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Jihyang Jun, Roger Remington, Wilma Koutstaal, Yuhong Jiang; Characteristics of sustaining attention in a gradual-onset continuous performance task. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):726. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.726.
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Continuous performance tasks are frequently associated with vigilance decrement, particularly when target events are rare and when the observer has been on the task for 30 minutes or longer. Here we characterized the time course of performance decrement that happens more rapidly. Using the gradual-onset continuous performance task (the gradCPT; Esterman, Noonan, Rosenberg, & DeGutis, 2013), we presented participants with a long sequence of scenes that gradually faded in and out. Participants pressed a button as soon as they detected scenes in one category (e.g., cities) and ignored scenes in another category (e.g., mountains). We manipulated the novelty of stimuli, repetitiveness of motor response, and the prevalence rate of the target stimuli. Replicating recent findings using the gradCPT, we found that the performance sensitivity(d') declined moderately within and across multiple 8-minute-long blocks. This decline was not restricted to situations where target events were rare and stimuli were repetitive. Repetitive motor responses had a large detrimental effect on the overall d', but did not significantly modulate performance decrement. The rapidity of performance decrement and its insensitivity to target prevalence distinguish this type of performance decrement from the more traditional, slower-to-emerge vigilance decrement.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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