Matching Items (52)

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Navigating to new frontiers in behavioral neuroscience: traditional neuropsychological tests predict human performance on a rodent-inspired radial-arm maze

Description

We constructed an 11-arm, walk-through, human radial-arm maze (HRAM) as a translational instrument to compare existing methodology in the areas of rodent and human learning and memory research. The HRAM,

We constructed an 11-arm, walk-through, human radial-arm maze (HRAM) as a translational instrument to compare existing methodology in the areas of rodent and human learning and memory research. The HRAM, utilized here, serves as an intermediary test between the classic rat radial-arm maze (RAM) and standard human neuropsychological and cognitive tests. We show that the HRAM is a useful instrument to examine working memory ability, explore the relationships between rodent and human memory and cognition models, and evaluate factors that contribute to human navigational ability. One-hundred-and-fifty-seven participants were tested on the HRAM, and scores were compared to performance on a standard cognitive battery focused on episodic memory, working memory capacity, and visuospatial ability. We found that errors on the HRAM increased as working memory demand became elevated, similar to the pattern typically seen in rodents, and that for this task, performance appears similar to Miller's classic description of a processing-inclusive human working memory capacity of 7 ± 2 items. Regression analysis revealed that measures of working memory capacity and visuospatial ability accounted for a large proportion of variance in HRAM scores, while measures of episodic memory and general intelligence did not serve as significant predictors of HRAM performance. We present the HRAM as a novel instrument for measuring navigational behavior in humans, as is traditionally done in basic science studies evaluating rodent learning and memory, thus providing a useful tool to help connect and translate between human and rodent models of cognitive functioning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-09-09

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How Vigilant Are You?

Description

In everyday life, unfocused attention can be detrimental to life either through driving vehicles, cutting vegetables, and learning new languages. In order to increase sustained attention, Binaural Beats were introduced.

In everyday life, unfocused attention can be detrimental to life either through driving vehicles, cutting vegetables, and learning new languages. In order to increase sustained attention, Binaural Beats were introduced. Binaural Beats have two different frequency tones which oscillate to produce different effects. Each of these beats operates at different frequencies thus having different sound production: theta, delta, alpha, beta, and gamma. In the experiment beta Binaural Beats with frequencies of 200 and 216 Hertz, Hz (unit of measurement for frequency), were used with a control of 200 Hz flat noise. The experiment utilized the psychomotor vigilance task to measure changes in response times and utilized Affectiva to measure changes in facial musculature. The response times were then analyzed to explain why the Binaural Beats condition had significantly shorter response times compared to the control group throughout the task. In terms of emotional change, some trends were noticed for the Binaural Beats and the control condition; however, none of the trends were significant. Moving forward with the experiment, an increased number of participants can be recorded to strengthen the validity and test different frequencies of Binaural Beats for accuracy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Exploring the Relation between Confidence and Accuracy in Recognition Memory

Description

Recognition memory is examined by exposing a person to a stimulus and later prompting them with the same stimulus to examine their ability to accurately acknowledge that the stimulus was

Recognition memory is examined by exposing a person to a stimulus and later prompting them with the same stimulus to examine their ability to accurately acknowledge that the stimulus was previously encountered (Kahana, 2012). In recognition memory, confidence ratings are taken during the testing phase to assess how confident the participant is that the old-new judgment that they just made is accurate (Busey et al., 2000). Confidence is a metacognitive assessment about the accuracy of perception of decision making based on the amount, speed, and clarity of thoughts that come to mind (Dunlosky and Metcalfe, 2008). The goal of the current study is to better understand how assessing recognition memory using a variety of test procedures influences memory accuracy using the signal detection theory and adding multiple confidence scales that vary in granularity. Based on the previous literature, it is hypothesized that; 1) tasks ordered sequentially will produce greater recognition accuracy (d') than the simultaneous (dual task) condition; 2) confidence scale of 3 points will produce a larger d' than the 7 point scale, and the 7 point scale will produce a larger d' than the 100 point scale; and 3) task mode (ordered vs. sequenced) will interact with confidence scale granularity to predict memory accuracy, such that sequential judgments lessen demands on working memory that come from maintaining an increasing number of decision criteria in comparison to the dual task. Results indicated all hypotheses were not upheld. The findings suggest that taxing working memory may not affect decisional accuracy on a recognition task incorporating confidence judgments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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An Exploration of Habitual Prospective Memory and its Implications for Individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries

Description

Prospective memory refers to the ability to form and carry out an intention. Prospective memory can be further divided into the subcategories of episodic and habitual prospective memory, which differ

Prospective memory refers to the ability to form and carry out an intention. Prospective memory can be further divided into the subcategories of episodic and habitual prospective memory, which differ in their task demands and electrophysiological components. The focus of the present study is on habitual prospective memory, which is the ability to routinize and consistently fulfill intentions that occur repeatedly. This skill is especially useful for populations with impaired executive functioning and/or memory deficits, such as those with acquired brain injuries. The purpose of this study is to analyze the performance of an undergraduate population on a habitual prospective memory task in order to create a baseline model for comparison with a clinical population. Evidence of habitization to the prospective memory component of the task was discovered, as demonstrated by speeded ongoing-task response times and reduced interference to prospective memory cues. Ongoing task accuracy and prospective memory cue detection were very high, while commission errors were very few, demonstrating ease of the task for neurotypical populations. We speculate that people with acquired brain injuries will not show as significant of a quickening of response times, nor such accurate performance on prospective memory cue trials or the commission error phase.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Mood Influences Working Memory Capacity

Description

Working memory is the cognitive system responsible for storing and maintaining information in short-term memory and retrieving cues from long-term memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is needed for goal maintenance

Working memory is the cognitive system responsible for storing and maintaining information in short-term memory and retrieving cues from long-term memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is needed for goal maintenance and to ignore task-irrelevant stimuli (Engle & Kane, 2003). Emotions are one type of task-irrelevant stimuli that could distract an individual from a task (Smallwood, Fitzgerald, Miles, & Phillips, 2009). There are studies that show there is a relation between emotions and working memory capacity. The direction of this relationship, though, is unclear (Kensinger, 2009). In this study, emotions served as a distractor and task performance was examined for differences in the effect of emotion depending on participants' working memory capacity. The participants watched a mood induction video, then were told to complete a complex-span working memory task. The mood induction was successful- participants watching the negative emotional video were in a less positive mood after watching the video than the participants that watched a neutral video. However, the results of the complex-span working memory task showed no significant difference in the results between participants in the negative versus neutral mood. These results may provide support to an alternative hypothesis: cognitive tasks can diminish the effects of emotions (Dillen, Heslenfeld, & Koole, 2009).

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Mood Influences Working Memory Capacity

Description

Working memory is the cognitive system responsible for storing and maintaining information in short-term memory and retrieving cues from long-term memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is needed for goal maintenance

Working memory is the cognitive system responsible for storing and maintaining information in short-term memory and retrieving cues from long-term memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is needed for goal maintenance and to ignore task-irrelevant stimuli (Engle & Kane, 2003). Emotions are one type of task-irrelevant stimuli that could distract an individual from a task (Smallwood, Fitzgerald, Miles, & Phillips, 2009). There are studies that show there is a relation between emotions and working memory capacity. The direction of this relationship, though, is unclear (Kensinger, 2009). In this study, emotions served as a distractor and task performance was examined for differences in the effect of emotion depending on participants' working memory capacity. The participants watched a mood induction video, then were told to complete a complex-span working memory task. The mood induction was successful- participants watching the negative emotional video were in a less positive mood after watching the video than the participants that watched a neutral video. However, the results of the complex-span working memory task showed no significant difference in the results between participants in the negative versus neutral mood. These results may provide support to an alternative hypothesis: cognitive tasks can diminish the effects of emotions (Dillen, Heslenfeld, & Koole, 2009).

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

Brain Processes in Self-Regulation: An Electroencephalography (EEG) Study

Description

Temporal discounting refers to our tendency to discount the value of future rewards. At the extreme, temporal discounting can give rise to detrimental myopic decision-making. Most studies examining the neural

Temporal discounting refers to our tendency to discount the value of future rewards. At the extreme, temporal discounting can give rise to detrimental myopic decision-making. Most studies examining the neural basis of temporal discounting in people have been performed using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). However, fMRI has relatively poor temporal resolution compared with the speed at which people make choices, so understanding choice dynamics using fMRI is difficult. We address the issue utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) to study cortical processes related to temporal discounting. The fMRI literature has found that a network of fronto-parietal brain regions plays an important role during the decision-making process. We aim to explore activity in these regions during the decision process and determine how cortical activity relates to choice parameters. Based on prior fMRI studies, we hypothesized that dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) may act as a regulator of dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and there will be an increase in dlPFC activity for more difficult decisions. We also hypothesized that neural activity may be directly related to the temporal discount rate we estimate behaviorally. We utilized regression analysis to determine the relationship. The results found supported our hypotheses. This study may open the door to a better understanding of the dynamic of brain regions while performing a temporal discounting task.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Impact of Blocked vs. Distributed Category Learning on Subsequent Generalization

Description

It is a well-established finding in memory research that spacing or distributing information, as opposed to blocking all the information together, results in an enhanced memory of the learned material.

It is a well-established finding in memory research that spacing or distributing information, as opposed to blocking all the information together, results in an enhanced memory of the learned material. Recently, researchers have decided to investigate if this spacing effect is also beneficial in category learning. In a set of experiments, Carvalho & Goldstone (2013), demonstrated that a blocked presentation showed an advantage during learning, but that ultimately, the distributed presentation yielded better performance during a post-learning transfer test. However, we have identified a major methodological issue in this study that we believe contaminates the results in a way that leads to an inflation and misrepresentation of learning levels. The present study aimed to correct this issue and re-examine whether a blocked or distributed presentation enhances the learning and subsequent generalization of categories. We also introduced two shaping variables, category size and distortion level at transfer, in addition to the mode of presentation (blocked versus distributed). Results showed no significant differences of mode of presentation at either the learning or transfer phases, thus supporting our concern about the previous study. Additional findings showed benefits in learning categories with a greater category size, as well as higher classification accuracy of novel stimuli at lower-distortion levels.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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The Comparison of Frontostriatal Tracts Between Adolescents with ADHD and a Typically Developing Adolescent Control Group

Description

The frontostriatal reward circuit serves an underlying role in reward processing, cognitive planning, and motor control in the context of achieving a goal. Furthermore, research suggests a relationship between the

The frontostriatal reward circuit serves an underlying role in reward processing, cognitive planning, and motor control in the context of achieving a goal. Furthermore, research suggests a relationship between the reward circuits and behavior expressed in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); however, the specific structural differences of the reward circuits in those with ADHD remain ambiguous. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques were used to analyze diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) data in order to examine the structural connectivity of frontostriatal reward pathways in ADHD adolescents compared to typically developing (TD) adolescents. It was hypothesized that measures of impulsivity would be predicted by white matter tract integrity measures in frontostriatal tracts related to affective processing (ventromedial prefrontal cortex to ventral striatum, vmPFC) in adolescents with ADHD, and that there would be reduced tract integrity in tracts related to executive control (dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex—dlPFC and ACC, respectively). Frontostriatal tracts as well as the hippocampus and amygdala were examined in relation to age and impulsivity using both correlation and regression models. Results indicated that impulsivity declined with age in the TD group while no significant trend was identified for the ADHD group. The hypotheses were not supported and results for both predictions on the affective and executive circuits showed opposite trends from what was expected.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

Reevaluating the Relationship between Contingency and Congruency via the Flanker Task

Description

The purpose of this project was to extend Whitehead 2016 to determine what neural substrates supported conflict-mediated learning. Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable

The purpose of this project was to extend Whitehead 2016 to determine what neural substrates supported conflict-mediated learning. Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we were unable to address this. To repurpose the collected data, an analysis of which features of the Flanker task subjects were learning was conducted. Specifically, we wanted to know if subjects were learning by using the flanking stimuli to predict the central target or vice versa. Over 14 blocks comprised of 120 trials, we found that subjects made more stroop errors than flanker and target errors, indicating subjects were responding to stimuli in context of the flanker rather than the stroop effect.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12