The relationship between predictive learning and attentional processing was investigated in two experiments. During a learning procedure participants viewed rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of stimuli in the context of a choice-reaction-time (CRT) task. Salient stimuli in the RSVP streams were either predictive or non-predictive for the outcome of the CRT task. Following this procedure we measured attentional blink (AB) to the predictive and non-predictive stimuli. In Experiment 1, despite the use of a large sample and checks demonstrating the validity of the learning procedure and the AB measure, we did not observe reduced AB for predictive stimuli. In contrast, in Experiment 2, where the predictive stimuli occurred alongside salient non-predictive comparison stimuli, we did find less AB for predictive than for non-predictive stimuli. Our results support an attentional model of learning in which relative prediction error is used to increase learning rates for good predictors and reduce learning rates for poor predictors and provide confirmation of the AB learning effect.
There is a rapidly increasing trend in media-media multitasking or MMM (using two or more media concurrently). In a recent conference, scholars from diverse disciplines expressed concerns that indulgence in MMM may compromise well-being and/or cognitive abilities. However, research on MMMs impacts is too sparse to inform the general public and policy makers whether MMM should be encouraged, managed, or minimized. The primary purpose of the present study was to develop an innovative computerized instrument--the Survey of the Previous Day (SPD)--to quantify MMM as well as media-nonmedia and nonmedia-nonmedia multitasking and sole-tasking. The secondary purpose was to examine whether these indices could predict a sample of well-being related, psychosocial measures. In the SPD, participants first recalled (typed) what they did during each hour of the previous day. In later parts of the SPD, participants analysed activities and their timing and duration for each hour of the previous day, while relevant recall was on display. Participants also completed the Media Use Questionnaire. The results showed non-significant relationship between tasking measures and well-being related measures. Given how little is known about the associations between MMM and well-being, the null results may offer some general reassurance to those who are apprehensive about negative impacts of MMM.
Since 2003, Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, has received substantial attention because of the anticipation that it could be the epicentre of the next pandemic. There has been active investment but earlier review of pandemic preparedness plans in the region reveals that the translation of these strategic plans into operational plans is still lacking in some countries particularly those with low resources. The objective of this study is to understand the pandemic preparedness programmes, the health systems context, and challenges and constraints specific to the six Asian countries namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Taiwan, Thailand, and Viet Nam in the prepandemic phase before the start of H1N1/2009.
Young and older adults searched for 2 digit targets among black letter distractors in rapid serial visual presentation. Unsurprisingly, relative to the young, the older adults performed worse on both targets and exhibited greater and longer attentional blink. The data of each group were computationally accounted for by the attention cascade model (Shih, 2008) with 7 parameters; the optimum values and 95% confidence intervals of the parameters were based on 10,000 bootstrap samples. There was no age effect on the width of the attention window or on the capacity of the consolidation processor. However, relative to the young, the older adults suffered more masking effects of the salient (and brighter) stimulus, required longer consolidation duration, and had greater and more widespread decision noise. The processing rate prior to working memory was numerically slower in older adults. Both age groups adopted inefficient strategy during the task-engaging the consolidation processor for an unnecessarily long period. Further simulations suggest that varying the duration can emulate strong or weak blinkers or nonblinkers. The attention cascade model appears a useful tool for the investigation of cognitive aging and other comparative studies.
We examined whether there were age-related differences in eye movements during intentional encoding of a photographed scene that might account for age-related differences in memory of objects in the scene. Younger and older adults exhibited similar scan path patterns, and visited each region of interest in the scene with similar frequency and duration. Despite the similarity in viewing, there were fundamental differences in the viewing-memory relationship. Although overall recognition was poorer in the older than younger adults, there was no age effect on recognition probability for objects visited only once. More importantly, re-visits to objects brought gain in recognition probability for the younger adults, but not for the older adults. These results suggest that the age-related differences in object recognition performance are in part due to inefficient integration of information from working memory to longer-term memory.
This study investigated whether "intentional" instructions could improve older adults object memory and object-location memory about a scene by promoting object-oriented viewing. Eye movements of younger and older adults were recorded while they viewed a photograph depicting 12 household objects in a cubicle with or without the knowledge that memory about these objects and their locations would be tested (intentional vs. incidental encoding). After viewing, participants completed recognition and relocation tasks. Both instructions and age affected viewing behaviors and memory. Relative to incidental instructions, intentional instructions resulted in more accurate memory about object identity and object-location binding, but did not affect memory accuracy about overall positional configuration. More importantly, older adults exhibited more object-oriented viewing in the intentional than incidental condition, supporting the environmental support hypothesis.
Southeast Asia has been the focus of considerable investment in pandemic influenza preparedness. Given the wide variation in socio-economic conditions, health system capacity across the region is likely to impact to varying degrees on pandemic mitigation operations. We aimed to estimate and compare the resource gaps, and potential mortalities associated with those gaps, for responding to pandemic influenza within and between six territories in Asia.
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