• Created by: shauna
  • Created on: 12-12-12 11:26

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!

Capturing Attention

  • 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
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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)

Attention Theories

Bottleneck Theory

Filter Theories

Capacity models

Perceptual load theory

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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.
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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'.

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