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Neural correlates of learning to attend.

Kelley TA, Yantis S - Front Hum Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: Training led to a reduction in behavioral distraction effects, and these improvements in performance generalized to untrained conditions.Although large regions of early visual and posterior parietal cortices responded to the presence of distractors, these regions did not exhibit significant changes in their response following training.We conclude that training did not change the robustness of the initial sensory response, but led to increased efficiency in late-stage filtering in the trained conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Mind and Brain, University of California at Davis Davis, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Recent work has shown that training can improve attentional focus. Little is known, however, about how training in attention and multitasking affects the brain. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in cortical responses to distracting stimuli during training on a visual categorization task. Training led to a reduction in behavioral distraction effects, and these improvements in performance generalized to untrained conditions. Although large regions of early visual and posterior parietal cortices responded to the presence of distractors, these regions did not exhibit significant changes in their response following training. In contrast, middle frontal gyrus did exhibit decreased distractor-related responses with practice, showing the same trend as behavior for previously observed distractor locations. However, the neural response in this region diverged from behavior for novel distractor locations, showing greater activity. We conclude that training did not change the robustness of the initial sensory response, but led to increased efficiency in late-stage filtering in the trained conditions.

No MeSH data available.


(A) Examples of the images used as distractors. (B) Task stimuli and locations in which the distractors could appear (circles were not present in the display during the experiment). Subjects were asked to identify whether there were more red or green dots in the 5 × 5 grid. Distractors appeared on 50% of the trials. For Blocks 1–6, distractors could appear in one of the two locations indicated by solid circles (old locations). For Blocks 7 and 8, distractors could appear in one of the old locations, or in one of the locations indicated by the dashed circles (new locations).
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Figure 1: (A) Examples of the images used as distractors. (B) Task stimuli and locations in which the distractors could appear (circles were not present in the display during the experiment). Subjects were asked to identify whether there were more red or green dots in the 5 × 5 grid. Distractors appeared on 50% of the trials. For Blocks 1–6, distractors could appear in one of the two locations indicated by solid circles (old locations). For Blocks 7 and 8, distractors could appear in one of the old locations, or in one of the locations indicated by the dashed circles (new locations).

Mentions: The stimuli and task were the same as those described in Experiment 4 of Kelley and Yantis (2009), and are depicted in Figure 1. Experiments were run on Intel-based computers running Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Stimuli were generated using Matlab software (MathWorks, Natick, Massachusetts) running the Psychophysics Toolbox (v 2.54; Brainard, 1997; Peli, 1997). Stimuli consisted of a 5 × 5 array of red and green dots, centered in the middle of the display. Each dot was ∼0.6° in diameter, and the entire array subtended a square of ∼5.2° by 5.2°. The dots could either be red (Matlab RGB value: 255 0 0) or green (Matlab RGB value: 0 225 0) in color; there were always 10 dots of one color and 15 of the other. On half of all trials a distractor appeared in a variable location around the dot array, adjacent to one of the four corners of the array. The distractors were scaled to fit within a square that was 10.4° per side; the center to center distance between the distractors and the array was 11.7°. These distractors consisted of color and grayscale images of faces, animals, buildings, objects and abstract patterns. On each trial, the array was presented for 100 ms, and was followed by a 2.4 s response interval. On trials where the distractor was present, it appeared 100 ms prior to the array onset, and remained visible for as long as the dot array. During practice sessions prior to scanning, stimuli were shown on an LCD display screen from an approximate distance of 40 cm. During imaging sessions, stimuli were projected onto a screen mounted at the end of the scanner bore and viewed using a mirror mounted above the head coil. Viewing distance was 67.5 cm.


Neural correlates of learning to attend.

Kelley TA, Yantis S - Front Hum Neurosci (2010)

(A) Examples of the images used as distractors. (B) Task stimuli and locations in which the distractors could appear (circles were not present in the display during the experiment). Subjects were asked to identify whether there were more red or green dots in the 5 × 5 grid. Distractors appeared on 50% of the trials. For Blocks 1–6, distractors could appear in one of the two locations indicated by solid circles (old locations). For Blocks 7 and 8, distractors could appear in one of the old locations, or in one of the locations indicated by the dashed circles (new locations).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2991198&req=5

Figure 1: (A) Examples of the images used as distractors. (B) Task stimuli and locations in which the distractors could appear (circles were not present in the display during the experiment). Subjects were asked to identify whether there were more red or green dots in the 5 × 5 grid. Distractors appeared on 50% of the trials. For Blocks 1–6, distractors could appear in one of the two locations indicated by solid circles (old locations). For Blocks 7 and 8, distractors could appear in one of the old locations, or in one of the locations indicated by the dashed circles (new locations).
Mentions: The stimuli and task were the same as those described in Experiment 4 of Kelley and Yantis (2009), and are depicted in Figure 1. Experiments were run on Intel-based computers running Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Stimuli were generated using Matlab software (MathWorks, Natick, Massachusetts) running the Psychophysics Toolbox (v 2.54; Brainard, 1997; Peli, 1997). Stimuli consisted of a 5 × 5 array of red and green dots, centered in the middle of the display. Each dot was ∼0.6° in diameter, and the entire array subtended a square of ∼5.2° by 5.2°. The dots could either be red (Matlab RGB value: 255 0 0) or green (Matlab RGB value: 0 225 0) in color; there were always 10 dots of one color and 15 of the other. On half of all trials a distractor appeared in a variable location around the dot array, adjacent to one of the four corners of the array. The distractors were scaled to fit within a square that was 10.4° per side; the center to center distance between the distractors and the array was 11.7°. These distractors consisted of color and grayscale images of faces, animals, buildings, objects and abstract patterns. On each trial, the array was presented for 100 ms, and was followed by a 2.4 s response interval. On trials where the distractor was present, it appeared 100 ms prior to the array onset, and remained visible for as long as the dot array. During practice sessions prior to scanning, stimuli were shown on an LCD display screen from an approximate distance of 40 cm. During imaging sessions, stimuli were projected onto a screen mounted at the end of the scanner bore and viewed using a mirror mounted above the head coil. Viewing distance was 67.5 cm.

Bottom Line: Training led to a reduction in behavioral distraction effects, and these improvements in performance generalized to untrained conditions.Although large regions of early visual and posterior parietal cortices responded to the presence of distractors, these regions did not exhibit significant changes in their response following training.We conclude that training did not change the robustness of the initial sensory response, but led to increased efficiency in late-stage filtering in the trained conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Mind and Brain, University of California at Davis Davis, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Recent work has shown that training can improve attentional focus. Little is known, however, about how training in attention and multitasking affects the brain. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in cortical responses to distracting stimuli during training on a visual categorization task. Training led to a reduction in behavioral distraction effects, and these improvements in performance generalized to untrained conditions. Although large regions of early visual and posterior parietal cortices responded to the presence of distractors, these regions did not exhibit significant changes in their response following training. In contrast, middle frontal gyrus did exhibit decreased distractor-related responses with practice, showing the same trend as behavior for previously observed distractor locations. However, the neural response in this region diverged from behavior for novel distractor locations, showing greater activity. We conclude that training did not change the robustness of the initial sensory response, but led to increased efficiency in late-stage filtering in the trained conditions.

No MeSH data available.