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Unformatted text preview: Lecture 7- Attention Notes from p130 onwards in Goldstein: The selectivity of attention Attention is important both because it directs our receptors to stimuli we want to perceive and also because it influences the way information is processed once the receptors are stimulated ( WALLACE, 1994 ) Attention can enhance perception of the stimulation which we are paying attention and decrease our awareness of stimuli we are ignoring. Thus, when we focus our attention on something that interests us, we become both more aware of what we are looking at and less aware of other objects or parts of the scene. WILLIAM JAMES (1890) ‘MY EXPERIENCE IS WHAT I AGREE TO ATTEND TO’ Normal attention, according to James, causes the things to which we attend to become clearer and more vivid and causes things to which we don’t attend to never enter our experience. This idea that things to which we don’t attend never enter our experience may seem rather strong, but there is a lot of evidence to support this idea. Can we see without attention? There are a number of demonstrations that support the idea that we must pay attention to something in order to see it. INATTENTIONAL BLINDNESS- is a situation in which a stimulus that is not attended is not perceived. MACK and ROCK (1998) - demonstrated an inability to recognise objects from a scene due to inattentional blindness. The ATTENTIONAL BLINK is the inability to see a second target stimulus that is presented as one of a string of briefly presented stimuli within about half a second of the first target stimulus. SHARIPO ET AL (1997) - demonstrated the attentional blink using a procedure called RAPID SERIAL VISUAL PRESENTATION (RSVP) . In this procedure a string of 10 to 20 stimuli, which could be letters, numbers, words or pictures, depending on the experiment, are presented one after the other for about a tenth of a second each. In a typical experiment using this procedure, all of the stimuli are letters, except the two target stimuli, which are numbers. When subjects attempt to identify the target numbers, they can do so easily for the first number in the series, but are not able to identify the second number if it followed the first within about 500ms. Focusing attention the first target number uses up the subjects attention for about 500ms afterward; without the availability of attention, the second target number is not seen; an attention blink. Change blindness In inattentional blindness and the attentional blink, the stimuli are presented very rapidly, usually just for a fraction of a second. But what about attention in more realistic settings which we have more time to look at various objects in a scene? There is evidence that people are not very good at seeing unattended objects, even when presentations are slow enough so that everything in a scene can be perceived easily....
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 2006 taught by Professor Newellf during the Winter '06 term at Trinity College Dublin.
- Winter '06