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Several stimulus factors are important in multisensory integration, including the spatial and temporal relationships of the paired stimuli as well as their effectiveness. Changes in these factors have been shown to dramatically change the nature and magnitude of multisensory interactions. Typically, these factors are considered in isolation, although there is a growing appreciation for the fact that they are likely to be strongly interrelated. Here, we examined interactions between two of these factors - spatial location and effectiveness - in dictating performance in the localization of an audiovisual target. A psychophysical experiment was conducted in which participants reported the perceived location of visual flashes and auditory noise bursts presented alone and in combination. Stimuli were presented at four spatial locations relative to fixation (0°, 30°, 60°, 90°) and at two intensity levels (high, low). Multisensory combinations were always spatially coincident and of the matching intensity (high-high or low-low). In responding to visual stimuli alone, localization accuracy decreased and response times (RTs) increased as stimuli were presented at more eccentric locations. In responding to auditory stimuli, performance was poorest at the 30° and 60° locations. For both visual and auditory stimuli, accuracy was greater and RTs were faster for more intense stimuli. For responses to visual-auditory stimulus combinations, performance enhancements were found at locations in which the unisensory performance was lowest, results concordant with the concept of inverse effectiveness. RTs for these multisensory presentations frequently violated race-model predictions, implying integration of these inputs, and a significant location-by-intensity interaction was observed. Performance gains under multisensory conditions were larger as stimuli were positioned at more peripheral locations, and this increase was most pronounced for the low-intensity conditions. These results provide strong support that the effects of stimulus location and effectiveness on multisensory integration are interdependent, with both contributing to the overall effectiveness of the stimuli in driving the resultant multisensory response.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A longstanding debate in working memory (WM) is whether information is maintained in a central, capacity-limited storage system or whether there are domain-specific stores for different modalities. This question is typically addressed by determining whether concurrent storage of 2 different memory arrays produces interference. Prior studies using this approach have shown at least some cost to maintaining 2 memory arrays that differed in perceptual modalities. However, it is not clear whether these WM costs resulted from competition for a central, capacity-limited store or from other potential sources of dual-task interference, such as task preparation and coordination, overlap in representational content (e.g., object vs. space based), or cognitive strategies (e.g., verbalization, chunking of the stimulus material in a higher order structure). In the present study we assess dual-task costs during the concurrent performance of a visuospatial WM task and an auditory object WM task when such sources of interference are minimized. The results show that performance of these 2 WM tasks are independent from each another, even at high WM load. Only when we introduced a common representational format (spatial information) to both WM tasks did dual-task performance begin to suffer. These results are inconsistent with the notion of a domain-independent storage system, and suggest instead that WM is constrained by multiple domain-specific stores and central executive processes. Evidently, there is nothing intrinsic about the functional architecture of the human mind that prevents it from storing 2 distinct representations in WM, as long as these representations do not overlap in any functional domain.
The present study investigated the effects of a single intravenous (i.v.) dose of Vitamin C (ascorbate, ASC) on spatial memory in APP/PSEN1 mice, an Alzheimer's disease model. First, we confirmed the uptake time course in ASC-depleted gulo (-/-) mice, which cannot synthesize ASC. Differential tissue uptake was seen based on ASC transporter distribution. Liver (SVCT1 and SVCT2) ASC was elevated at 30, 60 and 120 min post-treatment (125 mg/kg, i.v.), whereas spleen (SVCT2) ASC increased at 60 and 120 min. There was no detectable change in cortical (SVCT2 at choroid plexus, and neurons) ASC within the 2-h interval, although the cortex preferentially retained ASC. APP/PSEN1 and wild type (WT) mice at three ages (3, 9, or 20 months) were treated with ASC (125 mg/kg, i.v.) or saline 45 min before testing on the Modified Y-maze, a two-trial task of spatial memory. Memory declined with age and ASC treatment improved performance in 9-month-old APP/PSEN1 and WT mice. APP/PSEN1 mice displayed no behavioral impairment relative to WT controls. Although dopamine and metabolite DOPAC decreased in the nucleus accumbens with age, and improved spatial memory was correlated with increased dopamine in saline treated mice, acute ASC treatment did not alter monoamine levels in the nucleus accumbens. These data show that the Modified Y-maze is sensitive to age-related deficits, but not additional memory deficits due to amyloid pathology in APP/PSEN1 mice. They also suggest improvements in short-term spatial memory were not due to changes in the neuropathological features of AD or monoamine signaling.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
In typical perceptual learning experiments, one stimulus type (e.g., a bisection stimulus offset either to the left or right) is presented per trial. In roving, two different stimulus types (e.g., a 30' and a 20' wide bisection stimulus) are randomly interleaved from trial to trial. Roving can impair both perceptual learning and task sensitivity. Here, we investigate the relationship between the two. Using a bisection task, we found no effect of roving before training. We next trained subjects and they improved. A roving condition applied after training impaired sensitivity.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In many species, spatial navigation is supported by a network of place cells that exhibit increased firing whenever an animal is in a certain region of an environment. Does this neural representation of location form part of the spatiotemporal context into which episodic memories are encoded? We recorded medial temporal lobe neuronal activity as epilepsy patients performed a hybrid spatial and episodic memory task. We identified place-responsive cells active during virtual navigation and then asked whether the same cells activated during the subsequent recall of navigation-related memories without actual navigation. Place-responsive cell activity was reinstated during episodic memory retrieval. Neuronal firing during the retrieval of each memory was similar to the activity that represented the locations in the environment where the memory was initially encoded.
Neurons in cortical ventral-stream area V4 are thought to contribute to important aspects of visual processing by integrating information from primary visual cortex (V1). However, how V4 neurons respond to visual stimulation after V1 injury remains unclear: While electrophysiological investigation of V4 neurons during reversible V1 inactivation suggests that virtually all responses are eliminated (Girard et al., 1991), fMRI in humans and monkeys with permanent lesions shows reliable V1-independent activity (Baseler et al., 1999; Goebel et al., 2001; Schmid et al., 2010). To resolve this apparent discrepancy, we longitudinally assessed neuronal functions of macaque area V4 using chronically implanted electrode arrays before and after creating a permanent aspiration lesion in V1. During the month after lesioning, we observed weak yet significant spiking activity in response to stimuli presented to the lesion-affected part of the visual field. These V1-independent responses showed sensitivity for motion and likely reflect the effect of V1-bypassing geniculate input into extrastriate areas.
INTRODUCTION - Although working memory (WM) impairments are well documented in schizophrenic patients (PSZ), the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of target salience during encoding to determine whether impaired visual attention in PSZ leads to poor WM.
METHODS - Thirty-one PSZ and 28 demographically matched healthy controls (HC) performed a spatial delayed-response task. Attentional demands were manipulated during WM encoding by presenting high salient (novel) or low salient (familiar) targets. Participants also rated their level of response confidence at the end of each trial, allowing us to analyse different response types.
RESULTS - WM was impaired in PSZ. Increasing target salience by increasing novelty improved WM performance in HC but not in PSZ. Poor WM performance in PSZ was largely due to an increase in the proportion of incorrect but high confident responses most likely reflecting a failure to encode the correct target.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings suggest that dysfunctions of non-mnemonic attentional processes during encoding contribute to WM impairments in schizophrenia and may represent an important target for cognitive remediation strategies.
Multisensory integration has been widely studied in neurons of the mammalian superior colliculus (SC). This has led to the description of various determinants of multisensory integration, including those based on stimulus- and neuron-specific factors. The most widely characterized of these illustrate the importance of the spatial and temporal relationships of the paired stimuli as well as their relative effectiveness in eliciting a response in determining the final integrated output. Although these stimulus-specific factors have generally been considered in isolation (i.e., manipulating stimulus location while holding all other factors constant), they have an intrinsic interdependency that has yet to be fully elucidated. For example, changes in stimulus location will likely also impact both the temporal profile of response and the effectiveness of the stimulus. The importance of better describing this interdependency is further reinforced by the fact that SC neurons have large receptive fields, and that responses at different locations within these receptive fields are far from equivalent. To address these issues, the current study was designed to examine the interdependency between the stimulus factors of space and effectiveness in dictating the multisensory responses of SC neurons. The results show that neuronal responsiveness changes dramatically with changes in stimulus location - highlighting a marked heterogeneity in the spatial receptive fields of SC neurons. More importantly, this receptive field heterogeneity played a major role in the integrative product exhibited by stimulus pairings, such that pairings at weakly responsive locations of the receptive fields resulted in the largest multisensory interactions. Together these results provide greater insight into the interrelationship of the factors underlying multisensory integration in SC neurons, and may have important mechanistic implications for multisensory integration and the role it plays in shaping SC-mediated behaviors.
Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In the late 1970s, 563 intellectually talented 13-year-olds (identified by the SAT as in the top 0.5% of ability) were assessed on spatial ability. More than 30 years later, the present study evaluated whether spatial ability provided incremental validity (beyond the SAT's mathematical and verbal reasoning subtests) for differentially predicting which of these individuals had patents and three classes of refereed publications. A two-step discriminant-function analysis revealed that the SAT subtests jointly accounted for 10.8% of the variance among these outcomes (p < .01); when spatial ability was added, an additional 7.6% was accounted for--a statistically significant increase (p < .01). The findings indicate that spatial ability has a unique role in the development of creativity, beyond the roles played by the abilities traditionally measured in educational selection, counseling, and industrial-organizational psychology. Spatial ability plays a key and unique role in structuring many important psychological phenomena and should be examined more broadly across the applied and basic psychological sciences.
INTRODUCTION - The ability to form mental images that reconstruct former perceptual experiences is closely related to working memory (WM) ability. However, whereas WM deficits are established as a core feature of schizophrenia, an independent body of work suggests that mental imagery ability is enhanced in the disorder. Across two experiments we investigated mental imagery in schizophrenia and its relationship with WM.
METHODS - In Experiment 1, individuals with schizophrenia (SZ: n=15) and matched controls (CO: n=14) completed a mental imagery generation and inspection task and a spatial delayed-response WM task. In Experiment 2, SZ (n=16) and CO (n=16) completed a novel version of the mental imagery task modified to increase WM maintenance demand.
RESULTS - In Experiment 1, SZ demonstrated enhanced mental imagery performance, as evidenced by faster response times relative to CO, with preserved accuracy. However, enhanced mental imagery in SZ was accompanied by impaired WM as assessed by the delayed-response task. In Experiment 2, when WM maintenance load was increased, SZ no longer showed superior imagery performance.
CONCLUSIONS - We found evidence for enhanced imagery manipulation in SZ despite their WM maintenance deficit. However, this imagery enhancement was abolished when WM maintenance demands were increased. This profile of enhanced imagery manipulation but impaired maintenance could be used to implement novel remediation strategies in the disorder.