Chapter 4 Attention Attention Defining Attention

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  • 1. Chapter 4 Attention
  • 2. Attention
    • Defining Attention
    • Input Attention
    • Selective Attention
    • Attention as a Resource
    • Neuropsychology
  • 3. Attention
    • What do we mean by attention?
      • What does it mean to pay attention
      • How much control do we have over our attention
      • Why are some things easy to pay attention to and other so hard
  • 4. Attention (William James, 1890)
    • Every one knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others
  • 5. Attention
    • We are constantly confronted with more information than we can pay attention to
    • There are limitations on how much we can attend to at one time
    • We can perform some tasks with little attention
    • With practice, some tasks become less demanding of our attentional processes
  • 6. Definitions of Attention
    • The mental PROCESS that allows us to select relevant information and filter out irrelevant information
      • Concentrating effort on a stimulus
      • An activity within the cognitive system
  • 7. Definitions of Attention
    • The LIMITED mental RESOURCE that allows us to optimize our processing of certain information
      • Mental fuel
      • A resource necessary to run the cognitive system
      • E.g. Rush hour traffic & cell phone
  • 8. Attention
    • Defining Attention
    • Input Attention
    • Selective Attention
    • Attention as a Resource
    • Neuropsychology
  • 9. Input Attention
    • The basic process of getting sensory information into the cognitive system
      • Seems automatic
      • Very fast
      • Alertness & Arousal
      • Reflexive Attention
      • Spotlight Attention
  • 10. Alertness & Arousal
    • Capacity to respond to the environment
    • Necessary for explicit processing
      • Processes involving conscious awareness that the task is being performed
      • e.g, memorizing a word list
  • 11. Alertness & Arousal
    • May NOT be necessary for implicit processing
      • Processing with no conscious awareness
      • e.g., reading text faster a second time even though you do not remember reading it
  • 12. Cognition Without Attention (Bonnebakker et al., 1996)
    • Gave a list of words during anesthesia
    • Gave an implicit memory test (word stem completion) after anesthesia
    • Showed implicit memory for words heard while under anesthesia
    • Implicit memory is VERY limited
  • 13. Reflexive Attention
    • Orienting toward an unexpected stimulus (location-finding response)
    • Reflexive response
      • Important for survival
      • Present very early in life
      • Response to stimuli that are important or novel
    • Over time, cease to be interesting Habituation
      • A gradual reduction of the orienting response
  • 14. Spotlight Attention
    • Attention is like a beam of light:
      • Information inside the beam is easier to process
      • Information outside the beam is harder to process
      • Mental shift of attentional focus visual attention
  • 15. Spotlight Attention
    • The mental attention-focusing mechanism that prepares you to encode stimulus information
      • Cognitive process deliberate
    • Measure with:
      • Spatial Cuing Task (Posner)
      • Visual Search Task (Triesman)
  • 16. Spatial Cueing Task (Posner et al.,1980)
  • 17. Posner et al. (1980) Responses were faster after a valid cue Facilitation Responses were slower after an invalid cue Inhibition Mean Response Time (ms) Cue Type
  • 18. Your Data from Coglab!
  • 19. Triesman & Gelade (1980)
    • Visual search for a target
    • Disjunctive search
      • Target different from distractors in ONE feature (e.g., color or shape T or bold)
    • Conjunctive search
      • Target was a combination of TWO features (e.g., color and shape bold T)
  • 20. Visual Search Task Disjunctive Search Conjunctive Search Disjunctive Search
  • 21. Visual Search # Distractors Mean Response Time (ms)
  • 22. Feature Integration Theory (attention as glue to bind features together)
    • Disjunctive Search
      • No increase in RT across the display sizes
      • Visual search occurs in PARALLEL across the region of visual attention
      • Search is automatic Popout Effect
  • 23. Feature Integration Theory (attention as glue to bind features together)
    • Conjunctive search
      • Increase in RT across the display sizes
      • Search is SERIAL (one-by-one)
        • Attention can be only on one object at a time
        • Conscious, deliberate act
  • 24. Your Data from Coglab
  • 25. Attention
    • Defining Attention
    • Input Attention
    • Selective Attention
    • Attention as a Resource
    • Neuropsychology
  • 26. Attention
    • Input
    • Fast, automatic processes of attention
    • Early stages of feature detection