This where the concept of Attention arises

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All through life—for sure, for the day and consistently—we are assaulted by a mind-boggling measure of perceptual data; the gathering is a profoundly sensational case of what’s happening constantly. Our data handling limit can’t understand the consistent contribution from numerous sources at the same time. How would humans adapt? How humans figure out how to shield from being over-burden and subsequently rendered unequipped for activity? How do humans, minute to minute, pick the data that is significant and stay away from interruption by immaterial material? One arrangement is to concentrate on some specific snippet of data, (for example, the sound of your name or a shade of intrigue) and to choose it for handling in inclination to different bits of accessible data due to its quick significance in a given circumstance.

We are continually besieged by an interminable exhibit of inside and outer boosts, considerations, and feelings. Given this plenitude of accessible information, humans are able to make sense of anything.

In differing degrees of proficiency, humans have built up the capacity to concentrate on what is significant while shutting out the rest.

This where the concept of Attention arises

According to William James’s famous quote “Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence.” (Watzl, 2011, pg. 842)

“Selective attention is defined as the cognitive process of attending to a small number of sensory stimuli while ignoring or suppressing all other irrelevant sensory inputs.

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” (Bater and Jordan,2019, pg. 1)

Attention is elaborated through metaphors like; attention is a Glue, Spotlight and a Filter.

Significant hypotheses were advanced in the late 1950s and mid-1960s by Broadbent (1958), Treisman (1964) while there were significant contrasts among them, these speculations had a resemblance of the thought that there “was a bottleneck at some point in the course of information processing. They differed primarily with respect to the putative location of the bottleneck.” (Eyesenck, 1982, pg. 8)

In Broadbent’s theory, he suggested a phase model of perception. This model state that the initial procession commences on all the stimuli affecting the organisms to extricate fundamental physical properties. (color, tone, smell) the portrayal of these physical characteristics is stored in the immediate memory. “Broadbent argued that the processing of nonphysical, semantic features those based on the meaning of an object, such as the identity of a word; is subject to severe capacity limitations.” (Lachter et al, 2004, pg.881) in order for this the stimuli to be processed further, it must be selectively filtered while other insignificant information should be sifted through.

After handling the chosen stimuli in a semantically processed manner the subsequent information can be put away in the long-term memory or utilized as suitable responses. As the message is primarily acknowledged the other information held in the buffer while overloading is inhibited translating the stimulus to other codes to be stored in the long term memory by the filter by converting. In regard to this explanation, it exemplifies how much significance selective filtering holds. Which made Broadbent emphasize the attain of selective filtering.

In order to understand this, he simultaneously sent a message for the right ear of some participants and a different message for the left ear which is named as the Dichotic Listening task. He recommended that individuals take care of a specific genuinely determinable stream of data called channel: “stimuli that fall outside that stream are not processed beyond the extraction of the physical features necessary to segregate the streams.” (Lachter et al, 2004, pg.881) these are lead by top-down influences and bottom-up influences.

One of the most debatable sections of his theory was the intense perspective of cognitive architecture. It is obvious that humans tend to process information from various sources in a simultaneous manner and there is less parallel processing happening. But Broadbent portrayed a framework which proclaims parallel processing at a full-scale level. With final levels of research Broadbent acknowledged “that when very little external information is required, participants are able to attend and process multiple stimuli simultaneously”. (Lachter et al, 2004, pg.881)

According to Cherrys research, it predicts that hearing your name when you are not focusing should be inconceivable on the grounds that unattended messages are sifted through before you process the important information- in this manner the model can’t represent the ‘Cocktail Party Phenomenon’. Hence it clearly shows that the shadowing task correctly assumes Broadbent’s research where the restricted process of unattended data. (Latcher et al, 2004)

Different analysts have found that some information breaks through the unattended ear impeding information heard from the attended ear. It exemplifies that stimuli probably happened to precede the determination of channels. This filter is primarily based on the channel which depends entirely on the tangible examination of the physical qualities of stimuli.

Anne Treisman was not completely persuaded by the thought of a channel performing choices with respect to what stimuli increase cognizant mindfulness. Based on her studies she proposed an elective system The Attenuation theory, wherein the channel goes about as an attenuator of data, either expanding or diminishing attentional limits towards it. Making the bottleneck of this more flexible. The unattended data which goes through the processing stages are debilitated rather than being blocked.

As the unattended channel incorporates a weakened set of data, to increase cognizant mindfulness this data must outperform a limit, which was stated that it was controlled by the words’ meaning. Important words would have a lower threshold, to effortlessly pick up mindfulness, while immaterial words would have a higher threshold to keep them from picking up. Hence the threshold goes about as a sifting procedure, depending on semantic highlights. (Tresiman, 1969)

Treisman’s Model conquers a portion of the issues related with Broadbent’s Filter Model, for example the Attenuation Model can represent the Cock-tail Party Syndrome’.

The above two theories clearly manifest how attention acts as a filter in the attention process.

“The feature-integration theory of attention suggests that attention must be directed serially to each stimulus in a display whenever conjunctions of more than one separable feature are needed to characterize or distinguish the possible objects presented.” (Treisman and Gelade, 1980, pg.97)This is primarily attentive in selecting and binding information.

“In order to recombine these separate representations and to ensure the correct synthesis of features for each object in a complex display, stimulus locations are processed serially with focal attention. Any features which are present in the same central “fixation” of attention are combined to form a single object. Thus focal attention provides the “glue” which integrates the initially separable features into unitary objects.” (Treisman and Gelade, 1980, pg.98)

Disjunctive search and conjunctive search are two emerging topics in this theory. Disjunctive search relates that the target stimulus differs from the distractors from one feature. As it is parallel search all elements are processed simultaneously and the increasing number of elements does not increase the search time. Attention is not needed to know if one of the individual features is present in the environment (e.g. color and shape).In Conjunctive search, the target stimulus differs from the distractors of than one feature as in the second and third array (shape, size color). It is a serial search and increasing elements can increase the search time. Attention is highly needed in this process. As indicated by FIT, the perceptual framework is partitioned into discrete maps, every one of which enlists the nearness of an alternate visual element: shading, edges, shapes. Each guide contains data about the area of the highlights it represents.

Thus, the above theory significantly explains how attention acts as the glue which binds characteristics in order to process them comprehensively.

“Attention and memory cannot operate without each other.”(Chun and Browne, 2007, pg.177)

Considering the above quotes memory plays an equally important role in the performance of attention is a distinct topic in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. It has three main steps namely encoding, storing, and retrieving. In any case, while thinking about how memories are shaped and recovered, the interaction of these two concepts becomes significantly visible. Hence understanding memory normally benefits in understating of regulation of attention and in which way memory is guided by attention. In this manner, by understanding the rules that administer consideration and the particular manners by which memory is guided by attention.

As memory has constrained capacity attention plays the role in determining what is to be encoded. Memory and attention are ‘collaborating’ frameworks however that numerous memory marvels can be viewed as demonstrations of selective attention. The distribution of attention during encoding forestalls the development of cognizant recollections, despite the fact that the job of attention in the arrangement of unconscious recollections is increasingly perplexing. Such recollections can be encoded in any event, when there is another simultaneous assignment, however, the stimulus that is to be encoded must be chosen from among other contending upgrades. In this manner, investigating the communications among consideration and memory can give new bits of knowledge into these principal subjects of intellectual neuroscience. (Chun and Browne, 2007)

The Multi-store model was brought out by Atkinson and Shiffrin suggesting that there are 3 different memory stores: sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory which forms linear processing of information. A key part of the model is that the memory stores have various attributes that incorporate capacity, duration, and encoding. This model depends on two main suppositions, “1) memory can be conceived of as a few discrete ‘structures’; 2) information passes through these structures in a systematic order.”(Hall, 1998, pg.1)

Humans have sensory stores where external stimuli are been received in a raw unanalyzed form. It takes in a variety of colors, tones and smells and stores them for a brief time. These experienced stimuli travel to the sensory memory registers this consists of two different stores namely iconic store and echoic store. The iconic memory holds visual information for a brief period of time (1/4 of a second). Echoic memory is the auditory information we receive that is held for 1-2 seconds.

“The capacity of short term memory is quite small relative to long term memory, and, as a consequence, is sometimes referred to as a ‘limited capacity structure’. Information we are attending to in short term memory either decays quickly (about 20 — 30 seconds)” (Hall, 1998, pg.1) Information in the short term memory should be rehearsed in order for it to be established in the long term memory. Maintenance rehearsal should be practiced in order for the concrete establishment of information in the long term memory. If not information will be lost through decaying or displacement. It possesses a limited capacity store and can hold 7 +/- 2 items.

“Atkinson and Shiffrin assumed that LTS was permanent: once information is stored in LTS is remains there, there is no process that leads to decay or a decrease in the strengths of the traces in LTS.”(Raaijmakers and Shiffrin, 2003, pg.8). It mainly follows semantic encoding.

One of the main strengths of this model is it gives us a decent comprehension of the structure and procedure of the STM. It also gives the accessibility for other researchers to expand this model in order to investigate new areas of it.

When considering the weaknesses of the model it shows that:

  • The model is underestimating, specifically when it recommends that short term memory and long term memory work in a solitary, uniform design.
  • The concept of rehearsal is too simply explained. Studies show that rehearsal is not necessary for transferring information to long term memory.
  • his model was mainly focused on the structural aspect rather than the processing elements.

The capacity to specifically process data; attention and to hold data in an open state; short-term memory are basic parts of our subjective limits. The quality of performance in complex tasks is basically upon the capacity to hold task-pertinent data that can be acquired over time and to a have selective process of information. (Fougine, 2008)

A technique for improving our capacity to recall things over a brief timeframe is called chunking. This is additionally a word used to portray the association of things into important segments. All things considered, the normal individual under ordinary conditions can hope to recall four things present moment. In chunking, it is conceivable to recall unquestionably more. For instance, it is simpler to recollect nine numbers in three gatherings of three.

From the above model it is clear how attention supports short term memory and memory as a conclusion, attention supports selecting necessary stimuli to be focused and contained in the short term memory even though for a brief period of time until is sent to the long term memory or it is fully erased. The constrained limit with regards to attention has been conceptualized as a bottleneck, which confines the progression of data. The smaller the bottleneck, the lower the pace of stream.

Attention is so imperative to human cognizance since it places constrains on what we think about while it figures out what our musings, words, convictions, and deeds are ‘about’ at some random time. Attention is likewise a subject of philosophical intrigue due to its obvious relations to various other logically baffling wonders. There are experimental and hypothetical contemplations recommending that Attention is firmly identified with consciousness.

In conclusion it is evident how attention acts as a filter the gaining of novel information. And how attention works in human mind and how it supports the short term memory in carrying out its tasks.

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This where the concept of Attention arises. (2021, Dec 05). Retrieved from

This where the concept of Attention arises
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