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Flashcards in Chapter 4 Attention Deck (51):

What is attention?

the mental energy or resource necessary for completing mental processes, believed to be limited in quantity and under control of some executive control mechanisms


What are the 6 meanings of attention and how are they classified?

They are classified as either Input Attention or Controlled Attention. I.A: 1)Alertness or arousal 2)Orienting reflex or response 3) Spotlight attention & search C.A: 4)Selective Attention 5) Mental resources & conscious processing 6) Supervisory Attentional system


Global-local distinction

when processing visual info, such as a scene or objects, one can focus attention on either the larger whole or the parts that make up the whole. ex) seeing either a T that is made up of small H's or seeing the small H's


What is the DMN Default mode network?

a collection of brain structures that tend to be more active when a person is at rest and not thinking about anything in particular. Hence, more active by default.


Input Attention

basic processing of getting sensory information into cognitive system


What is a necessary precondition for most cognitive processing, including attention?



Vigilance or Sustained Attention

the maintenance of attention for infrequent events over long periods of time-


Explicit Processing

involving conscious processing, conscious awareness that a task is being performed, and usually conscious awareness of the outcome of that performance


Implicit Processing

processing in which there is no necessary involvement of conscious awareness


what did the word stem completion task study by Bonebakker illustrate?

it illustrated the implicit processing capacity of humans, by demonstrating that patients who had undergone surgery and anesthesia were able to implicitly remember certain words they had heard during surgery while unconscious


Orienting Reflex

the reflexive redirection of attention that orients you to the unexpected stimulus--->location finding response of immune system


Attention Capture

spontaneous redirection of attention to stimuli in the world based on physical characteristics


Visual Attention

input attention (specifically as it relates to visions typically associated w/the spotlight metaphor)



a gradual reduction of the orienting response back to baseline ex: getting used to traffic sounds on street


Spotlight Attention

a rapid attentional mechanism operating in parallel & automatically across the visual field, especially for detecting simple visual features


What is a Visual Search?

when you search a spatial display of items for the presence of a target


Pop-up effect

when a target is highly discriminable from the distractors


Inhibition of return

a process in which recently checked locations are mentally marked by attention as places that the search process would not return to


Controlled Attention

the deliberate, voluntary allocation of mental effort or concentration--especially driven by conceptual driven (top down) processes -operates in parallel with spotlight attention


What is a disruption in the ability to focus your attention to one side of your visual world called?

Hemineglect ex: Bisiarch & Luzatti's test in the Italian plaza where people w/the condition could only describe half the plaza with their eyes closed.


Selective Attention

the ability to attend to one source of info while ignoring or excluding other ongoing stimuli


Inattention Blindness

when people fail to attend or process some info because they have their direction focused on different stimuli



when unwanted unattended messsages are filtered or screened out so that only the attended message is encoded into the central processing mechanism (Broadbent's filter theory)


Dual task method

a method in which two tasks are performed simultaneously, such that the attentional & processing demand of one or both tasks can be assessed & varied


Cocktail Party Effect

Selecting one message in a crowded, noisy environment -usually if message has meaning


Early Selection

selection or filtering based on early phases of perception (e.g. loudness or location)


Late Selection

selection of filtering baed on the meaning & importance of the information (e.g. semantic relevance) -demonstrated in Treisman's shadowing experiment where she switched the attended message & unattended message to pop. ears----but they did not continue to repeat the 'wrong' message for long



an active suppression of mental representations of salient but irrelevant info so that activation is reduced


What is an example of Negative Priming

slower to respond to the target trials when they were proceeded by irrelevant distractor primes compared to control trials where the ignored object on the prime trial was an unrelated trial


Psychological refractory period or attentional blink

a delay in a second decision or response cycle if its is required immediately after a preceding decision



(William James' idea) occurring without conscious awareness or intention & consuming little, if any, of the available mental resources


Stroop Task

an example of automacity whereby people were asked to name the physical colour of a colour word- people had difficulty because we automatically process the colour when reading it


Three theories on the role of practice and memory

1) Logan & Klapp's storing theory 2) Perfecl, Andrade, & Eagen's closed eyes theory 3) Shiffrin & Achneider's theory consistent & varied theory


Explain Logan & Klapp's theory of practice & memory

they suggested that the effect of practice is to store relevant info in memory- considering the necessary precondition for automacity is memory. -Once it has become automatic devoting explicit memory to the task can lead to worse outcomes (think athletes overthinking)



Explain Perfecl, Andrade, & Eagens theory of Practice & Memory

this theory suggests that you can avoid automatic processing or irrelevant material by closing you eyes- not processing info from visual world frees attention resources that can no do other things


Explain Shiffrin & Achneider's theory of practice & memory

their theory focuses on automatic & controlled processing, whereby people who partook in consistent mapping groups showed signs of automacity, where those in varied mapping groups had to use slower controlled processing.


What are the disadvantages of automacity? Explain

-Action Slips: unintended often automatic actions that are inappropriate for the current situation (e.g. grabbing a womans hand you thought was your mom) -Mind Wandering: when a person's attentions & thoughts wander from the current task to some other inappropriate line of thought (people with more working memory capacity are more likely to mind wander, because simple tasks don't grasp all their attention capacity)


Yerkes Dodson Law

is an empirical relationship between arousal and performance, originally developed by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson in 1908. The law dictates that performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point.


Cognitive task

an experimentally constructed situation for studying a particular small set of cognitive skills or activities


What work did Michael Posner do?

-has done classic studies on attention • Posner & Snyder (1975) as an illustration of priming • now a leading researcher in the new field of cognitive neuroscience


What could listeners remember about the unattended (nonshadowed) message? What could they not remember?

• physical characteristics (e.g., loudness, male or female voice, location) -they couldn't remember if it was played in reverse, another language, meaning, or a word repeated 35 times


What is Donald broadbents theory?

• one of the first information processing theories-filter model of attention • the filter idea strongly influences theories of attention even today -posits that stimuli are filtered, or selected to be attended to, at an early stage during processing. A filter can be regarded as the selector of relevant information based on basic features, such as color, pitch, or direction of stimuli.

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Anne Treismans work in attention?

Attended/shadowed (left): .... sitting at a mahogany three objects • Unattended (right): .... let us examine these table with her • should shadow the attended channel, but instead says 'TABLE'. Meaning "pulls" you to the other channel


What is Kahneman’s Capacity Theory?

 related arousal and performance, using attentional contro

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What is High Validity? 

priming that is 80% helped, like flashing an H before showing the target trial that is two H's.


What is Low Validity?

prining that is 80% misleading, like flashing a T before the target trail of two H's. The T disrputs our processing ability of the H's. 


What are the three types of traisl in Snyder and Posners priming?

Neutral: flashing a + before two A's

Misled: flashing a T before two H's

Helped: flashing an H before two H's


Instance theory of automacity?

Logan (1988)
• to perform a controlled task, we must use an algorithm = a slow sequence of processes guaranteed to work
• each time we perform the task, we store a memory representation of the processing act, called an instance


Horse race model of automacity?

 In Logan’s theory, as more instance are stored, the probability of retrieving one faster than the algorithm increases
• Eventually, every time the algorithm races the instances, it will lose
• Automaticity = that point where an instance always wins the race with the algorithm


What did Deutsch & Deutsch/Norman add to Treismans attenuated model of attention?

They added the late selection phase of meaning.


What is Treismans model of attention?

Attenuated filter model, sees the filter as less of a screen but rather as an attentive mechanism, that focuses on what it wants. But things you aren't focusing on can still come in. (shadowing experiment)