Navigation Links
How do we split our attention?
Date:12/21/2011

Imagine you're a hockey goalie, and two opposing players are breaking in alone on you, passing the puck back and forth. You're aware of the linesman skating in on your left, but pay him no mind. Your focus is on the puck and the two approaching players. As the action unfolds, how is your brain processing this intense moment of "multi-tasking"? Are you splitting your focus of attention into multiple "spotlights?" Are you using one "spotlight" and switching between objects very quickly? Or are you "zooming out" the spotlight and taking it all in at once?

These are the questions Julio Martinez-Trujillo, a cognitive neurophysiology specialist from McGill University, and his team set out to answer in a new study on multifocal attention. They found that, for the first time, there's evidence that we can pay attention to more than one thing at a time.

"When we multi-task and attend to multiple objects, our visual attention has been classically described as a "zoom lens" that extend over a region of space or as a spotlight that switches from one object to the other," Martinez-Trujillo, the lead author of the study, explained. "These modes of action of attention are problematic because when zooming out attention over an entire region we include objects of interest but also distracters in between. Thus, we waste processing resources on irrelevant distracting information. And when a single spotlight jumps from one object to another, there is a limit to how fast that could go and how can the brain accommodate such a rapid switch. Importantly, if we accept that attention works as a single spotlight we may also accept that the brain has evolved to pay attention to one thing at the time and therefore multi-tasking is not an ability that naturally fits our brain architecture"

Martinez-Trujillo's approach in getting to the bottom of this long-standing controversy was novel. The team recorded the activity of single neurons in the brains of two monkey
'/>"/>

Contact: Allison Flynn
allison.j.flynn@mcgill.ca
514-398-7698
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Dwarf crocodiles split into three species
2. Dancing adatoms help chemists understand how water molecules split
3. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a unique approach for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen
4. Cells split personality is a major discovery into neurological diseases
5. Understanding a cells split personality aids synthetic circuits
6. MIT researchers harness viruses to split water
7. Biosensors reveal how single bacterium gets the message to split into a swimming and a stay-put cell
8. China fossil shows bird, crocodile family trees split earlier than thought
9. 25 Tesla, world-record split magnet makes its debut
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2014)... Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University ... new ultrasound device that could help identify arterial plaque ... causing heart attack or stroke. , At issue is ... age. Some types of plaque are deemed "vulnerable," meaning ... artery wall and cause heart attack or stroke. , ...
(Date:4/24/2014)... of clear liquid can bend light, acting as a ... developed a new process to create inexpensive high quality ... , Because they,re so inexpensive, the lenses can ... to detect diseases in the field, scientific research in ... in classrooms. , "What I,m really excited about ...
(Date:4/23/2014)... chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status ... to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according ... in the journal Clinical & Experimental Immunology , ... less access to green spaces may be more apt ... system dysfunction. , When our immune systems are working ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New ultrasound device may add in detecting risk for heart attack, stroke 2Bake your own droplet lens 2Bake your own droplet lens 3Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health 2Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health 3
... to over hunting in the 19th century, wild elk ... of the Ontario elk restoration program. According to a ... issue of Restoration Ecology, 460 elk were brought from ... and 2001. , "The Ontario elk restoration program has ...
... Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ... optical microscopy that can produce crisp, three-dimensional images ... Aperture Microscopy, ISAM can do for optical microscopy ... resonance, and what computed tomography did for X-ray ...
... gene has been discovered by scientists at the Lundberg Laboratory ... Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden. The researchers found that women with ... higher risk of contracting breast cancer than expected. , ... for new hereditary breast cancer genes, but thus far few ...
Cached Biology News:Novel computed imaging technique uses blurry images to enhance view 2New hereditary breast cancer gene discovered 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... FALLS, N.Y., Jan. 15, 2014   Niagara Thermal ... been selected by Buffalo BioBlower Technologies LLC ("B3") as ... SBIR Phase 2 award from the Army Corps of ... system that kills all biological contaminants and destroys VOCs ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... and SAN JOSE, California , January ... company developing antibody-drug conjugates for cancer, today announced the appointment ... Directors. Dr Reynolds has over 20 years, development experience gained ... at Seattle Genetics. "I am delighted to welcome ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... January 15, 2014 A study has been ... the Formula 1 track could help to tackle the problem ... (MAT), Stowhealth (a GP surgery based in Stowmarket) and academics ... Simplyhealth. Telemetry technology, which is inspired by equipment ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... The Microcompetition with Foreign DNA theory explains ... these latent viruses is the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), and ... (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the body’s ... RA patients have high concentrations of EBV DNA in their ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Niagara Thermal Products LLC Selected as Critical Supplier for Buffalo BioBlower Air Purification Systems 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 2Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 4Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3
... Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE ), Landlord of ... , today provided an update highlighting recent accomplishments. , ... Pfizer Inc. at the Alexandria Center for Science and ... Pfizer Inc. entered into a 15-year lease for approximately ...
... Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (Nasdaq and MTA: CTIC) management will present at the 8th ... a.m. Pacific Time. , The conference is being held October 28-29, 2009, at ... with slides and available for replay afterwards. The webcast can be accessed at ... ...
... Ind., Oct. 28 Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... Grants Association LLC (OMeGA) has chosen its 2009 grant ... administrator for graduate medical education to which Zimmer committed ... 2009-2010 academic year. , OMeGA received more than 250 ...
Cached Biology Technology:Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Provides Update 2Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Provides Update 3Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Provides Update 4Zimmer Holdings Announces OMeGA Graduate Medical Education Grant Recipients 2Zimmer Holdings Announces OMeGA Graduate Medical Education Grant Recipients 3Zimmer Holdings Announces OMeGA Graduate Medical Education Grant Recipients 4
... Kit uses a simplified procedure and streamlines ... The kit is based on the three ... and sodium bisulfite where cytosine is converted ... innovative in-column desulphonation reaction eliminates several precipitation ...
... The DIGIVIEW line of digital x-ray ... radiation imaging device complete with 12 to ... area consists of a photodiode array sensor ... All models are available in low x-ray ...
Metamine is an autonomous data mining tool that extends the capabilities of conventional research teams. It is a proactive agent that searches for significant results buried within the GeNet data rep...
Compound(s) tested through a broad panel of 38 ligand binding and enzyme assays targeting the Central Nervous System. Used to determine selecitivty and potential CNS-Side Effect liabilities of compo...
Biology Products: