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Joe Kim (247)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4 - Attention and Memory Video Lecture Psych 1X03

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Joe Kim

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Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Chapter 4: Attention and Memory Attention  Phenomenon  Model  Hypothesis; we understand the phenomenon of attention, but we must define the problem to build cognitive models and design experiments with testable hypothesis  William James definition of attention o Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought… it implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state  Selection o Attending to something causes the object of attention to be selected apart from the rest of the unattended objects o Can be subconscious  Eg/ Notice the sensation of your clothes when you put them on, but as the day goes by, you no longer notice them because you’re noting other things o Conscious ability to attend to the information that is relevant to our goals  Eg/ Walking down a busy street o Irrelevant information in the environment acts as noise that can make it difficult to identify and attend to important information – but we are remarkably adept at distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant information  Eg/ Walking down a busy street looking for your lost friend  Automatic and Controlled Attention o Automatic Processes  Triggered involuntarily by external events and trigger the “capture” of attention  Fast, efficient  Learning Recall: Some cues seem to be more noticeable and lead to stronger and quicker association when paired with events – the notion of salient information  Salient piece of information is one that appears to naturally pop-out at you  Eg/ It is hard to miss the loud sound and flashing lights of an emergency vehicle – seems to automatically capture your attention whether you intended to or not  Once a skill is learned, it can be performed with little effort  Eg/ Driving – sometimes you set out to drive to one location and end up at another location because you were on “auto-pilot” o Controlled Processes  Guide attention voluntarily and consciously to objects of interest  Slow, effortful  Eg/ When driving; you choose when to make lane changes, speed up, slow down, engage in conversation etc  It is difficult to consciously attend to many aspects of the task-environment at the same time because the resources for controlled processes are limited – as the demands for attention increase, you must make adjustments to compensate or else performance in all tasks suffer  Eg/ Turn down the radio when looking for an address  The Spotlight Model o Attention can be consciously directed across the visual scene as you look for your friend at the crowded after-party o Attention can be hijacked by unconscious processes that can quickly grab your attention so you can avoid an oncoming speeding car as you step off the sidewalk o As your attention moves around your field of vision, objects falling within the spotlight are processed preferentially – you can respond to objects faster and with greater accuracy o Spatial Cueing Paradigm  Subjects are asked to fix their attention to the middle box on a screen  At some point, a target will appear on either the left or right box Video Lecture Psych 1X03  Before the target appears, a potential target box briefly flashes  The flashing box serves as a cue for your attention  The target can then follow in either the cued or uncued location  The subject must indicate the correct target location as quickly as possible  Experiment #1 – Experimental Design  The target appears randomly on either the left or right target box, and is equally often cued or uncued  The cue provides no predictive information about where the target will appear  Find that target detection is quicker when it is correctly cued than when it is uncued  Suggests that this difference in target detection is governed by automatic rather than the conscious control of attention  Experiment #1 – Results  Recall – consciously controlled strategies are slower to implement than are automatic processes of attention  The relatively short time interval between cue and target presentation in this experiment favors automatic rather than consciously controlled processes that guide the allocation of attention  Suggests that the cue automatically attracts the attentional spotlight to the cued location  If a target appears in the cued location, then attention will amplify the perceptual processing of that target and it will be detected quickly  If a targets appears in the uncued (and therefore unattended location) the target will be detected more slowly because the attentional spotlight will have been directed away from the actual target location  Translates into a measurable difference in target attention in the cued and uncued trials  Experiment #2  Attentional cue provides accurate predictive information about where the target is likely to occur – target appears in the cued location more than 50% of the time  Used to study consciously controlled shifts of attention  Conscious controlled shifts of attention can lead to faster responses to targets that appear in the location indicated by the cue than to targets that appear opposite the location indicated by the cue  Predictive cues lead to faster detection ties, even though the subjects don’t have time to move their eyes to the cued location before making their judgment – attention moves faster than they eye  When an object is fixed in our “attentional spotlight”, tasks related to that object will have increased accuracy and decreases reaction time  we are better at tasks when our attentional spotlight is fixed on the object (or location) we need to work with  Filter Models o Auditory Attention  The ability to separate target sounds from background notice is based on physical characteristics, such as the gender of the speaker and the direction, pitch or speed of the speech o Information  Filter  Further Processing o Spotlight Model – attention would enhance the processing of the single flower relative to the grass o Filter Model – attention helps us ignore the grass and allows the flower to continue on for further processing o Donald Broadbent  Used data from behavioral experiments to infer the functional stages of cognitive processing  Attentional filter selects important information on the basis of physical characteristics and allows that information to continue on for further processing  Information that does not pass through the early physical filter was assumed to be completely eliminated and unavailable for deeper analysis for meaning and semantic importance  Experiment using dichotic listening paradigm Video Lecture Psych 1X03  Subject would put on headphones and listen to a different message directed into each ear; subject must shadow the message in the attended ear by repeating back the message  If asked a question about the attended message, there would be no problem in answering  Most subjects seem to process almost no information from the unattended ear, even large changes (change in language, and even playing speech backward)  The attentional filter allows only information arriving through the attended ear to proceed to deeper processing o Von Wright  Limitation of Broadbent’s model – assumes that there is absolutely no additional processing of unattended signals  Von Wright suggests that some information is processed in the unattended ear  First part of the study, a classical conditioning paradigm is used to associate a particular word with an electric shock  The second part of the study was conducted as a dichotic listening experiment  When participants heard a word similar in sound or meaning to the conditional word in their attended ear, they reacted with a conditional response as would be expected  Conditional response occurred even in the conditional word was presented in the unattended ear o Dual Filter Model (Triesman)  Breakthrough – when participants are able to remember important information in the unattended stream  Challenges Broadbent’s model  Common when the unattended information is highly relevant  Eg/ At a party, you are engaging in a conversation with someone and you filter out everything else, but if someone happens to say your name aloud, it will “breakthrough” and capture your attention  Two filters: Physical and Semantic  Physical Filter o Information passes through the physical filter first o Information is evaluated based on physical cues, such as intensity or pitch to find the most relevant signal o Physical filter weights the most importance of incoming stimuli based on these physical cues and passes along all the information to the semantic filter  Semantic Filter o As the information passed through the semantic filter, it is evaluated for meaning o Takes into account the weights assigned by the physical filter, considers the deeper meaning and relevance to the stimuli and chooses which information will be attended to, while the rest of the information is discarded o Can override the early filtering decisions based on physical traits by considering the meaning of particular information  The Stroop Task o Paradigm designed to test the limits of the attentional filter o Produces an effect that’s almost impossible to avoid o Participants are presented with a color word and asked to name the ink color in which the word is presented  Congruent items – contain matching word and color dimensions  Eg/ RED  Incongruent items – contain mismatching word and color dimensions  Eg/ BLUE o Researchers measure how long it takes a participant to correctly identify the ink-color while trying to ignore the word dimension  Faster for congruent items Video Lecture Psych 1X03 o The paradigm requires you to attend to information on the task-relevant dimension and to ignore the information on the task-irrelevant dimension o The difference in performance between incongruent and congruent trials can serve as an empirical measure of processes involved in selective attention  On congruent trials, the word and color match – word reading facilitates color naming performances  On incongruent trials, the word and color mismatch – word-reading interferes with color naming performances o Proportion congruent manipulation – change the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials used to measure conscious control over Stroop interferences  75% congruent, 25% incongruent  leads to increased Stroop Effect  25% congruent, 75% incongruent  leads to decreased Stroop Effect o Automatic Evidence – word reading influences performance even when the word is to be ignored o Controlled Evidence – people can adopt different consciously controlled word reading strategies that modulate the Stroop effect o Changes in the strength of the Stroop task constitutes a first example of an experimental task that researchers use to develop theories about the process involved in attention  Visual Search: Attention in the Real World o Visual Search Experiments – designed to test how we use everyday attention  Subjects look for a target in an array of distracters o Set Size – the number of items to search through o Set Size Effect – increase in difficulty as set size increases o Pop-out Effect – rapid visual search regardless of set size  Easily induced by color  Eg/ Find the green I in a set of many black I’s o Feature and Conjunction Search  Conjunction Search task – involves identifying a target that is defined by two or more features  Eg/ Finding the green T among a large set of green and red I’s and red T’s o Eg/  Pop-Out Effect – Finding a single green “O” in a field of 2 red “O”s  Set Size Effect – Finding a single red “Q” in a field of 20 red “O”s vs. finding a single red “Q” in a field of 50 red “Q”s  Feature Search – Finding a single red “Q” in a filed of 20 red “O”s  Conjunction Search – Finding a single green “Q” in a mixed field of red “O”s, green “O”s and red “Q”s o Contextual Cueing  Context can come from any number of sources, but in general we gain it by knowing something about our world  Context of a search task serves as a cue to help you search more efficiently  The Importance of Attention o Attention errors can lead to minor everyday inconveniences  Eg/ When you forget to put the milk back in the fridge o Chronic attentional errors can play a role in psychological problems like attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety, insomnia, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder o Hemispatial Neglect – person with damage to right parietal lobe of the brain may continue to see objects to the left, yet fail to pay full attention to them; may lead to the odd behavior of only eating the food on the right-hand-
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