Limitations of visuospatial attention (and how to circumvent them)

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Title: Limitations of visuospatial attention (and how to circumvent them)
Authors: Wahn, Basil
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Peter K√∂nig
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Tobias Heed
Prof. Scott Sinnett, Ph.D.
Abstract: In daily life, humans are bombarded with visual input. Yet, their attentional capacities for processing this input are severely limited. Several studies, including my own, have investigated factors that influence these attentional limitations and have identified methods to circumvent them. In the present thesis, I provide a review of my own and others' findings. I first review studies that have demonstrated limitations of visuospatial attention and investigated physiological correlates of these limitations. I then turn to studies in multisensory research that have explored whether limitations in visuospatial attention can be circumvented by distributing information processing across several sensory modalities. Finally, I discuss research from the field of joint action that has investigated how limitations of visuospatial attention can be circumvented by distributing task demands across people and providing them with multisensory input. Based on the reviewed studies, I conclude that limitations of visuospatial attention can be circumvented by distributing attentional processing across sensory modalities when tasks involve spatial as well as object-based attentional processing. However, if only spatial attentional processing is required, limitations of visuospatial attention cannot be circumvented by distributing attentional processing. These findings from multisensory research are applicable to visuospatial tasks that are performed jointly by two individuals. That is, in a joint visuospatial task that does require object-based as well as spatial attentional processing, joint performance is facilitated when task demands are distributed across sensory modalities. Future research could further investigate how applying findings from multisensory research to joint action research may potentially facilitate joint performance. Generally, these findings are applicable to real-world scenarios such as aviation or car-driving to circumvent limitations of visuospatial attention.
URL: https://repositorium.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2017051515895
Subject Keywords: multisensory processing; visuospatial attention; joint action; attentional resources; multiple object tracking
Issue Date: 15-May-2017
License name: Namensnennung 3.0 Unported
License url: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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