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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
Atten Percept Psychophys ; 82(6): 2862-2875, 2020 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32483660


Frequently finding a target in the same location within a familiar context reduces search time, relative to search for objects appearing in novel contexts. This learned association between a context and a target location requires several blocks of training and has long-term effects. Short-term selection history also influences search, where previewing a subset of a search context shortly before the appearance of the target and remaining distractors speeds search. Here we explored the interactions between contextual cueing and preview benefit using a modified version of a paradigm from Hodsoll and Humphreys (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 31(6), 1346-1358, 2005). Participants searched for a T target among L distractors. Half of the distractors appeared 800 ms before the addition of the other distractors and the target. We independently manipulated the repetition of the previewed distractors and the newly added distractors. Though the previewed set never contained the target, repetition of either the previewed or the newly added context yielded contextual cueing, and the effect was greater when the previewed context repeated. Another experiment trained participants to associate the previewed context with a target location, then disrupted the association in a testing phase. This disruption eliminated contextual cueing, suggesting that learning of the previewed context was associative. These findings demonstrate an important interaction between distinct kinds of selection history effects.

Atenção , Sinais (Psicologia) , Percepção Visual , Humanos , Aprendizagem , Tempo de Reação
Cogn Res Princ Implic ; 5(1): 4, 2020 02 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32016647


Extensive research has shown that practice yields highly specific perceptual learning of simple visual properties such as orientation and contrast. Does this same learning characterize more complex perceptual skills? Here we investigated perceptual learning of complex medical images. Novices underwent training over four sessions to discriminate which of two chest radiographs contained a tumor and to indicate the location of the tumor. In training, one group received six repetitions of 30 normal/abnormal images, the other three repetitions of 60 normal/abnormal images. Groups were then tested on trained and novel images. To assess the nature of perceptual learning, test items were presented in three formats - the full image, the cutout of the tumor, or the background only. Performance improved across training sessions, and notably, the improvement transferred to the classification of novel images. Training with more repetitions on fewer images yielded comparable transfer to training with fewer repetitions on more images. Little transfer to novel images occurred when tested with just the cutout of the cancer region or just the background, but a larger cutout that included both the cancer region and some surrounding regions yielded good transfer. Perceptual learning contributes to the acquisition of expertise in cancer image perception.

Neoplasias Pulmonares/diagnóstico , Reconhecimento Visual de Modelos/fisiologia , Prática Psicológica , Adolescente , Adulto , Feminino , Humanos , Neoplasias Pulmonares/diagnóstico por imagem , Masculino , Adulto Jovem
Atten Percept Psychophys ; 82(1): 294-311, 2020 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31119703


It is widely accepted that features and locations are represented independently in an initial stage of visual processing. But to what degree are they represented separately at a later stage, after objects enter visual working memory (VWM)? In one of her last studies on VWM, Treisman raised an open question about how people represent locations in VWM, suggesting that locations may be remembered independently of what occupies them. Using photographs of real-world objects, we tested the independence of location memory from object identity in a location change detection task. We introduced changes to object identities between the encoding and test arrays, but instructed participants to treat the objects as placeholders. Three experiments showed that location memory was disrupted when the placeholders changed shape or orientation. The disruption was more noticeable for elongated than for round placeholders and was comparable between real-world objects and rectangles of similar aspect ratio. These findings suggest that location representation is sensitive to the placeholders' geometric properties. Though they contradict the idea that objects are just placeholders in location working memory (WM), the findings support Treisman's proposal that the items in VWM are bound to the global configuration of the memory array.

Memória de Curto Prazo , Reconhecimento Visual de Modelos , Teoria Psicológica , Adulto , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Rememoração Mental
Neurosci Biobehav Rev ; 105: 115-125, 2019 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31400351


When searching for an object in a familiar environment, we may automatically orient to locations where this object was often placed previously. Contextual cueing refers to the guidance of attention by repeated search context. As an implicit mechanism with high capacity, contextual cueing may be important for people whose cognitive function is compromised, immature, or in decline. Here we review and synthesize the last two decades of research on contextual cueing, focusing on neuropsychological and developmental evidence. Contextual cueing is largely preserved in young children, older adults, and individuals with autism spectrum disorders or mild intellectual impairment. Some, though not all, studies find a deficit in contextual cueing in amnesic patients, patients with basal ganglia damage, children with ADHD, and individuals with psychiatric disorders. Although the medial temporal lobe, the basal ganglia, and the posterior parietal cortex are implicated in contextual cueing, definitive evidence for their necessity is lacking. These findings suggest that contextual cueing is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that is exceptionally robust to damages to single brain sites.

Atenção/fisiologia , Gânglios da Base/fisiologia , Córtex Cerebral/fisiologia , Sinais (Psicologia) , Desenvolvimento Humano/fisiologia , Aprendizagem/fisiologia , Transtornos Mentais/fisiopatologia , Gânglios da Base/fisiopatologia , Córtex Cerebral/fisiopatologia , Humanos