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Title:The Roles of Scene Characteristics, Memory and Attentional Breadth on the Representation of Complex Real -World Scenes
Author(s):Pringle, Heather Lynne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kramer, Arthur F.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:An accurate and detailed representation of the environment is presumed to help observers notice when an object moves or when an object changes (e.g., drivers should be aware of the details concerning traffic, so that if a car suddenly stops in front of them, they may respond in a timely and appropriate manner by slamming on the brakes). Unfortunately, research has demonstrated that when change in the environment coincides with an interruption to the ongoing visual processing, observers are surprisingly slow to detect the change, if it is detected at all. This "change blindness" suggests that observers lack a sufficiently detailed representation that is robust enough to survive the interruption. The factors that play a role in the ability to detect scene changes in the face of interruptions caused by "flicker" are the focus of the research discussed here. Experiment 1 investigated the role of attentional breadth and change characteristics in perceptual change detection performance. Experiment 2 expanded the objectives in Experiment 1, by additionally examining the possible effects of inhibition, perceptual speed, working memory and scene context on perceptual change detection performance. In an effort to broaden the range of individual differences, both young and old adults participated in the studies. Results indicated that perceptual change detection was best characterized by a convergence of attentional breadth and visuo-spatial working memory measures. To a lesser extent, perceptual speed was also associated with change detection performance, but the ability to inhibit irrelevant information (i.e., inhibition) had no detectable, independent relationship. Findings also revealed that change meaningfulness (i.e., relevance to the context of the scene) had a smaller impact on performance than did salience, especially for the older adults. An examination of eye movement behaviors indicated that early in their viewing of the scene, older adults landed on highly meaningful changes that were also of low salience; however, they were not able to explicitly detect the change. Further examination of eye movement behaviors suggested that fixating the change did not ensure detection, rather the duration of processing in the change area increased the likelihood of successfully detecting the change and older adults required longer processing times than younger adults.
Issue Date:2000
Description:115 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9990115
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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