Can you pay attention to everything? Are we really as good as we think we are at detecting changes around us? Can we easily focus on one thing and ignore everything else? These labs will help you see that attention is a limited resource. However, your attentional system has evolved to be adaptive and efficient for the types of environments you will typically encounter.
In the Change Detection lab, you will see that, as long as there are no interruptions to the entire visual field, you can rely on motion detection to detect subtle changes in the visual field. Both the Simon Effect and Stroop Effect labs will show you how your attention is quickest when the type and location of the stimuli are consistent, respectively. The Spatial Cueing lab demonstrates how we can control our area of maximal attention, albeit in a limited part of our visual field. By knowing what variables maximize or minimize our attention, psychologists can help us make the most of this ability.
Complete the following labs: