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Lecture 3

46-358 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Stroop Effect, Visual Search, Saccade

Course Code
PSYC 3580
Anne Baird

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Attention and Consciousness
Sensory memory: large capacity storage system
Social cognitive neuroscience: new discipline that uses neuroscience techniques to
explore the kind of cognitive processes used in interactions with other people
Generalized, well-integrated knowledge about a situation, an event, or a person. A
schema allows people to predict what will happen in a new situation. These predictions
are generally correct.
- Divided, selective attention, saccadic movements
- Theories of attention: bottleneck theories, feature-integration theory
Attention: a concentration of mental activity, so that you can take in limited information.
1. Divided attention: concentration on at least two sources of information at the same
2. Selective attention: screening out/ignoring some stimuli in order to focus attention on
other information sources (dichotic listening, stroop task, visual search, change
blindness, inattentional blindness)
Driving: routinely requires processing of more than one type of information at the same
time. Involves divided attention, selective attention, other top-down processes, bottom-up
process are important to driving as this website shows. Driving ability must be assessed
by a task that requires these parallel processing under demanding conditions: the three-
part useful field of view test.
- Useful field of view: area which one can extract visual information in a brief glance
without head or eye movement. Limits of this area are reduced by poor vision,
difficulty dividing attention, ignoring distraction, and slower processing ability.
Dichotic listening: a shadowing experiment/experience of listening simultaneously to two
different stimuli, one in each ear
- Right handed usually means you are right-eared
- We pick up information in both ears if the voices differ in gender
Classic stroop effect: observation that people take a long time to name an ink color used
in printing an incongruent word (blue ink used in printing word red) even though they
can quickly name that same ink color when it appears as a solid patch.
General stroop effect: a relatively automatic cognitive activity where it is more difficult
to carry out the mental process one is trying to do
Visual search
1. More targets there are in a field the higher the percentage you’re likely to identify
2. Isolated feature/combined feature effect (Treisman):
Isolated feature effect: very easy that it usually doesn’t matter how many
distracters there are (pop-out effect)
Combined feature effect: much harder and slows down as you add more and more
3. Feature present/feature absent effect (Treisman)
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