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9am. Attention Difficult to define - like nailing jello to the wall. Goldstein defines it as: the process of concentrating on specific features of: the.

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Presentation on theme: "9am. Attention Difficult to define - like nailing jello to the wall. Goldstein defines it as: the process of concentrating on specific features of: the."— Presentation transcript:

1 9am

2 Attention Difficult to define - like nailing jello to the wall. Goldstein defines it as: the process of concentrating on specific features of: the environment thoughts or activities what then is concentrating? focusing attention Some Examples Dodging kids that run out into the street Reading and listening to music Daydreaming and not hearing someone talking to you (a.k.a. “spacing–out”) Attention is involved in: Perception Memory Language Problem solving

3 Selective Attention Loosely defined: the ability to focus on only one thing. For example, spacing out – staring at the TV and not hearing the phone ring. Dichotic Listening Tasks (Cherry, 1953) 2 messages presented - one in each ear Shadowing: ‘attend to’ and repeat one message Didn’t retain much from the ‘unattended’ message - even when repeated 35x Broadbent’s Filter Model (1958) human as information processor cocktail-party phenomenon < 1 sec 10-15 sec

4 Broadbent’s Filter Model (1958) early selection model: filter before meaning generated sand fine grain sand size selection messages attended message sound filter voice pitch speed accent meaning

5 Broadbent (1958): split-scan experiment Cond-1 = 65% accuracy Cond-2 = 20% accuracy CONDITION 1: repeat in any order CONDITION 2: repeat each pair, as presented Typical answers: MRW; HSP Typical answers: MH; RS; WP Assumption: -ears as separate channels -switch is costly

6 Flaws in the Filter Model (Gray & Wedderburn, 1960) Moray (1959): own name heard in unattended ear is remembered Meaning trumps filtering & switching Explanation: No switching, because no channels Meaning processed before filtering

7 Only attended message should get through! “LEAKY FILTER” MODEL (ATTENUATION THEORY): Treisman (1964)

8 Attenuator Analyze incoming message in terms of: Physical characteristics Language Meaning Just enough processing to distinguish different incoming messages

9 The Dictionary Unit Like a memory Contains stored words that have thresholds for being activated Lower thresholds mean more sensitive Treisman would say your name has a low threshold own name Signal strength Rutabugaboat

10 10am

11 LATE-SELECTION MODELS: Mackay (1973) experiment Attend Left “They were throwing stones at the bank.” “river” or “money” (biasing words) TEST: “They threw stones toward the side of the river yesterday.” “They threw stones at the savings and loan association building yesterday.” Which sentence is closest in meaning to the attended sentence?


13 Early- or late-selection models? Crucial variable for both: task load (cognitive resources) FLANKER-COMPATIBILITY TASK (Green & Bavelier, 2003): RT (ms) C I EASY RT (ms) C I DIFFICULT


15 Lavie (2005): EARLY-SELECTION MODELS use HIGH-LOAD tasks LATE-SELECTION MODELS use LOW-LOAD tasks DIVIDED ATTENTION Spelke (1976): simultaneously read and take dictation DAY 1: can do both separately; not simultanously After 85 hours of practice: can do both at the same time

16 Schneider & Shiffrin (1977): -detecting ‘targets’ in rapidly presented frames -divide attention between memorization and visual search

17 becomes automatic Schneider & Shiffrin (1977): AUTOMATIC: a)happens without intention b)few cognitive resources needed

18 Schneider & Shiffrin (1977): -automatic processing not possible for difficult tasks -both target & distractor are letters -never becomes automatic, remains controlled processing -everyday examples of divided attention?

19 DRIVING AND INATTENTION 80% of crashes caused by as little as 3 sec inattention 22% of crashes due to cell phone usage

20 Strayer & Johnston (2001): driving simulation study

21 11am

22 VISUAL ATTENTION Eye movements: windows into the mind saccades (rapid movements) fixations (short pauses; 3/sec)

23 Eye tracker (noninvasive)

24 Where do we look?  Areas of high STIMULUS SALIENCE (bottom-up process) SALIENCY MAP (Parkhurst, Law & Niebur, 2003) SCENE SCHEMA: “office schema”  top-down process

25 ATTENTION DURING ACTIONS  Task goals guide fixations to land on objects relevant to the task  ORDER of eye movements not the same for everybody

26 Inattentional blindness: looking, but not seeing (Mack & Rock,1998) Attending without looking: Triangle not recognized

27 PRECUING: attending to a location without moving the eyes (Posner, Snyder & Davidson, 1980) Reaction time: predicted location < unexpected location

28 PHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE FOR PRECUING (Colby, Duhamel & Goldberg, 1995) -Light at fixation point and in the periphery -Trained to always look at the fixation point -“Fixation only” condition: release handle when fixation light dimmed -“Fixation and attention” condition: release handle when peripheral light dims Record from neuron that fires for peripheral light Fix Periphery


30 AC=AB RT B { "@context": "", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "", "name": "AC=AB RT B

31 static scene, moving spotlight Attention is independent of objects moving scene, moving spotlight Attention is connected to object Location-based

32 CAN EYE MOVEMENTS DIAGNOSE ATTENTION DISORDER? Typically developing viewers Autistic viewers (Klin, Jones, Schultz & Volkmar, 2003)

33 Typically developing viewers Autistic viewers

34 1pm

35 The man with a 30 second memory: -can not form new memories 1-2 minute “bubble” Boundaries: Knowledge vs. memory? Definition: retain, retrieve, and use information about stimuli and skills after the original information is no longer present. Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968) msec-sec 15-30sec years


37 Sensory Memory -brief retention of the effects of sensory stimulation. The Sparkler’s Trail (persistence of vision)

38 How much information can be stored in sensory memory? (Sperling, 1960) 50ms presentation 4–5 letters remembered

39 r a p i d d e c a y… TWO OPTIONS: 1)too short time to take in all information OR 1)responding takes longer than decay time

40 high capacity (82%), rapid decay (~1sec) responding takes longer than decay time

41 Functions of Sensory Memory: – Collection of information to be processed – Holding information while processing – Filling in blanks of intermittent stimulation (movies)

42 2pm

43 The Duration of STM Peterson & Peterson (1959): Read 3 letters, followed by a number Count back by 3s Recall 3 letters after 3sec or 18sec DECAY PROACTIVE INTERFERENCE (PI) – Trial 1: B F T 100 …97 …94 … – Trial 2: Q S D 96 … – Trial 3: K H J 104 …

44 The Capacity of STM (how much information can be stored?) Digit span: 5-8 ITEMS  5-8 CHUNKS What’s an item: letter? word? phrase? Chase & Simon (1973): show chess setup for 5 sec Master knows how to “chunk”, without necessarily having a superior STM

45 (auditory) The CODING OF INFORMATION in STM (the way information is represented) AUDITORY CODING (Conrad, 1964): – saw letters briefly (e.g., FHSGZ…) - asked to write down letters in the order they were presented - when errors occur, they are based on similar sound (F seen as S or X), rather than visual similarity (F seen as E). Sound > Vision




49 3pm

50 Complexity: STM as many distinct mechanisms. Demonstration: Reading text and remembering numbers. STM: passive simple storage Manipulate info during complex cognition Baddeley (2000): Working Memory

51 How to manipulate incoming info? Baddeley (2000): Working Memory is a limited capacity system for temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex tasks (e.g., comprehension, learning, reasoning).

52 Verbal, auditory… Visual, spatial… SPECIALIZATION in WM


54 The Phonological Loop Three phenomena suggest a specialized sub-system: 1. Phonological Similarity Effect – ‘mac, can, cap, map’ harder than ‘pen, pay, cow, rig’ – Conrad (1964): Misidentifications phonologically similar US > Welsh children digit span 2. Word-length effect

55 3. Articulatory suppression (dual tasking) can diminish the word-length effect Word-length effect occurs only if rehearsal allowed: memorization is a learning process

56 Articulatory Suppression & Phonological Similarity Effect Conrad (1964): control condition


58 VERBAL stimulus, VERBAL response VERBAL stimulus, SPATIAL response

59 Say Yes/No Visual stimulus, verbal response Visual stimulus, visual response Point to Yes/No

60 4pm

61 Effects support idea of two specialized subcomponents: Phonological Loop and Visuospatial sketch pad Working Memory can handle different information But… overloads when similar type of info presented simultaneously

62 CENTRAL EXECUTIVE: controls suppression of irrelevant information Gazzaley et al. (2005)



65 Articulatory suppression has minor effect: decrease memory span from 7 to 5

66 no prefrontal cortex = forgetful hungry monkey X Where in brain is short-term storage and processing?

67 “out of sight, out of mind” <8 month old: occluded object gone out of existence Reason: prefrontal cortex not developed …similar to lack of OBJECT PERMANENCE in infants

68 Funahashi et al. (1989)

69 American Sign Langauge  should be visual  visuo-spatial sketch pad But it shows features of phonological loop processing:  Word-length effect: words with longer gestures harder to remember  Phonological similarity effect: words expressed by similar gestures harder to remember CONCLUSION: Phonological loop activated by language irrespective of modality (sound or gesture)

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