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I argue for a new operationalization of attention as a process of information selection that is endogenous, rather than exogenous, to decision-makers’ goals and constraints. Traditional accounts postulate that attention is captured in a “bottom-up” fashion by external sensory stimuli or in a “top-down” fashion by external experimental instructions. In contrast, recent studies of information-demand provide a powerful alternative view whereby attention is allocated endogenously to serve a decision-maker’s goals, and is subject to the decision-maker’s knowledge, biases, and constraints. I review neurophysiological evidence supporting this view, with a focus on optimal and potentially suboptimal forms of attention allocation aimed to reduce uncertainty and enhance reward gains.
This article examines biblical allusions in Simone Weil's “On the Right Use of School Studies,” in which she argues that study can train our attention to God and neighbor. Focusing on Weil's use of Jesus' teachings that mention bread, meals, and table service, this article reveals an underlying theme of Eucharist (communion) in Weil's essay on study. Together with Weil's comment that studies are “like a sacrament,” this analysis suggests that Weil offers a “eucharistic pedagogy” shaped by her mystical theology of Eucharist, a theology itself shaped by George Herbert's English-language poem “Love.” Throughout, the article compares Weil's original French with its English translation, noting where the translation obscures her use of the Bible or her theology, and it also examines the Greek biblical text, since Weil read the New Testament in its Greek original. The article concludes with a critique of Weil's educational vision, which relies on a dyadic vision of eucharist, and suggests that a communal vision of eucharist can support a social vision of education.
Attentional problems are common and have been associated with multiple psychiatric disorders. This study examined problems of sustained attention across a range of psychiatric disorders using a validated computerized trans-diagnostic attentional paradigm (a continuous performance task). We hypothesized that multiple psychiatric disorders, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), would be associated with pronounced attentional problems.
Totally, 576 non-treatment seeking participants (aged 18–29 years) were enrolled from general community settings, provided demographic variables, and underwent clinical assessments to detect mental health disorders. Each participant underwent the rapid visual information processing task, a validated computerized test measuring sustained attention. The two measures of sustained attention were the sensitivity index and target detection (proportion of targets detected). The profile of attentional deficits was examined across different disorders using z-scores relative to controls.
Participants with social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, and intermittent explosive disorder showed the greater impairment in target sensitivity, all with effect sizes of at least 0.8. Target detection was impaired across multiple disorders, with OCD and binge eating disorder exhibiting the most pronounced impairment. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and compulsive sexual behavior were associated with particularly spared performance on both measures.
These data indicate that impaired attention is non-specific for ADHD and in fact several other disorders are associated with markedly larger deficits. Instead of clinicians assuming sustained attention problems are due to ADHD, a variety of disorders should be screened for when people report attentional problems. Future work should examine the contribution of comorbidities and psychoactive substances (prescribed or illicit) to the profiles identified.
The assessment of cognition is a key feature of study participant selection, evaluation, and characterisation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) clinical drug trials. Measurement science requires using reliable, valid, and sensitive instruments for these purposes and typical trial measures, such as the ADAS-cog and MMSE, show adequate levels of reliability. Due to the absence of adequate indices of working memory, attention, and executive function, they cannot be considered valid tests. Further, scoring conventions and range restrictions limit their sensitivity. Hence a number of innovative solutions have been proposed and tested, with varying degrees of success. In this chapter we review critically cognitive measures such as the Neuropsychological Test Battery, the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status, and digital cognitive tests, such as those drawn from the CogState, CANTAB, and CDR systems. These measures are all considered with specific regard to issue of validity, assay sensitivity, and clinical relevance. We propose a methodology for establishing proof of concept for new chemical entities to rescue or preserve cognition in individuals living with AD.
Consciousness is a central topic in Hindu philosophy. This is because this philosophy understands reality in terms of brahman or atman (typically translated as the self), and consciousness is conceived as the essential marker of self. The prominent Hindu text Bhagavad Gita offers an exception. Self is conceived in the Gita not in terms of its essential identity with pure or transcendental consciousness. But the question remains, does the Gita still offer us a theory of consciousness? The goal of my paper is to show that the Gita can be taken as offering an interesting empirical theory of consciousness. My paper focuses on determining the nature of attention in the Gita's understanding of yoga, and to articulate the role of such attention in the Gita's theory of consciousness. My working conclusion is that what differentiates an ordinary person's consciousness from a yogi's consciousness is the nature of their attention both in terms of its manner and its object. I argue, further, that exploring the Gita's theory of consciousness, especially in conjunction with the nature of attention, is immensely fruitful because it allows us to see the Gita's potential contribution to our contemporary philosophical discussion of consciousness and attention. This is because bringing the Gita into discussion allows us to appreciate a dimension of the metaphysics of attention–namely, the dimension of manner of attending and its cultivation, and the moral and social implications in the proposed redirection of one's attention--not often recognized in the contemporary Western discussion.
Chapter 2 tackles aspects of cognitive processing that can be observed in the course of a translation task, from the moment a translator begins to read a text-to-be-translated until the translation has been finalized. It begins by recording the historical development of research into the translation process and how the task of translation has been modelled. It moves on to examining how advances in methodological approaches have contributed to the development of early models, providing empirical evidence from verbal reports, keylogging and eye tracking. Contemporary translation process research focuses on text reading, segmentation and production; and advances in computational linguistics have enhanced descriptions and identification of translation units, attention, production and alignment.
The emphasis of this chapter is on multitasking (and why we are so terrible at it). The everyday examples carried through the chapter are “things we do while driving” - eating, listening to media, talking, and yes - texting. After a few stories about driving I describe the fascinating research on distracted driving - with the conclusion that talking on a cell phone harmed the attention we need for driving, not physically holding the phone. This research resulted in legislation against driving while using hands-free phones as well as handheld, and more importantly explained why talking on a cell phone caused accidents. A series of experiments on distraction follows, each new answer leading to another unexpected question in a science detective story. This leads into a discussion of how to predict which multitasking situations are harmful and which ones we’ll probably be good at (with accompanying graphics). The closing example is a description of NASA'S MIDAS system, which can be programmed with the different multiple tasks we expect a person to do and will run a simulation showing exactly when and how they will make us fail (prompting either regulation, a redesign of the task, or the hiring of more people so jobs can be distributed).
The chapter offers visceral examples of the limits of human attention and how technology can be used to counteract those limitations. It opens with a story about world-famous rock climber Lynn Hill and an instance where she forgot to tie herself correctly to the rope - resulting in a fall of over 40 feet. This rock climbing accident provides a basis for exploring what attention is, the different types of attention, and why attention explains the creativity inherent in ADHD. There is also a short test readers can take to experience the limits of their own attention. Next, we explore some controversial stories of people who forgot their children in hot cars. Attention research explains why we can’t expect parents to stop forgetting and why we need safeguards other than admonishing people to “be more careful.” A last grim example documents the kinds of injuries people get from table saws, totaling about 4,000 missing fingers per year. The title of the last section is “Safety Doesn’t Sell,” because people are unwilling to pay extra for safety features since they think these accidents won’t happen to them. Table saw manufacturers have fought requirements for providing safety systems but the conclusion restates that since we cannot improve or extend human attention, technological solutions are our only hope.
Previous studies show that attention plays an important role in second language (L2) phonetic attainment. This study compares the effect of two high variability phonetic training methods (identification (ID) and categorical AX discrimination (DIS)) on specifically targeted sounds and on implicitly exposed but untargeted sounds. Four groups of Spanish/Catalan bilingual learners of English were trained on either a subset of English vowels (/iː ɪ æ ʌ ɜː/) or word-initial and word-final stops. The study also examined if the potential effect of training generalized to new stimuli and persisted two months after training. Results revealed that trainees significantly outperformed the controls in their identification of targeted sounds, and improvement generalized to new stimuli and was maintained after training, showing the efficacy of both training methodologies. However, while all trainees performed similarly with initial stops, ID trainees outperformed DIS trainees in vowel perception. Interestingly, only DIS trainees showed a significant improvement in the perception of untargeted sounds, indicating that this training method (possibly due to the absence of labels and the exposure to two physically present stimuli in each trial) may be more suited to enhance learners’ perception of both targeted and untargeted sounds.
Having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a risk factor for concussion that impacts concussion diagnosis and recovery. The relationship between ADHD and repetitive subconcussive head impacts on neurocognitive and behavioral outcomes is less well known. This study evaluated the role of ADHD as a moderator of the association between repetitive head impacts on neurocognitive test performance and behavioral concussion symptoms over the course of an athletic season.
Study participants included 284 male athletes aged 13–18 years who participated in high school football. Parents completed the Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behavior (SWAN) ratings about their teen athlete before the season began. Head impacts were measured using an accelerometer worn during all practices and games. Athletes and parents completed behavioral ratings of concussion symptoms and the Attention Network Task (ANT), Digital Trail Making Task (dTMT), and Cued Task Switching Task at pre- and post-season.
Mixed model analyses indicated that neither head impacts nor ADHD symptoms were associated with post-season athlete- or parent-reported concussion symptom ratings or neurocognitive task performance. Moreover, no relationships between head impact exposure and neurocognitive or behavioral outcomes emerged when severity of pre-season ADHD symptoms was included as a moderator.
Athletes’ pre-season ADHD symptoms do not appear to influence behavioral or neurocognitive outcomes following a single season of competitive football competition. Results are interpreted in light of several study limitations (e.g., single season, assessment of constructs) that may have impacted this study’s pattern of largely null results.
We propose an integrated deep learning model for morphological segmentation, morpheme tagging, part-of-speech (POS) tagging, and syntactic parsing onto dependencies, using cross-level contextual information flow for every word, from segments to dependencies, with an attention mechanism at horizontal flow. Our model extends the work of Nguyen and Verspoor ((2018). Proceedings of the CoNLL Shared Task: Multilingual Parsing from Raw Text to Universal Dependencies. The Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 81–91.) on joint POS tagging and dependency parsing to also include morphological segmentation and morphological tagging. We report our results on several languages. Primary focus is agglutination in morphology, in particular Turkish morphology, for which we demonstrate improved performance compared to models trained for individual tasks. Being one of the earlier efforts in joint modeling of syntax and morphology along with dependencies, we discuss prospective guidelines for future comparison.
Even the simplest social interactions require us to gather, integrate, and act upon, multiple streams of information about others and our surroundings. In this Element, we discuss how perceptual processes provide us with an accurate account of action-relevant information in social contexts. We overview contemporary theories and research that explores how: (1) individuals perceive others' mental states and actions, (2) individuals perceive affordances for themselves, others, and the dyad, and (3) how social contexts guide our attention to modulate what we perceive. Finally, we review work on the cognitive mechanisms that make joint action possible and discuss their links to perception.
In explaining why an instance of negligence is a case of culpable wrongdoing, it is natural and common to cite missing features of the agent’s behavior or mental state. “She failed to notice the stop sign,” “He did not check the water temperature before putting the baby in the bath.” In general, it can seem puzzling to ground judgments of wrongdoing and culpability not in the qualities that the agent’s mind and behavior possess but, instead, in the qualities they lack. After all, the class of people lacking the relevant feature is much larger than the class who are guilty of the culpable wrongdoing to which we are responding in cases of negligence. The passenger in the car, as well as the driver, failed to notice the stop sign. The houseguest also did not check the temperature of the baby’s bath. Why are they not guilty of culpable wrongdoing if these respective failures are what supports the charge in the case of the driver and the father? This chapter argues, first, that an account of why cases of negligence are ever cases of culpable wrongdoing must solve this problem by providing an explanation for why some absences are instances of culpable wrongdoing and others are not. Several quick efforts to solve the problem are shown to be inadequate. The chapter then goes on to offer a general theory of culpability that explains why absences – failures to notice or to attend, failures to take precautions – can be instances of culpable wrongdoing, and also why such absences sometimes fail to ground claims of culpable wrongdoing. Along the way, the chapter also draws a distinction between moral and criminal culpability and demonstrates that there can be instances of criminally culpable negligence in the absence of moral culpability.
In this chapter, we discuss the existential concerns of the great Maestro Ludwig van Beethoven and how he was able to compose musical masterpieces while confronting severe hearing loss. We also describe age-related changes in vision, smell, taste, skin sensation, proprioception, and balance. Age-related cognitive changes such as attention, processing, learning, and memory are presented. Finally, a resolution is offered as to how Beethoven still composed with hearing loss.
The harmonious free play of the imagination and understanding is at the heart of Kant’s account of beauty in the Critique of the Power of Judgement, but interpreters have long struggled to determine what Kant means when he claims the faculties are in a state of free play. In this article, I develop an interpretation of the free play of the faculties in terms of the freedom of attention. By appealing to the different way that we attend to objects in aesthetic experience, we can explain how the faculties are free, even when the subject already possesses a concept of the object and is bound to the determinate form of the object in perception.
This Element in the Cambridge Elements in Second Language Acquisition series examines the role of interaction in Second Language Acquisition research, with a focus on the cognitive interactionist approach. The Element describes the major branches of the field, considering the importance of conversational interaction in both the cognitive interactionist framework as well as in sociocultural approaches to second language learning. The authors discuss the key concepts of the framework, including input, negotiation for meaning, corrective feedback, and output. The key readings in the field and the emphases of current and future research are explained. Finally, the authors describe the pedagogical implications that the cognitive interactionist approach has had on the teaching of second languages.
SuperAgers are adults over the age of 80 with superior episodic memory performance and at least average-for-age performance in non-episodic memory domains. This study further characterized the neuropsychological profile of SuperAgers compared to average-for-age episodic memory peers to determine potential cognitive mechanisms contributing to their superior episodic memory performance.
Retrospective analysis of neuropsychological test data from 56 SuperAgers and 23 similar-age peers with average episodic memory was conducted. Independent sample t-tests evaluated between-group differences in neuropsychological scores. Multiple linear regression determined the influence of non-episodic memory function on episodic memory scores across participants.
As a group, SuperAgers had better scores than their average memory peers on measures of attention, working memory, naming, and speeded set shifting. Scores on tests of processing speed, visuospatial function, verbal fluency, response inhibition, and abstract reasoning did not differ. On an individual level, there was variability among SuperAgers with regard to non-episodic memory performance, with some performing above average-for-age across cognitive domains while others performed in the average-for-age range on non-memory tests. Across all participants, attention and executive function scores explained 20.4% of the variance in episodic memory scores.
As a group, SuperAgers outperformed their average memory peers in multiple cognitive domains, however, there was considerable intragroup variability suggesting that SuperAgers’ episodic memory strength is not simply related to globally superior cognitive functioning. Attention and executive function performance explained approximately one-fifth of the variance in episodic memory and maybe areas to target with cognitive interventions.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been associated with decreased spontaneous attention to social stimuli. Several studies further suggest that a higher expression of autism traits (AT) in the neurotypical population (NTP) may also be related to decreased social attention, although the evidence is still scarce, especially when considering faces as task-irrelevant distractors.
This study aimed to explore the relationship between the expression of AT in the NTP and exogenous attention to social stimuli.
Fifty-one adult participants were recruited and asked to complete the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), to measure AT, and to perform an attentional capture task. In the latter, they were instructed to detect a target letter in the middle of perceptually similar (high perceptual load) or dissimilar (low perceptual load) distractor letters. In 25% of the trials, task-irrelevant distractors, consisting of images of faces (social) or houses (non-social), were shown flanking the letter stimuli.
Response times were found to be affected by distractor-response compatibility, increasing for contralateral distractors, but decreasing for ipsilateral distractors, in relation to trials with no distractors (baseline). Importantly, these trends were magnified for distractor faces in the group with less AT, considering the social skills dimension of AQ, while the same tendency was observed in the group with higher AT, but for distractor houses.
Our results support an altered attentional performance in the subclinical phenotype of the autism spectrum. Furthermore, they also add to existing literature documenting similar attentional abnormalities in both the clinical and subclinical extremes of the spectrum, hinting possible shared mechanisms.
Spirituality and religiousness are not so far extensively investigated in patients after stroke.
The aim of this preliminary study is to explore whether self-reports in two questionnaires measuring the personal experience of spirituality and religiousness can influence cognition and more specifically performance on neuropsychological tests examining attention.
Fifteen male stroke patients participated voluntarily one year after their hospitalization. The mean age of the patients was 75.58 years (SD = 7.50, range 61-90), level of education 15.47 years (SD = 3.82). In addition to that, fifteen controls with similar demographics, free of physical and mental diseases, were also examined. Depressive symptoms of the participants were assessed with the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. The Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, the Systems of Belief Inventory (SBI-15R) and a number of standardized tests examining attention were administered: Trail Making Test-Part A (TMT-A) time to completion, the Digit Span (WAIS-III) greatest forward span, the Ruff 2 & 7 Selective Attention Test automatic detection speed (ADS) and controlled search speed (CSS).
indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the control group and the stroke group in attention. No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups regarding the levels of spirituality and religiousness.
Although spirituality and religiousness may be related with quality of life, cognitive functioning such as attention does not seem to be influenced by these variables one year post-stroke. Future research should further investigate the possible influence of the abovementioned factors in post-stroke recovery and rehabilitation.
Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is defined as one of the commonest disorder in children and adolescents affecting 40 percent of them. Although it does not cause mental disorders it is known that IAD is commonly related with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The best approach to asses attention is recording of event related potentials (ERPs) especially late response like P300. There are growing evidence regarding assessment of attention in IAD with different questionnaires but less is known about evidence received with more valid measurements like P300.
The aim of our study was to measure attention parameters in IAD subjects by using the most valid test–latency and amplitude of P300. We have examined 70 children with IAD aged 5-18 years. Children were divided into two groups: Group 1 (40 children) was matched as a study group including children with IAD and group 2 controls (30 children) without IAD and without ADHD.
IAD was assessed by Young IAD scale. Children with Young scale less than 20 and with IQ less than 85 were excluded from the study. Recording of P300 was done by international protocol using oddball paradigm method. Statistical analysis was done by SSPS 26.
In study group increase in P300 latency was found (mean range 350-375 msc) while amplitude was normal (p <0.05). In controls both parameters were within normal range.
IAD could be related with attention disorders causing poor attention span. This evidence is very important as they affect internet addicted children and adolescents’ social well being.