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Sample records for predict attentional modulation

  1. Positive symptoms and duration of illness predict functional laterality and attention modulation in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Løberg, E-M; Jørgensen, H A; Green, M F; Rund, B R; Lund, A; Diseth, A; Oie, M; Hugdahl, K

    2006-04-01

    Dichotic listening (DL) performance in schizophrenia, reflecting hemispheric asymmetry and the functional integrity of the left temporal lobe, can vary with clinical characteristics. Previous studies have not taken the co-linearity of clinical variables into account. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the roles of positive symptoms and duration of illness in DL through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), thus allowing for complex relationships between the variables. We pooled patients from four previous DL studies to create a heterogeneous group of 129 schizophrenic patients, all tested with a consonant-vowel syllables DL procedure that included attentional instructions. A model where positive symptoms predicted a laterality component and duration of illness predicted an attention component in DL was confirmed. Positive symptoms predicted reduced functional laterality, suggesting involvement of left temporal lobe language processing. Duration of illness predicted impaired attention modulation, possibly reflecting the involvement of frontotemporal networks.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Changes in predictive cuing modulate the hemispheric distribution of the P1 inhibitory response to attentional targets.

    PubMed

    Lasaponara, Stefano; D' Onofrio, Marianna; Dragone, Alessio; Pinto, Mario; Caratelli, Ludovica; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2017-03-07

    Brain activity related to orienting of attention with spatial cues and brain responses to attentional targets are influenced the probabilistic contingency between cues and targets. Compared to predictive cues, cues predicting at chance the location of targets reduce the filtering out of uncued locations and the costs in reorienting attention to targets presented at these locations. Slagter et al. (2016) have recently suggested that the larger target related P1 component that is found in the hemisphere ipsilateral to validly cued targets reflects stimulus-driven inhibition in the processing of the unstimulated side of space contralateral to the same hemisphere. Here we verified whether the strength of this inhibition and the amplitude of the corresponding P1 wave are modulated by the probabilistic link between cues and targets. Healthy participants performed a task of endogenous orienting once with predictive and once with non-predictive directional cues. In the non-predictive condition we observed a drop in the amplitude of the P1 ipsilateral to the target and in the costs of reorienting. No change in the inter-hemispheric latencies of the P1 was found between the two predictive conditions. The N1 facilitatory component was unaffected by predictive cuing. These results show that the predictive context modulates the strength of the inhibitory P1 response and that this modulation is not matched with changes in the inter-hemispheric interaction between the P1 generators of the two hemispheres.

  4. Attentional Modulation of Binocular Rivalry

    PubMed Central

    Paffen, Chris L. E.; Alais, David

    2011-01-01

    Ever since Wheatstone initiated the scientific study of binocular rivalry, it has been debated whether the phenomenon is under attentional control. In recent years, the issue of attentional modulation of binocular rivalry has seen a revival. Here we review the classical studies as well as recent advances in the study of attentional modulation of binocular rivalry. We show that (1) voluntary control over binocular rivalry is possible, yet limited, (2) both endogenous and exogenous attention influence perceptual dominance during rivalry, (3) diverting attention from rival displays does not arrest perceptual alternations, and that (4) rival targets by themselves can also attract attention. From a theoretical perspective, we suggest that attention affects binocular rivalry by modulating the effective contrast of the images in competition. This contrast enhancing effect of top-down attention is counteracted by a response attenuating effect of neural adaptation at early levels of visual processing, which weakens the response to the dominant image. Moreover, we conclude that although frontal and parietal brain areas involved in both binocular rivalry and visual attention overlap, an adapting reciprocal inhibition arrangement at early visual cortex is sufficient to trigger switches in perceptual dominance independently of a higher-level “selection” mechanisms. Both of these processes are reciprocal and therefore self-balancing, with the consequence that complete attentional control over binocular rivalry can never be realized. PMID:22046156

  5. Differential hemispheric modulation of preparatory attention.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Laura Gabriela; Siéroff, Eric

    2014-06-01

    Preparatory attention (PA) is the ability to allocate attention to a stimulus prior to its occurrence and is a crucial component of attentional control. We investigated the role of brain hemispheres in PA using an experimental test in which normal participants responded to a target that could appear in the right or the left visual fields, thus projecting to the left or the right hemispheres, while ignoring a central distractor that could appear in the preparatory phase preceding the target. This experimental test measures the ability of participants to modulate PA directed to a target location when the probability of a distractor occurrence varies across three blocks of trials (0%, 33%, 67%). The competition between distractors and target for PA should produce slower response times when the probability of distractors is high. Three experiments were conducted varying the temporal predictability of the target occurrence within a trial (high predictability in Experiments 1 and 3, and low predictability in Experiment 2), and the task used (location in Experiments 1 and 2, and detection in Experiment 3). We found that the modulation of PA by the expected probability of events was different in each visual field/hemisphere. Whereas the left hemisphere PA was influenced by the mere probability of events in each block of trials, the right hemisphere PA was mainly influenced by events with high temporal predictability. These results suggest that each hemisphere uses a different strategy to modulate PA when directed to a target location at the perceptual level of visual processing.

  6. Optimal attentional modulation of a neural population

    PubMed Central

    Borji, Ali; Itti, Laurent

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Reappraisal Modulates Attentional Bias to Angry Faces

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Shin Ah; Kim, Hackjin; Kim, Sang Hee

    2016-01-01

    Heightened attentional bias to emotional information is one of the main characteristics of disorders related to emotion dysregulation such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Although reappraisal, an emotion regulation strategy, is known to effectively modulate subjective experience of emotions, it remains unknown whether reappraisal can alter attentional biases to emotional information. In the current research, we investigated the influence of instruction-induced state reappraisal (Study 1) and trait reappraisal (Study 2) on attentional biases to happy and angry faces. In Study 1, healthy young women were recruited and randomly assigned to one of the three groups: up-, down-, and no-regulation. Participants were instructed to reappraise their emotions to increase and decrease emotional experience while viewing an emotionally negative film clip. Attentional bias was assessed with a dot-probe task with pictures of angry and happy facial expressions. In Study 2, a separate group of healthy young men and women participated. Participants’ trait reappraisal and suppression as well as state and trait anxiety were assessed. A dot-probe task was completed by all participants. Statistical tests in Study 1 revealed that participants who reappraised to decrease negative emotions while viewing an emotionally negative film clip had reduced attentional bias to subsequently presented angry faces compared to participants who reappraised to increase negative emotions. Multiple regression analyses in Study 2 revealed that trait reappraisal predicted slower orienting toward angry faces, whereas state anxiety predicted slower disengagement from angry faces. Interestingly, trait suppression predicted slower disengagement from happy faces. Taken together, these results suggest that both instruction-induced state reappraisal and trait reappraisal are linked to reduced attentional bias to negative information and contribute to better understanding of how everyday emotion

  8. How Attention Modulates Encoding of Dynamic Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Oren, Noga; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Lerner, Yulia; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Hendler, Talma; Giladi, Nir; Ash, Elissa L.

    2016-01-01

    When encoding a real-life, continuous stimulus, the same neural circuits support processing and integration of prior as well as new incoming information. This ongoing interplay is modulated by attention, and is evident in regions such as the prefrontal cortex section of the task positive network (TPN), and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a hub of the default mode network (DMN). Yet the exact nature of such modulation is still unclear. To investigate this issue, we utilized an fMRI task that employed movies as the encoded stimuli and manipulated attentional load via an easy or hard secondary task that was performed simultaneously with encoding. Results showed increased intersubject correlation (inter-SC) levels when encoding movies in a condition of high, as compared to low attentional load. This was evident in bilateral ventrolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and the dorsal PCC (dPCC). These regions became more attuned to the combination of the movie and the secondary task as the attentional demand of the latter increased. Activation analyses revealed that at higher load the prefrontal TPN regions were more activated, whereas the dPCC was more deactivated. Attentional load also influenced connectivity within and between the networks. At high load the dPCC was anti-correlated to the prefrontal regions, which were more functionally coherent amongst themselves. Finally and critically, greater inter-SC in the dPCC at high load during encoding predicted lower memory strength when that information was retrieved. This association between inter-SC levels and memory strength suggest that as attentional demands increased, the dPCC was more attuned to the secondary task at the expense of the encoded stimulus, thus weakening memory for the encoded stimulus. Together, our findings show that attentional load modulated the function of core TPN and DMN regions. Furthermore, the observed relationship between memory strength and the modulation of the dPCC points

  9. Cold-Blooded Attention: Finger Temperature Predicts Attentional Performance.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Rodrigo C; Moënne-Loccoz, Cristóbal; Maldonado, Pedro E

    2017-01-01

    Thermal stress has been shown to increase the chances of unsafe behavior during industrial and driving performances due to reductions in mental and attentional resources. Nonetheless, establishing appropriate safety standards regarding environmental temperature has been a major problem, as modulations are also be affected by the task type, complexity, workload, duration, and previous experience with the task. To bypass this attentional and thermoregulatory problem, we focused on the body rather than environmental temperature. Specifically, we measured tympanic, forehead, finger and environmental temperatures accompanied by a battery of attentional tasks. We considered a 10 min baseline period wherein subjects were instructed to sit and relax, followed by three attentional tasks: a continuous performance task (CPT), a flanker task (FT) and a counting task (CT). Using multiple linear regression models, we evaluated which variable(s) were the best predictors of performance. The results showed a decrement in finger temperature due to instruction and task engagement that was absent when the subject was instructed to relax. No changes were observed in tympanic or forehead temperatures, while the environmental temperature remained almost constant for each subject. Specifically, the magnitude of the change in finger temperature was the best predictor of performance in all three attentional tasks. The results presented here suggest that finger temperature can be used as a predictor of alertness, as it predicted performance in attentional tasks better than environmental temperature. These findings strongly support that peripheral temperature can be used as a tool to prevent unsafe behaviors and accidents.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawaki, Risa; Katayama, Jun'ichi

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawaki, Risa; Katayama, Jun'ichi

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Ambient odors modulate visual attentional capture.

    PubMed

    Michael, George Andrew; Jacquot, Laurence; Millot, Jean Louis; Brand, Gérard

    2003-12-11

    Sudden visual events capture attention involuntarily because they may signal potential threats. Some theoretical accounts consider that the biological significance of these events is established through the limbic structures. Thus, the manipulation of the limbic activity would affect attentional capture. Since these structures are directly linked to the olfactory system, we have tended to modulate their activity with olfactory stimulations. We have examined behavioral performance in a task of attentional capture by luminance under conditions of ambient odors. Our results show that attentional capture is indeed modulated by ambient odors, and that this modulation may depend on the odor's properties.

  13. Caffeine modulates attention network function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0mg, 100mg, 200mg, 400mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). Cognitive neuroscience of attention. New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study using a repeated-measures design, we found that the effects of caffeine on visual attention vary as a function of dose and the attention network under examination. Caffeine improved alerting and executive control function in a dose-response manner, asymptoting at 200mg; this effect is congruent with caffeine's adenosine-mediated effects on dopamine-rich areas of brain, and the involvement of these areas in alerting and the executive control of visual attention. Higher doses of caffeine also led to a marginally less efficient allocation of visual attention towards cued regions during task performance (i.e., orienting). Taken together, results of this study demonstrate that caffeine has differential effects on visual attention networks as a function of dose, and such effects have implications for hypothesized interactions of caffeine, adenosine and dopamine in brain areas mediating visual attention. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    Function 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7...attention. (A. Caramazza Ed.). Cognitive neuropsychology and neurolinguistics (pp. 187- 210). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Posner, M. I. (2004

  17. Methylphenidate Modulates Functional Network Connectivity to Enhance Attention.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Monica D; Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R; Chun, Marvin M

    2016-09-14

    Recent work has demonstrated that human whole-brain functional connectivity patterns measured with fMRI contain information about cognitive abilities, including sustained attention. To derive behavioral predictions from connectivity patterns, our group developed a connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) approach (Finn et al., 2015; Rosenberg et al., 2016). Previously using CPM, we defined a high-attention network, comprising connections positively correlated with performance on a sustained attention task, and a low-attention network, comprising connections negatively correlated with performance. Validating the networks as generalizable biomarkers of attention, models based on network strength at rest predicted attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in an independent group of individuals (Rosenberg et al., 2016). To investigate whether these networks play a causal role in attention, here we examined their strength in healthy adults given methylphenidate (Ritalin), a common ADHD treatment, compared with unmedicated controls. As predicted, individuals given methylphenidate showed patterns of connectivity associated with better sustained attention: higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength than controls. There was significant overlap between the high-attention network and a network with greater strength in the methylphenidate group, and between the low-attention network and a network with greater strength in the control group. Network strength also predicted behavior on a stop-signal task, such that participants with higher go response rates showed higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength. These results suggest that methylphenidate acts by modulating functional brain networks related to sustained attention, and that changing whole-brain connectivity patterns may help improve attention. Recent work identified a promising neuromarker of sustained attention based on whole-brain functional connectivity

  18. Methylphenidate Modulates Functional Network Connectivity to Enhance Attention

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S.; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R. Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Chun, Marvin M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that human whole-brain functional connectivity patterns measured with fMRI contain information about cognitive abilities, including sustained attention. To derive behavioral predictions from connectivity patterns, our group developed a connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) approach (Finn et al., 2015; Rosenberg et al., 2016). Previously using CPM, we defined a high-attention network, comprising connections positively correlated with performance on a sustained attention task, and a low-attention network, comprising connections negatively correlated with performance. Validating the networks as generalizable biomarkers of attention, models based on network strength at rest predicted attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in an independent group of individuals (Rosenberg et al., 2016). To investigate whether these networks play a causal role in attention, here we examined their strength in healthy adults given methylphenidate (Ritalin), a common ADHD treatment, compared with unmedicated controls. As predicted, individuals given methylphenidate showed patterns of connectivity associated with better sustained attention: higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength than controls. There was significant overlap between the high-attention network and a network with greater strength in the methylphenidate group, and between the low-attention network and a network with greater strength in the control group. Network strength also predicted behavior on a stop-signal task, such that participants with higher go response rates showed higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength. These results suggest that methylphenidate acts by modulating functional brain networks related to sustained attention, and that changing whole-brain connectivity patterns may help improve attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Recent work identified a promising neuromarker of sustained attention based on whole

  19. Synchronization as a mechanism for attentional modulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiesinga, P. H. E.; Fellous, J.-M.; Salinas, E.; Jose, J. V.; Sejnowski, T. J.

    2002-03-01

    When attention is shifted to the receptive field of a neuron, the firing of the neuron may become more synchronized with other similar units, as observed in somatosensory cortex [Steinmetz et al, Nature 404,187 (2000)], or with the local field potential at gamma frequencies, as reported for extrastriate cortex [Fries et al, Science 291, 1560 (2001)]. Using simulations, we investigated how such changes in synchrony may affect the response properties of a model downstream neuron. The synaptic drive consisted of periodic excitatory and inhibitory components, each characterized by the input rate of pulses and by a temporal jitter in their arrival times, with smaller jitter meaning higher synchrony. We found two important effects. First, when the excitatory inputs were represented by a constant depolarizing current, the output firing rate decreased sharply with increasing inhibitory jitter. In this case the synchrony of the inhibitory drive acts as a gate: for large jitter spikes are not transmitted whereas for small jitter spikes are transmitted. Second, when both excitation and inhibition fluctuated periodically but were out of phase, the gain of the curve of firing rate versus injected current changed as a function of the phase difference. These predictions were confirmed in vitro by injecting currents into rat cortical neurons using a dynamic clamp. We propose that attention may modulate the response of a circuit and change its sensitivity to stimuli by shifting the synchrony of local inhibitory neurons.

  20. Attractive faces temporally modulate visual attention

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki

    2014-01-01

    Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms, respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2) was impaired when a first target (T1) was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA); identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention. PMID:24994994

  1. Social traits modulate attention to affiliative cues.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Social traits modulate attention to affiliative cues

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Attention to individual identities modulates face processing.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Hemispheric modulations of the attentional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Although several recent studies investigated the hemispheric contributions to the attentional networks using the Attention Network Test (ANT), the role of the cerebral hemispheres in modulating the interaction among them remains unclear. In this study, two lateralized versions of this test (LANT) were used to investigate theal effects on the attentional networks under different conflict conditions. One version, the LANTI-A, presented arrows as target and flankers, while the other version, the LANTI-F, had fruits as target and flankers. Data collected from forty-seven participants confirmed well-known results on the efficiency and interactions among the attentional networks. Further, a left visual field advantage was found when a target occurred in an unattended location (e.g. invalid trials), only with the LANTI-F, but not with LANTI-A. The present study adds more evidence to the hemispheric asymmetry of the orienting of attention, and further reveals patterns of interactions between the attentional networks and the visual fields across different conflicting conditions, underlying the dynamic control of attention in complex environments. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Interaural attention modulates outer hair cell function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that auditory attention tasks may modulate the sensitivity of the cochlea by way of the corticofugal and the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent pathways. Here, we studied the extent to which a separate efferent tract, the “uncrossed” MOC, which functionally connects the two ears, mediates inter-aural selective attention. We compared distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) in one ear to binaurally-presented primaries, using an intermodal target detection task in which participants were instructed to report the occurrence of brief target events (visual changes, tones). Three tasks were compared under identical physical stimulation: (1) report brief tones in the ear in which DPOAE responses were recorded; (2) report brief tones presented to the contralateral, non-recorded ear; (3) report brief phase shifts of a visual grating at fixation. Effects of attention were observed as parallel shifts in overall DPOAE contour level, with DPOAEs relatively higher in overall level when subjects ignored the auditory stimuli and attended to the visual stimulus, compared with both of the auditory-attending conditions. Importantly, DPOAE levels were statistically lowest when attention was directed to the ipsilateral ear in which the DPOAE recordings were made. These data corroborate notions that top-down mechanisms, via the corticofugal and medial efferent pathways, mediate cochlear responses during intermodal attention. New findings show attending to one ear can significantly alter the physiological response of the contralateral, unattended ear, likely through the uncrossed-medial olivocochlear efferent fibers connecting the two ears. PMID:25302959

  6. Attentional Modulation of Eye Torsion Responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Interaural attention modulates outer hair cell function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Characterizing Attention with Predictive Network Models.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, M D; Finn, E S; Scheinost, D; Constable, R T; Chun, M M

    2017-04-01

    Recent work shows that models based on functional connectivity in large-scale brain networks can predict individuals' attentional abilities. While being some of the first generalizable neuromarkers of cognitive function, these models also inform our basic understanding of attention, providing empirical evidence that: (i) attention is a network property of brain computation; (ii) the functional architecture that underlies attention can be measured while people are not engaged in any explicit task; and (iii) this architecture supports a general attentional ability that is common to several laboratory-based tasks and is impaired in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Looking ahead, connectivity-based predictive models of attention and other cognitive abilities and behaviors may potentially improve the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of clinical dysfunction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate visual attention.

    PubMed

    Balslev, Daniela; Newman, William; Knox, Paul C

    2012-10-09

    Extraocular muscle afferent signals contribute to oculomotor control and visual localization. Prompted by the close links between the oculomotor and attention systems, it was investigated whether these proprioceptive signals also modulated the allocation of attention in space. A suction sclera contact lens was used to impose an eye rotation on the nonviewing, dominant eye. With their viewing, nondominant eye, participants (n = 4) fixated centrally and detected targets presented at 5° in the left or right visual hemifield. The position of the viewing eye was monitored throughout the experiment. As a control, visual localization was tested using finger pointing without visual feedback of the hand, whereas the nonviewing eye remained deviated. The sustained passive rotation of the occluded, dominant eye, while the other eye maintained central fixation, resulted in a lateralized change in the detectability of visual targets. In all participants, the advantage in speed and accuracy for detecting right versus left hemifield targets that occurred during a sustained rightward eye rotation of the dominant eye was reduced or reversed by a leftward eye rotation. The control experiment confirmed that the eye deviation procedure caused pointing errors consistent with an approximately 2° shift in perceived eye position, in the direction of rotation of the nonviewing eye. With the caveat of the small number of participants, these results suggest that extraocular muscle afferent signals modulate the deployment of attention in visual space.

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

    PubMed

    Fitzroy, Ahren B; Sanders, Lisa D

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Attention-Modulating Effects of Cognitive Enhancers

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. Attention-Modulating Effects of Cognitive Enhancers

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. Expectation and attention in hierarchical auditory prediction.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-03

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

  14. Components of attention modulated by temporal expectation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Noradrenergic Genotype Predicts Lapses in Sustained Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Noradrenergic Genotype Predicts Lapses in Sustained Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Regulating the blink: Cognitive reappraisal modulates attention.

    PubMed

    Adam, Ruth; Schönfelder, Sandra; Forneck, Johanna; Wessa, Michèle

    2014-01-01

    Our brain is unable to fully process all the sensory signals we encounter. Attention is the process that helps selecting input from all available information for detailed processing and it is largely influenced by the affective value of the stimuli. This study examined if attentional bias toward emotional stimuli can be modulated by cognitively changing their emotional value. Participants were presented with negative and neutral images from four different scene-categories depicting humans ("Reading", "Working", "Crying" and "Violence"). Using cognitive reappraisal subjects decreased and increased the negativity of one negative (e.g., "Crying") and one neutral (e.g., "Reading") category respectively, whereas they only had to watch the other two categories (e.g., "Working" and "Violence") without changing their feelings. Subsequently, subjects performed the attentional blink paradigm. Two targets were embedded in a stream of distractors, with the previously seen human pictures serving as the first target (T1) and rotated landmark/landscape images as the second (T2). Subjects then reported T1 visibility and the orientation of T2. We investigated if the detection accuracy of T2 is influenced by the change of the emotional value of T1 due to the reappraisal manipulation. Indeed, T2 detection rate was higher when T2 was preceded by a negative image that was only viewed compared to negative images that were reappraised to be neutral. Thus, more resources were captured by images that have been reappraised before, i.e., their negativity has been reduced. This modulatory effect of reappraisal on attention was not found for neutral images. Possibly upon re-exposure to negative stimuli subjects had to recall the previously performed affective change. In this case resources may be allocated to maintain the reappraised value and therefore hinder the detection of a temporally close target. Complimentary self-reported ratings support the reappraisal manipulation of negative images.

  18. Attentional load modulates large-scale functional brain connectivity beyond the core attention networks.

    PubMed

    Alnæs, Dag; Kaufmann, Tobias; Richard, Geneviève; Duff, Eugene P; Sneve, Markus H; Endestad, Tor; Nordvik, Jan Egil; Andreassen, Ole A; Smith, Stephen M; Westlye, Lars T

    2015-04-01

    In line with the notion of a continuously active and dynamic brain, functional networks identified during rest correspond with those revealed by task-fMRI. Characterizing the dynamic cross-talk between these network nodes is key to understanding the successful implementation of effortful cognitive processing in healthy individuals and its breakdown in a variety of conditions involving aberrant brain biology and cognitive dysfunction. We employed advanced network modeling on fMRI data collected during a task involving sustained attentive tracking of objects at two load levels and during rest. Using multivariate techniques, we demonstrate that attentional load levels can be significantly discriminated, and from a resting-state condition, the accuracy approaches 100%, by means of estimates of between-node functional connectivity. Several network edges were modulated during task engagement: The dorsal attention network increased connectivity with a visual node, while decreasing connectivity with motor and sensory nodes. Also, we observed a decoupling between left and right hemisphere dorsal visual streams. These results support the notion of dynamic network reconfigurations based on attentional effort. No simple correspondence between node signal amplitude change and node connectivity modulations was found, thus network modeling provides novel information beyond what is revealed by conventional task-fMRI analysis. The current decoding of attentional states confirms that edge connectivity contains highly predictive information about the mental state of the individual, and the approach shows promise for the utilization in clinical contexts.

  19. Neonatal Sleep Predicts Attention Orienting and Distractibility.

    PubMed

    Geva, Ronny; Yaron, Hagit; Kuint, Jacob

    2016-02-01

    Children with sleep disorders tend to experience attention problems, yet little is known about the relationship between sleep and attention in early development. This prospective follow-up study investigated the longitudinal relationships between neonatal sleep, attention, and distraction in infants born preterm. We used actigraphy and sleep-wake diaries in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU, N = 65), attention orienting in a visual-recognition-memory task (VRM) at age 4 months, and structured observation of attention and distractibility at age 18 months. Infants with poorer neonatal sleep (n = 31) exhibited longer first gaze durations in the VRM at 4 months and longer distraction episodes at 18 months relative to neonatal controls who slept well (p < .01). Hierarchical regression models support relations between neonatal sleep and gaze behavior at 4 months and distractibility at 18 months; moreover, alterations in orienting attention at 4 months predicted the likelihood of being distracted during the second year of life. Findings underscore the importance of early sleep-wake and attention regulation in the development of distraction in infants born preterm. © The Author(s) 2013.

  20. Tuned Normalization Explains the Size of Attention Modulations

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Amy M.; Ray, Supratim; Maunsell, John H. R.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking asymmetry in attention effects within neurons: when two stimuli are in a neuron’s receptive field, directing attention to the preferred stimulus modulates firing rates more than directing attention to the non-preferred stimulus. These findings show that much of the neuron-to-neuron variability in modulation of responses by attention depends on variability in the way the neurons process multiple stimuli, rather than differences in the influence of top-down signals related to attention. PMID:22365552

  1. Distributed Attention Is Implemented through Theta-Rhythmic Gamma Modulation.

    PubMed

    Landau, Ayelet Nina; Schreyer, Helene Marianne; van Pelt, Stan; Fries, Pascal

    2015-08-31

    When subjects monitor a single location, visual target detection depends on the pre-target phase of an ∼8 Hz brain rhythm. When multiple locations are monitored, performance decrements suggest a division of the 8 Hz rhythm over the number of locations, indicating that different locations are sequentially sampled. Indeed, when subjects monitor two locations, performance benefits alternate at a 4 Hz rhythm. These performance alternations were revealed after a reset of attention to one location. Although resets are common and important events for attention, it is unknown whether, in the absence of resets, ongoing attention samples stimuli in alternation. Here, we examined whether spatially specific attentional sampling can be revealed by ongoing pre-target brain rhythms. Visually induced gamma-band activity plays a role in spatial attention. Therefore, we hypothesized that performance on two simultaneously monitored stimuli can be predicted by a 4 Hz modulation of gamma-band activity. Brain rhythms were assessed with magnetoencephalography (MEG) while subjects monitored bilateral grating stimuli for a unilateral target event. The corresponding contralateral gamma-band responses were subtracted from each other to isolate spatially selective, target-related fluctuations. The resulting lateralized gamma-band activity (LGA) showed opposite pre-target 4 Hz phases for detected versus missed targets. The 4 Hz phase of pre-target LGA accounted for a 14.5% modulation in performance. These findings suggest that spatial attention is a theta-rhythmic sampling process that is continuously ongoing, with each sampling cycle being implemented through gamma-band synchrony.

  2. White matter microstructure of attentional networks predicts attention and consciousness functional interactions.

    PubMed

    Chica, Ana B; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Paz-Alonso, Pedro M

    2017-09-13

    Attention is considered as one of the pre-requisites of conscious perception. Phasic alerting and exogenous orienting improve conscious perception of near-threshold information through segregated brain networks. Using a multimodal neuroimaging approach, combining data from functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), we investigated the influence of white matter properties of the ventral branch of superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF III) in functional interactions between attentional systems and conscious perception. Results revealed that (1) reduced integrity of the left hemisphere SLF III was predictive of the neural interactions observed between exogenous orienting and conscious perception, and (2) increased integrity of the left hemisphere SLF III was predictive of the neural interactions observed between phasic alerting and conscious perception. Our results combining fMRI and DWI data demonstrate that structural properties of the white matter organization determine attentional modulations over conscious perception.

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

    PubMed Central

    Schröger, Erich; Marzecová, Anna; SanMiguel, Iria

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Reward valence modulates conflict-driven attentional adaptation: electrophysiological evidence.

    PubMed

    van Steenbergen, Henk; Band, Guido P H; Hommel, Bernhard

    2012-07-01

    Recent findings suggest that, relative to negative feedback, positive feedback counteracts conflict processing and subsequent attentional adaptation. Here we hypothesize that this interaction may direct adjustments in perception and action via the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We recorded EEG while participants performed an arrow flanker task with monetary gain or loss as arbitrary reward feedback between trials. As predicted, we found a reduction in conflict-driven adaptation for trials in which conflict was followed by monetary gain (vs. monetary loss), a behavioral effect accompanied by a modulation in early visual processing related to the processing of the distracters. Moreover, time-frequency analyses showed that ongoing fronto-central theta oscillations induced by previous conflict sustained longer after loss than after gain, an interaction presumably reflecting ACC modulation. These data provide a first important step toward understanding the neural mechanism underlying the affective regulation of conflict-driven behavior.

  5. Attentional modulation of neuronal variability in circuit models of cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kanashiro, Tatjana; Ocker, Gabriel Koch; Cohen, Marlene R; Doiron, Brent

    2017-01-01

    The circuit mechanisms behind shared neural variability (noise correlation) and its dependence on neural state are poorly understood. Visual attention is well-suited to constrain cortical models of response variability because attention both increases firing rates and their stimulus sensitivity, as well as decreases noise correlations. We provide a novel analysis of population recordings in rhesus primate visual area V4 showing that a single biophysical mechanism may underlie these diverse neural correlates of attention. We explore model cortical networks where top-down mediated increases in excitability, distributed across excitatory and inhibitory targets, capture the key neuronal correlates of attention. Our models predict that top-down signals primarily affect inhibitory neurons, whereas excitatory neurons are more sensitive to stimulus specific bottom-up inputs. Accounting for trial variability in models of state dependent modulation of neuronal activity is a critical step in building a mechanistic theory of neuronal cognition. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23978.001 PMID:28590902

  6. Attention Modulates Spatio-temporal Grouping

    PubMed Central

    Aydın, Murat; Herzog, Michael H.; Öğmen, Haluk

    2011-01-01

    Dynamic stimuli are ubiquitous in natural viewing conditions implying that grouping operations need to operate, not only in space, but also jointly in space and time. Moreover, in natural viewing, attention plays an important role in controlling how resources are allocated. We investigated how attention interacts with spatiotemporal perceptual grouping by using a bistable stimulus, called the Ternus-Pikler display. Ternus-Pikler displays can give rise to two different motion percepts, called Element Motion (EM) and Group Motion (GM), the former dominating at short Inter-Stimulus Intervals (ISIs) and the latter at long ISIs. Our results indicate that GM grouping requires more attentional resources than EM grouping. Different theoretical accounts of perceptual grouping and attention are discussed and evaluated in the light of the current results. PMID:21266181

  7. Attention to pain! A neurocognitive perspective on attentional modulation of pain in neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Torta, D M; Legrain, V; Mouraux, A; Valentini, E

    2017-04-01

    Several studies have used neuroimaging techniques to investigate brain correlates of the attentional modulation of pain. Although these studies have advanced the knowledge in the field, important confounding factors such as imprecise theoretical definitions of attention, incomplete operationalization of the construct under exam, and limitations of techniques relying on measuring regional changes in cerebral blood flow have hampered the potential relevance of the conclusions. Here, we first provide an overview of the major theories of attention and of attention in the study of pain to bridge theory and experimental results. We conclude that load and motivational/affective theories are particularly relevant to study the attentional modulation of pain and should be carefully integrated in functional neuroimaging studies. Then, we summarize previous findings and discuss the possible neural correlates of the attentional modulation of pain. We discuss whether classical functional neuroimaging techniques are suitable to measure the effect of a fluctuating process like attention, and in which circumstances functional neuroimaging can be reliably used to measure the attentional modulation of pain. Finally, we argue that the analysis of brain networks and spontaneous oscillations may be a crucial future development in the study of attentional modulation of pain, and why the interplay between attention and pain, as examined so far, may rely on neural mechanisms shared with other sensory modalities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. An attention-modulated associative network.

    PubMed

    Harris, Justin A; Livesey, Evan J

    2010-02-01

    We present an elemental model of associative learning that describes interactions between stimulus elements as a process of competitive normalization. Building on the assumptions laid out in Harris (2006), stimuli are represented as an array of elements that compete for attention according to the strength of their input. Elements form associations among each other according to temporal correlations in their activation but restricted by their connectivity. The model moves beyond its predecessor by specifying excitatory, inhibitory, and attention processes for each element in real time and describing their interaction as a form of suppressive gain control. Attention is formalized in this model as a network of mutually inhibitory units that moderate the activation of stimulus elements by controlling the level to which the elements are suppressed by their own inhibitory processes. The model is applied to a range of complex discriminations and related phenomena that have been taken as evidence for configural-learning processes.

  9. Attentional modulation of emotional conflict processing with flanker tasks.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Pingyan; Liu, Xun

    2013-01-01

    Emotion processing has been shown to acquire priority by biasing allocation of attentional resources. Aversive images or fearful expressions are processed quickly and automatically. Many existing findings suggested that processing of emotional information was pre-attentive, largely immune from attentional control. Other studies argued that attention gated the processing of emotion. To tackle this controversy, the current study examined whether and to what degrees attention modulated processing of emotion using a stimulus-response-compatibility (SRC) paradigm. We conducted two flanker experiments using color scale faces in neutral expressions or gray scale faces in emotional expressions. We found SRC effects for all three dimensions (color, gender, and emotion) and SRC effects were larger when the conflicts were task relevant than when they were task irrelevant, suggesting that conflict processing of emotion was modulated by attention, similar to those of color and face identity (gender). However, task modulation on color SRC effect was significantly greater than that on gender or emotion SRC effect, indicating that processing of salient information was modulated by attention to a lesser degree than processing of non-emotional stimuli. We proposed that emotion processing can be influenced by attentional control, but at the same time salience of emotional information may bias toward bottom-up processing, rendering less top-down modulation than that on non-emotional stimuli.

  10. Attentional Modulation of the Mere Exposure Effect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yagi, Yoshihiko; Ikoma, Shinobu; Kikuchi, Tadashi

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Perceptual Load Modulates Object-Based Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Ming-Chou; Atchley, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Two experimental series are reported using both reaction time (RT) and a data-limited perceptual report to examine the effects of perceptual load on object-based attention. Perceptual load was manipulated across 3 levels by increasing the complexity of perceptual judgments. Data from the RT-based experiments showed object-based effects when the…

  12. Attentional Modulation of the Mere Exposure Effect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yagi, Yoshihiko; Ikoma, Shinobu; Kikuchi, Tadashi

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Components of Attention Modulated by Temporal Expectation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The time course of attention modulation elicited by spatial uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Huang, Dan; Liang, Huilou; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Meijian; Hu, Qiyi; Chen, Yao

    2017-09-01

    Uncertainty regarding the target location is an influential factor for spatial attention. Modulation in spatial uncertainty can lead to adjustments in attention scope and variations in attention effects. Hence, investigating spatial uncertainty modulation is important for understanding the underlying mechanism of spatial attention. However, the temporal dynamics of this modulation remains unclear. To evaluate the time course of spatial uncertainty modulation, we adopted a Posner-like attention orienting paradigm with central or peripheral cues. Different numbers of cues were used to indicate the potential locations of the target and thereby manipulate the spatial uncertainty level. The time interval between the onsets of the cue and the target (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA) varied from 50 to 2000ms. We found that under central cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation could be detected from 200 to 2000ms after the presence of the cues. Under peripheral cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation was observed from 50 to 2000ms after cueing. Our results demonstrate that spatial uncertainty modulation produces robust and sustained effects on target detection speed. The time course of this modulation is influenced by the cueing method, which suggests that discrepant processing procedures are involved under different cueing conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Modulation of visual attention by object affordance

    PubMed Central

    Garrido-Vásquez, Patricia; Schubö, Anna

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Feature-based attention modulates surround suppression

    PubMed Central

    Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Murray, Scott O.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. A neural network model of attention-modulated neurodynamics.

    PubMed

    Gu, Yuqiao; Liljenström, Hans

    2007-12-01

    Visual attention appears to modulate cortical neurodynamics and synchronization through various cholinergic mechanisms. In order to study these mechanisms, we have developed a neural network model of visual cortex area V4, based on psychophysical, anatomical and physiological data. With this model, we want to link selective visual information processing to neural circuits within V4, bottom-up sensory input pathways, top-down attention input pathways, and to cholinergic modulation from the prefrontal lobe. We investigate cellular and network mechanisms underlying some recent analytical results from visual attention experimental data. Our model can reproduce the experimental findings that attention to a stimulus causes increased gamma-frequency synchronization in the superficial layers. Computer simulations and STA power analysis also demonstrate different effects of the different cholinergic attention modulation action mechanisms.

  18. A neural network model of attention-modulated neurodynamics

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Yuqiao

    2007-01-01

    Visual attention appears to modulate cortical neurodynamics and synchronization through various cholinergic mechanisms. In order to study these mechanisms, we have developed a neural network model of visual cortex area V4, based on psychophysical, anatomical and physiological data. With this model, we want to link selective visual information processing to neural circuits within V4, bottom-up sensory input pathways, top-down attention input pathways, and to cholinergic modulation from the prefrontal lobe. We investigate cellular and network mechanisms underlying some recent analytical results from visual attention experimental data. Our model can reproduce the experimental findings that attention to a stimulus causes increased gamma-frequency synchronization in the superficial layers. Computer simulations and STA power analysis also demonstrate different effects of the different cholinergic attention modulation action mechanisms. PMID:19003498

  19. Module coupling and predictability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knopf, B.; Held, H.

    2003-04-01

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

  20. Determinants of attentional modulation near the hands

    PubMed Central

    Schultheis, Holger; Carlson, Laura A.

    2013-01-01

    A series of visual search experiments conducted by Abrams et al. (2008) indicates that disengagement of visual attention is slowed when the array of objects that are to be searched are close to the hands (hands on the monitor) than if they are not close to the hands (hands in the lap). These experiments establish the impact one's hands can have on visual attentional processing. In the current paper we more closely examine these two hand postures with the goal of pinpointing which characteristics are crucial for the observed differences in attentional processing. Specifically, in a set of 4 experiments we investigated additional hand postures and additional modes of response to address this goal. We replicated the original Abrams et al. (2008) effect when only the two original postures were used; however, surprisingly, the effect was extinguished with the new range of postures and response modes, and this extinction persisted across different populations (German and English students), and different experimental hardware. Furthermore, analyses indicated that it is unlikely that the extinction of the effect was caused by increased practice due to additional blocks of trials or by an increased probability that participants were able to guess the purpose of the experiment. As such our results suggest that in addition to the nature of the postures of the hand, the number of postures is a further important factor that influences the impact the hands have on visual processing. PMID:24302916

  1. Hand-Eye Coordination Predicts Joint Attention.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B

    2017-02-10

    The present article shows that infant and dyad differences in hand-eye coordination predict dyad differences in joint attention (JA). In the study reported here, 51 toddlers ranging in age from 11 to 24 months and their parents wore head-mounted eye trackers as they played with objects together. We found that physically active toddlers aligned their looking behavior with their parent and achieved a substantial proportion of time spent jointly attending to the same object. However, JA did not arise through gaze following but rather through the coordination of gaze with manual actions on objects as both infants and parents attended to their partner's object manipulations. Moreover, dyad differences in JA were associated with dyad differences in hand following.

  2. A Normalization Model of Attentional Modulation of Single Unit Responses

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Joonyeol; Maunsell, John H. R.

    2009-01-01

    Although many studies have shown that attention to a stimulus can enhance the responses of individual cortical sensory neurons, little is known about how attention accomplishes this change in response. Here, we propose that attention-based changes in neuronal responses depend on the same response normalization mechanism that adjusts sensory responses whenever multiple stimuli are present. We have implemented a model of attention that assumes that attention works only through this normalization mechanism, and show that it can replicate key effects of attention. The model successfully explains how attention changes the gain of responses to individual stimuli and also why modulation by attention is more robust and not a simple gain change when multiple stimuli are present inside a neuron's receptive field. Additionally, the model accounts well for physiological data that measure separately attentional modulation and sensory normalization of the responses of individual neurons in area MT in visual cortex. The proposal that attention works through a normalization mechanism sheds new light a broad range of observations on how attention alters the representation of sensory information in cerebral cortex. PMID:19247494

  3. Attentional Modulation of Auditory Steady-State Responses

    PubMed Central

    Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex. PMID:25334021

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  5. Pharmacological interventions to modulate attentional bias in addiction.

    PubMed

    Luijten, Maartje; Field, Matt; Franken, Ingmar H A

    2014-06-01

    Attentional bias in substance-dependent patients is the tendency to automatically direct attention to substance-related cues in the environment. Preclinical models suggest that attentional bias emerges as a consequence of dopaminergic activity evoked by substance-related cues. The aim of the current review is to describe pharmacological mechanisms underlying attentional bias in humans and to critically review empirical studies that aimed to modulate attentional bias in substance-dependent patients by using pharmacological agents. The findings of the reviewed studies suggest that attentional bias and related brain activation may be modulated by dopamine. All of the reviewed studies investigated acute effects of pharmacological agents, while measurements of chronic pharmacological treatments on attentional bias and clinically relevant measures such as relapse are yet lacking. Therefore, the current findings should be interpreted as a proof of principle concerning the role of dopamine in attentional bias. At the moment, there is too little evidence for clinical applications. While the literature search was not limited to dopamine, there is a lack of studies investigating the role of non-dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems in substance-related attentional bias. A focus on neurotransmitter systems such as acetylcholine and noradrenaline could provide new insights regarding the pharmacology of substance-related attentional bias.

  6. Attentional capture by emotional stimuli is modulated by semantic processing.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W

    2008-04-01

    The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink effect. Emotional distractors did not cause more interference than neutral distractors on target identification when perceptual or phonological processing of stimuli was required, showing that emotional processing is not as automatic as previously hypothesized. Only when semantic processing of stimuli was required did emotional distractors capture more attention than neutral distractors and increase attentional blink magnitude. Combining the results from 5 experiments, the authors conclude that semantic processing can modulate the attentional capture effect of emotional stimuli.

  7. Attention modulates responses in the human lateral geniculate nucleus.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Daniel H; Fukui, Miki M; Pinsk, Mark A; Kastner, Sabine

    2002-11-01

    Attentional mechanisms are important for selecting relevant information and filtering out irrelevant information from cluttered visual scenes. Selective attention has previously been shown to affect neural activity in both extrastriate and striate visual cortex. Here, evidence from functional brain imaging shows that attentional response modulation is not confined to cortical processing, but can occur as early as the thalamic level. We found that attention modulated neural activity in the human lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in several ways: it enhanced neural responses to attended stimuli, attenuated responses to ignored stimuli and increased baseline activity in the absence of visual stimulation. The LGN, traditionally viewed as the gateway to visual cortex, may also serve as a 'gatekeeper' in controlling attentional response gain.

  8. Attention to surfaces modulates motion processing in extrastriate area MT.

    PubMed

    Wannig, Aurel; Rodríguez, Valia; Freiwald, Winrich A

    2007-05-24

    In the visual system, early atomized representations are grouped into higher-level entities through processes of perceptual organization. Here we present neurophysiological evidence that a representation of a simple object, a surface defined by color and motion, can be the unit of attentional selection at an early stage of visual processing. Monkeys were cued by the color of a fixation spot to attend to one of two transparent random-dot surfaces, one red and one green, which occupied the same region of space. Motion of the attended surface drove neurons in the middle temporal (MT) visual area more strongly than physically identical motion of the non-attended surface, even though both occurred within the spotlight of attention. Surface-based effects of attention persisted even without differential surface coloring, but attentional modulation was stronger with color. These results show that attention can select surface representations to modulate visual processing as early as cortical area MT.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Target Predictability, Sustained Attention, and Response Inhibition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Target Predictability, Sustained Attention, and Response Inhibition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Prediction and uncertainty in associative learning: examining controlled and automatic components of learned attentional biases.

    PubMed

    Luque, David; Vadillo, Miguel A; Le Pelley, Mike E; Beesley, Tom

    2017-08-01

    It has been suggested that attention is guided by two factors that operate during associative learning: a predictiveness principle, by which attention is allocated to the best predictors of outcomes, and an uncertainty principle, by which attention is allocated to learn about the less known features of the environment. Recent studies have shown that predictiveness-driven attention can operate rapidly and in an automatic way to exploit known relationships. The corresponding characteristics of uncertainty-driven attention, on the other hand, remain unexplored. In two experiments we examined whether both predictiveness and uncertainty modulate attentional processing in an adaptation of the dot probe task. This task provides a measure of automatic orientation to cues during associative learning. The stimulus onset asynchrony of the probe display was manipulated in order to explore temporal characteristics of predictiveness- and uncertainty-driven attentional effects. Results showed that the predictive status of cues determined selective attention, with faster attentional capture to predictive than to non-predictive cues. In contrast, the level of uncertainty slowed down responses to the probe regardless of the predictive status of the cues. Both predictiveness- and uncertainty-driven attentional effects were very rapid (at 250 ms from cue onset) and were automatically activated.

  13. Attention modulation of stimulus rivalry under swapping paradigm

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Modulation of 8-14 Hz (alpha) activity in posterior brain regions is associated with covert attention deployment in visuospatial tasks. Alpha power decrease contralateral to to-be-attended stimuli is believed to foster subsequent processing, such as retention of task-relevant input. Degradation of this alpha-regulation mechanism may reflect an early stage of disturbed attention regulation contributing to impaired attention and working memory commonly found in schizophrenia. The present study tested this hypothesis of early disturbed attention regulation by examining alpha power modulation in a lateralized cued delayed response task in 14 schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 25 healthy controls (HC). Participants were instructed to remember the location of a 100-ms saccade-target cue in the left or right visual hemifield in order to perform a delayed saccade to that location after a retention interval. As expected, alpha power decrease during the retention interval was larger in contralateral than ipsilateral posterior regions, and SZ showed less of this lateralization than did HC. In particular, SZ failed to show hemifield-specific alpha modulation in posterior right hemisphere. Results suggest less efficient modulation of alpha oscillations that are considered critical for attention deployment and item encoding and, hence, may affect subsequent spatial working memory performance. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  15. Decoding task-based attentional modulation during face categorization.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Yu-Chin; Esterman, Michael; Han, Yuefeng; Rosen, Heather; Yantis, Steven

    2011-05-01

    Attention is a neurocognitive mechanism that selects task-relevant sensory or mnemonic information to achieve current behavioral goals. Attentional modulation of cortical activity has been observed when attention is directed to specific locations, features, or objects. However, little is known about how high-level categorization task set modulates perceptual representations. In the current study, observers categorized faces by gender (male vs. female) or race (Asian vs. White). Each face was perceptually ambiguous in both dimensions, such that categorization of one dimension demanded selective attention to task-relevant information within the face. We used multivoxel pattern classification to show that task-specific modulations evoke reliably distinct spatial patterns of activity within three face-selective cortical regions (right fusiform face area and bilateral occipital face areas). This result suggests that patterns of activity in these regions reflect not only stimulus-specific (i.e., faces vs. houses) responses but also task-specific (i.e., race vs. gender) attentional modulation. Furthermore, exploratory whole-brain multivoxel pattern classification (using a searchlight procedure) revealed a network of dorsal fronto-parietal regions (left middle frontal gyrus and left inferior and superior parietal lobule) that also exhibit distinct patterns for the two task sets, suggesting that these regions may represent abstract goals during high-level categorization tasks.

  16. Attentional modulation of temporal contrast sensitivity in human vision.

    PubMed

    Motoyoshi, Isamu

    2011-04-25

    Recent psychophysical studies have shown that attention can alter contrast sensitivities for temporally broadband stimuli such as flashed gratings. The present study examined the effect of attention on the contrast sensitivity for temporally narrowband stimuli with various temporal frequencies. Observers were asked to detect a drifting grating of 0-40 Hz presented gradually in the peripheral visual field with or without a concurrent letter identification task in the fovea. We found that removal of attention by the concurrent task reduced the contrast sensitivity for gratings with low temporal frequencies much more profoundly than for gratings with high temporal frequencies and for flashed gratings. The analysis revealed that the temporal contrast sensitivity function had a more band-pass shape with poor attention. Additional experiments showed that this was also true when the target was presented in various levels of luminance noise. These results suggest that regardless of the presence of external noise, attention extensively modulates visual sensitivity for sustained retinal inputs.

  17. Orienting Attention Modulates Pain Perception: An ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Sam C. C.; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.; Kwan, Anne S. K.; Ting, Kin-hung; Chui, Tak-yi

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Research has shown that people with chronic pain have difficulty directing their attention away from pain. A mental strategy that incorporates focused attention and distraction has been found to modulate the perception of pain intensity. That strategy involves placing attention on the nociceptive stimulus felt and shifting attention to a self-generated sub-nociceptive image and rehearsing it. Event-related potential was used to study the possible processes associated with the focus-then-orient strategy. Methods Eighteen pain-free participants received different levels of 50-ms nociceptive stimulations elicited by electric shocks at the right lateral malleolus (ankle). In perception trials, participants maintained the perceived nociceptive stimulus in working memory for 3,000 ms. In imagery trials, participants mentally generated and maintained the corresponding sub-nociceptive image they had learned previously. After both types of trials, participants evaluated the pain intensity of the incoming stimulus by recalling the feeling of the nociceptive stimulation at the beginning of the trial. Results Shifting attention from the incoming nociceptive to a self-generated sub-nociceptive image elicited central P2 and centro-parietal P3 waves, which were found to correlate with proportional scores on the Stroop Test. They were followed by a frontal N400 and a parietal P600, denoting generation of sub-nociceptive images in working memory. The voltages elicited in these potentials correlated moderately with attenuation of the pain ratings of the recalled nociceptive stimulations. Conclusions Focus-and-orient attention across nociceptive and sub-nociceptive images appears to be related to response inhibition. Mental rehearsal of the sub-nociceptive images was found to modulate the perception of the nociceptive sensation felt prior to the imagery. Such modulation seems to be mediated by generating and maintaining sub-nociceptive images in working memory. Future

  18. Intermodal attention modulates visual processing in dorsal and ventral streams.

    PubMed

    Cate, A D; Herron, T J; Kang, X; Yund, E W; Woods, D L

    2012-11-15

    Attending to visual objects while ignoring information from other modalities is necessary for performing difficult visual discriminations, but it is unclear how selecting between sensory modalities alters processing within the visual system. We used an audio-visual intermodal selective attention paradigm with fMRI to study the effects of visual attention on cortical activity in the absence of competitive interactions between multiple visual stimuli. Complex stimuli (faces and words) activated higher visual areas even in the absence of visual attention. These stimulus-dependent activations (SDAs) covered foveal retinotopic cortex, extended ventrally to the anterior fusiform gyrus and dorsally to include multiple distinct foci in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Attention amplified the baseline response in posterior retinotopic regions and altered activity in different ways in the extrastriate dorsal and ventral pathways. The majority of the IPS was strongly and exclusively activated by visual attention: attention-related modulations (ARMs) encompassed and spread well beyond the focal SDAs. In contrast, in the fusiform gyrus only a small subset of the regions activated by unattended stimuli showed ARMs. Ventral cortex was also heterogeneous: we found a distinct ventrolateral region in the occipitotemporal sulcus (OTS) that was activated exclusively by attention, showing neither SDAs nor any significant stimulus preferences. Attention-dependent activations in the IPS and the OTS suggest that these regions play critical roles in intermodal visual attention.

  19. Attention and multisensory modulation argue against total encapsulation.

    PubMed

    de Haas, Benjamin; Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Samuel; Rees, Geraint

    2016-01-01

    Firestone & Scholl (F&S) postulate that vision proceeds without any direct interference from cognition. We argue that this view is extreme and not in line with the available evidence. Specifically, we discuss two well-established counterexamples: Attention directly affects core aspects of visual processing, and multisensory modulations of vision originate on multiple levels, some of which are unlikely to fall "within perception."

  20. Action semantics modulate action prediction.

    PubMed

    Springer, Anne; Prinz, Wolfgang

    2010-11-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that action prediction involves an internal action simulation that runs time-locked to the real action. The present study replicates and extends these findings by indicating a real-time simulation process (Graf et al., 2007), which can be differentiated from a similarity-based evaluation of internal action representations. Moreover, results showed that action semantics modulate action prediction accuracy. The semantic effect was specified by the processing of action verbs and concrete nouns (Experiment 1) and, more specifically, by the dynamics described by action verbs (Experiment 2) and the speed described by the verbs (e.g., "to catch" vs. "to grasp" vs. "to stretch"; Experiment 3). These results propose a linkage between action simulation and action semantics as two yet unrelated domains, a view that coincides with a recent notion of a close link between motor processes and the understanding of action language.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farmer, Richard F.; Rucklidge, Julia J.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farmer, Richard F.; Rucklidge, Julia J.

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Action Intentions Modulate Allocation of Visual Attention: Electrophysiological Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Schubö, Anna

    2012-01-01

    In line with the Theory of Event Coding (Hommel et al., 2001), action planning has been shown to affect perceptual processing – an effect that has been attributed to a so-called intentional weighting mechanism (Wykowska et al., 2009; Hommel, 2010). This paper investigates the electrophysiological correlates of action-related modulations of selection mechanisms in visual perception. A paradigm combining a visual search task for size and luminance targets with a movement task (grasping or pointing) was introduced, and the EEG was recorded while participants were performing the tasks. The results showed that the behavioral congruency effects, i.e., better performance in congruent (relative to incongruent) action-perception trials have been reflected by a modulation of the P1 component as well as the N2pc (an ERP marker of spatial attention). These results support the argumentation that action planning modulates already early perceptual processing and attention mechanisms. PMID:23060841

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Modulation of auditory attention by training: evidence from dichotic listening.

    PubMed

    Soveri, Anna; Tallus, Jussi; Laine, Matti; Nyberg, Lars; Bäckman, Lars; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Westerhausen, René; Hämäläinen, Heikki

    2013-01-01

    We studied the effects of training on auditory attention in healthy adults with a speech perception task involving dichotically presented syllables. Training involved bottom-up manipulation (facilitating responses from the harder-to-report left ear through a decrease of right-ear stimulus intensity), top-down manipulation (focusing attention on the left-ear stimuli through instruction), or their combination. The results showed significant training-related effects for top-down training. These effects were evident as higher overall accuracy rates in the forced-left dichotic listening (DL) condition that sets demands on attentional control, as well as a response shift toward left-sided reports in the standard DL task. Moreover, a transfer effect was observed in an untrained auditory-spatial attention task involving bilateral stimulation where top-down training led to a relatively stronger focus on left-sided stimuli. Our results indicate that training of attentional control can modulate the allocation of attention in the auditory space in adults. Malleability of auditory attention in healthy adults raises the issue of potential training gains in individuals with attentional deficits.

  7. Attention modulates step initiation postural adjustments in Parkinson freezers.

    PubMed

    Tard, Céline; Dujardin, Kathy; Bourriez, Jean-Louis; Destée, Alain; Derambure, Philippe; Defebvre, Luc; Delval, Arnaud

    2014-03-01

    In view of freezing of gait's circumstances of occurrence in Parkinson's disease, attentional resources appear to be involved in step initiation failure. Anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) are essential because they allow unloading of the stepping leg and so create the conditions required for progression. Our main objective was to establish whether or not a change in attentional load during step initiation modulates APAs differently in patients with vs. without freezing of gait. Three groups of 15 subjects were recruited: elderly people and parkinsonian patients with or without freezing of gait. Attention was modulated before step execution by means of an auditory oddball discrimination task with event-related potential recording. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of inappropriate APAs following the attentional task, i.e. APAs not followed by a step after an intercurrent auditory stimulus. In parkinsonian patients with freezing of gait, inappropriate APAs were recorded in 63% of the trials and were observed more frequently than in patients without freezing of gait (51%) and elderly controls (48%). Furthermore, inappropriate APAs in freezers were longer and more ample than in parkinsonian non-freezers and controls. Lastly, postural preparation was impaired in the parkinsonian patients. Our results indicate that allocation of attentional resources during step preparation influences the release of APAs differently in freezers and non-freezers. Modulating attentional load is partly responsible for triggering an inappropriate motor program. This difficulty in focusing attention or resisting interference may contribute (at least in part) to the gait initiation failure observed in parkinsonian freezers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  9. Maternal Anxiety Predicts Attentional Bias Towards Threat in Infancy.

    PubMed

    Morales, Santiago; Brown, Kayla M; Taber-Thomas, Bradley C; LoBue, Vanessa; Buss, Kristin A; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E

    2017-02-16

    Although cognitive theories of psychopathology suggest that attention bias toward threat plays a role in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety, there is relatively little evidence regarding individual differences in the earliest development of attention bias toward threat. The current study examines attention bias toward threat during its potential first emergence by evaluating the relations between attention bias and known risk factors of anxiety (i.e., temperamental negative affect and maternal anxiety). We measured attention bias to emotional faces in infants (N = 98; 57 male) ages 4 to 24 months during an attention disengagement eye-tracking paradigm. We hypothesized that (a) there would be an attentional bias toward threat in the full sample of infants, replicating previous studies; (b) attentional bias toward threat would be positively related to maternal anxiety; and (c) attention bias toward threat would be positively related to temperamental negative affect. Finally, (d) we explored the potential interaction between temperament and maternal anxiety in predicting attention bias toward threat. We found that attention bias to the affective faces did not change with age, and that bias was not related to temperament. However, attention bias to threat, but not attention bias to happy faces, was positively related to maternal anxiety, such that higher maternal anxiety predicted a larger attention bias for all infants. These findings provide support for attention bias as a putative early mechanism by which early markers of risk are associated with socioemotional development. (PsycINFO Database Record

  10. Amphetamines modulate prefrontal γ oscillations during attention processing.

    PubMed

    Franzen, John D; Wilson, Tony W

    2012-08-22

    Amphetamine-based medications robustly suppress symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their exact mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent hemodynamic imaging studies have suggested that amphetamines may modulate the prefrontal and anterior cingulate brain regions, although few studies have been published and the results have not been entirely consistent. Meanwhile, several electrophysiological studies have shown that abnormal fast oscillations (in the γ range) may be closely linked to inattention and other cardinal symptoms of ADHD. In this study, we utilized magnetoencephalography to examine how amphetamines modulate high-frequency brain activity in adults with ADHD. Participants performed an auditory attention task, which required sustained attention in one block and passive listening in a separate block. Participants completed the task twice in the on-medication and off-medication states. All data were analyzed using beamforming techniques to resolve cortical regions showing event-related synchronizations and desynchronizations. Our primary findings indicated that oral administration of amphetamine decreased γ-band event-related desynchronization activity significantly in the medial prefrontal area and decreased event-related synchronization in bilateral superior parietal areas, left inferior parietal, and the left inferior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that psychostimulants strongly modulate γ activity in frontal and parietal cortical areas, which are known to be central to the brain's core attentional networks.

  11. Feature-based attentional modulation increases with stimulus separation in divided-attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Sally, Sharon L; Vidnyánsky, Zoltán; Papathomas, Thomas V

    2009-01-01

    Attention modifies our visual experience by selecting certain aspects of a scene for further processing. It is therefore important to understand factors that govern the deployment of selective attention over the visual field. Both location and feature-specific mechanisms of attention have been identified and their modulatory effects can interact at a neural level (Treue and Martinez-Trujillo, 1999). The effects of spatial parameters on feature-based attentional modulation were examined for the feature dimensions of orientation, motion and color using three divided-attention tasks. Subjects performed concurrent discriminations of two briefly presented targets (Gabor patches) to the left and right of a central fixation point at eccentricities of +/-2.5 degrees , 5 degrees , 10 degrees and 15 degrees in the horizontal plane. Gabors were size-scaled to maintain consistent single-task performance across eccentricities. For all feature dimensions, the data show a linear increase in the attentional effects with target separation. In a control experiment, Gabors were presented on an isoeccentric viewing arc at 10 degrees and 15 degrees at the closest spatial separation (+/-2.5 degrees ) of the main experiment. Under these conditions, the effects of feature-based attentional effects were largely eliminated. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that feature-based attention prioritizes the processing of attended features. Feature-based attentional mechanisms may have helped direct the attentional focus to the appropriate target locations at greater separations, whereas similar assistance may not have been necessary at closer target spacings. The results of the present study specify conditions under which dual-task performance benefits from sharing similar target features and may therefore help elucidate the processes by which feature-based attention operates.

  12. Voluntary attention modulates processing of eye-specific visual information.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Jiang, Yi; He, Sheng

    2012-03-01

    Visual attention functions to select relevant information from a vast amount of visual input that is available for further processing. Information from the two eyes is processed separately in early stages before converging and giving rise to a coherent percept. Observers normally cannot access eye-of-origin information. In the research reported here, we demonstrated that voluntary attention can be eye-specific, modulating visual processing within a specific monocular channel. Using a modified binocular-rivalry paradigm, we found that attending to a monocular cue while remaining oblivious to its eye of origin significantly enhanced the competition strength of a stimulus presented to the cued eye, even when the stimulus was suppressed from consciousness. Furthermore, this eye-specific attentional effect was insensitive to low-level properties of the cue (e.g., size and contrast) but sensitive to the attentional load. Together, these findings suggest that top-down attention can have a significant modulation effect at the eye-specific stage of visual information processing.

  13. Expectation violation and attention to pain jointly modulate neural gain in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Fardo, Francesca; Auksztulewicz, Ryszard; Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin J; Roepstorff, Andreas; Friston, Karl J

    2017-03-21

    The neural processing and experience of pain are influenced by both expectations and attention. For example, the amplitude of event-related pain responses is enhanced by both novel and unexpected pain, and by moving the focus of attention towards a painful stimulus. Under predictive coding, this congruence can be explained by appeal to a precision-weighting mechanism, which mediates bottom-up and top-down attentional processes by modulating the influence of feedforward and feedback signals throughout the cortical hierarchy. The influence of expectation and attention on pain processing can be mapped onto changes in effective connectivity between or within specific neuronal populations, using a canonical microcircuit (CMC) model of hierarchical processing. We thus implemented a CMC within dynamic causal modelling for magnetoencephalography in human subjects, to investigate how expectation violation and attention to pain modulate intrinsic (within-source) and extrinsic (between-source) connectivity in the somatosensory hierarchy. This enabled us to establish whether both expectancy and attentional processes are mediated by a similar precision-encoding mechanism within a network of somatosensory, frontal and parietal sources. We found that both unexpected and attended pain modulated the gain of superficial pyramidal cells in primary and secondary somatosensory cortex. This modulation occurred in the context of increased lateralized recurrent connectivity between somatosensory and fronto-parietal sources, driven by unexpected painful occurrences. Finally, the strength of effective connectivity parameters in S1, S2 and IFG predicted individual differences in subjective pain modulation ratings. Our findings suggest that neuromodulatory gain control in the somatosensory hierarchy underlies the influence of both expectation violation and attention on cortical processing and pain perception.

  14. The interplay of attention and emotion: top-down attention modulates amygdala activation in psychopathy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. The role of overt attention in emotion-modulated memory.

    PubMed

    Riggs, Lily; McQuiggan, Douglas A; Farb, Norman; Anderson, Adam K; Ryan, Jennifer D

    2011-08-01

    The presence of emotional stimuli results in a central/peripheral tradeoff effect in memory: memory for central details is enhanced at the cost of peripheral items. It has been assumed that emotion-modulated differences in memory are the result of differences in attention, but this has not been tested directly. The present experiment used eye movement monitoring as an index of overt attention allocation and mediation analysis to determine whether differences in attention were related to subsequent memory. Participants viewed negative and neutral scenes surrounded by three neutral objects and were then given a recognition memory test. The results revealed evidence in support of a central/peripheral tradeoff in both attention and memory. However, contrary with previous assumptions, whereas attention partially mediated emotion-enhanced memory for central pictures, it did not explain the entire relationship. Further, although centrally presented emotional stimuli led to decreased number of eye fixations toward the periphery, these differences in viewing did not contribute to emotion-impaired memory for specific details pertaining to the periphery. These findings suggest that the differential influence of negative emotion on central versus peripheral memory may result from other cognitive influences in addition to overt visual attention or on postencoding processes. 2011 APA, all rights reserved

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  18. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention.

    PubMed

    Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R

    2016-05-11

    Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral

  19. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention

    PubMed Central

    Maunsell, John H. R.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally

  20. Selection history: How reward modulates selectivity of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Failing, Michel; Theeuwes, Jan

    2017-10-04

    Visual attention enables us to selectively prioritize or suppress information in the environment. Prominent models concerned with the control of visual attention differentiate between goal-directed, top-down and stimulus-driven, bottom-up control, with the former determined by current selection goals and the latter determined by physical salience. In the current review, we discuss recent studies that demonstrate that attentional selection does not need to be the result of top-down or bottom-up processing but, instead, is often driven by lingering biases due to the "history" of former attention deployments. This review mainly focuses on reward-based history effects; yet other types of history effects such as (intertrial) priming, statistical learning and affective conditioning are also discussed. We argue that evidence from behavioral, eye-movement and neuroimaging studies supports the idea that selection history modulates the topographical landscape of spatial "priority" maps, such that attention is biased toward locations having the highest activation on this map.

  1. Attentional Modulation of Primary Interoceptive and Exteroceptive Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Segal, Zindel V.; Anderson, Adam K.

    2013-01-01

    How exteroceptive attention (EA) alters neural representations of the external world is well characterized, yet little is known about how interoceptive attention (IA) alters neural representations of the body's internal state. We contrasted visual EA against IA toward respiration. Visual EA modulated striate and extrastriate cortices and a lateral frontoparietal “executive” network. By contrast, respiratory IA modulated a posterior insula region sensitive to respiratory frequency, consistent with primary interoceptive cortex, and a posterior limbic and medial parietal network, including the hippocampus, precuneus, and midcingulate cortex. Further distinguishing between EA and IA networks, attention-dependent connectivity analyses revealed that EA enhanced visual cortex connectivity with the inferior parietal lobule and pulvinar of the thalamus, while IA enhanced insula connectivity with the posterior ventromedial thalamus, a relay of the laminar I spinothalamocortical pathway supporting interoceptive afference. Despite strong connectivity between the posterior and the anterior insula, anatomical parcellation of the insula revealed a gradient of IA to EA recruitment along its posterior–anterior axis. These results suggest that distinct networks may support EA and IA. Furthermore, the anterior insula is not an area of pure body awareness but may link representations of the outside world with the body's internal state—a potential basis for emotional experience. PMID:22267308

  2. Sustained attention and prediction: distinct brain maturation trajectories during adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Thillay, Alix; Roux, Sylvie; Gissot, Valérie; Carteau-Martin, Isabelle; Knight, Robert T.; Bonnet-Brilhault, Frédérique; Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie

    2015-01-01

    Adolescence is a key period for frontal cortex maturation necessary for the development of cognitive ability. Sustained attention and prediction are cognitive functions critical for optimizing sensory processing, and essential to efficiently adapt behaviors in an ever-changing world. The aim of the current study was to investigate the brain developmental trajectories of attentive and predictive processing through adolescence. We recorded EEG in 36 participants from the age of 12–24 years (three age groups: 12–14, 14–17, 18–24 years) to target development during early and late adolescence, and early adulthood. We chose a visual target detection task which loaded upon sustained attention, and we manipulated target predictability. Continued maturation of sustained attention after age 12 was evidenced by improved performance (hits, false alarms (FAs) and sensitivity) in a detection task, associated with a frontal shift in the scalp topographies of the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) and P3 responses, with increasing age. No effect of age was observed on predictive processing, with all ages showing similar benefits in reaction time, increases in P3 amplitude (indexing predictive value encoding and memorization), increases in CNV amplitude (corresponding to prediction implementation) and reduction in target-P3 latency (reflecting successful prediction building and use), with increased predictive content. This suggests that adolescents extracted and used predictive information to generate predictions as well as adults. The present results show that predictive and attentive processing follow distinct brain developmental trajectories: prediction abilities seem mature by the age of 12 and sustained attention continues to improve after 12-years of age and is associated with maturational changes in the frontal cortices. PMID:26483653

  3. Dopamine modulates involuntary attention shifting and reorienting: an electromagnetic study.

    PubMed

    Kähkönen, Seppo; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Pekkonen, Eero; Kaakkola, Seppo; Huttunen, Juha; Ilmoniemi, Risto J; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P

    2002-12-01

    Dopaminergic function has been closely associated with attentional performance, but its precise role has remained elusive. Electrophysiological and behavioral methods were used to assess the effects of dopamine D2-receptor antagonist haloperidol on involuntary attention shifting using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. Eleven subjects were instructed to discriminate equiprobable 200 and 400ms tones in a forced-choice reaction-time (RT) task during simultaneous measurement of whole-head magnetoencephalography and high-resolution electroencephalography. Occasional changes in task-irrelevant tone frequency (10% increase or decrease) caused marked distraction on behavioral performance, as shown by significant RT increases to deviant stimuli and subsequent standard tones. Furthermore, while the standard tones elicited distinct P1-N1-P2-N2-P3 waveforms, deviant tones elicited additional mismatch negativity (MMN), P3a, and reorienting negativity (RON) responses, indexing brain events associated with involuntary attention shifting. While haloperidol did not affect the source loci of the responses of magnetic N1 and MMN, the amplitude of the electric P3a and that of RON were significantly reduced and the latency of magnetic RON were delayed following haloperidol administration. The present results suggest that dopamine modulates involuntary attention shifting to task-irrelevant deviant events. It appears that dopamine may disrupt the subsequent re-orienting efforts to the relevant task after distraction.

  4. Endogenous attention modulates early selective attention in psychopathy: An ERP investigation.

    PubMed

    Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P

    2016-10-01

    Psychopathic individuals are prone to act on urges without adequate consideration of future consequences or the rights of other individuals. One interpretation of this behavior is that it reflects abnormal selective attention (i.e., a failure to process information that is incongruent with their primary focus of attention; Hiatt, Schmitt, & Newman, Neuropsychology, 18, 50-59, 2004). Unfortunately, it is unclear whether this selective attention abnormality reflects top-down endogenous influences, such as the strength or specificity of attention focus (i.e., top-down set) apart from other, more exogenous (bottom-up), effects on attention. To explore this question, we used an early visual event-related potential (N2pc) in combination with a modified visual search task designed to assess the effect of early endogenous (i.e., top-down) attention on the processing of set-congruent information. The task was administered to a sample of 70 incarcerated adult males, who were assigned to high, intermediate, and low psychopathy groups using Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 2003). Based on the assumption that their failure to process set-incongruent information reflects the exaggerated effects of endogenous attention, we predicted that participants with high psychopathy scores would show an exaggerated N2pc response to set-congruent information. The results supported the hypothesis and provide novel electrophysiological evidence that psychopathy is associated with exaggerated endogenous attention effects during early stages of processing. Further research is needed to examine the implications of this finding for the well-established failure of psychopathic individuals to process set-incongruent information and inhibit inappropriate responses.

  5. Attention modulates sound processing in human auditory cortex but not the inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Rinne, Teemu; Stecker, G Christopher; Kang, Xiaojian; Yund, E William; Herron, Timothy J; Woods, David L

    2007-08-27

    Auditory attention powerfully influences perception and modulates sound processing in auditory cortex, but the extent of attentional modulation in the subcortical auditory pathway remains poorly understood. We examined the effects of intermodal attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the inferior colliculus and auditory cortex in a demanding intermodal selective attention task using a silent imaging paradigm designed to optimize inferior colliculus activations. Both the inferior colliculus and auditory cortex showed strong activations to sound, but attentional modulations were restricted to auditory cortex.

  6. Endogenous Testosterone and Exogenous Oxytocin Modulate Attentional Processing of Infant Faces.

    PubMed

    Holtfrerich, Sarah K C; Schwarz, Katharina A; Sprenger, Christian; Reimers, Luise; Diekhof, Esther K

    2016-01-01

    Evidence indicates that hormones modulate the intensity of maternal care. Oxytocin is known for its positive influence on maternal behavior and its important role for childbirth. In contrast, testosterone promotes egocentric choices and reduces empathy. Further, testosterone decreases during parenthood which could be an adaptation to increased parental investment. The present study investigated the interaction between testosterone and oxytocin in attentional control and their influence on attention to baby schema in women. Higher endogenous testosterone was expected to decrease selective attention to child portraits in a face-in-the-crowd-paradigm, while oxytocin was expected to counteract this effect. As predicted, women with higher salivary testosterone were slower in orienting attention to infant targets in the context of adult distractors. Interestingly, reaction times to infant and adult stimuli decreased after oxytocin administration, but only in women with high endogenous testosterone. These results suggest that oxytocin may counteract the adverse effects of testosterone on a central aspect of social behavior and maternal caretaking.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  8. Diurnal modulation of visual motion prediction.

    PubMed

    Takao, Motoharu; Miyajima, Hiroaki; Shinagawa, Takanori

    2015-01-01

    Predicting the future position of moving objects is an essential cognitive function used for many daily activities, such as driving, walking and reaching. The experiments described in this paper show a marked diurnal modulation of motion prediction in inflating image perception. This motion prediction was shown to be more accurate in the afternoon than in the morning. In contrast, such modulation could not be found in deflating image perception. Such diurnal fluctuations may be mediated by circadian properties of retinal cone photoreceptors.

  9. Attentional Bias towards Positive Emotion Predicts Stress Resilience.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Dynamic Filtering Improves Attentional State Prediction with fNIRS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Dynamic filtering improves attentional state prediction with fNIRS

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Dynamic filtering improves attentional state prediction with fNIRS.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  13. Feature-Selective Attentional Modulations in Human Frontoparietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sutterer, David W.; Serences, John T.

    2016-01-01

    Control over visual selection has long been framed in terms of a dichotomy between “source” and “site,” where top-down feedback signals originating in frontoparietal cortical areas modulate or bias sensory processing in posterior visual areas. This distinction is motivated in part by observations that frontoparietal cortical areas encode task-level variables (e.g., what stimulus is currently relevant or what motor outputs are appropriate), while posterior sensory areas encode continuous or analog feature representations. Here, we present evidence that challenges this distinction. We used fMRI, a roving searchlight analysis, and an inverted encoding model to examine representations of an elementary feature property (orientation) across the entire human cortical sheet while participants attended either the orientation or luminance of a peripheral grating. Orientation-selective representations were present in a multitude of visual, parietal, and prefrontal cortical areas, including portions of the medial occipital cortex, the lateral parietal cortex, and the superior precentral sulcus (thought to contain the human homolog of the macaque frontal eye fields). Additionally, representations in many—but not all—of these regions were stronger when participants were instructed to attend orientation relative to luminance. Collectively, these findings challenge models that posit a strict segregation between sources and sites of attentional control on the basis of representational properties by demonstrating that simple feature values are encoded by cortical regions throughout the visual processing hierarchy, and that representations in many of these areas are modulated by attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Influential models of visual attention posit a distinction between top-down control and bottom-up sensory processing networks. These models are motivated in part by demonstrations showing that frontoparietal cortical areas associated with top-down control

  14. Feature-Selective Attentional Modulations in Human Frontoparietal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Ester, Edward F; Sutterer, David W; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward

    2016-08-03

    Control over visual selection has long been framed in terms of a dichotomy between "source" and "site," where top-down feedback signals originating in frontoparietal cortical areas modulate or bias sensory processing in posterior visual areas. This distinction is motivated in part by observations that frontoparietal cortical areas encode task-level variables (e.g., what stimulus is currently relevant or what motor outputs are appropriate), while posterior sensory areas encode continuous or analog feature representations. Here, we present evidence that challenges this distinction. We used fMRI, a roving searchlight analysis, and an inverted encoding model to examine representations of an elementary feature property (orientation) across the entire human cortical sheet while participants attended either the orientation or luminance of a peripheral grating. Orientation-selective representations were present in a multitude of visual, parietal, and prefrontal cortical areas, including portions of the medial occipital cortex, the lateral parietal cortex, and the superior precentral sulcus (thought to contain the human homolog of the macaque frontal eye fields). Additionally, representations in many-but not all-of these regions were stronger when participants were instructed to attend orientation relative to luminance. Collectively, these findings challenge models that posit a strict segregation between sources and sites of attentional control on the basis of representational properties by demonstrating that simple feature values are encoded by cortical regions throughout the visual processing hierarchy, and that representations in many of these areas are modulated by attention. Influential models of visual attention posit a distinction between top-down control and bottom-up sensory processing networks. These models are motivated in part by demonstrations showing that frontoparietal cortical areas associated with top-down control represent abstract or categorical stimulus

  15. The role of temporal predictability for early attentional adjustments after conflict

    PubMed Central

    Bombeke, Klaas; Langford, Zachary D.; Notebaert, Wim; Boehler, C. Nico

    2017-01-01

    A frequently-studied phenomenon in cognitive-control research is conflict adaptation, or the finding that congruency effects are smaller after incongruent trials. Prominent cognitive control accounts suggest that this adaptation effect can be explained by transient conflict-induced modulations of selective attention, reducing congruency effects on the next trial. In the present study, we investigated these possible attentional modulations in four experiments using the Stroop and Flanker tasks, dissociating possible enhancements of task-relevant information from suppression of task-irrelevant information by varying when this information was presented. In two experiments, the irrelevant stimulus information was randomly presented shortly before, at the same time, or briefly after the presentation of the relevant dimension. In the other two, irrelevant information was always presented first, making this aspect fully predictable. Despite the central role that attentional adjustments play in theoretical accounts of conflict adaption, we only found evidence for such processes in one of the four experiments. Specifically, we found a modulation of the attention-related posterior N1 event-related potential component that was consistent with paying less attention to the irrelevant information after incongruent trials. This was accompanied by increased inter-trial mid-frontal theta power and a theta-power conflict adaptation effect. We interpret these results as evidence for an adaptive mechanism based on relative attentional inhibition. Importantly, this mechanism only clearly seems to be implemented in a very specific context of high temporal predictability, and only in the Flanker task. PMID:28410395

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ghajar, Jamshid; Ivry, Richard B.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Predicting attention and avoidance: when do avoiders attend?

    PubMed

    Klein, Rupert; Knäuper, Bärbel

    2009-09-01

    Three avoidance measures, the Miller Behavioural Style Scale (MBSS), Index of Self-Regulation of Emotion (ISE) and Mainz Coping Inventory (MCI), were compared in their ability to predict attention and avoidance of threats in the emotional Stroop task. It was also examined if the avoidance mechanism of individuals who would normally avoid threat-indicating words becomes disrupted under conditions of dopamine reduction. Results show that only the ISE predicted attention/avoidance of threat-indicating words. In addition, the avoidance mechanism, as measured by the ISE and MCI, was not activated when regular smokers abstained from smoking.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    The observation of others' facial expressions of pain has been shown to facilitate the observer's nociceptive responses and to increase pain perception. We investigated how this vicarious facilitation effect is modulated by directing the observer's attention toward the meaning of pain expression or the facial movements. In separate trials, participants were instructed to assess the "intensity of the pain expression"(meaning) or to "discriminate the facial movements" in the upper vs lower part of the face shown in 1-second dynamic clips displaying mild, moderate, or strong pain expressions or a neutral control. In 50% of the trials, participants received a painful electrical stimulation to the sural nerve immediately after the presentation of the expression. Low-level nociceptive reactivity was measured with the RIII-response, and pain perception was assessed using pain ratings. Pain induced by the electrical stimulation increased after viewing stronger pain expressions in both tasks, but the RIII-response showed this vicarious facilitation effect only in the movement discrimination task at the strongest expression intensity. These findings are consistent with the notion that vicarious processes facilitate self-pain and may prime automatic nociceptive responses. However, this priming effect is influenced by top-down attentional processes. These results provide another case of dissociation between reflexive and perceptual processes, consistent with the involvement of partly separate brain networks in the regulation of cortical and lower-level nociceptive responses. Combined with previous results, these findings suggest that vicarious pain facilitation is an automatic process that may be diminished by top-down attentional processes directed at the meaning of the expression. Copyright © 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-28

    Cortical oscillations, such as 8-12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive ("entrain") these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation. Copyright © 2015 Herring et al.

  2. Feasibility and validity of the structured attention module among economically disadvantaged preschool-age children.

    PubMed

    Bush, Hillary H; Eisenhower, Abbey; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret; Carter, Alice S

    2015-01-01

    Rooted in the theory of attention put forth by Mirsky, Anthony, Duncan, Ahearn, and Kellam (1991), the Structured Attention Module (SAM) is a developmentally sensitive, computer-based performance task designed specifically to assess sustained selective attention among 3- to 6-year-old children. The current study addressed the feasibility and validity of the SAM among 64 economically disadvantaged preschool-age children (mean age = 58 months; 55% female); a population known to be at risk for attention problems and adverse math performance outcomes. Feasibility was demonstrated by high completion rates and strong associations between SAM performance and age. Principal Factor Analysis with rotation produced robust support for a three-factor model (Accuracy, Speed, and Endurance) of SAM performance, which largely corresponded with existing theorized models of selective and sustained attention. Construct validity was evidenced by positive correlations between SAM Composite scores and all three SAM factors and IQ, and between SAM Accuracy and sequential memory. Value-added predictive validity was not confirmed through main effects of SAM on math performance above and beyond age and IQ; however, significant interactions by child sex were observed: Accuracy and Endurance both interacted with child sex to predict math performance. In both cases, the SAM factors predicted math performance more strongly for girls than for boys. There were no overall sex differences in SAM performance. In sum, the current findings suggest that interindividual variation in sustained selective attention, and potentially other aspects of attention and executive function, among young, high-risk children can be captured validly with developmentally sensitive measures.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Attentional Capture by Emotional Stimuli Is Modulated by Semantic Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.

    2008-01-01

    The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-10

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

  8. A neuronal population measure of attention predicts behavioral performance on individual trials

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2010-01-01

    Visual attention improves perception for an attended location or feature and also modulates the responses of sensory neurons. In laboratory studies, the sensory stimuli and task instructions are held constant within an attentional condition, but despite experimenters’ best efforts, attention likely varies from moment to moment. Because most previous studies have focused on single neurons, it has been impossible to use neuronal responses to identify attentional fluctuations and determine whether these are associated with changes in behavior. We show that an instantaneous measure of attention based on the responses of a modest number of neurons in area V4 of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) can reliably predict large changes in an animal’s ability to perform a difficult psychophysical task. Unexpectedly, this measure shows that the amount of attention allocated at any moment to locations in opposite hemifields is uncorrelated, suggesting that animals allocate attention to each stimulus independently rather than moving their attentional focus from one location to another. PMID:21068329

  9. Humans are sensitive to attention control when predicting others’ actions

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Attentional spreading to task-irrelevant object features: experimental support and a 3-step model of attention for object-based selection and feature-based processing modulation.

    PubMed

    Wegener, Detlef; Galashan, Fingal Orlando; Aurich, Maike Kathrin; Kreiter, Andreas Kurt

    2014-01-01

    Directing attention to a specific feature of an object has been linked to different forms of attentional modulation. Object-based attention theory founds on the finding that even task-irrelevant features at the selected object are subject to attentional modulation, while feature-based attention theory proposes a global processing benefit for the selected feature even at other objects. Most studies investigated either the one or the other form of attention, leaving open the possibility that both object- and feature-specific attentional effects do occur at the same time and may just represent two sides of a single attention system. We here investigate this issue by testing attentional spreading within and across objects, using reaction time (RT) measurements to changes of attended and unattended features on both attended and unattended objects. We asked subjects to report color and speed changes occurring on one of two overlapping random dot patterns (RDPs), presented at the center of gaze. The key property of the stimulation was that only one of the features (e.g., motion direction) was unique for each object, whereas the other feature (e.g., color) was shared by both. The results of two experiments show that co-selection of unattended features even occurs when those features have no means for selecting the object. At the same time, they demonstrate that this processing benefit is not restricted to the selected object but spreads to the task-irrelevant one. We conceptualize these findings by a 3-step model of attention that assumes a task-dependent top-down gain, object-specific feature selection based on task- and binding characteristics, and a global feature-specific processing enhancement. The model allows for the unification of a vast amount of experimental results into a single model, and makes various experimentally testable predictions for the interaction of object- and feature-specific processes.

  12. Attentional modulation of MT neurons with single or multiple stimuli in their receptive fields

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Joonyeol; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2010-01-01

    Descriptions of how attention modulates neuronal responses suggest that the strength of its effects depends on stimulus conditions. Attention to an isolated stimulus in the receptive field of an individual neuron typically produces a moderate enhancement of the cell's response, but neuronal responses are often strongly modulated when attention is shifted between multiple stimuli that lie within the receptive field. However, previous reports have not compared these stimulus effects under equivalent conditions, so differences in task difficulty could have been responsible for much of the difference. Consequently, the quantitative effects of stimulus conditions have remained unknown, and it has not been possible to address the question of whether the differences that have been observed could be explained by a single mechanism. We measured the attentional modulation of the responses of 70 single neurons in area MT of two rhesus monkeys using a task design that kept attention stable across different stimulus configurations. We found that attentional modulation was indeed much stronger when more than one stimulus was within the receptive field. Nevertheless, the broad range of attentional modulations seen across the different conditions could be readily explained by single mechanism. The neurophysiological data from all stimulus conditions were well fit by a model in which attention acts through a response normalization mechanism (Lee and Maunsell, 2009). Collectively, these results validate previous impressions of the effects of stimulus configuration on attentional modulation, and add support to hypothesis that attention modulation depends on a response normalization mechanism. PMID:20181602

  13. Attention and predictions: control of spatial attention beyond the endogenous-exogenous dichotomy

    PubMed Central

    Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions. PMID:24155707

  14. How motivation and reward learning modulate selective attention.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, A; Chelazzi, L; Vuilleumier, P

    2016-01-01

    Motivational stimuli such as rewards elicit adaptive responses and influence various cognitive functions. Notably, increasing evidence suggests that stimuli with particular motivational values can strongly shape perception and attention. These effects resemble both selective top-down and stimulus-driven attentional orienting, as they depend on internal states but arise without conscious will, yet they seem to reflect attentional systems that are functionally and anatomically distinct from those classically associated with frontoparietal cortical networks in the brain. Recent research in human and nonhuman primates has begun to reveal how reward can bias attentional selection, and where within the cognitive system the signals providing attentional priority are generated. This review aims at describing the different mechanisms sustaining motivational attention, their impact on different behavioral tasks, and current knowledge concerning the neural networks governing the integration of motivational influences on attentional behavior. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Endogenous Testosterone and Exogenous Oxytocin Modulate Attentional Processing of Infant Faces

    PubMed Central

    Holtfrerich, Sarah K. C.; Schwarz, Katharina A.; Sprenger, Christian; Reimers, Luise; Diekhof, Esther K.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence indicates that hormones modulate the intensity of maternal care. Oxytocin is known for its positive influence on maternal behavior and its important role for childbirth. In contrast, testosterone promotes egocentric choices and reduces empathy. Further, testosterone decreases during parenthood which could be an adaptation to increased parental investment. The present study investigated the interaction between testosterone and oxytocin in attentional control and their influence on attention to baby schema in women. Higher endogenous testosterone was expected to decrease selective attention to child portraits in a face-in-the-crowd-paradigm, while oxytocin was expected to counteract this effect. As predicted, women with higher salivary testosterone were slower in orienting attention to infant targets in the context of adult distractors. Interestingly, reaction times to infant and adult stimuli decreased after oxytocin administration, but only in women with high endogenous testosterone. These results suggest that oxytocin may counteract the adverse effects of testosterone on a central aspect of social behavior and maternal caretaking. PMID:27861588

  16. Visual Attention Modulates Insight versus Analytic Solving of Verbal Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wegbreit, Ezra; Suzuki, Satoru; Grabowecky, Marcia; Kounios, John; Beeman, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral and neuroimaging findings indicate that distinct cognitive and neural processes underlie solving problems with sudden insight. Moreover, people with less focused attention sometimes perform better on tests of insight and creative problem solving. However, it remains unclear whether different states of attention, within individuals,…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Attentional modulation of the phonetic significance of acoustic cues.

    PubMed

    Gordon, P C; Eberhardt, J L; Rueckl, J G

    1993-01-01

    Four experiments addressing the role of attention in phonetic perception are reported. The first experiment shows that the relative importance of two cues to the voicing distinction changes when subjects must perform an arithmetic distractor task at the same time as identifying a speech stimulus. The contribution of voice onset time to phonetic labeling decreases when subjects are distracted, while that of FO onset frequency increases. The second experiment shows a similar pattern for two cues to the distinction between the vowels /i/ (as in "beat") and /I/ (as in "bit"). Under low attention conditions, formant pattern has a smaller effect on phonetic labeling while vowel duration has a larger effect. Together these experiments indicate that careful attention to speech perception is necessary for strong acoustic cues (voice-onset time and formant patterns) to achieve their full impact on phonetic labeling, while weaker acoustic cues (FO onset frequency and vowel duration) achieve their full impact on phonetic labeling without close attention. Experiment 3 shows that this pattern is obtained when the distractor task places little demand on verbal short-term memory. Experiment 4 provides a data set for testing formal models of the role of attention in speech perception. Attention is shown to influence the signal-to-noise ratio in the phonetic encoding of acoustic cues; the sustained phonetic contribution of weak cues without close attention stems from reduced competition from strong cues. This principle is instantiated in a network model in which the role of attention is to reduce noise in the phonetic encoding of acoustic cues. Implications of this work for understanding speech perception and general theories of the role of attention in perception are discussed.

  19. Trait Mindfulness Predicts Attentional and Autonomic Regulation of Alcohol Cue-Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Garland, Eric L.

    2013-01-01

    Background The trait of mindfulness varies among meditation-naïve individuals and is associated with attentional and autonomic regulation, two neurocognitive functions that become impaired in addiction. It was hypothesized that alcohol dependent inpatients with comparatively high levels of trait mindfulness would exhibit significant autonomic recovery from stress-primed alcohol cues mediated by greater attentional disengagement from such cues. Methods 58 alcohol dependent inpatients participated in affect-modulated psychophysiological cue-reactivity protocol and a spatial cueing task designed to assess alcohol attentional bias (AB). Associations between trait mindfulness, alcohol AB, and an index of autonomic activity, high-frequency heart rate variability (HFHRV), were examined via multivariate path analysis. Results Higher trait mindfulness was significantly associated with less difficulty resisting the urge to drink and greater HFHRV recovery from stress-primed alcohol cues. After statistically controlling for the correlation of mindfulness and perceived difficulty resisting drinking urges, the association between mindfulness and HFHRV recovery was partially mediated by attentional disengagement from alcohol cues (model R2 = .30). Discussion Alcohol dependent inpatients higher in mindfulness are better able to disengage attention from alcohol cues, which in turn predicts the degree of HFHRV recovery from such cues. Trait mindfulness may index cognitive control over appetitive responses reflected in superior attentional and autonomic regulation of stress-primed alcohol cue-reactivity. PMID:23976814

  20. Prompt but inefficient: nicotine differentially modulates discrete components of attention.

    PubMed

    Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T

    2011-12-01

    Nicotine has been shown to improve both memory and attention when assessed through speeded motor responses. Since very few studies have assessed effects of nicotine on visual attention using measures that are uncontaminated by motoric effects, nicotine's attentional effects may, at least partially, be due to speeding of motor function. Using an unspeeded, accuracy-based test, the CombiTVA paradigm, we examined whether nicotine enhances attention when it is measured independently of motor processing. We modelled data with a computational theory of visual attention (TVA; Bundesen 1990) so as to derive independent estimates of several distinct components of attention from performance of the single task: threshold of visual perception, perceptual processing speed, visual short-term memory storage capacity and top-down controlled selectivity. Acute effects of nicotine (2 mg gum) on performance were assessed in 24 healthy young non-smokers in a placebo-controlled counterbalanced, crossover design. Chronic effects of nicotine were investigated in 24 age- and education-matched minimally deprived smokers. Both an acute dose of nicotine in non-smokers and chronic nicotine use in temporarily abstaining smokers improved perceptual thresholds but slowed subsequent perceptual speed. Moreover, both acute and chronic nicotine use reduced attentional selectivity though visual short-term memory capacity was unimpaired. Nicotine differentially affected discrete components of visual attention, with acute and chronic doses revealing identical patterns of performance. We challenge prior reports of nicotine-induced speeding of information processing by showing, for the first time, that nicotine slows down perceptual processing speed when assessed using accuracy-based measures of cognitive performance.

  1. [Memory disorders and attention deficit modulation in child hyperactivity].

    PubMed

    Cabanyes, J; Polaino-Lorente, A; Avila, C; Moreno, C

    1991-01-01

    The infantile hyperactivity is a disorder of great significance due to its remarkable after-effects on the family, the school and the individual. According to strict diagnostic criteria the study of the memory in these children who present a well defined disorder of the attention, has been planned. The data show that the mnemonic capacity is primarily kept. However the nuclear problem is an attention deficit.

  2. Threat captures attention, but not automatically: Top-down goals modulate attentional orienting to threat distractors.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    The rapid orienting of attention to potential threats has been proposed to proceed outside of top-down control. However, paradigms that have been used to investigate this have struggled to separate the rapid orienting of attention (i.e. capture) from the later disengagement of focal attention that may be subject to top-down control. Consequently, it remains unclear whether and to what extent orienting to threat is contingent on top-down goals. The current study manipulated the goal-relevance of threat distractors (spiders), whilst a strict top-down attentional set was encouraged by presenting the saliently colored target and the threat distracter simultaneously for a limited time. The goal-relevance of threatening distractors was manipulated by including a spider amongst the possible target stimuli (Experiment 1: spider/cat targets) or excluding it (Experiment 2: bird/fish targets). Orienting and disengagement were disentangled by cueing attention away from or towards the threat prior to its onset. The results indicated that the threatening spider distractors elicited rapid orienting of attention when spiders were potentially goal-relevant (Experiment 1) but did so much less when they were irrelevant to the task goal (Experiment 2). Delayed disengagement from the threat distractors was even more strongly contingent on the task goal and occurred only when a spider was a possible target. These results highlight the role of top-down goals in attentional orienting to and disengagement from threat.

  3. Personality and attention: Levels of neuroticism and extraversion can predict attentional performance during a change detection task.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Sowon; Buttaccio, Daniel R; Hahn, Jungwon; Lee, Taehun

    2015-01-01

    The present study demonstrates that levels of extraversion and neuroticism can predict attentional performance during a change detection task. After completing a change detection task built on the flicker paradigm, participants were assessed for personality traits using the Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). Multiple regression analyses revealed that higher levels of extraversion predict increased change detection accuracies, while higher levels of neuroticism predict decreased change detection accuracies. In addition, neurotic individuals exhibited decreased sensitivity A' and increased fixation dwell times. Hierarchical regression analyses further revealed that eye movement measures mediate the relationship between neuroticism and change detection accuracies. Based on the current results, we propose that neuroticism is associated with decreased attentional control over the visual field, presumably due to decreased attentional disengagement. Extraversion can predict increased attentional performance, but the effect is smaller than the relationship between neuroticism and attention.

  4. Attentional control predicts change in bias in response to attentional bias modification.

    PubMed

    Basanovic, Julian; Notebaert, Lies; Grafton, Ben; Hirsch, Colette R; Clarke, Patrick J F

    2017-09-11

    Procedures that effectively modify attentional bias to negative information have been examined for their potential to be a source of therapeutic change in emotional vulnerability. However, the degree to which these procedures modify attentional bias is subject to individual differences. This generates the need to understand the mechanisms that influence attentional bias change across individuals. The present study investigated the association between individual differences in attentional control and individual differences in the magnitude of bias change evoked by an attentional bias modification procedure. The findings demonstrate that individual differences in two facets of attentional control, control of attentional inhibition and control of attentional selectivity, were positively associated with individual differences in the magnitude of attentional bias change. The present findings inform upon the cognitive mechanisms underpinning change in attentional bias, and identify a target cognitive process for research seeking to enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of attentional bias modification procedures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Efficient attentional selection predicts distractor devaluation: event-related potential evidence for a direct link between attention and emotion.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Monika; Goolsby, Brian A; Raymond, Jane E; Shapiro, Kimron L; Silvert, Laetitia; Nobre, Anna C; Fragopanagos, Nickolaos; Taylor, John G; Eimer, Martin

    2007-08-01

    Links between attention and emotion were investigated by obtaining electrophysiological measures of attentional selectivity together with behavioral measures of affective evaluation. Participants were asked to rate faces that had just been presented as targets or distractors in a visual search task. Distractors were rated as less trustworthy than targets. To study the association between the efficiency of selective attention during visual search and subsequent emotional responses, the N2pc component was quantified as a function of evaluative judgments. Evaluation of distractor faces (but not target faces) covaried with selective attention. On trials where distractors were later judged negatively, the N2pc emerged earlier, demonstrating that attention was strongly biased toward target events, and distractors were effectively inhibited. When previous distractors were judged positively, the N2pc was delayed, indicating unfocused attention to the target and less distractor suppression. Variations in attentional selectivity across trials can predict subsequent emotional responses, strongly suggesting that attention is closely associated with subsequent affective evaluation.

  7. Spatial Distribution of Attentional Modulation at Columnar Resolution in Macaque Area V4

    PubMed Central

    Tanigawa, Hisashi; Chen, Gang; Roe, Anna W.

    2016-01-01

    Attention to a location in a visual scene affects neuronal responses in visual cortical areas in a retinotopically specific manner. Optical imaging studies have revealed that cortical responses consist of two components of different sizes: the stimulus-nonspecific global signal and the stimulus-specific mapping signal (domain activity). It remains unclear whether either or both of these components are modulated by spatial attention. In this study, to determine the spatial distribution of attentional modulation at columnar resolution, we performed cerebral blood volume (CBV)-based optical imaging in area V4 of monkeys performing a color change detection task in which spatial attention was manipulated. We found that spatial attention enhanced global signals of the hemodynamic responses, but did not affect stimulus-selective domain activities. These results indicate the involvement of global signals in neural processing of spatial attention. We propose that global signals reflect the neural substrate of the normalization pool in normalization models of attention. PMID:28018181

  8. Central Inhibition Ability Modulates Attention-Induced Motion Blindness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Attention modulates adaptive motor learning in the 'broken escalator' paradigm.

    PubMed

    Patel, Mitesh; Kaski, Diego; Bronstein, Adolfo M

    2014-07-01

    The physical stumble caused by stepping onto a stationary (broken) escalator represents a locomotor aftereffect (LAE) that attests to a process of adaptive motor learning. Whether such learning is primarily explicit (requiring attention resources) or implicit (independent of attention) is unknown. To address this question, we diverted attention in the adaptation (MOVING) and aftereffect (AFTER) phases of the LAE by loading these phases with a secondary cognitive task (sequential naming of a vegetable, fruit and a colour). Thirty-six healthy adults were randomly assigned to 3 equally sized groups. They performed 5 trials stepping onto a stationary sled (BEFORE), 5 with the sled moving (MOVING) and 5 with the sled stationary again (AFTER). A 'Dual-Task-MOVING (DTM)' group performed the dual-task in the MOVING phase and the 'Dual-Task-AFTEREFFECT (DTAE)' group in the AFTER phase. The 'control' group performed no dual task. We recorded trunk displacement, gait velocity and gastrocnemius muscle EMG of the left (leading) leg. The DTM, but not the DTAE group, had larger trunk displacement during the MOVING phase, and a smaller trunk displacement aftereffect compared with controls. Gait velocity was unaffected by the secondary cognitive task in either group. Thus, adaptive locomotor learning involves explicit learning, whereas the expression of the aftereffect is automatic (implicit). During rehabilitation, patients should be actively encouraged to maintain maximal attention when learning new or challenging locomotor tasks.

  10. Self-Attributed Body-Shadows Modulate Tactile Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavani, Francesco; Galfano, Giovanni

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. An evaluation of the response modulation hypothesis in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Farmer, Richard F; Rucklidge, Julia J

    2006-08-01

    Several hypotheses related to Newman's (e.g., Patterson & Newman, 1993) response modulation hypothesis were examined among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n=18) and normal controls (n=23). Consistent with predictions, youth with ADHD committed more passive avoidance errors (PAEs) than controls during the latter trials of a computerized go/no go task with mixed incentives, and this effect remained significant or marginally significant even after common variance associated with variables that covary with ADHD (i.e., IQ, oppositional-defiant/conduct disorder [ODD/CD] symptoms, anxious/depressed mood) was removed. While a moderate inverse association was observed between PAE frequency and the amount of time spent viewing response feedback following punishment, both categorical (diagnostic) and dimensional analyses of ADHD symptomatology indicated that ADHD and reflection on punishment feedback are uniquely associated with PAE commission. Findings from this study are discussed in relation to models of disinhibition applicable to youth with ADHD.

  13. [Dependence of "amplitude modulation following response" on attention].

    PubMed

    Pethe, J; Mühler, R; von Specht, H

    2001-03-01

    Amplitude modulation following responses (AMFR) allows good estimation of the hearing threshold due to the very narrow band excitation of the cochlea. Audiological use of AMFR requires knowledge of the relationship of these responses to the state of vigilance. The few studies published compared only qualitatively the amplitude of AMFR recorded in awake subjects to that recorded in sleeping subjects. A quantitative determination of the level of vigilance on the basis of recorded physiological parameters has not yet been carried out. In the present study, the relationship between the amplitude of AMFR and the level of vigilance was investigated quantitatively. In eight adults with normal hearing, the relationship between the AMFR amplitude and EEG amplitude in the delta- and theta-band was determined. The amplitude in both frequency bands was used to indicate the state of vigilance. The subjects were studied during natural and drug-induced sleep. A 1-kHz carrier tone with a sinusoidally modulated amplitude of 40 Hz or 80 Hz was used as stimulus. At 40-Hz modulation frequency, the AMFR amplitude correlates with the EEG amplitude both in natural and drug-induced sleep. An increase in EEG activity is paralleled by a significant reduction of AMFR amplitude. At 80-Hz modulation frequency, no relationship between AMFR amplitude and EEG activity could be detected. Under all conditions, the amplitudes of AMFR evoked by a modulation frequency of 80 Hz were significantly lower than those evoked by 40 Hz. These results suggest that for an audiological use of the 40-Hz AMFR the state of vigilance should be stabilised at a constantly high level. In spite of the lower influence of vigilance on the 80-Hz AMFR, this response appears less ideal for threshold estimation in adults due to the significantly smaller amplitudes.

  14. A novel test for evaluating horses' spontaneous visual attention is predictive of attention in operant learning tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.

    2017-08-01

    Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: `overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and `fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P < 0.05). The validity of this novel test as a predictor of individual attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a `classical' experimental attention test the `five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.

  15. A novel test for evaluating horses' spontaneous visual attention is predictive of attention in operant learning tasks.

    PubMed

    Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S

    2017-08-01

    Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: 'overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and 'fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P < 0.05). The validity of this novel test as a predictor of individual attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a 'classical' experimental attention test the 'five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.

  16. Prediction of barrier localization in modulated nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lew Yan Voon, L. C.; Lassen, B.; Melnik, R.; Willatzen, M.

    2004-10-01

    It is shown that the phenomenon of inversion recently discovered in a one-band model [L. C. Lew Yan Voon and M. Willatzen, J. Appl. Phys. 93, 9997 (2003)] is much more general and is present in both multiband theories and in the excited states. Predictions of the one-band and of a four-band model are in good agreement for the ground state. A critical radius of around 15Å(7Å) is obtained for holes in InGaAs /InP(GaAs/AlAs) modulated nanowires. This phenomenon should be readily observable in both optical spectroscopy and transport.

  17. Nicotinic modulation of auditory attentional shift in the rat.

    PubMed

    Brown, Dewey C; Nichols, Justin A; Thomas, Feba; Dinh, Lu; Atzori, Marco

    2010-07-11

    Numerous studies have demonstrated cognitive improvements resulting from the application of nicotine, especially in those tasks aimed at measuring attention. While the neuro-pharmacological relationship between nicotine and acetylcholine-driven attentional processes has been examined, studies tend to focus on the duration of time in which a subject can attend to a specific stimulus or series of stimuli rather than on the subjects' adaptive attentional capabilities. The present study addresses the possibility that the cholinergic agonist nicotine could improve performance on a task testing the ability to shift attention between sensory modalities under both normal and pharmacologically impaired conditions. In a pilot set of experiments, we tested the effects of nicotine in a cross-modal experimental task designed to tax both the auditory and visual systems of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) significantly improved performance on both auditory and visual trials, under repetitive trial conditions, and significantly decreased overall response latency. For the primary study, we tested the effects of decreasing cholinergic neurotransmission by systemic administration of the muscarinic antagonist atropine. Atropine (12.5 mg/kg) significantly impaired performance in auditory shift trials and perseverative trials, while significantly increasing the overall response latency. We then tested the effect of nicotine within the impaired model. Systemic administration of nicotine significantly improved performance in auditory and visual shift trials, while showing moderate improvements in response latency and perseverative trial conditions. These results indicate the potential therapeutic use of nicotine as a cognitive enhancer, as well as provide evidence for cholinergic system compensations. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Temporal prediction errors modulate cingulate-insular coupling.

    PubMed

    Limongi, Roberto; Sutherland, Steven C; Zhu, Jian; Young, Michael E; Habib, Reza

    2013-05-01

    Prediction error (i.e., the difference between the expected and the actual event's outcome) mediates adaptive behavior. Activity in the anterior mid-cingulate cortex (aMCC) and in the anterior insula (aINS) is associated with the commission of prediction errors under uncertainty. We propose a dynamic causal model of effective connectivity (i.e., neuronal coupling) between the aMCC, the aINS, and the striatum in which the task context drives activity in the aINS and the temporal prediction errors modulate extrinsic cingulate-insular connections. With functional magnetic resonance imaging, we scanned 15 participants when they performed a temporal prediction task. They observed visual animations and predicted when a stationary ball began moving after being contacted by another moving ball. To induced uncertainty-driven prediction errors, we introduced spatial gaps and temporal delays between the balls. Classical and Bayesian fMRI analyses provided evidence to support that the aMCC-aINS system along with the striatum not only responds when humans predict whether a dynamic event occurs but also when it occurs. Our results reveal that the insula is the entry port of a three-region pathway involved in the processing of temporal predictions. Moreover, prediction errors rather than attentional demands, task difficulty, or task duration exert an influence in the aMCC-aINS system. Prediction errors debilitate the effect of the aMCC on the aINS. Finally, our computational model provides a way forward to characterize the physiological parallel of temporal prediction errors elicited in dynamic tasks.

  1. Selective attention modulates human auditory brainstem responses: relative contributions of frequency and spatial cues.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Alexandre; Schönwiesner, Marc

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Attention modulates the visual field in healthy observers and parietal patients.

    PubMed

    Russell, Charlotte; Malhotra, Paresh; Husain, Masud

    2004-10-05

    Recent attention research suggests that factors other than low-level sensory processes modulate perception across the visual field, with right parieto-temporal cortex playing a critical role in directing visual attention to peripheral events. Here we examine how different degrees of attentional demand at fixation dynamically affect detection of abrupt visual onsets in the periphery. In young healthy subjects, peripheral detection was significantly disrupted bilaterally when there was high attention demand at fixation. Right parieto-temporal lesioned patients, tested with a simplified version of task, demonstrated bilateral shrinkage of their available visual field, worse to the contralesional side, under increased attentional demand at fixation. These findings demonstrate how the effective visual field is dynamically modulated by the deployment of attention in health and, more severely, following right parieto-temporal damage.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Attentional Modulation of Change Detection ERP Components by Peripheral Retro-Cueing

    PubMed Central

    Pazo-Álvarez, Paula; Roca-Fernández, Adriana; Gutiérrez-Domínguez, Francisco-Javier; Amenedo, Elena

    2017-01-01

    Change detection is essential for visual perception and performance in our environment. However, observers often miss changes that should be easily noticed. A failure in any of the processes involved in conscious detection (encoding the pre-change display, maintenance of that information within working memory, and comparison of the pre and post change displays) can lead to change blindness. Given that unnoticed visual changes in a scene can be easily detected once attention is drawn to them, it has been suggested that attention plays an important role on visual awareness. In the present study, we used behavioral and electrophysiological (ERPs) measures to study whether the manipulation of retrospective spatial attention affects performance and modulates brain activity related to the awareness of a change. To that end, exogenous peripheral cues were presented during the delay period (retro-cues) between the first and the second array using a one-shot change detection task. Awareness of a change was associated with a posterior negative amplitude shift around 228–292 ms (“Visual Awareness Negativity”), which was independent of retrospective spatial attention, as it was elicited to both validly and invalidly cued change trials. Change detection was also associated with a larger positive deflection around 420–580 ms (“Late Positivity”), but only when the peripheral retro-cues correctly predicted the change. Present results confirm that the early and late ERP components related to change detection can be functionally dissociated through manipulations of exogenous retro-cueing using a change blindness paradigm. PMID:28270759

  6. Neuronal Mechanisms and Attentional Modulation of Corticothalamic Alpha Oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Bollimunta, Anil; Mo, Jue; Schroeder, Charles E.; Ding, Mingzhou

    2011-01-01

    Field potential oscillations in the ~10 Hz range are known as the alpha rhythm. The genesis and function of alpha has been the subject of intense investigation for the past 80 years. Whereas early work focused on the thalamus as the pacemaker of alpha rhythm, subsequent slice studies revealed that pyramidal neurons in the deep layers of sensory cortices are capable of oscillating in the alpha frequency range independently. How thalamic and cortical generating mechanisms in the intact brain might interact to shape the organization and function of alpha oscillations remains unclear. We addressed this problem by analyzing laminar profiles of local field potential (LFP) and multi-unit activity (MUA) recorded with linear array multielectrodes from the striate cortex of two macaque monkeys performing an intermodal selective attention task. Current source density (CSD) analysis was combined with CSD-MUA coherence to identify intracortical alpha current generators and assess their potential for pacemaking. Coherence and Granger causality analysis was applied to delineate the patterns of interaction among different alpha current generators. We found that: (1) separable alpha current generators are located in superficial, granular and deep layers, with both layer 4C and deep layers containing primary local pacemaking generators, suggesting the involvement of the thalamocortical network, and (2) visual attention reduces the magnitude of alpha oscillations as well as the level of alpha interactions, consistent with numerous reports of occipital alpha reduction with visual attention in human EEG. There is also indication that alpha oscillations in the lateral geniculate cohere with those in V1. PMID:21451032

  7. Modulation of Oscillatory Neuronal Synchronization by Selective Visual Attention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fries, Pascal; Reynolds, John H.; Rorie, Alan E.; Desimone, Robert

    2001-02-01

    In crowded visual scenes, attention is needed to select relevant stimuli. To study the underlying mechanisms, we recorded neurons in cortical area V4 while macaque monkeys attended to behaviorally relevant stimuli and ignored distracters. Neurons activated by the attended stimulus showed increased gamma-frequency (35 to 90 hertz) synchronization but reduced low-frequency (<17 hertz) synchronization compared with neurons at nearby V4 sites activated by distracters. Because postsynaptic integration times are short, these localized changes in synchronization may serve to amplify behaviorally relevant signals in the cortex.

  8. Prediction and perception: Defensive startle modulation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Previous research indicates that predictive cues can dampen subsequent defensive reactions. The present study investigated whether effects of cuing are specific to aversive stimuli, using modulation of the blink startle reflex as a measure of emotional reactivity. Participants viewed pictures depicting violence, romance/erotica, or mundane content. On half of all trials, a cue (color) predicted the content of the upcoming picture; on the remaining trials, scenes were presented without a cue. Acoustic startle probes were presented during picture viewing on trials with predictive cues and trials without a cue. Replicating previous studies, blink reflexes elicited when viewing violent pictures that had not been preceded by a cue were potentiated compared to uncued mundane scenes, and reflexes were attenuated when viewing scenes of erotica/romance that had not been cued. On the other hand, reflex potentiation when viewing scenes of violence (relative to mundane scenes) was eliminated when these pictures were preceded by a predictive cue, whereas scenes of romance prompted reliable reflex attenuation regardless of whether pictures were cued or not. Taken together, the data suggest that cuing elicits an anticipatory coping process that is specific to aversive stimuli. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  9. Prediction and Perception: Defensive Startle Modulation

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Spatial auditory attention is modulated by tactile priming.

    PubMed

    Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus

    2005-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that cross-modal processing affects perception at a variety of neuronal levels. In this study, event-related brain responses were recorded via whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Spatial auditory attention was directed via tactile pre-cues (primes) to one of four locations in the peripersonal space (left and right hand versus face). Auditory stimuli were white noise bursts, convoluted with head-related transfer functions, which ensured spatial perception of the four locations. Tactile primes (200-300 ms prior to acoustic onset) were applied randomly to one of these locations. Attentional load was controlled by three different visual distraction tasks. The auditory P50m (about 50 ms after stimulus onset) showed a significant "proximity" effect (larger responses to face stimulation as well as a "contralaterality" effect between side of stimulation and hemisphere). The tactile primes essentially reduced both the P50m and N100m components. However, facial tactile pre-stimulation yielded an enhanced ipsilateral N100m. These results show that earlier responses are mainly governed by exogenous stimulus properties whereas cross-sensory interaction is spatially selective at a later (endogenous) processing stage.

  11. Non-Verbal Communicative Signals Modulate Attention to Object Properties

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. State-dependent attention modulation of human primary visual cortex: a high density ERP study.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Valentina; Pourtois, Gilles

    2012-05-01

    Converging electrophysiological and brain-imaging results show that sensory processing in V1 can be modulated by attention. In this study, we tested the prediction that this early filtering effect depends on the current affective state of the participant. We recorded visual evoked potentials (VEPs) to visual peripheral distractors while participants performed a demanding task at fixation, whose perceptual load was manipulated in a parametric fashion. Crucially, levels of negative affect were either increased or decreased independently of changes in perceptual load. Concurrent psychophysiological measurements and self-report scales confirmed that changes in emotional state were effective. In the control condition, ERP results showed that the C1 component generated in response to the exact same peripheral distractors systematically varied in amplitude with the amount of perceptual load imposed at fixation, being larger when perceptual load decreased. However, this early modulatory effect in V1 was disrupted when participants transiently experienced increased state anxiety, resulting in a decreased C1 amplitude even though task load at fixation remained low. These results suggest that early bottom-up processing in V1 is not only influenced by the amount of attention resources available, but also by the current internal state of the participant. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Spatial attention modulates center-surround interactions in macaque visual area V4

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Kristy A.; Mitchell, Jude F.; Reynolds, John H.

    2010-01-01

    Summary In natural viewing a visual stimulus that is the target of attention is generally surrounded by many irrelevant distracters. Stimuli falling in the receptive field surround can influence the neuronal response evoked by a stimulus appearing within the classical receptive field. Such modulation by task-irrelevant distracters may degrade the target-related neuronal signal. We therefore examined whether directing attention to a target stimulus can reduce the influence of task-irrelevant distracters on neuronal response. We find that in area V4 attention to a stimulus within a neuron’s receptive field filters out a large fraction of the suppression induced by distracters appearing in the surround. When attention is instead directed to the surround stimulus suppression is increased, thereby filtering out part of the neuronal response to the irrelevant distracter positioned within the receptive field. These findings demonstrate that attention modulates the neural mechanisms that give rise to center-surround interactions. PMID:19324003

  14. Attentional Modulation of Receptive Field Structure in Area 7a of the Behaving Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Quraishi, Salma; Heider, Barbara; Siegel, Ralph M.

    2007-01-01

    Spatial attention modulates the activity of inferior parietal neurons. A statistically rigorous approach to classical retinotopic mapping was used to quantify the receptive fields of area 7a neurons under two attentional conditions. Measurements were made with retinal stimulation held constant and the locus of attention manipulated covertly. Both tasks required central fixation but differed in the locus of covert attention (either on the center fixation point, or on a peripheral square target in one of 25 locations). The neuron's identity over the recording session was confirmed using chaos theory to characterize unique temporal patterns. Sixty-six percent of the neurons changed prestimulus activity based on task state. Retinotopic mapping showed no evidence for foveal sparing. Attentional factors influenced visual responses for ∼30% of the neurons. Two types of modulation were equally observed. One group of cells had a multiplicative scaling of response, with equal instances of enhancement and suppression. A second group of cells had a complex interaction of visual and attentional signals, such that spatial tuning was subject to a non-linear modulation across the visual field based on attentional constraints. These two cell groups may have different roles in the shift of attention preceding motor behaviors and may underlie shifts in parietal retinotopic maps observed with intrinsic optical imaging. PMID:17077161

  15. Grasp posture modulates attentional prioritization of space near the hands.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Laura E

    2013-01-01

    Changes in visual processing near the hands may assist observers in evaluating items that are candidates for actions. If altered vision near the hands reflects adaptations linked to effective action production, then positioning the hands for different types of actions could lead to different visual biases. I examined the influence of hand posture on attentional prioritization to test this hypothesis. Participants placed one of their hands on a visual display and detected targets appearing either near or far from the hand. Replicating previous findings, detection near the hand was facilitated when participants positioned their hand on the display in a standard open palm posture affording a power grasp (Experiments 1 and 3). However, when participants instead positioned their hand in a pincer grasp posture with the thumb and forefinger resting on the display, they were no faster to detect targets appearing near their hand than targets appearing away from their hand (Experiments 2 and 3). These results demonstrate that changes in visual processing near the hands rely on the hands' posture. Although hands positioned to afford power grasps facilitate rapid onset detection, a pincer grasp posture that affords more precise action does not.

  16. Noise Prediction Module for Offset Stream Nozzles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henderson, Brenda S.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  18. Causal interactions in attention networks predict behavioral performance.

    PubMed

    Wen, Xiaotong; Yao, Li; Liu, Yijun; Ding, Mingzhou

    2012-01-25

    Lesion and functional brain imaging studies have suggested that there are two anatomically nonoverlapping attention networks. The dorsal frontoparietal network controls goal-oriented top-down deployment of attention; the ventral frontoparietal network mediates stimulus-driven bottom-up attentional reorienting. The interaction between the two networks and its functional significance has been considered in the past but no direct test has been carried out. We addressed this problem by recording fMRI data from human subjects performing a trial-by-trial cued visual spatial attention task in which the subject had to respond to target stimuli in the attended hemifield and ignore all stimuli in the unattended hemifield. Correlating Granger causal influences between regions of interest with behavioral performance, we report two main results. First, stronger Granger causal influences from the dorsal attention network (DAN) to the ventral attention network (VAN), i.e., DAN→VAN, are generally associated with enhanced performance, with right intraparietal sulcus (IPS), left IPS, and right frontal eye field being the main sources of behavior-enhancing influences. Second, stronger Granger causal influences from VAN to DAN, i.e., VAN→DAN, are generally associated with degraded performance, with right temporal-parietal junction being the main sources of behavior-degrading influences. These results support the hypothesis that signals from DAN to VAN suppress and filter out unimportant distracter information, whereas signals from VAN to DAN break the attentional set maintained by the dorsal attention network to enable attentional reorienting.

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

    PubMed Central

    Karns, Christina M.; Knight, Robert T.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Functional brain asymmetry, attentional modulation, and interhemispheric transfer in boys with Tourette syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Plessen, Kerstin J.; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate; Hammar, Åsa; Lundervold, Astri; Peterson, Bradley S.; Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2008-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that children with Tourette syndrome (TS) would exhibit aberrant brain lateralization compared to a healthy control (HC) group in an attention-modulation version of a verbal dichotic listening task using consonant-vowel syllables. The modulation of attention to focus on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer of information. In light of presumed disturbances in transfer of information across the corpus callosum, we hypothesized that children with TS would, however, have difficulty modulating the functional lateralization that ensues through a shift of attention to the left side. This hypothesis was tested by exploring the correlations between CC size and left ear score in the forced-left condition. Twenty boys with TS were compared with 20 age- and handedness-matched healthy boys. Results indicated similar performance in the TS and HC groups for lateralization of hemispheric function. TS subjects were also able to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS group. PMID:17045315

  3. Functional brain asymmetry, attentional modulation, and interhemispheric transfer in boys with Tourette syndrome.

    PubMed

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate; Hammar, Asa; Lundervold, Astri; Peterson, Bradley S; Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2007-03-02

    We tested the hypothesis that children with Tourette syndrome (TS) would exhibit aberrant brain lateralization compared to a healthy control (HC) group in an attention-modulation version of a verbal dichotic listening task using consonant-vowel syllables. The modulation of attention to focus on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer of information. In light of presumed disturbances in transfer of information across the corpus callosum, we hypothesized that children with TS would, however, have difficulty modulating the functional lateralization that ensues through a shift of attention to the left side. This hypothesis was tested by exploring the correlations between CC size and left ear score in the forced-left condition. Twenty boys with TS were compared with 20 age- and handedness-matched healthy boys. Results indicated similar performance in the TS and HC groups for lateralization of hemispheric function. TS subjects were also able to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS group.

  4. Dopamine Transporter Genotype Predicts Attentional Asymmetry in Healthy Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Dopamine Transporter Genotype Predicts Attentional Asymmetry in Healthy Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Paternal Autistic Traits Are Predictive of Infants Visual Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa

    2014-01-01

    Since subthreshold autistic social impairments aggregate in family members, and since attentional dysfunctions appear to be one of the earliest cognitive markers of children with autism, we investigated in the general population the relationship between infants' attentional functioning and the autistic traits measured in their parents.…

  7. Paternal Autistic Traits Are Predictive of Infants Visual Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa

    2014-01-01

    Since subthreshold autistic social impairments aggregate in family members, and since attentional dysfunctions appear to be one of the earliest cognitive markers of children with autism, we investigated in the general population the relationship between infants' attentional functioning and the autistic traits measured in their parents.…

  8. Attentional Modulation of Brain Responses to Primary Appetitive and Aversive Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Field, Brent A.; Buck, Cara L.; McClure, Samuel M.; Nystrom, Leigh E.; Kahneman, Daniel; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of subjective well-being have conventionally relied upon self-report, which directs subjects’ attention to their emotional experiences. This method presumes that attention itself does not influence emotional processes, which could bias sampling. We tested whether attention influences experienced utility (the moment-by-moment experience of pleasure) by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the activity of brain systems thought to represent hedonic value while manipulating attentional load. Subjects received appetitive or aversive solutions orally while alternatively executing a low or high attentional load task. Brain regions associated with hedonic processing, including the ventral striatum, showed a response to both juice and quinine. This response decreased during the high-load task relative to the low-load task. Thus, attentional allocation may influence experienced utility by modulating (either directly or indirectly) the activity of brain mechanisms thought to represent hedonic value. PMID:26158468

  9. EMOTIONAL MODULATION OF ATTENTION ORIENTING BY GAZE VARIES WITH DYNAMIC CUE SEQUENCE

    PubMed Central

    Lassalle, Amandine; Itier, Roxane J.

    2017-01-01

    Recent gaze cueing studies using dynamic cue sequences have reported increased attention orienting by gaze with faces expressing fear, surprise or anger. Here, we investigated whether the type of dynamic cue sequence used impacted the magnitude of this effect. When the emotion was expressed before or concurrently with gaze shift, no modulation of gaze-oriented attention by emotion was seen. In contrast, when the face cue averted gaze before expressing an emotion (as if reacting to the object after first localizing it), the gaze orienting effect was clearly increased for fearful, surprised and angry faces compared to neutral faces. Thus, the type of dynamic sequence used, and in particular the order in which the gaze shift and the facial expression are presented, modulate gaze-oriented attention, with maximal modulation seen when the expression of emotion follows gaze shift.

  10. Bridging prediction and attention in current research on perception and action.

    PubMed

    Schröger, Erich; Kotz, Sonja A; SanMiguel, Iria

    2015-11-11

    Prediction and attention are fundamental brain functions in the service of perception and action. Theories on prediction relate to neural (mental) models inferring about (present or future) sensory or action-related information, whereas theories of attention are about the control of information flow underlying perception and action. Both concepts are related and not always clearly distinguishable. The special issue includes current research on prediction and attention in various subfields of perception and action. It especially considers interactions between predictive and attentive processes, which constitute a newly emerging and highly interesting field of research. As outlined in this editorial, the contributions in this special issue allow specifying as well as bridging concepts on prediction and attention. The joint consideration of prediction and attention also reveals common functional principles of perception and action.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sprague, Thomas C.; Serences, John T.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Differential diagnosis of sensory modulation disorder (SMD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): participation, sensation, and attention

    PubMed Central

    Yochman, Aviva; Alon-Beery, Osnat; Sribman, Ahuva; Parush, Shula

    2013-01-01

    Differential diagnosis between sensory modulation disorder (SMD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often challenging, since these disorders occur at a high rate of co-morbidity and share several clinical characteristics. Preliminary studies providing evidence that these are distinct disorders have focused solely on body functions, using sophisticated laboratory measurements. Moreover, no studies have compared participation profiles of these populations. This study is the first to compare the profiles of these populations regarding both “body functions” (attention and sensation) and “participation,” using measures applicable for clinical use. The study included 19 children with ADHD without SMD and 19 with SMD without ADHD (diagnosed by both pediatric neurologists and occupational therapists), aged 6–9, and matched by age and gender. All children underwent a broad battery of evaluations: the Evaluation of Sensory Processing, Fabric Prickliness Test (FPT) and Von Frey Test to evaluate sensory processing, and Test of Everyday Attention to evaluate attention components. The Participation in Childhood Occupations Questionnaire was used to evaluate participation. Results support significant group differences in all sensory components, including pain intensity to suprathreshold stimuli and pain “after sensation,” as well as in tactile, vestibular, taste, and olfactory processing. No differences were found in attention components and participation. This study has both theoretical and clinical importance, inter alia, providing further evidence of two distinct disorders as well as indications of specific clinical instruments that might enable clinicians to implement differential diagnoses. In addition, results accord with other previous statements, which indicate that the clinical diagnosis of children with disabilities may not be a major factor in determining their participation profile. PMID:24379772

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects. Healthy adult non-meditators underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing an Attentional Blink (AB) task - which assesses the efficiency of allocating attention over time. The size of the AB was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM, which suggests that engaging in meditation immediately creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on how people allocate their attention over time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Modulation of attention functions by anodal tDCS on right PPC.

    PubMed

    Roy, Lucia B; Sparing, Roland; Fink, Gereon R; Hesse, Maike D

    2015-07-01

    Attention is a complex construct that comprises at least three major subcomponents: alerting, spatial (re-)orienting, and executive functions, all of which have specific neural correlates along frontoparietal networks. Attention deficits are a common consequence of brain damage. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to modulate spatial attention. We investigated whether tDCS of different stimulation targets differentially modulates alerting, spatial (re-)orienting, and executive functions. Twenty-four healthy participants were included in this randomized, double-blinded study, which employed a within-subject design. On four different days, the effects of 1.5 mA anodal tDCS (real and sham) on the left dorsolateral (EEG 10-20 point F3), left parietal (P3) and right parietal cortex (P4) were assessed using a modified attention network test. tDCS of the right parietal cortex enhanced spatial re-orienting, while tDCS of the other cortical targets did not modulate the assessed attention functions. With regard to visual field asymmetries in attentional processing, right parietal tDCS selectively enhanced mean network efficiency for targets presented in the contralateral left visual field. The observed visual field specific tDCS effects on reorienting suggest that systematic investigations into novel approaches for the treatment of patients suffering from spatial neglect patients are warranted.

  15. Interrelation of attention and prediction in visual processing: Effects of task-relevance and stimulus probability.

    PubMed

    Marzecová, Anna; Widmann, Andreas; SanMiguel, Iria; Kotz, Sonja A; Schröger, Erich

    2017-03-09

    The potentially interactive influence of attention and prediction was investigated by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) in a spatial cueing task with attention (task-relevant) and prediction (probabilistic) cues. We identified distinct processing stages of this interactive influence. Firstly, in line with the attentional gain hypothesis, a larger amplitude response of the contralateral N1, and Nd1 for attended gratings was observed. Secondly, conforming to the attenuation-by-prediction hypothesis, a smaller negativity in the time window directly following the peak of the N1 component for predicted compared to unpredicted gratings was observed. In line with the hypothesis that attention and prediction interface, unpredicted/unattended stimuli elicited a larger negativity at central-parietal sites, presumably reflecting an increased prediction error signal. Thirdly, larger P3 responses to unpredicted stimuli pointed to the updating of an internal model. Attention and prediction can be considered as differentiated mechanisms that may interact at different processing stages to optimise perception.

  16. Sustained selective attention to competing amplitude-modulations in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control.

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

    PubMed

    Mishra, Srikanta K

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Toshihiro; Mizuhara, Hiroaki

    2016-06-15

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

  19. Split of spatial attention as predicted by a systems-level model of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Zirnsak, Marc; Beuth, Frederik; Hamker, Fred H

    2011-06-01

    Can we attend to multiple distinct spatial locations at the same time? According to a recent psychophysical study [J. Dubois et al. (2009)Journal of Vision, 9, 3.1-11] such a split of spatial attention might be limited to short periods of time. Following N. P. Bichot et al. [(1999)Perception & Psychophysics, 61, 403-423] subjects had to report the identity of multiple letters that were briefly presented at different locations, while two of these locations (targets) were relevant for a concurrent shape comparison task. In addition to the design used by Bichot et al. stimulus onset asynchrony between shape onset and letters was systematically varied. In general, the performance of subjects was superior at target locations. Furthermore, for short stimulus onset asynchronies, performance was simultaneously increasing at both target locations. For longer stimulus onset asynchronies, however, performance deteriorated at one of the target locations while increasing at the other target location. It was hypothesized that this dynamic deployment of attention might be caused by competitive processes in saccade-related structures such as the frontal eye field. Here we simulated the task of Dubois et al. using a systems-level model of attention. Our results are consistent with recent findings in the frontal eye field obtained during covert visual search, and they support the view of a transient deployment of spatial attention to multiple stimuli in the early epoch of target selection.

  20. Target-object integration, attention distribution, and object orientation interactively modulate object-based selection.

    PubMed

    Al-Janabi, Shahd; Greenberg, Adam S

    2016-10-01

    The representational basis of attentional selection can be object-based. Various studies have suggested, however, that object-based selection is less robust than spatial selection across experimental paradigms. We sought to examine the manner by which the following factors might explain this variation: Target-Object Integration (targets 'on' vs. part 'of' an object), Attention Distribution (narrow vs. wide), and Object Orientation (horizontal vs. vertical). In Experiment 1, participants discriminated between two targets presented 'on' an object in one session, or presented as a change 'of' an object in another session. There was no spatial cue-thus, attention was initially focused widely-and the objects were horizontal or vertical. We found evidence of object-based selection only when targets constituted a change 'of' an object. Additionally, object orientation modulated the sign of object-based selection: We observed a same-object advantage for horizontal objects, but a same-object cost for vertical objects. In Experiment 2, an informative cue preceded a single target presented 'on' an object or as a change 'of' an object (thus, attention was initially focused narrowly). Unlike in Experiment 1, we found evidence of object-based selection independent of target-object integration. We again found that the sign of selection was modulated by the objects' orientation. This result may reflect a meridian effect, which emerged due to anisotropies in the cortical representations when attention is oriented endogenously. Experiment 3 revealed that object orientation did not modulate object-based selection when attention was oriented exogenously. Our findings suggest that target-object integration, attention distribution, and object orientation modulate object-based selection, but only in combination.

  1. Exploring the modulation of attentional capture by spatial attentional control settings: converging evidence from event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Ishigami, Yoko; Hamm, Jeff P; Satel, Jason; Klein, Raymond M

    2012-12-01

    Automatic attentional capture by a salient distractor can be prevented by spatial attentional control settings (ACSs) (e.g., Yantis and Jonides in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 16:121-134, 1990). Earlier, converging evidence for a spatial ACS (Eason et al. 1969) was found in event-related potentials (ERPs). In these studies, the ACS was defined by a single target-relevant location. In an extension, Ishigami et al. (Vis Cogn 17:431-456, 2009) demonstrated a successful ACS in performance that was based on multiple (two) target-relevant locations. The purpose of the current study is to seek converging evidence from ERPs for a spatial ACS defined by multiple (two) target-relevant locations, using the methods in Ishigami et al. (Vis Cogn 17:431-456, 2009). Any one of four figure-8s brightened uninformatively (cue) before presentation of a digit target calling for a speeded identification (2 or 5). A spatial ACS was encouraged because in different blocks, the digit targets appeared only on the horizontal or vertical axis. Performance was more impaired following the invalid-attended cues than following invalid-unattended cues, consistent with Ishigami et al. (Vis Cogn 17:431-456, 2009) and verifying a successful spatial ACS. The direction of attention significantly affected the visual evoked potentials (VEPs) elicited by otherwise identical cues: the amplitudes of early VEPs were greater when the location the cue was presented in was target-relevant than when the location was target-irrelevant. These results re-affirm that attentional capture by irrelevant salient stimuli can be modulated by spatial ACSs defined by multiple target locations in performance and provide converging evidence from ERPs for the previously established behavioral findings.

  2. Selective and divided attention modulates auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Hu, Huijing; Jones, Jeffery A; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Peng; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-08-01

    Speakers rapidly adjust their ongoing vocal productions to compensate for errors they hear in their auditory feedback. It is currently unclear what role attention plays in these vocal compensations. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the influence of selective and divided attention on the vocal and cortical responses to pitch errors heard in auditory feedback regarding ongoing vocalisations. During the production of a sustained vowel, participants briefly heard their vocal pitch shifted up two semitones while they actively attended to auditory or visual events (selective attention), or both auditory and visual events (divided attention), or were not told to attend to either modality (control condition). The behavioral results showed that attending to the pitch perturbations elicited larger vocal compensations than attending to the visual stimuli. Moreover, ERPs were likewise sensitive to the attentional manipulations: P2 responses to pitch perturbations were larger when participants attended to the auditory stimuli compared to when they attended to the visual stimuli, and compared to when they were not explicitly told to attend to either the visual or auditory stimuli. By contrast, dividing attention between the auditory and visual modalities caused suppressed P2 responses relative to all the other conditions and caused enhanced N1 responses relative to the control condition. These findings provide strong evidence for the influence of attention on the mechanisms underlying the auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors. In addition, selective attention and divided attention appear to modulate the neurobehavioral processing of pitch feedback errors in different ways.

  3. Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.

    PubMed

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

    Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention [3], competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye [4]. Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.

  4. Single neuron activity and theta modulation in the posterior parietal cortex in a visuospatial attention task.

    PubMed

    Yang, Fang-Chi; Jacobson, Tara K; Burwell, Rebecca D

    2017-03-01

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is implicated in directing and maintaining visual attention to locations in space. We hypothesized that the PPC also engages other cognitive processes in the transformation of behaviorally relevant visual inputs into appropriate actions, for example, monitoring of multiple locations, selection of responses to locations in space, and monitoring the outcome of response selections. We recorded single cells and local field potentials in the rat PPC during performance on a novel visuospatial attention (VSA) task that requires visually monitoring locations in space in order to make appropriate stimulus-guided locomotor responses. In each trial, rats attended to four locations on the floor of a maze. A randomly chosen location was briefly illuminated. Approach to the correct target location was followed by food reward. We observed that PPC activity correlated with multiple phases of the VSA task, including monitoring for stimulus onset, detection of a target, spatial location of the target, and target choice. A substantial proportion of cells with behavioral correlates were also modulated by outcome of the trial. Our analyses of local field potentials revealed strong oscillatory rhythms in the theta frequency band, and more than a third of PPC neurons were phase locked to theta oscillations. As in other brain regions, theta power correlated with running speed. Peak theta power was higher in superficial layers than deep layers providing evidence against volume conduction from the hippocampus. In addition, theta power was sensitive to the outcome of a choice. Theta power was significantly higher following incorrect choices compared with correct choices, possibly providing a prediction error signal. Our study provides evidence that the rat PPC has multiple roles in the translation of visual information into appropriate behavioral actions. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Prediction and unconscious attention operate synergistically to facilitate stimulus processing: An fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Ran, Guangming; Chen, Xu; Cao, Xiaojun; Zhang, Qi

    2016-08-01

    There is considerable evidence that prediction and attention aid perception. However, little is known about the possible neural mechanisms underlying the impact of prediction and unconscious attention on perception, probably due to the relative neglect of unconscious attention in scholarly literature. Here, we addressed this issue using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We adopted a variant of the double-cue paradigm, in which prediction and attention were factorially manipulated by two separate cues (prediction and attention cues). To manipulate consciousness, the attention cues were presented subliminally and supraliminally. Behaviorally, we reported an unconscious-attended effect in the predictable trials and a conscious-attended effect in the unpredictable trials. On the neural level, it was shown that prediction and unconscious attention interacted in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). More specifically, there was a significantly decreased activation in dlPFC for predictable relative to unpredictable stimuli in the unconscious-attended trials, but not in the unconscious-unattended trials. This result suggests that prediction and unconscious attention operate synergistically to facilitate stimulus processing. This is further corroborated by the subsequent functional connectivity analysis, which revealed increased functional connectivity between the left dlPFC and the premotor cortex for predictable versus unpredictable stimuli in the unconscious-attended trials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Attention modulates the availability of sensory information to conscious perception. In particular, there is evidence of pathological, spatial constriction of the effective field of vision in patients with right hemisphere damage when a central task exhausts available attentional capacity. In the current study we first examined whether this constriction might be modulated across both space and time in right hemisphere stroke patients without neglect. Then we tested healthy elderly people to determine whether non-pathological ageing also leads to spatiotemporal impairments of vision under conditions of high attention load. Right hemisphere stroke patients completed a task at fixation while attempting to discriminate letters appearing in the periphery. Attentional load of the central task was modulated by increasing task difficulty. Peripheral letters appeared simultaneously with the central task or at different times (stimulus onset asynchronies, SOAs) after it. In a second study healthy elderly volunteers were tested with a modified version of this paradigm. Under conditions of high attention load right hemisphere stroke patients have a reduced effective visual field, over a significantly extended 'attentional blink', worse for items presented to their left. In the second study, older participants were unable to discriminate otherwise salient items across the visual field (left or right) when their attention capacity was loaded on the central task. This deficit extended temporally, with peripheral discrimination ability not returning to normal for up to 450 msec. Dynamically tying up attention resources on a task at fixation can have profound effects in patient populations and in normal ageing. These results demonstrate that items can escape conscious detection across space and time, and can thereby impact significantly on visual perception in these groups. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Pupil size directly modulates the feedforward response in human primary visual cortex independently of attention.

    PubMed

    Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico

    2016-02-15

    Controversy revolves around the question of whether psychological factors like attention and emotion can influence the initial feedforward response in primary visual cortex (V1). Although traditionally, the electrophysiological correlate of this response in humans (the C1 component) has been found to be unaltered by psychological influences, a number of recent studies have described attentional and emotional modulations. Yet, research into psychological effects on the feedforward V1 response has neglected possible direct contributions of concomitant pupil-size modulations, which are known to also occur under various conditions of attentional load and emotional state. Here we tested the hypothesis that such pupil-size differences themselves directly affect the feedforward V1 response. We report data from two complementary experiments, in which we used procedures that modulate pupil size without differences in attentional load or emotion while simultaneously recording pupil-size and EEG data. Our results confirm that pupil size indeed directly influences the feedforward V1 response, showing an inverse relationship between pupil size and early V1 activity. While it is unclear in how far this effect represents a functionally-relevant adaptation, it identifies pupil-size differences as an important modulating factor of the feedforward response of V1 and could hence represent a confounding variable in research investigating the neural influence of psychological factors on early visual processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Fearful Faces Modulate Looking Duration and Attention Disengagement in 7-Month-Old Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peltola, Mikko J.; Leppanen, Jukka M.; Palokangas, Tiina; Hietanen, Jari K.

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigated whether facial expressions modulate visual attention in 7-month-old infants. First, infants' looking duration to individually presented fearful, happy, and novel facial expressions was compared to looking duration to a control stimulus (scrambled face). The face with a novel expression was included to examine the…

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinmayr, Ricarda; Ziegler, Mattias; Trauble, Birgit

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Dissociation Predicts Later Attention Problems in Sexually Abused Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Dynamic Connectivity at Rest Predicts Attention Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Dissociation Predicts Later Attention Problems in Sexually Abused Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Genetic Variations in COMT and DRD2 Modulate Attentional Bias for Affective Facial Expressions

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Pingyuan; Shen, Guomin; Li, She; Zhang, Guoping; Fang, Hongchao; Lei, Lin; Zhang, Peizhe; Zhang, Fuchang

    2013-01-01

    Studies have revealed that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and dopaminegic receptor2 (DRD2) modulate human attention bias for palatable food or tobacco. However, the existing evidence about the modulations of COMT and DRD2 on attentional bias for facial expressions was still limited. In the study, 650 college students were genotyped with regard to COMT Val158Met and DRD2 TaqI A polymorphisms, and the attentional bias for facial expressions was assessed using the spatial cueing task. The results indicated that COMT Val158Met underpinned the individual difference in attentional bias for negative emotional expressions (P = 0.03) and the Met carriers showed more engagement bias for negative expressions than the Val/Val homozygote. On the contrary, DRD2 TaqIA underpinned the individual difference in attentional bias for positive expressions (P = 0.003) and individuals with TT genotype showed much more engagement bias for positive expressions than the individuals with CC genotype. Moreover, the two genes exerted significant interactions on the engagements for negative and positive expressions (P = 0.046, P = 0.005). These findings suggest that the individual differences in the attentional bias for emotional expressions are partially underpinned by the genetic polymorphisms in COMT and DRD2. PMID:24312552

  18. An unavoidable modulation? Sensory attention and human primary motor cortex excitability.

    PubMed

    Ruge, Diane; Muggleton, Neil; Hoad, Damon; Caronni, Antonio; Rothwell, John C

    2014-09-01

    The link between basic physiology and its modulation by cognitive states, such as attention, is poorly understood. A significant association becomes apparent when patients with movement disorders describe experiences with changing their attention focus and the fundamental effect that this has on their motor symptoms. Moreover, frequently used mental strategies for treating such patients, e.g. with task-specific dystonia, widely lack laboratory-based knowledge about physiological mechanisms. In this largely unexplored field, we looked at how the locus of attention, when it changed between internal (locus hand) and external (visual target), influenced excitability in the primary motor cortex (M1) in healthy humans. Intriguingly, both internal and external attention had the capacity to change M1 excitability. Both led to a reduced stimulation-induced GABA-related inhibition and a change in motor evoked potential size, i.e. an overall increased M1 excitability. These previously unreported findings indicated: (i) that cognitive state differentially interacted with M1 physiology, (ii) that our view of distraction (attention locus shifted towards external or distant location), which is used as a prevention or management strategy for use-dependent motor disorders, is too simple and currently unsupported for clinical application, and (iii) the physiological state reached through attention modulation represents an alternative explanation for frequently reported electrophysiology findings in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as an aberrant inhibition.

  19. Genetic variations in COMT and DRD2 modulate attentional bias for affective facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Gong, Pingyuan; Shen, Guomin; Li, She; Zhang, Guoping; Fang, Hongchao; Lei, Lin; Zhang, Peizhe; Zhang, Fuchang

    2013-01-01

    Studies have revealed that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and dopaminegic receptor2 (DRD2) modulate human attention bias for palatable food or tobacco. However, the existing evidence about the modulations of COMT and DRD2 on attentional bias for facial expressions was still limited. In the study, 650 college students were genotyped with regard to COMT Val158Met and DRD2 TaqI A polymorphisms, and the attentional bias for facial expressions was assessed using the spatial cueing task. The results indicated that COMT Val158Met underpinned the individual difference in attentional bias for negative emotional expressions (P = 0.03) and the Met carriers showed more engagement bias for negative expressions than the Val/Val homozygote. On the contrary, DRD2 TaqIA underpinned the individual difference in attentional bias for positive expressions (P = 0.003) and individuals with TT genotype showed much more engagement bias for positive expressions than the individuals with CC genotype. Moreover, the two genes exerted significant interactions on the engagements for negative and positive expressions (P = 0.046, P = 0.005). These findings suggest that the individual differences in the attentional bias for emotional expressions are partially underpinned by the genetic polymorphisms in COMT and DRD2.

  20. Attention modulation during motor preparation in Parkinsonian freezers: A time-frequency EEG study.

    PubMed

    Tard, Céline; Dujardin, Kathy; Bourriez, Jean-Louis; Molaee-Ardekani, Behnam; Derambure, Philippe; Defebvre, Luc; Delval, Arnaud

    2016-12-01

    To investigate the cortical integration of attentional stimuli during motor preparation in parkinsonian patients with freezing of gait (FoG, n=12) or without freezing of gait (n=13), and in aged-matched healthy controls (n=13). We hypothesized that interference between attention and action in freezers would be revealed by differences in cortical modulation during this dual task. Attention during step preparation was modulated by means of an auditory oddball discrimination task. EEG oscillations in different frequency bands were measured for the attentional stimulus and the motor stimulus. Over the 500ms following the sound, low-frequency power increased in all three groups. This was followed by a power decrease in mid-range frequencies after both target and standard sounds in the healthy controls and in the non-FoG group. In contrast, EEG oscillations in the beta band were impaired in the FoG group, who notably failed to display event-related desynchronization after perceiving the sound. An attentional stimulus was able to trigger event-related desynchronization before motor preparation in the non-FoG group but not in the FoG group. In the FoG group, stimulus discrimination was maintained but the coupling between attention and motor preparation was impaired. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Auditory selective attention to speech modulates activity in the visual word form area.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    Selective attention to speech versus nonspeech signals in complex auditory input could produce top-down modulation of cortical regions previously linked to perception of spoken, and even visual, words. To isolate such top-down attentional effects, we contrasted 2 equally challenging active listening tasks, performed on the same complex auditory stimuli (words overlaid with a series of 3 tones). Instructions required selectively attending to either the speech signals (in service of rhyme judgment) or the melodic signals (tone-triplet matching). Selective attention to speech, relative to attention to melody, was associated with blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) increases during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in left inferior frontal gyrus, temporal regions, and the visual word form area (VWFA). Further investigation of the activity in visual regions revealed overall deactivation relative to baseline rest for both attention conditions. Topographic analysis demonstrated that while attending to melody drove deactivation equivalently across all fusiform regions of interest examined, attending to speech produced a regionally specific modulation: deactivation of all fusiform regions, except the VWFA. Results indicate that selective attention to speech can topographically tune extrastriate cortex, leading to increased activity in VWFA relative to surrounding regions, in line with the well-established connectivity between areas related to spoken and visual word perception in skilled readers.

  2. Temporal expectation and attention jointly modulate auditory oscillatory activity in the beta band.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Adaptation to spiral motion: global but not local motion detectors are modulated by attention.

    PubMed

    Aghdaee, S Mehdi; Zandvakili, Amin

    2005-04-01

    In this study, we investigated the effect of attention on local motion detectors. For this purpose we used logarithmic spirals previously used by Cavanagh and Favreau [Perception, 1980, 9(2), 175-182]. While the adapting stimulus was a rotating logarithmic spiral, the test stimulus was either the same spiral or its mirror image. When superimposed, all contours of the spiral stimulus and its mirror image are 90 degrees apart. Presenting the same spiral during the test period shows adaptation of both local motion detectors and global rotation detectors, whereas showing the mirror-spiral stimulates another set of local motion detectors, and therefore illustrates adaptation at only the global motion level. To manipulate the attentional state of observers, a secondary task was presented during the adaptation phase and observers either performed the task or ignored it. Motion aftereffect (MAE) duration was measured afterwards. While the effects of attention and test stimulus type on MAE duration were both significant, the difference in the MAE strength between the attention-distracted and attention-not-distracted conditions was equal when the test stimulus was the same-spiral or the mirror-spiral, suggesting that attention to spiral motion modulates only global rotation units and does not affect local motion detectors located at V1. Our results are in accord with those reported by Watanabe et al. [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 1998, 95(19), 11489-11492] which showed differential modulation of motion processing areas depending on the type of motion being attended. Therefore our data are supportive of the notion that attentional modulation of V1 is highly task-dependent.

  5. Attentional modulation of firing rate varies with burstiness across putative pyramidal neurons in macaque visual area V4.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Emily B; Mitchell, Jude F; Reynolds, John H

    2011-07-27

    One of the most well established forms of attentional modulation is an increase in firing rate when attention is directed into the receptive field of a neuron. The degree of rate modulation, however, can vary considerably across individual neurons, especially among broad spiking neurons (putative pyramids). We asked whether this heterogeneity might be correlated with a neuronal response property that is used in intracellular recording studies to distinguish among distinct neuronal classes: the burstiness of the neuronal spike train. We first characterized the burst spiking behavior of visual area V4 neurons and found that this varies considerably across the population, but we did not find evidence for distinct classes of burst behavior. Burstiness did, however, vary more widely across the class of neurons that shows the greatest heterogeneity in attentional modulation, and within that class, burstiness helped account for differences in attentional modulation. Among these broad spiking neurons, rate modulation was primarily restricted to bursty neurons, which as a group showed a highly significant increase in firing rate with attention. Furthermore, every bursty broad spiking neuron whose firing rate was significantly modulated by attention exhibited an increase in firing rate. In contrast, non-bursty broad spiking neurons exhibited no net attentional modulation, and, although some individual neurons did show significant rate modulation, these were divided among neurons showing increases and decreases. These findings show that macaque area V4 shows a range of bursting behavior and that the heterogeneity of attentional modulation can be explained, in part, by variation in burstiness.

  6. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sensory modulation disorder: a comparison of behavior and physiology.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive, while children with sensory modulation disorder (SMD), one subtype of Sensory Processing Disorder, have difficulty responding adaptively to daily sensory experiences. ADHD and SMD are often difficult to distinguish. To differentiate these disorders in children, clinical ADHD, SMD, and dual diagnoses were assessed. All groups had significantly more sensory, attention, activity, impulsivity, and emotional difficulties than typical children, but with distinct profiles. Inattention was greater in ADHD compared to SMD. Dual diagnoses had more sensory-related behaviors than ADHD and more attentional difficulties than SMD. SMD had more sensory issues, somatic complaints, anxiety/depression, and difficulty adapting than ADHD. SMD had greater physiological/electrodermal reactivity to sensory stimuli than ADHD and typical controls. Parent-report measures identifying sensory, attentional, hyperactive, and impulsive difficulties varied in agreement with clinician's diagnoses. Evidence suggests ADHD and SMD are distinct diagnoses.

  7. Delay of gratification: mothers' predictions about four attentional techniques.

    PubMed

    Hom, H L; Knight, H

    1996-06-01

    Mothers' predictions about the ability of their own children to delay gratification using different techniques were investigated. Fifty-one mothers of children 4 to 6 years old were asked to evaluate distraction, thinking about the incentive, tasting the incentive, and a control. These conditions were derived from the research of Mischel and his associates (1974), who demonstrated the effectiveness of distraction in aiding children's delay behavior. Parents were predicted to expect delay to be enhanced by the distraction technique and hampered by the thinking about the incentive and tasting the incentive techniques, with the latter being the least effective. Contrary to our predictions, mothers failed to predict effectiveness of distraction compared with the two incentive-focused techniques. Reasons are advanced for more research on parents' knowledge and valuing of metacognitive strategies appropriate for their children.

  8. The modulation of pain by attention and emotion: a dissociation of perceptual and spinal nociceptive processes.

    PubMed

    Roy, Mathieu; Lebuis, Ariane; Peretz, Isabelle; Rainville, Pierre

    2011-07-01

    Emotions and attention have been shown to influence the perception of pain and several psychophysiological studies have suggested an implication of descending modulatory mechanisms to explain these effects. However, the specificity of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the emotional and attentional modulation of pain still remains unclear. In order to differentiate the supra-spinal and spinal mechanisms involved in emotional and attentional modulation of pain, we measured pain perception (self-ratings) and the RIII reflex in healthy volunteers during the presentation of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures, as well as during a baseline condition with no visual distractor (Experiment 1). In a second experiment, we manipulated the emotional arousal induced by pleasant and unpleasant pictures in order to compare more directly the effects of distraction and arousal. Whereas emotional valence influenced pain and the amplitude of the RIII reflex in the same direction (negative > positive), distraction by neutral pictures reduced pain but increased the RIII reflex relative to baseline. Increased arousal further potentiated the effects of negative valence on both pain and the RIII reflex and the effects of positive emotions on pain, as previously reported. However, arousal did not potentiate the inhibitory effect of positive pictures on the RIII and seems insufficient to account for the effect of distraction on the RIII. Overall, these data provide further evidence that attention and emotion modulate pain through partially dissociable neurophysiological mechanisms.

  9. Failure to Modulate Attentional Control in Advanced Aging Linked to White Matter Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Van Dijk, Koene R. A.; Shire, Emily H.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Johnson, Keith A.; Buckner, Randy L.

    2012-01-01

    Advanced aging is associated with reduced attentional control and less flexible information processing. Here, the origins of these cognitive effects were explored using a functional magnetic resonance imaging task that systematically varied demands to shift attention and inhibit irrelevant information across task blocks. Prefrontal and parietal regions previously implicated in attentional control were recruited by the task and most so for the most demanding task configurations. A subset of older individuals did not modulate activity in frontal and parietal regions in response to changing task requirements. Older adults who did not dynamically modulate activity underperformed their peers and scored more poorly on neuropsychological measures of executive function and speed of processing. Examining 2 markers of preclinical pathology in older adults revealed that white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), but not high amyloid burden, were associated with failure to modulate activity in response to changing task demands. In contrast, high amyloid burden was associated with alterations in default network activity. These results suggest failure to modulate frontal and parietal activity reflects a disruptive process in advanced aging associated with specific neuropathologic processes. PMID:21765181

  10. Age-equivalent top-down modulation during cross-modal selective attention.

    PubMed

    Guerreiro, Maria J S; Anguera, Joaquin A; Mishra, Jyoti; Van Gerven, Pascal W M; Gazzaley, Adam

    2014-12-01

    Selective attention involves top-down modulation of sensory cortical areas, such that responses to relevant information are enhanced whereas responses to irrelevant information are suppressed. Suppression of irrelevant information, unlike enhancement of relevant information, has been shown to be deficient in aging. Although these attentional mechanisms have been well characterized within the visual modality, little is known about these mechanisms when attention is selectively allocated across sensory modalities. The present EEG study addressed this issue by testing younger and older participants in three different tasks: Participants attended to the visual modality and ignored the auditory modality, attended to the auditory modality and ignored the visual modality, or passively perceived information presented through either modality. We found overall modulation of visual and auditory processing during cross-modal selective attention in both age groups. Top-down modulation of visual processing was observed as a trend toward enhancement of visual information in the setting of auditory distraction, but no significant suppression of visual distraction when auditory information was relevant. Top-down modulation of auditory processing, on the other hand, was observed as suppression of auditory distraction when visual stimuli were relevant, but no significant enhancement of auditory information in the setting of visual distraction. In addition, greater visual enhancement was associated with better recognition of relevant visual information, and greater auditory distractor suppression was associated with a better ability to ignore auditory distraction. There were no age differences in these effects, suggesting that when relevant and irrelevant information are presented through different sensory modalities, selective attention remains intact in older age.

  11. Greater attention problems during childhood predict poorer executive functioning in late adolescence.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Naomi P; Haberstick, Brett C; Willcutt, Erik G; Miyake, Akira; Young, Susan E; Corley, Robin P; Hewitt, John K

    2007-10-01

    Attention problems (behavior problems including inattention, disorganization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity) are widely thought to reflect deficits in executive functions (EFs). However, it is unclear whether attention problems differentially relate to distinct EFs and how developmental stability and change predict levels of EFs in late adolescence. We investigated, in an unselected sample, how teacher-rated attention problems from ages 7 to 14 years related to three correlated but separable EFs, measured as latent variables at age 17. Attention problems at all ages significantly predicted later levels of response inhibition and working memory updating, and to some extent set shifting; the relation to inhibiting was stronger than the relations to the other EFs or IQ. Growth models indicated that attention problems were quite stable in this age range, and it was the initial levels of problems, rather than their changes across time, that predicted later EFs. These results support the hypothesis that attention problems primarily reflect difficulties with response inhibition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

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

  13. Crowding alters the spatial distribution of attention modulation in human primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Fang, Fang; He, Sheng

    2008-07-16

    Crowding effect is the visibility reduction of a target when presented with neighboring distractors. It has been explained by either lateral inhibition at a pre-attentive level or coarse spatial resolution of attention. To test these theories, high-resolution fMRI was used to measure V1 response to the target in the presence or the absence of the distractors in both attended and unattended conditions. We found the cortical response to the target was not affected by the presence of distractors in the unattended condition. However, the spatial distribution of attention modulation in the target and its surrounding area depended on the crowding configuration. When distractors were placed in the same radial axis as the target, a configuration with a severe crowding effect, significant attention enhancements were observed not only in the target's and the distractors' locations, but also in regions next to the target where even no stimulus was presented. But this spread of attention enhancement did not occur when distractors were placed in the same circumference as the target, a configuration with a weak crowding effect. The pattern of interaction between attention and target-distractor configuration supports that crowding results from coarse spatial resolution of attention.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. Bayesian Mapping Reveals That Attention Boosts Neural Responses to Predicted and Unpredicted Stimuli.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Marta I; Rowe, Elise G; Halász, Veronika; Mattingley, Jason B

    2017-04-10

    Predictive coding posits that the human brain continually monitors the environment for regularities and detects inconsistencies. It is unclear, however, what effect attention has on expectation processes, as there have been relatively few studies and the results of these have yielded contradictory findings. Here, we employed Bayesian model comparison to adjudicate between 2 alternative computational models. The "Opposition" model states that attention boosts neural responses equally to predicted and unpredicted stimuli, whereas the "Interaction" model assumes that attentional boosting of neural signals depends on the level of predictability. We designed a novel, audiospatial attention task that orthogonally manipulated attention and prediction by playing oddball sequences in either the attended or unattended ear. We observed sensory prediction error responses, with electroencephalography, across all attentional manipulations. Crucially, posterior probability maps revealed that, overall, the Opposition model better explained scalp and source data, suggesting that attention boosts responses to predicted and unpredicted stimuli equally. Furthermore, Dynamic Causal Modeling showed that these Opposition effects were expressed in plastic changes within the mismatch negativity network. Our findings provide empirical evidence for a computational model of the opposing interplay of attention and expectation in the brain.

  16. Coherent oscillatory activity in monkey area v4 predicts successful allocation of attention.

    PubMed

    Taylor, K; Mandon, S; Freiwald, W A; Kreiter, A K

    2005-09-01

    Attention serves to select objects from often complex scenes for enhanced processing and perception. In particular, the perception of shape depends critically on attention for integrating the various parts of the selected object into a coherent representation of object shape. To study whether oscillatory neuronal synchrony may serve as a mechanism of attention in shape perception, we introduced a novel shape-tracking task requiring sustained attention to a morphing shape. Attention was found to strongly increase oscillatory currents underlying the recorded field potentials in the gamma-frequency range, thus indicating enhanced neuronal synchrony within the population of V4 neurons representing the attended stimulus. Errors indicating a misdirection of attention to the distracter instead of the target were preceded by a corresponding shift of oscillatory activity from the target's neuronal representation to that of the distracter. No such effect was observed for errors unrelated to attention. Modulations of the attention-dependent enhancement of oscillatory activity occurred in correspondence with changing attentional demands during the course of a trial. The specificity of the effect of attentional errors together with the close coupling between attentional demand and oscillatory activity support the hypothesis that oscillatory neuronal synchrony serves as a mechanism of attention.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazzaley, Adam

    2010-02-01

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

  18. Sensory gain outperforms efficient readout mechanisms in predicting attention-related improvements in behavior.

    PubMed

    Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Ester, Edward F; Deering, Sean; Serences, John T

    2014-10-01

    Spatial attention has been postulated to facilitate perceptual processing via several different mechanisms. For instance, attention can amplify neural responses in sensory areas (sensory gain), mediate neural variability (noise modulation), or alter the manner in which sensory signals are selectively read out by postsensory decision mechanisms (efficient readout). Even in the context of simple behavioral tasks, it is unclear how well each of these mechanisms can account for the relationship between attention-modulated changes in behavior and neural activity because few studies have systematically mapped changes between stimulus intensity, attentional focus, neural activity, and behavioral performance. Here, we used a combination of psychophysics, event-related potentials (ERPs), and quantitative modeling to explicitly link attention-related changes in perceptual sensitivity with changes in the ERP amplitudes recorded from human observers. Spatial attention led to a multiplicative increase in the amplitude of an early sensory ERP component (the P1, peaking ∼80-130 ms poststimulus) and in the amplitude of the late positive deflection component (peaking ∼230-330 ms poststimulus). A simple model based on signal detection theory demonstrates that these multiplicative gain changes were sufficient to account for attention-related improvements in perceptual sensitivity, without a need to invoke noise modulation. Moreover, combining the observed multiplicative gain with a postsensory readout mechanism resulted in a significantly poorer description of the observed behavioral data. We conclude that, at least in the context of relatively simple visual discrimination tasks, spatial attention modulates perceptual sensitivity primarily by modulating the gain of neural responses during early sensory processing.

  19. Sensory Gain Outperforms Efficient Readout Mechanisms in Predicting Attention-Related Improvements in Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Ester, Edward F.; Deering, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Spatial attention has been postulated to facilitate perceptual processing via several different mechanisms. For instance, attention can amplify neural responses in sensory areas (sensory gain), mediate neural variability (noise modulation), or alter the manner in which sensory signals are selectively read out by postsensory decision mechanisms (efficient readout). Even in the context of simple behavioral tasks, it is unclear how well each of these mechanisms can account for the relationship between attention-modulated changes in behavior and neural activity because few studies have systematically mapped changes between stimulus intensity, attentional focus, neural activity, and behavioral performance. Here, we used a combination of psychophysics, event-related potentials (ERPs), and quantitative modeling to explicitly link attention-related changes in perceptual sensitivity with changes in the ERP amplitudes recorded from human observers. Spatial attention led to a multiplicative increase in the amplitude of an early sensory ERP component (the P1, peaking ∼80–130 ms poststimulus) and in the amplitude of the late positive deflection component (peaking ∼230–330 ms poststimulus). A simple model based on signal detection theory demonstrates that these multiplicative gain changes were sufficient to account for attention-related improvements in perceptual sensitivity, without a need to invoke noise modulation. Moreover, combining the observed multiplicative gain with a postsensory readout mechanism resulted in a significantly poorer description of the observed behavioral data. We conclude that, at least in the context of relatively simple visual discrimination tasks, spatial attention modulates perceptual sensitivity primarily by modulating the gain of neural responses during early sensory processing PMID:25274817

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Todd; Rangel, Antonio

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Striatal prediction error modulates cortical coupling.

    PubMed

    den Ouden, Hanneke E M; Daunizeau, Jean; Roiser, Jonathan; Friston, Karl J; Stephan, Klaas E

    2010-03-03

    Both perceptual inference and motor responses are shaped by learned probabilities. For example, stimulus-induced responses in sensory cortices and preparatory activity in premotor cortex reflect how (un)expected a stimulus is. This is in accordance with predictive coding accounts of brain function, which posit a fundamental role of prediction errors for learning and adaptive behavior. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and recent advances in computational modeling to investigate how (failures of) learned predictions about visual stimuli influence subsequent motor responses. Healthy volunteers discriminated visual stimuli that were differentially predicted by auditory cues. Critically, the predictive strengths of cues varied over time, requiring subjects to continuously update estimates of stimulus probabilities. This online inference, modeled using a hierarchical Bayesian learner, was reflected behaviorally: speed and accuracy of motor responses increased significantly with predictability of the stimuli. We used nonlinear dynamic causal modeling to demonstrate that striatal prediction errors are used to tune functional coupling in cortical networks during learning. Specifically, the degree of striatal trial-by-trial prediction error activity controls the efficacy of visuomotor connections and thus the influence of surprising stimuli on premotor activity. This finding substantially advances our understanding of striatal function and provides direct empirical evidence for formal learning theories that posit a central role for prediction error-dependent plasticity.

  3. Voluntary modulations of attention in a semantic auditory-visual matching task: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2008-01-01

    The present study explores the neural correlates of voluntary modulations of attention in an auditory-visual matching task. Visual stimuli (a female or a male face) were preceded in close temporal proximity by auditory stimuli consisting of the Spanish word for "man" and "woman" ("hombre" or "mujer"). In 80% of the trials the gender of the two stimuli coincided. Participants were asked to mentally count the specific instances in which a female face appeared after hearing the word "man" (10 % of the trials). Our results show attention-related amplitude modulation of the early visual ERP components NI and anterior P2, but also amplitude modulations of (i) the N270 potential usually associated with conflict detection, (ii) a P300 wave related to infrequency, and (iii) an N400 potential related to semantic incongruence. The elicitation of these latter components varied according to task manipulations, evidencing the role of voluntary allocation of attention in fine-tuning cognitive processing, which includes basic processes like detection of infrequency or semantic incongruity often considered to be volition-independent.

  4. Other-regarding attention focus modulates third-party altruistic choice: An fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    David, Bastian; Hu, Yang; Krüger, Frank; Weber, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Third-party altruistic decision-making has been shown to be modulated by other-regarding attention (e.g., focusing on the offender’s crime or the victim’s situation especially in judicial judgment). However, the neural mechanisms underlying this modulation remain poorly understood. In this fMRI study, participants voluntarily decided if they wanted to punish the first-party offender or help the second-party victim using their own monetary endowment in an unfair context. Particularly, before deciding they were asked to focus on the (un)fairness of the offender proposing the offer (offender-focused block, OB), the feeling of the victim receiving this offer (victim-focused block, VB), or without any specific focus (baseline block, BB). We found that compared to BB participants punished more frequently and prolonged help choices in OB, whereas they helped more frequently in VB. These findings were accompanied by an increased activation in the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) during decision making in OB and VB. Moreover, regions relevant to cognitive control (esp. IFG/AI and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) were strongly recruited during specific choices conflicting the attention focus (e.g., choosing help in OB). Our findings revealed how other-regarding attention modulates third-party altruistic decision-making at the neural level. PMID:28220867

  5. Frontal and parietal EEG asymmetries interact to predict attentional bias to threat.

    PubMed

    Grimshaw, Gina M; Foster, Joshua J; Corballis, Paul M

    2014-10-01

    Frontal and parietal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetries mark vulnerability to depression and anxiety. Drawing on cognitive theories of vulnerability, we hypothesise that cortical asymmetries predict attention to threat. Participants completed a dot-probe task in which bilateral face displays were followed by lateralised targets at either short (300ms) or long (1050ms) SOA. We also measured N2pc to face onset as an index of early attentional capture. At long SOA only, frontal and parietal asymmetry interacted to predict attentional bias to angry faces. Those with leftward frontal asymmetry showed no attentional bias. Among those with rightward frontal asymmetry those with low right parietal activity showed vigilance for threat, and those with high right parietal activity showed avoidance. Asymmetry was not related to the N2pc or to attentional bias at the short SOA. Findings suggest that trait asymmetries reflect function in a fronto-parietal network that controls attention to threat.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  8. Attentional modulation of background connectivity between ventral visual cortex and the medial temporal lobe.

    PubMed

    Córdova, Natalia I; Tompary, Alexa; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2016-10-01

    Attention prioritizes information that is most relevant to current behavioral goals. This prioritization can be accomplished by amplifying neural responses to goal-relevant information and by strengthening coupling between regions involved in processing this information. Such modulation occurs within and between areas of visual cortex, and relates to behavioral effects of attention on perception. However, attention also has powerful effects on learning and memory behavior, suggesting that similar modulation may occur for memory systems. We used fMRI to investigate this possibility, examining how visual information is prioritized for processing in the medial temporal lobe (MTL). We hypothesized that the way in which ventral visual cortex couples with MTL input structures will depend on the kind of information being attended. Indeed, visual cortex was more coupled with parahippocampal cortex when scenes were attended and more coupled with perirhinal cortex when faces were attended. This switching of MTL connectivity was more pronounced for visual voxels with weak selectivity, suggesting that connectivity might help disambiguate sensory signals. These findings provide an initial window into an attentional mechanism that could have consequences for learning and memory.

  9. Transdermal nicotine modulates strategy-based attentional semantic processing in non-smokers.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Anna D; Chenery, Helen J; Copland, David A

    2008-05-01

    Nicotine has been shown to improve various aspects of cognitive processing such as attention and memory, however, its effects on lexical-semantic processing are relatively uncharted. Recent investigations of mnemonic processing in minimally deprived smokers suggest that nicotine might selectively modulate processes concerned with associative memory. This study investigated the effects of nicotine on lexical-semantic processing in non-smokers using a strategy-based lexical-decision priming paradigm. Transdermal nicotine patches (7 mg/24 h) were administered within a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Participants were trained to expect target words to come from a specified semantic category based on the prime word, although in some instances trained expectations were not met. Participants were presented with the stimuli at either a short or long stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) to target automatic and attentional processing, respectively (n=12 and 17 for the short and long SOAs, respectively). Nicotine was found to selectively affect priming condition reaction times at the long SOA, indicating a nicotinic modulation of attentional mechanisms. Specifically, facilitation effects were dominant under placebo compared to a dominance of inhibition effects under nicotine. These results suggest that nicotine supports inhibitory attentional mechanisms in cognitively demanding semantic processing paradigms.

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

    PubMed Central

    Rogalsky, Corianne

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Emotional modulation of attention affects time perception: evidence from event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Tamm, Maria; Uusberg, Andero; Allik, Jüri; Kreegipuu, Kairi

    2014-06-01

    Emotional effects on human time perception are generally attributed to arousal speeding up or slowing down the internal clock. The aim of the present study is to investigate the less frequently considered role of attention as an alternative mediator of these effects with the help of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants produced short intervals (0.9, 1.5, 2.7, and 3.3s) while viewing high arousal images with pleasant and unpleasant contents in comparison to neutral images. Behavioral results revealed that durations were overproduced for the 0.9s interval whereas, for 2.7 and 3.3s intervals, underproduction was observed. The effect of affective valence was present for the shorter durations and decreased as the target intervals became longer. More specifically, the durations for unpleasant images were less overproduced in the 0.9s intervals, and for the 1.5s trials, durations for unpleasant images were slightly underproduced, compared to pleasant images, which were overproduced. The analysis of different ERP components suggests possible attention processes related to the timing of affective images in addition to changes in pacemaker speed. Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) was larger for positive than for negative images, indicating valence-specific differences in activation of early attention mechanisms. Within the early P1 and the Late Positive Potential (LPP) components, both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli exhibited equal affective modulation. Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) remained independent of both timing performance and affective modulation. This pattern suggests that both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli enhanced arousal and captured attention, but the latter effect was more pronounced for pleasant stimuli. The valence-specificity of affective attention revealed by ERPs combined with behavioral timing results suggests that attention processes indeed contribute to emotion-induced temporal distortions, especially for longer target intervals

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Maternal Behavior Predicts Infant Neurophysiological and Behavioral Attention Processes in the First Year

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swingler, Margaret M.; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-01-01

    We apply a biopsychosocial conceptualization to attention development in the 1st year and examine the role of neurophysiological and social processes on the development of early attention processes. We tested whether maternal behavior measured during 2 mother-child interaction tasks when infants (N = 388) were 5 months predicted infant medial…

  17. Maternal Behavior Predicts Infant Neurophysiological and Behavioral Attention Processes in the First Year

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swingler, Margaret M.; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-01-01

    We apply a biopsychosocial conceptualization to attention development in the 1st year and examine the role of neurophysiological and social processes on the development of early attention processes. We tested whether maternal behavior measured during 2 mother-child interaction tasks when infants (N = 388) were 5 months predicted infant medial…

  18. Mechanisms of attention to conditioned stimuli predictive of a cigarette outcome.

    PubMed

    Austin, A J; Duka, T

    2012-06-15

    Attention to stimuli associated with a rewarding outcome may be mediated by the incentive motivational properties that the stimulus acquires during conditioning. Other theories of attention state that the prediction error (the discrepancy between the expected and the actual outcome) during conditioning guides attention; once the outcome is fully predicted, attention should be abolished for the conditioned stimulus. The current study examined which of these mechanisms is dominant in conditioning when the outcome is highly rewarding. Allocation of attention to stimuli associated with cigarettes (the rewarding outcome) was tested in 16 smokers, who underwent a classical conditioning paradigm, where abstract visual stimuli were paired with a tobacco outcome. Stimuli were associated with 100% (stimulus A), 50% (stimulus B), or 0% (stimulus C) probability of receiving tobacco. Attention was measured using an eye-tracker device, and the appetitive value of the stimuli was measured with subjective pleasantness ratings during the conditioning process. Dwell time bias (duration of eye gaze) was greatest overall for the A stimulus, and increased over conditioning. Attention to stimulus A was dependent on the ratings of pleasantness that the stimulus evoked, and on the desire to smoke. These findings appear to support the theory that attention for conditioned stimuli is dominated by the incentive motivational qualities of the outcome they predict, and implicate a role for attention in the maintenance of addictive behaviours like smoking. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Attention and expectation in human predictive learning: the role of uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Hogarth, Lee; Dickinson, Anthony; Austin, Alison; Brown, Craig; Duka, Theodora

    2008-11-01

    Three localized, visual pattern stimuli were trained as predictive signals of auditory outcomes. One signal partially predicted an aversive noise in Experiment 1 and a neutral tone in Experiment 2, whereas the other signals consistently predicted either the occurrence or absence of the noise. The expectation of the noise was measured during each signal presentation, and only participants for whom this expectation demonstrated contingency knowledge showed differential attention to the signals. Importantly, when attention was measured by visual fixations, the contingency-aware group attended more to the partially predictive signal than to the consistent predictors in both experiments. This profile of visual attention supports the Pearce and Hall (1980) theory of the role of attention in associative learning.

  20. EEG theta/beta ratio in relation to fear-modulated response-inhibition, attentional control, and affective traits.

    PubMed

    Putman, Peter; van Peer, Jacobien; Maimari, Ioulia; van der Werff, Steven

    2010-02-01

    Power density-ratios of fast and slow frequency spectrum-bands can be calculated from resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. A well-established phenomenon is that slow wave/fast wave ratios (SW/FW) are increased in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Several researchers have also begun to study relationships between SW/FW and affect. This work suggests that increased SW/FW may reflect reduced frontal cortical control over subcortical affective approach drive. The present study (n=28) aimed to further examine this notion by testing several predictions derived from it. In line with these predictions, SW/FW was found to correlate negatively with fearful modulation of response inhibition in an emotional go/no-go task and with self-reported attentional control. Results also suggested a positive relation between SW/FW and trait approach motivation and a negative relation to anxiety, as predicted. These results are consistent with previous studies and support the notion that SW/FW may provide a useful tool in the study of affect and emotion regulation. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. What we observe is biased by what other people tell us: beliefs about the reliability of gaze behavior modulate attentional orienting to gaze cues.

    PubMed

    Wiese, Eva; Wykowska, Agnieszka; Müller, Hermann J

    2014-01-01

    For effective social interactions with other people, information about the physical environment must be integrated with information about the interaction partner. In order to achieve this, processing of social information is guided by two components: a bottom-up mechanism reflexively triggered by stimulus-related information in the social scene and a top-down mechanism activated by task-related context information. In the present study, we investigated whether these components interact during attentional orienting to gaze direction. In particular, we examined whether the spatial specificity of gaze cueing is modulated by expectations about the reliability of gaze behavior. Expectations were either induced by instruction or could be derived from experience with displayed gaze behavior. Spatially specific cueing effects were observed with highly predictive gaze cues, but also when participants merely believed that actually non-predictive cues were highly predictive. Conversely, cueing effects for the whole gazed-at hemifield were observed with non-predictive gaze cues, and spatially specific cueing effects were attenuated when actually predictive gaze cues were believed to be non-predictive. This pattern indicates that (i) information about cue predictivity gained from sampling gaze behavior across social episodes can be incorporated in the attentional orienting to social cues, and that (ii) beliefs about gaze behavior modulate attentional orienting to gaze direction even when they contradict information available from social episodes.

  2. What We Observe Is Biased by What Other People Tell Us: Beliefs about the Reliability of Gaze Behavior Modulate Attentional Orienting to Gaze Cues

    PubMed Central

    Wiese, Eva; Wykowska, Agnieszka; Müller, Hermann J.

    2014-01-01

    For effective social interactions with other people, information about the physical environment must be integrated with information about the interaction partner. In order to achieve this, processing of social information is guided by two components: a bottom-up mechanism reflexively triggered by stimulus-related information in the social scene and a top-down mechanism activated by task-related context information. In the present study, we investigated whether these components interact during attentional orienting to gaze direction. In particular, we examined whether the spatial specificity of gaze cueing is modulated by expectations about the reliability of gaze behavior. Expectations were either induced by instruction or could be derived from experience with displayed gaze behavior. Spatially specific cueing effects were observed with highly predictive gaze cues, but also when participants merely believed that actually non-predictive cues were highly predictive. Conversely, cueing effects for the whole gazed-at hemifield were observed with non-predictive gaze cues, and spatially specific cueing effects were attenuated when actually predictive gaze cues were believed to be non-predictive. This pattern indicates that (i) information about cue predictivity gained from sampling gaze behavior across social episodes can be incorporated in the attentional orienting to social cues, and that (ii) beliefs about gaze behavior modulate attentional orienting to gaze direction even when they contradict information available from social episodes. PMID:24722348

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the preferential processing of superior-hierarchy cues. However, it remains poorly understood whether top-down controlled mechanisms modulate temporal dynamics of neurocognitive substrates underlying the preferential processing of these biologically and socially relevant cues. This was investigated in the current study by recording event-related potentials from participants who were presented with superior or inferior social hierarchy. Participants performed a hierarchy-judgment task that required attention to hierarchy cues or a gender-judgment task that withdrew their attention from these cues. Superior-hierarchy cues evoked stronger neural responses than inferior-hierarchy cues at both early (N170/N200) and late (late positive potential, LPP) temporal stages. Notably, the modulations of top-down attention were identified on the LPP component, such that superior-hierarchy cues evoked larger LPP amplitudes than inferior-hierarchy cues only in the attended condition; whereas the modulations of the N170/N200 component by hierarchy cues were evident in both attended and unattended conditions. These findings suggest that the preferential perception of superior-hierarchy cues involves both relatively automatic attentional bias at the early temporal stage as well as flexible and voluntary cognitive evaluation at the late temporal stage. Finally, these hierarchy-related effects were absent when participants were shown the same stimuli which, however, were not associated with social-hierarchy information in a non-hierarchy task (Experiment 2), suggesting that effects of social hierarchy at early and late temporal stages could not be accounted for by differences in physical attributes between these social cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Hemisphere-Dependent Attentional Modulation of Human Parietal Visual Field Representations

    PubMed Central

    Silver, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Posterior parietal cortex contains several areas defined by topographically organized maps of the contralateral visual field. However, recent studies suggest that ipsilateral stimuli can elicit larger responses in the right than left hemisphere within these areas, depending on task demands. Here we determined the effects of spatial attention on the set of visual field locations (the population receptive field [pRF]) that evoked a response for each voxel in human topographic parietal cortex. A two-dimensional Gaussian was used to model the pRF in each voxel, and we measured the effects of attention on not only the center (preferred visual field location) but also the size (visual field extent) of the pRF. In both hemispheres, larger pRFs were associated with attending to the mapping stimulus compared with attending to a central fixation point. In the left hemisphere, attending to the stimulus also resulted in more peripheral preferred locations of contralateral representations, compared with attending fixation. These effects of attention on both pRF size and preferred location preserved contralateral representations in the left hemisphere. In contrast, attentional modulation of pRF size but not preferred location significantly increased representation of the ipsilateral (right) visual hemifield in right parietal cortex. Thus, attention effects in topographic parietal cortex exhibit hemispheric asymmetries similar to those seen in hemispatial neglect. Our findings suggest potential mechanisms underlying the behavioral deficits associated with this disorder. PMID:25589746

  5. Early Visual Cortex Dynamics during Top-Down Modulated Shifts of Feature-Selective Attention.

    PubMed

    Müller, Matthias M; Trautmann, Mireille; Keitel, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Shifting attention from one color to another color or from color to another feature dimension such as shape or orientation is imperative when searching for a certain object in a cluttered scene. Most attention models that emphasize feature-based selection implicitly assume that all shifts in feature-selective attention underlie identical temporal dynamics. Here, we recorded time courses of behavioral data and steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), an objective electrophysiological measure of neural dynamics in early visual cortex to investigate temporal dynamics when participants shifted attention from color or orientation toward color or orientation, respectively. SSVEPs were elicited by four random dot kinematograms that flickered at different frequencies. Each random dot kinematogram was composed of dashes that uniquely combined two features from the dimensions color (red or blue) and orientation (slash or backslash). Participants were cued to attend to one feature (such as color or orientation) and respond to coherent motion targets of the to-be-attended feature. We found that shifts toward color occurred earlier after the shifting cue compared with shifts toward orientation, regardless of the original feature (i.e., color or orientation). This was paralleled in SSVEP amplitude modulations as well as in the time course of behavioral data. Overall, our results suggest different neural dynamics during shifts of attention from color and orientation and the respective shifting destinations, namely, either toward color or toward orientation.

  6. Mini-Review: Prediction errors, attention and associative learning

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Peter C.; Schiffino, Felipe L.

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Reconciling Coherent Oscillation with Modulation of Irregular Spiking Activity in Selective Attention: Gamma-Range Synchronization between Sensory and Executive Cortical Areas

    PubMed Central

    Ardid, Salva; Wang, Xiao-Jing; Gomez-Cabrero, David; Compte, Albert

    2010-01-01

    In this computational work, we investigated gamma-band synchronization across cortical circuits associated with selective attention. The model explicitly instantiates a reciprocally connected loop of spiking neurons between a sensory-type (area MT) and an executive-type (prefrontal/parietal) cortical circuit (the source area for top-down attentional signaling). Moreover, unlike models in which neurons behave as clock-like oscillators, in our model single-cell firing is highly irregular (close to Possion) while local field potential exhibits a population rhythm. In this “sparsely synchronized oscillatory” regime, the model reproduces and clarifies multiple observations from behaving animals. Top-down attentional inputs have a profound effect on network oscillatory dynamics while only modestly affecting single-neuron spiking statistics. In addition, attentional synchrony modulations are highly selective: Inter-areal neuronal coherence occurs only when there is a close match between the preferred feature of neurons, the attended feature and the presented stimulus, a prediction that is experimentally testable. When inter-areal coherence was abolished attention-induced gain modulations of sensory neurons were slightly reduced. Therefore, our model reconciles the rate and synchronization effects, and suggests that interareal coherence contributes to large-scale neuronal computation in the brain through modest enhancement of rate modulations as well as a pronounced attention-specific enhancement of neural synchrony. PMID:20181583

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Influence of Compulsivity of Drug Abuse on Dopaminergic Modulation of Attentional Bias in Stimulant Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Ersche, Karen D.; Bullmore, Edward T.; Craig, Kevin J.; Shabbir, Shaila S.; Abbott, Sanja; Müller, Ulrich; Ooi, Cinly; Suckling, John; Barnes, Anna; Sahakian, Barbara J.; Merlo-Pich, Emilio V.; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2013-01-01

    effects on attentional bias, its brain functional representation, and its short-term modulation by dopaminergic challenges. PMID:20530013

  10. Modulation of Microsaccades in Monkey during a Covert Visual Attention Task

    PubMed Central

    Hafed, Ziad M.; Lovejoy, Lee P.; Krauzlis, Richard J.

    2011-01-01

    The use of awake, fixating monkeys in neuroscience has allowed significant advances in understanding numerous brain functions. However, fixation is an active process, with the occurrence of incessant eye movements, including rapid ones called microsaccades. Even though microsaccades have been shown to be modulated by stimulus and cognitive processes in humans, it is not known to what extent these results are similar in monkeys or why they occur. Here, we analyzed the stimulus-, context-, and attention-related changes in microsaccades while monkeys performed a challenging visual attention task. The distributions of microsaccade times were highly stereotypical across thousands of trials in the task. Moreover, in epochs of the task in which animals anticipated the occurrence of brief stimulus probes, microsaccade frequency decreased to a rate of <1 movement/s even on long multi-second trials. These effects were explained by the observation that microsaccades occurring at the times of the brief probes were sometimes associated with reduced perceptual performance. Microsaccade directions also exhibited temporal modulations related to the attentional demands of the task, like earlier studies in humans, and were more likely to be directed toward an attended location on successfully performed trials than on unsuccessfully completed ones. Our results show that microsaccades in non-human primates are correlated with the allocation of stimulus-evoked and sustained covert attention. We hypothesize that involvement of the superior colliculus in microsaccade generation and attentional allocation contributes to these observations. More importantly, our results clarify the potential role of these eye movements in modifying behavior and neural activity. PMID:22031868

  11. Is predictability salient? A study of attentional capture by auditory patterns

    PubMed Central

    Southwell, Rosy; Baumann, Anna; Gal, Cécile; Barascud, Nicolas; Friston, Karl

    2017-01-01

    In this series of behavioural and electroencephalography (EEG) experiments, we investigate the extent to which repeating patterns of sounds capture attention. Work in the visual domain has revealed attentional capture by statistically predictable stimuli, consistent with predictive coding accounts which suggest that attention is drawn to sensory regularities. Here, stimuli comprised rapid sequences of tone pips, arranged in regular (REG) or random (RAND) patterns. EEG data demonstrate that the brain rapidly recognizes predictable patterns manifested as a rapid increase in responses to REG relative to RAND sequences. This increase is reminiscent of the increase in gain on neural responses to attended stimuli often seen in the neuroimaging literature, and thus consistent with the hypothesis that predictable sequences draw attention. To study potential attentional capture by auditory regularities, we used REG and RAND sequences in two different behavioural tasks designed to reveal effects of attentional capture by regularity. Overall, the pattern of results suggests that regularity does not capture attention. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Auditory and visual scene analysis’. PMID:28044016

  12. Theta-band functional connectivity in the dorsal fronto-parietal network predicts goal-directed attention.

    PubMed

    Fellrath, Julia; Mottaz, Anaïs; Schnider, Armin; Guggisberg, Adrian G; Ptak, Radek

    2016-11-01

    Functional imaging studies have identified a dorsal fronto-parietal network whose activity reflects shifts of attention in space and is sensitive to the behavioural relevance of stimuli. In patients with severe deficits of spatial attention this network is often structurally preserved. Here, we show that resting-state EEG functional connectivity in the dorsal fronto-parietal network predicts impaired goal-directed processing in stroke patients with spatial attention deficits. Eleven right-hemisphere damaged patients with different degrees of contralesional spatial deficits and sixteen age-matched healthy controls performed a visuo-spatial task which required them to react to a central target while ignoring task-relevant distracters presented left or right of fixation. Unlike controls, performance of patients was not modulated by the goal-relevance of peripheral distracters. Compared to controls patients showed a significant decrease in theta-band connectivity between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the right superior parietal region. Moreover, in both groups we observed a significant correlation between fronto-parietal connectivity and the behavioural effect of distracter relevance. These findings indicate that fronto-parietal functional connectivity is impaired in patients with spatial attention deficits and predicts effects of goal-relevant information on target processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Activation of frontoparietal attention networks by non-predictive gaze and arrow cues.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Robert M; Fricker, Zachary; Keehn, Brandon

    2015-02-01

    Gaze and arrow cues automatically orient visual attention, even when they have no predictive value, but the neural circuitry by which they direct attention is not clear. Recent evidence has indicated that the ventral frontoparietal attention network is primarily engaged by breaches of a viewer's cue-related expectations. Accordingly, we hypothesized that to the extent that non-predictive gaze and arrow cues automatically engender expectations with regard to cue location, they should activate the ventral attention network when they cue attention invalidly. Using event-related fMRI, we found that invalid gaze but not arrow cues activated the ventral attention network, specifically in the area of the right temporal parietal junction (TPJ), as well as nodes along the dorsal attention network associated with a redirection of attention to the correct target location. In additional whole-brain analyses, facilitation of behavioral response time by valid gaze cues was linearly associated with the degree of activation in the right TPJ. We conclude from our findings that gaze direction elicits potent expectations in humans with regard to an actor's intention that engage attention networks if not differently from, at least more robustly than, arrow cues. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Activation of frontoparietal attention networks by non-predictive gaze and arrow cues

    PubMed Central

    Fricker, Zachary; Keehn, Brandon

    2015-01-01

    Gaze and arrow cues automatically orient visual attention, even when they have no predictive value, but the neural circuitry by which they direct attention is not clear. Recent evidence has indicated that the ventral frontoparietal attention network is primarily engaged by breaches of a viewer’s cue-related expectations. Accordingly, we hypothesized that to the extent that non-predictive gaze and arrow cues automatically engender expectations with regard to cue location, they should activate the ventral attention network when they cue attention invalidly. Using event-related fMRI, we found that invalid gaze but not arrow cues activated the ventral attention network, specifically in the area of the right temporal parietal junction (TPJ), as well as nodes along the dorsal attention network associated with a redirection of attention to the correct target location. In additional whole-brain analyses, facilitation of behavioral response time by valid gaze cues was linearly associated with the degree of activation in the right TPJ. We conclude from our findings that gaze direction elicits potent expectations in humans with regard to an actor’s intention that engage attention networks if not differently from, at least more robustly than, arrow cues. PMID:24748545

  15. Frontal brain electrical asymmetry and cardiac vagal tone predict biased attention to social threat.

    PubMed

    Miskovic, Vladimir; Schmidt, Louis A

    2010-03-01

    Individual differences in attention biases for motivationally significant stimuli have been reported in clinical and normative populations. Few studies, however, have attempted to examine potential biological mechanisms underlying differences in the cognitive processing of emotional stimuli. The present study examined the extent to which two well-validated psychophysiological vulnerability markers of affective style [i.e., frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry and cardiac vagal tone] predicted biased attention toward rapid presentations (approximately 250 ms) of angry and happy facial expressions. We found that right frontal EEG asymmetry and low cardiac vagal tone, taken together, predicted approximately 37% of the variability in attentional vigilance for angry faces. Frontal EEG asymmetry and cardiac vagal tone did not predict attention for happy faces, independently of each other. Our results provide preliminary evidence that two well established psychophysiological indicators of affective style bias early processing of motivationally salient stimuli.

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

    PubMed

    Wieser, Matthias J; Keil, Andreas

    2011-05-25

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

  17. Relating lab to life: Decrements in attention over time predict math productivity among children with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Fosco, Whitney D; Hawk, Larry W

    2017-02-01

    A child's ability to sustain attention over time (AOT) is critical in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet no prior work has examined the extent to which a child's decrement in AOT on laboratory tasks relates to clinically-relevant behavior. The goal of this study is to provide initial evidence for the criterion validity of laboratory assessments of AOT. A total of 20 children with ADHD (7-12 years of age) who were enrolled in a summer treatment program completed two lab attention tasks (a continuous performance task and a self-paced choice discrimination task) and math seatwork. Analyses focused on relations between attention task parameters and math productivity. Individual differences in overall attention (OA) measures (averaged across time) accounted for 23% of the variance in math productivity, supporting the criterion validity of lab measures of attention. The criterion validity was enhanced by consideration of changes in AOT. Performance on all laboratory attention measures deteriorated as time-on-task increased, and individual differences in the decrement in AOT accounted for 40% of the variance in math productivity. The only variable to uniquely predict math productivity was from the self-paced choice discrimination task. This study suggests that attention tasks in the lab do predict a clinically-relevant target behavior in children with ADHD, supporting their use as a means to study attention processes in a controlled environment. Furthermore, this prediction is improved when attention is examined as a function of time-on-task and when the attentional demands are consistent between lab and life contexts.

  18. Resting EEG theta activity predicts cognitive performance in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Hermens, Daniel F; Soei, Eleonore X C; Clarke, Simon D; Kohn, Michael R; Gordon, Evian; Williams, Leanne M

    2005-04-01

    Quantitative electroencephalography has contributed significantly to elucidating the neurobiologic mechanisms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The most consistent and robust electroencephalographic disturbance in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has been abnormally increased theta band during resting conditions. Separate research using attention-demanding tests has elucidated cognitive disturbances that differentiate attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. This study attempts to integrate electroencephalographic and neuropsychological indices to determine whether cognitive performance is specifically related to increased theta. Theta activity was recorded during a resting condition for 46 children/adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and their sex- and age-matched control subjects. Accuracy and reaction time during an auditory oddball and a visual continuous performance test were then recorded. Compared with control subjects, the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder group manifested significantly increased (primarily left) frontal theta. Furthermore, the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder group scored significantly delayed reaction time and decreased accuracy in both tasks. Correlation analysis revealed a significant relationship between frontal (primarily left) theta and oddball accuracy for the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder group compared with a significant relationship between posterior (primarily right) theta and reaction time in the continuous performance test for the control group. These results indicate that spatial neurophysiologic deficits in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may be related to disturbances in signal detection. This observation has important implications for the role of trait-like biologic deficits in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder predicting performance in information processing.

  19. Working memory distortions of duration perception are modulated by attentional tags.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yi; Hou, Xiu

    2016-03-01

    Recent research has shown that the contents of working memory can alter our perceptual experiences of visual matching stimuli. However, it is possible that different kinds of working memory representations may distort visual perception in different ways. In the present study, we associated working memory representations with different attentional tags and then examined their effects on perceived duration. The results showed that working memory representations prolonged apparent duration when they were tagged as a target and shortened perceived duration when they were tagged as a distractor. This is the first demonstration that attentional tags can modulate working memory effects on perceptual experience. We conclude that the influences of working memory on visual perception are determined not only by what information to be held in memory, but also by how the information is represented in memory.

  20. Effects of cigarette smoking on prepulse inhibition, its attentional modulation, and vigilance performance.

    PubMed

    Rissling, Anthony J; Dawson, Michael E; Schell, Anne M; Nuechterlein, Keith H

    2007-07-01

    Startle eyeblink modification was measured during a degraded stimulus continuous performance test following both smoking and overnight abstinence among student smokers to measure the effects of smoking on both early and late attentional processes. A group of nonsmokers was tested twice without nicotine manipulation. A startling noise was presented either 240 or 1200 ms following target and nontarget stimuli presented during the task. Startle inhibition at 240 ms was greater following targets than nontargets following smoking and during both nonsmoker tests, but this attentional modulation was absent following abstinence. At the 1200-ms probe position, target and nontarget stimuli produced nondifferential inhibition during both tests for both groups. Abstinence among smokers produced reliably lower vigilance performance compared to ad lib smoking. The results indicate that smoking abstinence affects the early stages of stimulus processing.

  1. Making Something out of Nothing: Neutral Content Modulates Attention in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Although an attentional bias for threat has been implicated in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), evidence supporting such a bias has been inconsistent. The current study examines whether exposure to different emotional content modulates attention disengagement and impairs the perception of subsequently presented nonemotional targets in GAD. Patients with GAD (n = 30) and controls (n = 30) searched for a target embedded within a series of rapidly presented images. Critically, an erotic, fear, disgust, or neutral distracter image appeared 200 ms or 800 ms before the target. Impaired target detection was observed among GAD patients relative to controls following only fear and neutral distractors. However, this effect did not significantly vary as a function of distractor stimulus duration before the target. Furthermore, group differences in target detection after fear distractors were no longer significant when controlling for target detection after neutral distractors. Subsequent analysis also revealed that the impaired target detection among those with GAD relative to controls following neutral (but not fear) distractors was mediated by deficits in attentional control. The implications of these findings for further delineating the function of attentional biases in GAD are discussed. PMID:21449004

  2. Attentional shifts induced by uninformative number symbols modulate neural activity in human occipital cortex.

    PubMed

    Goffaux, Valérie; Martin, Romain; Dormal, Giulia; Goebel, Rainer; Schiltz, Christine

    2012-12-01

    Number processing interacts with space encoding in a wide variety of experimental paradigms. Most intriguingly, the passive viewing of uninformative number symbols can shift visuo-spatial attention to different target locations according to the number magnitude, i.e., small/large numbers facilitate processing of left/right targets, respectively. The brain architecture dedicated to these attention shifts associated with numbers remains unknown. Evoked potential recordings indicate that both early and late stages are involved in this spatio-numerical interaction, but the neuro-functional anatomy needs to be specified. Here we use, for the first time, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate attentional orienting following uninformative Arabic digits. We show that BOLD response in occipital visual regions is modulated by the congruency between digit magnitude (small/large) and target side (left/right). Additionally, we report higher BOLD responses following large (8, 9) compared to small (1, 2) digits in two bilateral parietal regions, yielding a significant effect of digit magnitude. We propose and discuss the view that encoding of semantic representations related to number symbols in parietal cortex leads to shifts in visuo-spatial attention and enhances visual processing in the occipital cortex according to number-space congruency rules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Won, Bo-Yeong

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Attentional selection of superimposed surfaces cannot be explained by modulation of the gain of color channels.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Jude F; Stoner, Gene R; Fallah, Mazyar; Reynolds, John H

    2003-06-01

    When two differently colored, superimposed patterns of dots rotate in opposite directions, this yields the percept of two superimposed transparent surfaces. If observers are cued to attend to one set of dots, they are impaired in making judgments about the other set. Since the two sets of dots are overlapping, the cueing effect cannot be explained by spatial attention. This has led to the interpretation that the impairment reflects surface-based attentional selection. However, recent single-unit recording studies in monkeys have found that attention can modulate the gain of neurons tuned for features such as color. Thus, rather than reflecting the selection of a surface, the behavioral effects might simply reflect a reduction in the gain of color channels selective for the color of the uncued set of dots (feature-based attention), as if viewing the surfaces through a colored filter. If so, then the impairment should be eliminated when the two surfaces are made the same color. Instead, we find that the impairment persists with no reduction in strength. Our findings thus rule out the color gain explanation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Afferent cardiac signals modulate attentional engagement to low spatial frequency fearful faces.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Ruben T; Badoud, Deborah; Tsakiris, Manos

    2017-07-04

    Despite the growing consensus that the continuous dynamic cortical representations of internal bodily states shape the subjective experience of emotions, physiological arousal is typically considered only a consequence and rarely a determinant of the emotional experience. Recent experimental approaches study how afferent autonomic signals from the heart modulate the processing of sensory information by focussing on the phasic properties of arterial baroreceptor firing that is active during cardiac systole and quiescent during cardiac diastole. For example, baroreceptor activation has been shown to enhance the processing of threat-signalling stimuli. Here, we investigate the role of cardiac afferent signals in the rapid engagement and disengagement of attention to fear stimuli. In an adapted version of the emotional attentional cueing paradigm, we timed the presentation of cues, either fearful or neutral faces, to coincide with the different phases of the cardiac cycle. Moreover, we presented cues with different spatial frequency ranges to investigate how these interoceptive signals influence the processing of visual information. Results revealed a selective enhancement of attentional engagement to low spatial frequency fearful faces presented during cardiac systole relative to diastole. No cardiac cycle effects were observed to high spatial frequency nor broad spatial frequency cues. These findings expand our mechanistic understanding of how body-brain interactions may impact the visual processing of fearful stimuli and contribute to the increased attentional capture of threat signals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Pre-attentive modulation of brain responses to tones in coloured-hearing synesthetes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Coloured-hearing (CH) synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which an acoustic stimulus (the inducer) initiates a concurrent colour perception (the concurrent). Individuals with CH synesthesia "see" colours when hearing tones, words, or music; this specific phenomenon suggesting a close relationship between auditory and visual representations. To date, it is still unknown whether the perception of colours is associated with a modulation of brain functions in the inducing brain area, namely in the auditory-related cortex and associated brain areas. In addition, there is an on-going debate as to whether attention to the inducer is necessarily required for eliciting a visual concurrent, or whether the latter can emerge in a pre-attentive fashion. Results By using the EEG technique in the context of a pre-attentive mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm, we show that the binding of tones and colours in CH synesthetes is associated with increased MMN amplitudes in response to deviant tones supposed to induce novel concurrent colour perceptions. Most notably, the increased MMN amplitudes we revealed in the CH synesthetes were associated with stronger intracerebral current densities originating from the auditory cortex, parietal cortex, and ventral visual areas. Conclusions The automatic binding of tones and colours in CH synesthetes is accompanied by an early pre-attentive process recruiting the auditory cortex, inferior and superior parietal lobules, as well as ventral occipital areas. PMID:23241212

  8. Language familiarity modulates relative attention to the eyes and mouth of a talker.

    PubMed

    Barenholtz, Elan; Mavica, Lauren; Lewkowicz, David J

    2016-02-01

    We investigated whether the audiovisual speech cues available in a talker's mouth elicit greater attention when adults have to process speech in an unfamiliar language vs. a familiar language. Participants performed a speech-encoding task while watching and listening to videos of a talker in a familiar language (English) or an unfamiliar language (Spanish or Icelandic). Attention to the mouth increased in monolingual subjects in response to an unfamiliar language condition but did not in bilingual subjects when the task required speech processing. In the absence of an explicit speech-processing task, subjects attended equally to the eyes and mouth in response to both familiar and unfamiliar languages. Overall, these results demonstrate that language familiarity modulates selective attention to the redundant audiovisual speech cues in a talker's mouth in adults. When our findings are considered together with similar findings from infants, they suggest that this attentional strategy emerges very early in life. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bermeitinger, Christina; Frings, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Motivational intensity modulates attentional scope: evidence from behavioral and ERP studies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lei; Zhang, Guangnan; Zhou, Renlai; Wang, Zuowei

    2014-10-01

    Previous studies have found that affective states with high motivational intensity narrow attentional scope, whereas affective states with low motivational intensity broaden attentional scope. This conclusion, however, is based on fragmented evidence based on several separate studies. The present study tests this conclusion within a single study using both behavioral (Experiment 1) and neurophysiological (Experiment 2) measures. Experiment 1 showed that individuals had the global precedence effect in the neutral affective state. However, the global precedence effect was reduced for affective states with high motivational intensity, whereas the global precedence effect was not significantly enhanced for those with low motivational intensity. Experiment 2 replicated these results with event-related potential (ERP) recording. ERP results showed that affective states with high motivational intensity induced smaller N2 and greater late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes than low motivational intensity and neutral affective states. However, no differences were found between the low motivational intensity and neutral affective states. Furthermore, smaller LPP predicted the tendency a global attentional focus in the frontal and central areas and larger LPP predicted a narrowed focus in the frontal area. The findings suggested that high motivational intensity of affective states can affect attentional scope.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. A new test of attention in listening (TAIL) predicts auditory performance.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Children's cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase interact to predict attention bias to threatening stimuli.

    PubMed

    Ursache, Alexandra; Blair, Clancy

    2015-01-01

    Physiological responses to threat occur through both the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. Activity in these systems can be measured through salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) and salivary cortisol, respectively. Theoretical work and empirical studies have suggested the importance of examining the coordination of these systems in relation to cognitive functioning and behavior problems. Less is known, however, about whether these systems interactively predict more automatic aspects of attention processing such as attention toward emotionally salient threatening stimuli. We used a dot probe task to assess attention bias toward threatening stimuli in 347 kindergarten children. Cortisol and sAA were assayed from saliva samples collected prior to children's participation in assessments on a subsequent day. Using regression analyses, we examined relations of sAA and cortisol to attention bias. Results indicate that cortisol and sAA interact in predicting attention bias. Higher levels of cortisol predicted greater bias toward threat for children who had high levels of sAA, but predicted greater bias away from threat for children who had low levels of sAA. These results suggest that greater symmetry in HPA and ANS functioning is associated with greater reliance on automatic attention processes in the face of threat.

  15. Stimulus saliency modulates pre-attentive processing speed in human visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Töllner, Thomas; Zehetleitner, Michael; Gramann, Klaus; Müller, Hermann J

    2011-01-21

    The notion of a saliency-based processing architecture [1] underlying human vision is central to a number of current theories of visual selective attention [e.g., 2]. On this view, focal-attention is guided by an overall-saliency map of the scene, which integrates (sums) signals from pre-attentive sensory feature-contrast computations (e.g., for color, motion, etc.). By linking the Posterior Contralateral Negativity (PCN) component to reaction time (RT) performance, we tested one specific prediction of such salience summation models: expedited shifts of focal-attention to targets with low, as compared to high, target-distracter similarity. For two feature-dimensions (color and orientation), we observed decreasing RTs with increasing target saliency. Importantly, this pattern was systematically mirrored by the timing, as well as amplitude, of the PCN. This pattern demonstrates that visual saliency is a key determinant of the time it takes for focal-attention to be engaged onto the target item, even when it is just a feature singleton.

  16. Spatial Attention, Motor Intention, and Bayesian Cue Predictability in the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Kuhns, Anna B; Dombert, Pascasie L; Mengotti, Paola; Fink, Gereon R; Vossel, Simone

    2017-05-24

    Predictions about upcoming events influence how we perceive and respond to our environment. There is increasing evidence that predictions may be generated based upon previous observations following Bayesian principles, but little is known about the underlying cortical mechanisms and their specificity for different cognitive subsystems. The present study aimed at identifying common and distinct neural signatures of predictive processing in the spatial attentional and motor intentional system. Twenty-three female and male healthy human volunteers performed two probabilistic cueing tasks with either spatial or motor cues while lying in the fMRI scanner. In these tasks, the percentage of cue validity changed unpredictably over time. Trialwise estimates of cue predictability were derived from a Bayesian observer model of behavioral responses. These estimates were included as parametric regressors for analyzing the BOLD time series. Parametric effects of cue predictability in valid and invalid trials were considered to reflect belief updating by precision-weighted prediction errors. The brain areas exhibiting predictability-dependent effects dissociated between the spatial attention and motor intention task, with the right temporoparietal cortex being involved during spatial attention and the left angular gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex during motor intention. Connectivity analyses revealed that all three areas showed predictability-dependent coupling with the right hippocampus. These results suggest that precision-weighted prediction errors of stimulus locations and motor responses are encoded in distinct brain regions, but that crosstalk with the hippocampus may be necessary to integrate new trialwise outcomes in both cognitive systems.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The brain is able to infer the environments' statistical structure and responds strongly to expectancy violations. In the spatial attentional domain, it has been shown that parts of the attentional networks are

  17. Module-based outcome prediction using breast cancer compendia.

    PubMed

    van Vliet, Martin H; Klijn, Christiaan N; Wessels, Lodewyk F A; Reinders, Marcel J T

    2007-10-17

    The availability of large collections of microarray datasets (compendia), or knowledge about grouping of genes into pathways (gene sets), is typically not exploited when training predictors of disease outcome. These can be useful since a compendium increases the number of samples, while gene sets reduce the size of the feature space. This should be favorable from a machine learning perspective and result in more robust predictors. We extracted modules of regulated genes from gene sets, and compendia. Through supervised analysis, we constructed predictors which employ modules predictive of breast cancer outcome. To validate these predictors we applied them to independent data, from the same institution (intra-dataset), and other institutions (inter-dataset). We show that modules derived from single breast cancer datasets achieve better performance on the validation data compared to gene-based predictors. We also show that there is a trend in compendium specificity and predictive performance: modules derived from a single breast cancer dataset, and a breast cancer specific compendium perform better compared to those derived from a human cancer compendium. Additionally, the module-based predictor provides a much richer insight into the underlying biology. Frequently selected gene sets are associated with processes such as cell cycle, E2F regulation, DNA damage response, proteasome and glycolysis. We analyzed two modules related to cell cycle, and the OCT1 transcription factor, respectively. On an individual basis, these modules provide a significant separation in survival subgroups on the training and independent validation data.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vetter, Petra; Butterworth, Brian; Bahrami, Bahador

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vetter, Petra; Butterworth, Brian; Bahrami, Bahador

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Maternal behavior predicts infant neurophysiological and behavioral attention processes in the first year.

    PubMed

    Swingler, Margaret M; Perry, Nicole B; Calkins, Susan D; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-01-01

    We apply a biopsychosocial conceptualization to attention development in the 1st year and examine the role of neurophysiological and social processes on the development of early attention processes. We tested whether maternal behavior measured during 2 mother-child interaction tasks when infants (N = 388) were 5 months predicted infant medial frontal (F3/F4) EEG power and observed attention behavior during an attention task at 10 months. After controlling for infant attention behavior and EEG power in the same task measured at an earlier 5-month time point, results indicated a significant direct and positive association from 5-month maternal positive affect to infant attention behavior at 10 months. However, maternal positive affect was not related to medial frontal EEG power. In contrast, 5-month maternal intrusive behavior was associated with infants' task-related EEG power change at the left frontal location, F3, at 10 months of age. The test of indirect effects from 5-month maternal intrusiveness to 10-month infant attention behavior via infants' EEG power change at F3 was significant. These findings suggest that the development of neural networks serving attention processes may be 1 mechanism through which early maternal behavior is related to infant attention development in the 1st year and that intrusive maternal behavior may have a particularly disruptive effect on this process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Feast your eyes: hunger and trait reward drive predict attentional bias for food cues.

    PubMed

    Tapper, Katy; Pothos, Emmanuel M; Lawrence, Andrew D

    2010-12-01

    Appraisal theories of emotion predict that the relevance of a stimulus to a person's needs and goals influences attentional allocation. We used a modified visual probe task to examine the influence of hunger and trait reward drive on food-related attentional bias. Both hunger and trait reward drive predicted degree of attentional "disengagement" from food images at short (100 ms), but not long (500, 2,000 ms) stimulus durations. Effects of hunger were found for both bland and appetizing foods, while effects of reward drive were restricted to appetizing foods. Our findings extend previous research showing delayed "disengagement" from threat-related stimuli, suggesting that both organismic- and goal-relevance are key biasing factors in attentional competition.

  2. Visual receptive field modulation in the lateral intraparietal area during attentive fixation and free gaze.

    PubMed

    Ben Hamed, S; Duhamel, J-R; Bremmer, F; Graf, W

    2002-03-01

    The receptive field (RF) of neurons recorded from the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) was quantified using a rapid, computer-driven mapping procedure. For each neuron, the RF was mapped: (1) during attentive fixation and (2) during free visual exploration. RF location, size and internal structure were modulated by the mapping context in over two-thirds of the recorded neurons. The major trend was a proportionally larger amount of neuronal visual resources allocated to central space during fixation, and an attenuated center-to-periphery gradient in the visual field representation during free gaze. A population approach shows that these spatial modulations are accompanied by changes in the signal-to-noise ratio of the information carried in the RF substructure. We related these neurophysiological observations to behavior, by comparing the characteristics of saccades elicited during fixation and free gaze. Together, the results suggest that the dynamics of LIP visual RFs may characterize both the state of engagement of attention and the power of resolution of visual analysis: during fixation, the neural population is locked in a filter state concentrating the processing resources at the fovea, while during free gaze, the population shifts to a detector state spreading the resources more evenly across the visual field.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    The proliferation of "idealized" (i.e., very thin and attractive) women in the media has contributed to increasing rates of body dissatisfaction among women. However, it remains relatively unknown how women attend to these images: does dissatisfaction predict greater or lesser attention to these body regions on others? Fifty healthy women (mean age=21.8 years) viewed images of idealized and plus-size models; an eye-tracker recorded visual attention. Participants also completed measures of satisfaction for specific body regions, which were then used as predictors of visual attention to these regions on models. Consistent with an avoidance-type process, lower levels of satisfaction with the two regions of greatest reported concern (mid, lower torso) predicted less attention to these regions; greater satisfaction predicted more attention to these regions. While this visual attention bias may aid in preserving self-esteem when viewing idealized others, it may preclude the opportunity for comparisons that could improve self-esteem. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Task instructions modulate the attentional mode affecting the auditory MMN and the semantic N400

    PubMed Central

    Erlbeck, Helena; Kübler, Andrea; Kotchoubey, Boris; Veser, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) have been proven to be a useful tool to complement clinical assessment and to detect residual cognitive functions in patients with disorders of consciousness. These ERPs are often recorded using passive or unspecific instructions. Patient data obtained this way are then compared to data from healthy participants, which are usually recorded using active instructions. The present study investigates the effect of attentive modulations and particularly the effect of active vs. passive instruction on the ERP components mismatch negativity (MMN) and N400. A sample of 18 healthy participants listened to three auditory paradigms: an oddball, a word priming, and a sentence paradigm. Each paradigm was presented three times with different instructions: ignoring auditory stimuli, passive listening, and focused attention on the auditory stimuli. After each task, the participants indicated their subjective effort. The N400 decreased from the focused task to the passive task, and was extinct in the ignore task. The MMN exhibited higher amplitudes in the focused and passive task compared to the ignore task. The data indicate an effect of attention on the supratemporal component of the MMN. Subjective effort was equally high in the passive and focused tasks but reduced in the ignore task. We conclude that passive listening during EEG recording is stressful and attenuates ERPs, which renders the interpretation of the results obtained in such conditions difficult. PMID:25221494

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

    PubMed Central

    Kanske, Philipp; Schönfelder, Sandra; Wessa, Michèle

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Specific cognitive-neurophysiological processes predict impulsivity in the childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder combined subtype.

    PubMed

    Bluschke, A; Roessner, V; Beste, C

    2016-04-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in childhood. Besides inattention and hyperactivity, impulsivity is the third core symptom leading to diverse and serious problems. However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying impulsivity in ADHD are still not fully understood. This is all the more the case when patients with the ADHD combined subtype (ADHD-C) are considered who are characterized by both symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Combining high-density electroencephalography (EEG) recordings with source localization analyses, we examined what information processing stages are dysfunctional in ADHD-C (n = 20) compared with controls (n = 18). Patients with ADHD-C made more impulsive errors in a Go/No-go task than healthy controls. Neurophysiologically, different subprocesses from perceptual gating to attentional selection, resource allocation and response selection processes are altered in this patient group. Perceptual gating, stimulus-driven attention selection and resource allocation processes were more pronounced in ADHD-C, are related to activation differences in parieto-occipital networks and suggest attentional filtering deficits. However, only response selection processes, associated with medial prefrontal networks, predicted impulsive errors in ADHD-C. Although the clinical picture of ADHD-C is complex and a multitude of processing steps are altered, only a subset of processes seems to directly modulate impulsive behaviour. The present findings improve the understanding of mechanisms underlying impulsivity in patients with ADHD-C and might help to refine treatment algorithms focusing on impulsivity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. Energy drinks and their component modulate attention, memory, and antioxidant defences in rats.

    PubMed

    Valle, M T Costa; Couto-Pereira, N S; Lampert, C; Arcego, D M; Toniazzo, A P; Limberger, R P; Dallegrave, E; Dalmaz, C; Arbo, M D; Leal, M B

    2017-08-12

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the subchronic consumption of energy drinks and their constituents (caffeine and taurine) in male Wistar rats using behavioural and oxidative measures. Energy drinks (ED 5, 7.5, and 10 mL/kg) or their constituents, caffeine (3.2 mg/kg) and taurine (40 mg/kg), either separately or in combination, were administered orally to animals for 28 days. Attention was measured though the ox-maze apparatus and the object recognition memory test. Following behavioural analyses, markers of oxidative stress, including SOD, CAT, GPx, thiol content, and free radicals, were measured in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. The latency time to find the first reward was lower in animals that received caffeine, taurine, or a combination of both (P = 0.003; ANOVA/Bonferroni). In addition, these animals took less time to complete the ox-maze task (P = 0.0001; ANOVA/Bonferroni), and had better short-term memory (P < 0.01, Kruskal-Wallis). The ED 10 group showed improvement in the attention task, but did not differ on other measures. In addition, there was an imbalance in enzymatic markers of oxidative stress in the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the striatum. In the group that received both caffeine and taurine, there was a significant increase in the production of free radicals in the prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus (P < 0.0001; ANOVA/Bonferroni). Exposure to a combination of caffeine and taurine improved memory and attention, and led to an imbalance in the antioxidant defence system. These results differed from those of the group that was exposed to the energy drink. This might be related to other components contained in the energy drink, such as vitamins and minerals, which may have altered the ability of caffeine and taurine to modulate memory and attention.

  12. Evidence for modality-specific but not frequency-specific modulation of human primary auditory cortex by attention.

    PubMed

    Gander, P E; Bosnyak, D J; Roberts, L E

    2010-09-01

    We used the stimulus-driven 40-Hz auditory steady-state response (ASSR) that localizes tonotopically to the region of primary auditory cortex (A1) to study modulation of this region by top-down attention. Experiment 1 presented amplitude modulated (AM) auditory and visual stimuli simultaneously (AM at 40 Hz and 16 Hz, respectively) while participants responded to targets in one modality or the other. ASSR amplitude increased from an unattended passive baseline during auditory but not visual attention demonstrating modality-specific auditory attention, when attention was required for brief (1 s) but not long (2 min) time intervals. Modality-specific visual attention occurred at both time intervals. Experiment 2 asked whether attention directed to one or the other of two simultaneous auditory streams (carrier frequencies of 250 and 4100 Hz AM at 37 and 41 Hz respectively, counterbalanced) increased ASSR amplitude for the attended stream (frequency-specific auditory attention). Behaviour was strongly controlled by carrier frequency (overall target rate 1.7 Hz), and the cortical sources of the two carriers were resolved by inverse modeling. Despite these conditions favourable to frequency specificity, frequency-specific modulation of ASSR amplitude was not found at either time interval. Frequency-specific modulation of A1 may require re-entrant feedback to the auditory core from auditory percepts that possess distinct spectral attributes and are attended in higher regions of the auditory system. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Top-down influences on visual attention during listening are modulated by observer sex.

    PubMed

    Shen, John; Itti, Laurent

    2012-07-15

    In conversation, women have a small advantage in decoding non-verbal communication compared to men. In light of these findings, we sought to determine whether sex differences also existed in visual attention during a related listening task, and if so, if the differences existed among attention to high-level aspects of the scene or to conspicuous visual features. Using eye-tracking and computational techniques, we present direct evidence that men and women orient attention differently during conversational listening. We tracked the eyes of 15 men and 19 women who watched and listened to 84 clips featuring 12 different speakers in various outdoor settings. At the fixation following each saccadic eye movement, we analyzed the type of object that was fixated. Men gazed more often at the mouth and women at the eyes of the speaker. Women more often exhibited "distracted" saccades directed away from the speaker and towards a background scene element. Examining the multi-scale center-surround variation in low-level visual features (static: color, intensity, orientation, and dynamic: motion energy), we found that men consistently selected regions which expressed more variation in dynamic features, which can be attributed to a male preference for motion and a female preference for areas that may contain nonverbal information about the speaker. In sum, significant differences were observed, which we speculate arise from different integration strategies of visual cues in selecting the final target of attention. Our findings have implications for studies of sex in nonverbal communication, as well as for more predictive models of visual attention.

  14. Object-based attentional modulation of biological motion processing: spatiotemporal dynamics using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography.

    PubMed

    Safford, Ashley S; Hussey, Elizabeth A; Parasuraman, Raja; Thompson, James C

    2010-07-07

    Although it is well documented that the ability to perceive biological motion is mediated by the lateral temporal cortex, whether and when neural activity in this brain region is modulated by attention is unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the processing of biological motion requires attention or whether such stimuli are processed preattentively. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density electroencephalography, and cortically constrained source estimation methods to investigate the spatiotemporal effects of attention on the processing of biological motion. Directing attention to tool motion in overlapping movies of biological motion and tool motion suppressed the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response of the right superior temporal sulcus (STS)/middle temporal gyrus (MTG), while directing attention to biological motion suppressed the BOLD response of the left inferior temporal sulcus (ITS)/MTG. Similarly, category-based modulation of the cortical current source density estimates from the right STS/MTG and left ITS was observed beginning at approximately 450 ms following stimulus onset. Our results indicate that the cortical processing of biological motion is strongly modulated by attention. These findings argue against preattentive processing of biological motion in the presence of stimuli that compete for attention. Our findings also suggest that the attention-based segregation of motion category-specific responses only emerges relatively late (several hundred milliseconds) in processing.

  15. Markers of preparatory attention predict visual short-term memory performance.

    PubMed

    Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G

    2011-05-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited in capacity. Therefore, it is important to encode only visual information that is most likely to be relevant to behaviour. Here we asked which aspects of selective biasing of VSTM encoding predict subsequent memory-based performance. We measured EEG during a selective VSTM encoding task, in which we varied parametrically the memory load and the precision of recall required to compare a remembered item to a subsequent probe item. On half the trials, a spatial cue indicated that participants only needed to encode items from one hemifield. We observed a typical sequence of markers of anticipatory spatial attention: early attention directing negativity (EDAN), anterior attention directing negativity (ADAN), late directing attention positivity (LDAP); as well as of VSTM maintenance: contralateral delay activity (CDA). We found that individual differences in preparatory brain activity (EDAN/ADAN) predicted cue-related changes in recall accuracy, indexed by memory-probe discrimination sensitivity (d'). Importantly, our parametric manipulation of memory-probe similarity also allowed us to model the behavioural data for each participant, providing estimates for the quality of the memory representation and the probability that an item could be retrieved. We found that selective encoding primarily increased the probability of accurate memory recall; that ERP markers of preparatory attention predicted the cue-related changes in recall probability.

  16. What has been missed for predicting human attention in viewing driving clips?

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiawei; Yue, Shigang; Menchinelli, Federica

    2017-01-01

    Recent research progress on the topic of human visual attention allocation in scene perception and its simulation is based mainly on studies with static images. However, natural vision requires us to extract visual information that constantly changes due to egocentric movements or dynamics of the world. It is unclear to what extent spatio-temporal regularity, an inherent regularity in dynamic vision, affects human gaze distribution and saliency computation in visual attention models. In this free-viewing eye-tracking study we manipulated the spatio-temporal regularity of traffic videos by presenting them in normal video sequence, reversed video sequence, normal frame sequence, and randomised frame sequence. The recorded human gaze allocation was then used as the ‘ground truth’ to examine the predictive ability of a number of state-of-the-art visual attention models. The analysis revealed high inter-observer agreement across individual human observers, but all the tested attention models performed significantly worse than humans. The inferior predictability of the models was evident from indistinguishable gaze prediction irrespective of stimuli presentation sequence, and weak central fixation bias. Our findings suggest that a realistic visual attention model for the processing of dynamic scenes should incorporate human visual sensitivity with spatio-temporal regularity and central fixation bias. PMID:28168112

  17. Learned predictiveness influences rapid attentional capture: evidence from the dot probe task.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    Attentional theories of associative learning and categorization propose that learning about the predictiveness of a stimulus influences the amount of attention that is paid to that stimulus. Three experiments tested this idea by looking at the extent to which stimuli that had previously been experienced as predictive or nonpredictive in a categorization task were able to capture attention in a dot probe task. Consistent with certain attentional theories of learning, responses to the dot probe were faster when it appeared in a location cued by a predictive stimulus compared to a location cued by a nonpredictive stimulus. This result was obtained only with short (250-ms or 350-ms) but not long (1,000-ms) delays between onset of the stimuli and the dot probe, suggesting that the observed spatial cuing effect reflects the operation of a relatively rapid, automatic process. These findings are consistent with the approach to the relationship between attention and learning taken by the class of models exemplified by Mackintosh's (1975) theory. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Modulating irrelevant motion perception by varying attentional load in an unrelated task.

    PubMed

    Rees, G; Frith, C D; Lavie, N

    1997-11-28

    Lavie's theory of attention proposes that the processing load in a relevant task determines the extent to which irrelevant distractors are processed. This theory was tested by asking participants in a study to perform linguistic tasks of low or high load while ignoring irrelevant visual motion in the periphery of the display. Although task and distractor were unrelated, both functional imaging of motion-related activity in cortical area V5 and psychophysical measures of the motion aftereffect showed reduced motion processing during high load in the linguistic task. These findings fulfill the prediction that perception of irrelevant distractors depends on the relevant processing load.

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

    PubMed

    Bach, Dominik R

    2015-04-07

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

  20. Early Family System Types Predict Children's Emotional Attention Biases at School Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindblom, Jallu; Peltola, Mikko J.; Vänskä, Mervi; Hietanen, Jari K.; Laakso, Anu; Tiitinen, Aila; Tulppala, Maija; Punamäki, Raija-Leena

    2017-01-01

    The family environment shapes children's social information processing and emotion regulation. Yet, the long-term effects of early family systems have rarely been studied. This study investigated how family system types predict children's attentional biases toward facial expressions at the age of 10 years. The participants were 79 children from…

  1. Early Family System Types Predict Children's Emotional Attention Biases at School Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindblom, Jallu; Peltola, Mikko J.; Vänskä, Mervi; Hietanen, Jari K.; Laakso, Anu; Tiitinen, Aila; Tulppala, Maija; Punamäki, Raija-Leena

    2017-01-01

    The family environment shapes children's social information processing and emotion regulation. Yet, the long-term effects of early family systems have rarely been studied. This study investigated how family system types predict children's attentional biases toward facial expressions at the age of 10 years. The participants were 79 children from…

  2. Predicting Academic Achievement and Attainment: The Contribution of Early Academic Skills, Attention Difficulties, and Social Competence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabiner, David L.; Godwin, Jennifer; Dodge, Kenneth A.

    2016-01-01

    Research predicting academic achievement from early academic, attention, and socioemotional skills has largely focused on elementary school outcomes and rarely included peer assessments of social competence. We examined associations between these early child characteristics and academic outcomes into young adulthood using the Fast Track normative…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vouloumanos, Athena; Curtin, Suzanne

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Social Pre-treatment Modulates Attention Allocation to Transient and Stable Object Properties

    PubMed Central

    Oláh, Katalin; Elekes, Fruzsina; Turcsán, Borbála; Kis, Orsolya; Topál, József

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that ostensive-communicative signals in social learning situations enable observers to focus their attention on the intrinsic features of an object (e.g., color) at the expense of ignoring transient object properties (e.g., location). Here we investigated whether off-line social cues, presented as social primes, have the same power to modulate attention allocation to stable and transient object properties as on-line ostensive-communicative cues. The first part of the experiment consisted of a pre-treatment phase, where adult male participants either received intensive social stimulation or were asked to perform non-social actions. Then, they participated in a change detection test, where they watched pairs of pictures depicting an array of five objects. On the second picture, a change occurred compared to the first picture. One object changed either its location (moving forward or backward) or was replaced by another object, and participants were required to indicate where the change had happened. We found that participants detected the change more successfully if it had happened in the location of the object; however, this difference was reduced following a socially intense pre-treatment phase. The results are discussed in relation to the claims of the natural pedagogy theory. PMID:27826267

  8. Attentional modulation of source attribution in first-episode psychosis: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Kambeitz-Ilankovic, Lana; Hennig-Fast, Kristina; Benetti, Stefania; Kambeitz, Joseph; Pettersson-Yeo, William; O'Daly, Owen; McGuire, Philip; Allen, Paul

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Social Pre-treatment Modulates Attention Allocation to Transient and Stable Object Properties.

    PubMed

    Oláh, Katalin; Elekes, Fruzsina; Turcsán, Borbála; Kis, Orsolya; Topál, József

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that ostensive-communicative signals in social learning situations enable observers to focus their attention on the intrinsic features of an object (e.g., color) at the expense of ignoring transient object properties (e.g., location). Here we investigated whether off-line social cues, presented as social primes, have the same power to modulate attention allocation to stable and transient object properties as on-line ostensive-communicative cues. The first part of the experiment consisted of a pre-treatment phase, where adult male participants either received intensive social stimulation or were asked to perform non-social actions. Then, they participated in a change detection test, where they watched pairs of pictures depicting an array of five objects. On the second picture, a change occurred compared to the first picture. One object changed either its location (moving forward or backward) or was replaced by another object, and participants were required to indicate where the change had happened. We found that participants detected the change more successfully if it had happened in the location of the object; however, this difference was reduced following a socially intense pre-treatment phase. The results are discussed in relation to the claims of the natural pedagogy theory.

  10. A biased activation theory of the cognitive and attentional modulation of emotion

    PubMed Central

    Rolls, Edmund T.

    2013-01-01

    Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs. the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype. PMID:23508210

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Recent studies have uncovered a neural response that appears to track the envelope of speech, and have shown that this tracking process is mediated by attention. It has been argued that this tracking reflects a process of phase-locking to the fluctuations of stimulus energy, ensuring that this energy arrives during periods of high neuronal excitability. Because all acoustic stimuli are decomposed into spectral channels at the cochlea, and this spectral decomposition is maintained along the ascending auditory pathway and into auditory cortex, we hypothesized that the overall stimulus envelope is not as relevant to cortical processing as the individual frequency channels; attention may be mediating envelope tracking differentially across these spectral channels. To test this we reanalyzed data reported by Horton et al. (2013), where high-density EEG was recorded while adults attended to one of two competing naturalistic speech streams. In order to simulate cochlear filtering, the stimuli were passed through a gammatone filterbank, and temporal envelopes were extracted at each filter output. Following Horton et al. (2013), the attended and unattended envelopes were cross-correlated with the EEG, and local maxima were extracted at three different latency ranges corresponding to distinct peaks in the cross-correlation function (N1, P2, and N2). We found that the ratio between the attended and unattended cross-correlation functions varied across frequency channels in the N1 latency range, consistent with the hypothesis that attention differentially modulates envelope-tracking activity across spectral channels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Temporal dynamics underlying the modulation of social status on social attention.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Modelling saliency attention to predict eye direction by topological structure and earth mover’s distance

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jian; Liu, Wei; Wang, Xinmei; Liu, Feng

    2017-01-01

    A saliency attention model for predicting eye direction is proposed in this paper. This work is inspired by the success of the topological structure and Earth Mover’s Distance (EMD) approach. Firstly, we extract visual saliency features such as color contrast, intensity contrast, orientation, and texture. Then, we eliminate disconnected regions in the feature maps to keep topological structure. Secondly, we calculate center surround difference using across-scale EMD between different scales feature maps, rather than utilizing the Difference of Gaussian (DoG), which is used in many other saliency attention models. Thirdly, we across-scale fuse the feature maps in different scale and same feature. Lastly, we take advantage of competition function to calculate feature maps in same feature to form a saliency map, which is use to predict eye direction. Experimental results demonstrated the proposed model outperformed the state-of-the-art schemes in eye direction prediction community. PMID:28746351

  14. Modelling saliency attention to predict eye direction by topological structure and earth mover's distance.

    PubMed

    Wei, Longsheng; Peng, Jian; Liu, Wei; Wang, Xinmei; Liu, Feng

    2017-01-01

    A saliency attention model for predicting eye direction is proposed in this paper. This work is inspired by the success of the topological structure and Earth Mover's Distance (EMD) approach. Firstly, we extract visual saliency features such as color contrast, intensity contrast, orientation, and texture. Then, we eliminate disconnected regions in the feature maps to keep topological structure. Secondly, we calculate center surround difference using across-scale EMD between different scales feature maps, rather than utilizing the Difference of Gaussian (DoG), which is used in many other saliency attention models. Thirdly, we across-scale fuse the feature maps in different scale and same feature. Lastly, we take advantage of competition function to calculate feature maps in same feature to form a saliency map, which is use to predict eye direction. Experimental results demonstrated the proposed model outperformed the state-of-the-art schemes in eye direction prediction community.

  15. Metacognition of multitasking: How well do we predict the costs of divided attention?

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Risky multitasking, such as texting while driving, may occur because people misestimate the costs of divided attention. In two experiments, participants performed a computerized visual-manual tracking task in which they attempted to keep a mouse cursor within a small target that moved erratically around a circular track. They then separately performed an auditory n-back task. After practicing both tasks separately, participants received feedback on their single-task tracking performance and predicted their dual-task tracking performance before finally performing the 2 tasks simultaneously. Most participants correctly predicted reductions in tracking performance under dual-task conditions, with a majority overestimating the costs of dual-tasking. However, the between-subjects correlation between predicted and actual performance decrements was near 0. This combination of results suggests that people do anticipate costs of multitasking, but have little metacognitive insight on the extent to which they are personally vulnerable to the risks of divided attention, relative to other people.

  16. Differing effects of attention in single-units and populations are well predicted by heterogeneous tuning and the normalization model of attention.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yuko; Pestilli, Franco; Gardner, Justin L

    2014-01-01

    Single-unit measurements have reported many different effects of attention on contrast-response (e.g., contrast-gain, response-gain, additive-offset dependent on visibility), while functional imaging measurements have more uniformly reported increases in response across all contrasts (additive-offset). The normalization model of attention elegantly predicts the diversity of effects of attention reported in single-units well-tuned to the stimulus, but what predictions does it make for more realistic populations of neurons with heterogeneous tuning? Are predictions in accordance with population-scale measurements? We used functional imaging data from humans to determine a realistic ratio of attention-field to stimulus-drive size (a key parameter for the model) and predicted effects of attention in a population of model neurons with heterogeneous tuning. We found that within the population, neurons well-tuned to the stimulus showed a response-gain effect, while less-well-tuned neurons showed a contrast-gain effect. Averaged across the population, these disparate effects of attention gave rise to additive-offsets in contrast-response, similar to reports in human functional imaging as well as population averages of single-units. Differences in predictions for single-units and populations were observed across a wide range of model parameters (ratios of attention-field to stimulus-drive size and the amount of baseline response modifiable by attention), offering an explanation for disparity in physiological reports. Thus, by accounting for heterogeneity in tuning of realistic neuronal populations, the normalization model of attention can not only predict responses of well-tuned neurons, but also the activity of large populations of neurons. More generally, computational models can unify physiological findings across different scales of measurement, and make links to behavior, but only if factors such as heterogeneous tuning within a population are properly accounted for.

  17. Differing effects of attention in single-units and populations are well predicted by heterogeneous tuning and the normalization model of attention

    PubMed Central

    Hara, Yuko; Pestilli, Franco; Gardner, Justin L.

    2014-01-01

    Single-unit measurements have reported many different effects of attention on contrast-response (e.g., contrast-gain, response-gain, additive-offset dependent on visibility), while functional imaging measurements have more uniformly reported increases in response across all contrasts (additive-offset). The normalization model of attention elegantly predicts the diversity of effects of attention reported in single-units well-tuned to the stimulus, but what predictions does it make for more realistic populations of neurons with heterogeneous tuning? Are predictions in accordance with population-scale measurements? We used functional imaging data from humans to determine a realistic ratio of attention-field to stimulus-drive size (a key parameter for the model) and predicted effects of attention in a population of model neurons with heterogeneous tuning. We found that within the population, neurons well-tuned to the stimulus showed a response-gain effect, while less-well-tuned neurons showed a contrast-gain effect. Averaged across the population, these disparate effects of attention gave rise to additive-offsets in contrast-response, similar to reports in human functional imaging as well as population averages of single-units. Differences in predictions for single-units and populations were observed across a wide range of model parameters (ratios of attention-field to stimulus-drive size and the amount of baseline response modifiable by attention), offering an explanation for disparity in physiological reports. Thus, by accounting for heterogeneity in tuning of realistic neuronal populations, the normalization model of attention can not only predict responses of well-tuned neurons, but also the activity of large populations of neurons. More generally, computational models can unify physiological findings across different scales of measurement, and make links to behavior, but only if factors such as heterogeneous tuning within a population are properly accounted for

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Sufen; Melara, Robert D.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Idiosyncratic Patterns of Representational Similarity in Prefrontal Cortex Predict Attentional Performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeongmi; Geng, Joy J

    2017-02-01

    The efficiency of finding an object in a crowded environment depends largely on the similarity of nontargets to the search target. Models of attention theorize that the similarity is determined by representations stored within an "attentional template" held in working memory. However, the degree to which the contents of the attentional template are individually unique and where those idiosyncratic representations are encoded in the brain are unknown. We investigated this problem using representational similarity analysis of human fMRI data to measure the common and idiosyncratic representations of famous face morphs during an identity categorization task; data from the categorization task were then used to predict performance on a separate identity search task. We hypothesized that the idiosyncratic categorical representations of the continuous face morphs would predict their distractability when searching for each target identity. The results identified that patterns of activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) as well as in face-selective areas in the ventral temporal cortex were highly correlated with the patterns of behavioral categorization of face morphs and search performance that were common across subjects. However, the individually unique components of the categorization behavior were reliably decoded only in right LPFC. Moreover, the neural pattern in right LPFC successfully predicted idiosyncratic variability in search performance, such that reaction times were longer when distractors had a higher probability of being categorized as the target identity. These results suggest that the prefrontal cortex encodes individually unique components of categorical representations that are also present in attentional templates for target search.

  20. Gambling Attitudes and Beliefs Predict Attentional Bias in Non-problem Gamblers.

    PubMed

    Grant, Leigh D; Bowling, Alison C

    2015-12-01

    Problem gambling has been identified as a public health concern in Australia, and a considerable proportion of regular gamblers may be at risk of developing gambling related problems. Attentional bias to salient cues has been observed in substance addictions, and to some extent, in problem gamblers. This bias appears to be indicative of an increase in sensitisation to salient cues as a result of continued reforcement of a related behaviour. To test for an attentional bias to gambling-related stimuli in non-problem gamblers, the relationships between gambling frequency, gambling attitudes and beliefs (GABS-23), and attentional bias were investigated. Participants (N = 38) viewed simultaneous pairs of gambling-related and neutral images and performed a dot probe task, during which their eye-movements were recorded. This enabled both direct and indirect measures of attentional bias to be obtained. Gambling frequency and GABS-23 scores predicted both direct and indirect measures of a bias in the maintenance of attention to gambling cues. No bias in attentional engagement was found. These results suggest that regular gamblers who have not yet developed any related problems show signs of sensitisation to gambling cues and may be at risk of progressing further towards problem gambling.

  1. Theoretical Approach to Predict the Performance of Thermoelectric Generator Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elarusi, Abdulmunaem H.; Fagehi, Hassan; Lee, Hosung; Attar, Alaa

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this work was to examine the validity of the thermoelectric modules' performance predicted by formulating the effective thermoelectric material properties. The three maximum parameters (output power, current, and efficiency) are defined in terms of the average temperature of the thermoelectric generator (TEG). These three maximum parameters, which are either taken from commercial TEG modules or measurements for particular operating conditions, are used to define the effective material properties (Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity, and electrical resistivity). The commercial performance curves provided by the manufacturer were compared with the results obtained here by the effective material properties with the simple standard thermoelectric equations. It has been found that this technique predicts the performance of four commercial thermoelectric modules with fair to good accuracy. The characteristics of the TEGs were represented using the normalized charts constructed by formulating the parameters as a fraction of over the maximum parameters. The normalized charts would be universal for any given TEG module once the thermoelectric material is known.

  2. Attentional and motor impulsivity interactively predict 'food addiction' in obese individuals.

    PubMed

    Meule, Adrian; de Zwaan, Martina; Müller, Astrid

    2017-01-01

    Impulsivity is a multifaceted construct and constitutes a common risk factor for a range of behaviors associated with poor self-control (e.g., substance use or binge eating). The short form of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-15) measures impulsive behaviors related to attentional (inability to focus attention or concentrate), motor (acting without thinking), and non-planning (lack of future orientation or forethought) impulsivity. Eating-related measures appear to be particularly related to attentional and motor impulsivity and recent findings suggest that interactive effects between these two facets may play a role in eating- and weight-regulation. One-hundred thirty-three obese individuals presenting for bariatric surgery (77.4% female) completed the BIS-15 and the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) 2.0, which measures addiction-like eating based on the eleven symptoms of substance use disorder outlined in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Sixty-three participants (47.4%) were classified as being 'food addicted'. Scores on attentional and motor impulsivity interactively predicted 'food addiction' status: higher attentional impulsivity was associated with a higher likelihood of receiving a YFAS 2.0 diagnosis only at high (+1 SD), but not at low (-1 SD) levels of motor impulsivity. Results support previous findings showing that non-planning impulsivity does not appear to play a role in eating-related self-regulation. Furthermore, this is the first study that shows interactive effects between different impulsivity facets when predicting 'food addiction' in obese individuals. Self-regulatory failure in eating-regulation (e.g., addiction-like overeating) may particularly emerge when both attentional and motor impulsivity levels are elevated. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Modulation of trigeminal reflex excitability in migraine: effects of attention and habituation on the blink reflex.

    PubMed

    de Tommaso, Marina; Murasecco, Donatella; Libro, Giuseppe; Guido, Marco; Sciruicchio, Vittorio; Specchio, Luigi Maria; Gallai, Virgilio; Puca, Francomichele

    2002-06-01

    The modulation of trigeminal reflex excitability in migraine patients was evaluated during the asymptomatic phase by studying the effects of attention, habituation and preconditioning stimulus on the R2 and R3 components of the blink reflex (BR). Fifty patients suffering from migraine without aura, 20 affected by migraine with aura and 35 sex- and age-matched controls were selected. In subgroups of migraine with-aura and without-aura patients, and normal controls, the blink reflex was elicited during different cognitive situations: (a) spontaneous mental activity; (b) stimulus anticipation; (c) recognition of target numbers. In the remaining subjects, R2 and R3 habituation was evaluated by repetitive stimulation at 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 s intervals. The R2 and R3 recovery curves were also computed. A reduced R3 threshold with a normal pain threshold was found in migraine with-aura and without-aura patients; the R3 component was not significantly correlated with the pain thresholds in patients and controls. The R2 and R3 components were less influenced by the warning of the stimulus in migraine without-aura and migraine with-aura patients, in comparison with the control group. A slight increase of both R2 and R3 recovery after preconditioning stimulus was also observed in migraine patients, probably caused by a phenomenon of trigeminal hyperexcitability persisting after the last attack. The abnormal BR modulation by alerting expresses in migraine a dysfunction of adaptation capacity to environmental conditions, probably predisposing to migraine.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Attention/processing speed prospectively predicts social impairment 18 years later in mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Sarapas, Casey; Shankman, Stewart A; Harrow, Martin; Faull, Robert N

    2013-09-01

    Cross-sectional studies suggest that cognitive deficits contribute to psychosocial impairment among individuals with mood disorders. However, studies examining whether cognition prospectively predicts psychosocial outcome are few, have used short follow-up periods, and have not demonstrated incremental validity (i.e., that cognition predicts future functioning even when controlling for baseline functioning). In a sample of 51 individuals with unipolar depression or bipolar disorder, we investigated whether attention/processing speed (APS) performance predicted social functioning 18 years later. Baseline APS predicted 18-year social functioning even after controlling for baseline social functioning and depressive symptoms, demonstrating incremental validity. Individuals with high baseline APS had stable social functioning over 18 years, whereas functioning deteriorated among those with low APS. This finding helps clarify the temporal order of cognitive and psychosocial deficits associated with mood disorders and suggests the clinical utility of cognitive measures in identifying those at risk of deterioration in social functioning.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Building gene expression signatures indicative of transcription factor activation to predict AOP modulation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Building gene expression signatures indicative of transcription factor activation to predict AOP modulation Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) are a framework for predicting quantitative relationships between molecular initiatin...

  13. Building gene expression signatures indicative of transcription factor activation to predict AOP modulation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Building gene expression signatures indicative of transcription factor activation to predict AOP modulation Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) are a framework for predicting quantitative relationships between molecular initiatin...

  14. Emotional modulation of the attentional blink: is there an effect of stress?

    PubMed

    Schwabe, Lars; Wolf, Oliver T

    2010-04-01

    Individuals are often unable to identify the second target (T2) of two when it is presented within 500 ms after the first target (T1). This "attentional blink" (AB) is attenuated by an emotionally arousing T2. Stress is known to affect cognitive performance, in particular for emotional material. In the present study, we asked whether (a) an emotional T2 reduces the AB when preceded by an emotional T1 and (b) the emotional modulation of the AB is affected by stress. Participants were presented neutral and aversive words as T1 and T2 in rapid serial visual presentation after they were exposed to stress (socially evaluated cold pressor test) or a control condition in a crossover manner. Our results indicate that an aversive T1 extends the AB. Aversive T2 attenuated the AB in the presence of a neutral, but not an aversive, T1. Stress-enhanced T2 detection and high cortisol responses to stress reduced the AB. However, neither stress nor cortisol interacted with the emotionality of the target words. In summary, these findings point to a strong impact of emotional factors on early perceptual experiences.

  15. Is Inhibition of Return Modulated by Involuntary Orienting of Spatial Attention: An ERP Study.

    PubMed

    Pan, Fada; Wu, Xiaogang; Zhang, Li

    2017-01-01

    Inhibition of return (IOR) is a mechanism that indicates individuals' faster responses or higher accuracy to targets appearing in the novel location relative to the cued location. According to the "reorienting hypothesis," disengagement from the cued location is necessary for the generation of IOR. However, more and more studies have questioned this theory because of dissociation between voluntary or involuntary spatial orienting and the IOR effect. To further explore the "reorienting hypothesis" of IOR, the present experiment employed an atypical cue-target paradigm which combined a spatially non-predictive peripheral cue that was presumed to trigger IOR with a spatially non-predictive central cue that was used to reflexively trigger a shift of attention. The results showed that a significant IOR effect did not interact with automatic spatial orienting as measured in mean RTs and accuracy as well as the Nd component. These findings suggested that the IOR effect triggered by peripheral cue was independent of automatic orienting generated by a central cue. Therefore, the present study provided evidence from location task and neural aspects, which again challenged the "reorienting hypothesis" of IOR.

  16. Is Inhibition of Return Modulated by Involuntary Orienting of Spatial Attention: An ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Fada; Wu, Xiaogang; Zhang, Li

    2017-01-01

    Inhibition of return (IOR) is a mechanism that indicates individuals’ faster responses or higher accuracy to targets appearing in the novel location relative to the cued location. According to the “reorienting hypothesis,” disengagement from the cued location is necessary for the generation of IOR. However, more and more studies have questioned this theory because of dissociation between voluntary or involuntary spatial orienting and the IOR effect. To further explore the “reorienting hypothesis” of IOR, the present experiment employed an atypical cue-target paradigm which combined a spatially non-predictive peripheral cue that was presumed to trigger IOR with a spatially non-predictive central cue that was used to reflexively trigger a shift of attention. The results showed that a significant IOR effect did not interact with automatic spatial orienting as measured in mean RTs and accuracy as well as the Nd component. These findings suggested that the IOR effect triggered by peripheral cue was independent of automatic orienting generated by a central cue. Therefore, the present study provided evidence from location task and neural aspects, which again challenged the “reorienting hypothesis” of IOR. PMID:28197120

  17. Attentional bias to alcohol stimuli predicts elevated cue-induced craving in young adult social drinkers.

    PubMed

    Manchery, Linda; Yarmush, Devorah E; Luehring-Jones, Peter; Erblich, Joel

    2017-07-01

    Considerable evidence has identified biased cognitive processing of alcohol-related stimuli as an important factor in the maintenance of alcohol-seeking and relapse among individuals suffering from alcohol use-disorders (AUDs). In addition, a large body of research has demonstrated that exposure to alcohol cues can elicit powerful alcohol cravings. Little is known, however, about the possible relationship between attentional bias and cue-induced cravings, and even less is known about these processes in social drinkers without a personal history of AUDs. The goal of this study was to examine the possibility that attentional biases toward alcohol-related stimuli would predict elevated cue-induced alcohol craving in this population. Young adult social drinkers (N=30, Mean age=22.8±1.9, 61% female) recruited from an urban university population completed a visual dot probe task in which they were presented with alcohol and neutral stimulus pictures that were immediately followed by a visual probe replacing one of the pictures. Attentional bias was measured by calculating reaction times to probes that replaced alcohol stimuli vs. neutral stimuli. Participants then completed a classic alcohol cue-exposure task and reported cravings immediately before and after alcohol and neutral cue-exposures. Not surprisingly, exposure to alcohol cues elicited significant cravings. Consistent with the study hypothesis, larger attentional biases toward alcohol stimuli predicted higher levels of alcohol craving. Findings demonstrate that heightened attention to alcohol stimuli can significantly impact motivation to consume in healthy young adults, and suggest a possible pathway linking cognitive processes early in the drinking trajectory to the later development of AUDs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Cognitive control modulates attention to food cues: Support for the control readiness model of self-control.

    PubMed

    Kleiman, Tali; Trope, Yaacov; Amodio, David M

    2016-12-01

    Self-control in one's food choices often depends on the regulation of attention toward healthy choices and away from temptations. We tested whether selective attention to food cues can be modulated by a newly developed proactive self-control mechanism-control readiness-whereby control activated in one domain can facilitate control in another domain. In two studies, we elicited the activation of control using a color-naming Stroop task and tested its effect on attention to food cues in a subsequent, unrelated task. We found that control readiness modulates both overt attention, which involves shifts in eye gaze (Study 1), and covert attention, which involves shift in mental attention without shifting in eye gaze (Study 2). We further demonstrated that individuals for whom tempting food cues signal a self-control problem (operationalized by relatively higher BMI) were especially likely to benefit from control readiness. We discuss the theoretical contributions of the control readiness model and the implications of our findings for enhancing proactive self-control to overcome temptation in food choices. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Memory search for the first target modulates the magnitude of the attentional blink.

    PubMed

    Drew, Trafton; Sherman, Ashley; Boettcher, Sage E P; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2014-11-01

    The resolution of temporal attention is limited in a manner that makes it difficult to identify two targets in short succession. This limitation produces the phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB), in which processing of a first target (T1) impairs identification of a second target (T2). In the AB literature, there is broad agreement that increasing the time it takes to process T1 leads to a larger AB. One might, therefore, predict that increasing the number of possible T1 identities, or target set, from 1 to 16 would lead to a larger AB. We were surprised to find that this manipulation of T1 difficulty had no influence on AB magnitude. In subsequent experiments, we found that AB magnitude interacts with T1 processing time only under certain circumstances. Specifically, when the T1 task was either well masked or had to be completed online, we found a reliable interaction between AB magnitude and the target set size. When neither of these conditions was fulfilled, there was no interaction between target set size and the AB. Previous research found that when the target set changes from trial to trial, trials with more possible targets elicited a larger AB. In the present study, the target set is held constant, reducing the demands on working memory. Nevertheless, AB magnitude still interacts with target set size, as long as the T1 task cannot be processed offline. Thus, the act of searching memory delays subsequent processing, even when the role of working memory has been minimized.

  20. Attentional modulation and domain-specificity underlying the neural organization of auditory categorical perception.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Walker, Breya S

    2017-03-01

    Categorical perception (CP) is highly evident in audition when listeners' perception of speech sounds abruptly shifts identity despite equidistant changes in stimulus acoustics. While CP is an inherent property of speech perception, how (if) it is expressed in other auditory modalities (e.g., music) is less clear. Moreover, prior neuroimaging studies have been equivocal on whether attentional engagement is necessary for the brain to categorically organize sound. To address these questions, we recorded neuroelectric brain responses [event-related potentials (ERPs)] from listeners as they rapidly categorized sounds along a speech and music continuum (active task) or during passive listening. Behaviorally, listeners' achieved sharper psychometric functions and faster identification for speech than musical stimuli, which was perceived in a continuous mode. Behavioral results coincided with stronger ERP differentiation between prototypical and ambiguous tokens (i.e., categorical processing) for speech but not for music. Neural correlates of CP were only observed when listeners actively attended to the auditory signal. These findings were corroborated by brain-behavior associations; changes in neural activity predicted more successful CP (psychometric slopes) for active but not passively evoked ERPs. Our results demonstrate auditory categorization is influenced by attention (active > passive) and is stronger for more familiar/overlearned stimulus domains (speech > music). In contrast to previous studies examining highly trained listeners (i.e., musicians), we infer that (i) CP skills are largely domain-specific and do not generalize to stimuli for which a listener has no immediate experience and (ii) categorical neural processing requires active engagement with the auditory stimulus.

  1. Parenting in poverty: Attention bias and anxiety interact to predict parents' perceptions of daily parenting hassles.

    PubMed

    Finegood, Eric D; Raver, C Cybele; DeJoseph, Meriah L; Blair, Clancy

    2017-02-01

    Research has long acknowledged the centrality of parents' subjective experiences in the caregiving role for the organization of parenting behaviors and family functioning. Recent scientific advances in cognitive process models and in the neurobiology of parenting indicate that parenting is shaped in part by conscious and nonconscious cognitive processes. This study extends a growing literature on neurocognitive models of parenting by exploring the extent to which attention processes in parents operate independently and interactively with intrapsychic processes, proximal interpersonal stressors, and the larger socioeconomic context to predict perceptions of parenting hassles in primarily low-income Latino/a parents of young children living in urban areas of concentrated disadvantage (N = 185). Analyses indicated that parent reports of anxiety, intimate partner violence, and perceptions of financial hardship each uniquely predicted parents' perceptions of daily parenting hassles. Parents' attentional bias toward threat interacted with anxiety symptoms such that parents experiencing high levels of attention bias toward threat in combination with high levels of anxiety reported significantly more daily parenting hassles. Findings from the current study provide insight into the ways in which neurocognitive processes affect one aspect of parenting, with implications for programs and policies designed to support parenting for families in poverty. (PsycINFO Database Record

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

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Gail A; Gaddam, Sai Chaitanya

    2010-04-01

    Memories in Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) networks are based on matched patterns that focus attention on those portions of bottom-up inputs that match active top-down expectations. While this learning strategy has proved successful for both brain models and applications, computational examples show that attention to early critical features may later distort memory representations during online fast learning. For supervised learning, biased ARTMAP (bARTMAP) solves the problem of over-emphasis on early critical features by directing attention away from previously attended features after the system makes a predictive error. Small-scale, hand-computed analog and binary examples illustrate key model dynamics. Two-dimensional simulation examples demonstrate the evolution of bARTMAP memories as they are learned online. Benchmark simulations show that featural biasing also improves performance on large-scale examples. One example, which predicts movie genres and is based, in part, on the Netflix Prize database, was developed for this project. Both first principles and consistent performance improvements on all simulation studies suggest that featural biasing should be incorporated by default in all ARTMAP systems. Benchmark datasets and bARTMAP code are available from the CNS Technology Lab Website: http://techlab.bu.edu/bART/. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-01-01

    Temperamental-traits (e.g. threat/reward-sensitivity) are found to modulate cognitive-control and attentional-processes. Yet, it is unclear exactly how these traits interact with emotional-stimuli in the modulation of cognitive-control, as reflected by the N2 event-related potential (ERP), and attentional-processes, as reflected by the P2 and P3 ERPs. Here in an ERP emotional-Go/NoGo task, 36 participants were instructed to inhibit their response to Fearful- and Happy-faces. Individual-differences in threat-sensitivity, reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality were assessed through self-report. Hypomanic-personality was assessed, given its relationship with reward-sensitivity and relevance to mood-disorder symptoms. Concerning cognitive-control, individuals with elevated threat-sensitivity displayed more-negative N2s to Happy-NoGo (relative to Fearful-NoGo) faces, whereas both individuals with elevated reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality displayed more-negative N2s to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. Accordingly, when cognitive-control is required (during Go/NoGo), a mismatch between one’s temperament and the valence of the NoGo-stimulus elevates detection of the need for cognitive-control. Conversely, the modulation of attentional-processing was specific to threat-sensitivity, as there was no relationship between either reward-sensitivity or hypomanic-personality and attentional-processing. Elevated threat-sensitivity was associated with enhanced early (P2s) and later (P3s) attentional-processing to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. These latter findings support the negative attentional-bias model relating elevated threat-sensitivity with attentional-biases toward negative-stimuli and away from positive-stimuli. PMID:25887153

  4. Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli.

    PubMed

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Temperamental-traits (e.g. threat/reward-sensitivity) are found to modulate cognitive-control and attentional-processes. Yet, it is unclear exactly how these traits interact with emotional-stimuli in the modulation of cognitive-control, as reflected by the N2 event-related potential (ERP), and attentional-processes, as reflected by the P2 and P3 ERPs. Here in an ERP emotional-Go/NoGo task, 36 participants were instructed to inhibit their response to Fearful- and Happy-faces. Individual-differences in threat-sensitivity, reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality were assessed through self-report. Hypomanic-personality was assessed, given its relationship with reward-sensitivity and relevance to mood-disorder symptoms. Concerning cognitive-control, individuals with elevated threat-sensitivity displayed more-negative N2s to Happy-NoGo (relative to Fearful-NoGo) faces, whereas both individuals with elevated reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality displayed more-negative N2s to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. Accordingly, when cognitive-control is required (during Go/NoGo), a mismatch between one's temperament and the valence of the NoGo-stimulus elevates detection of the need for cognitive-control. Conversely, the modulation of attentional-processing was specific to threat-sensitivity, as there was no relationship between either reward-sensitivity or hypomanic-personality and attentional-processing. Elevated threat-sensitivity was associated with enhanced early (P2s) and later (P3s) attentional-processing to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. These latter findings support the negative attentional-bias model relating elevated threat-sensitivity with attentional-biases toward negative-stimuli and away from positive-stimuli. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    The authors evaluated the contribution of initially abnormal neonatal auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and 4-month arousal-modulated attention visual preference to later autism spectrum disorder (ASD) behaviors in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) graduates. A longitudinal study design was used to compare NICU graduates with normal ABRs (n = 28) to those with initially abnormal ABRs (n = 46) that later resolved. At 4 months postterm age, visual preference (measured after feeding) for a random check pattern flashing at 1, 3, or 8 Hz and gestational age (GA) served as additional predictors. Outcome measures were PDD Behavior Inventory (PDDBI) scores at 3.4 years (standard deviation = 1.2), and developmental quotients (DQ) obtained around the same age with the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS). Preferences for higher rates of stimulation at 4 months were highly correlated with PDDBI scores (all P-values < 0.01) and the GMDS Hearing and Speech DQ, but only in those with initially abnormal ABRs. Effects were strongest for a PDDBI social competence measure most associated with a diagnosis of autism. For those with abnormal ABRs, increases in preference for higher rates of stimulation as infants were linked to nonlinear increases in severity of ASD at 3 years and to an ASD diagnosis. Abnormal ABRs were associated with later reports of repetitive and ritualistic behaviors irrespective of 4-month preference for stimulation. The joint occurrence of initially abnormal neonatal ABRs and preference for more stimulation at 4 months, both indices of early brainstem dysfunction, may be a marker for the development of autism in this cohort. © 2012 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Emotional stimuli capture spatial attention but do not modulate spatial memory.

    PubMed

    Bannerman, Rachel L; Temminck, Elisha V; Sahraie, Arash

    2012-07-15

    There is evidence that emotional stimuli capture spatial attention and that visual memory is enhanced for emotional content. Here we examine the relationship between emotional content of stimuli and interactions with spatial memory. To assess spatial memory, a modified version of the Corsi Blocks Task (CBT), utilising emotional stimuli, was employed. In the CBT a series of spatial positions are highlighted and the participant has to repeat these in the order in which they were produced. Results showed that presenting more meaningful stimuli, such as emotional faces (e.g. angry or happy) at the spatial locations in the CBT did not enhance spatial memory span relative to the presentation of neutral stimuli (e.g. neutral faces) or non-image stimuli signified by a change in the luminance of the blocks. In addition, saccadic eye movements performed during retention disrupted spatial memory for all items. This occurred irrespective of whether the item to be remembered was a face, a luminance-defined stimulus or whether the face carried emotional significance. The results were not related to the visibility of the test stimuli as participants recognised the emotion displayed by the faces significantly above chance and rated emotional faces as being more arousing than neutral faces. Changes in the type of emotional stimulus (e.g. fearful faces, emotional schematic faces, spiders or flowers) or encoding (short vs. long) duration did not alter the pattern of results. These findings demonstrate an important dissociation between spatial capture and memory. Although emotional content can modulate orienting behaviour, it appears to be of limited effect on spatial memory.

  9. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Modulates Neuronal Networks in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    PubMed

    Sotnikova, Anna; Soff, Cornelia; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Becker, Katja; Siniatchkin, Michael

    2017-02-17

    Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex has been repeatedly shown to improve working memory (WM). Since patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by both underactivation of the prefrontal cortex and deficits in WM, the modulation of prefrontal activity with tDCS in ADHD patients may increase their WM performance as well as improve the activation and connectivity of the WM network. In the present study, this hypothesis was tested using a double-blind sham-controlled experimental design. After randomization, sixteen adolescents with ADHD underwent either anodal tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, 1 mA, 20 min) or sham stimulation with simultaneous fMRI during n-back WM task. Both in one-back and two-back conditions, tDCS led to a greater activation (compared with sham stimulation) of the left DLPFC (under the electrode), left premotor cortex, left supplementary motor cortex, and precuneus. The effects of tDCS were long-lasting and influenced resting state functional connectivity even 20 min after the stimulation, with patterns of strengthened DLPFC connectivity after tDCS outlining the WM network. In summary, anodal tDCS caused increased neuronal activation and connectivity, not only in the brain area under the stimulating electrode (i.e. left DLPFC) but also in other, more remote brain regions. Because of moderate behavioral effects of tDCS, the significance of this technique for ADHD treatment has to be investigated in further studies.

  10. The Attraction Effect Modulates Reward Prediction Errors and Intertemporal Choices.

    PubMed

    Gluth, Sebastian; Hotaling, Jared M; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2017-01-11

    Classical economic theory contends that the utility of a choice option should be independent of other options. This view is challenged by the attraction effect, in which the relative preference between two options is altered by the addition of a third, asymmetrically dominated option. Here, we leveraged the attraction effect in the context of intertemporal choices to test whether both decisions and reward prediction errors (RPE) in the absence of choice violate the independence of irrelevant alternatives principle. We first demonstrate that intertemporal decision making is prone to the attraction effect in humans. In an independent group of participants, we then investigated how this affects the neural and behavioral valuation of outcomes using a novel intertemporal lottery task and fMRI. Participants' behavioral responses (i.e., satisfaction ratings) were modulated systematically by the attraction effect and this modulation was correlated across participants with the respective change of the RPE signal in the nucleus accumbens. Furthermore, we show that, because exponential and hyperbolic discounting models are unable to account for the attraction effect, recently proposed sequential sampling models might be more appropriate to describe intertemporal choices. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that the attraction effect modulates subjective valuation even in the absence of choice. The findings also challenge the prospect of using neuroscientific methods to measure utility in a context-free manner and have important implications for theories of reinforcement learning and delay discounting.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Decoding the Charitable Brain: Empathy, Perspective Taking, and Attention Shifts Differentially Predict Altruistic Giving.

    PubMed

    Tusche, Anita; Böckler, Anne; Kanske, Philipp; Trautwein, Fynn-Mathis; Singer, Tania

    2016-04-27

    Altruistic behavior varies considerably across people and decision contexts. The relevant computational and motivational mechanisms that underlie its heterogeneity, however, are poorly understood. Using a charitable giving task together with multivariate decoding techniques, we identified three distinct psychological mechanisms underlying altruistic decision-making (empathy, perspective taking, and attentional reorienting) and linked them to dissociable neural computations. Neural responses in the anterior insula (AI) (but not temporoparietal junction [TPJ]) encoded trial-wise empathy for beneficiaries, whereas the TPJ (but not AI) predicted the degree of perspective taking. Importantly, the relative influence of both socio-cognitive processes differed across individuals: participants whose donation behavior was heavily influenced by affective empathy exhibited higher predictive accuracies for generosity in AI, whereas those who strongly relied on cognitive perspective taking showed improved predictions of generous donations in TPJ. Furthermore, subject-specific contributions of both processes for donations were reflected in participants' empathy and perspective taking responses in a separate fMRI task (EmpaToM), suggesting that process-specific inputs into altruistic choices may reflect participants' general propensity to either empathize or mentalize. Finally, using independent attention task data, we identified shared neural codes for attentional reorienting and generous donations in the posterior superior temporal sulcus, suggesting that domain-general attention shifts also contribute to generous behavior (but not in TPJ or AI). Overall, our findings demonstrate highly specific roles of AI for affective empathy and TPJ for cognitive perspective taking as precursors of prosocial behavior and suggest that these discrete routes of social cognition differentially drive intraindividual and interindividual differences in altruistic behavior. Human societies depend on

  15. Top-down Modulation of Neural Activity in Anticipatory Visual Attention: Control Mechanisms Revealed by Simultaneous EEG-fMRI.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuelu; Bengson, Jesse; Huang, Haiqing; Mangun, George R; Ding, Mingzhou

    2016-02-01

    In covert visual attention, frontoparietal attention control areas are thought to issue signals to selectively bias sensory neurons to facilitate behaviorally relevant information and suppress distraction. We investigated the relationship between activity in attention control areas and attention-related modulation of posterior alpha activity using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans during cued visual-spatial attention. Correlating single-trial EEG alpha power with blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activity, we found that BOLD in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and left middle frontal gyrus was inversely correlated with occipital alpha power. Importantly, in IPS, inverse correlations were stronger for alpha within the hemisphere contralateral to the attended hemifield, implicating the IPS in the enhancement of task-relevant sensory areas. Positive BOLD-alpha correlations were observed in sensorimotor cortices and the default mode network, suggesting a mechanism of active suppression over task-irrelevant areas. The magnitude of cue-induced alpha lateralization was positively correlated with BOLD in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, implicating a role of executive control in attention. These results show that IPS and frontal executive areas are the main sources of biasing influences on task-relevant visual cortex, whereas task-irrelevant default mode network and sensorimotor cortex are inhibited during visual attention.

  16. Hydrocarbon molar water solubility predicts NMDA vs. GABAA receptor modulation.

    PubMed

    Brosnan, Robert J; Pham, Trung L

    2014-11-19

    Many anesthetics modulate 3-transmembrane (such as NMDA) and 4-transmembrane (such as GABAA) receptors. Clinical and experimental anesthetics exhibiting receptor family specificity often have low water solubility. We hypothesized that the molar water solubility of a hydrocarbon could be used to predict receptor modulation in vitro. GABAA (α1β2γ2s) or NMDA (NR1/NR2A) receptors were expressed in oocytes and studied using standard two-electrode voltage clamp techniques. Hydrocarbons from 14 different organic functional groups were studied at saturated concentrations, and compounds within each group differed only by the carbon number at the ω-position or within a saturated ring. An effect on GABAA or NMDA receptors was defined as a 10% or greater reversible current change from baseline that was statistically different from zero. Hydrocarbon moieties potentiated GABAA and inhibited NMDA receptor currents with at least some members from each functional group modulating both receptor types. A water solubility cut-off for NMDA receptors occurred at 1.1 mM with a 95% CI = 0.45 to 2.8 mM. NMDA receptor cut-off effects were not well correlated with hydrocarbon chain length or molecular volume. No cut-off was observed for GABAA receptors within the solubility range of hydrocarbons studied. Hydrocarbon modulation of NMDA receptor function exhibits a molar water solubility cut-off. Differences between unrelated receptor cut-off values suggest that the number, affinity, or efficacy of protein-hydrocarbon interactions at these sites likely differ.

  17. Visual attention measures predict pedestrian detection in central field loss: a pilot study.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Captured by the pain: pain steady-state evoked potentials are not modulated by selective spatial attention.

    PubMed

    Blöchl, Maria; Franz, Marcel; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Weiss, Thomas

    2015-04-07

    Attention has been shown to affect the neural processing of pain. However, the exact mechanisms underlying this modulation remain unknown. Here, we used a new method called pain steady-state evoked potentials (PSSEPs) to investigate whether selective spatial attention affects EEG responses to tonic painful stimuli. In general, steady-state evoked potentials reflect changes in the EEG spectrum at a certain frequency that correspond to the frequency of a train of applied stimuli. In this study, high intensity transcutaneous electrical stimulation was delivered to both hands simultaneously with 31 Hz and 37 Hz, respectively. Subject׳s attention was directed to one of the two trains of stimulation in order to detect a small gap that was occasionally interspersed into the stimulus trains. Thereby, they had to ignore the stimulation applied to the other hand. Results show that PSSEPs were induced at 31 Hz and 37 Hz at frontal and central electrodes. PSSEPs occurred contralaterally to the respective hand stimulated with that frequency. Surprisingly, the magnitude of PSSEPs was not modulated by spatial attention towards one of the two stimuli. Our results indicate that attention can hardly be shifted between two simultaneously applied tonic painful stimulations.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sha, Li Z.; Remington, Roger W.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. The prelimbic cortex uses contextual cues to modulate responding towards predictive stimuli during fear renewal.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, Melissa; Killcross, Simon

    2015-02-01

    Previous research suggests the prelimbic (PL) cortex is involved in expression of conditioned fear (Burgos-Robles, Vidal-Gonzalez, & Quirk, 2009; Corcoran & Quirk, 2007). However, there is a long history of research in the appetitive domain which implicates this region in using higher-order cues to modulate a behavioural response (Birrell & Brown, 2000; Floresco, Block, & Tse, 2008; Marquis, Killcross, & Haddon, 2007; Sharpe & Killcross, 2014). For example, the PL cortex is necessary to allow animals to use contextual cues to disambiguate response conflict in ambiguous circumstances (Marquis et al., 2007). Using an ABA fear renewal procedure, we assessed the role of the PL cortex in using contextual cues to modulate a response towards a conditioned stimulus (CS) in an aversive setting. We found that pre-training lesions of the PL cortex did not impact on the expression or extinction of conditioned fear. Rather, they selectively abolished renewal. Functional inactivation of the PL cortex during extinction did not disrupt the subsequent renewal of conditioned fear or the ability of animals to exhibit fear towards a CS during the extinction session. However, PL inactivation during the renewal test session disrupted the ability of animals to demonstrate a reinstatement of responding in the renewal context. An analysis of orienting responses showed that renewal deficits were accompanied by a lack of change in attentional responding towards the CS. These data suggest the PL cortex uses contextual cues to modulate both a behavioural and an attentional response during aversive procedures. We argue that the role of the PL cortex in the expression of conditioned fear is to use higher-order information to modulate responding towards predictive cues in ambiguous circumstance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Papera, Massimiliano; Richards, Anne

    2016-05-01

    Exogenous allocation of attentional resources allows the visual system to encode and maintain representations of stimuli in visual working memory (VWM). However, limits in the processing capacity to allocate resources can prevent unexpected visual stimuli from gaining access to VWM and thereby to consciousness. Using a novel approach to create unbiased stimuli of increasing saliency, we investigated visual processing during a visual search task in individuals who show a high or low propensity to neglect unexpected stimuli. When propensity to inattention is high, ERP recordings show a diminished amplification concomitantly with a decrease in theta band power during the N1 latency, followed by a poor target enhancement during the N2 latency. Furthermore, a later modulation in the P3 latency was also found in individuals showing propensity to visual neglect, suggesting that more effort is required for conscious maintenance of visual information in VWM. Effects during early stages of processing (N80 and P1) were also observed suggesting that sensitivity to contrasts and medium-to-high spatial frequencies may be modulated by low-level saliency (albeit no statistical group differences were found). In accordance with the Global Workplace Model, our data indicate that a lack of resources in low-level processors and visual attention may be responsible for the failure to "ignite" a state of high-level activity spread across several brain areas that is necessary for stimuli to access awareness. These findings may aid in the development of diagnostic tests and intervention to detect/reduce inattention propensity to visual neglect of unexpected stimuli. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  3. Attentional selection predicts rapid automatized naming ability in Chinese-speaking children with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Wang, Encong; Sun, Meirong; Tao, Ye; Gao, Xiaoyi; Guo, Jialiang; Zhao, Chenguang; Li, Hui; Qian, Qiujin; Wu, Zhanliang; Wang, Yufeng; Sun, Li; Song, Yan

    2017-04-20

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported to have a significantly higher risk of showing reading difficulties or disorders. Here, we aimed to identify the relationship between electroencephalographic (EEG) marker of spatial attention and reading ability in Chinese children with ADHD. First, we demonstrated that rapid automatized naming (RAN) is a strong predictor of reading ability in Chinese-speaking children. Then, EEG data of 9-to 15-year-old children with ADHD (n = 38) and typically developing (TD) controls (n = 36) were collected while the children performed a classical visual search task. Children with ADHD showed slower RAN speed than TD children. For event-related potentials (ERPs), children with ADHD showed a reduced target-evoked N2pc component, which predicted their poorer RAN performance. However, in TD children the early occipital P1 amplitude was negatively correlated with their RAN performance. The correlation between decreased N2pc and poor RAN performance in children with ADHD suggests that their reading problems may in part be due to impaired attentional selection. In contrast, in TD children, development in early visual processing co-occurs with improvements in reading ability.

  4. The role of the angular gyrus in the modulation of visuospatial attention by the mental number line

    PubMed Central

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Silvanto, Juha; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Battelli, Lorella

    2008-01-01

    We tend to mentally organize numbers along a left-to-right oriented horizontal mental number line, with the smaller numbers occupying the more leftward positions. This mental number line has been shown to exert an influence on the visuo-spatial allocation of attention, with presentation of numbers from the low and high ends of the mental number line inducing covert shifts of spatial attention to the left and right side of visual space, respectively. However, the neural basis of this modulation is not known. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study the role of the angular gyrus in shifts in visuospatial attention induced by the mental number line. We used a priming paradigm with a line bisection task to assess the bias in spatial allocation of visual attention induced by exposure to either small (16–24) or large (76–84) ends of the mental number line. In the small number prime condition, when attention is presumably biased to the left side of visual space, TMS applied over the right angular gyrus during the delay between the prime and the target line abolished the effect of number priming. In contrast, application of TMS over the left angular gyrus had no significant effect. In the large number prime condition (which shifted attention to the right side of visual space) both left and right TMS over the angular gyrus modulated the effect of number priming. This pattern of results reveals the involvement of the angular gyrus in the interaction between the mental number and visual spatial attention. PMID:18848630

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. White matter microstructure predicts cognitive training-induced improvements in attention and executive functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Karuna; Gill, Jeevit; Fisher, Melissa; Mukherjee, Pratik; Nagarajan, Srikantan; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2017-07-06

    We examined the relationship between white matter microstructure in schizophrenia using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and cognitive improvements induced by 70h (~16weeks) of cognitive training. We measured anatomical connectivity in 48 patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and 28 healthy control participants (HC) at baseline, and then examined the relationship between anatomical connectivity at baseline and training-induced cognitive gains in 30 SZ who performed diffusion imaging after completing 70h of training. Compared with healthy control participants, individuals with schizophrenia showed reduced white matter integrity at baseline, as indexed by fractional anisotropy metrics, in bilateral posterior corona radiata, bilateral retrolenticular internal capsules, bilateral posterior thalamic radiation, left anterior corona radiata, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, left sagittal stratum, right cerebral peduncle and the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. After training, schizophrenia participants showed significant gains in attention/vigilance, speed of processing, verbal learning, visual learning and executive functioning. White matter integrity within the right fronto-occipital fasciculus predicted training-induced improvements in attention/vigilance, while white matter integrity within the right corticospinal tract and bilateral medial lemnisci predicted cognitive training-induced improvements in executive functioning, areas that did not show white matter tract deficits at baseline. These findings suggest that preserved white matter integrity connecting long-range prefrontal-thalamic-sensorimotor areas may be an important determinant for training-induced neurocognitive plasticity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Assessing Computational Methods of Cis-Regulatory Module Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Su, Jing; Teichmann, Sarah A.; Down, Thomas A.

    2010-01-01

    Computational methods attempting to identify instances of cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) in the genome face a challenging problem of searching for potentially interacting transcription factor binding sites while knowledge of the specific interactions involved remains limited. Without a comprehensive comparison of their performance, the reliability and accuracy of these tools remains unclear. Faced with a large number of different tools that address this problem, we summarized and categorized them based on search strategy and input data requirements. Twelve representative methods were chosen and applied to predict CRMs from the Drosophila CRM database REDfly, and across the human ENCODE regions. Our results show that the optimal choice of method varies depending on species and composition of the sequences in question. When discriminating CRMs from non-coding regions, those methods considering evolutionary conservation have a stronger predictive power than methods designed to be run on a single genome. Different CRM representations and search strategies rely on different CRM properties, and different methods can complement one another. For example, some favour homotypical clusters of binding sites, while others perform best on short CRMs. Furthermore, most methods appear to be sensitive to the composition and structure of the genome to which they are applied. We analyze the principal features that distinguish the methods that performed well, identify weaknesses leading to poor performance, and provide a guide for users. We also propose key considerations for the development and evaluation of future CRM-prediction methods. PMID:21152003

  11. Physical activity behavior predicts endogenous pain modulation in older adults.

    PubMed

    Naugle, Kelly M; Ohlman, Thomas; Naugle, Keith E; Riley, Zachary A; Keith, NiCole R

    2017-03-01

    Older adults compared with younger adults are characterized by greater endogenous pain facilitation and a reduced capacity to endogenously inhibit pain, potentially placing them at a greater risk for chronic pain. Previous research suggests that higher levels of self-reported physical activity are associated with more effective pain inhibition and less pain facilitation on quantitative sensory tests in healthy adults. However, no studies have directly tested the relationship between physical activity behavior and pain modulatory function in older adults. This study examined whether objective measures of physical activity behavior cross-sectionally predicted pain inhibitory function on the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) test and pain facilitation on the temporal summation (TS) test in healthy older adults. Fifty-one older adults wore an accelerometer on the hip for 7 days and completed the CPM and TS tests. Measures of sedentary time, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were obtained from the accelerometer. Hierarchical linear regressions were conducted to determine the relationship of TS and CPM with levels of physical activity, while controlling for demographic, psychological, and test variables. The results indicated that sedentary time and LPA significantly predicted pain inhibitory function on the CPM test, with less sedentary time and greater LPA per day associated with greater pain inhibitory capacity. Additionally, MVPA predicted pain facilitation on the TS test, with greater MVPA associated with less TS of pain. These results suggest that different types of physical activity behavior may differentially impact pain inhibitory and facilitatory processes in older adults.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Measuring effects of voluntary attention: a comparison among predictive arrow, colour, and number cues.

    PubMed

    Olk, Bettina; Tsankova, Elena; Petca, A Raisa; Wilhelm, Adalbert F X

    2014-10-01

    The Posner cueing paradigm is one of the most widely used paradigms in attention research. Importantly, when employing it, it is critical to understand which type of orienting a cue triggers. It has been suggested that large effects elicited by predictive arrow cues reflect an interaction of involuntary and voluntary orienting. This conclusion is based on comparisons of cueing effects of predictive arrows, nonpredictive arrows (involuntary orienting), and predictive numbers (voluntary orienting). Experiment 1 investigated whether this conclusion is restricted to comparisons with number cues and showed similar results to those of previous studies, but now for comparisons to predictive colour cues, indicating that the earlier conclusion can be generalized. Experiment 2 assessed whether the size of a cueing effect is related to the ease of deriving direction information from a cue, based on the rationale that effects for arrows may be larger, because it may be easier to process direction information given by symbols such as arrows than that given by other cues. Indeed, direction information is derived faster and more accurately from arrows than from colour and number cues in a direction judgement task, and cueing effects are larger for arrows than for the other cues. Importantly though, performance in the two tasks is not correlated. Hence, the large cueing effects of arrows are not a result of the ease of information processing, but of the types of orienting that the arrows elicit.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fabre, Ludovic; Lemaire, Patrick; Grainger, Jonathan

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Prediction of pre-exam state anxiety from ruminative disposition: The mediating role of impaired attentional disengagement from negative information.

    PubMed

    Vălenaş, Sergiu P; Szentágotai-Tătar, Aurora; Grafton, Ben; Notebaert, Lies; Miu, Andrei C; MacLeod, Colin

    2017-04-01

    Rumination is a maladaptive form of repetitive thinking that enhances stress responses, and heightened disposition to engage in rumination may contribute to the onset and persistence of stress-related symptoms. However, the cognitive mechanisms through which ruminative disposition influences stress reactivity are not yet fully understood. This study investigated the hypothesis that the impact of ruminative disposition on stress reactivity is carried by an attentional bias reflecting impaired attentional disengagement from negative information. We examined the capacity of a measure of ruminative disposition to predict both attentional biases to negative exam-related information, and state anxiety, in students approaching a mid-term exam. As expected, ruminative disposition predicted state anxiety, over and above the level predicted by trait anxiety. Ruminative disposition also predicted biased attentional disengagement from, but not biased attentional engagement with, negative information. Importantly, biased attentional disengagement from negative information mediated the relation between ruminative disposition and state anxiety. These findings confirm that dispositional rumination is associated with difficulty disengaging attention from negative information, and suggest that this attentional bias may be one of the mechanisms through which ruminative disposition influences stress reactivity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Alana M.; Davalos, Deana B.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Alana M; Davalos, Deana B

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Modulation of selective attention by polarity-specific tDCS effects.

    PubMed

    Pecchinenda, Anna; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lavidor, Michal

    2015-02-01

    Selective attention relies on working memory to maintain an attention set of task priorities. Consequently, selective attention is more efficient when working memory resources are not depleted. However, there is some evidence that distractors are processed even when working memory load is low. We used tDCS to assess whether boosting the activity of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC), involved in selective attention and working memory, would reduce interference from emotional distractors. Findings showed that anodal tDCS over the DLPFC was not sufficient to reduce interference from angry distractors. In contrast, cathodal tDCS over the DLPFC reduced interference from happy distractors. These findings show that altering the DLPFC activity is not sufficient to establish top-down control and increase selective attention efficiency. Although, when the neural signal in the DLPFC is altered by cathodal tDCS, interference from emotional distractors is reduced, leading to an improved performance.

  3. Emotional modulation of the attentional blink by pleasant and unpleasant pictures.

    PubMed

    de Oca, Beatrice M; Villa, Marie; Cervantes, Miguel; Welbourne, Tyler

    2012-01-01

    When shown a rapid series of images, attention to a second target that follows in short proximity to a first is diminished--a phenomenon sometimes called an "attentional blink." Three experiments compared detection of motivationally relevant pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures when they appeared as the second target following a neutral (Experiment 1), unpleasant (Experiment 2) and pleasant (Experiment 3) picture target. The second target followed at lags of 2, 3 or 8 pictures. In all three experiments, detection of neutral pictures was reduced at lags 2 and 3, indicative of an attentional blink. In contrast, unpleasant pictures were detected more than neutral pictures at lags 2 and 3. Unexpectedly, pleasant pictures not only resisted the attentional blink, but they were detected substantially more than other pictures at all lags in all three experiments. Overall, the experiments support the idea that motivationally relevant stimuli preferentially capture attention more than motivationally neutral stimuli.

  4. Cholinergic modulation of the medial prefrontal cortex: the role of nicotinic receptors in attention and regulation of neuronal activity

    PubMed Central

    Bloem, Bernard; Poorthuis, Rogier B.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2014-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is crucial for normal cognitive performance. Despite the fact that many have studied how ACh affects neuronal processing in the mPFC and thereby influences attention behavior, there is still a lot unknown about how this occurs. Here we will review the evidence that cholinergic modulation of the mPFC plays a role in attention and we will summarize the current knowledge about the role between ACh receptors (AChRs) and behavior and how ACh receptor activation changes processing in the cortical microcircuitry. Recent evidence implicates fast phasic release of ACh in cue detection and attention. This review will focus mainly on the fast ionotropic nicotinic receptors and less on the metabotropic muscarinic receptors. Finally, we will review limitations of the existing studies and address how innovative technologies might push the field forward in order to gain understanding into the relation between ACh, neuronal activity and behavior. PMID:24653678

  5. Early childhood assessments of community pediatric professionals predict autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity problems.

    PubMed

    Jaspers, Merlijne; de Winter, Andrea F; Buitelaar, Jan K; Verhulst, Frank C; Reijneveld, Sijmen A; Hartman, Catharina A

    2013-01-01

    For clinically referred children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) several early indicators have been described. However, knowledge is lacking on early markers of less severe variants of ASD and ADHD from the general population. The aim of the present study is to identify early indicators of high risk groups for ASD and ADHD problems based on routine data from community pediatric services between infancy and age four. Data are from 1,816 participants who take part in Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a longitudinal study. Information on early developmental factors was extracted from charts of routine Preventive Child Healthcare (PCH) visits. To assess ASD and ADHD problems, respectively, we used the Children's Social Behavior Questionnaire (CSBQ) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), filled out by parents three times between the ages of 11 and 17. Note that these are parent ratings and not diagnostic instruments performed by trained clinicians. Male gender, low birth weight, low level of education of the mother, social, behavioral, language, psychomotor and eating problems significantly predicted ASD problems (odds ratios (OR) between 1.34 and 2.41). ADHD problems were also predicted by male gender and low level of education of the mother and by maternal smoking during pregnancy, good gross motor skills in first year, early attention and hyperactivity problems, and absence of parent-reported positive behavior (ORs between 1.36 and 1.74). Routine data on early childhood from PCH services are predictive for ASD and ADHD problems in adolescents in the general population. The PCH services are a useful setting to identify high risk groups, and to monitor them subsequently.

  6. Neural signals of selective attention are modulated by subjective preferences and buying decisions in a virtual shopping task.

    PubMed

    Goto, Nobuhiko; Mushtaq, Faisal; Shee, Dexter; Lim, Xue Li; Mortazavi, Matin; Watabe, Motoki; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2017-09-01

    We investigated whether well-known neural markers of selective attention to motivationally-relevant stimuli were modulated by variations in subjective preference towards consumer goods in a virtual shopping task. Specifically, participants viewed and rated pictures of various goods on the extent to which they wanted each item, which they could potentially purchase afterwards. Using the event-related potentials (ERP) method, we found that variations in subjective preferences for consumer goods strongly modulated positive slow waves (PSW) from 800 to 3000 milliseconds after stimulus onset. We also found that subjective preferences modulated the N200 and the late positive potential (LPP). In addition, we found that both PSW and LPP were modulated by subsequent buying decisions. Overall, these findings show that well-known brain event-related potentials reflecting selective attention processes can reliably index preferences to consumer goods in a shopping environment. Based on a large body of previous research, we suggest that early ERPs (e.g. the N200) to consumer goods could be indicative of preferences driven by unconditional and automatic processes, whereas later ERPs such as the LPP and the PSW could reflect preferences built upon more elaborative and conscious cognitive processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The role of health consciousness in predicting attention to health warning messages.

    PubMed

    Kaskutas, L A; Greenfield, T K

    1997-01-01

    consciousness; and "advertisement recall" associated with heavy consumption and younger age. These results are contrary to predictions from skeptics of broad-based informational interventions, who argue that only the already-health conscious are attentive to health warnings about the risks of alcohol consumption. These data suggest that the label is reaching intended target audiences, especially younger people, males, and heavier alcohol consumers. Future research in predicting attention to impersonal health warnings in the environment should continue to improve the assessment of constructs such as salience and health consciousness, and should further test the applicability of available theoretical models. Subsequent research should also consider additional measures to tap mechanisms of exposure to impersonal health messages to enable a better understanding of the population that is not being reached by such public health interventions.

  8. Genetic variation of CHRNA4 does not modulate attention in Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Gavin; Stutt, Andrea; Eccles, Martin; Robinson, Louise; Allcock, Liesl M.; Wesnes, Keith A.; Chinnery, Patrick F.; Burn, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterised by cognitive decline and attentional impairment. Recently, variation in CHRNA4 (rs1044396) has been shown to affect visual and auditory function, affecting speed and attention, in healthy adults. An association between CHRNA4 variation and PD has not been shown. To determine the link between CHRNA4 variation and attentional deficit in PD. A genotype-phenotype correlation between the common CHRNA4:rs1044396 variant and several baseline parameters of attention was carried out in a large cohort of PD cases (n = 222) and controls (n = 159). We identified significant associations to measures of attention in PD patients compared to controls. However, we found no significant link to CHRNA4:rs1044396 genotypes to baseline attention variables in PD or in controls. We conclude that CHRNA4:rs1044396 genotypes do not significantly influence the attentional deficit found in PD patients. Contrary to previous studies, we also found no significant influence in healthy age-matched controls. PMID:20493238

  9. Painful faces-induced attentional blink modulated by top–down and bottom–up mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Chun; Wang, Jin-Yan; Luo, Fei

    2015-01-01

    Pain-related stimuli can capture attention in an automatic (bottom–up) or intentional (top–down) fashion. Previous studies have examined attentional capture by pain-related information using spatial attention paradigms that involve mainly a bottom–up mechanism. In the current study, we investigated the pain information-induced attentional blink (AB) using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, and compared the effects of task-irrelevant and task-relevant pain distractors. Relationships between accuracy of target identification and individual traits (i.e., empathy and catastrophizing thinking about pain) were also examined. The results demonstrated that task-relevant painful faces had a significant pain information-induced AB effect, whereas task-irrelevant faces showed a near-significant trend of this effect, supporting the notion that pain-related stimuli can influence the temporal dynamics of attention. Furthermore, we found a significant negative correlation between response accuracy and pain catastrophizing score in task-relevant trials. These findings suggest that active scanning of environmental information related to pain produces greater deficits in cognition than does unintentional attention toward pain, which may represent the different ways in which healthy individuals and patients with chronic pain process pain-relevant information. These results may provide insight into the understanding of maladaptive attentional processing in patients with chronic pain. PMID:26082731

  10. Attention modulates specific motor cortical circuits recruited by transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K

    2017-09-17

    Skilled performance and acquisition is dependent upon afferent input to motor cortex. The present study used short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) to probe how manipulation of sensory afference by attention affects different circuits projecting to pyramidal tract neurons in motor cortex. SAI was assessed in the first dorsal interosseous muscle while participants performed a low or high attention-demanding visual detection task. SAI was evoked by preceding a suprathreshold transcranial magnetic stimulus with electrical stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist. To isolate different afferent intracortical circuits in motor cortex SAI was evoked using either posterior-anterior (PA) or anterior-posterior (PA) monophasic current. In an independent sample, somatosensory processing during the same attention-demanding visual detection tasks was assessed using somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEP) elicited by median nerve stimulation. SAI elicited by AP TMS was reduced under high compared to low visual attention demands. SAI elicited by PA TMS was not affected by visual attention demands. SEPs revealed that the high visual attention load reduced the fronto-central P20-N30 but not the contralateral parietal N20-P25 SEP component. P20-N30 reduction confirmed that the visual attention task altered sensory afference. The current results offer further support that PA and AP TMS recruit different neuronal circuits. AP circuits may be one substrate by which cognitive strategies shape sensorimotor processing during skilled movement by altering sensory processing in premotor areas. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Attention Strongly Modulates Reliability of Neural Responses to Naturalistic Narrative Stimuli.

    PubMed

    Ki, Jason J; Kelly, Simon P; Parra, Lucas C

    2016-03-09

    Attentional engagement is a major determinant of how effectively we gather information through our senses. Alongside the sheer growth in the amount and variety of information content that we are presented with through modern media, there is increased variability in the degree to which we "absorb" that information. Traditional research on attention has illuminated the basic principles of sensory selection to isolated features or locations, but it provides little insight into the neural underpinnings of our attentional engagement with modern naturalistic content. Here, we show in human subjects that the reliability of an individual's neural responses with respect to a larger group provides a highly robust index of the level of attentional engagement with a naturalistic narrative stimulus. Specifically, fast electroencephalographic evoked responses were more strongly correlated across subjects when naturally attending to auditory or audiovisual narratives than when attention was directed inward to a mental arithmetic task during stimulus presentation. This effect was strongest for audiovisual stimuli with a cohesive narrative and greatly reduced for speech stimuli lacking meaning. For compelling audiovisual narratives, the effect is remarkably strong, allowing perfect discrimination between attentional state across individuals. Control experiments rule out possible confounds related to altered eye movement trajectories or order of presentation. We conclude that reliability of evoked activity reproduced across subjects viewing the same movie is highly sensitive to the attentional state of the viewer and listener, which is aided by a cohesive narrative. Copyright © 2016 Ki et al.

  12. Attentional modulation of neural processing of shape, color, and velocity in humans

    SciTech Connect

    Corbetta, M.; Miezin, F.M.; Dobmeyer, S.; Shulman, G.L.; Petersen, S.E. )

    1990-06-22

    Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to measure changes in regional cerebral blood flow of normal subjects, while they were discriminating different attributes (shape, color, and velocity) of the same set of visual stimuli. Psychophysical evidence indicated that the sensitivity for discriminating subtle stimulus changes was higher when subjects focused attention on one attribute than when they divided attention among several attributes. Correspondingly, attention enhanced the activity of different regions of extrastriate visual cortex that appear to be specialized for processing information related to the selected attribute.

  13. Do parent perceptions predict continuity of publicly funded care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

    PubMed

    Zima, Bonnie T; Bussing, Regina; Tang, Lingqi; Zhang, Lily

    2013-03-01

    To examine whether parent perceptions about care (barriers, disorder knowledge, treatment willingness) vary among children who drop out of or stay in publicly funded care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to explore whether parent perceptions are predictive of staying in care over time. A longitudinal cohort study of 529 children ages 5 to 11 years receiving care for ADHD in primary care or specialty mental health clinics in a large, countrywide, managed-care Medicaid program. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to identify parent perceptions associated with the likelihood of staying in care across three 6-month time intervals, controlling for child and parent demographic characteristics, parental distress, clinical need, and recent special education use. At least three-fourths of children had at least 1 contact for any mental health care during a 6-month time interval (75%, 85%, 76%). Parent-perceived barriers, ADHD knowledge, and counseling willingness did not predict staying in care, whereas willingness for medication treatment was predictive at baseline. Minority status, nonmarried parent, parental distress, clinical need, and special education use were predictive of staying in care, but mostly during only one 6-month time interval, and their influence varied over time. Parent willingness for medication treatment along with several demographic and need factors predicted staying in care but not consistently over time. Future research is needed to develop practical tools for clinicians to elicit parent priorities about ADHD treatment and to integrate them into quality-improvement interventions targeted to improving shared decision-making for longer term ADHD care.

  14. Does Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Predict Levels of Depressive Symptoms during Emerging Adulthood?

    PubMed

    Meinzer, Michael C; Pettit, Jeremy W; Waxmonsky, James G; Gnagy, Elizabeth; Molina, Brooke S G; Pelham, William E

    2016-05-01

    Little is known about the development and course of depressive symptoms through emerging adulthood among individuals with a childhood history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to examine if a history of ADHD in childhood significantly predicted depressive symptoms during emerging adulthood (i.e., ages 18-25 years), including the initial level of depressive symptoms, continued levels of depressive symptoms at each age year, and the rate of change in depressive symptoms over time. 394 participants (205 with ADHD and 189 without ADHD; 348 males and 46 females) drawn from the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS) completed annual self-ratings of depressive symptoms between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Childhood history of ADHD significantly predicted a higher initial level of depressive symptoms at age 18, and higher levels of depressive symptoms at every age year during emerging adulthood. ADHD did not significantly predict the rate of change in depressive symptoms from age 18 to age 25. Childhood history of ADHD remained a significant predictor of initial level of depressive symptoms at age 18 after controlling for comorbid psychiatric diagnoses, but not after controlling for concurrent ADHD symptoms and psychosocial impairment. Participants with childhood histories of ADHD experienced significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms than non-ADHD comparison participants by age 18 and continued to experience higher, although not increasing, levels of depressive symptoms through emerging adulthood. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined the power of measures of early preschool behavior to predict later diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD). Participants were 168 children with behavior problems at age 3 who underwent a multi-method assessment of ADHD and ODD symptoms and were followed annually for 3 years. Fifty-eight percent of 3-year-old children with behavior problems met criteria for ADHD and/or ODD/CD 3 years later. Using a diagnostic interview and rating scales at age 3, later diagnostic status could be accurately predicted for three-quarters of children for ADHD and for two-thirds of children for ODD/CD. Predictive power of the best models did not increase significantly at age 4 and age 5 compared to age 3. Results provide support for the validity of early diagnoses of ADHD, though caution is needed in making diagnoses because a significant minority of children with early hyperactivity and inattention do outgrow their problems. PMID:19309194

  16. Predicting methylphenidate response in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Blair A; Coghill, David; Matthews, Keith; Steele, J Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH) is established as the main pharmacological treatment for patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whilst MPH is generally a highly effective treatment, not all patients respond, and some experience adverse reactions. Currently, there is no reliable method to predict how patients will respond, other than by exposure to a trial of medication. In this preliminary study, we sought to investigate whether an accurate predictor of clinical response to methylphenidate could be developed for individual patients, using sociodemographic, clinical and neuropsychological measures. Of the 43 boys with ADHD included in this proof-of-concept study, 30 were classed as responders and 13 as non-responders to MPH, with no significant differences in age nor verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) between the groups. Here we report the application of a multivariate analysis approach to the prediction of clinical response to MPH, which achieved an accuracy of 77% (p = 0.005). The most important variables to the classifier were performance on a 'go/no go' task and comorbid conduct disorder. This preliminary study suggested that further investigation is merited. Achieving a highly significant accuracy of 77% for the prediction of MPH response is an encouraging step towards finding a reliable and clinically useful method that could minimise the number of children needlessly being exposed to MPH. © The Author(s) 2014.

  17. Does Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Predict Levels of Depressive Symptoms during Emerging Adulthood?

    PubMed Central

    Meinzer, Michael C.; Pettit, Jeremy W.; Waxmonsky, James G.; Gnagy, Elizabeth; Molina, Brooke S.G.; Pelham, William E.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the development and course of depressive symptoms through emerging adulthood among individuals with a childhood history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to examine if a history of ADHD in childhood significantly predicted depressive symptoms during emerging adulthood (i.e., ages 18–25 years), including the initial level of depressive symptoms, continued levels of depressive symptoms at each age year, and the rate of change in depressive symptoms over time. 394 participants (205 with ADHD and 189 without ADHD; 348 males and 46 females) drawn from the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS) completed annual self-ratings of depressive symptoms between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Childhood history of ADHD significantly predicted a higher initial level of depressive symptoms at age 18, and higher levels of depressive symptoms at every age year during emerging adulthood. ADHD did not significantly predict the rate of change in depressive symptoms from age 18 to age 25. Childhood history of ADHD remained a significant predictor of initial level of depressive symptoms at age 18 after controlling for comorbid psychiatric diagnoses, but not after controlling for concurrent ADHD symptoms and psychosocial impairment. Participants with childhood histories of ADHD experienced significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms than non-ADHD comparison participants by age 18 and continued to experience higher, although not increasing, levels of depressive symptoms through emerging adulthood. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:26272531

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Reminder Cues Modulate the Renewal Effect in Human Predictive Learning

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Javier; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald

    2016-01-01

    Associative learning refers to our ability to learn about regularities in our environment. When a stimulus is repeatedly followed by a specific outcome, we learn to expect the outcome in the presence of the stimulus. We are also able to modify established expectations in the face of disconfirming information (the stimulus is no longer followed by the outcome). Both the change of environmental regularities and the related processes of adaptation are referred to as extinction. However, extinction does not erase the initially acquired expectations. For instance, following successful extinction, the initially learned expectations can recover when there is a context change – a phenomenon called the renewal effect, which is considered as a model for relapse after exposure therapy. Renewal was found to be modulated by reminder cues of acquisition and extinction. However, the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of reminder cues are not well understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of reminder cues on renewal in the field of human predictive learning. Experiment I demonstrated that renewal in human predictive learning is modulated by cues related to acquisition or extinction. Initially, participants received pairings of a stimulus and an outcome in one context. These stimulus-outcome pairings were preceded by presentations of a reminder cue (acquisition cue). Then, participants received extinction in a different context in which presentations of the stimulus were no longer followed by the outcome. These extinction trials were preceded by a second reminder cue (extinction cue). During a final phase conducted in a third context, participants showed stronger expectations of the outcome in the presence of the stimulus when testing was accompanied by the acquisition cue compared to the extinction cue. Experiment II tested an explanation of the reminder cue effect in terms of simple cue-outcome associations. Therefore, acquisition and

  20. Selective attention modulates visual and haptic repetition priming: effects in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Heller, Morton A

    2008-08-01

    In two experiments, we examined the effect of selective attention at encoding on repetition priming in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients for objects presented visually (experiment 1) or haptically (experiment 2). We used a repetition priming paradigm combined with a selective attention procedure at encoding. Reliable priming was found for both young adults and healthy older participants for visually presented pictures (experiment 1) as well as for haptically presented objects (experiment 2). However, this was only found for attended and not for unattended stimuli. The results suggest that independently of the perceptual modality, repetition priming requires attention at encoding and that perceptual facilitation is maintained in normal aging. However, AD patients did not show priming for attended stimuli, or for unattended visual or haptic objects. These findings suggest an early deficit of selective attention in AD. Results are discussed from a cognitive neuroscience approach.

  1. Spatial orienting of attention to social cues is modulated by cue type and gender of viewer.

    PubMed

    Cooney, Sarah Maeve; Brady, Nuala; Ryan, Katie

    2017-05-01

    Across three experiments, we examined the efficacy of three cues from the human body-body orientation, head turning, and eye-gaze direction-to shift an observer's attention in space. Using a modified Posner cueing paradigm, we replicate the previous findings of gender differences in the gaze-cueing effect whereby female but not male participants responded significantly faster to validly cued than to invalidly cued targets. In contrast to the previous studies, we report a robust cueing effect for both male and female participants when head turning direction was used as the central cue, whereas oriented bodies proved ineffectual as cues to attention for both males and females. These results are discussed with reference to the time course of central cueing effects, gender differences in spatial attention, and current models of how cues from the human body are combined to judge another person's direction of attention.

  2. Caffeine deprivation state modulates coffee consumption but not attentional bias for caffeine-related stimuli.

    PubMed

    Stafford, L D; Yeomans, M R

    2005-11-01

    Previous research has shown that caffeine deprivation state can exert a strong influence on the ability of caffeine to reinforce behaviour. Recent work has also found evidence for an attentional bias in habitual caffeine users. It remains unclear whether deprivation state can influence attentional bias. Here we explored the relationship between caffeine deprivation, attentional bias to caffeine-related stimuli and subsequent caffeine reinforcement measured by consumption of coffee. In three experiments, participants (between-subjects: n=28; within-subjects: n=20, within-subjects: n=20) were preloaded with either caffeine (experiments 1 and 3 : 100 mg; experiment 2 : 150 mg) or placebo, and in experiments 1 and 2 they completed a novel attentional bias task involving pre-attentive word recognition, and in experiment 3 a dot-probe task. In experiments 2 and 3, this was followed by a test of coffee consumption. Greater recognition for caffeine-related words (experiments 1 and 2) and faster reaction times to probes replacing caffeine-related rather than control stimuli (experiment 3) confirmed caffeine-related attentional biases, but in no case was this affected by manipulation of caffeine-deprivation state. Participants in a deprived versus nondeprived state, however, experienced increases in drowsiness and headaches (experiment 2) and reduced alertness (experiment 3). Further, coffee consumption was greatest when participants were caffeine-deprived than when they were nondeprived. Findings are discussed in relation to prevailing theories of drug addiction.

  3. Top-down attentional processes modulate the coding of atypical biological motion kinematics in the absence of motor signals.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Spencer J; Roberts, James W; Elliott, Digby; Bennett, Simon J

    2014-08-01

    The acquisition of sensorimotor parameters that control goal-directed motor behaviors occurs by observing another person in the absence of efferent and afferent motor signals. This is observational practice. During such observation, biological motion properties associated with the observed person are coded into a representation that controls motor learning. Understanding the underlying processes, specifically associated with coding biological motion, has theoretical and practical significance. Here, we examined the following questions. Experiment 1: Are the underlying velocity characteristics associated with observed biological motion kinematics imitated? Experiment 2: Is attention involved in imitating biological motion kinematics? Experiment 3: Can selective attention modulate how biological motion kinematics are imitated/represented? To this end, participants practiced by observing a model performing a movement sequence that contained typical or atypical biological motion kinematics. The differences in kinematics were designed to dissociate the movement constraints of the task and the anatomical constraints of the observer. This way, we examined whether novel motor behaviors are acquired by adopting prototypical movements or coding biological motion. The kinematic analyses indicated the timing and spatial position of peak velocity were represented. Using a dual-task protocol, we attenuated the coding of biological motion kinematics (Experiment 2) and augmented coding using a selective attention protocol (Experiment 3). Findings indicated that velocity characteristics of biological motion kinematics are coded during observational practice, most likely through bottom-up sensorimotor processes. By modulating motion coding using 2 attentional protocols, we showed that bottom-up processes are influenced by input modulation, which is consistent with top-down control during observational practice.

  4. Endogenous auditory frequency-based attention modulates electroencephalogram-based measures of obligatory sensory activity in humans.

    PubMed

    Sheedy, Caroline M; Power, Alan J; Reilly, Richard B; Crosse, Michael J; Loughnane, Gerard M; Lalor, Edmund C

    2014-03-05

    Auditory selective attention is the ability to enhance the processing of a single sound source, while simultaneously suppressing the processing of other competing sound sources. Recent research has addressed a long-running debate by showing that endogenous attention produces effects on obligatory sensory responses to continuous and competing auditory stimuli. However, until now, this result has only been shown under conditions where the competing stimuli differed in both their frequency characteristics and, importantly, their spatial location. Thus, it is unknown whether endogenous selective attention based only on nonspatial features modulates obligatory sensory processing. Here, we investigate this issue using a diotic paradigm, such that competing auditory stimuli differ in frequency, but had no separation in space. We find a significant effect of attention on electroencephalogram-based measures of obligatory sensory processing at several poststimulus latencies. We discuss these results in terms of previous research on feature-based attention and by comparing our findings with the previous work using stimuli that differed both in terms of spatial and frequency-based characteristics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Decreases in Daily Physical Activity Predict Acute Decline in Attention/Executive Function in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Hayes, Scott M.; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Gunstad, John

    2015-01-01

    Background Reduced physical activity (PA) may be one factor that contributes to cognitive decline and dementia in heart failure (HF). Yet, the longitudinal relationship between PA and cognition in HF is poorly understood due to limitations of past work, including single time assessments of PA. This is the first study to examine changes in objectively measured PA and cognition over time in HF. Methods At baseline and 12-weeks, 57 HF patients completed psychosocial self-report measures, a neuropsychological battery, and wore an accelerometer for seven days. Results At baseline, HF patients spent an average of 597.83 (SD = 75.91) minutes per day sedentary. Steps per day declined from baseline to the 12-week follow-up; there was also a trend for declines in moderate-vigorous PA. Regression analyses controlling for sex, HF severity, and depressive symptoms showed that decreases in light (p = 0.08) and moderate-vigorous (p = 0.04) daily PA emerged as strong predictors of declines in attention/executive function over the 12-week period, but not memory or language. Conclusions Reductions in daily PA predicted acute decline in attention/executive function in HF, but not memory or language. Modifications to daily PA may attenuate cognitive decline and prospective studies are needed to test this possibility. PMID:25573830

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Top-down modulation of auditory processing: effects of sound context, musical expertise and attentional focus.

    PubMed

    Tervaniemi, M; Kruck, S; De Baene, W; Schröger, E; Alter, K; Friederici, A D

    2009-10-01

    By recording auditory electrical brain potentials, we investigated whether the basic sound parameters (frequency, duration and intensity) are differentially encoded among speech vs. music sounds by musicians and non-musicians during different attentional demands. To this end, a pseudoword and an instrumental sound of comparable frequency and duration were presented. The accuracy of neural discrimination was tested by manipulations of frequency, duration and intensity. Additionally, the subjects' attentional focus was manipulated by instructions to ignore the sounds while watching a silent movie or to attentively discriminate the different sounds. In both musicians and non-musicians, the pre-attentively evoked mismatch negativity (MMN) component was larger to slight changes in music than in speech sounds. The MMN was also larger to intensity changes in music sounds and to duration changes in speech sounds. During attentional listening, all subjects more readily discriminated changes among speech sounds than among music sounds as indexed by the N2b response strength. Furthermore, during attentional listening, musicians displayed larger MMN and N2b than non-musicians for both music and speech sounds. Taken together, the data indicate that the discriminative abilities in human audition differ between music and speech sounds as a function of the sound-change context and the subjective familiarity of the sound parameters. These findings provide clear evidence for top-down modulatory effects in audition. In other words, the processing of sounds is realized by a dynamically adapting network considering type of sound, expertise and attentional demands, rather than by a strictly modularly organized stimulus-driven system.

  9. Selective attention modulates the direction of audio-visual temporal recalibration.

    PubMed

    Ikumi, Nara; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging), was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.

  10. Cross-modality correspondence between pitch and spatial location modulates attentional orienting.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Rocco; Rich, Anina N

    2012-01-01

    The brain constantly integrates incoming signals across the senses to form a cohesive view of the world. Most studies on multisensory integration concern the roles of spatial and temporal parameters. However, recent findings suggest cross-modal correspondences (eg high-pitched sounds associated with bright, small objects located high up) also affect multisensory integration. Here, we focus on the association between auditory pitch and spatial location. Surprisingly little is known about the cognitive and perceptual roots of this phenomenon, despite its long use in ergonomic design. In a series of experiments, we explore how this cross-modal mapping affects the allocation of attention with an attentional cuing paradigm. Our results demonstrate that high and low tones induce attention shifts to upper or lower locations, depending on pitch height. Furthermore, this pitch-induced cuing effect is susceptible to contextual manipulations and volitional control. These findings suggest the cross-modal interaction between pitch and location originates from an attentional level rather than from response mapping alone. The flexible contextual mapping between pitch and location, as well as its susceptibility to top-down control, suggests the pitch-induced cuing effect is primarily mediated by cognitive processes after initial sensory encoding and occurs at a relatively late stage of voluntary attention orienting.

  11. Dissociated α-Band Modulations in the Dorsal and Ventral Visual Pathways in Visuospatial Attention and Perception

    PubMed Central

    Capilla, Almudena; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Paterson, Gavin; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Modulations of occipito-parietal α-band (8–14 Hz) power that are opposite in direction (α-enhancement vs. α-suppression) and origin of generation (ipsilateral vs. contralateral to the locus of attention) are a robust correlate of anticipatory visuospatial attention. Yet, the neural generators of these α-band modulations, their interdependence across homotopic areas, and their respective contribution to subsequent perception remain unclear. To shed light on these questions, we employed magnetoencephalography, while human volunteers performed a spatially cued detection task. Replicating previous findings, we found α-power enhancement ipsilateral to the attended hemifield and contralateral α-suppression over occipito-parietal sensors. Source localization (beamforming) analysis showed that α-enhancement and suppression were generated in 2 distinct brain regions, located in the dorsal and ventral visual streams, respectively. Moreover, α-enhancement and suppression showed different dynamics and contribution to perception. In contrast to the initial and transient dorsal α-enhancement, α-suppression in ventro-lateral occipital cortex was sustained and influenced subsequent target detection. This anticipatory biasing of ventro-lateral extrastriate α-activity probably reflects increased receptivity in the brain region specialized in processing upcoming target features. Our results add to current models on the role of α-oscillations in attention orienting by showing that α-enhancement and suppression can be dissociated in time, space, and perceptual relevance. PMID:23118197

  12. Dissociated α-band modulations in the dorsal and ventral visual pathways in visuospatial attention and perception.

    PubMed

    Capilla, Almudena; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Paterson, Gavin; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim

    2014-02-01

    Modulations of occipito-parietal α-band (8-14 Hz) power that are opposite in direction (α-enhancement vs. α-suppression) and origin of generation (ipsilateral vs. contralateral to the locus of attention) are a robust correlate of anticipatory visuospatial attention. Yet, the neural generators of these α-band modulations, their interdependence across homotopic areas, and their respective contribution to subsequent perception remain unclear. To shed light on these questions, we employed magnetoencephalography, while human volunteers performed a spatially cued detection task. Replicating previous findings, we found α-power enhancement ipsilateral to the attended hemifield and contralateral α-suppression over occipito-parietal sensors. Source localization (beamforming) analysis showed that α-enhancement and suppression were generated in 2 distinct brain regions, located in the dorsal and ventral visual streams, respectively. Moreover, α-enhancement and suppression showed different dynamics and contribution to perception. In contrast to the initial and transient dorsal α-enhancement, α-suppression in ventro-lateral occipital cortex was sustained and influenced subsequent target detection. This anticipatory biasing of ventro-lateral extrastriate α-activity probably reflects increased receptivity in the brain region specialized in processing upcoming target features. Our results add to current models on the role of α-oscillations in attention orienting by showing that α-enhancement and suppression can be dissociated in time, space, and perceptual relevance.

  13. Modulation of Posterior Alpha Activity by Spatial Attention Allows for Controlling A Continuous Brain-Computer Interface.

    PubMed

    Horschig, Jörn M; Oosterheert, Wouter; Oostenveld, Robert; Jensen, Ole

    2015-11-01

    Here we report that the modulation of alpha activity by covert attention can be used as a control signal in an online brain-computer interface, that it is reliable, and that it is robust. Subjects were instructed to orient covert visual attention to the left or right hemifield. We decoded the direction of attention from the magnetoencephalogram by a template matching classifier and provided the classification outcome to the subject in real-time using a novel graphical user interface. Training data for the templates were obtained from a Posner-cueing task conducted just before the BCI task. Eleven subjects participated in four sessions each. Eight of the subjects achieved classification rates significantly above chance level. Subjects were able to significantly increase their performance from the first to the second session. Individual patterns of posterior alpha power remained stable throughout the four sessions and did not change with increased performance. We conclude that posterior alpha power can successfully be used as a control signal in brain-computer interfaces. We also discuss several ideas for further improving the setup and propose future research based on solid hypotheses about behavioral consequences of modulating neuronal oscillations by brain computer interfacing.

  14. Oscillatory alpha modulations in right auditory regions reflect the validity of acoustic cues in an auditory spatial attention task.

    PubMed

    Weisz, Nathan; Müller, Nadia; Jatzev, Sabine; Bertrand, Olivier

    2014-10-01

    Anticipation of targets in the left or right hemifield leads to alpha modulations in posterior brain areas. Recently using magnetoencephalography, we showed increased right auditory alpha activity when attention was cued ipsilaterally. Here, we investigated the issue how cue validity itself influences oscillatory alpha activity. Acoustic cues were presented either to the right or left ear, followed by a compound dichotically presented target plus distractor. The preceding cue was either informative (75% validity) or uninformative (50%) about the location of the upcoming target. Cue validity × side-related alpha modulations were identified in pre- and posttarget periods in a right lateralized network, comprising auditory and nonauditory regions. This replicates and extends our previous finding of the right hemispheric dominance of auditory attentional modulations. Importantly, effective connectivity analysis showed that, in the pretarget period, this effect is accompanied by a pronounced and time-varying connectivity pattern of the right auditory cortex to the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS), with influence of IPS on superior temporal gyrus dominating at earlier intervals of the cue-target period. Our study underlines the assumption that alpha oscillations may play a similar functional role in auditory cortical regions as reported in other sensory modalities and suggests that these effects may be mediated via IPS.

  15. Bilingualism Modulates Infants' Selective Attention to the Mouth of a Talking Face

    PubMed Central

    Pons, Ferran; Bosch, Laura; Lewkowicz, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Bilingual infants succeed at learning their first two languages. What adaptive processes enable them to master the more complex nature of bilingual input? One possibility is that bilingual infants take greater advantage of the redundancy of the audiovisual speech that they usually experience during social interactions. Thus, we investigated whether bilinguals’ need to keep languages apart increases their attention to the mouth as a source of redundant and reliable speech cues. We measured selective attention to talking faces in 4-, 8-, and 12-month-old Catalan- and Spanish- monolingual and bilingual infants. Monolingual data paralleled previous findings, whereas bilingual data suggested an emerging move away from the eyes beginning earlier in development, followed by increasing attention to the mouth from 8 to 12 months of age. Thus, bilingual infants exploit the greater perceptual salience of redundant audiovisual speech cues earlier and longer than monolinguals to support their dual language acquisition processes. PMID:25767208

  16. Priming of pop-out modulates attentional target selection in visual search: behavioural and electrophysiological evidence.

    PubMed

    Eimer, Martin; Kiss, Monika; Cheung, Theodore

    2010-06-25

    Previous behavioural studies have shown that the repetition of target or distractor features across trials speeds pop-out visual search. We obtained behavioural and event-related brain potential (ERP) measures in two experiments where participants searched for a colour singleton target among homogeneously coloured distractors. An ERP marker of spatially selective attention (N2pc component) was delayed when either target or distractor colours were swapped across successive trials, demonstrating that intertrial feature priming systematically affects the onset of focal-attentional target processing. Results support the hypothesis that priming of pop-out effects are primarily generated at early perceptual/attentional stages of visual processing. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptom clusters differentially predict prenatal health behaviors in pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Jones, Heather A; Eddy, Laura D; Rabinovitch, Annie E; Snipes, Daniel J; Wilson, Stephanie A; Parks, Amanda M; Karjane, Nicole W; Svikis, Dace S

    2017-09-25

    To date, most investigations of mental health in pregnant women have focused on depression or substance use. This study aimed to (a) delineate the relationships between symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and prenatal health behaviors and (b) explore whether the symptom clusters of ADHD differentially predict prenatal health behaviors (e.g., physical strain, healthy eating, prenatal vitamin use). A total of 198 pregnant women (mean age = 27.94 years) completed measures of ADHD symptoms, prenatal health behaviors, and depression. Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity/emotional lability all evidenced significant relationships with the prenatal health behaviors, each differentially predicting different prenatal health behaviors. As decreased engagement in adequate prenatal health behaviors puts both the mother and fetus at risk for negative birth outcomes, future research should work to develop a brief ADHD screen to be used in obstetric clinics and should investigate these relationships within a sample of women with a diagnosis of ADHD. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Negative affectivity and EEG asymmetry interact to predict emotional interference on attention in early school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Beylul; O'Toole, Laura; Hong, Melanie; Dennis, Tracy A

    2014-06-01

    Negative affectivity (NA) is a broad construct that has been associated with the development of psychopathologies, such as anxiety, and with exaggerated attention to threatening stimuli. EEG asymmetry reflects biological individual differences in emotional reactivity that may underlie the association between NA and attention to threat. The present study included a sample of 31 five-seven year olds (M age in months=74.39, SD=6.57) to test the hypothesis that greater NA, combined with greater right anterior and posterior asymmetries, predicts increased attention interference following threat stimuli. Children completed an executive attention task which presented task-irrelevant threat (angry) and non-threat (neutral) faces prior to each trial. EEG asymmetry was measured at baseline for anterior, anterior-temporal and posterior scalp regions and child NA was measured via maternal report. As predicted, children showing greater NA and greater right anterior-temporal asymmetry showed more attention interference following angry faces. Additionally, two trend-level effects emerged: children showing greater NA and greater left anterior-temporal asymmetry showed less attention interference following angry faces, and children showing greater NA and greater left posterior asymmetry showed less attention interference, but only following neutral faces. Discussion focuses on the utility of using EEG asymmetry in the study of temperament, attentional biases, and the biological processes by which temperament confers risk for psychopathology.

  19. Attentional Sensitization of Unconscious Cognition: Task Sets Modulate Subsequent Masked Semantic Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiefer, Markus; Martens, Ulla

    2010-01-01

    According to classical theories, automatic processes are autonomous and independent of higher level cognitive influence. In contrast, the authors propose that automatic processing depends on attentional sensitization of task-congruent processing pathways. In 3 experiments, the authors tested this hypothesis with a modified masked semantic priming…

  20. Arousal Modulates Auditory Attention and Awareness: Insights from Sleep, Sedation, and Disorders of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Chennu, Srivas; Bekinschtein, Tristan A.

    2011-01-01

    The interplay between attention and consciousness is frequently tested in altered states of consciousness, including transitions between stages of sleep and sedation, and in pathological disorders of consciousness (DoC; the vegetative and minimally conscious states; VS and MCS). One of the most widely used tasks to assess cognitive processing in this context is the auditory oddball paradigm, where an infrequent change in a sequence of sounds elicits, in awake subjects, a characteristic EEG event-related potential called the mismatch negativity, followed by the classic P300 wave. The latter is further separable into the slightly earlier, anterior P3a and the later, posterior P3b, thought to be linked to task-irrelevant “bottom-up” and task-oriented “top-down” attention, respectively. We discuss here the putative dissociations between attention and awareness in DoC, sedation and sleep, bearing in mind the recently emerging evidence from healthy volunteers and patients. These findings highlight the neurophysiological and cognitive parallels (and differences) across these three distinct variations in levels of consciousness, and inform the theoretical framework for interpreting the role of attention therein. PMID:22403565

  1. Attention to form or surface properties modulates different regions of human occipitotemporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cant, Jonathan S; Goodale, Melvyn A

    2007-03-01

    We carried out 2 functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to investigate the cortical mechanisms underlying the contribution of form and surface properties to object recognition. In experiment 1, participants performed same-different judgments in separate blocks of trials on pairs of unfamiliar "nonsense" objects on the basis of their form, surface properties (i.e., both color and texture), or orientation. Attention to form activated the lateral occipital (LO) area, whereas attention to surface properties activated the collateral sulcus (CoS) and the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG). In experiment 2, participants were required to make same-different judgments on the basis of texture, color, or form. Again attention to form activated area LO, whereas attention to texture activated regions in the IOG and the CoS, as well as regions in the lingual sulcus and the inferior temporal sulcus. Within these last 4 regions, activation associated with texture was higher than activation associated with color. No color-specific cortical areas were identified in these regions, although parts of V1 and the cuneus yielded higher activation for color as opposed to texture. These results suggest that there are separate form and surface-property pathways in extrastriate cortex. The extraction of information about an object's color seems to occur relatively early in visual analysis as compared with the extraction of surface texture, perhaps because the latter requires more complex computations.

  2. Attentional Modulation of Visual-Evoked Potentials by Threat: Investigating the Effect of Evolutionary Relevance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Christopher; El-Deredy, Wael; Blanchette, Isabelle

    2010-01-01

    In dot-probe tasks, threatening cues facilitate attention to targets and enhance the amplitude of the target P1 peak of the visual-evoked potential. While theories have suggested that evolutionarily relevant threats should obtain preferential neural processing, this has not been examined empirically. In this study we examined the effects of…

  3. Attentional modulation of informational masking on early cortical representations of speech signals.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Changxin; Arnott, Stephen R; Rabaglia, Cristina; Avivi-Reich, Meital; Qi, James; Wu, Xihong; Li, Liang; Schneider, Bruce A

    2016-01-01

    To recognize speech in a noisy auditory scene, listeners need to perceptually segregate the target talker's voice from other competing sounds (stream segregation). A number of studies have suggested that the attentional demands placed on listeners increase as the acoustic properties and informational content of the competing sounds become more similar to that of the target voice. Hence we would expect attentional demands to be considerably greater when speech is masked by speech than when it is masked by steady-state noise. To investigate the role of attentional mechanisms in the unmasking of speech sounds, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to a syllable masked by noise or competing speech under both active (the participant was asked to respond when the syllable was presented) or passive (no response was required) listening conditions. The results showed that the long-latency auditory response to a syllable (/bi/), presented at different signal-to-masker ratios (SMRs), was similar in both passive and active listening conditions, when the masker was a steady-state noise. In contrast, a switch from the passive listening condition to the active one, when the masker was two-talker speech, significantly enhanced the ERPs to the syllable. These results support the hypothesis that the need to engage attentional mechanisms in aid of scene analysis increases as the similarity (both acoustic and informational) between the target speech and the competing background sounds increases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Right Hand Presence Modulates Shifts of Exogenous Visuospatial Attention in Near Perihand Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lloyd, Donna M.; Azanon, Elena; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    To investigate attentional shifting in perihand space, we measured performance on a covert visual orienting task under different hand positions. Participants discriminated visual shapes presented on a screen and responded using footpedals placed under their right foot. With the right hand positioned by the right side of the screen, mean cueing…

  5. Self-Alert Training: Volitional Modulation of Autonomic Arousal Improves Sustained Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connell, Redmond G.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Dockree, Paul M.; Lau, Adam; Fitzgerald, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.

    2008-01-01

    The present study examines a new alertness training strategy (Self-Alert Training, SAT) designed to explore the relationship between the top-down control processes governing arousal and sustained attention. In order to maximally target frontal control systems SAT combines a previously validated behavioural self-alerting technique [Robertson, I.…

  6. Attentional Modulation of Visual-Evoked Potentials by Threat: Investigating the Effect of Evolutionary Relevance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Christopher; El-Deredy, Wael; Blanchette, Isabelle

    2010-01-01

    In dot-probe tasks, threatening cues facilitate attention to targets and enhance the amplitude of the target P1 peak of the visual-evoked potential. While theories have suggested that evolutionarily relevant threats should obtain preferential neural processing, this has not been examined empirically. In this study we examined the effects of…

  7. Right Hand Presence Modulates Shifts of Exogenous Visuospatial Attention in Near Perihand Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lloyd, Donna M.; Azanon, Elena; Poliakoff, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    To investigate attentional shifting in perihand space, we measured performance on a covert visual orienting task under different hand positions. Participants discriminated visual shapes presented on a screen and responded using footpedals placed under their right foot. With the right hand positioned by the right side of the screen, mean cueing…

  8. Self-Alert Training: Volitional Modulation of Autonomic Arousal Improves Sustained Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connell, Redmond G.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Dockree, Paul M.; Lau, Adam; Fitzgerald, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.

    2008-01-01

    The present study examines a new alertness training strategy (Self-Alert Training, SAT) designed to explore the relationship between the top-down control processes governing arousal and sustained attention. In order to maximally target frontal control systems SAT combines a previously validated behavioural self-alerting technique [Robertson, I.…

  9. Multiple epigenetic factors predict the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder among the Chinese Han children.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yi; Chen, Xiang-Tao; Luo, Man; Tang, Yuqing; Zhang, Guangxiang; Wu, De; Yang, Bin; Ruan, Di-Yun; Wang, Hui-Li

    2015-05-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood. Despite its prevalence, the critical factors involved in its development remain to be identified. It was recently suggested that epigenetic mechanisms probably contribute to the etiology of ADHD. The present study was designed to examine the associations of epigenetic markers with ADHD among Chinese Han children, aiming to establish the prediction model for this syndrome from the epigenetic perspective. We conducted a pair-matching case-control study, and the ADHD children were systematically evaluated via structured diagnostic interviews, including caregiver interviews, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, revised criteria (DSM-IV-R). The expression levels of risk genes DAT1, DRD4, DRD5, as well as their promoter methylation, were determined respectively, followed by the expression profiles of histone-modifying genes p300, MYST4, HDAC1, MeCP2. The multivariate logistic regressions were performed to establish ADHD prediction models. All of the seven genes tested were identified as risk factors for ADHD. The methylation of one critical CpG site located upstream of DRD4 was shown to affect its transcription, suggesting a role in ADHD's development. Aberrant DNA methylation and histone acetylation were indicated in ADHD patients. In addition, a prediction model was established using the combination of p300, MYST4 and HDAC1, with the accuracy of 0.9338. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to clearly demonstrate the associations between epigenetic markers and ADHD, shedding light on the preliminary diagnosis and etiological studies of this widespread disorder.

  10. Modulation of pre-attentive spectro-temporal feature processing in the human auditory system by HD-tDCS.

    PubMed

    Heimrath, Kai; Breitling, Carolin; Krauel, Kerstin; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Zaehle, Tino

    2015-06-01

    The present study examined the functional lateralization of the human auditory cortex (AC) for pre-attentive spectro-temporal feature processing. By using high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS), we systematically modulated neuronal activity of the bilateral AC. We assessed the influence of anodal and cathodal HD-tDCS delivered over the left or right AC on auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) in response to temporal as well as spectral deviants in 12 healthy subjects. The results showed that MMN to temporal deviants was significantly enhanced by anodal HD-tDCS applied over the left AC only. Our data indicate a left hemispheric dominance for the pre-attentive processing of low-level temporal information. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Subcortical modulation of attentional control by second-generation antipsychotics in first-episode psychosis.

    PubMed

    Ikuta, Toshikazu; Robinson, Delbert G; Gallego, Juan A; Peters, Bart D; Gruner, Patricia; Kane, John; John, Majnu; Sevy, Serge; Malhotra, Anil K; Szeszko, Philip R

    2014-02-28

    Psychotic disorders are characterized by significant deficits in attentional control, but the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these deficits early in the course of illness prior to extensive pharmacotherapy are not well understood. Moreover, little is known regarding the symptom and brain changes associated with amelioration of attentional impairments through antipsychotic pharmacotherapy. In this study 14 male patients experiencing a first-episode of psychosis with minimal prior antipsychotic treatment completed an attentional control task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging at the onset of treatment with a second generation antipsychotic (risperidone or aripiprazole) in a double blind randomized clinical trial and then again following approximately 12 weeks of treatment. In addition, 14 age-, and performance-matched healthy male volunteers who were not treated completed the same task at a baseline timepoint and then again following 12 weeks. Patients showed significantly greater activation than healthy volunteers in the right globus pallidus, left thalamus, and right thalamus at the time of the baseline scan. Among patients there was a significant reduction in right globus pallidus blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response following antipsychotic treatment that correlated significantly with improvement in response accuracy and reductions in thought disturbance. No changes in globus pallidus activation were observed in healthy volunteers over this time period. These preliminary findings suggest that improvement in attentional control and concomitant reductions in thought disturbance in first-episode psychosis may be associated with reductions in subcortical activity following administration of second-generation antipsychotics early in the course of illness. These findings have implications for understanding how changes in basal ganglia activity may be linked to improvements in attentional control through antipsychotics. © 2013 Elsevier

  12. Nicotine modulation of information processing is not limited to input (attention) but extends to output (intention)

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Emma J.; Ross, Thomas J.; Kurup, Pradeep K.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Nicotine influences many cognitive processes, especially those requiring high attentional loads, yet the impact of nicotine on all aspects of information processing has not been well delineated. Objective The aim of the study was to determine the relative behavioral and functional effects of nicotine on dissociable aspects of information processing (i.e., selective attention and motor intention). Methods Adult smokers (N=25) and healthy controls (N=23) performed the intention/attention task (IAT) twice, during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The IAT assesses the relative differences in performance evoked by prime stimuli that provide information regarding either the correct hand with which to respond (i.e., intentional primes) or the likely location of a target stimulus (i.e., attentional primes). Smokers were scanned 2 h after nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch placement. The order of nicotine and placebo sessions was randomized and counter-balanced. Controls were also scanned twice, with no patch placement in either session. Results While drug condition had no significant effect on reaction time, smokers were overall more accurate than controls. Moreover, nicotine significantly increased the response to intentional primes in brain regions known to mediate response readiness, e.g., inferior parietal lobe, supramarginal gyrus, and striatum. Conclusions While limited to participant accuracy, these data suggest that the behavioral effects of nicotine in smokers are not only limited to information processing input (i.e., selective attention) but are also generalizable to output functions (i.e., motor intention). Moreover, nicotine’s effects on intention appear to be mediated by a facilitation of function in brain regions associated with information processing output. PMID:20309531

  13. Nicotine modulation of information processing is not limited to input (attention) but extends to output (intention).

    PubMed

    Rose, Emma J; Ross, Thomas J; Kurup, Pradeep K; Stein, Elliot A

    2010-05-01

    Nicotine influences many cognitive processes, especially those requiring high attentional loads, yet the impact of nicotine on all aspects of information processing has not been well delineated. The aim of the study was to determine the relative behavioral and functional effects of nicotine on dissociable aspects of information processing (i.e., selective attention and motor intention). Adult smokers (N = 25) and healthy controls (N = 23) performed the intention/attention task (IAT) twice, during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The IAT assesses the relative differences in performance evoked by prime stimuli that provide information regarding either the correct hand with which to respond (i.e., intentional primes) or the likely location of a target stimulus (i.e., attentional primes). Smokers were scanned 2 h after nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch placement. The order of nicotine and placebo sessions was randomized and counter-balanced. Controls were also scanned twice, with no patch placement in either session. While drug condition had no significant effect on reaction time, smokers were overall more accurate than controls. Moreover, nicotine significantly increased the response to intentional primes in brain regions known to mediate response readiness, e.g., inferior parietal lobe, supramarginal gyrus, and striatum. While limited to participant accuracy, these data suggest that the behavioral effects of nicotine in smokers are not only limited to information processing input (i.e., selective attention) but are also generalizable to output functions (i.e., motor intention). Moreover, nicotine's effects on intention appear to be mediated by a facilitation of function in brain regions associated with information processing output.

  14. Subcortical Modulation of Attentional Control by Second-Generation Antipsychotics in First-Episode Psychosis

    PubMed Central

    Ikuta, Toshikazu; Robinson, Delbert G.; Gallego, Juan A.; Peters, Bart D.; Gruner, Patricia; Kane, John; John, Majnu; Sevy, Serge; Malhotra, Anil K.; Szeszko, Philip R.

    2013-01-01

    Psychotic disorders are characterized by significant deficits in attentional control, but the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these deficits early in the course of illness prior to extensive pharmacotherapy are not well understood. Moreover, little is known regarding the symptom and brain changes associated with amelioration of attentional impairments through antipsychotic pharmacotherapy. In this study 14 male patients experiencing a first-episode of psychosis with minimal prior antipsychotic treatment completed an attentional control task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging at the onset of treatment with a second generation antipsychotic (risperidone or aripiprazole) in a double blind randomized clinical trial and then again following approximately 12 weeks of treatment. In addition, fourteen age-, and performance-matched healthy male volunteers who were not treated completed the same task at a baseline timepoint and then again following 12 weeks. Patients showed significantly greater activation than healthy volunteers in the right globus pallidus, left thalamus, and right thalamus at the time of the baseline scan. Among patients there was a significant reduction in right globus pallidus blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response following antipsychotic treatment that correlated significantly with improvement in response accuracy and reductions in thought disturbance. No changes in globus pallidus activation were observed in healthy volunteers over this time period. These preliminary findings suggest that improvement in attentional control and concomitant reductions in thought disturbance in first-episode psychosis may be associated with reductions in subcortical activity following administration of second-generation antipsychotics early in the course of illness. These findings have implications for understanding how changes in basal ganglia activity may be linked to improvements in attentional control through antipsychotics. PMID

  15. Inattention Predicts Increased Thickness of Left Occipital Cortex in Men with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    PubMed

    Sörös, Peter; Bachmann, Katharina; Lam, Alexandra P; Kanat, Manuela; Hoxhaj, Eliza; Matthies, Swantje; Feige, Bernd; Müller, Helge H O; Thiel, Christiane; Philipsen, Alexandra

    2017-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD. Surface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using FreeSurfer. Linear regressions were calculated between cortical thickness and the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity subscales of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS). Two separate analyses were performed. For the first analysis, age was included as additional regressor. For the second analysis, both age and severity of depression were included as additional regressors. Study participants were recruited between June 2012 and January 2014. Linear regression identified an area in the left occipital cortex of men, covering parts of the middle occipital sulcus and gyrus, in which the score on the CAARS inattention subscale predicted increased mean cortical thickness [F(1,27) = 26.27, p < 0.001, adjusted R(2) = 0.4744]. No significant associations were found between cortical thickness and the scores on CAARS subscales in women. No significant associations were found between the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the scores on CAARS subscales, neither in men nor in women. These results remained stable when severity of depression was included as additional regressor, together with age. Increased cortical thickness in the left occipital cortex may represent a mechanism to compensate for dysfunctional attentional networks in male adult ADHD patients.

  16. Attentional Capture by Salient Color Singleton Distractors Is Modulated by Top-Down Dimensional Set

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Hermann J.; Geyer, Thomas; Zehetleitner, Michael; Krummenacher, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Three experiments examined whether salient color singleton distractors automatically interfere with the detection singleton form targets in visual search (e.g., J. Theeuwes, 1992), or whether the degree of interference is top-down modulable. In Experiments 1 and 2, observers started with a pure block of trials, which contained either never a…

  17. Attentional Capture by Salient Color Singleton Distractors Is Modulated by Top-Down Dimensional Set

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Hermann J.; Geyer, Thomas; Zehetleitner, Michael; Krummenacher, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Three experiments examined whether salient color singleton distractors automatically interfere with the detection singleton form targets in visual search (e.g., J. Theeuwes, 1992), or whether the degree of interference is top-down modulable. In Experiments 1 and 2, observers started with a pure block of trials, which contained either never a…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Adaptive choice behavior depends critically on identifying and learning from outcome-predicting cues. We hypothesized that attention may be preferentially directed toward certain outcome-predicting cues. We studied this possibility by analyzing event-related potential (ERP) responses in humans during a probabilistic decision-making task. Participants viewed pairs of outcome-predicting visual cues and then chose to wager either a small (i.e., loss-minimizing) or large (i.e., gain-maximizing) amount of money. The cues were bilaterally presented, which allowed us to extract the relative neural responses to each cue by using a contralateral-versus-ipsilateral ERP contrast. We found an early lateralized ERP response, whose features matched the attention-shift-related N2pc component and whose amplitude scaled with the learned reward-predicting value of the cues as predicted by an attention-for-reward model. Consistently, we found a double dissociation involving the N2pc. Across participants, gain-maximization positively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable gain-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional bias toward such cues. Conversely, loss-minimization was negatively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable loss-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional avoidance toward such stimuli. These results indicate that learned stimulus-reward associations can influence rapid attention allocation, and that differences in this process are associated with individual differences in economic decision-making performance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Experience-based Auditory Predictions Modulate Brain Activity to Silence as do Real Sounds.

    PubMed

    Chouiter, Leila; Tzovara, Athina; Dieguez, Sebastian; Annoni, Jean-Marie; Magezi, David; De Lucia, Marzia; Spierer, Lucas

    2015-10-01

    Interactions between stimuli's acoustic features and experience-based internal models of the environment enable listeners to compensate for the disruptions in auditory streams that are regularly encountered in noisy environments. However, whether auditory gaps are filled in predictively or restored a posteriori remains unclear. The current lack of positive statistical evidence that internal models can actually shape brain activity as would real sounds precludes accepting predictive accounts of filling-in phenomenon. We investigated the neurophysiological effects of internal models by testing whether single-trial electrophysiological responses to omitted sounds in a rule-based sequence of tones with varying pitch could be decoded from the responses to real sounds and by analyzing the ERPs to the omissions with data-driven electrical neuroimaging methods. The decoding of the brain responses to different expected, but omitted, tones in both passive and active listening conditions was above chance based on the responses to the real sound in active listening conditions. Topographic ERP analyses and electrical source estimations revealed that, in the absence of any stimulation, experience-based internal models elicit an electrophysiological activity different from noise and that the temporal dynamics of this activity depend on attention. We further found that the expected change in pitch direction of omitted tones modulated the activity of left posterior temporal areas 140-200 msec after the onset of omissions. Collectively, our results indicate that, even in the absence of any stimulation, internal models modulate brain activity as do real sounds, indicating that auditory filling in can be accounted for by predictive activity.

  20. Social and nonsocial content differentially modulates visual attention and autonomic arousal in Rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Machado, Christopher J; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Platt, Michael L; Amaral, David G

    2011-01-01

    The sophisticated analysis of gestures and vocalizations, including assessment of their emotional valence, helps group-living primates efficiently navigate their social environment. Deficits in social information processing and emotion regulation are important components of many human psychiatric illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Analyzing the neurobiology of social information processing and emotion regulation requires a multidisciplinary approach that benefits from comparative studies of humans and animal models. However, many questions remain regarding the relationship between visual attention and arousal while processing social stimuli. Using noninvasive infrared eye-tracking methods, we measured the visual social attention and physiological arousal (pupil diameter) of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) as they watched social and nonsocial videos. We found that social videos, as compared to nonsocial videos, captured more visual attention, especially if the social signals depicted in the videos were directed towards the subject. Subject-directed social cues and nonsocial nature documentary footage, compared to videos showing conspecifics engaging in naturalistic social interactions, generated larger pupil diameters (indicating heightened sympathetic arousal). These findings indicate that rhesus monkeys will actively engage in watching videos of various kinds. Moreover, infrared eye tracking technology provides a mechanism for sensitively gauging the social interest of presented stimuli. Adult male rhesus monkeys' visual attention and physiological arousal do not always trend in the same direction, and are likely influenced by the content and novelty of a particular visual stimulus. This experiment creates a strong foundation for future experiments that will examine the neural network responsible for social information processing in nonhuman primates. Such studies may provide valuable information relevant to

  1. Social and Nonsocial Content Differentially Modulates Visual Attention and Autonomic Arousal in Rhesus Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Christopher J.; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Platt, Michael L.; Amaral, David G.

    2011-01-01

    The sophisticated analysis of gestures and vocalizations, including assessment of their emotional valence, helps group-living primates efficiently navigate their social environment. Deficits in social information processing and emotion regulation are important components of many human psychiatric illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Analyzing the neurobiology of social information processing and emotion regulation requires a multidisciplinary approach that benefits from comparative studies of humans and animal models. However, many questions remain regarding the relationship between visual attention and arousal while processing social stimuli. Using noninvasive infrared eye-tracking methods, we measured the visual social attention and physiological arousal (pupil diameter) of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) as they watched social and nonsocial videos. We found that social videos, as compared to nonsocial videos, captured more visual attention, especially if the social signals depicted in the videos were directed towards the subject. Subject-directed social cues and nonsocial nature documentary footage, compared to videos showing conspecifics engaging in naturalistic social interactions, generated larger pupil diameters (indicating heightened sympathetic arousal). These findings indicate that rhesus monkeys will actively engage in watching videos of various kinds. Moreover, infrared eye tracking technology provides a mechanism for sensitively gauging the social interest of presented stimuli. Adult male rhesus monkeys' visual attention and physiological arousal do not always trend in the same direction, and are likely influenced by the content and novelty of a particular visual stimulus. This experiment creates a strong foundation for future experiments that will examine the neural network responsible for social information processing in nonhuman primates. Such studies may provide valuable information relevant to

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