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PSYCH 2E03 (32)
Chapter 6

Chapter 6.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2E03
Professor
Gautam Ullal

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Psych 2E03: Sensory Processes Chapter 6: Visual Attention Attention and Perceiving the Environment - divided attention: paying attention to a number of things at once - there are limits to our abilities to divide attention - selective attention: focusing on specific objects and ignoring others - why is selective attention necessary:  we look at things that are interesting  selectively focus on certain things in your environment because your visual system has been constructed to operate that way  avoid becoming overloaded  retina structure: all-cone fovea, detailed vision, receives disproportionate amount of processing because of magnification - how is selective attention achieved:  eye movements  mental aspect of attention that occurs in addition to eye movement - scanning a scene:  measuring eye movement: camera-based eye-trackers track the position of the eye without attaching anything to it  saccades: punctuated by pauses, indicated by the dots, where the eyes stops momentarily to take in information about a specific part of the scene  fixations: pauses, indicate where the person is attending  what determines where we fixate in a scene:  characteristics of the scene: o stimulus salience: conspicuous and attract attention based on their stimulus properties o bottom-up process o colour, contrast, orientation o saliency map: high-saliency areas, then focus on meanings of the objects  picture meaning and observer knowledge: o scene schema: knowledge about what is contained in typical scenes o people fixate more on meaningful areas of a picture  observer’s task: o demands of a task override factors such as stimulus saliency o person’s eye movement were driven primarily by the task Is Attention Necessary for Perception - we can take in some information from scenes we don’t attend to or attend to only slightly - when can perception occur without attention:  perceive the gist of a scene  Fei Fei Li: quickly shown five letters and must determine if they are the same or different while a picture of a scene flashed in the bottom corner, observes where able to identify if an animal was present  Some perception is possible even in the absence of focused attention - when is attention necessary for perception:  inattentional blindness: occurs when a stimulus that is not attended is not perceived even though a person is looking directly at it  ex.: paying attention to the vertical and horizontal arms apparently made observers blind to the unattended test object  when observers are attending to one sequence of events, they can fail to notice another, even when it’s right in front of them  change detection: instead of presenting several stimuli at the same time, they present stimuli one after another  pictures had to be alternated a number of times before the difference was detected  change blindness: difficulty in detecting changes in scenes. Also occurs when the scene changes in different shorts of a film o illustrates the importance of attention for perception o counterintuitive results o change blindness blindness: people are blind to the fact that change blindness will occur o people think they would see the changes because from past experiences they know that abrupt changes rarely occur in real life and are usually noticed and often accompanied by motion  although you can’t make out details of objects that are off to the side of where you are looking, the overall scene appears to be “sharp” and in focus  we miss seeing changes that we aren’t cued to look for shows that only a small part of the environment is encoded in detail  familiarity with our environment allows u
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