Lasaponara, Stefano; D' Onofrio, Marianna; Dragone, Alessio; Pinto, Mario; Caratelli, Ludovica; Doricchi, Fabrizio
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.
Paffen, Chris L. E.; Alais, David
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
Fernández, Laura Gabriela; Siéroff, Eric
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.
Borji, Ali; Itti, Laurent
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
Kim, Shin Ah; Kim, Hackjin; Kim, Sang Hee
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
Oren, Noga; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Lerner, Yulia; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Hendler, Talma; Giladi, Nir; Ash, Elissa L.
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
Sawaki, Risa; Katayama, Jun'ichi
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…
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.
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…
Brunyé, Tad T; Mahoney, Caroline R; Lieberman, Harris R; Taylor, Holly A
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.
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
Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S.; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R. Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Chun, Marvin M.
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
Tiesinga, P. H. E.; Fellous, J.-M.; Salinas, E.; Jose, J. V.; Sejnowski, T. J.
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.
Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki
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
Moore, Sarah R.; Fu, Yu; Depue, Richard A.
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
Ruz, María; Aranda, Clara; Sarmiento, Beatriz R; Sanabria, Daniel
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
Spagna, Alfredo; Martella, Diana; Fuentes, Luis J; Marotta, Andrea; Casagrande, Maria
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.
Stevenson, Scott B.; Mahadevan, Madhumitha S.; Mulligan, Jeffrey B.
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.
Srinivasan, Sridhar; Keil, Andreas; Stratis, Kyle; Osborne, Aaron F; Cerwonka, Colin; Wong, Jennifer; Rieger, Brenda L; Polcz, Valerie; Smith, David W
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.
Chennu, Srivas; Noreika, Valdas; Gueorguiev, David; Blenkmann, Alejandro; Kochen, Silvia; Ibáñez, Agustín; Owen, Adrian M; Bekinschtein, Tristan A
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.
Greene, Ciara M.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Gill, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.
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…
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...
Lin, Zhicheng; Lu, Zhong-Lin; He, Sheng
A central function of the brain is to track the dynamic statistical regularities in the environment - such as what predicts what over time. How does this statistical learning process alter sensory and attentional processes? Drawing upon animal conditioning and predictive coding, we developed a learning procedure that revealed two distinct components through which prior learning-experience controls attention. During learning, a visual search task was used in which the target randomly appeared at one of several locations but always inside an encloser of a particular color - the learned color served to direct attention to the target location. During test, the color no longer predicted the target location. When the same search task was used in the subsequent test, we found that the learned color continued to attract attention despite the behavior being counterproductive for the task and despite the presence of a completely predictive cue. However, when tested with a flanker task that had minimal location uncertainty - the target was at the fixation surrounded by a distractor - participants were better at ignoring distractors in the learned color than other colors. Evidently, previously predictive cues capture attention in the same search task but can be better suppressed in a flanker task. These results demonstrate opposing components - capture and inhibition - in experience-driven attention, with their manifestations crucially dependent on task context. We conclude that associative learning enhances context-sensitive top-down modulation while it reduces bottom-up sensory drive and facilitates suppression, supporting a learning-based predictive coding account.
Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus
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.
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
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.
Landau, Ayelet Nina; Schreyer, Helene Marianne; van Pelt, Stan; Fries, Pascal
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.
Schröger, Erich; Marzecová, Anna; SanMiguel, Iria
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
van Steenbergen, Henk; Band, Guido P H; Hommel, Bernhard
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.
Aydın, Murat; Herzog, Michael H.; Öğmen, Haluk
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
Ho, Ming-Chou; Atchley, Paul
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…
Yagi, Yoshihiko; Ikoma, Shinobu; Kikuchi, Tadashi
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…
Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus
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…
Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B
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.
Garrido-Vásquez, Patricia; Schubö, Anna
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
Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Murray, Scott O.
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
Zhou, Pingyan; Liu, Xun
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.
Gu, Yuqiao; Liljenström, Hans
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.
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
Carter, Leonie; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.
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…
Choi, Inyong; Wang, Le; Bharadwaj, Hari; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara
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.
Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun
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
Luijten, Maartje; Field, Matt; Franken, Ingmar H A
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.
Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W
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.
Wannig, Aurel; Rodríguez, Valia; Freiwald, Winrich A
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.
O'Connor, Daniel H; Fukui, Miki M; Pinsk, Mark A; Kastner, Sabine
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.
Hou, Chuan; Kim, Yee-Joon; Lai, Xin Jie; Verghese, Preeti
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
Luque, David; Vadillo, Miguel A; Le Pelley, Mike E; Beesley, Tom
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.
Doualot, Audrey; Simard, Mathieu; Saint-Amour, Dave
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
Kustermann, Thomas; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Kienle, Johanna; Miller, Gregory A; Popov, Tzvetan
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.
Martin, Anne; Razza, Rachel A.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne
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…
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.
Chan, Sam C. C.; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.; Kwan, Anne S. K.; Ting, Kin-hung; Chui, Tak-yi
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
Cate, A D; Herron, T J; Kang, X; Yund, E W; Woods, D L
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.
Morales, Santiago; Brown, Kayla M; Taber-Thomas, Bradley C; LoBue, Vanessa; Buss, Kristin A; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E
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
de Haas, Benjamin; Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Samuel; Rees, Geraint
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."
Farmer, Richard F.; Rucklidge, Julia J.
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…
Springer, Anne; Prinz, Wolfgang
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.
Soveri, Anna; Tallus, Jussi; Laine, Matti; Nyberg, Lars; Bäckman, Lars; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Westerhausen, René; Hämäläinen, Heikki
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.
Tu, Shen; Qiu, Jiang; Martens, Ulla; Zhang, Qinglin
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.
Sally, Sharon L; Vidnyánsky, Zoltán; Papathomas, Thomas V
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.
Franzen, John D; Wilson, Tony W
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.
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
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.
Fardo, Francesca; Auksztulewicz, Ryszard; Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin J; Roepstorff, Andreas; Friston, Karl J
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.
Zhou, Pingyan; Yang, Guochun; Nan, Weizhi; Liu, Xun
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.
Thillay, Alix; Roux, Sylvie; Gissot, Valérie; Carteau-Martin, Isabelle; Knight, Robert T.; Bonnet-Brilhault, Frédérique; Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie
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
Luo, Chunming; Lupiáñez, Juan; Funes, María Jesús; Fu, Xiaolan
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.
Maunsell, John H. R.
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
Harrivel, Angela R.; Weissman, Daniel H.; Noll, Douglas C.; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J.
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
Harrivel, Angela R; Weissman, Daniel H; Noll, Douglas C; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J
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%).
Thoern, Hanna A; Grueschow, Marcus; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit
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.
Braga, Rodrigo M.; Fu, Richard Z.; Seemungal, Barry M.; Wise, Richard J. S.; Leech, Robert
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
Ulrich, Martin; Adams, Sarah C; Kiefer, Markus
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.
Sutterer, David W.; Serences, John T.
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
Ghajar, Jamshid; Ivry, Richard B.
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
Klein, Rupert; Knäuper, Bärbel
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.
Khatibi, Ali; Vachon-Presseau, Etienne; Schrooten, Martien; Vlaeyen, Johan; Rainville, Pierre
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.
Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O
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.
Bush, Hillary H; Eisenhower, Abbey; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret; Carter, Alice S
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.
Ikkai, Akiko; Dandekar, Sangita; Curtis, Clayton E.
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
Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.
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…
Pesquita, Ana; Chapman, Craig S.; Enns, James T.
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
Noreika, Valdas; Gueorguiev, David; Shtyrov, Yury; Bekinschtein, Tristan A.; Henson, Richard
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
Wegener, Detlef; Galashan, Fingal Orlando; Aurich, Maike Kathrin; Kreiter, Andreas Kurt
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.
Lee, Joonyeol; Maunsell, John H.R.
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
Holtfrerich, Sarah K. C.; Schwarz, Katharina A.; Sprenger, Christian; Reimers, Luise; Diekhof, Esther K.
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
Herring, Jim D.; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole
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
Hahn, Sowon; Buttaccio, Daniel R; Hahn, Jungwon; Lee, Taehun
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.
Kiss, Monika; Goolsby, Brian A; Raymond, Jane E; Shapiro, Kimron L; Silvert, Laetitia; Nobre, Anna C; Fragopanagos, Nickolaos; Taylor, John G; Eimer, Martin
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.
Gitelman, Darren R.; Small, Dana M.; Mesulam, M. Marsel
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
Tanigawa, Hisashi; Chen, Gang; Roe, Anna W.
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
Patel, Mitesh; Kaski, Diego; Bronstein, Adolfo M
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.
Milders, Maarten; Hay, Julia; Sahraie, Arash; Niedeggen, Michael
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…
Farmer, Richard F; Rucklidge, Julia J
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.
Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Jiajin; Ding, Cody; Yang, Dong
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
Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Jiajin; Ding, Cody; Yang, Dong
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.
Lehmann, Alexandre; Schönwiesner, Marc
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.
Limongi, Roberto; Sutherland, Steven C; Zhu, Jian; Young, Michael E; Habib, Reza
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.
Russell, Charlotte; Malhotra, Paresh; Husain, Masud
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.
Pazo-Álvarez, Paula; Roca-Fernández, Adriana; Gutiérrez-Domínguez, Francisco-Javier; Amenedo, Elena
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
Spruyt, Adriaan; De Houwer, Jan; Hermans, Dirk
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…
Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus
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.
Sege, Christopher T.; Bradley, Margaret M.; Lang, Peter J.
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
Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa
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.…
Newman, Daniel P.; O'Connell, Redmond G.; Nathan, Pradeep J.; Bellgrove, Mark A.
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…
Sundberg, Kristy A.; Mitchell, Jude F.; Reynolds, John H.
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
Quraishi, Salma; Heider, Barbara; Siegel, Ralph M.
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
Thomas, Laura E
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.
Langeslag, Sandra J E; van der Veen, Frederik M; Röder, Christian H
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.
Henderson, Brenda S.
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.
Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Falkenberg, Irina; Martin-Santos, Rocio; Atakan, Zerrin; Crippa, Jose A; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Mick; McGuire, Philip
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
Schröger, Erich; Kotz, Sonja A; SanMiguel, Iria
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.
Karns, Christina M.; Knight, Robert T.
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
Frey, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Anita M; Murphy, Jeremy W; Molholm, Sophie; Lalor, Edmund C; Foxe, John J
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.
Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Baas, Matthijs; Hommel, Bernhard
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.
Plessen, Kerstin J.; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate; Hammar, Åsa; Lundervold, Astri; Peterson, Bradley S.; Hugdahl, Kenneth
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
Marzecová, Anna; Widmann, Andreas; SanMiguel, Iria; Kotz, Sonja A; Schröger, Erich
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.
Lassalle, Amandine; Itier, Roxane J.
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.
Zirnsak, Marc; Beuth, Frederik; Hamker, Fred H
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.
Sprague, Thomas C.; Serences, John T.
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
Roy, Lucia B; Sparing, Roland; Fink, Gereon R; Hesse, Maike D
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.
Kaplow, Julie B.; Hall, Erin; Koenen, Karestan C.; Dodge, Kenneth A.; Amaya-Jackson, Lisa
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…
Askren, Mary K.; Boord, Peter; Grabowski, Thomas J.
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
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
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.
Mishra, Srikanta K
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.
Kumagai, Toshihiro; Mizuhara, Hiroaki
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.
Al-Janabi, Shahd; Greenberg, Adam S
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.
Yang, Fang-Chi; Jacobson, Tara K; Burwell, Rebecca D
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.
Liu, Ying; Hu, Huijing; Jones, Jeffery A; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Peng; Liu, Hanjun
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.
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
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 , 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 . 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.
Miller, Lucy Jane; Nielsen, Darci M.; Schoen, Sarah A.
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…
Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico
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.
Peltola, Mikko J.; Leppanen, Jukka M.; Palokangas, Tiina; Hietanen, Jari K.
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…
Ruge, Diane; Muggleton, Neil; Hoad, Damon; Caronni, Antonio; Rothwell, John C
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.
Yoncheva, Yuliya N; Zevin, Jason D; Maurer, Urs; McCandliss, Bruce D
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.
Todorovic, Ana; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric; de Lange, Floris P
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.
Friedman, Naomi P; Haberstick, Brett C; Willcutt, Erik G; Miyake, Akira; Young, Susan E; Corley, Robin P; Hewitt, John K
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.
Garrido, Marta I; Rowe, Elise G; Halász, Veronika; Mattingley, Jason B
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.
Taylor, K; Mandon, S; Freiwald, W A; Kreiter, A K
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.
Miller, Lucy Jane; Nielsen, Darci M; Schoen, Sarah A
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.
Barenholtz, Elan; Mavica, Lauren; Lewkowicz, David J
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.
den Ouden, Hanneke E. M.; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.
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
Roy, Mathieu; Lebuis, Ariane; Peretz, Isabelle; Rainville, Pierre
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.
Van Dijk, Koene R. A.; Shire, Emily H.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Johnson, Keith A.; Buckner, Randy L.
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
Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Ester, Edward F; Deering, Sean; Serences, John T
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.
Guerreiro, Maria J S; Anguera, Joaquin A; Mishra, Jyoti; Van Gerven, Pascal W M; Gazzaley, Adam
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.
Yoncheva, Yuliya; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D
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
Fang, Fang; He, Sheng
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.
Müsch, Kathrin; Hamamé, Carlos M; Perrone-Bertolotti, Marcela; Minotti, Lorella; Kahane, Philippe; Engel, Andreas K; Lachaux, Jean-Philippe; Schneider, Till R
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
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).
Grimshaw, Gina M; Foster, Joshua J; Corballis, Paul M
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.
Kaufmann, Liane; Zieren, Nikola; Zotter, Sibylle; Karall, Daniela; Scholl-Burgi, Sabine; Haberlandt, Edda; Fimm, Bruno
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…
Swingler, Margaret M.; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann
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…
Hogarth, Lee; Dickinson, Anthony; Austin, Alison; Brown, Craig; Duka, Theodora
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.
den Ouden, Hanneke E M; Daunizeau, Jean; Roiser, Jonathan; Friston, Karl J; Stephan, Klaas E
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.
David, Bastian; Hu, Yang; Krüger, Frank; Weber, Bernd
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
Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Aboitiz, Francisco
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.
Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu
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
Lloyd, Donna M; Azañón, Elena; Poliakoff, Ellen
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.
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
Tamm, Maria; Uusberg, Andero; Allik, Jüri; Kreegipuu, Kairi
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.
Yoncheva; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason; McCandliss, Bruce
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
Graf, Heiko; Abler, Birgit; Hartmann, Antonie; Metzger, Coraline D; Walter, Martin
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.
Southwell, Rosy; Baumann, Anna; Gal, Cécile; Barascud, Nicolas; Friston, Karl
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
Miskovic, Vladimir; Schmidt, Louis A
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.
Müller, Matthias M; Trautmann, Mireille; Keitel, Christian
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.
Fosco, Whitney D; Hawk, Larry W
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.
Wieser, Matthias J; Keil, Andreas
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.
Ardid, Salva; Wang, Xiao-Jing; Gomez-Cabrero, David; Compte, Albert
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
Eisenberg, Nancy; Guthrie, Ivanna K.; Fabes, Richard A.; Shepard, Stephanie; Losoya, Sandra; Murphy, Bridget C.; Jones, Sarah; Paulin, Rick; Reiser, Mark
Examined the moderating role of individual differences in negative emotionality in the relations of behavioral and attentional regulation to externalizing problem behaviors. Found that at two ages behavioral dysregulation predicted externalizing behavior problems for children both high and low in negative emotionality, whereas prediction of…
Vromen, Joyce M G; Lipp, Ottmar V; Remington, Roger W
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.
Hermens, Daniel F; Soei, Eleonore X C; Clarke, Simon D; Kohn, Michael R; Gordon, Evian; Williams, Leanne M
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.
Aktar, Evin; Mandell, Dorothy J; de Vente, Wieke; Majdandžić, Mirjana; Raijmakers, Maartje E J; Bögels, Susan M
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.
Lenaert, Bert; Barry, Tom J; Schruers, Koen; Vervliet, Bram; Hermans, Dirk
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.
Ursache, Alexandra; Blair, Clancy
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.
Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Barry, Johanna G; Moore, David R; Amitay, Sygal
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
Pan, Yi; Hou, Xiu
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.
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
Mitchell, Jude F; Stoner, Gene R; Fallah, Mazyar; Reynolds, John H
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.
Jiang, Yuhong V.; Won, Bo-Yeong
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
Wang, Meijian; Wang, Xiuhai; Xue, Lingyan; Huang, Dan; Chen, Yao
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
Bermeitinger, Christina; Frings, Christian
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
Tapper, Katy; Pothos, Emmanuel M; Lawrence, Andrew D
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.
Vetter, Petra; Butterworth, Brian; Bahrami, Bahador
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…
Li, Xiaoming; Tao, Qian; Fang, Ya; Cheng, Chen; Hao, Yangyang; Qi, Jianjun; Li, Yu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaochu
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.
Kanske, Philipp; Schönfelder, Sandra; Wessa, Michèle
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
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G
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.
Xu, Jiawei; Yue, Shigang; Menchinelli, Federica
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
Padovani, Tullia; Koenig, Thomas; Eckstein, Doris; Perrig, Walter J
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.
Gramatikov, Boris I; Rangarajan, Shreya; Irsch, Kristina; Guyton, David L
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.
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.
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-…
Lindblom, Jallu; Peltola, Mikko J.; Vänskä, Mervi; Hietanen, Jari K.; Laakso, Anu; Tiitinen, Aila; Tulppala, Maija; Punamäki, Raija-Leena
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…
Shen, John; Itti, Laurent
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.
Safford, Ashley S; Hussey, Elizabeth A; Parasuraman, Raja; Thompson, James C
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.
Rees, G; Frith, C D; Lavie, N
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.
Finley, Jason R; Benjamin, Aaron S; McCarley, Jason S
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.
Hara, Yuko; Pestilli, Franco; Gardner, Justin L.
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
Lee, Jeongmi; Geng, Joy J
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.
Bach, Dominik R
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.
Chen, Sufen; Melara, Robert D.
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
Rolls, Edmund T.
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
Oláh, Katalin; Elekes, Fruzsina; Turcsán, Borbála; Kis, Orsolya; Topál, József
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.
Oláh, Katalin; Elekes, Fruzsina; Turcsán, Borbála; Kis, Orsolya; Topál, József
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
Dalmaso, Mario; Galfano, Giovanni; Coricelli, Carol; Castelli, Luigi
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).
Elarusi, Abdulmunaem H.; Fagehi, Hassan; Lee, Hosung; Attar, Alaa
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.
Sarapas, Casey; Shankman, Stewart A; Harrow, Martin; Faull, Robert N
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.
Humphreys, Glyn W.; Sotiropoulos, Stamatios N.; Kennard, Christopher; Cazzoli, Dario
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
Theodore, Rachel M.; Blumstein, Sheila E.; Luthra, Sahil
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
de Tommaso, Marina; Murasecco, Donatella; Libro, Giuseppe; Guido, Marco; Sciruicchio, Vittorio; Specchio, Luigi Maria; Gallai, Virgilio; Puca, Francomichele
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.
Heekeren, K; Neukirch, A; Daumann, J; Stoll, M; Obradovic, M; Kovar, K-A; Geyer, M A; Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E
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.
Gu, Xiaosi; Lohrenz, Terry; Salas, Ramiro; Baldwin, Philip R; Soltani, Alireza; Kirk, Ulrich; Cinciripini, Paul M; Montague, P Read
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.
Schwabe, Lars; Wolf, Oliver T
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.
Carpenter, Gail A; Gaddam, Sai Chaitanya
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/.
Finegood, Eric D; Raver, C Cybele; DeJoseph, Meriah L; Blair, Clancy
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
Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M.; Góngora-Costa, Begoña
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
Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M; Góngora-Costa, Begoña
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.
Pan, Fada; Wu, Xiaogang; Zhang, Li
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.
Pan, Fada; Wu, Xiaogang; Zhang, Li
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
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...
Finley, Jason R.; Benjamin, Aaron S.; McCarley, Jason S.
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
Bidelman, Gavin M; Walker, Breya S
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.
Pritchard, Verena E.; Neumann, Ewald; Rucklidge, Julia J.
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…
Bannerman, Rachel L; Temminck, Elisha V; Sahraie, Arash
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.
Sotnikova, Anna; Soff, Cornelia; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Becker, Katja; Siniatchkin, Michael
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.
Hayes, Spencer J; Andrew, Matthew; Elliott, Digby; Gowen, Emma; Bennett, Simon J
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.
Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier
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.
Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier
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
Gluth, Sebastian; Hotaling, Jared M; Rieskamp, Jörg
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.
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
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
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
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.
Liu, Yuelu; Bengson, Jesse; Huang, Haiqing; Mangun, George R; Ding, Mingzhou
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.
Blöchl, Maria; Franz, Marcel; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Weiss, Thomas
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.
Sha, Li Z.; Remington, Roger W.
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
Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W
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.
San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G; Huettel, Scott A; Woldorff, Marty G
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.
San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G.; Huettel, Scott A.; Woldorff, Marty G.
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
Jaspers, Merlijne; de Winter, Andrea F; Buitelaar, Jan K; Verhulst, Frank C; Reijneveld, Sijmen A; Hartman, Catharina A
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.
Cattaneo, Zaira; Silvanto, Juha; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Battelli, Lorella
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
Grubb, Michael A; White, Alex L; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa
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.
Su, Jing; Teichmann, Sarah A.; Down, Thomas A.
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
Naugle, Kelly M; Ohlman, Thomas; Naugle, Keith E; Riley, Zachary A; Keith, NiCole R
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.
Johnston, Blair A; Coghill, David; Matthews, Keith; Steele, J Douglas
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.
Meinzer, Michael C; Pettit, Jeremy W; Waxmonsky, James G; Gnagy, Elizabeth; Molina, Brooke S G; Pelham, William E
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.
Yerys, Benjamin E.; Ruiz, Ericka; Strang, John; Sokoloff, Jennifer; Kenworthy, Lauren; Vaidya, Chandan J.
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…
Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.
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,…
Fabre, Ludovic; Lemaire, Patrick; Grainger, Jonathan
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…
Campbell, Alana M.; Davalos, Deana B.
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
Campbell, Alana M; Davalos, Deana B
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
Pecchinenda, Anna; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lavidor, Michal
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.
Bloem, Bernard; Poorthuis, Rogier B.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.
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
Lin, Ping-I; Hsieh, Cheng-Da; Juan, Chi-Hung; Hossain, Md Monir; Erickson, Craig A.; Lee, Yang-Han; Su, Mu-Chun
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
Edwards, Elizabeth J; Edwards, Mark S; Lyvers, Michael
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.
Hudson, Gavin; Stutt, Andrea; Eccles, Martin; Robinson, Louise; Allcock, Liesl M.; Wesnes, Keith A.; Chinnery, Patrick F.; Burn, David J.
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
Corbetta, M.; Miezin, F.M.; Dobmeyer, S.; Shulman, G.L.; Petersen, S.E. )
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.
Ballesteros, Soledad; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Heller, Morton A
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.
Stafford, L D; Yeomans, M R
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.
Bustamante, Javier; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald
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
Hayes, Spencer J; Roberts, James W; Elliott, Digby; Bennett, Simon J
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.
Tervaniemi, M; Kruck, S; De Baene, W; Schröger, E; Alter, K; Friederici, A D
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.
Xu, Yi; Chen, Xiang-Tao; Luo, Man; Tang, Yuqing; Zhang, Guangxiang; Wu, De; Yang, Bin; Ruan, Di-Yun; Wang, Hui-Li
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.
Solomon, Beylul; O'Toole, Laura; Hong, Melanie; Dennis, Tracy A
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.
Capilla, Almudena; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Paterson, Gavin; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim
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.
Horschig, Jörn M; Oosterheert, Wouter; Oostenveld, Robert; Jensen, Ole
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.
Weisz, Nathan; Müller, Nadia; Jatzev, Sabine; Bertrand, Olivier
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.
Cant, Jonathan S; Goodale, Melvyn A
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.
Lloyd, Donna M.; Azanon, Elena; Poliakoff, Ellen
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…
O'Connell, Redmond G.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Dockree, Paul M.; Lau, Adam; Fitzgerald, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.
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.…
Brown, Christopher; El-Deredy, Wael; Blanchette, Isabelle
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…
Ernst, Udo Alexander; Pawelzik, Klaus Richard
Selective attention allows to focus on relevant information and to ignore distracting features of a visual scene. These principles of information processing are reflected in response properties of neurons in visual area V4: if a neuron is presented with two stimuli in its receptive field, and one is attended, it responds as if the nonattended stimulus was absent (biased competition). In addition, when the luminance of the two stimuli is temporally and independently varied, local field potentials are correlated with the modulation of the attended stimulus and not, or much less, correlated with the nonattended stimulus (information routing). To explain these results in one coherent framework, we present a two-layer spiking cortical network model with distance-dependent lateral connectivity and converging feed-forward connections. With oscillations arising inherently from the network structure, our model reproduces both experimental observations. Hereby, lateral interactions and shifts of relative phases between sending and receiving layers (communication through coherence) are identified as the main mechanisms underlying both biased competition as well as selective routing. Exploring the parameter space, we show that the effects are robust and prevalent over a broad range of parameters. In addition, we identify the strength of lateral inhibition in the first model layer as crucial for determining the working regime of the system: increasing lateral inhibition allows a transition from a network configuration with mixed representations to one with bistable representations of the competing stimuli. The latter is discussed as a possible neural correlate of multistable perception phenomena such as binocular rivalry. PMID:26108958
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.
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
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
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.
Heimrath, Kai; Breitling, Carolin; Krauel, Kerstin; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Zaehle, Tino
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.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri M L; Crombez, Geert; Goubert, Liesbet; De Houwer, Jan; Onraedt, Thomas; Van Damme, Stefaan
Theoretical accounts of chronic pain hypothesize that attentional bias towards pain-related information is a maintaining or exacerbating factor, fuelling further pain, disability, and distress. However, empirical research testing this idea is currently lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether attentional bias towards pain-related information predicts daily pain-related outcomes in a sample of chronic pain patients (n=69; M(age)=49.64 years; 46 females). During an initial laboratory session, attentional bias to pain-related information was assessed using a modified spatial cueing task. In advance, patients completed a number of self-report measures assessing current pain intensity, current disability, and pain duration. Subsequently, daily pain outcomes (self-reported pain severity, disability, avoidance behaviour, and distractibility) were measured for 2 weeks by means of an electronic diary. Results indicated that, although an attentional bias towards pain-related information was associated with the current level of disability and pain severity, it had no additional value above control variables in predicting daily pain severity, avoidance, distractibility, and disability. Attentional bias towards pain-related information did, however, moderate the relationship between daily pain severity and both daily disability and distractibility, indicating that, particularly in those patients with a strong attentional bias, increases in pain were associated with increased disability and distractibility. The use of interventions that diminish attentional bias may therefore be helpful to reduce daily disability and the level of distraction from current tasks despite the presence of pain in chronic pain patients.
Muller, Hermann J.; Geyer, Thomas; Zehetleitner, Michael; Krummenacher, Joseph
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…
Machado, Christopher J; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Platt, Michael L; Amaral, David G
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
Musz, Elizabeth; Weber, Matthew J.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.
Recent studies of visual statistical learning (VSL) indicate that the visual system can automatically extract temporal and spatial relationships between objects. We report several attempts to replicate and extend earlier work (Turk-Browne et al., 2005) in which observers performed a cover task on one of two interleaved stimulus sets, resulting in learning of temporal relationships that occur in the attended stream, but not those present in the unattended stream. Across four experiments, we exposed observers to a similar or identical familiarization protocol, directing attention to one of two interleaved stimulus sets; afterward, we assessed VSL efficacy for both sets using either implicit response-time measures or explicit familiarity judgments. In line with prior work, we observe learning for the attended stimulus set. However, unlike previous reports, we also observe learning for the unattended stimulus set. When instructed to selectively attend to only one of the stimulus sets and ignore the other set, observers could extract temporal regularities for both sets. Our efforts to experimentally decrease this effect by changing the cover task (Experiment 1) or the complexity of the statistical regularities (Experiment 3) were unsuccessful. A fourth experiment using a different assessment of learning likewise failed to show an attentional effect. Simulations drawing random samples our first three experiments (n=64) confirm that the distribution of attentional effects in our sample closely approximates the null. We offer several potential explanations for our failure to replicate earlier findings, and discuss how our results suggest limiting conditions on the relevance of attention to VSL. PMID:25172196
Mattingley, J B; Bradshaw, J L; Bradshaw, J A
Patients with unilateral spatial neglect are impaired in directing focal attention toward the contralesional side of space. Provision of static spatial cues on the neglected side has previously been shown to help overcome this deficit. Common movement of visual stimuli may also guide the allocation of spatial attention, although such effects have not been examined in patients with unilateral spatial neglect. Eleven patients with right hemisphere damage and clinical evidence of left unilateral spatial neglect, and 11 matched, healthy controls were tested on a task of horizontal line bisection. Lines were presented on a computer display, with a neutral, static, or slowly drifting, random dot background. Under conditions of motion, background stimuli drifted either leftward or rightward, across the full width of the display, at speeds that did not elicit optokinetic nystagmus or perceptual aftereffects. Controls were accurate in all conditions, and showed minimal effects of background conditions. By contrast, patients with left unilateral spatial neglect were sensitive to leftward background motion, showing a significant leftward shift in bisection error, relative to neutral, static, and rightward moving backgrounds. There was no significant effect of rightward motion in comparison with the neutral and static conditions. The extent to which patients were susceptible to the effects of background motion was not related to severity of unilateral spatial neglect, as measured by clinical tests. The benefits of leftward motion may reflect activity of preserved motion processing mechanisms, which provide input to an otherwise dysfunctional attentional network. The use of visual motion to assist in contralesionally guiding focal attention may be useful in the rehabilitation of unilateral spatial neglect. PMID:7931385
Chouiter, Leila; Tzovara, Athina; Dieguez, Sebastian; Annoni, Jean-Marie; Magezi, David; De Lucia, Marzia; Spierer, Lucas
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.
Huang, Jian; Zhong, Zhaomin; Wang, Mingyong; Chen, Xifeng; Tan, Yicheng; Zhang, Shuqing; He, Wei; He, Xiong; Huang, Guodong; Lu, Haiping; Wu, Ping; Che, Yi; Yan, Yi-Lin; Postlethwait, John H.; Chen, Wenbiao
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in children and adults. While ADHD patients often display circadian abnormalities, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here we found that the zebrafish mutant for the circadian gene period1b (per1b) displays hyperactive, impulsive-like, and attention deficit-like behaviors and low levels of dopamine, reminiscent of human ADHD patients. We found that the circadian clock directly regulates dopamine-related genes monoamine oxidase and dopamine β hydroxylase, and acts via genes important for the development or maintenance of dopaminergic neurons to regulate their number and organization in the ventral diencephalic posterior tuberculum. We then found that Per1 knock-out mice also display ADHD-like symptoms and reduced levels of dopamine, thereby showing highly conserved roles of the circadian clock in ADHD. Our studies demonstrate that disruption of a circadian clock gene elicits ADHD-like syndrome. The circadian model for attention deficiency and hyperactive behavior sheds light on ADHD pathogenesis and opens avenues for exploring novel targets for diagnosis and therapy for this common psychiatric disorder. PMID:25673850
Huang, Jian; Zhong, Zhaomin; Wang, Mingyong; Chen, Xifeng; Tan, Yicheng; Zhang, Shuqing; He, Wei; He, Xiong; Huang, Guodong; Lu, Haiping; Wu, Ping; Che, Yi; Yan, Yi-Lin; Postlethwait, John H; Chen, Wenbiao; Wang, Han
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in children and adults. While ADHD patients often display circadian abnormalities, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here we found that the zebrafish mutant for the circadian gene period1b (per1b) displays hyperactive, impulsive-like, and attention deficit-like behaviors and low levels of dopamine, reminiscent of human ADHD patients. We found that the circadian clock directly regulates dopamine-related genes monoamine oxidase and dopamine β hydroxylase, and acts via genes important for the development or maintenance of dopaminergic neurons to regulate their number and organization in the ventral diencephalic posterior tuberculum. We then found that Per1 knock-out mice also display ADHD-like symptoms and reduced levels of dopamine, thereby showing highly conserved roles of the circadian clock in ADHD. Our studies demonstrate that disruption of a circadian clock gene elicits ADHD-like syndrome. The circadian model for attention deficiency and hyperactive behavior sheds light on ADHD pathogenesis and opens avenues for exploring novel targets for diagnosis and therapy for this common psychiatric disorder.
Kuhr, Benjamin; Schomberg, Jessica; Gruber, Thomas; Quirin, Markus
Previous studies investigating affective reactions to pictures that elicit a specific effect have mainly focused on the dimensions valence and arousal. Using an event-related picture-viewing paradigm in electroencephalography, we investigated whether erotica - that is appetitive, evolutionarily relevant stimuli - have effects on early stages of attentional processing that are distinct from those of other positive and arousing stimuli. Seventeen male students viewed arousing photos of erotic, nude women or pictures of extreme sport scenes, as well as control pictures of attractive, dressed women or daily activities. Erotic pictures differed from extreme sport pictures not only in late but also in early attentional processes, as indicated by event-related potentials appearing from 130 ms after stimulus onset (P1). The findings suggest (a) that the dimension of appetence should be considered in addition to valence and arousal when investigating psychophysiological reactions to affective-motivational stimuli and (b) that early attentional processing as mirrored by the P1 can be influenced by motivational systems.
Barnas, Adam J; Greenberg, Adam S
Object-based attention (OBA) enhances processing within the boundaries of a selected object. Larger OBA effects have been observed for horizontal compared to vertical rectangles, which were eliminated when controlling for attention shifts across the visual field meridians. We aimed to elucidate the modulatory role of the meridians on OBA. We hypothesized that the contralateral organization of visual cortex accounts for these differences in OBA prioritization. Participants viewed "L"-shaped objects and, following a peripheral cue at the object vertex, detected the presence of a target at the cued location (valid), or at a non-cued location (invalid) offset either horizontally or vertically. In Experiment 1, the single displayed object contained components crossing both meridians. In Experiment 2, one cued object and one non-cued object were displayed such that both crossed the meridians. In Experiment 3, one cued object was sequestered into one screen quadrant, with its vertex either near or far from fixation. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 revealed a horizontal shift advantage (faster RTs for horizontal shifts across the vertical meridian compared to vertical shifts across the horizontal meridian), regardless of whether shifts take place within a cued object (Experiment 1) or between objects (Experiment 2). Results from Experiment 3 revealed no difference between horizontal and vertical shifts for objects that were positioned far from fixation, although the horizontal shift advantage reappeared for objects near fixation. These findings suggest a critical modulatory role of visual field meridians in the efficiency of reorienting object-based attention.
Susa, Georgiana; Pitică, Irina; Benga, Oana; Miclea, Mircea
The present study examined the associations between attentional biases to threat, attentional control and anxiety in a sample of children aged 9 to 14. It was hypothesised that the association between attentional biases toward threat and anxiety might be stronger when the ability to control attention is reduced. The study employed pictures of neutral, happy and angry facial expressions as they have greater ecological value compared to words. Children completed a dot-probe task measuring attentional biases toward such stimuli. They also completed the Spence child anxiety scale for anxiety symptoms and, for attentional control, the child version of the attention control scale measuring the ability to focus and shift attention. Results of a hierarchical regression analysis showed that attentional control significantly explained anxiety. Furthermore, the interaction between attentional control and attentional biases significantly explained anxiety level. These results indicate that attentional control moderates the relation between attentional biases toward threatening facial expressions and anxiety in children. Additionally, a discussion about a possible protective role of attentional control is provided.
Burra, Nicolas; Kerzel, Dirk
Attentional capture by salient distractors has been confirmed by the occurrence of an N2pc to the salient distractor. To clarify some failures to replicate this finding, we varied target predictability to induce different search modes. In the unpredictable target condition, the target shape varied randomly from trial to trial, favoring singleton detection mode. In the predictable target condition, the target shape remained the same in a block of trials, favoring feature search mode. With unpredictable targets, we observed an N2pc toward the salient color distractor, confirming attentional capture in singleton search mode. With predictable targets, there was no N2pc to the salient distractor, but a distractor positivity (Pd), suggesting distractor suppression. Also, differences emerged in the topographic segmentation of N2pc and Pd. Further, the amplitude of the N2pc toward the target was larger with predictable than with unpredictable targets.
McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.
Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on three WMC span tasks, seven varied reading comprehension tasks, and three attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during four different tasks (two reading, two attention-control tasks). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the four tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most importantly, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension. PMID:21875246
Akin, Burak; Ozdem, Ceylan; Eroglu, Seda; Keskin, Dudu Taslak; Fang, Fang; Doerschner, Katja; Kersten, Daniel; Boyaci, Huseyin
In early retinotopic areas of the human visual system, information from the left and right visual hemifields (VHFs) is processed contralaterally in two hemispheres. Despite this segregation, we have the perceptual experience of a unified, coherent, and uninterrupted single visual field. How exactly the visual system integrates information from the two VHFs and achieves this perceptual experience still remains largely unknown. In this study using fMRI, we explored candidate areas that are involved in interhemispheric integration and the perceptual experience of a unified, global motion across VHFs. Stimuli were two-dimensional, computer-generated objects with parts in both VHFs. The retinal image in the left VHF always remained stationary, but in the experimental condition, it appeared to have local motion because of the perceived global motion of the object. This perceptual effect could be weakened by directing the attention away from the global motion through a demanding fixation task. Results show that lateral occipital areas, including the medial temporal complex, play an important role in the process of perceptual experience of a unified global motion across VHFs. In early areas, including the lateral geniculate nucleus and V1, we observed correlates of this perceptual experience only when attention is not directed away from the object. These findings reveal effects of attention on interhemispheric integration in motion perception and imply that both the bilateral activity of higher-tier visual areas and feedback mechanisms leading to bilateral activity of early areas play roles in the perceptual experience of a unified visual field. PMID:25349270
Pons, Ferran; Bosch, Laura; Lewkowicz, David J
Infants growing up in bilingual environments succeed at learning 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 bilingual infants' 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. Monolinguals looked more at the eyes than the mouth at 4 months and more at the mouth than the eyes at 8 months in response to both native and nonnative speech, but they looked more at the mouth than the eyes at 12 months only in response to nonnative speech. In contrast, bilinguals looked equally at the eyes and mouth at 4 months, more at the mouth than the eyes at 8 months, and more at the mouth than the eyes at 12 months, and these patterns of responses were found for both native and nonnative speech at all ages. Thus, to support their dual-language acquisition processes, bilingual infants exploit the greater perceptual salience of redundant audiovisual speech cues at an earlier age and for a longer time than monolingual infants.
MacLean, Mary H.; Arnell, Karen M.; Cote, Kimberly A.
Accuracy for a second target (T2) is reduced when it is presented within 500 ms of a first target (T1) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP)--an attentional blink (AB). There are reliable individual differences in the magnitude of the AB. Recent evidence has shown that the attentional approach that an individual typically adopts during a…
Elison, Jed T.; Wolff, Jason J.; Heimer, Debra C.; Paterson, Sarah J.; Gu, Hongbin; Hazlett, Heather C.; Styner, Martin; Gerig, Guido; Piven, Joseph
Elucidating the neural basis of joint attention in infancy promises to yield important insights into the development of language and social cognition, and directly informs developmental models of autism. We describe a new method for evaluating responding to joint attention performance in infancy that highlights the 9- to 10-month period as a time…
Romens, Sarah E.; Pollak, Seth D.
Background: Child maltreatment is associated with heightened risk for depression; however, not all individuals who experience maltreatment develop depression. Previous research indicates that maltreatment contributes to an attention bias for emotional cues, and that depressed individuals show attention bias for sad cues. Method: The present study…
Sharpe, Melissa J.; Killcross, Simon
The prelimbic cortex is argued to promote conditioned fear expression, at odds with appetitive research implicating this region in attentional processing. Consistent with an attentional account, we report that the effect of prelimbic lesions on fear expression depends on the degree of competition between contextual and discrete cues. Further, when…
Rutherford, M. D.; Krysko, Kristen M.
Experiments suggesting that a change in eye gaze creates a reflexive attention shift tend to confound motion direction and terminal eye direction. However, motion and the onset of motion are known to capture attention. Current thinking about social cognition in autism suggests that there might be a deficit in responding to social (eye gaze) cues…
Developmental Psychology, 2005
This study adds to the growing literature linking children's experiences in the environment to individual differences in their developing skills in attention, memory, and planning. The authors asked about the extent to which stimulating and sensitive care in the family and in the child-care or school environments would predict these cognitive…
Valtonen, Riitta; Ahonen, Timo; Tolvanen, Asko; Lyytinen, Paula
The main aim of the study was to explore the ability of a brief developmental assessment to predict teacher-rated learning and attentional and behavioural skills in the first grade of school at both the group and individual levels. A sample of 394 children (181 males, 213 females) aged 4 years were followed to the age of 6 years, and 283 of the…
Helmer, Markus; Kozyrev, Vladislav; Stephan, Valeska; Treue, Stefan; Geisel, Theo; Battaglia, Demian
Tuning curves are the functions that relate the responses of sensory neurons to various values within one continuous stimulus dimension (such as the orientation of a bar in the visual domain or the frequency of a tone in the auditory domain). They are commonly determined by fitting a model e.g. a Gaussian or other bell-shaped curves to the measured responses to a small subset of discrete stimuli in the relevant dimension. However, as neuronal responses are irregular and experimental measurements noisy, it is often difficult to determine reliably the appropriate model from the data. We illustrate this general problem by fitting diverse models to representative recordings from area MT in rhesus monkey visual cortex during multiple attentional tasks involving complex composite stimuli. We find that all models can be well-fitted, that the best model generally varies between neurons and that statistical comparisons between neuronal responses across different experimental conditions are affected quantitatively and qualitatively by specific model choices. As a robust alternative to an often arbitrary model selection, we introduce a model-free approach, in which features of interest are extracted directly from the measured response data without the need of fitting any model. In our attentional datasets, we demonstrate that data-driven methods provide descriptions of tuning curve features such as preferred stimulus direction or attentional gain modulations which are in agreement with fit-based approaches when a good fit exists. Furthermore, these methods naturally extend to the frequent cases of uncertain model selection. We show that model-free approaches can identify attentional modulation patterns, such as general alterations of the irregular shape of tuning curves, which cannot be captured by fitting stereotyped conventional models. Finally, by comparing datasets across different conditions, we demonstrate effects of attention that are cell- and even stimulus
Pilgrim, Kamala; Marin, Marie-France; Lupien, Sonia J
The principal aim of the study was to examine how the natural tendency to shift attention toward or away from social stress stimuli during a restful state, relates to the magnitude of cortisol elicited in response to a stressful context. It also assessed whether any relationship that did emerge between attentional biases and cortisol responsivity would be associated with the childhood socioeconomic status (SES). Twenty-five healthy normal controls rested for 45min during which time they completed an adaptation of Posner's attentional orienting paradigm comprising social stress words as cues. Immediately following, participants were exposed to a public stressful speech task adapted from the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Results indicated that a rapid attentional engagement in the direction of social stress words prior to stress exposure related to a pronounced cortisol response to the stress task, while a slow attentional engagement toward social stress words was related to a weak cortisol response to the stress task. It was also found that fast engagers of social stress information displayed lower self-esteem than slow engagers. Groups did not differ in terms of their reported past SES. These findings demonstrate that attentional biases for social stress stimuli at rest predict the magnitude of cortisol likely to be elicited in response to a subsequent stressor. A natural tendency to rapidly shift attention toward social stress-related information may be the driving force behind cortisol reactivity when handling psychological forms of stress, independent of the early SES environment.
Enge, Sören; Fleischhauer, Monika; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Reif, Andreas; Strobel, Alexander
Recent evidence shows that genetic variations in key regulators of serotonergic (5-HT) signaling explain variance in executive tasks, which suggests modulatory actions of 5-HT on goal-directed selective attention as one possible underlying mechanism. To investigate this link, 130 volunteers were genotyped for the 5-HT transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and for a variation (TPH2-703 G/T) of the TPH2 gene coding for the rate-limiting enzyme of 5-HT synthesis in the brain. Additionally, a functional polymorphism of the norepinephrine transporter gene (NET -3081 A/T) was considered, which was recently found to predict attention and working memory processes in interaction with serotonergic genes. The flanker-based Attention Network Test was used to assess goal-directed attention and the efficiency of attentional networks. Event-related gamma-band activity served to indicate selective attention at the intermediate phenotype level. The main findings were that 5-HTTLPR s allele and TPH2 G-allele homozygotes showed increased induced gamma-band activity during target processing when combined with the NET A/A genotype compared with other genotype combinations, and that gamma activity mediates the genotype-specific effects on task performance. The results further support a modulatory role of 5-HT and NE function in the top-down attentional selection of motivationally relevant over competing or irrelevant sensory input.
Müller, Hermann J; Geyer, Thomas; Zehetleitner, Michael; Krummenacher, Joseph
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 distractor or always a distractor (0% or 100% distractors)--varying the opportunity to learn distractor suppression. In the subsequent trial blocks, the proportion of distractors was systematically varied (within-subjects factor in Experiment 1, between-subjects factor in Experiment 2)--varying the incentive to use distractor suppression. In Experiment 3, observers started with 100% distractors in the first block and were presented with "rare" color or luminance distractors, in addition to "frequent" color distractors, in the second block. The results revealed distractor interference to vary as a function of both the initial experience with distractors and the incentive to suppress them: the interference was larger without relevant practice and with a lesser incentive to apply suppression (Experiments 1-3). This set of findings suggests that distractor interference is top-down modulable.
Van Honk, J; Kessels, R P C; Putman, P; Jager, G; Koppeschaar, H P F; Postma, A
Heightened cortisol levels due to stress or acute administration seem to enhance memory for emotional material, independently of emotional valence. An arousal-driven neurobiological mechanism involving the amygdala has been proposed. The relation between pre-task salivary measures of cortisol (by convention named 'basal levels') and emotionally modulated memory has not been investigated yet. Given the association between higher basal levels of cortisol and indices of low mood, valence-specific effects on emotionally modulated memory could be expected (e.g. mood-congruent or stimulus-specific forms of processing). This study was designed to investigate the relationship between basal levels of salivary cortisol, self-reported mood and spatial memory for neutral, happy and angry facial expressions in healthy young volunteers (N=31). Memory performance was indexed using a modified version of a computerized object-relocation task, using emotional facial expressions as stimuli. Results showed a significant relation between cortisol and depressive mood. More importantly, both the levels of cortisol and depressive mood were inversely related to the memory performance for the happy facial expressions, while a similar relationship between cortisol and memory performance on angry faces neared significance. An explanation in terms of the down-regulation of social behavior by elevated basal cortisol levels is postulated.
Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia
This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in
Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S.; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia
This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in
de Carvalho, Tatiana Dias; Wajnsztejn, Rubens; de Abreu, Luiz Carlos; Marques Vanderlei, Luiz Carlos; Godoy, Moacir Fernandes; Adami, Fernando; Valenti, Vitor E; Monteiro, Carlos B M; Leone, Claudio; da Cruz Martins, Karen Cristina; Ferreira, Celso
Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by decreased attention span, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. Autonomic nervous system imbalance was previously described in this population. We aim to compare the autonomic function of children with ADHD and controls by analyzing heart rate variability (HRV). Methods Children rested in supine position with spontaneous breathing for 20 minutes. Heart rate was recorded beat by beat. HRV analysis was performed in the time and frequency domains and Poincaré plot. Results Twenty-eight children with ADHD (22 boys, aged 9.964 years) and 28 controls (15 boys, age 9.857 years) participated in this study. It was determined that the mean and standard deviation of indexes which indicate parasympathetic activity is higher in children with ADHD than in children without the disorder: high frequency in normalized units, 46.182 (14.159) versus 40.632 (12.247); root mean square of successive differences, 41.821 (17.834) versus 38.150 (18.357); differences between adjacent normal-to-normal intervals greater than 50 milliseconds, 199.75 (144.00) versus 127.46 (102.21) (P<0.05); percentage of differences between adjacent normal-to-normal intervals greater than 50 milliseconds, 23.957 (17.316) versus 16.211 (13.215); standard deviation of instantaneous beat-to-beat interval, 29.586 (12.622) versus 26.989 (12.983). Conclusion Comparison of the autonomic function by analyzing HRV suggests an increase in the activity of the parasympathetic autonomic nervous systems in children with ADHD in relation to the control group. PMID:24748797
Lin, Chung-Ying; Yang, Ai-Lun; Su, Chia-Ting
This study aimed to objectively compare the daily physical activity (PA), as indicated by moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during a week and metabolic equivalents (METs) per minute, between children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and typically developing children. Moreover, sensory modulation problems were examined using behavioral and physiological measures. Twenty boys with ADHD (mean age 8.64 ± 2.57 years), and 20 matched typically developing boys (mean age 9.10 ± 1.79 years) participated in our study. Each child wore a PA monitor for 14 h a day, seven days a week. All participants' parents were asked to fill out daily activity logs for their children. The problems of sensory modulation were detected using sensory profile (SP) questionnaires and Sensory Challenge Protocol that measured electrodermal response (EDR) to repeated sensory stimulation. Compared with the controls, the children with ADHD had a generally higher level of PA (1.48 ± 0.10 vs. 1.60 ± 0.12 METs/min; p=001), and tended to spend more time in MVPA on weekdays (35.71%) and the weekend (57.14%). However, when analyzing hourly recorded PA, the group differences were obvious only for certain hours. Our data suggested that children with ADHD were more hyperactive in structure-free than structured settings. The ADHD group showed their sensory modulation problems on the SP but not on the EDR. We found some correlations between sensory modulation problems and hyperactivity in children with ADHD.
Kinsey, Geoffrey S.
Impact on module performance of spectral irradiance variation has been determined for III-V multijunctions compared against the four most common flat-plate module types (cadmium telluride, multicrystalline silicon, copper indium gallium selenide, and monocrystalline silicon. Hour-by-hour representative spectra were generated using atmospheric variables for Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Convolution with published values for external quantum efficiency gave the predicted current output. When combined with specifications of commercial PV modules, energy yield and revenue were predicted. This approach provides a means for optimizing PV module design based on various site-specific temporal variables.
Delle-Vigne, Dyna; Kornreich, Charles; Verbanck, Paul; Campanella, Salvatore
Introduction: Previous studies have highlighted the advantage of using audio–visual oddball tasks (instead of unimodal ones) in order to electrophysiologically index subclinical behavioral differences. Since alexithymia is highly prevalent in the general population, we investigated whether the use of various bimodal tasks could elicit emotional effects in low- vs. high-alexithymic scorers. Methods: Fifty students (33 females and 17 males) were split into groups based on low and high scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). During event-related potential (ERP) recordings, they were exposed to three kinds of audio–visual oddball tasks: neutral-AVN—(geometrical forms and bips), animal-AVA—(dog and cock with their respective shouts), or emotional-AVE—(faces and voices) stimuli. In each condition, participants were asked to quickly detect deviant events occurring amongst a train of repeated and frequent matching stimuli (e.g., push a button when a sad face–voice pair appeared amongst a train of neutral face–voice pairs). P100, N100, and P300 components were analyzed: P100 refers to visual perceptive and attentional processing, N100 to auditory ones, and the P300 relates to response-related stages, involving memory processes. Results: High-alexithymic scorers presented a particular pattern of results when processing the emotional stimulations, reflected in early ERP components by increased P100 and N100 amplitudes in the emotional oddball tasks [P100: F(2, 48) = 20,319, p < 0.001; N100: F(2, 96) = 8,807, p = 0.001] as compared to the animal or neutral ones. Indeed, regarding the P100, subjects exhibited a higher amplitude in the AVE condition (8.717 μV), which was significantly different from that observed during the AVN condition (4.382 μV, p < 0.001). For the N100, the highest amplitude was found in the AVE condition (−4.035 μV) and the lowest was observed in the AVN condition (−2.687 μV, p = 0.003). However, no effect was found on the
Price, Rebecca B.; Rosen, Dana; Siegle, Greg J.; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Tang, Kevin; Allen, Kristy Benoit; Ryan, Neal D.; Dahl, Ronald E.; Forbes, Erika E.; Silk, Jennifer S.
Anxious youth are at heightened risk for subsequent development of depression; however, little is known regarding which anxious youth are at the highest prospective risk. Biased attentional patterns (e.g., vigilance and avoidance of negative cues) are implicated as key mechanisms in both anxiety and depression. Aberrant attentional patterns may disrupt opportunities to effectively engage with, and learn from, threatening aspects of the environment during development and/or treatment, compounding risk over time. Sixty-seven anxious youth (age 9–14; 36 female) completed a dot-probe task to assess baseline attentional patterns provoked by fearful-neutral face pairs. The time course of attentional patterns both during and after threat was assessed via eyetracking and pupilometry. Self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms were assessed two years after the conclusion of a larger psychotherapy treatment trial. Eyetracking patterns indicative of threat avoidance predicted greater 2-year depression scores, over and above baseline and post-treatment symptoms. Sustained, post-threat pupillary avoidance (reflecting preferential neural engagement with the neutral relative to the previously threatening location) predicted additional variance in depression scores, suggesting sustained avoidance in the wake of threat further exacerbated risk. Identical eyetracking and pupil indices were not predictive of anxiety at 2 years. These biobehavioral markers imply that avoidant attentional processing in the context of anxiety may be a gateway to depression across a key maturational window. Excessive avoidance of threat could interfere with acquisition of adaptive emotion regulation skills during development, culminating in the broad behavioral deactivation that typifies depression. Prevention efforts explicitly targeting avoidant attentional patterns may be warranted. PMID:26595463
Meule, Adrian; Platte, Petra
Strong bottom-up impulses and weak top-down control may interactively lead to overeating and, consequently, weight gain. In the present study, female university freshmen were tested at the start of the first semester and again at the start of the second semester. Attentional bias toward high- or low-calorie food-cues was assessed using a dot-probe paradigm and participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. Attentional bias and motor impulsivity interactively predicted change in body mass index: motor impulsivity positively predicted weight gain only when participants showed an attentional bias toward high-calorie food-cues. Attentional and non-planning impulsivity were unrelated to weight change. Results support findings showing that weight gain is prospectively predicted by a combination of weak top-down control (i.e. high impulsivity) and strong bottom-up impulses (i.e. high automatic motivational drive toward high-calorie food stimuli). They also highlight the fact that only specific aspects of impulsivity are relevant in eating and weight regulation. PMID:28070402
Meule, Adrian; Platte, Petra
Strong bottom-up impulses and weak top-down control may interactively lead to overeating and, consequently, weight gain. In the present study, female university freshmen were tested at the start of the first semester and again at the start of the second semester. Attentional bias toward high- or low-calorie food-cues was assessed using a dot-probe paradigm and participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. Attentional bias and motor impulsivity interactively predicted change in body mass index: motor impulsivity positively predicted weight gain only when participants showed an attentional bias toward high-calorie food-cues. Attentional and non-planning impulsivity were unrelated to weight change. Results support findings showing that weight gain is prospectively predicted by a combination of weak top-down control (i.e. high impulsivity) and strong bottom-up impulses (i.e. high automatic motivational drive toward high-calorie food stimuli). They also highlight the fact that only specific aspects of impulsivity are relevant in eating and weight regulation.
Neufeld, Janina; Ioannou, Christina; Korb, Sebastian; Schilbach, Leonhard
Joint attention (JA) and spontaneous facial mimicry (SFM) are fundamental processes in social interactions, and they are closely related to empathic abilities. When tested independently, both of these processes have been usually observed to be atypical in individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). However, it is not known how these processes interact with each other in relation to autistic traits. This study addresses this question by testing the impact of JA on SFM of happy faces using a truly interactive paradigm. Sixty‐two neurotypical participants engaged in gaze‐based social interaction with an anthropomorphic, gaze‐contingent virtual agent. The agent either established JA by initiating eye contact or looked away, before looking at an object and expressing happiness or disgust. Eye tracking was used to make the agent's gaze behavior and facial actions contingent to the participants' gaze. SFM of happy expressions was measured by Electromyography (EMG) recording over the Zygomaticus Major muscle. Results showed that JA augments SFM in individuals with low compared with high autistic traits. These findings are in line with reports of reduced impact of JA on action imitation in individuals with ASC. Moreover, they suggest that investigating atypical interactions between empathic processes, instead of testing these processes individually, might be crucial to understanding the nature of social deficits in autism. Autism Res 2016, 9: 781–789. © 2015 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research PMID:26442665
Danker, Jared F.; Fincham, Jon M.; Anderson, John R.
As people learn more facts about a concept, those facts become more difficult to remember. This is called the fan effect, where fan refers to the number of facts known about a concept. Increasing fan has been shown to decrease accuracy and increase response time and left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activity during retrieval. In this study, participants learned 36 arbitrary person-location pairings and had to recognize them while we recorded brain activity using fMRI. We separately manipulated the fan of each person and location, as well as the training procedure with which each pair was studied. In the person focus condition, participants studied pairs with a picture of the person’s face and used the person as a retrieval cue during training. In the location focus condition, participants studied pairs with a picture of the location and used the location as a retrieval cue during training. We found that the fan of the focused cue had a greater effect on response time, accuracy, and left VLPFC activity during retrieval than the fan of the unfocused cue. We also found that the parahippocampal place area (PPA) was more active during the recognition of pairs studied in the location focus condition, but not when the fan of the location was high. Overall, we found opposite effects of fan on VLPFC and PPA that were modulated by cue focus. PMID:21549721
Shumskaya, Elena; van Gerven, Marcel A J; Norris, David G; Vos, Pieter E; Kessels, Roy P C
The aim of this study was to explore modifications of functional connectivity in multiple resting-state networks (RSNs) after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and evaluate the relationship between functional connectivity patterns and cognitive abnormalities. Forty-three moderate/severe TBI patients and 34 healthy controls (HC) underwent resting-state fMRI. Group ICA was applied to identify RSNs. Between-subject analysis was performed using dual regression. Multiple linear regressions were used to investigate the relationship between abnormal connectivity strength and neuropsychological outcome. Forty (93%) TBI patients showed moderate disability, while 2 (5%) and 1 (2%) upper severe disability and low good recovery, respectively. TBI patients performed worse than HC on the domains attention and language. We found increased connectivity in sensorimotor, visual, default mode (DMN), executive, and cerebellar RSNs after TBI. We demonstrated an effect of connectivity in the sensorimotor RSN on attention (p < 10(-3)) and a trend towards a significant effect of the DMN connectivity on attention (p = 0.058). A group-by-network interaction on attention was found in the sensorimotor network (p = 0.002). In TBI, attention was positively related to abnormal connectivity within the sensorimotor RSN, while in HC this relation was negative. Our results show altered patterns of functional connectivity after TBI. Attention impairments in TBI were associated with increased connectivity in the sensorimotor network. Further research is needed to test whether attention in TBI patients is directly affected by changes in functional connectivity in the sensorimotor network or whether the effect is actually driven by changes in the DMN.
Cao, Hongwen; Gao, Min; Yan, Hongmei
The attentional blink (AB) is the phenomenon in which the identification of the second of two targets (T2) is attenuated if it is presented less than 500 ms after the first target (T1). Although the AB is eliminated in canonical word conditions, it remains unclear whether the character order in compound words affects the magnitude of the AB. Morpheme decomposition and transposition of Chinese two-character compound words can provide an effective means to examine AB priming and to assess combinations of the component representations inherent to visual word identification. In the present study, we examined the processing of consecutive targets in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm using Chinese two-character compound words in which the two characters were transposed to form meaningful words or meaningless combinations (reversible, transposed, or canonical words). We found that when two Chinese characters that form a compound word, regardless of their order, are presented in an RSVP sequence, the likelihood of an AB for the second character is greatly reduced or eliminated compared to when the two characters constitute separate words rather than a compound word. Moreover, the order of the report for the two characters is more likely to be reversed when the normal order of the two characters in a compound word is reversed, especially when the interval between the presentation of the two characters is extremely short. These findings are more consistent with the cognitive strategy hypothesis than the resource-limited hypothesis during character decomposition and transposition of Chinese two-character compound words. These results suggest that compound characters are perceived as a unit, rather than two separate words. The data further suggest that readers could easily understand the text with character transpositions in compound words during Chinese reading. PMID:27379003
Cao, Hongwen; Gao, Min; Yan, Hongmei
The attentional blink (AB) is the phenomenon in which the identification of the second of two targets (T2) is attenuated if it is presented less than 500 ms after the first target (T1). Although the AB is eliminated in canonical word conditions, it remains unclear whether the character order in compound words affects the magnitude of the AB. Morpheme decomposition and transposition of Chinese two-character compound words can provide an effective means to examine AB priming and to assess combinations of the component representations inherent to visual word identification. In the present study, we examined the processing of consecutive targets in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm using Chinese two-character compound words in which the two characters were transposed to form meaningful words or meaningless combinations (reversible, transposed, or canonical words). We found that when two Chinese characters that form a compound word, regardless of their order, are presented in an RSVP sequence, the likelihood of an AB for the second character is greatly reduced or eliminated compared to when the two characters constitute separate words rather than a compound word. Moreover, the order of the report for the two characters is more likely to be reversed when the normal order of the two characters in a compound word is reversed, especially when the interval between the presentation of the two characters is extremely short. These findings are more consistent with the cognitive strategy hypothesis than the resource-limited hypothesis during character decomposition and transposition of Chinese two-character compound words. These results suggest that compound characters are perceived as a unit, rather than two separate words. The data further suggest that readers could easily understand the text with character transpositions in compound words during Chinese reading.
Renes, Robert A; van Haren, Neeltje E M; Aarts, Henk
Previous research indicates that people can infer self-agency, the experience of causing outcomes as a result of one's own actions, in situations where information about action-outcomes is pre-activated through goal-setting or priming. We argue that goal-based agency inferences rely on attentional control that processes information about matches and mismatches between intended and actual outcomes. Prime-based inferences follow an automatic cognitive accessibility process that relies on matches between primed and actual information about outcomes. We tested an improved task for a better examination of goal-based vs. primed-based agency inferences, and examined the moderating effect of working memory load on both types of inferences. Findings of four studies showed that goal-based, but not prime-based agency inferences dwindled under working memory load. These findings suggest that goal-based (vs. primed-based) agency inferences indeed rely on attentional control, thus rendering goal-based agency inferences especially prone to conditions that modulate goal-directed control processes.
Popovich, Christina; Staines, W Richard
Neuroimaging research has shown that acute bouts of moderate intensity aerobic exercise can enhance attention-based neuronal activity in frontal brain regions, namely in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as improve cognitive performance. The circuitry of the PFC is complex with extensive reciprocal corticocortical and thalamocortical connections, yet it remains unclear if aerobic exercise can also assist attentional control over modality-specific sensory cortices. To test this, we used a tactile discrimination task to compare tactile event-related potentials (ERPs) prior to and following an acute bout of moderate intensity aerobic exercise. We hypothesized that exercise preceding performance of the task would result in more efficient sensory gating of irrelevant/non-attended and enhancement of relevant/attended sensory information, respectively. Participants received vibrotactile stimulation to the second and fifth digit on the left hand and reported target stimuli on one digit only. ERP amplitudes for the P50, P100, N140 and long latency positivity (LLP) were quantified for attended and non-attended trials at FC4, C4, CP4 and P4 while P300 amplitudes were quantified in response to attended target stimuli at electrodes FCZ, CZ and CPZ. Results showed no effect of attention on the P50, however, both P100 and LLP amplitudes were significantly greater during attended, task-relevant trials, while the N140 was enhanced for non-attended, task-irrelevant stimuli. Moreover, unattended N140 amplitudes over parietal sites contralateral to stimulation were significantly greater post-exercise versus pre-exercise, while LLP modulation varied with greater unattended amplitudes post-exercise over frontal sites and greater attended amplitudes post-exercise over parietal sites. These results suggest that a single session of moderate intensity aerobic exercise facilitated the sensory gating of task-irrelevant tactile stimuli so that relevant sensory signals could be enhanced at
Wessing, Ida; Rehbein, Maimu A; Postert, Christian; Fürniss, Tilman; Junghöfer, Markus
Emotions can be regulated effectively via cognitive change, as evidenced by cognitive behavioural therapy. The neural correlates of cognitive change were investigated using reappraisal, a strategy that involves the reinterpretation of emotional stimuli. Hemodynamic studies revealed cortical structures involved in reappraisal and highlighted the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating subcortical affective processing. Studies using event-related potentials elucidated the timing of reappraisal by showing effective modulation of the Late Positive Potential (LPP) after 300ms but also even earlier effects. The present study investigated the spatiotemporal dynamics of the cortical network underlying cognitive change via inverse source modelling based on whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). During MEG recording, 28 healthy participants saw angry and neutral faces and followed instructions designed to down- or up-regulate emotions via reappraisal. Differences between angry and neutral face processing were specifically enhanced during up-regulation, first in the parietal cortex during M170 and across the whole cortex during LPP-M, with particular involvement of the parietal and dorsal prefrontal cortex regions. Thus, our data suggest that the reappraisal of emotional faces involves specific modulations in a frontoparietal attention network.
Wohlgemuth, J. H.; Kurtz, S.
Long-term reliability is critical to the cost effectiveness and commercial success of photovoltaic (PV) products. Today most PV modules are warranted for 25 years, but there is no accepted test protocol to validate a 25-year lifetime. The qualification tests do an excellent job of identifying design, materials, and process flaws that are likely to lead to premature failure (infant mortality), but they are not designed to test for wear-out mechanisms that limit lifetime. This paper presents a method for evaluating the ability of a new PV module technology to survive long-term exposure to specific stresses. The authors propose the use of baseline technologies with proven long-term field performance as controls in the accelerated stress tests. The performance of new-technology modules can then be evaluated versus that of proven-technology modules. If the new-technology demonstrates equivalent or superior performance to the proven one, there is a high likelihood that they will survive versus the tested stress in the real world.
Griggs, Marissa Swaim; Mikami, Amori Yee
Objective: This study investigated the impact of parental attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on the peer relationships and parent-child interaction outcomes of children with ADHD among families completing a randomized controlled trial of parental friendship coaching (PFC) relative to control families. Method: Participants…
Ramos Olazagasti, Maria A.; Klein, Rachel G.; Mannuzza, Salvatore; Belsky, Erica Roizen; Hutchison, Jesse A.; Lashua-Shriftman, Erin C.; Castellanos, F. Xavier
Objective: To test whether children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), free of conduct disorder (CD) in childhood (mean = 8 years), have elevated risk-taking, accidents, and medical illnesses in adulthood (mean = 41 years); whether development of CD influences risk-taking during adulthood; and whether exposure to…
Cooper, Miriam; Thapar, Anita; Jones, Derek K.
Traits of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have previously been found to index clinical severity. This study examined the association of ASD traits with diffusion parameters in adolescent males with ADHD (n = 17), and also compared WM microstructure relative to controls (n = 17).…
Jaspers, Merlijne; de Winter, Andrea F.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Hartman, Catharina A.
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…
Mikami, Amori Yee; Lorenzi, Jill
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have poor relationships with peers. However, research on this topic has predominantly focused on boys. This study considered child gender, ADHD status, and dimensionally assessed conduct problems as predictors of peer relationship difficulties. Participants were 125 children (ages…
Balcarras, Matthew; Ardid, Salva; Kaping, Daniel; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo
Attention includes processes that evaluate stimuli relevance, select the most relevant stimulus against less relevant stimuli, and bias choice behavior toward the selected information. It is not clear how these processes interact. Here, we captured these processes in a reinforcement learning framework applied to a feature-based attention task that required macaques to learn and update the value of stimulus features while ignoring nonrelevant sensory features, locations, and action plans. We found that value-based reinforcement learning mechanisms could account for feature-based attentional selection and choice behavior but required a value-independent stickiness selection process to explain selection errors while at asymptotic behavior. By comparing different reinforcement learning schemes, we found that trial-by-trial selections were best predicted by a model that only represents expected values for the task-relevant feature dimension, with nonrelevant stimulus features and action plans having only a marginal influence on covert selections. These findings show that attentional control subprocesses can be described by (1) the reinforcement learning of feature values within a restricted feature space that excludes irrelevant feature dimensions, (2) a stochastic selection process on feature-specific value representations, and (3) value-independent stickiness toward previous feature selections akin to perseveration in the motor domain. We speculate that these three mechanisms are implemented by distinct but interacting brain circuits and that the proposed formal account of feature-based stimulus selection will be important to understand how attentional subprocesses are implemented in primate brain networks.
Aarnoudse-Moens, Cornelieke Sandrine Hanan; Weisglas-Kuperus, Nynke; Duivenvoorden, Hugo Joseph; van Goudoever, Johannes Bernard; Oosterlaan, Jaap
Objective of this study was to examine the impact of executive function (EF) on mathematical and attention problems in very preterm (gestational age ≤ 30 weeks) children. Participants were 200 very preterm (mean age 8.2 ± 2.5 years) and 230 term children (mean age 8.3 ± 2.3 years) without severe disabilities, born between 1996 and 2004. EFs assessed included verbal fluency, verbal working memory, visuospatial span, planning, and impulse control. Mathematics was assessed with the Dutch Pupil Monitoring System and parents and teachers rated attention problems using standardized behavior questionnaires. The impact of EF was calculated over and above processing speed indices and IQ. Interactions with group (very preterm versus term birth status) were examined. Analyses were conducted separately for two subsamples: children in preschool and children in primary school. Very preterm children performed poorer on tests for mathematics and had more parent and teacher rated attention problems than term controls (ß(s)>.11, P(s)<.01). IQ contributed unique variance to mathematics in preschool and in primary school (ß(s)>.16, P(s)<.007). A significant interaction of group with IQ (ß = -. 24, P = .02) showed that IQ contributed unique variance to attention problems as rated by teachers, but that effects were stronger for very preterm than for term infants. Over and above IQ, EF contributed unique variance to mathematics in primary school (ß = .13, P<.001), to parent rated inattention in preschool and in primary school (ß(s)>-.16, P(s)<.04), and to teacher rated inattention in primary school (ß = -.19; ß = .19, P(s)<.009). In conclusion, impaired EF is, over and above impaired IQ, an important predictor for poor mathematics and attention problems following very preterm birth.
Young, Jonathan H.; Marcotte, Edward M.
Characterizing genetic interactions is crucial to understanding cellular and organismal response to gene-level perturbations. Such knowledge can inform the selection of candidate disease therapy targets, yet experimentally determining whether genes interact is technically nontrivial and time-consuming. High-fidelity prediction of different classes of genetic interactions in multiple organisms would substantially alleviate this experimental burden. Under the hypothesis that functionally related genes tend to share common genetic interaction partners, we evaluate a computational approach to predict genetic interactions in Homo sapiens, Drosophila melanogaster, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. By leveraging knowledge of functional relationships between genes, we cross-validate predictions on known genetic interactions and observe high predictive power of multiple classes of genetic interactions in all three organisms. Additionally, our method suggests high-confidence candidate interaction pairs that can be directly experimentally tested. A web application is provided for users to query genes for predicted novel genetic interaction partners. Finally, by subsampling the known yeast genetic interaction network, we found that novel genetic interactions are predictable even when knowledge of currently known interactions is minimal. PMID:28007839
Guo, Lan; Cukic, Bojan; Singh, Harshinder
This paper describes a novel methodology for predicting fault prone modules. The methodology is based on Dempster-Shafer (D-S) belief networks. Our approach consists of three steps: First, building the Dempster-Shafer network by the induction algorithm; Second, selecting the predictors (attributes) by the logistic procedure; Third, feeding the predictors describing the modules of the current project into the inducted Dempster-Shafer network and identifying fault prone modules. We applied this methodology to a NASA dataset. The prediction accuracy of our methodology is higher than that achieved by logistic regression or discriminant analysis on the same dataset. PMID:26120284
Onstott, E. D.; Faulkner, W. H.
Reserve attention capacity of a pilot was calculated using a pilot model that allocates exclusive model attention according to the ranking of task urgency functions whose variables are tracking error and error rate. The modeled task consisted of tracking a maneuvering target aircraft both vertically and horizontally, and when possible, performing a diverting side task which was simulated by the precise positioning of an electrical stylus and modeled as a task of constant urgency in the attention allocation algorithm. The urgency of the single loop vertical task is simply the magnitude of the vertical tracking error, while the multiloop horizontal task requires a nonlinear urgency measure of error and error rate terms. Comparison of model results with flight simulation data verified the computed model statistics of tracking error of both axes, lateral and longitudinal stick amplitude and rate, and side task episodes. Full data for the simulation tracking statistics as well as the explicit equations and structure of the urgency function multiaxis pilot model are presented.
Davis, Joshua; McKone, Elinor; Zirnsak, Marc; Moore, Tirin; O'Kearney, Richard; Apthorp, Deborah; Palermo, Romina
This study distinguished between different subclusters of autistic traits in the general population and examined the relationships between these subclusters, looking at the eyes of faces, and the ability to recognize facial identity. Using the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) measure in a university-recruited sample, we separate the social aspects of autistic traits (i.e., those related to communication and social interaction; AQ-Social) from the non-social aspects, particularly attention-to-detail (AQ-Attention). We provide the first evidence that these social and non-social aspects are associated differentially with looking at eyes: While AQ-Social showed the commonly assumed tendency towards reduced looking at eyes, AQ-Attention was associated with increased looking at eyes. We also report that higher attention-to-detail (AQ-Attention) was then indirectly related to improved face recognition, mediated by increased number of fixations to the eyes during face learning. Higher levels of socially relevant autistic traits (AQ-Social) trended in the opposite direction towards being related to poorer face recognition (significantly so in females on the Cambridge Face Memory Test). There was no evidence of any mediated relationship between AQ-Social and face recognition via reduced looking at the eyes. These different effects of AQ-Attention and AQ-Social suggest face-processing studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder might similarly benefit from considering symptom subclusters. Additionally, concerning mechanisms of face recognition, our results support the view that more looking at eyes predicts better face memory.
Casanova, Manuel F.; Baruth, Joshua M.; El-Baz, Ayman; Tasman, Allan; Sears, Lonnie; Sokhadze, Estate
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have previously been shown to have significantly augmented and prolonged event-related potentials (ERP) to irrelevant visual stimuli compared to controls at both early and later stages (e.g., N200, P300) of visual processing and evidence of an overall lack of stimulus discrimination. Abnormally large and indiscriminative cortical responses to sensory stimuli may reflect cortical inhibitory deficits and a disruption in the excitation/inhibition ratio. Low-frequency (≤1HZ) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been shown to increase inhibition of stimulated cortex by the activation of inhibitory circuits. It was our prediction that after 12 sessions of low-frequency rTMS applied bilaterally to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortices in individuals with ASD there would be a significant improvement in ERP indices of selective attention evoked at later (i.e., 200–600 ms) stages of attentional processing as well as an improvement in motor response error rate. We assessed 25 participants with ASD in a task of selective attention using illusory figures before and after 12 sessions of rTMS in a controlled design where a waiting-list group of 20 children with ASD performed the same task twice. We found a significant improvement in both N200 and P300 components as a result of rTMS as well as a significant reduction in response errors. We also found significant reductions in both repetitive behavior and irritability according to clinical behavioral questionnaires as a result of rTMS. We propose that rTMS has the potential to become an important therapeutic tool in ASD research and treatment. PMID:24683490
Loeber, Sabine; Grosshans, Martin; Herpertz, Stephan; Kiefer, Falk; Herpertz, Sabine C
Overeating, weight gain and obesity are considered as a major health problem in Western societies. At present, an impairment of response inhibition and a biased salience attribution to food-associated stimuli are considered as important factors associated with weight gain. However, recent findings suggest that the association between an impaired response inhibition and salience attribution and weight gain might be modulated by other factors. Thus, hunger might cause food-associated cues to be perceived as more salient and rewarding and might be associated with an impairment of response inhibition. However, at present, little is known how hunger interacts with these processes. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether hunger modulates response inhibition and attention allocation towards food-associated stimuli in normal-weight controls. A go-/nogo task with food-associated and control words and a visual dot-probe task with food-associated and control pictures were administered to 48 normal-weight participants (mean age 24.5 years, range 19-40; mean BMI 21.6, range 18.5-25.4). Hunger was assessed twofold using a self-reported measure of hunger and a measurement of the blood glucose level. Our results indicated that self-reported hunger affected behavioral response inhibition in the go-/nogo task. Thus, hungry participants committed significantly more commission errors when food-associated stimuli served as distractors compared to when control stimuli were the distractors. This effect was not observed in sated participants. In addition, we found that self-reported hunger was associated with a lower number of omission errors in response to food-associated stimuli indicating a higher salience of these stimuli. Low blood glucose level was not associated with an impairment of response inhibition. However, our results indicated that the blood glucose level was associated with an attentional bias towards food-associated cues in the visual dot probe task
Pinckney, S. Z.
A one dimensional theoretical method for the prediction of the internal performance of a scramjet engine is presented. The effects of changes in vehicle forebody flow parameters and characteristics on predicted thrust for the scramjet engine were evaluated using this method, and results are presented. A theoretical evaluation of the effects of changes in the scramjet engine's internal parameters is also presented. Theoretical internal performance predictions, in terms thrust coefficient and specific impulse, are provided for the scramjet engine for free stream Mach numbers of 5, 6, and 7 free stream dynamic pressure of 23,940 N/sq m forebody surface angles of 4.6 deg to 14.6 deg, and fuel equivalence ratio of 1.0.
Awadh, Faris H. R.; Phénix, Thierry; Antzaka, Alexia; Lallier, Marie; Carreiras, Manuel; Valdois, Sylviane
In delineating the amount of orthographic information that can be processed in parallel during a single fixation, the visual attention (VA) span acts as a key component of the reading system. Previous studies focused on the contribution of VA span to normal and pathological reading in monolingual and bilingual children from different European languages, without direct cross-language comparison. In the current paper, we explored modulations of VA span abilities in three languages –French, Spanish, and Arabic– that differ in transparency, reading direction and writing systems. The participants were skilled adult readers who were native speakers of French, Spanish or Arabic. They were administered tasks of global and partial letter report, single letter identification and text reading. Their VA span abilities were assessed using tasks that require the processing of briefly presented five consonant strings (e.g., R S H F T). All five consonants had to be reported in global report but a single cued letter in partial report. Results showed that VA span was reduced in Arabic readers as compared to French or Spanish readers who otherwise show a similar high performance in the two report tasks. The analysis of VA span response patterns in global report showed a left-right asymmetry in all three languages. A leftward letter advantage was found in French and Spanish but a rightward advantage in Arabic. The response patterns were symmetric in partial report, regardless of the language. Last, a significant relationship was found between VA span abilities and reading speed but only for French. The overall findings suggest that the size of VA span, the shape of VA span response patterns and the VA Span-reading relationship are modulated by language-specific features. PMID:27014125
Mazaheri, Ali; DiQuattro, Nicholas E; Bengson, Jesse; Geng, Joy J
Our ability to process visual information is fundamentally limited. This leads to competition between sensory information that is relevant for top-down goals and sensory information that is perceptually salient, but task-irrelevant. The aim of the present study was to identify, from EEG recordings, pre-stimulus and pre-saccadic neural activity that could predict whether top-down or bottom-up processes would win the competition for attention on a trial-by-trial basis. We employed a visual search paradigm in which a lateralized low contrast target appeared alone, or with a low (i.e., non-salient) or high contrast (i.e., salient) distractor. Trials with a salient distractor were of primary interest due to the strong competition between top-down knowledge and bottom-up attentional capture. Our results demonstrated that 1) in the 1-sec pre-stimulus interval, frontal alpha (8-12 Hz) activity was higher on trials where the salient distractor captured attention and the first saccade (bottom-up win); and 2) there was a transient pre-saccadic increase in posterior-parietal alpha (7-8 Hz) activity on trials where the first saccade went to the target (top-down win). We propose that the high frontal alpha reflects a disengagement of attentional control whereas the transient posterior alpha time-locked to the saccade indicates sensory inhibition of the salient distractor and suppression of bottom-up oculomotor capture.
Adams, Zachary W.; Roberts, Walter M.; Milich, Richard; Fillmore, Mark T.
Increased intra-individual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in ADHD and is often used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD is an indicator of inattention by comparing RTSD on the stop-signal task (SST) to performance on the Delayed Oculomotor Response (DOR) Task, a measure of distractibility. Participants included 30 adults with ADHD and 28 controls. Participants completed the SST and the DOR task, which measured subjects’ ability to maintain attention and avoid distraction by inhibiting reflexive saccades toward distractors. On the SST, the ADHD group was slower to inhibit than controls, indicating poorer inhibitory control in ADHD. The ADHD group also displayed slower RTs, greater RTSD, and more omission errors. On the DOR task, the ADHD group displayed more premature saccades (i.e., greater distractibility) than controls. Greater variability in RT was associated with increased distraction on the DOR task but only in ADHD participants. Results suggest that RTSD is linked to distractibility among adults with ADHD and support the use of RTSD as a valid measure of inattention in ADHD. PMID:21443365
Lin, Milo M
How protein structure encodes functionality is not fully understood. For example, long-range intraprotein communication can occur without measurable conformational change and is often not captured by existing structural correlation functions. It is shown here that important functional information is encoded in the timing of protein motions, rather than motion itself. I introduce the conditional activity function to quantify such timing correlations among the degrees of freedom within proteins. For three proteins, the conditional activities between side-chain dihedral angles were computed using the output of microseconds-long atomistic simulations. The new approach demonstrates that a sparse fraction of side-chain pairs are dynamically correlated over long distances (spanning protein lengths up to 7 nm), in sharp contrast to structural correlations, which are short-ranged (<1 nm). Regions of high self- and inter-side-chain dynamical correlations are found, corresponding to experimentally determined functional modules and allosteric connections, respectively.
Bissonette, Gregory B; Roesch, Matthew R
Many brain areas are activated by the possibility and receipt of reward. Are all of these brain areas reporting the same information about reward? Or are these signals related to other functions that accompany reward-guided learning and decision-making? Through carefully controlled behavioral studies, it has been shown that reward-related activity can represent reward expectations related to future outcomes, errors in those expectations, motivation, and signals related to goal- and habit-driven behaviors. These dissociations have been accomplished by manipulating the predictability of positively and negatively valued events. Here, we review single neuron recordings in behaving animals that have addressed this issue. We describe data showing that several brain areas, including orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and basolateral amygdala signal reward prediction. In addition, anterior cingulate, basolateral amygdala, and dopamine neurons also signal errors in reward prediction, but in different ways. For these areas, we will describe how unexpected manipulations of positive and negative value can dissociate signed from unsigned reward prediction errors. All of these signals feed into striatum to modify signals that motivate behavior in ventral striatum and guide responding via associative encoding in dorsolateral striatum.
Roesch, Matthew R.
Many brain areas are activated by the possibility and receipt of reward. Are all of these brain areas reporting the same information about reward? Or are these signals related to other functions that accompany reward-guided learning and decision-making? Through carefully controlled behavioral studies, it has been shown that reward-related activity can represent reward expectations related to future outcomes, errors in those expectations, motivation, and signals related to goal- and habit-driven behaviors. These dissociations have been accomplished by manipulating the predictability of positively and negatively valued events. Here, we review single neuron recordings in behaving animals that have addressed this issue. We describe data showing that several brain areas, including orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and basolateral amygdala signal reward prediction. In addition, anterior cingulate, basolateral amygdala, and dopamine neurons also signal errors in reward prediction, but in different ways. For these areas, we will describe how unexpected manipulations of positive and negative value can dissociate signed from unsigned reward prediction errors. All of these signals feed into striatum to modify signals that motivate behavior in ventral striatum and guide responding via associative encoding in dorsolateral striatum. PMID:26276036
Perfetti, B; Moisello, C; Lanzafame, S; Varanese, S; Landsness, E C; Onofrj, M; Di Rocco, A; Tononi, G; Ghilardi, M F
We have previously shown that, in early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD), patients with higher reaction times are also more impaired in visual sequence learning, suggesting that movement preparation shares resources with the learning of visuospatial sequences. Here, we ascertained whether, in patients with PD, the pattern of the neural correlates of attentional processes of movement planning predict sequence learning and working memory abilities. High density Electroencephalography (EEG, 256 electrodes) was recorded in 19 patients with PD performing reaching movements in a choice reaction time paradigm. Patients were also tested with Digit Span and performed a visuomotor sequence learning task that has an important declarative learning component. We found that attenuation of alpha/beta oscillatory activity before the stimulus presentation in frontoparietal regions significantly correlated with reaction time in the choice reaction time task, similarly to what we had previously found in normal subjects. In addition, such activity significantly predicted the declarative indices of sequence learning and the scores in the Digit Span task. These findings suggest that some motor and non motor PD signs might have common neural bases, and thus, might have a similar response to the same behavioral therapy. In addition, these results might help in designing and testing the efficacy of novel rehabilitative approaches to improve specific aspects of motor performance in PD and other neurological disorders.
Campbell, Karen L; Shafto, Meredith A; Wright, Paul; Tsvetanov, Kamen A; Geerligs, Linda; Cusack, Rhodri; Tyler, Lorraine K
Much is known about how age affects the brain during tightly controlled, though largely contrived, experiments, but do these effects extrapolate to everyday life? Naturalistic stimuli, such as movies, closely mimic the real world and provide a window onto the brain's ability to respond in a timely and measured fashion to complex, everyday events. Young adults respond to these stimuli in a highly synchronized fashion, but it remains to be seen how age affects neural responsiveness during naturalistic viewing. To this end, we scanned a large (N = 218), population-based sample from the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) during movie-watching. Intersubject synchronization declined with age, such that older adults' response to the movie was more idiosyncratic. This decreased synchrony related to cognitive measures sensitive to attentional control. Our findings suggest that neural responsivity changes with age, which likely has important implications for real-world event comprehension and memory.
Campbell, Karen L.; Shafto, Meredith A.; Wright, Paul; Tsvetanov, Kamen A.; Geerligs, Linda; Cusack, Rhodri; Tyler, Lorraine K.; Brayne, Carol; Bullmore, Ed; Calder, Andrew; Cusack, Rhodri; Dalgleish, Tim; Duncan, John; Henson, Rik; Matthews, Fiona; Marslen-Wilson, William; Rowe, James; Shafto, Meredith; Campbell, Karen; Cheung, Teresa; Davis, Simon; Geerligs, Linda; Kievit, Rogier; McCarrey, Anna; Price, Darren; Taylor, Jason; Tsvetanov, Kamen; Williams, Nitin; Bates, Lauren; Emery, Tina; Erzinçlioglu, Sharon; Gadie, Andrew; Gerbase, Sofia; Georgieva, Stanimira; Hanley, Claire; Parkin, Beth; Troy, David; Allen, Jodie; Amery, Gillian; Amunts, Liana; Barcroft, Anne; Castle, Amanda; Dias, Cheryl; Dowrick, Jonathan; Fair, Melissa; Fisher, Hayley; Goulding, Anna; Grewal, Adarsh; Hale, Geoff; Hilton, Andrew; Johnson, Frances; Johnston, Patricia; Kavanagh-Williamson, Thea; Kwasniewska, Magdalena; McMinn, Alison; Norman, Kim; Penrose, Jessica; Roby, Fiona; Rowland, Diane; Sargeant, John; Squire, Maggie; Stevens, Beth; Stoddart, Aldabra; Stone, Cheryl; Thompson, Tracy; Yazlik, Ozlem; Dixon, Marie; Barnes, Dan; Hillman, Jaya; Mitchell, Joanne; Villis, Laura; Tyler, Lorraine K.
Much is known about how age affects the brain during tightly controlled, though largely contrived, experiments, but do these effects extrapolate to everyday life? Naturalistic stimuli, such as movies, closely mimic the real world and provide a window onto the brain's ability to respond in a timely and measured fashion to complex, everyday events. Young adults respond to these stimuli in a highly synchronized fashion, but it remains to be seen how age affects neural responsiveness during naturalistic viewing. To this end, we scanned a large (N = 218), population-based sample from the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) during movie-watching. Intersubject synchronization declined with age, such that older adults' response to the movie was more idiosyncratic. This decreased synchrony related to cognitive measures sensitive to attentional control. Our findings suggest that neural responsivity changes with age, which likely has important implications for real-world event comprehension and memory. PMID:26359527
Störmer, Viola S; Passow, Susanne; Biesenack, Julia; Li, Shu-Chen
Attention and working memory are fundamental for selecting and maintaining behaviorally relevant information. Not only do both processes closely intertwine at the cognitive level, but they implicate similar functional brain circuitries, namely the frontoparietal and the frontostriatal networks, which are innervated by cholinergic and dopaminergic pathways. Here we review the literature on cholinergic and dopaminergic modulations of visual-spatial attention and visual working memory processes to gain insights on aging-related changes in these processes. Some extant findings have suggested that the cholinergic system plays a role in the orienting of attention to enable the detection and discrimination of visual information, whereas the dopaminergic system has mainly been associated with working memory processes such as updating and stabilizing representations. However, since visual-spatial attention and working memory processes are not fully dissociable, there is also evidence of interacting cholinergic and dopaminergic modulations of both processes. We further review gene-cognition association studies that have shown that individual differences in visual-spatial attention and visual working memory are associated with acetylcholine- and dopamine-relevant genes. The efficiency of these 2 transmitter systems declines substantially during healthy aging. These declines, in part, contribute to age-related deficits in attention and working memory functions. We report novel data showing an effect of dopamine COMT gene on spatial updating processes in older but not in younger adults, indicating potential magnification of genetic effects in old age.
Johannsen, G.; Govindaraj, T.
The influence of different types of predictor displays in a longitudinal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hover task is analyzed in a theoretical study. Several cases with differing amounts of predictive and rate information are compared. The optimal control model of the human operator is used to estimate human and system performance in terms of root-mean-square (rms) values and to compute optimized attention allocation. The only part of the model which is varied to predict these data is the observation matrix. Typical cases are selected for a subsequent experimental validation. The rms values as well as eye-movement data are recorded. The results agree favorably with those of the theoretical study in terms of relative differences. Better matching is achieved by revised model input data.
Laycock, Robin; Cross, Alana Jade; Dalle Nogare, Felicity; Crewther, Sheila Gillard
Autism is usually defined by impairments in the social domain but has also been linked to deficient dorsal visual stream processing. However, inconsistent findings make the nature of this relationship unclear and thus, we examined the role of stimulus-driven transient attention, presumably activated by the dorsal stream in autistic tendency. Contrast thresholds for object discrimination were compared between groups with high and low self-rated autistic tendency utilizing the socially based Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Visual stimuli were presented with either abrupt or with ramped contrast onsets/offsets in order to manipulate the demands of transient attention. Larger impairments in performance of abrupt compared with ramped object presentation were established in the high AQ group. Furthermore, self-reported social skills predicted abrupt task performance, suggesting an important visual perception deficiency in autism-related traits. Autism spectrum disorder may be associated with reduced utilization of the dorsal stream to rapidly activate attention prior to ventral stream processing when stimuli are transient.
Behne, Patrick Alan
The modeling of the detectability of special nuclear material (SNM) at ports and border crossings requires accurate knowledge of the background radiation at those locations. Background radiation originates from two main sources, cosmic and terrestrial. Cosmic background is produced by high-energy galactic cosmic rays (GCR) entering the atmosphere and inducing a cascade of particles that eventually impact the earth’s surface. The solar modulation potential represents one of the primary inputs to modeling cosmic background radiation. Usosokin et al. formally define solar modulation potential as “the mean energy loss [per unit charge] of a cosmic ray particle inside the heliosphere…” Modulation potential, a function of elevation, location, and time, shares an inverse relationship with cosmic background radiation. As a result, radiation detector thresholds require adjustment to account for differing background levels, caused partly by differing solar modulations. Failure to do so can result in higher rates of false positives and failed detection of SNM for low and high levels of solar modulation potential, respectively. This study focuses on solar modulation’s time dependence, and seeks the best method to predict modulation for future dates using Python. To address the task of predicting future solar modulation, we utilize both non-linear least squares sinusoidal curve fitting and cubic spline interpolation. This material will be published in transactions of the ANS winter meeting of November, 2016.
Guendelman, Maya D.; Ahmad, Shaikh; Meza, Jocelyn I.; Owens, Elizabeth B.; Hinshaw, Stephen P.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with interpersonal dysfunction during childhood and adolescence, yet little is known about the romantic relationships of young women with childhood ADHD. In the present study, we draw from a longitudinal sample of girls followed prospectively into young adulthood, comparing those with (n = 114) and without (n = 79; comparisons) childhood ADHD in terms of their risk for physical victimization by an intimate partner (physical IPV; e.g., slapping, punching) by 17–24 years of age. We examined ADHD both diagnostically and dimensionally, at the same time establishing reliable indicators of young adult physical IPV. Externalizing and internalizing problems, and academic achievement during adolescence, were tested as potential mediators. Overall, participants with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD experienced more physical IPV than did comparisons (30.7% vs. 6.3%). In parallel, IPV was associated with higher levels of childhood ADHD symptomatology (d = .73). Young women with persistent ADHD stood the highest risk of experiencing IPV (37.3%), followed by those with transient ADHD (19.0%) and those never-diagnosed (5.9%). Academic achievement measured during adolescence was a significant partial mediator of the childhood ADHD symptomatology-young adult IPV relationship, even with control of sociodemographic, psychiatric, and cognitive factors, including childhood reading and math disorders. Findings indicate that in young women, childhood ADHD is a specific and important predictor of physically violent victimization in their intimate relationships. This vulnerable population requires IPV prevention and intervention, with academic empowerment as a key target. PMID:25663589
Valdois, Sylviane; Peyrin, Carole; Lassus-Sangosse, Delphine; Lallier, Marie; Démonet, Jean-François; Kandel, Sonia
We report the case study of a French-Spanish bilingual dyslexic girl, MP, who exhibited a severe visual attention (VA) span deficit but preserved phonological skills. Behavioural investigation showed a severe reduction of reading speed for both single items (words and pseudo-words) and texts in the two languages. However, performance was more affected in French than in Spanish. MP was administered an intensive VA span intervention programme. Pre-post intervention comparison revealed a positive effect of intervention on her VA span abilities. The intervention further transferred to reading. It primarily resulted in faster identification of the regular and irregular words in French. The effect of intervention was rather modest in Spanish that only showed a tendency for faster word reading. Text reading improved in the two languages with a stronger effect in French but pseudo-word reading did not improve in either French or Spanish. The overall results suggest that VA span intervention may primarily enhance the fast global reading procedure, with stronger effects in French than in Spanish. MP underwent two fMRI sessions to explore her brain activations before and after VA span training. Prior to the intervention, fMRI assessment showed that the striate and extrastriate visual cortices alone were activated but none of the regions typically involved in VA span. Post-training fMRI revealed increased activation of the superior and inferior parietal cortices. Comparison of pre- and post-training activations revealed significant activation increase of the superior parietal lobes (BA 7) bilaterally. Thus, we show that a specific VA span intervention not only modulates reading performance but further results in increased brain activity within the superior parietal lobes known to housing VA span abilities. Furthermore, positive effects of VA span intervention on reading suggest that the ability to process multiple visual elements simultaneously is one cause of successful
Robertson, A. W.; Moron, V.; Pai, D. S.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the Indian Summer Monsoon is more predictable during the early and late stages of the season, with a drop in rainfall predictability during the core monsoon months of July and August. Various theories have been advanced for this sub-seasonal evolution, but its origins are still poorly understood. We use a new 0.25-degree 1901-2014 daily rainfall dataset from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to investigate this phenomenon at near-local scale, using more than a century of data. The analysis is based on daily rainfall characteristics, including the spatial coherence of sub-seasonal rainfall anomalies, and on relating these to large-scale moisture variables computed from reanalysis data. Indian summer monsoon rainfall is partitioned into three sub-seasonal phases, with a steep ramp-up (June), persistent core (July-August), and a slower decay phase (Sept-Oct). Spatial coherence of sub-seasonal rainfall anomalies is shown to be highest during the onset and decay phases with a marked mark drop during the core phase. Systematic shifts in seasonal timing are found to typify rainfall anomalies during the onset and decay phases, with ENSO preferentially impacting the latter. We identify a large-scale low-level moisture threshold as a necessary condition for local daily rainfall occuring at >5% of spatial locations across monsoonal India. Sub-seasonal rainfall variability during the onset and decay phases is argued to be controlled largely by the crossing of this threshold. However, this necessary condition is generally easily met during the core season, at which time interannual variability in low-level moisture and interannual correlation between rainfall and large-scale ascent both decrease. This decrease in large-scale control and the loss of spatial coherence imply that sub-seasonal to seasonal rainfall variations at local scales during the core of the monsoon are largely a result of local-scale processes, and are thus
LeBlanc, Vicki R; McConnell, Meghan M; Monteiro, Sandra D
Healthcare practice and education are highly emotional endeavors. While this is recognized by educators and researchers seeking to develop interventions aimed at improving wellness in health professionals and at providing them with skills to deal with emotional interpersonal situations, the field of health professions education has largely ignored the role that emotions play on cognitive processes. The purpose of this review is to provide an introduction to the broader field of emotions, with the goal of better understanding the integral relationship between emotions and cognitive processes. Individuals, at any given time, are in an emotional state. This emotional state influences how they perceive the world around them, what they recall from it, as well as the decisions they make. Rather than treating emotions as undesirable forces that wreak havoc on the rational being, the field of health professions education could be enriched by a greater understanding of how these emotions can shape cognitive processes in increasingly predictable ways.
Cox, S. M.; Gillis, Gary
ABSTRACT Within anurans (frogs and toads), cane toads (Bufo marinus) perform particularly controlled landings in which the forelimbs are exclusively used to decelerate and stabilize the body after impact. Here we explore how toads achieve dynamic stability across a wide range of landing conditions. Specifically, we suggest that torques during landing could be reduced by aligning forelimbs with the body's instantaneous velocity vector at impact (impact angle). To test whether toad forelimb orientation varies with landing conditions, we used high-speed video to collect forelimb and body kinematic data from six animals hopping off platforms of different heights (0, 5 and 9 cm). We found that toads do align forelimbs with the impact angle. Further, toads align forelimbs with the instantaneous velocity vector well before landing and then track its changes until touchdown. This suggests that toads may be prepared to land well before they hit the ground rather than preparing for impact at a specific moment, and that they may use a motor control strategy that allows them to perform controlled landings without the need to predict impact time. PMID:27895052
Hakamata, Yuko; Sato, Eisuke; Komi, Shotaro; Moriguchi, Yoshiya; Izawa, Shuhei; Murayama, Norio; Hanakawa, Takashi; Inoue, Yusuke; Tagaya, Hirokuni
The pulvinar is important in selective attention, particularly to visual stimuli under the focus of attention. However, the pulvinar is assumed to process emotional stimuli even outside the focus of attention, because of its tight connection with the amygdala. We therefore investigated how unattended emotional stimuli affect the pulvinar and its effective connectivity (EC) while considering individual differences in selective attention. fMRI in 41 healthy human subjects revealed that the amygdala, but not the pulvinar, more strongly responded to unattended fearful faces than to unattended neutral faces (UF > UN), although we observed greater EC from the pulvinar to the amygdala. Interestingly, individuals with biased attention toward threat (i.e., attentional bias) showed significantly increased activity (UF > UN) and reduced grey matter volume in the pulvinar. These individuals also exhibited stronger EC from the pulvinar to the attention-related frontoparietal network (FPN), whereas individuals with greater attentional control showed more enhanced EC from the pulvinar to the amygdala, but not the FPN (UF > UN). The pulvinar may filter unattended emotional stimuli whose sensitivity depends on individual threat-related attentional bias. The connectivity patterns of the pulvinar may thus be determined based on individual differences in threat-related attentional bias and attentional control. PMID:27703252
Alho, Kimmo; Rinne, Teemu; Herron, Timothy J; Woods, David L
We meta-analyzed 115 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies reporting auditory-cortex (AC) coordinates for activations related to active and passive processing of pitch and spatial location of non-speech sounds, as well as to the active and passive speech and voice processing. We aimed at revealing any systematic differences between AC surface locations of these activations by statistically analyzing the activation loci using the open-source Matlab toolbox VAMCA (Visualization and Meta-analysis on Cortical Anatomy). AC activations associated with pitch processing (e.g., active or passive listening to tones with a varying vs. fixed pitch) had median loci in the middle superior temporal gyrus (STG), lateral to Heschl's gyrus. However, median loci of activations due to the processing of infrequent pitch changes in a tone stream were centered in the STG or planum temporale (PT), significantly posterior to the median loci for other types of pitch processing. Median loci of attention-related modulations due to focused attention to pitch (e.g., attending selectively to low or high tones delivered in concurrent sequences) were, in turn, centered in the STG or superior temporal sulcus (STS), posterior to median loci for passive pitch processing. Activations due to spatial processing were centered in the posterior STG or PT, significantly posterior to pitch processing loci (processing of infrequent pitch changes excluded). In the right-hemisphere AC, the median locus of spatial attention-related modulations was in the STS, significantly inferior to the median locus for passive spatial processing. Activations associated with speech processing and those associated with voice processing had indistinguishable median loci at the border of mid-STG and mid-STS. Median loci of attention-related modulations due to attention to speech were in the same mid-STG/STS region. Thus, while attention to the pitch or location of non-speech sounds seems to recruit AC areas less
Gui, Danyang; Xu, Sihua; Zhu, Senhua; Fang, Zhuo; Spaeth, Andrea M; Xin, Yuanyuan; Feng, Tingyong; Rao, Hengyi
After continuous and prolonged cognitive workload, people typically show reduced behavioral performance and increased feelings of fatigue, which are known as "time-on-task (TOT) effects". Although TOT effects are pervasive in modern life, their underlying neural mechanisms remain elusive. In this study, we induced TOT effects by administering a 20-min continuous psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) to a group of 16 healthy adults and used resting-state blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine spontaneous brain activity changes associated with fatigue and performance. Behaviorally, subjects displayed robust TOT effects, as reflected by increasingly slower reaction times as the test progressed and higher self-reported mental fatigue ratings after the 20-min PVT. Compared to pre-test measurements, subjects exhibited reduced amplitudes of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) in the default mode network (DMN) and increased ALFF in the thalamus after the test. Subjects also exhibited reduced anti-correlations between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and right middle prefrontal cortex after the test. Moreover, pre-test resting ALFF in the PCC and medial prefrontal cortex (MePFC) predicted subjects' subsequent performance decline; individuals with higher ALFF in these regions exhibited more stable reaction times throughout the 20-min PVT. These results support the important role of both task-positive and task-negative networks in mediating TOT effects and suggest that spontaneous activity measured by resting-state BOLD fMRI may be a marker of mental fatigue.
Cao, Lei; Fu, Wei; Zhang, Yanming; Huo, Su; Du, JuBao; Zhu, Lin; Song, Weiqun
Functional connectivity changes in the attention network are viewed as a physiological signature of visual spatial neglect (VSN). The left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) is known to initiate and monitor top-down attentional control and dynamically adjust behavioral performance. This study aimed to investigate whether increasing the activity of the LDLPFC through intermittent θ burst stimulation (iTBS) could modulate the resting-state functional connectivity in the attention network and facilitate recovery from VSN. Patients with right hemisphere stroke and VSN were randomly assigned to two groups matched for clinical characteristics and given a 10-day treatment. On each day, all patients underwent visual scanning training and motor function training and received iTBS over the LDLPFC either at 80% resting motor threshold (RMT) or at 40% RMT before the trainings. MRI, the line bisection test, and the star cancelation test were performed before and after treatment. Patients who received iTBS at 80% RMT showed a large-scale reduction in the resting-state functional connectivity extent, largely in the right attention network, and more significant improvement of behavioral performance compared with patients who received iTBS at 40% RMT. These results support that the LDLPFC potentially plays a key role in the modulation of attention networks in neglect. Increasing the activity of the LDPLPFC through iTBS can facilitate recovery from VSN in patients with stroke.
Bourgeois, Alexia; Neveu, Rémi; Vuilleumier, Patrik
In order to behave adaptively, attention can be directed in space either voluntarily (i.e., endogenously) according to strategic goals, or involuntarily (i.e., exogenously) through reflexive capture by salient or novel events. The emotional or motivational value of stimuli can also strongly influence attentional orienting. However, little is known about how reward-related effects compete or interact with endogenous and exogenous attention mechanisms, particularly outside of awareness. Here we developed a visual search paradigm to study subliminal value-based attentional orienting. We systematically manipulated goal-directed or stimulus-driven attentional orienting and examined whether an irrelevant, but previously rewarded stimulus could compete with both types of spatial attention during search. Critically, reward was learned without conscious awareness in a preceding phase where one among several visual symbols was consistently paired with a subliminal monetary reinforcement cue. Our results demonstrated that symbols previously associated with a monetary reward received higher attentional priority in the subsequent visual search task, even though these stimuli and reward were no longer task-relevant, and despite reward being unconsciously acquired. Thus, motivational processes operating independent of conscious awareness may provide powerful influences on mechanisms of attentional selection, which could mitigate both stimulus-driven and goal-directed shifts of attention. PMID:27483371
Bart, O.; Shayevits, S.; Gabis, L. V.; Morag, I.
The aim of the study was to prospectively assess the differences in participation and sensory modulation between late preterm infants (LPI) and term babies, and to predict it by LPI characteristics. The study population includes 124 late preterm infants at gestational age between 34 and 35 6/7 weeks who were born at the same medical center. The…
Ranganathan, Rajiv; Krishnan, Chandramouli; Dhaher, Yasin Y; Rymer, William Z
The motor module hypothesis in motor control proposes that the nervous system can simplify the problem of controlling a large number of muscles in human movement by grouping muscles into a smaller number of modules. Here, we tested one prediction of the modular organization hypothesis by examining whether there is preferential exploration along these motor modules during the learning of a new gait pattern. Healthy college-aged participants learned a new gait pattern which required increased hip and knee flexion during the swing phase while walking in a lower-extremity robot (Lokomat). The new gait pattern was displayed as a foot trajectory in the sagittal plane and participants attempted to match their foot trajectory to this template. We recorded EMG from 8 lower-extremity muscles and we extracted motor modules during both baseline walking and target-tracking using non-negative matrix factorization (NMF). Results showed increased trajectory variability in the first block of learning, indicating that participants were engaged in exploratory behavior. Critically, when we examined the muscle activity during this exploratory phase, we found that the composition of motor modules changed significantly within the first few strides of attempting the new gait pattern. The lack of persistence of the motor modules under even short time scales suggests that motor modules extracted during locomotion may be more indicative of correlated muscle activity induced by the task constraints of walking, rather than reflecting a modular control strategy.
Lay-Ekuakille, A.; Arnesano, A.; Vergallo, P.
Photovoltaic characterization is a topic of major interest in the field of renewable energy. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline modules are mostly used and, hence characterized since many laboratories have data of them. Conversely, cadmium telluride (CdTe), as thin-film module are, in some circumstances, difficult to be used for energy prediction. This work covers outdoor testing of photovoltaic modules, in particular that regarding CdTe ones. The scope is to obtain temperature coefficients that best predict the energy production. A First Solar (K-275) module has been used for the purposes of this research. Outdoor characterizations were performed at Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy. The location of Lecce city represents a typical site in the South Italy. The module was exposed outdoor and tested under clear sky conditions as well as under cloudy sky ones. During testing, the global-inclined irradiance varied between 0 and 1500 W/m2. About 37 000 I-V characteristics were acquired, allowing to process temperature coefficients as a function of irradiance and ambient temperature. The module was characterized by measuring the full temperature-irradiance matrix in the range from 50 to 1300 W/m2 and from -1 to 40 W/m2 from October 2011 to February 2012. Afterwards, the module energy output, under real conditions, was calculated with the "matrix method" of SUPSI-ISAAC and the results were compared with the five months energy output data of the same module measured with the outdoor energy yield facility in Lecce.
Lay-Ekuakille, A; Arnesano, A; Vergallo, P
Photovoltaic characterization is a topic of major interest in the field of renewable energy. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline modules are mostly used and, hence characterized since many laboratories have data of them. Conversely, cadmium telluride (CdTe), as thin-film module are, in some circumstances, difficult to be used for energy prediction. This work covers outdoor testing of photovoltaic modules, in particular that regarding CdTe ones. The scope is to obtain temperature coefficients that best predict the energy production. A First Solar (K-275) module has been used for the purposes of this research. Outdoor characterizations were performed at Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy. The location of Lecce city represents a typical site in the South Italy. The module was exposed outdoor and tested under clear sky conditions as well as under cloudy sky ones. During testing, the global-inclined irradiance varied between 0 and 1500 W/m(2). About 37,000 I-V characteristics were acquired, allowing to process temperature coefficients as a function of irradiance and ambient temperature. The module was characterized by measuring the full temperature-irradiance matrix in the range from 50 to 1300 W/m(2) and from -1 to 40 W/m(2) from October 2011 to February 2012. Afterwards, the module energy output, under real conditions, was calculated with the "matrix method" of SUPSI-ISAAC and the results were compared with the five months energy output data of the same module measured with the outdoor energy yield facility in Lecce.
PhyloGibbs, our recent Gibbs-sampling motif-finder, takes phylogeny into account in detecting binding sites for transcription factors in DNA and assigns posterior probabilities to its predictions obtained by sampling the entire configuration space. Here, in an extension called PhyloGibbs-MP, we widen the scope of the program, addressing two major problems in computational regulatory genomics. First, PhyloGibbs-MP can localise predictions to small, undetermined regions of a large input sequence, thus effectively predicting cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) ab initio while simultaneously predicting binding sites in those modules-tasks that are usually done by two separate programs. PhyloGibbs-MP's performance at such ab initio CRM prediction is comparable with or superior to dedicated module-prediction software that use prior knowledge of previously characterised transcription factors. Second, PhyloGibbs-MP can predict motifs that differentiate between two (or more) different groups of regulatory regions, that is, motifs that occur preferentially in one group over the others. While other "discriminative motif-finders" have been published in the literature, PhyloGibbs-MP's implementation has some unique features and flexibility. Benchmarks on synthetic and actual genomic data show that this algorithm is successful at enhancing predictions of differentiating sites and suppressing predictions of common sites and compares with or outperforms other discriminative motif-finders on actual genomic data. Additional enhancements include significant performance and speed improvements, the ability to use "informative priors" on known transcription factors, and the ability to output annotations in a format that can be visualised with the Generic Genome Browser. In stand-alone motif-finding, PhyloGibbs-MP remains competitive, outperforming PhyloGibbs-1.0 and other programs on benchmark data.
Taillard, Jacques; Moore, Nicholas; Claustrat, Bruno; Coste, Olivier; Bioulac, Bernard; Philip, Pierre
In our 24-h society, nocturnal sleep-related accidents are common. Because all individuals are not equal in their responses to sleep loss, it is very important to identify predictors of vulnerability to sleep deprivation in normal subjects. We investigated the performance of a cognitive test of sustained attention, electroencephalogram theta/alpha power, subjective sleepiness, and two circadian markers (core temperature and melatonin) in 18 healthy men (nine morning types and nine evening types, 21.4 +/- 1.9 years) during a 36-h sleep deprivation in a constant routine protocol. Sleep need (self-reported) and baseline sleep structure were also investigated. Nighttime performance impairment was defined as the difference between the mean nocturnal number of lapses (00:00-07:30 [corrected] hours) and the mean diurnal number of lapses (07:30-20:30 hours) expressed as a percentage. Feeling fully alert in the morning just after awakening and/or sleepy in early afternoon were the only two factors (Multiple R > 0.80, > 60% of explained variance) which better predicted the decrease in performances of nocturnal operational tasks requiring sustained attention.
Mirman, Daniel; McClelland, James L.; Holt, Lori L.; Magnuson, James S.
The effects of lexical context on phonological processing are pervasive and there have been indications that such effects may be modulated by attention. However, attentional modulation in speech processing is neither well-documented nor well-understood. Experiment 1 demonstrated attentional modulation of lexical facilitation of speech sound recognition when task and critical stimuli were identical across attention conditions. We propose modulation of lexical activation as a neurophysiologically-plausible computational mechanism that can account for this type of modulation. Contrary to the claims of critics, this mechanism can account for attentional modulation without violating the principle of interactive processing. Simulations of the interactive TRACE model extended to include two different ways of modulating lexical activation showed that each can account for attentional modulation of lexical feedback effects. Experiment 2 tested conflicting predictions from the two implementations and provided evidence that is consistent with bias input as the mechanism of attentional control of lexical activation. PMID:18509503
Hammer, Eva M; Kaufmann, Tobias; Kleih, Sonja C; Blankertz, Benjamin; Kübler, Andrea
Modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR) was suggested as a control signal for brain-computer interfaces (BCI). Yet, there is a population of users estimated between 10 to 50% not able to achieve reliable control and only about 20% of users achieve high (80-100%) performance. Predicting performance prior to BCI use would facilitate selection of the most feasible system for an individual, thus constitute a practical benefit for the user, and increase our knowledge about the correlates of BCI control. In a recent study, we predicted SMR-BCI performance from psychological variables that were assessed prior to the BCI sessions and BCI control was supported with machine-learning techniques. We described two significant psychological predictors, namely the visuo-motor coordination ability and the ability to concentrate on the task. The purpose of the current study was to replicate these results thereby validating these predictors within a neurofeedback based SMR-BCI that involved no machine learning.Thirty-three healthy BCI novices participated in a calibration session and three further neurofeedback training sessions. Two variables were related with mean SMR-BCI performance: (1) a measure for the accuracy of fine motor skills, i.e., a trade for a person's visuo-motor control ability; and (2) subject's "attentional impulsivity". In a linear regression they accounted for almost 20% in variance of SMR-BCI performance, but predictor (1) failed significance. Nevertheless, on the basis of our prior regression model for sensorimotor control ability we could predict current SMR-BCI performance with an average prediction error of M = 12.07%. In more than 50% of the participants, the prediction error was smaller than 10%. Hence, psychological variables played a moderate role in predicting SMR-BCI performance in a neurofeedback approach that involved no machine learning. Future studies are needed to further consolidate (or reject) the present predictors.
Hayes, Spencer J.; Andrew, Matthew; Elliott, Digby; Gowen, Emma; Bennett, Simon J.
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…
Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sundararajan, Ramya; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kumar, Reshma; Fryxell, Karl J.; Parasuraman, Raja
We investigated the relation between the two systems of visuospatial attention and working memory by examining the effect of normal variation in cholinergic and noradrenergic genes on working memory performance under attentional manipulation. We previously reported that working memory for location was impaired following large location precues,…
Colzato, Lorenza S.; Slagter, Heleen A.; de Rover, Mischa; Hommel, Bernhard
The attentional blink (AB)--a deficit in reporting the second of two target stimuli presented in close succession in a rapid sequence of distracters--has been related to processing limitations in working memory. Given that dopamine (DA) plays a crucial role working memory, the present study tested whether individual differences in the size of the…
Li, Shu-Chen; Passow, Susanne; Nietfeld, Wilfried; Schröder, Julia; Bertram, Lars; Heekeren, Hauke R; Lindenberger, Ulman
Using a specific variant of the dichotic listening paradigm, we studied the influence of dopamine on attentional modulation of auditory perception by assessing effects of allelic variation of a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs907094 in the DARPP-32 gene (dopamine and adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate-regulated phosphoprotein 32 kilodations; also known as PPP1R1B) on behavior and cortical evoked potentials. A frequent DARPP-32 haplotype that includes the A allele of this SNP is associated with higher mRNA expression of DARPP-32 protein isoforms, striatal dopamine receptor function, and frontal-striatal connectivity. As we hypothesized, behaviorally the A homozygotes were more flexible in selectively attending to auditory inputs than any G carriers. Moreover, this genotype also affected auditory evoked cortical potentials that reflect early sensory and late attentional processes. Specifically, analyses of event-related potentials (ERPs) revealed that amplitudes of an early component of sensory selection (N1) and a late component (N450) reflecting attentional deployment for conflict resolution were larger in A homozygotes than in any G carriers. Taken together, our data lend support for dopamine's role in modulating auditory attention both during the early sensory selection and late conflict resolution stages.
Stemmann, Heiko; Freiwald, Winrich A
Attentional selection requires the interplay of multiple brain areas. Theoretical accounts of selective attention predict different areas with different functional properties to support endogenous covert attention. To test these predictions, we devised a demanding attention task requiring motion discrimination and spatial selection and performed whole-brain imaging in macaque monkeys. Attention modulated the early visual cortex, motion-selective dorsal stream areas, the lateral intraparietal area, and the frontal eye fields. This pattern of activation supports early selection, feature-based, and biased-competition attention accounts, as well as the frontoparietal theory of attentional control. While high-level motion-selective dorsal stream areas did not exhibit strong attentional modulation, ventral stream areas V4d and the dorsal posterior inferotemporal cortex (PITd) did. The PITd in fact was, consistently across task variations, the most significantly and most strongly attention-modulated area, even though it did not exhibit signs of motion selectivity. Thus the recruitment of the PITd in attention tasks involving different kinds of motion analysis is not predicted by any theoretical account of attention. These functional data, together with known anatomical connections, suggest a general and possibly critical role of the PITd in attentional selection.
Montalan, Benoît; Boitout, Alexis; Veujoz, Mathieu; Leleu, Arnaud; Germain, Raymonde; Personnaz, Bernard; Lalonde, Robert; Rebaï, Mohamed
Research has demonstrated that people readily pay more attention to negative than to positive and/or neutral stimuli. However, evidence from recent studies indicated that such an attention bias to negative information is not obligatory but sensitive to various factors. Two experiments using intergroup evaluative tasks (Study 1: a gender-related groups evaluative task and Study 2: a minimal-related groups evaluative task) was conducted to determine whether motivation to strive for a positive social identity – a part of one’s self-concept – drives attention toward affective stimuli. Using the P1 component of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as a neural index of attention, we confirmed that attention bias toward negative stimuli is not mandatory but it can depend on a motivational focus on affective outcomes. Results showed that social identity-based motivation is likely to bias attention toward affectively incongruent information. Thereby, early onset processes – reflected by the P1 component – appeared susceptible to top-down attentional influences induced by the individual’s motivation to strive for a positive social identity. PMID:24693339
Becker, Stephen P; Langberg, Joshua M; Evans, Steven W
Children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience high rates of sleep problems and are also at increased risk for experiencing comorbid mental health problems. This study provides an initial examination of the 1-year prospective association between sleep problems and comorbid symptoms in youth diagnosed with ADHD. Participants were 81 young adolescents (75 % male) carefully diagnosed with ADHD and their parents. Parents completed measures of their child's sleep problems and ADHD symptoms, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms, and general externalizing behavior problems at baseline (M age = 12.2) and externalizing behaviors were assessed again 1 year later. Adolescents completed measures of anxiety and depression at both time-points. Medication use was not associated with sleep problems or comorbid psychopathology symptoms. Regression analyses indicated that, above and beyond demographic characteristics, ADHD symptom severity, and initial levels of comorbidity, sleep problems significantly predicted greater ODD symptoms, general externalizing behavior problems, and depressive symptoms 1 year later. Sleep problems were not concurrently or prospectively associated with anxiety. Although this study precludes making causal inferences, it does nonetheless provide initial evidence of sleep problems predicting later comorbid externalizing behaviors and depression symptoms in youth with ADHD. Additional research is needed with larger samples and multiple time-points to further examine the interrelations of sleep problems and comorbidity.
Mazor-Karsenty, Tal; Parush, Shula; Bonneh, Yoram; Shalev, Lilach
Certain behavioral expressions of sensory modulation disorder (SMD) such as distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are often similar to those of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in pediatric and adult populations. There is also a high comorbidity rate between these two diagnoses and absence of research regarding the objective neuropsychological differentiation between them. In the present study we employed a factorial design which enabled us to: (a) systematically examine the effects of SMD and ADHD on executive attention in a sample of adult females using a Stroop-like task, and (b) measure the effect of aversive conditions (sounds) on executive attention. The experimental measures used were the Stroop-like Location-Direction Task (SLDT) to assess executive attention and the battery of aversiveness to sounds (BAS), a standardized measure of aversive sounds that was developed for this study and enabled individual customization of aversive auditory sounds. Results revealed, as expected, a specific core deficit in executive attention for the ADHD factor. In addition to that, the present study provides an important, pioneering finding of SMD impairment in a unique combination of a cognitively demanding task with aversive sounds, providing preliminary objective evidence differentiating SMD from ADHD.
Mevorach, Carmel; Tsal, Yehoshua; Humphreys, Glyn W
According to perceptual load theory (Lavie, 2005) distractor interference is determined by the availability of attentional resources. If target processing does not exhaust resources (with low perceptual load) distractor processing will take place resulting in interference with a primary task; however, when target processing uses-up attentional capacity (with high perceptual load) interference can be avoided. An alternative account (Tsal and Benoni, 2010a) suggests that perceptual load effects can be based on distractor dilution by the mere presence of additional neutral items in high-load displays so that the effect is not driven by the amount of attention resources required for target processing. Here we tested whether patients with unilateral neglect or extinction would show dilution effects from neutral items in their contralesional (neglected/extinguished) field, even though these items do not impose increased perceptual load on the target and at the same time attract reduced attentional resources compared to stimuli in the ipsilesional field. Thus, such items do not affect the amount of attention resources available for distractor processing. We found that contralesional neutral elements can eliminate distractor interference as strongly as centrally presented ones in neglect/extinction patients, despite contralesional items being less well attended. The data are consistent with an account in terms of perceptual dilution of distracters rather than available resources for distractor processing. We conclude that distractor dilution can underlie the elimination of distractor interference in visual displays.
Hardikar, Kedar Y.; Liu, Bill J. J.; Bheemreddy, Venkata
Gaining an understanding of degradation mechanisms and their characterization are critical in developing relevant accelerated tests to ensure PV module performance warranty over a typical lifetime of 25 years. As newer technologies are adapted for PV, including new PV cell technologies, new packaging materials, and newer product designs, the availability of field data over extended periods of time for product performance assessment cannot be expected within the typical timeframe for business decisions. In this work, to enable product design decisions and product performance assessment for PV modules utilizing newer technologies, Simulation and Mechanism based Accelerated Reliability Testing (SMART) methodology and empirical approaches to predict field performance from accelerated test results are presented. The method is demonstrated for field life assessment of flexible PV modules based on degradation mechanisms observed in two accelerated tests, namely, Damp Heat and Thermal Cycling. The method is based on design of accelerated testing scheme with the intent to develop relevant acceleration factor models. The acceleration factor model is validated by extensive reliability testing under different conditions going beyond the established certification standards. Once the acceleration factor model is validated for the test matrix a modeling scheme is developed to predict field performance from results of accelerated testing for particular failure modes of interest. Further refinement of the model can continue as more field data becomes available. While the demonstration of the method in this work is for thin film flexible PV modules, the framework and methodology can be adapted to other PV products.
Swanson, Meghan R.; Serlin, Gayle C.; Siller, Michael
We examined visual attention allocation during a set of social videos that are intended to elicit the coordination of attention with another person, compared to a control condition. Deficits in joint attention are a characteristic of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants included a diverse sample of 50 typically…
Crockett, Molly J; Clark, Luke; Apergis-Schoute, Annemieke M; Morein-Zamir, Sharon; Robbins, Trevor W
Updated theoretical accounts of the role of serotonin (5-HT) in motivation propose that 5-HT operates at the intersection of aversion and inhibition, promoting withdrawal in the face of aversive predictions. However, the specific cognitive mechanisms through which 5-HT modulates withdrawal behavior remain poorly understood. Behavioral inhibition in response to punishments reflects at least two concurrent processes: instrumental aversive predictions linking stimuli, responses, and punishments, and Pavlovian aversive predictions linking stimuli and punishments irrespective of response. In the current study, we examined to what extent 5-HT modulates the impact of instrumental vs Pavlovian aversive predictions on behavioral inhibition. We used acute tryptophan depletion to lower central 5-HT levels in healthy volunteers, and observed behavior in a novel task designed to measure the influence of Pavlovian and instrumental aversive predictions on choice (response bias) and response vigor (response latencies). After placebo treatment, participants were biased against responding on the button that led to punishment, and they were slower to respond in a punished context, relative to a non-punished context. Specifically, participants slowed their responses in the presence of stimuli predictive of punishments. Tryptophan depletion removed the bias against responding on the punished button, and abolished slowing in the presence of punished stimuli, irrespective of response. We suggest that this set of results can be explained by a role for 5-HT in Pavlovian aversive predictions. These findings suggest additional specificity for the influence of 5-HT on aversively motivated behavioral inhibition and extend recent models of the role of 5-HT in aversive predictions.
Groenman, Annabeth P; Greven, Corina U; van Donkelaar, Marjolein M J; Schellekens, Arnt; van Hulzen, Kimm J E; Rommelse, Nanda; Hartman, Catharina A; Hoekstra, Pieter J; Luman, Marjolein; Franke, Barbara; Faraone, Stephen V; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Buitelaar, Jan K
Individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk of developing substance use disorders (SUDs) and nicotine dependence. The co-occurrence of ADHD and SUDs/nicotine dependence may in part be mediated by shared genetic liability. Several neurobiological pathways have been implicated in both ADHD and SUDs, including dopamine and serotonin pathways. We hypothesized that variations in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission genes were involved in the genetic liability to develop SUDs/nicotine dependence in ADHD. The current study included participants with ADHD (n = 280) who were originally part of the Dutch International Multicenter ADHD Genetics study. Participants were aged 5-15 years and attending outpatient clinics at enrollment in the study. Diagnoses of ADHD, SUDs, nicotine dependence, age of first nicotine and substance use, and alcohol use severity were based on semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Genetic risk scores were created for both serotonergic and dopaminergic risk genes previously shown to be associated with ADHD and SUDs and/or nicotine dependence. The serotonin genetic risk score significantly predicted alcohol use severity. No significant serotonin × dopamine risk score or effect of stimulant medication was found. The current study adds to the literature by providing insight into genetic underpinnings of the co-morbidity of ADHD and SUDs. While the focus of the literature so far has been mostly on dopamine, our study suggests that serotonin may also play a role in the relationship between these disorders.
Grieger, Lena; Hosser, Daniela
As the state of research on the relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and recidivism can be considered controversial, our prospective study investigated whether ADHD predicts recidivism in a sample of 283 male, German, young adult prisoners. Currently existing ADHD symptoms and symptoms that were present in childhood were screened according to the DSM-IV checklist criteria. Information on general and violent recidivism was gathered using government records with a follow-up period of up to five years. The prevalence of adult ADHD was six times greater than in the general population, and the number of participants who retrospectively met the criteria for a diagnosis with ADHD in childhood was ten times greater than found in community samples. Survival analyses did not identify ADHD as a predictor of recidivism. Controlling for conduct disorder, substance dependence, and other relevant variables did not alter results. However, among individuals who were released from prison and then reconvicted for a new crime, offenders diagnosed with ADHD were found to reoffend sooner after release. These findings stress the necessity of differentiating between risk factors for delinquency and risk factors for recidivism.
Shared attention is extremely common. In stadiums, public squares, and private living rooms, people attend to the world with others. Humans do so across all sensory modalities-sharing the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures of everyday life with one another. The potential for attending with others has grown considerably with the emergence of mass media technologies, which allow for the sharing of attention in the absence of physical co-presence. In the last several years, studies have begun to outline the conditions under which attending together is consequential for human memory, motivation, judgment, emotion, and behavior. Here, I advance a psychological theory of shared attention, defining its properties as a mental state and outlining its cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences. I review empirical findings that are uniquely predicted by shared-attention theory and discuss the possibility of integrating shared-attention, social-facilitation, and social-loafing perspectives. Finally, I reflect on what shared-attention theory implies for living in the digital world.
Ferretti, Vincent; Poitras, Christian; Bergeron, Dominique; Coulombe, Benoit; Robert, François; Blanchette, Mathieu
We describe PReMod, a new database of genome-wide cis-regulatory module (CRM) predictions for both the human and the mouse genomes. The prediction algorithm, described previously in Blanchette et al. (2006) Genome Res., 16, 656-668, exploits the fact that many known CRMs are made of clusters of phylogenetically conserved and repeated transcription factors (TF) binding sites. Contrary to other existing databases, PReMod is not restricted to modules located proximal to genes, but in fact mostly contains distal predicted CRMs (pCRMs). Through its web interface, PReMod allows users to (i) identify pCRMs around a gene of interest; (ii) identify pCRMs that have binding sites for a given TF (or a set of TFs) or (iii) download the entire dataset for local analyses. Queries can also be refined by filtering for specific chromosomal regions, for specific regions relative to genes or for the presence of CpG islands. The output includes information about the binding sites predicted within the selected pCRMs, and a graphical display of their distribution within the pCRMs. It also provides a visual depiction of the chromosomal context of the selected pCRMs in terms of neighboring pCRMs and genes, all of which are linked to the UCSC Genome Browser and the NCBI. PReMod: http://genomequebec.mcgill.ca/PReMod.
Carli, Mirjana; Invernizzi, Roberto W
Executive functions are an emerging propriety of neuronal processing in circuits encompassing frontal cortex and other cortical and subcortical brain regions such as basal ganglia and thalamus. Glutamate serves as the major neurotrasmitter in these circuits where glutamate receptors of NMDA type play key role. Serotonin and dopamine afferents are in position to modulate intrinsic glutamate neurotransmission along these circuits and in turn to optimize circuit performance for specific aspects of executive control over behavior. In this review, we focus on the 5-choice serial reaction time task which is able to provide various measures of attention and executive control over performance in rodents and the ability of prefrontocortical and striatal serotonin 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, and 5-HT2C as well as dopamine D1- and D2-like receptors to modulate different aspects of executive and attention disturbances induced by NMDA receptor hypofunction in the prefrontal cortex. These behavioral studies are integrated with findings from microdialysis studies. These studies illustrate the control of attention selectivity by serotonin 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, and dopamine D1- but not D2-like receptors and a distinct contribution of these cortical and striatal serotonin and dopamine receptors to the control of different aspects of executive control over performance such as impulsivity and compulsivity. An association between NMDA antagonist-induced increase in glutamate release in the prefrontal cortex and attention is suggested. Collectively, this review highlights the functional interaction of serotonin and dopamine with NMDA dependent glutamate neurotransmission in the cortico-striatal circuitry for specific cognitive demands and may shed some light on how dysregulation of neuronal processing in these circuits may be implicated in specific neuropsychiatric disorders.
Kwon, Andrew T; Chou, Alice Yi; Arenillas, David J; Wasserman, Wyeth W
We performed a genome-wide scan for muscle-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) using three computational prediction programs. Based on the predictions, 339 candidate CRMs were tested in cell culture with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts for capacity to direct selective reporter gene expression to differentiated C2C12 myotubes. A subset of 19 CRMs validated as functional in the assay. The rate of predictive success reveals striking limitations of computational regulatory sequence analysis methods for CRM discovery. Motif-based methods performed no better than predictions based only on sequence conservation. Analysis of the properties of the functional sequences relative to inactive sequences identifies nucleotide sequence composition can be an important characteristic to incorporate in future methods for improved predictive specificity. Muscle-related TFBSs predicted within the functional sequences display greater sequence conservation than non-TFBS flanking regions. Comparison with recent MyoD and histone modification ChIP-Seq data supports the validity of the functional regions.
Cholis, Ilias; Hooper, Dan; Linden, Tim
An important factor limiting our ability to understand the production and propagation of cosmic rays pertains to the effects of heliospheric forces, commonly known as solar modulation. The solar wind is capable of generating time- and charge-dependent effects on the spectrum and intensity of low-energy (≲10 GeV) cosmic rays reaching Earth. Previous analytic treatments of solar modulation have utilized the force-field approximation, in which a simple potential is adopted whose amplitude is selected to best fit the cosmic-ray data taken over a given period of time. Making use of recently available cosmic-ray data from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, along withmore » measurements of the heliospheric magnetic field and solar wind, we construct a time-, charge- and rigidity-dependent model of solar modulation that can be directly compared to data from a variety of cosmic-ray experiments. Here, we provide a simple analytic formula that can be easily utilized in a variety of applications, allowing us to better predict the effects of solar modulation and reduce the number of free parameters involved in cosmic-ray propagation models.« less
Cholis, Ilias; Hooper, Dan; Linden, Tim
An important factor limiting our ability to understand the production and propagation of cosmic rays pertains to the effects of heliospheric forces, commonly known as solar modulation. The solar wind is capable of generating time- and charge-dependent effects on the spectrum and intensity of low-energy (≲10 GeV) cosmic rays reaching Earth. Previous analytic treatments of solar modulation have utilized the force-field approximation, in which a simple potential is adopted whose amplitude is selected to best fit the cosmic-ray data taken over a given period of time. Making use of recently available cosmic-ray data from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, along with measurements of the heliospheric magnetic field and solar wind, we construct a time-, charge- and rigidity-dependent model of solar modulation that can be directly compared to data from a variety of cosmic-ray experiments. Here, we provide a simple analytic formula that can be easily utilized in a variety of applications, allowing us to better predict the effects of solar modulation and reduce the number of free parameters involved in cosmic-ray propagation models.
Schweren, L J S; Hartman, C A; Zwiers, M P; Heslenfeld, D J; Franke, B; Oosterlaan, J; Buitelaar, J K; Hoekstra, P J
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has revealed white matter abnormalities in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stimulant treatment may affect such abnormalities. The current study investigated associations between long-term stimulant treatment and white matter integrity within the frontal-striatal and mesolimbic pathways, in a large sample of children, adolescents and young adults with ADHD. Participants with ADHD (N=172; mean age 17, range 9-26) underwent diffusion-weighted MRI scanning, along with an age- and gendermatched group of 96 control participants. Five study-specific white matter tract masks (orbitofrontal-striatal, orbitofrontal-amygdalar, amygdalar-striatal, dorsolateral-prefrontal-striatal and medialprefrontal-striatal) were created. First we analyzed case-control differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) within each tract. Second, FA and MD in each tract was predicted from cumulative stimulant intake within the ADHD group. After correction for multiple testing, participants with ADHD showed reduced FA in the orbitofrontal-striatal pathway (p=0.010, effect size=0.269). Within the ADHD group, higher cumulative stimulant intake was associated with lower MD in the same pathway (p=0.011, effect size=-0.164), but not with FA. The association between stimulant treatment and orbitofrontal-striatal MD was of modest effect size. It fell short of significance after adding ADHD severity or ADHD type to the model (p=0.036 and p=0.094, respectively), while the effect size changed little. Our findings are compatible with stimulant treatment enhancing orbitofrontal-striatal white matter connectivity, and emphasize the importance of the orbitofrontal cortex and its connections in ADHD. Longitudinal studies including a drug-naïve baseline assessment are needed to distinguish between-subject variability in ADHD severity from treatment effects.
Fichten, Catherine S.; Heiman, Tali; Jorgensen, Mary; Nguyen, Mai Nhu; Havel, Alice; King, Laura; Budd, Jillian; Amsel, Rhonda
We tested the ability of Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model to predict intention to graduate among Canadian and Israeli students with and without a learning disability/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD). Results based on 1486 postsecondary students show that the model's predictors (i.e., attitude, subjective norms,…
Jitendra, Asha K.; Corroy, Kelly Cozine; Dupuis, Danielle N.
The purposes of this study were (a) to evaluate differences in arithmetic word problem solving between high and low at-risk students for mathematics difficulties (MD) and (b) to assess the influence of attention, behavior, reading, and socio-economic status (SES) in predicting the word problem solving performance of third-grade students with MD.…
Poon, Kenneth K.; Watson, Linda R.; Baranek, Grace T.; Poe, Michele D.
The extent to which early social communication behaviors predict later communication and intellectual outcomes was investigated via retrospective video analysis. Joint attention, imitation, and complex object play behaviors were coded from edited home videos featuring scenes of 29 children with ASD at 9-12 and/or 15-18 months. A quantitative…
Choi, Hyoung-Seuk; Seo, Won-Seon; Choi, Duck-Kyun
Thermoelectric cooling module (TEM) which is electric device has a mechanical stress because of temperature gradient in itself. It means that structure of TEM is vulnerable in an aspect of reliability but research on reliability of TEM was not performed a lot. Recently, the more the utilization of thermoelectric cooling devices grows, the more the needs for life prediction and improvement are increasing. In this paper, we investigated life distribution, shape parameter of the TEM through accelerated life test (ALT). And we discussed about how to enhance life of TEM through the Physics-of-failure. Experimental results of ALT showed that the thermoelectric cooling module follows the Weibull distribution, shape parameter of which is 3.6. The acceleration model is coffin Coffin-Manson and material constant is 1.8.
Alnæs, Dag; Sneve, Markus Handal; Espeseth, Thomas; Endestad, Tor; van de Pavert, Steven Harry Pieter; Laeng, Bruno
Attentional effort relates to the allocation of limited-capacity attentional resources to meet current task demands and involves the activation of top-down attentional systems in the brain. Pupillometry is a sensitive measure of this intensity aspect of top-down attentional control. Studies relate pupillary changes in response to cognitive processing to activity in the locus coeruleus (LC), which is the main hub of the brain's noradrenergic system and it is thought to modulate the operations of the brain's attentional systems. In the present study, participants performed a visual divided attention task known as multiple object tracking (MOT) while their pupil sizes were recorded by use of an infrared eye tracker and then were tested again with the same paradigm while brain activity was recorded using fMRI. We hypothesized that the individual pupil dilations, as an index of individual differences in mental effort, as originally proposed by Kahneman (1973), would be a better predictor of LC activity than the number of tracked objects during MOT. The current results support our hypothesis, since we observed pupil-related activity in the LC. Moreover, the changes in the pupil correlated with activity in the superior colliculus and the right thalamus, as well as cortical activity in the dorsal attention network, which previous studies have shown to be strongly activated during visual tracking of multiple targets. Follow-up pupillometric analyses of the MOT task in the same individuals also revealed that individual differences to cognitive load can be remarkably stable over a lag of several years. To our knowledge this is the first study using pupil dilations as an index of attentional effort in the MOT task and also relating these to functional changes in the brain that directly implicate the LC-NE system in the allocation of processing resources.
Purkis, Helena M; Lester, Kathryn J; Field, Andy P
If there is a spider in the room, then the spider phobic in your group is most likely to point it out to you. This phenomenon is believed to arise because our attentional systems are hardwired to attend to threat in our environment, and, to a spider phobic, spiders are threatening. However, an alternative explanation is simply that attention is quickly drawn to the stimulus of most personal relevance in the environment. Our research examined whether positive stimuli with no biological or evolutionary relevance could be allocated preferential attention. We compared attention to pictures of spiders with pictures from the TV program Doctor Who, for people who varied in both their love of Doctor Who and their fear of spiders. We found a double dissociation: interference from spider and Doctor-Who-related images in a visual search task was predicted by spider fear and Doctor Who expertise, respectively. As such, allocation of attention reflected the personal relevance of the images rather than their threat content. The attentional system believed to have a causal role in anxiety disorders is therefore likely to be a general system that responds not to threat but to stimulus relevance; hence, nonevolutionary images, such as those from Doctor Who, captured attention as quickly as fear-relevant spider images. Where this leaves the Empress of Racnoss, we are unsure.
Gensheimer, Michael F.; Hummel-Kramer, Sharon M.; Cain, David; Quang, Tony S.
Sparing one or both parotid glands is a key goal when planning head and neck cancer radiation treatment. If the planning target volume (PTV) overlaps one or both parotid glands substantially, it may not be possible to achieve adequate gland sparing. This finding results in physicians revising their PTV contours after an intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plan has been run and reduces workflow efficiency. We devised a simple formula for predicting mean parotid gland dose from the overlap of the parotid gland and isotropically expanded PTV contours. We tested the tool using 44 patients from 2 institutions and found agreement between predicted and actual parotid gland doses (mean absolute error = 5.3 Gy). This simple method could increase treatment planning efficiency by improving the chance that the first plan presented to the physician will have optimal parotid gland sparing.
Leong, Yuan Chang; Radulescu, Angela; Daniel, Reka; DeWoskin, Vivian; Niv, Yael
Little is known about the relationship between attention and learning during decision making. Using eye tracking and multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data, we measured participants' dimensional attention as they performed a trial-and-error learning task in which only one of three stimulus dimensions was relevant for reward at any given time. Analysis of participants' choices revealed that attention biased both value computation during choice and value update during learning. Value signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and prediction errors in the striatum were similarly biased by attention. In turn, participants' focus of attention was dynamically modulated by ongoing learning. Attentional switches across dimensions correlated with activity in a frontoparietal attention network, which showed enhanced connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex between switches. Our results suggest a bidirectional interaction between attention and learning: attention constrains learning to relevant dimensions of the environment, while we learn what to attend to via trial and error.
Neumann, Dirk; Spezio, Michael L; Piven, Joseph; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism are impaired in their social behavior, including their eye contact with others, but the processes that underlie this impairment remain elusive. We combined high-resolution eye tracking with computational modeling in a group of 10 high-functioning individuals with autism to address this issue. The group fixated the location of the mouth in facial expressions more than did matched controls, even when the mouth was not shown, even in faces that were inverted and most noticeably at latencies of 200-400 ms. Comparisons with a computational model of visual saliency argue that the abnormal bias for fixating the mouth in autism is not driven by an exaggerated sensitivity to the bottom-up saliency of the features, but rather by an abnormal top-down strategy for allocating visual attention.
Ladas, Aristea I; Carroll, Daniel J; Vivas, Ana B
Recent research indicates that bilingual children are more proficient in resolving cognitive conflict than monolinguals. However, the replicability of such findings has been questioned, with poor control of participants' socioeconomic status (SES) as a possible confounding factor. Two experiments are reported here, in which the main attentional functions and pragmatic ability of 54 bilingual and 56 monolingual low-SES children were assessed (Experiment 1: 6- to 12-year-olds; Experiment 2: 6- to 8-year-olds). A language-switching task was also employed, to measure bilingual proficiency. Overall, the monolingual and bilingual groups did not differ significantly in any of the tasks employed, although the ability to resolve conflict was related to children's level of bilingual experience.
Caine, Hannah; Whalley, Deborah; Kneebone, Andrew; McCloud, Philip; Eade, Thomas
If a prostate intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plan has protocol violations, it is often a challenge knowing whether this is due to unfavorable anatomy or suboptimal planning. This study aimed to create a model to predict protocol violations based on patient anatomical variables and their potential relationship to target and organ at risk (OAR) end points in the setting of definitive, dose-escalated IMRT/VMAT prostate planning. Radiotherapy plans from 200 consecutive patients treated with definitive radiation for prostate cancer using IMRT or VMAT were analyzed. The first 100 patient plans (hypothesis-generating cohort) were examined to identify anatomical variables that predict for dosimetric outcome, in particular OAR end points. Variables that scored significance were further assessed for their ability to predict protocol violations using a Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis. These results were then validated in a second group of 100 patients (validation cohort). In the initial analysis of the hypothesis-generating cohort, percentage of rectum overlap in the planning target volume (PTV) (%OR) and percentage of bladder overlap in the PTV (%OB) were highlighted as significant predictors of rectal and bladder dosimetry. Lymph node treatment was also significant for bladder outcomes. For the validation cohort, CART analysis showed that %OR of < 6%, 6% to 9% and > 9% predicted a 13%, 63%, and 100% rate of rectal protocol violations respectively. For the bladder, %OB of < 9% vs > 9% is associated with 13% vs 88% rate of bladder constraint violations when lymph nodes were not treated. If nodal irradiation was delivered, plans with a %OB of < 9% had a 59% risk of violations. Percentage of rectum and bladder within the PTV can be used to identify individual plan potential to achieve dose-volume histogram (DVH) constraints. A model based on these factors could be used to reduce planning time, improve
de Waal, Luc; Lewis, Timothy A.; Rees, Matthew G.; Tsherniak, Aviad; Wu, Xiaoyun; Choi, Peter S.; Gechijian, Lara; Hartigan, Christina; Faloon, Patrick W.; Hickey, Mark J.; Tolliday, Nicola; Carr, Steven A.; Clemons, Paul A.; Munoz, Benito; Wagner, Bridget K.; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Koehler, Angela N.; Schenone, Monica; Burgin, Alex B.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Greulich, Heidi; Meyerson, Matthew
High cancer death rates indicate the need for new anti-cancer therapeutic agents. Approaches to discover new cancer drugs include target-based drug discovery and phenotypic screening. Here, we identified phosphodiesterase 3A modulators as cell-selective cancer cytotoxic compounds by phenotypic compound library screening and target deconvolution by predictive chemogenomics. We found that sensitivity to 6-(4-(diethylamino)-3-nitrophenyl)-5-methyl-4,5-dihydropyridazin-3(2H)-one, or DNMDP, across 766 cancer cell lines correlates with expression of the phosphodiesterase 3A gene, PDE3A. Like DNMDP, a subset of known PDE3A inhibitors kill selected cancer cells while others do not. Furthermore, PDE3A depletion leads to DNMDP resistance. We demonstrated that DNMDP binding to PDE3A promotes an interaction between PDE3A and Schlafen 12 (SLFN12), suggesting a neomorphic activity. Co-expression of SLFN12 with PDE3A correlates with DNMDP sensitivity, while depletion of SLFN12 results in decreased DNMDP sensitivity. Our results implicate PDE3A modulators as candidate cancer therapeutic agents and demonstrate the power of predictive chemogenomics in small-molecule discovery. PMID:26656089
Güngör, Sevgi; Delgado-Charro, M Begoña; Masini-Etévé, Valérie; Potts, Russell O; Guy, Richard H
The aim of this work was to evaluate the feasibility of delivering transdermally a series of highly lipophilic compounds (log P ~4-7), comprising several selective oestrogen receptor modulators and a modified testosterone (danazol). The maximum fluxes of the drugs were predicted theoretically using the modified Potts & Guy algorithm (to determine the permeability coefficient (kp) from water) and the calculated aqueous solubilities. The correction provided by Cleek & Bunge took into account the contribution of the viable epidermal barrier to the skin permeation of highly lipophilic compounds. Experimental measurements of drug fluxes from saturated hydroalcoholic solutions were determined in vitro through excised pig skin. Overall, the predicted fluxes were in good general agreement (within a factor of 10) with the experimental results. Most of the experimental fluxes were greater than those predicted theoretically suggesting that the 70:30 v/v ethanol-water vehicle employed may have had a modest skin penetration enhancement effect. This investigation shows that the transdermal fluxes of highly lipophilic compounds can be reasonably predicted from first principles provided that the viable epidermis, underlying the stratum corneum, is included as a potentially important contributor to the skin's overall barrier function. Furthermore, the absolute values of the measured fluxes, when considered in parallel with previous clinical studies, indicate that it might be feasible to topically deliver a therapeutically useful amount of some of the compounds considered to treat cancerous breast tissue.
Zhao, Changyong; Li, Xiaoman; Hu, Haiyan
The identification of enhancer-target gene (ETG) pairs is vital for the understanding of gene transcriptional regulation. Experimental approaches such as Hi-C have generated valuable resources of ETG pairs. Several computational methods have also been developed to successfully predict ETG interactions. Despite these progresses, high-throughput experimental approaches are still costly and existing computational approaches are still suboptimal and not easy to apply. Here we developed a motif module based approach called PETModule that predicts ETG pairs. Tested on eight human cell types and two mouse cell types, we showed that a large number of our predictions were supported by Hi-C and/or ChIA-PET experiments. Compared with two recently developed approaches for ETG pair prediction, we shown that PETModule had a much better recall, a similar or better F1 score, and a larger area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. The PETModule tool is freely available at http://hulab.ucf.edu/research/projects/PETModule/. PMID:27436110
Younge, Kelly C; Roberts, Don; Janes, Lindsay A; Anderson, Carlos; Moran, Jean M; Matuszak, Martha M
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of an aperture complexity metric for volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans to predict plan delivery accuracy. We developed a complexity analysis tool as a plug-in script to Varian's Eclipse treatment planning system. This script reports the modulation of plans, arcs, and individual control points for VMAT plans using a previously developed complexity metric. The calculated complexities are compared to that of 649 VMAT plans previously treated at our institution from 2013 to mid-2015. We used the VMAT quality assurance (QA) results from the 649 treated plans, plus 62 plans that failed pretreatment QA, to validate the ability of the complexity metric to predict plan deliverability. We used a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to determine an appropriate complexity threshold value above which a plan should be considered for reoptimization before it moves further through our planning workflow. The average complexity metric for the 649 treated plans analyzed with the script was 0.132 mm-1 with a standard deviation of 0.036 mm-1. We found that when using a threshold complexity value of 0.180 mm-1, the true positive rate for correctly identifying plans that failed QA was 44%, and the false-positive rate was 7%. Used clinically with this threshold, the script can identify overly modulated plans and thus prevent a significant portion of QA failures. Reducing VMAT plan complexity has a number of important clinical benefits, including improving plan deliverability and reducing treatment time. Use of the complexity metric during both the planning and QA processes can reduce the number of QA failures and improve the quality of VMAT plans used for treatment. PACS number(s): 87.55.de, 87.55.Qr, 87.56.jk.
Younge, Kelly C; Roberts, Don; Janes, Lindsay A; Anderson, Carlos; Moran, Jean M; Matuszak, Martha M
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of an aperture complexity metric for volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans to predict plan delivery accuracy. We developed a complexity analysis tool as a plug-in script to Varian's Eclipse treatment planning system. This script reports the modulation of plans, arcs, and individual control points for VMAT plans using a previously developed complexity metric. The calculated complexities are compared to that of 649 VMAT plans previously treated at our institution from 2013 to mid-2015. We used the VMAT quality assurance (QA) results from the 649 treated plans, plus 62 plans that failed pretreatment QA, to validate the ability of the complexity metric to predict plan deliverability. We used a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to determine an appropriate complexity threshold value above which a plan should be considered for reoptimization before it moves further through our planning workflow. The average complexity metric for the 649 treated plans analyzed with the script was 0.132 mm-1 with a standard deviation of 0.036 mm-1. We found that when using a threshold complexity value of 0.180 mm-1, the true positive rate for correctly identifying plans that failed QA was 44%, and the false-positive rate was 7%. Used clinically with this threshold, the script can identify overly modulated plans and thus prevent a significant portion of QA failures. Reducing VMAT plan complexity has a number of important clinical benefits, including improving plan deliverability and reducing treatment time. Use of the complexity metric during both the planning and QA processes can reduce the number of QA failures and improve the quality of VMAT plans used for treatment.
Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M
Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies.
Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M
Summary Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator–prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator–prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. PMID:25265905
Heath, Christopher J.; Picciotto, Marina R.
Summary Despite a great deal of progress, more than 10% of pregnant women in the USA smoke. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated correlations between developmental tobacco smoke exposure and sensory processing deficits, as well as a number of neuropsychiatric conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Significantly, data from animal models of developmental nicotine exposure have suggested that the nicotine in tobacco contributes significantly to the effects of developmental smoke exposure. Consequently, we hypothesize that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are critical for setting and refining the strength of corticothalamic-thalamocortical loops during critical periods of development and that disruption of this process by developmental nicotine exposure can result in long-lasting dysregulation of sensory processing. The ability of nAChR activation to modulate synaptic plasticity is likely to underlie the effects of both endogenous cholinergic signaling and pharmacologically-administered nicotine to alter cellular, physiological and behavioral processes during critical periods of development. PMID:18692078
Ziauddeen, Hisham; Vestergaard, Martin D.; Spencer, Tom
are modulated by the brain chemical dopamine are sensitive to reward variability. Here, we aimed to directly relate dopamine to learning about variable rewards, and the neural encoding of associated teaching signals. We perturbed dopamine in healthy individuals using dopaminergic medication and asked them to predict variable rewards while we made brain scans. Dopamine perturbations impaired learning and the neural encoding of reward variability, thus establishing a direct link between dopamine and adaptation to reward variability. These results aid our understanding of clinical conditions associated with dopaminergic dysfunction, such as psychosis. PMID:28202786
Diederen, Kelly M J; Ziauddeen, Hisham; Vestergaard, Martin D; Spencer, Tom; Schultz, Wolfram; Fletcher, Paul C
are modulated by the brain chemical dopamine are sensitive to reward variability. Here, we aimed to directly relate dopamine to learning about variable rewards, and the neural encoding of associated teaching signals. We perturbed dopamine in healthy individuals using dopaminergic medication and asked them to predict variable rewards while we made brain scans. Dopamine perturbations impaired learning and the neural encoding of reward variability, thus establishing a direct link between dopamine and adaptation to reward variability. These results aid our understanding of clinical conditions associated with dopaminergic dysfunction, such as psychosis.
Ouchi, Yoshitaka; Meguro, Kenichi; Akanuma, Kyoko; Kato, Yuriko; Yamaguchi, Satoshi
Background. Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients have a poor response to the voices of caregivers. After administration of donepezil, caregivers often find that patients respond more frequently, whereas they had previously pretended to be “deaf.” We investigated whether auditory selective attention is associated with response to donepezil. Methods. The subjects were40 AD patients, 20 elderly healthy controls (HCs), and 15 young HCs. Pure tone audiometry was conducted and an original Auditory Selective Attention (ASA) test was performed with a MoCA vigilance test. Reassessment of the AD group was performed after donepezil treatment for 3 months. Results. Hearing level of the AD group was the same as that of the elderly HC group. However, ASA test scores decreased in the AD group and were correlated with the vigilance test scores. Donepezil responders (MMSE 3+) also showed improvement on the ASA test. At baseline, the responders had higher vigilance and lower ASA test scores. Conclusion. Contrary to the common view, AD patients had a similar level of hearing ability to healthy elderly. Auditory attention was impaired in AD patients, which suggests that unnecessary sounds should be avoided in nursing homes. Auditory selective attention is associated with response to donepezil in AD. PMID:26161001
The aim of present research was to describe the relation of six-year-old children's attention and reading readiness skills (general knowledge, word comprehension, sentences, and matching) with their auditory reasoning and processing skills. This was a quantitative study based on scanning model. Research sampling consisted of 204 kindergarten…
Lahey, Benjamin B.; Willcutt, Erik G.
Three subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on numbers of symptoms of inattention (I) and hyperactivity-impulsivity (HI) were defined in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (4th ed.) to reduce heterogeneity of the disorder, but the subtypes proved to be highly unstable over time. A continuous…
Whedon, Margaret; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann
Theoretical perspectives of cognitive development have maintained that functional integration of the prefrontal cortex across infancy underlies the emergence of attentional control and higher cognitive abilities in early childhood. To investigate these proposed relations, we tested whether functional integration of prefrontal regions across the…
Chronis, Andrea M.; Lahey, Benjamin B.; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Williams, Stephanie Hall; Baumann, Barbara L.; Kipp, Heidi; Jones, Heather A.; Rathouz, Paul J.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for adverse outcomes such as substance abuse and criminality, particularly if they develop conduct problems. Little is known about early predictors of the developmental course of conduct problems among children with ADHD, however. Parental psychopathology and parenting …
Gorlin, Eugenia I; Dalrymple, Kristy; Chelminski, Iwona; Zimmerman, Mark
Despite growing recognition that the symptoms and functional impairments of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) persist into adulthood, only a few psychometrically sound diagnostic measures have been developed for the assessment of ADHD in adults, and none have been validated for use in a broad treatment-seeking psychiatric sample. The current study presents the reliability and validity of a semi-structured DSM-based diagnostic interview module for ADHD, which was administered to 1194 adults presenting to an outpatient psychiatric practice. The module showed excellent internal consistency and interrater reliability, good convergent and discriminant validity (as indexed by relatively high correlations with self-report measures of ADHD and ADHD-related constructs and little or no correlation with other, non-ADHD symptom domains), and good construct validity (as indexed by significantly higher rates of psychosocial impairment and self-reported family history of ADHD in individuals who meet criteria for an ADHD diagnosis). This instrument is thus a reliable and valid diagnostic tool for the detection of ADHD in adults presenting for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.
This article applies the phenomenological model of attention to plant monitoring of environmental stimuli and signal perception. Three complementary definitions of attention as selectivity, modulation and perdurance are explained with reference to plant signaling and behaviors, including foraging, ramet placement and abiotic stress communication. Elements of animal and human attentive attitudes are compared with plant attention at the levels of cognitive focus, context and margin. It is argued that the concept of attention holds the potential of becoming a cornerstone of plant intelligence studies. PMID:23425923
This article applies the phenomenological model of attention to plant monitoring of environmental stimuli and signal perception. Three complementary definitions of attention as selectivity, modulation and perdurance are explained with reference to plant signaling and behaviors, including foraging, ramet placement and abiotic stress communication. Elements of animal and human attentive attitudes are compared with plant attention at the levels of cognitive focus, context and margin. It is argued that the concept of attention holds the potential of becoming a cornerstone of plant intelligence studies.
Trivedi, Pankaj; Anderson, Ian C; Singh, Brajesh K
Soil organic carbon performs a number of functions in ecosystems and it is clear that microbial communities play important roles in land-atmosphere carbon (C) exchange and soil C storage. In this review, we discuss microbial modulators of soil C storage, 'omics'-based approaches to characterize microbial system interactions impacting terrestrial C sequestration, and how data related to microbial composition and activities can be incorporated into mechanistic and predictive models. We argue that although making direct linkage of genomes to global phenomena is a significant challenge, many connections at intermediate scales are viable with integrated application of new systems biology approaches and powerful analytical and modelling techniques. This integration could enhance our capability to develop and evaluate microbial strategies for capturing and sequestering atmospheric CO2.
Snook, Allen David
Through a variety of imbedded theoretical and actual antenna patterns, the array simulation platform (ASP) enhanced analysis of the array antenna pattern effects for the KTx (Ku-Band Transmit) service of the NDLM (NASA Data Link Module). The ASP utilizes internally stored models of the NDLM antennas and can develop the overall pattern of antenna arrays through common array calculation techniques. ASP expertly assisted in the diagnosing of element phase shifter errors during KTx testing and was able to accurately predict the overall array pattern from combinations of the four internally held element patterns. This paper provides an overview of the use of the ASP software in the solving of array mis-phasing problems.
Kumar, Ashwani; Chauhan, Shilpi
Silent information regulator 2 homologue one (SIRT1) modulators have therapeutic potential for a number of diseases like cardiovascular, metabolic, inflammatory and age related disorders. Here, we have studied both activators and inhibitors of SIRT1 and constructed differential quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) models using CORAL software by Monte Carlo optimization method and SMILES notation. 3 splits divided into 3 subsets: sub-training, calibration and test sets, were examined and validated with a prediction set. All the described models were statistically significant models. The values of sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and Matthews' correlation coefficient for the validation set of best model were 1.0000, 0.8889, 0.9524 and 0.9058, respectively. In mechanistic interpretation, structural features important for SIRT1 activation and inhibition have been defined.
Kim, Bung-Nyun; Kim, Jae-Won; Cummins, Tarrant D R; Bellgrove, Mark A; Hawi, Ziarih; Hong, Soon-Beom; Yang, Young-Hui; Kim, Hyo-Jin; Shin, Min-Sup; Cho, Soo-Churl; Kim, Ji-Hoon; Son, Jung-Woo; Shin, Yun-Mi; Chung, Un-Sun; Han, Doug-Hyun
Noradrenergic dysfunction may be associated with cognitive impairments in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including increased response time variability, which has been proposed as a leading endophenotype for ADHD. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between polymorphisms in the α-2A-adrenergic receptor (ADRA2A) and norepinephrine transporter (SLC6A2) genes and attentional performance in ADHD children before and after pharmacological treatment.One hundred one medication-naive ADHD children were included. All subjects were administered methylphenidate (MPH)-OROS for 12 weeks. The subjects underwent a computerized comprehensive attention test to measure the response time variability at baseline before MPH treatment and after 12 weeks. Additive regression analyses controlling for ADHD symptom severity, age, sex, IQ, and final dose of MPH examined the association between response time variability on the comprehensive attention test measures and allelic variations in single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the ADRA2A and SLC6A2 before and after MPH treatment.Increasing possession of an A allele at the G1287A polymorphism of SLC6A2 was significantly related to heightened response time variability at baseline in the sustained (P = 2.0 × 10) and auditory selective attention (P = 1.0 × 10) tasks. Response time variability at baseline increased additively with possession of the T allele at the DraI polymorphism of the ADRA2A gene in the auditory selective attention task (P = 2.0 × 10). After medication, increasing possession of a G allele at the MspI polymorphism of the ADRA2A gene was associated with increased MPH-related change in response time variability in the flanker task (P = 1.0 × 10).Our study suggested an association between norepinephrine gene variants and response time variability measured at baseline and after MPH treatment in children with ADHD. Our results add to a growing body of evidence, suggesting that response time
Cano-Colino, Maria; Almeida, Rita; Compte, Albert
Serotonin (5-HT) receptors of types 1A and 2A are strongly expressed in prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons, an area associated with cognitive function. Hence, 5-HT could be effective in modulating prefrontal-dependent cognitive functions, such as spatial working memory (SWM). However, a direct association between 5-HT and SWM has proved elusive in psycho-pharmacological studies. Recently, a computational network model of the PFC microcircuit was used to explore the relationship between 5-HT and SWM (Cano-Colino et al., 2013). This study found that both excessive and insufficient 5-HT levels lead to impaired SWM performance in the network, and it concluded that analyzing behavioral responses based on confidence reports could facilitate the experimental identification of SWM behavioral effects of 5-HT neuromodulation. Such analyses may have confounds based on our limited understanding of metacognitive processes. Here, we extend these results by deriving three additional predictions from the model that do not rely on confidence reports. Firstly, only excessive levels of 5-HT should result in SWM deficits that increase with delay duration. Secondly, excessive 5-HT baseline concentration makes the network vulnerable to distractors at distances that were robust to distraction in control conditions, while the network still ignores distractors efficiently for low 5-HT levels that impair SWM. Finally, 5-HT modulates neuronal memory fields in neurophysiological experiments: Neurons should be better tuned to the cued stimulus than to the behavioral report for excessive 5-HT levels, while the reverse should happen for low 5-HT concentrations. In all our simulations agonists of 5-HT1A receptors and antagonists of 5-HT2A receptors produced behavioral and physiological effects in line with global 5-HT level increases. Our model makes specific predictions to be tested experimentally and advance our understanding of the neural basis of SWM and its neuromodulation by 5-HT receptors
The effect of water content on the predictions of the Cloud Rise Module (CRM) of the Defense Land Fallout Information Code, (DELFIC) was examined. Problems with the theory of the CRM were found, especially how it handled the cloud's water content. The source code of the CRM was also found to have some contradictions with its documentation. All of the problems found with the CRM were addressed and a new version of DELFIC was created. This new version was then used to examine the predicted nuclear cloud height and volume for different humidity profiles and surface-water mass loading of the cloud. Increasing the atmospheric humidity resulted in a higher stabilized cloud top altitude and larger volume; increasing the surface water loading resulted in a lower stabilized cloud top and a smaller cloud volume. The effect of soil loading was examined, and found to produce only slight changes in the stabilized cloud top and volume. Results found with the revised CRM were compared to the results found using the original CRM. Both versions followed the same trends as the humidity profiles were changed, but the results found for the surface water loading case were very divergent. The differences in the results of the two versions suggest the results of the revised CRM are more valid.
Mundel, Hannah; Treiber, Lara; Dufour, Pascal; Coish, Nicholas; Fischer, Anton; Myrskog, Stefan
Accurate predictive energy modelling of a solar farm requires a thorough understanding of solar spectral variations, along with the spectral response and optical properties of the photovoltaic system. This paper investigates the minimum data required to accurately predict power output from CPV modules, comparing modelled output to both measured data and the existing method used by Sandia PV Array Performance Model (SAPM). Three models were derived based on various weather inputs. A Detailed Spectral Model (DS) uses SMARTS, inputting measured air mass, aerosols, ozone and water content, and incorporating measured DNI to account for cloudy days. The Sub-System Algebraic Model (SSA) removes the need for instantaneous spectrum calculations by creating equations for each sub-cell and DNI, based on the same inputs as the DS. These two models rely heavily on aerosol, which is not readily available. Alternatively, an Empirical model (EMP) may be used to determine the relationship between measured output power and easily measureable weather data (ambient temperature, air mass, direct normal irradiance and water content). These non-linear DS, SSA and EMP models have a bias error of 3.09 %, 4.24 % and -0.67 %, respectively. It was also found that the SSA model can be used in lieu of the SAPM.
Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Ament, Seth A.; Eddy, James A.; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra L.; Schatz, Bruce R.; Price, Nathan D.; Robinson, Gene E.
Using brain transcriptomic profiles from 853 individual honey bees exhibiting 48 distinct behavioral phenotypes in naturalistic contexts, we report that behavior-specific neurogenomic states can be inferred from the coordinated action of transcription factors (TFs) and their predicted target genes. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of these transcriptomic profiles showed three clusters that correspond to three ecologically important behavioral categories: aggression, maturation, and foraging. To explore the genetic influences potentially regulating these behavior-specific neurogenomic states, we reconstructed a brain transcriptional regulatory network (TRN) model. This brain TRN quantitatively predicts with high accuracy gene expression changes of more than 2,000 genes involved in behavior, even for behavioral phenotypes on which it was not trained, suggesting that there is a core set of TFs that regulates behavior-specific gene expression in the bee brain, and other TFs more specific to particular categories. TFs playing key roles in the TRN include well-known regulators of neural and behavioral plasticity, e.g., Creb, as well as TFs better known in other biological contexts, e.g., NF-κB (immunity). Our results reveal three insights concerning the relationship between genes and behavior. First, distinct behaviors are subserved by distinct neurogenomic states in the brain. Second, the neurogenomic states underlying different behaviors rely upon both shared and distinct transcriptional modules. Third, despite the complexity of the brain, simple linear relationships between TFs and their putative target genes are a surprisingly prominent feature of the networks underlying behavior. PMID:21960440
Fleming, Andrew P; McMahon, Robert J; King, Kevin M
Structured observations of parent-child interactions are commonly used in research and clinical settings, but require additional empirical support. The current study examined the capacity of child-directed play, parent-directed play, and parent-directed chore interaction analogs to uniquely predict the development of conduct problems across a 6-year follow-up period. Parent-child observations were collected from 338 families from high-risk neighborhoods during the summer following the child's first-grade year. Participating children were 49.2 % female, 54.4 % white, and 45.6 % black, and had an average age of 7.52 years at the first assessment. Conduct problems were assessed via parent report and teacher report at five assessment points between first grade and seventh grade. Latent growth curve modeling was used to analyze predictors of conduct problem trajectory across this 6-year follow-up period. When race, sex, socioeconomic status, and maternal depressive symptoms were controlled, parental negative attention during child-directed play predicted higher levels of parent-reported conduct problems concurrently and after a 6-year follow-up period. Parental negative attention during child-directed play also predicted higher teacher-reported conduct problems 6 years later. Findings support the use of child-directed play and parent-directed chore analogs in predicting longitudinal development of conduct problems. The presence of parental negative attention during child-directed play appears to be an especially important predictor of greater conduct problems over time and across multiple domains. Additionally, the potential importance of task-incongruent behavior is proposed for further study.
Romero, Nuria; De Raedt, Rudi
The present study aimed to clarify: 1) the presence of depression-related attention bias related to a social stressor, 2) its association with depression-related attention biases as measured under standard conditions, and 3) their association with impaired stress recovery in depression. A sample of 39 participants reporting a broad range of depression levels completed a standard eye-tracking paradigm in which they had to engage/disengage their gaze with/from emotional faces. Participants then underwent a stress induction (i.e., giving a speech), in which their eye movements to false emotional feedback were measured, and stress reactivity and recovery were assessed. Depression level was associated with longer times to engage/disengage attention with/from negative faces under standard conditions and with sustained attention to negative feedback during the speech. These depression-related biases were associated and mediated the association between depression level and self-reported stress recovery, predicting lower recovery from stress after giving the speech. PMID:28362826
Frey, Julia Natascha; Ruhnau, Philipp; Weisz, Nathan
Scientific research from the last two decades has provided a vast amount of evidence that brain oscillations reflect physiological activity enabling diverse cognitive processes. The goal of this review is to give a broad empirical and conceptual overview of how ongoing oscillatory activity may support attention processes. Keeping in mind that definitions of cognitive constructs like attention are prone to being blurry and ambiguous, the present review focuses mainly on the neural correlates of 'top-down' attention deployment. In particular, we will discuss modulations of (ongoing) oscillatory activity during spatial, temporal, selective, and internal attention. Across these seemingly distinct attentional domains, we will summarize studies showing the involvement of two oscillatory processes observed during attention deployment: power modulations mainly in the alpha band, and phase modulations in lower frequency bands. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention.
McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.
Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind-wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted…
Lahey, Benjamin B.; Pelham, William E.; Chronis, Andrea; Massetti, Greta; Kipp, Heidi; Ehrhardt, Ashley; Lee, Steve S.
Background: Little is known about the predictive validity of hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) as defined by the Diagnostic Criteria for Research for mental and behavioral disorders of the tenth edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10; World Health Organization, 1993), particularly when the diagnosis is given to younger children.…
Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A
Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another.
Miltenberger, A. K.; Pfahl, S.; Wernli, H.
A module to calculate online trajectories has been implemented into the nonhydrostatic limited-area weather prediction and climate model COSMO. Whereas offline trajectories are calculated with wind fields from model output, which is typically available every one to six hours, online trajectories use the simulated resolved wind field at every model time step (typically less than a minute) to solve the trajectory equation. As a consequence, online trajectories much better capture the short-term temporal fluctuations of the wind field, which is particularly important for mesoscale flows near topography and convective clouds, and they do not suffer from temporal interpolation errors between model output times. The numerical implementation of online trajectories in the COSMO-model is based upon an established offline trajectory tool and takes full account of the horizontal domain decomposition that is used for parallelization of the COSMO-model. Although a perfect workload balance cannot be achieved for the trajectory module (due to the fact that trajectory positions are not necessarily equally distributed over the model domain), the additional computational costs are found to be fairly small for the high-resolution simulations described in this paper. The computational costs may, however, vary strongly depending on the number of trajectories and trace variables. Various options have been implemented to initialize online trajectories at different locations and times during the model simulation. As a first application of the new COSMO-model module, an Alpine north foehn event in summer 1987 has been simulated with horizontal resolutions of 2.2, 7 and 14 km. It is shown that low-tropospheric trajectories calculated offline with one- to six-hourly wind fields can significantly deviate from trajectories calculated online. Deviations increase with decreasing model grid spacing and are particularly large in regions of deep convection and strong orographic flow distortion. On
Chládková, Kateřina; Escudero, Paola; Lipski, Silvia C
In some languages (e.g. Czech), changes in vowel duration affect word meaning, while in others (e.g. Spanish) they do not. Yet for other languages (e.g. Dutch), the linguistic role of vowel duration remains unclear. To reveal whether Dutch represents vowel length in its phonology, we compared auditory pre-attentive duration processing in native and non-native vowels across Dutch, Czech, and Spanish. Dutch duration sensitivity patterned with Czech but was larger than Spanish in the native vowel, while it was smaller than Czech and Spanish in the non-native vowel. An interpretation of these findings suggests that in Dutch, duration is used phonemically but it might be relevant for the identity of certain native vowels only. Furthermore, the finding that Spanish listeners are more sensitive to duration in non-native than in native vowels indicates that a lack of duration differences in one's native language could be beneficial for second-language learning.
Feldman, Greg; Greeson, Jeff; Renna, Megan; Robbins-Monteith, Kendra
Many young adult drivers read and send text messages while driving despite clear safety risks. Understanding predictors of texting-while-driving may help to indentify relevant targets for interventions to reduce this dangerous behavior. The present study examined whether individual differences in mindfulness is associated with texting-while-driving in a sample of young-adult drivers. Using path analysis, we tested whether this relationship would be mediated by the degree to which individuals use text-messaging as a means of reducing unpleasant emotions (emotion-regulation motives) and the degree to which individuals limit texting in order to focus on present-moment experiences (attention-regulation motives). Individuals lower in mindfulness reported more frequent texting-while-driving and this relationship appeared to be mediated primarily by emotion-regulation motives. Results may help inform the development of mindfulness-based interventions to prevent texting-while-driving. PMID:22031789
Feldman, Greg; Greeson, Jeff; Renna, Megan; Robbins-Monteith, Kendra
Many young adult drivers read and send text messages while driving despite clear safety risks. Understanding predictors of texting-while-driving may help to indentify relevant targets for interventions to reduce this dangerous behavior. The present study examined whether individual differences in mindfulness is associated with texting-while-driving in a sample of young-adult drivers. Using path analysis, we tested whether this relationship would be mediated by the degree to which individuals use text-messaging as a means of reducing unpleasant emotions (emotion-regulation motives) and the degree to which individuals limit texting in order to focus on present-moment experiences (attention-regulation motives). Individuals lower in mindfulness reported more frequent texting-while-driving and this relationship appeared to be mediated primarily by emotion-regulation motives. Results may help inform the development of mindfulness-based interventions to prevent texting-while-driving.
High cancer death rates indicate the need for new anticancer therapeutic agents. Approaches to discovering new cancer drugs include target-based drug discovery and phenotypic screening. Here, we identified phosphodiesterase 3A modulators as cell-selective cancer cytotoxic compounds through phenotypic compound library screening and target deconvolution by predictive chemogenomics.
Griebel, Guy; Pichat, Philippe; Boulay, Denis; Naimoli, Vanessa; Potestio, Lisa; Featherstone, Robert; Sahni, Sukhveen; Defex, Henry; Desvignes, Christophe; Slowinski, Franck; Vigé, Xavier; Bergis, Olivier E.; Sher, Rosy; Kosley, Raymond; Kongsamut, Sathapana; Black, Mark D.; Varty, Geoffrey B.
Normalization of altered glutamate neurotransmission through activation of the mGluR2 has emerged as a new approach to treat schizophrenia. These studies describe a potent brain penetrant mGluR2 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), SAR218645. The compound behaves as a selective PAM of mGluR2 in recombinant and native receptor expression systems, increasing the affinity of glutamate at mGluR2 as inferred by competition and GTPγ35S binding assays. SAR218645 augmented the mGluR2-mediated response to glutamate in a rat recombinant mGluR2 forced-coupled Ca2+ mobilization assay. SAR218645 potentiated mGluR2 agonist-induced contralateral turning. When SAR218645 was tested in models of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, it reduced head twitch behavior induced by DOI, but it failed to inhibit conditioned avoidance and hyperactivity using pharmacological and transgenic models. Results from experiments in models of the cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia showed that SAR218645 improved MK-801-induced episodic memory deficits in rats and attenuated working memory impairment in NMDA Nr1neo−/− mice. The drug reversed disrupted latent inhibition and auditory-evoked potential in mice and rats, respectively, two endophenotypes of schizophrenia. This profile positions SAR218645 as a promising candidate for the treatment of cognitive symptoms of patients with schizophrenia, in particular those with abnormal attention and sensory gating abilities. PMID:27734956
Griebel, Guy; Pichat, Philippe; Boulay, Denis; Naimoli, Vanessa; Potestio, Lisa; Featherstone, Robert; Sahni, Sukhveen; Defex, Henry; Desvignes, Christophe; Slowinski, Franck; Vigé, Xavier; Bergis, Olivier E; Sher, Rosy; Kosley, Raymond; Kongsamut, Sathapana; Black, Mark D; Varty, Geoffrey B
Normalization of altered glutamate neurotransmission through activation of the mGluR2 has emerged as a new approach to treat schizophrenia. These studies describe a potent brain penetrant mGluR2 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), SAR218645. The compound behaves as a selective PAM of mGluR2 in recombinant and native receptor expression systems, increasing the affinity of glutamate at mGluR2 as inferred by competition and GTPγ(35)S binding assays. SAR218645 augmented the mGluR2-mediated response to glutamate in a rat recombinant mGluR2 forced-coupled Ca(2+) mobilization assay. SAR218645 potentiated mGluR2 agonist-induced contralateral turning. When SAR218645 was tested in models of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, it reduced head twitch behavior induced by DOI, but it failed to inhibit conditioned avoidance and hyperactivity using pharmacological and transgenic models. Results from experiments in models of the cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia showed that SAR218645 improved MK-801-induced episodic memory deficits in rats and attenuated working memory impairment in NMDA Nr1(neo-/-) mice. The drug reversed disrupted latent inhibition and auditory-evoked potential in mice and rats, respectively, two endophenotypes of schizophrenia. This profile positions SAR218645 as a promising candidate for the treatment of cognitive symptoms of patients with schizophrenia, in particular those with abnormal attention and sensory gating abilities.
Horn-Hofmann, Claudia; Priebe, Janosch A; Schaller, Jörg; Görlitz, Rüdiger; Lautenbacher, Stefan
In recent years the association of conditioned pain modulation (CPM) with trait fear and anxiety has become a hot topic in pain research due to the assumption that such variables may explain the low CPM efficiency in some individuals. However, empirical evidence concerning this association is still equivocal. Our study is the first to investigate the predictive power of fear and anxiety for CPM by using a well-established psycho-physiological measure of trait fear, i.e. startle potentiation, in addition to two self-report measures of pain-related trait anxiety. Forty healthy, pain-free participants (female: N = 20; age: M = 23.62 years) underwent two experimental blocks in counter-balanced order: (1) a startle paradigm with affective picture presentation and (2) a CPM procedure with hot water as conditioning stimulus (CS) and contact heat as test stimulus (TS). At the end of the experimental session, pain catastrophizing (PCS) and pain anxiety (PASS) were assessed. PCS score, PASS score and startle potentiation to threatening pictures were entered as predictors in a linear regression model with CPM magnitude as criterion. We were able to show an inhibitory CPM effect in our sample: pain ratings of the heat stimuli were significantly reduced during hot water immersion. However, CPM was neither predicted by self-report of pain-related anxiety nor by startle potentiation as psycho-physiological measure of trait fear. These results corroborate previous negative findings concerning the association between trait fear/anxiety and CPM efficiency and suggest that shifting the focus from trait to state measures might be promising.
Sumida, Iori; Yamaguchi, Hajime; Kizaki, Hisao; Aboshi, Keiko; Tsujii, Mari; Yamada, Yuji; Yagi, Masashi; Ogawa, Kazuhiko
Pretreatment dose verification with beam-by-beam analysis for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is commonly performed with a gantry angle of 0° using a 2D diode detector array. Any changes in multileaf collimator (MLC) position between the actual treatment gantry angle and 0° may result in deviations from the planned dose. We evaluated the effects of MLC positioning errors between the actual treatment gantry angles and nominal gantry angles. A gantry angle correction (GAC) factor was generated by performing a non-gap test at various gantry angles using an electronic portal imaging device (EPID). To convert pixel intensity to dose at the MLC abutment positions, a non-gap test was performed using an EPID and a film at 0° gantry angle. We then assessed the correlations between pixel intensities and doses. Beam-by-beam analyses for 15 prostate IMRT cases as patient-specific quality assurance were performed with a 2D diode detector array at 0° gantry angle to determine the relative dose error for each beam. The resulting relative dose error with or without GAC was added back to the original dose grid for each beam. We compared the predicted dose distributions with or without GAC for film measurements to validate GAC effects. A gamma pass rate with a tolerance of 2%/2 mm was used to evaluate these dose distributions. The gamma pass rate with GAC was higher than that without GAC (P = 0.01). The predicted dose distribution improved with GAC, although the dosimetric effect to a patient was minimal. PMID:25742866
Sumida, Iori; Yamaguchi, Hajime; Kizaki, Hisao; Aboshi, Keiko; Tsujii, Mari; Yamada, Yuji; Yagi, Masashi; Ogawa, Kazuhiko
Pretreatment dose verification with beam-by-beam analysis for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is commonly performed with a gantry angle of 0° using a 2D diode detector array. Any changes in multileaf collimator (MLC) position between the actual treatment gantry angle and 0° may result in deviations from the planned dose. We evaluated the effects of MLC positioning errors between the actual treatment gantry angles and nominal gantry angles. A gantry angle correction (GAC) factor was generated by performing a non-gap test at various gantry angles using an electronic portal imaging device (EPID). To convert pixel intensity to dose at the MLC abutment positions, a non-gap test was performed using an EPID and a film at 0° gantry angle. We then assessed the correlations between pixel intensities and doses. Beam-by-beam analyses for 15 prostate IMRT cases as patient-specific quality assurance were performed with a 2D diode detector array at 0° gantry angle to determine the relative dose error for each beam. The resulting relative dose error with or without GAC was added back to the original dose grid for each beam. We compared the predicted dose distributions with or without GAC for film measurements to validate GAC effects. A gamma pass rate with a tolerance of 2%/2 mm was used to evaluate these dose distributions. The gamma pass rate with GAC was higher than that without GAC (P = 0.01). The predicted dose distribution improved with GAC, although the dosimetric effect to a patient was minimal.
Hacke, P.; Smith, R.; Terwiliger, K.; Glick, S.; Jordan, D.; Johnston, S.; Kempe, M.; Kurtz, S.
Acceleration factors are calculated for crystalline silicon PV modules under system voltage stress by comparing the module power during degradation outdoors to that in accelerated testing at three temperatures and 85% relative humidity. A lognormal analysis is applied to the accelerated lifetime test data considering failure at 80% of the initial module power. Activation energy of 0.73 eV for the rate of failure is determined, and the probability of module failure at an arbitrary temperature is predicted. To obtain statistical data for multiple modules over the course of degradation in-situ of the test chamber, dark I-V measurements are obtained and transformed using superposition, which is found well suited for rapid and quantitative evaluation of potential-induced degradation. It is determined that shunt resistance measurements alone do not represent the extent of power degradation. This is explained with a two-diode model analysis that shows an increasing second diode recombination current and ideality factor as the degradation in module power progresses. Failure modes of the modules stressed outdoors are examined and compared to those stressed in accelerated tests.
Jiang, Xiling; Zhuang, Yanli; Xu, Zhenhua; Wang, Weirong; Zhou, Honghui
Disease-mediated therapeutic protein-drug interactions have recently gained attention from regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical industries in the development of new biological products. In this study, we developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model using SimCYP to predict the impact of elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels on cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and the treatment effect of an anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody, sirukumab, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A virtual RA patient population was first constructed by incorporating the impact of systemic IL-6 level on hepatic and intestinal expression of multiple CYP enzymes with information from in vitro studies. Then, a PBPK model for CYP enzyme substrates was developed for healthy adult subjects. After incorporating the virtual RA patient population, the PBPK model was applied to quantitatively predict pharmacokinetics of multiple CYP substrates in RA patients before and after sirukumab treatment from a clinical cocktail drug interaction study. The results suggested that, compared with observed clinical data, changes in systemic exposure to multiple CYP substrates by anti-IL-6 treatment in virtual RA patients have been reasonably captured by the PBPK model, as manifested by modulations in area under plasma concentration versus time curves for midazolam, omeprazole, S-warfarin, and caffeine. This PBPK model reasonably captured the modulation effect of IL-6 and sirukumab on activity of CYP3A, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP1A2 and holds the potential to be utilized to assess the modulation effect of sirukumab on the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of concomitant small-molecule drugs in RA patients.
Bhowmik, Arka; Repaka, Ramjee; Mulaveesala, Ravibabu; Mishra, Subhash C
A theoretical study on the quantification of surface thermal response of cancerous human skin using the frequency modulated thermal wave imaging (FMTWI) technique has been presented in this article. For the first time, the use of the FMTWI technique for the detection and the differentiation of skin cancer has been demonstrated in this article. A three dimensional multilayered skin has been considered with the counter-current blood vessels in individual skin layers along with different stages of cancerous lesions based on geometrical, thermal and physical parameters available in the literature. Transient surface thermal responses of melanoma during FMTWI of skin cancer have been obtained by integrating the heat transfer model for biological tissue along with the flow model for blood vessels. It has been observed from the numerical results that, flow of blood in the subsurface region leads to a substantial alteration on the surface thermal response of the human skin. The alteration due to blood flow further causes a reduction in the performance of the thermal imaging technique during the thermal evaluation of earliest melanoma stages (small volume) compared to relatively large volume. Based on theoretical study, it has been predicted that the method is suitable for detection and differentiation of melanoma with comparatively large volume than the earliest development stages (small volume). The study has also performed phase based image analysis of the raw thermograms to resolve the different stages of melanoma volume. The phase images have been found to be clearly individuate the different development stages of melanoma compared to raw thermograms.
Galli, Giulia; Griffiths, Victoria A; Otten, Leun J
It has been shown that the effectiveness with which unpleasant events are encoded into memory is related to brain activity set in train before the events. Here, we assessed whether encoding-related activity before an aversive event can be modulated by emotion regulation. Electrical brain activity was recorded from the scalps of healthy women while they performed an incidental encoding task on randomly intermixed unpleasant and neutral visual scenes. A cue presented 1.5 s before each picture indicated the upcoming valence. In half of the blocks of trials, the instructions emphasized to let emotions arise in a natural way. In the other half, participants were asked to decrease their emotional response by adopting the perspective of a detached observer. Memory for the scenes was probed 1 day later with a recognition memory test. Brain activity before unpleasant scenes predicted later memory of the scenes, but only when participants felt their emotions and did not detach from them. The findings indicate that emotion regulation can eliminate the influence of anticipatory brain activity on memory encoding. This may be relevant for the understanding and treatment of psychiatric diseases with a memory component.
Lieber, Lysbeth; Golub, Robert (Technical Monitor)
This Final Report has been prepared by AlliedSignal Engines and Systems, Phoenix, Arizona, documenting work performed during the period May 1997 through June 1999, under the Small Engines Technology Program, Contract No. NAS3-27483, Task Order 13, ANOPP Noise Prediction for Small Engines. The report specifically covers the work performed under Subtasks 4, 5 and 6. Subtask 4 describes the application of a semi-empirical procedure for jet noise prediction, subtask 5 describes the development of a procedure to predict the effects of wing shielding, and subtask 6 describes the results of system studies of the benefits of the new noise technology on business and regional aircraft.
Elghobashi, S.; Spalding, D. B.; Srivatsa, S. K.
A formulation of the governing partial differential equations for fluid flow and reacting chemical species in a tubular combustor is presented. A numerical procedure for the solution of the governing differential equations is described, and models for chemical equilibrium and chemical kinetics calculations are presented. The chemical equilibrium model is used to characterize the hydrocarbon reactions. The chemical kinetics model is used to predict the concentrations of the oxides of nitrogen. The combustor consists of a cylindrical duct of varying cross sections with concentric streams of gaseous fuel and air entering the duct at one end. Four sample cases with specified inlet and boundary conditions are considered, and the results are discussed
Li, Peng; Zhu, Zheng H.; Meguid, S. A.
This paper studies the pulse-width pulse-frequency modulation based trajectory planning for orbital rendezvous and proximity maneuvering near a non-cooperative spacecraft in an elliptical orbit. The problem is formulated by converting the continuous control input, output from the state dependent model predictive control, into a sequence of pulses of constant magnitude by controlling firing frequency and duration of constant-magnitude thrusters. The state dependent model predictive control is derived by minimizing the control error of states and control roughness of control input for a safe, smooth and fuel efficient approaching trajectory. The resulting nonlinear programming problem is converted into a series of quadratic programming problem and solved by numerical iteration using the receding horizon strategy. The numerical results show that the proposed state dependent model predictive control with the pulse-width pulse-frequency modulation is able to effectively generate optimized trajectories using equivalent control pulses for the proximity maneuvering with less energy consumption.
Sanabria, Daniel; Madrid, Eduardo; Aranda, Clara; Ruz, María
High-density electroencephalographic recordings were used to investigate the level of analysis at which attentional expectations modulate the processing of specific stimuli from the same perceptual category but differentiated in terms of a particular non-perceptual feature: body ownership. We used a task in which colour cues predicted whether a picture of a hand stimulus belonged to the participant or to somebody else. Participants were instructed to respond whether the target was a left or a right hand. Results revealed that the ERP pattern depended on stimulus ownership and attention orienting, which influenced the visual processing of own and someone else's hands differentially. Larger amplitude for others' than for own hands was shown at the N1 deflection (at the right hemisphere). Attentional effects were found at the P2 and P3 potentials. The P2 reflected an interaction between stimulus ownership and attentional orienting, due to a larger validity effect for others' hands. At the P3 level, the data showed a significant validity effect only for self-hand stimuli. In sum, our results suggest that (1) differences as a function of stimulus ownership can be detected at early levels of stimulus processing; (2) endogenous attention can be directed to exemplars within the same category, hand stimuli in this case; (3) the effects of attention are modulated by ownership.
Schepis, Ty S; Tapscott, Brian E; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra
Substantial evidence links greater impulsivity and stress exposure to poorer smoking cessation outcomes. Results from adolescents also indicate that stress-related change in risk taking can impede cessation attempts. We investigated the effects of stress-related change in impulsivity, risk taking, attention and nicotine withdrawal, and craving in young adult smokers on time to smoking relapse in a relapse analogue paradigm. Twenty-six young adult smokers (50% women; mean age: 20.9 ± 1.8) were exposed to a stress imagery session followed by a contingency management-based relapse analogue paradigm. Participants smoked at least 5 cigarettes daily, with a mean baseline carbon monoxide (CO) level of 13.7 (± 5.1) ppm. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and paired t tests examined stress induction validity and Cox regressions of proportional hazards examined the effects of stress-related changes in nicotine withdrawal, nicotine craving, attention, impulsivity, and risk taking on time to relapse. While stress-related change in impulsivity, nicotine craving and withdrawal did not predict time to relapse (all ps > .10), greater stress-related increases in reaction time (RT) variability (p = .02) were predictive of shorter time to relapse, with trend-level findings for inattention and risk taking. Furthermore, changes in stress-related risk taking affected outcome in women more than in men, with a significant relationship between stress-related change in risk taking only in women (p = .026). Smoking cessation attempts in young adults may be adversely impacted by stress-related increases in risk taking and attentional disruption. Clinicians working with young adults attempting cessation may need to target these stress-related impairments by fostering more adaptive coping and resilience.
Siddharth, Jay; Holway, Nicholas; Parkinson, Scott J
The interplay between diet and the microbiota has been implicated in the growing frequency of chronic diseases associated with the Western lifestyle. However, the complexity and variability of microbial ecology in humans and preclinical models has hampered identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the association of the microbiota in this context. We sought to address two key questions. Can the microbial ecology of preclinical models predict human populations? And can we identify underlying principles that surpass the plasticity of microbial ecology in humans? To do this, we focused our study on diet; perhaps the most influential factor determining the composition of the gut microbiota. Beginning with a study in 'humanized' mice we identified an interactive module of 9 genera allied with Western diet intake. This module was applied to a controlled dietary study in humans. The abundance of the Western ecological module correctly predicted the dietary intake of 19/21 top and 21/21 of the bottom quartile samples inclusive of all 5 Western and 'low-fat' diet subjects, respectively. In 98 volunteers the abundance of the Western module correlated appropriately with dietary intake of saturated fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and fiber. Furthermore, it correlated with the geographical location and dietary habits of healthy adults from the Western, developing and third world. The module was also coupled to dietary intake in children (and piglets) correlating with formula (vs breast) feeding and associated with a precipitous development of the ecological module in young children. Our study provides a conceptual platform to translate microbial ecology from preclinical models to humans and identifies an ecological network module underlying the association of the gut microbiota with Western dietary habits.
Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten
A model for predicting the intelligibility of processed noisy speech is proposed. The speech-based envelope power spectrum model has a similar structure as the model of Ewert and Dau [(2000). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1181-1196], developed to account for modulation detection and masking data. The model estimates the speech-to-noise envelope power ratio, SNR(env), at the output of a modulation filterbank and relates this metric to speech intelligibility using the concept of an ideal observer. Predictions were compared to data on the intelligibility of speech presented in stationary speech-shaped noise. The model was further tested in conditions with noisy speech subjected to reverberation and spectral subtraction. Good agreement between predictions and data was found in all cases. For spectral subtraction, an analysis of the model's internal representation of the stimuli revealed that the predicted decrease of intelligibility was caused by the estimated noise envelope power exceeding that of the speech. The classical concept of the speech transmission index fails in this condition. The results strongly suggest that the signal-to-noise ratio at the output of a modulation frequency selective process provides a key measure of speech intelligibility.
Jensen, Christian Gaden; Niclasen, Janni; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Petersen, Anders; Hasselbalch, Steen Gregers
The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) measures perceived degree of inattentiveness in different contexts and is often used as a reversed indicator of mindfulness. MAAS is hypothesized to reflect a psychological trait or disposition when used outside attentional training contexts, but the long-term test-retest reliability of MAAS scores is virtually untested. It is unknown whether MAAS predicts psychological health after controlling for standardized socioeconomic status classifications. First, MAAS translated to Danish was validated psychometrically within a randomly invited healthy adult community sample (N = 490). Factor analysis confirmed that MAAS scores quantified a unifactorial construct of excellent composite reliability and consistent convergent validity. Structural equation modeling revealed that MAAS scores contributed independently to predicting psychological distress and mental health, after controlling for age, gender, income, socioeconomic occupational class, stressful life events, and social desirability (β = 0.32-.42, ps < .001). Second, MAAS scores showed satisfactory short-term test-retest reliability in 100 retested healthy university students. Finally, MAAS sample mean scores as well as individuals' scores demonstrated satisfactory test-retest reliability across a 6 months interval in the adult community (retested N = 407), intraclass correlations ≥ .74. MAAS scores displayed significantly stronger long-term test-retest reliability than scores measuring psychological distress (z = 2.78, p = .005). Test-retest reliability estimates did not differ within demographic and socioeconomic strata. Scores on the Danish MAAS were psychometrically validated in healthy adults. MAAS's inattentiveness scores reflected a unidimensional construct, long-term reliable disposition, and a factor of independent significance for predicting psychological health. (PsycINFO Database Record
Although successful visually guided action begins with sensory processes and ends with motor control, the intervening processes related to the appropriate selection of information for processing are especially critical because of the brain's limited capacity to handle information. Three important mechanisms--attention, emotion and motivation--contribute to the prioritization and selection of information. In this chapter, the interplay between these systems is discussed with emphasis placed on interactions between attention (or immediate task relevance of stimuli) and emotion (or affective evaluation of stimuli), and between attention and motivation (or the predicted value of stimuli). Although numerous studies have shown that emotional stimuli modulate mechanisms of selective attention in humans, little work has been directed at exploring whether such interactions can be reciprocal, that is, whether attention can influence emotional response. Recent work on this question (showing that distracting information is typically devalued upon later encounters) is reviewed in the first half of the chapter. In the second half, some recent experiments exploring how prior value-prediction learning (i.e., learning to associate potential outcomes, good or bad, with specific stimuli) plays a role in visual selection and conscious perception. The results indicate that some aspects of motivation act on selection independently of traditionally defined attention and other aspects interact with it.
Willoughby, Michael T; Gottfredson, Nisha C; Stifter, Cynthia A
This study tested the prospective association between observational indicators of temperament, which were obtained across multiple assessments when children were 6-36 months of age, and parent and teacher reports of children's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors, when children were in first grade. Data were drawn from the Family Life Project and included 1,074 children for whom temperament and either parent- or teacher-reported ADHD behavioral data were available. The results of variable-centered regression models indicated that individual differences in temperament regulation, but not temperamental reactivity, was uniquely predictive of parent- and teacher-reported ADHD behaviors. Latent profile analyses were used to characterize configurations of temperamental reactivity and regulation. Person-centered regression models were subsequently estimated in which temperamental profile membership replaced continuous indicators of temperamental reactivity and regulation as predictors. The results of person-centered regression models indicated that temperamental reactivity and regulation both contributed (both alone and in combination) to the prediction of subsequent ADHD behaviors. In general, the predictive associations from early temperament to later ADHD were of modest magnitude (R 2 = .10-.17). Results are discussed with respect to interest in the early identification of children who are at elevated risk for later ADHD.
Zeier, Joshua D.; Maxwell, Jeffrey S.; Newman, Joseph P.
Primary psychopathic individuals are less apt to re-evaluate or change their behavior in response to stimuli outside of their current focus of attention. According to the response modulation hypothesis, this tendency reflects a lack of responsivity to important peripheral information and undermines adaptive self-regulation. To evaluate this hypothesis, we administered a response competition (flanker-type) task and manipulated focus of visual attention. We predicted that psychopathic individuals would display significantly less interference to response incongruent information than non-psychopathic participants when attention was cued to the target location but display normal interference when there was no pre-potent focus of attention. The results confirmed this hypothesis and are consistent with the contention that attention moderates psychopathic individuals’ responsivity to inhibitory cues. Finally, we discuss the implications of this attentional anomaly for psychopathic traits and behavior. PMID:19685952
Shao, Yong-Bo; Zhao, Ling-Juan; Yu, Hong-Yan; Qiu, Ji-Fang; Qiu, Ying-Ping; Pan, Jiao-Qing; Wang, Bao-Jun; Zhu, Hong-Liang; Wang, Wei
A novel dual-depletion-region electroabsorption modulator (DDR-EAM) based on InP at 1550 nm is fabricated. The measured capacitance and extinction ratio of the DDR-EAM reveal that the dual depletion region structure can reduce the device capacitance significantly without any degradation of extinction ratio. Moreover, the bandwidth of the DDR-EAM predicted by using an equivalent circuit model is larger than twice the bandwidth of the conventional lumped-electrode EAM (L-EAM).
Arshad, Q.; Siddiqui, S.; Ramachandran, S.; Goga, U.; Bonsu, A.; Patel, M.; Roberts, R.E.; Nigmatullina, Y.; Malhotra, P.; Bronstein, A.M.
Right hemisphere dominance for visuo-spatial attention is characteristically observed in most right-handed individuals. This dominance has been attributed to both an anatomically larger right fronto-parietal network and the existence of asymmetric parietal interhemispheric connections. Previously it has been demonstrated that interhemispheric conflict, which induces left hemisphere inhibition, results in the modulation of both (i) the excitability of the early visual cortex (V1) and (ii) the brainstem-mediated vestibular–ocular reflex (VOR) via top-down control mechanisms. However to date, it remains unknown whether the degree of an individual’s right hemisphere dominance for visuospatial function can influence, (i) the baseline excitability of the visual cortex and (ii) the extent to which the right hemisphere can exert top-down modulation. We directly tested this by correlating line bisection error (or pseudoneglect), taken as a measure of right hemisphere dominance, with both (i) visual cortical excitability measured using phosphene perception elicited via single-pulse occipital trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and (ii) the degree of trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)-mediated VOR suppression, following left hemisphere inhibition. We found that those individuals with greater right hemisphere dominance had a less excitable early visual cortex at baseline and demonstrated a greater degree of vestibular nystagmus suppression following left hemisphere cathodal tDCS. To conclude, our results provide the first demonstration that individual differences in right hemisphere dominance can directly predict both the baseline excitability of low-level brain structures and the degree of top-down modulation exerted over them. PMID:26518461
Arshad, Q; Siddiqui, S; Ramachandran, S; Goga, U; Bonsu, A; Patel, M; Roberts, R E; Nigmatullina, Y; Malhotra, P; Bronstein, A M
Right hemisphere dominance for visuo-spatial attention is characteristically observed in most right-handed individuals. This dominance has been attributed to both an anatomically larger right fronto-parietal network and the existence of asymmetric parietal interhemispheric connections. Previously it has been demonstrated that interhemispheric conflict, which induces left hemisphere inhibition, results in the modulation of both (i) the excitability of the early visual cortex (V1) and (ii) the brainstem-mediated vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) via top-down control mechanisms. However to date, it remains unknown whether the degree of an individual's right hemisphere dominance for visuospatial function can influence, (i) the baseline excitability of the visual cortex and (ii) the extent to which the right hemisphere can exert top-down modulation. We directly tested this by correlating line bisection error (or pseudoneglect), taken as a measure of right hemisphere dominance, with both (i) visual cortical excitability measured using phosphene perception elicited via single-pulse occipital trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and (ii) the degree of trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)-mediated VOR suppression, following left hemisphere inhibition. We found that those individuals with greater right hemisphere dominance had a less excitable early visual cortex at baseline and demonstrated a greater degree of vestibular nystagmus suppression following left hemisphere cathodal tDCS. To conclude, our results provide the first demonstration that individual differences in right hemisphere dominance can directly predict both the baseline excitability of low-level brain structures and the degree of top-down modulation exerted over them.
Şentürk, Gözde; Greenberg, Adam S; Liu, Taosheng
Classic studies of object-based attention have utilized keypress responses as the main dependent measure. However, people typically make saccades to fixate important objects. Recent work has shown that attention may act differently when it is deployed covertly versus in advance of a saccade. We further investigated the link between saccades and attention by examining whether object-based effects can be observed for saccades. We adapted the classical double-rectangle cueing paradigm of Egly, Driver, and Rafal (1994), and measured both the first saccade latency and the keypress reaction time (RT) to a target that appeared at the end of one of the two rectangles. Our results showed that saccade latencies exhibited higher sensitivity than did RTs for detecting effects of attention. We also assessed the generality of the attention effects by testing three types of cues: hybrid (predictive and peripheral), exogenous (nonpredictive and peripheral), and endogenous (predictive and central). We found that both RTs and saccade latencies exhibited effects of both space-based and object-based attentional selection. However, saccade latencies showed a more robust attentional modulation than RTs. For the exogenous cues, we observed a spatial inhibition of return along with an object-based effect, implying that object-based attention is independent of space-based attention. Overall, our results revealed an oculomotor correlate of object-based attention, suggesting that, in addition to spatial priority, object-level priority also affects saccade planning.
Tokoro, Kazuhiko; Sato, Hironobu; Yamamoto, Mayumi; Nagai, Yoshiko
Attention is the process by which information and selection occurs, the thalamus plays an important role in the selective attention of visual and auditory information. Selective attention is a conscious effort; however, it occurs subconsciously, as well. The lateral geniculate body (LGB) filters visual information before it reaches the cortex (bottom-up attention). The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) provides a strong inhibitory input to both the LGB and pulvinar. This regulation involves focusing a spotlight on important information, as well as inhibiting unnecessary background information. Behavioral contexts more strongly modulate activity of the TRN and pulvinar influencing feedforward and feedback information transmission between the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortical areas (top-down attention). The medial geniculate body (MGB) filters auditory information the TRN inhibits the MGB. Attentional modulation occurring in the auditory pathway among the cochlea, cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, and inferior colliculus is more important than that of the MGB and TRN. We also discuss the attentional consequence of thalamic hemorrhage.
Ishii-Takahashi, Ayaka; Takizawa, Ryu; Nishimura, Yukika; Kawakubo, Yuki; Hamada, Kasumi; Okuhata, Shiho; Kawasaki, Shingo; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Shimada, Takafumi; Todokoro, Ayako; Igarashi, Takashi; Watanabe, Kei-ichiro; Yamasue, Hidenori; Kato, Nobumasa; Kasai, Kiyoto; Kano, Yukiko
Although methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH) is a first-line treatment for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the non-response rate is 30%. Our aim was to develop a supplementary neuroimaging biomarker for predicting the clinical effect of continuous MPH administration by using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). After baseline assessment, we performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with a single dose of MPH, followed by a prospective 4-to-8-week open trial with continuous MPH administration, and an ancillary 1-year follow-up. Twenty-two drug-naïve and eight previously treated children with ADHD (NAÏVE and NON-NAÏVE) were compared with 20 healthy controls (HCs) who underwent multiple NIRS measurements without intervention. We tested whether NIRS signals at the baseline assessment or ΔNIRS (single dose of MPH minus baseline assessment) predict the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) score after 4-to-8-week or 1-year MPH administration. The secondary outcomes were the effect of MPH on NIRS signals after single-dose, 4-to-8-week, and 1-year administration. ΔNIRS significantly predicted CGI-S after 4-to-8-week MPH administration. The leave-one-out classification algorithm had 81% accuracy using the NIRS signal. ΔNIRS also significantly predicted CGI-S scores after 1 year of MPH administration. For secondary analyses, NAÏVE exhibited significantly lower prefrontal activation than HCs at the baseline assessment, whereas NON-NAÏVE and HCs showed similar activation. A single dose of MPH significantly increased activation compared with the placebo in NAÏVE. After 4-to-8-week administration, and even after MPH washout following 1-year administration, NAÏVE demonstrated normalized prefrontal activation. Supplementary NIRS measurements may serve as an objective biomarker for clinical decisions and monitoring concerning continuous MPH treatment in children with ADHD. PMID:25936640
Xu, Yifang; Collins, Leslie M
Two approaches have been proposed to reduce the synchrony of the neural response to electrical stimuli in cochlear implants. One approach involves adding noise to the pulse-train stimulus, and the other is based on using a high-rate pulse-train carrier. Hypotheses regarding the efficacy of the two approaches can be tested using computational models of neural responsiveness prior to time-intensive psychophysical studies. In our previous work, we have used such models to examine the effects of noise on several psychophysical measures important to speech recognition. However, to date there has been no parallel analytic solution investigating the neural response to the high-rate pulse-train stimuli and their effect on psychophysical measures. This work investigates the properties of the neural response to high-rate pulse-train stimuli with amplitude modulated envelopes using a stochastic auditory nerve model. The statistics governing the neural response to each pulse are derived using a recursive method. The agreement between the theoretical predictions and model simulations is demonstrated for sinusoidal amplitude modulated (SAM) high rate pulse-train stimuli. With our approach, predicting the neural response in modern implant devices becomes tractable. Psychophysical measurements are also predicted using the stochastic auditory nerve model for SAM high-rate pulse-train stimuli. Changes in dynamic range (DR) and intensity discrimination are compared with that observed for noise-modulated pulse-train stimuli. Modulation frequency discrimination is also studied as a function of stimulus level and pulse rate. Results suggest that high rate carriers may positively impact such psychophysical measures.
Jacobvitz, Deborah; Hazen, Nancy; Curran, Melissa; Hitchens, Kristen
This article argues for the importance of focusing explicitly on the construct of boundary disturbances in families to understand the development of depressive, anxious, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in middle childhood. Grounded in family systems theory, this study examined traditional parent-child antecedents of childhood depression and anxiety (hostile, controlling, and disengaged interactions) in the context of the entire family as well as enmeshed patterns, whereby one parent drew in the child by turning to the child for caregiving or intimacy and excluded the spouse, and balanced patterns, whereby all family members expressed vulnerabilities and asserted their needs or desires. Mostly White, middle-class mothers, fathers, and children were observed at home interacting on a series of everyday tasks when the children were 24 months old, and mothers and teachers rated children's symptoms of anxiety, depression, somatic problems, and ADHD at age 7. Regression analyses revealed that, after controlling for maternal depression and the effects of other family patterns, enmeshed family patterns forecast children's depressive symptoms; controlling and disengaged interactions predicted anxious and depressive symptoms; and hostility forecast ADHD and somatic complaints. Intriguing gender differences emerged. As predicted, whereas boys who experienced enmeshed family patterns more often developed symptoms of ADHD, girls who experienced enmeshed family interactions later showed symptoms of depression.
Schaap, Manon W. H.; van Oostrom, Hugo; Doornenbal, Arie; Baars, Annemarie M.; Arndt, Saskia S.; Hellebrekers, Ludo J.
Somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) are used in humans and animals to increase knowledge about nociception and pain. Since the SEP in humans increases when noxious stimuli are administered unpredictably, predictability potentially influences the SEP in animals as well. To assess the effect of predictability on the SEP in animals, classical fear conditioning was applied to compare SEPs between rats receiving SEP-evoking electrical stimuli either predictably or unpredictably. As in humans, the rat’s SEP increased when SEP-evoking stimuli were administered unpredictably. These data support the hypothesis that the predictability of noxious stimuli plays a distinctive role in the processing of these stimuli in animals. The influence of predictability should be considered when studying nociception and pain in animals. Additionally, this finding suggests that animals confronted with (un)predictable noxious stimuli can be used to investigate the mechanisms underlying the influence of predictability on central processing of noxious stimuli. PMID:23613862
Spann, Ashley L; Yuan, Kun; Goliwas, Kayla F; Steg, Adam D; Kaushik, Devanshu D; Kwon, Yeon-Jin; Frost, Andra R
Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that regulate smoothened-dependent activation of the GLI transcription factors in canonical hedgehog signaling. In many cancers, primary cilia are markedly decreased or absent. The lack of primary cilia may inhibit or alter canonical hedgehog signaling and, thereby, interfere in the cellular responsiveness to modulators of smoothened activity. Clinical trials of smoothened antagonists for cancer treatment have shown the best response in basal cell carcinomas, with limited response in other solid tumors. To determine whether the presence or absence of primary cilia in cancer cells will predict their responsiveness to modulation of smoothened activity, we compared the ability of an agonist and/or inhibitor of smoothened (SAG and SANT1, respectively) to modulate GLI-mediated transcription, as measured by GLI1 mRNA level or GLI-luciferase reporter activity, in non-cancer cells with primary cilia (ovarian surface epithelial cells and breast fibroblasts), in cancer cells that cannot assemble primary cilia (MCF7, MDA-MB-231 cell lines), and in cancer cells with primary cilia (SKOV3, PANC1 cell lines). As expected, SAG and SANT1 resulted in appropriate modulation of GLI transcriptional activity in ciliated non-cancer cells, and failed to modulate GLI transcriptional activity in cancer cells without primary cilia. However, there was also no modulation of GLI transcriptional activity in either ciliated cancer cell line. SAG treatment of SKOV3 induced localization of smoothened to primary cilia, as assessed by immunofluorescence, even though there was no increase in GLI transcriptional activity, suggesting a defect in activation of SMO in the primary cilia or in steps later in the hedgehog pathway. In contrast to SKOV3, SAG treatment of PANC1 did not cause the localization of smoothened to primary cilia. Our data demonstrate that the presence of primary cilia in the cancer epithelial cells lines tested does not indicate their
This article examines the shifts in attention and focus as one teacher introduces and explains an image that represents the processes involved in a numeric problem that his students have been working on. This paper takes a micro-analytic approach to examine how the focus of attention shifts through what the teacher and students do and say in the…
Saganti, P. B.; Cucinotta, F. A.; Zeitlin, C. J.; Cleghorn, T. F.; Hu, X.; Lee, K. T.
Recent data from the MARIE (Martian Radiation Environment Experiment) instrument on board the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft currently in Mars orbit are presented. It is shown that the short-term modulations of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) are well described by correlating the so lar modulation parameter, <1>, with Earth-based neutron monitor counts using a 85-day time lag and the NASA Models - HZETRN (High Z and Energy Transport) and QMSFRG (Quantum Multiple Scattering theory of nuclear Fragmentation). The dose rates observed by the MARIE instrument are within 10% of the model calculations.
Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben
Attention to a spatial location or feature in a visual scene can modulate the responses of cortical neurons and affect perceptual biases in illusions. We add attention to a cortical model of spatial context based on a well-founded account of natural scene statistics. The cortical model amounts to a generalized form of divisive normalization, in which the surround is in the normalization pool of the center target only if they are considered statistically dependent. Here we propose that attention influences this computation by accentuating the neural unit activations at the attended location, and that the amount of attentional influence of the surround on the center thus depends on whether center and surround are deemed in the same normalization pool. The resulting form of model extends a recent divisive normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). We simulate cortical surround orientation experiments with attention and show that the flexible model is suitable for capturing additional data and makes nontrivial testable predictions. PMID:23345413
De Loof, Esther; Van Opstal, Filip; Verguts, Tom
Theories on visual awareness claim that predicted stimuli reach awareness faster than unpredicted ones. In the current study, we disentangle whether prior information about the upcoming stimulus affects visual awareness of stimulus location (i.e., individuation) by modulating processing efficiency or threshold setting. Analogous research on stimulus identification revealed that prior information modulates threshold setting. However, as identification and individuation are two functionally and neurally distinct processes, the mechanisms underlying identification cannot simply be extrapolated directly to individuation. The goal of this study was therefore to investigate how individuation is influenced by prior information about the upcoming stimulus. To do so, a drift diffusion model was fitted to estimate the processing efficiency and threshold setting for predicted versus unpredicted stimuli in a cued individuation paradigm. Participants were asked to locate a picture, following a cue that was congruent, incongruent or neutral with respect to the picture's identity. Pictures were individuated faster in the congruent and neutral condition compared to the incongruent condition. In the diffusion model analysis, the processing efficiency was not significantly different across conditions. However, the threshold setting was significantly higher following an incongruent cue compared to both congruent and neutral cues. Our results indicate that predictive information about the upcoming stimulus influences visual awareness by shifting the threshold for individuation rather than by enhancing processing efficiency.
Ried, R. C., Jr.; Rochelle, W. C.; Milhoan, J. D.
The theory and engineering techniques used for the prediction of the Apollo entry thermal-radiation environment are presented. The radiation predictions are shown to be in satisfactory agreement with the Apollo 4, FIRE 1, and FIRE 2 flight radiometer data. The characteristics and performance of the Apollo flight radiometer and ablator-mounted confi