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Lecture 5

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Connie Boudens

Lecture 5 - 02-04-13 Lecture Outline Selective attention Divided attention practice Definition of 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 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 Selective attention refers to the skill through which one focuses on one input or one task while ignoring other stimuli You ignore other things that are around. Once you see the face in the coffee beans, you can never not see that face Shadowing (Repeating an audio track) Dichotic listening - different messages to each ear; attention is paid to the voice in for instance your left ear. attended channel - listen to this one unattended channel - ignore this one e.g. counting the passes (white/black teams, basketball, gorilla) Their attention is driven by the task at hand, counting the passes is what the participants are attending to. people claim that they don't hear anything in the unattended channel; words can change to nonsense words and they still would not hear them; if the gender of the voice changes, sometimes the participant will be aware of that; if the name of the participant is said in the unattended channel, they will actually hear that Cocktail party effect other conversations tuned out and you just pay attention to the person you're talking to; if someone in close proximity says your name, it pulls your attention away; i.e. friend's name, your interests; how are we able to ignore and tune out all this information when it's not relevant but something can pull our attention back? Unattended channel can be noticed The participant’s own name Words of high personal significance Boost attended items and dampen unattended items The passes example is the visual version of the audio task. Sometimes effects of attention are so strong that we fail to see stimuli that are directly in front of our eyes. Inattentional Blindness Participants look at a screen, looking at a fixation target, some task to do, they can do the task without issue. If that target changes, so rather than a plus it becomes a shape, people don't report seeing that change. As soon as you tell them about this change, almost all the time they can report the change. When you bring your attention to something, why can't they notice it even though it's directly in front of them? There's also the refrigerator example. You look for something in the fridge and it's right in front of you. You're thinking of other stuff that causes you to miss something that's in front of your eyes. What happens to attention that makes you unable to see this consciously? Early versus Late processing These are competing but also complementary. Early processing model versus late is basically saying whether or not the information is coming in or that we block it before it even comes in. What type of resources do we need? The example of the fridge, maybe it's not coming to consciousness because the resources is used up Person Swap example This is basically the person swap example from Just For Laughs. Usually is more robust when it's the same gender and race. We can't have all our attention attuned to everything going on at one time. There has to be mechanisms for us to attend to the thing we're interested in and general bits of information of things in the rest of the world. We're doing that so that we can use our mental resources of that one task at hand. Inattentional blindness: no perception without attention unconscious perception can still occur in the absence of attention perhaps it comes in and it's forgotten or something else comes in and cuts off and you lose it out of consciousness it's perhaps because some of this information can be unconsciously perceived. Unconscious perception means that maybe reflects what was seen and you can do something with that information without knowing you're doing so, i.e. priming. Even with conscious perception, the example of the cocktail effect of hearing your own name, that does reach consciousness, why does this happen? Movie perception test example Besides the guy answering the phone, the clothes and the person changed. Movies tend to play a lot on our ability to keep track of the details in movie scenes. Change blindness Rather than ignoring something that's in front of you, something is changing and it isn't always easy at ID. The example he used here was the plane with the propeller present in one and not in the other. The other example was the graveyard one where at the left part, in one image it was a part of the tomb and gradually it changes into grass. Another example was the colour changing card trick where the four changes were the guy and the woman's shirt changed, the table cloth changed, the background wallpaper changed. Selective attention The two bars, which is longer example. In the first image, if someone asks to judge the length of the two bars, most people say with certainty that the top one is longer than the bottom. In the second picture, the two bars are exactly the same size where it appears that the top bar is longer than the other but are actually the same length, all perceived differences are caused by the fins which aren't attended/consciously seen. Some information is being processed. Those fins that are consciously seen are influencing your perception of the length of the line. Early selection Information is attended to. There's some attended channel and everything else not attended to is lost. Only the attended input reaches consciousness. Late selection Everything comes in but at some point only what's being attended to makes it into consciousness and the unattended are dropped therefore doesn't make it into consciousness. How do you combine both models that fits all sets of data Stimuli that aren't attended to have effects on perception, which indicates late selection electrical brain activity for attended inputs differs within 70 ms from unattended inputs, which indicates early selection. Selection depends on resources complex stimuli involve more effort, leading to early selection easy stimuli involve less effort, leading to late selection Selection as a form of priming lower threshold leads to easier recognition attended channel has lower threshold your name is frequent and is primed even when unattended (cocktail party effect. The threshold is low and is primed over and over; it's more likely even you're not attending to it/self-directed, that can pull our attention, something that is primed over time) Posner and Snyder (1975) two kinds of priming related to attention 1) stimulus based priming does not involve effort our attention is pulled in that direction (of the stimulus); stimulus primed through time 2) expectation based priming does involve effort if we're thinking about somebody showing something to us on the screen, the fixation points (that changes), why does that all of the sudden allow people to see it even if not told specifically what changes? We're diverting resources to our expectations of change and doing that allows something to be primed, we're lowering the threshold to see some change. We have mental resources towards the thing we're paying attention to. High versus low validity condition, the task given, the low validity, there can be three types of trials. The participants were supposed to ID a pair of letters. Neutral trials had a + sign, yes two letters are the same or not. Primed condition had the letter that would appear in the test stimuli. In the misleading trial, the letter was different than the test stimuli. In the low validity condition, that prediction in the primed experiment only predicted accurately the letters 20% of the time, the high validity condition predicted it 80% of the time. The interesting thing is that in the high validity condition, that priming is actually giving somebody information. The AAs are the information you have and you use. In the low validity, people don't trust the trial since it's only 20% of the time. The misleading trial actually leads to incorrect expectations. In the low validity condition, there's little different between neutral and primed. On the high validity condition, because the priming one provides what the correct answer will be, because the misleading provides the incorrect expectation. Whether they can ID that there's two consecutive letters or not, it's relatively easy. The main thing is about the time they take to ID the letters. Low Validity condition many misled primed condition fast than neutral misled same as neutral facilitation only We have limited amount of resources available to us. High Validity primed faster than neutral expectations augments repetition priming Misled slower than neutral expectation limited in capacity wrong expectation interferes the performance to correctly detect the letters Spatial Attention Looking at a fixation point, changes to an arrow facing left or right, make a judgment call or which side the stimulus is on and whether the arrow correctly points at the correct direction. Stimulus based priming is fast like our name being said. It's easy to grab our attention and it comes at little cost meaning we can have in our example, something that primes us, if it helps because it's been repeated overtime, we actually perform faster, we can detect the stimuli faster; in the misleading trials, no cost, no expectations there. Expectation based priming is slower and also has resource cost. If we're going to form some idea that this correctly predicts the location of the stimulus, and it's wrong, and we already have that expectation driven, it takes time and effort to change, we divert to change our resources. Skeleton and mirror image We don't shift our gaze or our eye movements but we can definitely shift our attention between the skeleton or the lady in t
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