Browsing by Subject "VISUAL-PERCEPTION"

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  • Kujala, Miiamaaria; Kujala, Jan; Carlson, Synnove; Hari, Riitta (2012)
  • Cowley, Benjamin Ultan (2018)
    Sustained attention plays an important role in everyday life, for work, learning, or when affected by attention disorders. Studies of the neural correlates of attention commonly treat sustained attention as an isolated construct, measured with computerized continuous performance tests. However, in any ecological context, sustained attention interacts with other executive functions and depends on lower level perceptual processing. Such interactions occur, for example, in inhibition of interference, and processing of complex hierarchical stimuli; both of which are important for successful ecological attention. Motivated by the need for more studies on neural correlates of higher cognition, I present an experiment to investigate these interactions of attention in 17 healthy participants measured with high-resolution electroencephalography. Participants perform a novel 2-alternative forced-choice computerised performance test, the Primed Subjective Illusory Contour Attention Task (PSICAT), which presents gestalt-stimuli targets with distractor primes to induce interference inhibition during complex-percept processing. Using behavioural and brain-imaging analyses, I demonstrate the novel result that task-irrelevant incongruency can evoke stronger behavioural and neural responses than the task-relevant stimulus condition; a potentially important finding in attention disorder research. PSICAT is available as an open-source code repository at the following url, allowing researchers to reuse and adapt it to their requirements.
  • Yoo, Aspen H.; Acerbi, Luigi; Ma, Wei Ji (2021)
    What are the contents of working memory? In both behavioral and neural computational models, a working memory representation is typically described by a single number, namely, a point estimate of a stimulus. Here, we asked if people also maintain the uncertainty associated with a memory and if people use this uncertainty in subsequent decisions. We collected data in a two-condition orientation change detection task; while both conditions measured whether people used memory uncertainty, only one required maintaining it. For each condition, we compared an optimal Bayesian observer model, in which the observer uses an accurate representation of uncertainty in their decision, to one in which the observer does not. We find that this "Use Uncertainty" model fits better for all participants in both conditions. In the first condition, this result suggests that people use uncertainty optimally in a working memory task when that uncertainty information is available at the time of decision, confirming earlier results. Critically, the results of the second condition suggest that this uncertainty information was maintained in working memory. We test model variants and find that our conclusions do not depend on our assumptions about the observer's encoding process, inference process, or decision rule. Our results provide evidence that people have uncertainty that reflects their memory precision on an item-specific level, maintain this information over a working memory delay, and use it implicitly in a way consistent with an optimal observer. These results challenge existing computational models of working memory to update their frameworks to represent uncertainty.