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B. C. Kaufmann; D. Cazzoli; P. Bartolomeo; J. Frey; T. Pflugshaupt; S. E. J. Knobel; T. Nef; R. M. Müri; T. Nyffeler
In: Cortex, vol. 148, pp. 152–167, 2022.
Spatial neglect after right-hemispheric stroke, characterized by the failure to attend or respond to the contralesional space, is a strong negative outcome predictor. Neglect is a supramodal syndrome affecting not only the visual but also the auditory modality. Preliminary studies used this audio-visual cross-modal effect to show short-lasting effects on attention towards the neglected space. The aim of the present study was to introduce a new technique of auditory stimulation combining the unspecific effect of music (i.e., patients choose their preferred music) with the effects of auditory spatial cueing (i.e., the music is presented dynamically as moving from right to left). The effect of this new auditory stimulation technique was investigated in two proof-of-concept experiments using repeated-measures, cross-over designs including 21 patients with visual neglect after a first right-hemispheric stroke. In Experiment I (n = 9), neglect patients showed a significantly larger improvement in Letter Cancellation after listening to preferred music with than without auditory spatial cueing. After granting the feasibility of this new auditory stimulation technique, we investigated the long-term aftereffects in Experiment II (n = 12). Herefore, we used video-oculography during Free Visual Exploration, a sensitive and reliable tool to assess spatial attention over time. Listening to music with auditory spatial cueing – as compared to music without auditory spatial cueing – significantly improved neglect severity in terms of visual exploration behaviour for up to 3h. A voxel-based-lesion-symptom mapping analysis over all patients revealed that the response variability in listening to music with auditory spatial cueing is determined by the integrity of the right inferior parietal lobule, the second branch of the superior longitudinal fascicle, and parieto-parietal callosal fibres. Our study shows that listening to music with auditory spatial cueing significantly reduces neglect severity and has the potential to be used as an add-on in the neurorehabilitation of neglect.
Hassen Kerkeni; Dominik Brügger; Georgios Mantokoudis; Mathias Abegg; David S. Zee
In: American Journal of Case Reports, vol. 23, pp. 1–5, 2022.
Objective: Unusual setting of medical care. Background: Acquired pendular nystagmus (APN) is a back and forth, oscillatory eye movement in which the 2 oppositely directed slow phases have similar waveforms. APN occurs commonly in multiple sclerosis and causes a disabling oscillopsia that impairs vision. Previous studies have proven that symptomatic therapy with gabapentin or me-mantine can reduce the nystagmus amplitude or frequency. However, the effect of these medications on visual acuity (VA) is less known and to our knowledge the impact of non-pharmacological strategies such as blinking on VA has not been reported. This is a single observational study without controls (Class IV) and is meant to suggest a future strategy for study of vision in patients with disabling nystagmus and impaired vision. Case Report: A 49-year-old woman with primary progressive multiple sclerosis with spastic paraparesis and a history of optic atrophy presented with asymmetrical binocular APN and bothersome oscillopsia. We found that in the eye with greater APN her visual acuity improved by 1 line (from 0.063 to 0.08 decimals) immediately after blinking. During treatment with memantine, her VA without blinking increased by 2 lines, from 0.063 to 0.12, but improved even more (from 0.12 to 0.16) after blinking. In the contralateral eye with a barely visible nystagmus, VA was reduced by 1 line briefly ($sim$500 ms) after blinking. Conclusions: In a patient with APN, blinking transiently improved vision. The combination of pharmacological treatment with memantine and the blinking strategy may induce better VA and less oscillopsia than either alone.
Julie A. Kirkby; Rhiannon S. Barrington; Denis Drieghe; Simon P. Liversedge
In: Dyslexia, vol. 28, pp. 359–374, 2022.
During parafoveal processing, skilled readers encode letter identity independently of letter position (Johnson et al., 2007). In the current experiment, we examined orthographic parafoveal processing in readers with dyslexia. Specifically, the eye movements of skilled readers and adult readers with dyslexia were recorded during a boundary paradigm experiment (Rayner, 1975). Parafoveal previews were either identical to the target word (e.g., nearly), a transposed-letter preview (e.g., enarly), or a substituted-letter preview (e.g., acarly). Dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers demonstrated orthographic parafoveal preview benefits during silent sentence reading and both reading groups encoded letter identity and letter position information parafoveally. However, dyslexic adults showed, that very early in lexical processing, during parafoveal preview, the positional information of a word's initial letters were encoded less flexibly compared to during skilled adult reading. We suggest that dyslexic readers are less able to benefit from correct letter identity information (i.e., in the letter transposition previews) due to the lack of direct mapping of orthography to phonology. The current findings demonstrate that dyslexic readers show consistent and dyslexic-specific reading difficulties in foveal and parafoveal processing during silent sentence reading.
Kelsey E. Klein; Elizabeth A. Walker; Bob McMurray
Delayed lexical access and cascading effects on spreading semantic activation during Spoken word recognition in children with hearing aids and cochlear implants: Evidence from eye-tracking Journal Article
In: Ear and Hearing, pp. 1–20, 2022.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to characterize the dynamics of real-time lexical access, including lexical competition among phonologically similar words, and spreading semantic activation in school-age children with hearing aids (HAs) and children with cochlear implants (CIs). We hypothesized that developing spoken language via degraded auditory input would lead children with HAs or CIs to adapt their approach to spoken word recognition, especially by slowing down lexical access. DESIGN: Participants were children ages 9- to 12-years old with normal hearing (NH), HAs, or CIs. Participants completed a Visual World Paradigm task in which they heard a spoken word and selected the matching picture from four options. Competitor items were either phonologically similar, semantically similar, or unrelated to the target word. As the target word unfolded, children's fixations to the target word, cohort competitor, rhyme competitor, semantically related item, and unrelated item were recorded as indices of ongoing lexical access and spreading semantic activation. RESULTS: Children with HAs and children with CIs showed slower fixations to the target, reduced fixations to the cohort competitor, and increased fixations to the rhyme competitor, relative to children with NH. This wait-and-see profile was more pronounced in the children with CIs than the children with HAs. Children with HAs and children with CIs also showed delayed fixations to the semantically related item, although this delay was attributable to their delay in activating words in general, not to a distinct semantic source. CONCLUSIONS: Children with HAs and children with CIs showed qualitatively similar patterns of real-time spoken word recognition. Findings suggest that developing spoken language via degraded auditory input causes long-term cognitive adaptations to how listeners recognize spoken words, regardless of the type of hearing device used. Delayed lexical access directly led to delays in spreading semantic activation in children with HAs and CIs. This delay in semantic processing may impact these children's ability to understand connected speech in everyday life.
Alexander Kolevzon; Tess Levy; Sarah Barkley; Sandra Bedrosian-Sermone; Matthew Davis; Jennifer Foss-Feig; Danielle Halpern; Katherine Keller; Ana Kostic; Christina Layton; Rebecca Lee; Bonnie Lerman; Matthew Might; Sven Sandin; Paige M. Siper; Laura G. Sloofman; Hannah Walker; Jessica Zweifach; Joseph D. Buxbaum
In: Human Genetics and Genomics Advances, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) syndrome is a rare genetic condition associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. Preclinical evidence suggests that low-dose ketamine may induce expression of ADNP and that neuroprotective effects of ketamine may be mediated by ADNP. The goal of the proposed research was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and behavioral outcomes of low-dose ketamine in children with ADNP syndrome. We also sought to explore the feasibility of using electrophysiological markers of auditory steady-state response and computerized eye tracking to assess biomarker sensitivity to treatment. This study utilized a single-dose (0.5 mg/kg), open-label design, with ketamine infused intravenously over 40 min. Ten children with ADNP syndrome ages 6 to 12 years were enrolled. Ketamine was generally well tolerated, and there were no serious adverse events. The most common adverse events were elation/silliness (50%), fatigue (40%), and increased aggression (40%). Using parent-report instruments to assess treatment effects, ketamine was associated with nominally significant improvement in a wide array of domains, including social behavior, attention deficit and hyperactivity, restricted and repetitive behaviors, and sensory sensitivities, a week after administration. Results derived from clinician-rated assessments aligned with findings from the parent reports. Overall, nominal improvement was evident based on the Clinical Global Impressions - Improvement scale, in addition to clinician-based scales reflecting key domains of social communication, attention deficit and hyperactivity, restricted and repetitive behaviors, speech, thinking, and learning, activities of daily living, and sensory sensitivities. Results also highlight the potential utility of electrophysiological measurement of auditory steady-state response and eye-tracking to index change with ketamine treatment. Findings are intended to be hypothesis generating and provide preliminary support for the safety and efficacy of ketamine in ADNP syndrome in addition to identifying useful endpoints for a ketamine clinical development program. However, results must be interpreted with caution given limitations of this study, most importantly the small sample size and absence of a placebo-control group.
Isabel Kreis; Lei Zhang; Steffen Moritz; Gerit Pfuhl
In: Schizophrenia Research, vol. 243, pp. 414–423, 2022.
Aberrant attribution of salience to in fact little informative events might explain the emergence of positive symptoms in schizophrenia and has been linked to belief uncertainty. Uncertainty is thought to be encoded by neuromodulators, including norepinephrine. However, norepinephrinergic encoding of uncertainty, measured as task-related pupil dilation, has rarely been explored in schizophrenia. Here, we addressed this question by comparing individuals with a disorder from the schizophrenia spectrum to a non-psychiatric control group on behavioral and pupillometric measures in a probabilistic prediction task, where different levels of uncertainty were introduced. Behaviorally, patients performed similar to controls, but their belief uncertainty was higher, particularly when instability of the task environment was high, suggesting an increased sensitivity to this instability. Furthermore, while pupil dilation scaled positively with uncertainty, this was less the case for patients, suggesting aberrant neuromodulatory regulation of neural gain, which may hinder the reduction of uncertainty in the long run. Together, the findings point to abnormal uncertainty processing and norepinephrinergic signaling in schizophrenia, potentially informing future development of both psychopharmacological therapies and psychotherapeutic approaches that deal with the processing of uncertain information.
Wupadrasta Santosh Kumar; Keerthana Manikandan; Dinavahi V. P. S. Murty; Ranjini Garani Ramesh; Simran Purokayastha; Mahendra Javali; Naren Prahalada Rao; Supratim Ray
In: Cerebral Cortex Communications, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1–15, 2022.
Visual stimulus-induced gamma oscillations in electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings have been recently shown to be compromised in subjects with preclinical Alzheimer's Disease (AD), suggesting that gamma could be an inexpensive biomarker for AD diagnosis provided its characteristics remain consistent across multiple recordings. Previous magnetoencephalography studies in young subjects have reported consistent gamma power over recordings separated by a few weeks to months. Here, we assessed the consistency of stimulus-induced slow (20–35 Hz) and fast gamma (36–66 Hz) oscillations in subjects (n = 40) (age: 50–88 years) in EEG recordings separated by a year, and tested the consistency in the magnitude of gamma power, its temporal evolution and spectral profile. Gamma had distinct spectral/temporal characteristics across subjects, which remained consistent across recordings (average intraclass correlation of $sim$0.7). Alpha (8–12 Hz) and steady-state-visually evoked-potentials were also reliable. We further tested how EEG features can be used to identify 2 recordings as belonging to the same versus different subjects and found high classifier performance (AUC of $sim$0.89), with temporal evolution of slow gamma and spectral profile being most informative. These results suggest that EEG gamma oscillations are reliable across sessions separated over long durations and can also be a potential tool for subject identification.
Koji Kuraoka; Kae Nakamura
In: Neuroscience Research, 2022.
Studies in human subjects have revealed that autonomic responses provide objective and biologically relevant information about cognitive and affective states. Measures of autonomic responses can also be applied to studies of non-human primates, which are neuro-anatomically and physically similar to humans. Facial temperature and pupil size are measured remotely and can be applied to physiological experiments in primates, preferably in a head-fixed condition. However, detailed guidelines for the use of these measures in non-human primates is lacking. Here, we review the neuronal circuits and methodological considerations necessary for measuring and analyzing facial temperature and pupil size in non-human primates. Previous studies have shown that the modulation of these measures primarily reflects sympathetic reactions to cognitive and emotional processes, including alertness, attention, and mental effort, over different time scales. Integrated analyses of autonomic, behavioral, and neurophysiological data in primates are promising methods that reflect multiple dimensions of emotion and could potentially provide tools for understanding the mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders and vulnerabilities characterized by cognitive and affective disturbances.
Nikki A. Lammers; Nils S. Van den Berg; Selma Lugtmeijer; Anouk R. Smits; Yair Pinto; Edward H. F. Haan
In: PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Visual deficits are common after stroke and are powerful predictors for the chronic functional outcome. However, while basic visual field and recognition deficits are relatively easy to assess with standardized methods, selective deficits in visual primitives, such as shape or motion, are harder to identify, as they often require a symmetrical bilateral posterior lesion in order to provoke full field deficits. Therefore, we do not know how often they occur. Nevertheless, they can have severe repercussions for daily-life functioning. We aimed to investigate the prevalence and co-occurrence of hemifield “mid-range” visual deficits (i.e. color, shape, location, orientation, correlated motion, contrast, texture and glossiness), using a novel experimental set-up with a gaze-contingent presentation of the stimuli. To this end, a prospective cohort of 220 ischemic (sub)cortical stroke patients and a healthy control group was assessed with this set-up. When comparing performance of patients with controls, the results showed that deficits in motion-perception were most prevalent (26%), followed by color (22%), texture (22%), location (21%), orientation (18%), contrast (14%), shape (14%) and glossiness (13%). 63% of the stroke patients showed one or more mid-range visual deficits. Overlap of deficits was small; they mostly occurred in isolation or co-occurred with only one or two other deficits. To conclude, it was found that deficits in “mid-range” visual functions were very prevalent. These deficits are likely to affect the chronic post-stroke condition. Since we found no strong patterns of co-occurrences, we suggest that an assessment of deficits at this level of visual processing requires screening the full range of visual functions.
Chiara Barattieri di San Pietro; Giovanni Girolamo; Claudio Luzzatti; Marco Marelli
In: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 1371–1391, 2022.
People with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) show anomalies in language processing with respect to “who is doing what” in an action. This linguistic behavior is suggestive of an atypical representation of the formal concepts of “Agent” in the lexical representation of a verb, i.e., its thematic grid. To test this hypothesis, we administered a silent-reading task with sentences including a semantic violation of the animacy trait of the grammatical subject to 30 people with SSD and 30 healthy control participants (HCs). When the anomalous grammatical subject was the Agent of the event, a significant increase of Gaze Duration was observed in HCs, but not in SSDs. Conversely, when the anomalous subject was a Theme, SSDs displayed an increased probability of go-back movements, unlike HCs. These results are suggestive of a higher tolerability for anomalous Agents in SSD compared to the normal population. The fact that SSD participants did not show a similar tolerability for anomalous Themes rules out the issue of an attention deficit. We suggest that general communication abilities in SSD might benefit from explicit training on deep linguistic structures.
Doug J. K. Barrett; David Souto; Michael Pilling; David M. Baguley
In: Ear and Hearing, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 1540–1548, 2022.
Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the potential of pupillometry to provide an objective measure of competition between tinnitus and external sounds during a test of auditory short-term memory. Design: Twelve participants with chronic tinnitus and twelve control participants without tinnitus took part in the study. Pretest sessions used an adaptive method to estimate listeners' frequency discrimination threshold on a test of delayed pitch discrimination for pure tones. Target and probe tones were presented at 72 dB SPL and centered on 750 Hz±2 semitones with an additional jitter of 5 to 20 Hz. Test sessions recorded baseline pupil diameter and task-related pupillary responses (TEPRs) during three blocks of delayed pitch discrimination trials. The difference between target and probe tones was set to the individual's frequency detection threshold for 80% response-accuracy. Listeners with tinnitus also completed the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). Linear mixed effects procedures were applied to examine changes in baseline pupil diameter and TEPRs associated with group (tinnitus versus control), block (1 to 3) and their interaction. The association between THI scores and maximum TEPRs was assessed using simple linear regression. Results: Patterns of baseline pupil dilation across trials diverged in listeners with tinnitus and controls. For controls, baseline pupil dilation remained constant across blocks. For listeners with tinnitus, baseline pupil dilation increased on blocks 2 and 3 compared with block 1. TEPR amplitudes were also larger in listeners with tinnitus than controls. Linear mixed effects models yielded a significant group by block interaction for baseline pupil diameter and a significant main effect of group on maximum TEPR amplitudes. Regression analyses yielded a significant association between THI scores and TEPR amplitude in listeners with tinnitus. Conclusions: Our data indicate measures of baseline pupil diameter, and TEPRs are sensitive to competition between tinnitus and external sounds during a test of auditory short-term memory. This result suggests pupillometry can provide an objective measure of intrusion in tinnitus. Future research will be required to establish whether our findings generalize to listeners across a full range of tinnitus severity.
Dana Basel; Tamar Aviram; Amit Lazarov
In: Behavior Therapy, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 182–195, 2022.
Eye-tracking-based attention research has consistently shown a lack of a normative attentional bias away from dysphoric face stimuli in depression, characterizing the attention system of non-depressed individuals. However, this more equal attention allocation pattern could also be related to biased emotion identification, namely, an inclination of depressed individuals to attribute negative emotions to non-negative stimuli when processing mood-congruent stimuli. Here, we examined emotion identification as a possible mechanism associated with attention allocation when processing emotional faces in depression. Attention allocation and emotion identification of participants with high (HD; n = 30) and low (LD; n = 30) levels of depression symptoms were assessed using two corresponding tasks previously shown to yield significant findings in depression, using the same face stimuli (sad, happy, and neutral faces) across both tasks. We examined group differences on each task and possible between-task associations. Results showed that while LD participants dwelled longer on relatively positive faces compared with relatively negative faces on the attention allocation task, HD participants showed no such bias, dwelling equally on both. Trait anxiety did not affect these results. No group differences were noted for emotion identification, and no between-task associations emerged. Present results suggest that depression is characterized by a lack of a general attention bias toward relatively positive faces over relatively negative faces, which is not related to a corresponding bias in emotion identification.
Dana Basel; Amit Lazarov
In: CNS Spectrums, pp. 1–9, 2022.
Background. Recently, a novel approach to obsessive-compulsive disorder has emerged, implicating altered reward functioning in the disorder. Yet, no study to date has directly examined the attentional aspect of reward functioning in participants with obsessive- compulsive (OC) symptoms, with past research mostly relying on reaction-time-based tasks. Methods. A reward-based value-modulated attentional capture task was completed by a sample of nonclinical student participants—44 with high (HOC) and 48 with low (LOC) levels ofOC symptoms. We measured the extent to which high and low reward-signaling distractors captured attention and impaired performance on the task, resulting in a lower possibility of obtaining a monetary reward. Attentional capture was indexed via fixation data, and further explored using saccade data. Results. Both groups performed more poorly when a high-reward signaling distractor was present, compared to when a low-reward signaling distractor was present. Importantly, this difference was significantly greater in the HOC group, and was found to be driven by the specific effects of reward-signaling distractors. Similar results emerged when exploring saccade data, and remained significant after controlling for both addiction-related compulsivity and depres- sive symptoms. Conclusions. Current findings suggest that attentional reward-related functioning may be associated with OC symptoms. Different aspects of reward functioning, including attention, should be further explored and incorporated into future research and clinical endeavors.
Doris Bazzini; Chris Dickinson; Alison N. Cooke; Amanda Pepper; Jessica Udry; Sidney Murray
In: Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 123–132, 2022.
Media images depicting idealized female physiques have been shown to heighten body dissatisfaction and body objectification. A potentially buffering factor in media exposure are depictions of female athletes performing their sports, which are associated with reduced objectification. These findings have not been extended to social physique anxiety (SPA), a heightened concern that one's body does not meet comparative standards of physicality and beauty. Sixty-nine college-aged women reported levels of SPA following exposure to images of the same female professional athletes performing their sport, or in a sexualized pose. Visual attention to body parts on the images was measured via an eye tracker to explore whether fixations corresponded with the experience of SPA. Performance images lowered feelings of SPA relative to sexual images, and induced a lesser percentage of time visually fixating on the head/face, and more time fixating on arms and legs, relative to sexual images of the athletes. No differences emerged for fixations on the torso across conditions. Exploratory mediation models were also conducted to explore the influence of visual attention on the relationship between image type and SPA. These findings are considered in light of the nature of objectifying images of women and the importance of promoting empowering images to audiences.
Laura Benhaim-Sitbon; Maria Lev; Uri Polat
Binocular fusion disorders impair basic visual processing Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1–16, 2022.
In an era of increasing screen consumption, the requirement for binocular vision is demanding, leading to the emergence of syndromes such as the computer vision syndrome (CVS) or visual discomfort reported by virtual reality (VR) users. Heterophoria (phoria) is a latent eye misalignment (with a prevalence up to 35%) that appears in conditions that disrupt binocular vision and may affect the quality of binocular fusion. Collinear facilitation (CF), the mechanism for grouping contour elements, is a process that reveals lateral interactions by improving the visibility of a target by flankers placed collinearly. An abnormal pattern of CF has been observed in strabismic amblyopia. We hypothesize that phoria may affect CF in the horizontal meridian (HM) due to latent eye misalignment and its impact on binocular fusion. Fully corrected participants (phoria group and controls) completed a standard CF experiment for horizontal and vertical meridians during binocular and monocular viewing. Phoric observers exhibited (1) an asymmetry and an abnormal pattern of CF only for the HM, during both monocular and binocular viewing, (2) poor binocular summation between the monocular inputs, and (3) no binocular advantage of the CF. Phoria affects the CF in a way that is reminiscent of meridional amblyopia without being attributed to abnormal refraction. The abnormal pattern of CF in monocular viewing suggests that phoria could be a binocular developmental disorder that affects monocular spatial interactions. We suggest that the results could contribute to explain the visual discomfort experienced with VR users or symptoms when presenting CVS.
Isha Bhutada; Peggy Skelly; Jonathan Jacobs; Jordan Murray; Aasef G. Shaikh; Fatema F. Ghasia
In: Journal of the Neurological Sciences, vol. 442, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Introduction: Reading is a vision-reliant task, requiring sequential eye movements. Binocularly discordant input results in visual sensory and oculomotor dysfunction in amblyopia, which may contribute to reading difficulties. This study aims to determine the contributions of fixation eye movement (FEM) abnormalities, clinical type and severity of amblyopia to reading performance under binocular and monocular viewing conditions. Methods: Twenty-three amblyopic patients and nine healthy controls were recruited. Eye movements elicited during fixation and reading of preselected passages were collected for each subject using infrared video- oculography. Subjects were classified as having no nystagmus (n = 9), fusion maldevelopment nystagmus (FMN
Carola Bloch; Ralf Tepest; Mathis Jording; Kai Vogeley; Christine M. Falter-Wagner
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1–12, 2022.
The temporal encoding of nonverbal signals within individuals, referred to as intrapersonal synchrony (IaPS), is an implicit process and essential feature of human communication. Based on existing evidence, IaPS is thought to be a marker of nonverbal behavior characteristics in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but there is a lack of empirical evidence. The aim of this study was to quantify IaPS in adults during an experimentally controlled real-life interaction task. A sample of adults with a confirmed ASD diagnosis and a matched sample of typically-developed adults were tested (N = 48). Participants were required to indicate the appearance of a target invisible to their interaction partner nonverbally through gaze and pointing gestures. Special eye-tracking software allowed automated extraction of temporal delays between nonverbal signals and their intrapersonal variability with millisecond temporal resolution as indices for IaPS. Likelihood ratio tests of multilevel models showed enlarged delays between nonverbal signals in ASD. Larger delays were associated with greater intrapersonal variability in delays. The results provide a quantitative constraint on nonverbal temporality in typically-developed adults and suggest weaker temporal coherence between nonverbal signals in adults with ASD. The results provide a potential diagnostic marker and inspire predictive coding theories about the role of IaPS in interpersonal synchronization processes.
Ariel Boyle; Aaron Johnson; Mark Ellenbogen
In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 142, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Intranasal oxytocin (OT) can enhance emotion recognition, perhaps by promoting increased attention to social cues. Some studies indicate that individuals with difficulties processing social information, including those with psychopathology, show more pronounced effects in response to OT. As such, there is interest in the potential therapeutic use of OT in populations with deficits in social cognition. The present study examined the effects of intranasal OT on the processing of facial features and selective attention to emotional facial expressions, as well as whether individual differences in depressive symptom severity predict sensitivity to intranasal OT. In a double-blind placebo-controlled within-subject design, eye tracking was used to measure attention to facial features in an emotional expression appraisal task, and attention to emotional expressions in a free-viewing task with a quadrant of multiple faces. OT facilitated the processing of positive cues, enhancing the maintenance of attention to the mouth region of happy faces and to happy faces within a quadrant, with similar effect sizes, despite the latter effect not being statistically significant. Further, persons with depressive symptoms, and particularly males, were sensitive to OT's effects. For males only, OT, relative to placebo, increased attentional focus to the mouth region of all faces. Individuals with depressive symptoms showed less attentional focus on angry (males only) and sad facial expressions, and more attention to happy faces (particularly for males). Results indicate increased sensitivity to OT in males and persons at risk for depression, with OT administration promoting a positive bias in selective attention to social stimuli.
Sven Braeutigam; Jessica Clare Scaife; Tipu Aziz; Rebecca J. Park
In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 16, pp. 1–12, 2022.
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder characterized by the relentless pursuit of thinness, leading to severe emaciation. Magnetoencephalography (MEG)was used to record the neuronal response in seven patients with treatment-resistant AN while completing a disorder-relevant food wanting task. The patients underwent a 15-month protocol, where MEG scans were conducted pre-operatively, post-operatively prior to deep brain stimulation (DBS) switch on, twice during a blind on/off month and at protocol end. Electrodes were implanted bilaterally into the nucleus accumbens with stimulation at the anterior limb of the internal capsule using rechargeable implantable pulse generators. Three patients met criteria as responders at 12 months of stimulation, showing reductions of eating disorder psychopathology of over 35%. An increase in alpha power, as well as evoked power at latencies typically associated with visual processing, working memory, and contextual integration was observed in ON compared to OFF sessions across all seven patients. Moreover, an increase in evoked power at P600-like latencies as well as an increase in $gamma$-band phase-locking over anterior-to-posterior regions were observed for high- compared to low-calorie food image only in ON sessions. These findings indicate that DBS modulates neuronal process in regions far outside the stimulation target site and at latencies possibly reflecting task specific processing, thereby providing further evidence that deep brain stimulation can play a role in the treatment of otherwise intractable psychiatric disorders.
Jana Bretthauer; Daniela Canu; Ulf Thiemann; Christian Fleischhaker; Heike Brauner; Katharina Müller; Nikolaos Smyrnis; Monica Biscaldi; Stephan Bender; Christoph Klein
In: Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 13, pp. 1–17, 2022.
While Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ) differ in many clinically relevant features such as symptomatology and course, they may also share genetic underpinnings, affective problems, deviancies in social interactions, and are all characterized by some kind of cognitive impairment. This situation calls for a joint investigation of the specifics of cognitive (dys-)functions of the three disorders. Such endeavor should focus, among other domains, on the intersection of processing cognitive, affective and social information that is crucial in effective real-life interactions and can be accomplished when attentional preferences for human facial expressions of emotions is studied. To that end, attention to facial expressions of basic emotions was examined in young adults with ASD, ADHD, or SCZ in the present study. The three clinical groups were compared with an age-matched group of typically-developing participants (TD) during the free contemplation of five different facial emotions presented simultaneously, by varying identities, through the registration of eye movements. We showed, that dwell times and fixation counts differed for the different emotions in TD and in a highly similar way in ADHD. Patients with ASD differed from TD by showing a stronger differentiation between emotions and partially different attentional preferences. In contrast, the SCZ group showed an overall more restricted scanning behavior and a lack of differentiation between emotions. The ADHD group, showed an emotion-specific gazing pattern that was highly similar to that of controls. Thus, by analyzing eye movements, we were able to differentiate three different viewing patterns that allowed us to distinguish between the three clinical groups. This outcome suggests that attention for emotion may not tap into common pathophysiological processes and argues for a multi-dimensional approach to the grouping of disorders with neurodevelopmental etiology.
Daniela Canu; Chara Ioannou; Katarina Müller; Berthold Martin; Christian Fleischhaker; Monica Biscaldi; André Beauducel; Nikolaos Smyrnis; Ludger Tebartz Elst; Christoph Klein
In: Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1–17, 2022.
Findings of genetic overlap between Schizophrenia, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) contributed to a renewed conceptualization of these disorders as laying on a continuum based on aetiological, pathophysiological and neurodevelopmental features. Given that cognitive impairments are core to their pathophysiology, we compared patients with schizophrenia, ADHD, ASD, and controls on ocular-motor and manual-motor tasks, challenging crucial cognitive processes. Group comparisons revealed inhibition deficits common to all disorders, increased intra-subject variability in schizophrenia and, to a lesser extent, ADHD as well as slowed processing in schizophrenia. Patterns of deviancies from controls exhibited strong correlations, along with differences that posited schizophrenia as the most impaired group, followed by ASD and ADHD. While vector correlations point towards a common neurodevelopmental continuum of impairment, vector levels suggest differences in the severity of such impairment. These findings argue towards a dimensional approach to Neurodevelopmental Disorders' pathophysiological mechanisms.
Daniela Canu; Chara Ioannou; Katarina Müller; Berthold Martin; Christian Fleischhaker; Monica Biscaldi; André Beauducel; Nikolaos Smyrnis; Ludger Tebartz Elst; Christoph Klein
In: European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 1–18, 2022.
Disorders with neurodevelopmental aetiology such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Schizophrenia share commonalities at many levels of investigation despite phenotypic differences. Evidence of genetic overlap has led to the concept of a continuum of neurodevelopmental impairment along which these disorders can be positioned in aetiological, pathophysiological and developmental features. This concept requires their simultaneous comparison at different levels, which has not been accomplished so far. Given that cognitive impairments are core to the pathophysiology of these disorders, we provide for the first time differentiated head-to-head comparisons in a complex cognitive function, visual search, decomposing the task with eye movement-based process analyses. N = 103 late-adolescents with schizophrenia, ADHD, ASD and healthy controls took a serial visual search task, while their eye movements were recorded. Patients with schizophrenia presented the greatest level of impairment across different phases of search, followed by patients with ADHD, who shared with patients with schizophrenia elevated intra-subject variability in the pre-search stage. ASD was the least impaired group, but similar to schizophrenia in post-search processes and to schizophrenia and ADHD in pre-search processes and fixation duration while scanning the items. Importantly, the profiles of deviancy from controls were highly correlated between all three clinical groups, in line with the continuum idea. Findings suggest the existence of one common neurodevelopmental continuum of performance for the three disorders, while quantitative differences appear in the level of impairment. Given the relevance of cognitive impairments in these three disorders, we argue in favour of overlapping pathophysiological mechanisms.
Matthew R. Cavanaugh; Duje Tadin; Marisa Carrasco; Krystel R. Huxlin
In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 16, pp. 1–14, 2022.
Recovery of visual discrimination thresholds inside cortically-blinded (CB) fields is most commonly attained at a single, trained location at a time, with iterative progress deeper into the blind field as performance improves over several months. As such, training is slow, inefficient, burdensome, and often frustrating for patients. Here, we investigated whether double-location training, coupled with a covert spatial-attention (SA) pre-cue, could improve the efficiency of training. Nine CB participants completed a randomized, training assignment with either a spatial attention or neutral pre-cue. All trained for a similar length of time on a fine direction discrimination task at two blind field locations simultaneously. Training stimuli and tasks for both cohorts were identical, save for the presence of a central pre-cue, to manipulate endogenous (voluntary) SA, or a Neutral pre-cue. Participants in the SA training cohort demonstrated marked improvements in direction discrimination thresholds, albeit not to normal/intact-field levels; participants in the Neutral training cohort remained impaired. Thus, double-training within cortically blind fields, when coupled with SA pre-cues can significantly improve direction discrimination thresholds at two locations simultaneously, offering a new method to improve performance and reduce the training burden for CB patients. Double-training without SA pre-cues revealed a hitherto unrecognized limitation of cortically-blind visual systems' ability to improve while processing two stimuli simultaneously. These data could potentially explain why exposure to the typically complex visual environments encountered in everyday life is insufficient to induce visual recovery in CB patients. It is hoped that these new insights will direct both research and therapeutic developments toward methods that can attain better, faster recovery of vision in CB fields.
Alexis Cheviet; Jana Masselink; Eric Koun; Roméo Salemme; Markus Lappe; Caroline Froment-Tilikete; Denis Pélisson
In: Cerebral Cortex, vol. 32, no. 18, pp. 3896–3916, 2022.
Saccadic adaptation (SA) is a cerebellar-dependent learning of motor commands (MC), which aims at preserving saccade accuracy. Since SA alters visual localization during fixation and even more so across saccades, it could also involve changes of target and/or saccade visuospatial representations, the latter (CDv) resulting from a motor-to-visual transformation (forward dynamics model) of the corollary discharge of the MC. In the present study, we investigated if, in addition to its established role in adaptive adjustment of MC, the cerebellum could contribute to the adaptation-associated perceptual changes. Transfer of backward and forward adaptation to spatial perceptual performance (during ocular fixation and trans-saccadically) was assessed in eight cerebellar patients and eight healthy volunteers. In healthy participants, both types of SA altered MC as well as internal representations of the saccade target and of the saccadic eye displacement. In patients, adaptation-related adjustments of MC and adaptation transfer to localization were strongly reduced relative to healthy participants, unraveling abnormal adaptation-related changes of target and CDv. Importantly, the estimated changes of CDv were totally abolished following forward session but mainly preserved in backward session, suggesting that an internal model ensuring trans-saccadic localization could be located in the adaptation-related cerebellar networks or in downstream networks, respectively.
Francesco Cimminella; Giorgia D'Innocenzo; Sergio Della Sala; Alessandro Iavarone; Caterina Musella; Moreno I. Coco
In: Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 418–433, 2022.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients underperform on a range of tasks requiring semantic processing, but it is unclear whether this impairment is due to a generalised loss of semantic knowledge or to issues in accessing and selecting such information from memory. The objective of this eye-tracking visual search study was to determine whether semantic expectancy mechanisms known to support object recognition in healthy adults are preserved in AD patients. Furthermore, as AD patients are often reported to be impaired in accessing information in extra-foveal vision, we investigated whether that was also the case in our study. Twenty AD patients and 20 age-matched controls searched for a target object among an array of distractors presented extra-foveally. The distractors were either semantically related or unrelated to the target (e.g., a car in an array with other vehicles or kitchen items). Results showed that semantically related objects were detected with more difficulty than semantically unrelated objects by both groups, but more markedly by the AD group. Participants looked earlier and for longer at the critical objects when these were semantically unrelated to the distractors. Our findings show that AD patients can process the semantics of objects and access it in extra-foveal vision. This suggests that their impairments in semantic processing may reflect difficulties in accessing semantic information rather than a generalised loss of semantic memory.
Uzma Samadani; Robert J. Spinner; Gerard Dynkowski; Susan Kirelik; Tory Schaaf; Stephen P. Wall; Paul Huang
In: Frontiers in Neurology, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 1–6, 2022.
INTRODUCTION In order to obtain FDA Marketing Authorization for aid in the diagnosis of concussion, an eye tracking study in an intended use population was conducted. METHODS Potentially concussed subjects recruited in emergency department and concussion clinic settings prospectively underwent eye tracking and a subset of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3 at 6 sites. The results of an eye tracking-based classifier model were then validated against a pre-specified algorithm with a cutoff for concussed vs. non-concussed. The sensitivity and specificity of eye tracking were calculated after plotting of the receiver operating characteristic curve and calculation of the AUC (area under curve). RESULTS When concussion is defined by SCAT3 subsets, the sensitivity and specificity of an eye tracking algorithm was 80.4 and 66.1%, The AUC was 0.718. The misclassification rate (n = 282) was 31.6%. CONCLUSION A pre-specified algorithm and cutoff for diagnosis of concussion vs. non-concussion has a sensitivity and specificity that is useful as a baseline-free aid in diagnosis of concussion. Eye tracking has potential to serve as an objective "gold-standard" for detection of neurophysiologic disruption due to brain injury.
Rebekka Schröder; Eliana Faiola; Maria Fernanda Urquijo; Katharina Bey; Inga Meyhöfer; Maria Steffens; Anna-Maria Kasparbauer; Anne Ruef; Hanna Högenauer; René Hurlemann; Joseph Kambeitz; Alexandra Philipsen; Michael Wagner; Nikolaos Koutsouleris; Ulrich Ettinger
In: Schizophrenia Bulletin Open, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Schizotypy refers to a set of personality traits that bear resemblance, at subclinical level, to psychosis. Despite evidence of similarity at multiple levels of analysis, direct comparisons of schizotypy and clinical psychotic disorders are rare. Therefore, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural correlates and task-based functional connectivity (psychophysiological interactions; PPI) of smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM) in patients with recent onset psychosis (ROP; n = 34), participants with high levels of negative (HNS; n = 46) or positive (HPS; n = 41) schizotypal traits, and low-schizotypy control participants (LS; n = 61) using machine-learning. Despite strong previous evidence that SPEM is a highly reliable marker of psychosis, patients and controls could not be significantly distinguished based on SPEM performance or blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal during SPEM. Classification was, however, significant for the right frontal eye field (FEF) seed region in the PPI analyses but not for seed regions in other key areas of the SPEM network. Applying the right FEF classifier to the schizotypal samples yielded decision scores between the LS and ROP groups, suggesting similarities and dissimilarities of the HNS and HPS samples with the LS and ROP groups. The very small difference between groups is inconsistent with previous studies that showed significant differences between patients with ROP and controls in both SPEM performance and underlying neural mechanisms with large effect sizes. As the current study had sufficient power to detect such differences, other reasons are discussed.
Rebekka Schröder; Kristof Keidel; Peter Trautner; Alexander Radbruch; Ulrich Ettinger
In: Human Brain Mapping, pp. 1–17, 2022.
Smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM) are essential to guide behaviour in complex visual environments. SPEM accuracy is known to be degraded by the presence of a structured visual background and at higher target velocities. The aim of this preregistered study was to investigate the neural mechanisms of these robust behavioural effects. N = 33 participants performed a SPEM task with two background conditions (present and absent) at two target velocities (0.4 and 0.6 Hz). Eye movement and BOLD data were collected simultaneously. Both the presence of a structured background and faster target velocity decreased pursuit gain and increased catch-up saccade rate. Faster targets additionally increased position error. Higher BOLD response with background was found in extensive clusters in visual, parietal, and frontal areas (including the medial frontal eye fields; FEF) partially overlapping with the known SPEM network. Faster targets were associated with higher BOLD response in visual cortex and left lateral FEF. Task-based functional connectivity analyses (psychophysiological interactions; PPI) largely replicated previous results in the basic SPEM network but did not yield additional information regarding the neural underpinnings of the background and velocity effects. The results show that the presentation of visual background stimuli during SPEM induces activity in a widespread visuo-parieto-frontal network including areas contributing to cognitive aspects of oculomotor control such as medial FEF, whereas the response to higher target velocity involves visual and motor areas such as lateral FEF. Therefore, we were able to propose for the first time different functions of the medial and lateral FEF during SPEM.
Rebekka Schröder; Martin Reuter; Kaja Faßbender; Thomas Plieger; Jessie Poulsen; Simon S. Y. Lui; Raymond C. K. Chan; Ulrich Ettinger
In: Psychopharmacology, vol. 239, no. 2, pp. 489–507, 2022.
Rationale: Nicotine has been widely studied for its pro-dopaminergic effects. However, at the behavioural level, past investigations have yielded heterogeneous results concerning effects on cognitive, affective, and motor outcomes, possibly linked to individual differences at the level of genetics. A candidate polymorphism is the 40-base-pair variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism (rs28363170) in the SLC6A3 gene coding for the dopamine transporter (DAT). The polymorphism has been associated with striatal DAT availability (9R-carriers > 10R-homozygotes), and 9R-carriers have been shown to react more strongly to dopamine agonistic pharmacological challenges than 10R-homozygotes. Objectives: In this preregistered study, we hypothesized that 9R-carriers would be more responsive to nicotine due to genotype-related differences in DAT availability and resulting dopamine activity. Methods: N=194 non-smokers were grouped according to their genotype (9R-carriers, 10R-homozygotes) and received either 2-mg nicotine or placebo gum in a between-subject design. Spontaneous blink rate (SBR) was obtained as an indirect measure of striatal dopamine activity and smooth pursuit, stop signal, simple choice and affective processing tasks were carried out in randomized order. Results: Reaction times were decreased under nicotine compared to placebo in the simple choice and stop signal tasks, but nicotine and genotype had no effects on any of the other task outcomes. Conditional process analyses testing the mediating effect of SBR on performance and how this is affected by genotype yielded no significant results. Conclusions: Overall, we could not confirm our main hypothesis. Individual differences in nicotine response could not be explained by rs28363170 genotype.
Ehsan Sedaghat-Nejad; Jay S. Pi; Paul Hage; Mohammad Amin Fakharian; Reza Shadmehr
In: PNAS, vol. 119, no. 14, pp. 1–11, 2022.
The ability of the brain to accurately control a movement depends on the cerebellum. Yet, how the cerebellar neurons encode information relevant for this control remains poorly understood. The computations that are performed in the cerebellar cortex are transmitted to its nuclei via Purkinje cells (P cells), which are inhibitory neurons. How- ever, if the spiking activity within P cell populations were temporally synchronized, that inhibition would entrain nucleus neurons, making them fire. Do P cells transmit information by synchronously timing their spikes? We simultaneously recorded from multiple P cells while marmosets performed saccadic eye movements, and organized the neurons into populations that shared a complex spike response to error. Before move- ment onset, this population ofP cells increased their simple spike activity with a magni- tude that depended on the velocity of the upcoming saccade, and then sharply reduced their activity below baseline at saccade onset. During deceleration, the spikes became temporally aligned within the population. Thus, the P cells relied on disinhibition, combined with spike synchronization, to convey to the nucleus when to decelerate and potentially stop the movement.
Natela M. Shanidze; Zachary Lively; Rachel Lee; Preeti Verghese
Saccadic contributions to smooth pursuit in macular degeneration Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 200, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Saccades during smooth pursuit can help bring the fovea on target, particularly in cases of low pursuit gain. Individuals with macular degeneration often suffer damage to the central retina including the fovea, which impacts oculomotor function such as fixation, saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements. We hypothesized that these oculomotor changes in macular degeneration (MD) would make saccades less appropriately directed (even if more numerous). To investigate saccades during pursuit in MD, we conducted a quantitative analysis of smooth pursuit eye movement data from a prior study, Vision Research 141 (2017) 181–190. Here we examined saccade frequency, magnitude, and direction across viewing conditions for MD and control participants during pursuit of a target moving in a modified step-ramp paradigm. Individuals with MD had more variability in saccade directions that included directions orthogonal to the target trajectory. PRL eccentricity significantly correlated with increases in saccades in non-target directions during smooth pursuit. These results suggest that a large number of saccades during pursuit in MD participants are unlikely to be catch-up saccades that serve to keep the eye on the target.
Georgia F. Symons; William T. O'Brien; Larry Abel; Zhibin Chen; Daniel M. Costello; Terence J. O'Brien; Scott Kolbe; Joanne Fielding; Sandy R. Shultz; Meaghan Clough
In: Cerebral Cortex, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Identifying when recovery from a sports-related concussion (SRC) has occurred remains a challenge in clinical practice. This study investigated the utility of ocular motor (OM) assessment to monitor recovery post-SRC between sexes and compared to common clinical measures. From 139 preseason baseline assessments (i.e. before they sustained an SRC), 18 (12 males, 6 females) consequent SRCs were sustained and the longitudinal follow-ups were collected at 2, 6, and 13 days post-SRC. Participants completed visually guided, antisaccade (AS), and memory-guided saccade tasks requiring a saccade toward, away from, and to a remembered target, respectively. Changes in latency (processing speed), visual–spatial accuracy, and errors were measured. Clinical measures included The Sports Concussion Assessment Tool, King-Devick test, Stroop task, and Digit span. AS latency was significantly longer at 2 days and returned to baseline by 13-days post-SRC in females only (P < 0.001). Symptom numbers recovered from 2 to 6 days and 13 days (P < 0.05). Persistently poorer AS visual–spatial accuracy was identified at 2, 6 and 13 days post-SRC (P < 0.05) in both males and females but with differing trajectories. Clinical measures demonstrated consistent improvement reminiscent of practice effects. OM saccade assessment may have improved utility in tracking recovery compared to conventional measures and between sexes.
Xiaoyu Tang; Mengying Yuan; Zhongyu Shi; Min Gao; Rongxia Ren; Wei Ming; Yulin Gao
In: Journal of Vision, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 1–17, 2022.
Inhibition of return (IOR) is a mechanism of the attention system involving bias toward novel stimuli and delayed generation of responses to targets at previously attended locations. According to the two-component theory, IOR consists of a perceptual component and an oculomotor component (oculomotor IOR [O-IOR]) depending on whether the eye movement system is activated. Previous studies have shown that multisensory integration weakens IOR when paying attention to both visual and auditory modalities. However, it remains unclear whether the O-IOR effect attenuated by multisensory integration also occurs when the oculomotor system is activated. Here, using two eye movement experiments, we investigated the effect of multisensory integration on O-IOR using the exogenous spatial cueing paradigm. In Experiment 1, we found a greater visual O-IOR effect compared with audiovisual and auditory O-IOR in divided modality attention. The relative multisensory response enhancement (rMRE) and violations of Miller's bound showed a greater magnitude of multisensory integration in the cued location compared with the uncued location. In Experiment 2, the magnitude of the audiovisual O-IOR effect was significantly less than that of the visual O-IOR in single visual modality selective attention. Implications for the effect of multisensory integration on O-IOR were discussed under conditions of oculomotor system activation, shedding new light on the two-component theory of IOR.
Christian Wolf; Artem V. Belopolsky; Markus Lappe
In: iScience, vol. 25, no. 9, pp. 1–16, 2022.
Humans visually inspect the world with their fovea and select new parts of the scene using saccadic eye movements. Foveal inspection and the decision of where and when to look next proceed simultaneously, but there is mixed evidence concerning their independence. Here, we tested their interdependence using drift-diffusion modeling. Participants first made a saccade to a predetermined inspection target and subsequently decided between two selection targets. We found that the inspected target's meaningfulness and the opportunity to preview it peripherally affects fixation durations and the upcoming saccadic selection. Drift-diffusion modeling showed that meaningfulness and the absence of peripheral preview can both delay the subsequent saccadic decision process and affect the rate at which peripheral information is accumulated. Our results thus show that foveal inspection and peripheral selection are dependent on each other and that peripheral information can be maintained across the saccade to influence subsequent eye movement decisions.
Xiuyun Wu; Miriam Spering
In: PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 9, pp. 1–22, 2022.
Human smooth pursuit eye movements and motion perception behave similarly when observers track and judge the motion of simple objects, such as dots. But moving objects in our natural environment are complex and contain internal motion. We ask how pursuit and perception integrate the motion of objects with motion that is internal to the object. Observers (n = 20) tracked a moving random-dot kinematogram with their eyes and reported the object's perceived direction. Objects moved horizontally with vertical shifts of 0, ±3, ±6, or ±9° and contained internal dots that were static or moved ±90° up/down. Results show that whereas pursuit direction was consistently biased in the direction of the internal dot motion, perceptual biases differed between observers. Interestingly, the perceptual bias was related to the magnitude of the pursuit bias (r = 0.75): perceptual and pursuit biases were directionally aligned in observers that showed a large pursuit bias, but went in opposite directions in observers with a smaller pursuit bias. Dissociations between perception and pursuit might reflect different functional demands of the two systems. Pursuit integrates all available motion signals in order to maximize the ability to monitor and collect information from the whole scene. Perception needs to recognize and classify visual information, thus segregating the target from its context. Ambiguity in whether internal motion is part of the scene or contributes to object motion might have resulted in individual differences in perception. The perception-pursuit correlation suggests shared early-stage motion processing or perception- pursuit interactions.
Jin Xie; Ting Yan; Jie Zhang; Zhengyu Ma; Huihui Zhou
In: Neuroscience Bulletin, vol. 38, no. 10, pp. 1183–1198, 2022.
Active exploratory behaviors have often been associated with theta oscillations in rodents, while theta oscillations during active exploration in non-human primates are still not well understood. We recorded neural activities in the frontal eye field (FEF) and V4 simultaneously when monkeys performed a free-gaze visual search task. Saccades were strongly phase-locked to theta oscillations of V4 and FEF local field potentials, and the phase-locking was dependent on saccade direction. The spiking probability of V4 and FEF units was significantly modulated by the theta phase in addition to the time-locked modulation associated with the evoked response. V4 and FEF units showed significantly stronger responses following saccades initiated at their preferred phases. Granger causality and ridge regression analysis showed modulatory effects of theta oscillations on saccade timing. Together, our study suggests phase-locking of saccades to the theta modulation of neural activity in visual and oculomotor cortical areas, in addition to the theta phase locking caused by saccade-triggered responses.
Jinghui Yin; Jiande Sun; Jing Li; Ke Liu
In: Sensors, vol. 22, no. 3002, pp. 1–18, 2022.
Eye movement has become a new behavioral feature for biometric authentication. In the eye movement-based authentication methods that use temporal features and artificial design features, the required duration of eye movement recordings are too long to be applied. Therefore, this study aims at using eye movement recordings with shorter duration to realize authentication. And we give out a reasonable eye movement recording duration that should be less than 12 s, referring to the changing pattern of the deviation degree between the gaze point and the stimulus point on the screen. In this study, the temporal motion features of the gaze points and the spatial distribution features of the saccade are using to represent the personal identity. Two datasets are constructed for the experiments, including 5 s and 12 s of eye movement recordings. On the datasets constructed in this paper, the open-set authentication results show that the Equal Error Rate of our proposed methods can reach 10.62% when recording duration is 12 s and 12.48% when recording duration is 5 s. The closed-set authentication results show that the Equal Error Rate of our proposed methods can reach 5.25% when recording duration is 12 s and 7.82% when recording duration is 5 s. It demonstrates that the proposed method provides a reference for the eye movements data-based identity authentication.
Gongchen Yu; James P. Herman; Leor N. Katz; Richard J. Krauzlis
In: eLife, vol. 11, pp. 1–14, 2022.
Recent evidence suggests that microsaccades are causally linked to the attentionrelated modulation of neurons—specifically, that microsaccades toward the attended location are required for the subsequent changes in firing rate. These findings have raised questions about whether attention-related modulation is due to different states of attention as traditionally assumed or might instead be a secondary effect of microsaccades. Here, in two rhesus macaques, we tested the relationship between microsaccades and attention-related modulation in the superior colliculus (SC), a brain structure crucial for allocating attention. We found that attention-related modulation emerged even in the absence of microsaccades, was already present prior to microsaccades toward the cued stimulus, and persisted through the suppression of activity that accompanied all microsaccades. Nonetheless, consistent with previous findings, we also found significant attention-related modulation when microsaccades were directed toward, rather than away from, the cued location. Thus, despite the clear links between microsaccades and attention, microsaccades are not necessary for attention-related modulation, at least not in the SC. They do, however, provide an additional marker for the state of attention, especially at times when attention is shifting from one location to another.
Haojue Yu; Foroogh Shamsi; MiYoung Kwon
In: Journal of Vision, vol. 22, no. 10, pp. 1–20, 2022.
Degraded viewing conditions caused by either natural environments or visual disorders lead to slow reading. Here, we systematically investigated how eye movement patterns during reading are affected by degraded viewing conditions in terms of spatial resolution, contrast, and background luminance. Using a high-speed eye tracker, binocular eye movements were obtained from 14 young normally sighted adults. Images of text passages were manipulated with varying degrees of background luminance (1.3–265 cd/m2), text blur (severe blur to no blur), or text contrast (2.6%–100%). We analyzed changes in key eye movement features, such as saccades, microsaccades, regressive saccades, fixations, and return-sweeps across different viewing conditions. No significant changes were observed for the range of tested background luminance values. However, with increasing text blur and decreasing text contrast, we observed a significant decrease in saccade amplitude and velocity, as well as a significant increase in fixation duration, number of fixations, proportion of regressive saccades, microsaccade rate, and duration of return-sweeps. Among all, saccade amplitude, fixation duration, and proportion of regressive saccades turned out to be the most significant contributors to reading speed, together accounting for 90% of variance in reading speed. Our results together showed that, when presented with degraded viewing conditions, the patterns of eye movements during reading were altered accordingly. These findings may suggest that the seemingly deviated eye movements observed in individuals with visual impairments may be in part resulting from active and optimal information acquisition strategies operated when visual sensory input becomes substantially deprived.
Dan Zhang; Qian Guo; Lihua Xu; Xu Liu; Tian Hong Zhang; Xiaohua Liu; Haiying Chen; Guanjun Li; Jijun Wang
In: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, vol. 118, pp. 1–8, 2022.
Emerging evidence suggested that people with severe mental disorders were more vulnerable to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few researches investigated the influence of global pandemics on people at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical symptoms, psychological distress, and eye-tracking characteristics in CHR individuals and healthy participants. Forty-nine CHR individuals and 50 healthy controls (HC) were assessed by PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), Perceived Stress Scale, 10-item version (PSS-10), and Coronavirus Impact Scale (CIS). Eye movement performances were measured by the tests of fixation stability, free-viewing, and anti-saccade. According to the mean score of CIS, participants were stratified into high-impact (n = 35) and low-impact (n = 64) subgroups. Compared with the HC group, CHR participants reported significantly higher levels of post-traumatic symptoms caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and showed abnormalities in most of the eye movement indexes. Among the altered indexes, the saccade amplitude of fixation stability test (far distractor), the scan path length of free-viewing test, and the accuracy of anti-saccade test were negatively affected by the severity of impact level in the CHR group. Moreover, the altered eye movement indexes were significantly associated with the total scores of CIS, PCL-5, and subscales of the Scale of Prodromal Syndromes (SOPS) among CHR individuals. Overall, our findings suggested the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the eye movement characteristics of CHR individuals. The present study provides valuable information on physiological distress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and sensitive neuropsychological biomarkers that interacted with social and environment stress in the CHR population.
Dan Zhang; Xu Liu; Lihua Xu; Yu Li; Yangyang Xu; Mengqing Xia; Zhenying Qian; Yingying Tang; Zhi Liu; Tao Chen; HaiChun Liu; TianHong Zhang; Jijun Wang
In: Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 307, pp. 237–243, 2022.
Background: Depression is a common debilitating mental disorder caused by various factors. Identifying and diagnosing depression are challenging because the clinical evaluation of depression is mainly subjective, lacking objective and quantitative indicators. The present study investigated the value and significance of eye movement measurements in distinguishing depressed patients from controls. Methods: Ninety-five depressed patients and sixty-nine healthy controls performed three eye movement tests, including fixation stability, free-viewing, and anti-saccade tests, and eleven eye movement indexes were obtained from these tests. The independent t-test was adopted for group comparisons, and multiple logistic regression analysis was employed to identify diagnostic biomarkers. Support vector machine (SVM), quadratic discriminant analysis (QDA), and Bayesian (BYS) algorithms were applied to build the classification models. Results: Depressed patients exhibited eye movement anomalies, characterized by increased saccade amplitude in the fixation stability test; diminished saccade velocity in the anti-saccade test; and reduced saccade amplitude, shorter scan path length, lower saccade velocity, decreased dynamic range of pupil size, and lower pupil size ratio in the free-viewing test. Four features mentioned above entered the logistic regression equation. The classification accuracies of SVM, QDA, and BYS models reached 86.0%, 81.1%, and 83.5%, respectively. Conclusions: Depressed patients exhibited abnormalities across multiple tests of eye movements, assisting in differentiating depressed patients from healthy controls in a cost-effective and non-invasive manner.
Dan Zhang; Lihua Xu; Yuou Xie; Xiaochen Tang; Yegang Hu; Xu Liu; Guisen Wu; Zhenying Qian; Yingying Tang; Zhi Liu; Tao Chen; HaiChun Liu; Tianhong Zhang; Jijun Wang
In: European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, pp. 1–11, 2022.
Eye movement abnormalities have been established as an “endophenotype” of schizophrenia. However, less is known about the possibility of these abnormalities as biomarkers for psychosis conversion among clinical high risk (CHR) populations. In the present study, 108 CHR individuals and 70 healthy controls (HC) underwent clinical assessments and eye-tracking tests, comprising fixation stability and free-viewing tasks. According to three-year follow-up outcomes, CHR participants were further stratified into CHR-converter (CHR-C; n = 21) and CHR-nonconverter (CHR-NC; n = 87) subgroups. Prediction models were constructed using Cox regression and logistic regression. The CHR-C group showed more saccades of the fixation stability test (no distractor) and a reduced saccade amplitude of the free-viewing test than HC. Moreover, the CHR-NC group exhibited excessive saccades and an increased saccade amplitude of the fixation stability test (no distractor; with distractor) compared with HC. Furthermore, two indices could effectively discriminate CHR-C from CHR-NC with an area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.80, including the saccade number of the fixation stability test (no distractor) and the saccade amplitude of the free-viewing test. Combined with negative symptom scores of the Scale of Prodromal Symptoms, the area was 0.81. These findings support that eye movement alterations might emerge before the onset of clinically overt psychosis and could assist in predicting psychosis transition among CHR populations.
Mengmi Zhang; Marcelo Armendariz; Will Xiao; Olivia Rose; Katarina Bendtz; Margaret Livingstone; Carlos Ponce; Gabriel Kreiman
Primates constantly explore their surroundings via saccadic eye movements that bring different parts of an image into high resolution. In addition to exploring new regions in the visual field, primates also make frequent return fixations, revisiting previously foveated locations. We systematically studied a total of 44,328 return fixations out of 217,440 fixations. Return fixations were ubiquitous across different behavioral tasks, in monkeys and humans, both when subjects viewed static images and when subjects performed natural behaviors. Return fixations locations were consistent across subjects, tended to occur within short temporal offsets, and typically followed a 180-degree turn in saccadic direction. To understand the origin of return fixations, we propose a proof-of-principle, biologically-inspired and image-computable neural network model. The model combines five key modules: an image feature extractor, bottom-up saliency cues, task-relevant visual features, finite inhibition-of-return, and saccade size constraints. Even though there are no free parameters that are fine-tuned for each specific task, species, or condition, the model produces fixation sequences resembling the universal properties of return fixations. These results provide initial steps towards a mechanistic understanding of the trade-off between rapid foveal recognition and the need to scrutinize previous fixation locations.
Mislocalization in saccadic suppression of displacement Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 196, pp. 1–6, 2022.
Visual stability across saccades requires us to discriminate self-generated motion by eye movements from motion occurring in the external world. In the laboratory visual stability is often studied by asking observers to discriminate the direction of trans-saccadic target displacements. It is a well established finding that in this paradigm performance is usually very poor. If observers are insensitive to the intra-saccadic motion and see the pre- and the post-saccadic target in one location, one of both targets should be reported as shifted when observers would localize them. Here, I asked participants to perform a saccade to a target. During saccade execution the target was displaced either in backward or forward direction. After finishing the saccade, subjects had to report the position of either the pre-or the post-saccadic target. I found that subjects mislocalized the pre-saccadic target to the physical position of the post-saccadic target. This mislocalization occurred only after backward but not after forward displacements.
Mehmet N. Agaoglu; Wai Fung; Susana T. L. Chung
In: Journal of Vision, vol. 22, no. 10, pp. 1–20, 2022.
Patients with central vision loss often adopt a location outside their scotoma as the new reference for vision, the preferred retinal locus (PRL). The development of a PRL is important not only for the rehabilitation of patients with central vision loss, but also helps us better understand how the brain adapts to the lack of visual input. Many investigators studied this question using a gaze-contingent display paradigm by imposing an artificial scotoma to simulate central vision loss for normally sighted subjects, with an important assumption that the "PRL" thus developed is the result of visuomotor adaptation, as is the case for people with a real scotoma. In this study, we tested the validity of this assumption. We used a gaze-contingent display combined with an artificial scotoma to first train normally sighted subjects to develop a "PRL" for saccade eye movements. Then, we compared the properties of saccades when the artificial scotoma was randomly turned off or on. When the artificial scotoma was absent, subjects automatically reverted to using their fovea, with a shorter saccade latency. Our findings suggest that the development of a "PRL" in response to an artificial scotoma may represent a strategy, instead of a genuine visuomotor adaptation.
Francesca Ales; Luciano Giromini; Lara Warmelink; Megan Polden; Thomas Wilcockson; Claire Kelly; Christina Winters; Alessandro Zennaro; Trevor Crawford
In: Psychological Injury and Law, pp. 1–15, 2022.
Assessing the credibility of reported mental health problems is critical in a variety of assessment situations, particularly in forensic contexts. Previous research has examined how the assessment of performance validity can be improved through the use of bio-behavioral measures (e.g., eye movements). To date, however, there is a paucity of literature on the use of eye tracking technology in assessing the validity of presented symptoms of schizophrenia, a disorder that is known to be associated with oculomotor abnormalities. Thus, we collected eye tracking data from 83 healthy individuals during the completion of the Inventory of Problems – 29 and investigated whether the oculomotor behavior of participants instructed to feign schizophrenia would differ from those of control participants asked to respond honestly. Results showed that feigners had a longer dwell time and a greater number of fixations in the feigning-keyed response options, regardless of whether they eventually endorsed those options (d > 0.80). Implications on how eye tracking technology can deepen comprehension on simulation strategies are discussed, as well as the potential of investigating eye movements to advance the field of symptom validity assessment.
Svetlana Alexeeva; Vladislav Zubov; Alena Konina
In: Primenjena Psihologija, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 199–236, 2022.
The current study aims to test the assumption that a specially designed Cyrillic font, LexiaD, can assist adolescents with reading problems and facilitate their reading experience. LexiaD was compared with the widely used Arial font. Two groups of adolescents with dyslexia (N = 34) and without dyslexia (N = 28) silently read 144 sentences from the Russian Sentence Corpus (Laurinavichyute et al., 2019), some of which were presented in LexiaD, and others in Arial, while their eye movements were recorded. LexiaD did not show the desired effect for adolescents at the beginning of the experiment: Arial outperformed it in reading speed in both participant groups. However, by the end of the experiment, LexiaD showed a better performance. Although the speed of the higher-level cognitive processing (e.g., lexical access) in both fonts did not differ significantly, the feature extraction was found to be better in LexiaD than in Arial. Thus, we found some positive effect of LexiaD when participants with and without dyslexia got accustomed to it. A follow-up study with an explicit exposure session is needed to confirm this conclusion.
Talia Ariss; Catharine E. Fairbairn; Michael A. Sayette; Brynne A. Velia; Howard Berenbaum; Sarah Brown-Schmidt
In: Clinical Psychological Science, pp. 1–14, 2022.
COVID-19 forced social interactions to move online. Yet researchers have little understanding of the mental-health consequences of this shift. Given pandemic-related surges in emotional disorders and problematic drinking, it becomes imperative to understand the cognitive and affective processes involved in virtual interactions and the impact of alcohol in virtual social spaces. Participants ( N = 246) engaged in an online video call while their gaze behavior was tracked. Before the interaction, participants were randomly assigned to receive an alcoholic or control beverage. Participants' affect was repeatedly assessed. Results indicated that a proportionally larger amount of time spent gazing at oneself (vs. one's interaction partner) predicted significantly higher negative affect after the exchange. Furthermore, alcohol independently increased self-directed attention, failing to demonstrate its typically potent social-affective enhancement in this virtual context. Results carry potential implications for understanding factors that increase risk for hazardous drinking and negative affect in an increasingly virtual world.
Iti Arora; Alessio Bellato; Teodora Gliga; Danielle Ropar; Puja Kochhar; Chris Hollis; Madeleine Groom
In: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 600–616, 2022.
Slower habituation to repeating stimuli characterises Autism, but it is not known whether this is driven by difficulties with information processing or an attentional bias towards sameness. We conducted eye-tracking and presented looming geometrical shapes, clocks with moving arms and smiling faces, as two separate streams of stimuli (one repeating and one changing), to 7–15 years old children and adolescents (n = 103) with Autism, ADHD or co-occurring Autism+ADHD, and neurotypical children (Study-1); and to neurotypical children (n = 64) with varying levels of autistic traits (Study-2). Across both studies, autistic features were associated with longer looks to the repeating stimulus, and shorter looks to the changing stimulus, but only for more complex stimuli, indicating greater difficulty in processing complex or unpredictable information.
Jordi M. Asher; Paul B. Hibbard
In: Vision, vol. 6, no. 67, pp. 1–12, 2022.
Visual field loss is a debilitating impairment that can impact normal daily activities. The advancement of augmented and virtual realities brings opportunities for potential substitutive technologies for visual field loss. Here we outline a conceptual approach to increasing the amount of useful information by overlaying the blind field into the sighted field. In this proof-of-concept experiment, 33 observers were allocated to either a left or right blind condition (with a simulated scotoma). All observers completed a line bisection task in all three conditions (baseline, scotoma, manipulation), with the baseline condition always completed first. The scotoma condition (baseline with the addition of a simulated scotoma) and the manipulated condition (baseline with the addition of a simulated scotoma, and a “minified window overlay”) were randomised in order of presentation. Predictably, our results show that a simulated scotoma impaired performance on the task. However, observers were able to make use the overlay to improve their estimation of the line's midpoint. Our results show that a substitutive augmentation of this type improved accuracy in estimating the midpoint of a line with a (simulated) scotoma.
Asmara Awada; Shahab Bakhtiari; Catherine Legault; Celine Odier; Christopher C. Pack
In: Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, vol. 40, pp. 1–16, 2022.
Background: Cortical blindness is a form of severe vision loss that is caused by damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) or its afferents. This condition has devastating effects on quality of life and independence. While there are few treatments currently available, accumulating evidence shows that certain visual functions can be restored with appropriate perceptual training: Stimulus sensitivity can be increased within portions of the blind visual field. However, this increased sensitivity often remains highly specific to the trained stimulus, limiting the overall improvement in visual function. Objective: Recent advances in the field of perceptual learning show that such specificity can be overcome with training paradigms that leverage the properties of higher-level visual cortical structures, which have greater capacity to generalize across stimulus positions and features. This targeting can be accomplished by using more complex training stimuli that elicit robust responses in these visual structures. Methods: We trained cortically blind subjects with a complex optic flow motion stimulus that was presented in a location of their blind field. Participants were instructed to train with the stimulus at home for approximately 30 minutes per day. Once performance plateaued, the stimulus was moved deeper into the blind field. A battery of pre- and post-training measures, with careful eye tracking, was performed to quantify the improvements. Results:We show that 1) optic flow motion discrimination can be relearned in cortically blind fields; 2) training with an optic flow stimulus can lead to improvements that transfer to different tasks and untrained locations; and 3) such training leads to a significant expansion of the visual field. The observed expansion of the visual field was present even when eye movements were carefully controlled. Finally, we show that regular training is critical for improved visual function, as sporadic training reduced the benefits of training, even when the total numbers of training sessions were equated. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that complex training stimuli can improve outcomes in cortical blindness, provided that patients adhere to a regular training regimen. Nevertheless, such interventions remain limited in their ability
Omer Azriel; Jennifer C. Britton; Chelsea D. Gober; Daniel S. Pine; Yair Bar-Haim
In: International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 1–11, 2022.
Objectives: Various psychopathologies are associated with threat-related attention biases, which are typically measured using mechanized behavioral tasks. While useful and objective, behavioral measures do not capture the subjective experience of biased attention in daily-living. To complement extant behavioral measures, we developed and validated a self-report measure of threat-related attention bias – the Attention Bias Questionnaire (ABQ). Methods: The ABQ consists of nine items reflecting the subjective experience of attention bias towards threats. To enable personalized relevance in threat-content, the general term “threat” was used, and respondents were instructed to refer to specific things that threaten them personally. In a set of five studies, the ABQ was developed and validated. Internal consistency, discriminant validity, test-retest reliability, and convergent validity were tested. Results: The ABQ emerged as a coherent and stable measure with two sub-scales: Engagement with Threat and Difficulty to Disengage from Threat. ABQ scores were positively correlated with trait anxiety, social anxiety, PTSD, and depression, as well as behaviorally measured attention bias. Conclusion: Assessing the subjective experience of threat-related attention bias can enrich existing knowledge about the cognitive mechanisms underlying psychopathology and complement extant behavioral bias measures in research and clinical evaluation.
Annabell Coors; Mohammed Aslam Imtiaz; Meta M. Boenniger; N. Ahmad Aziz; Ulrich Ettinger; Monique M. B. Breteler
In: Translational Psychiatry, vol. 12, pp. 1–11, 2022.
To identify cognitive measures that may be particularly sensitive to early cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD), we investigated the relation between genetic risk for AD and cognitive task performance in a large population-based cohort study. We measured performance on memory, processing speed, executive function, crystallized intelligence and eye movement tasks in 5182 participants of the Rhineland Study, aged 30 to 95 years. We quantified genetic risk for AD by creating three weighted polygenic risk scores (PRS) based on the genome-wide significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms coming from three different genetic association studies. We assessed the relation of AD PRS with cognitive performance using generalized linear models. Three PRS were associated with lower performance on the Corsi forward task, and two PRS were associated with a lower probability of correcting antisaccade errors, but none of these associations remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Associations between age and trail-making test A (TMT-A) performance were modified by AD genetic risk, with individuals at high genetic risk showing the strongest association. We conclude that no single measure of our cognitive test battery robustly captures genetic liability for AD as quantified by current PRS. However, Corsi forward performance and the probability of correcting antisaccade errors may represent promising candidates whose ability to capture genetic liability for AD should be investigated further. Additionally, our finding on TMT-A performance suggests that processing speed represents a sensitive marker of AD genetic risk in old age and supports the processing speed theory of age-related cognitive decline.
Bing Dai; Kwang Meng Cham; Larry Allen Abel
Perception of coherent motion in infantile nystagmus syndrome Journal Article
In: Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 1–10, 2022.
PURPOSE. Research on infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) and motion perception is limited. We investigated how individuals with INS perform coherent motion tasks. Particularly, we assessed how the null position affects their performance. METHODS. Subjects with INS and controls identified the direction of coherent motion stimuli (22 subjects with INS and 13 controls) in a two-alternative forced-choice design. For subjects with INS, testing was done at the null position and 15 degrees away from it. If there was no null, testing was done at primary gaze position and 15 degrees away from primary. For controls, testing was done at primary gaze position and 20 degrees away from primary. Horizontal and vertical motion coherence thresholds were determined. RESULTS. Subjects with INS showed significantly higher horizontal and vertical motion coherence thresholds compared with controls at both gaze positions (P < 0.001). Within the INS group, for 12 subjects with INS who had an identified null position, no differences in coherence thresholds were found between their null and 15 degrees away from it (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS. Coherent motion perception was impaired in subjects with INS. The null position did not significantly influence motion coherence thresholds for either horizontal or vertical motion.
Kelly M. Dann; Aaron Veldre; Phillipa Hay; Stephen Touyz; Sally Andrews
In: International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 55, no. 10, pp. 1411–1417, 2022.
Objective: Cognitive flexibility research in anorexia nervosa (AN) has primarily focused on group differences between clinical and control participants, but research in the general population utilizing the mixed pro- anti-saccade flexibility task has demonstrated individual differences in trait anxiety are a determinant of switching performance, and switching impairments are more pronounced for keypress than saccadic (eye-movement) responses. The aim of the current research is to explore trait anxiety and differences in saccadic and keypress responding as potential determinants of performance on flexibility tasks in AN. Method: We will compare performance on the mixed pro- anti-saccade paradigm between female adult participants with a current diagnosis of AN and matched control participants, observing both saccadic and keypress responses while controlling for trait anxiety (State - Trait Anxiety Inventory) and spatial working memory (Corsi Block Tapping Test). Associations with eating disorder-related symptoms (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire), flexibility in everyday life (Eating Disorder Flexibility Index), and the Clinical Perfectionism Questionnaire will also be assessed. Results: Data which controls for individual differences in trait anxiety and assesses flexibility at both the task- and response-set level may be used to more accurately understand differences in performance on cognitive flexibility tasks by participants with AN. Discussion: Clarifying the effects of trait anxiety on flexibility, and differences between task- and response-set switching may advance our understanding of how cognitive flexibility relates to flexibility in everyday life and improve translation to therapeutic approaches. Public significance statement: This research will compare performance on a flexibility task between participants with anorexia nervosa (AN) and controls while observing their eye-movements to examine whether trait anxiety and type of response (eye-movement and keypress) are associated with performance. This data may improve our understanding of why participants with AN perform more poorly on cognitive flexibility tasks, and how poor cognitive flexibility relates to eating disorder-related issues with flexibility in everyday life.
Daniel G. Dillon; Amit Lazarov; Sarah Dolan; Yair Bar-Haim; Diego A. Pizzagalli; Franklin R. Schneier
In: Emotion, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 1–18, 2022.
Choices and response times in two-alternative decision-making tasks can be modeled by assuming that individuals steadily accrue evidence in favor of each alternative until a response boundary for one of them is crossed, at which point that alternative is chosen. Prior studies have reported that evidence accumulation during decision-making tasks takes longer in adults with psychopathology than in healthy controls, indicating that slow evidence accumulation may be transdiagnostic. However, few studies have examined perceptual decision making in anxiety disorders, where hypervigilance might enhance performance. Therefore, this study used the Hierarchical Drift Diffusion model to investigate evidence accumulation in adults with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and healthy controls as they performed a probabilistic reward task (PRT), in which social rewards were delivered for correct perceptual judgments. Adults with SAD completed the PRT before and after gaze-contingent music reward therapy (GCMRT), which trains attention allocation and has shown efficacy for SAD. Healthy controls also completed the PRT twice. Results revealed excellent performance in adults with SAD, especially after GCMRT: relative to controls, they showed faster evidence accumulation, better discriminability, and earned more rewards. These data highlight a positive effect of attention training on performance in anxious adults and show how a behavioral trait that is typically problematic-hypervigilance in SAD-can nevertheless confer advantages in certain contexts. The data also indicate that, in contrast to other forms of psychopathology, SAD is not characterized by slow evidence accumulation, at least in the context of the social PRT.
Ciara Egan; Anna Siyanova-Chanturia; Paul Warren; Manon W. Jones
In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 76, no. 2, pp. 231–247, 2022.
For skilled readers, idiomatic language confers faster access to overall meaning compared with non-idiomatic language, with a processing advantage for figurative over literal interpretation. However, currently very little research exists to elucidate whether atypical readers—such as those with developmental dyslexia—show such a processing advantage for figurative interpretations of idioms, or whether their reading impairment implicates subtle differences in semantic access. We wanted to know whether an initial figurative interpretation of similes, for both typical and dyslexic readers, is dependent on familiarity. Here, we tracked typical and dyslexic readers' eye movements as they read sentences containing similes (e.g., as cold as ice), orthogonally manipulated for novelty (e.g., familiar: as cold as ice, novel: as cold as snow) and figurativeness (e.g., literal: as cold as ice [low temperature], figurative: as cold as ice [emotionally distant]), with figurativeness being defined by the sentence context. Both participant groups exhibited a processing advantage for familiar and figurative similes over novel and literal similes. However, compared with typical readers, participants with dyslexia had greater difficulty processing similes both when they were unfamiliar and when the context biased the simile meaning towards a literal rather than a figurative interpretation. Our findings suggest a semantic processing anomaly in dyslexic readers, which we discuss in light of recent literature on sentence-level semantic processing.
Mahtab Farahbakhsh; Elaine J. Anderson; Roni O. Maimon-Mor; Andy Rider; John A. Greenwood; Nashila Hirji; Serena Zaman; Pete R. Jones; D. Samuel Schwarzkopf; Geraint Rees; Michel Michaelides; Tessa M. Dekker
In: Brain, vol. 145, pp. 3803–3815, 2022.
Recent advances in regenerative therapy have placed the treatment of previously incurable eye diseases within arms' reach. Achromatopsia is a severe monogenic heritable retinal disease that disrupts cone function from birth, leaving patients with complete colour blindness, low acuity, photosensitivity and nystagmus. While successful gene-replacement therapy in non-primate models of achromatopsia has raised widespread hopes for clinical treatment, it was yet to be determined if and how these therapies can induce new cone function in the human brain. Using a novel multimodal approach, we demonstrate for the first time that gene therapy can successfully activate dormant cone-mediated pathways in children with achromatopsia (CNGA3- and CNGB3-associated, 10–15 years). To test this, we combined functional MRI population receptive field mapping and psychophysics with stimuli that selectively measure cone photoreceptor signalling. We measured cortical and visual cone function before and after gene therapy in four paediatric patients, evaluating treatment-related change against benchmark data from untreated patients (n = 9) and normal-sighted participants (n = 28). After treatment, two of the four children displayed strong evidence for novel cone-mediated signals in visual cortex, with a retinotopic pattern that was not present in untreated achromatopsia and which is highly unlikely to emerge by chance. Importantly, this change was paired with a significant improvement in psychophysical measures of cone-mediated visual function. These improvements were specific to the treated eye, and provide strong evidence for successful read-out and use of new cone-mediated information. These data show for the first time that gene replacement therapy in achromatopsia within the plastic period of development can awaken dormant cone-signalling pathways after years of deprivation. This reveals unprecedented neural plasticity in the developing human nervous system and offers great promise for emerging regenerative therapies.
Lisa Feldmann; Carolin Zsigo; Charlotte Piechaczek; Pia Theresa Schröder; Christian Wachinger; Gerd Schulte-Körne; Ellen Greimel
In: Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 153, pp. 1–10, 2022.
Adolescent major depression (MD) is associated with impaired emotion regulation. However, results on cognitive reappraisal (CR) are mixed. Investigation of gaze behavior during CR allows a more thorough understanding of intact and deviant CR processes in MD. These studies examined for the first time the role of visual attention during CR in MD. We applied an established CR paradigm in two separate studies, with each study focusing on a different CR strategy. In Study 1, we investigated “distancing” in 39 adolescents with MD and 44 healthy controls (HCs). In Study 2, we applied “reinterpretation” in an independent sample of 37 HCs and 19 adolescents with MD. In both studies, adolescents either down-regulated negative affect to negative pictures via CR or attended them, while eye-movements were continuously recorded. Results of both studies showed that adolescents with MD and HCs did not differ in self-reported ER success. The groups showed comparable gaze behaviour patterns for emotional interest areas and entire pictures. Findings suggest that adolescents with MD are capable of applying CR when instructed and show intact visual attention processes. Future studies should examine whether repeatedly instructing adolescents with MD to apply CR might lead to improved emotion regulation in daily life.
Amanda Fernandez; Leanne Quigley; Keith Dobson; Christopher Sears
In: Cognition and Emotion, pp. 1–16, 2022.
Previous research has found that depression is characterised by biased processing of emotional information. Although most studies have examined cognitive biases in isolation, simultaneous examination of multiple biases is required to understand how they may interact and influence one another to produce depression vulnerability. In this study, the attention and memory biases of currently depressed, previously depressed, and never depressed women were examined using the same stimuli and a unified methodology. Participants viewed negative, positive, and neutral words while their eye gaze was tracked and recorded. After a distraction task, participants completed an incidental recognition test that included words from the eye-tracking task and new words. The results supported the hypothesised mediation model for positive words: currently depressed women had a reduced attention bias for positive words and, in turn, had poorer memory for positive words relative to never depressed women. Previously depressed women, however, showed a lack of coherence between attention and memory biases for positive words. The groups did not differ in their attention or memory biases for negative words. The findings provide novel evidence in support of a causal link between the absence of protective attention and memory biases for positive information in clinical depression.
Julia Fietz; Dorothee Pöhlchen; Florian P. Binder; Michael Czisch; Philipp G. Sämann; Victor I. Spoormaker
In: Human Brain Mapping, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 665–680, 2022.
The diameter of the human pupil tracks working memory processing and is associated with activity in the frontoparietal network. At the same time, recent neuroimaging research has linked human pupil fluctuations to activity in the salience network. In this combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)/pupillometry study, we recorded the pupil size of healthy human participants while they performed a blockwise organized working memory task (N-back) inside an MRI scanner in order to monitor the pupil fluctuations associated neural activity during working memory processing. We first confirmed that mean pupil size closely followed working memory load. Combining this with fMRI data, we focused on blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) correlates of mean pupil size modeled onto the task blocks as a parametric modulation. Interrogating this modulated task regressor, we were able to retrieve the frontoparietal network. Next, to fully exploit the within-block dynamics, we divided the blocks into 1 s time bins and filled these with corresponding pupil change values (first-order derivative of pupil size). We found that pupil change within N-back blocks was positively correlated with BOLD amplitudes in the areas of the salience network (namely bilateral insula, and anterior cingulate cortex). Taken together, fMRI with simultaneous measurement of pupil parameters constitutes a valuable tool to dissect working memory subprocesses related to both working memory load and salience of the presented stimuli.
Susanne M. Veen; Alexander Stamenkovic; James S. Thomas; Peter E. Pidcoe
In: Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, vol. 4, pp. 1–7, 2022.
The vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) provides gaze stability during head movements by driving eye movements in a direction opposing head motion. Although vestibular-based rehabilitation strategies are available, it is still unclear whether VOR can be modulated by training. By examining adaptations in gaze stabilization mechanisms in a population with distinct visuomotor requirements for task success (i.e., gymnasts), this study was designed to determine whether experience level (as a proxy of training potential) was associated with gaze stabilization modifications during fixed target (VOR promoting) and fixed-to-head-movement target (VOR suppressing) tasks. Thirteen gymnasts of different skill levels participated in VOR and VOR suppression tasks. The gain between head and eye movements was calculated and compared between skill levels using an analysis of covariance. Across experience levels, there was a similar degradation in VOR gain away from −1 at higher movement speeds. However, during the suppression tasks, more experienced participants were able to maintain VOR gain closer to 0 across movement speeds, whereas novice participants showed greater variability in task execution regardless of movement speed. Changes in adaptive modifications to gaze stability associated with experience level suggest that the mechanisms impacting gaze stabilization can be manipulated through training.
Elle Heusden; Wieske Zoest; Mieke Donk; Christian N. L. Olivers
In: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, vol. 29, pp. 1327–1337, 2022.
Human vision involves selectively directing the eyes to potential objects of interest. According to most prominent theories, selection is the quantal outcome of an ongoing competition between saliency-driven signals on the one hand, and relevance-driven signals on the other, with both types of signals continuously and concurrently projecting onto a common priority map. Here, we challenge this view. We asked participants to make a speeded eye movement towards a target orientation, which was presented together with a non-target of opposing tilt. In addition to the difference in relevance, the target and non-target also differed in saliency, with the target being either more or less salient than the non-target. We demonstrate that saliency- and relevance-driven eye movements have highly idiosyncratic temporal profiles, with saliency-driven eye movements occurring rapidly after display onset while relevance-driven eye movements occur only later. Remarkably, these types of eye movements can be fully separated in time: We find that around 250 ms after display onset, eye movements are no longer driven by saliency differences between potential targets, but also not yet driven by relevance information, resulting in a period of non-selectivity, which we refer to as the attentional limbo. Binomial modeling further confirmed that visual selection is not necessarily the outcome of a direct battle between saliency- and relevance-driven signals. Instead, selection reflects the dynamic changes in the underlying saliency- and relevance-driven processes themselves, and the time at which an action is initiated then determines which of the two will emerge as the driving force of behavior.
Valentina Vencato; Mark Harwood; Laurent Madelain
Saccadic initiation biased by fixational activity Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 201, pp. 1–15, 2022.
Both the gap and overlap paradigm may reveal the interaction between fixating and moving the eyes, but the effects of the overlap paradigm have not been fully characterized yet. Here we present a series of experiments probing how an overlap paradigm, combined with the manipulation of stimuli durations, saliency and transient changes might modulate saccadic reaction time distributions. We recorded saccadic reaction time in four participants in six experiments in which a saccade-target appeared at a pseudo-random amplitude after a fixation period. First, we parametrically manipulated the duration of the overlap using a range of intervals (from 0 to 200 ms). In a second experiment we probed the interaction of various foreperiod intervals (i.e. the duration of the fixation period prior to saccade-target onset) and overlap using two overlap intervals (20 or 140 ms). In two additional experiments we manipulated either the stimuli sizes or their contrast ratio in overlap paradigms (20 or 140 ms). Lastly, we introduced a visual transient during the overlap interval via two manipulations (both with a range of SOA): either a distractor ring appeared around the fixation-target, or a dynamic random noise patch replaced the fixation-target. Results show reliable modifications in the latency distributions depending on the overlap interval as well as idiosyncratic differences. Additional experimental manipulations also affected the latency distributions revealing strong interacting inhibitory processes. We conclude that the effects of overlap intervals may combine with the influence of other stimuli properties affecting decision process.
Jason E. Vice; Mandy K. Biles; Marcello Maniglia; Kristina M. Visscher
In: Vision Research, vol. 201, pp. 1–9, 2022.
People with bilateral central vision loss sometimes develop a new point of oculomotor reference called a preferred retinal locus (PRL) that is used for fixating and planning saccadic eye movements. How individuals develop and learn to effectively use a PRL is still debated; in particular, the time course of learning to plan saccades using a PRL and learning to stabilize peripheral fixation at the desired location. Here we address knowledge limitations through research describing how eye movements change as a person learns to adopt an eccentric retinal locus. Using a gaze-contingent, eye tracking-guided paradigm to simulate central vision loss, 40 participants developed a PRL by engaging in an oculomotor and visual recognition task. After 12 training sessions, significant improvements were observed in six eye movement metrics addressing different aspects involved in learning to use a PRL: first saccade landing dispersion, saccadic re-referencing, saccadic precision, saccadic latency, percentage of useful trials, and fixation stability. Importantly, our analyses allowed separate examination of the stability of target fixation separately from the dispersion and precision of the landing location of saccades. These measures explained 50% of the across-subject variance in accuracy. Fixation stability and saccadic precision showed a strong, positive correlation. Although there was no statistically significant difference in rate of learning, individuals did tend to learn saccadic precision faster than fixation stability. Saccadic precision was also more associated with accuracy than fixation stability for the behavioral task. This suggests effective intervention strategies in low vision should address both fixation stability and saccadic precision.
Manuel Vidal; Françoise Vitu
In: PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 1–30, 2022.
Throughout the day, humans react to multisensory events conveying both visual and auditory signals by rapidly reorienting their gaze. Several studies showed that sounds can impact the latency of visually guided saccades depending on when and where they are delivered. We found that unlocalized beeps delivered near the onset time of a visual target reduce latencies, more for early beeps and less for late beeps, however, this modulation is far weaker than for perceptual temporal judgments. Here we tested our previous assumption that beeps shift the perceived timing of target onset and result in two competing effects on saccade latencies: a multisensory modulation in line with the expected perceptual effect and an illusory gap/overlap effect, resulting from target appearance being perceived later/closer in time than fixation offset and shortening/lengthening saccade latencies. Gap/overlap effects involve an oculomotor component associated with neuronal activity in the superior colliculus (SC), a multisensory subcortical structure devoted to sensory-motor transformation. We therefore predicted that the interfering illusory gap/overlap effect would be weaker for manual responses, which involve distinct multisensory areas. In three experiments we manipulated the delay between target onset and an irrelevant auditory beep (stimulus onset asynchrony; SOA) and between target onset and fixation offset (real gap/overlap). Targets appeared left/right of fixation and participants were instructed to make quick saccades or button presses towards the targets. Adding a real overlap/gap (50% of SOA) compensated for the illusory gap/overlap by increasing the beep-related modulation of saccade latencies across the entire SOA range, whereas it barely affected manual responses. However, although auditory and gap/overlap effects modulated saccade latencies in similar ways, these were additive and could saturate, suggesting that they reflect independent mechanisms. Therefore, multisensory temporal binding affects perception and oculomotor control differently, likely due to the implication of the SC in saccade programming and multisensory integration.
Cécile Vullings; Zachary Lively; Preeti Verghese
Saccades during visual search in macular degeneration Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 201, pp. 1–14, 2022.
Macular degeneration (MD) compromises both high-acuity vision and eye movements when the foveal regions of both eyes are affected. Individuals with MD adapt to central field loss by adopting a preferred retinal locus (PRL) for fixation. Here, we investigate how individuals with bilateral MD use eye movements to search for targets in a visual scene under realistic binocular viewing conditions. Five individuals with binocular scotomata, 3 individuals with monocular scotomata and 6 age-matched controls participated in our study. We first extensively mapped the binocular scotoma with an eyetracker, while fixation was carefully monitored (Vullings & Verghese, 2020). Participants then completed a visual search task where 0, 1, or 2 Gaussian blobs were distributed randomly across a natural scene. Participants were given 10 s to actively search the display and report the number of blobs. An analysis of saccade characteristics showed that individuals with binocular scotomata made more saccades in the direction of their scotoma than controls for the same directions. Saccades in the direction of the scotoma were typically of small amplitude, and did not fully uncover the region previously hidden by the scotoma. Rather than make more saccades to explore this hidden region, participants frequently made saccades back toward newly uncovered regions. Backward saccades likely serve a similar purpose to regressive saccades exhibited during reading in MD, by inspecting previously covered regions near the direction of gaze. Our analysis suggests that the higher prevalence of backward saccades in individuals with binocular scotomata might be related to the PRL being adjacent to the scotoma.
Josefine Waldthaler; Lena Stock; Charlotte Krüger-Zechlin; Zain Deeb; Lars Timmermann
In: Journal of Neuropsychology, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Saccade performance has been reported to be altered in Parkinson's disease (PD), however, with a large variability between studies as both motor and cognitive impairment interfere with oculomotor control. The aim of this study was to identify different patterns in saccade alterations in PD using a data-driven approach and to explore their relationship with cognitive phenotypes. Sixty-one participants with PD and 25 controls performed eye-tracking (horizontal and vertical prosaccades, antisaccades) and neuropsychological testing. Hierarchical cluster analysis was applied to the eye-tracking data to subsequently compare the clusters based on demographical, clinical and cognitive characteristics. The three identified clusters of saccade alterations differed in cognitive profiles from healthy controls, but not in PD-related motor symptoms or demographics. The rate of directive errors in the antisaccade task was increased in clusters 1 and 2. Further, cluster 1 was defined by a general disinhibition of reflexive saccades and executive dysfunction in the neuropsychological evaluation. In cluster 2, prolonged saccade latencies and hypometria were accompanied by multidomain cognitive impairment. The cluster 3 showed increased antisaccade latency and vertical hypometria despite lack of evidence for cognitive impairment. Our results suggest that there may be at least two opposing patterns of saccade alterations associated with cognitive impairment in PD, which may explain some of the contradictory results of previous studies.
Chin-an Wang; Brian White; Douglas P. Munoz
Pupil-linked arousal signals in the midbrain superior colliculus Journal Article
In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 34, no. 8, pp. 1340–1354, 2022.
The orienting response evoked by the appearance of a salient stimulus is modulated by arousal; however, neural under- pinnings for the interplay between orienting and arousal are not well understood. The superior colliculus (SC), causally involved in multiple components of the orienting response including gaze and attention shifts, receives not only multisensory and cognitive inputs but also arousal-regulated inputs from various cortical and subcortical structures. To investigate the impact of moment-by-moment fluctuations in arousal on orienting saccade responses, we used microstimulation of the monkey SC to trigger saccade responses, and we used pupil size and velocity to index the level ofarousal at stimulation onset because these measures correlate with changes in brain states and locus coeruleus activity. Saccades induced by SC microstimulation correlated with prestimulation pupil velocity, with higher pupil velocities on trials without evoked saccades than with evoked saccades. In contrast, prestimulation absolute pupil size did not correlate with saccade behavior. Moreover, pupil velocity correlated with evoked saccade latency and metrics. Together, our results demonstrated that small fluctuations in arousal, indexed by pupil velocity, can modulate the saccade response evoked by SC microstimulation in awake behaving monkeys.
Ying Wang; Hai-Long Lyu; Xiao-Han Tian; Bing Lang; Xiao-Yi Wang; David St Clair; Renrong Wu; Jingping Zhao
In: The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, vol. 23, no. 9, pp. 689–702, 2022.
Objective: To find eye movement characteristics in patients with affective disorders. Method: The demographic and clinical evaluation data of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BPD), and healthy control (HC) were collected. EyeLink 1000 eye tracker was used to collect eye movement data. Chi-squared test and independent sample t-test were used for demographics and clinical characteristics. The Mann–Whitney U-test was used to compare the eye movement variables among four groups, and the FDR method was used for multiple comparison correction. Pearson correlation analysis was used to analyse the relationship between clinical symptoms and eye movement variables. Results: Patients with affective disorders showed smaller saccade amplitude under free-viewing task, more fixations and saccades, shorter fixation duration, longer saccade duration under fixation stability and smooth pursuit tasks (all, p < 0.05) when compared to HC, but there was no significant difference in all eye movement variables among patients in the three groups. Also, all eye movement variables under the three paradigms had no significant correlation with clinical scale scores. Conclusion: Patients with major depression, bipolar depression and bipolar mania share similar eye movement dysfunction under free-viewing, fixation stability and smooth pursuit tasks.
Abigail L. M. Webb; Jordi M. Asher; Paul B. Hibbard
In: Vision Research, vol. 198, pp. 1–11, 2022.
The present study explores the threat bias for fearful facial expressions using saccadic latency, with a particular focus on the role of low-level facial information, including spatial frequency and contrast. In a simple localisation task, participants were presented with spatially-filtered versions of neutral, fearful, angry and happy faces. Together, our findings show that saccadic responses are not biased toward fearful expressions compared to neutral, angry or happy counterparts, regardless of their spatial frequency content. Saccadic response times are, however, significantly influenced by the spatial frequency and contrast of facial stimuli. We discuss the implications of these findings for the threat bias literature, and the extent to which image processing can be expected to influence behavioural responses to socially-relevant facial stimuli.
Emma Gowen; Ellen Poliakoff; Hayley Shepherd; Waltraud Stadler
In: Autism Research, vol. 15, pp. 1636–1648, 2022.
Action prediction involves observing and predicting the actions of others and plays an important role in social cognition and interacting with others. It is thought to use simulation, whereby the observers use their own motor system to predict the observed actions. As individuals diagnosed with autism are characterized by difficulties understanding the actions of others and motor coordination issues, it is possible that action prediction ability is altered in this population. This study compared action prediction ability between 20 autistic and 22 non-autistic adults using an occlusion paradigm. Participants watched different videos of a female actor carrying out everyday actions. During each video, the action was transiently occluded by a gray rectangle for 1000 ms. During occlusions, the video was allowed to continue as normal or was moved forward (i.e., appearing to continue too far ahead) or moved backwards (i.e., appearing to continue too far behind). Participants were asked to indicate after each occlusion whether the action continued with the correct timing or was too far ahead/behind. Autistic individuals were less accurate than non-autistic individuals, particularly when the video was too far behind. A trend analysis suggested that autistic participants were more likely to judge too far behind occlusions as being in time. These preliminary results suggest that prediction ability may be altered in autistic adults, potentially due to slower simulation or a delayed onset of these processes. Lay Summary: When we observe other people performing everyday actions, we use their movements to help us understand and predict what they are doing. In this study, we found that autistic compared to non-autistic adults were slightly less accurate at predicting other people's actions. These findings help to unpick the different ways that social understanding is affected in autism.
Andrea Helo; Ernesto Guerra; Carmen Julia Coloma; Paulina Aravena-Bravo; Pia Rämä
In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, pp. 1–9, 2022.
Our visual environment is highly predictable in terms of where and in which locations objects can be found. Based on visual experience, children extract rules about visual scene configurations, allowing them to generate scene knowledge. Similarly, children extract the linguistic rules from relatively predictable linguistic contexts. It has been proposed that the capacity of extracting rules from both domains might share some underlying cognitive mechanisms. In the present study, we investigated the link between language and scene knowledge development. To do so, we assessed whether preschool children (age range = 5;4–6;6) with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), who present several difficulties in the linguistic domain, are equally attracted to object-scene inconsistencies in a visual free-viewing task in comparison with age-matched children with Typical Language Development (TLD). All children explored visual scenes containing semantic (e.g., soap on a breakfast table), syntactic (e.g., bread on the chair back), or both inconsistencies (e.g., soap on the chair back). Since scene knowledge interacts with image properties (i.e., saliency) to guide gaze allocation during visual exploration from the early stages of development, we also included the objects' saliency rank in the analysis. The results showed that children with DLD were less attracted to semantic and syntactic inconsistencies than children with TLD. In addition, saliency modulated syntactic effect only in the group of children with TLD. Our findings indicate that children with DLD do not activate scene knowledge to guide visual attention as efficiently as children with TLD, especially at the syntactic level, suggesting a link between scene knowledge and language development.
Andrea Helo; Ernesto Guerra; Carmen Julia Coloma; María Antonia Reyes; Pia Rämä
In: Language Learning and Development, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 324–351, 2022.
Visually situated spoken words activate phonological, visual, and semantic representations guiding overt attention during visual exploration. We compared the activation of these representations in children with and without developmental language disorder (DLD) across four eye-tracking experiments, with a particular focus on visual (shape) representations. Two types of trials were presented in each experiment. In Experiment 1, participants heard a word while seeing (1) an object visually associated with the spoken word (i.e., shape competitor) together with a phonologically related object (i.e., cohort competitor), or (2) a shape competitor with an unrelated object. In Experiment 2 and 3, participants heard a word while seeing (1) a shape competitor with an object semantically related to the spoken word (i.e., semantic competitor), or (2) a shape competitor with an unrelated object. In Experiment 4, children heard a word while seeing a semantic competitor with (1) the visual referent of the spoken or (2) with an unrelated object. The visual context was previewed for three seconds before the spoken word, except for Experiment 2, where it appeared at the onset of the spoken word (i.e., no preview). The results showed that when a preview was provided both groups were equally attracted by cohort and semantic competitors and preferred the shape competitors over the unrelated objects. However, shape preference disappeared in the DLD group when no preview was provided and when the shape competitor was presented with a semantic competitor. Our results indicate that children with DLD have a less efficient retrieval of shape representation during word recognition compared to typically developing children.
Preeti Verghese; Saeideh Ghahghaei; Zachary Lively
Mapping residual stereopsis in macular degeneration Journal Article
In: Journal of Vision, vol. 22, no. 13, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Individuals with macular degeneration typically lose vision in the central region of one or both eyes. A binocular scotoma occurs when vision loss occurs in overlapping locations in both eyes, but stereopsis is impacted even in the non-overlapping region wherever the visual field in either eye is affected. We used a novel stereoperimetry protocol to measure local stereopsis across the visual field (up to 25° eccentricity) to determine how locations with functional stereopsis relate to the scotomata in the two eyes. Participants included those with monocular or binocular scotomata and age-matched controls with healthy vision. Targets (with or without depth information) were presented on a random dot background. Depth targets had true binocular disparity of 20' (crossed), whereas non-depth targets were defined by monocular cues such as contrast and dot density. Participants reported target location and whether it was in depth or flat. Local depth sensitivity (d') estimates were then combined to generate a stereopsis map. This stereopsis map was compared to the union of the monocular microperimetry estimates that mapped out the functional extent of the scotoma in each eye. The "union" prediction aligned with residual stereopsis, showing impaired stereopsis within this region and residual stereopsis outside this region. Importantly, the stereoblind region was typically more extensive than the binocular scotoma defined by the intersection (overlap) of the scotomata. This explains why individuals may have intact binocular visual fields but be severely compromised in tasks of daily living that benefit from stereopsis, such as eye-hand coordination and navigation.
Simone Vespa; Lars Stumpp; Giulia Liberati; Jean Delbeke; Antoine Nonclercq; André Mouraux; Riëm El Tahry
In: Brain Stimulation, vol. 15, pp. 1498–1507, 2022.
Background: Modulation of the locus coeruleus (LC)-noradrenergic system is a key mechanism of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Activation of the LC produces pupil dilation, and the VNS-induced change in pupil diameter was demonstrated in animals as a possible dose-dependent biomarker for treatment titration. Objective: This study aimed to characterize VNS-induced pupillary responses in epileptic patients. Methods: Pupil diameter was recorded in ten epileptic patients upon four stimulation conditions: three graded levels of VNS intensity and a somatosensory control stimulation (cutaneous electrical stimulation over the left clavicle). For each block, the patients rated the intensity of stimulation on a numerical scale. We extracted the latency of the peak pupil dilation and the magnitude of the early (0e2.5 s) and late components (2.5e5 s) of the pupil dilation response (PDR). Results: VNS elicited a peak dilation with longer latency compared to the control condition (p ¼ 0.043). The magnitude of the early PDR was significantly correlated with the intensity of perception (p ¼ 0.046), whereas the late PDR was not (p ¼ 0.19). There was a significant main effect of the VNS level of intensity on the magnitude of the late PDR (p ¼ 0.01) but not on the early PDR (p ¼ 0.2). The relationship between late PDR magnitude and VNS intensity was best fit by a Gaussian model (inverted-U). Conclusions: The late component of the PDR might reflect specific dose-dependent effects of VNS, as compared to control somatosensory stimulation. The inverted-U relationship of late PDR with VNS in- tensity might indicate the engagement of antagonist central mechanisms at high stimulation intensities.
Chiara Visentin; Chiara Valzolgher; Matteo Pellegatti; Paola Potente; Francesco Pavani; Nicola Prodi
In: International Journal of Audiology, vol. 61, no. 7, pp. 561–573, 2022.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess to what extent simultaneously-obtained measures of listening effort (task-evoked pupil dilation, verbal response time [RT], and self-rating) could be sensitive to auditory and cognitive manipulations in a speech perception task. The study also aimed to explore the possible relationship between RT and pupil dilation. Design: A within-group design was adopted. All participants were administered the Matrix Sentence Test in 12 conditions (signal-to-noise ratios [SNR] of −3, −6, −9 dB; attentional resources focussed vs divided; spatial priors present vs absent). Study sample: Twenty-four normal-hearing adults, 20–41 years old (M = 23.5), were recruited in the study. Results: A significant effect of the SNR was found for all measures. However, pupil dilation discriminated only partially between the SNRs. Neither of the cognitive manipulations were effective in modulating the measures. No relationship emerged between pupil dilation, RT and self-ratings. Conclusions: RT, pupil dilation, and self-ratings can be obtained simultaneously when administering speech perception tasks, even though some limitations remain related to the absence of a retention period after the listening phase. The sensitivity of the three measures to changes in the auditory environment differs. RTs and self-ratings proved most sensitive to changes in SNR.
Josefine Waldthaler; Mikkel C. Vinding; Allison Eriksson; Per Svenningsson; Daniel Lundqvist
In: Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 422, pp. 1–12, 2022.
Deficits in response inhibition are a central feature of the highly prevalent dysexecutive syndrome found in Parkinson's disease (PD). Such deficits are related to a range of common clinically relevant symptoms including cognitive impairment as well as impulsive and compulsive behaviors. In this study, we explored the cortical dynamics underlying response inhibition during the mental preparation for the antisaccade task by recording magnetoencephalography (MEG) and eye-movements in 21 non-demented patients with early to mid-stage Parkinson's disease and 21 age-matched healthy control participants (HC). During the pre-stimulus preparatory period for antisaccades we observed: • a preparation-related increase in beta band activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of HC (n = 15) for antisaccades compared with prosaccades that was not detectable in the PD group (n = 17); • a significant attenuation of the preparation-related increase in alpha band power in bilateral FEF and reduced alpha band connectivity between the right DLPFC and right FEF in the PD group compared with HC, suggesting reduced top-down control to inhibit pre-potent activation of FEF in PD; and • a positive correlation between the magnitude of pre-stimulus beta desynchronization in FEF and subsequent antisaccade latency in PD and HC, indicating a relationship between preparatory beta band modulation and effectiveness of subsequent antisaccade execution. Taken together, the results indicate that alterations in pre-stimulus prefrontal alpha and beta activity hinder proactive response inhibition and in turn result in higher error rates and prolonged response latencies in PD.
Carla A. Wall; Frederick Shic; Sreeja Varanasi; Jane E. Roberts
In: Autism Research, pp. 1–15, 2022.
Social attention is a critical skill for learning and development. Social attention difficulties are present in both non-syndromic autism spectrum disorder (nsASD) and fragile X syndrome (FXS), and our understanding of these difficulties is complicated by heterogeneity in both disorders, including co-occurring diagnoses like intellectual disability and social anxiety. Existing research largely utilizes a single index of social attention and rarely includes children with intellectual impairment or uses a cross-syndrome approach. This study investigated whether multi-trait social attention profiles including naturalistic initial eye contact, facial attention, and social scene attention differ in preschool children with nsASD and FXS matched on developmental ability (DQ) and contrasted to neurotypical (NT) controls. The relationship between DQ, ASD severity, and social anxiety and social attention profiles was also examined. Initial eye contact related to social scene attention, implicating that naturalistic social attention is consistent with responses during experimental conditions. Reduced eye contact and lower social scene attention characterized nsASD and FXS. Children with nsASD displayed less facial attention than FXS and NT children, who did not differ. Lower DQ and elevated ASD severity associated with decreased eye contact in nsASD and FXS, and lower DQ was associated with lower social scene attention in FXS. Sex, social anxiety, and age were not associated with social attention. These findings suggest social attention profiles of children with nsASD are highly similar to, yet distinct from, children with FXS. Children with nsASD may present with a global social attention deficit whereas FXS profiles may reflect context-dependent social avoidance.
Shuai Wang; Jialing Li; Siyu Wang; Can Mi; Wei Wang; Zhengjia Xu; Wenjing Xiong; Longxing Tang; Yanzhang Li
In: Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 13, pp. 1–10, 2022.
Background: Escapism-based motivation (EBM) is considered as one of the diagnostic criteria for internet gaming disorder (IGD). However, how EBM affects the high risk of IGD (HIGD) population remains unclear. Methods: An initial number of 789 college students participated in the general, internet gaming behavior, and motivation surveys. After multiple evaluations, 57 individuals were identified as HIGD (25 with EBM, H-EBM; 32 with non-EBM, H-nEBM). In addition, 51 no-gaming individuals were included as the control group (CONTR). The cohorts completed the psychological assessments and eye-tracking tests, and analyses of group differences, correlations, and influencing factors of the indicators were performed. Results: The Barratt impulsiveness score of H-nEBM and H-EBM was significantly higher than that of CONTR (MD = 3.605
Shuai Wang; Jialing Li; Siyu Wang; Wei Wang; Can Mi; Wenjing Xiong; Zhengjia Xu; Longxing Tang; Yanzhang Li
In: Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, pp. 1–9, 2022.
Individuals with high risk of internet gaming disorder (HIGD) showed abnormal psychological performances in response inhibition, impulse control, and emotion regulation, and are considered the high-risk stage of internet gaming disorder (IGD). The identification of this population mainly relies on clinical scales, which are less accurate. This study aimed to explore whether these performances have highly accurate for discriminating HIGD from low-risk ones. Eye tracking based anti-saccade task, Barratt impulsiveness scale (BIS), and Wong and Law emotional intelligence scale (WLEIS) were used to evaluate psychological performances in 57 individuals with HIGD and 52 matched low risk of internet gaming disorder (LIGD). HIGD group showed significantly increased BIS total (t = −2.875
Jaimie C. Wilkie; Nathan A. Ryckman; Lynette J. Tippett; Anthony J. Lambert
In: Neuropsychologia, vol. 168, pp. 1–12, 2022.
Visual orienting was studied in a patient (FM) with parietal-occipital damage due to oligodendroglioma and associated surgery, and in eighteen control participants. The ability of FM and control participants to shift attention in response to spatial landmark cues, and in response to cues that recruit endogenous orienting via encoding of cue identity, were assessed. According to the unified model of vision and attention (Lambert, A. et al., Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 44, 412–432) FM should find it difficult to orient attention in response to spatial landmarks due to impaired functioning of the dorsal visual stream; but shifting attention in response to cue identity, encoded via the ventral visual stream, should be spared. Consistent with these predictions, FM was unable to shift attention in the landmark cueing task, but shifted attention effectively in response to identity cues; and her visual orienting performance differed reliably from controls. These findings complement our earlier observation of preserved orienting towards landmark cues in a patient with bilateral damage to the ventral visual stream, and add to a growing body of evidence in support of the unified model of vision and attention.
Chen Xing; Yajuan Zhang; Hongliang Lu; Xia Zhu; Danmin Miao
In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 16, pp. 1–22, 2022.
Many studies have illustrated the close relationship between anxiety disorders and attentional functioning, but the relationship between trait anxiety and attentional bias remains controversial. This study examines the effect of trait anxiety on the time course of attention to emotional stimuli using materials from the International Affective Picture System. Participants with high vs. low trait anxiety (HTA vs. LTA) viewed four categories of pictures simultaneously: dysphoric, threatening, positive, and neutral. Their eye-movements for each emotional stimulus were recorded for static and dynamic analysis. Data were analyzed using a mixed linear model and growth curve analysis. Specifically, the HTA group showed a greater tendency to avoid threatening stimuli and more pupil diameter variation in the early period of stimulus presentation (0–7.9 s). The HTA group also showed a stronger attentional bias toward positive and dysphoric stimuli in the middle and late period of stimulus presentation (7.9–30 s). These results suggest that trait anxiety has a significant temporal effect on attention to emotional stimuli, and that this effect mainly manifests after 7 s. In finding stronger attentional avoidance of threatening stimuli and more changes in neural activity, as well as a stronger attentional bias toward positive stimuli, this study provides novel insights on the relationship between trait anxiety and selective attention.
Farnaz Zamani Esfahlani; Lisa Byrge; Jacob Tanner; Olaf Sporns; Daniel P. Kennedy; Richard F. Betzel
In: NeuroImage, vol. 263, pp. 1–12, 2022.
The interaction between brain regions changes over time, which can be characterized using time-varying functional connectivity (tvFC). The common approach to estimate tvFC uses sliding windows and offers limited temporal resolution. An alternative method is to use the recently proposed edge-centric approach, which enables the tracking of moment-to-moment changes in co-fluctuation patterns between pairs of brain regions. Here, we first examined the dynamic features of edge time series and compared them to those in the sliding window tvFC (sw-tvFC). Then, we used edge time series to compare subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and healthy controls (CN). Our results indicate that relative to sw-tvFC, edge time series captured rapid and bursty network-level fluctuations that synchronize across subjects during movie-watching. The results from the second part of the study suggested that the magnitude of peak amplitude in the collective co-fluctuations of brain regions (estimated as root sum square (RSS) of edge time series) is similar in CN and ASD. However, the trough-to-trough duration in RSS signal is greater in ASD, compared to CN. Furthermore, an edge-wise comparison of high-amplitude co-fluctuations showed that the within-network edges exhibited greater magnitude fluctuations in CN. Our findings suggest that high-amplitude co-fluctuations captured by edge time series provide details about the disruption of functional brain dynamics that could potentially be used in developing new biomarkers of mental disorders.
TianHong Zhang; YingYu Yang; LiHua Hua Xu; XiaoChen Tang; YeGang Hu; Xin Xiong; YanYan Wei; HuiRu Ru Cui; YingYing Tang; HaiChun Liu; Tao Chen; Zhi Liu; Li Hui; ChunBo Li; XiaoLi Guo; JiJun Wang
In: The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Objectives: We used eye-tracking to evaluate multiple facial context processing and event-related potential (ERP) to evaluate multiple facial recognition in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. Methods: In total, 173 subjects (83 CHRs and 90 healthy controls [HCs]) were included and their emotion perception performances were accessed. A total of 40 CHRs and 40 well-matched HCs completed an eye-tracking task where they viewed pictures depicting a person in the foreground, presented as context-free, context-compatible, and context-incompatible. During the two-year follow-up, 26 CHRs developed psychosis, including 17 individuals who developed first-episode schizophrenia (FES). Eighteen well-matched HCs were made to complete the face number detection ERP task with image stimuli of one, two, or three faces. Results: Compared to the HC group, the CHR group showed reduced visual attention to contextual processing when viewing multiple faces. With the increasing complexity of contextual faces, the differences in eye-tracking characteristics also increased. In the ERP task, the N170 amplitude decreased with a higher face number in FES patients, while it increased with a higher face number in HCs. Conclusions: Individuals in the very early phase of psychosis showed facial processing deficits with supporting evidence of different scan paths during context processing and disruption of N170 during multiple facial recognition.
Hong Zhou; Yunchuang Sun; Luhua Wei; Xia Wang; Yanyan Jiang; Fan Li; Jing Chen; Wei Sun; Lin Zhang; Guiping Zhao; Zhaoxia Wang
In: Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 141, pp. 15–23, 2022.
Objective: To quantitatively assess oculomotor impairments in multiple system atrophy (MSA) and to explore their correlation with clinical characteristics. Methods: We recruited 45 patients with MSA, including 21 with dominant ataxia (MSA-C), 24 with dominant parkinsonism (MSA-P), and 40 age-matched healthy controls. Detailed oculomotor performance in the horizontal direction was measured using videonystagmography (VNG). Results: We found that the proportion of abnormal eye movements in patients with MSA was 93.3% (37.7%, 51.1%, 73.3%, 71.1%, and 37.8% on fixation and gaze-holding, without fixation, saccade, smooth pursuit, and optokinetic nystagmus tests, respectively). Patients with MSA-C showed significantly lower gains in smooth pursuit test and optokinetic nystagmus test, and a higher incidence of hypermetria in the saccade test than patients with MSA-P (all P < 0.05). No oculomotor deficits were correlated with age, age of onset, sex, disease duration, or Unified Multiple System Atrophy Rating Scale (USMARS) (all r < 0.25, P > 0.1). Conclusions: An extremely high incidence of oculomotor impairments could be observed using VNG in both the MSA-C and MSA-P subtypes, although there were some differences between them. Significance: A comprehensive oculomotor examination could serve as a valuable tool in the diagnostic workup of patients with MSA.
Junyi Zhou; Lulu Wang
In: Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 13, pp. 1–9, 2022.
Although many previous studies have shown that short-time moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can improve one's inhibitory control, some researchers suggested that its effect on inhibitory control is small. Meanwhile, some studies have shown that reading has a positive effect on inhibitory control. Since many studies examining the effect of exercise on inhibitory control used reading as a filler task, it is important to compare their effects. The present study used the antisaccade task as a tool to examine the differences in the effects of aerobic exercise and reading on inhibitory control of college students with mobile phone addiction. Thirty healthy college students with mobile phone addiction (range: 17–20 years, mean: 19.2 years) took part in the experiment. Participants were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group and a reading group. For the aerobic exercise group, participants were asked to perform moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 15 min. For the reading group, participants were asked to sit quietly and read articles from newspapers for 15 min. Each participant's inhibitory control was examined pre- and post-intervention using the antisaccade task. In the antisaccade task, they have to direct their gaze toward the mirror image location of the target appearing parafoveally as quickly and as accurately as possible. The results showed significant main effects of Time (pre-test vs. post-test) on antisaccade latency and error rate. More importantly, a significant interaction of Time (pre-test vs. post-test) and Group (aerobic exercise vs. reading) was found on antisaccade latency. Specifically, the antisaccade latencies in the post-test were significantly shorter than those in the pre-test for the reading group, but the antisaccade latencies in the post-test and pre-test were comparable for the aerobic exercise group. The results of the present study imply that although both exercise and reading have effects on inhibitory control of college students with mobile phone addiction, the effect of reading may be somehow superior to exercise. Moreover, the current results also imply that researchers should be cautious when using reading as a filler task in future studies regarding the effect of aerobic exercise. The limitations of the present study were discussed.
Li Zhou; Li Zhang; Yuening Xu; Fuyi Yang; Valerie Benson
In: Brain Sciences, vol. 12, pp. 1–22, 2022.
The current study aimed to investigate attentional processing differences for circumscribed interest (CI) and non-CI objects in young Chinese children with autism spectrum condition (ASC) and typically developing (TD) controls. In Experiment 1, a visual preference task explored attentional allocation to cartoon CI and non-CI materials between the two groups. We found that ASC children (n = 22, 4.95 ± 0.59 years) exhibited a preference for CI-related objects compared to non-CI objects, and this effect was absent in the TD children (n = 22, 5.14 ± 0.44 years). Experiment 2 utilized the traditional gap-overlap paradigm (GOP) to investigate attentional disengagement from CI or non-CI items in both groups (ASC: n = 20, 5.92 ± 1.13 years; TD: n = 25, 5.77 ± 0.77 years). There were no group or stimulus interactions in this study. Experiment 3 adopted a modified GOP (MGOP) to further explore disengagement in the two groups (ASC: n = 20, 5.54 ± 0.95 years; TD: n = 24, 5.75 ± 0.52 years), and the results suggested that exogenous disengagement performance was preserved in the ASC group, but the children with ASC exhibited increased endogenous attentional disengagement compared to TD peers. Moreover, endogenous disengagement was influenced further in the presence of CI-related objects in the ASC children. The current results have implications for understanding how the nature of engagement and disengagement processes can contribute to differences in the development of core cognitive skills in young children with ASC.
Wei Zhou; Yi Fan; Yulin Chang; Wenjuan Liu; Jiuju Wang; Yufeng Wang
In: Journal of Attention Disorders, pp. 1–13, 2022.
Background: ADHD and Chinese developmental dyslexia (DD) have a very high comorbidity rate; however, which cognitive deficits characterize the comorbidity and when they occur during cognitive processing are still under debate. Methods: Rapid automatic naming (RAN) tasks with eye-movement tracking were conducted with 75 children who were typically developing, had comorbid ADHD and DD, had only ADHD, and had only DD. Results: The clinical groups had longer first fixation durations than the control for RAN digits. Temporal eye-movement measures, such as gaze duration and total reading time, were found to vary between the comorbidity and ADHD groups. Spatial eye-movement measures, such as regression probability and incoming saccade amplitude, differed between the comorbidity and DD groups. Conclusions: These results indicate that investigation with eye-movement measures combined with RAN tasks can strengthen the understanding of the pathogenesis of comorbid ADHD and DD.
Jing Zhu; Shiqing Wei; Xiannian Xie; Changlin Yang; Yizhou Li; Xiaowei Li; Bin Hu
In: Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, vol. 226, pp. 1–11, 2022.
Background and objective: Depression is a serious neurological disorder that has become a major health problem worldwide. The detection of mild depression is important for the diagnosis of depression in early stages. This research seeks to find a more accurate fusion model which can be used for mild depression detection using Electroencephalography and eye movement data. Methods: This study proposes a content-based multiple evidence fusion (CBMEF) method, which fuses EEG and eye movement data at decision level. The method mainly includes two modules, the classification performance matrix module and the dual-weight fusion module. The classification performance matrices of different modalities are estimated by Bayesian rule based on confusion matrix and Mahalanobis distance, and the matrices were used to correct the classification results. Then the relative conflict degree of each modality is calculated, and different weights are assigned to the above modalities at the decision fusion layer according to this conflict degree. Results: The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms other fusion methods as well as the single modality results. The highest accuracies achieved 91.12%, and sensitivity, specificity and precision were 89.20%, 93.03%, 92.76%. Conclusions: The promising results showed the potential of the proposed approach for the detection of mild depression. The idea of introducing the classification performance matrix and the dual-weight model to multimodal biosignals fusion casts a new light on the researches of depression recognition.
Jing Zhu; Changlin Yang; Xiannian Xie; Shiqing Wei; Yizhou Li; Xiaowei Li; Bin Hu
In: Journal of LATEX Class Files, vol. 3045, pp. 1–14, 2022.
The detection of mild depression is conducive to the early intervention and treatment of depression. This study explored the fusion of electroencephalography (EEG) and pupil area signals to build an effective and convenient mild depression recognition model. We proposed Mutual Information Based Fusion Model (MIBFM), which innovatively used pupil area signals to select EEG electrodes based on mutual information. Then we extracted features from EEG and pupil area signals in different bands, and fused bimodal features using the denoising autoencoder. Experimental results showed that MIBFM could obtain the highest accuracy of 87.03%. And MIBFM exhibited better performance than other existing methods. Our findings validate the effectiveness of the use of pupil area as signals, which makes eye movement signals can be easily obtained using high resolution camera, and the EEG electrode selection scheme based on mutual information is also proved to be an applicable solution for data dimension reduction and multimodal complementary information screening. This study casts a new light for mild depression recognition using multimodal data of EEG and pupil area signals, and provides a theoretical basis for the development of portable and universal application systems.
Xi Zhu; Amit Lazarov; Sarah Dolan; Yair Bar-Haim; Daniel G. Dillon; Diego A. Pizzagalli; Franklin Schneier
In: Psychological Medicine, pp. 1–9, 2022.
Background Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is common, first-line treatments are often only partially effective, and reliable predictors of treatment response are lacking. Here, we assessed resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) at pre-treatment and during early treatment as a potential predictor of response to a novel attention bias modification procedure, gaze-contingent music reward therapy (GC-MRT). Methods Thirty-two adults with SAD were treated with GC-MRT. rsFC was assessed with multi-voxel pattern analysis of fMRI at pre-treatment and after 2-3 weeks. For comparison, 20 healthy control (HC) participants without treatment were assessed twice for rsFC over the same time period. All SAD participants underwent clinical evaluation at pre-treatment, early-treatment (week 2-3), and post-treatment. Results SAD and depressive symptoms improved significantly from pre-treatment to post-treatment. After 2-3 weeks of treatment, decreased connectivity between the executive control network (ECN) and salience network (SN), and increased connectivity within the ECN predicted improvement in SAD and depressive symptoms at week 8. Increased connectivity between the ECN and default mode network (DMN) predicted greater improvement in SAD but not depressive symptoms at week 8. Connectivity within the DMN decreased significantly after 2-3 weeks of treatment in the SAD group, while no changes were found in HC over the same time interval. Conclusion We identified early changes in rsFC during a course of GC-MRT for SAD that predicted symptom change. Connectivity changes within the ECN, ECN-DMN, and ECN-SN may be related to mechanisms underlying the clinical effects of GC-MRT and warrant further study in controlled trials.
Ehud Zohary; Daniel Harari; Shimon Ullman; Itay Ben-Zion; Ravid Doron; Sara Attias; Yuval Porat; Asael Y. Sklar; Ayelet McKyton
Gaze following requires early visual experience Journal Article
In: PNAS, vol. 119, no. 20, pp. 1–12, 2022.
Gaze understanding-a suggested precursor for understanding others' intentions-requires recovery of gaze direction from the observed person's head and eye position. This challenging computation is naturally acquired at infancy without explicit external guidance, but can it be learned later if vision is extremely poor throughout early childhood? We addressed this question by studying gaze following in Ethiopian patients with early bilateral congenital cataracts diagnosed and treated by us only at late childhood. This sight restoration provided a unique opportunity to directly address basic issues on the roles of “nature” and “nurture” in development, as it caused a selective perturbation to the natural process, eliminating some gaze-direction cues while leaving others still available. Following surgery, the patients' visual acuity typically improved substantially, allowing discrimination of pupil position in the eye. Yet, the patients failed to show eye gaze-following effects and fixated less than controls on the eyes-two spontaneous behaviors typically seen in controls. Our model for unsupervised learning of gaze direction explains how head-based gaze following can develop under severe image blur, resembling preoperative conditions. It also suggests why, despite acquiring sufficient resolution to extract eye position, automatic eye gaze following is not established after surgery due to lack of detailed early visual experience. We suggest that visual skills acquired in infancy in an unsupervised manner will be difficult or impossible to acquire when internal guidance is no longer available, even when sufficient image resolution for the task is restored. This creates fundamental barriers to spontaneous vision recovery following prolonged deprivation in early age.
Emily A. Lang; Camilla Van Geen; Ellen Tedeschi; Caroline B. Marvin; Daphna Shohamy; Emily A. Lang; Camilla Van Geen; Ellen Tedeschi; Caroline B. Marvin; Daphna Shohamy
In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol. 151, no. 5, pp. 986–995, 2022.
Curiosity drives information seeking and promotes learning. Prior work has focused on how curiosity is elicited by intrinsic qualities of information, leaving open questions about how curiosity, exploration, and learning are shaped by the environment. Here we examine how temporal dynamics of the learning envi- ronment shape curiosity and learning. Participants (n = 71) foraged for the answer to trivia questions in two conditions that differed only in their temporal statistics. In one condition, the timing of information delivery followed a uniform distribution, while in another it followed a heavy-tailed distribution. We found that the two conditions elicited distinct responses in both behavior and pupil dilation: participants were more likely to wait for information and to later remember it in the uniform distribution. By contrast, participants showed greater surprise, evidenced in a spike in pupil dilation, when presented with the answers in the heavy-tailed distribution. Furthermore, pupil dilation was inversely related to curiosity and memory, suggesting that temporal uncertainty may interfere with the positive effects of curiosity on learning. Our findings demonstrate that the predicted timing of information delivery influences information seeking, memory, and physiological arousal, suggesting that information is best learned when it is both intrinsically interesting and presented within a temporally predictable environment.
Chrysanthi Leonidou; Elena Constantinou; Maria Panteli; Georgia Panayiotou
In: Cogent Psychology, vol. 9, pp. 1–16, 2022.
Alexithymia is a multifaceted personality trait linked to increased risk for psychological, psychosomatic, and physical health problems. One hypothesized mechanism through which alexithymia predisposes individuals to such problems is the interference of alexithymic characteristics in processing affective, particularly unpleasant content. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between alexithymia and biases in attentional processing of threatening vs. neutral pictorial stimuli, disentangling early (vigilance) from late (maintenance) attentional biases. One hundred participants (77 female; 18–35 years old) completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and underwent a free viewing task with picture pairs presenting illness, fear and neutral content, during which dwell time on each picture was recorded at time intervals of 0–500 ms, 501–1000 ms and 1001–6500 ms of exposure. Results from multilevel modeling showed that alexithymia interacted with time interval and picture type. Higher alexithymia scores were related to less dwell time towards fear pictures at 501 ms-1000 ms, but more dwell time at 1001 ms-6500 ms after stimulus onset. This effect was particularly observed for the externally oriented thinking and the difficulty in describing feelings facets of alexithymia, but not the difficulty in identifying feelings. There was no effect of alexithymia on early vigilance at 0–500 ms. This study provides evidence on the association between alexithymic traits and early avoidance, along with late maintenance bias to fear, which appears consistent with the view that alexithymia is associated with avoidant emotion regulation processes, but also greater requirements of cognitive resources for processing affective information.
Astar Lev; Yoram Braw; Tomer Elbaum; Michael Wagner; Yuri Rassovsky
In: Journal of Attention Disorders, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 245–255, 2022.
Objective: The use of continuous performance tests (CPTs) for assessing ADHD related cognitive impairment is ubiquitous. Novel psychophysiological measures may enhance the data that is derived from CPTs and thereby improve clinical decision-making regarding diagnosis and treatment. As part of the current study, we integrated an eye tracker with the MOXO-dCPT and assessed the utility of eye movement measures to differentiate ADHD patients and healthy controls. Method: Adult ADHD patients and gender/age-matched healthy controls performed the MOXO-dCPT while their eye movements were monitored (n = 33 per group). Results: ADHD patients spent significantly more time gazing at irrelevant regions, both on the screen and outside of it, than healthy controls. The eye movement measures showed adequate ability to classify ADHD patients. Moreover, a scale that combined eye movement measures enhanced group prediction, compared to the sole use of conventional MOXO-dCPT indices. Conclusions: Integrating an eye tracker with CPTs is a feasible way of enhancing diagnostic precision and shows initial promise for clarifying the cognitive profile of ADHD patients. Pending replication, these findings point toward a promising path for the evolution of existing CPTs.
Astar Lev; Tomer Elbaum; Corinne Berger; Yoram Braw
In: Journal of Attention Disorders, vol. 26, no. 9, pp. 1–11, 2022.
Objective: The current study assessed the utility of eye-movements measures, gathered while participants performed a commercially available Continuous Performance Test (CPT), to detect feigned ADHD-associated cognitive impairment. Method: Healthy simulators (n = 37), ADHD patients (n = 33), and healthy controls (n = 36) performed an eye-tracker integrated MOXO-dCPT and a stand-alone validity indicator. Results: Simulators gazed significantly longer at regions that were irrelevant for successful MOXO-dCPT performance compared to ADHD patients and healthy controls. This eye-movement measure, however, had lower sensitivity than traditional MOXO-dCPT indices. Discussion: Gaze direction measures, gathered while performing a CPT, show initial promise as validity indicators. Traditional CPT measures, however, are more sensitive and therefore offer a more promising path for the establishment of CPT-based validity indicators. The current study is an initial exploration of the issue and further evaluation of both theoretical and practical aspects is mandated.
Wei Li; Hannah Rohde; Martin Corley
In: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 52, pp. 4921–4930, 2022.
How do we decide whether a statement is literally true? Here, we contrast participants' eventual evaluations of a speaker's meaning with the real-time processes of comprehension. We record participants' eye movements as they respond to potentially misleading instructions to click on one of two objects which might be concealing treasure (the treasure is behind thee, uh, hat). Participants are less likely to click on the named object when the instructions are disfluent. However, when hearing disfluent utterances, a tendency to fixate the named object early increases with participants' autism quotient scores. This suggests that, even where utterances are equivalently understood, the processes by which interpretations are achieved vary across individuals.
Amy M. Lieberman; Allison Fitch; Arielle Borovsky
In: Developmental Science, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 1–15, 2022.
Word learning in young children requires coordinated attention between language input and the referent object. Current accounts of word learning are based on spoken language, where the association between language and objects occurs through simultaneous and multimodal perception. In contrast, deaf children acquiring American Sign Language (ASL) perceive both linguistic and non-linguistic information through the visual mode. In order to coordinate attention to language input and its referents, deaf children must allocate visual attention optimally between objects and signs. We conducted two eye-tracking experiments to investigate how young deaf children allocate attention and process referential cues in order to fast-map novel signs to novel objects. Participants were deaf children learning ASL between the ages of 17 and 71 months. In Experiment 1, participants (n = 30) were presented with a novel object and a novel sign, along with a referential cue that occurred either before or after the sign label. In Experiment 2, a new group of participants (n = 32) were presented with two novel objects and a novel sign, so that the referential cue was critical for identifying the target object. Across both experiments, participants showed evidence for fast-mapping the signs regardless of the timing of the referential cue. Individual differences in children's allocation of attention during exposure were correlated with their ability to fast-map the novel signs at test. This study provides first evidence for fast-mapping in sign language, and contributes to theoretical accounts of how word learning develops when all input occurs in the visual modality.
Joel T. Martin; Annalise H. Whittaker; Stephen J. Johnston
In: European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 778–799, 2022.
Baseline and task-evoked pupil measures are known to reflect the activity of the nervous system's central arousal mechanisms. With the increasing availability, affordability and flexibility of video-based eye tracking hardware, these measures may one day find practical application in real-time biobehavioural monitoring systems to assess performance or fitness for duty in tasks requiring vigilant attention. But real-world vigilance tasks are predominantly visual in their nature and most research in this area has taken place in the auditory domain. Here, we explore the relationship between pupil size—both baseline and task-evoked—and behavioural performance measures in two novel vigilance tasks requiring visual target detection: (1) a traditional vigilance task involving prolonged, continuous and uninterrupted performance (n = 28) and (2) a psychomotor vigilance task (n = 25). In both tasks, behavioural performance and task-evoked pupil responses declined as time spent on task increased, corroborating previous reports in the literature of a vigilance decrement with a corresponding reduction in task-evoked pupil measures. Also in line with previous findings, baseline pupil size did not show a consistent relationship with performance measures. Our data offer novel insights into the complex interplay of brain systems involved in vigilant attention and question the validity of the assumption that baseline (prestimulus) pupil size and task-evoked (poststimulus) pupil measures reflect the tonic and phasic firing modes of the locus coeruleus.