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PSYCH 1X03 (260)
Chapter 5

1X03 ch. 5 Part 1 notes.docx

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Christopher Teeter

Chapter 5: Attention and Memory Introduction • Recollection includes attention to many fine details • Flashbulb memories: vivid experiences – ‘live’ quality feeling like person is looking at a photo of a moment locked in time • Arousal and emotional experience illustrate strong interplay between attention and memory – remember what we pay attention to and attention is shaped by what we remember Section 1: Introduction to Attention • (message in bold) Among the most important, cognitive abilities is the ability to select a signal from noise. You do this by focusing on certain cues such a type style. When we focus our attention on certain stimuli, the message in other stimuli is not clearly identified. However some information from the unintended source may be detected. • Picking out this message demonstrates ability to selectively process incoming info • Need to sift through the noise to select important messages for preferential processing • Attentional processes guided by: 1. Focusing limited mental resources on immediate task 2. Monitoring ongoing stimuli to evaluate potential significance and shifting allocation of mental resources when necessary Section 2: Tools to Measure Attention • The Cocktail Party Effect: despite competing background noises, a listener can focus on a single channel and still pick out relevant salient info from the background • Ex. focus on your conversation in coffee shop, tune out background noises but still listen for your name to be called when your order is ready • Simulated in a lab – dichotic listening paradigm: headphones worn and 2 different message said into ears – listener had to repeat back one of the messages  Attention can be switched between ears at random/periodic intervals – flexible control over attention  Semantic content sent to attended ear is well remembered – semantic content is vague – some info is processed in unattended ear º Ex. listeners can report pitch and tone from unattended ear  Results: items selected for attention are better perceived and later remembered than items not attended  In lab – simplified to only 2 messages (attended/unattended) and experimenter selects which item will be attended to/ in real world – many messages simultaneously and selection is not prescribed • Bottom-up and Top-down processing: raw data gathered through senses (bottom- up) – dynamically interacts with info already stored in memory (top-down) • Bottom-up processing: stimulus-driven mechanism – attention captured by salient change in environment/ automatically captures attention to alert you  Ex. someone falls off chair captures attention of everyone around/police siren, telephone ring, someone calling your name, etc. • Top-down processing: attention purposely directed – strategically direct attention to match current goals and expectations from past experience through memory  Ex. always put keys on front desk when you return home so in the morning when you are rushing out the door you direct your attention to that location rather than searching the entire house  In lab – observe how goals shape attending strategies by using eye- tracking technology – participant changed scanning behaviour based on current task • Orienting and the Spatial Cueing Paradigm: • Orienting: act by which attention moves across a scene • Spatial cueing paradigm: Posner’s psychological task for measuring orienting – allows experimenter to measure shifts in attention in the absence of eye movements  Ex. person falls of chair in restaurant  attention directed to person who fell – accompanied by eye movements • Overt attending: obvious – where you are attending is where you are looking • Covert orienting – ‘invisible’ shifts of attention  Measure in the lab using Posner’s special cueing paradigm – shifts in attention reflected in efficiency with which targets are detected at cued locations º time between cue and target presentation (less than 300ms) too quick for eye movements to occur – shift in attention independent of eye movement º if more than 300ms is allowed between cue and target – enough time for eye movements – takes longer to detect target (IOR)  Inhibition of Return (IOR): attempt to redirect a previously attended location at which the target was not found • Exogenous cue: allows attention to be physically and automatically oriented • Endogenous/symbolic cue: require interpretation – allow attention to be consciously directed by interpretation of cue info – can be ignored if they conflict with task demands (under volitional control) • Top-down processing better suited to handle endogenous cues (both allow for conscious control)/bottom-up processing better suited to handle exogenous cues (both are automatic) Section 3: Further Measures of Attention • Visual Search Paradigm – used to model how we search for items in our environment – locate a target item among a set of distracter items on a computer display • Set size: total number of items on display – varies between trials • Performance measured by response time as a function of set size – need to answer as quickly as possible • Pop-out Effect – reflects bottom-up capture of attention driven by salience of properties of the target – target “pops out” of the display (ex. locate red circle in a display of blue images) • Time taken to respond to target is independent of set size – processing of whole set if items happens simultaneously (or in parallel) • Conjunctive Search – search for target defined by a combination of features • Ex. red circle in a display of blue circles and red squares – search for 2 distinct features that characterize the target • Response time increases with set size – process every item until target is found • Contextual Cueing – in re
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