Joe DeGutis

Joe DeGutis
Harvard Medical School | HMS · Department of Psychiatry

Ph.D.

About

90
Publications
25,162
Reads
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2,826
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2009 - present
Harvard University
Position
  • Fellow
August 2007 - present
Harvard Medical School
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
Full-text available
Clinical practice guidelines support cognitive rehabilitation for people with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and cognitive impairment, but no class I randomized clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of self-administered computerized cognitive training. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a self-administered...
Article
Full-text available
Are gender differences in face recognition influenced by familiarity and socio-cultural factors? Previous studies have reported gender differences in processing unfamiliar faces, consistently finding a female advantage and a female own-gender bias. However, researchers have recently highlighted that unfamiliar faces are processed less efficiently t...
Article
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Task-specific power training (InVEST) targets leg power and mobility skills that are beneficial for treating slow gait speed for older adults. This study investigated the efficacy of a short-term InVEST training on leg power, mobility performance, and gait characteristics and further examine whether the addition of cognitive training would augment...
Article
Objective: It is increasingly recognized that trauma victims, particularly Veterans, have co-occurring psychological and physical conditions that impact cognition, especially the domains of sustained attention and executive functioning. Although previous work has generally attempted to isolate the unique cognitive effects of common combat-related...
Article
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Objective: Metabolic syndrome (MetS), the presence of three or more cardiovascular risk factors, has been associated with subtle and diffuse neural compromise but has not been consistently associated with cognitive dysfunction. Sustained attention is a fundamental cognitive operation that relies on multiple brain networks and is impaired in a broa...
Article
Several studies have examined how individual differences in sustained attention relate to functional brain measures (e.g., functional connectivity), but far fewer studies relate sustained attention ability, or cognition in general, to individual differences in cortical structure. Functional magnetic resonance imaging meta‐analyses and patient work...
Article
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Objective: Cognitive performance in trauma-exposed populations, such as combat Veterans, has been shown to be worse than in nonexposed peers. However, cognitive performance has typically been within the normal range (within 1 SD of normative mean), and the prevalence of clinically significant cognitive dysfunction (i.e., performance more than 1 SD...
Article
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Severe developmental deficits in face recognition ability (developmental prosopagnosia, or DP) have been vigorously studied over the past decade, yet many questions remain unanswered about their origins, nature, and social consequences. A rate-limiting factor in answering such questions is the challenge of recruiting rare DP participants. Although...
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Background Posttraumatic stress disorder is associated with impairments in sustained attention, a fundamental cognitive process important for a variety of social and occupational tasks. To date, however, the precise nature of these impairments and the posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms associated with them have not been well understood. Method...
Article
Attention is thought to facilitate both the representation of task-relevant features and the communication of these representations across large-scale brain networks. However, attention is not all or none, but rather it fluctuates between stable/accurate (in-the-zone) and variable/error-prone (out-of-the-zone) states. Here we ask how different atte...
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Background Healthy aging is associated with a decline in multiple functional domains including perception, attention, short and long-term memory, reasoning, decision-making, as well as cognitive and motor control functions; all of which are significantly modulated by an individual’s level of alertness. The control of alertness also significantly de...
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Sustained attention is critical for tasks where perceptual information must be continuously processed, like reading or driving; however, the cognitive processes underlying sustained attention remain incompletely characterized. In the experiments that follow, we explore the relationship between sustaining attention and the contents and maintenance o...
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Sustained attention is a fundamental cognitive function underlying many activities in daily life including workplace safety, but its natural variation throughout the day is incompletely characterized. To examine time-of-day variation, we collected a large online data set (N = 6,363) with participation throughout the day and around the world on the...
Article
Developing non-invasive brain stimulation interventions to improve attentional control is extremely relevant to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric populations, yet few studies have identified reliable biomarkers that can be readily modified to improve attentional control. One potential biomarker of attention is functional connectivity in the c...
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Introduction Interpersonal early life trauma (I‐ELT) is associated with a myriad of functional impairments in adulthood, increased risk of drug addiction, and neuropsychiatric disorders. While deficits in emotional regulation and amygdala functioning are well characterized, deficits in general cognitive functioning have also been documented. Howeve...
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Models of attention often distinguish among attention subtypes, with classic models separating orienting, switching, and sustaining functions. Compared with other forms of attention, the neurophysiological basis of sustaining attention has received far less notice, yet it is known that momentary failures of sustained attention can have far-ranging...
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Sustained attentional control is critical for everyday tasks and success in school and employment. Understanding gender differences in sustained attentional control, and their potential sources, is an important goal of psychology and neuroscience and of great relevance to society. We used a large web-based sample (n = 21,484, from testmybrain.org)...
Data
Histograms showing age distributions of participants by country. Horizontal axis—age. Vertical axis—number of participants. (TIF)
Data
Countries included in our sample, and number of participants (men and women) in each country. (DOCX)
Data
Gender*sociocultural interactions in commission error rate when controlling for omission error rate, and vice versa. (DOCX)
Article
Sustained attention is critical to daily functioning but the relationship between perceptual processing during sustained attention and the ability to remain focused is incompletely characterized. To explore this issue, we administered the gradual onset continuous performance task (gradCPT), a sensitive sustained attention task, to a large web-based...
Article
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Motivation and reward can have differential effects on separate aspects of sustained attention. We previously demonstrated that continuous reward/punishment throughout a sustained attention task improves overall performance, but not vigilance decrements. One interpretation of these findings is that vigilance decrements are due to resource depletion...
Article
Reward and motivation have powerful effects on cognition and brain activity, yet it remains unclear how they affect sustained cognitive performance. We have recently shown that a variety of motivators improve accuracy and reduce variability during sustained attention. In the current study, we investigate how neural activity in task-positive network...
Article
Efficient self-regulation of alertness declines with age exacerbating normal declines in performance across multiple cognitive domains, including learning and skill acquisition. Previous cognitive intervention studies have shown that it is possible to enhance alertness in patients with acquired brain injury and marked attention impairments, and tha...
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While the associations between psychological distress (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression) and sleep dysfunction have been demonstrated in trauma-exposed populations, studies have not fully explored the associations between sleep dysfunction and the wide range of common physical and physiological changes that can occur after tra...
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Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention, whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whet...
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The ability to sustain attention gradually declines with age, exacerbating normal decays in performance across multiple cognitive domains. In addition, poor sustained attention may impair efficient learning of new information and skills. Previous studies have shown that it is possible to enhance sustained attention in patients with severely impaire...
Article
Reward and motivation have powerful effects on cognition and brain activity, but less is known about how they impact sustained attention and the neural mechanisms supporting accurate performance over time. Using a sensitive measure of sustained attention, the gradual onset continuous performance task (gradCPT), we recently showed that multiple type...
Article
Full-text available
Normal and abnormal differences in sustained visual attention have long been of interest to scientists, educators, and clinicians. Still lacking, however, is a clear understanding of how sustained visual attention varies across the broad sweep of the human life span. In the present study, we filled this gap in two ways. First, using an unprecedente...
Article
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Although there is mounting evidence that greater PTSD symptoms are associated with reduced executive functioning, it is not fully understood whether this association is more global or specific to certain executive function subdomains, such as inhibitory control. We investigated the generality of the association between PTSD symptoms and executive f...
Article
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Although reward is known to have a powerful influence on performance, its effects on the ability to continuously sustain performance over time are poorly understood. The current study examines multiple measures of sustained attention (accuracy and variability) and their decrements over time, while introducing reward in the form of a monetary incent...
Article
Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) has shown to be a heterogeneous disorder (e.g., presence/absence of face detection deficits, presence/absence of a face-selective N170). Though there have been suggestions of possible DP sub-types (e.g., those with face-specific deficits vs. general object processing deficits), because of the relatively low sample s...
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A large and rapidly growing literature suggests that playing action video games may enhance a range of cognitive capacities (Powers et al, 2013). This literature, however, has recently been criticized for methodological shortcomings, including inadequate blinding (e.g. Boot et al, 2012). Two of the most highly cited studies reported successful trai...
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One fundamental aspect of attention is that it fluctuates from moment-to-moment, which manifests in performance variability. Increased variability in performance has been related to compromised functioning across many populations such as older adults and those with ADHD. Though previous studies have directly compared attentional fluctuations betwee...
Article
The frustrating experience of a good flicker change detection (FCD) task beautifully demonstrates a cognitive capacity more limited than we feel it should be. Yet some individuals have a far greater capacity to notice such changes than others. What is the source of these differences, and can cognitive training enhance our FCD ability? A recent repo...
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Clinicians and researchers have widely believed that face processing cannot be improved in prosopagnosia. Though more than a dozen reported studies have attempted to enhance face processing in prosopagnosics over the last 50 years, evidence for effective treatment approaches has only begun to emerge. Here, we review the current literature on sponta...
Article
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Prosopagnosia has largely been regarded as an untreatable disorder. However, recent case studies using cognitive training have shown that it is possible to enhance face recognition abilities in individuals with developmental prosopagnosia. Our goal was to determine if this approach could be effective in a larger population of developmental prosopag...
Article
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Spatial neglect is a frequent and debilitating consequence of acquired brain injury and currently has no widely accepted standard of care. While previous interventions for spatial neglect have targeted patients' overt spatial deficits (e.g., reduced contralesional visual scanning), far fewer have directly targeted patients' non-spatial deficits (e....
Article
Expertise in face recognition is characterized by high proficiency in distinguishing between individual faces. However, faces also enjoy an advantage at the early stage of basic-level detection, as demonstrated by efficient visual search for faces among nonface objects. In the present study, we asked (1) whether the face advantage in detection is a...
Article
In addition to deficits in spatial attention, individuals with persistent spatial neglect almost universally exhibit nonspatially lateralized deficits in sustained and selective attention, and working memory. However, nonspatially lateralized deficits in neglect have received considerably less attention in the literature than deficits in spatial at...
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Individuals are consistently better at recognizing own-race faces compared to other-race faces (other-race effect, ORE). One popular hypothesis is that this recognition memory ORE is caused by differential own- and other-race holistic processing, the simultaneous integration of part and configural face information into a coherent whole. Holistic pr...
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Research has shown that attention can be abnormally drawn to salient threat- or trauma-related information in individuals with posttraumatic stress and related psychological symptoms. The nature of this attentional bias is thought to derive from capture of attention toward potential threat overpowering the volitional, goal-directed attentional syst...
Article
Full-text available
Sustained attention is a fundamental aspect of human cognition and has been widely studied in applied and clinical contexts. Despite a growing understanding of how attention varies throughout task performance, moment-to-moment fluctuations are often difficult to assess. In order to better characterize fluctuations in sustained visual attention, in...
Article
Although holistic processing is thought to underlie normal face recognition ability, widely discrepant reports have recently emerged about this link in an individual differences context. Progress in this domain may have been impeded by the widespread use of subtraction scores, which lack validity due to their contamination with control condition va...
Article
Full-text available
Face identification deficits in developmental prosopagnosics (DPs) have been thought to be due to general difficulties with processing configural face information and integrating configural and parts information into a coherent whole (holistic processing). Gender recognition provides a further opportunity to more fully examine this issue as this ab...
Article
Full-text available
Despite growing recognition that attention fluctuates from moment-to-moment during sustained performance, prevailing analysis strategies involve averaging data across multiple trials or time points, treating these fluctuations as noise. Here, using alternative approaches, we clarify the relationship between ongoing brain activity and performance fl...