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class_20_attention_posted (1) - Sensation and Perception...

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Sensation and Perception Class XX: Attention & Sensory Processing
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Introduction Attention : Any of the very large set of selective processes in the brain To deal with the impossibility of handling all inputs at once, the nervous system has evolved mechanisms that are able to restrict processing to a subset of things, places, ideas, or moments in time Selective attention : The form of attention involved when processing is restricted to a subset of the possible stimuli
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Figure 8.2 Search for the raised hand in this piece of a “Where’s Waldo?” picture
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Selection in Space Reaction time (RT): A measure of the time from the onset of a stimulus to a response Cue : A stimulus that might indicate where (or what) a subsequent stimulus will be Cues can be valid (correct information), invalid (incorrect), or neutral (uninformative) Stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA): The time between the onset of one stimulus and the onset of another
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Selection in Space Cueing as a tool for examining attention Simple probe detection experiment Posner cueing paradigm Cues are valid or invalid RTs are shorter on valid cue trials RTs are longer on invalid cue trials
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Figure 8.3 The Posner cueing paradigm
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Figure 8.4 The effect of a cue develops over time
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Selection in Space Theories of Attention “Spotlight” model : Attention is restricted in space and moves from one point to the next. Areas within the spotlight receive extra processing “Zoom lens” model : The attended region can grow or shrink depending on the size of the area to be processed
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Visual Search Visual search: Looking for a target in a display containing distracting elements Examples: Finding your car in a parking lot or a friend in a crowd Target: The goal of a visual search Distractor: In visual search, any stimulus other than the target Set size: The number of items in a visual search display
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Visual Search The efficiency of visual search is quantified as average RT as a function of set size Measured in terms of search slope, or ms/item The larger the search slope (more ms/item), the less efficient the search Some searches are efficient and have small slopes Some searches are inefficient and have large slopes
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Figure 8.6 Laboratory visual search tasks
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Visual Search Feature searches are efficient Feature search : Search for a target defined by a single attribute such as a salient color or orientation Salience:
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