Casiraghi, Mahesh (2013) Early selection of visual information as reflected by lateralized electrophysiological components: The roles of N1pc and N2pc. [Tesi di dottorato]
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This thesis encompasses part of research I have been doing throughout the last three years of my life. Half of this time was spent in Padua, endorsed by the Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, under the supervision of Professor Roberto Dell'Acqua, and the rest of the time was spent at the Université de Montréal, under the supervision of Professor Pierre Jolicoeur. The precious guidance of these two figures helped me to learn how to properly design, code up, and administer attentional paradigms, and to analyze, interpret, and communicate results they yielded. Going more properly through the topics that will be presented and discussed in this work, we can state with a certain confidence that Chapter 1 is a sort of epistemological foundation, that walks the reader into constructs and models that will then be presented in Chapters 2 and 3. The domain unaware reader will hopefully easily start to step into terminology, methodology, techniques, and questions that will be later considered. Chapter 2 will focus on a work that has just been submitted to Psychophysiology, where a lateralized electroencephalographic component, which we called N1pc, is investigated, and a model for its functional origination is provided. N1pc is so called since it rises early - within the N1 time window - at parietooccipital sites, and it has been previously associated to attentional remapping by means of a model that we tested and partially refused, since it was unable to explain some of our results, and poorly performed when pit against our model. A discussion concerning these two models that aim at explaining the N1pc concludes the Chapter. Chapter 3 is follows a certain continuity with Chapter 2, in as much as it presents the basics of an ongoing work, which is aimed at coupling N1pc, on the basis of the results retrieved in Chapter 2, with N2pc, in identifying the role played by target numerosity and target items distance on the modulation of electrophysiological markers of lateralized attentional deployment. One key issue in this work is the employment of an innovative paradigm - which we called Multi Frame Procedure, or MFP - that represents a possibly promising optimizing tool for a good part of the existing attentional research. Differently from Chapter 2, Chapter 3 reports rather preliminary data, especially if we take into account that one investigated component - the N1pc - has not yet been the subject of considerable amount of research, and that it is further studied by means of a practically new paradigm. The reader wants to threat this Chapter as mainly explorative. We can think of Chapter 4 in terms of a self contained nucleus of field knowledge, which is born as applied and that represents an attempt to bring some scientific method to a ground, namely developmental clinical emotional psychodynamic research, that sees often the hegemony of non properly scientific or empirical grounded approaches. I tried my best to get something useful out of the tool I developed, and I consider Multimedia Story Stems a sort of success. I open sourced the procedure, and I wish more researchers and clinicals will be able to find this technique useful for their purposes. By building this applied tool, I probably matured a series of skills and insights that still drive me today in what I am going to do and make in the next few years. I feel joy in building working useful tools, and thanks to Multimedia Story Stems, I reached this awareness.
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Questa tesi raccoglie parte del lavoro portato avanti nei tre anni appena trascorsi. Metà esatta di questo periodo è stata spesa a Padova, presso le strutture del DPSS e sotto la supervisione del Professor Roberto Dell'Acqua, mentre il tempo rimanente è stato trascorso presso le strutture dell'Université de Montréal, sotto la supervisione del Professor Pierre Jolicoeur. Sotto la preziosa guida di questi due supervisori ho imparato a disegnare, scrivere, somministrare propriamente paradigmi attentivi, nonché ad analizzare, interpretare, e presentare i risultati da essi forniti.
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