• Attention allows one to navigate through a world filled with information.
• Without being able to focus a limited amount of our resources, we would not be able to
perform simple tasks such as converse with others, enjoy a piece of music, understand a joke
or learn new things.
• We need to identify whatAttention is, Build a cognitive model which we can use to test our
theories, and explain the hypothesis
• Unfortunately,Attention covers a area of a wide range of topics. We cannot simply generate
one theory or hypothesis in order to explain it. NO SINGLE DEFINITION FOR
• Our conscious ability to attend to something that is relative to our goals.
Attention implies withdrawal from some things in order to
deal effectively with others.
• Attending something (focusing) causes the object tot be inattentive to other objects in the
• We may be attentive of something at first but may become inattentive if more important
stimuli are present during a time.
• Some stimuli have a stronger grasp towards our attention than others do.
• Irrelevant background information makes it increasingly difficult to attend and identify
the important information.
• We usually turn radio down when we are driving and need to make important decisions. The
radio creates a background noise that needs to be minimized.
▯ Automatic and ControlledAttentionAutomatic process:
• Involuntary attention; involuntary capture, fast and efficient
• Something that automatically grasps your attention.
• Fast, efficient manner and grab attention
• Some ques are more noticeable and lead to stronger and quicker association when paired
• SALIENT information is anything that naturally pops out at us.
• Autonomic processes influenced by learning. For example, we learn to drive a car almost
autonomously and regulate various different functions (clutch, accelerator, brake) without
specifically attending to them.
• Hard to miss loud sounds and flashing of emergency car
• Require cognitive effort
Guide attention voluntary and consciously to the objects of interest
• Conscious attention, slow and effortful
• We may decide whether to pay attention to or ignore. Usually slow due to more cognitive
• Resources for controlled processes are limited
• Ae demands fro attention increase, you must make adjustments to compensate or else tasks
The spotlight model:
• Our attention spotlight focuses on only part of the environment at a time.
• Attention can be directed across a visual scene. This occurs when we are looking for a
particular person in a crowd of people.
Spatial Cueing Paradigm
• Three squares present on the screen.
• One of these squares is highlighted. Shortly after, one of the three
squares is filled in.
• Researchers found that when the highlighted square is the one
which is also filled in, the response time is faster than when the
highlighted square differs from the square that was filled in.
• The highlighted box is quick due to it’s use of automatic process.
The Consciously controlled is slower.
• THE QUEAUTOMATICALLYATTRACTS SPOTLIGHT to the location. If
the target is displayed in the que, the perception is amplified and the response is quick. If the
target appears in the unqued location, the target is acquired more slowly because the attention
spotlight was towards the automatic location.
• Attention moves faster than the eye. We may be attentive towards something even before
we see it.
• At situations such as parties, there may be a lot of background noise competing for attention.
Despite this, we are able to single out a specific noise to focus our attention towards.
Collin Sherry: cocktail party effect:
• Subjects exposed to 2 speakers, both producing a different message
• Subjects told to focus on one message over the other.
• Gender, pitch of speech and various other factors effect ability to filter.
Difference between Filter and spotlight model:
• The Filter model assumes that we tune out everything besides the object of focus.
• The spotlight model suggests th