Lecture 13: Attention Flashcards Preview

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what is attention?

*it is what allows us to selectively process some things and not others.
*we can selectively attend to stimuli even when they are presented almost o top of each other.


what can attention refer to?

*Alerting - maintaining arousal ready to function.
*Executive processing - selective goal oriented pro essing of some things while avoiding the distracting influence of others.
*Orienting - spatial orienting of metal resources.


what is the stroop effect?

*when your processing of the words is automatic and interferes with your naming of the colour the words is printed in.


what is Cherry's (1953) cocktail party phenomenon?

*when in a room where multiple people are talking, we can attend to one persons speech, ignoring others.
*but sometimes we can switch our attention either at will or seemingly involuntarily to another source.


What is broadbent's (1958) theory?

*proposed unattended stimuli only undergo minimal processing before being filtered.
*Accounts for cocktail party and dichotic listenkng task.


What was Broadbent's procedure?

*If he was correct then the information in the unattended ear should have been ignored and participants should report A,2,C but they did not.
*They reported A,B,C,1,2,3 - in other words they must have been attending to the meaning of the information in the unattended ear.
*Participants were conditioned to expect an electric shock when a particular word was presented.
*Conditioned participants then showed the elevated galvanic skin response (GSR) in when the word squirrel was heard in the unattended ear.
*In other words, even though they were supposedly unaware of the stimuli presented in the unattended channel, they still processed its meaning.


What were the limitations of Broadbent's model?

*The theory fails to account for
-Why some individuals detect their own name in the unattended channel.
-The ability to group information from hte unattended channel when similar to that in the shadowed channel.
-The existence of implicit learning from the unattended stream, despite explicit unawareness.


When does selection occur?

*Attentional shifts can be very fast (50ms)
-it is possible to quickly shift between stimulus streams.
-Slippage could account fir occasional semantic processing of unattended stimuli.
-Therefore, Broadbent's theory might have been correct that semantic processing of unattended stimuli should be impossible.


What did Lavie (2005) argue?

*For both early and late selection depending on context.
-We have a lot of perceptual resources, and we are inclined to use them.
-if perceptual demands are high, we use early selection filters to process things from only one channel.
-If perceptual demands are low, we tend to process more than we need.


What were Lavie's model predictions?

*As perceptual load increases, perceptual distraction decreases.
*As cognitive load increases, perceptual distraction increases.
*This is useful because it guides how to predict whether an important task will be susceptible to distraction.


What is the feature integration theory (FIT)?

*Treisman (1988, 1992)
*Features of objects (colour, size, orientation) are separable from the objects itself.
*Rapid initial parallel process to identify features.
-attentional - independent.
*Then a slower, serial process to form objects from combining features.
*Attention is therefore the visual glue that binds features together into a coherent percept.
-However, for example, it should be difficult to see the upright T because upright and upside down T's share the same features. - but it isn't.


What is Attentional engagement theory (AET)?

*Argue that search time depends not only on the similarity between the target and distracter but also on the degree of similarity in the distracters themselves.
*Difficult vs easy, search tasks depending on similarity between target and distracters.


What is Location based attention?

*Posner (1980)
-Attentional spotlight model
-Ranges over the entire visual world can be focused on a particular spatial location to enhance the processing stimuli within its beam.
-Eriksen and St. James (1986)
-Zoom lens model.
-Scope is expandable at will.


How can magic tricks deceive our attention?

*Your attention is focused on the trick, not on what is going on in the background.
**The conjuror attempts to direct your attentional spotlight to an irrelevant spatial location so you don't see how the trick is done.


What are dual task studies?

*Do 2 tasks alone and the together.
*See how/whether performance degrades when done together.
*If participants are told that one task is primary, performance on the second task degrades while performance on the primary task doesn't.
*If participants are told to respond as they wish, there is degradation to both.


How do we manage attention across different modalities?

*Tasks that use different senses do not use completely different resources.
*visual vs auditory input.
*Manual vs verbal responses.
*Spatial vs verbal code of information.


What was Strayer, Drews and Johnston's (2003) theory?

*Driving task: follow a car ahead on the road. Brake when the car brakes, keeping a safe distance.
*Mobile phones: Converse with confederate about an interesting topic. 50% talking, 50% listening.
*Number of cards in adjacent lane was zero or a lot.
*All participants had driving licenses; most had mobile phones.


What were the results of the Strayer, Drews and Johnston's (2003) theory?

*In high density traffic, while talking, 3 of 40 participants had collisions.
*Braking was slower when on a mobile phone.
*People on mobile phones kept a bigger distance
-2.4m difference in low density traffic
-3.5m difference in high density traffic.


What did Watson and Strayer (2010) say about multi - tasking?

*Compared driving without distraction to driving while doing a challenging working memory span test.
*Out of 200 participants, 5 were identified as super taskers, doing individual tasks well and showing no deficit at doing the two tasks at once.


What is Hemispatial neglect?

*Lesion to the Parietal Associative Cortex.
*People ignore a part of their body and/or their external world on the side opposite to the lesion.