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Department of Psychology Cognitive Psychology

The Interplay of Peripheral and Central Attention

Working memory is supposed to be capacity limited. This means that not all information we are confronted with can be processed simultaneously. In order to avoid overflow, relevant information has to be selected and encoded in a way that allows further processing. Selection and encoding, though, are processes requiring attention: attention towards the outer world to separate relevant from irrelevant, and attention in encoding by anchoring (binding) relevant information to its temporal and spatial context (when and where?). The question in this project is, whether these two attentional mechanisms rely on a common resource, or whether they work independently of each other. To investigate this question, rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigms are used, which allow disentangling of the two assumed types of attention.

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Dr. Michel Druey