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John Usher (30)

Brain Mechanisms of Selective Attention.docx

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University of Lethbridge
PSYC 3325
John Usher

Brain Mechanisms of Selective Attention ● possible explanation for selective attention is that some components of brain's sensory system are temporarily sensitized, which enhances their ability to detect particular categories of stimuli  eg. if person were watching shape we would see increased acitvity in portion of visual cortex devoted to analysis of shape ● Corbetta – had people look at computerized display containing 30 colured rectangles which could change in shape, colour, or speed of movement and ask them to pay attention to one attribute (same display every time)  used PET scanner to measure brain activity and found that paying attention to different attributes caused different appropriate regions of visual cortex to be activated ● Luckm, Chelazzi, Hillyard and Desimone – obtained similar results in study using monkeys  recorded activity of single neurons in visual association cortex  when cue indicated that monkey should be watching for stimulus to be presented in particular location, neurons that received input from that visual field fired more rapidly even before stimuli was presented – neurons were primed for detecting stimulus in their part of visual field Biology and Culture: Control of Consciousness ● expectations and customs of society substantially influence effects that drugs have on person's consciousness ● can alter, expand or escape own consciousness without use of drugs ● function that all methods of changing consciousness have in common is alteration of attention ● various exercises can be divided into those that withdraw attention from stimuli around us and those that increase attention to events that h
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