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PSYB57 – Memory and Cognition Lec 5.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

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PSYB57 – Memory and Cognition Lec 5 6/12/2013 7:58:00 AM  Attention  Attention: Attention is the process that, at a given moment, enhances some information and inhibits other information. The enhancement allows us to select some information for further processing, and the inhibition allows us to set some information aside (Smith & Kosslyn, 2007, p.103)  Pay Attention  We all intuitively understand that it means to ‘pay attention’ it is to focus on something, and ignore distractions.  But attention has been notoriously tricky to define, it has been used synonymously with terms such as arousal, control, and consciousness. These are all clearly very different things.  Selective attention: refers to the skill through which one focuses on one input or one task while ignoring other stimuli  Shadowing (repeating an audio track) -> dichotic listening; different messages to each ear; Attended channel -> listen to this one Unattended channel; ignore this one  Cocktail party effect: other conversations tuned out, unattended channel can be noticed, the participant’s own name, words of high personal significance  Boost attended items and dampen unattended items  Sometimes effects of attention are so strong that we fail to see stimuli that are directly in front of our eyes eg. The dot cross example look at fixation target attend to another part of the screen, no warning leads to failure to detect change  Inattentional blindness: ‘no perception without attention’, what ever is being attended to is being preserved what’s not attended to is not preserved, does it come in or not come in; some of the info can be unconsciously preceived as it may reflect what was seen but without consciously knowing or recall seeing something  Unconscious perception can still occur in the absence of attention (eg. Name)  Change blindness: inability to detect changes in scenes  Early info is attended to comes in info no attended to is lost and late selection everything comes in but at some point only whats being attended to makes it consciousness and what’s not attended to is dropped hypotheses – both have support, stimuli that are not attended to have effects on perception, which indicate late selection, electrical brain activity for attended inputs differs within 70ms from unattended inputs, which indicates early selection -> is the info coming in and we ignore it or we block it befo
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