All right, let’s get into making
sense of the environment.
We’re constantly inundated with stimulation
and all the different things around us.
How do we determine what we
want to pay attention to
and what we’re listening
to and what we’re looking?
Let’s take a look at that.
So first we have
how do we
filter out what we want to listen to
and what we don’t want to listen to,
what we want to watch and
what we don’t want to watch?
So the process by which one
input is attended to and
others are tuned out is
called selective attention.
So let’s take a look at this diagram
here and we have some headphones on
and in one ear you’re
presented with a sound
and in the other ear you’re
presented with a different sound.
So in this diagram we have “ba” and “na”
or “ta” or whatever you want it to be.
Now, if I ask you and I say, you
know, just focus on your left ear.
The idea is that you’re
going to tune out and
filter out whatever is
coming in the right,
and, you know, in this analogy, you
might think of listening to the radio
in a really busy
kitchen at your house.
You’re trying to catch your
favorite song, which is on,
and, you know, that Justin
Bieber song’s on and you’re
just trying to listen to it
because you love it so much,
but your wife and kids
won’t stop talking
and you’re like, this
is the best part,
and you try to filter them
out and focus on the song.
Now, your wife might actually be barking
at you to go buy some milk on the way home
and you’re listening to Justin
Bieber, and after the song is over
and you’re leaving, your wife said, “So
did you remember what I said?” and you
said, “I don’t know what you said.” And
she said, “I told you to get milk.”
And then you turn out to her
and you say, “I’m sorry.”
Okay, so let’s move on to a different
model, which say, why is it
that we are able to focus only on
some things and not everything?
And the explanation is that
we must have a limited
capacity to pay attention
and other things must be tuned
out, and so it’s selective.
So we don’t have an unlimited
amount of resources
and so we need to focus
on what’s in front of us
and focus on the things
that are important to us.
in this scenario that we talked
about where there were the
two channels that we talked
about, attended and unattended.
And most of the
information from attended
stimulus is retained
while the other is lost.
Justin Bieber stayed,
nagging wife is gone.
we’re going to have a
couple of models that we’re
going to walk through
that are going to explain
or at least propose how they think
this selective attention is happening.
So, the first thing is we need
this information to come in,
so we’re going to have both the
attended and unattended stimulation.
So, whether it’s sound or it’s
vision, let’s focus just on sound.
So we have Justin
Bieber coming in,
we have nagging wife coming in,
and they’re both going to
go into the sensory store,
or it’s an area like a buffer,
where things are sitting at first.
Now, one of the inputs is selected and
filtered based on the sensory modality.
So the sound is what
we’re looking for here.
And we want to pull out what we need,
and we’ve pre-identified what that is.
So for me, it’s a song.
So I’m listening to
Justin and I know that
it’s a song and that’s
what I’m looking for,
and I’m going to basically filter out
all the things that I don’t want,
like my nagging wife.
That’s now out.
We filtered that out.
Okay so now, the information that’s
relevant to me is going to be passed on.
So the info that is not important
to stays in that buffer
and it has been filtered out and eventually
it will decay and I’ll lose that message,
which is why I didn’t understand
what my wife was asking me.
Now, the information that
was important to me enters
another bin that we’re going
to say is short-term memory,
where we start to tag
different semantic tags.
Semantic refers to sort of more
of that cognitive context.
So, I love Justin,
he’s so dreamy,
this is my favorite song, and all
those little tags get put on,
and the moment that I heard it, I was in the
kitchen, all the stuff that’s happening
gets tagged to that moment,
to that song, and then that
gets put on to the
next level of memory.
Okay, so that can
be working memory.
It can eventually get processed
into long-term memory.
So this whole process that we’ve proposed
here is called Broadbent’s Filter Model
and is basically referring to the
fact that there’s a selective filter
which is basically filtering out
all unintended messages while allowing
the attended message to pass through.
Okay, so this model
There are some weaknesses here
and the first being
inputs are detected.
So based on the Broadbent
model, everything that we
don’t really care about is
going to get filtered out.
So in theory, all we should
ever get is the attended input
or what were really what
we’re paying attention to.
So an example of this not being
true is the Cocktail party effect.
And this is when you’re at a party,
we’ve all been in this situation,
and you’re talking to somebody.
It’s kind of loud.
There’s music and there’s awhole bunch
of conversation that’s going on,
and you’re talking to the
person in front of you.
Okay, so you’re
talking to your boss
and your boss is talking about all
this stuff, and blah, blah, blah.
And you’re supposed to be paying
attention to them and you kind of are.
And a whole bunch of other
conversations are floating around
and in theory, the sound
is entering your ear.
So the stimulus is entering, but it’s
unintended, meaning that you don't
really want that information and
according to the Broadbent model,
you’re going to filter all of that
out so that all that you hear is
the amazing deep conversation that
you’re having with your charming boss.
Now, all of a sudden
you hear your
friend’s name in a conversation
that’s happening across
a few conversations from you
and all of a sudden you hear
blah, blah, blah -- or
you hear your own name.
You hear blah, blah, blah
-- Tarry and you perk up.
Now, in theory according to the Broadbent
model, that should’ve been filtered out
because you’re really focusing on the
attended conversation in front of
you and that was unintended information
that you didn’t really want.
But we know that what happens,
you’re like, “Oh, I heard my name.”
So that right there tells us there must
be something else going on other than
truly just straight filtering of all
unintended or unnecessary information.
This brings forth to a new model
or the Attenuation model,
This model suggests that the filter is
actually replaced by an attenuator.
So an attenuator is a fancy
way of saying something
that you can control,
let’s say volume.
So what it does is it turns
down unintended sensory input,
stuff that you really don’t necessarily care
about instead of completely removing it.
So it’s still there, but it’s
really, really turned down
and you’re trying to focus more on the
important or attended sensory input.
This explains why we can still
hear or access information that is
thought to be filtered out, but we
know that it’s not filtered out.
So same basic idea in terms
of if you look at this
model, if you look at all
the different steps,
we have the two types
of messages coming in,
we have the sensory store
now goes to an attenuator,
and then some of that gets sent
over to higher level processing
and eventually onto working
short-term and long-term memory.
let’s take a look at other ways to
explain things like selective priming.
So selective priming
is when you get
activated or pre-activated to something
and are more likely to notice it.
So we’ve defined this
here selective priming -
one is primed to observe something
(frequency versus expectation)
and is more likely to notice it.
So if I, say for example, I’m
going to ask you a question
and let’s do that
right now, red.
So I’m going to ask
you to name me
one fruit, name me a fruit.
Okay, now if your answer was
apple or cherry or
strawberry or something red,
is it because I quickly just primed
you and said the word “red”?
Okay, so why did that happen?
Well, by me saying
the word “red”,
I’ve actually primed you to now
think about things that are
red and you’ve answered it.
So this is ways of me priming
you towards answering.
Okay? So this is frequency versus expectation,
I’ve increased the expectation there.
So another sort of slightly
similar model is visual
attention, and this is
using the spotlight model,
and what we’re saying is we
have areas of attention.
And the reason I used the term “spotlight”
is if you think of, say a play,
and the person has a spotlight and it’s
shone on where they want you to look,
the actors doing their scene.
Now, if you think of
that as of attention,
that can actually precede or move around
faster than we’re actually looking at.
So we can say that shifts in
attention precede eye movements.
So if while you’re
looking at something,
your attention is slightly
drawn to something else,
you will actually move
your vision to that.
So that is the spotlight
model looking at sort of
selective attention, removing
your attention somewhere,
and that will actually cause you
to focus on that first or quicker.