Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
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    The time course of distractor-based response activation with predictable and unpredictable target onset
    (Springer, 2019)
    Jost, Kerstin
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    Wendt, Mike
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    Electrophysiological recording in a temporal flanker task (i.e., distractors preceding the targets) has demonstrated that distractor processing is adjusted to the overall utility of the distractors. Under high utility, that is, distractors are predictive of the target/response, distractors immediately activate the corresponding response (as indicated by the lateralized readiness potential, LRP). This activation has been shown to be markedly postponed when the target predictably occurs delayed. To investigate the occurrence and time course of distractor-related response activation under conditions of unpredictable target onset, we randomly varied the stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) between distractors and targets and recorded the distractor-evoked LRP. When the distractor utility was high, an LRP occurred shortly after distractor presentation. In case of a long SOA the time course of this LRP was characterized by a drop back to baseline and a subsequent re-activation that reached a substantial level before target onset. These results suggest that distractor processing is characterized by sophisticated adjustments to experienced utility and temporal constraints of the task as well as by further control processes that regulate premature response activation. © 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
  • Publication
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    Multifeature Mismatch Negativity in Patients With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    (SAGE, 2019) ;
    Frey, Johannes Daniel
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    Gorzka, Robert Jacek
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    Engers, Anika
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    Wendt, Mike
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    Höllmer, Helge
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    Objective. The mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the event-related brain potential has been used to examine auditory monitoring in various mental disorders. Previous research with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients has revealed contradictory results. Enhanced as well as diminished MMNs have been obtained. Method. The multifeature protocol was employed to investigate the pattern of MMN in 17 military deployment–related PTSD patients and a group of healthy university student controls. Results. Our results suggest no general effect of PTSD on the MMN involving the majority of acoustic features. There were slightly reduced MMNs in patients relative to controls for 2 of the features (duration, location). On the other hand, the N1 component was reduced in patients compared with controls. Conclusions. Choice of the stimulus protocol might be an important factor to explain inconsistent results in previous research. Differences in the auditory context between stimulus protocols and deficits in the formation of larger (auditory) contexts in PTSD might account for the results. Significance. This study adds to the small number of studies on PTSD and MMN and revealed valuable information to guide future, related studies. © EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) 2018.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    The posterior sustained negativity Revisited-An SPN reanalysis of Jacobsen and Höfel (2003)
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), 2018) ;
    Klein, Stina
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    Symmetry is an important cue for the aesthetic judgment of beauty. Using a binary forced-choice format in a cued mixed design, Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) compared aesthetic judgments of beauty and symmetry judgments of novel graphic patterns. A late posterior sustained negativity elicited by symmetric patterns was observed in the symmetry judgment condition, but not in the beauty judgement condition. Therefore, this negativity appeared to be mainly driven by the task.In a series of studies, Bertamini, Makin, and colleagues observed a comparable sustained posterior negativity (SPN) to symmetric stimuli, mainly taken to reflect obligatory symmetry processing independent of task requirements. We reanalyzed the data by Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) using similar parameters for data analysis as Bertamini, Makin, and colleagues to examine these apparent differences. The reanalysis confirmed both a task-driven effect on the posterior sustained negativity/SPN to symmetric patterns in the symmetry judgment condition and a strong symmetry-driven SPN to symmetric patterns. Differences between the references used for analyses of the electroencephalogram (EEG) had an effect. Based on the reanalysis, the Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) data also fit well with Bertamini's, Makin's, and colleagues' account of obligatory symmetry processing. © 2018 by the authors.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Cognitive functioning and emotion processing in breast cancer survivors and controls
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017)
    Wirkner, Janine
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    Weymar, Mathias
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    Hamm, Carmen
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    Struck, Anne-Marie
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    Kirschbaum, Clemens
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    Hamm, Alfons O.
    Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is a very emotionally aversive and stressful life event, which can lead to impaired cognitive functioning and mental health. Breast cancer survivors responding with repressive emotion regulation strategies often show less adaptive coping and adverse outcomes. We investigated cognitive functioning and neural correlates of emotion processing using ERPs. Self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as hair cortisol as an index of chronic stress, were assessed. Twenty breast cancer survivors (BCS) and 31 carefully matched healthy controls participated in the study. After neuropsychological testing and subjective assessments, participants viewed 30 neutral, 30 unpleasant, and 30 pleasant pictures, and ERPs were recorded. Recognition memory was tested 1 week later. BCS reported stronger complaints about cognitive impairments and more symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Moreover, they showed elevated hair cortisol levels. Except for verbal memory, cognitive functioning was predominantly in the normative range. Recognition memory performance was decreased in cancer survivors, especially for emotional contents. In ERPs, survivors showed smaller late positive potential amplitudes for unpleasant pictures relative to controls in a later time window, which may indicate less elaborative processing of this material. Taken together, we found cognitive impairments in BCS in verbal memory, impaired emotional picture memory accuracy, and reduced neural activity when breast cancer survivors were confronted with unpleasant materials. Further studies and larger sample sizes, however, are needed to evaluate the relationship between altered emotion processing and reduced memory in BCS in order to develop new treatment strategies.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Strategic control over extent and timing of distractor-based response activation
    (2017)
    Jost, Kerstin
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    Wendt, Mike
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    ; ;
    In choice reaction time (RT) tasks, performance is often influenced by the presence of nominally irrelevant stimuli, referred to as distractors. Recent research provided evidence that distractor processing can be adjusted to the utility of the distractors: Distractors predictive of the upcoming target/response were more attended to and also elicited stronger motor responses. In an event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated whether not only the extent of distractor processing (as suggested by these previous results), but also the timing of distractor-based response activation is subject to strategic control. In a temporal flanker task, in which a distractor stimulus preceded the target, we manipulated distractor utility (i.e., by varying the proportion of congruent distractor-target combinations, 75% vs. 25%) as well as the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between distractors and targets (350 ms vs. 1,000 ms) in different blocks of trials. The distractor-locked lateralized readiness potential (LRP) was overall larger in blocks with a high proportion of congruent trials indicating stronger distractor-based response activation when distractor utility was high. Of importance, the LRPs occurred overall later when the SOA was long. This suggests that distractor-based response activation can be postponed and thus adjusted to the temporal factors of the context. Modulations of early visual potentials (P1 and N1) indicate that this postponement of motor activation is related to both sensory-perceptual downgrading of distractor stimuli and reduced activation of task-relevant stimulus-response transformation processes at the time of distractor perception.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Changes in room acoustics elicit a mismatch negativity in the absence of overall interaural intensity differences
    (2017)
    Frey, Johannes D.
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    Wendt, Mike
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    Möller, Stephan
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    Changes in room acoustics provide important clues about the environment of sound source-perceiver systems, for example, by indicating changes in the reflecting characteristics of surrounding objects. To study the detection of auditory irregularities brought about by a change in room acoustics, a passive oddball protocol with participants watching a movie was applied in this study. Acoustic stimuli were presented via headphones. Standards and deviants were created by modelling rooms of different sizes, keeping the values of the basic acoustic dimensions (e.g., frequency, duration, sound pressure, and sound source location) as constant as possible. In the first experiment, each standard and deviant stimulus consisted of sequences of three short sounds derived from sinusoidal tones, resulting in three onsets during each stimulus. Deviant stimuli elicited a Mismatch Negativity (MMN) as well as two additional negative deflections corresponding to the three onset peaks. In the second experiment, only one sound was used; the stimuli were otherwise identical to the ones used in the first experiment. Again, an MMN was observed, followed by an additional negative deflection. These results provide further support for the hypothesis of automatic detection of unattended changes in room acoustics, extending previous work by demonstrating the elicitation of an MMN by changes in room acoustics.