Steinkamp, Simon Richard ORCID: 0000-0002-6437-0700 (2020). Visual Attention along the Visual Field’s Meridians - Computational Modeling of Neural and Behavioral Dynamics. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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The ability to orient attention towards things we consider important, but also to reorient it towards new, salient, and unexpected stimuli, is key to navigate life. To investigate these two aspects of attention, Posner’s spatial cuing task has been used for decades and has been influential as hemispatial neglect provides a good lesion model about the underlying brain regions (Posner et al., 1984). As hemispatial neglect most often extends along the visual field’s horizontal meridian, less is known about attentional (re)orienting along the vertical meridian. To fully understand neglect, however, it is important to study attentional (re)orienting along the whole visual field. In my first project, I investigated differences in vertical and horizontal (re)orienting on a behavioral and neural level, using statistical, machine learning, and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) analyses. Results suggest, that attentional (re)orienting along the two meridians is very similar in terms of reaction times and fMRI data. This indicates that attentional resources are distributed evenly across the visual field. Statistical analysis, however, can only provide indirect associations between neural and behavioral processes; for a direct link, the simultaneous modeling of brain and behavior is required. Rigoux and Daunizeau (2015) have shown that this can be done with behavioral DCM for binary measures. Continuous data, however, often contains more information, especially in Posner’s task. Hence, I extended and validated bDCM for continuous measures, making it available for more tasks. Furthermore, bDCM parameters could be used to classify vertical and horizontal runs, which was not possible with other data, showing that bDCM is sensitive to small variations in task design.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Steinkamp, Simon
Corporate Creators: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmBH
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-523272
Date: 2020
Language: English
Faculty: Central Institutions / Interdisciplinary Research Centers
Divisions: Außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtungen > Forschungszentrum Jülich
Subjects: Psychology
Natural sciences and mathematics
Medical sciences Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Dynamic Causal Modeling; functional magnetic resonance imaging; cognitive neuroscience; psychology; attention; spatial attention; attentional orienting; horizontal vertical meridianEnglish
Date of oral exam: 15 April 2021
NameAcademic Title
Weidner, RalphPD Dr.
Vossel, SimoneJun.-Prof. Dr.
Peters, JanProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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