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Lecture 3

PSYC 3260 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Chessboard, Automaticity, Parietal Lobe

Course Code
PSYC 3260
Norman Park

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Jan. 25th, 2017
Lecture 3
What is Attention?
- Sometimes attention comes from the external environment and sometimes from the
internal environ.
- Endogenous Attention: used everyday;
- The selective or focal processing
- Main concept is selection of information for further processing
- James talks about attention as a conscious cognitive process but is it always?
- There are certain types of attention that occur without consciousness.
Types of Attention:
- Sustained attention: long-term goal or objective; if effective, guides focus over long
periods of time.
- If there is damage; sustained attention is impaired.
- Woman sustained brain injury through motor accident. Her goal was to get ready for
company and clean up for apartment sustained attention impairment: while cleaning
up she came across a letter that she forgot to respond to, she started replying to the letter
and forgot about visit until they arrived.
- Divided Attention: not uncommon to see people texting on phones while driving;
dangerous behaviour. Texting requires attention therefore you’re focused on texting and
not driving. Hands-free devices don’t solve the problem because attention is still
Why is Attention Necessary: Selective Attention
- We have limited capacity to process information, some people say we have limited
o Concept is that we have more information than we can effectively process.
- Attention can be selective in space (attention in a particular location) and selective in
time (some information processed a little early); can miss other information being
presented at that time.
- Change Blindness can demonstrates how little we pay attention to our environment
while paying attention to other aspects
o Fail to detect changes in environment that may be quite salient otherwise.
- Many ways that the selected information is chosen; could be directed to it, salient aspects
in the environment,
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