REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0356.v1
Online: 17 August 2020 (10:01:18 CEST)
When a low-salience stimulus of any type of sensory modality—auditory, visual, tactile—shortly precedes an unexpected startle-like stimulus, such as the acoustic startle reflex, the startle motor reaction becomes less pronounced or is even abolished. This phenomenon is known as prepulse inhibition (PPI), and it provides operational measures of information processing by filtering out irrelevant stimuli. Because PPI implies plasticity of a reflex and is related to automatic or attentional processes, depending on the interstimulus intervals, this behavioral paradigm might be considered a potential marker of short- and long-term plasticity. Assessment of PPI is directly related to the examination of neural sensorimotor gating mechanisms, which are plastic adaptive operations for preventing overstimulation and help the brain focus on a specific stimulus among other distracters. Despite their obvious importance in normal brain activity, little is known about the intimate physiology, circuitry, and neurochemistry of sensorimotor gating mechanisms. In this work, we extensively review the current literature focusing on studies that used state-of-the-art techniques to interrogate the neuroanatomy, connectomics, neurotransmitter-receptor functions, and sex-derived differences in the PPI process, and how we can harness it as biological marker in neurological and psychiatric pathology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0382.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Robotics Keywords: Robotic Grasp; Transformer; attentional mechanism
Online: 13 March 2023 (04:00:50 CET)
We introduce a novel hybrid Transformer-CNN architecture for robotic grasp detection, designed to enhance the accuracy of grasping unknown objects. Our proposed architecture has two key designs. Firstly, we develop a hierarchical transformer as the encoder, incorporating the external attention to effectively capture the correlation features across the data. Secondly, the decoder is constructed with cross-layer connections to efficiently fuse multi-scale features. Channel attention is introduced in the decoder to model the correlation between channels and to adaptively recalibrate the channel correlation feature response, thereby increasing the weight of the effective channels. Our method is evaluated on the Cornell and Jacquard public datasets, achieving an image-wise detection accuracy of 98.3% and 95.8% on each dataset, respectively. Additionally, we achieve object-wise detection accuracy of 96.9% and 92.4% on the same datasets. A physical experiment is also performed using the Elite 6Dof robot, with a grasping accuracy rate of 93.3%, demonstrating the proposed method's ability to grasp unknown objects in real-world scenarios. The results of this study show that our proposed method outperforms other state-of-the-art methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1031.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: vigilance; attention; online assessment; ANTI-Vea; attentional networks
Online: 14 June 2023 (09:35:29 CEST)
The Attentional Networks Test for Interactions and Vigilance–executive and arousal components (ANTI-Vea) is a computerized task of 32 min duration in the standard format. The task simultaneously assesses the main effects and interactions of the three attentional networks (i.e., phasic alertness, orienting, and executive control) and two dissociated components of vigilance with reasonable reliability (executive and arousal vigilance). We present this free and publicly accessible resource (ANTI-Vea-UGR; https://anti-vea.ugr.es/) developed to easily run, collect, and analyze data with the ANTI-Vea (or its subtasks measuring some attentional and/or vigilance components embedded in the ANTI-Vea). Available in six different languages, the platform allows for adaptation of stimuli timing and procedure to facilitate data collection from different populations (e.g., clinical patients, children). Collected data can be freely downloaded and easily analyzed with the provided scripts and tools, including a Shiny app. We discuss previous evidence supporting that attention and vigilance components can be assessed in typical lab conditions as well as online and outside the laboratory. We hope this tutorial will help researchers interested in measuring attention and vigilance with a tool useful to collect data from large sample sizes and easy to use in applied contexts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0158.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Attention; Attentional Networks; Alerting; Orienting; Executive Control; Aging; Lateralization
Online: 6 July 2021 (14:52:33 CEST)
Many cognitive functions face a decline in the healthy elderly. Within the cognitive domains, both attentional processes and executive functions are impaired with aging. Attention includes three attentional networks, i.e., alerting, orienting, and executive control that showed a hemispheric lateralized pattern in adults. This lateralized pattern could have a role in modulating the efficiency of attentional networks. For these reasons could be relevant to analyze the age-related change of hemispheric specialization of attentional networks. This study aims to clarify this aspect with a lateralized version of the ANTI-Fruit. One hundred sixty-seven participants took part in this study. They are divided in three age groups: early adulthood (N=57; Range: 20-30); late adulthood (N=57; Range 31-64) and elderly/older people (N=57; Range: 65-87). Results confirm the previous outcomes on the efficiency and interactions among attentional networks. Moreover, an age-related generalized slowness was evidenced. These findings also support the hypothesis of a hemispheric asymmetry reduction in elderly/older adults. This pattern could partially explain the decrease in attentional functioning in elderly/older age.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0048.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: attentional functions; primary school; KiTAP; healthy children; gender; delays
Online: 2 November 2018 (10:25:44 CET)
This research revealed the children with difficulties in attentional functions in healthy children attending primary school and aimed to identify the possible socio-demographic factors such as child’s age, gender and school’s grade that could influence attentive performance. The participants were 105 children aged 6-10 years (M age=8.6; SD=1.04), 57 females, attending primary schools. Family economic condition attested mostly at a medium level (63.5%) and parents had more frequently 13 years of schooling. The computerized test KiTAP was administered to children to assess attentional functions. Results showed higher frequency of omissions and false alarms and a reduced speed in Alertness, Go/No go and Sustained Attention tasks comparing to Italian norms. A series of hierarchical regression analyses were run with school grade, gender and current age as independent variables and mean reaction times (and standard deviation), number of omissions and of false alarms as dependent ones. Results showed male gender and attending a lower primary school grade impacting on lower attentional performance in several subtests. Females showed the best performances in distractibility and impulsive reaction tendencies tests, while higher school grade positively influenced the divided and sustained attention. These results could be useful to identify children with major attentional difficulties and some recommendations for futures studies and implement attention empowerment programmes were proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1211.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Data Structures, Algorithms And Complexity Keywords: attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; attentional variability; network communities; deficit hyperactivity disorder spectrum
Online: 16 June 2023 (10:15:45 CEST)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects attention and behavioral control, characterized by constant presence of inattention and hyperactivity. This article describes a study that used a database with results from tests of voluntary and automatic attentional orientation activity in a complex network of ADHD patients, in order to understand the characteristics of the elements and attentional variability of patients. Centrality metrics and the Louvain method were applied to obtain the network communities. The most important elements of the network were identified and differences in reaction times of the activities were observed in the identified communities. The study provides useful information to understand of deficit hyperactivity disorder spectrum in patients with ADHD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0608.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: visuospatial working memory; delayed memory; Parkinson’s disease; attentional filtering; lower memory storage
Online: 20 April 2023 (05:27:32 CEST)
The present study examined mechanisms underlying memory deficits in patients with Parkinson disease (PD)and their associations with structural metrics. Nineteen PD and 22 matched controls underwent two memory experiments. In experiment 1 (delayed memory task), subjects were asked to remember an array of colored rectangles with varying memory set sizes [Low-Load (2 items), Low-Load with Distractor, & High-Load (5 items)]. After a 7s delay period, they reported whether the orientation of any relevant figures had changed (test period). In experiment 2 (working memory task), memory arrays were presented in varying set sizes (2 to 6 items) with no distractors that were followed by a 2s delay period and subsequent test period. Brain MRI data were acquired to assess structural differences (volumes and cortical thickness) in brain areas related to attention, working memory storage, and episodic memory. Compared to controls, PD patients had lower memory capacity scores in all memory load conditions for experiment 1 (p <0.021) whereas there were no group differences in any memory load conditions for experiment 2 (p>0.06). In addition, PD patients had lower thickness in the left superior temporal gyrus (p=0.02). Lower thickness values in the left superior temporal gyrus were significant predictors of lower delayed memory performance in Low-Load and Low-Load with Distractor conditions (ps’<0.044) and working memory performance of memory load conditions of 4 and 5 items (p’s<0.012). The present findings suggest that PD patients may have intact working memory storage capacity but impaired attentional filtering and memory consolidation that may lead to lower delayed memory scores. Lower delayed memory in PD may partly be associated with lower cortical thickness in the left superior temporal gyrus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0332.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Cognitive–Attentional Syndrome; COVID-19 pandemic; stress and trauma related disorders; psychopathology; adjustment disorder
Online: 5 June 2023 (14:21:16 CEST)
Background: According to metacognitive theory, Cognitive–Attentional Syndrome (CAS) is a transdiagnostic factor and main mechanism of psychopathology maintenance. The main goal of this study was to examine whether CAS predicted symptoms of stress and trauma-related symptomatology in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic and three months later. Methods: Initially 1,792 participants were recruited online via social media; data was collected at two time points. Measures included the Cognitive–Attentional Syndrome Questionnaire, Adjustment Disorder – New Module 20, the International Trauma Questionnaire, and additional measures. Results: Structural equation modeling was conducted in order to determine relations between reported stressors, CAS, and symptomatology. At both time points, CAS was a significant mediator between stressors and symptoms of adjustment disorder. Despite the decrease in the intensity of adjustment disorder symptoms between waves, it was a significant predictor of other psychopathology at both time points, except for traumatic stress. Conclusions: The findings confirm the assumption that CAS is a transdiagnostic factor of psychopathology, and has a mediating role in the relationship between stressors and adjustment disorder and co-occurring symptomatology. The effect was particularly significant in the initial phase of the pandemic, which was highly stressful for many people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0031.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: ERPs; selective attention; global/local; cerebral hemispheres; VEPs; spatial frequency; Attentional tuning; Left hemisphere
Online: 4 January 2021 (12:27:21 CET)
A hemispheric asymmetry is known for the processing of global vs. local visual information. In this study, we investigated the existence of a hemispheric asymmetry for visual processing of low vs. high spatial frequency gratings. Event-related potentials were recorded in a group of healthy right-handed volunteers from 30 scalp sites. Six types of stimuli (1.5, 3 and 6 c/deg gratings) were randomly flashed 180 times in the left and right upper hemi-fields. Stimulus duration was 80 ms and ISI ranged between 850-1000 ms. Participants had to pay attention and respond to targets based on their spatial frequency and location, or to passively look at the stimuli. C1 and P1 visual responses, as well as a later Selection negativity and a P300 components of ERPs were quantified and subjected to repeated-measure ANOVAs. Overall, performance was faster for the RVF, thus suggesting a left hemispheric advantage for attentional selection of local elements. Similarly, the analysis of mean area amplitude of C1 (60-110 ms) sensory response showed a stronger attentional effect (F+L+ vs. F-L+) at left occipital areas, thus suggesting the sensory nature of this hemispheric asymmetry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0160.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Keywords: Developmental dyslexia; attentional dyslexia; Hebrew; migrations between words; phonological output buffer; orthographic-visual analyzer; reading
Online: 20 March 2023 (04:08:07 CET)
Abstract: Letter migrations between words in reading aloud (e.g., reading "cane love" as "lane love" or "lane cove") are known to result from a deficit in the visual-orthographic analysis and characterize attentional dyslexia. In spontaneous speech, individuals with impairment in the phonological output buffer may show migrations of phonemes between words. The purpose of this study was to examine whether migrations between words in reading aloud can also result from a deficit in the phonological output buffer, to explore the characteristics of migrations resulting from orthographic input and from phonological output deficits, and to examine methods to distinguish these two sources. Using tasks of reading aloud of 92-182 word pairs, we identified 18 adults and adolescents with developmental dyslexia who made between-word letter migrations in reading aloud, significantly more than age-matched controls (372 adults and 26 7th-graders). To distinguish between orthographic-input and phonological-output sources for these migrations, we administered a test assessing orthographic-input without spoken-output (written-semantic-decision on 140 migratable word pairs) and a test of repetition of 36 auditorily-presented migratable word pairs, assessing spoken output without orthographic-input (and word span tests). These tests indicated that the migrations of ten of the participants with dyslexia resulted from an orthographic-input deficit, and for the other eight participants, migrations resulted from a phonological-output deficit. We identified several differences between the two types of between-word errors: first, whereas the individuals with attentional dyslexia made omissions of a letter that appeared in the same position in the two words, the phonological output buffer group did not make such omissions. In addition, the groups differed in the origin of migration: orthographic input migrations involve letters that are orthographically adjacent, whereas phonological output migrations involve phonemes that have just been spoken or that are prepared together in the phonological buffer for production. This was manifested in that migrations from the line below and from two lines above occurred only in the orthographic input deficit group, and migrations occurred from a word vertically close to the target in the orthographic input group but from a word that has just been spoken (placed diagonally to the target) in the phonological output group. This study thus indicates that between-word migrations in reading-aloud can result not only from attentional dyslexia, but also from a phonological output buffer deficit, and offers ways to distinguish between the two.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0347.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: interocular suppression; consciousness; color vision; visual search; attentional templates; early visual system; awareness; continuous flash suppression; binocoular rivalry
Online: 18 January 2021 (14:32:29 CET)
Color can direct visual attention to specific locations through bottom-up and top-down mechanisms. Using Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS) as way to investigate the factors that gate access to consciousness, the current study investigated whether color also directly affected the timing of conscious perception. Low or high spatial frequency (SF) gratings with different orientations were shown as targets to the non-dominant eye of human participants. CFS patterns were presented at a rate of 10Hz to the dominant eye to delay conscious perception of the targets, and participants had the task to report the target’s orientation as soon as they could see it. With low-SF targets, two types of color-based effects became evident. First, when the targets and the CFS patterns had different colors, the targets entered consciousness faster than in trials where the targets and CFS patterns had the same color. Second, when participants searched for a specific target color, targets that matched these search settings entered consciousness faster compared to conditions where the target color was irrelevant and could vary from trial to trial. Thus, the current study demonstrates that color is a central feature of human perception and leads to faster conscious perception of visual stimuli through bottom-up and top-down attentional mechanisms.