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  1. William S. Helton & Paul N. Russell (2015). Rest is Best: The Role of Rest and Task Interruptions on Vigilance. Cognition 134:165-173.
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  2. Kyle M. Wilson, Paul N. Russell & William S. Helton (2015). Spider Stimuli Improve Response Inhibition. Consciousness and Cognition 33:406-413.
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  3. James Head & William S. Helton (2013). Perceptual Decoupling or Motor Decoupling? Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):913-919.
    The current investigation was conducted to elucidate whether errors of commission in the Sustained Attention to Response Task are indicators of perceptual or motor decoupling. Twenty-eight participants completed SARTs with motor and perceptual aspects of the task manipulated. The participants completed four different SART blocks whereby stimuli location uncertainty and stimuli acquisition were manipulated. In previous studies of more traditional sustained attention tasks stimuli location uncertainty reduces sustained attention performance. In the case of the SART the motor manipulation , but (...)
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  4. James Head & William S. Helton (2012). Natural Scene Stimuli and Lapses of Sustained Attention. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (4):1617-1625.
    We conducted two experiments using naturalistic scene stimuli to test the resource theory and mindlessness theory of sustained attention. In experiment 1, 28 participants completed a traditional formatted vigilance task consisting of non-repeating forest or urban picture stimuli as target stimuli. Participants filled out pre- and post-task assessments of arousal and conscious thoughts. There was still a vigilance decrement, despite non-repetitive, natural target stimuli. Participants found the task demanding and were actively engaged in the task. In experiment 2, 25 participants (...)
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  5. William S. Helton, Martin J. Dorahy & Paul N. Russell (2011). Dissociative Tendencies and Right-Hemisphere Processing Load: Effects on Vigilance Performance. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):696-702.
    The present study was designed to explore the relationship between self-reported dissociative experiences and performance in tasks eliciting right-hemisphere processing load. Thirty-four participants performed a vigilance task in two conditions: with task-irrelevant negative-arousing pictures and task-irrelevant neutral pictures. Dissociation was assessed with the Dissociative Experience Scale. Consistent with theories positing right-hemisphere deregulation in high non-clinical dissociators, dissociative experiences correlated with greater vigilance decrement only in the negative picture condition. As both the vigilance task and negative picture processing are right lateralized, (...)
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  6. William S. Helton, James Head & Simon Kemp (2011). Natural Disaster Induced Cognitive Disruption: Impacts on Action Slips. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1732-1737.
    Previous research has indicated an increase in stress levels and cognitive intrusions after natural disasters. These previous studies have not, however, assessed the impact disaster induced cognitive disruption has on human performance. In the present report, we investigated the impact of the 7.1 magnitude 2010 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake on self-reported earthquake-induced cognitive disruption and its relationship to performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Task . Participants who self-reported greater cognitive disruption induced by the earthquake also had higher levels (...)
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  7. Ulrike Ossowski, Sanna Malinen & William S. Helton (2011). The Effects of Emotional Stimuli on Target Detection: Indirect and Direct Resource Costs. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1649-1658.
    The present study was designed to explore the performance costs of negative emotional stimuli in a vigilance task. Forty participants performed a vigilance task in two conditions: one with task-irrelevant negative-arousing pictures and one with task-irrelevant neutral pictures. In addition to performance, we measured subjective state and frontal cerebral activity with near infrared spectroscopy. Overall performance in the negative picture condition was lower than in the neutral picture condition and the negative picture condition had elevated levels of energetic arousal, tense (...)
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  8. William S. Helton, Lena Weil, Annette Middlemiss & Andrew Sawers (2010). Global Interference and Spatial Uncertainty in the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). Consciousness and Cognition 19 (1):77-85.
    The Sustained Attention to Response Task is a Go–No-Go signal detection task developed to measure lapses of sustained conscious attention. In this study, we examined the impact global interference and spatial uncertainty has on SART performance. Ten participants performed either a SART or a traditionally formatted version of a global–local stimuli detection task with spatially certain and uncertain signals. Reaction time in the SART was insensitive to global interference and spatial uncertainty, whereas reaction time in the low-Go task was sensitive. (...)
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  9. William S. Helton, Rosalie P. Kern & Donieka R. Walker (2009). Conscious Thought and the Sustained Attention to Response Task. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (3):600-607.
    We investigated the properties of the sustained attention to response task . In the SART, participants respond to frequent neutral signals and are required to withhold response to rare critical signals. We examined whether SART performance shows characteristics of speed–accuracy tradeoffs and in addition, we examined whether SART performance is influenced by prior exposure to emotional picture stimuli. Thirty-six participants in this study performed SARTs after being exposed to neutral and negative picture stimuli. Performance in the SART changed rapidly over (...)
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  10. William S. Helton (2005). Animal Expertise, Conscious or Not. Animal Cognition 8 (2):67-74.
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