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Atten Percept Psychophys ; 83(7): 3008-3023, 2021 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34355343


Using a novel gradual onset continuous performance task (gradCPT), recent research has uncovered a brain network of the sustained attention ability, demonstrating marked individual differences. Yet much about the cognitive processes that support performance on the gradCPT remains unknown. Here, we tested the importance of response inhibition and perceptual discrimination in the gradCPT. Participants monitored a continuous stream of natural scenes from two categories-cities and mountains-with a 9:1 ratio. In separate task blocks, they responded either to the frequent or the rare, yielding a response rate of either 90% or 10%. Performance was much worse, and declined more significantly over time, when the required response rate was higher. To test the role of stimulus onset, separate task blocks presented the scenes either gradually, with adjacent scenes blending into each other (gradCPT), or abruptly, with a single scene visible at a time (abruptCPT). Despite its increased complexity, the gradCPT yielded better performance than the abruptCPT, contradicting the perceptual complexity hypothesis and suggesting a detrimental role of the automaticity of responses to rhythmic stimuli in sustained attention. Further bolstering the role of response inhibition in the gradCPT, participants with superior inhibitory function, as assessed by the "stop-signal" task, did better on the gradCPT. These findings show that response inhibition contributes to the ability to sustain attention, especially in tasks that require frequent and repetitive responses as in assembly-line jobs.

Atenção , Individualidade , Encéfalo , Humanos , Testes Neuropsicológicos
Cogn Res Princ Implic ; 6(1): 41, 2021 05 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34046743


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has considerably heightened health and financial concerns for many individuals. Similar concerns, such as those associated with poverty, impair performance on cognitive control tasks. If ongoing concerns about COVID-19 substantially increase the tendency to mind wander in tasks requiring sustained attention, these worries could degrade performance on a wide range of tasks, leading, for example, to increased traffic accidents, diminished educational achievement, and lower workplace productivity. In two pre-registered experiments, we investigated the degree to which young adults' concerns about COVID-19 correlated with their ability to sustain attention. Experiment 1 tested mainly European participants during an early phase of the pandemic. After completing a survey probing COVID-related concerns, participants engaged in a continuous performance task (CPT) over two, 4-min blocks, during which they responded to city scenes that occurred 90% of the time and withheld responses to mountain scenes that occurred 10% of the time. Despite large and stable individual differences, performance on the scene CPT did not significantly correlate with the severity of COVID-related concerns obtained from the survey. Experiment 2 tested US participants during a later phase of the pandemic. Once again, CPT performance did not significantly correlate with COVID concerns expressed in a pre-task survey. However, participants who had more task-unrelated thoughts performed more poorly on the CPT. These findings suggest that although COVID-19 increased anxiety in a broad swath of society, young adults are able to hold these concerns in a latent format, minimizing their impact on performance in a demanding sustained attention task.

Ansiedade/etiologia , Ansiedade/fisiopatologia , Atenção/fisiologia , COVID-19 , Reconhecimento Visual de Modelos/fisiologia , Desempenho Psicomotor/fisiologia , Adulto , Europa (Continente) , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Estados Unidos , Adulto Jovem
Acta Psychol (Amst) ; 195: 39-49, 2019 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30878000


From geometric figures to human faces, many visual stimuli vary along a continuum in featural space, anchored at one end by a highly distinctive constellation of features, at the other by a neutral set. Here we used a continuum of morphed faces to test whether errors in visual short-term memory are symmetric in feature space around the target or systematically biased toward one or the other end of the continuum. Participants were shown a face for 1 s. After a brief delay, participants were asked to choose the face they had been shown among three face options, which consisted of the target face, one face that was slightly more distinctive, and one face that was slightly more neutral. Continuums of morphed faces ranged from an average, neutral face to different distinctive celebrity faces two experiments, or from neutral facial expressions to highly emotional expressions a third experiment. Results showed that when participants made an incorrect response, they were more likely to incorrectly identify the more distinctive face than the more neutral or average face as the target face. This bias toward more extreme faces, however, was not observed for unfamiliar (non-celebrity) faces that were emotionally neutral. These findings suggest that visual memory encodes distinctive features of stimuli that lead to biases in later recognition.

Reconhecimento Facial/fisiologia , Memória de Curto Prazo/fisiologia , Viés , Emoções/fisiologia , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Adulto Jovem
J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform ; 45(3): 386-401, 2019 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30730177


Continuous performance tasks are frequently associated with a vigilance decrement, particularly when target events are rare and after prolonged time on task. Here we characterized the time course of a performance decrement that happens more rapidly. Using the gradual-onset continuous performance task (the gradCPT), we presented participants with a long sequence of scenes that gradually faded in and out. Participants pressed a button as soon as they detected scenes in one category and ignored scenes in another category. We manipulated the novelty of stimuli, required response rate, and the prevalence rate of the target stimuli. Performance sensitivity declined moderately within and across three 8-min-long blocks. Contrary to mindlessness accounts of vigilance decrement, the decline was not restricted to situations when target events were rare and the stimuli were repetitive. High motor response rates substantially impaired overall sensitivity and moderately increased performance decrement. Performance in the gradCPT did not correlate with individual differences in mindfulness, attentional lapses, media multitasking, or complex working memory span. The rapid and pervasively observed decline in performance is consistent with attentional resource theories of vigilance decrement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Atenção/fisiologia , Atividade Motora/fisiologia , Reconhecimento Visual de Modelos/fisiologia , Desempenho Psicomotor/fisiologia , Adolescente , Adulto , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Testes Neuropsicológicos , Adulto Jovem
Atten Percept Psychophys ; 80(8): 1946-1961, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30014318


Visual statistical learning (VSL) has been proposed as a powerful mechanism underlying the striking ability of human observers to handle complex visual environments. Previous studies have shown that VSL can occur when statistical information is embedded at multiple levels of abstraction, such as at semantically different category levels. In the present study, we further examined whether statistical regularities at a basic category level (e.g., a regular sequence of a bird, then a car, and then a dog) could influence the ability to extract statistical regularities at the subordinate level (e.g., a regular sequence of a parrot, then a sports car, and then an Eskimo dog). In the familiarization phase, participants were exposed to a stream of real-world images whose semantic categories had temporal regularities. Importantly, the temporal regularities existed at both the basic and subordinate levels, or the regularities existed at only the subordinate level, depending on the experimental condition. After completing the familiarization, participants performed a surprise two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) task for a familiarity judgment between two triplets in which the temporal regularities were either preserved or not preserved. Our results showed that the existence of statistical regularities at the basic level did not influence VSL at the subordinate level. The subsequent experiments showed these results consistently even when the basic-level categories had to be explicitly recognized and when the stimuli were not easily categorized at their subordinate level. Our results suggest that VSL is constrained to learn a particular level of patterns when patterns are presented across multiple levels.

Formação de Conceito/fisiologia , Aprendizagem/fisiologia , Reconhecimento Visual de Modelos/fisiologia , Reconhecimento Psicológico/fisiologia , Adulto , Humanos , Semântica , Adulto Jovem
Atten Percept Psychophys ; 78(5): 1308-23, 2016 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27068052


Visual environments are complex. In order to process the complex information provided by visual environments, the visual system adopts strategies to reduce its complexity. One strategy, called visual statistical learning, or VSL, is to extract the statistical regularities from the environment. Another strategy is to use the hierarchical structure of a scene (e.g., the co-occurrence between local and global information). Through a series of experiments, this study investigated whether the utilization of the statistical regularities and the hierarchical structure could work together to reduce the complexity of a scene. In the familiarization phase, the participants were asked to passively view a stream of hierarchical scenes where the shapes were concurrently presented at the local and global levels. At each of the two levels there were temporal regularities among the three shapes, which always appeared in the same order. In the test phase, the participants judged the familiarity between 2 triplets, whose temporal regularities were either preserved or not. We found that the participants extracted the temporal regularities at each of the local and global levels (Experiment 1). The hierarchical structure influenced the ability to extract the temporal regularities (Experiment 2). Specifically, VSL was either enhanced or impaired depending on whether the hierarchical structure was informative or not. In summary, in order to process a complex scene, the visual system flexibly uses statistical regularities and the hierarchical structure of the scene.

Reconhecimento Visual de Modelos/fisiologia , Aprendizagem por Probabilidade , Adulto , Humanos , Adulto Jovem