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Journal Article


Golob EJ, Nelson JT, Scheuerman J, Venable KB, Mock JR. Psychophysiology 2021; 58(10): e13903.


(Copyright © 2021, Society for Psychophysiological Research, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






Selection and effort are central to attention, yet it is unclear whether they draw on a common pool of cognitive resources, and if so, whether there are differences for early versus later stages of cognitive processing. This study assessed effort by quantifying the vigilance decrement, and spatial processing at early and later stages as a function of time-on-task. Participants performed an auditory spatial attention task, with occasional "catch" trials requiring no response. Psychophysiological measures included bilateral cerebral blood flow (transcranial Doppler), pupil dilation, and blink rate. The shape of attention gradients using reaction time indexed early processing, and did not significantly vary over time. Later stimulus-response conflict was comparable over time, except for a reduction to left hemispace stimuli. Target and catch trial accuracy decreased with time, with a more abrupt decrease for catch versus target trials. Diffusion decision modeling found progressive decreases in information accumulation rate and non-decision time, and the adoption of more liberal response criteria. Cerebral blood flow increased from baseline and then decreased over time, particularly in the left hemisphere. Blink rate steadily increased over time, while pupil dilation increased only at the beginning and then returned towards baseline. The findings suggest dissociations between resources for selectivity and effort. Measures of high subjective effort and temporal declines in catch trial accuracy and cerebral blood flow velocity suggest a standard vigilance decrement was evident in parallel with preserved selection. Different attentional systems and classes of computations that may account for dissociations between selectivity versus effort are discussed.

Language: en


eye tracking; sustained attention; attention capture; DDM; diffusion decision model; Simon effect; transcranial Doppler; vigilance decrement


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