Chapter 14 and 15

Chapter 14 and 15 - Attention Consciousness is a difficult...

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Attention • Consciousness is a difficult concept to define • Researchers use the operational definition: – “If a person reports the presence of one stimulus but can not report the presence of the second, he or she was conscious of the first and not the second” • Almost synonymous with attention
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Attention • Psychologist have noted the phenomenon of inattentional blindness : • Of all that your eyes see, you are conscious of only those few things to which you direct your attention • While observing a complex scene, you will not notice if something changes slowly
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Attention • Consciousness depends upon the amount of brain activity. • Increasing attention to a stimulus also increases brain activity. • A conscious stimulus also induces a precise synchrony of responses in neurons over various areas of the brain
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Attention Binocular rivalry - slow and gradual shifts of attention from one eye to the other in the presence of conflicting patterns. • Stimulus seen by each eye evokes a particular pattern of brain responses. • Research shows that switching to each stimulus is accompanied by a shift in a pattern of activity over a large portion of the brain.
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Attention • Research suggest consciousness is a threshold phenomenon • If a stimulus activates enough neurons to a sufficient extent, the activity reverberates, magnifies, and extends over much of the brain. • If a stimulus fails to reach that level, the pattern fades away.
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Attention • Meaningful stimuli capture our attention faster than meaningless stimuli. • Somehow brain has to know that it was meaningful before it became conscious. • Indicates: – Much of brain activity is unconscious – Subtle effects on behavior by unconscious stimuli can exist.
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Attention • Delays exist between an event and our consciousness of it. • Phi phenomenon occurs when we see a dot in one position alternating with a similar dot nearby • Appears as if the dot is moving back and forth. • Reveals that perceptions of events after can also alter changes in event that occurred before.
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Attention • “Inattention” or “neglect” is the opposite of attention. • Spatial neglect is a tendency to ignore the left side of the body and its surroundings or the left side of objects. – Often associated with damage to the right hemisphere of the brain.
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Attention • Exact location of the damage to the right hemisphere can affect the details of what the person neglects. – Damage to the inferior part of the right parietal cortex leads to the neglect of everything to the left of their own body. – Damage to the superior temporal cortex neglect the left side of objects, regardless of location.
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Attention • Problems of neglect are associated with attention and not sensation.
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Chapter 14 and 15 - Attention Consciousness is a difficult...

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