Now, find out if a person is really paying attention to what youre saying

December 3rd, 2007 - 12:30 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec 3 (ANI): Ever get the feeling that the attention of the person youre talking to has wandered even though he may be looking straight at you? Well, now you can figure this out for yourself thanks to a researcher who has found a way to measure covert attention.

The study was conducted by Dr. Brian Corneil, an assistant professor of physiology & pharmacology and psychology at the Centre for Brain and Mind at The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.

Before the study, measuring attention was based on indirect measures of changes in reaction time, or stimulus detection.

However, in the study, Dr. Corneil discovered that neck muscles are recruited during covert orienting, even in the absence of eye movements.

Our results demonstrate for the first time that covert attention can be measured in real-time via recordings of muscle activity in the neck, said Corneil.

This finding may fundamentally change how attention is measured, grounding it in an objective and straightforward technique, Corneil said.

The finding could help in assessing the effectiveness of therapies for stroke or other neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinsons disease.

The study is published is posted on the Advance Online Publication of “Nature Neuroscience”.

The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers at Queens University and the University of Toronto, with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Human Frontier Science Program. (ANI)

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