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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Notes


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB51H3
Professor
Matthias Niemeier
Chapter
8

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Chapter 8: Attention and Perception
Retina gets more info than we can process
Cant look at 2 things at same time
Attention: Mechanism to restrict processing b/c cant deal w/ too many inputs at
same time
oOvert attention: directing sense organ at stimulus
e.g. looking at word
oCovert : paying attention to one thing, looking at another
oDivided : Giving attention to two things at same time
e.g. reading and listening to music
oSustained : constant attention
e.g. watching pot to notice boiling
Selective attention: pick one or a few stimuli
Selection in Space
Reaction time (RT): time from stimulus seen to response
Cue: shows where next stimulus could be
oCan be valid, invalid, neutral
Stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA): time btw one stimulus shown and another
oAt SOA 150ms cueing effect of valid peripheral cue (8.3b) increases
Symbolic cues take longer b/c we have to interpret them
oE.g. arrow 8.3c
oEyes are symbolic, but fast
The Spotlight of Attention
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Attention is kind of like spotlight shifting to new spot
Not sure of exact location of attention, evidence says not exactly like moving spotlight
Visual Search
Visual search: looking for target in display containing distracting elements
oMore like real world
Target: goal of visual search
Distractor: stimulus other than target in visual search
Set size: # of items in display
As set size , RT  
Easier and faster to say target is present rather than not present (have to double
check)
Feature Searches Are Efficient
Feature search: Search by attribute, salient color or orientation
Salience: uniqueness if it stands out from others stimuli
Parallel: processing multiple stimuli at same time
oE.g. colour and orientation, RT doesnt w/ set size
oCan do this with about 24 attributes
We can find differences in 3D items faster than 2D
Many Searches Are Inefficient
When target and distracters have same basic features, search is inefficient
oE.g. T and L are made of horizontal bars
Even when letters are big enough
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