Explain how the attentional blink relates to attention.

here are many stimuli in your environment of which you are not aware. You use attention to filter out unimportant stimuli and focus on relevant stimuli. However, there are circumstances under which you cannot perceive stimuli, regardless of how hard you “pay attention.” One situation is when visual stimuli are presented in quick succession. If the interval between the two stimuli is short enough, you do not perceive the second stimulus. This lapse in attention is known as attentional blink. In this assignment, you will experience the attentional blink for yourself and will also read about practical implications of the phenomenon.

Access the CogLab demonstration Attentional Blink. Follow the instructions to complete the demonstration.

Read the following article:

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  • Livesey, E. J., Harris, I. M., & Harris, J. A. (2009). Attentional changes during implicit learning: Signal validity protects a target stimulus from the attentional blink. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35(2), 408-408-422. doi:10.1037/a0014525 (ProQuest Document ID: 614494049)

Using the experience from the CogLab demonstration and information from the article, write a paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain how the attentional blink relates to attention. Analyze how the variation in time influences the probability of seeing the second target letter. Explain the circumstances under which the attentional blink can be eliminated.
  • In the CogLab demonstration, letters were used as targets. The target used can influence the duration of one’s attentional blink and whether the attentional blink even occurs. Complete the following tasks:
    • Propose at least two other targets that could be used to induce the attentional blink.
    • Predict the effect each of your suggested targets would have on the duration of one’s attentional blink as compared to the CogLab activity you completed.
    • Explain the reasoning behind your predictions.
  • Present and discuss at least three occupations in which workers’ performance could be adversely affected by attentional blink. Identify and explain the types of problems or mistakes that might occur in such occupations due to the attentional blink.
  • Several years ago, some vehicle models came with a heads-up display (HUD). Instead of looking down at a panel on the dashboard, speed, distance traveled, fuel level, and time appeared to be displayed over the hood of the car. Discuss this design in terms of divided attention and attentional blink. Do you think the design was a good idea?

Write a 4-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M2_A2.doc.

By Wednesday, April 8, 2015, deliver your assignment to the M2: Assignment 2 Dropbox.

Assignment 2 Grading Criteria
Maximum Points
Explained the phenomenon of attention, described how time between targets affects the probability of seeing the second target, and analyzed how it can be eliminated or reduced in other conditions showing understanding and application of cognitive psychology concepts.
Applied knowledge of cognitive psychology concepts to propose other targets appropriate for experiment, predict their effects on attentional blink, and provide an explanation for predictions showing understanding and application of cognitive psychology concepts.
Identified three occupations that could adversely be affected by attentional blink and explained the types of problems or mistakes that might occur in such occupations due to attentional blink showing understanding and application of cognitive psychology concepts.
Related the concepts of divided attention and attentional blink to explain the heads-up display (HUD) design.
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.













Author Affiliation

Our visual processing abilities are by no means hardwired and fixed, there are limits. With practice, the attentional mechanisms that sort and edit visual information can be improved. The attentional blink demonstration is a demonstration that there is a selection of information from an ongoing rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of images. It shows that selection of a target is briefly presented and masked within about a half second of the presentation of the marked first target, being able to report the second target or reduced ability to repot the second target is deemed attentional blink. Attentional blink relates to attention in that the detection or identification of the second of two targets in an RSVP stream among distractors follows a U-shaped function, with performance being best when it is presented either immediately or after the first target or more than about half a second later (Raymond, Shapiro & Arnell, 1992). Attentional blink relates to attention, by the responses to stimuli and also attentional abnormalities. A stream of visual stimuli within the stream, the first and second targets is separated by a certain amount of time. The subjects in the study I just read were more likely to miss the second targets because the distractors and attentional resources were already allocated to processing the first, and thus “Attentional Blink” The probability of seeing the second target letter, may never reach conscious awareness, it influences the subconscious mind. The effect called priming, in which seeing a word once will make it, or a related word easier to spot. It turns out that the second target, even if it isn’t consciously noticed, can prime the next item. The eye blinks and it shuts off vision almost completely, but attentional blinks just reduce the probability of spotting a target during the blink. The success rate for spotting the second target, the X, dips tonight’s minimum of 50% if the second target occurs a quarter of a second (250ms) after the first target and then gradually recovers as the half-second plays out. The circumstances under which the attentional blink can be eliminated, or at least reduced is by inserting a blank interval after the first target, increases the probability that the second target is detected even, when that probability is conditioned on a correct response to the first target. (Chun & Potter, 1995) Furthermore the visual system can identify every item in the stimulus stream, but subjects cannot store the first memory (T1), and the T2 is therefore overwritten by the subsequently presented stimuli. When two other targets are introduced in the (RSVP) stream the detection of the second target is impaired or decreased. The effect each of my targets would have on the duration of the attentional blink as compared to the CogLab is that the target differs from the distractors, like the color meaning that all the elements in the field that I looked at are evaluated simultaneously, and what I experienced was discussed in the chapter was the pop-out effect. I was instructed to identify the letter K and J after I knew what letters to look for I ruled out the others. The reasoning behind my predictions is, the more quickly the task relevant to the lab or exercise information can be accrued, and the more quickly a response can be executed. Attention has been proposed to speed responses by increasing the speed and detail with which information is picked up from the environment. It is possible to manipulate information accrual by manipulating the duration of the said target, and therefore limiting the amount of information that can be processed. I can see that this was the attempt in the CogLab, this is a very informative experiment, but just because a stimulus is no longer there when you physically look at it don’t mean that the brain has ceased to process the information on the last target. Also in the CogLab, I noticed that there was a small flashing dot (assumed to be a distractor) illuminating inside the target. Like a spotlight, in other words if my attention is directed to the wrong location when the said target appears, a measurable amount of time will be needed to disengage from the wrong location, shift across space to the correct location, and then engage on the target. Some occupations that might be adversely affected by attentional blink; first the obvious choice would be Air Traffic Controller since the job requires a lot of visual attention to different types of screens and little flashes of dots and horizontal lines kind of mimics the experiment. There are prolonged intensive monitoring of radar displays, which includes visual, and listening, maintaining aircraft separation, and making important decisions. Attention is critical for such tasks. Failures or miscommunications could lead to (operational error – OE). Many OEs occur as a result of vulnerabilities in visual and cognitive processes. Another occupation that may be affected by attentional blink one may not think of is a professional gamer, one who plats video games for a living, this is an activity that requires you to practice lots of the skills involved in visual attention is playing video games, Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier from the University of Rochester, New York, have researched their results of action video game modifies visual attention. They found that comparing the attentional blink of people who have played video games for 4days a week over 6 moths against people who have barely played games at all finds that the gamer’s players have shorter attentional blink patterns. The last occupation that I would like to mention would be a pilot and co-pilot the instruments are similar to the air traffic controller there are radars and just scanning the skies and horizon may play mind games, the ability to both divide attention among multiple tasks and stimuli, and selectively focus it on task-relevant information, while ignoring distracting task-irrelevant information, as well as how top-down and bottom-up factors influence the way that attention is directed within and across modalities. As far as I can tell, the term heads-up display, or HUD, originated from certain car instrument panels. On regular common cars, the driver has to look down to see the speed, fuel meter, odometer, but with cars that have a heads-up display, the instrument panel is projected onto the windshield or is displayed in a racing drivers helmet so drivers can keep their heads up while driving. Research came to the conclusion the perceptual attention-related issues involved in the HUD were granted. Stuart, McAnally and Meehan (2001) analyzed the relevant literature to understand the effects of head-up displays on visual attention between display and outside environment as well as reduced visual scanning requirement, which has been convincingly demonstrated. They refer to experimental findings that show what potential disadvantages of these display systems stem from the same design feature that is clamed to confer the benefits of the display systems. My initial thoughts on the HUD design and weather it was a good idea, Im not yet clear on how these navigational aids are best presented within the driver’s field of view, my thoughts are if you’re not looking at the road it’s not right. The objective to measure the influence of HUD interface, complexity on drivers driving performance and self-perception. The main limitation of drivers driving in a simulated driving environment may not behave the same as when they are in the real world since simulated lane and pedestrian are somewhat different in view. Finally in the past, drivers only relied on their vision when they judge their their driving situation. They operated steering wheel and pedal according to their judgment. Information appliances such as navigation offered more comfortable driving environment to the drivers by providing useful information (Satoshi, Kenichi Yonosuke, & Takayuki