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Attention.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2650
Professor
Dan Meegan
Semester
Fall

Description
Attention 9/20/2012 8:12:00 PM Attention What is attention? “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. Focalization, concentration of consciousness are of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others” – William James  philosopher  Principles of Psychology (book)  Didn‟t use scientific method  Three different types of attention  Selective attention: choosing where we devote our resources o Selectively focusing on competing stimuli o Implies we have control over where we allocate our attention  Vigilance: have to maintain level of awareness and focus to be able to respond to a rare event (post WW2 research focus) o Deaths due to human error in war o Attention was one of human weaknesses  Divided attention: multitasking, dividing attentional resources, cell phones and driving o Not good at dividing attention o Sometimes must divide attention in terms of spatial field What are your attentional limitations?  Varies within individuals  Often better divided attention, harder to selectively attend or vice versa Selective Attention:  Most research on attention focuses on selective attention  Auditory o Classic experiments done in auditory domain  Visual o Most research, vision is dominant sense o “rules” of attention often apply across senses Attention Filtering / Selection  At any one time, you are being bombarded by sensory information o Cannot process all of that information o Information passes through filter  Before filter o Unlimited capacity (auditory/visual system is capable of handling all of the information in environment) o All incoming info is processed  After filter o Limited capacity (hence need for filter, to deal with all this information) o Only unfiltered info is processed  Inattentional blindness: failure to see caused by attention o There is no conscious perception without attention but can unconsciously detect pattern in the world even without attention  Change blindness: observer‟s inability to detect changes in scenes they are looking directly at o If directly in scene, may need up to 12 observations to notice o If in periphery, may been up 10 25 observations to notice Where or when does the filter occur? – 2 major views  Early (Perceptual) Research o 2 input channels, systems can handle it and detect it o system focuses on one channel over the other and blocks the other channel o after filter, can recognize and semantically understand (extracting meaning)  can only extract meaning from one channel  Late (Response) Research o Filter occurs later on o Can detect and recognize and do some semantic analysis of both inputs (can handle both at once) o But, can only respond to one channel at a time  Only when you respond can you show your limits and selectivity  Only attended input reaches consciousness (Inattentional blindness) Dichotic Listening Experiments (Tests of Hypotheses)  Stereo headphones o Different speech message into each ear  Shadowing: asked to repeat speech presented to one of two ears o Need to ask someone to do something with the information to make inferences about what they are taking in o Deliberately ask participant to be selective  Can practically ignore whatever is coming into your other ear  Unattended channel and attended channel of sound  How deeply is the unattended channel (ear) processed? (goal of asking people to shadow) o Do people notice the things we are inputting in other ear o If they do, speaks to how deeply we process *experiment can be done in visual field  how many passes did red team make? Did you see the dancing gorilla? Fate of Unattended Stimuli?  If participants only notice physical changes (e.g. pitch, loudness, basic changes) then only sensory analysis before selection (early) o Changing from deep male voice to children‟s voice o Can say if input was speaking, music or silence o Low level processing  If participants notice changes based on semantics (e.g. language) change then semantic analysis also before selection (late) o Also notice high level changes o To know one language from another is proof that there is high level processing in other ear 1. Cherry (1953)  Participants noticed: o Very little in the unattended channel o Change in speaker (particularly gender) o Change from speech to tones  Low level changes detected  Participants did not notice: o Change in language o Change from forward to backward speech o Repetitions of the same message (up to 32 times)  High level changes not detected  Support for EARLY selection 2. Moray (1959)  “cocktail party” effect  trying to find evidence that there is, in some cases, interesting things that are processes in unattended ear  In unattended channel: o “You may stop now” (6% detection)  do people stop when they hear that?  Are supposed to stop, experiment is done when they hear this in attended ear o “[participant‟s name], you may stop now” (33% detection)  more processing in unattended ear than Cherry had stated  Support for LATE selection 3. Treisman (1960)  Instructions: shadow left ear  Capitals were not indicative of volume  Do people shadow the wrong thing? o Started shadowing the wrong ear due to semantics  support for late selection? o She said there was an early-late compromise Early-Late Compromise  filter is located in early position  filter is not always perfect o can‟t always ignore one channel over the other o sometimes things leak through filter o dangerous thing to completely ignore one channel in environment o always a little bit of processing in case a relevant stimuli comes in „ignored‟ channel, can change attention o “cocktail party” effect  many other conversations in room but able to tune them out, if conversation a few steps away mentions your name or someone else‟s name you know, this catches you attention o can block undesirable stimuli and promote processing of desired stimuli o depends on nature of input of attended channel  simple, less analysis needed, more resources devoted to unattended channel, perceived  complicated, more analysis, less resources devoted to unattended channel, not perceived Focused Attention:  We react faster to something that is the focus of our attention Visual Spatial Attention  Able to allocate visual resources to certain important spaces  Overtly Attending: orient yourself, would to obvious to outside observer where attention is  Covertly Attending: look out of periphery, not obvious where attention is, high level sports, trying to hide intentions Lab 2: Spatial Cueing  where things occur is important  given a cue about where something will happen in space  supposed to use covert attention o valid: cue is correct o neutral: no cue o invalid: cue is incorrect  reaction time differences is due to differences in attention  must give participant reason to trust the cues o 80% valid cues o 20% invalid cues o if you didn‟t, participant would ignore the cue completely because only true about half the time  neutral trials  control trial, no bias of attention  valid trials  lower response times, advantage  invalid trials  higher response times, devote resources to cue and must make up for the misguidance, disadvantage Class Results  distinct response time advantage in correct cue trials  notice neutral cue is not in middle in their graph  Was individual doing what you asked them to do?  How many trials did you do? (average)  Might not see effects in single individual  Aging and speed? o Same for valid trials but slower for neutral and invalid trials?  Novelty of cue, we will respond to more quickly (orienting reflexes) o Flashes in periphery of eye, danger Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA):  How to you prevent someone from pressing button when they know button is going to occur, regardless of where  Stimulus 1: cue  Stimulus 2: target  One stimulus occurs before the other and can manipulate period of time between cue and target o How quickly can we move our attention around in space?  SOA = 0, simultaneous showing of cue and target  When SOA is short, there is no time for the cue to influence the focus of attention before the target appears o Must move attention over in direction of arrow o Don‟t have enough time to use cue to your advantage o Thus should be no reaction time advantage for valid trials at short SOAs  foreperiod = SOA in milliseconds  when SOA = 0, no response time differences o doesn‟t matter what type of cue you had  at 200 milliseconds, maximizes advantage of reaction times o no further advantage, all you need is 200 milliseconds to take full advantage of cue Divided Attention:  2 ways to divide attention o Space (divide attention across all visual field) o Tasks (multitasking, trying to do two things at once, what are the consequences of doing this?)  Lab 2: Slow RTs on neutral trials show the costs of dividing attention between locations (“advantage” for val
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