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Flashcards in Attention Deck (86):

Describe the procedure of the Spatial Cueing Task (Posner, Nissen, Ogden, 1978)

  • Participants fixated on a point in the center of the slide. An arrow pointing left or right appeared above the center.
  • Participants pressed a button when a box appeared either to the left or right of the arrow a few seconds later.
  • 80% of the time, the box appeared where the arrow pointed, and 20% of the time it appeared opposite of where the arrow pointed.


What is disjunction?

A single-feature search.


What were the results of the inattentional blindness driving study (Strayer et al., 2003)?

Conditional probability: For billboards that were fixated, recognition was 2x better in the single task. Therefore, cell phone conversations reduced attention to fixated objects.

Basically, participants on cell phones recalled half as many billboards as when they were just driving.


What is an example of parafoveal preview?

While reading, knowing the length of the next word in the sentence.


How does the Feature Integration Theory account for visual search findings?

The disjunction search (single feature) uses only the pre-attentive stage. The conjunction search, where there is no "pop out" feature uses focused attention.


What experiment displays an example of inattentional blindness?

Simons and Chabris (1999) gorilla study.


Describe the procedure of the flicker paradigm (Rensink, O'Regan and Clark, 1997)

Participants watch two pictures flash with an 80ms gray field flashing in between. The pictures hold a large difference, and participants are to press a button when they notice this difference.


What were the results of the Spatial Cuing Task (Posner, Nissen, Ogden, 1978)?

Participants were faster at detecting the box when the arrow cued them correctly, and participants were slower than the baseline when cued incorrectly.


What is habituation?

Gradual reduction of orienting response back to the baseline.


How did Treisman and Geffen counter Late Selection Theories in 1967?

Participants were asked to monitor both messages, shadow one, and tap their finger on the target word "travel".

Late Selection Theories predict similar detection rates from both messages, but the results showed 87% detection for the shadowed messages, and 8% for the other.


How does covert attention help overt attention?

It monitors the environment and determines where to move our eyes to next.


What is meant by "multiple channels" of information?

At any given moment, there are often several events (channels) that we could monitor in our environment.


In the Dichotic Listening Task (Cheery, Moray), what were participants able to recall in the unattended channel?

  1. Whether it was a pure tone vs. human voice
  2. Whether the voice was male or female
  3. When the sex of the speaker changed during test


What theory builds on the Attenuation Theory (Treisman, 1964)?

The Pertinence Model (Norman, 1968)


What is inattentional blindness?

Failure to perceive objects or events that are in plain sight – due to lack of attention.


Roughly how many letter spaces are in foveal vision?



What do we do when we get to the serial bottleneck?

We select what information to attend to and filter out the rest (like an on/off switch)


Name two types of attention shifts.

Overt & Covert


What happens in the pre-attentive stage of the Feature Integration Theory?

Perception of primitive features, before any objects are recognized, parallel processing. Free floating, we haven't yet created a representation of which features belong to which objects. Example: The green apple and red pepper.


What happened when the same voice was used in both channels?

Participants were still able to shadow the "to-be-attended" ear with reasonable success.


Name 4 other names for "central attention"

Central cognition, cognitive control, executive functioning, and executive control.


What happens when participants are asked to complete two tasks that are similar?

There is more interference because similarity means there is the same perceptual modality.


What was the independent variable in the in attentional blindness for important info while driving study (Strayer et al., 2003)?

Single vs. Dual-task driving (within participants)


What do Early Selection Theories (Broadbent, 1958) suggest?

Information is filtered based on physical characteristics, and unselected streams are suppressed, therefore the meaning never reaches awareness.


What is an overt attention shift?

Moving eyes (or ears) toward a stimulus.


What happens in the focused attention stage in the Feature Integration Theory?

Attention directed to the location of an object serves to glue its features into a "unified" object that we recognize; serial processing.


What were the results of the flicker paradigm (Rensink, O'Regan and Clark, 1997)?

It often took participants over 30 seconds to detect the change, even though the change was large and anticipated. This is called change blindness.


With practice, what might happen to something that initially requires controlled attention?

It can become automatic.


What did Treisman and Schmidt (1982) find when participants recalled black numbers and colored letters after only 200ms of presentation time?

Participants were able to recall the numbers, but they had trouble recalling which letters were which colors.


What is the cocktail party phenomenon?

1/3 of participants noticed when their own names were spoken in the unattended channel. This means meaning from an unattended channel reached awareness.


What happened when meaning was derived from the combined input of both channels in the same voice?

Participants Ps recombined words based on semantic characteristics (Gray and Wedderburn, 1960)


What are the two types of automatic input?

The orienting reflex and habituation


What improves detection rates?

Attending to features present in a target event. For example, in the gorilla study, when counting white team passes, detection rates of the gorilla were 42%, versus 83% for the black team.


What is the bottleneck of visual attention?

Retinal acuity


Name 4 other names for "executive functioning"

Central attention, central cognition, cognitive control, and executive control.


Name the two types of eye movement behavior.

Fixations and saccades.


What is meant by the term "parallel"?

Stimuli being presented simultaneously.


What is a saccade?

The eye moves to place a new part of the environment in foveal vision.


When does the "on/off" switch occur?

Some, but not all meaning, reaches awareness. Not entirely early, not entirely late.


What was the procedure in the inattentional blindness driving study (Strayer et al., 2003)?

Participants in a driving simulator spoke to a confederate on a hands-free phone about their interests (from a questionnaire).

They were then shown billboards and asked which ones were in the simulation. 15 were not included in either condition, 15 were from the single condition, and 15 were from the dual condition.


What is an example of minimum stimulation?

Hearing a watch tick from a distance.


Name three aspects of Attention

Detection, Search, & Rehearsal


What happened when meaning from the attended ear was transferred to the unattended in the same voice?

Participants followed the meaning.


According to Late Selection Theories (Deutsch and Deutsch, 1963) name a problem with the Dichotic Listening Task.

  • People can process multiple messages at a time, but cannot shadow more than one at a time.
  • The results reflect limits with response system, not attention.


According to the Pertinence theory, what information is at a higher resting level?

Information that is CURRENTLY important.

Permanent: Your name. Temporary: Top of to-be-attended-to channel in experiment.


What are the type stages of the Feature Integration Theory (Treisman and Gallade, 1980)?

The pre-attentive stage, and the focused attention stage.


What is a conjunction search?

Each item is scanned one by one


What is another term for conjunction search?

Serial search


What is interference?

When one task takes away from another.


Which hemisphere of the brain directs attention to local aspects?

The left hemisphere (seeing the smaller letters make up the overall picture).


What is the Attenuation Theory (Treisman, 1964)?

Unattended messages are WEAKENED, not filtered out entirely, but occasionally meaning from the weakened message enters awareness.


What is a fixation?

When the eye is held still


What is a disjunction search?

Search for a single feature occurs in parallel across entire region (pop out)


What is the orienting reflex?

Redirection of attention toward unexpected or highly distinctive stimulus.


What determines our focus of attention?

○ Top-down processing/goals.

○ Parafoveal preview: Length of next word.

○ Motion/change: even in periphery (like ambulance lights).


What does LTM stand for?

Long Term Memory


What is a covert attention shift?

Moving attention independently of where eyes (or ears) are currently fixated.


Give an example of the binding problem.

A green apple and a red pepper contain the features "round" "green" & "red". This can result in recalling a green pepper and a red apple.


What is spatial neglect?

Damage to the temporo-parietal junction and posterior parietal cortex (typically in the right hemisphere).

Patients behave as though objects in the contralateral visual field do not exist.


Which hemisphere of the brain directs attention to global aspects?

The right hemisphere (seeing the overall picture, but not the letters which make it up).


What did Treisman and Gellade find about visual search in 1980?

Participants were able to pick out a red O out of green X's & O's (disjunction) faster than picking out a red O out of green O's & red X's (conjunction).


What type of attention does conjunction require?

Controlled attention, conjunction search


What is a drawback of controlled attention?

It is slower and consumed more mental resources.


What is the Serial Bottleneck?

The point at which it is no longer possible to continue processing multiple channels in parallel

Example: Listening to two conversations at once.


In the Dichotic Listening Task (Cheery, Moray), what were participants NOT able to recall from the unattended channel?

  1. Whether it was Native language vs. another langauge
  2. Whether it was played backwards
  3. Words or phrases - even if the same word was repeated 35 times!


What is change blindness?

The failure to perceive changes due to lack of attention to the features that have changed.


What role does the parietal lobe play in attention?

Allocation of spatial attention in multiple modalities.


According to the Pertinence Model, what influences the likelihood that info from weakened channels will reach awareness?

Top-down processing


What type of attention does disjunction require?

Input attention, disjunction search


What is a practical example of visual search and pattern recognition?

Searching for a face in the crowd.


Name 4 other names for "executive control"

Central attention, central cognition, cognitive control, and executive functioning.


Name 4 other names for "central cognition"

Central attention, cognitive control, executive functioning, and executive control.


Name two requirements of detection

Minimum stimulation & Minimum differentiation


What happens to the parietal lobe when a person is attending to the location of a stimuli?

It increases activation.


What is the "binding problem" with pattern recognition?

Different types of neurons in the visual system are specialized for different types of features such as object form (curves, lines, orientation), color, brightness, or motion.

So alternative features belonging to the same object are processed by different neurons.


What is conjunction?

A multiple-feature search.


What was the procedure in the Dichotic Listening Task (Cherry, Moray)?

  1. Participants presented with 2 messages over headphones
  2. Different message delivered to each ear, Ps instructed to shadow one (attended channel)
  3. End of experiment: “What can you remember about the unattended channel?”


Which two structures are involved in controlling/directing attention?

The posterior parietal cortex & pre-frontal cortex


Where do we move our eyes to in foveal vision?

The place-to-be-attended part of the visual field


What might someone with spatial neglect ignore?

Food on the contralateral side of their plate, fail groom that side of their body, and even deny ownership of a limb.


What is central attention? (AKA central cognition, cognitive control, executive functioning, and executive control)

How attention is divided in multi-tasking.


Why was the procedure of the Spatial Cueing Task divided up into 80% correct and 20% incorrect?

If it was split 50/50, participants would not have confidence that the arrow was correctly cueing them, so they wouldn't pay any attention to the unreliable source.


What are the two types of stimulus-driven input?

Automatic (often involuntary) and Controlled (goal-driven)


What is wrong with Late Selection Theories (Deutsch and Deutsch, 1963)?

Participants should have been at least able to recall the LANGUAGE spoken.


What is minimum differentiation?

Being able to tell two stimuli apart.


What should happen if rehearsal is done correctly (attending information the "right" way)?

The information should be stored in the LTM (Long Term Memory)