Attention Revision

example exam questions

‘What is the role of attention in perception?’ Critically explore, using examples and perspectives relevant to cognitive psychology.

Can we process information that we do not pay attention to? Critically evaluate the research on selective attention, including which brain structures might be involved in it.


multiple choice and quizzes


questions you should mostly be able to answer

  1. define attention p2
  2. where has the focus of research been and what’s a limitation on research?
  3. In what 4 ways can we consider attention? 
  4. Define selective attention, (perhaps by how it’s tested) p3
  5. Specifically how did Cherry test selective attention and what were the results? p3&4
  6. Describe Broadbent’s early filter theory – why can’t ignored messages be remembered but physical can? p4&5
  7. What 2 findings by Gray & Wedderburn caused a problem for early filter model? p5
  8. What was Triesman’s theory & why could names pass through the attenuator? 
  9. What is Deutsch & Deutsch’s theory – is it an early or late filter model? p6
  10. Regarding capacity models of attention, what are the 2 different viewpoints of resource that we possess? p7
  11. Describe Lavie’s perceptual load theory 
  12. In what 2 ways can we apply visual selective attention? p9
  13. What 2 types of visual search did Triesman identify and what were her findings (which is slower & why?) i.e. describe feature integration theory 
  14. What finding did Duncan & Humphrey make, criticizing FIT? p10
  15. What was Helmholtz’s spotlight metaphor experiment and result? p11
  16. What’s the conclusion of the zoom lens model of attention?
  17. What are 2 problems with the zoom lens model? 
  18. What brain area is associated with unilateral visual neglect and what are the consequences? p12 
  19. Define visual neglect, damage location and consequences.
  20. Describe extinction.
  21. What is simultanagnosia
  22. What is Balint syndrome and what disorder is it paired with? 
  23. What attentional networks in the brain did Corbetta & Shulman identify and how do they interact? p13
  24. In neglect patients are dorsal or ventral systems implicated? Why – what’s going on?
  25. In summary what area of brain is associated with attention & attentional deficits I.e. PFC, occipital, temporal, parietal?
  26. What determines how well we can perform 2 tasks at the same time? p14
  27. What’s the difference between serial or parallel processing, in attention?
  28. Why does the stroop task work as it does? p15
  29. With regard to attention & resources, what’s the difference between automatic and controlled processes?