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Attention in Natural and Mediated Realities

This thematic series, published in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, focuses on attention in natural and mediated realities.

Modern humans live in natural environments and in worlds shaped and mediated by technology. Both of these worlds are complex, dynamic, and rich; producing streams of data that vastly outstrip the capacities of human cognitive systems. Yet, people usually understand and intelligently act in everyday situations. How do people use attention to manage environmental demands on human cognitive systems? The purpose of this collection of papers is to examine how attention operates in environments that approach the complexity of naturalistic situations.

Edited by: 

  • Daniel T. Levin, Vanderbilt University, USA 
  • Khena M. Swallow, Cornell University, USA
  • Jeffrey M. Zacks, Washington University, USA

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. The comprehension of dynamic naturalistic events poses at least two challenges to the cognitive system: filtering relevant information with attention and dealing with information that was missing or missed. Wi...

    Authors: Frank Papenmeier, Alisa Brockhoff and Markus Huff

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2019 4:3

    Content type: Original article

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  2. Previous research has demonstrated reliable fluctuations in attentional processes during the course of the day. Everyday life experience sampling, during which participants respond to “probes” delivered at ran...

    Authors: Gabriel King Smith, Caitlin Mills, Alexandra Paxton and Kalina Christoff

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:54

    Content type: Original article

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  3. The ability to predict what is going to happen in the near future is integral for daily functioning. Previous research suggests that predictability varies over time, with increases in prediction error at those...

    Authors: Michelle L. Eisenberg, Jeffrey M. Zacks and Shaney Flores

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:53

    Content type: Original article

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  4. Although phenomena such as change blindness and inattentional blindness are robust, it is not entirely clear how these failures of visual awareness are related to failures to attend to visual information, to r...

    Authors: Daniel T. Levin, Adriane E. Seiffert, Sun-Joo Cho and Kelly E. Carter

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:49

    Content type: Original article

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  5. Attention in the “real world” fluctuates over time, but these fluctuations are hard to examine using a timed trial-based experimental paradigm. Here we use film to study attention. To achieve short-term engage...

    Authors: Stephen J. Hinde, Tim J. Smith and Iain D. Gilchrist

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:45

    Content type: Original article

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  6. The present study examined the impact that the environment has on the ability to remain attentive and retain information. Participants listened to an audiobook in either a controlled lab setting or in an uncon...

    Authors: Trish L. Varao-Sousa, Daniel Smilek and Alan Kingstone

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:42

    Content type: Original article

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  7. Fractal patterns are seemingly everywhere. They can be analyzed through Fourier and power analyses, and other methods. Cutting, DeLong, and Nothelfer (2010) analyzed as time-series data the fluctuations of sho...

    Authors: James E. Cutting, Jordan E. DeLong and Kaitlin L. Brunick

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2018 3:8

    Content type: Original article

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  8. Many real-world searches (e.g., radiology and baggage screening) have rare targets. When targets are rare, observers perform rapid, incomplete searches, leading to higher miss rates. To improve search for rare...

    Authors: Chad Peltier and Mark W. Becker

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2017 2:47

    Content type: Original article

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  9. Searching for targets in the visual world, or visual search, is something we all do every day. We frequently make ‘false-negative’ errors, wherein we erroneously conclude a target was absent when one was, in f...

    Authors: Trafton Drew and Lauren H. Williams

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2017 2:44

    Content type: Original article

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