Pacing Visual Attention: Temporal Structure Effects
Doctoral thesis Jun 89-Jun 93,
OHIO STATE UNIV COLUMBUS DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The dissertation investigated the role of temporal relationships in how we attend to dynamic visual events. Specifically, those factors that are temporal in nature, i.e., the rate and rhythm of event sequences were the primary variables of interest. The research explored the possibility that persisting temporal relationships may be an important factor in the external exogenous control of visual attention, at least to some extent, was the focus of the current research. Five experiments attempted to identify the respective roles of rate and rhythm time parameters in a simple selective attention task involving two differently timed streams of information. Results from these experiments indicated that the rhythmic structure of integrated streams was a more powerful pacing factor than either of the rhythm or rate of single stream. Together, these experiments suggest that there may be two kinds of temporal pacing in visual attention 1 a passive entrainment with external time patterns, and 2 the active use of timing relationships to shift and direct the focus of attention.