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Today's top news stories for December 5, 2007.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I am paying attention - Oh, look at the bunny!
In a recent study, a scientist has found out something about attention, or whatever.

Sure, you might think your girlfriend’s attention is focused on you when you are intimate, but a new discovery could confirm she has shifted her attention onto bigger and better things.

Dr. Brian Corneil of the Centre for Brain and Mind at Western discovered a new method for measuring covert attention.

The research showed even without eye movements, neck muscles are used during covert orienting. The findings are posted on the Advance Online Publication of Nature Neuroscience.

By recording muscle activity in the neck, scientists can measure covert attention directly. It had previously been indirectly measured by changes in reaction time, or stimulus detection.

Such results could help in determining the effectiveness of stroke or Parkinson’s disease therapy.

“It’s direct. We now have a millisecond by millisecond measure,” Dr. Corneil said.

Covert attention has always been related to eye movements, but Corneil’s research adds a new dimension.

“This [finding] puts a more motor aspect. The neck muscles are recruited first " it offers a window to the brain,” Dr. Corneil added.
"Dale Williams

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