Visual attention is a general information gathering mechanism that is central to cognitive, emotional, and perceptual development. Visual scenes are cluttered with more information than can be managed at once. The role of visual attention is to organize eye gaze patterns in such scenes, thereby supporting the first step in information gathering, perception, and learning. Although the timing of the development of visual attention is understood, the explanatory variables that underlie its development are not well known. This project aims to characterize the variables that contribute to typical and atypical visual attention. Previous findings related to visual attention and computational vision lead to the hypothesis that integrity of visual processing is fundamental to the development of visual attention. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their at-risk infant siblings show both atypical visual and attentional abilities. We hypothesize that differences in visual attention in ASD are a result of atypical visual processing. This proposal will test this hypothesis in infancy when these skills emerge, and then from childhood through adulthood as these skills continue to refine. We will test our predictions using standard attention and visual function tasks, in concert with behavioral eye-tracking and neuroimaging methods. This work has the potential to provide a foundation for understanding what may be a pivotal and foundational disruption in behavioral and neural circuitry development underlying ASD.

Public Health Relevance

Our discoveries have the potential to reveal very early predictors of VA disruption. Our tasks could function as biomarkers for ASD risk beginning as early as three months after birth. If our hypothesis were verified, we would devise an evidence-based intervention strategy aimed at normalizing visual function in very young infants at-risk for ASD. This type of intervention would possibly prevent the atypical development of visual attention and normalize gaze patterns and information gathering in this population,

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Exploratory Grants (P20)
Project #
5P20GM103645-02
Application #
8721447
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-TWD-B)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2014-08-01
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$301,210
Indirect Cost
$110,411
Name
Brown University
Department
Type
DUNS #
001785542
City
Providence
State
RI
Country
United States
Zip Code
02912
Luo, X; Gee, S; Sohal, V et al. (2016) A point-process response model for spike trains from single neurons in neural circuits under optogenetic stimulation. Stat Med 35:455-74
Im, Hee Yeon; Bédard, Patrick; Song, Joo-Hyun (2016) Long lasting attentional-context dependent visuomotor memory. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 42:1269-74
Moher, Jeff; Song, Joo-Hyun (2016) Target selection biases from recent experience transfer across effectors. Atten Percept Psychophys 78:415-26
McCarthy, J Daniel; Song, Joo-Hyun (2016) Global attention facilitates the planning, but not execution of goal-directed reaches. J Vis 16:7
Erb, Christopher D; Moher, Jeff; Sobel, David M et al. (2016) Reach tracking reveals dissociable processes underlying cognitive control. Cognition 152:114-26
Markant, Julie; Ackerman, Laura K; Nussenbaum, Kate et al. (2016) Selective attention neutralizes the adverse effects of low socioeconomic status on memory in 9-month-old infants. Dev Cogn Neurosci 18:26-33
Markant, Julie; Amso, Dima (2016) The Development of Selective Attention Orienting is an Agent of Change in Learning and Memory Efficacy. Infancy 21:154-176
Nussenbaum, Kate; Amso, Dima (2016) An Attentional Goldilocks Effect: An Optimal Amount of Social Interactivity Promotes Word Learning from Video. J Cogn Dev 17:30-40
Markant, Julie; Oakes, Lisa M; Amso, Dima (2016) Visual selective attention biases contribute to the other-race effect among 9-month-old infants. Dev Psychobiol 58:355-65
Salminen, Lauren E; Schofield, Peter R; Pierce, Kerrie D et al. (2016) Neuromarkers of the common angiotensinogen polymorphism in healthy older adults: A comprehensive assessment of white matter integrity and cognition. Behav Brain Res 296:85-93

Showing the most recent 10 out of 39 publications