Can Limitations of Visuospatial Attention Be Circumvented? A Review

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Title: Can Limitations of Visuospatial Attention Be Circumvented? A Review
Authors: Wahn, Basil
K├Ânig, Peter
Abstract: In daily life, humans are bombarded with visual input. Yet, their attentional capacities for processing this input are severely limited. Several studies have investigated factors that influence these attentional limitations and have identified methods to circumvent them. Here, we provide a review of these findings. We first review studies that have demonstrated limitations of visuospatial attention and investigated physiological correlates of these limitations. We then review studies in multisensory research that have explored whether limitations in visuospatial attention can be circumvented by distributing information processing across several sensory modalities. Finally, we 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. We 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 requiring 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 facilitate joint performance. Generally, findings are applicable to real-world scenarios such as aviation or car-driving to circumvent limitations of visuospatial attention.
Citations: Frontiers in Psychology, 8. 2017, 1896
Subject Keywords: multisensory processing; visuospatial attention; joint action; attentional resources; multiple object tracking
Issue Date: 19-Dec-2017
License name: Namensnennung 4.0 International
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Type of publication: Einzelbeitrag in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift [article]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - Hochschulschriften

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