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Chapter 4

PSYB57 Chapter 4 notes.docx

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Dwayne Pare

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Chapter 4 – Paying Attention Selective Attention Dichotic Listening - Participants wore headphones, and heard one input in left ear and different input in right ear. o Participants were instructed to pay attention to one of the inputs (Attended channel) and ignore message in other ear (unattended channel) - To ensure they were paying attention, they were given a task called shadowing, where the participant had to repeat the speech being heard as it is being played - Little to nothing is picked up from the unattended channel - People are not altogether oblivious to unattended channel Some Unattended inputs are Detected - Some bits of unattended input ‘leak’ through and get noticed - Familiar words (ie. Name, movie, restaurant that you can relate to) tend to ‘catch’ attention while in unattended channel (cocktail party effect) Perceiving and the Limits on Cognitive Capacity - Early proposal suggests that we filter potential distractors - Not only do we block the processing of distractors, but also able to promote the processing of desired stimuli Inattentional Blindness - Experiment where participant was to identify whether horizontal bar of a ‘+’ was longer than the vertical while looking at a fixation target elsewhere - Participants noticed that the ‘+’ had been changed to a different shape but couldn’t identify what the shape was Conscious Perception, Unconscious Perception - Participants did perceive the fins but did not consciously - We may be able to unconsciously detect (and be influenced by) patterns even in absence of attention Change Blindness - Inablility to detect changes in scenes directly being viewed Early vs Late Selection - In early selection hypothesis, attended input is identified and privileged from start so that unattended input receives little analysis - In late selection hypothesis, all inputs receive relatively complete analysis, and selection is done after analysis - Perhaps selection is done just before stimuli reach consciousness and so we become aware only of attended input or that all inputs make it into consciousness, but then selection is done so that attended input is remembered - Attention can change what we perceive, there is a mix of early and late selection - Selection may depend on complexity of stimuli Selective Priming - Expectation of a stimulus to appear ‘primes’ detectors to prepare for it, and lack of expectation will cause stimulus to fall on unprimed detectors (unresponsive) - Stimulus encountered often before have higher activation levels and therefore already primed whether it is expected or not Two Types of Priming - One type of priming can be based on recency and frequency of stimuli and takes no effort or resources to attend to - Another can be dependent on expectations, under your control. We can deliberately prime detectors for inputs that are expected but cannot prime for inputs that can’t be anticipated - Combination of warming up detectors and expectations leads to faster responses than warm-up alone, it pays to know what the upcoming stimulus might be Explaining the Costs and Benefits - Two types of primes are stimulus based and expectation based, can be distinguished in terms of their “cost” - Expectation priming takes longer to kick in, you need a moment to form an expectation, appears to have a ‘cost’ - Stimulus priming can be observed immediately after prime, appears to be ‘cost’ free - Priming wrong detector takes something away from other detectors, worse off if participant are misled rather than no prime at all - In expectation priming, priming one detector takes away from other detectors (getting prepared for one target makes people less prepared for other targets. Implies limited ‘budget’ (limited capacity system) Chonometric Studies and Spatial Attention - Spatial attention is the ability to focus on particular position in space, thus be better prepared for any stimulus that appears in that position - In order to devote more attention to left position, you have to devote less attention to right Attention as a Spotlight - Visual attention can be compared to spotlight beam that can ‘shine’ anywhere in visual field - The ‘beam’ marks the region of space for which you are prepared, inputs within beam are processed more efficiently. Beam can be wide or narrowly focused and can be moved at will from one aspect of visual field or another - Spotlight idea refers to movements of attention and not eyes (eyes play important role though) - Benefits of attention occur prior to any eye movement, cannot be consequence of eye movements - Control of attention depends on network of brain sites in frontal cortex and parietal cortex - Expectations are supported by one group of brain areas and used to modulate activity in other areas directly responsible for handling input - Neural mechanisms are in place that allow you to adjust your sensitivity to certain inputs Attending to Objects or Attending to Positions - We pay attention to a combination of regions in space and objects - Patients with unilateral neglect syndrome seem to ignore all inputs coming from one side of body. Symptoms support a space-based account of attention Feature Binding - Features have priority in perception , ‘set size’ impacts the role of attention (how many stimuli participants have to search through to find target) - When searching for target defined by single feature, set size has little effect, it has large effect
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