New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Wk 7, Reading Chapter 4 (09/20)

by: Leslea Motley

Wk 7, Reading Chapter 4 (09/20) 4100

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Psychology (PSYC) > 4100 > Wk 7 Reading Chapter 4 09 20
Leslea Motley
GPA 3.56

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Includes notes on: (Introduction) defining attention, (4.1) Multiple meanings of Attention, (4.2) Basics of Attention, (4.3) Basic input attentional processes - (4.3.1) Alertness and Arousal, (4.3....
Cognitive Psychology
Kara Dyckman
Class Notes
Cognitive Psychology, cognition, attention, perception, definition, attentional, Processes, alertness, arousal, Input, controlled, selective, spotlight, orienting, refles
25 ?




Popular in Cognitive Psychology

Popular in Psychology (PSYC)

This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslea Motley on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 4100 at University of Georgia taught by Kara Dyckman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Cognitive Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Georgia.

Popular in Psychology (PSYC)


Reviews for Wk 7, Reading Chapter 4 (09/20)


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/21/16
09.20_Reading Monday,  September   19,  2016 9:34  PM Skip  4.3.5* Introduction:  Attention • Defining  attention ○ Taking  possession  by  the  mind,  in  clear/vivid  form,  of  one  out  of  what   seem  several  simultaneously  possible  objects  or  trains  of  thought ○ In  essence,  composed  on   focalization (concentration  of  consciousness). ○ Cognitive  science  says  "attend  to"  meaning  "pay  attention " 4.1:  Multiple  Meanings  of  Attention Report  six  ways  of  describing  attention • Six  meanings  of  attention  as  described  in  book, Table  4-­‐1: Input  attention Controlled  attention Alertness  or  arousal Selective  attention Orienting  reflex  or   Mental  resources  and  conscious  processing response Spotlight  attention   Supervisory  attentional  system  (synonymous  with   and  search short  term  or  working  memory) • Do  not  mix  up  attention and  arousal • Maps  on  different  parts  of  the  brain  that  are  involved  in  different  kinds  of   attention ○ Examples: ▪ Alertness  associated  with  the  neurotransmitter  ("NT")   norepinephrine • Also,  activity  in  the  brain  stem,  right  frontal  lobe,  and  portions   of  the  parietal  cortex ▪ Orienting  associated  with  NT  – acetylcholine • And  with,  activity  in  the  tectum  (midbrain),  superior  parietal   lobe,  and  the  temporal  parietal  junction ▪ Executive  attention  (encompasses  spotlight,  selective  and  resource   attention)  associated  with  NT–   dopamine • Also,  activity  in  the  anterior  cingulate,  prefrontal  cortex,  and   basal  ganglia • When  considering  attention –  we  confront  four  inter -­‐related  ideas: lobe,  and  the  temporal  parietal  junction ▪ Executive  attention  (encompasses  spotlight,  selective  and  resource   attention)  associated  with  NT–   dopamine • Also,  activity  in  the  anterior  cingulate,  prefrontal  cortex,  and   basal  ganglia • When  considering  attention –  we  confront  four  inter -­‐related  ideas: 1. Constantly  presented  with  more  info  that  we  can  attend  to. 2. There  are  serious  limits  in  how  much  we  can  pay  attention  to  at  once. 3. We  can  respond  to  some  info  and  perform  to  some  tasks  with  little   attention. 4. With  sufficient  practice  and  knowledge,  some  tasks  become  less  and  less   demanding  of  attention.   4.2:  Basics  of  Attention Report  the  two  basic  perceptions  of  attention  as  described  in  the  book A. Attention  as  a  Mental  Process ○ Attention: the  mental  process  of  concentrating  effort  on  a  stimulus  or  a   mental  event ○ In  other  words,  attention  is  a  process  that  occurs   within  cognition. ○ Also,  an  activity  that  focuses  on  a  mental  resource   –effort  –on  either  an   external  stimulus  or  an  internal  thought External  stimulus–   attention  is  a  mental  mechanism  by  which  we   actively  process  info  in  the  sensory  registers  pertaining  to  that   entity ○ Illustrating  this  concentration  of  attention:  attention  focused  on  and   riving  the  mental  event  of  remembering,  searching  for  info  stored  in   memory,  and  attempting  to  comprehend. B. Attention  as  a  Limited  Mental  Resource ○ Attention:  the  limited  mental  energy  or  resource  that  powers  cognition ○ "mental  commodity"  -­‐ gets  used  when  we  pay  attention ○ Limitations   – a  fundamentally  important  concept: ▪ Attention  is  limited   –finite,  stated  through  the  discussion  of  the   capacity  of  attention.   4.3  Basic  Input  Attentional  Processes   (skip  4.3.5) Express  the  processes  of  input  attention • Input  attention:  processes  especially  involved  in  getting  sensory  info  into  the   cognitive  system ○ Begin  section  with  discussion  of  this:  processes  occurring  early  in  the   stream  of  processing,  that  are  seemingly  reflexive  or  automatic,  low -­‐level   in  terms  of  informational  content,  and  occur  rapidly 4.3.1  Alertness  and  Arousal • Attention:  involves  the  basic  capacity  to  respond  to  the  environment • Refers  to  alertness  and  arousal  in  a  basic  sense  as  a  necessary  state  of  the   ○ Begin  section  with  discussion  of  this:  processes  occurring  early  in  the   stream  of  processing,  that  are  seemingly  reflexive  or  automatic,  low -­‐level   in  terms  of  informational  content,  and  occur  rapidly 4.3.1  Alertness  and  Arousal • Attention:  involves  the  basic  capacity  to  respond  to  the  environment • Refers  to  alertness  and  arousal  in  a  basic  sense  as  a  necessary  state  of  the   nervous  system  ("NS") ○ NS  must  be  awake,  responsive,  and  able  to  interact  with  the  environment;   in  other  words,  the  NS  must  be  aroused.   ○ Alertness  is  necessary,  or  monitoring  the  environment  for  new,   interesting  and/or  important  events  (can  sometimes  be  difficult,   especially  over  long  periods  of  time) • Vigilance or  Sustained  attention :  maintenance  of  attention  for  infrequent   events  over  long  periods  of  time ○ Study  began  during  WWII  with  British  radar  operators;  important  in   domains  of  air  traffic  control,  sonar  detection,  and  nuclear  power  plant   operations ○ Quality  inspections  in  factories  require  this ○ Fundamental  vigilance  phenomena: ▪ Decline  in  the  performance  as  time  on  the  task  wears  on,  showing   that  people  have  difficulty  maintaining  attention  on  a  single  task   over  long  periods  of  time;  decline  occurs  in  about  20 -­‐35  minutes • Do  not  appear  to  involve  people  failing  to  notice  the  signal  in   the  task  that  they  are  doing;  instead,  people  have  difficulty   making  the  decision  to  respond  that  they  have  detected   something,  a  shift  in  response  bias. ▪ Affected  by  the  neurological  and  physiological  state  of  the  person   (I.e.,  personal  temp,  drug  use  history,  and  level  of  arousal) ▪ Some  evidence  suggests  that  meditation  training  can  improve   vigilance  performance • Explicit  Processing : ○ This  theory  may  overemphasize  this  kind  of  thinking ○ Defined  as,  "processes  involving  conscious  awareness  that  a  task  is  being   performed,  and  usually  conscious  awareness  of  the  outcome" ○ I.E.,  learning  a  list  of  words  then  repeating  them   – consciously  aware  that   you  are  being  tested  and  aware  that  you  are  remembering  the  words  that   you  just  studied • Implicit  Processing : ○ "Processing  with  no  necessary  involvement  of  conscious  awareness.." ○ I.E.,  you  can  reread  a  text  faster  that  you  read  it  the  first  time,  even  if  you   have  no  recollection  of  reading  it  before • The  distinction  b/w  implicit  and  explicit  is  often  in  terms  of  memory   performance,  especially  long  term  memory.   • Some  evidence  suggests  that  some  mental  processing  only  requires  minimal   attention. ○ I.E.,  you  can  reread  a  text  faster  that  you  read  it  the  first  time,  even  if  you   have  no  recollection  of  reading  it  before • The  distinction  b/w  implicit  and  explicit  is  often  in  terms  of  memory   performance,  especially  long  term  memory.   • Some  evidence  suggests  that  some  mental  processing  only  requires  minimal   attention. ○ Bonebakker  et  al.  (1996)  plyed  recorded  lists  of  words  to  surgery  patients,   one  listed  before  another  in  surgery,  and  then  tested  memory  up  to  ~24   hours  later ▪ All  patients  given  general  anesthesia,  and  were  unconscious  during   the  surgery  itself,  showed  memory  for  words  they  heard  – only   6-­‐9%  more  words  compared  to  a  control  condition  of  new –words   did  not  learn  any  complex  ideas ▪ Results  demonstrated  that  patients  had  implicit  memory  of  the   words  they  had  heard  under  anesthesia ○ Performance  based  on  an  implicit  memory  task   –word  stem  completion   task-­‐ patients  given  word  stems  and  told  to  complete  them  with  the  first   word  they  thought  of. 4.3.2  Orienting  Reflex  and  Attention  Capture • Considering  attention  caused  by  a  reflexive  response  in  the  NS • Orienting  Reflex:  the  reflexive  redirection  of  attention  toward  the  unexpected   stimulus ○ Response  found  at  all  levels  of  the  animal  kingdom  and  is  present  very   early  in  life ○ Location-­‐finding  response  of  the  NS;  in  other  words,  an  unexpected   stimulus  triggers  response  so  that  you  can  locate  that  stimulus ○ Neural  pathways  involve  the   "where"  pathway  –projects  from  visual   cortex  to  upper  dorsal  regions  of  the  parietal  lobe • A  host  of  physiological  changes  may  accompany  this  reflex/response  (I.e.,  heart   rate,  respiration),  but  for  cognitive  purposes,  we  focus  on  the  response's  mental   aspects • Attention  capture :  the  spontaneous  redirection  of  attention  to  stimuli  in  the   world  based  on  physical  characteristics ○ Attention  may  also  be  directed  by  social  cues  in  the  environment ▪ I.E.,  noticing  where  people  are  looking ○ Unexpected  stimulus  leads  us  to  orient  towards  the  stimulus ○ Not  all  visual  changes  capture  attention  equally   – Visual  offsets   (something  suddenly  disappears  from  a  scene)  are  much  less  likely  to   capture  attention  than  a  visual  onset ○ Voluntary  attentive  processes :  Cowan  (1995),  orienting  is  a  preparatory   response,  one  that  prepares  the  system  for  further  voluntary  processing ○ The  attention  capture  process  itself: ▪ Retinotopic  (specific  places  on  retina  in  eye)  portions  of  the   occipital  lobe  (dedicated  to  vision) capture  attention  than  a  visual  onset ○ Voluntary  attentive  processes :  Cowan  (1995),  orienting  is  a  preparatory   response,  one  that  prepares  the  system  for  further  voluntary  processing ○ The  attention  capture  process  itself: ▪ Retinotopic  (specific  places  on  retina  in  eye)  portions  of  the   occipital  lobe  (dedicated  to  vision) • Habituation:a  gradual  reduction  of  the  orienting  response  back  to  baseline 4.3.3:  Spotlight  Attention  and  Visual  Search • Related  to  perceptual  space,  or  the  spatial  arrangement  of  stimuli  in  your  visual   field  and  the  way  that  you  search  soace • Different  from  orienting  response  in  that  there  is  NO  necessary  movement  of   the  eyes  or  head,  but  there  is  a  strong  correlation  with  eye  movements. • Posner's  spatial  cuing  task  (1980) ○ Results  showed  that  when  people  shifted  their  visual  attention  to  the   correct  area,  response  time  to  detect  the  target  was  faster  than  neutral,   uncud  condition.   • Benefit  or  facilitation :  a  faster-­‐than-­‐baseline  response  resulting  from  useful   advance  info • Cost:  a  response  slower  than  baseline  because  of  a  misleading  cue ○ Participant's  in  Posner's  study's,  'cost'  of  misleading  their  direction  of   attention  resulted  from  a -­‐part  process: i. Disengaging  attention  from  its  current  focus ii. Moving  attentional  spotlight  to  the  target's  true  location iii. Engaging  attention  at  the  new  location • Posner  et  al.  (1980)  concluded  that  attentional  focus  being  switched  is  a   cognitive  phenomenon –   not  tied  to  eye  movements,  but  to  an  internal,  mental   mechanism. ○ Suggested  that  attention  is  like  a  spotlight  that  highlights  objects  and   events  that  it  shines  on • Spotlight  Attention :  the  mental  attention-­‐focusing  mechanism  that  prepares   you  to  encode  stimulus  info ○ Further  suggested  that  this  shift  in  attention  is  'essentially  the  same'  as   the  redirection  of  attention  in  the  orienting  reflex,  with  one  key   difference  – it  is  voluntary  (can  happen  before  a  stimulus  occurs,  and  can   be  triggered  by  various  cognitive  factors) ○ Does  not  sweep,  enhancing  the  intermediate  locations  along  the  way,  but   it  'jumps'  (like  a  saccade) • Cave  and  Bichot  (1999)  point  out  that  countless  studied  of  visual  attention,   many  inspired  by  Posner's  work,  have  adopted  the  'spotlight  metaphor' ○ Much  of  that  work  explored  the  characteristics  and  limitations  of  visual   attention,  attempts  to  evaluate  how  useful  the  metaphor  actually  is. • Visual  Search ○ Treisman  and  associates  (1982,  88,  91)  examined  visual  search ○ Feature  search:  search  for  a  simple  feature many  inspired  by  Posner's  work,  have  adopted  the  'spotlight  metaphor' ○ Much  of  that  work  explored  the  characteristics  and  limitations  of  visual   attention,  attempts  to  evaluate  how  useful  the  metaphor  actually  is. • Visual  Search ○ Treisman  and  associates  (1982,  88,  91)  examined  visual  search ○ Feature  search:  search  for  a  simple  feature ○ Conjunction  search:  had  to  search  for  the  combination  of  two  features ○ Pop-­‐out  effect:  target  object  just  seemed  to  'pop -­‐out'  of  the  display,  no   increase  in  RT  across  the  display –s  oncluded  that  visual  search  for  a   dimension  (such  as  shape  or  color)  occurs  in  parallel  across  the  entire   region  of  visual  attention,  such  a  search  must  be  largely  automatic  and   must  represent  very  early  visual  processing ○ Inhibition  of  return :  recently  checked  locations  are  mentally  marked  by   attention  as  places  that  the  search  would  not  return  to   ▪ Seems  to  be  guided  by  the  superior  colliculus  (aka   – tectum)  and   the  parietal  lobe ▪ Consequence:  people  are  slower  to  respond  to  events  in  locations   that  have  recently  been  searched,  and  inhibited,  relative  to  other   locations ▪ Note:  Opposite  is  true  when  people  are  NOT  searching  for   something,  but  are  simply  scanning  or  memorizing  a  picture.  In  this   case,  people  are  more  likely  to  return  to  a  previously  fixated   location–   facilitation  of  return ○ Attention  can  also  be  influenced  by  embodied  characteristics 4.3.4:  Contrasting  Input  and  Controlled  Attention • Input  attention:  fast,  automatic  process  of  attention • Controlled  attention :  slower  type  in  Johnston  et  al.'s  terms ○ Prepared  us  to  respond  in  a  deliberate  way  to  the  environment ○ Slower,  operated  in  a  more  serial  fashion,  and  is  especially  influenced  by   conceptually -­‐driven  processes. • Spotlight  attention  mechanism  appears  to  be  rapid,  automatic,  and  perceptual   – distinguished  from  the  slower,  controlled  or  conscious  attention  process  that   matched  the  more  ordinary  connotation  of  the  term  'attention' ○ Especially  data -­‐driven,  funnels  aspects  of  the  environment  into  the   cognitive  system–   conscious  attention  tehn  enables  us  to  respond  to  the   environment QUIZ: 1. T/F -­‐ We  attend  to  all  the  stimuli  in  our  visual  environment. 2. Based  on  the  amount  of  time  we  can  maintain  attention  on  a  task,  it  would  be   most  efficient  to  study  in  chunks  of  __________  minutes.  25-­‐30 3. Attending  to  a  fire  alarm  on  the  wall,  which  is  flashing  and  making  a  loud  noise,   is  an  example  of:  habituatior,  flexive  orientin,  voluntary  attentional   QUIZ: 1. T/F -­‐ We  attend  to  all  the  stimuli  in  our  visual  environment. 2. Based  on  the  amount  of  time  we  can  maintain  attention  on  a  task,  it  would  be   most  efficient  to  study  in  chunks  of  __________  minutes.  25-­‐30 3. Attending  to  a  fire  alarm  on  the  wall,  which  is  flashing  and  making  a  loud  noise,   is  an  example  of:  habituatior,  flexive  orientin,  voluntary  attentional   processes,  vigilance   4. T/F:  We  are  able  to  attend  to  a  location  in  space  without  looking  at  it.   5. Which  of  the  following  is  an  example  of  controlled  attention? ○ Finding  the  letter  X  in  an  array  of  O's. ○ Finding  a  UGA  fan  in  a  sea  of  GA  Tech  fans  at  a  football  game. ○ Looking  up  at  the  sky  because  you  hear  awflying  helicopter. ○ Finding  an  orange  lego  brick  (4x2)  in  a  bin  filled  with  lego's  of  all  different   colors  and  sizes.


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Allison Fischer University of Alabama

"I signed up to be an Elite Notetaker with 2 of my sorority sisters this semester. We just posted our notes weekly and were each making over $600 per month. I LOVE StudySoup!"

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.