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attentional control of spatial perception

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Date Issued:
1994
Summary:
When perceivers examine a visual scene, they can control the extent to which their attention is either narrowly focused or spread over a larger spatial area. The experiments reported in this dissertation explore the consequences of narrow vs. broad attention for simple spatial discriminations as well as more complex cooperative interactions that are the basis for the self-organization of coherent motion patterns. Subjects' attentional spread (narrow or broad) is manipulated by means of a primary, luminance detection task. In conjunction with the luminance detection task is a secondary, spatial discrimination or detection task, which differs in the four reported experiments. In Experiment 1, the discrimination of misalignment of two visual elements is enhanced by narrowly focused attention. In Experiment 2, discrimination of horizontal spatial separation of two visual elements is improved for small inter-element distances by narrow attention and for relatively large inter-element distances by broad attention. Experiment 3 shows that the inter-element distance among counterphase-presented visual elements for which unidirectional and oscillatory motion patterns are observed with equal frequency depends on subjects' attentional spread. Narrow attention favors the oscillatory pattern and broad attention favors the unidirectional pattern. Experiment 4 shows that attentional spread has a minimal effect on the detection of motion, and, additionally that attentional effects on simple spatial judgments (Experiments 1 and 2) are too small to account for the large shift in the equi-probable boundary of reported unidirectional and oscillatory motion patterns found in Experiment 3. Therefore, it is concluded in conjunction with Hock and Balz's (1994) differential gradient model, that attentional spread influences the self-organization of unidirectional and oscillatory motion patterns through its effects on the relative strength of facilitating and inhibiting interactions among directionally selective motion detectors.
Title: The attentional control of spatial perception.
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Name(s): Balz, Gunther William
Florida Atlantic University, Degree Grantor
Hock, Howard S., Thesis Advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 1994
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 116 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: When perceivers examine a visual scene, they can control the extent to which their attention is either narrowly focused or spread over a larger spatial area. The experiments reported in this dissertation explore the consequences of narrow vs. broad attention for simple spatial discriminations as well as more complex cooperative interactions that are the basis for the self-organization of coherent motion patterns. Subjects' attentional spread (narrow or broad) is manipulated by means of a primary, luminance detection task. In conjunction with the luminance detection task is a secondary, spatial discrimination or detection task, which differs in the four reported experiments. In Experiment 1, the discrimination of misalignment of two visual elements is enhanced by narrowly focused attention. In Experiment 2, discrimination of horizontal spatial separation of two visual elements is improved for small inter-element distances by narrow attention and for relatively large inter-element distances by broad attention. Experiment 3 shows that the inter-element distance among counterphase-presented visual elements for which unidirectional and oscillatory motion patterns are observed with equal frequency depends on subjects' attentional spread. Narrow attention favors the oscillatory pattern and broad attention favors the unidirectional pattern. Experiment 4 shows that attentional spread has a minimal effect on the detection of motion, and, additionally that attentional effects on simple spatial judgments (Experiments 1 and 2) are too small to account for the large shift in the equi-probable boundary of reported unidirectional and oscillatory motion patterns found in Experiment 3. Therefore, it is concluded in conjunction with Hock and Balz's (1994) differential gradient model, that attentional spread influences the self-organization of unidirectional and oscillatory motion patterns through its effects on the relative strength of facilitating and inhibiting interactions among directionally selective motion detectors.
Identifier: 12392 (digitool), FADT12392 (IID), fau:9291 (fedora)
Note(s): Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 1994.
Subject(s): Attention
Selectivity (Psychology)
Visual perception
Space perception
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/12392
Sublocation: Digital Library
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Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.