• Nicolae Neagu added an answer:
    How do you measure Attention?

    I am doing research on Attention and its influences on emotional states.

    Nicolae Neagu · University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Târgu Mures

    In sports research, for example, in investigating the level of sports fit of an individual, there is a test that measures up to 20 reaction times (consecutively and with breaks of varying duration). From their duration curve analysis may result his own attention status. If the time duration curve decreases it may be concluded a good sport form or fit, (i.e. a good level of attention) and vice versa. The investigation requires a sensitive electronic timer (1/1000 seconds). The trigger stimuli can be: auditory, visual or haptic. The experimental procedure can be single or dual-task as was saying by Mr. Adam Reeves. Best regards, Nicolae.

  • Daya S Gupta added an answer:
    Do you believe there is an organ responsible for time experience?
    I do believe there is a connection between dopamine and time experience, however I do not think that it has anything to do with a physical structure in the brain. I believe that dopamine affects a person's ability to encode. The storage size metaphor (as suggested in Ornstein, 1942) states that a person's working memory and the amount of information put in is a better predictor of one's perception of time compared to any 'inner clock' mechanism (known). Also, studies have shown that depressed individuals (assuming low dopamine levels) encode more, suggesting a temporal 'stretching' which may be a factor in their depression. It may not be that they are encoding more, but that they cannot compress what they are encoding into smaller units because of their lack of dopamine. This may show a relationship between dopamine and encoding, which is the reason for dopamine's effect in temporal experience.
  • Has anyone developed/published a rodent analogue of dot-probe for attentional bias?

    The Dot-Probe task has been widely used in research on affective disorder and addiction in human subjects.  Briefly, the subject has to choose one of two buttons to indicate in which of two locations a dot appears, where the two locations are jointly preceded by presentation of drug/spider etc image on one side, and a neutral image on the other.  The latency to respond to the side contralateral to the clinically-relevant image is interpreted as a measure of attentional bias.

    I'm wondering if anyone has developed a task like this for rodents, to see whether presentation of a drug-conditioned CS+ in a spatial part of the animal's environment delays/distracts an operant response unrelated to the drug in another spatial location.

    Béatrice Marianne Ewalds-Kvist · Stockholm University

    Dear James,

    Neurobiol Learn Mem. 1995 Mar;63(2):116-32.
    Spatial working and reference memory in rats bred for autonomic sensitivity to cholinergic stimulation: acquisition, accuracy, speed, and effects of cholinergic drugs. Bushnell PJ, Levin ED, Overstreet DH.

    ....This study was conducted to determine whether the selected differences in cholinergic autonomic sensitivity would be expressed as differences in cognitive ability based on choice accuracy in appetitive tasks. The working and reference memory of rats of these two strains was thus assessed using operant delayed matching-to-position/visual discrimination (DMTP/VD) and the radial-arm maze. A Long-Evans (L-E) reference group was included in the DMTP/VD study.----

    J Exp Anal Behav. 2014 Nov;102(3):346-52. .
    Responding by exclusion in Wistar rats in a simultaneous visual discrimination task. Felipe de Souza M, Schmidt A.

    Selective cognitive deficits in adult rats after prenatal exposure to inhaled ethanol. shiro WM et al. 2014

    The effects of acute pharmacological stimulation of the 5-HT, NA and DA systems on the cognitive judgement bias of rats in the ambiguous-cue interpretation paradigm. ygula R, Papciak J, Popik P. ur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Jul;24(7):1103-11

  • Juan Fernandez-Ruiz added an answer:
    Does anybody use PsychoPy 2.0 to build complex experiments (e.g. Attentional Network Test)?
    To see what ANT is: Fan et al., 2002 - Testing the efficiency and independence of attentional networks
    Juan Fernandez-Ruiz · Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    Hi Alfredo, I was wondering if you were able to program the ANT using PsychoPy? I saw that you ended up using eprime in your Acta Psychologica paper. Regards,


  • Valdir F Pessoa added an answer:
    Color blindness for blue and yellow?
    I'm designing an experiment in which I'll use the Stroop task. I'm planning to use four colors: red, green, yellow and blue. For the sake of control, one of my reviewers asked me how I can control for color blindness. I found the Ishihara cards, which can reliably help me with red and green, but I can't find a test for blue and yellow. I'd appreciate your ideas on tests for controlling this.
    Valdir F Pessoa · University of Brasília

    You may use Farnsworth-Munsell, Lanthony or Neitz Color Vision Tests, but the last is faster, easier and reliable.

  • Otto Lappi added an answer:
    Can anyone give me examples of real-world tasks where 'habitual motor responses' or 'response inhibition' play a role?
    I am looking for examples of real-world tasks (e.g. jobs, situations, etc.) where habitual motor responses are a factor, for good or for bad.

    For example, a situation where a simple motor task or response is performed many times in rapid succession, until it becomes 'automatic', and then when there is eventually a need to withhold from performing this task/response it is difficult to do so.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Otto Lappi · University of Helsinki

    If you learn to drive using a stick shift, you are very likely to hit the brake pedal when manoeuvering with an automatic, e.g. at  a car park. (You need to make sure your "clutch foot" keeps away from the pedals - this may take some effort at first).

  • Michael Filsecker added an answer:
    In neurophysiology/neurosciences metrics are available to assess engagement and attention: Any literature on the difference between these concepts?
    I am a researcher collecting neurophysiological data with subjects during learning tasks or problem solving
    Michael Filsecker · University of Duisburg-Essen

    Hi Patrick, no idea of publication day. The process has been quite long, but eventually no later than end of 2014.


  • Baris Demiral added an answer:
    What is the best neuroscience approach of attention?

    I found three major approaches of the neurological mechanism of attention:

    a)mirror neurons related with association areas and the develop of a specific task,  

    b) lateral intraparietal cortex on forced decision task 

    c) dorsal prefrontal cortex in taks related with working memory 

    Is there another important approach? Are these systems related? Is there a better paradigm to understand attention process on a neuroscientific poinf of view?  

    Baris Demiral · National Institutes of Health

    Hi Roberto, are you looking at the moments of increased peaks in the EDA, or use tonic changes?

    I am afraid that by using EDA you may not have a clear and direct relationship between attention and BOLD. But I think what you are trying to do is to have an implicit measure of attention by using EDA as dependent measure, is that right?  Then, you need to look at the literature about how EDA and BOLD are related first (even without considering attention related changes on EDA), then examine whether those brain areas should be active at the time of increased external attention in your paradigm. 

    One very important thing that you need to consider is that physiological responses have corresponding effects on BOLD, and many people think that these are noise.

  • Emotional Expectancy Bias - any thoughts?

    Hello everyone.

    I´m not sure if this concept has been coined already, but I am currently interested in researching the effects of emotion on attention. Specially the effects of our expectations with regards to basic affective and neutral incoming stimuli. And I need to get a feel for the basic tasks and paradigms that are used to measure emotional expectancy, but I can't seem to find anything in that scenario. If anyone knows of a review of any kind, or anything along the lines of expectancy biases that resembles this, I would greatly appreciate it. 

    Julian Hernández-Pumarejo · University of Granada

    Woah! I think posting this question here was the best thing i´v done so far. Thank you all. I think i am getting the hang of it. Hopefully i can respond in a published paper soon.

  • Andy Schieler added an answer:
    Does anybody of you know an attention task for infants?

    I am looking for a task which measures the infants' non-social (e.g., object-related) attention in 14-month old infants. I read about a 'Distractibility task' (for example used by St James-Roberts & Alston, 2006) but could not find any detailed procedure about the task so far.

    Andy Schieler · Universität Erfurt

    Thank you all for the helpful answers. I am looking more for the ability to sustain attention as a general level attentiveness. Unfortunately we do not have an eye-tracker to measure attentiveness...

  • Maarit Virta added an answer:
    Which recent evidence concerns attention training based on hypnosis techniques/self instruction in clients with ADHD?

    We are looking for evidence after 2003, including all sorts of therapeutic treatment techniques that are similar to hypnosis/mindfulness/meditation etc. applied on people with deficits in concentration/attention/learning disorders.
    I am also curious about a neurological mechanisms that might explain what helps us to focus our attention.

    Maarit Virta · University of Helsinki

    I have several years of clinical experience - with some succesfull and some not so succesfull cases.

    We have to papers published in Contemporary Hypnosis 2010 and 2014 where we found that hypnotherapy is effective in adults with ADHD and might even be in follow up better than CBT. Unfortunately our study group was very small and the therapy was short (10 participants, 10 sessions) so more studies are needed.

  • Gerit Pfuhl added an answer:
    Looking for metrics for attention: What is the best way to obtain a quantified representation of human attention?

    We are developing Attention-Aware Systems, which includes the Sensing (Estimation), Modeling and Management of user attention.

    In my research activitise I was not able to find a generally valid metric, categorization or quantification of attention.

    There are different approaches: in cognitive sciences, attention us usually analyzed as the performance in the fulfillment of given tasks => a percentage scale of an average performance. in HCI publications, researchers often use their own categories or scales that are chosen arbitrarily.

    In my work I was using scales, as well as attention types as categories...

    So my question is whether you know some way of parametrization for human attention, or have any creative approach to follow?


    Gerit Pfuhl · Universitetet i Tromsø

    given that attention is not equal awareness those scales are of no use for your tasks. Vigilance or measures of sleepiness may though provide you with a scale. More objectively might be to use the EEG, as alertness/attention towards a stimulus is signaled in the power spectrum i.e. beta waves - non-invasive and two electrodes on the scalp suffice (see: Jung et al. 1997 Estimating alertness from the EEG power spectrum)

  • Leonard James Smart added an answer:
    What are the essential concepts in attention and memory to cover in an introductory cognitive course?
    I am restructuring my institutions intro to cognitive psychology course - to include perception (which used to be a separate course) and action (motor control) - the current course already covers history, research methods, some neuroscience, decision making, problem solving, language in addition to the heavy dose of attention and memory - so adding more material to a course that is a week shorter. So the question is a both a theoretical and practical question - what are the key concepts that students should 'know' after a course like this?
    Leonard James Smart · Miami University

    Hi Davood and Jay - I agree, the quotes aren't meant to suggest that we don't need to study attention - for me it highlights the difficulty in studying it (in particular defining what it is). I like to use them as a discussion prompt (my next slide is a set of nine "definitions" of attention which are all being used currently - who has the 'right' one, is there a right one?).

  • Beatriz Lovo added an answer:
    Does attention drive visual search and visual perception and is it possible to visual search without paying attention?
    I am a second-year Psychology student currently studying at the University of Greenwich. I would like to have a brief moment of your time to ask you a few questions relating to the use of visual search, visual perception, and attention in advertising to increase the likelihood of the messages being noticed.

    I recently conducted a research on this topic for my cognitive psychology course and as a follow-up, I was asked to do a network exercise to contact professionals, academics, researchers, and other credible sources to further my understanding of real life applications and implications of knowledge on this topic.
    Beatriz Lovo · Central American Technological University

    You might want to investigate further the Cognitive Dissonance theory which basicaly states that people have selective perception, attention and retention (memory). It is used in Mass Communications studies and applications in advertising. This theory states that human beings perceive, pay attention to and remember messages that are not contrary to their own set of believes, values, environment, culture, etc.

  • Has anyone found a link between inattenional blindness and depression?

    I am working on a thesis on the link between visual working memory capacity and inattenional blindness in individuals with depression and have not found any research on a link between inattenional blindness and depression. I am wondering if anyone has seen or done any research on the topic. 

    Béatrice Marianne Ewalds-Kvist · Stockholm University

    Hope this inpires you to go further with this question.

    Association of affective temperaments measured by TEMPS-A with cognitive deficits in patients with bipolar disorder. Xu, Guiyun; Lu, Weicong; Ouyang, Huiyi; Dang, Yamei; Guo, Yangbo; et al. Journal of Affective Disorders161 (Jun 1, 2014): 109-115..............Significant temperament X bipolar subtype interaction effects were observed for set shifting (Wald X2 = 18.161, p < 0.001), planning (Wald X2 = 7.906, p = 0.048), and visual spatial memory (Wald X2 = 16.418, p = 0.001).....


    White matter hyperintensities and cognitive performance in adult patients with bipolar I, bipolar II, and major depressive disorders. Kieseppä, T.; Mäntylä, R.; Tuulio-Henriksson, A.; Luoma, K.; Mantere, O.; et al. European Psychiatry29.4 (May 2014): 226-232.........Belonging in the BPI group as opposed to the control group predicted higher DWMH grade (coefficient estimate 1.13, P = 0.012). The DWMH grade independently predicted worse performance on the Visual Span Forward test (coefficient estimate -0.48, P = 0.002).


    Neurocognitive functioning in bipolar depression: A component structure analysis. Gallagher, P.; Gray, J. M.; Watson, S.; Young, A. H.; Ferrier, I. N.. Psychological Medicine44.5 (Apr 2014): 961-974...........Overall, neurocognitive test performance is significantly reduced in BD patients when depressed. The use of different methods of analysing cognitive performance is highlighted....


    Attentional selection is biased toward mood-congruent stimuli. Becker, Mark W.; Leinenger, Mallorie. Emotion11.5 (Oct 2011): 1248-1254.........A positive, negative, or neutral mood manipulation was followed by an attentionally demanding multiple-object tracking task. During the tracking task, participants were more likely to notice an unexpected face when its emotional expression was congruent with participants' mood. This was particularly true for the frowning face, which was detected almost exclusively by participants in the sad mood induction condition. This attentional bias toward mood-congruent stimuli provides evidence that one's temporary mood can influence the attentional filter, thereby affecting the information that one extracts from, and how one experiences the world.



    Attending to music decreases inattentional blindness.

     Beanland, Vanessa; Allen, Rosemary A.; Pammer, Kristen. Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal20.4 (Dec 2011): 1282-1292.


    Noticing spiders on the left: Evidence on attentional bias and spider fear in the inattentional blindness paradigm.  Brailsford, Richard; Catherwood, Di; Tyson, Philip J.; Edgar, Graham. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition19.2 (Mar 2014): 201-218.

    ...Attentional biases in anxiety disorders have been assessed primarily using three types of experiment: the emotional Stroop task, the probe-detection task, and variations of the visual search task. It is proposed that the inattentional blindness procedure has the ability to overcome limitations of these paradigms in regard to identifying the components of attentional bias......


    Looking anew at cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis: The gorilla in the room. Feinstein, Anthony; Lapshin, Helen; O’Connor, Paul. Neurology79.11 (Sep 11, 2012): 1124-1129.

    ....Conclusions: The results support our hypothesis that less inattentional blindness is associated with heightened distractibility. This may explain why some patients with MS deemed cognitively intact on a battery of tests such as the MACFIMS still struggle with real-world challenges such as multitasking and filtering distracting stimuli


  • Ravinder Jerath added an answer:
    Can anyone explain why HRV is reduced during attention?
    Greater resting heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with better executive functioning, better working memory performance and more context-appropriate motivational responses.
    Furthermore HRV is reduced during attention and physical activity. However, I have not found a satisfactory explanation why this is so?
    Ravinder Jerath · Augusta Women's Center

    It is well known that all emotions have their own pattern of respiration. Depth of respiration and its frequency are directly related to the dominance of LF or HF HRV. Closing the eyes and breathing slowly during breathing deeply during the practice of "Pranayama " a form of meditation can modulate the sympathetic to parasympathetic response .(Jerath 2006 medical hypothesis) . So does deep SW sleep when the repiration is slow and deep and there is increase HRV . ( Jerath , Branes 2014 sleep medicine)  The slowly adapting strech receptors in the lungs during attention would send depolarizing modulatory signals to respiratory , limbic and cortical centers. These signals can depolarize the cells based on degree of cardiorespiratory synchronization. In meditaion and SW sleep the high degree of synchronization of respiration and heart (1:4) or more induces heperpolarization and inhibition of all cells over 20 minutes leading to homeostatic change in membrane potential of excitable and non neural cells. In attention the transient change in cardiorespiratory synchronization could induce change in HRV simultaneously associated with change  from alpha to beta waves on EEG. Attention is also associtaed with deactivation of default mode network in the brain. 

  • Carmen Wrede added an answer:
    In which cases does a mismatch negativity show up?
    Hello everyone and especially the neuroscientific fraction. I would like to know in which cases mismatch negativity shows up? I already read in books and studies about dissonances. Another study showed that hearing someone else speak out your name can cause MMN. Also read about babies and MMN. Do you know anything further about this topic? What else can cause MMN? Is it always an outside stimulus? Thank you very much for your time and help to clearify this topic.
    Carmen Wrede · FernUniversität in Hagen
    Hello Marion,

    thank you very much for your help. I saw your answer some time ago but was too busy with other questions and material to read to check for the links or to answer. I hope I will find some time next week to come back to this really interesting topic.

    The initial subject for this question was an EEG of someone who was in a lucid dream state. The proband was counting numbers in this state. And what was showing up was an MMN just the moment the proband started to count. However this MMN did not show up in an awake state.

    All in all: I am kind of interested in the question if it is possible to find some kind of "physical laws" for dream environments which make it possible to observe a dream environment just like an exobiologist tries to find laws for life on other planets in order to come to some conclussions what this environment might be like. So I am quite interested in this "room" and it's "physics".
  • Henrique Salmazo Silva added an answer:
    I'm looking for the best way to measure attention in elderly. Does anyone have a suggestion?
    Both neuropsychological and neurophysiological biomarkers have my interest.
    Henrique Salmazo Silva · University of São Paulo
    You can use auditory and visually attentional tasks.
    Look this article:
  • Jack Wilson added an answer:
    How to measure accurately ERP/ERFs when participants need to do an early saccade?
    Basically, in EEG and MEG research, we reject some trials for our average if our participants blinked or made some saccades, this due to 1) the distortion caused on the MEG/EEG signal and because 2) the visual input will shift across the retina, which creates a saccade-induced ERP response (Luck, 2005). Thus, our participants have to fixate the center of the screen.
    It is well known that it's possible to correct the signal using independent component analysis (ICA) or other artifact corrections algorithms. However, which could be the best manner to investigate the early saccadic behavior toward complex picture without altering the sensory ERPs?
    Jack Wilson · University of Essex
    Horizontal/vertical eye occulograms (H/VEOG) is the only thing I can think of.
  • Gerard Derosiere added an answer:
    Can you recommend any papers on task load effects on vigilance performance?
    Please help me find articles in which 'task load' has been used as an independent variable on Vigilance Performance.
    Gerard Derosiere · Catholic University of Louvain
    Hi Tarun,

    I would say that it depends on what you mean by "task load".

    Some authors have indeed tested whether increasing the "task difficulty" by changing stimuli parameters (presentation rate, etc) would induce higher decrement in vigilance performance over time-on-task. In this vein, you should take a look at this paper: Smit, A. S., Eling, P. A., & Coenen, A. M. (2004). Mental effort causes vigilance decrease due to resource depletion. Acta psychologica, 115(1), 35-42.
    According to these authors, increasing task difficulty is related to increasing task load.

    However, this is worth mentioning that other authors have pointed out the paradoxical inverse relationship between the "task difficulty", and "task load" such as unchallenging, monotonous attention-related tasks are actually subjectively perceived more difficult and required more "cognitive effort" (Kahneman, 1973; Manly et al., 2003; Parasuraman, 1984; Poffenberger, 1927; Robinson and Bills, 1926; Wilkinson, 1964; see Robertson and O’Connell, 2010, for a recent review, or Langner and Eickoff, 2012).

    Thus, according to these opposing views, increasing task difficulty could be associated with either an increase or a decrease in "task load".

  • Tarun Mishra added an answer:
    Can someone recommend a research paper on inter stimulus interval and sustained attention?
    Seeking to find a research paper related to inter stimulus interval and sustained attention.
    Tarun Mishra · Banaras Hindu University
    Thanks Jhon Sir
  • Cheng-Hung Lo added an answer:
    How is visual search used when it comes to capturing consumers attention?
    I am interested to find out how advertisers use visual searches to ensure their advert reaches their consumers.
    How is this method used (through cognitive perspective)?
    Cheng-Hung Lo · Chang Gung University
    Hi Hema,

    I've got your message. May I say that your question might be too big to answer. I know you probably have done this but googling a bit might actually help you make a more specific inquiry, which would also help us answer more effectively.

    Best wishes
  • Tracey - Ann R Lodge asked a question:
    In the brain, are the preattentive process and focal-attentional process regulated in the same area?
    I would like to have a brief moment of your time to ask you a few questions relating to the use of Visual search, Visual perception and Attention in advertising to increase the likelihood of their message being noticed.

    I recently conducted research on this topic for my cognitive psychology course and as a follow up I was asked to do a network exercise to contact professionals, academics, researchers and other credible sources to further my understanding on real life applications and implications of knowledge on this topic
  • Aria Tsam added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest articles on the attentiveness of construction workers?
    My research subjects consist of both construction electric linemen and electric utility linemen. We are in the treatment phase and I am beginning to write the literature review. I want to leave no rock unturned; thus, my request for related articles pertaining to attentiveness treatments for construction workers, especially electric line workers.
  • Mir-Shahram Safari added an answer:
    Can anyone suggests some papers on auditory sustained attention?
    I need to do a research on the auditory sustained attention with the effect of caffeine.
    Take a look on this paper:
  • Mark A. Runco added an answer:
    How to integrate mindfulness into third level institutes and ways to measure performance increases.
    I am applying for post graduate research and I was thinking about teaching mindfulness to undergraduates and measuring academic performance between groups. Can anyone offer suggestions for the methodology?
    Mark A. Runco · University of Georgia
    Ellen Langer has 1-2 articles on mindfulness and teaching (and creativity) in the Creativity Research Journal.
  • Roshanak Soltani added an answer:
    Who can benefit from self-controlled feedback in learning of a motor task more?
    I mean, are there any mental characteristics that increase the efficiency of self-controlled feedback? In other words, which characteristics should the performer have to get more and more benefit from self-controlled feedback in motor learning?
    Roshanak Soltani · University of Tabriz
    Thanks Toby
  • Jiunru Wang added an answer:
    How is attention oriented by the cues of gaze or gestures?
    I'm interesing in how attention select and shift when children read the picture books.
    Jiunru Wang · Hsuan Chuang University
    Dear Miss Cecconello & Mr.Brielmann,thank you very much for your great opinion.Sorry to reply so lately...It's really hard to "think" in the happy Chinese New Year vacation in Taiwan^.^ ....In the teaching/reading process,paying attention on the text is very important....In the FBA studies, the attention shifts by color strongly..... In the books with only text(no pictures),the salient-color words actually can get more attention....But in the books with pictures,children paid only little attention to the text even the text colorful....except the text pointed by the reader's finger (Evans, M. A.(2005,2008)&Justice, L. M.(2002,2005).).......It's impossible to offer the storybooks with the auto-pointing finger for every student.....But it's possible to offer the storybooks with a pointing finger printed in the book. .........I'm interested in if children's attention can be oriented/shifted to the text by the way pointed by fingers , hands, gaze of the face or other objects "printed" in the book....... I'm colllecting more information from the related studies for creating my own study.

About Attention

Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating.

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