Neural signatures of vigilance decrements predict behavioural errors before they occur
There are many monitoring environments, such as railway control, in which lapses of attention can have tragic consequences. Problematically, sustained monitoring for rare targets is difficult, with more misses and longer reaction times over time. What changes in the brain underpin these 'vigilance decrements'? We designed a multiple-object monitoring (MOM) paradigm to examine how the neural representation of information varied with target frequency and time performing the task. Behavioural performance decreased over time for the rare target (monitoring) condition, but not for a frequent target (active) condition. This was mirrored in neural decoding using Magnetoencephalography: coding of critical information declined more during monitoring versus active conditions along the experiment. We developed new analyses that can predict behavioural errors from the neural data more than a second before they occurred. This facilitates pre-empting behavioural errors due to lapses in attention and provides new insight into the neural correlates of vigilance decrements.
We have shared the Magnetoencephalography data (i.e. time series) as well as behavioral data in Matlab '.mat' format on the Open Science Framework website at https://osf.io/5aw8v/ with the DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/5AW8V. We have also uploaded a video of the "Multiple-Object-Monitoring" paradigm, developed for this study, for easier understanding of the task at the same address. The mentioned address is dedicated to this project and we will regularly update the contents to make them easier to follow for other researchers.
Neural signatures of vigilance decrements predict behavioural errors before they occurOpen Science Framework, DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/5AW8V.
Article and author information
Australian Research Council (DP170101780)
- Anina N Rich
Australian Research Council (FT170100105)
- Alexandra Woolgar
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (SUAG/052/G101400)
- Alexandra Woolgar
The Royal Society (NIF\R1\192608)
- Hamid Karimi-Rouzbahani
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The Human Research Ethics Committee of Macquarie University approved the experimental protocols and the participants gave informed consent before participating in the experiment. The approval identifier is 52020297914411.
- Peter Kok, University College London, United Kingdom
- Received: July 3, 2020
- Accepted: April 2, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: April 8, 2021 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: April 21, 2021 (version 2)
© 2021, Karimi-Rouzbahani et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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