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Mark B. Neider; Walter R. Boot; Arthur F. Kramer
Visual search for real world targets under conditions of high target-background similarity: Exploring training and transfer in younger and older adults Journal Article
In: Acta Psychologica, vol. 134, no. 1, pp. 29–39, 2010.
Real world visual search tasks often require observers to locate a target that blends in with its surrounding environment. However, studies of the effect of target-background similarity on search processes have been relatively rare and have ignored potential age-related differences. We trained younger and older adults to search displays comprised of real world objects on either homogenous backgrounds or backgrounds that camouflaged the target. Training was followed by a transfer session in which participants searched for novel camouflaged objects. Although older adults were slower to locate the target compared to younger adults, all participants improved substantially with training. Surprisingly, camouflage-trained younger and older adults showed no performance decrements when transferred to novel camouflage displays, suggesting that observers learned age-invariant, generalizable skills relevant for searching under conditions of high target-background similarity. Camouflage training benefits at transfer for older adults appeared to be related to improvements in attentional guidance and target recognition rather than a more efficient search strategy.
Gillian Porter; Andrea Tales; Tom Troscianko; Gordon Wilcock; Judy Haworth; Ute Leonards
New insights into feature and conjunction search: I. Evidence from pupil size, eye movements and ageing Journal Article
In: Cortex, vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 621–636, 2010.
Differences in the processing mechanisms underlying visual feature and conjunction search are still under debate, one problem being a common emphasis on performance measures (speed and accuracy) which do not necessarily provide insights to the underlying processing principles. Here, eye movements and pupil dilation were used to investigate sampling strategy and processing load during performance of a conjunction and two feature-search tasks, with younger (18-27 years) and healthy older (61-83 years) age groups compared for evidence of differential age-related changes. The tasks involved equivalent processing time per item, were controlled in terms of target-distractor similarity, and did not allow perceptual grouping. Close matching of the key tasks was confirmed by patterns of fixation duration and an equal number of saccades required to find a target. Moreover, moment-to-moment pupillary dilation was indistinguishable across the tasks for both age groups, suggesting that all required the same total amount of effort or resources.Despite matching, subtle differences in eye movement patterns occurred between tasks: the conjunction task required more saccades to reach a target-absent decision and involved shorter saccade amplitudes than the feature tasks. General age-related changes were manifested in an increased number of saccades and longer fixation durations in older than younger participants. In addition, older people showed disproportionately longer and more variable fixation durations for the conjunction task specifically. These results suggest a fundamental difference between conjunction and feature search: accurate target identification in the conjunction context requires more conservative eye movement patterns, with these further adjusted in healthy ageing. The data also highlight the independence of eye movement and pupillometry measures and stress the importance of saccades and strategy for understanding the processing mechanisms driving different types of visual search.
M. Dyer Diehl; Peter E. Pidcoe
The influence of gaze stabilization and fixation on stepping reactions in younger and older adults Journal Article
In: Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 19–25, 2010.
PURPOSE: To date, there has been little evidence to suggest the importance of foveal viewing versus peripheral retina viewing when trying to recover from a perturbation. The purposes of this investigation were to (1) determine whether a visual target can be stabilized on the fovea during a perturbation, (2) determine whether stepping responses following a perturbation are influenced by foveal fixation, and (3) compare gaze stability and stepping responses between young and aging adults. MATERIALS/METHODS: Ten young adults and 10 aging adults were asked to wear an eye-tracking device linked to a kinematic tracking system during perturbations. Perturbations were delivered under 2 conditions: control (no instructions regarding gaze location were given) and earth-fixed (EF) (subjects were asked to fixate gaze on an EF target). Stepping responses were recorded via force plates. Gaze stability, reported as percent foveal fixation (% FF), was calculated from eye-tracking data. Step latencies (SLs) were computed from force plate data. A 2 x 2 analysis of variance was used to assess statistical significance between groups. For the young and aging adults, linear correlations were made to identify relationships between % FF and SL. RESULTS: For each condition, aging adults took longer to initiate a step (control
Angela Heine; Verena Thaler; Sascha Tamm; Stefan Hawelka; Michael Schneider; Joke Torbeyns; Bert Smedt; Lieven Verschaffel; Elsbeth Stern; Arthur M. Jacobs
What the eyes already 'know': Using eye movement measurement to tap into children's implicit numerical magnitude representations Journal Article
In: Infant and Child Development, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 175–186, 2010.
To date, a number of studies have demonstrated the existence of mismatches between children's implicit and explicit knowledge at certain points in development that become manifest by their gestures and gaze orientation in different problem solving contexts. Stimulated by this research, we used eye movement measurement to investigate the development of basic knowledge about numerical magnitude in primary school children. Sixty-six children from grades one to three (i.e. 6–9 years) were presented with two parallel versions of a number line estimation task of which one was restricted to behavioural measures, whereas the other included the recording of eye movement data. The results of the eye movement experiment indicate a quantitative increase as well as a qualitative change in children's implicit knowledge about numerical magnitudes in this age group that precedes the overt, that is, behavioural, demonstration of explicit numerical knowledge. The finding that children's eye movements reveal substantially more about the presence of implicit precursors of later explicit knowledge in the numerical domain than classical approaches suggests further exploration of eye movement measurement as a potential early assessment tool of individual achievement levels in numerical processing.
Tako A. Horsley; Bram Orobio De Castro; Menno Van Der Schoot
In the eye of the beholder: Eye-tracking assessment of social information processing in aggressive behavior Journal Article
In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 587–599, 2010.
Acording to social information processing theories, aggressive children are hypersensitive to cues of hostility and threat in other people's behavior. However, even though there is ample evidence that aggressive children over-interpret others' behaviors as hostile, it is unclear whether this hostile attribution tendency does actually result from overattending to hostile and threatening cues. Since encoding is posited to consist of rapid automatic processes, it is hard to assess with the self report measures that have been used so far. Therefore, we used a novel approach to investigate visual encoding of social information. The eye movements of thirty 10-13 year old children with lower levels and thirty children with higher levels of aggressive behavior were monitored in real time with an eyetracker, as the children viewed ten different cartoon series of ambiguous provocation situations. In addition, participants answered questions concerning encoding and interpretation. Aggressive children did not attend more to hostile cues, nor attend less to non-hostile cues than non-aggressive children. Contrary, aggressive children looked longer at non-hostile cues, but nonetheless attributed more hostile intent than their non-aggressive peers. These findings contradict the traditional bottom-up processing hypotheses that aggressive behavior would be related with failure to attend to non-hostile cues. The findings seem best explained by topdown information processing, where aggressive children's pre-existing hostile intent schemata (1) direct attention towards schema inconsistent non-hostile cues, (2) prevent further processing and recall of such schema-inconsistent information, and (3) lead to hostile intent attribution and aggressive responding, disregarding the schema-inconsistent non-hostile information.
Karen L. Campbell; Naseem Al-Aidroos; Robert Fatt; Jay Pratt; Lynn Hasher
The effects of multisensory targets on saccadic trajectory deviations: Eliminating age differences Journal Article
In: Experimental Brain Research, vol. 201, no. 3, pp. 385–392, 2010.
The present study had two aims. First, to determine if bimodal audio-visual targets allow for greater inhibition of visual distractors, which in turn may lead to greater saccadic trajectory deviations away from those distractors. Second, to determine if bimodal targets can reduce age differences in the ability to generate deviations away, as older adults tend to benefit more from multisensory integration than younger adults. The results show that bimodal targets produced larger deviations away than unimodal targets, but only when the distractor preceded the target, and this effect was comparable across age groups. Furthermore, in contrast to previous research, older adults in this study showed similar deviations away from distractors to those of younger adults. These findings suggest that age differences in the production of trajectory deviations away are not inevitable and that multisensory integration may be an important means for increasing top-down inhibition of irrelevant distraction.
Linda E. Campbell; Kathryn L. McCabe; Kate Leadbeater; Ulrich Schall; Carmel M. Loughland; Dominique Rich
Visual scanning of faces in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: Attention to the mouth or the eyes? Journal Article
In: Psychiatry Research, vol. 177, no. 1-2, pp. 211–215, 2010.
Previous research demonstrates that people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) have social and interpersonal skill deficits. However, the basis of this deficit is unknown. This study examined, for the first time, how people with 22q11DS process emotional face stimuli using visual scanpath technology. The visual scanpaths of 17 adolescents and age/gender matched healthy controls were recorded while they viewed face images depicting one of seven basic emotions (happy, sad, surprised, angry, fear, disgust and neutral). Recognition accuracy was measured concurrently. People with 22q11DS differed significantly from controls, displaying visual scanpath patterns that were characterised by fewer fixations and a shorter scanpath length. The 22q11DS group also spent significantly more time gazing at the mouth region and significantly less time looking at eye regions of the faces. Recognition accuracy was correspondingly impaired, with 22q11DS subjects displaying particular deficits for fear and disgust. These findings suggest that 22q11DS is associated with a maladaptive visual information processing strategy that may underlie affect recognition accuracy and social functioning deficits in this group.
Paul M. Brunet; Jennifer J. Heisz; Catherine J. Mondloch; David I. Shore; Louis A. Schmidt
Shyness and face scanning in children Journal Article
In: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 909–914, 2009.
Contrary to popular beliefs, a recent empirical study using eye tracking has shown that a non-clinical sample of socially anxious adults did not avoid the eyes during face scanning. Using eye-tracking measures, we sought to extend these findings by examining the relation between stable shyness and face scanning patterns in a non-clinical sample of 11-year-old children. We found that shyness was associated with longer dwell time to the eye region than the mouth, suggesting that some shy children were not avoiding the eyes. Shyness was also correlated with fewer first fixations to the nose, which is thought to reflect the typical global strategy of face processing. Present results replicate and extend recent work on social anxiety and face scanning in adults to shyness in children. These preliminary findings also provide support for the notion that some shy children may be hypersensitive to detecting social cues and intentions in others conveyed by the eyes. Theoretical and practical implications for understanding the social cognitive correlates and treatment of shyness are discussed.
Karen L. Campbell; Naseem Al-Aidroos; Jay Pratt; Lynn Hasher
Repelling the young and attracting the old: Examining age-related differences in saccade trajectory deviations Journal Article
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 163–168, 2009.
In the present study, the authors examined age-related differences in saccade curvature as older and younger adults looked to an X target that appeared concurrently with an O distractor. They used a fixation gap procedure to introduce variance into the saccadic latencies of both groups. Consistent with earlier findings, younger adults' early onset saccades curved toward the distractor (as the distractor competed with the target for response selection), while late-onset saccades curved away from the distractor (as the distractor location became inhibited over time). In contrast, older adults' saccades gradually decreased in curvature toward the distractor, but at no point along the latency continuum did they show deviations away. These results suggest that while the local inhibitory mechanisms responsible for decreases in curvature toward distractors may be preserved with age, aging may lead to a selective decline in the frontal inhibitory mechanisms responsible for deviations away from distractors.
Karen L. Campbell; Jennifer D. Ryan
The effects of practice and external support on older adults' control of reflexive eye movements Journal Article
In: Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 745–763, 2009.
The present study examined whether external support and practice could reduce age differences in oculomotor control. Participants were to avoid fixating an abrupt onset and on some trials, were provided with a predictive cue regarding the onset location or identity. Older adults demonstrated more capture than younger adults, but both groups improved with practice. Whereas the older group benefited from a location preview (Experiment 1), neither group showed less capture when given a preview of the onset object itself (Experiment 2), suggesting that location-based inhibition, but not object-based inhibition, was sufficient to support oculomotor control within this paradigm. To test the generalizability of these skills, displays in a final block were manipulated such that the onset could appear in a different location or be a different object altogether. Viewing patterns were similar for changed vs. unchanged displays, suggesting that participants' practice-related gains could withstand a change in the task materials.
Verena Thaler; Karolina Urton; Angela Heine; Stefan Hawelka; Verena Engl; Arthur M. Jacobs
Different behavioral and eye movement patterns of dyslexic readers with and without attentional deficits during single word reading Journal Article
In: Neuropsychologia, vol. 47, no. 12, pp. 2436–2445, 2009.
Comorbidity of learning disabilities is a very common phenomenon which is intensively studied in genetics, neuropsychology, prevalence studies and causal deficit research. In studies on the behavioral manifestation of learning disabilities, however, comorbidity is often neglected. In the present study, we systematically examined the reading behavior of German-speaking children with dyslexia, of children with attentional problems, of children with comorbid dyslexia and attentional problems and of normally developing children by measuring their reading accuracy, naming latencies and eye movement patterns during single word reading. We manipulated word difficulty by contrasting (1) short vs. long words with (2) either low or high sublexical complexity (indexed by consonant cluster density). Children with dyslexia only (DYS) showed the expected reading fluency impairment of poor readers in regular orthographies but no accuracy problem. In contrast, comorbid children (DYS + AD) had significantly higher error rates than all other groups, but less of a problem with reading fluency than DYS. Concurrently recorded eye movement measures revealed that DYS made the highest number of fixations, but exhibited shorter mean single fixations than DYS + AD. Word length had the strongest effect on dyslexic children, whereas consonant cluster density affected all groups equally. Theoretical implications of these behavioral and eye movement patterns are discussed and the necessity for controlling for comorbid attentional deficits in children with reading deficits is highlighted.
Menno Schoot; Annemieke H. Bakker Arkema; Tako M. Horsley; Ernest C. D. M. Lieshout
The consistency effect depends on markedness in less successful but not successful problem solvers: An eye movement study in primary school children Journal Article
In: Contemporary Educational Psychology, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 58–66, 2009.
This study examined the effects of consistency (relational term consistent vs. inconsistent with required arithmetic operation) and markedness (relational term unmarked ['more than'] vs. marked ['less than']) on word problem solving in 10-12 years old children differing in problem-solving skill. The results showed that for unmarked word problems, less successful problem solvers showed an effect of consistency on regressive eye movements (longer and more regressions to solution-relevant problem information for inconsistent than consistent word problems) but not on error rate. For marked word problems, they showed the opposite pattern (effects of consistency on error rate, not on regressive eye movements). The conclusion was drawn that, like more successful problem solvers, less successful problem solvers can appeal to a problem-model strategy, but that they do so only when the relational term is unmarked. The results were discussed mainly with respect to the linguistic-semantic aspects of word problem solving.
Menno Schoot; Alain L. Vasbinder; Tako M. Horsley; Albert Reijntjes; Ernest C. D. M. Lieshout
Lexical ambiguity resolution in good and poor comprehenders: An eye fixation and self-paced reading study in primary school children Journal Article
In: Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 101, no. 1, pp. 21–36, 2009.
To investigate the use of context and monitoring of comprehension in lexical ambiguity resolution in children, the authors asked 10- to 12-year-old good and poor comprehenders to read sentences consisting of 2 clauses, 1 containing the ambiguous word and the other the disambiguating information. The order of the clauses was reversed so that disambiguating information either preceded or followed the ambiguous word. Context use and comprehension monitoring were examined by measuring eye fixations (Experiment 1) and self-paced reading times (Experiment 2) on the ambiguous word and disambiguating region. The results of Experiment 1 and 2 showed that poor comprehenders made use of prior context to facilitate lexical ambiguity resolution as effectively as good comprehenders but that they monitored their comprehension less effectively than good comprehenders. Good comprehenders corrected an initial interpretation error on an ambiguous word and restored comprehension once they encountered the disambiguating region. Poor comprehenders failed to deal with this type of comprehension failure.
Lynn Huestegge; Ralph Radach; Daniel Corbic; Sujata M. Huestegge
Oculomotor and linguistic determinants of reading development: A longitudinal study Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 49, pp. 2948–2959, 2009.
We longitudinally assessed the development of oculomotor control in reading from second to fourth grade by having children read sentences with embedded target words of varying length and frequency. Additionally, participants completed oculomotor (pro-/anti-saccades) and linguistic tasks (word/picture naming), the latter containing the same item material as the reading task. Results revealed a 36% increase of reading efficiency. Younger readers utilized a global refixation strategy to gain more time for word decoding. Linguistic rather than oculomotor skills determined the development of reading abilities, although naming latencies of fourth graders did not reliably reflect word decoding processes in normal sentence reading.
Brandon Keehn; Laurie A. Brenner; Aurora I. Ramos; Alan J. Lincoln; Sandra P. Marshall; Muller Ralph-Axel
Brief report: Eye-movement patterns during an embedded figures test in children with ASD Journal Article
In: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 383–387, 2009.
The present study examined fixation frequency and duration during an Embedded Figures Test (EFT) in an effort to better understand the attentional and perceptual processes by which individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) achieve accelerated EFT performance. In particular, we aimed to elucidate differences in the patterns of eye-movement in ASD and typically developing (TD) children, thus providing evidence relevant to the competing theories of weak central coherence (WCC) and enhanced perceptual functioning. Consistent with prior EFT studies, we found accelerated response time (RT) in children with ASD. No group differences were seen for fixation frequency, but the ASD group made significantly shorter fixations compared to the TD group. Eye-movement results indicate that RT advantage in ASD is related to both WCC and enhanced perceptual functioning.
Mary Ann Evans; Jean Saint-Aubin; Nadine Landry
Letter names and alphabet book reading by senior kindergarteners: An eye movement study Journal Article
In: Child Development, vol. 80, no. 6, pp. 1824–1841, 2009.
The study monitored the eye movements of twenty 5-year-old children while reading an alphabet book to examine the manner in which the letters, words, and pictures were fixated and the relation of attention to print to alphabetic knowledge. Children attended little to the print, took longer to first fixate print than illustrations, and labeled fewer letters than when presented with letters in isolation. After controlling for receptive vocabulary, regressions revealed that children knowing more letters were quicker to look at the featured letter on a page and spent more time looking at the featured letter, the word, and its first letter. Thus, alphabet books along with letter knowledge may facilitate entrance into the partial alphabetic stage of word recognition.
Gary Feng; Kevin Miller; Hua Shu; Houcan Zhang
Orthography and the development of reading processes: An eye-movement study of Chinese and English Journal Article
In: Child Development, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 720–735, 2009.
As children become proficient readers, there are substantial changes in the eye movements that subserve reading. Some of these changes reflect universal developmental factors while others may be specific to a particular writing system. This study attempts to disentangle effects of universal and script-dependent factors by comparing the development of eye movements of English and Chinese speakers. Third-grade (English: mean age = 9.1 years
Amanda L. Gamble; Ronald M. Rapee
The time-course of attentional bias in anxious children and adolescents Journal Article
In: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 841–847, 2009.
This study examined the time-course of attentional bias in anxious and non-anxious children and adolescents aged 7-17 years using eye movement as an index of selective attention. Participants completed two eye-tracking tasks in which they viewed happy-neutral and negative-neutral face pairs for 3000 and 500 ms, respectively. When face pairs were presented for 3000 ms eye movement data showed no evidence of an attentional bias at any stage of attentional processing. When face pairs were presented for 500 ms a bias in initial orienting occurred; anxious adolescents directed their first fixation away from negative faces and anxious children directed their first fixation away from happy faces. Results suggest that childhood anxiety is characterized by a bias in initial orienting, with no bias in sustained attention, although only for briefly presented faces.
Adele Diederich; Hans Colonius; Annette Schomburg
Assessing age-related multisensory enhancement with the time-window-of-integration model Journal Article
In: Neuropsychologia, vol. 46, no. 10, pp. 2556–2562, 2008.
Although from multisensory research a great deal is known about how the different senses interact, there is little knowledge as to the impact of aging on these multisensory processes. In this study, we measured saccadic reaction time (SRT) of aged and young individuals to the onset of a visual target stimulus with and without an accessory auditory stimulus occurring (focused attention task). The response time pattern for both groups was similar: mean SRT to bimodal stimuli was generally shorter than to unimodal stimuli, and mean bimodal SRT was shorter when the auditory accessory was presented ipsilaterally rather than contralaterally to the target. The elderly participants were considerably slower than the younger participants under all conditions but showed a greater multisensory enhancement, that is, they seem to benefit more from bimodal stimulus presentation. In an attempt to weigh the contributions of peripheral sensory processes relative to more central cognitive processes possibly responsible for the difference in the younger and older adults, the time-window-of-integration (TWIN) model for crossmodal interaction in saccadic eye movements developed by the authors was fitted to the data from both groups. The model parameters suggest that (i) there is a slowing of the peripheral sensory processing in the elderly, (ii) as a result of this slowing, the probability of integration is smaller in the elderly even with a wider time-window-of-integration, and (iii) multisensory integration, if it occurs, manifests itself in larger neural enhancement in the elderly; however, because of (ii), on average the integration effect is not large enough to compensate for the peripheral slowing in the elderly.
Xu Huang; Jin Jing; Xiao-bing Zou; Meng-Long Wang; Xiu-Hong Li; Ai-Hua Lin
Eye movements characteristics of Chinese dyslexic children in picture searching Journal Article
In: Chinese Medical Journal, vol. 121, no. 17, pp. 1617–1621, 2008.
Background: Reading Chinese, a kind of ideogram, relies more on visual cognition. The visuospatial cognitive deficit of Chinese dyslexia is an interesting topic that has received much attention. The purpose of current research was to explore the visuopatial cognitive characteristics of Chinese dyslexic children by studying their eye movements via a picture searching test. Methods: According to the diagnostic criteria defined by ICD-10, twenty-eight dyslexic children (mean age (10.12±1.42) years) were enrolled from the Clinic of Children Behavioral Disorder in the third affiliated hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. And 28 normally reading children (mean age (10.06±1.29) years), 1:1 matched by age, sex, grade and family condition were chosen from an elementary school in Guangzhou as a control group. Four groups of pictures (cock, accident, canyon, meditate) from Picture Vocabulary Test were chosen as eye movement experiment targets. All the subjects carried out the picture searching task and their eye movement data were recorded by an Eyelink II High-Speed Eye Tracker. The duration time, average fixation duration, average saccade amplitude, fixation counts and saccade counts were compared between the two groups of children. Results: The dyslexic children had longer total fixation duration and average fixation duration (F=7.711, P <0.01; F=4.520, P <0.05), more fixation counts and saccade counts (F=7.498, P <0.01; F=11.040, P <0.01), and a smaller average saccade amplitude (F=29.743, P <0.01) compared with controls. But their performance in the picture vocabulary test was the same as those of the control group. The eye movement indexes were affected by the difficulty of the pictures and words, all eye movement indexes, except saccade amplitude, had a significant difference within groups (P <0.05). Conclusions: Chinese dyslexic children have abnormal eye movements in picture searching, applying slow fixations, more fixations and small and frequent saccades. Their abnormal eye movement mode reflects the poor ability and strategy of visual information processing.
Laura Schmalzl; Romina Palermo; Melissa J. Green; Ruth Brunsdon; Max Coltheart
Training of familiar face recognition and visual scan paths for faces in a child with congenital prosopagnosia Journal Article
In: Cognitive Neuropsychology, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 704–729, 2008.
In the current report we describe a successful training study aimed at improving recognition ofa set of familiar face photographs in K., a 4-year-old girl with congenital prosopagnosia (CP). A detailed assessment of K.'s face-processing skills showed a deficit in structural encoding, most pronounced in the processing of facial features within the face. In addition, eye movement recordings revealed that K.'s scan paths for faces were characterized by a large percentage of fixations directed to areas outside the internal core features (i.e., eyes, nose, and mouth), in particular by poor attendance to the eye region. Following multiple baseline assessments, training focused on teaching K. to reliably recognize a set of familiar face photographs by directing visual attention to specific characteristics of the internal features of each face. The training significantly improved K.'s ability to recognize the target faces, with her performance being flawless immediately after training as well as at a follow-up assessment 1 month later. In addition, eye movement recordings following training showed a significant change in K.'s scan paths, with a significant increase in the percentage offixations directed to the internal features, particularly the eye region. Encouragingly, not only was the change in scan paths observed for the set offamiliar trained faces, but it generalized to a set offaces that was not presented during training. In addition to documenting significant training effects, our study raises the intriguing question ofwhether abnormal scan paths for faces may be a common factor underlying face recognition impairments in childhood CP, an issue that has not been explored so far.
Michael Schneider; Angela Heine; Verena Thaler; Joke Torbeyns; Bert De Smedt; Lieven Verschaffel; Arthur M. Jacobs; Elsbeth Stern
A validation of eye movements as a measure of elementary school children's developing number sense Journal Article
In: Cognitive Development, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 409–422, 2008.
The number line estimation task captures central aspects of children's developing number sense, that is, their intuitions for numbers and their interrelations. Previous research used children's answer patterns and verbal reports as evidence of how they solve this task. In the present study we investigated to what extent eye movements recorded during task solution reflect children's use of the number line. By means of a cross-sectional design with 66 children from Grades 1, 2, and 3, we show that eye-tracking data (a) reflect grade-related increase in estimation competence, (b) are correlated with the accuracy of manual answers, (c) relate, in Grade 2, to children's addition competence, (d) are systematically distributed over the number line, and (e) replicate previous findings concerning children's use of counting strategies and orientation-point strategies. These findings demonstrate the validity and utility of eye-tracking data for investigating children's developing number sense and estimation competence.
Menno Van Der Schoot; Alain L. Vasbinder; Tako M. Horsley; Ernest C. D. M. Van Lieshout
The role of two reading strategies in text comprehension: An eye fixation study in primary school children Journal Article
In: Journal of Research in Reading, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 203–223, 2008.
This study examined whether 1012-year-old children use two reading strategies to aid their text comprehension: (1) distinguishing between important and unimportant words; and (2) resolving anaphoric references. Of interest was the question to what extent use of these reading strategies was predictive of reading comprehension skill over and above decoding skill and vocabulary. Reading strategy use was examined by the recording of eye fixations on specific target words. In contrast to less successful comprehenders, more successful comprehenders invested more processing time in important than in unimportant words. On the other hand, they needed less time to determine the antecedent of an anaphor. The results suggest that more successful comprehenders build a more effective mental model of the text than less successful comprehenders in at least two ways. First, they allocate more attention to the incorporation of goal-relevant than goal-irrelevant information into the model. Second, they ascertain that the text model is coherent and richly connected.
Linda Mortensen; Antje S. Meyer; Glyn W. Humphreys
Speech planning during multiple-object naming: Effects of ageing Journal Article
In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 61, no. 8, pp. 1217–1238, 2008.
Two experiments were conducted with younger and older speakers. In Experiment 1, participants named single objects that were intact or visually degraded, while hearing distractor words that were phonologically related or unrelated to the object name. In both younger and older participants naming latencies were shorter for intact than for degraded objects and shorter when related than when unrelated distractors were presented. In Experiment 2, the single objects were replaced by object triplets, with the distractors being phonologically related to the first object's name. Naming latencies and gaze durations for the first object showed degradation and relatedness effects that were similar to those in single-object naming. Older participants were slower than younger participants when naming single objects and slower and less fluent on the second but not the first object when naming object triplets. The results of these experiments indicate that both younger and older speakers plan object names sequentially, but that older speakers use this planning strategy less efficiently.
N. N. J. Rommelse; Stefan Van der Stigchel; J. Witlox; C. J. A. Geldof; J. -B. Deijen; Jan Theeuwes; Jaap Oosterlaan; J. A. Sergeant
Deficits in visuo-spatial working memory, inhibition and oculomotor control in boys with ADHD and their non-affected brothers Journal Article
In: Journal of Neural Transmission, vol. 115, no. 2, pp. 249–260, 2008.
Few studies have assessed visuo-spatial working memory and inhibition in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by recording saccades and consequently little additional knowledge has been gathered on oculomotor functioning in ADHD. Moreover, this is the first study to report the performance of non-affected siblings of children with ADHD, which may shed light on the familiality of deficits. A total of 14 boys with ADHD, 18 non-affected brothers, and 15 control boys aged 7-14 years, were administered a memory-guided saccade task with delays of three and seven seconds. Familial deficits were found in accuracy of visuo-spatial working memory, percentage of anticipatory saccades, and tendency to overshoot saccades relative to controls. These findings suggest memory-guided saccade deficits may relate to a familial predisposition for ADHD.
Ensar Becic; Walter R. Boot; Arthur F. Kramer
Training older adults to search more effectively: Scanning strategy and visual search in dynamic displays Journal Article
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 461–466, 2008.
The authors examined the ability of older adults to modify their search strategies to detect changes in dynamic displays. Older adults who made few eye movements during search (i.e., covert searchers) were faster and more accurate compared with individuals who made many eye movements (i.e., overt searchers). When overt searchers were instructed to adopt a covert search strategy, target detection performance increased to the level of natural covert searchers. Similarly, covert searchers instructed to search overtly exhibited a decrease in target detection performance. These data suggest that with instructions and minimal practice, older adults can ameliorate the cost of a poor search strategy.
Michael D. Crossland; Antony B. Morland; Mary P. Feely; Elisabeth Hagen; Gary S. Rubin
The effect of age and fixation instability on retinotopic mapping of primary visual cortex Journal Article
In: Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol. 49, no. 8, pp. 3734–3739, 2008.
PURPOSE: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments determining the retinotopic structure of visual cortex have commonly been performed on young adults, who are assumed to be able to maintain steady fixation throughout the trial duration. The authors quantified the effects of age and fixation stability on the quality of retinotopic maps of primary visual cortex. METHODS: With the use of a 3T fMRI scanner, the authors measured cortical activity in six older and six younger normally sighted participants observing an expanding flickering checkerboard stimulus of 30 degrees diameter. The area of flattened primary visual cortex (V1) showing any blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity to the visual stimulus and the area responding to the central 3.75 degrees of the stimulus (relating to the central ring of our target) were recorded. Fixation stability was measured while participants observed the same stimuli outside the scanner using an infrared gazetracker. RESULTS: There were no age-related changes in the area of V1. However, the proportion of V1 active to our visual stimulus was lower for the older observers than for the younger observers (overall activity: 89.8% of V1 area for older observers, 98.6% for younger observers; P <0.05). This effect was more pronounced for the central 3.75 degrees of the target (older subjects, 26.4%; younger subjects, 40.7%; P <0.02). No significant relationship existed between fixation stability and age or the magnitude of activity in the primary visual cortex. CONCLUSIONS: Although the cortical area remains unchanged, healthy older persons show less BOLD activity in V1 than do younger persons. Normal variations in fixation stability do not have a significant effect on the accuracy of experiments to determine the retinotopic structure of the visual cortex.
Ensar Becic; Arthur F. Kramer; Walter R. Boot
Age-related differences in the use of background layout in visual search Journal Article
In: Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 109–125, 2007.
The effect of background layout on visual search performance, and more specifically on the tendency to refixate previously inspected locations and objects, was investigated. Older and younger adults performed a search task in which a background layout or landmark was present or absent in a gaze contingent visual search paradigm. Regardless of age, participants demonstrated fewer refixations when landmarks were present, with older adults showing a larger landmark advantage. This visual search advantage did not come at the cost of saccadic latency. Furthermore, the visual search performance advantage obtained in the presence of a background layout or landmark was observed both for individuals with small and large memory spans.
Eva Belke; Antje S. Meyer
Single and multiple object naming in healthy ageing Journal Article
In: Language and Cognitive Processes, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1178–1211, 2007.
We compared the performance of young (college-aged) and older (50'years) speakers in a single object and a multiple object naming task and assessed their susceptibility to semantic and phonological context effects when producing words amidst semantically or phonologically similar or dissimilar words. In single object naming, there were no performance differences between the age groups. In multiple object naming, we observed significant age-related slowing, expressed in longer gazes to the objects and slower speech. In addition, the direction of the phonological context effects differed for the two groups. The results of a supplementary experiment showed that young speakers, when adopting a slow speech rate, coordinated their eye movements and speech differently from the older speakers. Our results imply that age-related slowing in connected speech is not a direct consequence of a slowing of lexical retrieval processes. Instead, older speakers might allocate more processing capacity to speech monitoring processes, which would slow down their concurrent speech planning processes.
Lisa R. Betts; Allison B. Sekuler; Patrick J. Bennett
The effects of aging on orientation discrimination Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 47, no. 13, pp. 1769–1780, 2007.
The current experiments measured orientation discrimination thresholds in younger (mean age ≈ 23 years) and older (mean age ≈ 66 years) subjects. In Experiment 1, the contrast needed to discriminate Gabor patterns (0.75, 1.5, and 3 c/deg) that differed in orientation by 12 deg was measured for different levels of external noise. At all three spatial frequencies, discrimination thresholds were significantly higher in older than younger subjects when external noise was low, but not when external noise was high. In Experiment 2, discrimination thresholds were measured as a function of stimulus contrast by varying orientation while contrast was fixed. The resulting threshold-vs-contrast curves had very similar shapes in the two age groups, although the curve obtained from older subjects was shifted to slightly higher contrasts. At contrasts greater than 0.05, thresholds in both older and younger subjects were approximately constant at 0.5 deg. The results from Experiments 1 and 2 suggest that age differences in orientation discrimination are due solely to differences in equivalent input noise. Using the same methods as Experiment 1, Experiment 3 measured thresholds in 6 younger observers as a function of external noise and retinal illuminance. Although reducing retinal illumination increased equivalent input noise, the effect was much smaller than the age difference found in Experiment 1. Therefore, it is unlikely that differences in orientation discrimination were due solely to differences in retinal illumination. Our findings are consistent with recent physiological experiments that have found elevated spontaneous activity and reduced orientation tuning on visual cortical neurons in senescent cats (Hua, T., Li, X., He, L., Zhou, Y., Wang, Y., Leventhal, A. G. (206). Functional degradation of visual cortical cells in old cats.
Chloé Prado; Matthieu Dubois; Sylviane Valdois
The eye movements of dyslexic children during reading and visual search: Impact of the visual attention span Journal Article
In: Vision Research, vol. 47, no. 19, pp. 2521–2530, 2007.
The eye movements of 14 French dyslexic children having a VA span reduction and 14 normal readers were compared in two tasks of visual search and text reading. The dyslexic participants made a higher number of rightward fixations in reading only. They simultaneously processed the same low number of letters in both tasks whereas normal readers processed far more letters in reading. Importantly, the children's VA span abilities related to the number of letters simultaneously processed in reading. The atypical eye movements of some dyslexic readers in reading thus appear to reflect difficulties to increase their VA span according to the task request.
Annie Roy-Charland; Jean Saint-Aubin; Mary Ann Evans
Eye movements in shared book reading with children from kindergarten to Grade 4 Journal Article
In: Reading and Writing, vol. 20, no. 9, pp. 909–931, 2007.
Previous studies have revealed that preschool-age children who are not yet readers pay little attention to written text in a shared book reading situation (see Evans & Saint-Aubin, 2005). The current study was aimed at investigating the constancy of these results across reading development, by monitoring eye movements in shared book reading, for children from kindergarten to Grade 4. Children were read books of three difficulty levels. The results revealed a higher proportion of time, a higher proportion of landing positions, and a higher proportion of reading-like saccades on the text as grade level increased and as reading skills improved. More precisely, there was a link between the difficulty of the material and attention to text. Children spent more time on a text that was within their reading abilities than when the book difficulty exceeded their reading skills.
Jennifer D. Ryan; Grace Leung; Nicholas B. Turk-Browne; Lynn Hasher
Assessment of age-related changes in inhibition and binding using eye movement monitoring Journal Article
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 239–250, 2007.
Age-related memory deficits may result from attending to too much information (inhibition deficit) and/or storing too little information (binding deficit). The present study evaluated the inhibition and binding accounts by exploiting a situation in which deficits of inhibition should benefit relational memory binding. Older adults directed more viewing toward abrupt onsets in scenes compared with younger adults under instructions to ignore any such onsets, providing evidence for age-related inhibitory deficits, which were ameliorated with additional practice. Subsequently, objects that served as abrupt onsets underwent changes in their spatial relations. Despite successful inhibition of the onsets, eye movements of younger adults were attracted to manipulated objects. In contrast, the eye movements of older adults, who directed more viewing to the late onsets compared with younger adults, were not attracted toward manipulated regions. Similar differences between younger and older adults in viewing of manipulated regions were observed under free viewing conditions. These findings provide evidence for concurrent inhibition and binding deficits in older adults and demonstrate that age-related declines in inhibitory processing do not lead to enhanced relational memory for extraneous information.
Géry D'Ydewalle; Wim De Bruycker
Eye movements of children and adults while reading television subtitles Journal Article
In: European Psychologist, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 196–205, 2007.
Eye movements of children (Grade 5–6) and adults were monitored while they were watching a foreign language movie with either standard (foreign language soundtrack and native language subtitling) or reversed (foreign language subtitles and native language soundtrack) subtitling. With standard subtitling, reading behavior in the subtitle was observed, but there was a difference between one- and two-line subtitles. As two lines of text contain verbal information that cannot easily be inferred from the pictures on the screen, more regular reading occurred; a single text line is often redundant to the information in the picture, and accordingly less reading of one-line text was apparent. Reversed subtitling showed even more irregular reading patterns (e.g., more subtitles skipped, fewer fixations, longer latencies). No substantial age differences emerged, except that children took longer to shift attention to the subtitle at its onset, and showed longer fixations and shorter saccades in the text. On the whole, the results demonstrated the flexibility of the attentional system and its tuning to the several information sources available (image, soundtrack, and subtitles).
Alison Firestone; Nicholas B. Turk-Browne; Jennifer D. Ryan
Age-related deficits in face recognition are related to underlying changes in scanning behavior Journal Article
In: Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 594–607, 2007.
Previous studies demonstrating age-related impairments in recognition memory for faces are suggestive of underlying differences in face processing. To study these differ-ences, we monitored eye movements while younger and older adults viewed younger and older faces. Compared to the younger group, older adults showed increased sampling of facial features, and more transitions. However, their scanning behavior was most similar to the younger group when looking at older faces. Moreover, while older adults exhibited worse recognition memory than younger adults overall, their memory was more accurate for older faces. These findings suggest that age-related differences in recognition memory for faces may be related to changes in scanning behavior, and that older adults may use social group status as a compensatory processing strategy.
Susan Sullivan; Ted Ruffman; Samuel B. Hutton
Age differences in emotion recognition skills and the visual scanning of emotion faces Journal Article
In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 53–60, 2007.
Research suggests that a person's emotion recognition declines with advancing years. We examined whether or not this age-related decline was attributable to a tendency to overlook emotion information in the eyes. In Experiment 1, younger adults were significantly better than older adults at inferring emotions from full faces and eyes, though not from mouths. Using an eye tracker in Experiment 2, we found young adults, in comparison with older adults, to have superior emotion recognition performance and to look proportionately more to eyes than mouths. However, although better emotion recognition performance was significantly correlated with more eye looking in younger adults, the same was not true in older adults. We discuss these results in terms of brain changes with age.
Corinne Tremblay; François Champoux; Patrice Voss; Benoit A. Bacon; Franco Lepore; Hugo Théoret
Speech and non-speech audio-visual illusions: A developmental study Journal Article
In: PLoS ONE, vol. 2, no. 8, pp. e742, 2007.
It is well known that simultaneous presentation of incongruent audio and visual stimuli can lead to illusory percepts. Recent data suggest that distinct processes underlie non-specific intersensory speech as opposed to non-speech perception. However, the development of both speech and non-speech intersensory perception across childhood and adolescence remains poorly defined. Thirty-eight observers aged 5 to 19 were tested on the McGurk effect (an audio-visual illusion involving speech), the Illusory Flash effect and the Fusion effect (two audio-visual illusions not involving speech) to investigate the development of audio-visual interactions and contrast speech vs. non-speech developmental patterns. Whereas the strength of audio-visual speech illusions varied as a direct function of maturational level, performance on non-speech illusory tasks appeared to be homogeneous across all ages. These data support the existence of independent maturational processes underlying speech and non-speech audio-visual illusory effects.
Stefan Van der Stigchel; N. N. J. Rommelse; J. -B. Deijen; C. J. A. Geldof; J. Witlox; Jaap Oosterlaan; J. A. Sergeant; Jan Theeuwes
Oculomotor capture in ADHD Journal Article
In: Cognitive Neuropsychology, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 535–549, 2007.
It is generally thought that deficits in response inhibition form an important area of dysfunction in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, recent research using visual search paradigms seems to suggest that these inhibitory deficits do not extend towards inhibiting irrelevant distractors. Using an oculomotor capture task, the present study investigated whether boys with ADHD and their nonaffected brothers are impaired in suppressing reflexive eye movements to a task-irrelevant onset distractor. Results showed that boys with ADHD had slower responses than controls, but were as accurate in their eye movements as controls. Nonaffected brothers showed similar problems in the speed of responding as their affected brothers, which might suggest that this deficit relates to a familial risk for developing the disorder. Importantly, all three groups were equally captured by the distractor, which shows that boys with ADHD and their brothers are not more distracted by the distractor than are controls. Saccade latency and the proportion of intrusive saccades were related to continuous dimensions of ADHD symptoms, which suggests that these deficits are not simply present or absent, but rather indicate that the severity of these deficits relate to the severity of ADHD. The finding that boys with ADHD (and their nonaffected brothers) did not have problems inhibiting irrelevant distractors contradicts a general response inhibition deficiency in ADHD, which may be explained by the relatively independency of working memory in this type of response inhibition.
Meredyth Daneman; Brenda Hannon; Christine Burton
Are There Age-Related Differences in Shallow Semantic Processing of Text? Evidence From Eye Movements Journal Article
In: Discourse Processes, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 177–203, 2006.
After reading text such as Amanda was bouncing all over because she had taken too many tranquilizing sedatives in one day, young adult readers frequently fail to report that they noticed the anomalous noun phrase (NP). Although young readers of all skill levels are susceptible to this kind of shallow semantic processing, less-skilled readers are more susceptible and have particular difficulty detecting locally anomalous NPs such as tranquilizing stimulants. This article explores whether aging has a similar impact on a reader's propensity toward shallow semantic processing. Postreading responses showed that older readers frequently failed to report the anomalous NPs, but no more frequently than did younger readers. The eye-fixation behavior revealed that older readers actually detected the locally coherent anomalous NPs (e.g., tranquilizing sedatives) sooner than did younger readers, but had to allocate disproportionately more processing resources looking back to the locally incoherent anomalous NPs (tranquilizing stimulants) to achieve comparable levels of detection success as their younger counterparts.
C. Hanisch; Ralph Radach; K. Holtkamp; B. Herpertz-Dahlmann; Kerstin Konrad
Oculomotor inhibition in children with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Journal Article
In: Journal of Neural Transmission, vol. 113, no. 5, pp. 671–684, 2006.
The aim of the present study was to distinguish between a general deficit in oculomotor control and a deficit restricted to inhibitory functions in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, we were interested in differentiating between a general inhibition deficit and deficient subfunctions of inhibition. We used a prosaccade task to measure general oculomotor abilities in 22 children with ADHD and in age- and gender-matched healthy controls. A fixation, an antisaccade and a countermanding saccade task were used to measure specific aspects of oculomotor inhibition. Two major results were obtained: First, our prosaccade task suggests similar saccadic response preparation and saccadic accuracy in the ADHD compared to the control children. Secondly, the fixation and the countermanding saccade task indicate deficits on measures of oculomotor inhibition in the ADHD group. While patients were specifically impaired in stopping an already initiated response or in suppressing exploratory saccades in a novel situation, inhibition of a prepotent response was not deficient. Our data thus indicate an underlying impairment in cognitive inhibition in ADHD that has been associated with prefrontal lobe functions. More specifically, as the anterior cingulate gyrus has been associated with the countermanding saccade task and group differences were most pronounced in this paradigm our data are in line with imaging data stressing the importance of this cortical structure in the pathophysiology of ADHD.
Trevor J. Hine; Guy Wallis; Joanne M. Wood; Efty P. Stavrou
Reflexive optokinetic nystagmus in younger and older observers under photopic and mesopic viewing conditions Journal Article
In: Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol. 47, no. 12, pp. 5288–5294, 2006.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of age on optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) in response to stimuli designed to preferentially stimulate the M-pathway. METHOD: OKN was recorded in 10 younger (32.3 +/- 5.98 years) and 10 older (65.6 +/- 6.53) subjects with normal vision. Vertical gratings of 0.43 or 1.08 cpd drifting at 5 degrees /s or 20 degrees /s and presented at either 8% or 80% contrast were displayed on a large screen as full-field stimulation, central stimulation within a central Gaussian-blurred window of 15 degrees diameter, or peripheral stimulation outside this window. All conditions apart from the high-contrast condition were presented in a random order at two light levels, mesopic (1.8 cdm(-2)) and photopic (71.5 cdm(-2)). RESULTS: Partial-field data indicated that central stimulation, mesopic light levels, and lower temporal frequency each significantly increased slow-phase velocity (SPV). Although there was no overall difference between groups for partial-field stimulation, full-field stimulation, or low-contrast stimulation, a change in illumination revealed a significant interaction with age: there was a larger decrease in SPV going from photopic to mesopic conditions for the older group than the younger group, especially for higher temporal frequency stimulation. CONCLUSIONS: OKN becomes reflexive in conditions conducive to M-pathway stimulation, and this rOKN response is significantly diminished in older healthy adults than in younger healthy adults, indicative of decreased M-pathway sensitivity.
Jay Pratt; Michael Dodd; Timothy N. Welsh
Growing older does not always mean moving slower: Examining aging and the saccadic motor system Journal Article
In: Journal of Motor Behavior, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 373–382, 2006.
Although humans typically move more slowly as they age, one exception may be the saccadic motor system. To fully determine whether the execution of saccades is affected by age, the authors examined detailed kinematics of vertical and horizontal saccades across a range of saccadic amplitudes (4 degrees, 8 degrees, and 12 degrees). Ten younger and 20 older adults participated in each experiment. Whereas in the 1st experiment, the authors assessed volitionally generated saccades, in the 2nd experiment, they evaluated reflexively generated saccades. The results of those experiments showed that the saccadic motor system is relatively impervious to the effects of aging; in fact, the differences between vertical and horizontal saccades were more evident than were differences between saccades produced by younger and older adults. The authors discuss possible reasons for that relative resistance to aging.
Keith Rayner; Erik D. Reichle; Michael J. Stroud; Carrick C. Williams; Alexander Pollatsek
The effect of word frequency, word predictability, and font difficulty on the eye movements of young and older readers Journal Article
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 448–465, 2006.
Young adult and older readers' eye movements were recorded as they read sentences containing target words that varied in frequency or predictability. In addition, half of the sentences were printed in a font that was easy to read (Times New Roman) and the other half were printed in a font that was more difficult to read (Old English). Word frequency, word predictability, and font difficulty effects were apparent in the eye movement data of both groups of readers. In the fixation time data, the pattern of results was the same, but the older readers had larger frequency and predictability effects than the younger readers. The older readers skipped words more often than the younger readers (as indicated by their skipping rate on selected target words), but they made more regressions back to the target words and more regressions overall. The E-Z Reader model was used as a platform to evaluate the results, and simulations using the model suggest that lexical processing is slowed in older readers and that, possibly as a result of this, they adopt a more risky reading strategy.
Jennifer D. Ryan; Jiye Shen; Eyal M. Reingold
Modulation of distraction in ageing Journal Article
In: British Journal of Psychology, vol. 97, no. 3, pp. 339–351, 2006.
A cueing paradigm was employed to examine modulation of distraction due to a visual singleton. Subjects were required to make a saccade to a shape-singleton target. A predictive location cue indicated the hemifield where a target would appear. Older adults made more anticipatory saccades than younger adults, and were less accurate for making an eye movement in the vicinity of a target. However, younger and older adults likewise benefited from the cue; distraction was reduced when the distractor singleton appeared in an uncued hemisphere. The ability to compensate for problems with distraction in older and younger adults through use of the precue suggests that attention to a general region of space, rather than a specific location, may be enough to modulate distraction.
Florian Hutzler; Martin Kronbichler; Arthur M. Jacobs; Heinz Wimmer
Perhaps correlational but not causal: No effect of dyslexic readers' magnocellular system on their eye movements during reading Journal Article
In: Neuropsychologia, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 637–648, 2006.
During reading, dyslexic readers exhibit more and longer fixations and a higher percentage of regressions than normal readers. It is still a matter of debate, whether these divergent eye movement patterns of dyslexic readers reflect an underlying problem in word processing or whether they are - as the proponents of the magnocellular deficit hypothesis claim - associated with deficient visual perception that is causal for dyslexia. To overcome problems in the empirical linkage of the magnocellular theory with reading, a string processing task is presented that poses similar demands on visual perception (in terms of letter identification) and oculomotor control as reading does. Two experiments revealed no differences in the eye movement patterns of dyslexic and control readers performing this task. Furthermore, no relationship between the functionality of the participants' magnocellular system assessed by the coherent motion task and string processing were found. The perceptual and oculomotor demands required during string processing were functionally equivalent to those during reading and the presented consonant strings had similar visual characteristics as reading material. Thus, a strong inference can be drawn: Dyslexic readers do not seem to have difficulties with the accurate perception of letters and the control of their eye movements during reading - their reading difficulties therefore cannot be explained in terms of oculomotor and visuo-perceptual problems.
Arthur F. Kramer; Walter R. Boot; Jason S. McCarley; Matthew S. Peterson; Angela M. Colcombe; Charles T. Scialfa
Aging, memory and visual search Journal Article
In: Acta Psychologica, vol. 122, no. 3, pp. 288–304, 2006.
Potential age-related differences in the memory processes that underlie visual search are examined in the present study. Using a dynamic, gaze-contingent search paradigm developed to assess memory for previously examined distractors, older adults demonstrated no memory deficit. Surprisingly, older adults made fewer refixations compared to their younger counterparts, indicating better memory for previously inspected objects. This improved memory was not the result of a speed-accuracy trade-off or larger Inhibition-of-Return effects for older than for younger adults. Additional analyses suggested that older adults may derive their benefit from finer spatial encoding of search items. These findings suggest that some of the memory processes that support visual search are relatively age invariant.
Arthur F. Kramer; Jessica C. M. Gonzalez de Sather; Nicholas D. Cassavaugh
Development of attentional and oculomotor control Journal Article
In: Developmental Psychology, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 760–772, 2005.
The present study was conducted to examine the development of attentional and oculomotor control. More specifically, the authors were interested in the development of the ability to inhibit an incorrect but prepotent response to a salient distractor. Participants, who ranged in age from 8 to 25 years, performed 3 different eye movement tasks: a prosaccade, an antisaccade, and an oculomotor capture task. The time required to initiate a saccade decreased with age across all 3 tasks. Consistent with previous reports, accuracy was relatively age invariant in the prosaccade task. Performance improved with age, asymptoting at 16 years in the antisaccade task. It is interesting to note that despite the superficial similarity of the antisaccade and oculomotor capture tasks, performance was relatively age invariant in the latter. These results are discussed in terms of developmental differences in the interaction of goal-directed and stimulus-driven processes in the control of attention and action.
Taina M. Lehtimäki; Ronan G. Reilly
Improving eye movement control in young readers Journal Article
In: Artificial Intelligence Review, vol. 24, no. 3-4, pp. 477–488, 2005.
The objective of our study is to design and evaluate an oculomotor reading aid for beginning readers. The aid consists of an eye-tracking device and a computer program that gives real-time feedback in the form of a game to the subject about their fixation position on words. An experimental study was conducted with 8-year-old children. We evaluated the effectiveness of the aid for each child by comparing the landing site distributions before and after playing the game. We found that the peak of the landing site distribution moved towards the optimal viewing position (OVP) for word identification after playing the game. We also determined that training had a positive effect on gaze duration, on the mean and distribution of number of fixations per word, and on the percentage of words with refixations in the majority of subjects.
Mary Ann Evans; Jean Saint-Aubin
What children are looking at during shared storybook reading Journal Article
In: Psychological Science, vol. 16, no. 11, pp. 913–920, 2005.
Two studies were conducted to determine the extent to which young children fixate on the print of storybooks during shared book reading. Children's books varying in the layout of the print and the richness of the illustrations were displayed on a computer monitor. Each child's mother or preschool teacher read the books while the child sat on the adult's lap wearing an EyeLink headband that recorded visual fixations. In both studies, children spent very little time examining the print regardless of the nature of the print and illustrations. Although fixations on the illustrations were highly correlated with the length of the accompanying text and could be altered by altering the content of the text, fixations to the text were uncorrelated with the length of the text. These results indicate that preschool children engage in minimal exploration of the print during shared book reading.
Geoffrey Underwood; Nicola Phelps; Chloe Wright; Editha M. Loon; Adam J. Galpin
Eye fixation scanpaths of younger and older drivers in a hazard perception task Journal Article
In: Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 346–356, 2005.
Our previous research has shown that observing patterns of eye fixations is a successful method of establishing differences in underlying cognitive processes between groups of drivers. Eye movements recorded from drivers in a laboratory while they watch film clips recorded from a driver's perspective can be used to identify scanpaths and search patterns that reveal ability differences. In the present study 12 older subjects (60-75 years) and 12 younger subjects (30-45 years) watched clips for potential hazards such as other road users appearing on an intersecting trajectory. Acuity and visual field differences between the two groups were eliminated through screening, so that only age-related differences would emerge. Eye fixations were analysed on a frame-by-frame basis to generate sequences of codes representing the location and object of the viewer's interest, before and during the appearance of a hazard. These codes were analysed for the existence of two fixation scanpaths using Markov Matrices. Unique scanpaths were identified for each group of drivers before and during the hazard. Evidence from the inspection of different objects and from the spread of the search indicated that both groups of driver were sensitive to attentional capture by the appearance of the hazard. Detection of the hazards - both speed and accuracy - was similar for older and younger drivers, although the older drivers perceived the films as being more hazardous in general. There is little evidence in this study of an age-related decline in the search of the scene when detecting hazards.
Lisa R. Betts; Christopher P. Taylor; Allison B. Sekuler; Patrick J. Bennett
Aging reduces center-surround antagonism in visual motion processing Journal Article
In: Neuron, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 361–366, 2005.
Discriminating the direction of motion of a low-contrast pattern becomes easier with increasing stimulus area. However, increasing the size of a high-contrast pattern makes it more difficult for observers to discriminate motion. This surprising result, termed spatial suppression, is thought to be mediated by a form of center-surround suppression found throughout the visual pathway. Here, we examine the counterintuitive hypothesis that aging alters such center-surround interactions in ways that improve performance in some tasks. We found that older observers required briefer stimulus durations than did younger observers to extract information about stimulus direction in conditions using large, high-contrast patterns. We suggest that this age-related improvement in motion discrimination may be linked to reduced GABAergic functioning in the senescent brain, which reduces center-surround suppression in motion-selective neurons.
Agnieszka Bojko; Arthur F. Kramer; Matthew S. Peterson
Age equivalence in switch costs for prosaccade and antisaccade tasks Journal Article
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 226–234, 2004.
This study examined age differences in task switching using prosaccade and antisaccade tasks. Significant specific and general switch costs were found for both young and old adults, suggesting the existence of 2 types of processes: those responsible for activation of the currently relevant task set and deactivation of the previously relevant task set and those responsible for maintaining more than 1 task active in working memory. Contrary to the findings of previous research, which used manual response tasks with arbitrary stimulus-response mappings to study task-switching performance, no age-related deficits in either type of switch costs were found. These data suggest age-related sparing of task-switching processes in situations in which memory load is low and stimulus-response mappings are well learned.
Nicholas Cassavaugh; Arthur F. Kramer; Matthew S. Peterson
Aging and the strategic control of the fixation offset effect Journal Article
In: Psychology and Aging, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 357–361, 2004.
A study was conducted to examine potential age-related differences in the strategic control of exogenous and endogenous saccades within the context of the fixation offset effect (FOE; i.e., faster saccades when a fixation point is removed than when it is left on throughout a trial). Subjects were instructed to make rapid saccades either on the basis of a suddenly appearing peripheral visual stimulus (exogenous saccade) or in response to a tone (endogenous saccade). On half of the trials the fixation point was removed simultaneously with the occurrence of the cue stimulus. Subjects' preparatory set was varied by manipulating the proportion of saccades generated to a visual and auditory stimulus within a trial block. Young and old adults both produced FOEs, and the FOEs were strategically modulated by preparatory set. The data are discussed in terms of aging and oculomotor control.
Frank A. Proudlock; Himanshu Shekhar; Irene Gottlob
Age-related changes in head and eye coordination Journal Article
In: Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 1377–1385, 2004.
The effect of ageing upon head movements during gaze shifts is unknown. We have investigated age-related changes in head and eye coordination in a group of healthy volunteers. Horizontal head and eye movements were recorded in 53 subjects, aged between 20 and 83 years, during the performance of saccades, antisaccades, smooth pursuit and a reading task. The subjects were divided into three groups, young subjects (20-40 years), middle-aged subjects (41-60 years) and older subjects (over 60 years). Logarithmic transformations of the head gain were significantly greater in the older subjects compared to the young subjects during the saccadic task (P=0.001), antisaccadic task (P=0.0004), smooth pursuit at 20°/s (P=0.001) and 40°/s (P=0.005), but not reading. For saccadic and antisaccadic tasks, the increase in transformed head gain was non-linear with significant differences between older and middle-aged subjects but not middle-aged and young subjects. Head movement tendencies were highly consistent for related tasks. Head movement gain during gaze shifts significantly increases with age, which may contribute to dizziness and balance problems experienced by the elderly.
Nicholas D. Cassavaugh; Arthur F. Kramer; David E. Irwin
Influence of task-irrelevant onset distractors on the visual search performance of young and old adults Journal Article
In: Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 44–60, 2003.
We examined potential age-related differences in attentional and oculomotor capture by single and multiple abrupt onsets in a singleton search paradigm. 24 participants were instructed to move their eyes as quickly as possible to a color singleton target and to identify a small letter located inside it. Either single or dual onset task-irrelevant distractors were presented simultaneously with the color change that defined the target, or one onset distractor was presented prior to and another onset distractor was presented during the participant's initial eye movement away from fixation. Young and old adults misdirected their eyes to the single and dual onset task-irrelevant distractors, on an equivalent proportion of trials, relative to control trials. However, older adults' saccade latencies and RTs were influenced to a greater extent by onsets compared to younger adults'. These data are discussed in terms of age-related differences in attentional control and oculomotor capture.
Angela M. Colcombe; Arthur F. Kramer; David E. Irwin; Matthew S. Peterson; Stanley Colcombe; Sowon Hahn
Age-related effects of attentional and oculomotor capture by onsets and color singletons as a function of experience Journal Article
In: Acta Psychologica, vol. 113, no. 2, pp. 205–225, 2003.
The present experiment examined the degree to which experience with different stimulus characteristics affects attentional capture, particularly as related to aging. Participants were presented with onset target/color singleton distractor or color singleton target/onset distractor pairs across three experimental sessions. The target/distractor pairs were reversed in the second session such that the target in the first session became the distractor in the second and third sessions. For both young and old adults previous experience with color as a target defining feature influenced oculomotor capture with task-irrelevant color distractors. Experience with sudden onsets had the same effect for younger and older adults, although capture effects were substantially larger for onset than for color distractors. Experience-based capture effects diminished relatively rapidly after target and distractor-defining properties were reversed. The results are discussed in terms of top-down and stimulus-driven effects on age-related differences in attentional control. textcopyright2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Willem P. A. Kelders; Gert Jan Kleinrensink; Josef N. Geest; Louw Feenstra; Chris I. De Zeeuw; Maarten A. Frens
Compensatory increase of the cervico-ocular reflex with age in healthy humans Journal Article
In: Journal of Physiology, vol. 553, no. 1, pp. 311–317, 2003.
The cervico-ocular reflex (COR) is an ocular stabilization reflex that is elicited by rotation of the neck. It works in conjunction with the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and the optokinetic reflex (OKR) in order to prevent visual slip over the retina due to self-motion. The gains of the VOR and OKR are known to decrease with age. We have investigated whether the COR, a reflexive eye movement elicited by rotation of the neck, shows a compensatory increase and whether a synergy exists between the COR and the other ocular stabilization reflexes. In the present study 35 healthy subjects of varying age (20-86 years) were rotated in the dark in a trunk-to-head manner (the head fixed in spaced with the body passively rotated under it) at peak velocities between 2.1 and 12.6 deg s-1 as a COR stimulus. Another 15 were subjected to COR, VOR and OKR stimuli at frequencies between 0.04 and 0.1 Hz. Three subjects participated in both tests. The position of the eyes was recorded with an infrared recording technique. We found that the COR-gain increases with increasing age and that there is a significant covariation between the gains of the VOR and COR, meaning that when VOR increases, COR decreases and vice versa. A nearly constant phase lag between the COR and the VOR of about 25 deg existed at all stimulus frequencies.
Chiang-Shan Ray Li; Hsueh-Ling Chang; Shih Chieh Lin
Inhibition of return in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Journal Article
In: Experimental Brain Research, vol. 149, no. 1, pp. 125–130, 2003.
Earlier studies have suggested an impairment in the attention and eye movement control of children with ADHD. An important phenomenon in the control of attentional shifts and eye movements is the inhibition of return (IOR), which states that our brain works in a way that prevents our attention from returning to a spatial location that has been attended to, either overtly or covertly. This current study addresses whether the IOR in oculomotor planning is compromised in children with ADHD. Eleven ADHD and 12 age- and gender-matched control subjects participated in a behavioral task, in which they made saccades to a peripheral target after a valid, invalid or neutral cue. The latency difference between cued and uncued saccades over a range of cue-target onset asynchrony as well as the positive component of this latency profile (i.e., IOR) was compared between groups. The results show that ADHD children demonstrate a biphasic latency profile that is grossly similar to that observed in control subjects, although the magnitude of IOR appears to be slightly smaller in ADHD subjects. These preliminary results suggest that the inhibitory attention mechanism subserving IOR is at least not fully compromised in ADHD children.
Arthur F. Kramer; Sowon Hahn; David E. Irwin; Jan Theeuwes
Age differences in the control of looking behavior: Do you know where your eyes have been? Book
Previous research has shown that during visual search young and old adults' eye movements are equivalently influenced by the appearance of task-irrelevant abrupt onsets. The finding of age-equivalent oculomotor capture is quite surprising in light of the abundant research suggesting that older adults exhibit poorer inhibitory control than young adults on a variety of different tasks. In the present study, we examined the hypothesis that oculomotor capture is age invariant when subjects' awareness of the appearance of task-irrelevant onsets is low, but that older adults will have more difficulty than young adults in inhibiting reflexive eye movements to task-irrelevant onsets when awareness of these objects is high. Our results were consistent with the level-of-awareness hypothesis. Young and old adults showed equivalent patterns of oculomotor capture with equiluminant onsets, but older adults misdirected their eyes to bright onsets more often than young adults did.