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Extensive research has examined how current goals influence spatial attention. Yet the allocation of spatial attention is also guided by previous experience, which may induce consistent spatial preferences when a visual search target is frequently found in one region of space. Here, we examined the role of the dopaminergic system in acquiring and maintaining location probability learning. We tested Parkinson's patients and age-matched controls in a difficult visual search task in two sessions. In Session 1, unbeknownst to the participants, the target appeared most often in one quadrant in an early, training phase of the experiment. The target was randomly located in a later, testing phase. Both Parkinson's patients and controls acquired an attentional preference toward the high-probability quadrant during training that persisted in the testing phase. Learning yielded a large reduction in response time (345 ms) in Parkinson's patients, and this effect was highly significant. In Session 2, administered several days later, the target's high-probability quadrant changed. Both groups acquired a new preference for Session 2's high-probability quadrant, demonstrating reversal learning. These findings contrast with previously observed deficits in PD in acquiring probabilistic learning and contextual cueing. This result suggests that not all habit-like behaviors depend on the basal ganglia and the dopaminergic system. Instead, preservation of location probability learning may compensate for other types of attentional deficits in PD.
This article was published in the following journal.
Despite dopaminergic depletion that is severe enough to cause the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), many patients remain cognitively unimpaired. Little is known about brain mechanisms underl...
Early and moderate Parkinson's disease patients seem to have attention dysfunctions manifested differentially in separate attention streams: top-down and bottom-up. With a focus on the neurophysiologi...
Timing disturbances have being proposed as a key component of schizophrenia pathogenesis. However, the contribution of cognitive impairment to such disorders has not been clarified. Here, we investiga...
Children's spatial language reliably predicts their spatial skills, but the nature of this relation is a source of debate. This investigation examined whether the mechanisms accounting for such relati...
Expectations of an event can facilitate its neural processing. One of the ways we build expectations is through associative learning. Interestingly, the learning of contingencies between events can al...
The purpose of this study is 1.) to determine if sensory attention focused exercise is an effective management strategy for Parkinson's disease, and 2.) to identify if the benefits are a r...
The purpose of this dual phase cross-sectional, controlled and prospective, open label, exploratory study is to determine the general characteristics of visuospatial exploration and its ne...
The purpose of this study is to provide information about how the brain processes sensory inputs using visual stimuli throughout various psychophysical experiments.
The goal of this study is to understand what brain mechanisms become disrupted when stroke survivors experience delirium. Delirium is an acute reduction in attention and cognition, associa...
The purpose of this study is to determine how using auditory cues of a metronome and music at various frequencies impacts the gait mechanics in people with Parkinson's disease when walking...
Methods used to take into account and incorporate spatial autocorrelation and regional variation into regression analysis models of data that has spatial dependency, and also to provide information on the spatial relationships among the variables.
Learned expectation that one's responses are independent of reward and, hence, do not predict or control the occurrence of rewards. Learned helplessness derives from a history, experimentally induced or naturally occurring, of having received punishment/aversive stimulation regardless of responses made. Such circumstances result in an impaired ability to learn. Used for human or animal populations. (APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 1994)
Integration of spatial information perceived by visual and/or auditory CUES.
A process through which individuals encode information about their environmental CUES to facilitate SPATIAL NAVIGATION.
An acquired organic mental disorder with loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning. The dysfunction is multifaceted and involves memory, behavior, personality, judgment, attention, spatial relations, language, abstract thought, and other executive functions. The intellectual decline is usually progressive, and initially spares the level of consciousness.
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition, affecting one person in every 500, 95% of which are over 40. It is caused by degeneration of more than 70% of the substantia nigra, which depletes the dopamine (the neurotransmitter involved in pro...