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Attentional Spotlights - Essay Example

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Summary
Technological innovations are providing researchers with greater insight through the development of non-invasive observation methods. This has optimized and enriched studies regarding activities of the human brain. Frank Tong (2004) cites in particular the developments in neuroimaging as critical to understanding the mechanisms of perception and treatment of information from sensory to neurological stages of recognition and processing.
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Attentional Spotlights
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"Attentional Spotlights"

Download file to see previous pages In the study conducted by Vargha-Khadem and his associates in 2005, they have concluded that the ability to focus, organize and correlate information is important in the development of the communication and social skills that eventually set our species apart from other primates. These evolutionary developments include molecular neurological activities related to visual attention that has streamlined the brain into the identified activity centers (Mangun, 1995).
According to Tong (2004), the "longstanding notion that spatial attention cannot be divided stems from the assumptions of early philosophers, such as Descartes, that consciousness itself is unitary and indivisible" is being challenged by neuroimages chronicling the neural activities that occur in the brain's retinotopic visual areas (p. 524). An important element in these changing perspectives is the technology that is becoming available for researches.
There has been progression inclination towards the existence of multiple attention points in recent years. There has been evidence that attention spotlights are active concurrently at various areas of the brain given a common stimuli (Mller et al, 2003). At the same time, there are some researches that also point out that these concurrent activities many not necessarily be attention spotlights but rather are independent and unrelated cognitive neural activity (LaBerge et al, 1997). There is significant divergence in the consensus regarding the function of selective visual attention in attentional spotlight. Opinions mainly diverge on the prevalence, degree and significance of attentional spotlight. However, there is a universal realization that existing technologies and knowledge needs is still not enough to be deterministic.
Current studies indicate that selective visual attention affords for flexibility and efficiency to facilitate between high level process and low sensory information. The role of spotlight serves as an accelerator of the highlighted information or stimulus (Spratling and Johnson, 2004). In the process of spotlighting, information is illuminated by the attention spotlight which has then the effect of streamlining perscotion of the said elements. However, when spatial shifting takes place, the spotlight turns off to be able to focus anew. This means that in the process of going thorugh spotlight A to spotlight B, the current consensus is that attentional spotlight does not exist.
Concept Appraisal
Understanding selective attention in the process of visual perception requires the recognition of the different attention mechanisms that are involved in the identification of a stimulus versus those that are involved after the process of perception (Vecera & Rizzo, 2003). Modern cognitive neuroscience experts in particular are emphasizing the need to further understand the components of selective visual attention to an attentional spotlight considering neuroanatomy and timing (Hopf et al, 2000). This is in view of its significance not only in the process of p[perception but also in the development of language and speech skills that in humans has been identified to depend significantly on the said factors (Vargha-Khadem et al, 2005).
According to Chris Chatam (2006), "The spotlight metaphor of attention accords with our subjective experience: as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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