Purposes of Attention
- acts as a processor, copes with limited capacity of the Brain
- facilitates stimulus detection & perception
- facilitates thought & memory
- prepares one for Action!
- Either Voluntary (Endogenous) or Involuntary (exogenous)
- Different area of the Brain are activated when attention is endogenous or exogenous
- Endogenous ~ frontal lobe
- Exogenous ~temporal lobe
Voluntary (Endogenous) Attention can be .....
Selective (process important info)
- focus on relevant info by filtering out irrelevant info
- enables full processing of attended info
- voluntary focusing in specific input can be widened or narrowed. (E.g H made of a's)
Focused ( filter unwanted info)
Divided (attend to multiple tasks)
Perceptual load theory
Feature Integration Theory (Treisman)
- in pre-attentive stage, object features are analysed individually and attention 'binds' these features together to form a percept.
Stimulus (apple) ~ pre-attend (-curved, red, stalk) ~ focus attention (combine features) ~ Perceive!
Bottleneck Theory (Broadbent)
- Brain has limited capacity so filtering occurs early on based on physical characteristics.
- suggest nothing pertaining to meaning is processed.
- However Treisman found attention can be switched to unattended info such as 'cocktail effect' when upon hearing your name you attend to another conversation.
Evidence for focused attention (Colin Cherry)
A ~ investigate how we focus our attention
P ~ pp's given dichotic listening task, different messages presented to each ear, pp's asked to repeat one.
F ~ physical attrubutes of unattended message detected, but little to none of the content
C ~ we can only focus on one message!
- Theory suggests nothing about meaning is processed
HOWEVER, Treisman found that we can shift our attention to something previously unattended if something i.e our NAME grabs our attention. 'cocktail effect'.