Tonic brain activity has significant influences on the nature of a subject’s responses to target sensory stimuli. We report here studies of the dynamics of the background activity in the gamma-rhythm range of the EEG in rabbits during execution of an “active oddball” paradigm modified for animals – a task widely used for studies of attention. Increased levels of power and coherence in background gamma activity were found to reflect expectation of a target stimulus, correct responses to stimuli being executed at a particular level of background gamma activity which probably corresponds to the optimum level of sustained (tonic) attention. Decreases in the level of gamma activity led to missed responses to the target stimulus, while excess levels lead to erroneous responses to non-target signals (false anxiety). These dynamics of background gamma activity are interpreted as resulting from oscillations in the level of tonic cholinergic activation of right cerebral cortex.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
This article describes the expierence of studying factors influencing the social well-being of educational migrants as mesured by means of a psychological well-being scale (A. Perrudet-Badoux, G.A. Mendelsohn, J.Chiche, 1988) previously adapted for Russian by M.V. Sokolova. A statistical analysis of the scale's reliability is performed. Trends in dynamics of subjective well-being are indentified on the basis the correlations analysis between the condbtbions of adaptation and its success rate, and potential mechanisms for developing subjective well-being among student migrants living in student hostels are described. Particular attention is paid to commuting as a factor of adaptation.