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PSYC 2320 Lecture Notes - Ulric Neisser, Donald Broadbent, Bell Labs


Course Code
PSYC 2320
Matt Tata

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Info not relevant to the task at hand right now
Some sort of gate that shuts of information that is trying to get into your mind.
Selection can mean both of these things.
Other side: when you intentionally select something, boost it somehow, enhance it for the purposes
of better perception
What does that mean?
That attention is a selection of some information for enhanced perception or mental operations.
James' definition emphasizes two important aspects of attention:
"Paying attention" = vigilance
How the mind can select some sub groove of information out of all the information you could possibly perceive,
then you have to ask yourself what the consequences are of selection, and how you choose your selection.
Selective attention.
Ulrich Neisser in the 1960's
Tracking one moving object out of many
Something that's there, and it's available to be seen, but it isn't noticed (like when someone is driving)
Simons & Levin in the 1990's
Learning about attention by pushing the limits
Brain needs to know when to disengage attention to focus on something else (video of gorilla and
Didn't become something meaningful and important until your attention was applied to it.
To your brain - that wasn't a gorilla. It became a gorilla after you paid attention to it. What it was, was
a vague shade of black blob
You can't do much processing of info without attention
A tale of bottlenecks and basketballs
Selective Attention
Turn your head and look at something
Shift attention in frequencies, rather than geographically too
Orienting - shifting attention (usually in space, but alto non-spatial feature such as pitch)
Selection - what attention does to perception
Two distinct processes
Often confused and used interchangeably
We'll switch back and forth, but we'll try to keep them separate
Worked for a phone company, AT&T and Bell labs.
Did a bunch of early cognitive psychology that's really important
Not enough proper cables
Less complicated, but harder to do back then
Attend to the right conversation, there might not be a problem
Curious how you could mix conversations on the phone lines (remember party lines?)
Why capacity of info? Because of different revolution in psychology .
The notion that you could think of information formally
Human perception: information capacity.
How much data? Bandwidth? Without losing clarity of signal.
What if you drop bits and pieces of the signal?
Began asking questions such as how much information can the human mind handle at once?"
Around 1950's - Psychologists began to think of the human perceptual mechanisms as "information
Information thoery
The consequences of selection
1:45 PM
Cognition and Perception Page 1
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