ResearchPad - attention https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[How and why do young soccer players change the Flow State?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14602 Flow State (FS) as well as other psychological characteristics influence sports performance (SP) and could be relevant according to the playing position in team sports, such as the soccer where players have different specific functions within the team. The aim of this study was to evaluate the difference in FS dimensions in young soccer players between training time (TR) and official competition time (CM), according to the playing position and, to find relationships between FS dimensions and physical characteristics and academic performance. A total of 141 U16 soccer players were selected (14.7 ± 0.5 years). Data was collected for academic performance, physical and socio-demographic characteristics, and on two occasions, the dimensions of FS (before of a TR and CM). The results showed that the FS dimensions are higher before of the TR than before of the CM (p < 0.05) in all playing positions. In clear goals dimension, forwards showed lower scores than other playing positions, and various dimensions had a positive relationship with academic performance. In conclusion, the FS presented in CM is lower in U16 soccer players compared to that presented in TR. This work has contributed to increasing the knowledge of the fluctuation of the FS that negatively influence the soccer player in pre-competition states and the influence of various factors on this construct.

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<![CDATA[A smartphone-based test for the assessment of attention deficits in delirium: A case-control diagnostic test accuracy study in older hospitalised patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8fecd5fe-2073-4d74-805a-6132ddca5eea

Background

Delirium is a common and serious acute neuropsychiatric syndrome which is often missed in routine clinical care. Inattention is the core cognitive feature. Diagnostic test accuracy (including cut-points) of a smartphone Delirium App (DelApp) for assessing attention deficits was assessed in older hospital inpatients.

Methods

This was a case-control study of hospitalised patients aged ≥65 years with delirium (with or without pre-existing cognitive impairment), who were compared to patients with dementia without delirium, and patients without cognitive impairment. Reference standard delirium assessment, which included a neuropsychological test battery, was based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 criteria. A separate blinded assessor administered the DelApp arousal assessment (score 0–4) and attention task (0–6) yielding an overall score of 0 to 10 (lower scores indicate poorer performance). Analyses included receiver operating characteristic curves and sensitivity and specificity. Optimal cut-points for delirium detection were determined using Youden’s index.

Results

A total of 187 patients were recruited, mean age 83.8 (range 67–98) years, 152 (81%) women; n = 61 with delirium; n = 61 with dementia without delirium; and n = 65 without cognitive impairment. Patients with delirium performed poorly on the DelApp (median score = 4/10; inter-quartile range 3.0, 5.5) compared to patients with dementia (9.0; 5.5, 10.0) and those without cognitive impairment (10.0; 10.0, 10.0). Area under the curve for detecting delirium was 0.89 (95% Confidence Interval 0.84, 0.94). At an optimal cut-point of ≤8, sensitivity was 91.7% (84.7%, 98.7%) and specificity 74.2% (66.5%, 81.9%) for discriminating delirium from the other groups. Specificity was 68.3% (56.6%, 80.1%) for discriminating delirium from dementia (cut-point ≤6).

Conclusion

Patients with delirium (with or without pre-existing cognitive impairment) perform poorly on the DelApp compared to patients with dementia and those without cognitive impairment. A cut-point of ≤8/10 is suggested as having optimal sensitivity and specificity. The DelApp is a promising tool for assessment of attention deficits associated with delirium in older hospitalised adults, many of whom have prior cognitive impairment, and should be further validated in representative patient cohorts.

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<![CDATA[Gaze direction reveals implicit item and source memory in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd6bd49f6-c3a2-422e-9a90-0c981119f651

This study looked at eye movements in relation to source memory in older adults. Participants first studied images of common objects appearing in different quadrants of a screen. After a delay, they were shown cues one at a time presented in all four quadrants. Participants stated whether or not the cue had been seen before and in which location. Participants also rated level of confidence in their responses. In trials where participants either claimed they have not seen a previously presented cue or placed it in an incorrect location, they looked significantly more at the correct quadrant. The proportion of time looking at the correct quadrants during incorrect responses was not related to confidence ratings. These results suggest that eye gaze during the memory task does not reflect memory retrieval below the threshold of verbal report. They instead point to an implicit form of source memory in humans that is accessible to eye movements but not to verbal responses.

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<![CDATA[Executive task-based brain function in children with type 1 diabetes: An observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd7290b0a-e9f9-4731-9f28-e7228fa093e0

Background

Optimal glycemic control is particularly difficult to achieve in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D), yet the influence of dysglycemia on the developing brain remains poorly understood.

Methods and findings

Using a large multi-site study framework, we investigated activation patterns using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 93 children with T1D (mean age 11.5 ± 1.8 years; 45.2% female) and 57 non-diabetic (control) children (mean age 11.8 ± 1.5 years; 50.9% female) as they performed an executive function paradigm, the go/no-go task. Children underwent scanning and cognitive and clinical assessment at 1 of 5 different sites. Group differences in activation occurring during the contrast of “no-go > go” were examined while controlling for age, sex, and scan site. Results indicated that, despite equivalent task performance between the 2 groups, children with T1D exhibited increased activation in executive control regions (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal and supramarginal gyri; p = 0.010) and reduced suppression of activation in the posterior node of the default mode network (DMN; p = 0.006). Secondary analyses indicated associations between activation patterns and behavior and clinical disease course. Greater hyperactivation in executive control regions in the T1D group was correlated with improved task performance (as indexed by shorter response times to correct “go” trials; r = −0.36, 95% CI −0.53 to −0.16, p < 0.001) and with better parent-reported measures of executive functioning (r values < −0.29, 95% CIs −0.47 to −0.08, p-values < 0.007). Increased deficits in deactivation of the posterior DMN in the T1D group were correlated with an earlier age of T1D onset (r = −0.22, 95% CI −0.41 to −0.02, p = 0.033). Finally, exploratory analyses indicated that among children with T1D (but not control children), more severe impairments in deactivation of the DMN were associated with greater increases in hyperactivation of executive control regions (T1D: r = 0.284, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.46, p = 0.006; control: r = 0.108, 95% CI −0.16 to 0.36, p = 0.423). A limitation to this study involves glycemic effects on brain function; because blood glucose was not clamped prior to or during scanning, future studies are needed to assess the influence of acute versus chronic dysglycemia on our reported findings. In addition, the mechanisms underlying T1D-associated alterations in activation are unknown.

Conclusions

These data indicate that increased recruitment of executive control areas in pediatric T1D may act to offset diabetes-related impairments in the DMN, ultimately facilitating cognitive and behavioral performance levels that are equivalent to that of non-diabetic controls. Future studies that examine whether these patterns change as a function of improved glycemic control are warranted.

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<![CDATA[Personally relevant online advertisements: Effects of demographic targeting on visual attention and brand evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c70677bd5eed0c4847c70da

Global investments in online advertising rise quickly but internet users often avoid looking at ads due to established banner blindness. Demographic targeting is expected to overcome this tendency by attracting users’ attention to more self-relevant ad content. However, little is known about the effect of demographically targeted versus non-targeted ads on users’ actual attention allocation during exposure to webpages. The present study aimed to further fill this empirical gap by clarifying whether demographic targeting attracts visual attention and to exploratively examine whether it also affects brand attitude and website evaluation, as suggested by previous studies. Eye tracking data revealed that demographic targeting can have medium- to large-sized effects on several eye movement parameters when internet users are in a free-viewing mode. In contrast, demographic targeting did not influence brand attitude and website evaluation. We conclude that attention for personally relevant advertisement can be strong. However, attention, although being a necessary condition for subsequent judgment formation according to the model of human information processing, is not sufficient to elicit positive effects at the level of subjective judgments.

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<![CDATA[Prenatal maternal docosahexaenoic acid intake and infant information processing at 4.5mo and 9mo: A longitudinal study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9ffd5eed0c48452a684

Previous research suggesting an association between maternal prenatal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake and infant cognition has yet to assess whether there is a critical trimester for the observed effects. We used a comprehensive Food Frequency Questionnaire to estimate DHA levels during both the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, in a sample of 125 pregnant women. Infants were assessed at 4.5 months and 9 months post-partum using specific tests of visual acuity, habituation, and visual attention. Based on maternal DHA levels during pregnancy, mothers were subdivided into high, medium, and low groups, and their infants compared for task performance using one-way ANOVAs with maternal DHA groups. On the 9 month visual acuity test, infants whose mothers were in the medium DHA group performed significantly better than those with mothers in the low or high DHA groups (p = 0.008). However, no significant finding was found for any of the other cognitive assessment measures. Despite a number of studies reporting a positive effect of higher DHA levels on cognitive development, this study fails to support those conclusions. We can, however, conclude that it appears to be DHA intake in the third trimester specifically, which is influencing the development of visual acuity towards the end of the first postnatal year.

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<![CDATA[The impact of individual differences on jurors’ note taking during trials and recall of trial evidence, and the association between the type of evidence recalled and verdicts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac61d5eed0c484d08683

Although note taking during trials is known to enhance jurors’ recall of trial evidence, little is known about whether individual differences in note taking underpin this effect. Individual differences in handwriting speed, working memory, and attention may influence juror’s note taking. This, in turn, may influence their recall. It may also be the case that if jurors note down and recall more incriminating than non-incriminating evidence (or vice versa), then this may predict their verdict. Three studies examined the associations between the aforementioned individual differences, the amount of critical evidence jurors noted down during a trial, the amount of critical evidence they recalled, and the verdicts they reached. Participants had their handwriting speed, short-term memory, working memory, and attention assessed. They then watched a trial video (some took notes), reached a verdict, and recalled as much trial information as possible. We found that jurors with faster handwriting speed (Study 1), higher short-term memory capacity (Study 2), and higher sustained attention capacity (Study 3) noted down, and later recalled, the most critical trial evidence. However, working memory storage capacity, information processing ability (Study 2) and divided attention (Study 3) were not associated with note taking or recall. Further, the type of critical evidence jurors predominantly recalled predicted their verdicts, such that jurors who recalled more incriminating evidence were more likely to reach a guilty verdict, and jurors who recalled more non-incriminating evidence were less likely to do so. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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<![CDATA[A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ccdd5eed0c484c8180c

The phenomenon of ‘microdosing’, that is, regular ingestion of very small quantities of psychedelic substances, has seen a rapid explosion of popularity in recent years. Individuals who microdose report minimal acute effects from these substances yet claim a range of long-term general health and wellbeing benefits. There have been no published empirical studies of microdosing and the current legal and bureaucratic climate makes direct empirical investigation of the effects of psychedelics difficult. In Study One we conducted a systematic, observational investigation of individuals who microdose. We tracked the experiences of 98 microdosing participants, who provided daily ratings of psychological functioning over a six week period. 63 of these additionally completed a battery of psychometric measures tapping mood, attention, wellbeing, mystical experiences, personality, creativity, and sense of agency, at baseline and at completion of the study. Analyses of daily ratings revealed a general increase in reported psychological functioning across all measures on dosing days but limited evidence of residual effects on following days. Analyses of pre and post study measures revealed reductions in reported levels of depression and stress; lower levels of distractibility; increased absorption; and increased neuroticism. To better understand these findings, in Study Two we investigated pre-existing beliefs and expectations about the effects of microdosing in a sample of 263 naïve and experienced microdosers, so as to gauge expectancy bias. All participants believed that microdosing would have large and wide-ranging benefits in contrast to the limited outcomes reported by actual microdosers. Notably, the effects believed most likely to change were unrelated to the observed pattern of reported outcomes. The current results suggest that dose controlled empirical research on the impacts of microdosing on mental health and attentional capabilities are needed.

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<![CDATA[Visual habituation in deaf and hearing infants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d4bd5eed0c484c824a4

Early cognitive development relies on the sensory experiences that infants acquire as they explore their environment. Atypical experience in one sensory modality from birth may result in fundamental differences in general cognitive abilities. The primary aim of the current study was to compare visual habituation in infants with profound hearing loss, prior to receiving cochlear implants (CIs), and age-matched peers with typical hearing. Two complementary measures of cognitive function and attention maintenance were assessed: the length of time to habituate to a visual stimulus, and look-away rate during habituation. Findings revealed that deaf infants were slower to habituate to a visual stimulus and demonstrated a lower look-away rate than hearing infants. For deaf infants, habituation measures correlated with language outcomes on standardized assessments before cochlear implantation. These findings are consistent with prior evidence suggesting that habituation and look-away rates reflect efficiency of information processing and may suggest that deaf infants take longer to process visual stimuli relative to the hearing infants. Taken together, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that hearing loss early in infancy influences aspects of general cognitive functioning.

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<![CDATA[Motor skill learning induces brain network plasticity: A diffusion-tensor imaging study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cf2d5eed0c484c81b6f

Motor skills and the acquisition of brain plasticity are important topics in current research. The development of non-invasive white matter imaging technology, such as diffusion-tensor imaging and the introduction of graph theory make it possible to study the effects of learning skills on the connection patterns of brain networks. However, few studies have characterized the brain network topological features of motor skill learning, especially open skill. Given the need to interact with environmental changes in real time, we hypothesized that the brain network of high-level open-skilled athletes had higher transmission efficiency and stronger interaction in attention, visual and sensorimotor networks. We selected 21 high-level basketball players and 25 ordinary individuals as control subjects, collected their DTI data, built a network of brain structures, and used graph theory to analyze and compare the network properties of the two groups at global and regional levels. In addition, we conducted a correlation analysis on the training years of high-level athletes and brain network nodal parameters on the regional level to assess the relationship between brain network topological characteristics and skills learning. We found that on the global-level, the brain network of high-level basketball players had a shorter path length, small-worldness, and higher global efficiency. On the regional level, the brain nodes of the high-level athletes had nodal parameters that were significantly higher than those of control groups, and were mainly distributed in the visual network, the default mode network, and the attention network. The changes in brain node parameters were significantly related to the number of training years.

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<![CDATA[The benefits of sensation on the experience of a hand: A qualitative case series]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2abd5eed0c48441e844

Background

The experience of upper limb loss involves loss of both functional capabilities and the sensory connection of a hand. Research studies to restore sensation to persons with upper limb loss with neural interfaces typically measure outcomes through standardized functional tests or quantitative surveys. However, these types of metrics cannot fully capture the personal experience of living with limb loss or the impact of sensory restoration on this experience. Qualitative studies can demonstrate the viewpoints and priorities of specific persons or groups and reveal the underlying conceptual structure of various aspects of their experiences.

Methods and findings

Following a home use trial of a neural-connected, sensory-enabled prosthesis, two persons with upper limb loss were interviewed about their experiences using the sensory restoration system in unsupervised, unconstrained settings. We used grounded theory methodology to examine their experiences, perspectives, and opinions about the sensory restoration system. We then developed a model to describe the impact of sensation on the experience of a hand for persons with upper limb loss.

Conclusions

The experience of sensation was complex and included concepts such as the naturalness of the experience, sensation modality, and the usefulness of the sensory information. Sensation was critical for outcome acceptance, and contributed to prosthesis embodiment, confidence, reduced focus and attention for using the prosthesis, and social interactions. Embodiment, confidence, and social interactions were also key determinants of outcome acceptance. This model provides a unified framework to study and understand the impact of sensation on the experience of limb loss and to understand outcome acceptance following upper limb loss more broadly.

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<![CDATA[Chronic stress influences attentional and judgement bias and the activity of the HPA axis in sheep]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5295d5eed0c4842bcc05

Introduction

Environmental challenges are part of everyday life for most domestic animals. However, very little is known about how animals cope emotionally and physiologically with cumulative challenges. This experiment aimed to determine the impact of long-term exposure to environmental challenges on the affective state and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to a subsequent additional acute shearing challenge.

Methods

Sheep were exposed to either a long-term environmental challenge (rest disruption and individual housing) in order to induce chronic stress (chronic stress group) or control conditions (group housing in a field with low stress handling and daily feed rewards, control group). Judgement and attention bias were assessed as measures of the emotional state following several days of the challenge or control treatment (pre-shearing tests). In addition, the responsiveness of the HPA-axis was evaluated using a combined Corticotropin Releasing Hormone and Arginine Vasopressin (CRH/AVP) challenge. Finally, all animals were exposed to an acute shearing challenge, then judgement bias (post-shearing test), HPA-axis and internal body temperature responses were determined.

Results

In the pre-shearing judgement bias test, the chronic stress group slightly increased optimism compared to the control treatment. In the attention bias test, the chronic stress group showed reduced vigilance behaviour towards a predator threat and a quicker approach to the food compared to the control treatment. The chronic stress group also had lower plasma ACTH concentrations in response to the CRH/AVP challenge compared to the control group, no differences in cortisol concentrations were found. In the post-shearing judgement bias test, differences in optimism were no longer evident between the chronic stress and control groups. Plasma ACTH concentrations and body temperatures showed a greater increase in response to shearing in the chronic stress group compared to the control group.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that long-term exposure to challenges biased cognitive measures of the affective state towards an increased expectation of a reward and reduced attention towards a threat. The exaggerated ACTH responses in the chronic stress group may be indicative of HPA-axis dysregulation. Despite a period of challenge exposure in the chronic stress group, judgement bias responses to the shearing challenge were similar in the chronic stress and control groups; the reasons for this need further investigation. The altered affective state together with signs of HPA-axis dysregulation may indicate an increased risk of compromised welfare in animals exposed to long-term environmental challenges.

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<![CDATA[Spontaneous eye movements during focused-attention mindfulness meditation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536b75d5eed0c484a48aab

Oculometric measures have been proven to be useful markers of mind-wandering during visual tasks such as reading. However, little is known about ocular activity during mindfulness meditation, a mental practice naturally involving mind-wandering episodes. In order to explore this issue, we extracted closed-eyes ocular movement measurements via a covert technique (EEG recordings) from expert meditators during two repetitions of a 7-minute mindfulness meditation session, focusing on the breath, and two repetitions of a 7-minute instructed mind-wandering task. Power spectral density was estimated on both the vertical and horizontal components of eye movements. The results show a significantly smaller average amplitude of eye movements in the delta band (1–4 Hz) during mindfulness meditation than instructed mind-wandering. Moreover, participants’ meditation expertise correlated significantly with this average amplitude during both tasks, with more experienced meditators generally moving their eyes less than less experienced meditators. These findings suggest the potential use of this measure to detect mind-wandering episodes during mindfulness meditation and to assess meditation performance.

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<![CDATA[Testing the validity of the attention control video: An eye-tracking approach of the ego depletion effect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c472d5eed0c4845e87a4

The attention control video has been frequently applied to test the ego depletion effect. However, its validity has never been tested, a shortcoming we address in this preregistered study. In the first task, self-control strength was temporarily depleted in the depletion condition (n = 56) but remained intact in the control condition (n = 56). The attention control video served as the secondary task, and we assumed that the depletion condition would perform significantly worse compared to the control condition. Attention regulation was measured with an eye-tracking device. The results revealed that the gaze behavior in the two conditions differed statistically significantly; however, the actual difference was small, indicating that the attention control video may not be an optimal measure of self-control.

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<![CDATA[Attentional modulation of orthographic neighborhood effects during reading: Evidence from event-related brain potentials in a psychological refractory period paradigm]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644944d5eed0c484c2f97c

It is often assumed that word reading proceeds automatically. Here, we tested this assumption by recording event-related potentials during a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm, requiring lexical decisions about written words. Specifically, we selected words differing in their orthographic neighborhood size–the number of words that can be obtained from a target by exchanging a single letter–and investigated how influences of this variable depend on the availability of central attention. As expected, when attentional resources for lexical decisions were unconstrained, words with many orthographic neighbors elicited larger N400 amplitudes than those with few neighbors. However, under conditions of high temporal overlap with a high priority primary task, the N400 effect was not statistically different from zero. This finding indicates strong attentional influences on processes sensitive to orthographic neighbors during word reading, providing novel evidence against the full automaticity of processes involved in word reading. Furthermore, in conjunction with the observation of an underadditive interaction between stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) and orthographic neighborhood size in lexical decision performance, commonly taken to indicate automaticity, our results raise issues concerning the standard logic of cognitive slack in the PRP paradigm.

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<![CDATA[Embedded word priming elicits enhanced fMRI responses in the visual word form area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f799d5eed0c484386454

Lexical embedding is common in all languages and elicits mutual orthographic interference between an embedded word and its carrier. The neural basis of such interference remains unknown. We employed a novel fMRI prime-target embedded word paradigm to test for involvement of a visual word form area (VWFA) in left ventral occipitotemporal cortex in co-activation of embedded words and their carriers. Based on the results of related fMRI studies we predicted either enhancement or suppression of fMRI responses to embedded words initially viewed as primes, and repeated in the context of target carrier words. Our results clearly showed enhancement of fMRI responses in the VWFA to embedded-carrier word pairs as compared to unrelated prime-target pairs. In contrast to non-visual language-related areas (e.g., left inferior frontal gyrus), enhanced fMRI responses did not occur in the VWFA when embedded-carrier word pairs were restricted to the left visual hemifield. Our finding of fMRI enhancement in the VWFA is novel evidence of its involvement in representational rivalry between orthographically similar words, and the co-activation of embedded words and their carriers.

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<![CDATA[Volitional control of saccadic adaptation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f774d5eed0c4843861d6

Saccadic adaptation is assumed to be driven by an unconscious and automatic mechanism. We wondered if the adaptation process is accessible to volitional control, specifically whether any change in saccade gain can be inhibited. Participants were exposed to post-saccadic error by using the double-step paradigm in which a target is presented in a peripheral location and then stepped during the saccade to another location. In one condition, participants were instructed to follow the target step and look at the final target location. In the other condition they were instructed to inhibit the adjustment of saccade amplitude and look at the initial target location. We conducted two experiments, which differed in the size of the intra-saccadic target step. We found that when told to inhibit amplitude adjustment, gain change was close to zero for outward steps, but some adaptation remained for inward steps. Saccadic latency was not affected by the instruction type for inward steps, but when the target was stepped outward, latencies were longer in the inhibition than in the adaptation condition. The results show that volitional control can be exerted on saccadic adaptation. We suggest that volitional control affects the remapping of the target, thus having a larger impact on outward adaptation.

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<![CDATA[Exploring associations between early substance use and longitudinal socio-occupational functioning in young people engaged in a mental health service]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a7cd5eed0c4847cd046

Neuropsychiatric disorders (including substance misuse) are associated with the greatest burden of functional disability in young people, and contributory factors remain poorly understood. Early-onset substance use is one candidate risk factor which may inform functional prognosis and facilitate direction of interventions aiming to curtail impairment. Accordingly, we modelled associations between early-onset use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATSs) and longitudinal socio-occupational functioning (indexed by the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale) in an observational cohort presenting to early intervention mental health services. A clinical proforma collated demographic, clinical, and socio-occupational information for up to 60-months from presentation to services in young people aged 17–30. Of the wider cohort (n = 2398), 446 participants were selected with complete alcohol and substance use data. Latent class analysis was used to derive an ‘early-onset’ (n = 243) and ‘later-onset’ class (n = 203) based on age of first use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and ATSs. Maximum-likelihood multilevel analyses modelled functioning over time in care and tested associations with substance use latent class, age, gender and diagnosis. Membership in the ‘early-onset’ class (B = -1.64, p = 0.05), male gender (B = -3.27, p<0.001) and psychotic disorder diagnosis (B = -7.62, p<0.001) were associated with poorer functioning at presentation and at least one other time-point. To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore associations of early-onset substance use and longitudinal functioning in a cohort of young people with mental disorders. The identified factors may be useful for directing specific social (e.g. Social Recovery Therapy) or occupational (e.g. Individual Placement and Support) interventions to at-risk individuals, early in illness course.

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<![CDATA[Sex related biases for attending to object color versus object position are reflected in reaction time and accuracy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa579d5eed0c484ca4cb1

Processing of visual features related to objects and space relations occurs within separate cortical streams that interact with selective attention. Such separation has implications for cognitive development because the perception of ‘what’ and ‘where’ provide a neural foundation for the development of aspects of higher cognition. Thus, a small attentional bias in early development for attending to one aspect over the other might influence subsequent higher cognitive processing in tasks involving object recognition and space relations. We examined 134 men and women for evidence of an inherent sex-related bias for attending to basic perceptual features related to object discrimination versus object position. Each stimulus consisted of a circle located in one of 9 positions within a surrounding frame. Circles were one of three shades of blue or red. These stimuli were used in a match-to-sample paradigm where participants were required to match circles on the basis of color or spatial position. The first stimulus appeared in the center of the screen for 400 msec and the matching stimulus subsequently appeared for 400 msec oriented 5 degrees to the right or left of center. The same stimuli were used to test the perception of color and position, with order of testing counterbalanced across participants. Results showed significantly longer reaction times in females compared with males, with better accuracy to discriminate color when that color was tested before position. Males showed better accuracy when object position was tested before color discrimination. A second experiment employed the same procedure, but enhanced selective attention by adding an endogenous cue that predicted the right or left location for the appearance of the matching stimulus. This manipulation greatly attenuated the sex differences in reaction time and accuracy compared to Experiment 1, suggesting that the sex-related attentional biases are strongly coupled to bottom-up processing. Overall, the sex related attentional biases toward processing object characteristics versus object position location suggest a differential manifestation of biased competition between the weighted systems of dorsal and ventral stream processing. Results are discussed with how a developmental bias in the processing objects versus space relations may contribute to adult cognitive sex differences in humans and animals.

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<![CDATA[Attentional and working memory performance following alcohol and energy drink: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial design laboratory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5c9d5eed0c484ca8872

Alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AMED) studies have typically not shown antagonism of acute alcohol effects by energy drink (ED), particularly over relatively short time frames. This study investigated the effects of alcohol, ED, and AMED on attentional and working memory processes over a 3 h period. Twenty-four young adults took part in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial, 4-arm study. They were administered 0.6g/kg alcohol and 250 ml ED (containing 80 mg caffeine), and matching placebos alone and in combination. A battery of attentional and working memory measures was completed at baseline then 45, 90 and 180 min post-treatment. Alcohol produced a characteristic shift in speed/accuracy trade-off, having little effect on reaction times while increasing errors on all attentional measures (4-choice Reaction Time, Number Pairs and Visual Search), as well as a composite Attentional error score and one working memory task (Serial Sevens). ED alone improved two working memory measures (Memory Scanning accuracy and Digit–Symbol reaction times) and improved speed of responding on a composite Working Memory score. There was no consistent pattern of AMED vs. alcohol effects; AMED produced more errors than alcohol alone on one attentional measure (Visual Search errors) at 45 min only whereas AMED resulted in fewer errors on the Serial Sevens task at 90 min and better Digit-Symbol accuracy and reaction time at 45 min. Alcohol consumption increases error rate across several attentional and working memory processes. Mutual antagonism between alcohol and ED showed no consistent pattern and likely reflects a complex interaction between caffeine and alcohol levels, phase of the blood alcohol limb, task domain and cognitive load.

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