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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Vigilance – A Test of Temporal Decrement in the Attention Networks Test (ANT)

Authors: M. K. Zholdassova, G. Matthews, A. M. Kustubayeva, S. M. Jakupov


The aim of this study was to test whether the Attention Networks Test (ANT) showed temporal decrements in performance. Vigilance tasks typically show such decrements, which may reflect impairments in executive control resulting from cognitive fatigue. The ANT assesses executive control, as well as alerting and orienting. Thus, it was hypothesized that ANT executive control would deteriorate over time. Manipulations including task condition (trial composition) and masking were included in the experimental design in an attempt to increase performance decrements. However, results showed that there is no temporal decrement on the ANT. The roles of task demands, cognitive fatigue and participant motivation in producing this result are discussed. The ANT may not be an effective tool for investigating temporal decrement in attention.

Keywords: Executive Control, ant, task engagement, vigilancedecrement

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