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Chapter 4

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PSYC 2650
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 4: Paying Attention - Shadowing- participants hear a tape recording of someone speaking and must echo this speech back word for word while they are listening to it - Attended channel- presented through one earphone while - Unattended channel- is presented in the left earphone and participants are told to ignore this message - Dichotic listening is what this setup is referred to as - most people perform well to this experiment - but can still sometimes heart whether the unattended channel contained human speech, music or silence some unattended inputs are detected - if someone is mentioned in the unattended stimulus ear then you will most likely hear it because it relates to you and you can recall it - referred to as a cocktail party effect perceiving and the limits on cognitive capacity - a filter protects us from potential distractors and allows us to focus - we have specific filters for specific distractions therefore if a new one comes a long we need to develop a new skill aimed at blocking the new intruder inattentional blindness - fixation target- fixated a mark - in the study, participants saw the target shapes but moments later couldn’t remember what they had just seen - another idea is that participants were not expecting any shapes to appear and were not prepared for the shapes and failed to see what they were directly looking at being inattentional blindness conscious perception, unconscious perception - there is no conscious perception without attention (Mark and Rock) - in the Muller-lyer display the fins make the top horizontal line appear longer even though both horizontal lines are the same length - participants unaware of fins but were still influenced by them Change Blindness -change blindness- observers inability to detect changes in scenes they are looking directly at - movies demonstrate this, happens with live events too - people don’t notice deliberate changes infront of them Early verses late selection - early selection hypothesis- the attended input is identified and privileged from the start so that the unattended input receives little analysis - later selection- inputs receive relatively complete analysis but it only the attended input that reaches consciousness and is remembered - neurons are more responsive to attended inputs than to unattended ones - attention can change what we perceive - if the stimuli is complex to process then it will take a lot more effort and the other stimuli will be left in the dust and we won’t even have time to fully process it Selective priming - priming can come in another form where we anticipate what the stimulus will be - sometimes we hear leaks of unattended stimulus still because something’s are primed into our brains because we have encountered it in the past and cant help but to listen momentarily and therefore fire anyway Two types of priming - Posner and Snyder tested a theory with 3 different groups o Neutral – a neutral warning sign came up before a double set of letters o Primed – the warning sign was the letter that was going to come up as a double set o Misled- the warning sign was ANOTHER letter than what was going to come up as a double set - Compared response times (RTs) - RTs were faster in the primed condition than neutral - RTs in the misled condition were the same as the neutral condition - High-validity primes showed faster Reponses than low-validity primes - In high validity- the misled condition response were slower than neutral Explaining the costs and benefits - two types of priming o stimulus based – produced by the presentation of priming stimulus with no role for expectations  can be observed immediately after prime  appears to be “free” so we can prime one detector without taking anything away from other detectors o expectation based- when participant believed the prime allows prediction of what’s to come  expectation based priming-larger in magnitude than stimulus based and leads to a greater benefit in the RT data  takes longer to kick in (half a second)  has a cost- priming the wrong detector does take something away from other detectors, if q-detector is primed it takes away from others  this shows that it is a limited-capacity system - selective attention- while listening to one message you hear little content from other message - you cant listen to two messages at once because it demands more resources than you have Chronometric studies and spatial attention - spatial attention- our ability to focus on a particular position in space and thus be better prepared for any stimulus that appears in that position - its limited capacity system because in order to devote more attention to the left we have to devote less attention to the right attention as a searchlight - eye movements are surprisingly slow (180-200) but with priming it helps (150) - when the searchlight of attention is shining on the stimulus this is priming the relevant detectors for that stimulus - this priming allows detectors to work more efficiently attending to objects or attending to positions - patients with unilateral neglect syndrome- ignore all inputs coming from one side of the body (eat half of plate etc) from damage to right parietal lobe and so the neglect is for the left side of space - these patients only show attention to the defined regions of sight not the objects boundaries - if looking at a blue ball on their left and red ball on right, if they two balls are swapped in front of the patient the patient still gives attention to the red ball (therefore on the object even though it is on the neglected side) - therefore when the ball rotates so does that patients attention when participants are looking at two tv channels at once Participants can easily pay attention to one of these stimuli and ignore the other. This selection can- not be space-based (because both stimuli are in the same place) and so must be object-based. - Participants ere fastest when the cue accurately signaled where the target would be - The responses were quicker when the misleading cues were at least signaled in the proper rectangle because it was in the same general location even though it was thought that the misleading cues for the properly signaled triangle and improperly signaled triangle would produce the same response time for both - Therefore proving that our description of attention needs to be object-based as well as space-based Perceiving and the limits on cognitive capacity: An Interim Summary - we have mechanisms that serves to inhibit the processing of unwanted inputs and mechanisms for ignoring inputs in which we have no interest - we have a second mechanism that facilitates the processing of desired inputs and this is for “paying attention” o we also know that if we know the targets identity in advance we can prime the relevant detectors and if we know where the target will appear we can prime detectors for the appropriate region of space - flexibility in when the selection takes place o perceiver makes an earl selection of the desired input so that the unattended input receives little processing o other times the unattended input receives a fuller analysis even if we aren’t consciously aware of it Divided Attention - why are some task combinations difficult while others are easy? o Divided attention- one can perform concurrent tasks only if the sum of the tasks demands is within the cognitive budget The specificity of Resources - some mental resources are specialized therefore it is easier to combine a verbal task and a spatial task
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