Goal-directed attention

Vidhya Navalpakkam of Caltech, in her latest research on the influence of task on directing attention, has studied how quickly human participants were able to cast their visual attention on target stimuli amidst distracting stimuli by tracking their eye movements. Points were awarded to participants for correctly attending to target stimuli. The experiments were done with various amounts of points awarded for the tasks.

Navalpakkam concluded that participants' performance varied both with the nature of the distractions and with the number of points at stake.

Further details can be found in this article on Nature's The Great Beyond blog.

These sort of experiments can be useful for developing realistic point of view camera movements in cinema and writing some styles of description of characters' behaviour and experiences in written fiction.

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