PSYB57H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Attentional Blink, Parietal Lobe, Visual Search
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PSYB57-10W-W03 - Attention
Define attention and understand how it involves selecting some information for further
processing while inhibiting the processing of other information (pp. 103-104).
-Attention is the process that, at a given moment, enhances some information and inhibits other
Understand the difference between failures of selection in space and failures of selection in
time (pp. 105-112).
Failure of selection in space: unable to process all information given at once.
-Change Blindness: failure to detect changes in the physical aspects of a scene. (eg. ask pedestrian
direction ! two people carrying a door walks between ! change person ! notice?)
-Change Deafness: miss changes between voices in an auditory scene
-we select particular information to process and ignore other information present.
-changes of “central interest” can be noticed much faster than “marginal interest”
-Our attention is driven and controlled via top-down processing, which and change in a flexible and
dynamic manner. This allows attention to extract critical information from a flood of input.
-Top-down processing can be overridden by sensory event (bottom-up attentional processing) (eg. glass
Failure of selection in time: unable to process all information given in a rapid stream.
- eg. the ability to detect T1 and T2. 1. Participants did well when only required to report seeing T1. 2.
When required to report seeing T1 and T2, participants failed to report T2 when it appeared between
100-500 milliseconds after T1. Results bettered when the appearance interval of each letter was
- Attentional blink: short period of time which incoming information is not registered.
-Repetition blindness: failure to detect the later appearance of a stimulus when the stimuli are presented
in a rapid sequence.
-second occurrence is assimilated o the first, only one event is registered
Compare focused attention and divided attention (pp. 107-108).
Focus Attention: concentration on a single source of input.
Divided Attention: concentration on more than one source of input.
-Every task has a different required “mental effort”, when there is an insufficient amount of
“mental effort” in the pool, failures will be more frequent.
Explain how bottleneck theories area a source of limitation for attention, and how dual-task
interference is observed (pp. 112-113).
Bottleneck: restriction on the amount of information that can be processed at once; certain critical mental
operations have to be carried out sequentially.
Dual-task interference: decrease in performance (reaction time/ accuracy) during the attempt to perform
two task at once
Response bottleneck: when one try to select between two possible responses to even a sole sensory
stimulus. (eg. holding a glass on right hand, should I put down the glass to grab a sandwich, or should I
grab it with my left hand?)
Understand the difference between automatic and controlled processes of attention (p.
example: driving car + switching the radio channel
-controlled tasks can become automatic with practice over time.
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