Selective attention in animal discrimination learning

Citation
Tr. Zentall et Da. Riley, Selective attention in animal discrimination learning, J GEN PSYCH, 127(1), 2000, pp. 45-66
Citations number
83
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-1309 → ACNP
Volume
127
Issue
1
Year of publication
2000
Pages
45 - 66
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-1309(200001)127:1<45:SAIADL>2.0.ZU;2-R
Abstract
The traditional approach to the study of selective attention in animal disc rimination learning has been to ask if animals are capable of the central s elective processing of stimuli, such that certain aspects of the discrimina tive stimuli are partially or wholly ignored while their relationships to e ach other, or other relevant stimuli, are processed. A notable characterist ic of this research has been that procedures involve the acquisition of dis criminations, and the issue of concern is whether learning is selectively d etermined by the stimulus dimension defined by the discriminative stimuli. Although there is support for this kind of selective attention, in many cas es, simpler nonattentional accounts are sufficient to explain the results. An alternative approach involves procedures more similar to those used in h uman information-processing research. When selective attention is studied i n humans, it generally involves the steady state performance of tasks for w hich there is limited time allowed for stimulus input and a relatively larg e amount of relevant information to be processed; thus, attention must be s elective or divided. When this approach is applied to animals and alternati ve accounts have been ruled out, stronger evidence for selective or divided attention in animals has been found. Similar processes are thought to be i nvolved when animals search more natural environments for targets. Finally, an attempt is made to distinguish these top-down attentional processes fro m more automatic preattentional processes that have been studied in humans and other animals.