83-5 Your focus of attention can be larger areas, but this is harder to maintain — if it begins to slip, withdraw the attention to a smaller circle or single object/point, then gradually enlarge the circle of attention again.
When an individual is focusing their attention on a particular object, the surrounding details are not processed in detail. There are several forms of attention, divided attention, selective attention, dichotic listening, stroop task, visual searches, and saccadic eye movement (Matlin, 2013).
Attention is considered to be a core cognitive process, it refers to how people actively process specific information in the environment. Attention refers to how people select from information and stimuli in the environment, facilitating processing of some of the stimuli and inhibiting processing of others. "Everyone knows what attention is, it is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state. “This definition of attention was proposed by psychologist William James (1890). This review will focus on literature that gives explanation to selective attention. Selective attention refers to the process where a person is able to select out of many stimuli and focus on the one they want and ignore other stimuli.
1.) Visual Search - In this activity I participated in a classic psychological experiment that uses visual search tasks to explore fundamental process of visual perception and attention. In general I learned that selective attention filters enable us to make more automatic decisions about the stimuli around us, including which items to pay attention to during a visual search. Also, since your brain is always active and sees visual sights and sensory information, your mind copes by automatically screening or filtering incoming sensory information to let in only what is most important. Specifically, I learned that the first set of trials I did were the feature search part of the experience and the second set of trials were the conjunction search part of the experience. What I learned about my self after doing this activity is that I had a quick reaction time on the first set of trials as I was asked to find a blue circle amid orange squares and circles. But, on the second set of trials my reaction time was not as quick as it first was. On the second set of trials, I was asked to find the blue circle amid blue squares and orange circles. I believe my reaction time was quicker on the first set of trials due to the fact that I was just looking for the color blue among orange squares and circles, but on the second set of trials I was looking for a blue circle among blue squares and orange squares. Therefore, the blue squares were distractors from the blue circle and I was forced
We simply cannot process and respond to all the information in the environment that may be relevant to our current task. We can’t even completely inhibit distracting information” (Scalf, Torralbo, Tapia, & Beck, 2013). The older we get the more we are prone to thinking about our attention span seriously. Back when we were still children and in school being told by our parents to pay attention more in school some tend to think they may have some kind of learning disorder when in fact it normal. Yes, there are children and adults around the world that suffer from learning or attention disorders but they are not always the answer. As we become older, we learn who we are and what we enjoy so we tend to go places or surround ourselves with people who interest us or have similarities with. The law of limited attention is when a person can pay attention to only two, or at the most, three things at one time. When we try and multi task on let’s say more than three things at once we are already stretching our attention too thin. If we try to add a fourth task to focus on that will become the most important while the other get put on the back burner. Some psychological research indicates some can pay attention to seven things at once. This does not contradict the principle; it only changes the numbers. Many people tend to confuse limited and
Per the class lecture, top-down effect takes place when our attention is on specific details that we look for (Psych 240 lecture, 9/12/16). Thus, the other details in the environment, even though perceived by our sensory systems, are not strengthened by the top-down processing and so we overlook this perception. This concept was applied to the study’s methodology. If the hypothesis was proven, then it would become obvious that we actively perceive both the distractors and the target. Both signals are perceived by bottom-up processing and the factor that is a determinant in this study is whether both the target and distractor received the top-down processing or just the target letter received the top-down processing. The common thought has been that the target letter is the only one that receives top-down since participants know that they only need to focus on the middle letter. There was an expectation and knowledge of what to look for. Yet, during the experiment, when the target letters and the distractors look similar, the participants took a few milliseconds longer to analyze both before determining what was the target letter. The trend was obvious once all participants went through over 200 trials of
Attention is thought to be selective-focused on one subject at a time. Traditionally, it has been assumed that automatic processing is involuntary, it does not require attention, and is relatively fast; whereas, controlled processing is voluntary, does require attention, and is relatively slow. We can conclude from this that the more we repeat a certain material or tasks the more it becomes automatic and effortless to us.
Compare and contrast early vs late selection models of attention. How well do they explain how we selectively attend to information?
Research carried out on attention has mainly been associated with the selective processing of incoming sensory information. It proposes, to some degree, our awareness of the world depends on what we choose to focus on and not simply the stimulation received by our senses. Attention is often linked to a filter that screens out most potential stimuli whilst allowing a select few to pass through into our conscious awareness, however, a great deal of debate has been devoted to where the filter is situated in the information processing chain (Martindale, 1991). Psychologists have made extensive contributions to this subject matter in the past century. Notable examples include Donald Broadbent's filter theory of attention (1958), which set the
Also, the findings were consistent with the suggestion that ‘the equal salience of the local and global targets increase sensitivity of stimuli to the effects of how we perceive’ Yovel (2001) cited in Ness et al. (2014).
final experiment Johnson, Hollingworth, and Luck tested to see whether whole-array stimuli would generate a binding deficit. The main alteration that researchers used was color and shape rather than that of the use of color and orientation. This study used a 3-digit number that each participant was to repeat aloud during experiment. Displayed for participant was a stimulus randomly assigned a positon or centered on the display screen. A small time allotment was given for participants to respond. Findings suggest that overall accuracy was highest within the whole display in the color only condition. Johnson, Hollingworth, and Luck conclude that having a multitude of objects to focus on, memory performance remained near 65% correct in the dual-task binding condition. (Johnson, Hollingworth, & Luck, 2008)
Williams James used the paying attention method to demonstrate that in order to pay attention to one particular object completely, one must disregard all other objects within the same environment in order to concentrate.
The binding problem is an term used to describe how the brain overcomes the challenge of integrating all incoming stimuli to create a cohesive representation. Research on the binding problem has shown that one crucial part of the solution is whether someone is paying attention or not. Meaning that in order for a person to create a cohesive mental representation they must be giving the incoming information their undivided attention. Other research has demonstrated that individuals who have problems with paying attention (such as children with ADHD) do not face difficulties with stimuli that have unique characteristics that make it stand out, however, they have difficulties with stimuli that have other distracting stimuli shown in conjunction
The article by Avital-Cohen and Tsal (2016) discussed the flanker task experiment, which asserted that distractor interference happens unconsciously as a result of focused attention toward the target. The results from the original flanker task indicated that participants had slower responses for incongruent trials, since the distractors are inconsistent with the target and would require a different response (Avital-Cohen & Tsal, 2016). However, Avital-Cohen and Tsal (2016) questioned the findings from the flanker task experiment. They decided to challenge the idea that only the target stimuli receives top-down processing, and not the distractors (Avital-Cohen & Tsal, 2016). The first experiment aimed to test whether the distractor interference is purely bottom-up processing as claimed in the flanker task. The experiment manipulated participants’ expectations of the target using the context effect - a type of top-down processing - by changing the distractors to be either letters or digits (Psych 240 lecture, 9/21/16). Then, the researchers conducted a second experiment and eliminated the ambiguity of distractors. They wanted to test whether the result from experiment 1 was caused by an overall bias or the ambiguous distractors. In experiment 2, the researchers predicted that they would obtain similar results to the first experiment only if the results were due to an overall bias effect (Avital-Cohen & Tsal, 2016). This study allows us to deepen our understanding of available
The Speed of Processing theory, which is what tends to happen when a person processes an action without being aware of it, is one of them . Naming the color of the font of a word is not as common as reading an actual word. What this means is that easy tasks that we tend to overlearn since childhood, such as reading every word we see, tend to go into effect in our brain right after visual contact. Another explanation lies in the Selective Attention theory. Broadbent's 1985 study can explain the Selective Attention theory. Broadbent declared that information first enters a "sensory buffer" . After the information enters the sensory buffer, selection of one of the inputs takes place within the basis of its physical characteristics. Broadbent places emphasis on what he calls a "sensory buffer" or filter in his study. This filter is used to prevent the brain from processing excessive amounts of information that could cause it to become overwhelmed and lose its ability to process the data efficiently . The data that does not go through the filter does not become processed and eventually disintegrates . Reading words does not require as much attention as naming the font color of a word does, which is why selective attention takes place . Overall, the mind chooses to work with the task that requires the least amount of