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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Attention.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY270H5
Professor
Christine Burton
Semester
Winter

Description
Jan 21 2014 Attention Week 3 ATTENTION AND CONSCIOUSNESS  Attention is the concentration of mental effort on sensory (environment) or mental events( mind)  Overt attention- Observer can tell what we are paying attention ( directing our gaze)  Covert attention – Paying attention to something but not looking at it.  Ex. Out with friends for dinner. Looking at them (overt). You hear people across the table talking about something ( you start to eves drop)  Endogenous – we decide what we pay attention to. Volunteering our attention. Can also be overt and covert.  Exogenous- when something grabs our attention and we can’t shift our attention (ex. Siren). Can be overt, but not covert- we can’t help but looking at it.  Attention is intimately linked to consciousness  Habituation- stop paying attention to a physical stimulus and you are no longer aware of it. Fades away from consciousness. Ex. Bum on the chair.  Dishabituation- Feeling of sensation arises once again. Bringing attention back again.  Sensory adaptation- when you stop paying attention to a physical stimulus, happens at a neuronal level. Sense receptors stop responding to physical stimulus. Ex. McDonalds smell.  In attentional blindness:  If we don’t pay attention to something we won’t be consciously aware of it  Simons and Chabris (1999) demonstrated this phenomenon dramatically.  Video: gorilla, black shirt member leaves, curtain changing color are related phenomenon known as change blindness.  Change blindness:  We are often “blind” to changes that occur within our visual fields  Video: missing the change in person they started convo with. We can only pay attention to a number of things. Can’t change the gender, approximate height. Female participants are equal at noticing change in both male and female. Males are more likely to pay change in females than in men.  Attention is driven by stimulus saliency- environmental attention grabbers.  Motion- adds that flash.  Colour- bright colors.  Brightness  Contrast  Orientation  Endogenous : Attention can be driven by other “important” information and previous knowledge  Eg.Land & Hayhoe All fixations occur before the action. How do you what to look at next? >> Past knowledge. Jan 21 2014 Attention Week 3  Chabris , et al (2011) demonstrated that one “important” event can make us blind to an unexpected “important” event  Police officer being sued. They failed to notice an assault while they were on pursuit.  Conditions: daylight 72%, nighttime 35% , tap their heads with one hand 56%, tap head with both hands but count only with right hand 42%. If participants were given a task, they decided that it was the only important task. Important is what we decide is our goal or our end task. THE ROLL OF ATTENTION  Attention can be used for different functions  Selective attention- paying attention to one thing.  Divided attention  Vigilance/ Orienting  Search SELECTION ATTENTION  Often studied by using dichotic listening tasks and shadowing Dichotic listening task: each ear is played a different msg. They are also asked to do a shadowing task (repeat msg from one ear & ignore the other) CHERRY’S DICHOTIC LISTENING SELECTIVE ATTENTION- Selectively attending to the meaning.  People are good at paying attention to message in one ear only – i.e. people are good at selectively attending!  People noticed sensory information ( physical ) in unattended ear  People did not notice the meaning of the message in the unattended ear. Even if it was the same word repeated over and over.  Can tell if a male/ female voice was being played. A voice speaking or telephone ringing. FILTER THEORIES OF ATTENTION & SELECTIVE ATTENTION  Based on results from dichotic listening tasks Sensory information Semantic information  Filter theories (aka bottleneck theories) believe attention has a specific ‘filter’ that only lets some information through at a time 1. Broadbent’s Early Selection Model- Selective Attention Jan 21 2014 Attention Week 3 Sensory comes in. Attention acts as a filter. The single msg is passed on to detector which gains a meaning.  Problems:  People are aware of their own name in an unattended message: cocktail effect.  Triesman’s (1960) experiment.  Two msg switches ear. They are only told to report one ear.  What they actualy report the prop msg. They would only know to switch ear if they are paying attention to the other unintended ear. People might be shifting ears.  Instead of attention acting like a filter, it attends like an Attenuator Reported: …sitting at the mahogany table possibilities… Triesman’s Attenuation Model- Selective Attention  Attended signal is stronger than other stimuli after passing through the filter, but…  Unattended stimuli may be more intense  Unattended stimuli may be ‘more important’  Unattended stimuli may be ‘more likely’ Dictionary decides which was in more important and which one has meaning. Capacity Theories of Attention- Divided Attention  We have a fixed amount of attentional resources that we can use to perform mental work. Being in “the zone”  More cognitive load = more attentional resources used  We have some control over how we allot these resources  We can decide how much to devote attention to. Jan 21 2014 Attention Week 3  If primary task isn’t hard, then you have extra attention to do
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