore, the introduction of mobile nursing information systems in assisting nursing practices can help facilitate both independent and dependent nursing tasks. Our study discovered that the supporting functions of mobile nursing information systems have positive effects on information integration and interpretation (γ=0.365, P<.001), as well as information acquisition (γ=0.253, P<.05). The service supports of mobile nursing information systems have positive effects on information acquisition (γ=0.318, P<.001) and information integration and interpretation (γ=0.143, P<.01). Furthermore, information identification (β=.055, P<.05), information acquisition (β=.176, P<.001), and information integration and interpretation (β=.706, P<.001) provided using mobile nursing information systems have positive effects on nursing performance, indicating 83.2% of totally explained variance. As shown, the use of mobile nursing information systems could provide nursing staffs with real-time and accurate information to increase efficiency and effectiveness in patient-care duties, further improving nursing performance.

  12. On the replicability of the affective priming effect in the pronunciation task.

    PubMed

    Spruyt, Adriaan; Hermans, Dirk; Pandelaere, Mario; De Houwer, Jan; Eelen, Paul

    2004-01-01

    Bargh, Chaiken, Raymond, and Hymes (1996) and Hermans, De Houwer, and Eelen (1994) showed that a valenced target word is pronounced faster after the presentation of an affectively related prime word than after the presentation of an affectively unrelated prime word. This finding is important because it provides crucial evidence for the hypotheses that stimulus evaluation (a) is goal-independent and (b) facilitates the encoding of stimuli that have the same valence. However, recent studies indicate that the affective priming effect is not a reliable finding in the standard pronunciation task. We report the results of a nearly exact replication of Bargh et al.'s (1996) Experiment 2. In line with previous replication studies, we failed to detect the affective priming effect.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Group membership affects spontaneous mental representation: failure to represent the out-group in a joint action task.

    PubMed

    McClung, Jennifer Susan; Jentzsch, Ines; Reicher, Stephen David

    2013-01-01

    Predicting others' actions is crucial to successful social interaction. Previous research on joint action, based on a reaction-time paradigm called the Joint Simon Task, suggests that successful joint action stems from the simultaneous representation of the self with the other. Performance on this task provides a read-out of the degree of intrusion from a partner that participants experience from acting jointly compared to acting alone, which in turn is a measure of the degree to which participants mentally represent their co-actors during the task. To investigate the role of perceived group membership in this type of joint action and its influence on the representation of others, we first subjected participants to a minimal group paradigm while manipulating differences in social competition. We then asked participants to do the Joint Simon Task in pairs with an in-group or out-group member. Only participants who acted with an "in-group" partner on the joint task showed altered reaction times compared to when acting alone, presumably a change caused by the simultaneous and automatic representation of their in-group partner. In contrast, participants who acted with an out-group partner were unaffected in their reactions when doing the joint task, showing no evidence of representation of their out-group partner. This effect was present in both the high-competition and low-competition conditions, indicating that the differential effects of group membership on representation during joint action were driven by perceived group membership and independent of the effects of social competition. We concluded that participants failed to represent out-group members as socially relevant agents not based on any personality or situational characteristics, but in reaction only to their status as "other". In this way group membership appears to affect cognition on a very immediate and subconscious level.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Dynamic Changes in Brain Functional Connectivity during Concurrent Dual-Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Cocchi, Luca; Zalesky, Andrew; Toepel, Ulrike; Whitford, Thomas J.; De-Lucia, Marzia; Murray, Micah M.; Carter, Olivia

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the spatial, spectral, temporal and functional proprieties of functional brain connections involved in the concurrent execution of unrelated visual perception and working memory tasks. Electroencephalography data was analysed using a novel data-driven approach assessing source coherence at the whole-brain level. Three connections in the beta-band (18–24 Hz) and one in the gamma-band (30–40 Hz) were modulated by dual-task performance. Beta-coherence increased within two dorsofrontal-occipital connections in dual-task conditions compared to the single-task condition, with the highest coherence seen during low working memory load trials. In contrast, beta-coherence in a prefrontal-occipital functional connection and gamma-coherence in an inferior frontal-occipitoparietal connection was not affected by the addition of the second task and only showed elevated coherence under high working memory load. Analysis of coherence as a function of time suggested that the dorsofrontal-occipital beta-connections were relevant to working memory maintenance, while the prefrontal-occipital beta-connection and the inferior frontal-occipitoparietal gamma-connection were involved in top-down control of concurrent visual processing. The fact that increased coherence in the gamma-connection, from low to high working memory load, was negatively correlated with faster reaction time on the perception task supports this interpretation. Together, these results demonstrate that dual-task demands trigger non-linear changes in functional interactions between frontal-executive and occipitoparietal-perceptual cortices. PMID:22140572

  19. Attribution, Affect, and College Exam Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arkin, Robert M.; Maruyama, Geoffrey M.

    1979-01-01

    College students attributed their own performance and the performance of the average student to ability, test difficulty, preparation, and luck. Successful students perceived internal factors and unsuccessful students perceived external factors as more important causes of their own performance. Students' anxiety and their ratings of the course and…

  20. Performance of a concurrent cognitive task modifies pre- and post-perturbation-evoked cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Mochizuki, George; Boe, Shaun G; Marlin, Amanda; McIlroy, William E

    2017-02-16

    Preparation for postural instability engages cortical resources that serve to optimize compensatory balance responses. Engagement of these cortical resources in cognitive dual-task activities may impact the ability to appropriately prepare and optimize responses to instability. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cognitive dual-task activities influenced cortical activity preceding and following postural instability. Postural instability was induced using a lean-and-release paradigm in 10 healthy participants. Perturbations were either temporally predictable (PRED) or unpredictable (UNPRED) and presented with (COG) or without a cognitive dual-task, presented in blocks of trials. The electroencephalogram was recorded from multiple frontal electrode sites. EEG data were averaged over 25-35 trials across conditions. Area under the curve of pre-perturbation cortical activity and peak latency and amplitude of post-perturbation cortical activity were quantified at the Cz site and compared across conditions. Performance of the concurrent cognitive task reduced the mean (SE) magnitude of pre-perturbation cortical activity in advance of predictable bouts of postural instability (PRED: 18.7(3.0)mVms; PRED-COG; 14.0(2.3)mVms). While the level of cognitive load influenced the amplitude of the post-perturbation N1 potential in the predictable conditions, there were no changes in N1 with a cognitive dual task during unpredictable conditions (PRED: -32.1(3.2)µV; PRED-COG: -50.8(8.4)µV; UNPRED: -65.0(12.2)µV; UNPRED-COG: -64.2(12.7)µV). Performance of the cognitive task delayed and reduced the magnitude of the initial gastrocnemius response. The findings indicate that pre- and post-perturbation cortical activity is affected by a cognitive distractor when postural instability is temporally predictable. Distraction also influences associated muscle responses.

  1. 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.

  2. Testing cognition in the wild: factors affecting performance and individual consistency in two measures of avian cognition.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Rachael C

    2017-01-01

    Developing cognitive tasks to reliably quantify individual differences in cognitive ability is critical to advance our understanding of the fitness consequences of cognition in the wild. Several factors may influence individual performance in a cognitive task, with some being unrelated to the cognitive ability that is the target of the test. It is therefore essential to assess how extraneous factors may affect task performance, particularly for those tasks that are frequently used to quantify individual differences in cognitive ability. The current study therefore measured the performance of wild North Island robins in two tasks commonly used to measure individual differences in avian cognition: a novel motor task and a detour reaching task. The robins' performance in the motor task was affected by prior experience; individuals that had previously participated in a similar task that required a different motor action pattern outperformed naïve subjects. By contrast, detour reaching performance was influenced by an individual's body condition, suggesting that energetic state may affect inhibitory control in robins. Designing tasks that limit the influence of past experience and developing means of standardising motivation across animals tested in the wild remain key challenges to improving current measurements of cognitive ability in birds.

  3. 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.

  4. Test-Retest Reliability of Individual Differences in Dual-Task Performance.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-07-01

    separate and combined performances of a one-dimensional tracking and a digit - processing, reaction-time task. FINDINGS The data from this study indicate...represented by tracking and digit processing. Furthermore, separate K task performances were generally unrelated to the subsequent decrement scores in dual...discrete, digit -processing, reaction-time task. Furthermore, there were low and nonreliable correlations between single-task performances, and generally low

  5. Influence of affective words on lexical decision task in major depression.

    PubMed Central

    Stip, E; Lecours, A R; Chertkow, H; Elie, R; O'Connor, K

    1994-01-01

    In cognitive science, lexical decision task is used to investigate visual word recognition and lexical access. The issue of whether or not individuals who are depressed differ in their access to affectively laden words and specifically to words that have negative affect was examined. Based on some aspects of the Resource Allocation Model (Ellis), it was postulated that patients suffering from depression take more time to recognize items from an affective-loaded list. In order to compare their behavior in a lexical decision task, patients suffering from depression and healthy controls were studied. We hoped to find an interaction between the mood state of subjects and the categories (affective or neutral) of words. Two groups of right-handed adults served as subjects in our experiment. The first group consisted of 11 patients suffering from depression (mean age: 40.2; sd: 6.8). All of this group met the DSM-III-R and the Research Diagnostic Criteria for major depressive disorder. Severity of their disease was rated using the 24-item Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale. All patients suffering from depression were without psychotropic medication. The control group was composed of 24 subjects (mean age: 32.7; sd: 7.9). A depressive word-list and a neutral word-list were built and a computer was used for the lexical-decision task. A longer reaction time to detect the non-word stimuli (F1,33 = 11.19, p < 0.01) was observed with the patients by comparison to the normal subjects. In the analysis of the word stimuli, a group by list interaction (F1,33 = 7.18, p < 0.01) was found.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8031744

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Acute effects of 50 Hz magnetic field exposure on human visual task and cardiovascular performance

    SciTech Connect

    Whittington, C.J.; Podd, J.V.; Rapley, B.R.

    1996-05-01

    One hundred subjects, males and females with ages ranging between 18 and 48 years, were studied under both field-exposed and sham-exposed conditions. A 50 Hz, 100 {micro}T magnetic field (MF) was used. To examine the effect of field exposure on performance, a two-alternative, forced-choice, duration-discrimination task with three levels of difficulty was used. The subject`s task was to decide which of two sequentially presented light flashes had the longer duration. The standard duration was 50 ms, and the alternative durations were 65, 100, or 125 ms. Both reaction time and percentage of correct responses were recorded for each subject. MF and sham exposure were for 9 min each. Blood pressure and heart rate were also measured before and following MF exposure and sham-exposure trials. The study was performed double blind, with the exposure order counterbalanced. Compared to sham exposure, MF exposure significantly decreased reaction time on the hardest level of the performance task. MF exposure did not reliably affect percentage correct or cardiovascular performance. It was demonstrated that a relatively high level of statistical power was the basis for the observed MF effect, and the need to pay closer attention to power levels in future research is discussed.

  9. Extraversion and reward-related processing: probing incentive motivation in affective priming tasks.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Michael D; Moeller, Sara K; Ode, Scott

    2010-10-01

    Based on an incentive motivation theory of extraversion (Depue & Collins, 1999), it was hypothesized that extraverts (relative to introverts) would exhibit stronger positive priming effects in affective priming tasks, whether involving words or pictures. This hypothesis was systematically supported in four studies involving 229 undergraduates. In each of the four studies, and in a subsequent combined analysis, extraversion was positively predictive of positive affective priming effects, but was not predictive of negative affective priming effects. The results bridge an important gap in the literature between biological and trait models of incentive motivation and do so in a way that should be informative to subsequent efforts to understand the processing basis of extraversion as well as incentive motivation.

  10. 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

  11. Force time-history affects fatigue accumulation during repetitive handgrip tasks.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Michael W; Hodder, Joanne N; Wells, Ryan; Potvin, Jim R

    2015-02-01

    Muscle fatigue is associated with a higher risk of workplace injury, in particular during repetitive tasks. This study aimed to identify the effect of a complex force-time history (a task with multiple different submaximal effort levels) on fatigue accumulation and recovery during a handgrip task. We measured surface electromyography of the brachioradialis (BRD) and flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) of ten right hand dominant females with no history of upper limb injury while they performed a complex submaximal visually targeted gripping task. The task consisted of 15%, 30%, 45%, 30%, and 15% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) plateaus. Each plateau was held for 15s, followed by a 3s MVC and 3s of rest. The "pyramid" was repeated until fatigue criteria were met. Grip force, average EMG and mean power frequency (MnPF) for first cycle and fatigued last cycle, were compared. Post-plateau peak grip force was on average 20.5% MVC lower during the last cycle (p<0.01). Post-plateau grip forces decreased on average by 5.1% MVC after the first 15% MVC plateau (from baseline), by 5.3% MVC after the 30% MVC plateau and 6.8% MVC after the 45% MVC plateau. Further accumulation of fatigue after the second 30% MVC plateau however was minimal, only decreasing by 1.6% MVC. Recovery appeared to occur during the last 15% MVC plateau with an increase in post plateau grip force of 1.6% MVC. Interestingly, MnPF parameters confirmed significant fatigue accumulation during the back end of a force pyramid. We conclude that in a pattern of contractions with ascending, then descending force intensity, voluntary force recovery was present when the preceding force was of a lower intensity. These findings indicate preceding demands play a role in fatigue accumulation during complex tasks.

  12. 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.

  13. Physical Strength and Performance of Moderate Duration Physical Tasks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    abilities from the predictive equation. Approach Structural equation modeling was applied to data from a study of steelworkers. Task... structural equation modeling to test explicit theoretical formulations. The analyses focused on two hypotheses. First, the association between static...Strength and Moderate Duration Tasks References -14- Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review

  14. 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…

  15. Task Performance and Response to Frustration in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scime, Melinda; Norvilitis, Jill M.

    2006-01-01

    The present study examined performance on an arithmetic task of increasing difficulty and a frustrating puzzle task for children with ADHD and comparison children. Emotional competence also was investigated in the two groups. Sixty-four children, 21 previously diagnosed with ADHD, participated. Performance on the arithmetic task was measured in…

  16. 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…

  17. Social Environment Influences Performance in a Cognitive Task in Natural Variants of the Foraging Gene

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Celine; Burns, James G.; Sokolowski, Marla B.; Mery, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, natural genetic variation in the foraging gene affects the foraging behaviour of larval and adult flies, larval reward learning, adult visual learning, and adult aversive training tasks. Sitters (fors) are more sedentary and aggregate within food patches whereas rovers (forR) have greater movement within and between food patches, suggesting that these natural variants are likely to experience different social environments. We hypothesized that social context would differentially influence rover and sitter behaviour in a cognitive task. We measured adult rover and sitter performance in a classical olfactory training test in groups and alone. All flies were reared in groups, but fly training and testing were done alone and in groups. Sitters trained and tested in a group had significantly higher learning performances compared to sitters trained and tested alone. Rovers performed similarly when trained and tested alone and in a group. In other words, rovers learning ability is independent of group training and testing. This suggests that sitters may be more sensitive to the social context than rovers. These differences in learning performance can be altered by pharmacological manipulations of PKG activity levels, the foraging (for) gene's gene product. Learning and memory is also affected by the type of social interaction (being in a group of the same strain or in a group of a different strain) in rovers, but not in sitters. These results suggest that for mediates social learning and memory in D. melanogaster. PMID:24349049

  18. 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.

  19. Collective Efficacy and Group Functioning: The Effect of Performance Feedback on Efficacy Assessments, Goal Setting, Task Persistence and Overall Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-08-01

    This study examined the effect of collective efficacy on group functioning across a series of cognitive tasks. Specifically, this experiment used...performance feedback to manipulate efficacy levels in order to investigate the effect of efficacy on group goal setting, task persistence, and overall...performance. The effect of experimental manipulations and sequence were investigated at both the task specific (prediction for current task) and general

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Effort provides its own reward: endeavors reinforce subjective expectation and evaluation of task performance.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Zheng, Jiehui; Meng, Liang

    2017-04-01

    Although many studies have investigated the relationship between the amount of effort invested in a certain task and one's attitude towards the subsequent reward, whether exerted effort would impact one's expectation and evaluation of performance feedback itself still remains to be examined. In the present study, two types of calculation tasks that varied in the required effort were adopted, and we resorted to electroencephalography to probe the temporal dynamics of how exerted effort would affect one's anticipation and evaluation of performance feedback. In the high-effort condition, a more salient stimulus-preceding negativity was detected during the anticipation stage, which was accompanied with a more salient FRN/P300 complex (a more positive P300 and a less negative feedback-related negativity) in response to positive outcomes in the evaluation stage. These results suggested that when more effort was invested, an enhanced anticipatory attention would be paid toward one's task performance feedback and that positive outcomes would be subjectively valued to a greater extent.

  4. Effect of Sexual Arousal on Cortical Coupling During Performance of the Tower of Hanoi Task in Young Men.

    PubMed

    Amezcua-Gutiérrez, Claudia; Ruiz-Díaz, Marina; Hernández-González, Marisela; Guevara, Miguel Angel; Ågmo, Anders; Sanz-Martin, Araceli

    2017-01-01

    Sexual arousal affects cognitive processing, which depends on the coordinated functioning among cortical areas. The aim of this research was to determine whether previous observation of videos with sexual content affects the degree of cortical electroencephalographic (EEG) coupling during performance of an executive task. Cortical EEG correlations were calculated in three groups of heterosexual men under three conditions: at rest; during observation of a video with neutral, aggressive, or erotic content; and while performing the Tower of Hanoi task (TOH). Based on self-reports, it was shown that the erotic video induced general and sexual arousal, while the aggressive video affected valence and general arousal. Task performance was similar in all three groups. During performance of TOH, only the erotic group showed a decreased correlation between prefrontal areas with an increased correlation between parietal and prefrontotemporal areas, specifically in the slow bands. It is likely that these changes in the degree of cortical coupling could be associated with the cognitive strategies or functional adaptations that participants require to adequately solve the task during a state of sexual arousal. These data could contribute to improving our understanding of the central nervous mechanisms that underlie the effect of sexual arousal on the cognitive processes involved in tasks like TOH.

  5. Critical process parameters affecting zincrometal performance

    SciTech Connect

    Iezzi, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    A laboratory study aimed at improving the corrosion resistance of Zincrometal has shown that excellent Zincrometal performance in laboratory corrosion tests can be obtained by achieving a trivalent (Cr+3) to hexavalent (Cr+6) Dacromet chromium ratio of at least 15. Increasing thermal energy input during curing increases the Cr+3/Cr+6 ratio and improves corrosion resistance in laboratory tests. Increasing curing energy input in production may be a viable approach to improve Zincrometal performance, provided that steels not susceptible to strain aging are used.

  6. Performance on a probabilistic inference task in healthy subjects receiving ketamine compared with patients with schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Almahdi, Basil; Sultan, Pervez; Sohanpal, Imrat; Brandner, Brigitta; Collier, Tracey; Shergill, Sukhi S; Cregg, Roman; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2012-01-01

    Evidence suggests that some aspects of schizophrenia can be induced in healthy volunteers through acute administration of the non-competitive NMDA-receptor antagonist, ketamine. In probabilistic inference tasks, patients with schizophrenia have been shown to ‘jump to conclusions’ (JTC) when asked to make a decision. We aimed to test whether healthy participants receiving ketamine would adopt a JTC response pattern resembling that of patients. The paradigmatic task used to investigate JTC has been the ‘urn’ task, where participants are shown a sequence of beads drawn from one of two ‘urns’, each containing coloured beads in different proportions. Participants make a decision when they think they know the urn from which beads are being drawn. We compared performance on the urn task between controls receiving acute ketamine or placebo with that of patients with schizophrenia and another group of controls matched to the patient group. Patients were shown to exhibit a JTC response pattern relative to their matched controls, whereas JTC was not evident in controls receiving ketamine relative to placebo. Ketamine does not appear to promote JTC in healthy controls, suggesting that ketamine does not affect probabilistic inferences. PMID:22389244

  7. Response Strategies and Individual Differences in Multiple-Task Performance.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-02-01

    FEB061 D L DANOS . T E SNIST AFOSR-79-0014 UNCLASSIFIED AFOSR-TR-81-0289 NI. IIIIIIIIEE h hiImmIImmI’IIIImmmIn O ,F A-D 24 7 5 film" . M!OSRM8 1 -0...time task at l-, 2-, and 3-bits of information under single- and dual-task conditions. The Hick-Hyrian Law (Hick, 1952; Hyman, 1953 ) then was used to...task was selected because the data could be analyzed using the Hick-Hvman Law (Hick, 1952; Hvman, 1953 ) and estimates of 5ŝ some of the processing

  8. Factors Affecting Information Literacy Perception and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zehner, Drusilla Charlene Beecher

    2009-01-01

    Information literacy, defined as, "the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information" (American Library Association, 2003, paragraph 1), is necessary for success in life. The present study will examine whether the factors of gender, race, and/or socioeconomic status impact information literacy performance and…

  9. Effect of load carriage on performance of an explosive, anaerobic military task.

    PubMed

    Treloar, Alison K Laing; Billing, Daniel C

    2011-09-01

    This study examined the effects of load carriage on performance of an explosive, anaerobic military task. A task-specific assessment requiring five 30-m timed sprints was developed to address this question. Seventeen soldiers (female = 5, male = 12) volunteered to undergo the test under two experimental conditions: unloaded (combat uniform and boots) and loaded (unloaded plus 21.6 kg fighting load, comprising webbing, weapon, helmet, and combat body armor). When loaded, there was a significant increase in the mean 30-m sprint time compared to unloaded (8.2 +/- 1.4 seconds vs. 6.2 +/- 0.8 seconds; p < 0.01). Of the total increase in mean sprint time, 51.7% occurred within the first 5 m. Female sprint times were affected to a larger extent than male (36% vs. 29%, respectively) as a result of the increased load. Fighting load significantly affected soldier mobility when conducting explosive, anaerobic military tasks, particularly among females, and specific physical conditioning should be considered to minimize this effect.

  10. Sex differences in performance on a cognitive bias task in Norway rats.

    PubMed

    Brown, Gillian R; Cullum, Philippa; Martin, Stacey; Healy, Susan D

    2016-12-01

    Cognitive biases, which are defined as distortions in cognitive processes that are influenced by a background emotional state, can provide information about an individual's affective state. For instance, negative cognitive biases, where individuals assess ambiguous situations as unrewarding, are commonly found in humans suffering from anxiety disorders. Cognitive biases are also increasingly used as indicators of affective state in animals. As it is not clear whether female and male animals differ in performance on cognitive bias tasks, we used a spatial location task to examine cognitive bias in female and male adult Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). We trained the rats to distinguish between reward and unrewarded locations, and then provided food pots at ambiguous, intermediate positions. We found that, during testing, females were slowest to approach the unrewarded location, while they approached ambiguous and rewarded locations similarly quickly. In contrast, the males approached all locations quickly. This sex difference is consistent with previous evidence that male rats are quicker than females to extinguish previously learned associations. Cognitive bias tasks could therefore be used to examine sex differences in learning strategies, as well as providing opportunities to test predictions about sex differences in welfare requirements.

  11. Performance monitoring and response conflict resolution associated with choice stepping reaction tasks.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Tsutou, Kotaro; Saito, Kotaro; Ishida, Kazuto; Tanabe, Shigeo; Nojima, Ippei

    2016-11-01

    Choice reaction requires response conflict resolution, and the resolution processes that occur during a choice stepping reaction task undertaken in a standing position, which requires maintenance of balance, may be different to those processes occurring during a choice reaction task performed in a seated position. The study purpose was to investigate the resolution processes during a choice stepping reaction task at the cortical level using electroencephalography and compare the results with a control task involving ankle dorsiflexion responses. Twelve young adults either stepped forward or dorsiflexed the ankle in response to a visual imperative stimulus presented on a computer screen. We used the Simon task and examined the error-related negativity (ERN) that follows an incorrect response and the correct-response negativity (CRN) that follows a correct response. Error was defined as an incorrect initial weight transfer for the stepping task and as an incorrect initial tibialis anterior activation for the control task. Results revealed that ERN and CRN amplitudes were similar in size for the stepping task, whereas the amplitude of ERN was larger than that of CRN for the control task. The ERN amplitude was also larger in the stepping task than the control task. These observations suggest that a choice stepping reaction task involves a strategy emphasizing post-response conflict and general performance monitoring of actual and required responses and also requires greater cognitive load than a choice dorsiflexion reaction. The response conflict resolution processes appear to be different for stepping tasks and reaction tasks performed in a seated position.

  12. Motion coordination affects movement parameters in a joint pick-and-place task.

    PubMed

    Vesper, Cordula; Soutschek, Alexander; Schubo, Anna

    2009-12-01

    This study examined influences of social context on movement parameters in a pick-and-place task. Participants' motion trajectories were recorded while they performed sequences of natural movements either working side-by-side with a partner or alone. It was expected that movement parameters would be specifically adapted to the joint condition to overcome the difficulties arising from the requirement to coordinate with another person. To disentangle effects based on participants' effort to coordinate their movements from effects merely due to the other's presence, a condition was included where only one person performed the task while being observed by the partner. Results indicate that participants adapted their movements temporally and spatially to the joint action situation: Overall movement duration was shorter, and mean and maximum velocity was higher when actually working together than when working alone. Pick-to-place trajectories were also shifted away from the partner in spatial coordinates. The partner's presence as such did not have an impact on movement parameters. These findings are interpreted as evidence for the use of implicit strategies to facilitate movement coordination in joint action tasks.

  13. Factors affecting penetrating captive bolt gun performance.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Troy J; Mason, Charles W; Spence, Jade Y; Barker, Heather; Gregory, Neville G

    2015-01-01

    Captive bolt stunning is used for rendering livestock insensible at slaughter. The mechanical factors relating to performance of 6 penetrating captive bolt gun (CBG) models were examined. The Matador Super Sécurit 3000 and the .25 Cash Euro Stunner had the highest kinetic energy values (443 J and 412 J, respectively) of the CBGs tested. Ninety percent (27/30) of CBGs held at a government gun repository (United Kingdom) were found to have performed at a normal standard for the model, while 53% (10/19) of commercial contractor CBGs tested were found to underperform for the gun model. When the .22 Cash Special was fired 500 times at 4 shots per min, the gun reached a peak temperature of 88.8°C after 2.05 hr. Repeat firing during extended periods significantly reduced the performance of the CBG. When deciding on the appropriate CBG/cartridge combination, the kinetic energy delivered to the head of the nonhuman animal, bolt penetration depth, and species/animal type must be considered. It is recommended that CBGs are routinely checked for wear to the bolt and barrel if they are repeatedly fired in a session.

  14. Does posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect performance?

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Vicki R; Regehr, Cheryl; Jelley, R Blake; Barath, Irene

    2007-08-01

    Research has increasingly identified alarming levels of traumatic stress symptoms in individuals working in emergency services and other high stress jobs. This study examined the effects of prior critical incident exposure and current posttraumatic symptoms on the performance of a nonpatient population, police recruits, during an acutely stressful event. A stressful policing situation was created through the use of a video simulator room that was responsive to actions of participants. The performance of participants to the simulated emergency was evaluated by 3 independent blinded raters. Prior exposure to critical incidents was measured using the Critical Incident History Questionnaire and current level of traumatic stress symptoms was measured using the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Neither previous exposure to critical incidents nor trauma symptoms correlated with performance level. Recruits with high or severe levels of trauma symptoms did not demonstrate impairments in judgment, communication, or situation control compared with their colleagues with lesser or no trauma symptoms. On the basis of these findings, there is no reason to believe that police recruits with PTSD are prone to making errors of communication or judgment that would place them or others at increased risk.

  15. Many specialized robots perform nuclear-powerplant tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-05-01

    This article describes various specialized robots and the tasks for which they were designed in nuclear power plants. These tasks include steam generator sludge removal and inspection, spent fuel pool cleaning, data gathering, maintenance, disassembling reactor internals, opening and closing PWR and BWR vessels, autonomous monitoring of various environmental parameters within a running reactor, canopy-seal weld inspection and repair, reactor vessel inspection, and plant decommissioning.

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. Body position affects performance in untrained cyclists

    PubMed Central

    Ashe, M; Scroop, G; Frisken, P; Amery, C; Wilkins, M; Khan, K

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To compare cardiovascular and ventilatory variables in upright versus aero cycle ergometry at submaximal and maximal exercise intensities in untrained cyclists. Method: Ten physically active men (mean (SD) age 19.1 (1.10) years) who were unfamiliar with aerobars underwent maximal exercise testing and steady state cycling at 50, 100, and 150 W. Results: Participants had significantly greater maxima for oxygen uptake (VO2), ventilation, heart rate, and workload maximum in the upright position. During steady state cycling at the three workloads, VO2 (ml/kg/min) and gross mechanical efficiency were significantly greater in the upright position. Conclusions: In untrained subjects performing with maximal effort, the upright position permits greater VO2, ventilation, heart rate, and workload maxima. Further, in the steady state, exercise cycling may be less costly in the upright position. For this reason, untrained cyclists need to weigh body position effects against the well known aerodynamic advantages of the aero position. PMID:14514538

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Musicians’ Online Performance during Auditory and Visual Statistical Learning Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Mandikal Vasuki, Pragati R.; Sharma, Mridula; Ibrahim, Ronny K.; Arciuli, Joanne

    2017-01-01

    Musicians’ brains are considered to be a functional model of neuroplasticity due to the structural and functional changes associated with long-term musical training. In this study, we examined implicit extraction of statistical regularities from a continuous stream of stimuli—statistical learning (SL). We investigated whether long-term musical training is associated with better extraction of statistical cues in an auditory SL (aSL) task and a visual SL (vSL) task—both using the embedded triplet paradigm. Online measures, characterized by event related potentials (ERPs), were recorded during a familiarization phase while participants were exposed to a continuous stream of individually presented pure tones in the aSL task or individually presented cartoon figures in the vSL task. Unbeknown to participants, the stream was composed of triplets. Musicians showed advantages when compared to non-musicians in the online measure (early N1 and N400 triplet onset effects) during the aSL task. However, there were no differences between musicians and non-musicians for the vSL task. Results from the current study show that musical training is associated with enhancements in extraction of statistical cues only in the auditory domain. PMID:28352223

  4. Effect of a concurrent auditory task on visual search performance in a driving-related image-flicker task.

    PubMed

    Richard, Christian M; Wright, Richard D; Ee, Cheryl; Prime, Steven L; Shimizu, Yujiro; Vavrik, John

    2002-01-01

    The effect of a concurrent auditory task on visual search was investigated using an image-flicker technique. Participants were undergraduate university students with normal or corrected-to-normal vision who searched for changes in images of driving scenes that involved either driving-related (e.g., traffic light) or driving-unrelated (e.g., mailbox) scene elements. The results indicated that response times were significantly slower if the search was accompanied by a concurrent auditory task. In addition, slower overall responses to scenes involving driving-unrelated changes suggest that the underlying process affected by the concurrent auditory task is strategic in nature. These results were interpreted in terms of their implications for using a cellular telephone while driving. Actual or potential applications of this research include the development of safer in-vehicle communication devices.

  5. 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.

  6. On the link between mind wandering and task performance over time.

    PubMed

    Thomson, David R; Seli, Paul; Besner, Derek; Smilek, Daniel

    2014-07-01

    Here we test the hypothesis that fluctuations in subjective reports of mind wandering over time-on-task are associated with fluctuations in performance over time-on-task. In Study 1, we employed a singleton search task and found that performance did not differ prior to on- and off-task reports, nor did individual differences in mind wandering predict differences in performance (so-called standard analytic methods). Importantly however, we find that fluctuations in mind wandering over time are strongly associated with fluctuations in behavior. In Study 2, we provide a replication of the relation between mind wandering and performance over time found in Study 1, using a Flanker interference task. These data indicate (1) a tight coupling between mind wandering and performance over time and (2) that a temporal-analytic approach can reveal effects of mind wandering on performance in tasks where standard analyses fail to do so. The theoretical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.

  7. Task scheduling for high performance low power embedded computing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deniziak, Stanislaw; Dzitkowski, Albert

    2016-12-01

    In this paper we present a method of task scheduling for low-power real-time embedded systems. We assume that the system is specified as a task graph, then it is implemented using multi-core embedded processor with low-power processing capabilities. We propose a new scheduling method to create the optimal schedule. The goal of optimization is to minimize the power consumption while all time constraints will be satisfied. We present experimental results, obtained for some standard benchmarks, showing advantages of our method.

  8. Comparison of the Effects of Ketamine and Morphine on the Performance of Representative Military Tasks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-08-01

    USAARL Report No. 2010-17 Comparison of the Effects of Ketamine and Morphine on the Performance of Representative Military Tasks By Steven J...Effects of Ketamine and Morphine on the Performance of Representative Military Tasks Steven J. Gaydos, Amanda M. Kelley, Catherine M. Webb, Jeremy R. Athy...IM) ketamine versus 10 mg of IM morphine on the performance of representative Warrior Skill Tasks in 48 healthy subjects. Ketamine demonstrated

  9. Swimming Pool Hygiene: Self-Monitoring, Task Clarification, and Performance Feedback Increase Lifeguard Cleaning Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Henry M. S.; Ludwig, Timothy D.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of task clarification, self-monitoring, and performance feedback on cleaning behaviors of 9 lifeguards in 3 performance areas (vacuuming, lobby tidying, and pool deck maintenance) were investigated using an ABA reversal design at a county swim complex. A specific task in each performance area was used as a behavioral control. Following…

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. The Relationship between Bilingualism and the Performance of Spatial Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLeay, Heather

    2003-01-01

    The well-documented evidence that bilinguals demonstrate cognitive advantages over monolinguals is used as a foundation for the hypothesis that bilinguals will be better able to solve certain spatial tasks, and a theoretical framework for this hypothesis is constructed. The paper describes an experiment to explore this hypothesis. A series of…

  13. Effect of Posthypnotic Dissociation on the Performance of Interfering Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, James H.

    1976-01-01

    Builds upon earlier experiments in an attempt to measure the interferences between simultaneous tasks and the effects of hypnotic dissociation in increasing or decreasing this interference, thus testing the validity of one or the other of two theoretical models. (Author/RK)

  14. 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,…

  15. 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;…

  16. Acute incremental exercise, performance of a central executive task, and sympathoadrenal system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity.

    PubMed

    McMorris, Terry; Davranche, Karen; Jones, Glenys; Hall, Ben; Corbett, Jo; Minter, Charles

    2009-09-01

    The purposes of this study were to examine the effect of acute incremental exercise on the performance of a central executive task; the responses of the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) during exercise, while simultaneously carrying out the central executive task; and the ability of Delta plasma concentrations of epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and cortisol to predict Delta performance on the central executive task. Subjects undertook a flanker task at rest and during exercise at 50% and 80% maximum aerobic power (MAP). SAS and HPAA activity were measured pre- and post-treatment by plasma concentrations of catecholamines, and cortisol and ACTH, respectively. Reaction time (RT) and number of errors for congruent and incongruent trials on the flanker task showed significant main effects with performance at 80% MAP higher than in the other conditions. RT post-correct responses were significantly faster than RT post-error at rest and 50% MAP but not at 80%. Pre- and post-treatment catecholamines showed a main effect of exercise with a linear increase. Post-treatment ACTH concentrations at 80% MAP were significantly greater than in the other conditions. Delta epinephrine and ACTH combined were significant predictors of Delta RT and Delta norepinephrine was a significant predictor of Delta number of errors. It was concluded that exercise must be at a high intensity to affect performance on the flanker task. Both the SAS and HPAA appear to play a role in the exercise-cognition interaction.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Live-social-video reward maintains joystick task performance in bonnet macaques.

    PubMed

    Andrews, M W; Rosenblum, L A

    1993-12-01

    A number of studies have now indicated that monkeys of several species will perform hundreds of food-rewarded joystick tasks on a daily basis. Our goal in this study was to identify the level of joystick task performance that could be maintained by 10 sec. of live, color video of a conspecific social group contingent upon the completion of a joystick task. The subjects were five individually housed bonnet macaques that were highly experienced on joystick tasks. Performance with social-video reward was compared to that maintained by a 190-mg banana-flavored pellet reward and to a nonreward condition. Comparable levels of task activity were maintained by both video and pellet reward, whereas task activity nearly ceased in the absence of reward. Four of the five monkeys increased their levels of task activity between the first and second weeks of social-video reward.

  20. 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.

  1. Attachment and emotion regulation in middle childhood: changes in affect and vagal tone during a social stress task.

    PubMed

    Movahed Abtahi, Mahsa; Kerns, Kathryn A

    2017-06-01

    In middle childhood, more securely attached children show better emotion regulation when assessed as general tendencies (e.g. coping style), but studies looking at emotion in response to specific stressors have revealed mixed results. This study examined how attachment security, avoidance, and ambivalence - assessed with a story stem task (99 children, 9-11 years old) - relate to dynamic indices of affective and autonomic responses (baseline, reactivity, recovery). Reports of positive and negative affect, and high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), were assessed during a social stressor task. Securely attached children did not show reactivity effects, although they did show greater recovery of positive affect after the task ended. Avoidant children showed both less reactivity and recovery of negative affect, suggesting a dampened emotional response. Ambivalent children showed more reactivity and more recovery of negative affect. Autonomic response changes were only evident for ambivalent children, who showed less suppression of HF-HRV variability under stress.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Striatal dopaminergic dysfunction at rest and during task performance in writer's cramp.

    PubMed

    Berman, Brian D; Hallett, Mark; Herscovitch, Peter; Simonyan, Kristina

    2013-12-01

    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 and an

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Yuki; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Goal Setting and Task Performance: 1969-1980

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-06-01

    setting Incentives Individual differences Task difficulty Rewards Nced for achievement Knowledge of Results Participation Self esteem >j Feedback...in goal setting studies, probably-due t6 ýei-•ct-.that’goals were typically assigned rather than self -set). need for achievement and self esteem may...emerged in goal setting studies, probably because goals are typically assigned rather than self -set; need for achievement and self - esteem may be the most

  9. Analysis of Officer Performance on an Experimental Task: Automotive Inspection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1970-12-01

    sequentLy, separate vehicle Kuder - Richardson Formula 20 coefficients were calculated for each vehicle. These were, respectively, P11, . 1, and .i2...was to evaluate reliability and other characteristics of the scores on the Automotive Inspection Task. METHOD SAMPLE The sample consisted of 733...measurement of internal consistency reliability . Special Indices. The following four special indices were obtained from other scores in an attempt to

  10. Balancing cognitive control: how observed movements influence motor performance in a task with balance constraints.

    PubMed

    Verrel, Julius; Lisofsky, Nina; Kühn, Simone

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the influence of observed movements on executed movements in a task requiring lifting one foot from the floor while maintaining whole-body balance. Sixteen young participants (20-30 years) performed foot lift movements, which were either cued symbolically by a letter (L/R, indicating to lift the left/right foot) or by a short movie showing a foot lift movement. In the symbol cue condition, stimuli from the movie cue condition were used as distractors, and vice versa. Anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) and actual foot lifts were recorded using force plates and optical motion capture. Foot lift responses were generally faster in response to the movie compared to the symbol cue condition. Moreover, incongruent movement distractors interfered with performance in the symbol cue condition, as shown by longer response times and increased number of APAs. Latencies of the first (potentially wrong) APA in a trial were shorter for movie compared to symbol cues but were not affected by cue-distractor congruency. Amplitude of the first APA was smaller when it was followed by additional APAs compared to trials with a single APA. Our results show that automatic imitation tendencies are integrated with postural control in a task with balance constraints. Analysis of the number, timing and amplitude of APAs indicates that conflicts between intended and observed movements are not resolved at a purely cognitive level but directly influence overt motor performance, emphasizing the intimate link between perception, cognition and action.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Effects of task context and fluctuations of attention on neural activity supporting performance of the stroop task.

    PubMed

    West, R; Alain, C

    2000-08-04

    The influence of task context and transient fluctuations in attentional control on neural processes supporting performance of the Stroop task was investigated using event-related brain potentials. Task context was manipulated by varying the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials across different blocks of trials, and fluctuations of attentional control were considered by examining differences between trials eliciting faster and slower responses. The amplitudes of the N450, thought to reflect the suppression of a conceptual level processing system, and a temporo-parietal slow wave, thought to index the processing of color information, were greater when trials were mostly congruent in comparison to when trials were mostly incongruent. These findings indicate that the neural systems supporting inhibition and color processing are modulated by task demands. For the N450 the effect of task context interacted with the efficiency of attentional control being present for those trials eliciting faster responses and not for those trials eliciting slower responses. This finding is consistent with those from a growing number of studies indicating that the neural systems supporting attentional control are transient in nature, tending to fluctuate in efficiency over time.

  15. Influence of task parameters on rotarod performance and sensitivity to ethanol in mice.

    PubMed

    Rustay, Nathan R; Wahlsten, Douglas; Crabbe, John C

    2003-05-15

    Motor performance in mice can be assessed with multiple apparatus and protocols. Use of the rotarod (a.k.a. rotorod, rota-rod, roto-rod, or accelerod) is very common, and it is often used with the apparent assumption by the experimenters that it is a straightforward and simple assay of coordination. The rotarod is sensitive to drugs that affect motor coordination, including ethanol. However, there are few systematic data assessing the range of "normal" performance in mice. There are also few data exploring optimal task parameters (e.g. the influence of different speeds of rotation). In these experiments, we show that both accelerating and fixed-speed rotarod (FSRR) performance vary under different test protocols and conditions, and that moderate to high doses of ethanol disrupt performance. Under certain conditions, low doses of ethanol were found to enhance performance on the accelerating rotarod (ARR). Therefore, it is not possible to characterize individual differences fully using a single set of test parameters. For example, because of the biphasic effect of ethanol on performance, at least two doses of the drug are necessary to explore individual sensitivity differences. We offer recommendations of parameters we believe to be generally suitable for exploring the performance of new genotypes using the rotarod. We suggest that other putative tests of "ataxia" are similarly complex, and that characterizing the contribution of genetic differences will require similar attention to the details of task apparatus and protocols. These data also underscore the need to employ multiple behavioral assays in order to model a complex domain such as "ataxia" or "coordination."

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. The influence of attention on learning and performance: pre-movement time and accuracy in an isometric force production task.

    PubMed

    Lohse, Keith R

    2012-02-01

    Lohse, Sherwood, and Healy (2010) found that an external focus of attention (FOA) improved performance in a dart-throwing task and reduced the time taken between throws, but using the time between trials as a measure of preparation time is relatively crude. Thus, the current experiment analyzed how FOA affects accuracy and pre-movement time in an isometric force production task, to study how FOA affected motor planning. In the current experiment, training with an external focus improved the accuracy of the isometric force production task during training and during retention and transfer testing. During training, an external FOA also significantly reduced pre-movement time in early trials. These findings are interpreted as reduced explicit control of movement as a function of an external FOA, and help to integrate FOA research with other motor control phenomena and neuropsychological theories of motor control.

  19. Interregional cerebral metabolic associativity during a continuous performance task (Part I): healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Willis, Mark W; Benson, Brenda E; Ketter, Terence A; Kimbrell, Tim A; George, Mark S; Speer, Andrew M; Herscovitch, Peter; Post, Robert M

    2008-10-30

    One emerging hypothesis regarding psychiatric illnesses is that they arise from the dysregulation of normal circuits or neuroanatomical patterns. In order to study mood disorders within this framework, we explored normal metabolic associativity patterns in healthy volunteers as a prelude to examining the same relationships in affectively ill patients (Part II). We applied correlational analyses to regional brain activity as measured with FDG-PET during an auditory continuous performance task (CPT) in 66 healthy volunteers. This simple attention task controlled for brain activity that otherwise might vary amongst affective and cognitive states. There were highly significant positive correlations between homologous regions in the two hemispheres in thalamic, extrapyramidal, orbital frontal, medial temporal and cerebellar areas. Dorsal frontal, lateral temporal, cingulate, and especially insula, and inferior parietal areas showed less significant homologous associativity, suggesting more specific lateralized function. The medulla and bilateral thalami exhibited the most diverse interregional associations. A general pattern emerged of cortical regions covarying inversely with subcortical structures, particularly the frontal cortex with cerebellum, amygdala and thalamus. These analytical data may help to confirm known functional and neuroanatomical relationships, elucidate others as yet unreported, and serve as a basis for comparison to patients with psychiatric illness.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Magnitude of Task-Sampling Variability in Performance Assessment: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Chiungjung

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the percentage of task-sampling variability in performance assessment via a meta-analysis. In total, 50 studies containing 130 independent data sets were analyzed. Overall results indicate that the percentage of variance for (a) differential difficulty of task was roughly 12% and (b) examinee's differential performance of the…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Cross-Lagged Relations between Task Motivation and Performance in Arithmetic and Literacy in Kindergarten

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viljaranta, Jaana; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2009-01-01

    To examine the cross-lagged relationships between children's task motivation in mathematics and literacy, and their related performance, 139 children aged 5-6 years were examined twice during their kindergarten year. The results showed that only math-related task motivation and arithmetic performance showed cross-lagged relationship: the higher…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Evaluation of an Adaptive Automation Trigger Based on Task Performance, Priority, and Frequency

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-01

    the final trial, participants completed an additional post study questionnaire (Appendix A). Data Analysis SPSS 19 was employed to implement an...46 Data Analysis ................................................................................................................48 IV...each participant performed tasks during the trial, the data were subjected to near real-time analysis . Performance on five criterion task types was

  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. 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)

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Effect of evaluative others upon learning and performance of a complex motor task.

    PubMed

    Haas, J; Roberts, G C

    1975-06-01

    Two experiments were conducted to assess the effect of evaluation potential upon learning and performing a complex motor task. In Experiment 1, 45 subjects learned the motor task (mirror tracing) to criterion and were then introduced to one of three treatments. Subjects performed the task either (a) alone, (b) in the presence of a blindfolded audience, or (c) in the presence of an evaluative audience. In Experiment 2, 45 subjects were introduced to the same three treatments but the subjects did not learn the task beforehand. The subjects learning the motor task were significantly inhibited by the evaluative audience, while the subjects who had already learned the task were significantly facilitated in their motor responses. The blindfolded audience also had an effect upon learning and performance. The results of both experiments were discussed in relation to their support of Cottrell's evaluation potential hypothesis.

  15. 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.

  16. Student performance on argumentation task in the Swedish National Assessment in science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jönsson, Anders

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of content knowledge on students' socio-scientific argumentation in the Swedish National Assessment in biology, chemistry and physics for 12-year-olds. In Sweden, the assessment of socio-scientific argumentation has been a major part of the National Assessment during three consecutive years and this study utilizes data on student performance to investigate (a) the relationship between tasks primarily addressing argumentation and tasks addressing primarily content knowledge as well as (b) students' performance on argumentation tasks, which differ in relation to content, subject, aspect of argumentation and assessment criteria. Findings suggest a strong and positive relationship between content knowledge and students' performance on argumentation tasks. The analysis also provides some hypotheses about the task difficulty of argumentation tasks that may be pursued in future investigations.

  17. 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.

  18. Advancement of flash hydrogasification: Task VIII. Performance testing

    SciTech Connect

    Falk, A.Y.; Schuman, M.D.; Kahn, D.R.

    1986-06-01

    This topical report documents the technical effort required to investigate and verify the reaction chemistry associated with the Rockwell Advanced Flash Hydropyrolysis (AFHP) concept for the production of substitute natural gas (SNG) from coal. The testing phase of the program included 5 preburner performance evaluation tests (14 test conditions) and 11 coal-fed reactor tests (19 test conditions). The reactor test parameters investigated spanned exist temperatures from 1775 to 2050/sup 0/F, residence times from 2 to 8 s, inlet gas-to-coal ratios from 0.15 to 0.27 lb-mole/lb, and inlet-steam-to-H/sub 2/ mole ratios from 0.15 to 0.86. One test was conducted to investigate the effect of CH/sub 4/ addition to the hydrogen feed stream (22 mole % CH/sub 4/), with subsequent partial oxidation of the CH/sub 4/ to CO/sub x/ in the preburner system, on the AFHP reactor chemistry and product gas composition. Overall carbon conversion and total carbon conversion to gases (namely, CH/sub 4/, C/sub 2/H/sub 6/, CO, and CO/sub 2/) ranged from 53 to 68% and 35 to 68%, respectively. The gas produced was primarily CH/sub 4/ (31 to 53% carbon conversion to CH/sub 4/). Carbon conversion to total liquids was strongly dependent on reactor exit temperature and to a lesser extent on residence time, with values ranging from about 20% to 1775/sup 0/F and 2-S residence time to zero at 1975/sup 0/F and residence times greater than 5 s. Carbon conversion to C/sub 6/H/sub 6/ asd high as 11.2% was obtained. Carbon conversion to CO/sub x/ ranged from 3.5 to 29.4%. Methane addition was found not to significantly affect the AFHP reactor chemistry. As a result of this program, Rockwell has expanded its data base and significantly improved its correlation model describing the processes occurring during flash hydropyrolysis. The correlation provides an excellent tool for subsequent process evaluations to determine the economic potential of the Rockwell coal hydrogasification process. 23 refs., 51 figs

  19. Environmental context change affects memory for performed actions.

    PubMed

    Sahakyan, Lili

    2010-03-01

    The current study investigated the effect of environmental context change between the study and test on the recall of action phrases that either were performed during encoding (subject-performed tasks, SPTs) or were verbally encoded (verbal tasks, VTs). Both SPTs and VTs showed the same magnitude of impaired recall when the study and test contexts mismatched. Furthermore, changing the context between the two study lists reduced cross-list intrusion errors compared to encoding the lists in the same context. Both SPTs and VTs benefited from studying the lists in different contexts as evidenced by reduced intrusions. Taken together, the results suggest that SPTs are integrated with their context because they suffered when context changed between the study and test, and they also benefited when they were performed in two environments versus the same environment.

  20. Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Weingart, Laurie R

    2003-08-01

    This study provides a meta-analysis of research on the associations between relationship conflict, task conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction. Consistent with past theorizing, results revealed strong and negative correlations between relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction. In contrast to what has been suggested in both academic research and introductory textbooks, however, results also revealed strong and negative (instead of the predicted positive) correlations between task conflict team performance, and team member satisfaction. As predicted, conflict had stronger negative relations with team performance in highly complex (decision making, project, mixed) than in less complex (production) tasks. Finally, task conflict was less negatively related to team performance when task conflict and relationship conflict were weakly, rather than strongly, correlated.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. The cerebellum in dual-task performance in Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Linlin; Zhang, Jiarong; Hou, Yanan; Hallett, Mark; Chan, Piu; Wu, Tao

    2017-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients have difficulty in performing a dual-task. It has been suggested that the cerebellum is important in dual-tasking. We used functional MRI to investigate the role of the cerebellum in performing a dual motor and cognitive task in PD patients. We have examined whether there are any areas additionally activated for dual-task performance, and compared the neural activity and functional connectivity pattern in the cerebellum between PD patients and healthy controls. We found that the right cerebellar vermis and left lobule V of cerebellar anterior lobe were additionally activated for dual-task performance in healthy controls and for motor task in PD patients. We didn’t find any cerebellar regions additionally activated while performing dual-task in PD patients. In addition, the right cerebellar vermis had enhanced connectivity with motor and cognitive associated networks in PD patients. PD patients have limited cerebellar resources that are already utilized for single tasks and, for dual tasks, cannot augment as necessary in order to integrate motor and cognitive networks. PMID:28358358

  4. Association between educational status and dual-task performance in young adults.

    PubMed

    Voos, Mariana Callil; Pimentel Piemonte, Maria Elisa; Castelli, Lilian Zanchetta; Andrade Machado, Mariane Silva; Dos Santos Teixeira, Patrícia Pereira; Caromano, Fátima Aparecida; Ribeiro Do Valle, Luiz Eduardo

    2015-04-01

    The influence of educational status on perceptual-motor performance has not been investigated. The single- and dual-task performances of 15 Low educated adults (9 men, 6 women; M age=24.1 yr.; 6-9 yr. of education) and 15 Higher educated adults (8 men, 7 women; M age=24.7 yr.; 10-13 yr. of education) were compared. The perceptual task consisted of verbally classifying two figures (equal or different). The motor task consisted of alternating steps from the floor to a stool. Tasks were assessed individually and simultaneously. Two analyses of variance (2 groups×4 blocks) compared the errors and steps. The Low education group committed more errors and had less improvement on the perceptual task than the High education group. During and after the perceptual-motor task performance, errors increased only in the Low education group. Education correlated to perceptual and motor performance. The Low education group showed more errors and less step alternations on the perceptual-motor task compared to the High education group. This difference on the number of errors was also observed after the dual-task, when the perceptual task was performed alone.

  5. Detection of Auditory Signals in Quiet and Noisy Backgrounds while Performing a Visuo-spatial Task

    PubMed Central

    Rawool, Vishakha W.

    2016-01-01

    Context: The ability to detect important auditory signals while performing visual tasks may be further compounded by background chatter. Thus, it is important to know how task performance may interact with background chatter to hinder signal detection. Aim: To examine any interactive effects of speech spectrum noise and task performance on the ability to detect signals. Settings and Design: The setting was a sound-treated booth. A repeated measures design was used. Materials and Methods: Auditory thresholds of 20 normal adults were determined at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz in the following conditions presented in a random order: (1) quiet with attention; (2) quiet with a visuo-spatial task or puzzle (distraction); (3) noise with attention and (4) noise with task. Statistical Analysis: Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) with three repeated factors (quiet versus noise, visuo-spatial task versus no task, signal frequency). Results: MANOVA revealed significant main effects for noise and signal frequency and significant noise–frequency and task–frequency interactions. Distraction caused by performing the task worsened the thresholds for tones presented at the beginning of the experiment and had no effect on tones presented in the middle. At the end of the experiment, thresholds (4 kHz) were better while performing the task than those obtained without performing the task. These effects were similar across the quiet and noise conditions. Conclusion: Detection of auditory signals is difficult at the beginning of a distracting visuo-spatial task but over time, task learning and auditory training effects can nullify the effect of distraction and may improve detection of high frequency sounds. PMID:27991458

  6. How stimulus and task complexity affect monitoring in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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 semantically meaningful pictures to the correct category, according to a certain set of rules. In general, the groups did not differ on measures of intelligence, working memory, attention, fluency and memory. For the monitoring of allocation of abstract figures, a similar pattern of reaction times was found for ASD and control participants. For the monitoring of allocation of semantically meaningful pictures, a different response pattern was found, with a stronger increase in response times for the ASD than for the control group when the number of categories increased. This suggests that participants with ASD are able to monitor working memory representations, but suffer under more complex circumstances.

  7. The effect of exercise on motor performance tasks used in the neurological assessment of sports-related concussion.

    PubMed

    Schneiders, A G; Sullivan, S J; McCrory, P R; Gray, A; Maruthayanar, S; Singh, P; Ranhotigammage, P; Van der Salm, R

    2008-12-01

    Sports-related concussion is assessed using both cognitive and motor performance tasks. There is limited understanding of how exercise affects these measures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of moderate-intensity exercise on three selected measures of motor performance. A repeated measures design was used to compare baseline motor performance scores with post-exercise scores with an exercise intervention modelled on the physiological demands of a team sport. 30 physically active subjects performed timed motor performance tasks: Finger-to-Nose (FTN), Tandem Gait (TG) and Single Leg Stance (SLS). The tasks were administered twice pre-exercise and twice post-exercise. FTN, TG and SLS demonstrated high test-retest reliability (ICC values >0.8). 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise caused a significant improvement in FTN (T2 = 2.66 (SD 0.38), T3 = 2.49 (0.32); p<0.001) and TG (T2 = 13.08 (2.84), T3 = 12.23 (2.22); p = 0.001), but not in SLS (T2 = 5.94 (4.99), T3 = 5.91 (5.54); p = 0.507). Improvement in the performance of motor tasks after exercise has implications for the immediate assessment of sports-related concussion, given that measures of motor performance are utilised in concussion assessment instruments.

  8. The assessment of risky decision making: a factor analysis of performance on the Iowa Gambling Task, Balloon Analogue Risk Task, and Columbia Card Task.

    PubMed

    Buelow, Melissa T; Blaine, Amber L

    2015-09-01

    Researchers and clinicians frequently use behavioral measures to assess decision making. The most common task that is marketed to clinicians is the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), thought to assess risky decision making. How does performance on the IGT relate to performance on other common measures of decision making? The present study sought to examine relationships between the IGT, the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), and the Columbia Card Task (CCT). Participants were 390 undergraduate students who completed the IGT, BART, and either the "hot" or "cold" CCT. Principal components factor analysis on the IGT, BART, and CCT-cold (n = 112) indicated that the IGT measures a different component of decision making than the BART, and the CCT-cold weakly correlated with early IGT trials. Results of the exploratory factor analysis on the IGT, BART, and CCT-hot (n = 108) revealed a similar picture: the IGT and BART assessed different types of decision making, and the BART and CCT-hot were weakly correlated. A confirmatory factor analysis (n = 170) indicated that a 3-factor model without the CCT-cold (Factor 1: later IGT trials; Factor 2: BART; and Factor 3: early IGT trials) was a better fitting model than one that included the CCT-cold and early IGT trials on the same factor. Collectively, the present results suggest that the IGT, BART, and CCT all measure unique, nonoverlapping decision making processes. Further research is needed to more fully understand the neuropsychological construct of decision making.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. Measuring treatment effects on dual-task performance: a framework for research and clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Plummer, Prudence; Eskes, Gail

    2015-01-01

    The relevance of dual-task walking to everyday ambulation is widely acknowledged, and numerous studies have demonstrated that dual-task interference can significantly impact recovery of functional walking in people with neurological disorders. The magnitude and direction of dual-task interference is influenced by the interaction between the two tasks, including how individuals spontaneously prioritize their attention. Therefore, to accurately interpret and characterize dual-task interference and identify changes over time, it is imperative to evaluate single and dual-task performance in both tasks, as well as the tasks relative to each other. Yet, reciprocal dual-task effects (DTE) are frequently ignored. The purpose of this perspective paper is to present a framework for measuring treatment effects on dual-task interference, specifically taking into account the interactions between the two tasks and how this can provide information on whether overall dual-task capacity has improved or a different attentional strategy has been adopted. In discussing the clinical implications of using this framework, we provide specific examples of using this method and provide some explicit recommendations for research and clinical practice. PMID:25972801

  12. 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

  13. Dual task performance after focal cerebral lesions and closed head injuries.

    PubMed

    Vilkki, J; Virtanen, S; Surma-Aho, O; Servo, A

    1996-11-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate that focal frontal lobe lesions and closed head injuries cause a deficit in the deliberate minimizing of dual task decrements that follow when two separate tasks should be done concurrently. In single tasks, subjects counted backwards and cancelled visual targets as quickly and accurately as possible on separate 1 min trials. In the dual task, they were required to do both tasks simultaneously, taking care that performance on neither task would be notably more impaired than on the other, as only the performance showing a larger percentage decrement from the corresponding single task performance was taken into account as the result of the test. Patients with acute closed head injury displayed more pronounced dual task decrement than the controls. This deficit was not secondary to inefficiency on the single tasks but was related to the depth of coma at admission, the acuteness of injury and age. Contrary to expectation, patients with focal frontal lobe lesions or patients with subacute closed head injury did not demonstrate abnormal dual task decrement.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Corticostriatal dynamics during learning and performance of a neuroprosthetic task.

    PubMed

    Koralek, Aaron C; Long, John D; Costa, Rui M; Carmena, Jose M

    2010-01-01

    Corticostriatal dynamics exhibit gross alterations over the course of natural motor learning, yet little is known about the role they play in neuroprosthetic tasks. We therefore investigated interactions between the striatum and primary motor cortex while rats learned to control a brain-machine interface. Striatal firing rates increased greatly from early to late in learning, suggesting that the striatum underlies similar functions in both natural and neuroprosthetic motor learning. In addition, spike-field coherence between neurons in primary motor cortex and local field potentials in the striatum increased greatly in the alpha band in late learning relative to early learning, suggesting the development of functional interactions in corticostriatal networks over the course of learning.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Great Performances: Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewin, Larry; Shoemaker, Betty Jean

    This book presents an approach to developing performance assessments. It begins with four steps for "Info In" and moves to four "Info Out" modes through which students can make their content understanding explicit for evaluation purposes. The first chapter is an overview of performance assessment in the classroom. Chapter 2 discusses the "Info In"…

  5. Spatial Reasoning Influences Students' Performance on Mathematics Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2016-01-01

    Although the psychological literature has demonstrated that spatial reasoning and mathematics performance are correlated, there is scant research on these relationships in the middle years. The current study examined the commonalities and differences in students' performance on instruments that measured three spatial reasoning constructs and two…

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Elapsed decision time affects the weighting of prior probability in a perceptual decision task.

    PubMed

    Hanks, Timothy D; Mazurek, Mark E; Kiani, Roozbeh; Hopp, Elisabeth; Shadlen, Michael N

    2011-04-27

    Decisions are often based on a combination of new evidence with prior knowledge of the probable best choice. Optimal combination requires knowledge about the reliability of evidence, but in many realistic situations, this is unknown. Here we propose and test a novel theory: the brain exploits elapsed time during decision formation to combine sensory evidence with prior probability. Elapsed time is useful because (1) decisions that linger tend to arise from less reliable evidence, and (2) the expected accuracy at a given decision time depends on the reliability of the evidence gathered up to that point. These regularities allow the brain to combine prior information with sensory evidence by weighting the latter in accordance with reliability. To test this theory, we manipulated the prior probability of the rewarded choice while subjects performed a reaction-time discrimination of motion direction using a range of stimulus reliabilities that varied from trial to trial. The theory explains the effect of prior probability on choice and reaction time over a wide range of stimulus strengths. We found that prior probability was incorporated into the decision process as a dynamic bias signal that increases as a function of decision time. This bias signal depends on the speed-accuracy setting of human subjects, and it is reflected in the firing rates of neurons in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of rhesus monkeys performing this task.

  12. 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

  13. Experienced stress produces inhibitory deficits in old adults' Flanker task performance: First evidence for lifetime stress effects beyond memory.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Amanda C; Cooper, Nicholas R; Geeraert, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Studies regarding aged individuals' performance on the Flanker task differ with respect to reporting impaired or intact executive control. Past work has explained this discrepancy by hypothesising that elderly individuals use increased top-down control mechanisms advantageous to Flanker performance. This study investigated this mechanism, focussing on cumulative experienced stress as a factor that may impact on its execution, thereby leading to impaired performance. Thirty elderly and thirty young participants completed a version of the Flanker task paired with electroencephalographic recordings of the alpha frequency, whose increased synchronisation indexes inhibitory processes. Among high stress elderly individuals, findings revealed a general slowing of reaction times for congruent and incongruent stimuli, which correlated with alpha desynchronisation for both stimulus categories. Results found high performing (low stress) elderly revealed neither a behavioural nor electrophysiological difference compared to young participants. Therefore, rather than impacting on top-down compensatory mechanisms, findings indicate that stress may affect elderly participants' inhibitory control in attentional and sensorimotor domains.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Callosal agenesis affects consistency of laterality in a paw preference task in BALB/cCF mice.

    PubMed

    Manhães, Alex C; Schmidt, Sergio L; Filgueiras, Cláudio C

    2005-04-15

    We tested the hypothesis that the ontogenetic development of the corpus callosum (CC) affects the consistency of laterality in a paw preference task. Adult male mice (55 normal and 29 acallosal) of the BALB/cCF strain were initially tested (twice; inter-test interval: 72 h) in an unbiased setup in which both forepaws could easily perform a reaching movement. In a subsequent test, animals were placed in a biased setup that favored the use of the non-preferred paw. Acallosal and normal mice were strongly lateralized in the unbiased setup. Additionally, while normal mice did not present a populational bias favoring one of the paws, acallosal mice presented a significant bias favoring the left paw. In the biased setup, left- and right-pawed normal mice were equally consistent (approximately 65% of the animals, in both groups, used the preferred paw of the initial two tests, in spite of the bias). Conversely, while left-pawed acallosal mice were as consistent (65%) as normal mice, only 20% of right-pawed mice were consistent. These results suggest that the development of the CC affects consistency of laterality in a side-dependent manner. These results are discussed considering the role of the CC in the establishment of behavioral lateralization.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-01

    1.24 79% 1.00 Tooth Extraction 1.50 56% 1.00 Cricothyreotomy 1.70 41% 1.00 % Patient Care / Patient Management ’- * Apply Rotating Tourniquet 1.75 39...2 1 "’" F4 i’, I f, i I tooth extraction 1 .! 11 .2-) 1. :. 4 1 3 I .: 1 ;4 1 (1" I-n L f tM endott rheal ntubaton 1.85 1.77 2.00 1 88 ,PerIform -r...el Intall intravenous fluids % 85, perform tooth extraction .. 88. leif’rm endotracheal intubation 6 8c) , erfom -ricothyreotomv % 8S. Emergency Care

  18. 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)

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. A Box Lift and Place Assessment is Related to Performance of Several Military Manual Handling Tasks.

    PubMed

    Carstairs, Greg L; Ham, Daniel J; Savage, Robert J; Best, Stuart A; Beck, Benjamin; Doyle, Timothy L A

    2016-03-01

    Soldiers undergo regular physical testing to assess their functional capacity. However, current physical tests, such as push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, do not necessarily assess job-specific physical capability. This article assesses the utility of generic predictive tests and a task-related predictive test in predicting performance against four job-critical military manual handling tasks. The box lift and place test was found to be the superior predictor in performance of four job tasks; a pack lift and place (R(2) = 0.76), artillery gunner loading simulation (R(2) = 0.36), bombing up an M1 tank simulation, (R(2) = 0.47) and a bridge building simulation (R(2) = 0.63). Pull-ups and push-ups were poor predictors of performance in the majority of job tasks. Although the box lift and place had a larger correlation with the artillery gunner loading task than the generic assessment, it only accounted for 36% of the variance, indicating that a task simulation may be more appropriate to assess soldiers' capacity to perform this job task. These results support the use of a box lift and place rather than generic fitness tests for the evaluation of military manual handling tasks.

  2. Performance on a Stage IV Object-Permanence Task with Standard and Nonstandard Covers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    And Others; Rader, Nancy

    1979-01-01

    Examined the role of perceptual-motor development in a typical Stage IV task. The performance of ten infants was compared on a Stage IV object permanence task when a cloth cover was used and when a small card cover was used. (JMB)

  3. The performance of college students on piaget-type tasks dealing with distance, time, and speed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poduska, Ervin; Phillips, Darrell G.

    Research was done to probe and extend Piaget's theory of the conception of speed. Specifically tested was the hypothesis that there is no hierarchical relationship in performance on the following Piaget-type tasks: conservation of distance, asymmetric series of speeds, one-to-many (circular) speeds, symmetric speeds, time, and proportional reasoning. The research also tested the gender-related performance on these six tasks. One hundred freshman and sophomore college students were shown demonstrations of equipment individually for each of the six tasks. A set of open-ended questions based on the demonstrations was administered to each subject in a 45-minute interview. Subjects were scored as pass on a given task if they manipulated objects in certain ways and gave specific types of explanations. A scalogram analysis of the data yielded a z-score of - 3.7 which indicated that subjects passed the task in a certain sequence. The tasks were found to form a unidimensional scale and to be increasingly difficult in the order listed above. A chi-square test for two independent samples showed a significant difference (alpha = 0.05) in performance between males and females on all speed tasks. No significant differences in performance between males and females were found for the distance and time tasks.

  4. Threat of resource loss: The role of self-regulation in adaptive task performance.

    PubMed

    Niessen, Cornelia; Jimmieson, Nerina L

    2016-03-01

    Changes at work are often accompanied with the threat of, or actual, resource loss. Through an experiment, we investigated the detrimental effect of the threat of resource loss on adaptive task performance. Self-regulation (i.e., task focus and emotion control) was hypothesized to buffer the negative relationship between the threat of resource loss and adaptive task performance. Adaptation was conceptualized as relearning after a change in task execution rules. Threat of resource loss was manipulated for 100 participants undertaking an air traffic control task. Using discontinuous growth curve modeling, 2 kinds of adaptation--transition adaptation and reacquisition adaptation--were differentiated. The results showed that individuals who experienced the threat of resource loss had a stronger drop in performance (less transition adaptation) and a subsequent slower recovery (less reacquisition adaptation) compared with the control group who experienced no threat. Emotion control (but not task focus) moderated the relationship between the threat of resource loss and transition adaptation. In this respect, individuals who felt threatened but regulated their emotions performed better immediately after the task change (but not later on) compared with those individuals who felt threatened and did not regulate their emotions as well. However, later on, relearning (reacquisition adaptation) under the threat of resource loss was facilitated when individuals concentrated on the task at hand.

  5. 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)

  6. 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…

  7. Computerization of the standard corsi block-tapping task affects its underlying cognitive concepts: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Claessen, Michiel H G; van der Ham, Ineke J M; van Zandvoort, Martine J E

    2015-01-01

    The tablet computer initiates an important step toward computerized administration of neuropsychological tests. Because of its lack of standardization, the Corsi Block-Tapping Task could benefit from advantages inherent to computerization. This task, which requires reproduction of a sequence of movements by tapping blocks as demonstrated by an examiner, is widely used as a representative of visuospatial attention and working memory. The aim was to validate a computerized version of the Corsi Task (e-Corsi) by comparing recall accuracy to that on the standard task. Forty university students (Mage = 22.9 years, SD = 2.7 years; 20 female) performed the standard Corsi Task and the e-Corsi on an iPad 3. Results showed higher accuracy in forward reproduction on the standard Corsi compared with the e-Corsi, whereas backward performance was comparable. These divergent performance patterns on the 2 versions (small-to-medium effect sizes) are explained as a result of motor priming and interference effects. This finding implies that computerization has serious consequences for the cognitive concepts that the Corsi Task is assumed to assess. Hence, whereas the e-Corsi was shown to be useful with respect to administration and registration, these findings also stress the need for reconsideration of the underlying theoretical concepts of this task.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. Imaging "brain strain" in youth athletes with mild traumatic brain injury during dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Sinopoli, Katia J; Chen, Jen-Kai; Wells, Greg; Fait, Philippe; Ptito, Alain; Taha, Tim; Keightley, Michelle

    2014-11-15

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common cause of injury in youth athletes. Much of what is known about the sequelae of mTBI is yielded from the adult literature, and it appears that it is mainly those with persistent post-injury symptoms who have ongoing cognitive and neural abnormalities. However, most studies have employed single-task paradigms, which may not be challenging enough to uncover subtle deficits. We sought to examine the neural correlates of dual-task performance in male athletes aged 9-15 years using a functional neuroimaging protocol. Participants included 13 youths with a history of mTBI three to six months prior to testing and 14 typically-developing controls. All participants completed a working memory task in isolation (single-task) and while completing a concurrent motor task (dual-task); neural activity during performance was then compared between groups. Although working memory performance was similar during the single-task condition, increased working memory load resulted in an altered pattern of neural activation in key working memory areas (i.e., dorsolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices) in youth with mTBI relative to controls. During the dual-task condition, accuracy was similar between groups but injured youth performed slower than typically-developing controls, suggesting a speed-accuracy tradeoff in the mTBI group only. The injured youths also exhibited abnormal recruitment of brain structures involved in both working memory and dual-tasking. These data show that the dual-task paradigm can uncover functional impairments in youth with mTBI who are not highly symptomatic and who do not exhibit neuropsychological dysfunction. Moreover, neural recruitment abnormalities were noted in both task conditions, which we argue suggests mTBI-related disruptions in achieving efficient cognitive control and allocation of processing resources.

  10. Age-related differences in performance and stimulus processing in dual task situation.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Melanie; Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael

    2011-09-26

    Competition for limited processing resources is most critical in dual-tasks which incorporate cognitive and motor demands. Performance is usually diminished with increasing age in such tasks. This decline is relevant for activities in real life like driving. In the present study we aim to examine if there are age-related differences in stimulus processing in a dual-task and if these differences have an impact on performance of a driving-like tracking task. Young and older participants performed a dual-task consisting of a tracking task and a visual attention task. Alongside, the EEG was recorded for calculating the P300 (P3) of the event-related potential as a reflection of controlled stimulus processing. In the visual attention task older vs. young participants showed more misses and false alarms. For young participants the P3 shows an expected pattern of higher amplitudes for relevant compared to irrelevant stimuli. This was not found for the older participants. A general age-related decline in tracking performance was relatively more pronounced if a secondary motor response was required in the visual attention task and also after irrelevant stimuli. The results suggest that older compared to young participants had greater difficulties to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant stimuli in a dual-task situation as they probably apply comparable attentional resources to all stimuli. This may also explain the higher error rates. These results have important implications for the understanding of age-related stimulus processing in dual and multi task situations in real life as for instance driving.

  11. The effect of single-task and dual-task balance exercise programs on balance performance in adults with osteoporosis: a randomized controlled preliminary trial.

    PubMed

    Konak, H E; Kibar, S; Ergin, E S

    2016-11-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious disease characterized by muscle weakness in the lower extremities, shortened length of trunk, and increased dorsal kyphosis leading to poor balance performance. Although balance impairment increases in adults with osteoporosis, falls and fall-related injuries have been shown to occur mainly during the dual-task performance. Several studies have shown that dual-task performance was improved with specific repetitive dual-task exercises.

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Arousal and Task Performance: The Ubiquitous U-Curve,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-08-01

    UNCLASSIFIED ARL/SYS-NOTE-68 N L U /ll/// EEEEEEEL ,. I go .1 8 I1.25 _ . MICROCOPY RESOLUTION TESI CHART NAIJONAL BUREAU (Of STANDARIUS 1b64 A ARL-SYS...McGraw Hill Book Company. N.Y. 5. Corcoran, D. W. J. (1963). Individual differences in performance after loss of sleep. Un- published doctoral dissertation

  16. 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…

  17. Recursion and the Competence/Performance Distinction in AGL Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobina, David J.

    2011-01-01

    The term "recursion" is used in at least four distinct theoretical senses within cognitive science. Some of these senses in turn relate to the different levels of analysis described by David Marr some 20 years ago; namely, the underlying competence capacity (the "computational" level), the performance operations used in real-time processing (the…

  18. 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)…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. Genetic algorithm based task reordering to improve the performance of batch scheduled massively parallel scientific applications

    DOE PAGES

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A meta-analysis of reinforcement sensitivity theory: on performance parameters in reinforcement tasks.

    PubMed

    Leue, Anja; Beauducel, André

    2008-11-01

    J. A. Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST) has produced a wealth of quasi-experimental studies in more than 35 years of research on personality and reinforcement sensitivity. The present meta-analysis builds on this literature by investigating RST in conflict and nonconflict reinforcement tasks in humans. Based on random-effects meta-analysis, we confirmed RST predictions of performance parameters (e.g., number of responses, reaction time) in reinforcement tasks for impulsivity- and anxiety-related traits. In studies on anxiety-related traits, the effect size variance was smaller for conflict tasks than for nonconflict tasks. A larger mean effect size and a larger variability of effect sizes were found for conflict compared to nonconflict tasks in studies on impulsivity-related traits. Our results suggest that problems with RST confirmation in reinforcement tasks are at least partly caused by insufficient statistical power of primary studies, and thus, encourage future research on RST.

  5. 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.

  6. High emotional reactivity toward an experimenter affects participation, but not performance, in cognitive tests with common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus).

    PubMed

    Schubiger, Michèle N; Wüstholz, Florian L; Wunder, André; Burkart, Judith M

    2015-05-01

    When testing primates with cognitive tasks, it is usually not considered that subjects differ markedly in terms of emotional reactivity toward the experimenter, which potentially affects a subject's cognitive performance. We addressed this issue in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), a monkey species in which males tend to show stronger emotional reactivity in testing situations, whereas females have been reported to outperform males in cognitive tasks. In a two-phase experiment, we first quantified the emotional reactivity of 14 subjects toward four different experimenters performing a standardized behavioral action sequence and then assessed whether and how it affected the subjects' participation and performance in a subsequent object permanence task. A test session was terminated if a subject refused to make a choice in four consecutive trials. Highly emotionally aroused individuals, particularly males, were less likely to participate in the cognitive task and completed fewer trials. However, whenever they did participate and were attentive to the task, their performance was not affected. Our results suggest that differences in emotional reactivity toward an experimenter have no major impact on cognitive performance if strict criteria are applied on when to abandon a test session and if performance is corrected for attention to the test procedure. Furthermore, they suggest that the reported sex differences in cognitive performance in marmosets may be owing to motivational and attentional factors, rather than a difference in cognitive ability per se.

  7. Information-Processing and Perceptions of Control: How Attribution Style Affects Task-Relevant Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeigh, Tony

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of perceived controllability on information processing within Weiner's (1985, 1986) attributional model of learning. Attributional style was used to identify trait patterns of controllability for 37 university students. Task-relevant feedback on an information-processing task was then manipulated to test for…

  8. 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

  9. Cognitive tasks during expectation affect the congruency ERP effects to facial expressions.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. Performance study involving a force-reflecting joystick for spastic individuals performing two types of tracking tasks.

    PubMed

    Repperger, D W; Phillips, C A; Chelette, T L

    1995-10-01

    10 upper-extremity spastic subjects and 10 normal subjects were studied with a force-reflecting joystick in the performance of a continuous time-tracking task as well as an acquisition task termed, "Fitts' Law." Certain force-reflection paradigms, in a spatial sense, allowed the spastic subjects to obtain performance proficiency near levels of the normal subjects as measured by a capacity metric.

  13. Formal Derivation of Lotka-Volterra-Haken Amplitude Equations of Task-Related Brain Activity in Multiple, Consecutively Performed Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, T. D.

    The Lotka-Volterra-Haken equations have been frequently used in ecology and pattern formation. Recently, the equations have been proposed by several research groups as amplitude equations for task-related patterns of brain activity. In this theoretical study, the focus is on the circular causality aspect of pattern formation systems as formulated within the framework of synergetics. Accordingly, the stable modes of a pattern formation system inhibit the unstable modes, whereas the unstable modes excite the stable modes. Using this circular causality principle it is shown that under certain conditions the Lotka-Volterra-Haken amplitude equations can be derived from a general model of brain activity akin to the Wilson-Cowan model. The model captures the amplitude dynamics for brain activity patterns in experiments involving several consecutively performed multiple-choice tasks. This is explicitly demonstrated for two-choice tasks involving grasping and walking. A comment on the relevance of the theoretical framework for clinical psychology and schizophrenia is given as well.

  14. Spontaneous emotion regulation during evaluated speaking tasks: associations with negative affect, anxiety expression, memory, and physiological responding.

    PubMed

    Egloff, Boris; Schmukle, Stefan C; Burns, Lawrence R; Schwerdtfeger, Andreas

    2006-08-01

    In these studies, the correlates of spontaneously using expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal during stressful speeches were examined. Spontaneous emotion regulation means that there were no instructions of how to regulate emotions during the speech. Instead, participants indicated after the speech to what extent they used self-motivated expressive suppression or reappraisal during the task. The results show that suppression is associated with less anxiety expression, greater physiological responding, and less memory for the speech while having no impact on negative affect. In contrast, reappraisal has no impact on physiology and memory while leading to less expression and affect. Taken together, spontaneous emotion regulation in active coping tasks has similar consequences as experimentally induced emotion regulation in passive tasks.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The effect of context priming and task type on augmentative communication performance.

    PubMed

    Higginbotham, D Jeffery; Bisantz, Ann M; Sunm, Michelle; Adams, Kim; Yik, Fen

    2009-03-01

    Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices include special purpose electronic devices that generate speech output and are used by individuals to augment or replace vocal communication. Word prediction, including context specific prediction, has been proposed to help overcome barriers to the use of these devices (e.g., slow communication rates and limited access to situation-related vocabulary), but has not been tested in terms of effects during actual task performance. In this study, we compared AAC device use, task performance, and user perceptions across three tasks, in conditions where the AAC device used either was, or was not, primed with task specific vocabularies. The participants in this study were adults with normal physical, cognitive, and communication abilities. Context priming had a marginally significant effect on AAC device use as measured by keystroke savings; however, these advantages did not translate into higher level measures of rate, task performance, or user perceptions. In contrast, there were various statistically significant process and performance differences across task type. Additionally, results for two different emulations of human performance showed significant keystroke savings across context conditions. However, these effects were mitigated in actual performance and did not translate into keystroke savings. This indicates to AAC device designers and users that keystroke-based measures of device use may not be predictive of high level performance.

  18. The Effect of Video Game “Warm-up” on Performance of Laparoscopic Surgery Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gentile, Douglas A.; Hanigan, Kevin; Danner, Omar K.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Performing laparoscopic procedures requires special training and has been documented as a significant source of surgical errors. “Warming up” before performing a task has been shown to enhance performance. This study investigates whether surgeons benefit from “warming up” using select video games immediately before performing laparoscopic partial tasks and clinical tasks. Methods: This study included 303 surgeons (249 men and 54 women). Participants were split into a control (n=180) and an experimental group (n=123). The experimental group played 3 previously validated video games for 6 minutes before task sessions. The Cobra Rope partial task and suturing exercises were performed immediately after the warm-up sessions. Results: Surgeons who played video games prior to the Cobra Rope drill were significantly faster on their first attempt and across all 10 trials. The experimental and control groups were significantly different in their total suturing scores (t=2.28, df=288, P<.05). The overall Top Gun score showed that the experimental group performed marginally better overall. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that subjects completing “warming-up” sessions with select video games prior to performing laparoscopic partial and clinical tasks (intracorporeal suturing) were faster and had fewer errors than participants not engaging in “warm-up.” More study is needed to determine whether this translates into superior procedural execution in the clinical setting. PMID:22906322

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Activity and Task Performance of Hyperactive Children as a Function of Environmental Stimulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zentall, Sydney S.; Zentall, Thomas R.

    1976-01-01

    Hyperactive children in a high-stimulation environment were significantly less active and performed an academically related task no worse than when placed in a low-stimulation environment. Understimulation rather than overstimulation apparently precipitates hyperactive behavior. (Author)

  2. 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

  3. The Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance: Validation of a Dual-Task and Multitask Protocol

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-01

    1 AD_________________ Award Number: Contract W81XWH-12-2-0070 TITLE: Annual Report: The Assessment of Military Multitasking ...Performance: Validation of a Dual-Task and Multitask Protocol (Contract W81XWH-12-2-0070) PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Margaret M. Weightman PT...Assessment of Military Multitasking Performance: Validation of a Dual-Task and Multitask Protocol 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM

  4. Visual task performance using a monocular see-through head-mounted display (HMD) while walking.

    PubMed

    Mustonen, Terhi; Berg, Mikko; Kaistinen, Jyrki; Kawai, Takashi; Häkkinen, Jukka

    2013-12-01

    A monocular see-through head-mounted display (HMD) allows the user to view displayed information while simultaneously interacting with the surrounding environment. This configuration lets people use HMDs while they are moving, such as while walking. However, sharing attention between the display and environment can compromise a person's performance in any ongoing task, and controlling one's gait may add further challenges. In this study, the authors investigated how the requirements of HMD-administered visual tasks altered users' performance while they were walking. Twenty-four university students completed 3 cognitive tasks (high- and low-working memory load, visual vigilance) on an HMD while seated and while simultaneously performing a paced walking task in a controlled environment. The results show that paced walking worsened performance (d', reaction time) in all HMD-administered tasks, but visual vigilance deteriorated more than memory performance. The HMD-administered tasks also worsened walking performance (speed, path overruns) in a manner that varied according to the overall demands of the task. These results suggest that people's ability to process information displayed on an HMD may worsen while they are in motion. Furthermore, the use of an HMD can critically alter a person's natural performance, such as their ability to guide and control their gait. In particular, visual tasks that involve constant monitoring of the HMD should be avoided. These findings highlight the need for careful consideration of the type and difficulty of information that can be presented through HMDs while still letting the user achieve an acceptable overall level of performance in various contexts of use.

  5. Age and task parameters in continuous performance tests for preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Hagelthorn, Kathleen M; Hiemenz, Jennifer R; Pillion, Joseph P; Mahone, E Mark

    2003-06-01

    66 children (M=56.2 mo., SD=10.9), recruited from preschool and daycare centers, were administered two continuous performance tests, one auditory and one visual. Both tests utilized a format with one target and one nontarget. Interstimulus interval was fixed at 1350 msec. for the visual test and 5000 msec. for the auditory test. The visual test produced greater rates of omission and commission errors than the auditory test. Age was significantly related to mean reaction time and response variability for both tests; however, the visual test produced an unexpected pattern of increasing response time across age groups. On both tests omission rates improved significantly with age, while commission rates were consistent across ages 3-6 years. When considering continuous performance test paradigms for preschoolers, 3-yr.-olds may need at least a 4000-msec. interstimulus interval to make a choice for the stimulus cue. Hits following an interstimulus interval shorter than 1400 msec. may reflect younger preschoolers' response to a previous stimulus.

  6. Estimated effects of ionizing radiation upon military task performance: individual combat crewmember assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Anno, G.H.; Wilson, D.B.

    1984-04-01

    Quantitative estimates are developed of the performance levels for selected individual Army combat crewmembers exposed to prompt ionizing radiation from nuclear weapons. The performance levels, expressed in percent of normal (baseline) task performance, provide information for military operations planning, combat training, and computer simulation modeling of combat crew and unit effectiveness. The methodology is described where data from two separate bodies of information: acute radiation sickness symptomatology, and judgment of task performance time from Army combat crew questionnaires - are integrated to compute performance levels as a function of dose (free-in-air) and post-exposure time.

  7. 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.

  8. The impact of haptic feedback quality on the performance of teleoperated assembly tasks.

    PubMed

    Wildenbeest, J G W; Abbink, D A; Heemskerk, C J M; van der Helm, F C T; Boessenkool, H

    2013-01-01

    In teleoperation, haptic feedback allows the human operator to touch the remote environment. Yet, it is only partially understood to what extent the quality of haptic feedback contributes to human-in-the-loop task performance. This paper presents a human factors experiment in which teleoperated task performance and control effort are assessed for a typical (dis-)assembly task in a hard-to-hard environment, well known to the operator. Subjects are provided with four levels of haptic feedback quality: no haptic feedback, low-frequency haptic feedback, combined low- and high-frequency haptic feedback, and the best possible-a natural spectrum of haptic feedback in a direct-controlled equivalent of the task. Four generalized fundamental subtasks are identified, namely: 1) free-space movement, 2) contact transition, 3) constrained translational, and 4) constrained rotational tasks. The results show that overall task performance and control effort are primarily improved by providing low-frequency haptic feedback (specifically by improvements in constrained translational and constrained rotational tasks), while further haptic feedback quality improvements yield only marginal performance increases and control effort decreases, even if a full natural spectrum of haptic feedback is provided.

  9. Cognitive performance in senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type: the Kitchen Task Assessment.

    PubMed

    Baum, C; Edwards, D F

    1993-05-01

    The Kitchen Task Assessment (KTA) is a functional measure that records the level of cognitive support required by a person with Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type (SDAT) to complete a cooking task successfully. The results allow the clinician to help caregivers understand the level of support the impaired person needs to perform daily living tasks. This paper presents the validity and internal consistency of the KTA. Data were collected from 106 persons diagnosed with SDAT. Construct validity was established by examining the relationship between subjects' performance on the KTA and standard neuropsychological measures.

  10. 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

  11. Predicting performance expectations from affective impressions: linking affect control theory and status characteristics theory.

    PubMed

    Dippong, Joseph; Kalkhoff, Will

    2015-03-01

    Affect control theory (ACT) and status characteristics theory (SCT) offer separate and distinct explanations for how individuals interpret and process status- and power-relevant information about interaction partners. Existing research within affect control theory offers evidence that status and power are related to the affective impressions that individuals form of others along the dimensions of evaluation and potency, respectively. Alternately, status characteristics theory suggests that status and power influence interaction through the mediating cognitive construct of performance expectations. Although both theories have amassed an impressive amount of empirical support, research has yet to articulate theoretical and empirical connections between affective impressions and performance expectations. The purpose of our study is to address this gap. Elaborating a link between ACT and SCT in terms of their central concepts can serve as a stepping stone to improving the explanatory capacity of both theories, while providing a potential bridge by which they can be employed jointly.

  12. Marijuana Use Predicts Cognitive Performance on Tasks of Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Dahlgren, Mary Kathryn; Sagar, Kelly A.; Racine, Megan T.; Dreman, Meredith W.; Gruber, Staci A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Despite growing evidence that chronic marijuana use is associated with cognitive impairment, particularly when use is initiated at an early age, national trends demonstrate significant decreases in the perceived risk of marijuana corresponding with increased use, especially among youth. The current study assessed the impact of marijuana use on executive function and whether patterns of marijuana use, including earlier age at onset, higher frequency, and increased magnitude of use, predict impairment. Method: Forty-four chronic, heavy marijuana smokers (37 male, 7 female) and 32 healthy, nonsmoking control participants (20 male, 12 female) recruited from the Greater Boston area completed two assessments of executive function: the Stroop Color Word Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Results: Marijuana smokers had poorer executive function relative to control participants, a between-group difference that was primarily driven by individuals with early onset of marijuana use (before age 16; n = 21); significance remained even when controlling for frequency and magnitude of use. Further, earlier age at marijuana onset and increased marijuana use predicted poorer neurocognitive performance, and perseverative errors on the WCST significantly predicted marijuana group membership. Conclusions: These findings underscore the impact of early onset of marijuana use on executive function impairment independent of increased frequency and magnitude of use. In addition, poorer performance on the WCST may serve as a neuropsychological marker for heavy marijuana users. These results highlight the need for additional research to identify predictors associated with early marijuana use, as exposure to marijuana during a period of developmental vulnerability may result in negative cognitive consequences. PMID:26997188

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluating the relationship between change in performance on training tasks and on untrained outcomes.

    PubMed

    Zelinski, Elizabeth M; Peters, Kelly D; Hindin, Shoshana; Petway, Kevin T; Kennison, Robert F

    2014-01-01

    Training interventions for older adults are designed to remediate performance on trained tasks and to generalize, or transfer, to untrained tasks. Evidence for transfer is typically based on the trained group showing greater improvement than controls on untrained tasks, or on a correlation between gains in training and in transfer tasks. However, this ignores potential correlational relationships between trained and untrained tasks that exist before training. By accounting for crossed (trained and untrained) and lagged (pre-training and post-training) and cross-lagged relationships between trained and untrained scores in structural equation models, the training-transfer gain relationship can be independently estimated. Transfer is confirmed if only the trained but not control participants' gain correlation is significant. Modeling data from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study (Smith et al., 2009), transfer from speeded auditory discrimination and syllable span to list and text memory and to working memory was demonstrated in 487 adults aged 65-93. Evaluation of age, sex, and education on pretest scores and on change did not alter this. The overlap of the training with transfer measures was also investigated to evaluate the hypothesis that performance gains in a non-verbal speeded auditory discrimination task may be associated with gains on fewer tasks than gains in a verbal working memory task. Gains in speeded processing were associated with gains on one list memory measure. Syllable span gains were associated with improvement in difficult list recall, story recall, and working memory factor scores. Findings confirmed that more overlap with task demands was associated with gains to more of the tasks assessed, suggesting that transfer effects are related to task overlap in multimodal training.

  15. Evaluating the relationship between change in performance on training tasks and on untrained outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Zelinski, Elizabeth M.; Peters, Kelly D.; Hindin, Shoshana; Petway, Kevin T.; Kennison, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    Training interventions for older adults are designed to remediate performance on trained tasks and to generalize, or transfer, to untrained tasks. Evidence for transfer is typically based on the trained group showing greater improvement than controls on untrained tasks, or on a correlation between gains in training and in transfer tasks. However, this ignores potential correlational relationships between trained and untrained tasks that exist before training. By accounting for crossed (trained and untrained) and lagged (pre-training and post-training) and cross-lagged relationships between trained and untrained scores in structural equation models, the training-transfer gain relationship can be independently estimated. Transfer is confirmed if only the trained but not control participants' gain correlation is significant. Modeling data from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study (Smith et al., 2009), transfer from speeded auditory discrimination and syllable span to list and text memory and to working memory was demonstrated in 487 adults aged 65–93. Evaluation of age, sex, and education on pretest scores and on change did not alter this. The overlap of the training with transfer measures was also investigated to evaluate the hypothesis that performance gains in a non-verbal speeded auditory discrimination task may be associated with gains on fewer tasks than gains in a verbal working memory task. Gains in speeded processing were associated with gains on one list memory measure. Syllable span gains were associated with improvement in difficult list recall, story recall, and working memory factor scores. Findings confirmed that more overlap with task demands was associated with gains to more of the tasks assessed, suggesting that transfer effects are related to task overlap in multimodal training. PMID:25165440

  16. 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.

  17. Strategies employed by upper secondary students for overcoming or exploiting conditions affecting accessibility of applications tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stillman, Gloria

    2004-02-01

    A cognitive/metacognitive framework is presented for analysing applications tasks and responses to these. Conditions facilitating or impeding access to such tasks at the upper secondary level were identified using qualitative data analysis techniques within this framework. Strategies employed in exploiting, or overcoming these conditions were identified. A well-developed repertoire of cognitive and metacognitive strategies together with a rich store of mathematical knowledge, real-world knowledge and experiences, and comprehension skills facilitated access. This was enhanced by metacognitive knowledge encouraging student engagement with the task and by students imagining they were in the task situation. Once moderate skill had been achieved in accessing these applications, coordination and integration of multiple representations, further cues, and mathematical processes and procedures became critical.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Affective decision making under uncertainty during a plausible aviation task: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Causse, Mickaël; Péran, Patrice; Dehais, Frédéric; Caravasso, Chiara Falletta; Zeffiro, Thomas; Sabatini, Umberto; Pastor, Josette

    2013-05-01

    In aeronautics, plan continuation error (PCE) represents failure to revise a flight plan despite emerging evidence suggesting that it is no longer safe. Assuming that PCE may be associated with a shift from cold to hot reasoning, we hypothesized that this transition may result from a large range of strong negative emotional influences linked with the decision to abort a landing and circle for a repeat attempt, referred to as a "go-around". We investigated this hypothesis by combining functional neuroimaging with an ecologically valid aviation task performed under contextual variation in incentive and situational uncertainty. Our goal was to identify regional brain activity related to the sorts of conservative or liberal decision-making strategies engaged when participants were both exposed to a financial payoff matrix constructed to bias responses in favor of landing acceptance, while they were simultaneously experiencing maximum levels of uncertainty related to high levels of stimulus ambiguity. Combined with the observed behavioral outcomes, our neuroimaging results revealed a shift from cold to hot decision making in response to high uncertainty when participants were exposed to the financial incentive. Most notably, while we observed activity increases in response to uncertainty in many frontal regions such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), less overall activity was observed when the reward was combined with uncertainty. Moreover, participants with poor decision making, quantified as a lower discriminability index d', exhibited riskier behavior coupled with lower activity in the right DLPFC. These outcomes suggest a disruptive effect of biased financial incentive and high uncertainty on the rational decision-making neural network, and consequently, on decision relevance.

  1. Food's visually perceived fat content affects discrimination speed in an orthogonal spatial task.

    PubMed

    Harrar, Vanessa; Toepel, Ulrike; Murray, Micah M; Spence, Charles

    2011-10-01

    Choosing what to eat is a complex activity for humans. Determining a food's pleasantness requires us to combine information about what is available at a given time with knowledge of the food's palatability, texture, fat content, and other nutritional information. It has been suggested that humans may have an implicit knowledge of a food's fat content based on its appearance; Toepel et al. (Neuroimage 44:967-974, 2009) reported visual-evoked potential modulations after participants viewed images of high-energy, high-fat food (HF), as compared to viewing low-fat food (LF). In the present study, we investigated whether there are any immediate behavioural consequences of these modulations for human performance. HF, LF, or non-food (NF) images were used to exogenously direct participants' attention to either the left or the right. Next, participants made speeded elevation discrimination responses (up vs. down) to visual targets presented either above or below the midline (and at one of three stimulus onset asynchronies: 150, 300, or 450 ms). Participants responded significantly more rapidly following the presentation of a HF image than following the presentation of either LF or NF images, despite the fact that the identity of the images was entirely task-irrelevant. Similar results were found when comparing response speeds following images of high-carbohydrate (HC) food items to low-carbohydrate (LC) food items. These results support the view that people rapidly process (i.e. within a few hundred milliseconds) the fat/carbohydrate/energy value or, perhaps more generally, the pleasantness of food. Potentially as a result of HF/HC food items being more pleasant and thus having a higher incentive value, it seems as though seeing these foods results in a response readiness, or an overall alerting effect, in the human brain.

  2. Color temperature’s impact on task performance and brainwaves of school-age children

    PubMed Central

    Park, YunHee

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated color temperature’s impact on task performance. It presents a scientific analysis of brainwave and task performance time changes, and the results of a self-report type survey. [Subjects] Twenty-four elementary school fifth-grade boys and girls with no visual problems participated in the experiment. [Methods] Physiological reaction times of task performance were measured in a laboratory that could fix and maintain color temperature. Brainwave changes and the task performance times were measured, and a self-report questionnaire was conducted in order to measure of emotional reactions. [Results] Regarding the brainwave changes associated with color temperature, alpha waves were emitted in the O2 area when puzzle tasks were illuminated by orange light and low and high beta waves were emitted in the F3 area under white light. Five items (Brilliant, Soft, Lively, Relaxed, Open) were reported predominantly in responses to orange light in the self-report questionnaire. [Conclusion] The results of this study show that relaxation and stability are not assured when the color temperature is low, and that concentration and cognitive activity are not necessarily easier when the color temperature is high. The color temperature change when performing tasks promoted emotional factors more than brainwave, a biological change. PMID:26644662

  3. Sex differences in verbal working memory performance emerge at very high loads of common neuroimaging tasks.

    PubMed

    Reed, Jessica L; Gallagher, Natalie M; Sullivan, Marie; Callicott, Joseph H; Green, Adam E

    2017-04-01

    Working memory (WM) supports a broad range of intelligent cognition and has been the subject of rich cognitive and neural characterization. However, the highest ranges of WM have not been fully characterized, especially for verbal information. Tasks developed to test multiple levels of WM demand (load) currently predominate brain-based WM research. These tasks are typically used at loads that allow most healthy participants to perform well, which facilitates neuroimaging data collection. Critically, however, high performance at lower loads may obscure differences that emerge at higher loads. A key question not yet addressed at high loads concerns the effect of sex. Thoroughgoing investigation of high-load verbal WM is thus timely to test for potential hidden effects, and to provide behavioral context for effects of sex observed in WM-related brain structure and function. We tested 111 young adults, matched on genotype for the WM-associated COMT-Val(108/158)Met polymorphism, on three classic WM tasks using verbal information. Each task was tested at four WM loads, including higher loads than those used in previous studies of sex differences. All tasks loaded on a single factor, enabling comparison of verbal WM ability at a construct level. Results indicated sex effects at high loads across tasks and within each task, such that males had higher accuracy, even among groups that were matched for performance at lower loads.

  4. Performance study on touch-pens size in three screen tasks.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fong-Gong; Luo, Shuyi

    2006-03-01

    Experiments were aimed at investigating the performance of various sizes of touch-pens. The touch-pens were of three different lengths (80, 110 and 140 mm) and four different diameters (5.5, 8, 11 and 15 mm). Three screen tasks were used for determining a reference of ideal dimensions of a pen-based product. Sixteen subjects used 12 touch-pens to perform pointing-and-clicking, writing and drawing tasks. The subjects were asked to rank their preference after each task in the test. The results showed that the length of touch-pens should be designed to extend beyond the handbreadth when gripped. A touch-pen that facilitates natural pointing-and-clicking, writing and drawing tasks each requires a suitable diameter size. However, these tasks are typically performed together, in particular, the pointing-and-clicking and writing tasks. The recommended diameter for all three combined tasks is 8 mm. This finding indicates that selecting a touch-pen with a diameter of 8 mm and a length of 100 mm or longer is suitable for all pen-based devices.

  5. Exposure to Blue Light Increases Subsequent Functional Activation of the Prefrontal Cortex During Performance of a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Alkozei, Anna; Smith, Ryan; Pisner, Derek A.; Vanuk, John R.; Berryhill, Sarah M.; Fridman, Andrew; Shane, Bradley R.; Knight, Sara A.; Killgore, William D.S.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Prolonged exposure to blue wavelength light has been shown to have an alerting effect, and enhances performance on cognitive tasks. A small number of studies have also shown that relatively short exposure to blue light leads to changes in functional brain responses during the period of exposure. The extent to which blue light continues to affect brain functioning during a cognitively challenging task after cessation of longer periods of exposure (i.e., roughly 30 minutes or longer), however, has not been fully investigated. Methods: A total of 35 healthy participants (18 female) were exposed to either blue (469 nm) (n = 17) or amber (578 nm) (n = 18) wavelength light for 30 minutes in a darkened room, followed immediately by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while undergoing a working memory task (N-back task). Results: Participants in the blue light condition were faster in their responses on the N-back task and showed increased activation in the dorsolateral (DLPFC) and ventrolateral (VLPFC) prefrontal cortex compared to those in the amber control light condition. Furthermore, greater activation within the VLPFC was correlated with faster N-back response times. Conclusions: This is the first study to suggest that a relatively brief, single exposure to blue light has a subsequent beneficial effect on working memory performance, even after cessation of exposure, and leads to temporarily persisting functional brain changes within prefrontal brain regions associated with executive functions. These findings may have broader implication for using blue-enriched light in a variety of work settings where alertness and quick decision-making are important. Citation: Alkozei A, Smith R, Pisner DA, Vanuk JR, Berryhill SM, Fridman A, Shane BR, Knight SA, Killgore WD. Exposure to blue light increases subsequent functional activation of the prefrontal cortex during performance of a working memory task. SLEEP 2016;39(9):1671–1680. PMID:27253770

  6. 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…

  7. The effects of catechol O-methyltransferase genotype on brain activation elicited by affective stimuli and cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N

    2006-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A functional polymorphism in the COMT gene (val158 met) accounts for a four-fold variation in enzyme activity. The low activity met158 allele has been associated with improved working memory, executive functioning, and attentional control, but also with a higher risk of anxiety-related behaviors. In spite of the strong effect of the COMT genotype on enzyme activity, its effects on behavior are moderate, accounting for only 4% of variance in task performance. Studies of individuals with intermediate phenotypes during activities such as task-dependent brain activation, may more sensitively detect gene effects on the brain. A series of studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessed the effects of the COMT val158 met genotype on central processing during working memory, attentional control, and emotional tasks. fMRI revealed a more focused response in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of met158 allele carriers during a working memory task. A comparable effect during the performance of an attentional control task in the cingulate cortex was also observed. These data indicate that met158 allele load is associated with improved processing efficiency in the PFC and cingulate, which might be due to lower prefrontal dopamine (DA) metabolism, higher DA concentrations, and an increased neuronal signal-to-noise ratio during information processing. During performance of an emotional task, reactivity to unpleasant visual stimuli was positively correlated with the number of met158 alleles in the amygdala, as well as in other limbic and paralimbic nodes. This increased limbic reactivity to unpleasant stimuli might be the underlying cause of the lower emotional resilience against negative mood states observed in individuals with a higher met158 allele load. Thus the met158 allele seems to be beneficial during the performance of working memory and

  8. Force-velocity Relationship of Muscles Performing Multi-joint Maximum Performance Tasks.

    PubMed

    Jaric, S

    2015-08-01

    Manipulation of external loads typically provides a range of force, velocity, and power data that allows for modeling muscle mechanical characteristics. While a typical force-velocity relationship obtained from either in vitro muscles or isolated muscle groups can be described by a hyperbolic equation, the present review paper reveals the evidence that the same relationship obtained from maximum-performance multi-joint movements could be approximately linear. As a consequence, this pattern also results in a relatively simple shape of the power-velocity relationship. The parameters of the linear force-velocity relationship reveal the maximum force, velocity and power. Recent studies conducted on various functional movement tasks reveal that these parameters could be reliable, on average moderately valid, and typically sensitive enough to detect differences among populations of different physical abilities. Therefore, the linear force-velocity relationship together with the associated parabolic power-velocity relationship could provide both a new and simplified approach to studies of the design and function of human muscular system and its modeling. Regarding the practical applications, the reviewed findings also suggest that the loaded multi-joint movements could be developed into relatively simple routine tests of the force-, velocity- and power-generating capacity of the neuromuscular system.

  9. The influence of sex differences and individual task performance on brain activation during planning.

    PubMed

    Unterrainer, J M; Ruff, C C; Rahm, B; Kaller, C P; Spreer, J; Schwarzwald, R; Halsband, U

    2005-01-15

    Several studies have attempted to identify the neuronal basis of sex differences in cognition. However, group differences in cognitive ability rather than genuine neurocognitive differences between the sexes may account for their results. Here, we compare with functional magnetic resonance imaging the relation between gender, individual task performance, and planning-related brain activation. Men and women preselected to display identical performance scores showed a strong relation between individual task performance and activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal and right inferior parietal cortex activation during a visuospatial planning task. No gender-specific activations were found. However, a different pattern emerged when subjects had to execute the motor responses to the problems. Better performance was associated with right dorsolateral prefrontal and right parahippocampal activations, and females exhibited a stronger right hippocampal activation than males. These findings underline that an individual's performance level rather than his or her sex largely determines the neuronal activation patterns during higher-level cognition.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Assessment of Joystick control during the performance of powered wheelchair driving tasks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Powered wheelchairs are essential for many individuals who have mobility impairments. Nevertheless, if operated improperly, the powered wheelchair poses dangers to both the user and to those in its vicinity. Thus, operating a powered wheelchair with some degree of proficiency is important for safety, and measuring driving skills becomes an important issue to address. The objective of this study was to explore the discriminate validity of outcome measures of driving skills based on joystick control strategies and performance recorded using a data logging system. Methods We compared joystick control strategies and performance during standardized driving tasks between a group of 10 expert and 13 novice powered wheelchair users. Driving tasks were drawn from the Wheelchair Skills Test (v. 4.1). Data from the joystick controller were collected on a data logging system. Joystick control strategies and performance outcome measures included the mean number of joystick movements, time required to complete tasks, as well as variability of joystick direction. Results In simpler tasks, the expert group's driving skills were comparable to those of the novice group. Yet, in more difficult and spatially confined tasks, the expert group required fewer joystick movements for task completion. In some cases, experts also completed tasks in approximately half the time with respect to the novice group. Conclusions The analysis of joystick control made it possible to discriminate between novice and expert powered wheelchair users in a variety of driving tasks. These results imply that in spatially confined areas, a greater powered wheelchair driving skill level is required to complete tasks efficiently. Based on these findings, it would appear that the use of joystick signal analysis constitutes an objective tool for the measurement of powered wheelchair driving skills. This tool may be useful for the clinical assessment and training of powered wheelchair skills. PMID

  18. Analysis of muscle synergy for evaluation of task-specific performance in stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Li, Si; Zhuang, Cheng; Zhang, Xiao; Niu, Chuanxin M; Xie, Qing; Lan, Ning; Si Li; Cheng Zhuang; Xiao Zhang; Niu, Chuanxin M; Qing Xie; Ning Lan; Niu, Chuanxin M; Zhang, Xiao; Zhuang, Cheng; Li, Si; Lan, Ning; Xie, Qing

    2016-08-01

    Muscle synergy represents a central neural module that organizes and activates a group of muscles when performing a certain task. However, whether muscle synergy is a good physiological indicator of motor ability in task performance for patients suffering stroke is not clear. The purpose of this study is to understand how information of task-specific muscle synergy in healthy subjects and patients post stroke can be used to evaluate their motor ability, and further to assist motor rehabilitation for stroke patients. Electromyography (EMG) signals and movement kinematics in reaching tasks were recorded in 5 healthy subjects and 4 stroke patients. Muscle synergies were extracted from EMGs and compared cross healthy and stroke subjects. Normal synergies displayed a characteristic pattern common in healthy subjects. But pathological synergies in stroke subjects lacked the characteristics of normal synergy without a common component, implicating varying extent of damage to the motor module due to lesion in cerebral circuits. Further analysis in stroke subjects showed that pathological patterns of synergy in stroke subjects corresponded to the abnormality in their movement control compared with healthy subjects. Data showed that task-specific muscle synergy did reveal a positive correlation to the ability of neural control of tasks. It was further observed that task-specific synergy was changed towards the normal pattern after intervention with functional electrical stimulation in patients post stroke.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Dual-task performance in dysexecutive and nondysexecutive patients with a frontal lesion.

    PubMed

    Baddeley, A; Della Sala, S; Papagno, C; Spinnler, H

    1997-04-01

    Patients with defined frontal lobe lesions were assigned to 1 of 2 groups based on whether they showed a behaviorally assessed dysexecutive syndrome or were behaviorally normal. All participants were tested on dual-task performance and on 2 tasks assumed to measure frontal lobe function, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and verbal fluency. The dysexecutive group differed significantly from the nondysexecutive in showing impaired capacity for dual-task coordination, but there were no significant differences on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and verbal fluency. Results are interpreted in terms of a multicomponent central executive, whose function is linked to, but not coterminous with, the operation of the frontal lobes.

  3. Preparatory power posing affects nonverbal presence and job interview performance.

    PubMed

    Cuddy, Amy J C; Wilmuth, Caroline A; Yap, Andy J; Carney, Dana R

    2015-07-01

    The authors tested whether engaging in expansive (vs. contractive) "power poses" before a stressful job interview--preparatory power posing--would enhance performance during the interview. Participants adopted high-power (i.e., expansive, open) poses or low-power (i.e., contractive, closed) poses, and then prepared and delivered a speech to 2 evaluators as part of a mock job interview. All interview speeches were videotaped and coded for overall performance and hireability and for 2 potential mediators: verbal content (e.g., structure, content) and nonverbal presence (e.g., captivating, enthusiastic). As predicted, those who prepared for the job interview with high- (vs. low-) power poses performed better and were more likely to be chosen for hire; this relation was mediated by nonverbal presence, but not by verbal content. Although previous research has focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted during interactions and observed by perceivers affects how those perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor, this experiment focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted before the interaction and unobserved by perceivers affects the actor's performance, which, in turn, affects how perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor. This experiment reveals a theoretically novel and practically informative result that demonstrates the causal relation between preparatory nonverbal behavior and subsequent performance and outcomes.

  4. How motivation affects academic performance: a structural equation modelling analysis.

    PubMed

    Kusurkar, R A; Ten Cate, Th J; Vos, C M P; Westers, P; Croiset, G

    2013-03-01

    Few studies in medical education have studied effect of quality of motivation on performance. Self-Determination Theory based on quality of motivation differentiates between Autonomous Motivation (AM) that originates within an individual and Controlled Motivation (CM) that originates from external sources. To determine whether Relative Autonomous Motivation (RAM, a measure of the balance between AM and CM) affects academic performance through good study strategy and higher study effort and compare this model between subgroups: males and females; students selected via two different systems namely qualitative and weighted lottery selection. Data on motivation, study strategy and effort was collected from 383 medical students of VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and their academic performance results were obtained from the student administration. Structural Equation Modelling analysis technique was used to test a hypothesized model in which high RAM would positively affect Good Study Strategy (GSS) and study effort, which in turn would positively affect academic performance in the form of grade point averages. This model fit well with the data, Chi square = 1.095, df = 3, p = 0.778, RMSEA model fit = 0.000. This model also fitted well for all tested subgroups of students. Differences were found in the strength of relationships between the variables for the different subgroups as expected. In conclusion, RAM positively correlated with academic performance through deep strategy towards study and higher study effort. This model seems valid in medical education in subgroups such as males, females, students selected by qualitative and weighted lottery selection.

  5. The effect of cognitive status and visuospatial performance on affective theory of mind in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    McKinlay, Audrey; Albicini, Michelle; Kavanagh, Phillip S

    2013-01-01

    It is now well accepted that theory of mind (ToM) functioning is impaired in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. However, what remain unknown are the functions that underlie this impairment. It has been suggested that cognitive skills may be key in this area of functioning; however, many of the cognitive tests used to assess this have relied on intact visuospatial abilities. This study aimed to examine whether deficits in ToM were generated by cognitive or visuospatial dysfunction and the mediating effect of visuospatial function on ToM performance. Fifty PD patients (31 male, 19 female; mean age = 66.34 years) and 49 healthy controls (16 male, 33 female; mean age = 67.29 years) completed a ToM task (reading the mind in the eyes) and visuospatial task (line orientation). The results revealed that current cognitive status was a significant predictor for performance on the ToM task, and that 54% of the total effect of cognitive status on ToM was mediated by visuospatial abilities. It was concluded that visuospatial functioning plays an important mediating role for the relationship between executive dysfunction and affective ToM deficits in PD patients, and that visuospatial deficits may directly contribute to the presence of affective ToM difficulties seen in individuals with PD.

  6. Sleep complaints affecting school performance at different educational levels.

    PubMed

    Pagel, James F; Kwiatkowski, Carol F

    2010-01-01

    The clear association between reports of sleep disturbance and poor school performance has been documented for sleepy adolescents. This study extends that research to students outside the adolescent age grouping in an associated school setting (98 middle school students, 67 high school students, and 64 college students). Reported restless legs and periodic limb movements are significantly associated with lower GPA's in junior high students. Consistent with previous studies, daytime sleepiness was the sleep variable most likely to negatively affects high school students. Sleep onset and maintenance insomnia were the reported sleep variables significantly correlated with poorer school performance in college students. This study indicates that different sleep disorder variables negatively affect performance at different age and educational levels.

  7. 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

  8. Comparing the Predictive Value of Multiple Cognitive, Affective, and Motor Tasks after Rodent Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Loane, David J.; Murray, Michael G.; Stoica, Bogdan A.; Faden, Alan I.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) is a widely-used, clinically-relevant model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although functional outcomes have been used for years in this model, little work has been done to compare the predictive value of various cognitive and sensorimotor assessment tests, singly or in combination. Such information would be particularly useful for assessing mechanisms of injury or therapeutic interventions. Following isoflurane anesthesia, C57BL/6 mice were subjected to sham, mild (5.0 m/sec), moderate (6.0 m/sec), or severe (7.5 m/sec) CCI. A battery of behavioral tests were evaluated and compared, including the standard Morris water maze (sMWM), reversal Morris water maze (rMWM), novel object recognition (NOR), passive avoidance (PA), tail-suspension (TS), beam walk (BW), and open-field locomotor activity. The BW task, performed at post-injury days (PID) 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28, showed good discrimination as a function of injury severity. The sMWM and rMWM tests (PID 14–23), as well as NOR (PID 24 and 25), effectively discriminated spatial and novel object learning and memory across injury severity levels. Notably, the rMWM showed the greatest separation between mild and moderate/severe injury. PA (PID 27 and 28) and TS (PID 24) also reflected differences across injury levels, but to a lesser degree. We also compared individual functional measures with histological outcomes such as lesion volume and neuronal cell loss across anatomical regions. In addition, we created a novel composite behavioral score index from individual complementary behavioral scores, and it provided superior discrimination across injury severities compared to individual tests. In summary, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using a larger number of complementary functional outcome behavioral tests than those traditionally employed to follow post-traumatic recovery after TBI, and suggests that the composite score may be a helpful tool for

  9. Comparing the predictive value of multiple cognitive, affective, and motor tasks after rodent traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zaorui; Loane, David J; Murray, Michael G; Stoica, Bogdan A; Faden, Alan I

    2012-10-10

    Controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) is a widely-used, clinically-relevant model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although functional outcomes have been used for years in this model, little work has been done to compare the predictive value of various cognitive and sensorimotor assessment tests, singly or in combination. Such information would be particularly useful for assessing mechanisms of injury or therapeutic interventions. Following isoflurane anesthesia, C57BL/6 mice were subjected to sham, mild (5.0 m/sec), moderate (6.0 m/sec), or severe (7.5 m/sec) CCI. A battery of behavioral tests were evaluated and compared, including the standard Morris water maze (sMWM), reversal Morris water maze (rMWM), novel object recognition (NOR), passive avoidance (PA), tail-suspension (TS), beam walk (BW), and open-field locomotor activity. The BW task, performed at post-injury days (PID) 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28, showed good discrimination as a function of injury severity. The sMWM and rMWM tests (PID 14-23), as well as NOR (PID 24 and 25), effectively discriminated spatial and novel object learning and memory across injury severity levels. Notably, the rMWM showed the greatest separation between mild and moderate/severe injury. PA (PID 27 and 28) and TS (PID 24) also reflected differences across injury levels, but to a lesser degree. We also compared individual functional measures with histological outcomes such as lesion volume and neuronal cell loss across anatomical regions. In addition, we created a novel composite behavioral score index from individual complementary behavioral scores, and it provided superior discrimination across injury severities compared to individual tests. In summary, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using a larger number of complementary functional outcome behavioral tests than those traditionally employed to follow post-traumatic recovery after TBI, and suggests that the composite score may be a helpful tool for screening

  10. 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.

  11. Muscle and Liver Carbohydrates: Response to Military Task Performance by Women and Men

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-10-01

    task. These differences are the result of women having to work harder to perform the same task. Female menstrual cycle phase may have an effect upon...is directly related to its size. The female musculature is generally smaller than that of males, and as a result, the mean lifting strength in women ...the female population there is a trend toward increasingly harder work (Figure 2 & Figure 3). We conclude that both men and women distribute a prolonged

  12. The cortisol awakening response is associated with performance of a serial sequence reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Hodyl, Nicolette A; Schneider, Luke; Vallence, Ann-Maree; Clow, Angela; Ridding, Michael C; Pitcher, Julia B

    2016-02-01

    There is emerging evidence of a relationship between the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The aim of this study was to determine whether the CAR is associated with acquisition, retention and overnight consolidation or improvement of a serial sequence reaction time task. Salivary samples were collected at 0, 15, 30 and 45 min after awakening in 39 healthy adults on 2 consecutive days. The serial sequence reaction time task was repeated each afternoon. Participants completed the perceived stress scale and provided salivary samples prior to testing for cortisol assessment. While the magnitude of the CAR (Z score) was not associated with either baseline performance or the timed improvement during task acquisition of the serial sequence task, a positive correlation was observed with reaction times during the stable performance phase on day 1 (r=0.373, p=0.019). Residuals derived from the relationship between baseline and stable phase reaction times on day 1 were used as a surrogate for the degree of learning: these residuals were also correlated with the CAR mean increase on day 1 (r=0.357, p=0.048). Task performance on day 2 was not associated with the CAR obtained on this same day. No association was observed between the perceived stress score, cortisol at testing or task performance. These data indicate that a smaller CAR in healthy adults is associated with a greater degree of learning and faster performance of a serial sequence reaction time task. These results support recognition of the CAR as an important factor contributing to cognitive performance throughout the day.

  13. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  14. 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

  15. Task Integration Facilitates Multitasking

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Rita F.; Raab, Markus; Hegele, Mathias; Schorer, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration. PMID:28360878

  16. Task Integration Facilitates Multitasking.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Rita F; Raab, Markus; Hegele, Mathias; Schorer, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration.

  17. Effects of task autonomy on performance: an extended model considering motivational, informational, and structural mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Langfred, Claus W; Moye, Neta A

    2004-12-01

    A model explaining the relationship between task autonomy and performance is proposed that incorporates 3 different causal mechanisms. The performance benefits of task autonomy may be realized by increased motivation (motivational mechanisms), by capitalization of information asymmetries (informational mechanisms), or by better alignment with task and organizational structures (structural mechanisms). Further, it is proposed that these performance benefits are moderated by a variety of variables ranging from individual traits to organizational design. This model may provide a means for accounting for the sometimes inconsistent findings in the empirical literature exploring the relationship between autonomy and performance. The model also offers guidance in the search for additional boundary conditions as well as prescriptive guidelines for the allocation of autonomy in practice.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of slanted ergonomic mice on task performance and subjective responses.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kihyo

    2014-05-01

    The biomechanical benefits (e.g., muscular activity) of slanted ergonomic mice have been comprehensively identified; however, their effects on task performance and subjective responses have not been fully investigated. The present study examined the effects of two slanted mice (slant angle = 30° and 50°) in comparison with a conventional mouse (slant angle = 0°) in terms of task performance (task completion time and error rate) and subjective responses (perceived discomfort score and overall satisfaction score). Experimental results showed that all of the task and subjective measures worsened as the slant angle of the target mice increases. For example, the task completion time (unit: ms) and overall satisfaction score (unit: point) of the 30° slanted mouse (time = 0.71, satisfaction = -0.09) and 50° slanted mouse (time = 0.73, satisfaction = -0.79) significantly deteriorated than the conventional mouse (time = 0.65, satisfaction = 1.21). The slanted mice seem to compromise biomechanical benefits with task performance and subjective responses.