Consciousness and theTwo-Track MindPSYCHOLOGYDavid G. Myers C. Nathan DeWall Twelfth EditionChapter 3
Consciousness and Selective AttentionSelective attention•Focusing conscious awareness on a particular stimulusInattentional blindnessFailure to see visible objects when attention is directed elsewhereChange blindnessFailure to notice changes in the environment, a form of inattentional blindness
Selective Attention and AccidentsRapid toggling between activities is common today.Sixty percent of U.S. drivers read or sent a text message or viewed a phone map while driving in the last month (Glicklich, 2016).Multitasking distracts brain resources allocated to driving; brain activity decreases, on average, 37 percent when conversation occurs (Just et al., 2008).Cell-phone use increases accident risk fourfold.An 18-month video camera study of the driving habits of long-haul truckers found that when they were texting, their risk of a collision increased 23 times (Olson et al., 2009).
Change BlindnessWhile a man (in red) provides directions to a construction worker, two experimenters rudely pass between them carrying a door. During this interruption, the original worker switches places with another person wearing different-colored clothing. Most people, focused on their direction giving, do not notice the switch (Simons & Levin, 1998).
Dual Processing: The Two-Track Mind Dual processingInformation is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious (explicit) and unconscious (implicit) tracksPerceptions, memory, attitudes, and other cognitions are affectedParallel processingProcessing many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s natural mode of information processing for many functionsSequential processingFocusing conscious awareness on a particular stimulus
When the Blind Can “See”In this compelling demonstration of blindsightand the two-track mind, researcher Lawrence Weiskrantz trailed a blind-sight patient down a cluttered hallwayAlthough told the hallway was empty, the patient meandered around all the obstacles without any awareness of them
Drugs and ConsciousnessPsychoactive drug: A chemical substance that alters perceptions and moodsTypes of Psychoactive DrugsDepressantsStimulantsHallucinogens
Depressants (part 1)DepressantsCalm neural activity and slow body functionsExamples: Drugs such as alcohol, barbiturates (tranquilizers), and opiates AlcoholActs as a disinhibitorReduces self-awareness and self-control; produces myopiaSlows neural processing; potent sedative when paired with sleep deprivationDisrupts memory and impairs growth of synaptic connections