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Seminar Abstract

Paradoxes of perception: How statistical learning affects what people see and remember.

Speaker : Assistant Professor Megan Papesh, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, USA.
Date : 7th of August 2018, 12:00PM until 1:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

The visual search literature is replete with studies showing the consequences of target precision and target frequency. These literatures, however, also contain some seemingly paradoxical findings. For example, although searching for well-described targets is faster and more accurate, searching for imprecise targets often yields enhanced incidental memory for “background” items. Similarly, whereas observers intuitively feel that important (but rarely encountered) targets will “pop out” at them, they are far more likely to miss those objects when they finally appear. In this talk, I will present research on target precision and frequency across two visual domains, search for objects, and face-to-photo identity verification. Using behavioral and psychophysiological evidence, I will propose that the causes and consequences of these paradoxical findings can be tied to attentional mechanisms controlled by the locus-coeruleus norepinephrine system.

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