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PSYB57H3 (369)
George Cree (102)


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George Cree

PSYB57 – Chapter 3: Attention 1. Attention: At a given moment, enhances some info and inhibits other info. – The enhancement allows us to select some information for further processing, and the inhibition of other info from receiving further processing – Driven & controlled by top-down processing  change in dynamic manner! (ex, hungry notice fruit on table, if full attention glide over it) – An efficient way to extract crucial info from flood of info (ex, scanning through textbook) – A COMPETITIVE SYSTEM IN WHICH TUNING INTO ONE THING  INHIBITION OF COMPETING INFO – Does not engage in only one area of the brain! Implemented in wide, distributed circuit in which diff brain regions contribute. – Involves selection that can occur early, late or at both times & driven by our will/strength of stimuli in the environment + on the basis of space/objects/time 2. Failures of selection in space VS Failures of selection in time Failures of selection in space: a lot of info simultaneously presetnot capable of noticing all of it at once  insensitive to changes in modalities (vision, auditory etc) - When top-down processing = overridden by a sensory event! (bottom-up attention processing) (1) Change blindness: failure to detect changes in the physical aspects of a scene - Indicates that not all available info is attended and subsequently represented (2) Change deafness: miss changes btw voices in an auditory scene Failures of selection in time: new info arrives  spending time processing it  miss some other incoming info - Limitations on the speed in which info can be processed in temporal sequence - Attentional blink: a short period during which incoming info is not registered (the blanking out of info during blink of an eye) - Repetition blindness: failure to detect the later appearance of a stimulus when the stimuli are presented in a rapid sequence, can occur for words & objects  EXPLANATION – Failure to encode second stimulus occurs when it rapidly follows the first, not selected as a distinct event! Second occurrence = assimilated to the first  only one even is registered! **BOTH: prevents us from becoming overloaded w/irrelevant info!! = SYSTEM OF SELECTIVE ATTENTION!!, can be explained by the idea of “competition btw stimuli” 3. Focused attention VS Divided attention ( Failures in space) Focused attention: concentration on one source of input to the exclusion of any other Divided attention: more than one source is attended, info selected is imperfect (multitask)  Lost of info!! TWO SOURCES OF INFO COMPETE FOR LIMITED ATTENTIONAL RESOURCES, “MENTAL EFFORT” 4. SOURCE OF LIMITATION (qty of info) FOR ATTENTION = Bottleneck theory: a restriction on the amt of info that can be processed at once  certain mental operations have to be carried out sequentially! Response bottleneck: the interference, in the form of a slowing down of your actions. - Arises when you try to select btw 2 possible responses to even a sole sensory stimulus. - Can occur even w/ a single sensory input when outputs are too great! (picking up a phone, taking a message, looking for pad, drop pencil, missed the message etc.) Dual-task interference: cost in accuracy or reaction time when you attempt to perform 2 tasks at once. - Greater interference when sources are both same type of info than when they are different  if similar representations and processes are activated in the 2 tasks may be confusing 5. Problems in Interpretation(of divided attention/dual-task) (1) Researchers can never guarantee that 2 sources of input are always being attended simultaneously / that output are always selected simultaneously / 2 tasks are performed simultaneously (2) It is not possible to guarantee that when you do 2 things at the same time you’re doing them in exactly the same way as you would if you were performing each task on its own DUAL TASKS MORPHS INTO A SINGLE TASK  DIFFICULT TO SEPERATE & QUATIFY PERFORMANCE! - Not impossible. Can get better at it by becoming more skilled (more autonomic  less interference when performed with another task) at one/both tasks Attention Processing can be described as: (1) Autonomic: on easy/very familiar tasks (2) Controlled: can become autonomic over time 6. Hemispatial neglect: a deficit in attention in which one entire half of visual scene is simple ignored, neglect = not restricted to visual info (sounds, touch, smell)  failure to attend to left sided info in space AND in time! - Cause (Most often by): Damage to RIGHT PARIETAL LOBE, critical in attention and selection  fail to select info on the side opposite to lesion - Suffer deficits in mental imagery as well as perception! EVIDENCE that attention can operate to select from a scene that is internally generated NOT JUST FROM REAL PERCEPTUAL INPUT - Can be understood in framework of “competition”: bias increases the competitive strength of the right-sided stimuli Spatial (left-right) & temporal attentional mechanisms interact in determining how much info is neglected! Left hemisphere – involved in processing language Right hemisphere – involved in attention and spatial processes 7. Endogenous attention: has a voluntary aspect, is top-down, originates from within. - Attention is directed to a location before the appearance of a stimulus - Network of FRONTAL & DORSAL PARIETAL AREAS INVOLVED - Voluntary attention neural network operates temporally as well as spatially - Can be overridden! Powerful stimuli can capture attention & direct you away from task at hand  Exogenous attention: bottom-up, generated outside oneself (sound of breaking glass) - An unexpected stimulus appears and redirects attention - Activate VENTRAL SYSTEM, include TEMPORAL PARIETAL JUNCTION (TPJ) & VENTRAL FRONTAL CORTEX  2 SYSTEMS = functionally independent but interactive! Convert attention (developed by HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ): Although eyes may be directed at a specific spot visual attention can be directed elsewhere, without moving the eyes (flash of a camera) - Attending to a location  processing in that location even w/o eye movement - Therefore, facilitation & inhibition of a detection are influenced by direction of attention alone - Coupling of attention and eye movements very advantageous 8. 3 Different mental operations involved in attention: (disengage-move-engage) (1) Disengaging of attention from a current location (2) Moving attention to a new location - Progressive supranuclear palsy: damage to midbrain, no difficulty with “disengage” & “engage” operations BUT difficulty in orienting (3) Engaging attention to a new location - Lesions to the PULVINAR (Part of THALAMUS) cannot engag
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