Visual Attention in 3-D Space while Moving Forward

Visual Attention in 3-D Space while Moving Forward

Takahiko Kimura (Kansai University of Welfare Sciences, Japan), Toshiaki Miura (Osaka University, Japan), Kazumitsu Shinohara (Osaka University, Japan) and Shun’ichi Doi (Kagawa University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2113-8.ch009
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One of our cognitive functions is attention, which plays an essential role in veridical behavior. In this chapter, the research on attention in 3-D space is reviewed. In particular, for ecological validity, the shift of attention in 3-D space when observers are in self-motion is discussed. Research in cognitive psychology indicates that elucidating the role of attention in 3-D space is important for understanding a driver’s behavior, in order to suitably design the interface of in-vehicle devices. Finally, future research on the connection between attention and safety in driving situations will be discussed.
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2. Theory Of Spatial Attention

The main categories of spatial attention include distribution of attention, shift of attention, and switching of attention. These attention functions have not been fully elucidated; however, researchers in the field of cognitive psychology have attempted to create models of spatial attention. The spotlight model is a basic model of spatial attention (Eriksen & Eriksen, 1974; Posner, Snyder, & Davidson, 1980; Shulman, Remington, & McLean, 1979). This model hypothesizes that information is processed within a limited area (approximately 1 deg. in visual angle), and that information outside this area cannot capture attention. Eriksen & St. James (1986) and Eriksen & Yeh (1985) have proposed the zoom lens model, which is an extension of the spotlight model. In this model, the domain subtended by attention is variable and depends on task demand. Finally, the graduate model assumes that attention has a gradient distribution in space (LaBerge & Brown, 1986). The models described above are conducted in 2-D space, and have meaningfully contributed to our understanding of spatial attention.

How does attention operate in space? The spatial cueing paradigm (Cost-Benefit paradigm) is a common method used to show the characteristics of spatial attention (Posner, Nissen & Ogden, 1978; Posner, Snyder, & Davidson, 1980). In this paradigm, a “precue” is presented before the target is presented. This method allows us to examine the components of spatial attention, i.e., engagement, disengagement, and shift.

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