SAGE Journal Articles

Journal Article 9.1: Asplund, C. L., Fougnie, D., Zughni, S., Martin, J. W., & Marois, R. (2014). The attentional blink reveals the probabilistic nature of discrete conscious perception. Psychological Science, 25(3), 824-831. doi:10.1177/0956797613513810

Abstract: Attention and awareness are two tightly coupled processes that have been the subject of the same enduring debate: Are they allocated in a discrete or in a graded fashion? Using the attentional blink paradigm and mixture-modeling analysis, we show that awareness arises at central stages of information processing in an all-or-none manner. Manipulating the temporal delay between two targets affected subjects’ likelihood of consciously perceiving the second target, but did not affect the precision of its representation. Furthermore, these results held across stimulus categories and paradigms, and they were dependent on attention having been allocated to the first target. The findings distinguish the fundamental contributions of attention and awareness at central stages of visual cognition: Conscious perception emerges in a quantal manner, with attention serving to modulate the probability that representations reach awareness.

Journal Article 9.2: Bahrick, L. E., Lickliter, R., & Flom, R. (2004). Intersensory redundancy guides the development of selective attention, perception, and cognition in infancy. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(3), 99-102. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00283.x

Abstract: That the senses provide overlapping information for objects and events is no extravagance of nature. This overlap facilitates attention to critical aspects of sensory stimulation, those that are redundantly specified, and attenuates attention to nonredundantly specified stimulus properties. This selective attention is most pronounced in infancy and gives initial advantage to the perceptual processing of, learning of, and memory for stimulus properties that are redundant, or amodal (e.g., synchrony, rhythm, and intensity), at the expense of modality-specific properties (e.g., color, pitch, and timbre) that can be perceived through only one sense. We review evidence supporting this hypothesis and discuss its implications for theories of perceptual, cognitive, and social development.

Journal Article 9.3: Bronfman, Z. Z., Brezis, N., Jacobson, H., & Usher, M. (2014). We see more than we can report: “Cost free” color phenomenality outside focal attention. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1394-1403. doi:10.1177/0956797614532656

Abstract: The distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness is a subject of intensive debate. According to one view, visual experience overflows the capacity of the attentional and working memory system: We see more than we can report. According to the opposed view, this perceived richness is an illusion--we are aware only of information that we can subsequently report. This debate remains unresolved because of the inevitable reliance on report, which is limited in capacity. To bypass this limitation, this study utilized color diversity--a unique summary statistic--which is sensitive to detailed visual information. Participants were shown a Sperling-like array of colored letters, one row of which was precued. After reporting a letter from the cued row, participants estimated the color diversity of the noncued rows. Results showed that people could estimate the color diversity of the noncued array without a cost to letter report, which suggests that color diversity is registered automatically, outside focal attention, and without consuming additional working memory resources.

Journal Article 9.4: Pollatsek, A., Romoser, M. R. E., & Fisher, D. L. (2012). Identifying and remediating failures of selective attention in older drivers. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(1), 3-7. doi:10.1177/0963721411429459

Abstract: Older drivers are primarily overinvolved in crashes at intersections, and failure to attend to regions that contain relevant information about potential hazards is a major contributor to this problem. Corroborating this, we have found that older drivers in both controlled scenarios on a driving simulator and somewhat less controlled situations on the road attend to (i.e., fixate) target regions in intersections significantly less frequently than do younger experienced drivers. Moreover, we have developed a training program that substantially improves older drivers’ attention to these regions. Together, these findings indicate that older drivers’ less frequent scanning of regions at intersections from which hazards may emerge may be due to their developing something like an unsafe habit rather than to deteriorating physical or mental capabilities and thus that training may be effective in reducing crashes.

Journal Article 9.5: Simons, D. J., & Ambinder, M. S. (2005). Change blindness: Theory and consequences. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(1), 44-48. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2005.00332.x

Abstract: People often fail to notice large changes to visual scenes, a phenomenon now known as change blindness. The extent of change blindness in visual perception suggests limits on our capacity to encode, retain, and compare visual information from one glance to the next; our awareness of our visual surroundings is far more sparse than most people intuitively believe. These failures of awareness and the erroneous intuitions that often accompany them have both theoretical and practical ramifications. This article briefly summarizes the current state of research on change blindness and suggests future directions that promise to improve our understanding of scene perception and visual memory.

Journal Article 9.6: Yantis, S. (2008). The neural basis of selective attention: Cortical sources and targets of attentional modulation. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(2), 86-90. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00554.x

Abstract: Selective attention is an intrinsic component of perceptual representation in a visual system that is hierarchically organized. Modulatory signals originate in brain regions that represent behavioral goals; these signals specify which perceptual objects are to be represented by sensory neurons that are subject to contextual modulation. Attention can be deployed to spatial locations, features, or objects, and corresponding modulatory signals must be targeted within these domains. Open questions include how nonspatial perceptual domains are modulated by attention and how abstract goals are transformed into targeted modulatory signals.