Cognitive modelling of attentional networks: efficiencies, interactions, impairments and development

Hussain, Fehmida (2010) Cognitive modelling of attentional networks: efficiencies, interactions, impairments and development. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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According to the attention network theory, attention is viewed as an organ system
comprising specialised networks that carry out functions of alerting, orienting and
executive control. The Attention Network Test (ANT) is a simple and popular
experiment that measures the efficiencies and interactions of these three subcomponents
of attention in a single task, and has been used for adults, children and
attention deficit patients. In this thesis, cognitive modelling is used as a research tool to
simulate the performance of subjects on the ANT, as well as variations of the ANT
using ACT-R 6.0 cognitive architecture. All models are validated against human data
using various goodness-of-fit criteria at multiple measures of the latency, accuracy and
efficiency of the three networks.

Once the simulation of healthy human performance on the ANT is established,
modifications inspired by psychology literature are made to simulate the performance on
ANT by children and patients affected with Alzheimer‘s disease (AD) and mild
traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The implementation of networks, their interactions and
impairments in the models are shown to be theoretically grounded. Based on the
simulation results and the understanding gained through model processes, a number of
novel predictions are made, behaviour of the networks and a few discrepancies in human
data are explained. The model predicts that in the case of Alzheimer‘s disease, the
orienting network may be impaired and cueing may have a positive effect on conflict
resolution. Also, in the case of mTBI, it was predicted that the validity effect may be
impaired only in the earlier weeks after the injury. For children, a possible relationship
between processing speed and mechanism of inhibitory control is predicted. It is posited
that there is not always a 'global clock' that controls processing speed and further
different processes may be running with different processing times.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 11:04
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2015 14:12
Google Scholar:10 Citations

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