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12. Attention.docx
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 1X03
Professor
T A
Semester
Fall

Description
Attention Intro to Attention  Attention allows you to navigate through a crowded world brimming with information and distractions  Define the problem  design experiments  testable hypothesis William James  “everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of though… It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, ans is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed scatterbrained state” Selection  attending to something causes the object of attention to be selected apart from the rest of the unattended objects  some stimuli in the environment can trigger your attention in an automatic fashion  refers to out conscious ability to attend to the information that is relevant to our goals  the irreleveant info in the environment acts as noise that can make it difficult to identify and attned to important information  we are remarkably adept at distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant information in the environment; even so the noise sometimes overwhelms the signal and you get distracted Automatic and Controlled Attention  different types of processes that influence attention Automatic processes:  triggered involuntarily by external factors and trigger the “capture” of attention  assumed to operate in a fast, efficient and obligatory manner  some cues seem to be more noticeable and lead to stronger and wuicker association when paired with events (salience)  a salient piece of information is one that appears to naturally pop-out at you  learned process Controlled processes:  guide attention voluntarily and consciously to objects of interest  assumed to require cognitive effort, they operate more slowly Ex. While driving using flexible control processes  difficult to consciously attend to many aspects of the task-environment at the same time because the resources for controlled processes are limited The Spotlight Method Selection and the Spotlight  Michael posner  your attentional spotlight focuses on only part of the environment at a time  Attention can be consciously directed across the visual scene as you look for your friend at a crowded after party  Attention can also be hijacked by unconscious processes that can quickly grab your attention so you can avoid an oncoming speeding car as you step off the sidewalk  as your attention more around your field of vision, objects falling within that spotlight are processed preferentially: you can respod to objects faster and with greater accuracy Spatial Cueing Paradigm  you are asked to fix your attention to the middle box on the screen  at some point a target will appear in either the left or right box  it is your job to indicate the correct target location as quickly as possible, just before the target appears, a potential target box flashes  the flashing box serves as a cue for your attention, the target can then follow in either the cued or uncued location  measures influence of the flashing cue on target detection time Automatic Processing o the target appears randomly, equally cued and uncued  the cue actually provide no predictive information about where the target will appear o for example, if all trials in which the target appears in the left box; we find tat target detection is quicker when it is correctly cues than it is uncued o the relatively short time interval between cue and target presentation in this experiment favors automatic rather than consciously controlled processes that guide the allocation of attention o this result suggests that the cue automatically attracts the attentional spotlight to the cued location o if a target appears in the cued location, then attention will amplify the perceptual processing of that target and it will be detected quickly; but if a target appears in the uncued the target will be detected more slowly because the attentional spotlight will have been directed away from the actual target location Controlled Processing o experiment so the attentional cue does provide accurate predictive information about where the target is likely to occur  the target appears in the cued location more than 50% of the times o predictive cues lead to faster detection times even though the subjects don’t have time to more their eyes to the cued location before making their judgment o attention moves faster than the eye Filter Models Filters and Attention  Auditory attention: despite all the noise you are able to single out specific details  Colin Cherry  Conducted experiments on this cocktail party effect in which subjects were asked to listen to two different messages played from a single loudspeaker at the same time  Subjects tried to separate the messages, repeating one but
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