The observant mind: self-awareness of attentional status

Noriko Yamagishi, Stephen J. Anderson, Mitsuo Kawato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Visual perception is dependent not only on low-level sensory input but also on high-level cognitive factors such as attention. In this paper, we sought to determine whether attentional processes can be internally monitored for the purpose of enhancing behavioural performance. To do so, we developed a novel paradigm involving an orientation discrimination task in which observers had the freedom to delay target presentation--by any amount required--until they judged their attentional focus to be complete. Our results show that discrimination performance is significantly improved when individuals self-monitor their level of visual attention and respond only when they perceive it to be maximal. Although target delay times varied widely from trial-to-trial (range 860 ms-12.84 s), we show that their distribution is Gaussian when plotted on a reciprocal latency scale. We further show that the neural basis of the delay times for judging attentional status is well explained by a linear rise-to-threshold model. We conclude that attentional mechanisms can be self-monitored for the purpose of enhancing human decision-making processes, and that the neural basis of such processes can be understood in terms of a simple, yet broadly applicable, linear rise-to-threshold model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3421-3426
Number of pages6
JournalProceeding of the Royal Society: Series B
Volume277
Issue number1699
Early online date9 Jun 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2010

Fingerprint

Time delay
Visual Perception
Normal Distribution
Gaussian distribution
decision making
Decision Making
Decision making
Discrimination (Psychology)
trial
distribution
freedom
visual perception

Keywords

  • adult
  • attention
  • awareness
  • humans
  • visual pattern recognition

Cite this

Yamagishi, Noriko ; Anderson, Stephen J. ; Kawato, Mitsuo. / The observant mind : self-awareness of attentional status. In: Proceeding of the Royal Society: Series B. 2010 ; Vol. 277, No. 1699. pp. 3421-3426.
@article{bb2b851281fc426c9c02a5599fc90b6a,
title = "The observant mind: self-awareness of attentional status",
abstract = "Visual perception is dependent not only on low-level sensory input but also on high-level cognitive factors such as attention. In this paper, we sought to determine whether attentional processes can be internally monitored for the purpose of enhancing behavioural performance. To do so, we developed a novel paradigm involving an orientation discrimination task in which observers had the freedom to delay target presentation--by any amount required--until they judged their attentional focus to be complete. Our results show that discrimination performance is significantly improved when individuals self-monitor their level of visual attention and respond only when they perceive it to be maximal. Although target delay times varied widely from trial-to-trial (range 860 ms-12.84 s), we show that their distribution is Gaussian when plotted on a reciprocal latency scale. We further show that the neural basis of the delay times for judging attentional status is well explained by a linear rise-to-threshold model. We conclude that attentional mechanisms can be self-monitored for the purpose of enhancing human decision-making processes, and that the neural basis of such processes can be understood in terms of a simple, yet broadly applicable, linear rise-to-threshold model.",
keywords = "adult, attention, awareness, humans, visual pattern recognition",
author = "Noriko Yamagishi and Anderson, {Stephen J.} and Mitsuo Kawato",
year = "2010",
month = "11",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2010.0891",
language = "English",
volume = "277",
pages = "3421--3426",
journal = "Proceeding of the Royal Society: Series B",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "The Royal Society",
number = "1699",

}

The observant mind : self-awareness of attentional status. / Yamagishi, Noriko; Anderson, Stephen J.; Kawato, Mitsuo.

In: Proceeding of the Royal Society: Series B, Vol. 277, No. 1699, 22.11.2010, p. 3421-3426.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The observant mind

T2 - self-awareness of attentional status

AU - Yamagishi, Noriko

AU - Anderson, Stephen J.

AU - Kawato, Mitsuo

PY - 2010/11/22

Y1 - 2010/11/22

N2 - Visual perception is dependent not only on low-level sensory input but also on high-level cognitive factors such as attention. In this paper, we sought to determine whether attentional processes can be internally monitored for the purpose of enhancing behavioural performance. To do so, we developed a novel paradigm involving an orientation discrimination task in which observers had the freedom to delay target presentation--by any amount required--until they judged their attentional focus to be complete. Our results show that discrimination performance is significantly improved when individuals self-monitor their level of visual attention and respond only when they perceive it to be maximal. Although target delay times varied widely from trial-to-trial (range 860 ms-12.84 s), we show that their distribution is Gaussian when plotted on a reciprocal latency scale. We further show that the neural basis of the delay times for judging attentional status is well explained by a linear rise-to-threshold model. We conclude that attentional mechanisms can be self-monitored for the purpose of enhancing human decision-making processes, and that the neural basis of such processes can be understood in terms of a simple, yet broadly applicable, linear rise-to-threshold model.

AB - Visual perception is dependent not only on low-level sensory input but also on high-level cognitive factors such as attention. In this paper, we sought to determine whether attentional processes can be internally monitored for the purpose of enhancing behavioural performance. To do so, we developed a novel paradigm involving an orientation discrimination task in which observers had the freedom to delay target presentation--by any amount required--until they judged their attentional focus to be complete. Our results show that discrimination performance is significantly improved when individuals self-monitor their level of visual attention and respond only when they perceive it to be maximal. Although target delay times varied widely from trial-to-trial (range 860 ms-12.84 s), we show that their distribution is Gaussian when plotted on a reciprocal latency scale. We further show that the neural basis of the delay times for judging attentional status is well explained by a linear rise-to-threshold model. We conclude that attentional mechanisms can be self-monitored for the purpose of enhancing human decision-making processes, and that the neural basis of such processes can be understood in terms of a simple, yet broadly applicable, linear rise-to-threshold model.

KW - adult

KW - attention

KW - awareness

KW - humans

KW - visual pattern recognition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78149245184&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2010.0891

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2010.0891

M3 - Article

C2 - 20534611

VL - 277

SP - 3421

EP - 3426

JO - Proceeding of the Royal Society: Series B

JF - Proceeding of the Royal Society: Series B

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1699

ER -