2000-2001 Guilford Award Abstracts
Visual Attention Affects How Much We Can See
New York University
Faculty Sponsor: Marisa Carrasco, PhD
In order to manage the great amount of visual information presented to our visual system, the mechanism of covert attention enables human observers to selectively process visual information without eye movements. A type of covert attention, transient attention, can be activated by a transient (brief) stimulus; it improves both observer accuracy and speed on a variety of visual tasks. This paper investigates both discriminability (accuracy) and temporal dynamics at varying retinal eccentricities (for which different types of neurons process stimuli) as well as how transient attention affects discriminability and temporal dynamics. We used a time-course measurement procedure with a visual search task in which stimuli were presented at either 4º or 9º eccentricity. Results indicated that covert attention (a) improved discriminability and (b) accelerated information accrual--at both eccentricities. Crucially, this is the first study to also find that information accrual was faster at 9º than 4º of eccentricity.
Factors Predicting Subclinical Eating Disorders: Do Gender Differences Still Exist?
Sharin M. Palladino
University of Evansville
Faculty Sponsor: Mary Pritchard, PhD
One goal of this study was to determine if gender differences exist across subclinical eating disorders (body image disturbance, obsessive exercise, obsessive drive for thinness, binge eating, and emotional eating). Our results found few gender differences among subclinical eating disorders, and found gender to be a significant predictor for only one of the subclinical eating disorders. Another purpose of this research was to examine factors that contribute to subclinical eating disorders in both genders. Two hundred sixty-four undergraduates were surveyed regarding perfectionistic attitudes, self-esteem, pressure from family and peers, media pressure, and teasing. All of the above factors correlated significantly with all 5 of the subclinical eating disorders, and regressions show media pressure and self-esteem as top predictors.
The Minimum Duration for Reactivating a Forgotten Memory at 3 Months of Age
Faculty Sponsor: Carolyn Rovee-Collier, PhD
Briefly exposing individuals to a fractional component of a prior event will reactivate their memory of that event after it has been forgotten. In 2 experiments with forty-eight 3-month-old infants, we asked what is the minimum duration of a reactivation treatment that can recover infants' forgotten memory of a mobile task and whether that duration is affected by how long the memory had been forgotten. In Experiment 1, the minimum effective exposure duration 1 week after forgetting was 120 s--substantially longer than previously found for 6-month-olds after the same relative delay. In Experiment 2, the minimum effective duration increased linearly with the time since forgetting, ranging from 7.5 s after 1 day to 180 s after 3 weeks. This is the first study to show that priming duration is directly related to both age and memory accessibility.