Liu, Ping; Forte, Jason; Sewell, David; Carter, Olivia
Contrast-based early visual processing has largely been considered to involve autonomous processes that do not need the support of cognitive resources. However, as spatial attention is known to modulate early visual perceptual processing, we explored whether cognitive load could similarly impact contrast-based perception. We used a dual-task paradigm to assess the impact of a concurrent working memory task on the performance of three different early visual tasks. The results from Experiment 1 suggest that cognitive load can modulate early visual processing. No effects of cognitive load were seen in Experiments 2 or 3. Together, the findings provide evidence that under some circumstances cognitive load effects can penetrate the early stages of visual processing and that higher cognitive function and early perceptual processing may not be as independent as was once thought.
Jabar, Syaheed B; Filipowicz, Alex; Anderson, Britt
Probable stimuli are more often and more quickly detected. While stimulus probability is known to affect decision-making, it can also be explained as a perceptual phenomenon. Using spatial gratings, we have previously shown that probable orientations are also more precisely estimated, even while participants remained naive to the manipulation. We conducted an electrophysiological study to investigate the effect that probability has on perception and visual-evoked potentials. In line with previous studies on oddballs and stimulus prevalence, low-probability orientations were associated with a greater late positive 'P300' component which might be related to either surprise or decision-making. However, the early 'C1' component, thought to reflect V1 processing, was dampened for high-probability orientations while later P1 and N1 components were unaffected. Exploratory analyses revealed a participant-level correlation between C1 and P300 amplitudes, suggesting a link between perceptual processing and decision-making. We discuss how these probability effects could be indicative of sharpening of neurons preferring the probable orientations, due either to perceptual learning, or to feature-based attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sanders, Lisa D; Astheimer, Lori B
Some of the most important information we encounter changes so rapidly that our perceptual systems cannot process all of it in detail. Spatially selective attention is critical for perception when more information than can be processed in detail is presented simultaneously at distinct locations. When presented with complex, rapidly changing information, listeners may need to selectively attend to specific times rather than to locations. We present evidence that listeners can direct selective attention to time points that differ by as little as 500 msec, and that doing so improves target detection, affects baseline neural activity preceding stimulus presentation, and modulates auditory evoked potentials at a perceptually early stage. These data demonstrate that attentional modulation of early perceptual processing is temporally precise and that listeners can flexibly allocate temporally selective attention over short intervals, making it a viable mechanism for preferentially processing the most relevant segments in rapidly changing streams.
Lee, Kang; Quinn, Paul C; Pascalis, Olivier
Infants have asymmetrical exposure to different types of faces (e.g., more human than other-species, more female than male, and more own-race than other-race). What are the developmental consequences of such experiential asymmetry? Here we review recent advances in research on the development of cross-race face processing. The evidence suggests that greater exposure to own- than other-race faces in infancy leads to developmentally early perceptual differences in visual preference, recognition, category formation, and scanning of own- and other-race faces. Further, such perceptual differences in infancy may be associated with the emergence of implicit racial bias, consistent with a Perceptual-Social Linkage Hypothesis. Current and future work derived from this hypothesis may lay an important empirical foundation for the development of intervention programs to combat the early occurrence of implicit racial bias.
van Dantzig, Saskia; Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, Rene; Barsalou, Lawrence W.
According to the Perceptual Symbols Theory of cognition (Barsalou, 1999), modality-specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. A strong prediction of this view is that perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. In this study, participants performed a perceptual detection task and a conceptual property-verification task…
Van Dantzig, Saskia; Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, René; Barsalou, Lawrence W
According to the Perceptual Symbols Theory of cognition (Barsalou, 1999), modality-specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. A strong prediction of this view is that perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. In this study, participants performed a perceptual detection task and a conceptual property-verification task in alternation. Responses on the property-verification task were slower for those trials that were preceded by a perceptual trial in a different modality than for those that were preceded by a perceptual trial in the same modality. This finding of a modality-switch effect across perceptual processing and conceptual processing supports the hypothesis that perceptual and conceptual representations are partially based on the same systems. 2008 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Rungratsameetaweemana, Nuttida; Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Salazar, Annalisa; Serences, John T
Two factors play important roles in shaping perception: the allocation of selective attention to behaviorally relevant sensory features, and prior expectations about regularities in the environment. Signal detection theory proposes distinct roles of attention and expectation on decision-making such that attention modulates early sensory processing, whereas expectation influences the selection and execution of motor responses. Challenging this classic framework, recent studies suggest that expectations about sensory regularities enhance the encoding and accumulation of sensory evidence during decision-making. However, it is possible, that these findings reflect well documented attentional modulations in visual cortex. Here, we tested this framework in a group of male and female human participants by examining how expectations about stimulus features (orientation and color) and expectations about motor responses impacted electroencephalography (EEG) markers of early sensory processing and the accumulation of sensory evidence during decision-making (the early visual negative potential and the centro-parietal positive potential, respectively). We first demonstrate that these markers are sensitive to changes in the amount of sensory evidence in the display. Then we show, counter to recent findings, that neither marker is modulated by either feature or motor expectations, despite a robust effect of expectations on behavior. Instead, violating expectations about likely sensory features and motor responses impacts posterior alpha and frontal theta oscillations, signals thought to index overall processing time and cognitive conflict. These findings are inconsistent with recent theoretical accounts and suggest instead that expectations primarily influence decisions by modulating post-perceptual stages of information processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Expectations about likely features or motor responses play an important role in shaping behavior. Classic theoretical
Ratcliff, & Wagenmakers, in press). Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and...estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster...third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the
Schira, Mark M; Fahle, Manfred; Donner, Tobias H; Kraft, Antje; Brandt, Stephan A
We investigated contour processing and figure-ground detection within human retinotopic areas using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 6 healthy and naïve subjects. A figure (6 degrees side length) was created by a 2nd-order texture contour. An independent and demanding foveal letter-discrimination task prevented subjects from noticing this more peripheral contour stimulus. The contour subdivided our stimulus into a figure and a ground. Using localizers and retinotopic mapping stimuli we were able to subdivide each early visual area into 3 eccentricity regions corresponding to 1) the central figure, 2) the area along the contour, and 3) the background. In these subregions we investigated the hemodynamic responses to our stimuli and compared responses with or without the contour defining the figure. No contour-related blood oxygenation level-dependent modulation in early visual areas V1, V3, VP, and MT+ was found. Significant signal modulation in the contour subregions of V2v, V2d, V3a, and LO occurred. This activation pattern was different from comparable studies, which might be attributable to the letter-discrimination task reducing confounding attentional modulation. In V3a, but not in any other retinotopic area, signal modulation corresponding to the central figure could be detected. Such contextual modulation will be discussed in light of the recurrent processing hypothesis and the role of visual awareness.
Huang, Tsan; Johnson, Keith
This study investigated the phenomenon of language-specificity in Mandarin Chinese tone perception. The main question was whether linguistic experience affects the earliest levels of perceptual processing of tones. Chinese and American English listeners participated in four perception experiments, which involved short inter-stimulus intervals (300 ms or 100 ms) and an AX discrimination or AX degree-of-difference rating task. Three experiments used natural speech monosyllabic tone stimuli and one experiment used time-varying sinusoidal simulations of Mandarin tones. AE listeners showed psychoacoustic listening in all experiments, paying much attention to onset and offset pitch. Chinese listeners showed language-specific patterns in all experiments to various degrees, where tonal neutralization rules reduced perceptual distance between two otherwise contrastive tones for Chinese listeners. Since these experiments employed procedures hypothesized to tap the auditory trace mode (Pisoni, Percept. Psychophys. 13, 253-260 (1973)], language-specificity found in this study seems to support the proposal of an auditory cortical map [Guenther et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 23, 213-221 (1999)]. But the model needs refining to account for different degrees of language-specificity, which are better handled by Johnsons (2004, TLS03:26-41) lexical distance model, although the latter model is too rigid in assuming that linguistic experience does not affect low-level perceptual tasks such as AX discrimination with short ISIs.
Louwerse, Max; Hutchinson, Sterling
There is increasing evidence from response time experiments that language statistics and perceptual simulations both play a role in conceptual processing. In an EEG experiment we compared neural activity in cortical regions commonly associated with linguistic processing and visual perceptual processing to determine to what extent symbolic and embodied accounts of cognition applied. Participants were asked to determine the semantic relationship of word pairs (e.g., sky – ground) or to determine their iconic relationship (i.e., if the presentation of the pair matched their expected physical relationship). A linguistic bias was found toward the semantic judgment task and a perceptual bias was found toward the iconicity judgment task. More importantly, conceptual processing involved activation in brain regions associated with both linguistic and perceptual processes. When comparing the relative activation of linguistic cortical regions with perceptual cortical regions, the effect sizes for linguistic cortical regions were larger than those for the perceptual cortical regions early in a trial with the reverse being true later in a trial. These results map upon findings from other experimental literature and provide further evidence that processing of concept words relies both on language statistics and on perceptual simulations, whereby linguistic processes precede perceptual simulation processes. PMID:23133427
Louwerse, Max; Hutchinson, Sterling
There is increasing evidence from response time experiments that language statistics and perceptual simulations both play a role in conceptual processing. In an EEG experiment we compared neural activity in cortical regions commonly associated with linguistic processing and visual perceptual processing to determine to what extent symbolic and embodied accounts of cognition applied. Participants were asked to determine the semantic relationship of word pairs (e.g., sky - ground) or to determine their iconic relationship (i.e., if the presentation of the pair matched their expected physical relationship). A linguistic bias was found toward the semantic judgment task and a perceptual bias was found toward the iconicity judgment task. More importantly, conceptual processing involved activation in brain regions associated with both linguistic and perceptual processes. When comparing the relative activation of linguistic cortical regions with perceptual cortical regions, the effect sizes for linguistic cortical regions were larger than those for the perceptual cortical regions early in a trial with the reverse being true later in a trial. These results map upon findings from other experimental literature and provide further evidence that processing of concept words relies both on language statistics and on perceptual simulations, whereby linguistic processes precede perceptual simulation processes.
Hirschfeld, Gerrit; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Dobel, Christian
We investigated whether and when information conveyed by spoken language impacts on the processing of visually presented objects. In contrast to traditional views, grounded-cognition posits direct links between language comprehension and perceptual processing. We used a magnetoencephalographic cross-modal priming paradigm to disentangle these…
Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca; Heaton, Pamela
Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested…
Klemen, J; Büchel, C; Rose, M
According to perceptual load theory, processing of task-irrelevant stimuli is limited by the perceptual load of a parallel attended task if both the task and the irrelevant stimuli are presented to the same sensory modality. However, it remains a matter of debate whether the same principles apply to cross-sensory perceptual load and, more generally, what form cross-sensory attentional modulation in early perceptual areas takes in humans. Here we addressed these questions using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants undertook an auditory one-back working memory task of low or high perceptual load, while concurrently viewing task-irrelevant images at one of three object visibility levels. The processing of the visual and auditory stimuli was measured in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) and auditory cortex (AC), respectively. Cross-sensory interference with sensory processing was observed in both the LOC and AC, in accordance with previous results of unisensory perceptual load studies. The present neuroimaging results therefore warrant the extension of perceptual load theory from a unisensory to a cross-sensory context: a validation of this cross-sensory interference effect through behavioural measures would consolidate the findings.
Long, Bria; Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A
While substantial work has focused on how the visual system achieves basic-level recognition, less work has asked about how it supports large-scale distinctions between objects, such as animacy and real-world size. Previous work has shown that these dimensions are reflected in our neural object representations (Konkle & Caramazza, 2013), and that objects of different real-world sizes have different mid-level perceptual features (Long, Konkle, Cohen, & Alvarez, 2016). Here, we test the hypothesis that animates and manmade objects also differ in mid-level perceptual features. To do so, we generated synthetic images of animals and objects that preserve some texture and form information ("texforms"), but are not identifiable at the basic level. We used visual search efficiency as an index of perceptual similarity, as search is slower when targets are perceptually similar to distractors. Across three experiments, we find that observers can find animals faster among objects than among other animals, and vice versa, and that these results hold when stimuli are reduced to unrecognizable texforms. Electrophysiological evidence revealed that this mixed-animacy search advantage emerges during early stages of target individuation, and not during later stages associated with semantic processing. Lastly, we find that perceived curvature explains part of the mixed-animacy search advantage and that observers use perceived curvature to classify texforms as animate/inanimate. Taken together, these findings suggest that mid-level perceptual features, including curvature, contain cues to whether an object may be animate versus manmade. We propose that the visual system capitalizes on these early cues to facilitate object detection, recognition, and classification.
Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P
Specialized, bimodal neural systems integrate visual and tactile information in the space near the hand. Here, we show that visuo-tactile representations allow attention to influence early perceptual processing, namely, figure-ground assignment. Regions that were reached toward were more likely than other regions to be assigned as foreground figures, and hand position competed with image-based information to bias figure-ground assignment. Our findings suggest that hand position allows attention to influence visual perceptual processing and that visual processes typically viewed as unimodal can be influenced by bimodal visuo-tactile representations.
Green, Amity E; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Johnston, Patrick J; Nathan, Pradeep J; Kulkarni, Jayashri; Croft, Rodney J
Schizophrenia is characterised by significant episodic memory impairment that is thought to be related to problems with encoding, however the neuro-functional mechanisms underlying these deficits are not well understood. The present study used a subsequent recognition memory paradigm and event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate temporal aspects of episodic memory encoding deficits in schizophrenia. Electroencephalographic data was recorded in 24 patients and 19 healthy controls whilst participants categorised single words as pleasant/unpleasant. ERPs were generated to subsequently recognised versus unrecognised words on the basis of a forced-choice recognition memory task. Subsequent memory effects were examined with the late positive component (LPP). Group differences in N1, P2, N400 and LPP were examined for words correctly recognised. Patients performed more poorly than controls on the recognition task. During encoding patients had significantly reduced N400 and LPP amplitudes than controls. LPP amplitude correlated with task performance however amplitudes did not differ between patients and controls as a function of subsequent memory. No significant differences in N1 or P2 amplitude or latency were observed. The present results indicate that early sensory processes are intact and dysfunctional higher order cognitive processes during encoding are contributing to episodic memory impairments in schizophrenia.
Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Beck, Jeffrey M; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Pouget, Alexandre
Extensive training on simple tasks such as fine orientation discrimination results in large improvements in performance, a form of learning known as perceptual learning. Previous models have argued that perceptual learning is due to either sharpening and amplification of tuning curves in early visual areas or to improved probabilistic inference in later visual areas (at the decision stage). However, early theories are inconsistent with the conclusions of psychophysical experiments manipulating external noise, whereas late theories cannot explain the changes in neural responses that have been reported in cortical areas V1 and V4. Here we show that we can capture both the neurophysiological and behavioral aspects of perceptual learning by altering only the feedforward connectivity in a recurrent network of spiking neurons so as to improve probabilistic inference in early visual areas. The resulting network shows modest changes in tuning curves, in line with neurophysiological reports, along with a marked reduction in the amplitude of pairwise noise correlations.
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children. PMID:27106318
Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P
A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions.
Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.
A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions. PMID:26666393
Sand, Anders; Wiens, Stefan
As researchers debate whether emotional pictures can be processed irrespective of spatial attention and perceptual load, negative and neutral pictures of simple figure-ground composition were shown at fixation and were surrounded by one, two, or three letters. When participants performed a picture discrimination task, there was evidence for motivated attention; that is, an early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) to negative versus neutral pictures. When participants performed a letter discrimination task, the EPN was unaffected whereas the LPP was reduced. Although performance decreased substantially with the number of letters (one to three), the LPP did not decrease further. Therefore, attention to simple, negative pictures at fixation seems to resist manipulations of perceptual load.
Cratty, Bryant J.
Addressed to elementary school and special class teachers, the text presents research-based information on perceptual-motor behavior and education, including movement and the human personality, research guidelines, and movement activities in general education. Special education is considered and perceptual motor abilities are discussed with…
Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Quinn, Paul C.
Bhatt and Quinn (2011) review evidence indicating that learning plays a powerful role in the development of perceptual organization, and provide a theoretical framework for studying this process. The fact that prominent researchers in diverse areas of cognitive development and adult cognition have commented on this paper (Aslin, 2011; Goldstone,…
Salari, Neda; Büchel, Christian; Rose, Michael
In this study, a noninvasive electroencephalography-based neurofeedback method is applied to train volunteers to deliberately increase gamma band oscillations (40 Hz) in the visual cortex. Gamma band oscillations in the visual cortex play a functional role in perceptual processing. In a previous study, we were able to demonstrate that gamma band oscillations prior to stimulus presentation have a significant influence on perceptual processing of visual stimuli. In the present study, we aimed to investigate longer lasting effects of gamma band neurofeedback training on perceptual processing. For this purpose, a feedback group was trained to modulate oscillations in the gamma band, while a control group participated in a task with an identical design setting but without gamma band feedback. Before and after training, both groups participated in a perceptual object detection task and a spatial attention task. Our results clearly revealed that only the feedback group but not the control group exhibited a visual processing advantage and an increase in oscillatory gamma band activity in the pre-stimulus period of the processing of the visual object stimuli after the neurofeedback training. Results of the spatial attention task showed no difference between the groups, which underlines the specific role of gamma band oscillations for perceptual processing. In summary, our results show that modulation of gamma band activity selectively affects perceptual processing and therefore supports the relevant role of gamma band activity for this specific process. Furthermore, our results demonstrate the eligibility of gamma band oscillations as a valuable tool for neurofeedback applications.
Baumann, Oliver; Borra, Ronald J; Bower, James M; Cullen, Kathleen E; Habas, Christophe; Ivry, Richard B; Leggio, Maria; Mattingley, Jason B; Molinari, Marco; Moulton, Eric A; Paulin, Michael G; Pavlova, Marina A; Schmahmann, Jeremy D; Sokolov, Arseny A
Various lines of evidence accumulated over the past 30 years indicate that the cerebellum, long recognized as essential for motor control, also has considerable influence on perceptual processes. In this paper, we bring together experts from psychology and neuroscience, with the aim of providing a succinct but comprehensive overview of key findings related to the involvement of the cerebellum in sensory perception. The contributions cover such topics as anatomical and functional connectivity, evolutionary and comparative perspectives, visual and auditory processing, biological motion perception, nociception, self-motion, timing, predictive processing, and perceptual sequencing. While no single explanation has yet emerged concerning the role of the cerebellum in perceptual processes, this consensus paper summarizes the impressive empirical evidence on this problem and highlights diversities as well as commonalities between existing hypotheses. In addition to work with healthy individuals and patients with cerebellar disorders, it is also apparent that several neurological conditions in which perceptual disturbances occur, including autism and schizophrenia, are associated with cerebellar pathology. A better understanding of the involvement of the cerebellum in perceptual processes will thus likely be important for identifying and treating perceptual deficits that may at present go unnoticed and untreated. This paper provides a useful framework for further debate and empirical investigations into the influence of the cerebellum on sensory perception.
Mackenzie, Ian G.; Leuthold, Hartmut
Oriet and Jolicoeur (2003) proposed that an endogenous task-set reconfiguration process acts as a hard bottleneck during which even early perceptual processing is impossible. We examined this assumption using a psychophysiological approach. Participants were required to switch between magnitude and parity judgment tasks within a predictable task…
Coolican, Jamesie; Eskes, Gail A.; McMullen, Patricia A.; Lecky, Erin
Normal observers demonstrate a bias to process the left sides of faces during perceptual judgments about identity or emotion. This effect suggests a right cerebral hemisphere processing bias. To test the role of the right hemisphere and the involvement of configural processing underlying this effect, young and older control observers and patients…
Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Ling, Sam; Swisher, Jascha D.; van Bergen, Ruben S.; Tong, Frank
Although practice has long been known to improve perceptual performance, the neural basis of this improvement in humans remains unclear. Using fMRI in conjunction with a novel signal detection-based analysis, we show that extensive practice selectively enhances the neural representation of trained orientations in the human visual cortex. Twelve observers practiced discriminating small changes in the orientation of a laterally presented grating over 20 or more daily one-hour training sessions. Training on average led to a two-fold improvement in discrimination sensitivity, specific to the trained orientation and the trained location, with minimal improvement found for untrained orthogonal orientations or for orientations presented in the untrained hemifield. We measured the strength of orientation-selective responses in individual voxels in early visual areas (V1–V4) using signal detection measures, both pre- and post-training. Although the overall amplitude of the BOLD response was no greater after training, practice nonetheless specifically enhanced the neural representation of the trained orientation at the trained location. This training-specific enhancement of orientation-selective responses was observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as higher extrastriate visual areas V2–V4, and moreover, reliably predicted individual differences in the behavioral effects of perceptual learning. These results demonstrate that extensive training can lead to targeted functional reorganization of the human visual cortex, refining the cortical representation of behaviorally relevant information. PMID:23175828
Jehee, Janneke F M; Ling, Sam; Swisher, Jascha D; van Bergen, Ruben S; Tong, Frank
Although practice has long been known to improve perceptual performance, the neural basis of this improvement in humans remains unclear. Using fMRI in conjunction with a novel signal detection-based analysis, we show that extensive practice selectively enhances the neural representation of trained orientations in the human visual cortex. Twelve observers practiced discriminating small changes in the orientation of a laterally presented grating over 20 or more daily 1 h training sessions. Training on average led to a twofold improvement in discrimination sensitivity, specific to the trained orientation and the trained location, with minimal improvement found for untrained orthogonal orientations or for orientations presented in the untrained hemifield. We measured the strength of orientation-selective responses in individual voxels in early visual areas (V1-V4) using signal detection measures, both before and after training. Although the overall amplitude of the BOLD response was no greater after training, practice nonetheless specifically enhanced the neural representation of the trained orientation at the trained location. This training-specific enhancement of orientation-selective responses was observed in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as higher extrastriate visual areas V2-V4, and moreover, reliably predicted individual differences in the behavioral effects of perceptual learning. These results demonstrate that extensive training can lead to targeted functional reorganization of the human visual cortex, refining the cortical representation of behaviorally relevant information.
Watkins, P C; Martin, C K; Stern, L D
Mood-congruent memory (MCM) bias in depression was investigated using 4 different implicit memory tests. Two of the implicit tests were perceptually driven, and 2 were conceptually driven. Depressed participants and nondepressed controls were assigned to 1 of 4 implicit memory tests after studying positive and negative adjectives. Results showed no MCM bias in the perceptually driven tests. MCM was demonstrated in 1 of the conceptually driven tests, but only for adjectives that were conceptually encoded. Results support the theory that mood-congruent processes in depression are limited to conceptual processing. However, activation of conceptual processes may not be sufficient for demonstrating mood congruency.
Uhlhaas, Peter J; Phillips, William A; Schenkel, Lindsay S; Silverstein, Steven M
A series of studies have suggested that schizophrenia patients are deficient in theory of mind (ToM). However, the cognitive mechanisms underlying ToM deficits in schizophrenia are largely unknown. The present study examined the hypothesis that impaired ToM in schizophrenia can be understood as a deficit in context processing. Disorganised schizophrenia patients (N = 12), nondisorganised schizophrenia patients (N = 36), and nonpsychotic psychiatric patients (N = 26) were tested on three ToM tasks and a visual size perception task, a measure of perceptual context processing. In addition, statistical analyses were carried out which compared chronic, treatment-refractory schizophrenia patients (N = 28) to those with an episodic course of illness (N = 20). Overall, ToM performance was linked to deficits in context processing in schizophrenia patients. Statistical comparisons showed that disorganised as well as chronic schizophrenia patients were more impaired in ToM but more accurate in a visual size perception task where perceptual context is misleading. This pattern of results is interpreted as indicating a possible link between deficits in ToM and perceptual context processing, which together with deficits in perceptual grouping, are part of a broader dysfunction in cognitive coordination in schizophrenia.
Bradley, Margaret M.; Lang, Peter J.
During rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), the perceptual system is confronted with a rapidly changing array of sensory information demanding resolution. At rapid rates of presentation, previous studies have found an early (e.g., 150–280 ms) negativity over occipital sensors that is enhanced when emotional, as compared with neutral, pictures are viewed, suggesting facilitated perception. In the present study, we explored how picture composition and the presence of people in the image affect perceptual processing of pictures of natural scenes. Using RSVP, pictures that differed in perceptual composition (figure–ground or scenes), content (presence of people or not), and emotional content (emotionally arousing or neutral) were presented in a continuous stream for 330 ms each with no intertrial interval. In both subject and picture analyses, all three variables affected the amplitude of occipital negativity, with the greatest enhancement for figure–ground compositions (as compared with scenes), irrespective of content and emotional arousal, supporting an interpretation that ease of perceptual processing is associated with enhanced occipital negativity. Viewing emotional pictures prompted enhanced negativity only for pictures that depicted people, suggesting that specific features of emotionally arousing images are associated with facilitated perceptual processing, rather than all emotional content. PMID:23780520
Dreben, E K; Fryer, J H; McNair, D M
Schizophrenic patients (n = 20), depressive patients (n = 20), and normal adults (n = 20) were compared on global vs local analyses of perceptual information using tachistoscopic tasks and on top-down vs bottom-up conceptual processing using card-sort tasks. The schizophrenic group performed more poorly on tasks requiring either global analyses (counting lines when distracting circles were present) or top-down conceptual processing (rule learning) than they did on tasks requiring local analyses (counting heterogeneous lines) or bottom-up processing (attribute identification). The schizophrenic group appeared not to use conceptually guided processing. Normal adults showed the reverse pattern. The depressive group performed similarly to the schizophrenic group on perceptual tasks but closer to the normal group on conceptual tasks, thereby appearing to be less dependent on a particular information-processing strategy. These deficits in organizational strategy may be related to the use of available processing resources as well as the allocation of attention.
Bowd, Alan D.
Kindergarten children were administered tests of inductive reasoning and field dependence and a series of perceptual egocentrism tasks. Results confirm a positive relation between field dependence and perceptual egocentrism; they also question the validity of the field-dependence construct in early childhood. (GO)
Bacon, William; Johnston, James C.; Remington, Roger W.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
Shiu and Pashler (1993) reported that precueing masked, single-element displays had negligible effects on identification accuracy. They argued that spatial attention does not actually enhance stimulus perceptibility, but only reduces decision noise. Alternatively, such negative results may arise if cues are sub-optimal, or if masks place an insufficient premium on timely deployment of attention. We report results showing that valid cueing enhances processing of even single-element displays. Spatial attention does indeed enhance perceptual processes.
Heisz, Jennifer J.; Shedden, Judith M.
Face processing changes when a face is learned with personally relevant information. In a five-day learning paradigm, faces were presented with rich semantic stories that conveyed personal information about the faces. Event-related potentials were recorded before and after learning during a passive viewing task. When faces were novel, we observed…
Samson, Hélène; Fiori-Duharcourt, Nicole; Doré-Mazars, Karine; Lemoine, Christelle; Vergilino-Perez, Dorine
Previous studies have demonstrated a left perceptual bias while looking at faces, due to the fact that observers mainly use information from the left side of a face (from the observer's point of view) to perform a judgment task. Such a bias is consistent with the right hemisphere dominance for face processing and has sometimes been linked to a left gaze bias, i.e. more and/or longer fixations on the left side of the face. Here, we recorded eye-movements, in two different experiments during a gender judgment task, using normal and chimeric faces which were presented above, below, right or left to the central fixation point or on it (central position). Participants performed the judgment task by remaining fixated on the fixation point or after executing several saccades (up to three). A left perceptual bias was not systematically found as it depended on the number of allowed saccades and face position. Moreover, the gaze bias clearly depended on the face position as the initial fixation was guided by face position and landed on the closest half-face, toward the center of gravity of the face. The analysis of the subsequent fixations revealed that observers move their eyes from one side to the other. More importantly, no apparent link between gaze and perceptual biases was found here. This implies that we do not look necessarily toward the side of the face that we use to make a gender judgment task. Despite the fact that these results may be limited by the absence of perceptual and gaze biases in some conditions, we emphasized the inter-individual differences observed in terms of perceptual bias, hinting at the importance of performing individual analysis and drawing attention to the influence of the method used to study this bias. PMID:24454927
In 3 experiments, the effects of perceptual manipulations on recollective experience were tested. In Experiment 1, a picture-superiority effect was obtained for overall recognition and Remember judgements in a picture recognition task. In Experiment 2, size changes of pictorial stimuli across study and test reduced recognition memory and Remember judgements. In Experiment 3, deleterious effects of changes in left-right orientation of pictorial stimuli across study and test were obtained for Remember judgements. An alternate framework that emphasizes a distinctiveness-fluency processing distinction is proposed to account for these findings because they cannot easily be accommodated within the existing account of differences in conceptual and perceptual processing for the 2 categories of recollective experience: Remembering and Knowing, respectively (J. M. Gardiner, 1988; S. Rajaram, 1993).
Wang, Fang; Huang, Jing; Lv, Yaping; Ma, Xiaoli; Yang, Bin; Wang, Encong; Du, Boqi; Li, Wu; Song, Yan
Visual perceptual learning has been shown to be highly specific to the retinotopic location and attributes of the trained stimulus. Recent psychophysical studies suggest that these specificities, which have been associated with early retinotopic visual cortex, may in fact not be inherent in perceptual learning and could be related to higher-order brain functions. Here we provide direct electrophysiological evidence in support of this proposition. In a series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments, we recorded high-density electroencephalography (EEG) from human adults over the course of learning in a texture discrimination task (TDT). The results consistently showed that the earliest C1 component (68-84ms), known to reflect V1 activity driven by feedforward inputs, was not modulated by learning regardless of whether the behavioral improvement is location specific or not. In contrast, two later posterior ERP components (posterior P1 and P160-350) over the occipital cortex and one anterior ERP component (anterior P160-350) over the prefrontal cortex were progressively modified day by day. Moreover, the change of the anterior component was closely correlated with improved behavioral performance on a daily basis. Consistent with recent psychophysical and imaging observations, our results indicate that perceptual learning can mainly involve changes in higher-level visual cortex as well as in the neural networks responsible for cognitive functions such as attention and decision making. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mevorach, Carmel; Tsal, Yehoshua; Humphreys, Glyn W
According to perceptual load theory (Lavie, 2005) distractor interference is determined by the availability of attentional resources. If target processing does not exhaust resources (with low perceptual load) distractor processing will take place resulting in interference with a primary task; however, when target processing uses-up attentional capacity (with high perceptual load) interference can be avoided. An alternative account (Tsal and Benoni, 2010a) suggests that perceptual load effects can be based on distractor dilution by the mere presence of additional neutral items in high-load displays so that the effect is not driven by the amount of attention resources required for target processing. Here we tested whether patients with unilateral neglect or extinction would show dilution effects from neutral items in their contralesional (neglected/extinguished) field, even though these items do not impose increased perceptual load on the target and at the same time attract reduced attentional resources compared to stimuli in the ipsilesional field. Thus, such items do not affect the amount of attention resources available for distractor processing. We found that contralesional neutral elements can eliminate distractor interference as strongly as centrally presented ones in neglect/extinction patients, despite contralesional items being less well attended. The data are consistent with an account in terms of perceptual dilution of distracters rather than available resources for distractor processing. We conclude that distractor dilution can underlie the elimination of distractor interference in visual displays.
Howe, Tsu-Hsin; Chen, Hao-Ling; Lee, Candy Chieh; Chen, Ying-Dar; Wang, Tien-Ni
Visual perceptual motor skills have been proposed as underlying courses of handwriting difficulties. However, there is no evaluation tool currently available to assess these skills comprehensively and to serve as a sensitive measure. The purpose of this study was to validate the Computerized Perceptual Motor Skills Assessment (CPMSA), a newly developed evaluation tool for children in early elementary grades. Its test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, discriminant validity, and responsiveness were examined in 43 typically developing children and 26 children with handwriting difficulty. The CPMSA demonstrated excellent reliability across all subtests with intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs)≥0.80. Significant moderate correlations between the domains of the CPMSA and corresponding gold standards including Beery VMI, the TVPS-3, and the eye-hand coordination subtest of the DTVP-2 demonstrated good concurrent validity. In addition, the CPMSA showed evidence of discriminant validity in samples of children with and without handwriting difficulty. This article provides evidence in support of the CPMSA. The CPMSA is a reliable, valid, and promising measure of visual perceptual motor skills for children in early elementary grades. Directions for future study and improvements to the assessment are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Schütze, M; Negoias, S; Olsson, M J; Hummel, T
Perceptual integration of sensory input from our two nostrils has received little attention in comparison to lateralized inputs for vision and hearing. Here, we investigated whether a binary odor mixture of eugenol and l-carvone (smells of cloves and caraway) would be perceived differently if presented as a mixture in one nostril (physical mixture), vs. the same two odorants in separate nostrils (dichorhinic mixture). In parallel, we investigated whether the different types of presentation resulted in differences in olfactory event-related potentials (OERP). Psychophysical ratings showed that the dichorhinic mixtures were perceived as more intense than the physical mixtures. A tendency for shift in perceived quality was also observed. In line with these perceptual changes, the OERP showed a shift in latencies and amplitudes for early (more "sensory") peaks P1 and N1 whereas no significant differences were observed for the later (more "cognitive") peak P2. The results altogether suggest that the peripheral level is a site of interaction between odorants. Both psychophysical ratings and, for the first time, electrophysiological measurements converge on this conclusion. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Andersen, Lau M; Pedersen, Michael N; Sandberg, Kristian; Overgaard, Morten
Two electrophysiological components have been extensively investigated as candidate neural correlates of perceptual consciousness: An early, occipitally realized component occurring 130-320 ms after stimulus onset and a late, frontally realized component occurring 320-510 ms after stimulus onset. Recent studies have suggested that the late component may not be uniquely related to perceptual consciousness, but also to sensory expectations, task associations, and selective attention. We conducted a magnetoencephalographic study; using multivariate analysis, we compared classification accuracies when decoding perceptual consciousness from the 2 components using sources from occipital and frontal lobes. We found that occipital sources during the early time range were significantly more accurate in decoding perceptual consciousness than frontal sources during both the early and late time ranges. These results are the first of its kind where the predictive values of the 2 components are quantitatively compared, and they provide further evidence for the primary importance of occipital sources in realizing perceptual consciousness. The results have important consequences for current theories of perceptual consciousness, especially theories emphasizing the role of frontal sources. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nikolaev, Andrey R; Gepshtein, Sergei; van Leeuwen, Cees
Perceptual learning improves visual performance. Among the plausible mechanisms of learning, reduction of perceptual bias has been studied the least. Perceptual bias may compensate for lack of stimulus information, but excessive reliance on bias diminishes visual discriminability. We investigated the time course of bias in a perceptual grouping task and studied the associated cortical dynamics in spontaneous and evoked EEG. Participants reported the perceived orientation of dot groupings in ambiguous dot lattices. Performance improved over a 1-hr period as indicated by the proportion of trials in which participants preferred dot groupings favored by dot proximity. The proximity-based responses were compromised by perceptual bias: Vertical groupings were sometimes preferred to horizontal ones, independent of dot proximity. In the evoked EEG activity, greater amplitude of the N1 component for horizontal than vertical responses indicated that the bias was most prominent in conditions of reduced visual discriminability. The prominence of bias decreased in the course of the experiment. Although the bias was still prominent, prestimulus activity was characterized by an intermittent regime of alternating modes of low and high alpha power. Responses were more biased in the former mode, indicating that perceptual bias was deployed actively to compensate for stimulus uncertainty. Thus, early stages of perceptual learning were characterized by episodes of greater reliance on prior visual preferences, alternating with episodes of receptivity to stimulus information. In the course of learning, the former episodes disappeared, and biases reappeared only infrequently.
Nelson, Michael D; Crisostomo, Marisa; Khericha, Alifiya; Russo, Francis; Thorne, Gary L
We briefly summarize two important debates regarding selective attention (early vs late selection; perceptual load vs distractor dilution). Also, we report the results of an attempt to replicate Lavie (1995, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 21 451-468). We suggest that measures capable of characterizing the capacity of information processing systems (compared to reporting only mean reaction time) could add great clarity to this literature.
Wendelken, Carter; Ditterich, Jochen; Bunge, Silvia A; Carter, Cameron S
Encoding and dealing with conflicting information is essential for successful decision making in a complex environment. In the present fMRI study, stimulus conflict and response conflict are contrasted in the context of a perceptual decision-making dot-motion discrimination task. Stimulus conflict was manipulated by varying dot-motion coherence along task-relevant and task-irrelevant dimensions. Response conflict was manipulated by varying whether or not competing stimulus dimensions provided evidence for the same or different responses. The right inferior frontal gyrus was involved specifically in the resolution of stimulus conflict, whereas the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex was shown to be sensitive to response conflict. Additionally, two regions that have been linked to perceptual decision making with dot-motion stimuli in monkey physiology studies were differentially engaged by stimulus conflict and response conflict. The middle temporal area, previously linked to processing of motion, was strongly affected by the presence of stimulus conflict. On the other hand, the superior parietal lobe, previously associated with accumulation of evidence for a response, was affected by the presence of response conflict. These results shed light on the neural mechanisms that support decision making in the presence of conflict, a cognitive operation fundamental to both basic survival and high-level cognition.
Yang, Suyong; Luo, Wenbo; Zhu, Xiangru; Broster, Lucas S; Chen, Taolin; Li, Jinzhen; Luo, Yuejia
In this study, event-related potentials were used to investigate the effect of emotion on response inhibition. Participants performed an emotional go/no-go task that required responses to human faces associated with a "go" valence (i.e., emotional, neutral) and response inhibition to human faces associated with a "no-go" valence. Emotional content impaired response inhibition, as evidenced by decreased response accuracy and N2 amplitudes in no-go trials. More importantly, emotional expressions elicited larger N170 amplitudes than neutral expressions, and this effect was larger in no-go than in go trials, indicating that the perceptual processing of emotional expression had priority in inhibitory trials. In no-go trials, correlation analysis showed that increased N170 amplitudes were associated with decreased N2 amplitudes. Taken together, our findings suggest that emotional content impairs response inhibition due to the prioritization of emotional content processing. Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Demany, L; Armand, F
It has often been advanced that pitch is a two-dimensional perceptual attribute, its two dimensions being: (1) tone height, a perceptual quality monotonically related to frequency; and (2) tone chroma, a quality shared by tones forming an octave interval. However, given that many musically uneducated adults do not seem to perceive tone chroma, this model is controversial. We investigated the sensitivity of three-month-old infants to tone chroma by means of a behavioral habituation-dishabituation procedure. Infants were presented with two successive melodic sequences of pure tones, the second sequence being a distorted version of the first one. The distortion consisted in shifting the frequency of some of the original tones, through a seventh or a ninth for some infants, through an octave for others. In the former case, infants displayed significant novelty reactions. In the latter case, significant novelty reactions were observed when the two sequences differed in melodic contour, but not when they had the same contour. These results suggest that young infants are sensitive to both tone height and tone chroma, and thus that tone chroma perception does not necessitate some form of musical experience.
Couperus, J W
This study explored effects of perceptual load on stimulus processing in the presence and absence of an attended stimulus. Participants were presented with a bilateral or unilateral display and asked to perform a discrimination task at either low or high perceptual load. Electrophysiological responses to stimuli were then compared at the P100 and N100. As in previous studies, perceptual load modified processing of attended and unattended stimuli seen at occipital scalp sites. Moreover, perceptual load modulated attention effects when the attended stimulus was presented at high perceptual load for unilateral displays. However, this was not true when the attended and unattended stimulus appeared simultaneously in bilateral displays. Instead, only a main effect of perceptual load was found. Reductions in processing contralateral to the unattended stimulus at the N100 provide support for Lavie's (1995) theory of selective attention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fisher, Anna V.
Is processing of conceptual information as robust as processing of perceptual information early in development? Existing empirical evidence is insufficient to answer this question. To examine this issue, 3- to 5-year-old children were presented with a flexible categorization task, in which target items (e.g., an open red umbrella) shared category…
Gutherie, Audrey H; Seely, Peter W; Beacham, Lauren A; Schuchard, Ronald A; De l'Aune, William A; Moore, Anna Bacon
The impact of age-related changes in visual-perceptual processing on naming ability has not been reported. The present study investigated the effects of 6 levels of spatial frequency and 6 levels of contrast on accuracy and latency to name objects in 14 young and 13 older neurologically normal adults with intact lexical-semantic functioning. Spatial frequency and contrast manipulations were made independently. Consistent with the hypotheses, variations in these two visual parameters impact naming ability in young and older subjects differently. The results from the spatial frequency-manipulations revealed that, in general, young vs. older subjects are faster and more accurate to name. However, this age-related difference is dependent on the spatial frequency on the image; differences were only seen for images presented at low (e.g., 0.25-1 c/deg) or high (e.g., 8-16 c/deg) spatial frequencies. Contrary to predictions, the results from the contrast manipulations revealed that overall older vs. young adults are more accurate to name. Again, however, differences were only seen for images presented at the lower levels of contrast (i.e., 1.25%). Both age groups had shorter latencies on the second exposure of the contrast-manipulated images, but this possible advantage of exposure was not seen for spatial frequency. Category analyses conducted on the data from this study indicate that older vs. young adults exhibit a stronger nonliving-object advantage for naming spatial frequency-manipulated images. Moreover, the findings suggest that bottom-up visual-perceptual variables integrate with top-down category information in different ways. Potential implications on the aging and naming (and recognition) literature are discussed.
Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Sun, Xun; Chang, Song
The effect of color and shape load on conceptual processing was studied. Perceptual load effects have been found in visual and auditory conceptual processing, supporting the theory of embodied cognition. However, whether different types of visual concepts, such as color and shape, share the same perceptual load effects is unknown. In the current experiment, 32 participants were administered simultaneous perceptual and conceptual tasks to assess the relation between perceptual load and conceptual processing. Keeping color load in mind obstructed color conceptual processing. Hence, perceptual processing and conceptual load shared the same resources, suggesting embodied cognition. Color conceptual processing was not affected by shape pictures, indicating that different types of properties within vision were separate.
Herdman, Anthony T
Many studies have identified regions within human ventral visual stream to be important for object identification and categorization; however, knowledge of how perceptual information is communicated within the visual network is still limited. Current theories posit that if a high correspondence between incoming sensory information and internal representations exists, then the object is rapidly identified, and if there is not, then the object requires extra detailed processing. Event-related responses from the present magnetoencephalography study showed two main effects. The N1m peak latencies were approximately 15 milliseconds earlier to familiar letters than to unfamiliar pseudoletters, and the N2m was more negative to pseudoletters than to letters. Event-related beamforming analyses identified these effects to be within bilateral visual cortices with a right lateralization for the N2m effect. Furthermore, functional connectivity analyses revealed that gamma-band (50-80 Hz) oscillatory phase synchronizations among occipital regions were greater to letters than to pseudoletters (around 85 milliseconds). However, during a later time interval between 245 and 375 milliseconds, pseudoletters elicited greater gamma-band phase synchronizations among a more distributed occipital network than did letters. These findings indicate that familiar object processing begins by at least 85 milliseconds, which could represent an initial match to an internal template. In addition, unfamiliar object processing persisted longer than that for familiar objects, which could reflect greater attention to inexperienced objects to determine their identity and/or to consolidate a new template to aid in future identification.
Horton, K D; McKenzie, B D
While most studies using the task of reading spatially transformed text do not reveal evidence of specific perceptual transfer, a study by Masson (1986, Experiment 3) provides clear evidence of such effects. Several experiments were designed to identify the basis for this empirical discrepancy. The only substantive evidence of specific perceptual transfer occurred when the words were presented in an unfamiliar typography, although each study suggested a trend toward perceptual specificity effects. The results are discussed in terms of Graf and Ryan's (1990) ideas about the role of distinctive memory representations.
Farkas, Mitchell S.; Hoyer, William J.
Examined adult age differences in the effects of perceptual grouping on attentional performance. All three age groups were slowed by the presence of similar irrelevant information, but the elderly were slowed more than were the young adults. (Author)
Boutet, Isabelle; Meinhardt-Injac, Bozana
We simultaneously investigated the role of three hypotheses regarding age-related differences in face processing: perceptual degradation, impaired holistic processing, and an interaction between the two. Young adults (YA) aged 20-33-year olds, middle-age adults (MA) aged 50-64-year olds, and older adults (OA) aged 65-82-year olds were tested on the context congruency paradigm, which allows measurement of face-specific holistic processing across the life span (Meinhardt-Injac, Persike & Meinhardt, 2014. Acta Psychologica, 151, 155-163). Perceptual degradation was examined by measuring performance with faces that were not filtered (FSF), with faces filtered to preserve low spatial frequencies (LSF), and with faces filtered to preserve high spatial frequencies (HSF). We found that reducing perceptual signal strength had a greater impact on MA and OA for HSF faces, but not LSF faces. Context congruency effects were significant and of comparable magnitude across ages for FSF, LSF, and HSF faces. By using watches as control objects, we show that these holistic effects reflect face-specific mechanisms in all age groups. Our results support the perceptual degradation hypothesis for faces containing only HSF and suggest that holistic processing is preserved in aging even under conditions of reduced signal strength. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Connell, Louise; Lynott, Dermot
Abstract concepts are traditionally thought to differ from concrete concepts by their lack of perceptual information, which causes them to be processed more slowly and less accurately than perceptually-based concrete concepts. In two studies, we examined this assumption by comparing concreteness and imageability ratings to a set of perceptual…
Gholami Doborjeh, Zohreh; Kasabov, Nikola; Gholami Doborjeh, Maryam; Sumich, Alexander
Familiarity of marketing stimuli may affect consumer behaviour at a peri-perceptual processing level. The current study introduces a method for deep learning of electroencephalogram (EEG) data using a spiking neural network (SNN) approach that reveals the complexity of peri-perceptual processes of familiarity. The method is applied to data from 20 participants viewing familiar and unfamiliar logos. The results support the potential of SNN models as novel tools in the exploration of peri-perceptual mechanisms that respond differentially to familiar and unfamiliar stimuli. Specifically, the activation pattern of the time-locked response identified by the proposed SNN model at approximately 200 milliseconds post-stimulus suggests greater connectivity and more widespread dynamic spatio-temporal patterns for familiar than unfamiliar logos. The proposed SNN approach can be applied to study other peri-perceptual or perceptual brain processes in cognitive and computational neuroscience.
Chang, Li-Hung; Yotsumoto, Yuko; Salat, David H; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Although normal aging is known to reduce cortical structures globally, the effects of aging on local structures and functions of early visual cortex are less understood. Here, using standard retinotopic mapping and magnetic resonance imaging morphologic analyses, we investigated whether aging affects areal size of the early visual cortex, which were retinotopically localized, and whether those morphologic measures were associated with individual performance on visual perceptual learning. First, significant age-associated reduction was found in the areal size of V1, V2, and V3. Second, individual ability of visual perceptual learning was significantly correlated with areal size of V3 in older adults. These results demonstrate that aging changes local structures of the early visual cortex, and the degree of change may be associated with individual visual plasticity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gorlick, Marissa A.; Mather, Mara
Past studies have revealed that encountering negative events interferes with cognitive processing of subsequent stimuli. The present study investigated whether negative events affect semantic and perceptual processing differently. Presentation of negative pictures produced slower reaction times than neutral or positive pictures in tasks that require semantic processing, such as natural/man-made judgments about drawings of objects, commonness judgments about objects, and categorical judgments about pairs of words. In contrast, negative picture presentation did not slow down judgments in subsequent perceptual processing (e.g., color judgments about words, and size judgments about objects). The subjective arousal level of negative pictures did not modulate the interference effects on semantic/perceptual processing. These findings indicate that encountering negative emotional events interferes with semantic processing of subsequent stimuli more strongly than perceptual processing, and that not all types of subsequent cognitive processing are impaired by negative events. PMID:22142207
Sakaki, Michiko; Gorlick, Marissa A; Mather, Mara
Past studies have revealed that encountering negative events interferes with cognitive processing of subsequent stimuli. The present study investigates whether negative events affect semantic and perceptual processing differently. Presentation of negative pictures produced slower reaction times than neutral or positive pictures in tasks that require semantic processing, such as natural or man-made judgments about drawings of objects, commonness judgments about objects, and categorical judgments about pairs of words. In contrast, negative picture presentation did not slow down judgments in subsequent perceptual processing (e.g., color judgments about words, size judgments about objects). The subjective arousal level of negative pictures did not modulate the interference effects on semantic or perceptual processing. These findings indicate that encountering negative emotional events interferes with semantic processing of subsequent stimuli more strongly than perceptual processing, and that not all types of subsequent cognitive processing are impaired by negative events. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.
Herrmann, C S; Bosch, V
We examined whether early visual processing reflects perceptual properties of a stimulus in addition to physical features. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) of 13 subjects in a visual classification task. We used four different stimuli which were all composed of four identical elements. One of the stimuli constituted an illusory Kanizsa square, another was composed of the same number of collinear line segments but the elements did not form a Gestalt. In addition, a target and a control stimulus were used which were arranged differently. These stimuli allow us to differentiate the processing of colinear line elements (stimulus features) and illusory figures (perceptual properties). The visual N170 in response to the illusory figure was significantly larger as compared to the other collinear stimulus. This is taken to indicate that the visual N170 reflects cognitive processes of Gestalt perception in addition to attentional processes and physical stimulus properties.
Collins, Heather R; Zhu, Xun; Bhatt, Ramesh S; Clark, Jonathan D; Joseph, Jane E
The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. This study parametrically varied demands on featural, first-order configural, or second-order configural processing of faces and houses in a perceptual matching task to determine the extent to which the process of perceptual differentiation was selective for faces regardless of processing type (domain-specific account), specialized for specific types of perceptual processing regardless of category (process-specific account), engaged in category-optimized processing (i.e., configural face processing or featural house processing), or reflected generalized perceptual differentiation (i.e., differentiation that crosses category and processing type boundaries). ROIs were identified in a separate localizer run or with a similarity regressor in the face-matching runs. The predominant principle accounting for fMRI signal modulation in most regions was generalized perceptual differentiation. Nearly all regions showed perceptual differentiation for both faces and houses for more than one processing type, even if the region was identified as face-preferential in the localizer run. Consistent with process specificity, some regions showed perceptual differentiation for first-order processing of faces and houses (right fusiform face area and occipito-temporal cortex and right lateral occipital complex), but not for featural or second-order processing. Somewhat consistent with domain specificity, the right inferior frontal gyrus showed perceptual differentiation only for faces in the featural matching task. The present findings demonstrate that the majority of regions involved in perceptual differentiation of faces are also involved in differentiation of other visually homogenous categories.
Collins, Heather R.; Zhu, Xun; Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Clark, Jonathan D.; Joseph, Jane E.
The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. The present study parametrically varied demands on featural, first-order configural or second-order configural processing of faces and houses in a perceptual matching task to determine the extent to which the process of perceptual differentiation was selective for faces regardless of processing type (domain-specific account), specialized for specific types of perceptual processing regardless of category (process-specific account), engaged in category-optimized processing (i.e., configural face processing or featural house processing) or reflected generalized perceptual differentiation (i.e. differentiation that crosses category and processing type boundaries). Regions of interest were identified in a separate localizer run or with a similarity regressor in the face-matching runs. The predominant principle accounting for fMRI signal modulation in most regions was generalized perceptual differentiation. Nearly all regions showed perceptual differentiation for both faces and houses for more than one processing type, even if the region was identified as face-preferential in the localizer run. Consistent with process-specificity, some regions showed perceptual differentiation for first-order processing of faces and houses (right fusiform face area and occipito-temporal cortex, and right lateral occipital complex), but not for featural or second-order processing. Somewhat consistent with domain-specificity, the right inferior frontal gyrus showed perceptual differentiation only for faces in the featural matching task. The present findings demonstrate that the majority of regions involved in perceptual differentiation of faces are also involved in differentiation of other visually homogenous categories. PMID:22849402
Zilber, Nicolas; Ciuciu, Philippe; Gramfort, Alexandre; Azizi, Leila; van Wassenhove, Virginie
Multisensory interactions are ubiquitous in cortex and it has been suggested that sensory cortices may be supramodal i.e. capable of functional selectivity irrespective of the sensory modality of inputs (Pascual-Leone and Hamilton, 2001; Renier et al., 2013; Ricciardi and Pietrini, 2011; Voss and Zatorre, 2012). Here, we asked whether learning to discriminate visual coherence could benefit from supramodal processing. To this end, three groups of participants were briefly trained to discriminate which of a red or green intermixed population of random-dot-kinematograms (RDKs) was most coherent in a visual display while being recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG). During training, participants heard no sound (V), congruent acoustic textures (AV) or auditory noise (AVn); importantly, congruent acoustic textures shared the temporal statistics - i.e. coherence - of visual RDKs. After training, the AV group significantly outperformed participants trained in V and AVn although they were not aware of their progress. In pre- and post-training blocks, all participants were tested without sound and with the same set of RDKs. When contrasting MEG data collected in these experimental blocks, selective differences were observed in the dynamic pattern and the cortical loci responsive to visual RDKs. First and common to all three groups, vlPFC showed selectivity to the learned coherence levels whereas selectivity in visual motion area hMT+ was only seen for the AV group. Second and solely for the AV group, activity in multisensory cortices (mSTS, pSTS) correlated with post-training performances; additionally, the latencies of these effects suggested feedback from vlPFC to hMT+ possibly mediated by temporal cortices in AV and AVn groups. Altogether, we interpret our results in the context of the Reverse Hierarchy Theory of learning (Ahissar and Hochstein, 2004) in which supramodal processing optimizes visual perceptual learning by capitalizing on sensory
Curby, Kim M; Gauthier, Isabel
The identification of faces has a temporal advantage over that of other object categories. The orientation-specific nature of this advantage suggests that it stems from our extensive experience and resulting expertise with upright faces. While experts can identify objects faster than novices, it is unclear exactly how the temporal dynamics of identification are changed by expertise and whether the nature of this temporal advantage is similar for face and non-face objects of expertise. Here, we titrated encoding time using a backward-masking paradigm with variable stimulus-mask onset-asynchronies and mapped the resulting effect on recognition for upright and inverted faces (Experiment 1) and for cars among car experts and car novices (Experiment 2). Performance for upright faces and cars among car experts rose above chance between 33 and 70 ms before that for inverted faces or cars among car novices. A shifted exponential function fitted to these data suggested that performance started to rise earlier for experts than for novices, but that additional encoding time increased performance at a similar rate. Experience influences the availability of information early in processing, possibly through the recruitment of more category-selective neurons, while the rate of perceptual processing may be less flexible and limited by inherent physiological constraints.
Giersch, Anne; Vidailhet, Pierre
Acute effects of lorazepam on visual information processing, perceptual priming and explicit memory are well established. However, visual processing and perceptual priming have rarely been explored in long-term lorazepam users. By exploring these functions it was possible to test the hypothesis that difficulty in processing visual information may lead to deficiencies in perceptual priming. Using a simple blind procedure, we tested explicit memory, perceptual priming and visual perception in 15 long-term lorazepam users and 15 control subjects individually matched according to sex, age and education level. Explicit memory, perceptual priming, and the identification of fragmented pictures were found to be preserved in long-term lorazepam users, contrary to what is usually observed after an acute drug intake. The processing of visual contour, on the other hand, was still significantly impaired. These results suggest that the effects observed on low-level visual perception are independent of the acute deleterious effects of lorazepam on perceptual priming. A comparison of perceptual priming in subjects with low- vs. high-level identification of new fragmented pictures further suggests that the ability to identify fragmented pictures has no influence on priming. Despite the fact that they were treated with relatively low doses and far from peak plasma concentration, it is noteworthy that in long-term users memory was preserved.
Calvo, Manuel G.; Fernandez-Martin, Andres; Nummenmaa, Lauri
Why is a face with a smile but non-happy eyes likely to be interpreted as happy? We used blended expressions in which a smiling mouth was incongruent with the eyes (e.g., angry eyes), as well as genuine expressions with congruent eyes and mouth (e.g., both happy or angry). Tasks involved detection of a smiling mouth (perceptual), categorization of…
Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David
The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.
Sündermann, Oliver; Hauschildt, Marit; Ehlers, Anke
Background Intrusive reexperiencing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly triggered by stimuli with perceptual similarity to those present during the trauma. Information processing theories suggest that perceptual processing during the trauma and enhanced perceptual priming contribute to the easy triggering of intrusive memories by these cues. Methods Healthy volunteers (N = 51) watched neutral and trauma picture stories on a computer screen. Neutral objects that were unrelated to the content of the stories briefly appeared in the interval between the pictures. Dissociation and data-driven processing (as indicators of perceptual processing) and state anxiety during the stories were assessed with self-report questionnaires. After filler tasks, participants completed a blurred object identification task to assess priming and a recognition memory task. Intrusive memories were assessed with telephone interviews 2 weeks and 3 months later. Results Neutral objects were more strongly primed if they occurred in the context of trauma stories than if they occurred during neutral stories, although the effect size was only moderate (ηp2=.08) and only significant when trauma stories were presented first. Regardless of story order, enhanced perceptual priming predicted intrusive memories at 2-week follow-up (N = 51), but not at 3 months (n = 40). Data-driven processing, dissociation and anxiety increases during the trauma stories also predicted intrusive memories. Enhanced perceptual priming and data-driven processing were associated with lower verbal intelligence. Limitations It is unclear to what extent these findings generalize to real-life traumatic events and whether they are specific to negative emotional events. Conclusions The results provide some support for the role of perceptual processing and perceptual priming in reexperiencing symptoms. PMID:23207970
Dew, Ilana T. Z.; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S.; Cabeza, Roberto
A fundamental idea in memory research is that items are more likely to be remembered if encoded with a semantic, rather than perceptual, processing strategy. Interestingly, this effect has been shown to reverse for emotionally arousing materials, such that perceptual processing enhances memory for emotional information or events. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms of this effect by testing how neural activations during emotional memory retrieval are influenced by the prior encoding strategy. Participants incidentally encoded emotional and neutral pictures under instructions to attend to either semantic or perceptual properties of each picture. Recognition memory was tested two days later. fMRI analyses yielded three main findings. First, right amygdalar activity associated with emotional memory strength was enhanced by prior perceptual processing. Second, prior perceptual processing of emotional pictures produced a stronger effect on recollection- than familiarity-related activations in the right amygdala and left hippocampus. Finally, prior perceptual processing enhanced amygdalar connectivity with regions strongly associated with retrieval success, including hippocampal/parahippocampal regions, visual cortex, and ventral parietal cortex. Taken together, the results specify how encoding orientations yield alterations in brain systems that retrieve emotional memories. PMID:24380867
Nematzadeh, Nasim; Powers, David M W; Lewis, Trent W
Why does our visual system fail to reconstruct reality, when we look at certain patterns? Where do Geometrical illusions start to emerge in the visual pathway? How far should we take computational models of vision with the same visual ability to detect illusions as we do? This study addresses these questions, by focusing on a specific underlying neural mechanism involved in our visual experiences that affects our final perception. Among many types of visual illusion, 'Geometrical' and, in particular, 'Tilt Illusions' are rather important, being characterized by misperception of geometric patterns involving lines and tiles in combination with contrasting orientation, size or position. Over the last decade, many new neurophysiological experiments have led to new insights as to how, when and where retinal processing takes place, and the encoding nature of the retinal representation that is sent to the cortex for further processing. Based on these neurobiological discoveries, we provide computer simulation evidence from modelling retinal ganglion cells responses to some complex Tilt Illusions, suggesting that the emergence of tilt in these illusions is partially related to the interaction of multiscale visual processing performed in the retina. The output of our low-level filtering model is presented for several types of Tilt Illusion, predicting that the final tilt percept arises from multiple-scale processing of the Differences of Gaussians and the perceptual interaction of foreground and background elements. The model is a variation of classical receptive field implementation for simple cells in early stages of vision with the scales tuned to the object/texture sizes in the pattern. Our results suggest that this model has a high potential in revealing the underlying mechanism connecting low-level filtering approaches to mid- and high-level explanations such as 'Anchoring theory' and 'Perceptual grouping'.
Seitz, Aaron R
Perceptual learning refers to how experience can change the way we perceive sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch. Examples abound: music training improves our ability to discern tones; experience with food and wines can refine our pallet (and unfortunately more quickly empty our wallet), and with years of training radiologists learn to save lives by discerning subtle details of images that escape the notice of untrained viewers. We often take perceptual learning for granted, but it has a profound impact on how we perceive the world. In this Primer, I will explain how perceptual learning is transformative in guiding our perceptual processes, how research into perceptual learning provides insight into fundamental mechanisms of learning and brain processes, and how knowledge of perceptual learning can be used to develop more effective training approaches for those requiring expert perceptual skills or those in need of perceptual rehabilitation (such as individuals with poor vision). I will make a case that perceptual learning is ubiquitous, scientifically interesting, and has substantial practical utility to us all. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Ho, Tiffany C; Zhang, Shunan; Sacchet, Matthew D; Weng, Helen; Connolly, Colm G; Henje Blom, Eva; Han, Laura K M; Mobayed, Nisreen O; Yang, Tony T
While the extant literature has focused on major depressive disorder (MDD) as being characterized by abnormalities in processing affective stimuli (e.g., facial expressions), little is known regarding which specific aspects of cognition influence the evaluation of affective stimuli, and what are the underlying neural correlates. To investigate these issues, we assessed 26 adolescents diagnosed with MDD and 37 well-matched healthy controls (HCL) who completed an emotion identification task of dynamically morphing faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We analyzed the behavioral data using a sequential sampling model of response time (RT) commonly used to elucidate aspects of cognition in binary perceptual decision making tasks: the Linear Ballistic Accumulator (LBA) model. Using a hierarchical Bayesian estimation method, we obtained group-level and individual-level estimates of LBA parameters on the facial emotion identification task. While the MDD and HCL groups did not differ in mean RT, accuracy, or group-level estimates of perceptual processing efficiency (i.e., drift rate parameter of the LBA), the MDD group showed significantly reduced responses in left fusiform gyrus compared to the HCL group during the facial emotion identification task. Furthermore, within the MDD group, fMRI signal in the left fusiform gyrus during affective face processing was significantly associated with greater individual-level estimates of perceptual processing efficiency. Our results therefore suggest that affective processing biases in adolescents with MDD are characterized by greater perceptual processing efficiency of affective visual information in sensory brain regions responsible for the early processing of visual information. The theoretical, methodological, and clinical implications of our results are discussed.
Ho, Tiffany C.; Zhang, Shunan; Sacchet, Matthew D.; Weng, Helen; Connolly, Colm G.; Henje Blom, Eva; Han, Laura K. M.; Mobayed, Nisreen O.; Yang, Tony T.
While the extant literature has focused on major depressive disorder (MDD) as being characterized by abnormalities in processing affective stimuli (e.g., facial expressions), little is known regarding which specific aspects of cognition influence the evaluation of affective stimuli, and what are the underlying neural correlates. To investigate these issues, we assessed 26 adolescents diagnosed with MDD and 37 well-matched healthy controls (HCL) who completed an emotion identification task of dynamically morphing faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We analyzed the behavioral data using a sequential sampling model of response time (RT) commonly used to elucidate aspects of cognition in binary perceptual decision making tasks: the Linear Ballistic Accumulator (LBA) model. Using a hierarchical Bayesian estimation method, we obtained group-level and individual-level estimates of LBA parameters on the facial emotion identification task. While the MDD and HCL groups did not differ in mean RT, accuracy, or group-level estimates of perceptual processing efficiency (i.e., drift rate parameter of the LBA), the MDD group showed significantly reduced responses in left fusiform gyrus compared to the HCL group during the facial emotion identification task. Furthermore, within the MDD group, fMRI signal in the left fusiform gyrus during affective face processing was significantly associated with greater individual-level estimates of perceptual processing efficiency. Our results therefore suggest that affective processing biases in adolescents with MDD are characterized by greater perceptual processing efficiency of affective visual information in sensory brain regions responsible for the early processing of visual information. The theoretical, methodological, and clinical implications of our results are discussed. PMID:26869950
Change detection requires perceptual comparison and decision processes on different features of multiattribute objects. How relative salience between two feature-changes influences the processes has not been addressed. This study used the systems factorial technology to investigate the processes when detecting changes in a Gabor patch with visual…
Fleischhauer, Monika; Strobel, Alexander; Diers, Kersten; Enge, Sören
The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a widely used latency-based categorization task that indirectly measures the strength of automatic associations between target and attribute concepts. So far, little is known about the perceptual and cognitive processes underlying personality IATs. Thus, the present study examined event-related potential indices during the execution of an IAT measuring neuroticism (N = 70). The IAT effect was strongly modulated by the P1 component indicating early facilitation of relevant visual input and by a P3b-like late positive component reflecting the efficacy of stimulus categorization. Both components covaried, and larger amplitudes led to faster responses. The results suggest a relationship between early perceptual and semantic processes operating at a more automatic, implicit level and later decision-related categorization of self-relevant stimuli contributing to the IAT effect. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Hamamé, Carlos M; Cosmelli, Diego; Henriquez, Rodrigo; Aboitiz, Francisco
Humans and other animals change the way they perceive the world due to experience. This process has been labeled as perceptual learning, and implies that adult nervous systems can adaptively modify the way in which they process sensory stimulation. However, the mechanisms by which the brain modifies this capacity have not been sufficiently analyzed. We studied the neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning by combining electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity and the assessment of psychophysical performance during training in a visual search task. All participants improved their perceptual performance as reflected by an increase in sensitivity (d') and a decrease in reaction time. The EEG signal was acquired throughout the entire experiment revealing amplitude increments, specific and unspecific to the trained stimulus, in event-related potential (ERP) components N2pc and P3 respectively. P3 unspecific modification can be related to context or task-based learning, while N2pc may be reflecting a more specific attentional-related boosting of target detection. Moreover, bell and U-shaped profiles of oscillatory brain activity in gamma (30-60 Hz) and alpha (8-14 Hz) frequency bands may suggest the existence of two phases for learning acquisition, which can be understood as distinctive optimization mechanisms in stimulus processing. We conclude that there are reorganizations in several neural processes that contribute differently to perceptual learning in a visual search task. We propose an integrative model of neural activity reorganization, whereby perceptual learning takes place as a two-stage phenomenon including perceptual, attentional and contextual processes.
Kole, James A.; Schneider, Vivian I.; Healy, Alice F.; Barshi, Immanuel
Subjects trained in a standard data entry task, which involved typing numbers (e.g., 5421) using their right hands. At test (6 months post-training), subjects completed the standard task, followed by a left-hand variant (typing with their left hands) that involved the same perceptual, but different motoric, processes as the standard task. At a second test (8 months post-training), subjects completed the standard task, followed by a code variant (translating letters into digits, then typing the digits with their right hands) that involved different perceptual, but the same motoric, processes as the standard task. For each of the three tasks, half the trials were trained numbers (old) and half were new. Repetition priming (faster response times to old than new numbers) was found for each task. Repetition priming for the standard task reflects retention of trained numbers; for the left-hand variant reflects transfer of perceptual processes; and for the code variant reflects transfer of motoric processes. There was thus evidence for both specificity and generalizability of training data entry perceptual and motoric processes over very long retention intervals.
Gilbert, Annie C.; Boucher, Victor J.; Jemel, Boutheina
We examined how perceptual chunks of varying size in utterances can influence immediate memory of heard items (monosyllabic words). Using behavioral measures and event-related potentials (N400) we evaluated the quality of the memory trace for targets taken from perceived temporal groups (TGs) of three and four items. Variations in the amplitude of the N400 showed a better memory trace for items presented in TGs of three compared to those in groups of four. Analyses of behavioral responses along with P300 components also revealed effects of chunk position in the utterance. This is the first study to measure the online effects of perceptual chunks on the memory trace of spoken items. Taken together, the N400 and P300 responses demonstrate that the perceptual chunking of speech facilitates information buffering and a processing on a chunk-by-chunk basis. PMID:24678304
Gilbert, Annie C; Boucher, Victor J; Jemel, Boutheina
We examined how perceptual chunks of varying size in utterances can influence immediate memory of heard items (monosyllabic words). Using behavioral measures and event-related potentials (N400) we evaluated the quality of the memory trace for targets taken from perceived temporal groups (TGs) of three and four items. Variations in the amplitude of the N400 showed a better memory trace for items presented in TGs of three compared to those in groups of four. Analyses of behavioral responses along with P300 components also revealed effects of chunk position in the utterance. This is the first study to measure the online effects of perceptual chunks on the memory trace of spoken items. Taken together, the N400 and P300 responses demonstrate that the perceptual chunking of speech facilitates information buffering and a processing on a chunk-by-chunk basis.
Nasals are cross-linguistically susceptible to change, especially in the syllable final position. Acoustic reports on Mandarin nasal production have recently shown that the syllable-final distinction is frequently dropped. Few studies, however, have addressed the issue of perceptual processing in Mandarin nasals for L1 and L2 speakers of Mandarin…
Shepard, Charlene R.; Reynolds, Ralph E.
Investigating the selective attention strategy, a study examined the type of attention allocated to important information by good and poor readers. Also tested was the methodological validity of using a conceptual (word recognition) perceptual (tachistoscopic word flash) task as a means of investigating the types of information processing that may…
Fitousi, Daniel; Wenger, Michael J.
Variations in perceptual and cognitive demands (load) play a major role in determining the efficiency of selective attention. According to load theory (Lavie, Hirst, Fockert, & Viding, 2004) these factors (a) improve or hamper selectivity by altering the way resources (e.g., processing capacity) are allocated, and (b) tap resources rather than…
Rousselle, Laurence; Noel, Marie-Pascale
Three experiments examined developmental changes in the automatic processing of numerosity and perceptual information using a nonsymbolic numerical Stroop paradigm. In Experiments 1 and 2 (E1 and E2), 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds had to compare the numerosities or the total filled areas of collections of dots (E1) or bars (E2) varying along both…
Lefton, Lester A.
This report summarizes four groups of experiments examining the nature of basic perceptual processes in reading. The first group examined the relationship of English orthography to reading, specifically the transfer of information from the icon to short-term memory. The second group of experiments examined the use of peripheral information…
Devue, Christel; Barsics, Catherine
Most humans seem to demonstrate astonishingly high levels of skill in face processing if one considers the sophisticated level of fine-tuned discrimination that face recognition requires. However, numerous studies now indicate that the ability to process faces is not as fundamental as once thought and that performance can range from despairingly poor to extraordinarily high across people. Here we studied people who are super specialists of faces, namely portrait artists, to examine how their specific visual experience with faces relates to a range of face processing skills (perceptual discrimination, short- and longer term recognition). Artists show better perceptual discrimination and, to some extent, recognition of newly learned faces than controls. They are also more accurate on other perceptual tasks (i.e., involving non-face stimuli or mental rotation). By contrast, artists do not display an advantage compared to controls on longer term face recognition (i.e., famous faces) nor on person recognition from other sensorial modalities (i.e., voices). Finally, the face inversion effect exists in artists and controls and is not modulated by artistic practice. Advantages in face processing for artists thus seem to closely mirror perceptual and visual short term memory skills involved in portraiture. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan
Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.
van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U.; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan
Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks. PMID:24933517
Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias
Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico-semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico-semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico-semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task-related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N.; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M.; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian
Abstract Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico‐semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico‐semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico‐semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task‐related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4512–4528, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26304153
Beers, Carol; And Others
The perceptual motor development module, the eleventh in a series developed for the Early Childhood-Special Education Teacher Preparation Program at the University of Virginia, provides the student with basic information on the physiological development of young children. A number of learning and measurement activities related to children's…
Maher, S.; Ekstrom, T.; Tong, Y.; Nickerson, L.D.; Frederick, B.; Chen, Y.
Face detection, the perceptual capacity to identify a visual stimulus as a face before probing deeper into specific attributes (such as its identity or emotion), is essential for social functioning. Despite the importance of this functional capacity, face detection and its underlying brain mechanisms are not well understood. This study evaluated the roles that the cortical face processing system, which is identified largely through studying other aspects of face perception, play in face detection. Specifically, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the activations of the fusifom face area (FFA), occipital face area (OFA) and superior temporal sulcus (STS) when face detection was isolated from other aspects of face perception and when face detection was perceptually-equated across individual human participants (n=20). During face detection, FFA and OFA were significantly activated, even for stimuli presented at perceptual-threshold levels, whereas STS was not. During tree detection, however, FFA and OFA were responsive only for highly salient (i.e., high contrast) stimuli. Moreover, activation of FFA during face detection predicted a significant portion of the perceptual performance levels that were determined psychophysically for each participant. This pattern of result indicates that FFA and OFA have a greater sensitivity to face detection signals and selectively support the initial process of face vs. non-face object perception. PMID:26592952
The dual nature of the Japanese writing system was used to investigate two assumptions of the processing view of memory transfer: (1) that both perceptual and conceptual processing can contribute to the same memory test (mixture assumption) and (2) that both can be broken into more specific processes (subdivision assumption). Supporting the mixture assumption, a word fragment completion test based on ideographic kanji characters (kanji fragment completion test) was affected by both perceptual (hiragana/kanji script shift) and conceptual (levels-of-processing) study manipulations kanji fragments, because it did not occur with the use of meaningless hiragana fragments. The mixture assumption is also supported by an effect of study script on an implicit conceptual test (sentence completion), and the subdivision assumption is supported by a crossover dissociation between hiragana and kanji fragment completion as a function of study script.
He, Xun; Witzel, Christoph; Forder, Lewis; Clifford, Alexandra; Franklin, Anna
Prior claims that color categories affect color perception are confounded by inequalities in the color space used to equate same- and different-category colors. Here, we equate same- and different-category colors in the number of just-noticeable differences, and measure event-related potentials (ERPs) to these colors on a visual oddball task to establish if color categories affect perceptual or post-perceptual stages of processing. Category effects were found from 200 ms after color presentation, only in ERP components that reflect post-perceptual processes (e.g., N2, P3). The findings suggest that color categories affect post-perceptual processing, but do not affect the perceptual representation of color.
Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Jha, Amishi P
Selective attention has been shown to bias sensory processing in favor of relevant stimuli and against irrelevant or distracting stimuli in perceptual tasks. Increasing evidence suggests that selective attention plays an important role during working memory maintenance, possibly by biasing sensory processing in favor of to-be-remembered items. In the current study, we investigated whether selective attention may also support working memory by biasing processing against irrelevant and potentially distracting information. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects (n = 22) performed a delayed-recognition task for faces and shoes. The delay period was filled with face or shoe distractors. Behavioral performance was impaired when distractors were congruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during working memory for faces) relative to when distractors were incongruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during shoe working memory). If attentional biasing against distractor processing is indeed functionally relevant in supporting working memory maintenance, perceptual processing of distractors is predicted to be attenuated when distractors are more behaviorally intrusive relative to when they are nonintrusive. As such, we predicted that perceptual processing of distracting faces, as measured by the face-sensitive N170 ERP component, would be reduced in the context of congruent (face) working memory relative to incongruent (shoe) working memory. The N170 elicited by distracting faces demonstrated reduced amplitude during congruent versus incongruent working memory. These results suggest that perceptual processing of distracting faces may be attenuated due to attentional biasing against sensory processing of distractors that are most behaviorally intrusive during working memory maintenance.
Foley, Mary Ann; Bays, Rebecca Brooke; Foy, Jeffrey; Woodfield, Mila
In three experiments, we examine the extent to which participants' memory errors are affected by the perceptual features of an encoding series and imagery generation processes. Perceptual features were examined by manipulating the features associated with individual items as well as the relationships among items. An encoding instruction manipulation was included to examine the effects of explicit requests to generate images. In all three experiments, participants falsely claimed to have seen pictures of items presented as words, committing picture misattribution errors. These misattribution errors were exaggerated when the perceptual resemblance between pictures and images was relatively high (Experiment 1) and when explicit requests to generate images were omitted from encoding instructions (Experiments 1 and 2). When perceptual cues made the thematic relationships among items salient, the level and pattern of misattribution errors were also affected (Experiments 2 and 3). Results address alternative views about the nature of internal representations resulting in misattribution errors and refute the idea that these errors reflect only participants' general impressions or beliefs about what was seen.
Tacikowski, P; Ehrsson, H H
Self-related stimuli, such as one's own name or face, are processed faster and more accurately than other types of stimuli. However, what remains unknown is at which stage of the information processing hierarchy this preferential processing occurs. Our first aim was to determine whether preferential self-processing involves mainly perceptual stages or also post-perceptual stages. We found that self-related priming was stronger than other-related priming only because of perceptual prime-target congruency. Our second aim was to dissociate the role of conscious and unconscious factors in preferential self-processing. To this end, we compared the "self" and "other" conditions in trials where primes were masked or unmasked. In two separate experiments, we found that self-related priming was stronger than other-related priming but only in the unmasked trials. Together, our results suggest that preferential access to the self-concept occurs mainly at the perceptual and conscious stages of the stimulus processing hierarchy. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Richler, Jennifer J.; Gauthier, Isabel; Wenger, Michael J.; Palmeri, Thomas J.
Researchers have used several composite face paradigms to assess holistic processing of faces. In the selective attention paradigm, participants decide whether one face part (e.g., top) is the same as a previously seen face part. Their judgment is affected by whether the irrelevant part of the test face is the same as or different than the…
Wang, Lili; Feng, Chunliang; Mai, Xiaoqin; Jia, Lina; Zhu, Xiangru; Luo, Wenbo; Luo, Yue-jia
Emotional stimuli can be processed without consciousness. In the current study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to assess whether perceptual load influences non-conscious processing of fearful facial expressions. Perceptual load was manipulated using a letter search task with the target letter presented at the fixation point, while facial expressions were presented peripherally and masked to prevent conscious awareness. The letter string comprised six letters (X or N) that were identical (low load) or different (high load). Participants were instructed to discriminate the letters at fixation or the facial expression (fearful or neutral) in the periphery. Participants were faster and more accurate at detecting letters in the low load condition than in the high load condition. Fearful faces elicited a sustained positivity from 250 ms to 700 ms post-stimulus over fronto-central areas during the face discrimination and low-load letter discrimination conditions, but this effect was completely eliminated during high-load letter discrimination. Our findings imply that non-conscious processing of fearful faces depends on perceptual load, and attentional resources are necessary for non-conscious processing. PMID:27149273
Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, René; Raaijmakers, Jeroen G W
Two experiments investigated the influence of automatic and strategic processes on associative priming effects in a perceptual identification task in which prime-target pairs are briefly presented and masked. In this paradigm, priming is defined as a higher percentage of correctly identified targets for related pairs than for unrelated pairs. In Experiment 1, priming was obtained for mediated word pairs. This mediated priming effect was affected neither by the presence of direct associations nor by the presentation time of the primes, indicating that automatic priming effects play a role in perceptual identification. Experiment 2 showed that the priming effect was not affected by the proportion (.90 vs. .10) of related pairs if primes were presented briefly to prevent their identification. However, a large proportion effect was found when primes were presented for 1000 ms so that they were clearly visible. These results indicate that priming in a masked perceptual identification task is the result of automatic processes and is not affected by strategies. The present paradigm provides a valuable alternative to more commonly used tasks such as lexical decision.
Sheng, Feng; Du, Na; Han, Shihui
Human beings process perceptual and affective information of racial out-groups in a degraded manner. Relative to racial in-group members, we lack perceptual individuation of racial out-group members and empathize their pain to a less degree. To date, however, the relationship between the deficiency of individuation and the impairment of empathy in responding to racial out-groups remains elusive. By recording event-related brain potentials in response to racial in-group and out-group faces portraying pain and neutral expressions, we simultaneously measured neural activity that underpinned individuation and empathy. Deficiency in individuating members of racial out-groups, manifesting as reduced reactivity of face-sensitive N170 in the occipitotemporal region of the brain, predicted attenuation of fronto-central empathic response to the suffering of racial out-groups. Further, the individuation bias mediated the influence of racial prejudice on racial in-group bias in empathic neural responses. These findings suggest an interplay between degraded perceptual and affective processing of racial out-groups.
Tso, Ivy F; Calwas, Anita M; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Deldin, Patricia J
Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may originate in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with SCZ or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) completed a gaze-discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated), and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. Participants with SCZ were as accurate as, though slower than, HCs on the task. Participants with SCZ displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. Participants with SCZ also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of SCZ. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Schmetz, Emilie; Magis, David; Detraux, Jean-Jacques; Barisnikov, Koviljka; Rousselle, Laurence
The present study aims to assess how the processing of basic visual perceptual (VP) components (length, surface, orientation, and position) develops in typically developing (TD) children (n = 215, 4-14 years old) and adults (n = 20, 20-25 years old), and in children with cerebral palsy (CP) (n = 86, 5-14 years old) using the first four subtests of the Battery for the Evaluation of Visual Perceptual and Spatial processing in children. Experiment 1 showed that these four basic VP processes follow distinct developmental trajectories in typical development. Experiment 2 revealed that children with CP present global and persistent deficits for the processing of basic VP components when compared with TD children matched on chronological age and nonverbal reasoning abilities.
Boehm, Ilka; Finke, Beatrice; Tam, Friederike I; Fittig, Eike; Scholz, Michael; Gantchev, Krassimir; Roessner, Veit; Ehrlich, Stefan
Anorexia nervosa (AN), a severe mental disorder with an onset during adolescence, has been found to be difficult to treat. Identifying variables that predict long-term outcome may help to develop better treatment strategies. Since body image distortion and weight gain are central elements of diagnosis and treatment of AN, the current study investigated perceptual body image distortion, defined as the accuracy of evaluating one's own perceived body size in relation to the actual body size, as well as total and early weight gain during inpatient treatment as predictors for long-term outcome in a sample of 76 female adolescent AN patients. Long-term outcome was defined by physical, psychological and psychosocial adjustment using the Morgan-Russell outcome assessment schedule as well as by the mere physical outcome consisting of menses and/or BMI approximately 3 years after treatment. Perceptual body image distortion and early weight gain predicted long-term outcome (explained variance 13.3 %), but not the physical outcome alone. This study provides first evidence for an association of perceptual body image distortion with long-term outcome of adolescent anorexia nervosa and underlines the importance of sufficient early weight gain.
Costa, Vincent D; Kakalios, Laura C; Averbeck, Bruno B
Dopamine and serotonin have opponent interactions on aspects of impulsivity. Therefore we wanted to test the hypothesis that dopamine and serotonin would have opposing effects on speed-accuracy trade offs in a perceptual decision making task. Unlike other behavioral measures of impulsivity, perceptual decision making allows us to determine whether decreasing premature responses, often interpreted as decreased impulsivity, corresponds to increased behavioral performance. We administered GBR-12909 (a dopamine transporter blocker), escitalopram (a serotonin transporter blocker), or saline in separate sessions to 3 rhesus macaques. We found that animals had slower reaction times (RTs) on escitalopram than on GBR-12909 or saline. However, they were also least accurate on escitalopram. Animals were faster, although nonsignificantly, on GBR than saline and had equivalent accuracy. Administration of GBR-12909 did cause animals to be faster in error trials than correct trials. Therefore, from the point of view of RTs the animals were less impulsive on escitalopram. However, the decreased accuracy of the monkeys shows that they were not able to make use of their slower response times to make more accurate decisions. Therefore, impulsivity was reduced on escitalopram, but at the expense of a slower information-processing rate in the perceptual inference task. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Parks, Colleen M
Research examining the importance of surface-level information to familiarity in recognition memory tasks is mixed: Sometimes it affects recognition and sometimes it does not. One potential explanation of the inconsistent findings comes from the ideas of dual process theory of recognition and the transfer-appropriate processing framework, which suggest that the extent to which perceptual fluency matters on a recognition test depends in large part on the task demands. A test that recruits perceptual processing for discrimination should show greater perceptual effects and smaller conceptual effects than standard recognition, similar to the pattern of effects found in perceptual implicit memory tasks. This idea was tested in the current experiment by crossing a levels of processing manipulation with a modality manipulation on a series of recognition tests that ranged from conceptual (standard recognition) to very perceptually demanding (a speeded recognition test with degraded stimuli). Results showed that the levels of processing effect decreased and the effect of modality increased when tests were made perceptually demanding. These results support the idea that surface-level features influence performance on recognition tests when they are made salient by the task demands. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Ren, Xuezhu; Altmeyer, Michael; Reiss, Siegbert; Schweizer, Karl
Perceptual attention and executive attention represent two higher-order types of attention and associate with distinctly different ways of information processing. It is hypothesized that these two types of attention implicate different cognitive processes, which are assumed to account for the differential effects of perceptual attention and executive attention on fluid intelligence. Specifically, an encoding process is assumed to be crucial in completing the tasks of perceptual attention while two executive processes, updating and shifting, are stimulated in completing the tasks of executive attention. The proposed hypothesis was tested by means of an integrative approach combining experimental manipulations and psychometric modeling. In a sample of 210 participants the encoding process has proven indispensable in completing the tasks of perceptual attention, and this process accounted for a considerable part of fluid intelligence that was assessed by two figural reasoning tests. In contrast, the two executive processes, updating and shifting, turned out to be necessary in performance according to the tasks of executive attention and these processes accounted for a larger part of the variance in fluid intelligence than that of the processes underlying perceptual attention. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Namdar, Gal; Avidan, Galia; Ganel, Tzvi
Configural processing governs human perception across various domains, including face perception. An established marker of configural face perception is the face inversion effect, in which performance is typically better for upright compared to inverted faces. In two experiments, we tested whether configural processing could influence basic visual abilities such as perceptual spatial resolution (i.e., the ability to detect spatial visual changes). Face-related perceptual spatial resolution was assessed by measuring the just noticeable difference (JND) to subtle positional changes between specific features in upright and inverted faces. The results revealed robust inversion effect for spatial sensitivity to configural-based changes, such as the distance between the mouth and the nose, or the distance between the eyes and the nose. Critically, spatial resolution for face features within the region of the eyes (e.g., the interocular distance between the eyes) was not affected by inversion, suggesting that the eye region operates as a separate 'gestalt' unit which is relatively immune to manipulations that would normally hamper configural processing. Together these findings suggest that face orientation modulates fundamental psychophysical abilities including spatial resolution. Furthermore, they indicate that classic psychophysical methods can be used as a valid measure of configural face processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Allegretti, C L; Puglisi, J T
12 disabled and 12 nondisabled readers (mean age, 11 yr.) were compared on a letter-search task which separated perceptual processing from higher-order processing. Participants were presented a first stimulus (for 200 msec. to minimize eye movements) followed by a second stimulus immediately to estimate the amount of information initially perceived or after a 3000-msec. interval to examine information more permanently stored. Participants were required to decide whether any letter present in the first stimulus was also present in the second. Two processing loads (1 and 3 letters) were examined. Disabled readers showed more pronounced deficits when they were given very little time to process information or more information to process.
Borrie, Stephanie A
This study investigated the influence of visual speech information on perceptual processing of neurologically degraded speech. Fifty listeners identified spastic dysarthric speech under both audio (A) and audiovisual (AV) conditions. Condition comparisons revealed that the addition of visual speech information enhanced processing of the neurologically degraded input in terms of (a) acuity (percent phonemes correct) of vowels and consonants and (b) recognition (percent words correct) of predictive and nonpredictive phrases. Listeners exploited stress-based segmentation strategies more readily in AV conditions, suggesting that the perceptual benefit associated with adding visual speech information to the auditory signal-the AV advantage-has both segmental and suprasegmental origins. Results also revealed that the magnitude of the AV advantage can be predicted, to some degree, by the extent to which an individual utilizes syllabic stress cues to inform word recognition in AV conditions. Findings inform the development of a listener-specific model of speech perception that applies to processing of dysarthric speech in everyday communication contexts.
Valenza, Eloisa; Bulf, Hermann
The present study aimed to investigate whether perceptual completion is available at birth, in the absence of any visual experience. An extremely underspecified kinetic visual display composed of four spatially separated fragments arranged to give rise to an illusory rectangle that occluded a vertical rod (illusory condition) or rotated so as not…
Thai, Khanh-Phuong; Son, Ji Y.; Hoffman, Jessica; Devers, Christopher; Kellman, Philip J.
Mathematics is the study of structure but students think of math as solving problems according to rules. Students can learn procedures, but they often have trouble knowing when to apply learned procedures, especially to problems unlike those they trained with. In this study, the authors rely on the psychological mechanism of perceptual learning…
Froese, Tom; Di Paolo, Ezequiel A.
This paper continues efforts to establish a mutually informative dialogue between psychology and evolutionary robotics in order to investigate the dynamics of social interaction. We replicate a recent simulation model of a minimalist experiment in perceptual crossing and confirm the results with significantly simpler artificial agents. A series of psycho-physical tests of their behaviour informs a hypothetical circuit model of their internal operation. However, a detailed study of the actual internal dynamics reveals this circuit model to be unfounded, thereby offering a tale of caution for those hypothesising about sub-personal processes in terms of behavioural observations. In particular, it is shown that the behaviour of the agents largely emerges out of the interaction process itself rather than being an individual achievement alone. We also extend the original simulation model in two novel directions in order to test further the extent to which perceptual crossing between agents can self-organise in a robust manner. These modelling results suggest new hypotheses that can become the basis for further psychological experiments.
Pitts, Michael A.; Padwal, Jennifer; Fennelly, Daniel; Martínez, Antígona; Hillyard, Steven A.
A primary goal in cognitive neuroscience is to identify neural correlates of conscious perception (NCC). By contrasting conditions in which subjects are aware versus unaware of identical visual stimuli, a number of candidate NCCs have emerged, among them induced gamma band activity in the EEG and the P3 event-related potential. In most previous studies, however, the critical stimuli were always directly relevant to the subjects’ task, such that aware versus unaware contrasts may well have included differences in post-perceptual processing in addition to differences in conscious perception per se. Here, in a series of EEG experiments, visual awareness and task relevance were manipulated independently. Induced gamma activity and the P3 were absent for task-irrelevant stimuli regardless of whether subjects were aware of such stimuli. For task-relevant stimuli, gamma and the P3 were robust and dissociable, indicating that each reflects distinct post-perceptual processes necessary for carrying-out the task but not for consciously perceiving the stimuli. Overall, this pattern of results challenges a number of previous proposals linking gamma band activity and the P3 to conscious perception. PMID:25063731
Rizza, Aurora; Terekhov, Alexander V; Montone, Guglielmo; Olivetti-Belardinelli, Marta; O'Regan, J Kevin
Tactile speech aids, though extensively studied in the 1980's and 1990's, never became a commercial success. A hypothesis to explain this failure might be that it is difficult to obtain true perceptual integration of a tactile signal with information from auditory speech: exploitation of tactile cues from a tactile aid might require cognitive effort and so prevent speech understanding at the high rates typical of everyday speech. To test this hypothesis, we attempted to create true perceptual integration of tactile with auditory information in what might be considered the simplest situation encountered by a hearing-impaired listener. We created an auditory continuum between the syllables /BA/ and /VA/, and trained participants to associate /BA/ to one tactile stimulus and /VA/ to another tactile stimulus. After training, we tested if auditory discrimination along the continuum between the two syllables could be biased by incongruent tactile stimulation. We found that such a bias occurred only when the tactile stimulus was above, but not when it was below its previously measured tactile discrimination threshold. Such a pattern is compatible with the idea that the effect is due to a cognitive or decisional strategy, rather than to truly perceptual integration. We therefore ran a further study (Experiment 2), where we created a tactile version of the McGurk effect. We extensively trained two Subjects over 6 days to associate four recorded auditory syllables with four corresponding apparent motion tactile patterns. In a subsequent test, we presented stimulation that was either congruent or incongruent with the learnt association, and asked Subjects to report the syllable they perceived. We found no analog to the McGurk effect, suggesting that the tactile stimulation was not being perceptually integrated with the auditory syllable. These findings strengthen our hypothesis according to which tactile aids failed because integration of tactile cues with auditory speech
Rizza, Aurora; Terekhov, Alexander V.; Montone, Guglielmo; Olivetti-Belardinelli, Marta; O’Regan, J. Kevin
Tactile speech aids, though extensively studied in the 1980’s and 1990’s, never became a commercial success. A hypothesis to explain this failure might be that it is difficult to obtain true perceptual integration of a tactile signal with information from auditory speech: exploitation of tactile cues from a tactile aid might require cognitive effort and so prevent speech understanding at the high rates typical of everyday speech. To test this hypothesis, we attempted to create true perceptual integration of tactile with auditory information in what might be considered the simplest situation encountered by a hearing-impaired listener. We created an auditory continuum between the syllables /BA/ and /VA/, and trained participants to associate /BA/ to one tactile stimulus and /VA/ to another tactile stimulus. After training, we tested if auditory discrimination along the continuum between the two syllables could be biased by incongruent tactile stimulation. We found that such a bias occurred only when the tactile stimulus was above, but not when it was below its previously measured tactile discrimination threshold. Such a pattern is compatible with the idea that the effect is due to a cognitive or decisional strategy, rather than to truly perceptual integration. We therefore ran a further study (Experiment 2), where we created a tactile version of the McGurk effect. We extensively trained two Subjects over 6 days to associate four recorded auditory syllables with four corresponding apparent motion tactile patterns. In a subsequent test, we presented stimulation that was either congruent or incongruent with the learnt association, and asked Subjects to report the syllable they perceived. We found no analog to the McGurk effect, suggesting that the tactile stimulation was not being perceptually integrated with the auditory syllable. These findings strengthen our hypothesis according to which tactile aids failed because integration of tactile cues with auditory speech
Bouvet, Lucie; Mottron, Laurent; Valdois, Sylviane; Donnadieu, Sophie
Auditory stream segregation allows us to organize our sound environment, by focusing on specific information and ignoring what is unimportant. One previous study reported difficulty in stream segregation ability in children with Asperger syndrome. In order to investigate this question further, we used an interleaved melody recognition task with children in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this task, a probe melody is followed by a mixed sequence, made up of a target melody interleaved with a distractor melody. These two melodies have either the same [0 semitone (ST)] or a different mean frequency (6, 12 or 24 ST separation conditions). Children have to identify if the probe melody is present in the mixed sequence. Children with ASD performed better than typical children when melodies were completely embedded. Conversely, they were impaired in the ST separation conditions. Our results confirm the difficulty of children with ASD in using a frequency cue to organize auditory perceptual information. However, superior performance in the completely embedded condition may result from superior perceptual processes in autism. We propose that this atypical pattern of results might reflect the expression of a single cognitive feature in autism.
Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the…
Change detection requires perceptual comparison and decision processes on different features of multiattribute objects. How relative salience between two feature-changes influences the processes has not been addressed. This study used the systems factorial technology to investigate the processes when detecting changes in a Gabor patch with visual inputs from orientation and spatial frequency channels. Two feature-changes were equally salient in Experiment 1, but a frequency-change was more salient than an orientation-change in Experiment 2. Results showed that all four observers adopted parallel self-terminating processing with limited- to unlimited-capacity processing in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, one observer used parallel self-terminating processing with unlimited-capacity processing, and the others adopted serial self-terminating processing with limited- to unlimited-capacity processing to detect changes. Postexperimental interview revealed that subjective utility of feature information underlay the adoption of a decision strategy. These results highlight that observers alter decision strategies in change detection depending on the relative saliency in change signals, with relative saliency being determined by both physical salience and subjective weight of feature information. When relative salience exists, individual differences in the process characteristics emerge.
Koshino, Hideya; Olid, Pilar
The present study investigated interactions between working memory load and perceptual load. The load theory (Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004 ) claims that perceptual load decreases distractor interference, whereas working memory load increases interference. However, recent studies showed that effects of working memory might depend on the relationship between modalities of working memory and task stimuli. Here, we examined whether the relationship between working memory load and perceptual load would remain the same across modalities. The results of Experiment 1 showed that verbal working memory load did not affect a compatibility effect for low perceptual load, whereas it increased the compatibility effect for high perceptual load. In Experiment 2, the compatibility effect remained the same regardless of visual working memory load. These results suggest that the effects of working memory load and perceptual load depend on the relationship between the modalities of working memory and stimuli.
Seth, Anil K
Normal perception involves experiencing objects within perceptual scenes as real, as existing in the world. This property of "perceptual presence" has motivated "sensorimotor theories" which understand perception to involve the mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. However, the mechanistic basis of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery has remained unclear. Sensorimotor theory also struggles to explain instances of perception, such as synesthesia, that appear to lack perceptual presence and for which relevant sensorimotor contingencies are difficult to identify. On alternative "predictive processing" theories, perceptual content emerges from probabilistic inference on the external causes of sensory signals, however, this view has addressed neither the problem of perceptual presence nor synesthesia. Here, I describe a theory of predictive perception of sensorimotor contingencies which (1) accounts for perceptual presence in normal perception, as well as its absence in synesthesia, and (2) operationalizes the notion of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery. The core idea is that generative models underlying perception incorporate explicitly counterfactual elements related to how sensory inputs would change on the basis of a broad repertoire of possible actions, even if those actions are not performed. These "counterfactually-rich" generative models encode sensorimotor contingencies related to repertoires of sensorimotor dependencies, with counterfactual richness determining the degree of perceptual presence associated with a stimulus. While the generative models underlying normal perception are typically counterfactually rich (reflecting a large repertoire of possible sensorimotor dependencies), those underlying synesthetic concurrents are hypothesized to be counterfactually poor. In addition to accounting for the phenomenology of synesthesia, the theory naturally accommodates phenomenological differences between a range of experiential states
Allen, Elizabeth C; Beilock, Sian L; Shevell, Steven K
We explored the relation between individual differences in working memory (WM) and color constancy, the phenomenon of color perception that allows us to perceive the color of an object as relatively stable under changes in illumination. Successive color constancy (measured by first viewing a colored surface under a particular illumination and later recalling it under a new illumination) was better for higher WM individuals than for lower WM individuals. Moreover, the magnitude of this WM difference depended on how much contextual information was available in the scene, which typically improves color constancy. By contrast, simple color memory, measured by viewing and recalling a colored surface under the same illumination, showed no significant relation to WM. This study reveals a relation between WM and a low-level perceptual process not previously thought to operate within the confines of attentional control, and it provides a first account of the individual differences in color constancy known about for decades.
Cantwell, George; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Roeder, Jessica L; Ashby, F Gregory
The field of computational cognitive neuroscience (CCN) builds and tests neurobiologically detailed computational models that account for both behavioral and neuroscience data. This article leverages a key advantage of CCN-namely, that it should be possible to interface different CCN models in a plug-and-play fashion-to produce a new and biologically detailed model of perceptual category learning. The new model was created from two existing CCN models: the HMAX model of visual object processing and the COVIS model of category learning. Using bitmap images as inputs and by adjusting only a couple of learning-rate parameters, the new HMAX/COVIS model provides impressively good fits to human category-learning data from two qualitatively different experiments that used different types of category structures and different types of visual stimuli. Overall, the model provides a comprehensive neural and behavioral account of basal ganglia-mediated learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Allen, Elizabeth C.; Beilock, Sian L.; Shevell, Steven K.
We explored the relation between individual differences in working memory (WM) and color constancy, the phenomenon of color perception that allows us to perceive the color of an object as relatively stable under changes in illumination. Successive color constancy (measured by first viewing a colored surface under a particular illumination and later recalling it under a new illumination) was better for higher-WM individuals than for lower-WM individuals. Moreover, the magnitude of this WM difference depended on how much contextual information was available in the scene, which typically improves color constancy. By contrast, simple color memory, measured by viewing and recalling a colored surface under the same illumination, showed no significant relation to WM. This study reveals a relation between WM and a low-level perceptual process not previously thought to operate within the confines of attentional control, and provides a first account of the individual differences in color constancy known about for decades. PMID:21480748
Moher, Jeff; Song, Joo-Hyun
The motor system is tightly linked with perception and cognition. Recent studies have shown that even anticipated biophysical action costs associated with competing response options can be incorporated into decision-making processes. As a result, choices associated with high energy costs are less likely to be selected. However, some action costs may be harder to predict. For example, a person choosing among apples at a grocery store may change his or her mind suddenly about which apple to put into the cart. This change of mind may be reflected in motor output as the initial decision triggers a motor response toward a Granny Smith that is subsequently redirected toward a Red Delicious. In the present study, to examine how motor costs associated with changes of mind affect perceptual decision making, participants performed a difficult random dot–motion discrimination task in which they had to indicate the direction of motion by reaching to one of two response options. Although each response box was always equidistant from the starting position, the physical distance between the two response options was varied. We found that when the boxes were far apart from one another, and thus changes of mind incurred greater redirection motor costs, change-of-mind frequency decreased while latency to initiate movement increased. This occurred even when response box distance varied randomly from trial to trial and was cued only 1 s before each trial began. Thus, we demonstrated that observers can dynamically adjust perceptual decision-making processes to avoid high motor costs incurred by a change of mind. PMID:24986186
Xu, Jiansong; Monterosso, John; Kober, Hedy; Balodis, Iris M.; Potenza, Marc N.
Background The load theory of selective attention hypothesizes that distractor interference is suppressed after perceptual processing (i.e., in the later stage of central processing) at low perceptual load of the central task, but in the early stage of perceptual processing at high perceptual load. Consistently, studies on the neural correlates of attention have found a smaller distractor-related activation in the sensory cortex at high relative to low perceptual load. However, it is not clear whether the distractor-related activation in brain regions linked to later stages of central processing (e.g., in the frontostriatal circuits) is also smaller at high rather than low perceptual load, as might be predicted based on the load theory. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied 24 healthy participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a visual target identification task with two perceptual loads (low vs. high). Participants showed distractor-related increases in activation in the midbrain, striatum, occipital and medial and lateral prefrontal cortices at low load, but distractor-related decreases in activation in the midbrain ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (VTA/SN), striatum, thalamus, and extensive sensory cortices at high load. Conclusions Multiple levels of central processing involving midbrain and frontostriatal circuits participate in suppressing distractor interference at either low or high perceptual load. For suppressing distractor interference, the processing of sensory inputs in both early and late stages of central processing are enhanced at low load but inhibited at high load. PMID:21267080
Xu, Jiansong; Monterosso, John; Kober, Hedy; Balodis, Iris M; Potenza, Marc N
The load theory of selective attention hypothesizes that distractor interference is suppressed after perceptual processing (i.e., in the later stage of central processing) at low perceptual load of the central task, but in the early stage of perceptual processing at high perceptual load. Consistently, studies on the neural correlates of attention have found a smaller distractor-related activation in the sensory cortex at high relative to low perceptual load. However, it is not clear whether the distractor-related activation in brain regions linked to later stages of central processing (e.g., in the frontostriatal circuits) is also smaller at high rather than low perceptual load, as might be predicted based on the load theory. We studied 24 healthy participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a visual target identification task with two perceptual loads (low vs. high). Participants showed distractor-related increases in activation in the midbrain, striatum, occipital and medial and lateral prefrontal cortices at low load, but distractor-related decreases in activation in the midbrain ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (VTA/SN), striatum, thalamus, and extensive sensory cortices at high load. Multiple levels of central processing involving midbrain and frontostriatal circuits participate in suppressing distractor interference at either low or high perceptual load. For suppressing distractor interference, the processing of sensory inputs in both early and late stages of central processing are enhanced at low load but inhibited at high load.
Aggelopoulos, Nikolaos C
Perceptual inference refers to the ability to infer sensory stimuli from predictions that result from internal neural representations built through prior experience. Methods of Bayesian statistical inference and decision theory model cognition adequately by using error sensing either in guiding action or in "generative" models that predict the sensory information. In this framework, perception can be seen as a process qualitatively distinct from sensation, a process of information evaluation using previously acquired and stored representations (memories) that is guided by sensory feedback. The stored representations can be utilised as internal models of sensory stimuli enabling long term associations, for example in operant conditioning. Evidence for perceptual inference is contributed by such phenomena as the cortical co-localisation of object perception with object memory, the response invariance in the responses of some neurons to variations in the stimulus, as well as from situations in which perception can be dissociated from sensation. In the context of perceptual inference, sensory areas of the cerebral cortex that have been facilitated by a priming signal may be regarded as comparators in a closed feedback loop, similar to the better known motor reflexes in the sensorimotor system. The adult cerebral cortex can be regarded as similar to a servomechanism, in using sensory feedback to correct internal models, producing predictions of the outside world on the basis of past experience. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Vakil, E; Sigal, J
Twenty-four closed-head-injured (CHI) and 24 control participants studied two word lists under shallow (i.e., nonsemantic) and deep (i.e., semantic) encoding conditions. They were then tested on free recall, perceptual priming (i.e., perceptual partial word identification) and conceptual priming (i.e., category production) tasks. Previous findings have demonstrated that memory in CHI is characterized by inefficient conceptual processing of information. It was thus hypothesized that the CHI participants would perform more poorly than the control participants on the explicit and on the conceptual priming tasks. On these tasks the CHI group was expected to benefit to a lesser degree from prior deep encoding, as compared to controls. The groups were not expected to significantly differ from each other on the perceptual priming task. Prior deep encoding was not expected to improve the perceptual priming performance of either group. All findings were as predicted, with the exception that a significant effect was not found between groups for deep encoding in the conceptual priming task. The results are discussed (1) in terms of their theoretical contribution in further validating the dissociation between perceptual and conceptual priming; and (2) in terms of the contribution in differentiating between amnesic and CHI patients. Conceptual priming is preserved in amnesics but not in CHI patients.
Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T; Drivonikou, Vicky G; Notman, Leslie A; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R L
Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest.
Nikolaou, Kyriaki; Critchley, Hugo; Duka, Theodora
, alcohol appears to have little impact on the early visual processing of infrequent perceptual cues. These observations clarify clinically-important effects of alcohol on behaviour.
Hein, G; Schubert, T; von Cramon, D Y
Using a classical psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm we investigated whether increased interference between dual-task input processes is one possible source of dual-task deficits in patients with closed-head injury (CHI). Patients and age-matched controls were asked to give speeded motor reactions to an auditory and a visual stimulus. The perceptual difficulty of the visual stimulus was manipulated by varying its intensity. The results of Experiment 1 showed that CHI patients suffer from increased interference between dual-task input processes, which is related to the salience of the visual stimulus. A second experiment indicated that this input interference may be specific to brain damage following CHI. It is not evident in other groups of neurological patients like Parkinson's disease patients. We conclude that the non-interfering processing of input stages in dual-tasks requires cognitive control. A decline in the control of input processes should be considered as one source of dual-task deficits in CHI patients.
Binder, Marek; Gociewicz, Krzysztof; Windey, Bert; Koculak, Marcin; Finc, Karolina; Nikadon, Jan; Derda, Monika; Cleeremans, Axel
According to the levels-of-processing hypothesis, transitions from unconscious to conscious perception may depend on stimulus processing level, with more gradual changes for low-level stimuli and more dichotomous changes for high-level stimuli. In an event-related fMRI study we explored this hypothesis using a visual backward masking procedure. Task requirements manipulated level of processing. Participants reported the magnitude of the target digit in the high-level task, its color in the low-level task, and rated subjective visibility of stimuli using the Perceptual Awareness Scale. Intermediate stimulus visibility was reported more frequently in the low-level task, confirming prior behavioral results. Visible targets recruited insulo-fronto-parietal regions in both tasks. Task effects were observed in visual areas, with higher activity in the low-level task across all visibility levels. Thus, the influence of level of processing on conscious perception may be mediated by attentional modulation of activity in regions representing features of consciously experienced stimuli. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fitousi, Daniel; Wenger, Michael J
Variations in perceptual and cognitive demands (load) play a major role in determining the efficiency of selective attention. According to load theory (Lavie, Hirst, Fockert, & Viding, 2004) these factors (a) improve or hamper selectivity by altering the way resources (e.g., processing capacity) are allocated, and (b) tap resources rather than data limitations (Norman & Bobrow, 1975). Here we provide an extensive and rigorous set of tests of these assumptions. Predictions regarding changes in processing capacity are tested using the hazard function of the response time (RT) distribution (Townsend & Ashby, 1978; Wenger & Gibson, 2004). The assumption that load taps resource rather than data limitations is examined using measures of sensitivity and bias drawn from signal detection theory (Swets, 1964). All analyses were performed at two levels: the individual and the aggregate. Hypotheses regarding changes in processing capacity were confirmed at the level of the aggregate. Hypotheses regarding resource and data limitations were not completely supported at either level of analysis. And in all of the analyses, we observed substantial individual differences. In sum, the results suggest a need to expand the theoretical vocabulary of load theory, rather than a need to discard it.
Corina, David P.; Grosvald, Michael
In this paper, we compare responses of deaf signers and hearing non-signers engaged in a categorization task of signs and non-linguistic human actions. We examine the time it takes to make such categorizations under conditions of 180-degree stimulus inversion and as a function of repetition priming, in an effort to understand whether the processing of sign language forms draws upon special processing mechanisms or makes use of mechanisms used in recognition of non-linguistic human actions. Our data show that deaf signers were much faster in the categorization of both linguistic and non-linguistic actions, and relative to hearing non-signers, show evidence that they were more sensitive to the configural properties of signs. Our study suggests that sign expertise may lead to modifications of a general-purpose human action recognition system rather than evoking a qualitatively different mode of processing, and supports the contention that signed languages make use of perceptual systems through which humans understand or parse human actions and gestures more generally. PMID:22153323
Kleim, B.; Ehring, T.; Ehlers, A.
Background Intrusive re-experiencing in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comprises distressing sensory impressions from the trauma that seem to occur ‘out of the blue’. A key question is how intrusions are triggered. One possibility is that PTSD is characterized by a processing advantage for stimuli that resemble those that accompanied the trauma, which would lead to increased detection of such cues in the environment. Method We used a blurred picture identification task in a cross-sectional (n=99) and a prospective study (n=221) of trauma survivors. Results Participants with acute stress disorder (ASD) or PTSD, but not trauma survivors without these disorders, identified trauma-related pictures, but not general threat pictures, better than neutral pictures. There were no group differences in the rate of trauma-related answers to other picture categories. The relative processing advantage for trauma-related pictures correlated with re-experiencing and dissociation, and predicted PTSD at follow-up. Conclusions A perceptual processing bias for trauma-related stimuli may contribute to the involuntary triggering of intrusive trauma memories in PTSD. PMID:21733208
Jolij, Jacob; Scholte, H Steven; van Gaal, Simon; Hodgson, Timothy L; Lamme, Victor A F
Humans largely guide their behavior by their visual representation of the world. Recent studies have shown that visual information can trigger behavior within 150 msec, suggesting that visually guided responses to external events, in fact, precede conscious awareness of those events. However, is such a view correct? By using a texture discrimination task, we show that the brain relies on long-latency visual processing in order to guide perceptual decisions. Decreasing stimulus saliency leads to selective changes in long-latency visually evoked potential components reflecting scene segmentation. These latency changes are accompanied by almost equal changes in simple RTs and points of subjective simultaneity. Furthermore, we find a strong correlation between individual RTs and the latencies of scene segmentation related components in the visually evoked potentials, showing that the processes underlying these late brain potentials are critical in triggering a response. However, using the same texture stimuli in an antisaccade task, we found that reflexive, but erroneous, prosaccades, but not antisaccades, can be triggered by earlier visual processes. In other words: The brain can act quickly, but decides late. Differences between our study and earlier findings suggesting that action precedes conscious awareness can be explained by assuming that task demands determine whether a fast and unconscious, or a slower and conscious, representation is used to initiate a visually guided response.
Roper, Zachary J J; Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P
One account of the early versus late selection debate in attention proposes that perceptual load determines the locus of selection. Attention selects stimuli at a late processing level under low-load conditions but selects stimuli at an early level under high-load conditions. Despite the successes of perceptual load theory, a noncircular definition of perceptual load remains elusive. We investigated the factors that influence perceptual load by using manipulations that have been studied extensively in visual search, namely target-distractor similarity and distractor-distractor similarity. Consistent with previous work, search was most efficient when targets and distractors were dissimilar and the displays contained homogeneous distractors; search became less efficient when target-distractor similarity increased irrespective of display heterogeneity. Importantly, we used these same stimuli in a typical perceptual load task that measured attentional spillover to a task-irrelevant flanker. We found a strong correspondence between search efficiency and perceptual load; stimuli that generated efficient searches produced flanker interference effects, suggesting that such displays involved low perceptual load. Flanker interference effects were reduced in displays that produced less efficient searches. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that search difficulty, as measured by search intercept, has little bearing on perceptual load. We conclude that rather than be arbitrarily defined, perceptual load might be defined by well-characterized, continuous factors that influence visual search. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Roper, Zachary J. J.; Cosman, Joshua D.; Vecera, Shaun P.
One account of the early versus late selection debate in attention proposes that perceptual load determines the locus of selection. Attention selects stimuli at a late processing level under low-load conditions but selects stimuli at an early level under high-load conditions. Despite the successes of perceptual load theory, a non-circular definition of perceptual load remains elusive. We investigated the factors that influence perceptual load by using manipulations that have been studied extensively in visual search, namely target-distractor similarity and distractor-distractor similarity. Consistent with previous work, search was most efficient when targets and distractors were dissimilar and the displays contained homogeneous distractors; search became less efficient when target-distractor similarity increased irrespective of display heterogeneity. Importantly, we used these same stimuli in a typical perceptual load task that measured attentional spill-over to a task-irrelevant flanker. We found a strong correspondence between search efficiency and perceptual load; stimuli that generated efficient searches produced flanker interference effects, suggesting that such displays involved low perceptual load. Flanker interference effects were reduced in displays that produced less efficient searches. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that search difficulty, as measured by search intercept, has little bearing on perceptual load. These results suggest that perceptual load might be defined in part by well-characterized, continuous factors that influence visual search. PMID:23398258
Ettlin, Florence; Bröder, Arndt
Adaptive strategy selection implies that a decision strategy is chosen based on its fit to the task and situation. However, other aspects, such as the way information is presented, can determine information search behavior; especially when the application of certain strategies over others is facilitated. But are such display effects on multi-attribute decisions also at work when the manipulation does not entail differential costs for different decision strategies? Three Mouselab experiments with hidden information and one eye tracking experiment with an open information board revealed that decision behavior is unaffected by purely perceptual manipulations of the display based on Gestalt principles; that is, based on manipulations that induce no noteworthy processing costs for different information search patterns. We discuss our results in the context of previous findings on display effects; specifically, how the combination of these findings and our results reveal the crucial role of differential processing costs for different strategies for the emergence of display effects. This finding describes a boundary condition of the commonly acknowledged influence of information displays and is in line with the ideas of adaptive strategy selection and cost-benefit tradeoffs. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Macar, Françoise; Coull, Jennifer; Vidal, Franck
The neural bases of timing mechanisms in the second-to-minute range are currently investigated using multidisciplinary approaches. This paper documents the involvement of the supplementary motor area (SMA) in the encoding of target durations by reporting convergent fMRI data from motor and perceptual timing tasks. Event-related fMRI was used in two temporal procedures, involving (1) the production of an accurate interval as compared to an accurate force, and (2) a dual-task of time and colour discrimination with parametric manipulation of the level of attention attributed to each parameter. The first study revealed greater activation of the SMA proper in skilful control of time compared to force. The second showed that increasing attentional allocation to time increased activity in a cortico-striatal network including the pre-SMA (in contrast with the occipital cortex for increasing attention to colour). Further, the SMA proper was sensitive to the attentional modulation cued prior to the time processing period. Taken together, these data and related literature suggest that the SMA plays a key role in time processing as part of the striato-cortical pathway previously identified by animal studies, human neuropsychology and neuroimaging.
Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the effects of load on conscious perception using the "inattentional blindness" paradigm. As predicted by load theory, awareness of a task-irrelevant stimulus was significantly reduced by higher perceptual load (with increased numbers of search items, or a harder discrimination vs. detection task). These results demonstrate that conscious perception of task-irrelevant stimuli critically depends upon the level of task-relevant perceptual load rather than intentions or expectations, thus enhancing the resolution to the early vs. late selection debate offered by the perceptual load theory.
Brugger, Peter; Loetscher, Tobias; Graves, Roger E; Knoch, Daria
Coarse semantic encoding and broad categorization behavior are the hallmarks of the right cerebral hemisphere's contribution to language processing. We correlated 40 healthy subjects' breadth of categorization as assessed with Pettigrew's category width scale with lateral asymmetries in perceptual and representational space. Specifically, we hypothesized broader category width to be associated with larger leftward spatial biases. For the 20 men, but not the 20 women, this hypothesis was confirmed both in a lateralized tachistoscopic task with chimeric faces and a random digit generation task; the higher a male participant's score on category width, the more pronounced were his left-visual field bias in the judgement of chimeric faces and his small-number preference in digit generation ("small" is to the left of "large" in number space). Subjects' category width was unrelated to lateral displacements in a blindfolded tactile-motor rod centering task. These findings indicate that visual-spatial functions of the right hemisphere should not be considered independent of the same hemisphere's contribution to language. Linguistic and spatial cognition may be more tightly interwoven than is currently assumed.
Han, S; Humphreys, G W; Chen, L
The role of perceptual grouping and the encoding of closure of local elements in the processing of hierarchical patterns was studied. Experiments 1 and 2 showed a global advantage over the local level for 2 tasks involving the discrimination of orientation and closure, but there was a local advantage for the closure discrimination task relative to the orientation discrimination task. Experiment 3 showed a local precedence effect for the closure discrimination task when local element grouping was weakened by embedding the stimuli from Experiment 1 in a background made up of cross patterns. Experiments 4A and 4B found that dissimilarity of closure between the local elements of hierarchical stimuli and the background figures could facilitate the grouping of closed local elements and enhanced the perception of global structure. Experiment 5 showed that the advantage for detecting the closure of local elements in hierarchical analysis also held under divided- and selective-attention conditions. Results are consistent with the idea that grouping between local elements takes place in parallel and competes with the computation of closure of local elements in determining the selection between global and local levels of hierarchical patterns for response.
Kopp, Bruno; Wessel, Karl
In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to investigate cognitive processes related to the partial transmission of information from stimulus recognition to response preparation. Participants classified two-dimensional visual stimuli with dimensions size and form. One feature combination was designated as the go-target, whereas the other three feature combinations served as no-go distractors. Size discriminability was manipulated across three experimental conditions. N2c and P3a amplitudes were enhanced in response to those distractors that shared the feature from the faster dimension with the target. Moreover, N2c and P3a amplitudes showed a crossover effect: Size distractors evoked more pronounced ERPs under high size discriminability, but form distractors elicited enhanced ERPs under low size discriminability. These results suggest that partial perceptual-motor transmission of information is accompanied by acts of cognitive control and by shifts of attention between the sources of conflicting information. Selection negativity findings imply adaptive allocation of visual feature-based attention across the two stimulus dimensions.
Dosher, Barbara; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Visual perceptual learning through practice or training can significantly improve performance on visual tasks. Originally seen as a manifestation of plasticity in the primary visual cortex, perceptual learning is more readily understood as improvements in the function of brain networks that integrate processes, including sensory representations, decision, attention, and reward, and balance plasticity with system stability. This review considers the primary phenomena of perceptual learning, theories of perceptual learning, and perceptual learning's effect on signal and noise in visual processing and decision. Models, especially computational models, play a key role in behavioral and physiological investigations of the mechanisms of perceptual learning and for understanding, predicting, and optimizing human perceptual processes, learning, and performance. Performance improvements resulting from reweighting or readout of sensory inputs to decision provide a strong theoretical framework for interpreting perceptual learning and transfer that may prove useful in optimizing learning in real-world applications.
Fox, Elaine; Yates, Alan; Ashwin, Chris
The impact of trait anxiety and perceptual load on selective attention was examined in a fear conditioning paradigm. A fear-conditioned angry face (CS+), an unconditioned angry face (CS−), or an unconditioned face with a neutral or happy expression were used in distractor interference and attentional probe tasks. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants classified centrally presented letters under two conditions of perceptual load. When perceptual load was high, distractors had no effect on selective attention, even with aversive conditioning. However, when perceptual load was low, strong response interference effects for CS+ face distractors were found for low trait-anxious participants. Across both experiments, this enhanced distractor interference reversed to strong facilitation effects for those reporting high trait anxiety. Thus, high trait-anxious participants were faster, rather than slower, when ignoring CS+ distractors. Using an attentional probe task in Experiment 3, it was found that fear conditioning resulted in strong attentional avoidance in a high trait-anxious group, which contrasted with enhanced vigilance in a low trait-anxious group. These results demonstrate that the impact of fear conditioning on attention is modulated by individual variation in trait anxiety when perceptual load is low. Fear conditioning elicits an avoidance of threat-relevant stimuli in high trait-anxious participants. PMID:21875186
Fox, Elaine; Yates, Alan; Ashwin, Chris
The impact of trait anxiety and perceptual load on selective attention was examined in a fear conditioning paradigm. A fear-conditioned angry face (CS+), an unconditioned angry face (CS-), or an unconditioned face with a neutral or happy expression were used in distractor interference and attentional probe tasks. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants classified centrally presented letters under two conditions of perceptual load. When perceptual load was high, distractors had no effect on selective attention, even with aversive conditioning. However, when perceptual load was low, strong response interference effects for CS+ face distractors were found for low trait-anxious participants. Across both experiments, this enhanced distractor interference reversed to strong facilitation effects for those reporting high trait anxiety. Thus, high trait-anxious participants were faster, rather than slower, when ignoring CS+ distractors. Using an attentional probe task in Experiment 3, it was found that fear conditioning resulted in strong attentional avoidance in a high trait-anxious group, which contrasted with enhanced vigilance in a low trait-anxious group. These results demonstrate that the impact of fear conditioning on attention is modulated by individual variation in trait anxiety when perceptual load is low. Fear conditioning elicits an avoidance of threat-relevant stimuli in high trait-anxious participants. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Schmetz, Emilie; Rousselle, Laurence; Ballaz, Cécile; Detraux, Jean-Jacques; Barisnikov, Koviljka
This study aims to examine the different levels of visual perceptual object recognition (early, intermediate, and late) defined in Humphreys and Riddoch's model as well as basic visual spatial processing in children using a new test battery (BEVPS). It focuses on the age sensitivity, internal coherence, theoretical validity, and convergent validity of this battery. French-speaking, typically developing children (n = 179; 5 to 14 years) were assessed using 15 new computerized subtests. After selecting the most age-sensitive tasks though ceiling effect and correlation analyses, an exploratory factorial analysis was run with the 12 remaining subtests to examine the BEVPS' theoretical validity. Three separate factors were identified for the assessment of the stimuli's basic features (F1, four subtests), view-dependent and -independent object representations (F2, six subtests), and basic visual spatial processing (F3, two subtests). Convergent validity analyses revealed positive correlations between F1 and F2 and the Beery-VMI visual perception subtest, while no such correlations were found for F3. Children's performances progressed until the age of 9-10 years in F1 and in view-independent representations (F2), and until 11-12 years in view-dependent representations (F2). However, no progression with age was observed in F3. Moreover, the selected subtests, present good-to-excellent internal consistency, which indicates that they provide reliable measures for the assessment of visual perceptual processing abilities in children.
Czuba, Thaddeus B.; Cormack, Lawrence K.; Huk, Alexander C.
Although the visual system uses both velocity- and disparity-based binocular information for computing 3D motion, it is unknown whether (and how) these two signals interact. We found that these two binocular signals are processed distinctly at the levels of both cortical activity in human MT and perception. In human MT, adaptation to both velocity-based and disparity-based 3D motions demonstrated direction-selective neuroimaging responses. However, when adaptation to one cue was probed using the other cue, there was no evidence of interaction between them (i.e., there was no “cross-cue” adaptation). Analogous psychophysical measurements yielded correspondingly weak cross-cue motion aftereffects (MAEs) in the face of very strong within-cue adaptation. In a direct test of perceptual independence, adapting to opposite 3D directions generated by different binocular cues resulted in simultaneous, superimposed, opposite-direction MAEs. These findings suggest that velocity- and disparity-based 3D motion signals may both flow through area MT but constitute distinct signals and pathways. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Recent human neuroimaging and monkey electrophysiology have revealed 3D motion selectivity in area MT, which is driven by both velocity-based and disparity-based 3D motion signals. However, to elucidate the neural mechanisms by which the brain extracts 3D motion given these binocular signals, it is essential to understand how—or indeed if—these two binocular cues interact. We show that velocity-based and disparity-based signals are mostly separate at the levels of both fMRI responses in area MT and perception. Our findings suggest that the two binocular cues for 3D motion might be processed by separate specialized mechanisms. PMID:27798134
Joo, Sung Jun; Czuba, Thaddeus B; Cormack, Lawrence K; Huk, Alexander C
Although the visual system uses both velocity- and disparity-based binocular information for computing 3D motion, it is unknown whether (and how) these two signals interact. We found that these two binocular signals are processed distinctly at the levels of both cortical activity in human MT and perception. In human MT, adaptation to both velocity-based and disparity-based 3D motions demonstrated direction-selective neuroimaging responses. However, when adaptation to one cue was probed using the other cue, there was no evidence of interaction between them (i.e., there was no "cross-cue" adaptation). Analogous psychophysical measurements yielded correspondingly weak cross-cue motion aftereffects (MAEs) in the face of very strong within-cue adaptation. In a direct test of perceptual independence, adapting to opposite 3D directions generated by different binocular cues resulted in simultaneous, superimposed, opposite-direction MAEs. These findings suggest that velocity- and disparity-based 3D motion signals may both flow through area MT but constitute distinct signals and pathways. Recent human neuroimaging and monkey electrophysiology have revealed 3D motion selectivity in area MT, which is driven by both velocity-based and disparity-based 3D motion signals. However, to elucidate the neural mechanisms by which the brain extracts 3D motion given these binocular signals, it is essential to understand how-or indeed if-these two binocular cues interact. We show that velocity-based and disparity-based signals are mostly separate at the levels of both fMRI responses in area MT and perception. Our findings suggest that the two binocular cues for 3D motion might be processed by separate specialized mechanisms. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3610791-12$15.00/0.
Gallahue, David L.
Perceptual-motor functioning is a cyclic process involving: (1) organizing incoming sensory stimuli with past or stored perceptual information; (2) making motor (internal) decisions based on the combination of sensory (present) and perceptual (past) information; (3) executing the actual movement (observable act) itself; and (4) evaluating the act…
Performance of a skill that involves acting on a goal object (e.g., a ball to be hit) can influence one's judgment of the size and speed of that object. The present study examined how these action-specific effects are affected when the goal of the actor is varied and they are free to choose between alternative actions. In Experiment 1, expert baseball players were asked to perform three different directional hitting tasks in a batting simulation and make interleaved perceptual judgments about three ball parameters (speed, plate crossing location, and size). Perceived ball size was largest (and perceived speed was slowest) when the ball crossing location was optimal for the particular hitting task the batter was performing (e.g., an "outside" pitch for opposite-field hitting). The magnitude of processing dependency between variables (speed vs. location and size vs. location) was positively correlated with batting performance. In Experiment 2, the action-specific effects observed in Experiment 1 were mimicked by systematically changing the ball diameter in the simulation as a function of plate crossing location. The number of swing initiations was greater when ball size was larger, and batters were more successful in the hitting task for which the larger pitches were optimal (e.g., greater number of pull hits than opposite-field hits when "inside" pitches were larger). These findings suggest attentional accentuation of goal-relevant targets underlies action-related changes in perception and are consistent with an action selection role for these effects. 2013 APA, all rights reserved
Madden, Carol J.; Zwaan, Rolf A.
In 2 experiments, the authors investigated the ability of high- and low-span comprehenders to construe subtle shades of meaning through perceptual representation. High- and low-span comprehenders responded to pictures that either matched or mismatched a target object's shape as implied by the preceding sentence context. At 750 ms after hearing the…
Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria
So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when social hierarchy was processed using event-related potentials and observed hierarchical effects even in early stages of sensory-perceptual processing, suggesting early top–down modulation by social hierarchy. Moreover, in a parallel analysis, we fitted a drift-diffusion model (DDM) to the results to evaluate the decision making process of this perceptual task in the context of a social hierarchy. Consistently, the DDM pointed to nondecision time (probably perceptual encoding) as the principal period influenced by social hierarchy. PMID:23946003
Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M
Perceptual Load Theory has been proposed as a resolution to the longstanding early versus late selection debate in cognitive psychology. There is much evidence in support of Load Theory but very few applied studies, despite the potential for the model to shed light on everyday attention and distraction. Using a driving simulator, the effect of perceptual and cognitive load on drivers' visual search was assessed. The findings were largely in line with Load Theory, with reduced distractor processing under high perceptual load, but increased distractor processing under high cognitive load. The effect of load on driving behaviour was also analysed, with significant differences in driving behaviour under perceptual and cognitive load. In addition, the effect of perceptual load on drivers' levels of awareness was investigated. High perceptual load significantly increased inattentional blindness and deafness, for stimuli that were both relevant and irrelevant to driving. High perceptual load also increased RTs to hazards. The current study helps to advance Load Theory by illustrating its usefulness outside of traditional paradigms. There are also applied implications for driver safety and roadway design, as the current study suggests that perceptual and cognitive load are important factors in driver attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Johnston, James C.; Hochhaus, Larry; Ruthruff, Eric
Four experiments tested whether repetition blindness (RB; reduced accuracy reporting repetitions of briefly displayed items) is a perceptual or a memory-recall phenomenon. RB was measured in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) streams, with the task altered to reduce memory demands. In Experiment 1 only the number of targets (1 vs. 2) was reported, eliminating the need to remember target identities. Experiment 2 segregated repeated and nonrepeated targets into separate blocks to reduce bias against repeated targets. Experiments 3 and 4 required immediate "online" buttonpress responses to targets as they occurred. All 4 experiments showed very strong RB. Furthermore, the online response data showed clearly that the 2nd of the repeated targets is the one missed. The present results show that in the RSVP paradigm, RB occurs online during initial stimulus encoding and decision making. The authors argue that RB is indeed a perceptual phenomenon.
Soares, Sandra C; Rocha, Marta; Neiva, Tiago; Rodrigues, Paulo; Silva, Carlos F
Previous studies in the social anxiety arena have shown an impaired attentional control system, similar to that found in trait anxiety. However, the effect of task demands on social anxiety in socially threatening stimuli, such as angry faces, remains unseen. In the present study, 54 university students scoring high and low in the Social Interaction and Performance Anxiety and Avoidance Scale (SIPAAS) questionnaire, participated in a target letter discrimination task while task-irrelevant face stimuli (angry, disgust, happy, and neutral) were simultaneously presented. The results showed that high (compared to low) socially anxious individuals were more prone to distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli, particularly under high perceptual load conditions. More importantly, for such individuals, the accuracy proportions for angry faces significantly differed between the low and high perceptual load conditions, which is discussed in light of current evolutionary models of social anxiety.
Li, Bingcan; Mao, Xinrui; Wang, Yujuan; Guo, Chunyan
It is generally accepted that associative recognition memory is supported by recollection. In addition, recent research indicates that familiarity can support associative memory, especially when two items are unitized into a single item. Both perceptual and conceptual manipulations can be used to unitize items, but few studies have compared these two methods of unitization directly. In the present study, we investigated the effects of familiarity and recollection on successful retrieval of items that were unitized perceptually or conceptually. Participants were instructed to remember either a Chinese two-character compound or unrelated word-pairs, which were presented simultaneously or sequentially. Participants were then asked to recognize whether word-pairs were intact or rearranged. Event-related potential (ERP) recordings were performed during the recognition phase of the study. Two-character compounds were better discriminated than unrelated word-pairs and simultaneous presentation was found to elicit better discrimination than sequential presentation for unrelated word-pairs only. ERP recordings indicated that the early intact/rearranged effects (FN400), typically associated with familiarity, were elicited in compound word-pairs with both simultaneous and sequential presentation, and in simultaneously presented unrelated word-pairs, but not in sequentially presented unrelated word-pairs. In contrast, the late positive complex (LPC) effects associated with recollection were elicited in all four conditions. Together, these results indicate that while the engagement of familiarity in associative recognition is affected by both perceptual and conceptual unitization, conceptual unitization promotes a higher level of unitization (LOU). In addition, the engagement of recollection was not affected by unitized manipulations. It should be noted, however, that due to experimental design, the effects presented here may be due to semantic rather than episodic memory and
Kellman, Philip J.; Garrigan, Patrick
We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual
Stenneken, Prisca; Egetemeir, Johanna; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J; Schneider, Werner X; Finke, Kathrin
The cognitive causes as well as the neurological and genetic basis of developmental dyslexia, a complex disorder of written language acquisition, are intensely discussed with regard to multiple-deficit models. Accumulating evidence has revealed dyslexics' impairments in a variety of tasks requiring visual attention. The heterogeneity of these experimental results, however, points to the need for measures that are sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between impaired and preserved attentional components within a unified framework. This first parameter-based group study of attentional components in developmental dyslexia addresses potentially altered attentional components that have recently been associated with parietal dysfunctions in dyslexia. We aimed to isolate the general attentional resources that might underlie reduced span performance, i.e., either a deficient working memory storage capacity, or a slowing in visual perceptual processing speed, or both. Furthermore, by analysing attentional selectivity in dyslexia, we addressed a potential lateralized abnormality of visual attention, i.e., a previously suggested rightward spatial deviation compared to normal readers. We investigated a group of high-achieving young adults with persisting dyslexia and matched normal readers in an experimental whole report and a partial report of briefly presented letter arrays. Possible deviations in the parametric values of the dyslexic compared to the control group were taken as markers for the underlying deficit. The dyslexic group showed a striking reduction in perceptual processing speed (by 26% compared to controls) while their working memory storage capacity was in the normal range. In addition, a spatial deviation of attentional weighting compared to the control group was confirmed in dyslexic readers, which was larger in participants with a more severe dyslexic disorder. In general, the present study supports the relevance of perceptual processing speed in disorders
Kandel, Sonia; Burfin, Sabine; Méary, David; Ruiz-Tada, Elisa; Costa, Albert; Pascalis, Olivier
Early linguistic experience has an impact on the way we decode audiovisual speech in face-to-face communication. The present study examined whether differences in visual speech decoding could be linked to a broader difference in face processing. To identify a phoneme we have to do an analysis of the speaker's face to focus on the relevant cues for speech decoding (e.g., locating the mouth with respect to the eyes). Face recognition processes were investigated through two classic effects in face recognition studies: the Other-Race Effect (ORE) and the Inversion Effect. Bilingual and monolingual participants did a face recognition task with Caucasian faces (own race), Chinese faces (other race), and cars that were presented in an Upright or Inverted position. The results revealed that monolinguals exhibited the classic ORE. Bilinguals did not. Overall, bilinguals were slower than monolinguals. These results suggest that bilinguals' face processing abilities differ from monolinguals'. Early exposure to more than one language may lead to a perceptual organization that goes beyond language processing and could extend to face analysis. We hypothesize that these differences could be due to the fact that bilinguals focus on different parts of the face than monolinguals, making them more efficient in other race face processing but slower. However, more studies using eye-tracking techniques are necessary to confirm this explanation.
Fernández-Antelo, Inmaculada; Cuadrado-Gordillo, Isabel
Understanding the causes of adolescents' aggressive behavior in and through technological means and resources requires a thorough analysis of the criteria that they consider to be identifying and defining cyberbullying and of the network of relationships established between the different criteria. The present study has aimed at making a foray into the attempt to understand the underlying structures and mechanisms that determine aggressors' and victims' perceptions of the cyberbullying phenomenon. The sample consisted of 2148 adolescents (49.1% girls; SD = 0.5) of ages from 12 to 16 ( M = 13.9; SD = 1.2). The data collected through a validated questionnaire for this study whose dimensions were confirmed from the data extracted from the focus groups and a CFA of the victim and aggressor subsamples. The analysis of the data is completed with CFA and the construction of structural models. The results have shown the importance and interdependence of imbalance of power and intention to harm in the aggressors' perceptual structure. The criteria of anonymity and repetition are related to the asymmetry of power, giving greater prominence to this factor. In its perceptual structure, the criterion "social relationship" also appears, which indicates that the manifestations of cyberbullying are sometimes interpreted as patterns of behavior that have become massively extended among the adolescent population, and have become accepted as a normalized and harmless way of communicating with other adolescents. In the victims' perceptual structure the key factor is the intention to harm, closely linked to the asymmetry of power and publicity. Anonymity, revenge and repetition are also present in this structure, although its relationship with cyberbullying is indirect. These results allow to design more effective measures of prevention and intervention closely tailored to addressing directly the factors that are considered to be predictors of risk.
Fernández-Antelo, Inmaculada; Cuadrado-Gordillo, Isabel
Understanding the causes of adolescents' aggressive behavior in and through technological means and resources requires a thorough analysis of the criteria that they consider to be identifying and defining cyberbullying and of the network of relationships established between the different criteria. The present study has aimed at making a foray into the attempt to understand the underlying structures and mechanisms that determine aggressors' and victims' perceptions of the cyberbullying phenomenon. The sample consisted of 2148 adolescents (49.1% girls; SD = 0.5) of ages from 12 to 16 (M = 13.9; SD = 1.2). The data collected through a validated questionnaire for this study whose dimensions were confirmed from the data extracted from the focus groups and a CFA of the victim and aggressor subsamples. The analysis of the data is completed with CFA and the construction of structural models. The results have shown the importance and interdependence of imbalance of power and intention to harm in the aggressors' perceptual structure. The criteria of anonymity and repetition are related to the asymmetry of power, giving greater prominence to this factor. In its perceptual structure, the criterion “social relationship” also appears, which indicates that the manifestations of cyberbullying are sometimes interpreted as patterns of behavior that have become massively extended among the adolescent population, and have become accepted as a normalized and harmless way of communicating with other adolescents. In the victims' perceptual structure the key factor is the intention to harm, closely linked to the asymmetry of power and publicity. Anonymity, revenge and repetition are also present in this structure, although its relationship with cyberbullying is indirect. These results allow to design more effective measures of prevention and intervention closely tailored to addressing directly the factors that are considered to be predictors of risk. PMID:29632506
Plant, Katherine L; Stanton, Neville A
The perceptual cycle model (PCM) has been widely applied in ergonomics research in domains including road, rail and aviation. The PCM assumes that information processing occurs in a cyclical manner drawing on top-down and bottom-up influences to produce perceptual exploration and actions. However, the validity of the model has not been addressed. This paper explores the construct validity of the PCM in the context of aeronautical decision-making. The critical decision method was used to interview 20 helicopter pilots about critical decision-making. The data were qualitatively analysed using an established coding scheme, and composite PCMs for incident phases were constructed. It was found that the PCM provided a mutually exclusive and exhaustive classification of the information-processing cycles for dealing with critical incidents. However, a counter-cycle was also discovered which has been attributed to skill-based behaviour, characteristic of experts. The practical applications and future research questions are discussed. Practitioner Summary: This paper explores whether information processing, when dealing with critical incidents, occurs in the manner anticipated by the perceptual cycle model. In addition to the traditional processing cycle, a reciprocal counter-cycle was found. This research can be utilised by those who use the model as an accident analysis framework.
Liu, Tai-Ying; Chen, Yong-Sheng; Hsieh, Jen-Chuen; Chen, Li-Fen
The amygdala has been regarded as a key substrate for emotion processing. However, the engagement of the left and right amygdala during the early perceptual processing of different emotional faces remains unclear. We investigated the temporal profiles of oscillatory gamma activity in the amygdala and effective connectivity of the amygdala with the thalamus and cortical areas during implicit emotion-perceptual tasks using event-related magnetoencephalography (MEG). We found that within 100 ms after stimulus onset the right amygdala habituated to emotional faces rapidly (with duration around 20–30 ms), whereas activity in the left amygdala (with duration around 50–60 ms) sustained longer than that in the right. Our data suggest that the right amygdala could be linked to autonomic arousal generated by facial emotions and the left amygdala might be involved in decoding or evaluating expressive faces in the early perceptual emotion processing. The results of effective connectivity provide evidence that only negative emotional processing engages both cortical and subcortical pathways connected to the right amygdala, representing its evolutional significance (survival). These findings demonstrate the asymmetric engagement of bilateral amygdala in emotional face processing as well as the capability of MEG for assessing thalamo-cortico-limbic circuitry. PMID:25629899
Philbeck, John W.; Witt, Jessica K.
The action-specific perception account holds that people perceive the environment in terms of their ability to act in it. In this view, for example, decreased ability to climb a hill due to fatigue makes the hill visually appear to be steeper. Though influential, this account has not been universally accepted, and in fact a heated controversy has emerged. The opposing view holds that action capability has little or no influence on perception. Heretofore, the debate has been quite polarized, with efforts largely being focused on supporting one view and dismantling the other. We argue here that polarized debate can impede scientific progress and that the search for similarities between two sides of a debate can sharpen the theoretical focus of both sides and illuminate important avenues for future research. In this paper, we present a synthetic review of this debate, drawing from the literatures of both approaches, to clarify both the surprising similarities and the core differences between them. We critically evaluate existing evidence, discuss possible mechanisms of action-specific effects, and make recommendations for future research. A primary focus of future work will involve not only the development of methods that guard against action-specific post-perceptual effects, but also development of concrete, well-constrained underlying mechanisms. The criteria for what constitutes acceptable control of post-perceptual effects and what constitutes an appropriately specific mechanism vary between approaches, and bridging this gap is a central challenge for future research. PMID:26501227
Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T.; Drivonikou, Vicky G.; Notman, Leslie A.; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R. L.
Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest. PMID:27252669
Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.
The French philosopher M Merleau-Ponty captured the dynamic of perception with his idea of the intertwining of perceiver and perceived. Light is what links them. In the case of holographic images, not only is spatial and colour perception the pure product of light, but this light information is always in the process of self-construction with our eyes, according to our movements and the point of view adopted. According to the aesthetic reception of a work of art, Holographic images vary greatly from those of cinema, photography and even every kind of digital 3D animation. This particular image's status truly makes perceptually apparent the "co-emergence" of light and our gaze. But holography never misleads us with respect to the precarious nature of our perceptions. We have no illusion as to the limits of our empirical understanding of the perceived reality. Holography, like our knowledge of the visible, thus brings to light the phenomenon of reality's "co-constitution" and contributes to a dynamic ontology of perceptual and cognitive processes. The cognitivist Francico Varela defines this as the paradigm of enaction,i which I will adapt and apply to the appearance/disappearance context of holographic images to bring out their affinities on a metaphorical level.
Brown, J; Sherrill, C; Gench, B
Two approaches to facilitating perceptual-motor development in children, ages 4 to 6 yr., were investigated. The experimental group (n = 15) received 24 sessions of integrated physical education/music instruction based upon concepts of Kodaly and Dalcroze. The control group (n = 15) received 24 sessions of movement exploration and self-testing instruction. Analysis of covariance indicated that significant improvement occurred only in the experimental group, with discharges changes in the motor, auditory, and language aspects of perceptual-motor performance as well as total score.
Holloway, Ian D; Battista, Christian; Vogel, Stephan E; Ansari, Daniel
The ability to process the numerical magnitude of sets of items has been characterized in many animal species. Neuroimaging data have associated this ability to represent nonsymbolic numerical magnitudes (e.g., arrays of dots) with activity in the bilateral parietal lobes. Yet the quantitative abilities of humans are not limited to processing the numerical magnitude of nonsymbolic sets. Humans have used this quantitative sense as the foundation for symbolic systems for the representation of numerical magnitude. Although numerical symbol use is widespread in human cultures, the brain regions involved in processing of numerical symbols are just beginning to be understood. Here, we investigated the brain regions underlying the semantic and perceptual processing of numerical symbols. Specifically, we used an fMRI adaptation paradigm to examine the neural response to Hindu-Arabic numerals and Chinese numerical ideographs in a group of Chinese readers who could read both symbol types and a control group who could read only the numerals. Across groups, the Hindu-Arabic numerals exhibited ratio-dependent modulation in the left IPS. In contrast, numerical ideographs were associated with activation in the right IPS, exclusively in the Chinese readers. Furthermore, processing of the visual similarity of both digits and ideographs was associated with activation of the left fusiform gyrus. Using culture as an independent variable, we provide clear evidence for differences in the brain regions associated with the semantic and perceptual processing of numerical symbols. Additionally, we reveal a striking difference in the laterality of parietal activation between the semantic processing of the two symbols types.
Purwins, Hendrik; Herrera, Perfecto; Grachten, Maarten; Hazan, Amaury; Marxer, Ricard; Serra, Xavier
We present a review on perception and cognition models designed for or applicable to music. An emphasis is put on computational implementations. We include findings from different disciplines: neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and musicology. The article summarizes the methodology that these disciplines use to approach the phenomena of music understanding, the localization of musical processes in the brain, and the flow of cognitive operations involved in turning physical signals into musical symbols, going from the transducers to the memory systems of the brain. We discuss formal models developed to emulate, explain and predict phenomena involved in early auditory processing, pitch processing, grouping, source separation, and music structure computation. We cover generic computational architectures of attention, memory, and expectation that can be instantiated and tuned to deal with specific musical phenomena. Criteria for the evaluation of such models are presented and discussed. Thereby, we lay out the general framework that provides the basis for the discussion of domain-specific music models in Part II.
Karl, Christian; Hewig, Johannes; Osinsky, Roman
There is broad evidence that contextual factors influence the processing of emotional facial expressions. Yet temporal-dynamic aspects, inter alia how face processing is influenced by the specific order of neutral and emotional facial expressions, have been largely neglected. To shed light on this topic, we recorded electroencephalogram from 168 healthy participants while they performed a gender-discrimination task with angry and neutral faces. Our event-related potential (ERP) analyses revealed a strong emotional modulation of the N170 component, indicating that the basic visual encoding and emotional analysis of a facial stimulus happen, at least partially, in parallel. While the N170 and the late positive potential (LPP; 400-600 ms) were only modestly affected by the sequence of preceding faces, we observed a strong influence of face sequences on the early posterior negativity (EPN; 200-300 ms). Finally, the differing response patterns of the EPN and LPP indicate that these two ERPs represent distinct processes during face analysis: while the former seems to represent the integration of contextual information in the perception of a current face, the latter appears to represent the net emotional interpretation of a current face.
Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas
Humans are selective information processors who efficiently prevent goal-inappropriate stimulus information to gain control over their actions. Nonetheless, stimuli, which are both unnecessary for solving a current task and liable to cue an incorrect response (i.e., "distractors"), frequently modulate task performance, even when consistently paired with a physical feature that makes them easily discernible from target stimuli. Current models of cognitive control assume adjustment of the processing of distractor information based on the overall distractor utility (e.g., predictive value regarding the appropriate response, likelihood to elicit conflict with target processing). Although studies on distractor interference have supported the notion of utility-based processing adjustment, previous evidence is inconclusive regarding the specificity of this adjustment for distractor information and the stage(s) of processing affected. To assess the processing of distractors during sensory-perceptual phases we applied EEG recording in a stimulus identification task, involving successive distractor-target presentation, and manipulated the overall distractor utility. Behavioral measures replicated previously found utility modulations of distractor interference. Crucially, distractor-evoked visual potentials (i.e., posterior N1) were more pronounced in high-utility than low-utility conditions. This effect generalized to distractors unrelated to the utility manipulation, providing evidence for item-unspecific adjustment of early distractor processing to the experienced utility of distractor information. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3416720-06$15.00/0.
Brown, Judy; And Others
Two approaches to facilitating perceptual-motor development in children ages 4-6 were investigated. Fifteen children (the experimental group) received integrated physical education/music instruction based on Kodaly and Dalcroze (Eurhythmics) concepts. The control group received movement exploration and self-testing instruction. Significant…
Velarde, Carla; Perelstein, Elizabeth; Ressmann, Wendy; Duffy, Charles J.
We tested whether visual processing impairments in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) reflect uniform posterior cortical decline, or independent disorders of visual processing for reading and navigation. Young and older normal controls were compared to early AD patients using psychophysical measures of visual word and motion processing. We find elevated perceptual thresholds for letters and word discrimination from young normal controls, to older normal controls, to early AD patients. Across subject groups, visual motion processing showed a similar pattern of increasing thresholds, with the greatest impact on radial pattern motion perception. Combined analyses show that letter, word, and motion processing impairments are independent of each other. Aging and AD may be accompanied by independent impairments of visual processing for reading and navigation. This suggests separate underlying disorders and highlights the need for comprehensive evaluations to detect early deficits. PMID:22647256
McRobert, Allistair P; Ward, Paul; Eccles, David W; Williams, A Mark
We manipulated contextual information in order to examine the perceptual-cognitive processes that support anticipation using a simulated cricket-batting task. Skilled (N= 10) and less skilled (N= 10) cricket batters responded to video simulations of opponents bowling a cricket ball under high and low contextual information conditions. Skilled batters were more accurate, demonstrated more effective search behaviours, and provided more detailed verbal reports of thinking. Moreover, when they viewed their opponent multiple times (high context), they reduced their mean fixation time. All batters improved performance and altered thought processes when in the high context, compared to when they responded to their opponent without previously seeing them bowl (low context). Findings illustrate how context influences performance and the search for relevant information when engaging in a dynamic, time-constrained task. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.
Michael, George Andrew; Bacon, Elisabeth; Offerlin-Meyer, Isabelle
There is a general consensus that benzodiazepines affect attentional processes, yet only few studies have tried to investigate these impairments in detail. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of a single dose of Lorazepam on performance in a target cancellation task with important time constraints. We measured correct target detections and correct distractor rejections, misses and false positives. The results show that Lorazepam produces multiple kinds of shifts in performance, which suggests that it impairs multipLe processes: (a) the evolution of performance over time was not the same between the placebo and the Lorazepam groups, with the Lorazepam affecting performance quite early after the beginning of the test. This is suggestive of a depletion of attentional resources during sequential attentional processing; (b) Lorazepam affected differently target and distractor processing, with target detection being the most impaired; (c) misses were more frequent under Lorazepam than under placebo, but no such difference was observed as far as false positives were concerned. Signal detection analyses showed that Lorazepam (d) decreased perceptual discrimination, and (e) reliably increased response bias. Our results bring new insights on the multiple effects of Lorazepam on selective attention which, when combined, may have deleterious effects on human performance.
Petitto, L. A.; Berens, M. S.; Kovelman, I.; Dubins, M. H.; Jasinska, K.; Shalinsky, M.
In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4–6 months, older 10–12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and nonlinguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic processing in bilingual and monolingual babies is accomplished with the same language-specific brain areas classically observed in adults, including the left superior temporal gyrus (associated with phonetic processing) and the left inferior frontal cortex (associated with the search and retrieval of information about meanings, and syntactic and phonological patterning), with intriguing developmental timing differences: left superior temporal gyrus activation was observed early and remained stably active over time, while left inferior frontal cortex showed greater increase in neural activation in older babies notably at the precise age when babies’ enter the universal first-word milestone, thus revealing a first-time focal brain correlate that may mediate a universal behavioral milestone in early human language acquisition. A difference was observed in the older bilingual babies’ resilient neural and behavioral sensitivity to Non-Native phonetic contrasts at a time when monolingual babies can no longer make such discriminations. We advance the “Perceptual Wedge Hypothesis”as one possible explanation for how exposure to greater than one language may alter neural and language processing in ways that we suggest are advantageous to language users. The brains of bilinguals and multilinguals may provide the most powerful window into the full neural “extent and variability” that our human species’ language processing brain areas could potentially achieve. PMID:21724244
Wolf, Lois C.
This paper examines ways in which early childhood education can provide the vital foundation for lifelong attitudes and values toward the democratic process. One goal of early childhood education is to empower the social bonding which brings collaborative relationships to their full potential and gives the child a sense of connectedness to others.…
Bertone, Armando; Hanck, Julie; Kogan, Cary; Chaudhuri, Avi; Cornish, Kim
We have previously described (see companion paper, this issue) the utility of using perceptual signatures for defining and dissociating condition-specific neural functioning underlying early visual processes in autism and FXS. These perceptually-driven hypotheses are based on differential performance evidenced only at the earliest stages of visual…
Hinojosa, Jose A.; Martin-Loeches, Manuel; Munoz, Francisco; Casado, Pilar; Pozo, Miguel A.
This study investigates the automatic-controlled nature of early semantic processing by means of the Recognition Potential (RP), an event-related potential response that reflects lexical selection processes. For this purpose tasks differing in their processing requirements were used. Half of the participants performed a physical task involving a…
Poellmann, Katja; Mitterer, Holger; McQueen, James M.
Three eye-tracking experiments tested whether native listeners recognized reduced Dutch words better after having heard the same reduced words, or different reduced words of the same reduction type and whether familiarization with one reduction type helps listeners to deal with another reduction type. In the exposure phase, a segmental reduction group was exposed to /b/-reductions (e.g., minderij instead of binderij, “book binder”) and a syllabic reduction group was exposed to full-vowel deletions (e.g., p'raat instead of paraat, “ready”), while a control group did not hear any reductions. In the test phase, all three groups heard the same speaker producing reduced-/b/ and deleted-vowel words that were either repeated (Experiments 1 and 2) or new (Experiment 3), but that now appeared as targets in semantically neutral sentences. Word-specific learning effects were found for vowel-deletions but not for /b/-reductions. Generalization of learning to new words of the same reduction type occurred only if the exposure words showed a phonologically consistent reduction pattern (/b/-reductions). In contrast, generalization of learning to words of another reduction type occurred only if the exposure words showed a phonologically inconsistent reduction pattern (the vowel deletions; learning about them generalized to recognition of the /b/-reductions). In order to deal with reductions, listeners thus use various means. They store reduced variants (e.g., for the inconsistent vowel-deleted words) and they abstract over incoming information to build up and apply mapping rules (e.g., for the consistent /b/-reductions). Experience with inconsistent pronunciations leads to greater perceptual flexibility in dealing with other forms of reduction uttered by the same speaker than experience with consistent pronunciations. PMID:24910622
Cauchard, Fabrice; Eyrolle, Hélène; Cellier, Jean-Marie; Hyönä, Jukka
A previous study by Pollatsek et al. ( 1993 ) claims that the perceptual span in reading is restricted to the fixated line, i.e. readers typically focus their visual attention on the line of text being read. The present study investigated whether readers make use of content structure signals (paragraph indentations and topic headings) present several lines away from the currently fixated line. We reasoned that as these signals are low-resolution visual objects (as opposed to letter and word identity), readers may attend to them even if they are located some distance away from the fixated line. Participants read a hierarchically organized multi-topic expository text containing structure signals in either a normal condition or a window condition, where the text disappeared above and below a vertical 3° gaze-contingent region. After reading, participants were asked to produce a written recall of the text. The results showed that the overall reading rate was not affected by the window. Nevertheless, the headings were reread more in the normal condition than in the window one. In addition, more topics were recalled in the normal than in the window condition. We interpret the results as indicating that the readers visually attend to useful text layout features while considering bigger units than single text lines. The perception of topic headings located away from the fixated line may favour long-range regressions towards them, which in turn may favour text comprehension. This claim is consistent with previous studies that showed that look-back fixations to headings are performed with an integrative intent.
Working memory and attention are closely related. Recent research has shown that working memory can be viewed as internally directed attention. Working memory can affect attention in at least two ways. One is the effect of working memory load on attention, and the other is the effect of working memory contents on attention. In the present study, an interaction between working memory contents and perceptual load in distractor processing was investigated. Participants performed a perceptual load task in a standard form in one condition (Single task). In the other condition, a response-related distractor was maintained in working memory, rather than presented in the same stimulus display as a target (Dual task). For the Dual task condition, a significant compatibility effect was found under high perceptual load; however, there was no compatibility effect under low perceptual load. These results suggest that the way the contents of working memory affect visual search depends on perceptual load. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carmel, David; Thorne, Jeremy D.; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli
Increasing perceptual load reduces the processing of visual stimuli outside the focus of attention, but the mechanism underlying these effects remains unclear. Here we tested an account attributing the effects of perceptual load to modulations of visual cortex excitability. In contrast to stimulus competition accounts, which propose that load…
Wendt, Mike; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas
In a variety of conflict paradigms, target and distractor stimuli are defined in terms of perceptual features. Interference evoked by distractor stimuli tends to be reduced when the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials is decreased, suggesting conflict-induced perceptual filtering (i.e., adjusting the processing weights assigned to stimuli…
French, Robert M.; Mareschal, Denis; Mermillod, Martial; Quinn, Paul C.
Disentangling bottom-up and top-down processing in adult category learning is notoriously difficult. Studying category learning in infancy provides a simple way of exploring category learning while minimizing the contribution of top-down information. Three- to 4-month-old infants presented with cat or dog images will form a perceptual category…
Ehgoetz Martens, Kaylena A; Ellard, Colin G; Almeida, Quincy J
Research evidence has suggested that anxiety influences gait in PD, with an identified dopa-sensitive gait response in highly anxious PD. It has been well-established that accurate perception of the environment and sensory feedback is essential for gait. Arguably since sensory and perceptual deficits have been noted in PD, anxiety has the potential to exacerbate movement impairments, since one might expect that reducing resources needed to overcome or compensate for sensory-perceptual deficits may lead to even more severe gait impairments. It is possible that anxiety in threatening situations might consume more processing resources, limiting the ability to process information about the environment or one's own movement (sensory feedback) especially in highly anxious PD. Therefore, the current study aimed to (i) evaluate whether processing of threat-related aspects of the environment was influenced by anxiety, (ii) evaluate whether anxiety influences the ability to utilize sensory feedback in PD while walking in threatening situations, and (iii) further understand the role of dopaminergic medication on these processes in threatening situations in PD. Forty-eight participants (24 HC; 12 Low Anxious [LA-PD], 12 Highly Anxious [HA-PD]) completed 20 walking trials in virtual reality across a plank that was (i) located on the ground (GROUND) (ii) located above a deep pit (ELEVATED); while provided with or without visual feedback about their lower limbs (+VF; -VF). After walking across the plank, participants were asked to judge the width of the plank they had just walked across. The plank varied in size from 60-100 cm. Both ON and OFF dopaminergic medication states were evaluated in PD. Gait parameters, judgment error and self-reported anxiety levels were measured. Results showed that HA-PD reported greater levels of anxiety overall (p<0.001) compared to HC and LA-PD, and all participants reported greater anxiety during the ELEVATED condition compared to GROUND (p=0
Uhrmacher, P. Bruce; Conrad, Bradley M.; Moroye, Christy M.
Background/Context: Lesson planning is one of the most common activities required of teachers; however, since the late 1970s and early 1980s, it has not been a major focus of study, either conceptually or empirically. Although there are recent articles on the topic, much of the current work is specific to examining a particular teaching method or…
Ligomenides, Panos A.
A sensory world modeling system, congruent with a human expert's perception, is proposed. The Experiential Knowledge Base (EKB) system can provide a highly intelligible communication interface for telemonitoring and telecontrol of a real time robotic system operating in space. Paradigmatic acquisition of empirical perceptual knowledge, and real time experiential pattern recognition and knowledge integration are reviewed. The cellular architecture and operation of the EKB system are also examined.
Hinojosa, José A; Martín-Loeches, Manuel; Muñoz, Francisco; Casado, Pilar; Pozo, Miguel A
This study investigates the automatic-controlled nature of early semantic processing by means of the Recognition Potential (RP), an event-related potential response that reflects lexical selection processes. For this purpose tasks differing in their processing requirements were used. Half of the participants performed a physical task involving a lower-upper case discrimination judgement (shallow processing requirements), whereas the other half carried out a semantic task, consisting in detecting animal names (deep processing requirements). Stimuli were identical in the two tasks. Reaction time measures revealed that the physical task was easier to perform than the semantic task. However, RP effects elicited by the physical and semantic tasks did not differ in either latency, amplitude, or topographic distribution. Thus, the results from the present study suggest that early semantic processing is automatically triggered whenever a linguistic stimulus enters the language processor.
Mudrik, Liad; Shalgi, Shani; Lamy, Dominique; Deouell, Leon Y
Whether contextual regularities facilitate perceptual stages of scene processing is widely debated, and empirical evidence is still inconclusive. Specifically, it was recently suggested that contextual violations affect early processing of a scene only when the incongruent object and the scene are presented a-synchronously, creating expectations. We compared event-related potentials (ERPs) evoked by scenes that depicted a person performing an action using either a congruent or an incongruent object (e.g., a man shaving with a razor or with a fork) when scene and object were presented simultaneously. We also explored the role of attention in contextual processing by using a pre-cue to direct subjects׳ attention towards or away from the congruent/incongruent object. Subjects׳ task was to determine how many hands the person in the picture used in order to perform the action. We replicated our previous findings of frontocentral negativity for incongruent scenes that started ~ 210 ms post stimulus presentation, even earlier than previously found. Surprisingly, this incongruency ERP effect was negatively correlated with the reaction times cost on incongruent scenes. The results did not allow us to draw conclusions about the role of attention in detecting the regularity, due to a weak attention manipulation. By replicating the 200-300 ms incongruity effect with a new group of subjects at even earlier latencies than previously reported, the results strengthen the evidence for contextual processing during this time window even when simultaneous presentation of the scene and object prevent the formation of prior expectations. We discuss possible methodological limitations that may account for previous failures to find this an effect, and conclude that contextual information affects object model selection processes prior to full object identification, with semantic knowledge activation stages unfolding only later on. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tso, Ricky Van-yip; Au, Terry Kit-fong; Hsiao, Janet Hui-wen
Holistic processing and left-side bias are both behavioral markers of expert face recognition. By contrast, expert recognition of characters in Chinese orthography involves left-side bias but reduced holistic processing, although faces and Chinese characters share many visual properties. Here, we examined whether this reduction in holistic processing of Chinese characters can be better explained by writing experience than by reading experience. Compared with Chinese nonreaders, Chinese readers who had limited writing experience showed increased holistic processing, whereas Chinese readers who could write characters fluently showed reduced holistic processing. This result suggests that writing and sensorimotor experience can modulate holistic-processing effects and that the reduced holistic processing observed in expert Chinese readers may depend mostly on writing experience. However, both expert writers and writers with limited experience showed similarly stronger left-side bias than novices did in processing mirror-symmetric Chinese characters; left-side bias may therefore be a robust expertise marker for object recognition that is uninfluenced by sensorimotor experience. © The Author(s) 2014.
Gliga, Teodora; Volein, Agnes; Csibra, Gergely
Whether verbal labels help infants visually process and categorize objects is a contentious issue. Using electroencephalography, we investigated whether possessing familiar or novel labels for objects directly enhances 1-year-old children's neural processes underlying the perception of those objects. We found enhanced gamma-band (20-60 Hz)…
Myerson, Rosemarie Farkas
The purpose of this paper is to gain insight into the nature of the reading process through an understanding of the general nature of sensory processing mechanisms which reorganize and restructure input signals for central recognition, and an understanding of how the grammar of the language functions in defining the set of possible sentences in…
Sevinc, Gunes; Spreng, R Nathan
insight into distinct features of moral cognition, including the generation of moral context through associative processes and the perceptual detection of moral salience.
Sevinc, Gunes; Spreng, R. Nathan
moral input is affected by task demands. The results provide novel insight into distinct features of moral cognition, including the generation of moral context through associative processes and the perceptual detection of moral salience. PMID:24503959
Yoshida, Katherine A; Iversen, John R; Patel, Aniruddh D; Mazuka, Reiko; Nito, Hiromi; Gervain, Judit; Werker, Janet F
Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and English-learning infants of 5-6 and 7-8 months of age to explore the development of grouping preferences. At 5-6 months, neither the Japanese nor the English infants revealed any systematic perceptual biases. However, by 7-8 months, the same age as when linguistic phrasal grouping develops, infants developed non-linguistic grouping preferences consistent with their language's structure (and the grouping biases found in adulthood). These results reveal an early difference in non-linguistic perception between infants growing up in different language environments. The possibility that infants' linguistic phrasal grouping is bootstrapped by abstract perceptual principles is discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fisher, Katie; Towler, John; Eimer, Martin
It is frequently assumed that facial identity and facial expression are analysed in functionally and anatomically distinct streams within the core visual face processing system. To investigate whether expression and identity interact during the visual processing of faces, we employed a sequential matching procedure where participants compared either the identity or the expression of two successively presented faces, and ignored the other irrelevant dimension. Repetitions versus changes of facial identity and expression were varied independently across trials, and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during task performance. Irrelevant facial identity and irrelevant expression both interfered with performance in the expression and identity matching tasks. These symmetrical interference effects show that neither identity nor expression can be selectively ignored during face matching, and suggest that they are not processed independently. N250r components to identity repetitions that reflect identity matching mechanisms in face-selective visual cortex were delayed and attenuated when there was an expression change, demonstrating that facial expression interferes with visual identity matching. These findings provide new evidence for interactions between facial identity and expression within the core visual processing system, and question the hypothesis that these two attributes are processed independently. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Landrum, Asheley R; Lull, Robert B; Akin, Heather; Hasell, Ariel; Jamieson, Kathleen Hall
Previous research suggests that when individuals encounter new information, they interpret it through perceptual 'filters' of prior beliefs, relevant social identities, and messenger credibility. In short, evaluations are not based solely on message accuracy, but also on the extent to which the message and messenger are amenable to the values of one's social groups. Here, we use the release of Pope Francis's 2015 encyclical as the context for a natural experiment to examine the role of prior values in climate change cognition. Based on our analysis of panel data collected before and after the encyclical's release, we find that political ideology moderated views of papal credibility on climate change for those participants who were aware of the encyclical. We also find that, in some contexts, non-Catholics who were aware of the encyclical granted Pope Francis additional credibility compared to the non-Catholics who were unaware of it, yet Catholics granted the Pope high credibility regardless of encyclical awareness. Importantly, papal credibility mediated the conditional relationships between encyclical awareness and acceptance of the Pope's messages on climate change. We conclude by discussing how our results provide insight into cognitive processing of new information about controversial issues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Seth, Anil K.
Normal perception involves experiencing objects within perceptual scenes as real, as existing in the world. This property of “perceptual presence” has motivated “sensorimotor theories” which understand perception to involve the mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. However, the mechanistic basis of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery has remained unclear. Sensorimotor theory also struggles to explain instances of perception, such as synesthesia, that appear to lack perceptual presence and for which relevant sensorimotor contingencies are difficult to identify. On alternative “predictive processing” theories, perceptual content emerges from probabilistic inference on the external causes of sensory signals, however, this view has addressed neither the problem of perceptual presence nor synesthesia. Here, I describe a theory of predictive perception of sensorimotor contingencies which (1) accounts for perceptual presence in normal perception, as well as its absence in synesthesia, and (2) operationalizes the notion of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery. The core idea is that generative models underlying perception incorporate explicitly counterfactual elements related to how sensory inputs would change on the basis of a broad repertoire of possible actions, even if those actions are not performed. These “counterfactually-rich” generative models encode sensorimotor contingencies related to repertoires of sensorimotor dependencies, with counterfactual richness determining the degree of perceptual presence associated with a stimulus. While the generative models underlying normal perception are typically counterfactually rich (reflecting a large repertoire of possible sensorimotor dependencies), those underlying synesthetic concurrents are hypothesized to be counterfactually poor. In addition to accounting for the phenomenology of synesthesia, the theory naturally accommodates phenomenological differences between a range of experiential
Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo
Visual perceptual learning, a manifestation of neural plasticity, refers to improvements in performance on a visual task achieved by training. Attention is known to play an important role in perceptual learning, given that the observer's discriminative ability improves only for those stimulus feature that are attended. However, the distribution of attention can be severely constrained by perceptual grouping, a process whereby the visual system organizes the initial retinal input into candidate objects. Taken together, these two pieces of evidence suggest the interesting possibility that perceptual grouping might also affect perceptual learning, either directly or via attentional mechanisms. To address this issue, we conducted two experiments. During the training phase, participants attended to the contrast of the task-relevant stimulus (oriented grating), while two similar task-irrelevant stimuli were presented in the adjacent positions. One of the two flanking stimuli was perceptually grouped with the attended stimulus as a consequence of its similar orientation (Experiment 1) or because it was part of the same perceptual object (Experiment 2). A test phase followed the training phase at each location. Compared to the task-irrelevant no-grouping stimulus, orientation discrimination improved at the attended location. Critically, a perceptual learning effect equivalent to the one observed for the attended location also emerged for the task-irrelevant grouping stimulus, indicating that perceptual grouping induced a transfer of learning to the stimulus (or feature) being perceptually grouped with the task-relevant one. Our findings indicate that no voluntary effort to direct attention to the grouping stimulus or feature is necessary to enhance visual plasticity. PMID:23301100
Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo
Visual perceptual learning, a manifestation of neural plasticity, refers to improvements in performance on a visual task achieved by training. Attention is known to play an important role in perceptual learning, given that the observer's discriminative ability improves only for those stimulus feature that are attended. However, the distribution of attention can be severely constrained by perceptual grouping, a process whereby the visual system organizes the initial retinal input into candidate objects. Taken together, these two pieces of evidence suggest the interesting possibility that perceptual grouping might also affect perceptual learning, either directly or via attentional mechanisms. To address this issue, we conducted two experiments. During the training phase, participants attended to the contrast of the task-relevant stimulus (oriented grating), while two similar task-irrelevant stimuli were presented in the adjacent positions. One of the two flanking stimuli was perceptually grouped with the attended stimulus as a consequence of its similar orientation (Experiment 1) or because it was part of the same perceptual object (Experiment 2). A test phase followed the training phase at each location. Compared to the task-irrelevant no-grouping stimulus, orientation discrimination improved at the attended location. Critically, a perceptual learning effect equivalent to the one observed for the attended location also emerged for the task-irrelevant grouping stimulus, indicating that perceptual grouping induced a transfer of learning to the stimulus (or feature) being perceptually grouped with the task-relevant one. Our findings indicate that no voluntary effort to direct attention to the grouping stimulus or feature is necessary to enhance visual plasticity.
Chmielewski, Witold X; Beste, Christian
A multitude of sensory inputs needs to be processed during sensorimotor integration. A crucial factor for detecting relevant information is its complexity, since information content can be conflicting at a perceptual level. This may be central to executive control processes, such as response inhibition. This EEG study aims to investigate the system neurophysiological mechanisms behind effects of perceptual conflict on response inhibition. We systematically modulated perceptual conflict by integrating a Global-local task with a Go/Nogo paradigm. The results show that conflicting perceptual information, in comparison to non-conflicting perceptual information, impairs response inhibition performance. This effect was evident regardless of whether the relevant information for response inhibition is displayed on the global, or local perceptual level. The neurophysiological data suggests that early perceptual/ attentional processing stages do not underlie these modulations. Rather, processes at the response selection level (P3), play a role in changed response inhibition performance. This conflict-related impairment of inhibitory processes is associated with activation differences in (inferior) parietal areas (BA7 and BA40) and not as commonly found in the medial prefrontal areas. This suggests that various functional neuroanatomical structures may mediate response inhibition and that the functional neuroanatomical structures involved depend on the complexity of sensory integration processes.
Webster, Michael A.; Yasuda, Maiko; Haber, Sara; Leonard, Deanne; Ballardini, Nicole
We used adaptation to examine the relationship between perceptual norms--the stimuli observers describe as psychologically neutral, and response norms--the stimulus levels that leave visual sensitivity in a neutral or balanced state. Adapting to stimuli on opposite sides of a neutral point (e.g. redder or greener than white) biases appearance in opposite ways. Thus the adapting stimulus can be titrated to find the unique adapting level that does not bias appearance. We compared these response norms to subjectively defined neutral points both within the same observer (at different retinal eccentricities) and between observers. These comparisons were made for visual judgments of color, image focus, and human faces, stimuli that are very different and may depend on very different levels of processing, yet which share the property that for each there is a well defined and perceptually salient norm. In each case the adaptation aftereffects were consistent with an underlying sensitivity basis for the perceptual norm. Specifically, response norms were similar to and thus covaried with the perceptual norm, and under common adaptation differences between subjectively defined norms were reduced. These results are consistent with models of norm-based codes and suggest that these codes underlie an important link between visual coding and visual experience.
Phillips, Dennis P; Dingle, Rachel N; Hall, Susan E; Jang, Moragh
Two experiments measured human sensitivity to temporal jitter in 25-click trains with inter-click intervals (ICIs) between 5 and 100 ms. In a naturalistic experiment using wideband clicks, jitter thresholds were a nonmonotonic function of ICI, peaking for ICIs near 40-60 ms. In a subsequent experiment, clicks were high-passed and presented against a low-frequency noise masker. Jitter threshold vs ICI functions lost the positive slope over short ICIs but retained the negative slope at long ICIs. The same behavior was seen in click rate discrimination tasks. Different processes mediate regularity analysis for click trains with ICIs above and below 40-60 ms.
Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue
Schizophrenia patients exhibit perceptual and cognitive deficits, including in visual motion processing. Given that cognitive systems depend upon perceptual inputs, improving patients' perceptual abilities may be an effective means of cognitive intervention. In healthy people, motion perception can be enhanced through perceptual learning, but it…
Melchers, Martin; Montag, Christian; Markett, Sebastian; Niazy, Nawael; Groß-Bölting, Johanna; Zimmermann, Jelena; Reuter, Martin
Oxytocin is an important messenger in the brain that has been linked to a variety of social functions in pharmacological studies. Besides, functional genetic variations on the oxytocin receptor gene have been repeatedly associated with social processing and functioning. Despite this knowledge, there are very few studies investigating the mechanisms that may explain the link between oxytocin and social functions. In the endeavor to fill this gap in the literature, the current study searches for associations between the prominent rs2268498 polymorphism on the oxytocin receptor gene and participants' ability to perceive and store implicit social information, which is a fundamental function in social information processing. N=121 healthy participants were experimentally tested with an implicit learning paradigm, answered questionnaires assessing empathy and autistic traits, and were genotyped for the rs2268498 polymorphism. T-allele carriers (TT and TC genotypes) exhibited significantly better implicit learning performance than carriers of the CC-genotype, and learning performance was positively associated with self-reported empathy and negatively with self-reported autistic traits. Results indicate that differences in implicit perception and storing of environmental details while watching social interactions could be an important mechanism to explain the association between differences in endogenous oxytocin activity and social functioning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.
Current concerns in the assessment of mental workload are discussed, and the event-related brain potential (ERP) is introduced as a promising mental-workload index. Subjects participated in a series of studies in which they were required to perform a target acquisition task while also covertly counting either auditory or visual probes. The effects of several task-difficulty manipulations on the P300 component of the ERP elicited by the counted stimulus probes were investigated. With sufficiently practiced subjects the amplitude of the P300 was found to decrease with increases in task difficulty. The second experiment also provided evidence that the P300 is selectively sensitive to task-relevant attributes. A third experiment demonstrated a convergence in the amplitude of the P300s elicited in the simple and difficult versions of the tracking task. The amplitude of the P300 was also found to covary with the measures of tracking performance. The results of the series of three experiments illustrate the sensitivity of the P300 to the processing requirements of a complex target acquisition task. The findings are discussed in terms of the multidimensional nature of processing resources.
Learning to recognize and categorize objects is an essential cognitive skill allowing animals to function in the world. However, animals rarely have access to a canonical view of an object in an uncluttered environment. Hence, it is essential to study categorization under noisy, degraded conditions. In this article, we explore how the brain processes categorization stimuli in low signal-to-noise conditions using multivariate pattern analysis. We used an integration masking paradigm with mask opacity of 50%, 60%, and 70% inside a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The results show that mask opacity affects blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal in visual processing areas (V1, V2, V3, and V4) but does not affect the BOLD signal in brain areas traditionally associated with categorization (prefrontal cortex, striatum, hippocampus). This suggests that when a stimulus is difficult to extract from its background (e.g., low signal-to-noise ratio), the visual system extracts the stimulus and that activity in areas typically associated with categorization are not affected by the difficulty level of the visual conditions. We conclude with implications of this result for research on visual attention, categorization, and the integration of these fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
von Mühlenen, A; Müller, H J
In three visual search experiments, the processes involved in the efficient detection of motion-form conjunction targets were investigated. Experiment 1 was designed to estimate the relative contributions of stationary and moving nontargets to the search rate. Search rates were primarily determined by the number of moving nontargets; stationary nontargets sharing the target form also exerted a significant effect, but this was only about half as strong as that of moving nontargets; stationary nontargets not sharing the target form had little influence. In Experiments 2 and 3, the effects of display factors influencing the visual (form) quality of moving items (movement speed and item size) were examined. Increasing the speed of the moving items (> 1.5 degrees/sec) facilitated target detection when the task required segregation of the moving from the stationary items. When no segregation was necessary, increasing the movement speed impaired performance: With large display items, motion speed had little effect on target detection, but with small items, search efficiency declined when items moved faster than 1.5 degrees/sec. This pattern indicates that moving nontargets exert a strong effect on the search rate (Experiment 1) because of the loss of visual quality for moving items above a certain movement speed. A parallel-continuous processing account of motion-form conjunction search is proposed, which combines aspects of Guided Search (Wolfe, 1994) and attentional engagement theory (Duncan & Humphreys, 1989).
Cheetham, Marcus; Jancke, Lutz
Mori's Uncanny Valley Hypothesis(1,2) proposes that the perception of humanlike characters such as robots and, by extension, avatars (computer-generated characters) can evoke negative or positive affect (valence) depending on the object's degree of visual and behavioral realism along a dimension of human likeness (DHL) (Figure 1). But studies of affective valence of subjective responses to variously realistic non-human characters have produced inconsistent findings (3, 4, 5, 6). One of a number of reasons for this is that human likeness is not perceived as the hypothesis assumes. While the DHL can be defined following Mori's description as a smooth linear change in the degree of physical humanlike similarity, subjective perception of objects along the DHL can be understood in terms of the psychological effects of categorical perception (CP) (7). Further behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of category processing and CP along the DHL and of the potential influence of the dimension's underlying category structure on affective experience are needed. This protocol therefore focuses on the DHL and allows examination of CP. Based on the protocol presented in the video as an example, issues surrounding the methodology in the protocol and the use in "uncanny" research of stimuli drawn from morph continua to represent the DHL are discussed in the article that accompanies the video. The use of neuroimaging and morph stimuli to represent the DHL in order to disentangle brain regions neurally responsive to physical human-like similarity from those responsive to category change and category processing is briefly illustrated.
Volz, Kirsten G; von Cramon, D Yves
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, intuition is "the ability to understand or know something immediately, without conscious reasoning." Most people would agree that intuitive responses appear as ideas or feelings that subsequently guide our thoughts and behaviors. It is proposed that people continuously, without conscious attention, recognize patterns in the stream of sensations that impinge upon them. What exactly is being recognized is not clear yet, but we assume that people detect potential content based on only a few aspects of the input (i.e., the gist). The result is a vague perception of coherence which is not explicitly describable but instead embodied in a "gut feeling" or an initial guess, which subsequently biases thought and inquiry. To approach the nature of intuitive processes, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging when participants were working at a modified version of the Waterloo Gestalt Closure Task. Starting from our conceptualization that intuition involves an informed judgment in the context of discovery, we expected activation within the median orbito-frontal cortex (OFC), as this area receives input from all sensory modalities and has been shown to be crucially involved in emotionally driven decisions. Results from a direct contrast between intuitive and nonintuitive judgments, as well as from a parametric analysis, revealed the median OFC, the lateral portion of the amygdala, anterior insula, and ventral occipito-temporal regions to be activated. Based on these findings, we suggest our definition of intuition to be promising and a good starting point for future research on intuitive processes.
Baranski, Joseph V; Petrusic, William M
Adaptive decision processes were investigated in experiments involving an unexpected change in the global ease or difficulty of the task. Under accuracy stress, a shift from an easy to a difficult context induced a marked increase in decision time, but a shift from a difficult to an easy context did not. Under speed stress, a shift to a more difficult context induced lower accuracy and rated confidence, depending on the difficulty of the decisions. A view of caution developed in D. Vickers's (1979) accumulator theory--whereby one seeks to base decisions on more information--is compared with a view based on slow and fast guessing theory (W. M. Petrusic, 1992; W. M. Petrusic & J. V. Baranski, 1989a)--whereby one seeks to base decisions on more diagnostic information. On balance, the findings support the latter view.
Seymour, Kiley; Karnath, Hans-Otto; Himmelbach, Marc
The perception of global scenes and objects consisting of multiple constituents is based on the integration of local elements or features. Gestalt grouping cues, such as proximity or similarity, can aid this process. Using functional MRI we investigated whether grouping guided by different gestalt cues rely on distinct networks in the brain or share a common network. Our study revealed that gestalt grouping involved the inferior parietal cortex, middle temporal gyrus and prefrontal cortex irrespective of the specific cue used. These findings agree with observations in neurological patients, which suggest that inferior parietal regions may aid the integration of local features into a global gestalt. Damage to this region results in simultanagnosia, a deficit in perceiving multiple objects and global scenes.
Cheetham, Marcus; Jancke, Lutz
Mori's Uncanny Valley Hypothesis1,2 proposes that the perception of humanlike characters such as robots and, by extension, avatars (computer-generated characters) can evoke negative or positive affect (valence) depending on the object's degree of visual and behavioral realism along a dimension of human likeness (DHL) (Figure 1). But studies of affective valence of subjective responses to variously realistic non-human characters have produced inconsistent findings 3, 4, 5, 6. One of a number of reasons for this is that human likeness is not perceived as the hypothesis assumes. While the DHL can be defined following Mori's description as a smooth linear change in the degree of physical humanlike similarity, subjective perception of objects along the DHL can be understood in terms of the psychological effects of categorical perception (CP) 7. Further behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of category processing and CP along the DHL and of the potential influence of the dimension's underlying category structure on affective experience are needed. This protocol therefore focuses on the DHL and allows examination of CP. Based on the protocol presented in the video as an example, issues surrounding the methodology in the protocol and the use in "uncanny" research of stimuli drawn from morph continua to represent the DHL are discussed in the article that accompanies the video. The use of neuroimaging and morph stimuli to represent the DHL in order to disentangle brain regions neurally responsive to physical human-like similarity from those responsive to category change and category processing is briefly illustrated. PMID:23770728
Long, Bria; Konkle, Talia; Cohen, Michael A; Alvarez, George A
Understanding how perceptual and conceptual representations are connected is a fundamental goal of cognitive science. Here, we focus on a broad conceptual distinction that constrains how we interact with objects--real-world size. Although there appear to be clear perceptual correlates for basic-level categories (apples look like other apples, oranges look like other oranges), the perceptual correlates of broader categorical distinctions are largely unexplored, i.e., do small objects look like other small objects? Because there are many kinds of small objects (e.g., cups, keys), there may be no reliable perceptual features that distinguish them from big objects (e.g., cars, tables). Contrary to this intuition, we demonstrated that big and small objects have reliable perceptual differences that can be extracted by early stages of visual processing. In a series of visual search studies, participants found target objects faster when the distractor objects differed in real-world size. These results held when we broadly sampled big and small objects, when we controlled for low-level features and image statistics, and when we reduced objects to texforms--unrecognizable textures that loosely preserve an object's form. However, this effect was absent when we used more basic textures. These results demonstrate that big and small objects have reliably different mid-level perceptual features, and suggest that early perceptual information about broad-category membership may influence downstream object perception, recognition, and categorization processes. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Attarha, Mouna; Moore, Cathleen M.
The simultaneous–sequential method was used to test the processing capacity of statistical summary representations both within and between feature dimensions. Sixteen gratings varied with respect to their size and orientation. In Experiment 1, the gratings were equally divided into four separate smaller sets, one of which with a mean size that was larger or smaller than the other three sets, and one of which with a mean orientation that was tilted more leftward or rightward. The task was to report the mean size and orientation of the oddball sets. This therefore required four summary representations for size and another four for orientation. The sets were presented at the same time in the simultaneous condition or across two temporal frames in the sequential condition. Experiment 1 showed evidence of a sequential advantage, suggesting that the system may be limited with respect to establishing multiple within-feature summaries. Experiment 2 eliminates the possibility that some aspect of the task, other than averaging, was contributing to this observed limitation. In Experiment 3, the same 16 gratings appeared as one large superset, and therefore the task only required one summary representation for size and another one for orientation. Equal simultaneous–sequential performance indicated that between-feature summaries are capacity free. These findings challenge the view that within-feature summaries drive a global sense of visual continuity across areas of the peripheral visual field, and suggest a shift in focus to seeking an understanding of how between-feature summaries in one area of the environment control behavior. PMID:26360153
Sanes, Dan H.
Sensory pathways display heightened plasticity during development, yet the perceptual consequences of early experience are generally assessed in adulthood. This approach does not allow one to identify transient perceptual changes that may be linked to the central plasticity observed in juvenile animals. Here, we determined whether a brief period of bilateral auditory deprivation affects sound perception in developing and adult gerbils. Animals were reared with bilateral earplugs, either from postnatal day 11 (P11) to postnatal day 23 (P23) (a manipulation previously found to disrupt gerbil cortical properties), or from P23-P35. Fifteen days after earplug removal and restoration of normal thresholds, animals were tested on their ability to detect the presence of amplitude modulation (AM), a temporal cue that supports vocal communication. Animals reared with earplugs from P11-P23 displayed elevated AM detection thresholds, compared with age-matched controls. In contrast, an identical period of earplug rearing at a later age (P23-P35) did not impair auditory perception. Although the AM thresholds of earplug-reared juveniles improved during a week of repeated testing, a subset of juveniles continued to display a perceptual deficit. Furthermore, although the perceptual deficits induced by transient earplug rearing had resolved for most animals by adulthood, a subset of adults displayed impaired performance. Control experiments indicated that earplugging did not disrupt the integrity of the auditory periphery. Together, our results suggest that P11-P23 encompasses a critical period during which sensory deprivation disrupts central mechanisms that support auditory perceptual skills. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sensory systems are particularly malleable during development. This heightened degree of plasticity is beneficial because it enables the acquisition of complex skills, such as music or language. However, this plasticity comes with a cost: nervous system development
Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min
Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.
Falter, Christine M.; Braeutigam, Sven; Nathan, Roger; Carrington, Sarah; Bailey, Anthony J.
We compared judgements of the simultaneity or asynchrony of visual stimuli in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically-developing controls using Magnetoencephalography (MEG). Two vertical bars were presented simultaneously or non-simultaneously with two different stimulus onset delays. Participants with ASD distinguished…
Fornaciai, Michele; Brannon, Elizabeth M; Woldorff, Marty G; Park, Joonkoo
While parietal cortex is thought to be critical for representing numerical magnitudes, we recently reported an event-related potential (ERP) study demonstrating selective neural sensitivity to numerosity over midline occipital sites very early in the time course, suggesting the involvement of early visual cortex in numerosity processing. However, which specific brain area underlies such early activation is not known. Here, we tested whether numerosity-sensitive neural signatures arise specifically from the initial stages of visual cortex, aiming to localize the generator of these signals by taking advantage of the distinctive folding pattern of early occipital cortices around the calcarine sulcus, which predicts an inversion of polarity of ERPs arising from these areas when stimuli are presented in the upper versus lower visual field. Dot arrays, including 8-32dots constructed systematically across various numerical and non-numerical visual attributes, were presented randomly in either the upper or lower visual hemifields. Our results show that neural responses at about 90ms post-stimulus were robustly sensitive to numerosity. Moreover, the peculiar pattern of polarity inversion of numerosity-sensitive activity at this stage suggested its generation primarily in V2 and V3. In contrast, numerosity-sensitive ERP activity at occipito-parietal channels later in the time course (210-230ms) did not show polarity inversion, indicating a subsequent processing stage in the dorsal stream. Overall, these results demonstrate that numerosity processing begins in one of the earliest stages of the cortical visual stream. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lopez, Beatriz; Leekam, Susan R.; Arts, Gerda R. J.
This study aimed to test the assumption drawn from weak central coherence theory that a central cognitive mechanism is responsible for integrating information at both conceptual and perceptual levels. A visual semantic memory task and a face recognition task measuring use of holistic information were administered to 15 children with autism and 16…
population rose and fell, furniture was rearranged, a small mountain range was built in part of the lab (really), carpets were shampooed , and oce lighting...common task is the tracking of moving objects. Coombs  implemented a system 44 for xating and tracking objects using a stereo eye/ head system...be a person (person?). Finally, a motion unit is used to detect foot gestures. A pair of nod-of-the- head detectors were implemented and tested, but
Solovey, Guillermo; Shalom, Diego; Pérez-Schuster, Verónica; Sigman, Mariano
Practice can enhance of perceptual sensitivity, a well-known phenomenon called perceptual learning. However, the effect of practice on subjective perception has received little attention. We approach this problem from a visual psychophysics and computational modeling perspective. In a sequence of visual search experiments, subjects significantly increased the ability to detect a "trained target". Before and after training, subjects performed two psychophysical protocols that parametrically vary the visibility of the "trained target": an attentional blink and a visual masking task. We found that confidence increased after learning only in the attentional blink task. Despite large differences in some observables and task settings, we identify common mechanisms for decision-making and confidence. Specifically, our behavioral results and computational model suggest that perceptual ability is independent of processing time, indicating that changes in early cortical representations are effective, and learning changes decision criteria to convey choice and confidence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
with others a few years prior (with the concurrence of the project’s program manager. Willard Larkin). The Perceptual Flow of Phonetic Information and...34The Perceptual Flow of Phonetic Processing," consonant confusion matrices are analyzed for patterns of phonetic-feature decoding errors conditioned...decoding) is also observed. From these conditional probability patterns, it is proposed that they reflect a temporal flow of perceptual processing
van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N. L.
The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is required to complete perceptual integration. To investigate this question, we manipulated access to consciousness using the attentional blink. We show that, behaviorally, the attentional blink impairs conscious decisions about the presence of integrated surface structure from fragmented input. However, despite conscious access being impaired, the ability to decode the presence of integrated percepts remains intact, as shown through multivariate classification analyses of electroencephalogram (EEG) data. In contrast, when disrupting perception through masking, decisions about integrated percepts and decoding of integrated percepts are impaired in tandem, while leaving feedforward representations intact. Together, these data show that access consciousness and perceptual integration can be dissociated. PMID:28325878
Our perceptual abilities significantly improve with practice. This phenomenon, known as perceptual learning, offers an ideal window for understanding use-dependent changes in the adult brain. Different experimental approaches have revealed a diversity of behavioral and cortical changes associated with perceptual learning, and different interpretations have been given with respect to the cortical loci and neural processes responsible for the learning. Accumulated evidence has begun to put together a coherent picture of the neural substrates underlying perceptual learning. The emerging view is that perceptual learning results from a complex interplay between bottom-up and top-down processes, causing a global reorganization across cortical areas specialized for sensory processing, engaged in top-down attentional control, and involved in perceptual decision making. Future studies should focus on the interactions among cortical areas for a better understanding of the general rules and mechanisms underlying various forms of skill learning.
Hsieh, Po-Jang; Colas, Jaron T.
A retinally stabilized object readily undergoes perceptual fading and disappears from consciousness. This startling phenomenon is commonly believed to arise from local bottom-up sensory adaptation to edge information that occurs early in the visual pathway, such as in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus or retinal ganglion cells. Here…
Rutman, Aaron M.; Clapp, Wesley C.; Chadick, James Z.; Gazzaley, Adam
Selective attention confers a behavioral benefit for both perceptual and working memory (WM) performance, often attributed to top-down modulation of sensory neural processing. However, the direct relationship between early activity modulation in sensory cortices during selective encoding and subsequent WM performance has not been established. To explore the influence of selective attention on WM recognition, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to study the temporal dynamics of top-down modulation in a selective, delayed-recognition paradigm. Participants were presented with overlapped, “double-exposed” images of faces and natural scenes, and were instructed to either remember the face or the scene while simultaneously ignoring the other stimulus. Here, we present evidence that the degree to which participants modulate the early P100 (97–129 ms) event-related potential (ERP) during selective stimulus encoding significantly correlates with their subsequent WM recognition. These results contribute to our evolving understanding of the mechanistic overlap between attention and memory. PMID:19413473
Tannazzo, Teresa; Kurylo, Daniel D; Bukhari, Farhan
Across the visual field, progressive differences exist in neural processing as well as perceptual abilities. Expansion of stimulus scale across eccentricity compensates for some basic visual capacities, but not for high-order functions. It was hypothesized that as with many higher-order functions, perceptual grouping ability should decline across eccentricity. To test this prediction, psychophysical measurements of grouping were made across eccentricity. Participants indicated the dominant grouping of dot grids in which grouping was based upon luminance, motion, orientation, or proximity. Across trials, the organization of stimuli was systematically decreased until perceived grouping became ambiguous. For all stimulus features, grouping ability remained relatively stable until 40°, beyond which thresholds significantly elevated. The pattern of change across eccentricity varied across stimulus feature, in which stimulus scale, dot size, or stimulus size interacted with eccentricity effects. These results demonstrate that perceptual grouping of such stimuli is not reliant upon foveal viewing, and suggest that selection of dominant grouping patterns from ambiguous displays operates similarly across much of the visual field. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.
Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage. PMID:26098079
Sun, Lijun; Liu, Fang; Zhou, Linshu; Jiang, Cunmei
Syntactic processing is essential for musical understanding. Although the processing of harmonic syntax has been well studied, very little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying rhythmic syntactic processing. The present study investigated the neural processing of rhythmic syntax and whether and to what extent long-term musical training impacts such processing. Fourteen musicians and 14 nonmusicians listened to syntactic-regular or syntactic-irregular rhythmic sequences and judged the completeness of these sequences. Nonmusicians, as well as musicians, showed a P600 effect to syntactic-irregular endings, indicating that musical exposure and perceptual learning of music are sufficient to enable nonmusicians to process rhythmic syntax at the late stage. However, musicians, but not nonmusicians, also exhibited an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) response to syntactic-irregular endings, which suggests that musical training only modulates the early but not the late stage of rhythmic syntactic processing. These findings revealed for the first time the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of rhythmic syntax in music, which has important implications for theories of hierarchically organized music cognition and comparative studies of syntactic processing in music and language. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Parks, Nathan A; Hilimire, Matthew R; Corballis, Paul M
The perceptual load theory of attention posits that attentional selection occurs early in processing when a task is perceptually demanding but occurs late in processing otherwise. We used a frequency-tagged steady-state evoked potential paradigm to investigate the modality specificity of perceptual load-induced distractor filtering and the nature of neural-competitive interactions between task and distractor stimuli. EEG data were recorded while participants monitored a stream of stimuli occurring in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) for the appearance of previously assigned targets. Perceptual load was manipulated by assigning targets that were identifiable by color alone (low load) or by the conjunction of color and orientation (high load). The RSVP task was performed alone and in the presence of task-irrelevant visual and auditory distractors. The RSVP stimuli, visual distractors, and auditory distractors were "tagged" by modulating each at a unique frequency (2.5, 8.5, and 40.0 Hz, respectively), which allowed each to be analyzed separately in the frequency domain. We report three important findings regarding the neural mechanisms of perceptual load. First, we replicated previous findings of within-modality distractor filtering and demonstrated a reduction in visual distractor signals with high perceptual load. Second, auditory steady-state distractor signals were unaffected by manipulations of visual perceptual load, consistent with the idea that perceptual load-induced distractor filtering is modality specific. Third, analysis of task-related signals revealed that visual distractors competed with task stimuli for representation and that increased perceptual load appeared to resolve this competition in favor of the task stimulus.
Amitay, Sygal; Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Jones, Pete R; Moore, David R
Perceptual learning has traditionally been portrayed as a bottom-up phenomenon that improves encoding or decoding of the trained stimulus. Cognitive skills such as attention and memory are thought to drive, guide and modulate learning but are, with notable exceptions, not generally considered to undergo changes themselves as a result of training with simple perceptual tasks. Moreover, shifts in threshold are interpreted as shifts in perceptual sensitivity, with no consideration for non-sensory factors (such as response bias) that may contribute to these changes. Accumulating evidence from our own research and others shows that perceptual learning is a conglomeration of effects, with training-induced changes ranging from the lowest (noise reduction in the phase locking of auditory signals) to the highest (working memory capacity) level of processing, and includes contributions from non-sensory factors that affect decision making even on a "simple" auditory task such as frequency discrimination. We discuss our emerging view of learning as a process that increases the signal-to-noise ratio associated with perceptual tasks by tackling noise sources and inefficiencies that cause performance bottlenecks, and present some implications for training populations other than young, smart, attentive and highly-motivated college students. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
FRAS1-related extracellular matrix 3 (FREM3) single-nucleotide polymorphism effects on gene expression, amygdala reactivity and perceptual processing speed: An accelerated aging pathway of depression risk
Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Iruku, Swetha P.; Lin, Chien-Wei; Conley, Emily Drabant; Puralewski, Rachel; French, Beverly; Hariri, Ahmad R.; Sibille, Etienne
The A allele of the FRAS1-related extracellular matrix protein 3 (FREM3) rs7676614 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was linked to major depressive disorder (MDD) in an early genome-wide association study (GWAS), and to symptoms of psychomotor retardation in a follow-up investigation. In line with significant overlap between age- and depression-related molecular pathways, parallel work has shown that FREM3 expression in postmortem human brain decreases with age. Here, we probe the effect of rs7676614 on amygdala reactivity and perceptual processing speed, both of which are altered in depression and aging. Amygdala reactivity was assessed using a face-matching BOLD fMRI paradigm in 365 Caucasian participants in the Duke Neurogenetics Study (DNS) (192 women, mean age 19.7 ± 1.2). Perceptual processing speed was indexed by reaction times in the same task and the Trail Making Test (TMT). The effect of rs7676614 on FREM3 mRNA brain expression levels was probed in a postmortem cohort of 169 Caucasian individuals (44 women, mean age 50.8 ± 14.9). The A allele of rs7676614 was associated with blunted amygdala reactivity to faces, slower reaction times in the face-matching condition (p < 0.04), as well as marginally slower performance on TMT Part B (p = 0.056). In the postmortem cohort, the T allele of rs6537170 (proxy for the rs7676614 A allele), was associated with trend-level reductions in gene expression in Brodmann areas 11 and 47 (p = 0.066), reminiscent of patterns characteristic of older age. The low-expressing allele of another FREM3 SNP (rs1391187) was similarly associated with reduced amygdala reactivity and slower TMT Part B speed, in addition to reduced BA47 activity and extraversion (p < 0.05). Together, these results suggest common genetic variation associated with reduced FREM3 expression may confer risk for a subtype of depression characterized by reduced reactivity to environmental stimuli and slower perceptual processing speed, possibly suggestive of
Kurylo, Daniel D; Waxman, Richard; Kidron, Rachel; Silverstein, Steven M
Training on visual tasks improves performance on basic and higher order visual capacities. Such improvement has been linked to changes in connectivity among mediating neurons. We investigated whether training effects occur for perceptual grouping. It was hypothesized that repeated engagement of integration mechanisms would enhance grouping processes. Thirty-six participants underwent 15 sessions of training on a visual discrimination task that required perceptual grouping. Participants viewed 20 × 20 arrays of dots or Gabor patches and indicated whether the array appeared grouped as vertical or horizontal lines. Across trials stimuli became progressively disorganized, contingent upon successful discrimination. Four visual dimensions were examined, in which grouping was based on similarity in luminance, color, orientation, and motion. Psychophysical thresholds of grouping were assessed before and after training. Results indicate that performance in all four dimensions improved with training. Training on a control condition, which paralleled the discrimination task but without a grouping component, produced no improvement. In addition, training on only the luminance and orientation dimensions improved performance for those conditions as well as for grouping by color, on which training had not occurred. However, improvement from partial training did not generalize to motion. Results demonstrate that a training protocol emphasizing stimulus integration enhanced perceptual grouping. Results suggest that neural mechanisms mediating grouping by common luminance and/or orientation contribute to those mediating grouping by color but do not share resources for grouping by common motion. Results are consistent with theories of perceptual learning emphasizing plasticity in early visual processing regions.
Santamaría-García, Hernando; Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria
So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when social hierarchy was processed using event-related potentials and observed hierarchical effects even in early stages of sensory-perceptual processing, suggesting early top-down modulation by social hierarchy. Moreover, in a parallel analysis, we fitted a drift-diffusion model (DDM) to the results to evaluate the decision making process of this perceptual task in the context of a social hierarchy. Consistently, the DDM pointed to nondecision time (probably perceptual encoding) as the principal period influenced by social hierarchy. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Störmer, Viola S.; McDonald, John J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
The question of whether attention makes sensory impressions appear more intense has been a matter of debate for over a century. Recent psychophysical studies have reported that attention increases apparent contrast of visual stimuli, but the issue continues to be debated. We obtained converging neurophysiological evidence from human observers as they judged the relative contrast of visual stimuli presented to the left and right visual fields following a lateralized auditory cue. Cross-modal cueing of attention boosted the apparent contrast of the visual target in association with an enlarged neural response in the contralateral visual cortex that began within 100 ms after target onset. The magnitude of the enhanced neural response was positively correlated with perceptual reports of the cued target being higher in contrast. The results suggest that attention increases the perceived contrast of visual stimuli by boosting early sensory processing in the visual cortex. PMID:20007778
Störmer, Viola S; McDonald, John J; Hillyard, Steven A
The question of whether attention makes sensory impressions appear more intense has been a matter of debate for over a century. Recent psychophysical studies have reported that attention increases apparent contrast of visual stimuli, but the issue continues to be debated. We obtained converging neurophysiological evidence from human observers as they judged the relative contrast of visual stimuli presented to the left and right visual fields following a lateralized auditory cue. Cross-modal cueing of attention boosted the apparent contrast of the visual target in association with an enlarged neural response in the contralateral visual cortex that began within 100 ms after target onset. The magnitude of the enhanced neural response was positively correlated with perceptual reports of the cued target being higher in contrast. The results suggest that attention increases the perceived contrast of visual stimuli by boosting early sensory processing in the visual cortex.
Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
The phenomenon of repetition blindness (RB) may reveal a new limitation on human perceptual processing. Recently, however, researchers have attributed RB to post-perceptual processes such as memory retrieval and/or reporting biases. The standard rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm used in most RB studies is, indeed, open to such objections. Here we investigate RB using a "single-frame" paradigm introduced by Johnston and Hale (1984) in which memory demands are minimal. Subjects made only a single judgement about whether one masked target word was the same or different than a post-target probe. Confidence ratings permitted use of signal detection methods to assess sensitivity and bias effects. In the critical condition for RB a precue of the post-target word was provided prior to the target stimulus (identity precue), so that the required judgement amounted to whether the target did or did not repeat the precue word. In control treatments, the precue was either an unrelated word or a dummy.
De Weerd, P; Smith, E; Greenberg, P
After few seconds, a figure steadily presented in peripheral vision becomes perceptually filled-in by its background, as if it "disappeared". We report that directing attention to the color, shape, or location of a figure increased the probability of perceiving filling-in compared to unattended figures, without modifying the time required for filling-in. This effect could be augmented by boosting attention. Furthermore, the frequency distribution of filling-in response times for attended figures could be predicted by multiplying the frequencies of response times for unattended figures with a constant. We propose that, after failure of figure-ground segregation, the neural interpolation processes that produce perceptual filling-in are enhanced in attended figure regions. As filling-in processes are involved in surface perception, the present study demonstrates that even very early visual processes are subject to modulation by cognitive factors.
Lin, Huawu; Venetsanopoulos, Anastasios N.
According to the collage theorem, the encoding distortion for fractal image compression is directly related to the metric used in the encoding process. In this paper, we introduce a perceptually meaningful distortion measure based on the human visual system's nonlinear response to luminance and the visual masking effects. Blackwell's psychophysical raw data on contrast threshold are first interpolated as a function of background luminance and visual angle, and are then used as an error upper bound for perceptually lossless image compression. For a variety of images, experimental results show that the algorithm produces a compression ratio of 8:1 to 10:1 without introducing visual artifacts.
García-Bajos, Elvira; Migueles, Malen; Aizpurua, Alaitz
When recalling an event, people usually retrieve the main facts and a reduced proportion of specific details. The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of conceptually and perceptually driven encoding in the recall of conceptual and perceptual information of an event. The materials selected for the experiment were two movie trailers. To enhance the encoding instructions, after watching the first trailer participants answered conceptual or perceptual questions about the event, while a control group answered general knowledge questions. After watching the second trailer, all of the participants completed a closed-ended recall task consisting of conceptual and perceptual items. Conceptual information was better recalled than perceptual details and participants made more perceptual than conceptual commission errors. Conceptually driven processing enhanced the recall of conceptual information, while perceptually driven processing not only did not improve the recall of descriptive details, but also damaged the standard conceptual/perceptual recall relationship.
Svendsen, Marie Louise; Ehlers, Lars H; Hundborg, Heidi H; Ingeman, Annette; Johnsen, Søren P
The relationship between processes of early stroke care and hospital costs remains unclear. We therefore examined the association in a population based cohort study. We identified 5909 stroke patients who were admitted to stroke units in a Danish county between 2005 and 2010.The examined recommended processes of care included early admission to a stroke unit, early initiation of antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy, early computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (CT/MRI) scan, early physiotherapy and occupational therapy, early assessment of nutritional risk, constipation risk and of swallowing function, early mobilization,early catheterization, and early thromboembolism prophylaxis.Hospital costs were assessed for each patient based on the number of days spent in different in-hospital facilities using local hospital charges. The mean costs of hospitalization were $23 352 (standard deviation 27 827). The relationship between receiving more relevant processes of early stroke care and lower hospital costs followed a dose–response relationship. The adjusted costs were $24 566 (95% confidence interval 19 364–29 769) lower for patients who received 75–100% of the relevant processes of care compared with patients receiving 0–24%. All processes of care were associated with potential cost savings, except for early catheterization and early thromboembolism prophylaxis. Early care in agreement with key guidelines recommendations for the management of patients with stroke may be associated with hospital savings.
Recent evidence from cognitive neuroscience suggests that certain cognitive processes employ perceptual representations. Inspired by this evidence, a few researchers have proposed that cognition is inherently perceptual. They have developed an innovative theoretical approach that rests on the notion of perceptual simulation and marshaled several…
Cumming, Ruth; Wilson, Angela; Goswami, Usha
Children with specific language impairments (SLIs) show impaired perception and production of spoken language, and can also present with motor, auditory, and phonological difficulties. Recent auditory studies have shown impaired sensitivity to amplitude rise time (ART) in children with SLIs, along with non-speech rhythmic timing difficulties. Linguistically, these perceptual impairments should affect sensitivity to speech prosody and syllable stress. Here we used two tasks requiring sensitivity to prosodic structure, the DeeDee task and a stress misperception task, to investigate this hypothesis. We also measured auditory processing of ART, rising pitch and sound duration, in both speech (“ba”) and non-speech (tone) stimuli. Participants were 45 children with SLI aged on average 9 years and 50 age-matched controls. We report data for all the SLI children (N = 45, IQ varying), as well as for two independent SLI subgroupings with intact IQ. One subgroup, “Pure SLI,” had intact phonology and reading (N = 16), the other, “SLI PPR” (N = 15), had impaired phonology and reading. Problems with syllable stress and prosodic structure were found for all the group comparisons. Both sub-groups with intact IQ showed reduced sensitivity to ART in speech stimuli, but the PPR subgroup also showed reduced sensitivity to sound duration in speech stimuli. Individual differences in processing syllable stress were associated with auditory processing. These data support a new hypothesis, the “prosodic phrasing” hypothesis, which proposes that grammatical difficulties in SLI may reflect perceptual difficulties with global prosodic structure related to auditory impairments in processing amplitude rise time and duration. PMID:26217286
We tested an information foraging framework to characterize the mechanisms that drive active (visual) sampling behavior in decision problems that involve multiple sources of information. Experiments 1 through 3 involved participants making an absolute judgment about the direction of motion of a single random dot motion pattern. In Experiment 4, participants made a relative comparison between 2 motion patterns that could only be sampled sequentially. Our results show that: (a) Information (about noisy motion information) grows to an asymptotic level that depends on the quality of the information source; (b) The limited growth is attributable to unequal weighting of the incoming sensory evidence, with early samples being weighted more heavily; (c) Little information is lost once a new source of information is being sampled; and (d) The point at which the observer switches from 1 source to another is governed by online monitoring of his or her degree of (un)certainty about the sampled source. These findings demonstrate that the sampling strategy in perceptual decision-making is under some direct control by ongoing cognitive processing. More specifically, participants are able to track a measure of (un)certainty and use this information to guide their sampling behavior. PMID:27819455
Bate, Sarah; Bennetts, Rachel; Mole, Joseph A; Ainge, James A; Gregory, Nicola J; Bobak, Anna K; Bussunt, Amanda
In this paper we describe the case of EM, a female adolescent who acquired prosopagnosia following encephalitis at the age of eight. Initial neuropsychological and eye-movement investigations indicated that EM had profound difficulties in face perception as well as face recognition. EM underwent 14 weeks of perceptual training in an online programme that attempted to improve her ability to make fine-grained discriminations between faces. Following training, EM's face perception skills had improved, and the effect generalised to untrained faces. Eye-movement analyses also indicated that EM spent more time viewing the inner facial features post-training. Examination of EM's face recognition skills revealed an improvement in her recognition of personally-known faces when presented in a laboratory-based test, although the same gains were not noted in her everyday experiences with these faces. In addition, EM did not improve on a test assessing the recognition of newly encoded faces. One month after training, EM had maintained the improvement on the eye-tracking test, and to a lesser extent, her performance on the familiar faces test. This pattern of findings is interpreted as promising evidence that the programme can improve face perception skills, and with some adjustments, may at least partially improve face recognition skills.
Naumann, R. J.; Herring, H. W.
The characteristics of the space environment were reviewed. Potential applications of space processing are discussed and include metallurgical processing, and processing of semiconductor materials. The behavior of fluid in low gravity is described. The evolution of apparatus for materials processing in space was reviewed.
Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G. Christopher; Fine, Ione
Studies showing that occipital cortex responds to auditory and tactile stimuli after early blindness are often interpreted as demonstrating that early blind subjects “see” auditory and tactile stimuli. However, it is not clear whether these occipital responses directly mediate the perception of auditory/tactile stimuli, or simply modulate or augment responses within other sensory areas. We used fMRI pattern classification to categorize the perceived direction of motion for both coherent and ambiguous auditory motion stimuli. In sighted individuals, perceived motion direction was accurately categorized based on neural responses within the planum temporale (PT) and right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). Within early blind individuals, auditory motion decisions for both stimuli were successfully categorized from responses within the human middle temporal complex (hMT+), but not the PT or right LOC. These findings suggest that early blind responses within hMT+ are associated with the perception of auditory motion, and that these responses in hMT+ may usurp some of the functions of nondeprived PT. Thus, our results provide further evidence that blind individuals do indeed “see” auditory motion. PMID:25378368
Hadi, Shamil M.; Siadat, Mohamad R.; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas
We investigated the effect of synaptic serotonin concentration on hemodynamic responses. The stimuli paradigm involved the presentation of fearful and threatening facial expressions to a set of 24 subjects who were either5HTTLPR long- or short-allele carriers (12 of each type in each group). The BOLD signals of the rACC from subjects of each group were averaged to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. We used a Bayesian approach to estimate the parameters of the underlying hemodynamic model. Our results, during this perceptual processing of emotional task, showed a negative BOLD signal in the rACC in the subjects with long-alleles. In contrast, the subjects with short-alleles showed positive BOLD signals in the rACC. These results suggest that high synaptic serotonin concentration in the rACC inhibits neuronal activity in a fashion similar to GABA, and a consequent negative BOLD signal ensues.
Verleger, Rolf; Schuknecht, Simon-Vitus; Jaśkowski, Piotr; Wagner, Ullrich
Sleep has proven to support the memory consolidation in many tasks including learning of perceptual skills. Explicit, conscious types of memory have been demonstrated to benefit particularly from slow-wave sleep (SWS), implicit, non-conscious types particularly from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. By comparing the effects of early-night sleep, rich in SWS, and late-night sleep, rich in REM sleep, we aimed to separate the contribution of these two sleep stages in a metacontrast masking paradigm in which explicit and implicit aspects in perceptual learning could be assessed separately by stimulus identification and priming, respectively. We assumed that early sleep intervening between two sessions of task performance would specifically support stimulus identification, while late sleep would specifically support priming. Apart from overt behavior, event-related EEG potentials (ERPs) were measured to record the cortical mechanisms associated with behavioral changes across sleep. In contrast to our hypothesis, late-night sleep appeared to be more important for changes of behavior, both for stimulus identification, which tended to improve across late-night sleep, and for priming, with the increase of errors induced by masked stimuli correlating with the duration of REM sleep. ERP components proved sensitive to presence of target shapes in the masked stimuli and to their priming effects. Of these components, the N2 component, indicating processing of conflict, became larger across early-night sleep and was related to the duration of S4 sleep, the deepest substage of SWS containing particularly high portions of EEG slow waves. These findings suggest that sleep promotes perceptual learning primarily by its REM sleep portion, but indirectly also by way of improved action monitoring supported by deep slow-wave sleep.
Denison, Rachel N.; Silver, Michael A.
During binocular rivalry, conflicting images presented to the two eyes compete for perceptual dominance, but the neural basis of this competition is disputed. In interocular switch (IOS) rivalry, rival images periodically exchanged between the two eyes generate one of two types of perceptual alternation: 1) a fast, regular alternation between the images that is time-locked to the stimulus switches and has been proposed to arise from competition at lower levels of the visual processing hierarchy, or 2) a slow, irregular alternation spanning multiple stimulus switches that has been associated with higher levels of the visual system. The existence of these two types of perceptual alternation has been influential in establishing the view that rivalry may be resolved at multiple hierarchical levels of the visual system. We varied the spatial, temporal, and luminance properties of IOS rivalry gratings and found, instead, an association between fast, regular perceptual alternations and processing by the magnocellular stream and between slow, irregular alternations and processing by the parvocellular stream. The magnocellular and parvocellular streams are two early visual pathways that are specialized for the processing of motion and form, respectively. These results provide a new framework for understanding the neural substrates of binocular rivalry that emphasizes the importance of parallel visual processing streams, and not only hierarchical organization, in the perceptual resolution of ambiguities in the visual environment. PMID:21861685
Mullennix, J W; Howe, J N
The effects of perceptual adjustments to voice information on the perception of isolated spoken words were examined. In two experiments, spoken target words were preceded or followed within a trial by a neutral word spoken in the same voice or in a different voice as the target. Over-all, words were reproduced more accurately on trials on which the voice of the neutral word matched the voice of the spoken target word, suggesting that perceptual adjustments to voice interfere with word processing. This result, however, was mediated by selective attention to voice. The results provide further evidence of a close processing relationship between perceptual adjustments to voice and spoken word recognition.
Beer, Anton L; Vartak, Devavrat; Greenlee, Mark W
Perceptual learning is a special type of non-declarative learning that involves experience-dependent plasticity in sensory cortices. The cholinergic system is known to modulate declarative learning. In particular, reduced levels or efficacy of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine were found to facilitate declarative memory consolidation. However, little is known about the role of the cholinergic system in memory consolidation of non-declarative learning. Here we compared two groups of non-smoking men who learned a visual texture discrimination task (TDT). One group received chewing tobacco containing nicotine for 1 h directly following the TDT training. The other group received a similar tasting control substance without nicotine. Electroencephalographic recordings during substance consumption showed reduced alpha activity and P300 latencies in the nicotine group compared to the control group. When re-tested on the TDT the following day, both groups responded more accurately and more rapidly than during training. These improvements were specific to the retinal location and orientation of the texture elements of the TDT suggesting that learning involved early visual cortex. A group comparison showed that learning effects were more pronounced in the nicotine group than in the control group. These findings suggest that oral consumption of nicotine enhances the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our findings further suggest that enhanced efficacy of the cholinergic system facilitates memory consolidation in perceptual learning (and possibly other types of non-declarative learning). In that regard acetylcholine seems to affect consolidation processes in perceptual learning in a different manner than in declarative learning. Alternatively, our findings might reflect dose-dependent cholinergic modulation of memory consolidation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chen, Yuanyuan; Davis, Matthew H; Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Hauk, Olaf
Visual word recognition is often described as automatic, but the functional locus of top-down effects is still a matter of debate. Do task demands modulate how information is retrieved, or only how it is used? We used EEG/MEG recordings to assess whether, when, and how task contexts modify early retrieval of specific psycholinguistic information in occipitotemporal cortex, an area likely to contribute to early stages of visual word processing. Using a parametric approach, we analyzed the spatiotemporal response patterns of occipitotemporal cortex for orthographic, lexical, and semantic variables in three psycholinguistic tasks: silent reading, lexical decision, and semantic decision. Task modulation of word frequency and imageability effects occurred simultaneously in ventral occipitotemporal regions-in the vicinity of the putative visual word form area-around 160 msec, following task effects on orthographic typicality around 100 msec. Frequency and typicality also produced task-independent effects in anterior temporal lobe regions after 200 msec. The early task modulation for several specific psycholinguistic variables indicates that occipitotemporal areas integrate perceptual input with prior knowledge in a task-dependent manner. Still, later task-independent effects in anterior temporal lobes suggest that word recognition eventually leads to retrieval of semantic information irrespective of task demands. We conclude that even a highly overlearned visual task like word recognition should be described as flexible rather than automatic.
McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)
Previous work using Head-Up Displays (HUDs) suggests that the visual system parses the HUD and the outside world into distinct perceptual groups, with attention deployed sequentially to first one group and then the other. New experiments show that both groups can be processed in parallel in a divided attention search task, even though subjects have just processed a stimulus in one perceptual group or the other. Implications for models of visual attention will be discussed.
Cheung, Olivia S.; Bar, Moshe
Making accurate predictions about what may happen in the environment requires analogies between perceptual input and associations in memory. These elements of predictions are based on cortical representations, but little is known about how these processes can be enhanced by experience and training. On the other hand, studies on perceptual expertise have revealed that the acquisition of expertise leads to strengthened associative processing among features or objects, suggesting that predictions and expertise may be tightly connected. Here we review the behavioral and neural findings regarding the mechanisms involving prediction and expert processing, and highlight important possible overlaps between them. Future investigation should examine the relations among perception, memory and prediction skills as a function of expertise. The knowledge gained by this line of research will have implications for visual cognition research, and will advance our understanding of how the human brain can improve its ability to predict by learning from experience. PMID:22123523
Couperus, Jane W
Research suggests that visual selective attention develops across childhood. However, there is relatively little understanding of the neurological changes that accompany this development, particularly in the context of adult theories of selective attention, such as N. Lavie's (1995) perceptual load theory of attention. This study examined visual selective attention across development from 7 years of age to adulthood. Specifically, the author examined if changes in processing as a function of selective attention are similarly influenced by perceptual load across development. Participants were asked to complete a task at either low or high perceptual load while processing of an unattended probe stimulus was examined using event related potentials. Similar to adults, children and teens showed reduced processing of the unattended stimulus as perceptual load increased at the P1 visual component. However, although there were no qualitative differences in changes in processing, there were quantitative differences, with shorter P1 latencies in teens and adults compared with children, suggesting increases in the speed of processing across development. In addition, younger children did not need as high a perceptual load to achieve the same difference in performance between low and high perceptual load as adults. Thus, this study demonstrates that although there are developmental changes in visual selective attention, the mechanisms by which visual selective attention is achieved in children may share similarities with adults.
Sullivan, Regina M.; Wilson, Donald A.; Leon, Michael
Acquisition of behavioral conditioned responding and learned odor preferences during olfactory classical conditioning in rat pups requires forward or simultaneous pairings of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). Other temporal relationships between the CS and US do not usually result in learning. The present study examined the influence of this CS-US relationship upon the neural olfactory bulb modifications that are acquired during early classical conditioning. Wistar rat pups were trained from Postnatal Days (PN) 1-18 with either forward (odor overlapping temporally with reinforcing stroking) or backward (stroking followed by odor) CS-US pairings. On PN 19, pups received either a behavioral odor preference test to the odor CS or an injection of 14C 2-DG and exposure to the odor CS, or olfactory bulb single unit responses were recorded in response to exposure to the odor CS. Only pups that received forward presentations of the CS and US exhibited both a preference for the CS and modified olfactory bulb neural responses to the CS. These results, then, suggest that the modified olfactory bulb neural responses acquired during classical conditioning are guided by the same temporal constraints as those which govern the acquisition of behavioral conditioned responses. PMID:17572798
Plant, Katherine L; Stanton, Neville A
Aeronautical decision-making is complex as there is not always a clear coupling between the decision made and decision outcome. As such, there is a call for process-orientated decision research in order to understand why a decision made sense at the time it was made. Schema theory explains how we interact with the world using stored mental representations and forms an integral part of the perceptual cycle model (PCM); proposed here as a way to understand the decision-making process. This paper qualitatively analyses data from the critical decision method (CDM) based on the principles of the PCM. It is demonstrated that the approach can be used to understand a decision-making process and highlights how influential schemata can be at informing decision-making. The reliability of this approach is established, the general applicability is discussed and directions for future work are considered. This paper introduces the PCM, and the associated schema theory, as a framework to structure and explain data collected from the CDM. The reliability of both the method and coding scheme is addressed.
Collignon, Olivier; Charbonneau, Genevieve; Lassonde, Maryse; Lepore, Franco
Multisensory peripersonal space develops in a maturational process that is thought to be influenced by early sensory experience. We investigated the role of vision in the effective development of audiotactile interactions in peripersonal space. Early blind (EB), late blind (LB) and sighted control (SC) participants were asked to lateralize…
Naumann, R. J.
A comprehensive survey of the flight experiments conducted in conjunction with the United States Materials Processing in Space Program is presented. Also included are a brief description of the conditions prevailing in an orbiting spacecraft and the research implications provided by this unique environment. What was done and what was learned are summarized in order to serve as a background for future experiments. It is assumed that the reader has some knowledge of the physical sciences but no background in spaceflight experimentation or in the materials science per se.
Trautmann-Lengsfeld, Sina Alexa; Herrmann, Christoph Siegfried
Humans are social beings and often have to perceive and perform within groups. In conflict situations, this puts them under pressure to either adhere to the group opinion or to risk controversy with the group. Psychological experiments have demonstrated that study participants adapt to erroneous group opinions in visual perception tasks, which they can easily solve correctly when performing on their own. Until this point, however, it is unclear whether this phenomenon of social conformity influences early stages of perception that might not even reach awareness or later stages of conscious decision-making. Using electroencephalography, this study has revealed that social conformity to the wrong group opinion resulted in a decrease of the posterior-lateral P1 in line with a decrease of the later centro-parietal P3. These results suggest that group pressure situations impact early unconscious visual perceptual processing, which results in a later diminished stimulus discrimination and an adaptation even to the wrong group opinion. These findings might have important implications for understanding social behavior in group settings and are discussed within the framework of social influence on eyewitness testimony.
Fiester, Alan R.; Rudestam, Kjell E.
Principal-component factor analyses were performed on patient input (demographic and pretherapy expectations), therapist input (demographic), and patient perspective therapy process variables that significantly differentiated early dropout from nondropout outpatients at two community mental health centers. (Author)
Parks, Colleen M.
Research examining the importance of surface-level information to familiarity in recognition memory tasks is mixed: Sometimes it affects recognition and sometimes it does not. One potential explanation of the inconsistent findings comes from the ideas of dual process theory of recognition and the transfer-appropriate processing framework, which…
Vazquez-Corral, Javier; Connah, David; Bertalmío, Marcelo
Color camera characterization, mapping outputs from the camera sensors to an independent color space, such as XY Z, is an important step in the camera processing pipeline. Until now, this procedure has been primarily solved by using a 3 × 3 matrix obtained via a least-squares optimization. In this paper, we propose to use the spherical sampling method, recently published by Finlayson et al., to perform a perceptual color characterization. In particular, we search for the 3 × 3 matrix that minimizes three different perceptual errors, one pixel based and two spatially based. For the pixel-based case, we minimize the CIE ΔE error, while for the spatial-based case, we minimize both the S-CIELAB error and the CID error measure. Our results demonstrate an improvement of approximately 3% for the ΔE error, 7% for the S-CIELAB error and 13% for the CID error measures. PMID:25490586
Maher, Stephen; Ekstrom, Tor; Chen, Yue
Perception of subtle facial expressions is essential for social functioning; yet it is unclear if human perceptual sensitivities differ in detecting varying types of facial emotions. Evidence diverges as to whether salient negative versus positive emotions (such as sadness versus happiness) are preferentially processed. Here, we measured perceptual thresholds for the detection of four types of emotion in faces--happiness, fear, anger, and sadness--using psychophysical methods. We also evaluated the association of the perceptual performances with facial morphological changes between neutral and respective emotion types. Human observers were highly sensitive to happiness compared with the other emotional expressions. Further, this heightened perceptual sensitivity to happy expressions can be attributed largely to the emotion-induced morphological change of a particular facial feature (end-lip raise).
Xia, Yingjie; Zhang, Luming; Hong, Richang; Nie, Liqiang; Yan, Yan; Shao, Ling
We propose perceptually guided photo retargeting, which shrinks a photo by simulating a human's process of sequentially perceiving visually/semantically important regions in a photo. In particular, we first project the local features (graphlets in this paper) onto a semantic space, wherein visual cues such as global spatial layout and rough geometric context are exploited. Thereafter, a sparsity-constrained learning algorithm is derived to select semantically representative graphlets of a photo, and the selecting process can be interpreted by a path which simulates how a human actively perceives semantics in a photo. Furthermore, we learn the prior distribution of such active graphlet paths (AGPs) from training photos that are marked as esthetically pleasing by multiple users. The learned priors enforce the corresponding AGP of a retargeted photo to be maximally similar to those from the training photos. On top of the retargeting model, we further design an online learning scheme to incrementally update the model with new photos that are esthetically pleasing. The online update module makes the algorithm less dependent on the number and contents of the initial training data. Experimental results show that: 1) the proposed AGP is over 90% consistent with human gaze shifting path, as verified by the eye-tracking data, and 2) the retargeting algorithm outperforms its competitors significantly, as AGP is more indicative of photo esthetics than conventional saliency maps.
Arntz, Arnoud; de Groot, Corlijn; Kindt, Merel
In two experiments it was investigated which aspects of memory are influenced by emotion. Using a framework proposed by Roediger (American Psychologist 45 (1990) 1043-1056), two dimensions relevant for memory were distinguished the implicit-explicit distinction, and the perceptual versus conceptual distinction. In week 1, subjects viewed a series of slides accompanied with a spoken story in either of the two versions, a neutral version, or a version with an emotional mid-phase. In week 2, memory performance for the slides and story was assessed unexpectedly. A free recall test revealed superior memory in the emotional condition for the story's mid-phase stimuli as compared to the neutral condition, replicating earlier findings. Furthermore, memory performance was assessed using tests that systematically assessed all combinations of implicit versus explicit and perceptual versus conceptual memory. Subjects who had listened to the emotional story had superior perceptual memory, on both implicit and explicit level, compared to those who had listened to the neutral story. Conceptual memory was not superior in the emotional condition. The results suggest that emotion specifically promotes perceptual memory, probably by better encoding of perceptual aspects of emotional experiences. This might be related to the prominent position of perceptual memories in traumatic memory, manifest in intrusions, nightmares and reliving experiences.
Lavie, Nilli; Beck, Diane M.; Konstantinou, Nikos
What is the relationship between attention and conscious awareness? Awareness sometimes appears to be restricted to the contents of focused attention, yet at other times irrelevant distractors will dominate awareness. This contradictory relationship has also been reflected in an abundance of discrepant research findings leading to an enduring controversy in cognitive psychology. Lavie's load theory of attention suggests that the puzzle can be solved by considering the role of perceptual load. Although distractors will intrude upon awareness in conditions of low load, awareness will be restricted to the content of focused attention when the attended information involves high perceptual load. Here, we review recent evidence for this proposal with an emphasis on the various subjective blindness phenomena, and their neural correlates, induced by conditions of high perceptual load. We also present novel findings that clarify the role of attention in the response to stimulus contrast. Overall, this article demonstrates a critical role for perceptual load across the spectrum of perceptual processes leading to awareness, from the very early sensory responses related to contrast detection to explicit recognition of semantic content. PMID:24639578
Lavie, Nilli; Beck, Diane M; Konstantinou, Nikos
What is the relationship between attention and conscious awareness? Awareness sometimes appears to be restricted to the contents of focused attention, yet at other times irrelevant distractors will dominate awareness. This contradictory relationship has also been reflected in an abundance of discrepant research findings leading to an enduring controversy in cognitive psychology. Lavie's load theory of attention suggests that the puzzle can be solved by considering the role of perceptual load. Although distractors will intrude upon awareness in conditions of low load, awareness will be restricted to the content of focused attention when the attended information involves high perceptual load. Here, we review recent evidence for this proposal with an emphasis on the various subjective blindness phenomena, and their neural correlates, induced by conditions of high perceptual load. We also present novel findings that clarify the role of attention in the response to stimulus contrast. Overall, this article demonstrates a critical role for perceptual load across the spectrum of perceptual processes leading to awareness, from the very early sensory responses related to contrast detection to explicit recognition of semantic content.
Nine studies showed a bidirectional link (a) between a global processing style and generation of similarities and (b) between a local processing style and generation of dissimilarities. In Experiments 1-4, participants were primed with global versus local perception styles and then asked to work on an allegedly unrelated generation task. Across materials, participants generated more similarities than dissimilarities after global priming, whereas for participants with local priming, the opposite was true. Experiments 5-6 demonstrated a bidirectional link whereby participants who were first instructed to search for similarities attended more to the gestalt of a stimulus than to its details, whereas the reverse was true for those who were initially instructed to search for dissimilarities. Because important psychological variables are correlated with processing styles, in Experiments 7-9, temporal distance, a promotion focus, and high power were predicted and shown to enhance the search for similarities, whereas temporal proximity, a prevention focus, and low power enhanced the search for dissimilarities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Reynolds, Arthur J.; Ou, Suh-Ruu; Mondi, Christina F.; Hayakawa, Momoko
This article describes the contributions of cognitive-scholastic advantage, family support behavior, and school quality and support as processes through which early childhood interventions promote well-being. Evidence in support of these processes is from longitudinal cohort studies of the Child-Parent Centers and other preventive interventions…
Wang, Yan; Fu, Shimin; Greenwood, Pamela; Luo, Yuejia; Parasuraman, Raja
The locus of attentional selection is known to vary with perceptual load (Lavie et al., 2004). Under voluntary attention, perceptual load modulates selective visual processing at an early cortical stage, as reflected in the posterior P1 and N1 components of the event-related potentials (ERPs). Adult aging also affects both behavioral and ERP signs of attentional selection. However, it is not known whether perceptual load modulates this relationship. Accordingly, in the present study ERPs were recorded in a voluntary attention task. Young and old participants were asked to discriminate the direction of a target line embedded within a display of four lines that appeared in the left or right visual field. Participants responded faster and more accurately to valid relative to invalid trials and to low-load relative to high-load condition. Older participants responded more slowly and with lower accuracy than young participants in all conditions. The amplitudes of the posterior contralateral P1 and N1 components in valid trials were larger than that in invalid trials in all conditions. N1 amplitude was larger under the high load condition than that in the low load condition. Moreover, in the high perceptual load condition, the old group had a larger N1 than the young group at contralateral sites. The findings suggest that under voluntary attention, perceptual load and aging modulates attentional selection at an early but not the earliest stage, during the N1 (120–200ms) time range. Increased N1 amplitude in older adults may reflect increased demands on target discrimination in high perceptual load. PMID:22248536
the capabilities/limitations of the human visual perceptual processing system and improve the training effectiveness of visual simulation systems...Myron Braunstein of the University of California at Irvine performed all the work in the perceptual area. Mr. Timothy A. Zimmerlin contributed the... work . Thus, while some areas are related, each is resolved independently in order to focus on the basic perceptual limitation. In addition, the
Cavanaugh, Lisa A; MacInnis, Deborah J; Weiss, Allen M
Individuals often describe objects in their world in terms of perceptual dimensions that span a variety of modalities; the visual (e.g., brightness: dark-bright), the auditory (e.g., loudness: quiet-loud), the gustatory (e.g., taste: sour-sweet), the tactile (e.g., hardness: soft vs. hard) and the kinaesthetic (e.g., speed: slow-fast). We ask whether individuals use perceptual dimensions to differentiate emotions from one another. Participants in two studies (one where respondents reported on abstract emotion concepts and a second where they reported on specific emotion episodes) rated the extent to which features anchoring 29 perceptual dimensions (e.g., temperature, texture and taste) are associated with 8 emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, contentment, gratitude, pride and excitement). Results revealed that in both studies perceptual dimensions differentiate positive from negative emotions and high arousal from low arousal emotions. They also differentiate among emotions that are similar in arousal and valence (e.g., high arousal negative emotions such as anger and fear). Specific features that anchor particular perceptual dimensions (e.g., hot vs. cold) are also differentially associated with emotions.
Locatelli, Fernando F; Fernandez, Patricia C; Villareal, Francis; Muezzinoglu, Kerem; Huerta, Ramon; Galizia, C. Giovanni; Smith, Brian H.
Experience related plasticity is an essential component of networks involved in early olfactory processing. However, the mechanisms and functions of plasticity in these neural networks are not well understood. We studied nonassociative plasticity by evaluating responses to two pure odors (A and X) and their binary mixture using calcium imaging of odor elicited activity in output neurons of the honey bee antennal lobe. Unreinforced exposure to A or X produced no change in the neural response elicited by the pure odors. However, exposure to one odor (e.g. A) caused the response to the mixture to become more similar to the other component (X). We also show in behavioral analyses that unreinforced exposure to A caused the mixture to become perceptually more similar to X. These results suggest that nonassociative plasticity modifies neural networks in such a way that it affects local competitive interactions among mixture components. We used a computational model to evaluate the most likely targets for modification. Hebbian modification of synapses from inhibitory local interneurons to projection neurons most reliably produces the observed shift in response to the mixture. These results are consistent with a model in which the antennal lobe acts to filter olfactory information according to its relevance for performing a particular task. PMID:23167675
Leech, Robert; Aydelott, Jennifer; Symons, Germaine; Carnevale, Julia; Dick, Frederic
How does the development and consolidation of perceptual, attentional, and higher cognitive abilities interact with language acquisition and processing? We explored children's (ages 5-17) and adults' (ages 18-51) comprehension of morphosyntactically varied sentences under several competing speech conditions that varied in the degree of attentional demands, auditory masking, and semantic interference. We also evaluated the relationship between subjects' syntactic comprehension and their word reading efficiency and general 'speed of processing'. We found that the interactions between perceptual and attentional processes and complex sentence interpretation changed considerably over the course of development. Perceptual masking of the speech signal had an early and lasting impact on comprehension, particularly for more complex sentence structures. In contrast, increased attentional demand in the absence of energetic auditory masking primarily affected younger children's comprehension of difficult sentence types. Finally, the predictability of syntactic comprehension abilities by external measures of development and expertise is contingent upon the perceptual, attentional, and semantic milieu in which language processing takes place.
Schott, Björn; Richardson-Klavehn, Alan; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Düzel, Emrah
We addressed the hypothesis that perceptual priming and explicit memory have distinct neural correlates at encoding. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants studied visually presented words at deep versus shallow levels of processing (LOPs). The ERPs were sorted by whether or not participants later used studied words as completions to three-letter word stems in an intentional memory test, and by whether or not they indicated that these completions were remembered from the study list. Study trials from which words were later used and not remembered (primed trials) and study trials from which words were later used and remembered (remembered trials) were compared to study trials from which words were later not used (forgotten trials), in order to measure the ERP difference associated with later memory (DM effect). Primed trials involved an early (200-450 msec) centroparietal negative-going DM effect. Remembered trials involved a late (900-1200 msec) right frontal, positive-going DM effect regardless of LOP, as well as an earlier (600-800 msec) central, positive-going DM effect during shallow study processing only. All three DM effects differed topographically, and, in terms of their onset or duration, from the extended (600-1200 msec) fronto-central, positive-going shift for deep compared with shallow study processing. The results provide the first clear evidence that perceptual priming and explicit memory have distinct neural correlates at encoding, consistent with Tulving and Schacter's (1990) distinction between brain systems concerned with perceptual representation versus semantic and episodic memory. They also shed additional light on encoding processes associated with later explicit memory, by suggesting that brain processes influenced by LOP set the stage for other, at least partially separable, brain processes that are more directly related to encoding success.
Baumgarten, Thomas J; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim
Whether seeing a movie, listening to a song, or feeling a breeze on the skin, we coherently experience these stimuli as continuous, seamless percepts. However, there are rare perceptual phenomena that argue against continuous perception but, instead, suggest discrete processing of sensory input. Empirical evidence supporting such a discrete mechanism, however, remains scarce and comes entirely from the visual domain. Here, we demonstrate compelling evidence for discrete perceptual sampling in the somatosensory domain. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a tactile temporal discrimination task in humans, we find that oscillatory alpha- and low beta-band (8-20 Hz) cycles in primary somatosensory cortex represent neurophysiological correlates of discrete perceptual cycles. Our results agree with several theoretical concepts of discrete perceptual sampling and empirical evidence of perceptual cycles in the visual domain. Critically, these results show that discrete perceptual cycles are not domain-specific, and thus restricted to the visual domain, but extend to the somatosensory domain.
Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Schmid, Simone
In two experiments, we transferred perceptual load theory to the dynamic field of team sports and tested the predictions derived from the theory using a novel task and stimuli. We tested a group of college students (N = 33) and a group of expert team sport players (N = 32) on a general perceptual load task and a complex, soccer-specific perceptual load task in order to extend the understanding of the applicability of perceptual load theory and further investigate whether distractor interference may differ between the groups, as the sport-specific processing task may not exhaust the processing capacity of the expert participants. In both, the general and the specific task, the pattern of results supported perceptual load theory and demonstrates that the predictions of the theory also transfer to more complex, unstructured situations. Further, perceptual load was the only determinant of distractor processing, as we neither found expertise effects in the general perceptual load task nor the sport-specific task. We discuss the heuristic utility of using response-competition paradigms for studying both general and domain-specific perceptual-cognitive adaptations.
Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I
Perceptual decisions require the brain to weigh noisy evidence from sensory neurons to form categorical judgments that guide behavior. Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological findings suggesting that at least some forms of perceptual learning do not appear to affect the response properties of neurons that represent the sensory evidence. Instead, improved perceptual performance results from changes in how the sensory evidence is selected and weighed to form the decision. We discuss the implications of this idea for possible sites and mechanisms of training-induced improvements in perceptual processing in the brain. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Massi, Bart; Luhmann, Christian C
Many humans exhibit a strong preference for fairness during decision-making. Although there is evidence that social factors influence reward-related and affective neural processing, it is unclear if this effect is mediated by compulsory outcome evaluation processes or results from slower deliberate cognition. Here we show that the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and late positive potential (LPP), two signatures of early hedonic processing, are modulated by the fairness of rewards during a passive rating task. We find that unfair payouts elicit larger FRNs than fair payouts, whereas fair payouts elicit larger LPPs than unfair payouts. This is true both in the time-domain, where the FRN and LPP are related, and in the time-frequency domain, where the two signals are largely independent. Ultimately, this work demonstrates that fairness affects the early stages of reward and affective processing, suggesting a common biological mechanism for social and personal reward evaluation.
Heming, Joanne E.; Brown, Lenora N.
This study examined tactile and visual temporal processing in adults with early loss of hearing. The tactile task consisted of punctate stimulations that were delivered to one or both hands by a mechanical tactile stimulator. Pairs of light emitting diodes were presented on a display for visual stimulation. Responses consisted of YES or NO…
Szwed, Marcin; Ventura, Paulo; Querido, Luis; Cohen, Laurent; Dehaene, Stanislas
The acquisition of reading has an extensive impact on the developing brain and leads to enhanced abilities in phonological processing and visual letter perception. Could this expertise also extend to early visual abilities outside the reading domain? Here we studied the performance of illiterate, ex-illiterate and literate adults closely matched…
Page, Jonathan W.; Duhamel, Paul; Crognale, Michael A.
Recent neuroimaging research suggests that early visual processing circuits are activated similarly during visualization and perception but have not demonstrated that the cortical activity is similar in character. We found functional equivalency in cortical activity by recording evoked potentials while color and luminance patterns were viewed and…
Durtschi, Jared A.; Fincham, Frank D.; Cui, Ming; Lorenz, Frederick O.; Conger, Rand D.
Marital processes in early marriage are important for understanding couples' future marital quality. Spouses' attributions about a partner's behavior have been linked to marital quality, yet the mechanisms underlying this association remain largely unknown. When we used couple data from the Family Transitions Project (N = 280 couples) across the…
Dutilh, Gilles; Rieskamp, Jörg
Perceptual and preferential decision making have been studied largely in isolation. Perceptual decisions are considered to be at a non-deliberative cognitive level and have an outside criterion that defines the quality of decisions. Preferential decisions are considered to be at a higher cognitive level and the quality of decisions depend on the decision maker's subjective goals. Besides these crucial differences, both types of decisions also have in common that uncertain information about the choice situation has to be processed before a decision can be made. The present work aims to acknowledge the commonalities of both types of decision making to lay bare the crucial differences. For this aim we examine perceptual and preferential decisions with a novel choice paradigm that uses the identical stimulus material for both types of decisions. This paradigm allows us to model the decisions and response times of both types of decisions with the same sequential sampling model, the drift diffusion model. The results illustrate that the different incentive structure in both types of tasks changes people's behavior so that they process information more efficiently and respond more cautiously in the perceptual as compared to the preferential task. These findings set out a perspective for further integration of perceptual and preferential decision making in a single ramework.
Donovan, Ian; Szpiro, Sarit; Carrasco, Marisa
Perceptual skills can be improved through practice on a perceptual task, even in adulthood. Visual perceptual learning is known to be mostly specific to the trained retinal location, which is considered as evidence of neural plasticity in retinotopic early visual cortex. Recent findings demonstrate that transfer of learning to untrained locations can occur under some specific training procedures. Here, we evaluated whether exogenous attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations, both adjacent to the trained locations (Experiment 1) and distant from them (Experiment 2). The results reveal that attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations in both experiments, and that this transfer occurs both within and across visual hemifields. These findings show that training with exogenous attention is a powerful regime that is able to overcome the major limitation of location specificity.
Donovan, Ian; Szpiro, Sarit; Carrasco, Marisa
Perceptual skills can be improved through practice on a perceptual task, even in adulthood. Visual perceptual learning is known to be mostly specific to the trained retinal location, which is considered as evidence of neural plasticity in retinotopic early visual cortex. Recent findings demonstrate that transfer of learning to untrained locations can occur under some specific training procedures. Here, we evaluated whether exogenous attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations, both adjacent to the trained locations (Experiment 1) and distant from them (Experiment 2). The results reveal that attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations in both experiments, and that this transfer occurs both within and across visual hemifields. These findings show that training with exogenous attention is a powerful regime that is able to overcome the major limitation of location specificity. PMID:26426818
Berard, Aaron V; Cain, Matthew S; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT), a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.
Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.
Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…
Noorbaloochi, Sharareh; Sharon, Dahlia; McClelland, James L
We used electroencephalography (EEG) and behavior to examine the role of payoff bias in a difficult two-alternative perceptual decision under deadline pressure in humans. The findings suggest that a fast guess process, biased by payoff and triggered by stimulus onset, occurred on a subset of trials and raced with an evidence accumulation process informed by stimulus information. On each trial, the participant judged whether a rectangle was shifted to the right or left and responded by squeezing a right- or left-hand dynamometer. The payoff for each alternative (which could be biased or unbiased) was signaled 1.5 s before stimulus onset. The choice response was assigned to the first hand reaching a squeeze force criterion and reaction time was defined as time to criterion. Consistent with a fast guess account, fast responses were strongly biased toward the higher-paying alternative and the EEG exhibited an abrupt rise in the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) on a subset of biased payoff trials contralateral to the higher-paying alternative ∼ 150 ms after stimulus onset and 50 ms before stimulus information influenced the LRP. This rise was associated with poststimulus dynamometer activity favoring the higher-paying alternative and predicted choice and response time. Quantitative modeling supported the fast guess account over accounts of payoff effects supported in other studies. Our findings, taken with previous studies, support the idea that payoff and prior probability manipulations produce flexible adaptations to task structure and do not reflect a fixed policy for the integration of payoff and stimulus information. Humans and other animals often face situations in which they must make choices based on uncertain sensory information together with information about expected outcomes (gains or losses) about each choice. We investigated how differences in payoffs between available alternatives affect neural activity, overt choice, and the timing of choice
Sheridan, Heather; Reingold, Eyal M.
The present experiments examined perceptual specificity effects using a rereading paradigm. Eye movements were monitored while participants read the same target word twice, in two different low-constraint sentence frames. The congruency of perceptual processing was manipulated by either presenting the target word in the same distortion typography…
Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi
In the present experiments, the question being addressed was whether switching attention between perceptual dimensions and selective attention to dimensions are processes that compete over a common resource? Attention to perceptual dimensions is usually studied by requiring participants to ignore a never-relevant dimension. Selection failure…
Wagman, Jeffrey B; McBride, Dawn M; Trefzger, Amanda J
Two experiments investigated the relationship between perceptual experience (during practice) and posttest improvements in perceptual accuracy and consistency. Experiment 1 investigated the potential relationship between how often knowledge of results (KR) is provided during a practice session and posttest improvements in perceptual accuracy. Experiment 2 investigated the potential relationship between how often practice (PR) is provided during a practice session and posttest improvements in perceptual consistency. The results of both experiments are consistent with previous findings that perceptual accuracy improves only when practice includes KR and that perceptual consistency improves regardless of whether practice includes KR. In addition, the results showed that although there is a relationship between how often KR is provided during a practice session and posttest improvements in perceptual accuracy, there is no relationship between how often PR is provided during a practice session and posttest improvements in consistency.
Rajaram, S; Srinivas, K; Travers, S
Reports on the effects of dividing attention at study on subsequent perceptual priming suggest that perceptual priming is generally unaffected by attentional manipulations as long as word identity is processed. We tested this hypothesis in three experiments by using the implicit word fragment completion and word stem completion tasks. Division of attention was instantiated with the Stroop task in order to ensure the processing of word identity even when the participant's attention was directed to a stimulus attribute other than the word itself. Under these conditions, we found that even though perceptual priming was significant, it was significantly reduced in magnitude. A stem cued recall test in Experiment 2 confirmed a more deleterious effect of divided attention on explicit memory. Taken together, our findings delineate the relative contributions of perceptual analysis and attentional processes in mediating perceptual priming on two ubiquitously used tasks of word fragment completion and word stem completion.
Trauer, Sophie M; Kotz, Sonja A; Müller, Matthias M
Emotional scenes and faces have shown to capture and bind visual resources at early sensory processing stages, i.e. in early visual cortex. However, emotional words have led to mixed results. In the current study ERPs were assessed simultaneously with steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) to measure attention effects on early visual activity in emotional word processing. Neutral and negative words were flickered at 12.14 Hz whilst participants performed a Lexical Decision Task. Emotional word content did not modulate the 12.14 Hz SSVEP amplitude, neither did word lexicality. However, emotional words affected the ERP. Negative compared to neutral words as well as words compared to pseudowords lead to enhanced deflections in the P2 time range indicative of lexico-semantic access. The N400 was reduced for negative compared to neutral words and enhanced for pseudowords compared to words indicating facilitated semantic processing of emotional words. LPC amplitudes reflected word lexicality and thus the task-relevant response. In line with previous ERP and imaging evidence, the present results indicate that written emotional words are facilitated in processing only subsequent to visual analysis.
Reber, Rolf; Wurtz, Pascal; Zimmermann, Thomas D
Perceptual fluency is the subjective experience of ease with which an incoming stimulus is processed. Although perceptual fluency is assessed by speed of processing, it remains unclear how objective speed is related to subjective experiences of fluency. We present evidence that speed at different stages of the perceptual process contributes to perceptual fluency. In an experiment, figure-ground contrast influenced detection of briefly presented words, but not their identification at longer exposure durations. Conversely, font in which the word was written influenced identification, but not detection. Both contrast and font influenced subjective fluency. These findings suggest that speed of processing at different stages condensed into a unified subjective experience of perceptual fluency.
Scalf, Paige E; Torralbo, Ana; Tapia, Evelina; Beck, Diane M
Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory.
Yeganeh Doost, Maral; Orban de Xivry, Jean-Jacques; Bihin, Benoît; Vandermeeren, Yves
Most daily activities are bimanual and their efficient performance requires learning and retention of bimanual coordination. Despite in-depth knowledge of the various stages of motor skill learning in general, how new bimanual coordination control policies are established is still unclear. We designed a new cooperative bimanual task in which subjects had to move a cursor across a complex path (a circuit) as fast and as accurately as possible through coordinated bimanual movements. By looking at the transfer of the skill between different circuits and by looking at training with varying circuits, we identified two processes in early bimanual motor learning. Loss of performance due to the switch in circuit after 15 min of training amounted to 20%, which suggests that a significant portion of improvements in bimanual performance is specific to the used circuit (circuit-specific skill). In contrast, the loss of performance due to the switch in circuit was 5% after 4 min of training. This suggests that learning the new bimanual coordination control policy dominates early in the training and is independent of the used circuit. Finally, switching between two circuits throughout training did not affect the early stage of learning (i.e., the first few minutes), but did affect the later stage. Together, these results suggest that early bimanual motor skill learning includes two different processes. Learning the new bimanual coordination control policy predominates in the first minutes whereas circuit-specific skill improvements unfold later in parallel with further improvements in the bimanual coordination control policy. PMID:29326573
Verleger, Rolf; Schuknecht, Simon-Vitus; Jaskowski, Piotr; Wagner, Ullrich
Sleep has proven to support the memory consolidation in many tasks including learning of perceptual skills. Explicit, conscious types of memory have been demonstrated to benefit particularly from slow-wave sleep (SWS), implicit, non-conscious types particularly from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. By comparing the effects of early-night sleep,…
Murphy, Aidan P; Leopold, David A; Welchman, Andrew E
The visual system exploits past experience at multiple timescales to resolve perceptual ambiguity in the retinal image. For example, perception of a bistable stimulus can be biased toward one interpretation over another when preceded by a brief presentation of a disambiguated version of the stimulus (positive priming) or through intermittent presentations of the ambiguous stimulus (stabilization). Similarly, prior presentations of unambiguous stimuli can be used to explicitly "train" a long-lasting association between a percept and a retinal location (perceptual association). These phenonema have typically been regarded as independent processes, with short-term biases attributed to perceptual memory and longer-term biases described as associative learning. Here we tested for interactions between these two forms of experience-dependent perceptual bias and demonstrate that short-term processes strongly influence long-term outcomes. We first demonstrate that the establishment of long-term perceptual contingencies does not require explicit training by unambiguous stimuli, but can arise spontaneously during the periodic presentation of brief, ambiguous stimuli. Using rotating Necker cube stimuli, we observed enduring, retinotopically specific perceptual biases that were expressed from the outset and remained stable for up to 40 min, consistent with the known phenomenon of perceptual stabilization. Further, bias was undiminished after a break period of 5 min, but was readily reset by interposed periods of continuous, as opposed to periodic, ambiguous presentation. Taken together, the results demonstrate that perceptual biases can arise naturally and may principally reflect the brain's tendency to favor recent perceptual interpretation at a given retinal location. Further, they suggest that an association between retinal location and perceptual state, rather than a physical stimulus, is sufficient to generate long-term biases in perceptual organization.
Tusch, Erich S.; Alperin, Brittany R.; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Daffner, Kirk R.
The inhibitory deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging posits that older adults’ inability to adequately suppress processing of irrelevant information is a major source of cognitive decline. Prior research has demonstrated that in response to task-irrelevant auditory stimuli there is an age-associated increase in the amplitude of the N1 wave, an ERP marker of early perceptual processing. Here, we tested predictions derived from the inhibitory deficit hypothesis that the age-related increase in N1 would be 1) observed under an auditory-ignore, but not auditory-attend condition, 2) attenuated in individuals with high executive capacity (EC), and 3) augmented by increasing cognitive load of the primary visual task. ERPs were measured in 114 well-matched young, middle-aged, young-old, and old-old adults, designated as having high or average EC based on neuropsychological testing. Under the auditory-ignore (visual-attend) task, participants ignored auditory stimuli and responded to rare target letters under low and high load. Under the auditory-attend task, participants ignored visual stimuli and responded to rare target tones. Results confirmed an age-associated increase in N1 amplitude to auditory stimuli under the auditory-ignore but not auditory-attend task. Contrary to predictions, EC did not modulate the N1 response. The load effect was the opposite of expectation: the N1 to task-irrelevant auditory events was smaller under high load. Finally, older adults did not simply fail to suppress the N1 to auditory stimuli in the task-irrelevant modality; they generated a larger response than to identical stimuli in the task-relevant modality. In summary, several of the study’s findings do not fit the inhibitory-deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging, which may need to be refined or supplemented by alternative accounts. PMID:27806081
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3 PMID:27630555
Potocnik, Kristina; Tordera, Nuria; Peiro, Jose Maria
The present study explores the influence of the early retirement process on adjustment to early retirement, taking into account the roles of individual characteristics and social context in this process. We proposed a systematic model integrating perceived ability to continue working, organizational pressures toward early retirement and group…
Hervais-Adelman, Alexis G.; Davis, Matthew H.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Taylor, Karen J.; Carlyon, Robert P.
Recent work demonstrates that learning to understand noise-vocoded (NV) speech alters sublexical perceptual processes but is enhanced by the simultaneous provision of higher-level, phonological, but not lexical content (Hervais-Adelman, Davis, Johnsrude, & Carlyon, 2008), consistent with top-down learning (Davis, Johnsrude, Hervais-Adelman,…
Yoshida, Katherine A.; Iversen, John R.; Patel, Aniruddh D.; Mazuka, Reiko; Nito, Hiromi; Gervain, Judit; Werker, Janet F.
Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and…
Reynolds, Arthur J; Ou, Suh-Ruu; Mondi, Christina F; Hayakawa, Momoko
This article describes the contributions of cognitive-scholastic advantage, family support behavior, and school quality and support as processes through which early childhood interventions promote well-being. Evidence in support of these processes is from longitudinal cohort studies of the Child-Parent Centers and other preventive interventions beginning by age 4. Relatively large effects of participation have been documented for school readiness skills at age 5, parent involvement, K-12 achievement, remedial education, educational attainment, and crime prevention. The three processes account for up to half of the program impacts on well-being. They also help to explain the positive economic returns of many effective programs. The generalizability of these processes is supported by a sizable knowledge base, including a scale up of the Child-Parent Centers. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Hecht, Marcus; Thiemann, Ulf; Freitag, Christine M; Bender, Stephan
Post-perceptual cues can enhance visual short term memory encoding even after the offset of the visual stimulus. However, both the mechanisms by which the sensory stimulus characteristics are buffered as well as the mechanisms by which post-perceptual selective attention enhances short term memory encoding remain unclear. We analyzed late post-perceptual event-related potentials (ERPs) in visual change detection tasks (100ms stimulus duration) by high-resolution ERP analysis to elucidate these mechanisms. The effects of early and late auditory post-cues (300ms or 850ms after visual stimulus onset) as well as the effects of a visual interference stimulus were examined in 27 healthy right-handed adults. Focusing attention with post-perceptual cues at both latencies significantly improved memory performance, i.e. sensory stimulus characteristics were available for up to 850ms after stimulus presentation. Passive watching of the visual stimuli without auditory cue presentation evoked a slow negative wave (N700) over occipito-temporal visual areas. N700 was strongly reduced by a visual interference stimulus which impeded memory maintenance. In contrast, contralateral delay activity (CDA) still developed in this condition after the application of auditory post-cues and was thereby dissociated from N700. CDA and N700 seem to represent two different processes involved in short term memory encoding. While N700 could reflect visual post processing by automatic attention attraction, CDA may reflect the top-down process of searching selectively for the required information through post-perceptual attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
While much is known about the specialized, parallel processing streams of low-level vision that extract primary visual cues, there is only limited knowledge about the dynamic interactions between them. How are the fragments, caught by local analyzers, assembled together to provide us with a unified percept? How are local discontinuities in texture, motion or depth evaluated with respect to object boundaries and surface properties? These questions are presented within the framework of orientation-specific spatial interactions of early vision. Key observations of psychophysics, anatomy and neurophysiology on interactions of various spatial and temporal ranges are reviewed. Aspects of the functional architecture and possible neural substrates of local orientation-specific interactions are discussed, underlining their role in the integration of information across the visual field, and particularly in contour integration. Examples are provided demonstrating that global context, such as contour closure and figure-ground assignment, affects these local interactions. It is illustrated that figure-ground assignment is realized early in visual processing, and that the pattern of early interactions also brings about an effective and sparse coding of visual shape. Finally, it is concluded that the underlying functional architecture is not only dynamic and context dependent, but the pattern of connectivity depends as much on past experience as on actual stimulation.
Sy, Jocelyn L.; Guerin, Scott A.; Stegman, Anna; Giesbrecht, Barry
The load theory of visual attention proposes that efficient selective perceptual processing of task-relevant information during search is determined automatically by the perceptual demands of the display. If the perceptual demands required to process task-relevant information are not enough to consume all available capacity, then the remaining capacity automatically and exhaustively “spills-over” to task-irrelevant information. The spill-over of perceptual processing capacity increases the likelihood that task-irrelevant information will impair performance. In two visual search experiments, we tested the automaticity of the allocation of perceptual processing resources by measuring the extent to which the processing of task-irrelevant distracting stimuli was modulated by both perceptual load and top-down expectations using behavior, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and electrophysiology. Expectations were generated using a trial-by-trial cue that provided information about the likely load of the upcoming visual search task. When the cues were valid, behavioral interference was eliminated and the influence of load on frontoparietal and visual cortical responses was attenuated relative to when the cues were invalid. In conditions in which task-irrelevant information interfered with performance and modulated visual activity, individual differences in mean blood oxygenation level dependent responses measured from the left intraparietal sulcus were negatively correlated with individual differences in the severity of distraction. These results are consistent with the interpretation that a top-down biasing mechanism interacts with perceptual load to support filtering of task-irrelevant information. PMID:24904374
Bélanger, Nathalie N; Lee, Michelle; Schotter, Elizabeth R
Recently, Bélanger, Slattery, Mayberry and Rayner (2012) showed, using the moving window paradigm, that profoundly deaf adults have a wider perceptual span during reading relative to hearing adults matched on reading level. This difference might be related to the fact that deaf adults allocate more visual attention to simple stimuli in the parafovea (Bavelier, Dye & Hauser, 2006). Importantly, this reorganization of visual attention in deaf individuals is already manifesting in deaf children (Dye, Hauser & Bavelier, 2009). This leads to questions about the time course of the emergence of an enhanced perceptual span (which is under attentional control; Rayner, 2014; Miellet, O'Donnell, & Sereno, 2009) in young deaf readers. The present research addressed this question by comparing the perceptual spans of young deaf readers (age 7-15) and young hearing children (age 7-15). Young deaf readers, like deaf adults, were found to have a wider perceptual span relative to their hearing peers matched on reading level, suggesting that strong and early reorganization of visual attention in deaf individuals goes beyond the processing of simple visual stimuli and emerges into more cognitively complex tasks, such as reading.
Barraza, Paulo; Jaume-Guazzini, Francisco; Rodríguez, Eugenio
Speech perception is often seen as a passive process guided by physical stimulus properties. However, ongoing brain dynamics could influence the subsequent perceptual organization of the speech, to an as yet unknown extent. To elucidate this issue, we analyzed EEG oscillatory activity before and immediately after the repetitive auditory presentation of words inducing the so-called verbal transformation effect (VTE), or spontaneous alternation of meanings due to its rapid repetition. Subjects indicated whether the meaning of the bistable word changed or not. For the Reversal more than for the Stable condition, results show a pre-stimulus local alpha desynchronization (300-50ms), followed by an early post-stimulus increase of local beta synchrony (0-80ms), and then a late increase and decrease of local alpha (200-340ms) and beta (360-440ms) synchrony respectively. Additionally, the ERPs showed that reversal positivity (RP) and reversal negativity components (RN), along with a late positivity complex (LPC) correlate with switching between verbal forms. Our results show how the ongoing dynamics brain is actively involved in the perceptual organization of the speech, destabilizing verbal perceptual states, and facilitating the perceptual regrouping of the elements composing the linguistic auditory stimulus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ibáñez, Agustin; Bekinschtein, Tristan
Abstract Visual perception and integration seem to play an essential role in our conscious phenomenology. Relatively local neural processing of reentrant nature may explain several visual integration processes (feature binding or figure-ground segregation, object recognition, inference, competition), even without attention or cognitive control. Based on the above statements, should the neural signatures of visual integration (via reentrant process) be non-reportable phenomenological qualia? We argue that qualia are not required to understand this perceptual organization.
Vlamings, Petra Hendrika Johanna Maria; Jonkman, Lisa Marthe; van Daalen, Emma; van der Gaag, Rutger Jan; Kemner, Chantal
A detailed visual processing style has been noted in autism spectrum disorder (ASD); this contributes to problems in face processing and has been directly related to abnormal processing of spatial frequencies (SFs). Little is known about the early development of face processing in ASD and the relation with abnormal SF processing. We investigated whether young ASD children show abnormalities in low spatial frequency (LSF, global) and high spatial frequency (HSF, detailed) processing and explored whether these are crucially involved in the early development of face processing. Three- to 4-year-old children with ASD (n = 22) were compared with developmentally delayed children without ASD (n = 17). Spatial frequency processing was studied by recording visual evoked potentials from visual brain areas while children passively viewed gratings (HSF/LSF). In addition, children watched face stimuli with different expressions, filtered to include only HSF or LSF. Enhanced activity in visual brain areas was found in response to HSF versus LSF information in children with ASD, in contrast to control subjects. Furthermore, facial-expression processing was also primarily driven by detail in ASD. Enhanced visual processing of detailed (HSF) information is present early in ASD and occurs for neutral (gratings), as well as for socially relevant stimuli (facial expressions). These data indicate that there is a general abnormality in visual SF processing in early ASD and are in agreement with suggestions that a fast LSF subcortical face processing route might be affected in ASD. This could suggest that abnormal visual processing is causative in the development of social problems in ASD. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Byers, Anna; Serences, John T
Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
Makin, Alexis D.J.; Wright, Damien; Rampone, Giulia; Palumbo, Letizia; Guest, Martin; Sheehan, Rhiannon; Cleaver, Helen; Bertamini, Marco
A traditional line of work starting with the Gestalt school has shown that patterns vary in strength and salience; a difference in “Perceptual goodness.” The Holographic weight of evidence model quantifies goodness of visual regularities. The key formula states that W = E/N, where E is number of holographic identities in a pattern and N is number of elements. We tested whether W predicts the amplitude of the neural response to regularity in an extrastriate symmetry-sensitive network. We recorded an Event Related Potential (ERP) generated by symmetry called the Sustained Posterior Negativity (SPN). First, we reanalyzed the published work and found that W explained most variance in SPN amplitude. Then in four new studies, we confirmed specific predictions of the holographic model regarding 1) the differential effects of numerosity on reflection and repetition, 2) the similarity between reflection and Glass patterns, 3) multiple symmetries, and 4) symmetry and anti-symmetry. In all cases, the holographic approach predicted SPN amplitude remarkably well; particularly in an early window around 300–400 ms post stimulus onset. Although the holographic model was not conceived as a model of neural processing, it captures many details of the brain response to symmetry. PMID:27702812
Perceptual grouping is the process through which the perceptual system combines local stimuli into a more global perceptual unit. Previous studies have shown attention to be a modulatory factor for perceptual grouping. However, these studies mainly used explicit measurements, and, thus, whether attention can modulate perceptual grouping without awareness is still relatively unexplored. To clarify the relationship between attention and perceptual grouping, the present study aims to explore how attention interacts with perceptual grouping without awareness. The task was to judge the relative lengths of two centrally presented horizontal bars while a railway-shaped pattern defined by color similarity was presented in the background. Although the observers were unaware of the railway-shaped pattern, their line-length judgment was biased by that pattern, which induced a Ponzo illusion, indicating grouping without awareness. More importantly, an attentional modulatory effect without awareness was manifested as evident by the observer's performance being more often biased when the railway-shaped pattern was formed by an attended color than when it was formed by an unattended one. Also, the attentional modulation effect was shown to be dynamic, being more pronounced with a short presentation time than a longer one. The results of the present study not only clarify the relationship between attention and perceptual grouping but also further contribute to our understanding of attention and awareness by corroborating the dissociation between attention and awareness.
Löwe, Peter; Wächter, Jochen; Hammitzsch, Martin
The natural disaster of the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 was followed by an information catastrophe. Crucial early warning information could not be delivered to the communities under imminent threat, resulting in over 240,000 casualties in 14 countries. This tragedy sparked the development of a new generation of integrated modular Tsunami Early Warning Systems (TEWS). While significant advances were accomplished in the past years, recent events, like the Chile 2010 and the Tohoku 2011 tsunami demonstrate that the key technical challenge for Tsunami Early Warning research on the supranational scale still lies in the timely issuing of status information and reliable early warning messages in a proven workflow. A second challenge stems from the main objective of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) Tsunami Programme, the integration of national TEWS towards ocean-wide networks: Each of the increasing number of integrated Tsunami Early Warning Centres has to cope with the continuing evolution of sensors, hardware and software while having to maintain reliable inter-center information exchange services. To avoid future information catastrophes, the performance of all components, ranging from individual sensors, to Warning Centers within their particular end-to-end Warning System Environments, and up to federated Systems of Tsunami Warning Systems has to be regularly validated against defined criteria. Since 2004, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) has built up expertise in the field of TEWS. Within GFZ, the Centre for GeoInformation Technology (CeGIT) has focused its work on the geoinformatics aspects of TEWS in two projects already, being the German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS) and the Distant Early Warning System (DEWS). This activity is continued in the TRIDEC project (Collaborative, Complex, and Critical Decision Processes in Evolving Crises) funded under the European Union's seventh Framework Programme (FP7
Caharel, Stéphanie; Leleu, Arnaud; Bernard, Christian; Viggiano, Maria-Pia; Lalonde, Robert; Rebaï, Mohamed
The properties of the face-sensitive N170 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) were explored through an orientation discrimination task using natural faces, objects, and Arcimboldo paintings presented upright or inverted. Because Arcimboldo paintings are composed of non-face objects but have a global face configuration, they provide great control to disentangle high-level face-like or object-like visual processes at the level of the N170, and may help to examine the implication of each hemisphere in the global/holistic processing of face formats. For upright position, N170 amplitudes in the right occipito-temporal region did not differ between natural faces and Arcimboldo paintings but were larger for both of these categories than for objects, supporting the view that as early as the N170 time-window, the right hemisphere is involved in holistic perceptual processing of face-like configurations irrespective of their features. Conversely, in the left hemisphere, N170 amplitudes differed between Arcimboldo portraits and natural faces, suggesting that this hemisphere processes local facial features. For upside-down orientation in both hemispheres, N170 amplitudes did not differ between Arcimboldo paintings and objects, but were reduced for both categories compared to natural faces, indicating that the disruption of holistic processing with inversion leads to an object-like processing of Arcimboldo paintings due to the lack of local facial features. Overall, these results provide evidence that global/holistic perceptual processing of faces and face-like formats involves the right hemisphere as early as the N170 time-window, and that the local processing of face features is rather implemented in the left hemisphere. © 2013.
Sherman, M T; Seth, A K; Barrett, A B; Kanai, R
The influential framework of 'predictive processing' suggests that prior probabilistic expectations influence, or even constitute, perceptual contents. This notion is evidenced by the facilitation of low-level perceptual processing by expectations. However, whether expectations can facilitate high-level components of perception remains unclear. We addressed this question by considering the influence of expectations on perceptual metacognition. To isolate the effects of expectation from those of attention we used a novel factorial design: expectation was manipulated by changing the probability that a Gabor target would be presented; attention was manipulated by instructing participants to perform or ignore a concurrent visual search task. We found that, independently of attention, metacognition improved when yes/no responses were congruent with expectations of target presence/absence. Results were modeled under a novel Bayesian signal detection theoretic framework which integrates bottom-up signal propagation with top-down influences, to provide a unified description of the mechanisms underlying perceptual decision and metacognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ruchay, Alexey; Kober, Vitaly; Yavtushenko, Evgeniya
In this paper, we propose a perceptual image hash algorithm based on cascade algorithm, which can be applied in image authentication, retrieval, and indexing. Image perceptual hash uses for image retrieval in sense of human perception against distortions caused by compression, noise, common signal processing and geometrical modifications. The main disadvantage of perceptual hash is high time expenses. In the proposed cascade algorithm of image retrieval initializes with short hashes, and then a full hash is applied to the processed results. Computer simulation results show that the proposed hash algorithm yields a good performance in terms of robustness, discriminability, and time expenses.
Weber-Fox, Christine; Wray, Amanda Hampton; Arnold, Hayley
We examined neural activity mediating semantic and syntactic processing in 27 preschool-age children who stutter (CWS) and 27 preschool-age children who do not stutter (CWNS) matched for age, nonverbal IQ and language abilities. All participants displayed language abilities and nonverbal IQ within the normal range. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were elicited while participants watched a cartoon video and heard naturally spoken sentences that were either correct or contained semantic or syntactic (phrase structure) violations. ERPs in CWS, compared to CWNS, were characterized by longer N400 peak latencies elicited by semantic processing. In the CWS, syntactic violations elicited greater negative amplitudes for the early time window (150–350 ms) over medial sites compared to CWNS. Additionally, the amplitude of the P600 elicited by syntactic violations relative to control words was significant over the left hemisphere for the CWNS but showed the reverse pattern in CWS, a robust effect only over the right hemisphere. Both groups of preschoolage children demonstrated marked and differential effects for neural processes elicited by semantic and phrase structure violations; however, a significant proportion of young CWS exhibit differences in the neural functions mediating language processing compared to CWNS despite normal language abilities. These results are the first to show that differences in event-related brain potentials reflecting language processing occur as early as the preschool years in CWS and provide the first evidence that atypical lateralization of hemispheric speech/language functions previously observed in the brains of adults who stutter begin to emerge near the onset of developmental stuttering. PMID:23773672
Zaman, Jonas; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Wiech, Katja; Van Diest, Ilse
Recent neuropsychological theories emphasize the influence of maladaptive learning and memory processes on pain perception. However, the precise relationship between these processes as well as the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood; especially the role of perceptual discrimination and its modulation by associative fear learning has received little attention so far. Experimental work with exteroceptive stimuli consistently points to effects of fear learning on perceptual discrimination acuity. In addition, clinical observations have revealed that in individuals with chronic pain perceptual discrimination is impaired, and that tactile discrimination training reduces pain. Based on these findings, we present a theoretical model of which the central tenet is that associative fear learning contributes to the development of chronic pain through impaired interoceptive and proprioceptive discrimination acuity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Özer, Hamza; Sankur, Bülent; Memon, Nasir; Anarım, Emin
Perceptual hash functions provide a tool for fast and reliable identification of content. We present new audio hash functions based on summarization of the time-frequency spectral characteristics of an audio document. The proposed hash functions are based on the periodicity series of the fundamental frequency and on singular-value description of the cepstral frequencies. They are found, on one hand, to perform very satisfactorily in identification and verification tests, and on the other hand, to be very resilient to a large variety of attacks. Moreover, we address the issue of security of hashes and propose a keying technique, and thereby a key-dependent hash function.
Thornley, Tracey; West, Sandra
Individuals come to understand abstract constructs such as that of the 'expert' through the formation of concepts. Time and repeated opportunity for observation to support the generalisation and abstraction of the developing concept are essential if the concept is to form successfully. Development of an effective concept of the 'expert nurse' is critical for early career nurses who are attempting to integrate theory, values and beliefs as they develop their clinical practice. This study explores the use of a concept development framework in a grounded theory study of the 'expert nurse'. Qualitative. Using grounded theory methods for data collection and analysis, semi-structured interviews were conducted with registered nurses. The participants were asked to describe their concept of the 'expert nurse' and to discuss their experience of developing this. Participants reported forming their concept of the 'expert nurse', after multiple opportunities to engage with nurses identified as 'expert'. This identification did not necessarily relate to the designated position of the 'expert nurse' or assigned mentors. When the early career nurse does not successfully form a concept of the 'expert nurse', difficulties in personal and professional development including skill/knowledge development may arise. To underpin development of their clinical practice effectively, early career nurses need to be provided with opportunities that facilitate the purposive formation of their own concept of the 'expert nurse'. Formation of this concept is not well supported by the common practice of assigning mentors. Early career nurses must be provided with the time and the opportunity to individually develop and refine their concept of the 'expert nurse'. To achieve this, strategies including providing opportunities to engage with expert nurses and discussion of the process of concept formation and its place in underpinning personal judgments may be of assistance. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing
Amongst the most significant questions we are confronted with today include the integration of the brain's micro-circuitry, our ability to build the complex social networks that underpin society and how our society impacts on our ecological environment. In trying to unravel these issues one place to begin is at the level of the individual: to consider how we accumulate information about our environment, how this information leads to decisions and how our individual decisions in turn create our social environment. While this is an enormous task, we may already have at hand many of the tools we need. This article is intended to review some of the recent results in neuro-cognitive research and show how they can be extended to two very specific and interrelated types of expertise: perceptual expertise and social cognition. These two cognitive skills span a vast range of our genetic heritage. Perceptual expertise developed very early in our evolutionary history and is a highly developed part of all mammals' cognitive ability. On the other hand social cognition is most highly developed in humans in that we are able to maintain larger and more stable long term social connections with more behaviorally diverse individuals than any other species. To illustrate these ideas I will discuss board games as a toy model of social interactions as they include many of the relevant concepts: perceptual learning, decision-making, long term planning and understanding the mental states of other people. Using techniques that have been developed in mathematical psychology, I show that we can represent some of the key features of expertise using stochastic differential equations (SDEs). Such models demonstrate how an expert's long exposure to a particular context influences the information they accumulate in order to make a decision.These processes are not confined to board games, we are all experts in our daily lives through long exposure to the many regularities of daily tasks and social
Szpiro, Sarit F. A.; Carrasco, Marisa
Practice can improve visual perception, and these improvements are considered to be a form of brain plasticity. Training-induced learning is time-consuming and requires hundreds of trials across multiple days. The process of learning acquisition is understudied. Can learning acquisition be potentiated by manipulating visual attentional cues? We developed a protocol in which we used task-irrelevant cues for between-groups manipulation of attention during training. We found that training with exogenous attention can enable the acquisition of learning. Remarkably, this learning was maintained even when observers were subsequently tested under neutral conditions, which indicates that a change in perception was involved. Our study is the first to isolate the effects of exogenous attention and to demonstrate its efficacy to enable learning. We propose that exogenous attention boosts perceptual learning by enhancing stimulus encoding. PMID:26502745
Szpiro, Sarit F A; Carrasco, Marisa
Practice can improve visual perception, and these improvements are considered to be a form of brain plasticity. Training-induced learning is time-consuming and requires hundreds of trials across multiple days. The process of learning acquisition is understudied. Can learning acquisition be potentiated by manipulating visual attentional cues? We developed a protocol in which we used task-irrelevant cues for between-groups manipulation of attention during training. We found that training with exogenous attention can enable the acquisition of learning. Remarkably, this learning was maintained even when observers were subsequently tested under neutral conditions, which indicates that a change in perception was involved. Our study is the first to isolate the effects of exogenous attention and to demonstrate its efficacy to enable learning. We propose that exogenous attention boosts perceptual learning by enhancing stimulus encoding. © The Author(s) 2015.
Wiebel, Christiane B; Valsecchi, Matteo; Gegenfurtner, Karl R
Investigating the temporal dynamics of natural image processing using event-related potentials (ERPs) has a long tradition in object recognition research. In a classical Go-NoGo task two characteristic effects have been emphasized: an early task independent category effect and a later task-dependent target effect. Here, we set out to use this well-established Go-NoGo paradigm to study the time course of material categorization. Material perception has gained more and more interest over the years as its importance in natural viewing conditions has been ignored for a long time. In addition to analyzing standard ERPs, we conducted a single trial ERP pattern analysis. To validate this procedure, we also measured ERPs in two object categories (people and animals). Our linear classification procedure was able to largely capture the overall pattern of results from the canonical analysis of the ERPs and even extend it. We replicate the known target effect (differential Go-NoGo potential at frontal sites) for the material images. Furthermore, we observe task-independent differential activity between the two material categories as early as 140 ms after stimulus onset. Using our linear classification approach, we show that material categories can be differentiated consistently based on the ERP pattern in single trials around 100 ms after stimulus onset, independent of the target-related status. This strengthens the idea of early differential visual processing of material categories independent of the task, probably due to differences in low-level image properties and suggests pattern classification of ERP topographies as a strong instrument for investigating electrophysiological brain activity. © 2014 ARVO.
Hagenmuller, Florence; Heekeren, Karsten; Theodoridou, Anastasia; Walitza, Susanne; Haker, Helene; Rössler, Wulf; Kawohl, Wolfram
Human cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) allow an accurate investigation of thalamocortical and early cortical processing. SEPs reveal a burst of superimposed early (N20) high-frequency oscillations around 600 Hz. Previous studies reported alterations of SEPs in patients with schizophrenia. This study addresses the question whether those alterations are also observable in populations at risk for developing schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. To our knowledge to date, this is the first study investigating SEPs in a population at risk for developing psychoses. Median nerve SEPs were investigated using multichannel EEG in individuals at risk for developing bipolar disorders (n = 25), individuals with high-risk status (n = 59) and ultra-high-risk status for schizophrenia (n = 73) and a gender and age-matched control group (n = 45). Strengths and latencies of low- and high-frequency components as estimated by dipole source analysis were compared between groups. Low- and high-frequency source activity was reduced in both groups at risk for schizophrenia, in comparison to the group at risk for bipolar disorders. HFO amplitudes were also significant reduced in subjects with high-risk status for schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. These differences were accentuated among cannabis non-users. Reduced N20 source strengths were related to higher positive symptom load. These results suggest that the risk for schizophrenia, in contrast to bipolar disorders, may involve an impairment of early cerebral somatosensory processing. Neurophysiologic alterations in schizophrenia precede the onset of initial psychotic episode and may serve as indicator of vulnerability for developing schizophrenia.
Hagenmuller, Florence; Heekeren, Karsten; Theodoridou, Anastasia; Walitza, Susanne; Haker, Helene; Rössler, Wulf; Kawohl, Wolfram
Human cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) allow an accurate investigation of thalamocortical and early cortical processing. SEPs reveal a burst of superimposed early (N20) high-frequency oscillations around 600 Hz. Previous studies reported alterations of SEPs in patients with schizophrenia. This study addresses the question whether those alterations are also observable in populations at risk for developing schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. To our knowledge to date, this is the first study investigating SEPs in a population at risk for developing psychoses. Median nerve SEPs were investigated using multichannel EEG in individuals at risk for developing bipolar disorders (n = 25), individuals with high-risk status (n = 59) and ultra-high-risk status for schizophrenia (n = 73) and a gender and age-matched control group (n = 45). Strengths and latencies of low- and high-frequency components as estimated by dipole source analysis were compared between groups. Low- and high-frequency source activity was reduced in both groups at risk for schizophrenia, in comparison to the group at risk for bipolar disorders. HFO amplitudes were also significant reduced in subjects with high-risk status for schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. These differences were accentuated among cannabis non-users. Reduced N20 source strengths were related to higher positive symptom load. These results suggest that the risk for schizophrenia, in contrast to bipolar disorders, may involve an impairment of early cerebral somatosensory processing. Neurophysiologic alterations in schizophrenia precede the onset of initial psychotic episode and may serve as indicator of vulnerability for developing schizophrenia. PMID:25309363
Travis, Katherine E.; Leonard, Matthew K.; Chan, Alexander M.; Torres, Christina; Sizemore, Marisa L.; Qu, Zhe; Eskandar, Emad; Dale, Anders M.; Elman, Jeffrey L.; Cash, Sydney S.; Halgren, Eric
We combined magnetoencephalography (MEG) with magnetic resonance imaging and electrocorticography to separate in anatomy and latency 2 fundamental stages underlying speech comprehension. The first acoustic-phonetic stage is selective for words relative to control stimuli individually matched on acoustic properties. It begins ∼60 ms after stimulus onset and is localized to middle superior temporal cortex. It was replicated in another experiment, but is strongly dissociated from the response to tones in the same subjects. Within the same task, semantic priming of the same words by a related picture modulates cortical processing in a broader network, but this does not begin until ∼217 ms. The earlier onset of acoustic-phonetic processing compared with lexico-semantic modulation was significant in each individual subject. The MEG source estimates were confirmed with intracranial local field potential and high gamma power responses acquired in 2 additional subjects performing the same task. These recordings further identified sites within superior temporal cortex that responded only to the acoustic-phonetic contrast at short latencies, or the lexico-semantic at long. The independence of the early acoustic-phonetic response from semantic context suggests a limited role for lexical feedback in early speech perception. PMID:22875868
Emberson, Lauren L.; Liu, Ran; Zevin, Jason D.
In order for statistical information to aid in complex developmental processes such as language acquisition, learning from higher-order statistics (e.g. across successive syllables in a speech stream to support segmentation) must be possible while perceptual abilities (e.g. speech categorization) are still developing. The current study examines how perceptual organization interacts with statistical learning. Adult participants were presented with multiple exemplars from novel, complex sound categories designed to reflect some of the spectral complexity and variability of speech. These categories were organized into sequential pairs and presented such that higher-order statistics, defined based on sound categories, could support stream segmentation. Perceptual similarity judgments and multi-dimensional scaling revealed that participants only perceived three perceptual clusters of sounds and thus did not distinguish the four experimenter-defined categories, creating a tension between lower level perceptual organization and higher-order statistical information. We examined whether the resulting pattern of learning is more consistent with statistical learning being “bottom-up,” constrained by the lower levels of organization, or “top-down,” such that higher-order statistical information of the stimulus stream takes priority over the perceptual organization, and perhaps influences perceptual organization. We consistently find evidence that learning is constrained by perceptual organization. Moreover, participants generalize their learning to novel sounds that occupy a similar perceptual space, suggesting that statistical learning occurs based on regions of or clusters in perceptual space. Overall, these results reveal a constraint on learning of sound sequences, such that statistical information is determined based on lower level organization. These findings have important implications for the role of statistical learning in language acquisition. PMID:23618755
Pompéia, S; Pradella-Hallinan, M; Manzano, G M; Bueno, O F A
To evaluate the effects of an acute dose of the benzodiazepine (BZ) lorazepam in young healthy volunteers on five distinguishable visual perception abilities determined by previous factor-analytic studies. This was a double-blind, cross-over design study of acute oral doses of lorazepam (2 mg) and placebo in young healthy volunteers. We focused on a set of paper-and-pencil tests of visual perceptual abilities that load on five correlated but distinguishable factors (Spatial Visualization, Spatial Relations, Perceptual Speed, Closure Speed, and Closure Flexibility). Some other tests (DSST, immediate and delayed recall of prose; measures of subjective mood alterations) were used to control for the classic BZ-induced effects. Lorazepam impaired performance in the DSST and delayed recall of prose, increased subjective sedation and impaired tasks of all abilities except Spatial Visualization and Closure Speed. Only impairment in Perceptual Speed (Identical Pictures task) and delayed recall of prose were not explained by sedation. Acute administration of lorazepam, in a dose that impaired episodic memory, selectively affected different visual perceptual abilities before and after controlling for sedation. Central executive demands and sedation did not account for results, so impairment in the Identical Pictures task may be attributed to lorazepam's visual processing alterations. 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Auvray, Malika; Rohde, Marieke
Researchers in social cognition increasingly realize that many phenomena cannot be understood by investigating offline situations only, focusing on individual mechanisms and an observer perspective. There are processes of dynamic emergence specific to online situations, when two or more persons are engaged in a real-time interaction that are more than just the sum of the individual capacities or behaviors, and these require the study of online social interaction. Auvray et al.'s (2009) perceptual crossing paradigm offers possibly the simplest paradigm for studying such online interactions: two persons, a one-dimensional space, one bit of information, and a yes/no answer. This study has provoked a lot of resonance in different areas of research, including experimental psychology, computer/robot modeling, philosophy, psychopathology, and even in the field of design. In this article, we review and critically assess this body of literature. We give an overview of both behavioral experimental research and simulated agent modeling done using the perceptual crossing paradigm. We discuss different contexts in which work on perceptual crossing has been cited. This includes the controversy about the possible constitutive role of perceptual crossing for social cognition. We conclude with an outlook on future research possibilities, in particular those that could elucidate the link between online interaction dynamics and individual social cognition. PMID:22723776
Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois
Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism
Alho, Jussi; Salminen, Nelli; Sams, Mikko; Hietanen, Jari K; Nummenmaa, Lauri
Functional brain imaging has identified specialized neural systems supporting human body perception. Responses to nude vs. clothed bodies within this system are amplified. However, it remains unresolved whether nude and clothed bodies are processed by same cerebral networks or whether processing of nude bodies recruits additional affective and arousal processing areas. We recorded simultaneous MEG and EEG while participants viewed photographs of clothed and nude bodies. Global field power revealed a peak ∼145ms after stimulus onset to both clothed and nude bodies, and ∼205ms exclusively to nude bodies. Nude-body-sensitive responses were centered first (100-200ms) in the extrastriate and fusiform body areas, and subsequently (200-300ms) in affective-motivational areas including insula and anterior cingulate cortex. We conclude that visibility of sexual features facilitates early cortical processing of human bodies, the purpose of which is presumably to trigger sexual behavior and ultimately ensure reproduction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ozernov-Palchik, Ola; Wolf, Maryanne; Patel, Aniruddh D
A growing number of studies report links between nonlinguistic rhythmic abilities and certain linguistic abilities, particularly phonological skills. The current study investigated the relationship between nonlinguistic rhythmic processing, phonological abilities, and early literacy abilities in kindergarteners. A distinctive aspect of the current work was the exploration of whether processing of different types of rhythmic patterns is differentially related to kindergarteners' phonological and reading-related abilities. Specifically, we examined the processing of metrical versus nonmetrical rhythmic patterns, that is, patterns capable of being subdivided into equal temporal intervals or not (Povel & Essens, 1985). This is an important comparison because most music involves metrical sequences, in which rhythm often has an underlying temporal grid of isochronous units. In contrast, nonmetrical sequences are arguably more typical to speech rhythm, which is temporally structured but does not involve an underlying grid of equal temporal units. A rhythm discrimination app with metrical and nonmetrical patterns was administered to 74 kindergarteners in conjunction with cognitive and preliteracy measures. Findings support a relationship among rhythm perception, phonological awareness, and letter-sound knowledge (an essential precursor of reading). A mediation analysis revealed that the association between rhythm perception and letter-sound knowledge is mediated through phonological awareness. Furthermore, metrical perception accounted for unique variance in letter-sound knowledge above all other language and cognitive measures. These results point to a unique role for temporal regularity processing in the association between musical rhythm and literacy in young children. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Uzêda e Silva, V. D.; Rodriguez, T. T.; Xavier, F. C. A.; dos Santos, J. N.; Vasconcelos, R. M.; Ramalho, L. M. P.
Delay in wound healing has been observed in the hypothyroidism disfunction. Laser light can modulate various biological phenomena acting on different cell types. However, there are few reports in the literature regarding the effects of laser on wound healing of hypothyroid models. This study aimed to evaluate the differences in reepithelialization process of cutaneous wounds on hypothyroid and euthyroid rats treated with laser phototherapy. Forty-eight rats were divided into two main groups: euthyroid (EU) and hypothyroid (HYPO). Hypothyroidism was induced by Thyroidectomy. Each group was divided into subgroups: control (without laser) and laser groups. Standard surgical wound was created on the dorsum of each rat. The irradiation protocols (λ660 nm, 40 mW, CW; 10 J/cm2) was carried out immediately after wounding and repeated every 24h during 3 and 7 days. After animal death, specimens were taken, routinely processed, cut, stained with hematoxylin-eosin, and underwent histological analysis. Three days after the surgery, it was possible to observe initial reepithelialization in more advanced stages in the wound area of the irradiated hypothyroid group when compared to control hypothyroid group (p<0.05). No significant difference was found in the experimental period of 7 days among the groups. It was concluded that the laser light did influence reepithelialization process on hypothyroid rats in early stages of healing process.
Legrand, Lore B.; Del Zotto, Marzia; Tyrand, Rémi; Pegna, Alan J.
This study investigates the spatiotemporal dynamics associated with conscious and non-conscious processing of naked and dressed human bodies. To this effect, stimuli of naked men and women with visible primary sexual characteristics, as well as dressed bodies, were presented to 20 heterosexual male and female participants while acquiring high resolution EEG data. The stimuli were either consciously detectable (supraliminal presentations) or were rendered non-conscious through backward masking (subliminal presentations). The N1 event-related potential component was significantly enhanced in participants when they viewed naked compared to dressed bodies under supraliminal viewing conditions. More importantly, naked bodies of the opposite sex produced a significantly greater N1 component compared to dressed bodies during subliminal presentations, when participants were not aware of the stimulus presented. A source localization algorithm computed on the N1 showed that the response for naked bodies in the supraliminal viewing condition was stronger in body processing areas, primary visual areas and additional structures related to emotion processing. By contrast, in the subliminal viewing condition, only visual and body processing areas were found to be activated. These results suggest that naked bodies and primary sexual characteristics are processed early in time (i.e., <200 ms) and activate key brain structures even when they are not consciously detected. It appears that, similarly to what has been reported for emotional faces, sexual features benefit from automatic and rapid processing, most likely due to their high relevance for the individual and their importance for the species in terms of reproductive success. PMID:23894532
Legrand, Lore B; Del Zotto, Marzia; Tyrand, Rémi; Pegna, Alan J
This study investigates the spatiotemporal dynamics associated with conscious and non-conscious processing of naked and dressed human bodies. To this effect, stimuli of naked men and women with visible primary sexual characteristics, as well as dressed bodies, were presented to 20 heterosexual male and female participants while acquiring high resolution EEG data. The stimuli were either consciously detectable (supraliminal presentations) or were rendered non-conscious through backward masking (subliminal presentations). The N1 event-related potential component was significantly enhanced in participants when they viewed naked compared to dressed bodies under supraliminal viewing conditions. More importantly, naked bodies of the opposite sex produced a significantly greater N1 component compared to dressed bodies during subliminal presentations, when participants were not aware of the stimulus presented. A source localization algorithm computed on the N1 showed that the response for naked bodies in the supraliminal viewing condition was stronger in body processing areas, primary visual areas and additional structures related to emotion processing. By contrast, in the subliminal viewing condition, only visual and body processing areas were found to be activated. These results suggest that naked bodies and primary sexual characteristics are processed early in time (i.e., <200 ms) and activate key brain structures even when they are not consciously detected. It appears that, similarly to what has been reported for emotional faces, sexual features benefit from automatic and rapid processing, most likely due to their high relevance for the individual and their importance for the species in terms of reproductive success.
Barr, Rachel; Moser, Alecia; Rusnak, Sylvia; Zimmermann, Laura; Dickerson, Kelly; Lee, Herietta; Gerhardstein, Peter
Early childhood is characterized by memory capacity limitations and rapid perceptual and motor development [Rovee-Collier (1996). Infant Behavior & Development, 19, 385-400]. The present study examined 2-year olds' reproduction of a sliding action to complete an abstract fish puzzle under different levels of memory load and perceptual feature support. Experimental groups were compared to baseline controls to assess spontaneous rates of production of the target actions; baseline production was low across all experiments. Memory load was manipulated in Exp. 1 by adding pieces to the puzzle, increasing sequence length from 2 to 3 items, and to 3 items plus a distractor. Although memory load did not influence how toddlers learned to manipulate the puzzle pieces, it did influence toddlers' achievement of the goal-constructing the fish. Overall, girls were better at constructing the puzzle than boys. In Exp. 2, the perceptual features of the puzzle were altered by changing shape boundaries to create a two-piece horizontally cut puzzle (displaying bilateral symmetry), and by adding a semantically supportive context to the vertically cut puzzle (iconic). Toddlers were able to achieve the goal of building the fish equally well across the 2-item puzzle types (bilateral symmetry, vertical, iconic), but how they learned to manipulate the puzzle pieces varied as a function of the perceptual features. Here, as in Exp. 1, girls showed a different pattern of performance from the boys. This study demonstrates that changes in memory capacity and perceptual processing influence both goal-directed imitation learning and motoric performance. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Jacobs, Robert A
New technologies and new ways of thinking have recently led to rapid expansions in the study of perceptual learning. We describe three themes shared by many of the nine articles included in this topic on Integrated Approaches to Perceptual Learning. First, perceptual learning cannot be studied on its own because it is closely linked to other aspects of cognition, such as attention, working memory, decision making, and conceptual knowledge. Second, perceptual learning is sensitive to both the stimulus properties of the environment in which an observer exists and to the properties of the tasks that the observer needs to perform. Moreover, the environmental and task properties can be characterized through their statistical regularities. Finally, the study of perceptual learning has important implications for society, including implications for science education and medical rehabilitation. Contributed articles relevant to each theme are summarized. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Greene, Richard J.
A generalization is presented for the second derivative of a Gaussian D(sup 2)G operator to apply to problems of perceptual organization involving textures. Extensions to other problems of perceptual organization are evident and a new research direction can be established. The technique presented is theoretically pleasing since it has the potential of unifying the entire area of image segmentation under the mathematical notion of continuity and presents a single algorithm to form perceptual groupings where many algorithms existed previously. The eventual impact on both the approach and technique of image processing segmentation operations could be significant.
Assadi, Amir H.; Palmer, Stephen; Eghbalnia, Hamid; Carew, John
The concept of space and geometry varies across the subjects. Following Poincare, we consider the construction of the perceptual space as a continuum equipped with a notion of magnitude. The study of the relationships of objects in the perceptual space gives rise to what we may call perceptual geometry. Computational modeling of objects and investigation of their deeper perceptual geometrical properties (beyond qualitative arguments) require a mathematical representation of the perceptual space. Within the realm of such a mathematical/computational representation, visual perception can be studied as in the well-understood logic-based geometry. This, however, does not mean that one could reduce all problems of visual perception to their geometric counterparts. Rather, visual perception as reported by a human observer, has a subjective factor that could be analytically quantified only through statistical reasoning and in the course of repetitive experiments. Thus, the desire to experimentally verify the statements in perceptual geometry leads to an additional probabilistic structure imposed on the perceptual space, whose amplitudes are measured through intervention by human observers. We propose a model for the perceptual space and the case of perception of textured surfaces as a starting point for object recognition. To rigorously present these ideas and propose computational simulations for testing the theory, we present the model of the perceptual geometry of surfaces through an amplification of theory of Riemannian foliation in differential topology, augmented by statistical learning theory. When we refer to the perceptual geometry of a human observer, the theory takes into account the Bayesian formulation of the prior state of the knowledge of the observer and Hebbian learning. We use a Parallel Distributed Connectionist paradigm for computational modeling and experimental verification of our theory.
Lou, Bin; Li, Yun; Philiastides, Marios G; Sajda, Paul
Pre-stimulus α power has been shown to correlate with the behavioral accuracy of perceptual decisions. In most cases, these correlations have been observed by comparing α power for different behavioral outcomes (e.g. correct vs incorrect trials). In this paper we investigate such covariation within the context of behaviorally-latent fluctuations in task-relevant post-stimulus neural activity. Specially we consider variations of pre-stimulus α power with post-stimulus EEG components in a two alternative forced choice visual discrimination task. EEG components, discriminative of stimulus class, are identified using a linear multivariate classifier and only the variability of the components for correct trials (regardless of stimulus class, and for nominally identical stimuli) are correlated with the corresponding pre-stimulus α power. We find a significant relationship between the mean and variance of the pre-stimulus α power and the variation of the trial-to-trial magnitude of an early post-stimulus EEG component. This relationship is not seen for a later EEG component that is also discriminative of stimulus class and which has been previously linked to the quality of evidence driving the decision process. Our results suggest that early perceptual representations, rather than temporally later neural correlates of the perceptual decision, are modulated by pre-stimulus state. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lou, Bin; Li, Yun; Philiastides, Marios G.; Sajda, Paul
Pre-stimulus α power has been shown to correlate with the behavioral accuracy of perceptual decisions. In most cases, these correlations have been observed by comparing α power for different behavioral outcomes (e.g. correct vs incorrect trials). In this paper we investigate such covariation within the context of behaviorally-latent fluctuations in task-relevant post-stimulus neural activity. Specially we consider variations of pre-stimulus α power with post-stimulus EEG components in a two alternative forced choice visual discrimination task. EEG components, discriminative of stimulus class, are identified using a linear multivariate classifier and only the variability of the components for correct trials (regardless of stimulus class, and for nominally identical stimuli) are correlated with the corresponding pre-stimulus α power. We find a significant relationship between the mean and variance of the pre-stimulus α power and the variation of the trial-to-trial magnitude of an early post-stimulus EEG component. This relationship is not seen for a later EEG component that is also discriminative of stimulus class and which has been previously linked to the quality of evidence driving the decision process. Our results suggest that early perceptual representations, rather than temporally later neural correlates of the perceptual decision, are modulated by pre-stimulus state. PMID:24185020
Tiferet-Dweck, Chen; Hensel, Michael; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Tzelgov, Joseph; Friedman, Alon; Salti, Moti
Stress and perceptual load affect selective attention in a paradoxical manner. They can facilitate selectivity or disrupt it. This EEG study was designed to examine the reciprocal relations between stress, load and attention. Two groups of subjects, one that performed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and a control group, were asked to respond to a target letter under low and high perceptual load in the absence or presence of a distractor. In the control group, the distractor increased response times (RTs) for high and low load. In the TSST group, distractor increased RTs under low load only. ERPs showed that distractor’s presentation attenuated early visual P1 component and shortened its latency. In the TSST group, distractor reduced P1 component under high load but did not affect its latency. Source localization demonstrated reduced activation in V1 in response to distractors presence in the P1 time window for the TSST group compared to the control group. A behavioral replication revealed that in the TSST group distractors were less perceived under high load. Taken together, our results show that stress and perceptual load affect selectivity through the early stages of visual processing and might increase selectivity in a manner that would block conscious perception of irrelevant stimuli. PMID:27196027
Ratcliff, Roger; Smith, Philip L.
The authors report 9 new experiments and reanalyze 3 published experiments that investigate factors affecting the time course of perceptual processing and its effects on subsequent decision making. Stimuli in letter-discrimination and brightness-discrimination tasks were degraded with static and dynamic noise. The onset and the time course of…
... 7 Agriculture 12 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Apply NEPA early in the planning process. 1794.11... National Environmental Policy Act § 1794.11 Apply NEPA early in the planning process. The environmental review process requires early coordination with and involvement of RUS. Applicants should consult with...
... 7 Agriculture 12 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Apply NEPA early in the planning process. 1794.11... National Environmental Policy Act § 1794.11 Apply NEPA early in the planning process. The environmental review process requires early coordination with and involvement of RUS. Applicants should consult with...
Gerdes, Antje B. M.; Wieser, Matthias J.; Bublatzky, Florian; Kusay, Anita; Plichta, Michael M.; Alpers, Georg W.
In our natural environment, emotional information is conveyed by converging visual and auditory information; multimodal integration is of utmost importance. In the laboratory, however, emotion researchers have mostly focused on the examination of unimodal stimuli. Few existing studies on multimodal emotion processing have focused on human communication such as the integration of facial and vocal expressions. Extending the concept of multimodality, the current study examines how the neural processing of emotional pictures is influenced by simultaneously presented sounds. Twenty pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures of complex scenes were presented to 22 healthy participants. On the critical trials these pictures were paired with pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral sounds. Sound presentation started 500 ms before picture onset and each stimulus presentation lasted for 2 s. EEG was recorded from 64 channels and ERP analyses focused on the picture onset. In addition, valence and arousal ratings were obtained. Previous findings for the neural processing of emotional pictures were replicated. Specifically, unpleasant compared to neutral pictures were associated with an increased parietal P200 and a more pronounced centroparietal late positive potential (LPP), independent of the accompanying sound valence. For audiovisual stimulation, increased parietal P100 and P200 were found in response to all pictures which were accompanied by unpleasant or pleasant sounds compared to pictures with neutral sounds. Most importantly, incongruent audiovisual pairs of unpleasant pictures and pleasant sounds enhanced parietal P100 and P200 compared to pairings with congruent sounds. Taken together, the present findings indicate that emotional sounds modulate early stages of visual processing and, therefore, provide an avenue by which multimodal experience may enhance perception. PMID:24151476
Cortese, Aurelio; Amano, Kaoru; Koizumi, Ai; Kawato, Mitsuo; Lau, Hakwan
A central controversy in metacognition studies concerns whether subjective confidence directly reflects the reliability of perceptual or cognitive processes, as suggested by normative models based on the assumption that neural computations are generally optimal. This view enjoys popularity in the computational and animal literatures, but it has also been suggested that confidence may depend on a late-stage estimation dissociable from perceptual processes. Yet, at least in humans, experimental tools have lacked the power to resolve these issues convincingly. Here, we overcome this difficulty by using the recently developed method of decoded neurofeedback (DecNef) to systematically manipulate multivoxel correlates of confidence in a frontoparietal network. Here we report that bi-directional changes in confidence do not affect perceptual accuracy. Further psychophysical analyses rule out accounts based on simple shifts in reporting strategy. Our results provide clear neuroscientific evidence for the systematic dissociation between confidence and perceptual performance, and thereby challenge current theoretical thinking. PMID:27976739
Forster, Sophie; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load is a key determinant of distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli (e.g., Lavie, N. (2005). Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82). Here we establish the role of perceptual load in determining an internal form of distraction by task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs or "mind-wandering"). Four experiments demonstrated reduced frequency of TUTs with high compared to low perceptual load in a visual-search task. Alternative accounts in terms of increased demands on responses, verbal working memory or motivation were ruled out and clear effects of load were found for unintentional TUTs. Individual differences in load effects on internal (TUTs) and external (response-competition) distractors were correlated. These results suggest that exhausting attentional capacity in task-relevant processing under high perceptual load can reduce processing of task-irrelevant information from external and internal sources alike.
Neumann, H; Sepp, W
A majority of cortical areas are connected via feedforward and feedback fiber projections. In feedforward pathways we mainly observe stages of feature detection and integration. The computational role of the descending pathways at different stages of processing remains mainly unknown. Based on empirical findings we suggest that the top-down feedback pathways subserve a context-dependent gain control mechanism. We propose a new computational model for recurrent contour processing in which normalized activities of orientation selective contrast cells are fed forward to the next processing stage. There, the arrangement of input activation is matched against local patterns of contour shape. The resulting activities are subsequently fed back to the previous stage to locally enhance those initial measurements that are consistent with the top-down generated responses. In all, we suggest a computational theory for recurrent processing in the visual cortex in which the significance of local measurements is evaluated on the basis of a broader visual context that is represented in terms of contour code patterns. The model serves as a framework to link physiological with perceptual data gathered in psychophysical experiments. It handles a variety of perceptual phenomena, such as the local grouping of fragmented shape outline, texture surround and density effects, and the interpolation of illusory contours.
van Hooff, Johanna C; van Buuringen, Melanie; El M'rabet, Ihsane; de Gier, Margot; van Zalingen, Lilian
Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N=46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm incorporating pictures that were either disgust-evoking, fear-evoking, happiness-evoking or neutral. Attention adhesion to these pictures was measured by the time necessary to identify a peripheral target, presented 100, 200, 500, or 800 ms after picture onset. Main results showed that reaction times were delayed for targets following the disgust-evoking pictures by 100 and 200 ms, suggesting that only these pictures temporarily grabbed hold of participants' attention. These delays were similar for ignore- and attend-instructions, and they were not affected by the participants' anxiety levels or disgust sensitivity. The disgust-specific influence on early attention processes thus appeared very robust, occurring in the majority of participants and without contribution of voluntary- and strategic-attention processes. In contrast, a smaller and less reliable effect of all emotional (arousing) pictures was present in the form of delayed responding in the 100 ms cue-target interval. This effect was more transitory and apparent only in participants with relatively high state-anxiety scores. Practical and theoretical consequences of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Phan, Mimi L; Vicario, David S
An intriguing phenomenon in the neurobiology of language is lateralization: the dominant role of one hemisphere in a particular function. Lateralization is not exclusive to language because lateral differences are observed in other sensory modalities, behaviors, and animal species. Despite much scientific attention, the function of lateralization, its possible dependence on experience, and the functional implications of such dependence have yet to be clearly determined. We have explored the role of early experience in the development of lateralized sensory processing in the brain, using the songbird model of vocal learning. By controlling exposure to natural vocalizations (through isolation, song tutoring, and muting), we manipulated the postnatal auditory environment of developing zebra finches, and then assessed effects on hemispheric specialization for communication sounds in adulthood. Using bilateral multielectrode recordings from a forebrain auditory area known to selectively process species-specific vocalizations, we found that auditory responses to species-typical songs and long calls, in both male and female birds, were stronger in the right hemisphere than in the left, and that right-side responses adapted more rapidly to stimulus repetition. We describe specific instances, particularly in males, where these lateral differences show an influence of auditory experience with song and/or the bird's own voice during development.
Darainy, Mohammad; Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Ostry, David J
Motor learning often involves situations in which the somatosensory targets of movement are, at least initially, poorly defined, as for example, in learning to speak or learning the feel of a proper tennis serve. Under these conditions, motor skill acquisition presumably requires perceptual as well as motor learning. That is, it engages both the progressive shaping of sensory targets and associated changes in motor performance. In the present study, we test the idea that perceptual learning alters somatosensory function and in so doing produces changes to human motor performance and sensorimotor adaptation. Subjects in these experiments undergo perceptual training in which a robotic device passively moves the subject's arm on one of a set of fan-shaped trajectories. Subjects are required to indicate whether the robot moved the limb to the right or the left and feedback is provided. Over the course of training both the perceptual boundary and acuity are altered. The perceptual learning is observed to improve both the rate and extent of learning in a subsequent sensorimotor adaptation task and the benefits persist for at least 24 h. The improvement in the present studies varies systematically with changes in perceptual acuity and is obtained regardless of whether the perceptual boundary shift serves to systematically increase or decrease error on subsequent movements. The beneficial effects of perceptual training are found to be substantially dependent on reinforced decision-making in the sensory domain. Passive-movement training on its own is less able to alter subsequent learning in the motor system. Overall, this study suggests perceptual learning plays an integral role in motor learning.
Kaiser, Mary K.; Proffitt, Dennis R.
In order to develop effective tools for scientific visulaization, consideration must be given to the perceptual competencies, limitations, and biases of the human operator. Perceptual psychology has amassed a rich body of research on these issues and can lend insight to the development of visualization tehcniques. Within a perceptual psychological framework, the computer display screen can best be thought of as a special kind of impoverished visual environemnt. Guidelines can be gleaned from the psychological literature to help visualization tool designers avoid ambiguities and/or illusions in the resulting data displays.
Anaki, David; Kaufman, Yakir; Freedman, Morris; Moscovitch, Morris
In associative agnosia early perceptual processing of faces or objects are considered to be intact, while the ability to access stored semantic information about the individual face or object is impaired. Recent claims, however, have asserted that associative agnosia is also characterized by deficits at the perceptual level, which are too subtle to be detected by current neuropsychological tests. Thus, the impaired identification of famous faces or common objects in associative agnosia stems from difficulties in extracting the minute perceptual details required to identify a face or an object. In the present study, we report the case of a patient DBO with a left occipital infarct, who shows impaired object and famous face recognition. Despite his disability, he exhibits a face inversion effect, and is able to select a famous face from among non-famous distractors. In addition, his performance is normal in an immediate and delayed recognition memory for faces, whose external features were deleted. His deficits in face recognition are apparent only when he is required to name a famous face, or select two faces from among a triad of famous figures based on their semantic relationships (a task which does not require access to names). The nature of his deficits in object perception and recognition are similar to his impairments in the face domain. This pattern of behavior supports the notion that apperceptive and associative agnosia reflect distinct and dissociated deficits, which result from damage to different stages of the face and object recognition process.
Lim, Y F; Bronlund, J E; Allsop, T F; Shilton, A N; Edmonds, R L
An enzyme treatment process for early-stage processing of sheepskins has been previously reported by the Leather and Shoe Research Association of New Zealand (LASRA) as an alternative to current industry operations. The newly developed process had marked benefits over conventional processing in terms of a lowered energy usage (73%), processing time (47%) as well as water use (49%), but had been developed as a "proof of principle''. The objective of this work was to develop the process further to a stage ready for adoption by industry. Mass balancing was used to investigate potential modifications for the process based on the understanding developed from a detailed analysis of preliminary design trials. Results showed that a configuration utilising a 2 stage counter-current system for the washing stages and segregation and recycling of enzyme float prior to dilution in the neutralization stage was a significant improvement. Benefits over conventional processing include a reduction of residual TDS by 50% at the washing stages and 70% savings on water use overall. Benefits over the un-optimized LASRA process are reduction of solids in product after enzyme treatment and neutralization stages by 30%, additional water savings of 21%, as well as 10% savings of enzyme usage.
Moulson, Margaret C; Fox, Nathan A; Zeanah, Charles H; Nelson, Charles A
To examine the neurobiological consequences of early institutionalization, the authors recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from 3 groups of Romanian children--currently institutionalized, previously institutionalized but randomly assigned to foster care, and family-reared children--in response to pictures of happy, angry, fearful, and sad facial expressions of emotion. At 3 assessments (baseline, 30 months, and 42 months), institutionalized children showed markedly smaller amplitudes and longer latencies for the occipital components P1, N170, and P400 compared to family-reared children. By 42 months, ERP amplitudes and latencies of children placed in foster care were intermediate between the institutionalized and family-reared children, suggesting that foster care may be partially effective in ameliorating adverse neural changes caused by institutionalization. The age at which children were placed into foster care was unrelated to their ERP outcomes at 42 months. Facial emotion processing was similar in all 3 groups of children; specifically, fearful faces elicited larger amplitude and longer latency responses than happy faces for the frontocentral components P250 and Nc. These results have important implications for understanding of the role that experience plays in shaping the developing brain.
Faillettaz, Jérome; Funk, Martin; Vincent, Christian
Avalanching glacier instabilities are gravity-driven rupture phenomena that might cause major disasters, especially when they are at the origin of a chain of processes. Reliably forecasting such events combined with a timely evacuation of endangered inhabited areas often constitute the most efficient action. Recently, considerable efforts in monitoring, analyzing, and modeling such phenomena have led to significant advances in destabilization process understanding, improving early warning perspectives. The purpose of this paper is to review the recent progress in this domain. Three different types of instabilities can be identified depending on the thermal properties of the ice/bed interface. If cold (1), the maturation of the rupture is associated with a typical time evolution of surface velocities and passive seismic activity. A prediction of the final break off is possible using these precursory signs. For the two other types, water plays a key role in the development of the instability. If the ice/bed interface is partly temperate (2), the presence of meltwater may reduce the basal resistance, which promotes the instability. No clear and easily detectable precursory signs are known in this case, and the only way to infer any potential instability is to monitor the temporal evolution of the thermal regime. The last type of instability (3) concerns steep temperate glacier tongues switching for several days/weeks during the melting season into a so-called "active phase" followed in rare cases by a major break-off event. Although the prediction of such events is still far from being achievable, critical conditions promoting the final instability can be identified.
It is now established that attention influences working memory (WM) at multiple processing stages. This liaison between attention and WM poses several interesting empirical questions. Notably, does attention impact WM via its influences on early perceptual processing? If so, what are the critical factors at play in this attention-perception-WM interaction. I review recent data from our laboratory utilizing a variety of techniques (electroencephalography (EEG), functional MRI (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)), stimuli (features and complex objects), novel experimental paradigms, and research populations (younger and older adults), which converge to support the conclusion that top-down modulation of visual cortical activity at early perceptual processing stages (100–200 ms after stimulus onset) impacts subsequent WM performance. Factors that affect attentional control at this stage include cognitive load, task practice, perceptual training, and aging. These developments highlight the complex and dynamic relationships among perception, attention, and memory. PMID:21184764
Hanks, Timothy D; Summerfield, Christopher
Perceptual decision making is the process by which animals detect, discriminate, and categorize information from the senses. Over the past two decades, understanding how perceptual decisions are made has become a central theme in the neurosciences. Exceptional progress has been made by recording from single neurons in the cortex of the macaque monkey and using computational models from mathematical psychology to relate these neural data to behavior. More recently, however, the range of available techniques and paradigms has dramatically broadened, and researchers have begun to harness new approaches to explore how rodents and humans make perceptual decisions. The results have illustrated some striking convergences with findings from the monkey, but also raised new questions and provided new theoretical insights. In this review, we summarize key findings, and highlight open challenges, for understanding perceptual decision making in rodents, monkeys, and humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chun, Marvin M.; Johnson, Marcia K.
Attention and memory are typically studied as separate topics, but they are highly intertwined. Here we discuss the relation between memory and two fundamental types of attention: perceptual and reflective. Memory is the persisting consequence of cognitive activities initiated by and/or focused on external information from the environment (perceptual attention) and initiated by and/or focused on internal mental representations (reflective attention). We consider three key questions for advancing a cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory: To what extent do perception and reflection share representational areas? To what extent are the control processes that select, maintain, and manipulate perceptual and reflective information subserved by common areas and networks? During perception and reflection, to what extent are common areas responsible for binding features together to create complex, episodic memories and for reviving them later? Considering similarities and differences in perceptual and reflective attention helps integrate a broad range of findings and raises important unresolved issues. PMID:22099456
Kim, Seung-Goo; Knösche, Thomas R
Absolute pitch (AP) is the rare ability of musicians to identify the pitch of tonal sound without external reference. While there have been behavioral and neuroimaging studies on the characteristics of AP, how the AP is implemented in human brains remains largely unknown. AP can be viewed as comprising of two subprocesses: perceptual (processing auditory input to extract a pitch chroma) and associative (linking an auditory representation of pitch chroma with a verbal/non-verbal label). In this review, we focus on the nature of the perceptual subprocess of AP. Two different models on how the perceptual subprocess works have been proposed: either via absolute pitch categorization (APC) or based on absolute pitch memory (APM). A major distinction between the two views is that whether the AP uses unique auditory processing (i.e., APC) that exists only in musicians with AP or it is rooted in a common phenomenon (i.e., APM), only with heightened efficiency. We review relevant behavioral and neuroimaging evidence that supports each notion. Lastly, we list open questions and potential ideas to address them.
Kim, Seung-Goo; Knösche, Thomas R.
Absolute pitch (AP) is the rare ability of musicians to identify the pitch of tonal sound without external reference. While there have been behavioral and neuroimaging studies on the characteristics of AP, how the AP is implemented in human brains remains largely unknown. AP can be viewed as comprising of two subprocesses: perceptual (processing auditory input to extract a pitch chroma) and associative (linking an auditory representation of pitch chroma with a verbal/non-verbal label). In this review, we focus on the nature of the perceptual subprocess of AP. Two different models on how the perceptual subprocess works have been proposed: either via absolute pitch categorization (APC) or based on absolute pitch memory (APM). A major distinction between the two views is that whether the AP uses unique auditory processing (i.e., APC) that exists only in musicians with AP or it is rooted in a common phenomenon (i.e., APM), only with heightened efficiency. We review relevant behavioral and neuroimaging evidence that supports each notion. Lastly, we list open questions and potential ideas to address them. PMID:29085275
Hochhaus, Larry; Johnston, James C.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
Before concluding Repetition Blindness is a perceptual phenomenon, alternative explanations based on memory retrieval problems and report bias must be rejected. Memory problems were minimized by requiring a judgment about only a single briefly displayed field. Bias and sensitivity effects were empirically measured with an ROC-curve analysis method based on confidence ratings. Results from five experiments support the hypothesis that Repetition Blindness can be a perceptual phenomenon.
The relations between acoustic and perceived characteristics of vowel sounds are demonstrated with respect to timbre, loudness, pitch, and expressive time patterns. The conditions for perceiving an ensemble of sine tones as one tone or several tones are reviewed. There are two aspects of timbre of voice sounds: vowel quality and voice quality. Although vowel quality depends mainly on the frequencies of the lowest two formants. In particular, the center frequency of the so-called singer's formant seems perceptually relevant. Vocal loudness, generally assumed to correspond closely to the sound pressure level, depends rather on the amplitude balance between the lower and the higher spectrum partials. The perceived pitch corresponds to the fundamental frequency, or for vibrato tones, the mean of this frequency. In rapid passages, such as coloratura singing, special patterns are used. Pitch and duration differences are categorically perceived in music. This means that small variations in tuning or duration do not affect the musical interval and the note value perceived. Categorical perception is used extensively in music performance for the purpose of musical expression because without violating the score, the singer may sharpen or flatten and lengthen or shorten the tones, thereby creating musical expression.
Fair, Lisl; Louw, Brenda; Hugo, Rene
This study compiled a comprehensive early auditory processing skills assessment battery and evaluated the battery to toddlers with (n=8) and without (n=9) early recurrent otitis media. The assessment battery successfully distinguished between normal and deficient early auditory processing development in the subjects. The study also found parents…
Kerridge, J F
Until pristine samples can be returned from cometary nuclei, primitive meteorites represent our best source of information about organic chemistry in the early solar system. However, this material has been affected by secondary processing on asteroidal parent bodies which probably did not affect the material now present in cometary nuclei. Production of meteoritic organic matter apparently involved the following sequence of events: Molecule formation by a variety of reaction pathways in dense interstellar clouds; Condensation of those molecules onto refractory interstellar grains; Irradiation of organic-rich interstellar-grain mantles producing a range of molecular fragments and free radicals; Inclusion of those interstellar grains into the protosolar nebula with probable heating of at least some grain mantles during passage through the shock wave bounding the solar accretion disc; Agglomeration of residual interstellar grains and locally produced nebular condensates into asteroid-sized planetesimals; Heating of planetesimals by decay of extinct radionuclides; Melting of ice to produce liquid water within asteroidal bodies; Reaction of interstellar molecules, fragments and radicals with each other and with the aqueous environment, possibly catalysed by mineral grains; Loss of water and other volatiles to space yielding a partially hydrated lithology containing a complex suite of organic molecules; Heating of some of this organic matter to generate a kerogen-like complex; Mixing of heated and unheated material to yield the meteoritic material now observed. Properties of meteoritic organic matter believed to be consistent with this scenario include: Systematic decrease of abundance with increasing C number in homologous series of characterisable molecules; Complete structural diversity within homologous series; Predominance of branched-chain isomers; Considerable isotopic variability among characterisable molecules and within kerogen-like material; Substantial
Doss, Manoj K; Bluestone, Maximilian R; Gallo, David A
Recollection is constructive and prone to distortion, but the mechanisms through which recollections can become embellished with rich yet illusory details are still debated. According to the conceptual fluency hypothesis, abstract semantic or conceptual activation increases the familiarity of a nonstudied event, causing one to falsely attribute imagined features to actual perception. In contrast, according to the perceptual recombination hypothesis, details from actually perceived events are partially recollected and become erroneously bound to a nonstudied event, again causing a detailed yet false recollection. Here, we report the first experiments aimed at disentangling these 2 mechanisms. Participants imagined pictures of common objects, and then they saw an actual picture of some of the imagined objects. We next presented misinformation associated with these studied items, designed to increase conceptual fluency (i.e., semantically related words) or perceptual recombination (i.e., perceptually similar picture fragments). Finally, we tested recollection for the originally seen pictures using verbal labels as retrieval cues. Consistent with conceptual fluency, processing-related words increased false recollection of pictures that were never seen, and consistent with perceptual recombination, processing picture fragments further increased false recollection. We also found that conceptual fluency was more short-lived than perceptual recombination, further dissociating these 2 mechanisms. These experiments provide strong evidence that conceptual fluency and perceptual recombination independently contribute to the constructive aspects of recollection. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M
Load Theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e., the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The current study is the first to assess the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory. Across three experiments (two video-based and one in a driving simulator), the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory was assessed. The results showed that eyewitnesses were less accurate under high load, in particular for peripheral details. For example, memory for the central character in the video was not affected by load but memory for a witness who passed by the window at the edge of the scene was significantly worse under high load. High load memories were also more open to suggestion, showing increased susceptibility to leading questions. High visual perceptual load also affected recall for auditory information, illustrating a possible cross-modal perceptual load effect on memory accuracy. These results have implications for eyewitness memory researchers and forensic professionals.
Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M.
Load Theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e., the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The current study is the first to assess the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory. Across three experiments (two video-based and one in a driving simulator), the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory was assessed. The results showed that eyewitnesses were less accurate under high load, in particular for peripheral details. For example, memory for the central character in the video was not affected by load but memory for a witness who passed by the window at the edge of the scene was significantly worse under high load. High load memories were also more open to suggestion, showing increased susceptibility to leading questions. High visual perceptual load also affected recall for auditory information, illustrating a possible cross-modal perceptual load effect on memory accuracy. These results have implications for eyewitness memory researchers and forensic professionals. PMID:27625628
Petrov, Alexander A.; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
The mechanisms of perceptual learning are analyzed theoretically, probed in an orientation-discrimination experiment involving a novel nonstationary context manipulation, and instantiated in a detailed computational model. Two hypotheses are examined: modification of early cortical representations versus task-specific selective reweighting.…
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…
Cratty, Bryant J.
Motor behavior, motor performance, and motor learning are discussed at length within the context of infant and child development. Individual chapters focus on the following: the sensory-motor behavior of infants; analysis of selected perceptual-motor programs; beginnings of movement in infants; gross motor attributes in early childhood; visual…
Stotesbury, Hanne; Gaigg, Sebastian B; Kirhan, Saim; Haenschel, Corinna
Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSD) are known to be characterised by abnormalities in attentional processes, but there are inconsistencies in the literature that remain unresolved. This article considers whether perceptual resource limitations play a role in moderating attentional abnormalities in SSD. According to perceptual load theory, perceptual resource limitations can lead to attenuated or superior performance on dual-task paradigms depending on whether participants are required to process, or attempt to ignore, secondary stimuli. If SSD is associated with perceptual resource limitations, and if it represents the extreme end of an otherwise normally distributed neuropsychological phenotype, schizotypal traits in the general population should lead to disproportionate performance costs on dual-task paradigms as a function of the perceptual task demands. To test this prediction, schizotypal traits were quantified via the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) in 74 healthy volunteers, who also completed a dual-task signal detection paradigm that required participants to detect central and peripheral stimuli across conditions that varied in the overall number of stimuli presented. The results confirmed decreasing performance as the perceptual load of the task increased. More importantly, significant correlations between SPQ scores and task performance confirmed that increased schizotypal traits, particularly in the cognitive-perceptual domain, are associated with greater performance decrements under increasing perceptual load. These results confirm that attentional difficulties associated with SSD extend sub-clinically into the general population and suggest that cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits may represent a risk factor for difficulties in the regulation of attention under increasing perceptual load.
Mihalas, Stefan; Dong, Yi; von der Heydt, Rüdiger; Niebur, Ernst
Visual attention is often understood as a modulatory field acting at early stages of processing, but the mechanisms that direct and fit the field to the attended object are not known. We show that a purely spatial attention field propagating downward in the neuronal network responsible for perceptual organization will be reshaped, repositioned, and sharpened to match the object's shape and scale. Key features of the model are grouping neurons integrating local features into coherent tentative objects, excitatory feedback to the same local feature neurons that caused grouping neuron activation, and inhibition between incompatible interpretations both at the local feature level and at the object representation level. PMID:21502489
Dosher, Barbara Anne; Jeter, Pamela; Liu, Jiajuan; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Improvements in performance on visual tasks due to practice are often specific to a retinal position or stimulus feature. Many researchers suggest that specific perceptual learning alters selective retinotopic representations in early visual analysis. However, transfer is almost always practically advantageous, and it does occur. If perceptual learning alters location-specific representations, how does it transfer to new locations? An integrated reweighting theory explains transfer over retinal locations by incorporating higher level location-independent representations into a multilevel learning system. Location transfer is mediated through location-independent representations, whereas stimulus feature transfer is determined by stimulus similarity at both location-specific and location-independent levels. Transfer to new locations/positions differs fundamentally from transfer to new stimuli. After substantial initial training on an orientation discrimination task, switches to a new location or position are compared with switches to new orientations in the same position, or switches of both. Position switches led to the highest degree of transfer, whereas orientation switches led to the highest levels of specificity. A computational model of integrated reweighting is developed and tested that incorporates the details of the stimuli and the experiment. Transfer to an identical orientation task in a new position is mediated via more broadly tuned location-invariant representations, whereas changing orientation in the same position invokes interference or independent learning of the new orientations at both levels, reflecting stimulus dissimilarity. Consistent with single-cell recording studies, perceptual learning alters the weighting of both early and midlevel representations of the visual system. PMID:23898204
Sheridan, Heather; Reingold, Eyal M
The present study used eye tracking methodology to examine rereading benefits for spatially transformed text. Eye movements were monitored while participants read the same target word twice, in two different low-constraint sentence frames. The congruency of perceptual processing was manipulated by either applying the same type of transformation to the word during the first and second presentations (i.e., the congruent condition), or employing two different types of transformations across the two presentations of the word (i.e., the incongruent condition). Perceptual specificity effects were demonstrated such that fixation times for the second presentation of the target word were shorter for the congruent condition compared to the incongruent condition. Moreover, we demonstrated an additional perceptually non-specific effect such that second reading fixation times were shorter for the incongruent condition relative to a baseline condition that employed a normal typography (i.e., non-transformed) during the first presentation and a transformation during the second presentation. Both of these effects (i.e., perceptually specific and perceptually non-specific) were similar in magnitude for high and low frequency words, and both effects persisted across a 1 week lag between the first and second readings. We discuss the present findings in the context of the distinction between conscious and unconscious memory, and the distinction between perceptually versus conceptually driven processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Folstein, Jonathan R; Palmeri, Thomas J; Gauthier, Isabel
Category learning facilitates perception along relevant stimulus dimensions, even when tested in a discrimination task that does not require categorization. While this general phenomenon has been demonstrated previously, perceptual facilitation along dimensions has been documented by measuring different specific phenomena in different studies using different kinds of objects. Across several object domains, there is support for acquired distinctiveness, the stretching of a perceptual dimension relevant to learned categories. Studies using faces and studies using simple separable visual dimensions have also found evidence of acquired equivalence, the shrinking of a perceptual dimension irrelevant to learned categories, and categorical perception, the local stretching across the category boundary. These later two effects are rarely observed with complex non-face objects. Failures to find these effects with complex non-face objects may have been because the dimensions tested previously were perceptually integrated. Here we tested effects of category learning with non-face objects categorized along dimensions that have been found to be processed by different areas of the brain, shape and motion. While we replicated acquired distinctiveness, we found no evidence for acquired equivalence or categorical perception.
DesMarais, D.; Bebout, B.; Carpenter, S.; Discipulo, S.; Londry, K.; Habicht, K.; Turk, K.
Interactions between Earth and the biosphere that were crucial for early biological evolution also influenced substantially the processes that circulate C between its reservoirs in the atmosphere, ocean, crust and mantle. The C-13 C-12 values of crustal carbonates and organics have recorded changes both in biological discrimination and in the relative rates of burial of organics and carbonates. A full interpretation of these patterns needs further isotopic studies of microbial ecosystems and individual anaerobes. Thus we measured carbon isotope discrimination during autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea (SRB and SRA). Discrimination during CO2 assimilation is significantly larger than during heterotrophic growth on lactate or acetate. SRB grown lithoautotrophically consumed less than 3% of available CO2 and exhibited substantial discrimination, as follows: Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (alpha 1.0100 to 1.0123), Desulfobacter hydrogenophilus (alpha = 0.0138), and Desulfotomuculum acetoxidans (alpha = 1.0310). Mixotrophic growth of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans on acetate and CO2 resulted in biomass with delta C-13 composition intermediate to that of the substrates. We have recently extended these experiments to include the thermophilic SRA Archeoglobus spp. Ecological forces also influence isotopic discrimination. Accordingly, we quantified the flow of C and other constituents in modern marine cyanobacterial mats, whose ancestry extends back billions of years. Such ecosystem processes shaped the biosignatures that entered sediments and atmospheres. At Guerrero Negro, BCS, Mexico, we examined mats dominated by Microcoleus (subtidal) and Lyngbya (intertidal to supratidal) cyanobacteria. During 24 hour cycles, we observed the exchange of O2 and dissolved inorganic C (DIC) between mats and the overlying water. Microcoleus mats assimilated near-equal amounts of DIC during the day as they released at night, but
Mittlefehldt, David W.; Downes, H.
Ureilites are primitive ultramafic achondrites composed largely of olivine and pigeonite, with minor augite, carbon, sulphide and metal. They represent very early material in the history of the Solar System and form a bridge between undifferentiated chondrites and fully differentiated asteroids. They show a mixture of chemical characteristics, some of which are considered to be nebula-derived (e.g. a negative correlation between Mg/Fe and Delta O-17 that resembles that of the ordinary chondrites but at lower Delta O-17 values) whereas others have been imposed by asteroidal differentiation. Carbon isotope data show a striking negative correlation of delta C-13 values with mg# in olivine. delta C-13 also correlates positively with Delta O-17, and therefore this isotopic variation was probably also nebula-derived. Thus, oxygen and carbon isotope compositions and Fe-Mg systematics of each monomict ureilite were established before differentiation processes began. Heated by decay of short-lived radioactive isotopes, the ureilite asteroid started to melt. Metal and sulphide would have melted first, forming a Fe-S eutectic liquid, which removed chalcophile elements and incompatible siderophile elements, and basaltic melts that removed Al, Ca and the LREE. Several elements show different abundances and/or correlations with Fo content in olivine, e.g. carbon shows a positive correlation in ferroan ureilites, and a weak or even negative correlation in more magnesian compositions. HSE such as Os and Ir also show different distributions, i.e. ureilites with Fo < 82 have very scattered Os and Ir concentrations, which reach high values, whereas ureilites with Fo > 82 tend to have much less scattered and overall lower Os and Ir abundances. A similar change in elemental behaviour is shown by the Fe-Mn relations in ureilitic olivines: those with Fo contents < 85 show a good negative correlation, whereas those with Fo > 85 show much greater scatter. This suggests that a major change
Li, Su; Lee, Kang; Zhao, Jing; Yang, Zhi; He, Sheng; Weng, Xuchu
Little is known about the impact of learning to read on early neural development for word processing and its collateral effects on neural development in non-word domains. Here, we examined the effect of early exposure to reading on neural responses to both word and face processing in preschool children with the use of the Event Related Potential (ERP) methodology. We specifically linked children's reading experience (indexed by their sight vocabulary) to two major neural markers: the amplitude differences between the left and right N170 on the bilateral posterior scalp sites and the hemispheric spectrum power differences in the γ band on the same scalp sites. The results showed that the left-lateralization of both the word N170 and the spectrum power in the γ band were significantly positively related to vocabulary. In contrast, vocabulary and the word left-lateralization both had a strong negative direct effect on the face right-lateralization. Also, vocabulary negatively correlated with the right-lateralized face spectrum power in the γ band even after the effects of age and the word spectrum power were partialled out. The present study provides direct evidence regarding the role of reading experience in the neural specialization of word and face processing above and beyond the effect of maturation. The present findings taken together suggest that the neural development of visual word processing competes with that of face processing before the process of neural specialization has been consolidated. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Li, Su; Lee, Kang; Zhao, Jing; Yang, Zhi; He, Sheng; Weng, Xuchu
Little is known about the impact of learning to read on early neural development for word processing and its collateral effects on neural development in non-word domains. Here, we examined the effect of early exposure to reading on neural responses to both word and face processing in preschool children with the use of the Event Related Potential (ERP) methodology. We specifically linked children’s reading experience (indexed by their sight vocabulary) to two major neural markers: the amplitude differences between the left and right N170 on the bilateral posterior scalp sites and the hemispheric spectrum power differences in the γ band on the same scalp sites. The results showed that the left-lateralization of both the word N170 and the spectrum power in the γ band were significantly positively related to vocabulary. In contrast, vocabulary and the word left-lateralization both had a strong negative direct effect on the face right-lateralization. Also, vocabulary negatively correlated with the right-lateralized face spectrum power in the γ band even after the effects of age and the word spectrum power were partialled out. The present study provides direct evidence regarding the role of reading experience in the neural specialization of word and face processing above and beyond the effect of maturation. The present findings taken together suggest that the neural development of visual word processing competes with that of face processing before the process of neural specialization has been consolidated. PMID:23462239
Maldarelli, Jennifer E.; Kahrs, Björn A.; Hunt, Sarah C.; Lockman, Jeffrey J.
Despite the importance of handwriting for school readiness and early academic progress, prior research on the development of handwriting has focused primarily on the product rather than the process by which young children write letters. In contrast, in the present work, early handwriting is viewed as involving a suite of perceptual, motor, and…
Weil, Rimona S.; Rees, Geraint
Perceptual filling-in occurs when structures of the visual system interpolate information across regions of visual space where that information is physically absent. It is a ubiquitous and heterogeneous phenomenon, which takes place in different forms almost every time we view the world around us, such as when objects are occluded by other objects or when they fall behind the blind spot. Yet, to date, there is no clear framework for relating these various forms of perceptual filling-in. Similarly, whether these and other forms of filling-in share common mechanisms is not yet known. Here we present a new taxonomy to categorize the different forms of perceptual filling-in. We then examine experimental evidence for the processes involved in each type of perceptual filling-in. Finally, we use established theories of general surface perception to show how contextualizing filling-in using this framework broadens our understanding of the possible shared mechanisms underlying perceptual filling-in. In particular, we consider the importance of the presence of boundaries in determining the phenomenal experience of perceptual filling-in. PMID:21059374
van der Helm, Peter A
What is the degree to which knowledge influences visual perceptual processes? This question, which is central to the seeing-versus-thinking debate in cognitive science, is often discussed using examples claimed to be proof of one stance or another. It has, however, also been muddled by the usage of different and unclear definitions of perception. Here, for the well-defined process of perceptual organization, I argue that including speed (or efficiency) into the equation opens a new perspective on the limits of top-down influences of thinking on seeing. While the input of the perceptual organization process may be modifiable and its output enrichable, the process itself seems so fast (or efficient) that thinking hardly has time to intrude and is effective mostly after the fact.
Liston, Dorion B.; Stone, Leland S.
The time that elapses between stimulus onset and the onset of a saccadic eye movement is longer and more variable than can be explained by neural transmission times and synaptic delays (Carpenter, 1981, in: Eye Movements: Cognition & Visual Perception, Earlbaum). In theory, noise underlying response-time (RT) variability could arise at any point along the sensorimotor cascade, from sensory noise arising Vvithin the early visual processing shared Vvith perception to noise in the motor criterion or commands necessary to trigger movements. These two loci for internal noise can be distinguished empirically; sensory internal noise predicts that response time Vvill correlate Vvith perceived stimulus magnitude whereas motor internal noise predicts no such correlation. Methods. We used the data described by Liston and Stone (2008, JNS 28:13866-13875), in which subjects performed a 2AFC saccadic brightness discrimination task and the perceived brightness of the chosen stimulus was then quantified in a second 21FC perceptual task. Results. We binned each subject's data into quartiles for both signal strength (from dimmest to brightest) and RT (from slowest to fastest) and analyzed the trends in perceived brightness. We found significant effects of both signal strength (as expected) and RT on normalized perceived brightness (both p less than 0.0001, 2-way ANOVA), without significant interaction (p = 0.95, 2-way ANOVA). A plot of normalized perceived brightness versus normalized RT show's that more than half of the variance was shared (r2 = 0.56, P less than 0.0001). To rule out any possibility that some signal-strength related artifact was generating this effect, we ran a control analysis on pairs of trials with repeated presentations of identical stimuli and found that stimuli are perceived to be brighter on trials with faster saccades (p less than 0.001, paired t-test across subjects). Conclusion. These data show that shared early visual internal noise jitters perceived
Perceptual speech assessment is central to the evaluation of speech outcomes associated with cleft palate and velopharyngeal dysfunction. However, the complexity of this process is perhaps sometimes underestimated. To draw together the many different strands in the complex process of perceptual speech assessment and analysis, and make…
Bernstein, Lynne E; Auer, Edward T; Eberhardt, Silvio P; Jiang, Jintao
Speech perception under audiovisual (AV) conditions is well known to confer benefits to perception such as increased speed and accuracy. Here, we investigated how AV training might benefit or impede auditory perceptual learning of speech degraded by vocoding. In Experiments 1 and 3, participants learned paired associations between vocoded spoken nonsense words and nonsense pictures. In Experiment 1, paired-associates (PA) AV training of one group of participants was compared with audio-only (AO) training of another group. When tested under AO conditions, the AV-trained group was significantly more accurate than the AO-trained group. In addition, pre- and post-training AO forced-choice consonant identification with untrained nonsense words showed that AV-trained participants had learned significantly more than AO participants. The pattern of results pointed to their having learned at the level of the auditory phonetic features of the vocoded stimuli. Experiment 2, a no-training control with testing and re-testing on the AO consonant identification, showed that the controls were as accurate as the AO-trained participants in Experiment 1 but less accurate than the AV-trained participants. In Experiment 3, PA training alternated AV and AO conditions on a list-by-list basis within participants, and training was to criterion (92% correct). PA training with AO stimuli was reliably more effective than training with AV stimuli. We explain these discrepant results in terms of the so-called "reverse hierarchy theory" of perceptual learning and in terms of the diverse multisensory and unisensory processing resources available to speech perception. We propose that early AV speech integration can potentially impede auditory perceptual learning; but visual top-down access to relevant auditory features can promote auditory perceptual learning.
Bernstein, Lynne E.; Auer, Edward T.; Eberhardt, Silvio P.; Jiang, Jintao
Speech perception under audiovisual (AV) conditions is well known to confer benefits to perception such as increased speed and accuracy. Here, we investigated how AV training might benefit or impede auditory perceptual learning of speech degraded by vocoding. In Experiments 1 and 3, participants learned paired associations between vocoded spoken nonsense words and nonsense pictures. In Experiment 1, paired-associates (PA) AV training of one group of participants was compared with audio-only (AO) training of another group. When tested under AO conditions, the AV-trained group was significantly more accurate than the AO-trained group. In addition, pre- and post-training AO forced-choice consonant identification with untrained nonsense words showed that AV-trained participants had learned significantly more than AO participants. The pattern of results pointed to their having learned at the level of the auditory phonetic features of the vocoded stimuli. Experiment 2, a no-training control with testing and re-testing on the AO consonant identification, showed that the controls were as accurate as the AO-trained participants in Experiment 1 but less accurate than the AV-trained participants. In Experiment 3, PA training alternated AV and AO conditions on a list-by-list basis within participants, and training was to criterion (92% correct). PA training with AO stimuli was reliably more effective than training with AV stimuli. We explain these discrepant results in terms of the so-called “reverse hierarchy theory” of perceptual learning and in terms of the diverse multisensory and unisensory processing resources available to speech perception. We propose that early AV speech integration can potentially impede auditory perceptual learning; but visual top-down access to relevant auditory features can promote auditory perceptual learning. PMID:23515520
Benard, Michel Ruben; Başkent, Deniz
The intelligibility of periodically interrupted speech improves once the silent gaps are filled with noise bursts. This improvement has been attributed to phonemic restoration, a top-down repair mechanism that helps intelligibility of degraded speech in daily life. Two hypotheses were investigated using perceptual learning of interrupted speech. If different cognitive processes played a role in restoring interrupted speech with and without filler noise, the two forms of speech would be learned at different rates and with different perceived mental effort. If the restoration benefit were an artificial outcome of using the ecologically invalid stimulus of speech with silent gaps, this benefit would diminish with training. Two groups of normal-hearing listeners were trained, one with interrupted sentences with the filler noise, and the other without. Feedback was provided with the auditory playback of the unprocessed and processed sentences, as well as the visual display of the sentence text. Training increased the overall performance significantly, however restoration benefit did not diminish. The increase in intelligibility and the decrease in perceived mental effort were relatively similar between the groups, implying similar cognitive mechanisms for the restoration of the two types of interruptions. Training effects were generalizable, as both groups improved their performance also with the other form of speech than that they were trained with, and retainable. Due to null results and relatively small number of participants (10 per group), further research is needed to more confidently draw conclusions. Nevertheless, training with interrupted speech seems to be effective, stimulating participants to more actively and efficiently use the top-down restoration. This finding further implies the potential of this training approach as a rehabilitative tool for hearing-impaired/elderly populations. PMID:23469266
Zeng, Fan-Gang; Kong, Ying-Yee; Michalewski, Henry J; Starr, Arnold
Perceptual consequences of disrupted auditory nerve activity were systematically studied in 21 subjects who had been clinically diagnosed with auditory neuropathy (AN), a recently defined disorder characterized by normal outer hair cell function but disrupted auditory nerve function. Neurological and electrophysical evidence suggests that disrupted auditory nerve activity is due to desynchronized or reduced neural activity or both. Psychophysical measures showed that the disrupted neural activity has minimal effects on intensity-related perception, such as loudness discrimination, pitch discrimination at high frequencies, and sound localization using interaural level differences. In contrast, the disrupted neural activity significantly impairs timing related perception, such as pitch discrimination at low frequencies, temporal integration, gap detection, temporal modulation detection, backward and forward masking, signal detection in noise, binaural beats, and sound localization using interaural time differences. These perceptual consequences are the opposite of what is typically observed in cochlear-impaired subjects who have impaired intensity perception but relatively normal temporal processing after taking their impaired intensity perception into account. These differences in perceptual consequences between auditory neuropathy and cochlear damage suggest the use of different neural codes in auditory perception: a suboptimal spike count code for intensity processing, a synchronized spike code for temporal processing, and a duplex code for frequency processing. We also proposed two underlying physiological models based on desynchronized and reduced discharge in the auditory nerve to successfully account for the observed neurological and behavioral data. These methods and measures cannot differentiate between these two AN models, but future studies using electric stimulation of the auditory nerve via a cochlear implant might. These results not only show the unique
Heald, Shannon L. M.; Van Hedger, Stephen C.; Nusbaum, Howard C.
In our auditory environment, we rarely experience the exact acoustic waveform twice. This is especially true for communicative signals that have meaning for listeners. In speech and music, the acoustic signal changes as a function of the talker (or instrument), speaking (or playing) rate, and room acoustics, to name a few factors. Yet, despite this acoustic variability, we are able to recognize a sentence or melody as the same across various kinds of acoustic inputs and determine meaning based on listening goals, expectations, context, and experience. The recognition process relates acoustic signals to prior experience despite variability in signal-relevant and signal-irrelevant acoustic properties, some of which could be considered as “noise” in service of a recognition goal. However, some acoustic variability, if systematic, is lawful and can be exploited by listeners to aid in recognition. Perceivable changes in systematic variability can herald a need for listeners to reorganize perception and reorient their attention to more immediately signal-relevant cues. This view is not incorporated currently in many extant theories of auditory perception, which traditionally reduce psychological or neural representations of perceptual objects and the processes that act on them to static entities. While this reduction is likely done for the sake of empirical tractability, such a reduction may seriously distort the perceptual process to be modeled. We argue that perceptual representations, as well as the processes underlying perception, are dynamically determined by an interaction between the uncertainty of the auditory signal and constraints of context. This suggests that the process of auditory recognition is highly context-dependent in that the identity of a given auditory object may be intrinsically tied to its preceding context. To argue for the flexible neural and psychological updating of sound-to-meaning mappings across speech and music, we draw upon examples
Murphy, Sandra; Spence, Charles; Dalton, Polly
Selective attention is a crucial mechanism in everyday life, allowing us to focus on a portion of incoming sensory information at the expense of other less relevant stimuli. The circumstances under which irrelevant stimuli are successfully ignored have been a topic of scientific interest for several decades now. Over the last 20 years, the perceptual load theory (e.g. Lavie, 1995) has provided one robust framework for understanding these effects within the visual modality. The suggestion is that successful selection depends on the perceptual demands imposed by the task-relevant information. However, less research has addressed the question of whether the same principles hold in audition and, to date, the existing literature provides a mixed picture. Here, we review the evidence for and against the applicability of perceptual load theory in hearing, concluding that this question still awaits resolution. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Moulson, Margaret C.; Fox, Nathan A.; Zeanah, Charles H.; Nelson, Charles A.
To examine the neurobiological consequences of early institutionalization, the authors recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from 3 groups of Romanian children--currently institutionalized, previously institutionalized but randomly assigned to foster care, and family-reared children--in response to pictures of happy, angry, fearful, and sad…
He, Chunhong; Chen, Antao
A crucial prediction of perceptual load theory is that high perceptual load can eliminate interference from distractors. However, Lavie et al. (Psychol Sci 14:510-515, 2003) found that high perceptual load did not eliminate interference when the distractor was a face. The current experiments examined the interaction between familiarity and perceptual load in modulating interference in a name search task. The data reveal that high perceptual load eliminated the interference effect for unfamiliar distractors that were faces or objects, but did not eliminate the interference for familiar distractors that were faces or objects. Based on these results, we proposed that the processing of familiar and natural stimuli may be immune to the effect of perceptual load.
Stolte, Moritz; Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli
Due to its limited capacity, visual perception depends on the allocation of attention. The resultant phenomena of inattentional blindness, accompanied by reduced sensory visual cortex response to unattended stimuli in conditions of high perceptual load in the attended task, are now well established (Lavie, 2005; Lavie, 2010, for reviews). However, the underlying mechanisms for these effects remain to be elucidated. Specifically, is reduced perceptual processing under high perceptual load a result of reduced sensory signal gain, broader tuning, or both? We examined this question with psychophysical measures of orientation tuning under different levels of perceptual load in the task performed. Our results show that increased perceptual load leads to both reduced sensory signal and broadening of tuning. These results clarify the effects of attention on elementary visual perception and suggest that high perceptual load is critical for attentional effects on sensory tuning. PMID:24610952
Sarkar, Sudeep; Boyer, Kim L.
The evolution of perceptual organization in biological vision, and its necessity in advanced computer vision systems, arises from the characteristic that perception, the extraction of meaning from sensory input, is an intelligent process. This is particularly so for high order organisms and, analogically, for more sophisticated computational models. The role of perceptual organization in computer vision systems is explored. This is done from four vantage points. First, a brief history of perceptual organization research in both humans and computer vision is offered. Next, a classificatory structure in which to cast perceptual organization research to clarify both the nomenclature and the relationships among the many contributions is proposed. Thirdly, the perceptual organization work in computer vision in the context of this classificatory structure is reviewed. Finally, the array of computational techniques applied to perceptual organization problems in computer vision is surveyed.
van Elk, Michiel
Previous studies have shown that one’s prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face / house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global / local processing task; Experiment 2). In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical ‘global-to-local’ interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger ‘local-to-global interference effect’. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes. PMID:26114604
van Elk, Michiel
Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2). In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.
Kennedy, R. S.; Berbaum, K. S.; Williams, M. C.; Brannan, J.; Welch, R. B.
Perceptual cue conflict may be the basis for the symptoms which are experienced by space travelers in microgravity conditions. Recovery has been suggested to take place after perceptual modification or reinterpretation. To elucidate this process, 10 subjects who repeatedly experienced a visual/vestibular conflict over trials and days, were tested in a similar but not identical perceptual situation (pseudo-Coriolis) to determine whether any savings in perceptual adaptation had occurred as compared to an unpracticed control group (N = 40). The practiced subjects experienced lessening dizziness and ataxia within and over sessions.
Hierarchical methods are often used in the conceptual stages of process design to synthesize and evaluate process alternatives. In this work, the methods of hierarchical process design will be focused on environmental aspects. In particular, the design methods will be coupled to ...
Watson, Andrew B.; Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Eckstein, Miguel; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
The next era of space exploration, especially the "Mission to Planet Earth" will generate immense quantities of image data. For example, the Earth Observing System (EOS) is expected to generate in excess of one terabyte/day. NASA confronts a major technical challenge in managing this great flow of imagery: in collection, pre-processing, transmission to earth, archiving, and distribution to scientists at remote locations. Expected requirements in most of these areas clearly exceed current technology. Part of the solution to this problem lies in efficient image compression techniques. For much of this imagery, the ultimate consumer is the human eye. In this case image compression should be designed to match the visual capacities of the human observer. We have developed three techniques for optimizing image compression for the human viewer. The first consists of a formula, developed jointly with IBM and based on psychophysical measurements, that computes a DCT quantization matrix for any specified combination of viewing distance, display resolution, and display brightness. This DCT quantization matrix is used in most recent standards for digital image compression (JPEG, MPEG, CCITT H.261). The second technique optimizes the DCT quantization matrix for each individual image, based on the contents of the image. This is accomplished by means of a model of visual sensitivity to compression artifacts. The third technique extends the first two techniques to the realm of wavelet compression. Together these two techniques will allow systematic perceptual optimization of image compression in NASA imaging systems. Many of the image management challenges faced by NASA are mirrored in the field of telemedicine. Here too there are severe demands for transmission and archiving of large image databases, and the imagery is ultimately used primarily by human observers, such as radiologists. In this presentation I will describe some of our preliminary explorations of the applications
Veras, Andre B; Getz, Mara; Froemke, Robert C; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Alves, Gilberto Sousa; Walsh-Messinger, Julie; Chao, Moses V; Kranz, Thorsten M; Malaspina, Dolores
Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that influences the integration of social cognition with behavior and affect regulation. Oxytocin also prominently directs the transition of neuronal GABA neurotransmission from excitatory to inhibitory after birth. The oxytocin receptor (OXTR) is linked to schizophrenia, a heterogeneous syndrome. Relationships of OXTR polymorphisms with specific clinical features could aid in evaluating any role of oxytocin in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia cases with rare missense coding OXTR single nucleotide variants (SNVs) were identified from a well-characterized sample of cases and controls who were assessed for symptoms, cognition and early life trauma. Five of 48 cases showed rare OXTR variants. Compared to the other cases they had less severe negative symptoms (deficits in emotional expression and motivation) and less severe general psychopathology scores (depression and anxiety). They demonstrated lower nonverbal (performance) than verbal intelligence due to deficient perceptual organization and slow processing speed. They also reported greater early trauma exposure (physical and sexual abuse and emotional trauma). Cases carrying rare OXTR SNVs had less negative and affective symptoms than other cases, but similar psychotic symptoms, along with specific cognitive deficits. The clinical characterization of these cases occurred in association with environmental exposure to early trauma, especially sexual abuse, which may have influenced the expression of schizophrenia in subjects harboring specific SNVs in the OXTR. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Almeida, Renita A.; Dickinson, J. Edwin; Maybery, Murray T.; Badcock, Johanna C.; Badcock, David R.
Relative to low scorers, high scorers on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) show enhanced performance on the Embedded Figures Test and the Radial Frequency search task (RFST), which has been attributed to both enhanced local processing and differences in combining global percepts. We investigate the role of local and global processing further using…
Henk, William A.
Behaviorism cannot adequately explain language processing. A synthesis of the psycholinguistic and information processing approaches of cognitive psychology, however, can provide the basis for a speculative analysis of reading, if this synthesis is tempered by a perceptual learning theory of uncertainty reduction. Theorists of information…
Deroost, Natacha; Coomans, Daphné
We examined the role of sequence awareness in a pure perceptual sequence learning design. Participants had to react to the target's colour that changed according to a perceptual sequence. By varying the mapping of the target's colour onto the response keys, motor responses changed randomly. The effect of sequence awareness on perceptual sequence learning was determined by manipulating the learning instructions (explicit versus implicit) and assessing the amount of sequence awareness after the experiment. In the explicit instruction condition (n = 15), participants were instructed to intentionally search for the colour sequence, whereas in the implicit instruction condition (n = 15), they were left uninformed about the sequenced nature of the task. Sequence awareness after the sequence learning task was tested by means of a questionnaire and the process-dissociation-procedure. The results showed that the instruction manipulation had no effect on the amount of perceptual sequence learning. Based on their report to have actively applied their sequence knowledge during the experiment, participants were subsequently regrouped in a sequence strategy group (n = 14, of which 4 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 10 participants from the explicit instruction condition) and a no-sequence strategy group (n = 16, of which 11 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 5 participants from the explicit instruction condition). Only participants of the sequence strategy group showed reliable perceptual sequence learning and sequence awareness. These results indicate that perceptual sequence learning depends upon the continuous employment of strategic cognitive control processes on sequence knowledge. Sequence awareness is suggested to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for perceptual learning to take place. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kéri, Szabolcs; Kiss, Imre; Kelemen, Oguz; Benedek, György; Janka, Zoltán
Schizophrenia is associated with impaired visual information processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between anomalous perceptual experiences, positive and negative symptoms, perceptual organization, rapid categorization of natural images and magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) visual pathway functioning. Thirty-five unmedicated patients with schizophrenia and 20 matched healthy control volunteers participated. Anomalous perceptual experiences were assessed with the Bonn Scale for the Assessment Basic Symptoms (BSABS). General intellectual functions were evaluated with the revised version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. The 1-9 version of the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) was used to investigate sustained attention. The following psychophysical tests were used: detection of Gabor patches with collinear and orthogonal flankers (perceptual organization), categorization of briefly presented natural scenes (rapid visual processing), low-contrast and frequency-doubling vernier threshold (M pathway functioning), isoluminant colour vernier threshold and high spatial frequency discrimination (P pathway functioning). The patients with schizophrenia were impaired on test of perceptual organization, rapid visual processing and M pathway functioning. There was a significant correlation between BSABS scores, negative symptoms, perceptual organization, rapid visual processing and M pathway functioning. Positive symptoms, IQ, CPT and P pathway measures did not correlate with these parameters. The best predictor of the BSABS score was the perceptual organization deficit. These results raise the possibility that multiple facets of visual information processing deficits can be explained by M pathway dysfunctions in schizophrenia, resulting in impaired attentional modulation of perceptual organization and of natural image categorization.
... cooperation early in the NEPA process. 1010.16 Section 1010.16 Parks, Forests, and Public Property PRESIDIO TRUST ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY § 1010.16 Actions to encourage agency cooperation early in the NEPA process... other Federal, State, local, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with...
... cooperation early in the NEPA process. 1010.16 Section 1010.16 Parks, Forests, and Public Property PRESIDIO TRUST ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY § 1010.16 Actions to encourage agency cooperation early in the NEPA process... other Federal, State, local, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with...
... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Actions to encourage agency cooperation early in the NEPA process. 1010.16 Section 1010.16 Parks, Forests, and Public Property PRESIDIO TRUST ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY § 1010.16 Actions to encourage agency cooperation early in the NEPA process...
Corbett, Jennifer E; Venuti, Paola; Melcher, David
There is mounting evidence that observers rely on statistical summaries of visual information to maintain stable and coherent perception. Sensitivity to the mean (or other prototypical value) of a visual feature (e.g., mean size) appears to be a pervasive process in human visual perception. Previous studies in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have uncovered characteristic patterns of visual processing that suggest they may rely more on enhanced local representations of individual objects instead of computing such perceptual averages. To further explore the fundamental nature of abstract statistical representation in visual perception, we investigated perceptual averaging of mean size in a group of 12 high-functioning individuals diagnosed with ASD using simplified versions of two identification and adaptation tasks that elicited characteristic perceptual averaging effects in a control group of neurotypical participants. In Experiment 1, participants performed with above chance accuracy in recalling the mean size of a set of circles ( mean task ) despite poor accuracy in recalling individual circle sizes ( member task ). In Experiment 2, their judgments of single circle size were biased by mean size adaptation. Overall, these results suggest that individuals with ASD perceptually average information about sets of objects in the surrounding environment. Our results underscore the fundamental nature of perceptual averaging in vision, and further our understanding of how autistic individuals make sense of the external environment.
Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Quinn, Paul C.
Pattern perception and organization are critical functions of the visual cognition system. Many organizational processes are available early in life, such that infants as young 3 months of age are able to readily utilize a variety of cues to organize visual patterns. However, other processes are not readily evident in young infants, and their development involves perceptual learning. We describe a theoretical framework that addresses perceptual learning in infancy and the manner in which it affects visual organization and development. It identifies five kinds of experiences that induce learning, and suggests that they work via attentional and unitization mechanisms to modify visual organization. In addition, the framework proposes that this kind of learning is abstract, domain general, functional at different ages in a qualitatively similar manner, and has a long-term impact on development through a memory reactivation process. Although most models of development assume that experience is fundamental to development, very little is actually known about the process by which experience affects development. The proposed framework is an attempt to account for this process in the domain of perception. PMID:21572570
Fava, Eswen; Hull, Rachel; Bortfeld, Heather
Initially, infants are capable of discriminating phonetic contrasts across the world’s languages. Starting between seven and ten months of age, they gradually lose this ability through a process of perceptual narrowing. Although traditionally investigated with isolated speech sounds, such narrowing occurs in a variety of perceptual domains (e.g., faces, visual speech). Thus far, tracking the developmental trajectory of this tuning process has been focused primarily on auditory speech alone, and generally using isolated sounds. But infants learn from speech produced by people talking to them, meaning they learn from a complex audiovisual signal. Here, we use near-infrared spectroscopy to measure blood concentration changes in the bilateral temporal cortices of infants in three different age groups: 3-to-6 months, 7-to-10 months, and 11-to-14-months. Critically, all three groups of infants were tested with continuous audiovisual speech in both their native and another, unfamiliar language. We found that at each age range, infants showed different patterns of cortical activity in response to the native and non-native stimuli. Infants in the youngest group showed bilateral cortical activity that was greater overall in response to non-native relative to native speech; the oldest group showed left lateralized activity in response to native relative to non-native speech. These results highlight perceptual tuning as a dynamic process that happens across modalities and at different levels of stimulus complexity. PMID:25116572
Bélanger, Nathalie N; Slattery, Timothy J; Mayberry, Rachel I; Rayner, Keith
Recent evidence suggests that, compared with hearing people, deaf people have enhanced visual attention to simple stimuli viewed in the parafovea and periphery. Although a large part of reading involves processing the fixated words in foveal vision, readers also utilize information in parafoveal vision to preprocess upcoming words and decide where to look next. In the study reported here, we investigated whether auditory deprivation affects low-level visual processing during reading by comparing the perceptual span of deaf signers who were skilled and less-skilled readers with the perceptual span of skilled hearing readers. Compared with hearing readers, the two groups of deaf readers had a larger perceptual span than would be expected given their reading ability. These results provide the first evidence that deaf readers' enhanced attentional allocation to the parafovea is used during complex cognitive tasks, such as reading.
Cashon, Cara H.; Denicola, Christopher A.
There is a growing list of examples illustrating that infants are transitioning from having earlier abilities that appear more "universal," "broadly tuned," or "unconstrained" to having later abilities that appear more "specialized," "narrowly tuned," or "constrained." Perceptual narrowing, a well-known phenomenon related to face, speech, and…
Kawabe, Takahiro; Maruya, Kazushi; Nishida, Shin'ya
Human vision has a remarkable ability to perceive two layers at the same retinal locations, a transparent layer in front of a background surface. Critical image cues to perceptual transparency, studied extensively in the past, are changes in luminance or color that could be caused by light absorptions and reflections by the front layer, but such image changes may not be clearly visible when the front layer consists of a pure transparent material such as water. Our daily experiences with transparent materials of this kind suggest that an alternative potential cue of visual transparency is image deformations of a background pattern caused by light refraction. Although previous studies have indicated that these image deformations, at least static ones, play little role in perceptual transparency, here we show that dynamic image deformations of the background pattern, which could be produced by light refraction on a moving liquid's surface, can produce a vivid impression of a transparent liquid layer without the aid of any other visual cues as to the presence of a transparent layer. Furthermore, a transparent liquid layer perceptually emerges even from a randomly generated dynamic image deformation as long as it is similar to real liquid deformations in its spatiotemporal frequency profile. Our findings indicate that the brain can perceptually infer the presence of "invisible" transparent liquids by analyzing the spatiotemporal structure of dynamic image deformation, for which it uses a relatively simple computation that does not require high-level knowledge about the detailed physics of liquid deformation.
Kellman, Philip J.; Massey, Christine M.
Recent research indicates that perceptual learning (PL)--experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information--plays a larger role in complex cognitive tasks, including abstract and symbolic domains, than has been understood in theory or implemented in instruction. Here, we describe the involvement of PL in complex cognitive tasks…
Purcell, Braden A.; Heitz, Richard P.; Cohen, Jeremiah Y.; Schall, Jeffrey D.; Logan, Gordon D.; Palmeri, Thomas J.
Stochastic accumulator models account for response time in perceptual decision-making tasks by assuming that perceptual evidence accumulates to a threshold. The present investigation mapped the firing rate of frontal eye field (FEF) visual neurons onto perceptual evidence and the firing rate of FEF movement neurons onto evidence accumulation to…
Gold, Jason M.; Sekuler, Allison B.; Bennett, Partrick J.
Performance in perceptual tasks often improves with practice. This effect is known as "perceptual learning," and it has been the source of a great deal of interest and debate over the course of the last century. Here, we consider the effects of perceptual learning within the context of signal detection theory. According to signal detection theory,…
Zhu, Ziyun; Fan, Zhenzhi; Fang, Fang
When a target is presented with nearby flankers in the peripheral visual field, it becomes harder to identify, which is referred to as crowding. Crowding sets a fundamental limit of object recognition in peripheral vision, preventing us from fully appreciating cluttered visual scenes. We trained adult human subjects on a crowded orientation discrimination task and investigated whether crowding could be completely eliminated by training. We discovered a two-stage learning process with this training task. In the early stage, when the target and flankers were separated beyond a certain distance, subjects acquired a relatively general ability to break crowding, as evidenced by the fact that the breaking of crowding could transfer to another crowded orientation, even a crowded motion stimulus, although the transfer to the opposite visual hemi-field was weak. In the late stage, like many classical perceptual learning effects, subjects' performance gradually improved and showed specificity to the trained orientation. We also found that, when the target and flankers were spaced too finely, training could only reduce, rather than completely eliminate, the crowding effect. This two-stage learning process illustrates a learning strategy for our brain to deal with the notoriously difficult problem of identifying peripheral objects in clutter. The brain first learned to solve the "easy and general" part of the problem (i.e., improving the processing resolution and segmenting the target and flankers) and then tackle the "difficult and specific" part (i.e., refining the representation of the target).
Cosman, Joshua D.; Vecera, Shaun P.
The ability to ignore task-irrelevant information and overcome distraction is central to our ability to efficiently carry out a number of tasks. One factor shown to strongly influence distraction is the perceptual load of the task being performed; as the perceptual load of task-relevant information processing increases, the likelihood that…
Two questions about subjective confidence in perceptual judgments are examined: the bases for these judgments and the reasons for their accuracy. Confidence in perceptual judgments has been claimed to rest on qualitatively different processes than confidence in memory tasks. However, predictions from a self-consistency model (SCM), which had been…
Rani, K. V.
Perceptual Learning styles are different ways in which people process the information in the course of learning, intimately involved in producing more effective response stimuli. The objective of the study was to find out the correlation between the variables of Perceptual learning style in total and with its dimensions to Academic achievement.…
Mottron, Laurent; Dawson, Michelle; Soulieres, Isabelle; Hubert, Benedicte; Burack, Jake
We propose an "Enhanced Perceptual Functioning" model encompassing the main differences between autistic and non-autistic social and non-social perceptual processing: locally oriented visual and auditory perception, enhanced low-level discrimination, use of a more posterior network in "complex" visual tasks, enhanced perception…
Gibson, Eleanor J.
The work described in this report is aimed at understanding the role of cognitive development, especially perceptual development, in the reading process and its acquisition. The papers included describe: (1) a theory of perceptual learning, (2) an investigation of the perception of morphological information, (3) the role of categorical semantic…
Sato, Hirotsune; Takenaka, Ippei; Kawahara, Jun I
Selective attention can be improved under conditions in which a high perceptual load is assumed to exhaust cognitive resources, leaving scarce resources for distractor processing. The present study examined whether perceptual load and acute stress share common attentional resources by manipulating perceptual and stress loads. Participants identified a target within an array of nontargets that were flanked by compatible or incompatible distractors. Attentional selectivity was measured by longer reaction times in response to the incompatible than to the compatible distractors. Participants in the stress group participated in a speech test that increased anxiety and threatened self-esteem. The effect of perceptual load interacted with the stress manipulation in that participants in the control group demonstrated an interference effect under the low perceptual load condition, whereas such interference disappeared under the high perceptual load condition. Importantly, the stress group showed virtually no interference under the low perceptual load condition, whereas substantial interference occurred under the high perceptual load condition. These results suggest that perceptual and stress related demands consume the same attentional resources.
K. Rayner, A. Pollatsek, D. Drieghe, T. J. Slattery, and E. D. Reichle argued that the R. Kliegl, A. Nuthmann, and R. Engbert corpus-analytic evidence for distributed processing during reading should not be accepted because (a) there might be problems of multicollinearity, (b) the distinction between content and function words and the skipping…
Petitto, L. A.; Berens, M. S.; Kovelman, I.; Dubins, M. H.; Jasinska, K.; Shalinsky, M.
In a neuroimaging study focusing on young bilinguals, we explored the brains of bilingual and monolingual babies across two age groups (younger 4-6 months, older 10-12 months), using fNIRS in a new event-related design, as babies processed linguistic phonetic (Native English, Non-Native Hindi) and nonlinguistic Tone stimuli. We found that phonetic…
Grossberg, Stephen; Hwang, Seungwoo; Mingolla, Ennio
This article further develops the FACADE neural model of 3-D vision and figure-ground perception to quantitatively explain properties of the McCollough effect (ME). The model proposes that many ME data result from visual system mechanisms whose primary function is to adaptively align, through learning, boundary and surface representations that are positionally shifted due to the process of binocular fusion. For example, binocular boundary representations are shifted by binocular fusion relative to monocular surface representations, yet the boundaries must become positionally aligned with the surfaces to control binocular surface capture and filling-in. The model also includes perceptual reset mechanisms that use habituative transmitters in opponent processing circuits. Thus the model shows how ME data may arise from a combination of mechanisms that have a clear functional role in biological vision. Simulation results with a single set of parameters quantitatively fit data from 13 experiments that probe the nature of achromatic/chromatic and monocular/binocular interactions during induction of the ME. The model proposes how perceptual learning, opponent processing, and habituation at both monocular and binocular surface representations are involved, including early thalamocortical sites. In particular, it explains the anomalous ME utilizing these multiple processing sites. Alternative models of the ME are also summarized and compared with the present model.
Rost, Gwyneth C.; McMurray, Bob
Infants in the early stages of word learning have difficulty learning lexical neighbors (i.e., word pairs that differ by a single phoneme), despite the ability to discriminate the same contrast in a purely auditory task. While prior work has focused on top-down explanations for this failure (e.g. task demands, lexical competition), none has examined if bottom-up acoustic-phonetic factors play a role. We hypothesized that lexical neighbor learning could be improved by incorporating greater acoustic variability in the words being learned, as this may buttress still developing phonetic categories, and help infants identify the relevant contrastive dimension. Infants were exposed to pictures accompanied by labels spoken by either a single or multiple speakers. At test, infants in the single-speaker condition failed to recognize the difference between the two words, while infants who heard multiple speakers discriminated between them. PMID:19143806
Liang, Jiali; Wilkinson, Krista; Sainburg, Robert L
Previous studies proposed that selecting which hand to use for a reaching task appears to be modulated by a factor described as "task difficulty". However, what features of a task might contribute to greater or lesser "difficulty" in the context of hand selection decisions has yet to be determined. There has been evidence that biomechanical and kinematic factors such as movement smoothness and work can predict patterns of selection across the workspace, suggesting a role of predictive cost analysis in hand-selection. We hypothesize that this type of prediction for hand-selection should recruit substantial cognitive resources and thus should be influenced by cognitive-perceptual loading. We test this hypothesis by assessing the role of cognitive-perceptual loading on hand selection decisions, using a visual search task that presents different levels of difficulty (cognitive-perceptual load), as established in previous studies on overall response time and efficiency of visual search. Although the data are necessarily preliminary due to small sample size, our data suggested an influence of cognitive-perceptual load on hand selection, such that the dominant hand was selected more frequently as cognitive load increased. Interestingly, cognitive-perceptual loading also increased cross-midline reaches with both hands. Because crossing midline is more costly in terms of kinematic and kinetic factors, our findings suggest that cognitive processes are normally engaged to avoid costly actions, and that the choice not-to-cross midline requires cognitive resources. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wahn, Basil; Kingstone, Alan; König, Peter
In daily life, humans often perform perceptual tasks together to reach a shared goal. In these situations, individuals may collaborate (e.g., by distributing task demands) to perform the task better than when the task is performed alone (i.e., attain a group benefit). In this review, we identify the factors influencing if, and to what extent, a group benefit is attained and provide a framework of measures to assess group benefits in perceptual tasks. In particular, we integrate findings from two frequently investigated joint perceptual tasks: visuospatial tasks and decision-making tasks. For both task types, we find that an exchange of information between coactors is critical to improve joint performance. Yet, the type of exchanged information and how coactors collaborate differs between tasks. In visuospatial tasks, coactors exchange information about the performed actions to distribute task demands. In perceptual decision-making tasks, coactors exchange their confidence on their individual perceptual judgments to negotiate a joint decision. We argue that these differences can be explained by the task structure: coactors distribute task demands if a joint task allows for a spatial division and stimuli can be accurately processed by one individual. Otherwise, they perform the task individually and then integrate their individual judgments. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.
Chang, Hung-Cheng; Grossberg, Stephen; Cao, Yongqiang
The Where’s Waldo problem concerns how individuals can rapidly learn to search a scene to detect, attend, recognize, and look at a valued target object in it. This article develops the ARTSCAN Search neural model to clarify how brain mechanisms across the What and Where cortical streams are coordinated to solve the Where’s Waldo problem. The What stream learns positionally-invariant object representations, whereas the Where stream controls positionally-selective spatial and action representations. The model overcomes deficiencies of these computationally complementary properties through What and Where stream interactions. Where stream processes of spatial attention and predictive eye movement control modulate What stream processes whereby multiple view- and positionally-specific object categories are learned and associatively linked to view- and positionally-invariant object categories through bottom-up and attentive top-down interactions. Gain fields control the coordinate transformations that enable spatial attention and predictive eye movements to carry out this role. What stream cognitive-emotional learning processes enable the focusing of motivated attention upon the invariant object categories of desired objects. What stream cognitive names or motivational drives can prime a view- and positionally-invariant object category of a desired target object. A volitional signal can convert these primes into top-down activations that can, in turn, prime What stream view- and positionally-specific categories. When it also receives bottom-up activation from a target, such a positionally-specific category can cause an attentional shift in the Where stream to the positional representation of the target, and an eye movement can then be elicited to foveate it. These processes describe interactions among brain regions that include visual cortex, parietal cortex, inferotemporal cortex, prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala, basal ganglia (BG), and superior colliculus (SC
Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. At least two serious problems exist. First, there is the controversy over which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL. Here we propose a dual plasticity model in which feature-based plasticity is a change in a representation of the learned feature, and task-based plasticity is a change in processing of the trained task. Although the two types of plasticity underlie task-relevant VPL, only feature-based plasticity underlies task-irrelevant VPL. This model provides a new comprehensive framework in which apparently contradictory results could be explained.
Yin, Xiaojun; Zhao, SiFeng
Processing tomato early blight seriously affect the yield and quality of its.Determine the leaves spectrum of different disease severity level of processing tomato early blight.We take the sensitive bands of processing tomato early blight as support vector machine input vector.Through the genetic algorithm(GA) to optimize the parameters of SVM, We could recognize different disease severity level of processing tomato early blight.The result show:the sensitive bands of different disease severity levels of processing tomato early blight is 628-643nm and 689-692nm.The sensitive bands are as the GA and SVM input vector.We get the best penalty parameters is 0.129 and kernel function parameters is 3.479.We make classification training and testing by polynomial nuclear,radial basis function nuclear,Sigmoid nuclear.The best classification model is the radial basis function nuclear of SVM. Training accuracy is 84.615%,Testing accuracy is 80.681%.It is combined GA and SVM to achieve multi-classification of processing tomato early blight.It is provided the technical support of prediction processing tomato early blight occurrence, development and diffusion rule in large areas.
Szpiro, Sarit F A; Spering, Miriam; Carrasco, Marisa
Perceptual learning improves detection and discrimination of relevant visual information in mature humans, revealing sensory plasticity. Whether visual perceptual learning affects motor responses is unknown. Here we implemented a protocol that enabled us to address this question. We tested a perceptual response (motion direction estimation, in which observers overestimate motion direction away from a reference) and a motor response (voluntary smooth pursuit eye movements). Perceptual training led to greater overestimation and, remarkably, it modified untrained smooth pursuit. In contrast, pursuit training did not affect overestimation in either pursuit or perception, even though observers in both training groups were exposed to the same stimuli for the same time period. A second experiment revealed that estimation training also improved discrimination, indicating that overestimation may optimize perceptual sensitivity. Hence, active perceptual training is necessary to alter perceptual responses, and an acquired change in perception suffices to modify pursuit, a motor response. © 2014 ARVO.
Szpiro, Sarit F. A.; Spering, Miriam; Carrasco, Marisa
Perceptual learning improves detection and discrimination of relevant visual information in mature humans, revealing sensory plasticity. Whether visual perceptual learning affects motor responses is unknown. Here we implemented a protocol that enabled us to address this question. We tested a perceptual response (motion direction estimation, in which observers overestimate motion direction away from a reference) and a motor response (voluntary smooth pursuit eye movements). Perceptual training led to greater overestimation and, remarkably, it modified untrained smooth pursuit. In contrast, pursuit training did not affect overestimation in either pursuit or perception, even though observers in both training groups were exposed to the same stimuli for the same time period. A second experiment revealed that estimation training also improved discrimination, indicating that overestimation may optimize perceptual sensitivity. Hence, active perceptual training is necessary to alter perceptual responses, and an acquired change in perception suffices to modify pursuit, a motor response. PMID:25002412
Frackiewicz, Mariusz; Palus, Henryk
Color image quantization is an important operation in the field of color image processing. In this paper, we consider new perceptual image quality metrics for assessment of quantized images. These types of metrics, e.g. DSCSI, MDSIs, MDSIm and HPSI achieve the highest correlation coefficients with MOS during tests on the six publicly available image databases. Research was limited to images distorted by two types of compression: JPG and JPG2K. Statistical analysis of correlation coefficients based on the Friedman test and post-hoc procedures showed that the differences between the four new perceptual metrics are not statistically significant.
Scharlau, Ingrid; Neumann, Odmar
Visual stimuli (primes) reduce the perceptual latency of a target appearing at the same location (perceptual latency priming, PLP). Three experiments assessed the time course of PLP by masked and, in Experiment 3, unmasked primes. Experiments 1 and 2 investigated the temporal parameters that determine the size of priming. Stimulus onset asynchrony was found to exert the main influence accompanied by a small effect of prime duration. Experiment 3 used a large range of priming onset asynchronies. We suggest to explain PLP by the Asynchronous Updating Model which relates it to the asynchrony of 2 central coding processes, preattentive coding of basic visual features and attentional orienting as a prerequisite for perceptual judgments and conscious perception.
Naumann, R. J.; Mason, D.
Objectives, methods, and results of low-gravity materials processing experiments are summarized, and a bibliography of published results for each experiment is provided. Included are drop tower experiments, the Apollo demonstration experiments, the skylab experiments and demonstration experiments, and the Apollo-Soyuz experiments and demonstrations. The findings of these experiments in the fields of crystal growth, metallurgy, and fluid behavior are summarized.
Byington, Teresa A.; Whitby, Peggy J. S.
Parents play important roles as advocates for their child with a disability. Advocacy is the process of striving to improve the quality of life for someone else. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires parents and professionals to work together to design a service delivery plan for children with disabilities. An…
Brandone, Amanda C; Pence, Khara L; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy
This paper explores how children use two possible solutions to the verb-mapping problem: attention to perceptually salient actions and attention to social and linguistic information (speaker cues). Twenty-two-month-olds attached a verb to one of two actions when perceptual cues (presence/absence of a result) coincided with speaker cues but not when these cues were placed into conflict (Experiment 1), and not when both possible referent actions were perceptually salient (Experiment 2). By 34 months, children were able to override perceptual cues to learn the name of an action that was not perceptually salient (Experiment 3). Results demonstrate an early reliance on perceptual information for verb mapping and an emerging tendency to weight speaker information more heavily over developmental time.
Noise is a prevalent and sometimes even dominant aspect of many biological processes. While many natural systems have adapted to attenuate or even usefully integrate noise, the variability it introduces often still delimits the achievable precision across biological functions. This is particularly so for visual phototransduction, the process responsible for converting photons of light into usable electrical signals (quantum bumps). Here, randomness of both the photon inputs (regarded as extrinsic noise) and the conversion process (intrinsic noise) are seen as two distinct, independent and significant limitations on visual reliability. Past research has attempted to quantify the relative effects of these noise sources by using approximate methods that do not fully account for the discrete, point process and time ordered nature of the problem. As a result the conclusions drawn from these different approaches have led to inconsistent expositions of phototransduction noise performance. This paper provides a fresh and complete analysis of the relative impact of intrinsic and extrinsic noise in invertebrate phototransduction using minimum mean squared error reconstruction techniques based on Bayesian point process (Snyder) filters. An integrate-fire based algorithm is developed to reliably estimate photon times from quantum bumps and Snyder filters are then used to causally estimate random light intensities both at the front and back end of the phototransduction cascade. Comparison of these estimates reveals that the dominant noise source transitions from extrinsic to intrinsic as light intensity increases. By extending the filtering techniques to account for delays, it is further found that among the intrinsic noise components, which include bump latency (mean delay and jitter) and shape (amplitude and width) variance, it is the mean delay that is critical to noise performance. As the timeliness of visual information is important for real-time action, this delay could
Cloutier, Jasmin; Li, Tianyi; Mišic, Bratislav; Correll, Joshua; Berman, Marc G
An extended distributed network of brain regions supports face perception. Face familiarity influences activity in brain regions involved in this network, but the impact of perceptual familiarity on this network has never been directly assessed with the use of partial least squares analysis. In the present work, we use this multivariate statistical analysis to examine how face-processing systems are differentially recruited by characteristics of the targets (i.e. perceptual familiarity and race) and of the perceivers (i.e. childhood interracial contact). Novel faces were found to preferentially recruit a large distributed face-processing network compared with perceptually familiar faces. Additionally, increased interracial contact during childhood led to decreased recruitment of distributed brain networks previously implicated in face perception, salience detection, and social cognition. Current results provide a novel perspective on the impact of cross-race exposure, suggesting that interracial contact early in life may dramatically shape the neural substrates of face perception generally. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Yi, Do-Joon; Olson, Ingrid R; Chun, Marvin M
What does perceptual experience contribute to figure-ground segregation? To study this question, we trained observers to search for symmetric dot patterns embedded in random dot backgrounds. Training improved shape segmentation, but learning did not completely transfer either to untrained locations or to untrained shapes. Such partial specificity persisted for a month after training. Interestingly, training on shapes in empty backgrounds did not help segmentation of the trained shapes in noisy backgrounds. Our results suggest that perceptual training increases the involvement of early sensory neurons in the segmentation of trained shapes, and that successful segmentation requires perceptual skills beyond shape recognition alone.
Basirat, Anahita; Schwartz, Jean-Luc; Sato, Marc
The verbal transformation effect (VTE) refers to perceptual switches while listening to a speech sound repeated rapidly and continuously. It is a specific case of perceptual multistability providing a rich paradigm for studying the processes underlying the perceptual organization of speech. While the VTE has been mainly considered as a purely auditory effect, this paper presents a review of recent behavioural and neuroimaging studies investigating the role of perceptuo-motor interactions in the effect. Behavioural data show that articulatory constraints and visual information from the speaker's articulatory gestures can influence verbal transformations. In line with these data, functional magnetic resonance imaging and intracranial electroencephalography studies demonstrate that articulatory-based representations play a key role in the emergence and the stabilization of speech percepts during a verbal transformation task. Overall, these results suggest that perceptuo (multisensory)-motor processes are involved in the perceptual organization of speech and the formation of speech perceptual objects. PMID:22371618
Mottron, Laurent; Dawson, Michelle; Soulières, Isabelle; Hubert, Benedicte; Burack, Jake
We propose an "Enhanced Perceptual Functioning" model encompassing the main differences between autistic and non-autistic social and non-social perceptual processing: locally oriented visual and auditory perception, enhanced low-level discrimination, use of a more posterior network in "complex" visual tasks, enhanced perception of first order static stimuli, diminished perception of complex movement, autonomy of low-level information processing toward higher-order operations, and differential relation between perception and general intelligence. Increased perceptual expertise may be implicated in the choice of special ability in savant autistics, and in the variability of apparent presentations within PDD (autism with and without typical speech, Asperger syndrome) in non-savant autistics. The overfunctioning of brain regions typically involved in primary perceptual functions may explain the autistic perceptual endophenotype.
Watson, Andrew B.; Liu, Zhen; Karam, Lina J.
An alternative approach has been devised for encoding image data in compliance with JPEG 2000, the most recent still-image data-compression standard of the Joint Photographic Experts Group. Heretofore, JPEG 2000 encoding has been implemented by several related schemes classified as rate-based distortion-minimization encoding. In each of these schemes, the end user specifies a desired bit rate and the encoding algorithm strives to attain that rate while minimizing a mean squared error (MSE). While rate-based distortion minimization is appropriate for transmitting data over a limited-bandwidth channel, it is not the best approach for applications in which the perceptual quality of reconstructed images is a major consideration. A better approach for such applications is the present alternative one, denoted perceptual distortion control, in which the encoding algorithm strives to compress data to the lowest bit rate that yields at least a specified level of perceptual image quality. Some additional background information on JPEG 2000 is prerequisite to a meaningful summary of JPEG encoding with perceptual distortion control. The JPEG 2000 encoding process includes two subprocesses known as tier-1 and tier-2 coding. In order to minimize the MSE for the desired bit rate, a rate-distortion- optimization subprocess is introduced between the tier-1 and tier-2 subprocesses. In tier-1 coding, each coding block is independently bit-plane coded from the most-significant-bit (MSB) plane to the least-significant-bit (LSB) plane, using three coding passes (except for the MSB plane, which is coded using only one "clean up" coding pass). For M bit planes, this subprocess involves a total number of (3M - 2) coding passes. An embedded bit stream is then generated for each coding block. Information on the reduction in distortion and the increase in the bit rate associated with each coding pass is collected. This information is then used in a rate-control procedure to determine the
Davila, J; Karney, B R; Bradbury, T N
The authors examined 4 models of attachment change: a contextual model, a social-cognitive model, an individual-difference model, and a diathesis-stress model. Models were examined in a sample of newlyweds over the first 2 years of marriage, using growth curve analyses. Reciprocal processes, whereby attachment representations and interpersonal life circumstances affect one another over time, also were studied. On average, newlyweds became more secure over time. However, there was significant within-subject variability on attachment change that was predicted by intra- and interpersonal factors. Attachment representations changed in response to contextual, social-cognitive, and individual-difference factors. Reciprocal processes between attachment representations and marital variables emerged, suggesting that these factors influence one another in an ongoing way.
Peters, Donald L.; Willis, Sherry L.
This book summarizes theory and discusses major issues pertaining to child development in the early childhood years. Chapter I provides an introduction to the conceptual framework and major theories of child development. Chapter II deals with motor, sensory, and perceptual development. Chapter III focuses on the cognitive-developmental theory of…
Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang
Training can improve performance of perceptual tasks. This phenomenon, known as perceptual learning, is strongest for the trained task and stimulus, leading to a widely accepted assumption that the associated neuronal plasticity is restricted to brain circuits that mediate performance of the trained task. Nevertheless, learning does transfer to other tasks and stimuli, implying the presence of more widespread plasticity. Here, we trained human subjects to discriminate the direction of coherent motion stimuli. The behavioral learning effect substantially transferred to noisy motion stimuli. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the transfer of learning. The TMS experiment revealed dissociable, causal contributions of V3A (one of the visual areas in the extrastriate visual cortex) and MT+ (middle temporal/medial superior temporal cortex) to coherent and noisy motion processing. Surprisingly, the contribution of MT+ to noisy motion processing was replaced by V3A after perceptual training. The fMRI experiment complemented and corroborated the TMS finding. Multivariate pattern analysis showed that, before training, among visual cortical areas, coherent and noisy motion was decoded most accurately in V3A and MT+, respectively. After training, both kinds of motion were decoded most accurately in V3A. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of perceptual learning extend far beyond the retuning of specific neural populations for the trained stimuli. Learning could dramatically modify the inherent functional specializations of visual cortical areas and dynamically reweight their contributions to perceptual decisions based on their representational qualities. These neural changes might serve as the neural substrate for the transfer of perceptual learning.
Schnaitmann, Christopher; Haikala, Väinö; Abraham, Eva; Oberhauser, Vitus; Thestrup, Thomas; Griesbeck, Oliver; Reiff, Dierk F
Color vision extracts spectral information by comparing signals from photoreceptors with different visual pigments. Such comparisons are encoded by color-opponent neurons that are excited at one wavelength and inhibited at another. Here, we examine the circuit implementation of color-opponent processing in the Drosophila visual system by combining two-photon calcium imaging with genetic dissection of visual circuits. We report that color-opponent processing of UV short /blue and UV long /green is already implemented in R7/R8 inner photoreceptor terminals of "pale" and "yellow" ommatidia, respectively. R7 and R8 photoreceptors of the same type of ommatidia mutually inhibit each other directly via HisCl1 histamine receptors and receive additional feedback inhibition that requires the second histamine receptor Ort. Color-opponent processing at the first visual synapse represents an unexpected commonality between Drosophila and vertebrates; however, the differences in the molecular and cellular implementation suggest that the same principles evolved independently. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando
information encoding, maintenance, and retrieval; these are supported by brain activity in a network of frontal, parietal and temporal regions. Manipulation of WM load and duration of the maintenance period can modulate this activity. Although such modulations have been widely studied using the event-related potentials (ERP) technique, a precise description of the time course of brain activity during encoding and retrieval is still required. Here, we used this technique and principal component analysis to assess the time course of brain activity during encoding and retrieval in a delayed match to sample task. We also investigated the effects of memory load and duration of the maintenance period on ERP activity. Brain activity was similar during information encoding and retrieval and comprised six temporal factors, which closely matched the latency and scalp distribution of some ERP components: P1, N1, P2, N2, P300, and a slow wave. Changes in memory load modulated task performance and yielded variations in frontal lobe activation. Moreover, the P300 amplitude was smaller in the high than in the low load condition during encoding and retrieval. Conversely, the slow wave amplitude was higher in the high than in the low load condition during encoding, and the same was true for the N2 amplitude during retrieval. Thus, during encoding, memory load appears to modulate the processing resources for context updating and post-categorization processes, and during retrieval it modulates resources for stimulus classification and context updating. Besides, despite the lack of differences in task performance related to duration of the maintenance period, larger N2 amplitude and stronger activation of the left temporal lobe after long than after short maintenance periods were found during information retrieval. Thus, results regarding the duration of maintenance period were complex, and future work is required to test the time-based decay theory predictions.
An, C.; Meng, L.
Tsunami wave predictions of the current tsunami warning systems rely on accurate earthquake source inversions of wave height data. They are of limited effectiveness for the near-field areas since the tsunami waves arrive before data are collected. Recent seismic and tsunami disasters have revealed the need for early warning to protect near-source coastal populations. In this work we developed the basis for a tsunami warning system based on rapid earthquake source characterisation through regional seismic array back-projections. We explored rapid earthquake source imaging using onshore dense seismic arrays located at regional distances on the order of 1000 km, which provides faster source images than conventional teleseismic back-projections. We implement this method in a simulated real-time environment, and analysed the 2011 Tohoku earthquake rupture with two clusters of Hi-net stations in Kyushu and Northern Hokkaido, and the 2014 Iquique event with the Earthscope USArray Transportable Array. The results yield reasonable estimates of rupture area, which is approximated by an ellipse and leads to the construction of simple slip models based on empirical scaling of the rupture area, seismic moment and average slip. The slip model is then used as the input of the tsunami simulation package COMCOT to predict the tsunami waves. In the example of the Tohoku event, the earthquake source model can be acquired within 6 minutes from the start of rupture and the simulation of tsunami waves takes less than 2 min, which could facilitate a timely tsunami warning. The predicted arrival time and wave amplitude reasonably fit observations. Based on this method, we propose to develop an automatic warning mechanism that provides rapid near-field warning for areas of high tsunami risk. The initial focus will be Japan, Pacific Northwest and Alaska, where dense seismic networks with the capability of real-time data telemetry and open data accessibility, such as the Japanese HiNet (>800
Zacks, Jeffrey M.; Kurby, Christopher A.; Eisenberg, Michelle L.; Haroutunian, Nayiri
Predicting the near future is important for survival and plays a central role in theories of perception, language processing, and learning. Prediction failures may be particularly important for initiating the updating of perceptual and memory systems and, thus, for the subjective experience of events. Here, we asked observers to make predictions…
Perea, Manuel; Carreiras, Manuel
We qualify Frost's proposals regarding letter-position coding in visual word recognition and the universal model of reading. First, we show that perceptual uncertainty regarding letter position is not tied to European languages-instead it is a general property of the cognitive system. Second, we argue that a universal model of reading should incorporate a developmental view of the reading process.
McAuliffe, Megan J.; Kerr, Sarah E.; Gibson, Elizabeth M. R.; Anderson, Tim; LaShell, Patrick J.
Purpose: To determine how increased vocal loudness and reduced speech rate affect listeners' cognitive-perceptual processing of hypokinetic dysarthric speech associated with Parkinson's disease. Method: Fifty-one healthy listener participants completed a speech perception experiment. Listeners repeated phrases produced by 5 individuals…
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Rotshtein, Pia; Yeh, Yei-Yu
We investigated the neural correlates of attentional modulation in the perceptual comparison process for detecting feature-binding changes in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment. Participants performed a variant of a cued change detection task. They viewed a memory array, a spatial retro-cue, and later a probe…
Naserieh, Farid; Sarab, Mohammad Reza Anani
Research suggests that a host of cognitive, affective, and perceptual variables are at work when individuals go about the task of second or foreign language learning. Among these variables are learning styles that are habitual ways of perceiving, processing, and storing information. This study was conducted as a response to Isemonger and…
This article presents a tripartite framework for analyzing multimodal texts. The three analytical perspectives presented include: (1) perceptual, (2) structural, and (3) ideological analytical processes. Using Anthony Browne's picturebook "Piggybook" as an example, assertions are made regarding what each analytical perspective brings to the…
Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie
Purpose: To determine whether perceptual adaptation improves voice gender discrimination of spectrally shifted vowels and, if so, which acoustic cues contribute to the improvement. Method: Voice gender discrimination was measured for 10 normal-hearing subjects, during 5 days of adaptation to spectrally shifted vowels, produced by processing the…
Trainor, Laurel J; Chang, Andrew; Cairney, John; Li, Yao-Chuen
Time is an essential dimension for perceiving and processing auditory events, and for planning and producing motor behaviors. Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 5-6% of children that is characterized by deficits in motor skills. Studies show that children with DCD have motor timing and sensorimotor timing deficits. We suggest that auditory perceptual timing deficits may also be core characteristics of DCD. This idea is consistent with evidence from several domains, (1) motor-related brain regions are often involved in auditory timing process; (2) DCD has high comorbidity with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity, which are known to be associated with auditory timing deficits; (3) a few studies report deficits in auditory-motor timing among children with DCD; and (4) our preliminary behavioral and neuroimaging results show that children with DCD at age 6 and 7 have deficits in auditory time discrimination compared to typically developing children. We propose directions for investigating auditory perceptual timing processing in DCD that use various behavioral and neuroimaging approaches. From a clinical perspective, research findings can potentially benefit our understanding of the etiology of DCD, identify early biomarkers of DCD, and can be used to develop evidence-based interventions for DCD involving auditory-motor training. © 2018 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The New York Academy of Sciences.
Lenay, Charles; Stewart, John
WORK AIMED AT STUDYING SOCIAL COGNITION IN AN INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE OFTEN ENCOUNTERS SUBSTANTIAL THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES: identifying the significant behavioral variables; recording them without disturbing the interaction; and distinguishing between: (a) the necessary and sufficient contributions of each individual partner for a collective dynamics to emerge; (b) features which derive from this collective dynamics and escape from the control of the individual partners; and (c) the phenomena arising from this collective dynamics which are subsequently appropriated and used by the partners. We propose a minimalist experimental paradigm as a basis for this conceptual discussion: by reducing the sensory inputs to a strict minimum, we force a spatial and temporal deployment of the perceptual activities, which makes it possible to obtain a complete recording and control of the dynamics of interaction. After presenting the principles of this minimalist approach to perception, we describe a series of experiments on two major questions in social cognition: recognizing the presence of another intentional subject; and phenomena of imitation. In both cases, we propose explanatory schema which render an interactionist approach to social cognition clear and explicit. Starting from our earlier work on perceptual crossing we present a new experiment on the mechanisms of reciprocal recognition of the perceptual intentionality of the other subject: the emergent collective dynamics of the perceptual crossing can be appropriated by each subject. We then present an experimental study of opaque imitation (when the subjects cannot see what they themselves are doing). This study makes it possible to characterize what a properly interactionist approach to imitation might be. In conclusion, we draw on these results, to show how an interactionist approach can contribute to a fully social approach to social cognition.
Lenay, Charles; Stewart, John
Work aimed at studying social cognition in an interactionist perspective often encounters substantial theoretical and methodological difficulties: identifying the significant behavioral variables; recording them without disturbing the interaction; and distinguishing between: (a) the necessary and sufficient contributions of each individual partner for a collective dynamics to emerge; (b) features which derive from this collective dynamics and escape from the control of the individual partners; and (c) the phenomena arising from this collective dynamics which are subsequently appropriated and used by the partners. We propose a minimalist experimental paradigm as a basis for this conceptual discussion: by reducing the sensory inputs to a strict minimum, we force a spatial and temporal deployment of the perceptual activities, which makes it possible to obtain a complete recording and control of the dynamics of interaction. After presenting the principles of this minimalist approach to perception, we describe a series of experiments on two major questions in social cognition: recognizing the presence of another intentional subject; and phenomena of imitation. In both cases, we propose explanatory schema which render an interactionist approach to social cognition clear and explicit. Starting from our earlier work on perceptual crossing we present a new experiment on the mechanisms of reciprocal recognition of the perceptual intentionality of the other subject: the emergent collective dynamics of the perceptual crossing can be appropriated by each subject. We then present an experimental study of opaque imitation (when the subjects cannot see what they themselves are doing). This study makes it possible to characterize what a properly interactionist approach to imitation might be. In conclusion, we draw on these results, to show how an interactionist approach can contribute to a fully social approach to social cognition. PMID:22582041
Heron-Delaney, Michelle; Anzures, Gizelle; Herbert, Jane S.; Quinn, Paul C.; Slater, Alan M.; Tanaka, James W.; Lee, Kang; Pascalis, Olivier
Experience plays a crucial role in the development of the face processing system. At 6 months of age infants can discriminate individual faces from their own and other races. By 9 months of age this ability to process other-race faces is typically lost, due to minimal experience with other-race faces, and vast exposure to own-race faces, for which infants come to manifest expertise . This is known as the Other Race Effect. In the current study, we demonstrate that exposing Caucasian infants to Chinese faces through perceptual training via picture books for a total of one hour between 6 and 9 months allows Caucasian infants to maintain the ability to discriminate Chinese faces at 9 months of age. The development of the processing of face race can be modified by training, highlighting the importance of early experience in shaping the face representation. PMID:21625638
Watson, Andrew B.
The next era of space exploration will generate extraordinary volumes of image data, and management of this image data is beyond current technical capabilities. We propose a strategy for coding visual information that exploits the known properties of early human vision. This Perceptual Components Architecture codes images and image sequences in terms of discrete samples from limited bands of color, spatial frequency, orientation, and temporal frequency. This spatiotemporal pyramid offers efficiency (low bit rate), variable resolution, device independence, error-tolerance, and extensibility.
Krueger, Paul M; van Vugt, Marieke K; Simen, Patrick; Nystrom, Leigh; Holmes, Philip; Cohen, Jonathan D
We assessed whether evidence accumulation could be observed in the BOLD signal during perceptual decision making. This presents a challenge since the hemodynamic response is slow, while perceptual decisions are typically fast. Guided by theoretical predictions of the drift diffusion model, we slowed down decisions by penalizing participants for incorrect responses. Second, we distinguished BOLD activity related to stimulus detection (modeled using a boxcar) from activity related to integration (modeled using a ramp) by minimizing the collinearity of GLM regressors. This was achieved by dissecting a boxcar into its two most orthogonal components: an "up-ramp" and a "down-ramp." Third, we used a control condition in which stimuli and responses were similar to the experimental condition, but that did not engage evidence accumulation of the stimuli. The results revealed an absence of areas in parietal cortex that have been proposed to drive perceptual decision making but have recently come into question; and newly identified regions that are candidates for involvement in evidence accumulation. Previous fMRI studies have either used fast perceptual decision making, which precludes the measurement of evidence accumulation, or slowed down responses by gradually revealing stimuli. The latter approach confounds perceptual detection with evidence accumulation because accumulation is constrained by perceptual input. We slowed down the decision making process itself while leaving perceptual information intact. This provided a more sensitive and selective observation of brain regions associated with the evidence accumulation processes underlying perceptual decision making than previous methods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
... cooperation early in the NEPA process. Â§ 1010.16 Section Â§ 1010.16 Parks, Forests, and Public Property PRESIDIO TRUST ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY § 1010.16 Actions to encourage agency cooperation early in the NEPA... Trust, any other Federal, State, local, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special...
Kruk, Richard S.; Luther Ruban, Cassia
Visual processes in Grade 1 were examined for their predictive influences in nonalphanumeric and alphanumeric rapid naming (RAN) in 51 poor early and 69 typical readers. In a lagged design, children were followed longitudinally from Grade 1 to Grade 3 over 5 testing occasions. RAN outcomes in early Grade 2 were predicted by speeded and nonspeeded…
Lenz, Daniel; Krauel, Kerstin; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Schadow, Jeanette; Hinrichs, Hermann; Herrmann, Christoph S.
Neurophysiological studies yield contrary results whether attentional problems of patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are related to early visual processing deficits or not. Evoked gamma-band responses (GBRs), being among the first cortical responses occurring as early as 90 ms after visual stimulation in human EEG, have…
Barnes, Michelle M.
This doctoral thesis explored mentoring in early learning teacher preparation programs. This study explored the reflective processes embedded in the work between student teachers and their mentors during early learning student teacher experiences at Washington State community and technical colleges. Schon's (1987a) concepts of…
Green, C Shawn; Li, Renjie; Bavelier, Daphne
Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Amitay, Sygal; Halliday, Lorna; Taylor, Jenny; Sohoglu, Ediz; Moore, David R
Although feedback on performance is generally thought to promote perceptual learning, the role and necessity of feedback remain unclear. We investigated the effect of providing varying amounts of positive feedback while listeners attempted to discriminate between three identical tones on learning frequency discrimination. Using this novel procedure, the feedback was meaningless and random in relation to the listeners' responses, but the amount of feedback provided (or lack thereof) affected learning. We found that a group of listeners who received positive feedback on 10% of the trials improved their performance on the task (learned), while other groups provided either with excess (90%) or with no feedback did not learn. Superimposed on these group data, however, individual listeners showed other systematic changes of performance. In particular, those with lower non-verbal IQ who trained in the no feedback condition performed more poorly after training. This pattern of results cannot be accounted for by learning models that ascribe an external teacher role to feedback. We suggest, instead, that feedback is used to monitor performance on the task in relation to its perceived difficulty, and that listeners who learn without the benefit of feedback are adept at self-monitoring of performance, a trait that also supports better performance on non-verbal IQ tests. These results show that 'perceptual' learning is strongly influenced by top-down processes of motivation and intelligence.
Huang, Jingyuan; Holt, Lori L
Within tone languages that use pitch variations to contrast meaning, large variability exists in the pitches produced by different speakers. Context-dependent perception may help to resolve this perceptual challenge. However, whether speakers rely on context in contour tone perception is unclear; previous studies have produced inconsistent results. The present study aimed to provide an unambiguous test of the effect of context on contour lexical tone perception and to explore its underlying mechanisms. In three experiments, Mandarin listeners' perception of Mandarin first and second (high-level and mid-rising) tones was investigated with preceding speech and non-speech contexts. Results indicate that the mean fundamental frequency (f0) of a preceding sentence affects perception of contour lexical tones and the effect is contrastive. Following a sentence with a higher-frequency mean f0, the following syllable is more likely to be perceived as a lower frequency lexical tone and vice versa. Moreover, non-speech precursors modeling the mean spectrum of f0 also elicit this effect, suggesting general perceptual processing rather than articulatory-based or speaker-identity-driven mechanisms.
Sreenivasan, Kartik K.; Gratton, Caterina; Vytlacil, Jason; D’Esposito, Mark
Isolating the short-term storage component of working memory (WM) from the myriad of associated executive processes has been an enduring challenge. Recent efforts have identified patterns of activity in visual regions that contain information about items being held in WM. However, it remains unclear (i) whether these representations withstand intervening sensory input and (ii) how communication between multimodal association cortex and unimodal perceptual regions supporting WM representations is involved in WM storage. We present evidence that the features of a face held in WM are stored within face processing regions, that these representations persist across subsequent sensory input, and that information about the match between sensory input and memory representation is relayed forward from perceptual to prefrontal regions. Participants were presented with a series of probe faces and indicated whether each probe matched a Target face held in WM. We parametrically varied the feature similarity between probe and Target faces. Activity within face processing regions scaled linearly with the degree of feature similarity between the probe face and the features of the Target face, suggesting that the features of the Target face were stored in these regions. Furthermore, directed connectivity measures revealed that the direction of information flow that was optimal for performance was from sensory regions that stored the features of the Target face to dorsal prefrontal regions, supporting the notion that sensory input is compared to representations stored within perceptual regions and relayed forward. Together, these findings indicate that WM storage operations are carried out within perceptual cortex. PMID:24436009
Uhlhaas, Peter J.; Mishara, Aaron L.
From phenomenological and experimental perspectives, research in schizophrenia has emphasized deficits in “higher” cognitive functions, including attention, executive function, as well as memory. In contrast, general consensus has viewed dysfunctions in basic perceptual processes to be relatively unimportant in the explanation of more complex aspects of the disorder, including changes in self-experience and the development of symptoms such as delusions. We present evidence from phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience that changes in the perceptual field in schizophrenia may represent a core impairment. After introducing the phenomenological approach to perception (Husserl, the Gestalt School), we discuss the views of Paul Matussek, Klaus Conrad, Ludwig Binswanger, and Wolfgang Blankenburg on perception in schizophrenia. These 4 psychiatrists describe changes in perception and automatic processes that are related to the altered experience of self. The altered self-experience, in turn, may be responsible for the emergence of delusions. The phenomenological data are compatible with current research that conceptualizes dysfunctions in perceptual processing as a deficit in the ability to combine stimulus elements into coherent object representations. Relationships of deficits in perceptual organization to cognitive and social dysfunction as well as the possible neurobiological mechanisms are discussed. PMID:17118973
Mitchell, Chris; Hall, Geoffrey
We present a review of recent studies of perceptual learning conducted with nonhuman animals. The focus of this research has been to elucidate the mechanisms by which mere exposure to a pair of similar stimuli can increase the ease with which those stimuli are discriminated. These studies establish an important role for 2 mechanisms, one involving inhibitory associations between the unique features of the stimuli, the other involving a long-term habituation process that enhances the relative salience of these features. We then examine recent work investigating equivalent perceptual learning procedures with human participants. Our aim is to determine the extent to which the phenomena exhibited by people are susceptible to explanation in terms of the mechanisms revealed by the animal studies. Although we find no evidence that associative inhibition contributes to the perceptual learning effect in humans, initial detection of unique features (those that allow discrimination between 2 similar stimuli) appears to depend on an habituation process. Once the unique features have been detected, a tendency to attend to those features and to learn about their properties enhances subsequent discrimination. We conclude that the effects obtained with humans engage mechanisms additional to those seen in animals but argue that, for the most part, these have their basis in learning processes that are common to animals and people. In a final section, we discuss some implications of this analysis of perceptual learning for other aspects of experimental psychology and consider some potential applications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Kleinschmidt, Andreas; Sterzer, Philipp; Rees, Geraint
Few phenomena are as suitable as perceptual multistability to demonstrate that the brain constructively interprets sensory input. Several studies have outlined the neural circuitry involved in generating perceptual inference but only more recently has the individual variability of this inferential process been appreciated. Studies of the interaction of evoked and ongoing neural activity show that inference itself is not merely a stimulus-triggered process but is related to the context of the current brain state into which the processing of external stimulation is embedded. As brain states fluctuate, so does perception of a given sensory input. In multistability, perceptual fluctuation rates are consistent for a given individual but vary considerably between individuals. There has been some evidence for a genetic basis for these individual differences and recent morphometric studies of parietal lobe regions have identified neuroanatomical substrates for individual variability in spontaneous switching behaviour. Moreover, disrupting the function of these latter regions by transcranial magnetic stimulation yields systematic interference effects on switching behaviour, further arguing for a causal role of these regions in perceptual inference. Together, these studies have advanced our understanding of the biological mechanisms by which the brain constructs the contents of consciousness from sensory input. PMID:22371620
Human perception is shaped by past experience on multiple timescales. Sudden and dramatic changes in perception occur when prior knowledge or expectations match stimulus content. These immediate effects contrast with the longer-term, more gradual improvements that are characteristic of perceptual learning. Despite extensive investigation of these two experience-dependent phenomena, there is considerable debate about whether they result from common or dissociable neural mechanisms. Here we test single- and dual-mechanism accounts of experience-dependent changes in perception using concurrent magnetoencephalographic and EEG recordings of neural responses evoked by degraded speech. When speech clarity was enhanced by prior knowledge obtained from matching text, we observed reduced neural activity in a peri-auditory region of the superior temporal gyrus (STG). Critically, longer-term improvements in the accuracy of speech recognition following perceptual learning resulted in reduced activity in a nearly identical STG region. Moreover, short-term neural changes caused by prior knowledge and longer-term neural changes arising from perceptual learning were correlated across subjects with the magnitude of learning-induced changes in recognition accuracy. These experience-dependent effects on neural processing could be dissociated from the neural effect of hearing physically clearer speech, which similarly enhanced perception but increased rather than decreased STG responses. Hence, the observed neural effects of prior knowledge and perceptual learning cannot be attributed to epiphenomenal changes in listening effort that accompany enhanced perception. Instead, our results support a predictive coding account of speech perception; computational simulations show how a single mechanism, minimization of prediction error, can drive immediate perceptual effects of prior knowledge and longer-term perceptual learning of degraded speech. PMID:26957596
Sohoglu, Ediz; Davis, Matthew H
Human perception is shaped by past experience on multiple timescales. Sudden and dramatic changes in perception occur when prior knowledge or expectations match stimulus content. These immediate effects contrast with the longer-term, more gradual improvements that are characteristic of perceptual learning. Despite extensive investigation of these two experience-dependent phenomena, there is considerable debate about whether they result from common or dissociable neural mechanisms. Here we test single- and dual-mechanism accounts of experience-dependent changes in perception using concurrent magnetoencephalographic and EEG recordings of neural responses evoked by degraded speech. When speech clarity was enhanced by prior knowledge obtained from matching text, we observed reduced neural activity in a peri-auditory region of the superior temporal gyrus (STG). Critically, longer-term improvements in the accuracy of speech recognition following perceptual learning resulted in reduced activity in a nearly identical STG region. Moreover, short-term neural changes caused by prior knowledge and longer-term neural changes arising from perceptual learning were correlated across subjects with the magnitude of learning-induced changes in recognition accuracy. These experience-dependent effects on neural processing could be dissociated from the neural effect of hearing physically clearer speech, which similarly enhanced perception but increased rather than decreased STG responses. Hence, the observed neural effects of prior knowledge and perceptual learning cannot be attributed to epiphenomenal changes in listening effort that accompany enhanced perception. Instead, our results support a predictive coding account of speech perception; computational simulations show how a single mechanism, minimization of prediction error, can drive immediate perceptual effects of prior knowledge and longer-term perceptual learning of degraded speech.
Dosher, Barbara Anne; Han, Songmei; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Perceptual learning has widely been claimed to be attention driven; attention assists in choosing the relevant sensory information and attention may be necessary in many cases for learning. In this paper, we focus on the interaction of perceptual learning and attention – that perceptual learning can reduce or eliminate the limitations of attention, or, correspondingly, that perceptual learning depends on the attention condition. Object attention is a robust limit on performance. Two attributes of a single attended object may be reported without loss, while the same two attributes of different objects can exhibit a substantial dual-report deficit due to the sharing of attention between objects. The current experiments document that this fundamental dual-object report deficit can be reduced, or eliminated, through perceptual learning that is partially specific to retinal location. This suggests that alternative routes established by practice may reduce the competition between objects for processing resources. PMID:19796653
Haefner, Ralf M; Berkes, Pietro; Fiser, József
We address two main challenges facing systems neuroscience today: understanding the nature and function of cortical feedback between sensory areas and of correlated variability. Starting from the old idea of perception as probabilistic inference, we show how to use knowledge of the psychophysical task to make testable predictions for the influence of feedback signals on early sensory representations. Applying our framework to a two-alternative forced choice task paradigm, we can explain multiple empirical findings that have been hard to account for by the traditional feedforward model of sensory processing, including the task dependence of neural response correlations and the diverging time courses of choice probabilities and psychophysical kernels. Our model makes new predictions and characterizes a component of correlated variability that represents task-related information rather than performance-degrading noise. It demonstrates a normative way to integrate sensory and cognitive components into physiologically testable models of perceptual decision-making. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Overvliet, K E; Sayim, B
Since the early phenomenological demonstrations of Gestalt principles, one of the major challenges of Gestalt psychology has been to quantify these principles. Here, we show that contextual modulation, i.e. the influence of context on target perception, can be used as a tool to quantify perceptual grouping in the haptic domain, similar to the visual domain. We investigated the influence of target-flanker grouping on performance in haptic vernier offset discrimination. We hypothesized that when, despite the apparent differences between vision and haptics, similar grouping principles are operational, a similar pattern of flanker interference would be observed in the haptic as in the visual domain. Participants discriminated the offset of a haptic vernier. The vernier was flanked by different flanker configurations: no flankers, single flanking lines, 10 flanking lines, rectangles and single perpendicular lines, varying the degree to which the vernier grouped with the flankers. Additionally, we used two different flanker widths (same width as and narrower than the target), again to vary target-flanker grouping. Our results show a clear effect of flankers: performance was much better when the vernier was presented alone compared to when it was presented with flankers. In the majority of flanker configurations, grouping between the target and the flankers determined the strength of interference, similar to the visual domain. However, in the same width rectangular flanker condition we found aberrant results. We discuss the results of our study in light of similarities and differences between vision and haptics and the interaction between different grouping principles. We conclude that in haptics, similar organization principles apply as in visual perception and argue that grouping and Gestalt are key organization principles not only of vision, but of the perceptual system in general. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cheung, Olivia S.; Gauthier, Isabel
Faces and objects of expertise compete for early perceptual processes and holistic processing resources (Gauthier, Curran, Curby, & Collins, 2003). Here, we examined the nature of interference on holistic face processing in working memory by comparing how various types of loads affect selective attention to parts of face composites. In dual…