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Orienting Attention
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  1. Orienting Attention

  2. Control of Attention • Major Distinctions: Voluntary Reflexive

  3. Control of Attention • Major Distinctions: Voluntary Reflexive Covert Overt

  4. Voluntary Orienting • shifting attention by willfully selecting a location in space (or a frequency of sound) • e.g. eye movements in a scene depend on what the observer is looking for Eye movements (overt orienting)

  5. Voluntary Orienting • Attention can be oriented covertly • a commonly used metaphor is “the spotlight of attention”

  6. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm: Subject presses a button as soon as x appears

  7. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  8. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  9. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  10. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm: X

  11. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  12. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm: That was a validly cued trial because the x appeared in the box that flashed

  13. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  14. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  15. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  16. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm: X

  17. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm:

  18. Orienting Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm: That was an invalidly cued trial because the x appeared in the box that didn’t flash

  19. Paradigms Used To Study Attention • Posner Cue - Target Paradigm: Attention Effect = Valid RT - Invalid RT

  20. Voluntary Orienting • Under what circumstances would a cue lead to a voluntary shift of attention?

  21. Voluntary Orienting • Under what circumstances would a cue lead to a voluntary shift of attention? • Informative cue • Validity = greater than 50%

  22. Voluntary Orienting • Under what circumstances would a cue lead to a voluntary shift of attention? • Informative cue • Validity = greater than 50% • What is another way to make this paradigm a voluntary orienting paradigm?

  23. Voluntary Orienting • What is another way to make this paradigm a voluntary orienting paradigm? Symbolic Cue Symbolic cues may orient attention towards another location. Stimulus cues orient attention to the stimulated location.

  24. Reflexive Orienting • Attention can be automatically “summoned” to a location at which an important event has occurred:

  25. Reflexive Orienting • Attention can be automatically “summoned” to a location at which an important event has occurred: • Loud noise • Motion • New Object • We call this attentional capture Transients

  26. Reflexive Orienting • The Posner cueing paradigm (with blinking boxes) confounds reflexive and voluntary orienting … in what way?

  27. Reflexive Orienting • The Posner cueing paradigm (with blinking boxes) confounds reflexive and voluntary orienting • How could we change the Posner cueing paradigm to make it asses only reflexive orienting?

  28. Reflexive Orienting • The Posner cueing paradigm (with blinking boxes) confounds reflexive and voluntary orienting • How could we change the Posner cueing paradigm to make it asses only reflexive orienting? • Make validity 50% (non-informative cue)

  29. Reflexive Orienting • The Posner cueing paradigm (with blinking boxes) confounds reflexive and voluntary orienting • How could we change the Posner cueing paradigm to make it asses only reflexive orienting? • Make validity 50% (non-informative cue) • Viewers are still faster and more accurate!

  30. Reflexive Orienting • Can symbolic cues be reflexive? Almost never but …

  31. Reflexive Orienting • Can symbolic cues be reflexive? Reflexive orienting to direction of eye gaze

  32. Reflexive Orienting • Potential cues for Reflexive Orienting • Loud noise • Motion • New Object • New Objects are powerful attention grabbers! Transients

  33. New Objects Capture Attention IS THERE AN “H”? Initial scene viewed for several hundred ms Yantis & Jonides (1990): New-Object Paradigm

  34. New Objects Capture Attention IS THERE AN “H”? New scene: search for target letter H may be revealed from an 8 or may appear as a new object Yantis & Jonides (1990): New-Object Paradigm

  35. Reflexive Orienting • Steven Yantis and colleagues • Result:

  36. Reflexive Orienting • Steven Yantis and colleagues • Result: Targets are found faster when they are “new objects” than when they are revealed from “old” objects

  37. Reflexive Orienting • Steven Yantis and colleagues • Interpretation: The visual system prioritizes in dealing with visual objects - relatively recent objects are “flagged” while older objects are disregarded

  38. Attention and Consciousness • Sensory information must be attended for it to be entered into awareness

  39. Attention and Consciousness • The attention orienting mechanism can be confused leading to something called “change blindness”

  40. Attention and Consciousness • The attention orienting mechanism can be confused leading to something called “change blindness”

  41. Attention and Consciousness • The attention orienting mechanism can be confused leading to something called “change blindness”

  42. Attention and Consciousness • Change blindness • Change blindness shows us that the feeling of being in a detailed visual environment is really just an illusion • We only have access to the parts of the scene to which we have attended

  43. Attention and Consciousness • Change blindness • Change blindness shows us that the feeling of being in a detailed visual environment is really just an illusion • We only have access to the parts of the scene to which we have attended • And that is often not very much!