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Mind wandering (i.e. engaging in cognitions unrelated to the current demands of the external environment) reflects the cyclic activity of two core processes: the capacity to disengage attention from perception (known as perceptual decoupling) and the ability to take explicit note of the current contents of consciousness (known as meta-awareness). Research(More)
Behavioral evidence suggests that the processing of parafoveal stimuli decreases as the perceptual demands of a task at fixation increase. However, it remains unclear whether or not this effect of perceptual load occurs during initial sensory-level processing at early stages of visuocortical analysis. Using event-related potential measures, we found that(More)
Behavioral data have suggested that perceptual load can modulate spatial selection by influencing the allocation of attentional resources at perceptual-level processing stages (Lavie & Tsal, 1994). To directly test this hypothesis, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded for both low- and high-perceptual-load targets in a probabilistic spatial cuing(More)
The N170 waveform is larger over posterior temporal cortex when healthy subjects view faces than when they view other objects. Source analyses have produced mixed results regarding whether this effect originates in the fusiform face area (FFA), lateral occipital cortex, or superior temporal sulcus (STS), components of the core face network. In a(More)
Visually guided grasping movements require a rapid transformation of visual representations into object-specific motor programs. Here we report that graspable objects may facilitate these visuomotor transformations by automatically grabbing visual spatial attention. Human subjects viewed two task-irrelevant objects--one was a 'tool', the other a(More)
BACKGROUND Cognitive decline among seniors is a pressing health care issue. Specific exercise training may combat cognitive decline. We compared the effect of once-weekly and twice-weekly resistance training with that of twice-weekly balance and tone exercise training on the performance of executive cognitive functions in senior women. METHODS In this(More)
This study examines whether orienting attention to biologically based social cues engages neural mechanisms distinct from those engaged by orienting to nonbiologically based nonsocial cues. Participants viewed a perceptually ambiguous stimulus presented centrally while performing a target detection task. By having participants alternate between viewing this(More)
Mind wandering episodes have been construed as periods of "stimulus-independent" thought, where our minds are decoupled from the external sensory environment. In two experiments, we used behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to determine whether mind wandering episodes can also be considered as periods of "response-independent" thought, with(More)
To what extent does our visual-spatial attention change with age? In this regard, it has been previously reported that relative to young controls, seniors show delays in attention-related sensory facilitation. Given this finding, our study was designed to examine two key questions regarding age-related changes in the effect of spatial attention on(More)
Converging evidence from neuroscience suggests that our attention to the outside world waxes and wanes over time. We examined whether these periods of "mind wandering" are associated with reduced cortical analysis of the external environment. Participants performed a sustained attention to response task in which they responded to frequent "nontargets"(More)