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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3886

Title: Investigation of a cognitive training protocol to strengthen cognitive inhibition and executive attention
Authors: Erickson, Brian Albert
Keywords: Biomedical engineering;Mental efficiency;Vigilance (Psychology)
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Abstract: To efficiently complete a task, one must be able to focus on it. Strength of control over endogenously directed attention is a fundamental component of generalized task efficiency, raising the possibility that improved control could deliver a cognitive enhancement of fluid intelligence. Distraction and mind-wandering are characterizations of this loss of control, and are reported to be modifiable through meditation practices by both modern research and a long anecdotal tradition. Here, we extend characterization of mental focus through a signal-to-noise paradigm, and develop a focusing task to provide a standardized framework for examining meditation-inspired practice in greater detail. This task builds on prior research which detected surreptitious rehearsal during working memory training. A signal-detection / vigilance task is performed in which short syllable-discrimination trials near the auditory threshold are presented at long random intervals. We hypothesize that the length of the inter-trial periods will be inversely related to trial accuracy, reflecting increased demand on endogenous attentional control. Subjects will complete five training sessions on the application and will be tested for improvement on three standard cognitive assessments administered pre and post training. Training sessions will be completed at the subject’s home through a web application.
Description: Thesis (M.S., Biomedical engineering)--Drexel University, 2012.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3886
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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