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ERIC Number: EJ860046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Extremely Selective Attention: Eye-Tracking Studies of the Dynamic Allocation of Attention to Stimulus Features in Categorization
Blair, Mark R.; Watson, Marcus R.; Walshe, R. Calen; Maj, Fillip
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n5 p1196-1206 Sep 2009
Humans have an extremely flexible ability to categorize regularities in their environment, in part because of attentional systems that allow them to focus on important perceptual information. In formal theories of categorization, attention is typically modeled with weights that selectively bias the processing of stimulus features. These theories make differing predictions about the degree of flexibility with which attention can be deployed in response to stimulus properties. Results from 2 eye-tracking studies show that humans can rapidly learn to differently allocate attention to members of different categories. These results provide the first unequivocal demonstration of stimulus-responsive attention in a categorization task. Furthermore, the authors found clear temporal patterns in the shifting of attention within trials that follow from the informativeness of particular stimulus features. These data provide new insights into the attention processes involved in categorization. (Contains 4 figures and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada