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The Role of Technology in Clinical Neuropsychology$
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Robert L. Kane and Thomas D. Parsons

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190234737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190234737.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Integrating Technologies in the Study of Attentional Networks

Integrating Technologies in the Study of Attentional Networks

(p.445) 15 Integrating Technologies in the Study of Attentional Networks
The Role of Technology in Clinical Neuropsychology

Michael I. Posner

Oxford University Press

The literature supports the idea that attention is not a unified concept, but involves separate mechanisms that support its varied functions (Petersen & Posner, 2012). One common taxonomy involves three such functions: obtaining and maintaining the alert state, orienting to sensory stimuli, and resolving conflict among competing responses. Each of the functions has a long history and has spawned tests designed to measure individual differences in attention. Many individual tests and batteries of tests are designed to measure attention. Tests of vigilance usually involve maintaining attention over long periods of time, originally simulating the job of scanning radar returns for low-probability targets (Mackworth, 1969; Parasuraman, 1985). Another approach is to require responses to infrequent events, as in the continuous performance test (Rosvold et al., 1956) or the serial response test (Manly et al., 1999). Vigilance varies with the diurnal rhythm and vigilance can be reduced by sleep deprivation. Collectively, the tests of performance during continuous tasks are often called measures of tonic alertness, which is thought to change rather slowly. It is also possible to cause phasic shifts of the level of alertness by the use of warning signals (Nickerson, 1967). A warning signal can bring a person from a relatively relaxed state to one fostering the very best performance within less than half a second. Recent fMRI studies have defined a default state in which a person is off task (Raichle, 2009). It seems likely that scalp electrodes recording direct current shifts following warning signals called the contingent negative variation (CNV) capture the shift from the default to the alert state. The most frequently studied area in attention research involves orienting to a sensory source that contains a target. For example, in a visual search, a target may be defined as a red triangle. If it appears in a field that contains other colored triangles and red forms other than triangles, one can ensure that the field is carefully searched until the target is found.

Keywords:   Attention Network Test (ANT), Stroop effect, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), attentional networks, brain networks, cellular activity, contingent negative variation (CNV), electroencephalography (EEG), flanker task, fractional anisotropy (FA), magnetoencephalography (MEG), stroke patients, superior colliculus, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

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