By Michel Leclerq
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Extra info for Applied Neuropsychology of Attention: Theory, Diagnosis and Rehabilitation
First, a simple and pure absence of alertness reaction (schema A): the subject’s RT remains constant whatever the period separating the warning signal and the target presentation. The effect can be present despite the fact that the subject’s RTs are systematically slower (schema B). Or, the effect is present but for intervals different from those obtained from control subjects (schema C); in this case, it will concern mainly longer intervals.
Their ﬁrst paradigm can be summarized as follows. A warning signal, for example a cross, appears for half a second on the 38 Theory screen. It is immediately followed by the appearance of a ﬁrst letter which will remain displayed until the subject has given a response. At the end of an interval of a variable duration, from 0 to 1,000 msec (6 intervals: 0, 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1,000 msec), according to blocks of items, a second letter will appear and the distance between the two letters will form a visual angle of 3° at the foveal level.
The observed differences in RT according to each presentation condition conﬁrm the covert displacements of the attentional focus: valid cueing decreases the response times given the fact that the attentional focus is already correctly pre-oriented towards the location where the target will appear. In the non-valid cueing condition, not only is the attentional focus incorrectly oriented but the cost on the RT depends on the necessary time for the subject to extract his/her attentional focus from the non-valid anchorage point, to bring it then to the actual location where the target is appearing.