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Browsing by Subject "P3a"

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  • Syrjäläinen, Olli-Pekka (2015)
    The effects of musical training are a subject of growing interest in the field of cognitive brain research. Earlier it has been found that in addition to honing the skills directly related to musical performance, musical training also can elicit transfer effects in neuronal circuits affecting other areas of cognitive performance. One such function is attention, which is a cognitive process known to mature during childhood. This thesis seeks to investigate whether early-onset musical training is linked to correlates in involuntary attention shift on a neuronal level in school-aged children. The EEG data was gathered from 69 subjects, 54 percent of whom had received musical training. The subjects were between 11 and 17 years of age, and they were divided into two age-groups (between 11 and 13 years and between 15 and 17 years of age), in addition to the division of musically trained and non-trained control group. We assessed the subjects' involuntary shift of attention with the amplitude of early and late P3a component, evoked by unattended novel stimuli during a visual task the subjects were instructed to attend to. The results show that the amplitude of early P3a decreased for recurring novel stimuli. The effect was found for the musically trained group, but it was absent in the control group. For the younger subjects, the amplitude for late P3a was larger for the control group in comparison to the musically trained group. No such effect was found with the older subjects. Late P3a amplitude was larger for the young subjects of the control group in comparison to the older subjects, an effect that was absent in musically trained subjects. Both the age-related difference in P3a amplitude for the control group, and the training-related difference for the younger subjects suggest maturation of attentional processes. The amplitude of the P3a has earlier been connected to higher use of resources. In light of this evidence, the results suggest that younger musically trained subjects must allocate fewer resources identifying and processing task-irrelevant novel stimuli compared to the control group. However, any age-related maturation in attentional processes present with the control group in this study is absent in the musically trained group. This leads to an assumption that musically trained subjects simply reach the peak of their attentional skillset earlier than the control group, but display no observed attention-related advantages during the late adolescence.
  • Oja, Lea (2005)
    Abnormal involuntary attention may lead to enhanced distractibility and has been proposed to be an underlying factor for cognitive problems in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the present experiment, involuntary attention switching of 6–11-year-old ADHD and healthy children performing an auditory discrimination task was compared. Deterioration of task performance and event-related brain potentials (ERP) to distracting sounds associated with attention switching, were considered as measures of distractibility. During the experiment the children performed an auditory discrimination task in which they were instructed to differentiate two animal sounds from each other. In the task-related sounds presented from loudspeakers in front of the child there were occasional task-irrelevant changes in the sound location. In addition, novel sounds completely unrelated to the task were presented from behind. The hypothesis of the present study was that the ADHD children would get more distracted than the control children as a consequence of the deviance in the direction of the task-related sound and after an occurrence of a task-irrelevant novel sound. The performance of the ADHD group was highly variable. The task-irrelevant novel sounds prolonged the reaction times, decreased the accuracy, and increased the number of omitted responses in the ADHD group more than in the control group. In addition, abnormalities in the ERPs suggest that the ADHD group was more distracted than the control group by the deviances in the task-related sounds and by the novel sounds and that the ADHD group processes the sounds partly in different brain regions than the control group. To understand these regional and functional abnormalities in more detail, additional research is required.