Tag: Attention

The role of working memory in processing L2 input: Insights from eye-tracking

The role of working memory in processing L2 input: Insights from eye-tracking

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 355-374

Abstract
“Our study investigated how attention paid to a target syntactic construction causative had is related to the storage capacity and attention regulation function of working memory (WM) and how these WM abilities moderate the change of knowledge of the target construction in different input conditions. 80 Sri Lankan learners of English were exposed to examples of the target construction in explicit and implicit learning conditions and their eye movements were tracked as they read the input. Correlational and multiple regression analyses indicated a very strong relationship between WM abilities and gains in the knowledge of the target construction. WM scores were closely associated with gains in receptive knowledge in all input conditions, but they had a weaker link to the improvement of productive knowledge in the implicit learning conditions. The amount of attention paid to input was also strongly related to WM abilities.”

Written by: Bimali Indrarathne, Judit Kormos
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728917000098

Maintenance of memory for melodies: Articulation or attentional refreshing?

Maintenance of memory for melodies: Articulation or attentional refreshing?

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1964-1970

Abstract
“Past research on the effects of articulatory suppression on working memory for nonverbal sounds has been characterized by discrepant findings, which suggests that multiple mechanisms may be involved in the rehearsal of nonverbal sounds. In two experiments we examined the potential roles of two theoretical mechanisms of verbal working memory—articulatory rehearsal and attentional refreshing—in the maintenance of memory for short melodies. In both experiments, participants performed a same–different melody comparison task. During an 8-s retention interval, interference tasks were introduced to suppress articulatory rehearsal, attentional refreshing, or both. In Experiment 1, only the conditions that featured articulatory suppression resulted in worse memory performance than in a control condition, and the suppression of both attentional refreshing and articulatory rehearsal concurrently did not impair memory more than articulatory suppression alone. Experiment 2reproduced these findings and also confirmed that the locus of interference was articulatory and not auditory (i.e., the interference was not attributable to the sound of participants’ own voices during articulatory suppression). Both experiments suggested that articulatory rehearsal played a role in the maintenance of melodies in memory, whereas attentional refreshing did not. We discuss potential theoretical implications regarding the mechanisms used for the rehearsal of nonverbal sounds in working memory.”

Written by: Michael A. Nees, Ellen Corrini, Peri Leong, Joanna Harris
For full text: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-017-1269-9

Attentional bias during emotional processing: evidence from an emotional flanker task using IAPS

Attentional bias during emotional processing: evidence from an emotional flanker task using IAPS

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 275-285

Abstract
“Attention is biased towards threat-related stimuli. In three experiments, we investigated the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this processing bias. An emotional flanker task simultaneously presented affective or neutral pictures from the international affective picture system database either as central response-relevant stimuli or surrounding response-uninformative flankers. Participants’ response times to central stimuli was measured. The attentional bias was observed when stimuli were presented either for 1500 ms (Experiment 1) or 500 ms (Experiment 2). The threat-related attentional bias held regardless of the stimuli competing for attention even when presentation time was further reduced to 200 ms (Experiment 3). The results indicate that automatic and controlled mechanisms may interact to modulate the orientation of attention to threat. The data presented here shed new light on the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this long investigated by still largely unknown processing bias.”

Written by: Mario A. Parra, Manuel Guillermo Sanchez, Stella Valencia, Natalia Trujillo
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2017.1298994

Attentional capture by irrelevant emotional distractor faces is contingent on implicit attentional settings

Attentional capture by irrelevant emotional distractor faces is contingent on implicit attentional settings

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 303-314

Abstract
“Although expressions of facial emotion hold a special status in attention relative to other complex objects, whether they summon our attention automatically and against our intentions remains a debated issue. Studies supporting the strong view that attentional capture by facial expressions of emotion is entirely automatic reported that a unique (singleton) emotional face distractor interfered with search for a target that was also unique on a different dimension. Participants could therefore search for the odd-one out face to locate the target and attentional capture by irrelevant emotional faces might be contingent on the adoption of an implicit set for singletons. Here, confirming this hypothesis, an irrelevant emotional face captured attention when the target was the unique face with a discrepant orientation, both when this orientation was unpredictable and when it remained constant. By contrast, no such capture was observed when the target could not be found by monitoring displays for a discrepant face and participants had to search for a face with a specific orientation. Our findings show that attentional capture by emotional faces is not purely stimulus driven and thereby resolve the apparent inconsistency that prevails in the literature on the automaticity of attentional capture by emotional faces.”

Written by: Moshe Glickman, Dominique Lamy
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2017.1301883

Alpha, beta: The rhythm of the attentional blink

Alpha, beta: The rhythm of the attentional blink

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1862-1869

Abstract
“Extant theories of the attentional blink propose that the most critical factor in determining second target accuracy is the time that elapses between the first and second targets. We report that this conclusion has overlooked an equally important determinant, namely, the frequency of the entraining stream in which these targets are embedded. Specifically, we show in two experiments that the signature of the attentional blink—second target accuracy that increases with intertarget lag—is significantly larger for entraining streams that are in the alpha-beta frequency range, relative to streams that are slower (theta) or faster (gamma). This finding ties the attentional blink critically, for the first time, to these two prominent oscillation frequencies that are known to be involved in the control of human attention and consciousness.”

Written by: Kimron L. Shapiro, Simon Hanslmayr, James T. Enns, Alejandro Lleras
For full text: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-017-1257-0

Seeing the conflict: an attentional account of reasoning errors

Seeing the conflict: an attentional account of reasoning errors

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1980-1986

Abstract
“In judgment and reasoning, intuition and deliberation can agree on the same responses, or they can be in conflict and suggest different responses. Incorrect responses to conflict problems have traditionally been interpreted as a sign of faulty problem-solving—an inability to solve the conflict. However, such errors might emerge earlier, from insufficient attention to the conflict. To test this attentional hypothesis, we manipulated the conflict in reasoning problems and used eye-tracking to measure attention. Across several measures, correct responders paid more attention than incorrect responders to conflict problems, and they discriminated between conflict and no-conflict problems better than incorrect responders. These results are consistent with a two-stage account of reasoning, whereby sound problem solving in the second stage can only lead to accurate responses when sufficient attention is paid in the first stage.”

Written by: Andre Mata, Mario B. Ferreira, Andreas Voss, Tanja Kollei
For full text: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-017-1234-7

The dot-probe task to measure emotional attention: A suitable measure in comparative studies?

The dot-probe task to measure emotional attention: A suitable measure in comparative studies?

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1686-1717

Abstract
“For social animals, attending to and recognizing the emotional expressions of other individuals is of crucial importance for their survival and likely has a deep evolutionary origin. Gaining insight into how emotional expressions evolved as adaptations over the course of evolution can be achieved by making direct cross-species comparisons. To that extent, experimental paradigms that are suitable for investigating emotional processing across species need to be developed and evaluated. The emotional dot-probe task, which measures attention allocation toward emotional stimuli, has this potential. The task is implicit, and subjects need minimal training to perform the task successfully. Findings in nonhuman primates, although scarce, show that they, like humans, have an attentional bias toward emotional stimuli. However, the wide literature on human studies has shown that different factors can have important moderating effects on the results. Due to the large heterogeneity of this literature, these moderating effects often remain unnoticed. We here review this literature and show that subject characteristics and differences in experimental designs affect the results of the dot-probe task. We conclude with specific recommendations regarding these issues that are particularly relevant to take into consideration when applying this paradigm to study animals.”

Written by: Rianne van Rooijen, Anneime Ploeger, Mariska E. Kret
For full text: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-016-1224-1

Self-bias modulates saccadic control

Self-bias modulates saccadic control

Published in: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Volume 70, Issue 12, 2577-2585

Abstract
“We present novel data on the role of attention in eliciting enhanced processing of stimuli associated with self. Participants were required to make pro- or anti-saccades according to whether learned shape–label pairings matched or mismatched. When stimuli matched participants were required to make an anti-saccade, and when the stimuli mismatched a pro-saccade was required. We found that anti-saccades were difficult to make to stimuli associated with self when compared to stimuli associated with a friend and a stranger. In contrast, anti-saccades to friend-stimuli were easier to make than anti-saccades to stranger-stimuli. In addition, a correct anti-saccade to a self-associated stimulus disrupted subsequent pro-saccade trials, relative to when the preceding anti-saccade was made to other stimuli. The data indicate that self-associated stimuli provide a strong cue for explicit shifts of attention to them, and that correct anti-saccades to such stimuli demand high levels of inhibition (which carries over to subsequent pro-saccade trials). The self exerts an automatic draw on attention.”

Written by: A. Yankouskaya, D. Palmer, M. Stolte, J. Sui, G. W. Humphreys
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1247897

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