Distraction is one of the main problems encountered by people with degenerative diseases that are associated with reduced cortical cholinergic innervations. We examined the effects of donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor, on stimulus-driven attentional capture. Reflexive attention shifts to a distractor are usually elicited by abrupt peripheral changes. This bottom-up shift of attention to a salient item is thought to be the result of relatively inflexible hardwired mechanisms. Thirty young male participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups: placebo first/donepezil second session or the opposite. They were asked to locate a target appearing above and below fixation whilst a peripheral distractor moved abruptly (motion-jitter attentional capture condition) or not (baseline condition). A classical attentional capture effect was observed under placebo: moving distractors interfered with the task in slowing down response times as compared to the baseline condition with fixed distractors. Increased interference from moving distractors was found under donepezil. We suggest that attentional capture in our paradigm likely involved low level mechanisms such as automatic reflexive orienting. Peripheral motion-jitter elicited a rapid reflexive orienting response initiated by a cholinergic signal from the brainstem pedunculo-pontine nucleus that activates nicotinic receptors in the superior colliculus.

Cholinergic modulation of stimulus-driven attentional capture

Bubbico G.;
2015

Abstract

Distraction is one of the main problems encountered by people with degenerative diseases that are associated with reduced cortical cholinergic innervations. We examined the effects of donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor, on stimulus-driven attentional capture. Reflexive attention shifts to a distractor are usually elicited by abrupt peripheral changes. This bottom-up shift of attention to a salient item is thought to be the result of relatively inflexible hardwired mechanisms. Thirty young male participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups: placebo first/donepezil second session or the opposite. They were asked to locate a target appearing above and below fixation whilst a peripheral distractor moved abruptly (motion-jitter attentional capture condition) or not (baseline condition). A classical attentional capture effect was observed under placebo: moving distractors interfered with the task in slowing down response times as compared to the baseline condition with fixed distractors. Increased interference from moving distractors was found under donepezil. We suggest that attentional capture in our paradigm likely involved low level mechanisms such as automatic reflexive orienting. Peripheral motion-jitter elicited a rapid reflexive orienting response initiated by a cholinergic signal from the brainstem pedunculo-pontine nucleus that activates nicotinic receptors in the superior colliculus.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/709110
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