Uncovering the neural signature of lapsing attention: Electrophysiological predictors of human error are apparent up to 20 s in advance

O'Connell, RG, Dockree, PM, Robertson, IH, Bellgrove, MA, Foxe, JJ and Kelly, SP (2010). Uncovering the neural signature of lapsing attention: Electrophysiological predictors of human error are apparent up to 20 s in advance. In: 3rd Annual Neuroscience Ireland Conference, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, (S128-S128). 10-11 September 2009.

Author O'Connell, RG
Dockree, PM
Robertson, IH
Bellgrove, MA
Foxe, JJ
Kelly, SP
Title of paper Uncovering the neural signature of lapsing attention: Electrophysiological predictors of human error are apparent up to 20 s in advance
Conference name 3rd Annual Neuroscience Ireland Conference
Conference location Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Conference dates 10-11 September 2009
Journal name Irish Journal of Medical Science   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Surrey, United Kingdom
Publisher Springer U K
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Poster
ISSN 0021-1265
1863-4362
Volume 179
Issue Supplement s3
Start page S128
End page S128
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The extent to which human error can be predicted by monitoring changes in brain activity is uncertain yet has important theoretical and practical implications. The present study examined changes in a range of electrophysiological signals preceding a lapse on a specially designed test of sustained attention. Twenty-one participants performed a continuous temporal expectancy task which involved monitoring a stream of regularly alternating patterned stimuli in order to detect a rarely occurring target stimulus whose duration was 40% longer. The task was designed to place continuous demands on attentional resources and hence to elicit frequent errors. Variations in a variety of attention-sensitive EEG and event-related potential measures were analysed in an epoch extending up to 30 s prior to target stimulus onset. Our results indicated that errors were consistently preceded by an endogenous increase in alpha band activity (8– 14 Hz) beginning approximately 20 s before the error actually occurred. Errors were also preceded by shorter-term decreases in the amplitude of two stimulus-related components: the frontal P3 which traces the timing of task stimuli and the contingent-negative variation which is sensitive to target anticipation and motor preparation. In contrast, visual evoked potentials did not distinguish between hits and misses in the pre-target interval suggesting that the efficacy of ongoing basic visual processing was unaffected by lapsing attention. Our results show that the specific neural signatures of attentional lapses are registered in the EEG up to 20 s prior to an error an identify new avenues for the development of novel feedback protocols.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 03 Oct 2010, 10:04:50 EST