PhD Proposal by Chris Draheim

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Name: Chris Draheim

Dissertation Proposal Meeting

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2020

Time: 3:30 PM

Location: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84910277597?pwd=MFkzMWc4SDJZc1RobEJjMUlPR05IQT09

Meeting ID: 849 1027 7597 / Passcode: 766258


Advisor: Randall Engle, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Dissertation Committee Members:
Chris Hertzog, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Paul Verhaeghen, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Rick Thomas, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Mike Beran, Ph.D. (Georgia State)


Title: Change detection as a framework for understanding individual differences in attention control and allocation of attention across the visual field

Abstract: Attention control is a domain-general ability that guides the control of thoughts and intentional behavior in a goal-driven manner, particularly in the face of conflict or distraction. Despite the importance of attention in models of human cognition, it has been established that performance on traditional measures of attention share relatively little meaningful variance. Our lab recently showed that attention control could be more reliably and validly measured with alternative tasks, one of which being selective visual arrays (change detection with both target and distractor stimuli). However, visual arrays tasks are widely believed to reflect memory capacity rather than attention control, and therefore the role of attention-related individual differences in these tasks is underexplored. The proposed study is designed to address this gap in the literature. I plan to administer several visual arrays tasks with differing levels and types of attentional demand. Four manipulations will be employed: number of target stimuli, ratio of distracting stimuli to targets, preparatory time, and spatial configuration of stimuli. These tasks will be embedded within a large-scale correlational study in which a number of other attention measures will also be administered along with various criterion and discriminant validity measures. The overarching goal is three-fold. First, to continue efforts to provide the field with improved measures of attention control. Second, to clarify the role of attention control in the visual arrays paradigm. And, third, to improve upon previous work investigating individual differences in the visual allocation of attention.


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