The School is pleased to announce a School of Psychology seminar this Friday from Dr. Evan Livesey, University of Sydney.
TITLE: Interactions between associative learning and attention
Associative learning generally involves discovering which features and events in a given situation are informative, and which are irrelevant, for predicting the occurrence of a particular outcome. Many learning theories appeal to some form of selective attention, the process by which one ignores less relevant stimulus information and focuses on those features that are likely to be meaningful. Learning and attention are thus thought to be highly interrelated. Recently, we have examined aspects of this relationship in humans using a range of cognitive tasks, including discrimination learning, cued reaction time and rapid serial visual presentation. The results suggest that learning guides selective attention towards the most informative elements of a stimulus, and that these changes in attention can occur implicitly. Evidence points to interactions between voluntarily controlled and automatic processes in both learning and attention.