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Attention 5 - Divided Attention

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PSYC 330
Richard Wright

5 - Divided Attention and Automaticity February-05-13 8:31 AM • The lawyeris smoking a cigar and the ash is getting longerand longer, burning his milliondollar suit → jury too distracted by this to listen to the prosecutor's closing argument→ defendant was found not guilty! I. Doing two thingsat the sametime • For manydays and got better at it (practice effect) → the previousmodels don't explainpractice effect… • Doing 2 things at once tends to be challenging(ex. Studying and watching TV) ○ Esp. if you reallyneed to focus on one or the other (ex. Biologytextbook) • Selective attention(focusing on one stimulus & blocking out the other ones) vs. divided attention (focused on more than one stimulus/task) • Overlapping videos: when monitoring both hand slapping and ball passing, accuracy dropped • Doing two thingsat the sametime when one captures our attention ○ Potential distraction by background music not as great when there are no lyric (aka: no lyric = less distracting) ○ Similareffect if lyricsare of unfamiliarlanguage • Dual task dividedattention experiments ○ Spelkeet al.'sdual task experiment:  Reading at the sametime as taking dictations (taking notes on what someone is saying)  Practiced for 85hrs over 17 weeks  Initially:slow reading & poor hand writing → hard time doing both  After 17 weeks, normal reading speed & improved hand writing  → with practice, we can do 2 different tasks at the sametime, with improvement ○ Other similarfindingswith:  Task 1: reading + dictation  Task 2: typing + shadowing verbal message  Task 3: sight reading music whileplaying piano + shadowing verbal message II. Attention as a Resource • Difficult to explainpractice effects with filter model • Broadbent tried arguing that the filtercould e switched from task to task in rapid alternation ○ There is only 1 bottle neck that filtersstimuli/input,but that bottle neck can move quickly between tasks ○ → people didn't reallybuy this. The filtermodel had run its course, and sometimestheorist tries to extend the lifeof their theories… • A new metaphor: attention islikea resource (battery) • What isan attention resource? ○ As if we are limitedin cognitive energy, and so ifsomething demands a lot of attention (hard study material),we won't be able to attend to other things as well • Kahneman: attentional resource model ○ Worked with a lot of cognitive judgemental biases, decision making ○ Availableresources depends on arousal? ○ Availableresources depends on task complexity?  Simpletask uses less resources  Simpletask uses less resources ○ (Kahneman) More resources availablewhen we are awake and fullyalert • Yerkes-Dodson (1908) Learning Experiment ○ Mice had to learnto discriminatebetween a dark and light passageway→ entering the wrong path = shock ○ IV: difference between light/darkpathway  Reallylight+ reallydark vs. somewhat lightvs. somewhat dark ○ Relationshipbetween learning speed and shock intensity was an invertedU-shape  Optimal performance in medium arousal ○ Low arousal (reallybored/sleepy)vs. moderatelyaroused (pumped)vs. high arousal (freaking out ) • Pupil diameter iscorrelated with mental workload ○ The moreworkload the more dilation ○ Ex. Holding few digitsin memorieswhiledoing cognitivetask → dilatedpupils • Resources allocated to singleprocess is likelightinga singlelight bulb with a singlebattery → brighter light • Resources allocated to dual process is likelighting2 lightbulbs with a singlebattery → dimmer light • Practice effect: the better you get at something, the fewer attention resources is required • What isthe difference between the filter model and the resource model? ○ Filter metaphor: bottle neck where not all info can pass through at the sametime→ structural model/limitation ○ Resource metaphor: subject only has enough attention resources to shadow messageand not enough left over to process the other message→ capacity model/limitation • Pool of attentional resources ○ Like an area where resources are stored and drawn from to do task ○ Ex. Reading textbook requires 80 units of resources when you only have 100. As you become more familiarwith the topic/content, it may take less resources • [Experiment] unable to learna listof word presented verballyto one ear whileshadowing words presented verballyto the other ear ○ But can learn a listof words presented visually as pictures whileshadowing words presented verballyto the other ear ○ → Easier to perform two tasks together when one isvisual and one is auditory ○ → Are there multipleattentional resource pools? (one for audio, one for visual,sensory specific )  But fMRI suggeststhere's onlyone • Voluntary control over divisionof attention → wecan divideattention according to priorities ○ Ex. If someone calls you on the phone talking about something important, you'll probably stop watching TV ○ Ex. If someone calls you on the phone talking about nothing in particular, you can probably keep watching TV =) ○ [Experiment] identifying digits(reaction timetask) + when icon movesmove joystick accordingly (tracking task)  IV: instruction on which task is more important, or both tasks are important  More errors when not paying attention to a task • How can ERPs be used to determine how much attention wepay to a task? • How can ERPs be used to determine how much attention wepay to a task? ○ If you measured ERPs in the previousexperiment, what will we find? → primarytask ("more important task") P3 magnitude is greaterthan secondary task p3 magnitude→ P3 = paying more attention to it III. Automatic Processing • Automaticpro
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