Title page for ETD etd-06072006-154916

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lynn, Sharon Diane
Author's Email Address slynn1@lsu.edu
URN etd-06072006-154916
Title Is Attention Unitary or Divisible by Modality?
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Emily Elliott Committee Chair
Janet McDonald Committee Member
Kevin Grobman Committee Member
  • auditory
  • child development
  • bimodal presentation
  • attentional network task
  • selective attention
  • visual
Date of Defense 2006-05-03
Availability unrestricted
Using the attentional network task (ANT) developed by Fan et al. (2002) and a modification of this task, the development of selective attention in a bimodal (auditory and visual) task is measured and compared to the results and development of the visual version of the task. The theoretical purpose of the study was to determine whether the attentional mechanism involved in this task is organized as a single mechanism or into modality-specific mechanisms. It was shown that adults needed specific instructions to efficiently use the auditory spatial warning cues but instructions were not required for efficient use of visual spatial warning cues. Overall, the adult results suggested that a “translational step” was utilized to change the auditory cue into a visual expectation, which supported a unitary mechanism. Development of bimodal selective attention was measured with three groups of children (Ages 6, 8, and 10) and these results also indicated support for a single attentional mechanism. Some questions appeared about the validity of the use of the ANT task with children.
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