Visual perception, attention, and cognition – very, very basics

Please find below the slides I showed in class today.

But before you do that, please remember to add Deok Gun’s blog to your RSS feed reader. I forgot to add it to my blogroll until now and he complained that he’s very lonely 🙂 Please follow his blog and leave comments for him as well!

Here are the main slides that provided the structure for the class:

Here are the slides about attention. Ignore the first few, they were meant as jokes/examples for a different group.

As examples, if you look at slides 8 and 9 from the attention deck, can you guess what principles I tried to apply there? How do the slides communicate that one set of details is about top-down and the other one is about bottom-up attention (hint: what Gestalt principles are applied there)? How do these two slides attempt to reduce load on working memory?

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    • carol
    • September 5th, 2012

    I think according to law of similarity,it captures the idea that elements will be grouped perceptually if they are similar to each other. In the slide 8 and 9 , colour is used to make the user group the menu items on the basis of their background colour. The green background of the top-down set of detailed items tie them together. It is the same as the bottom-up which is tied by the red colour. So in that case we can tell which is the illustration of each concept.

  1. I think the principle is Law of Figure-Ground and Law of Similarity. The “Top-down” icon is highlighted in slide 8 in order to capture audiences’ attention while in slide 9 the “Bottom-up” icon is stressed with bright red color. So two different foreground colors let us perceive different things from slides. Also, in each slide the same color is used in the same group such as green color is used in both “Top-down” and “Driven by” icons to draw a view’s attention. So we can detect the causality relationship between these factors. When we apply these Gestalt principles here, they are such natural things to grasp and direct our attention. I mean, Gestalt principles are not artificial constructs but describe and verbalize how we naturally perceive things. We can find some symmetry words in the two similar slides. It is easy for us to remember concepts. That means we can manipulate information in our mind for a very short period of time. By doing so, these two slides can reduce load on working memory.

  2. Nice answers! I am still looking for the working memory clues, though! 🙂

    • Slide 8 talks about top-down attention, and slide 9 talks about bottom-up attention, but in each slide both of the two titles are kept there, just with the one that is not the main topic grayed out. When on slide 8, the audiences will know the next slide is about bottom-up attention, and when on slide 9, the audiences do not need to use extra memory to remember the previous slide is about top-down attention. In this way, the two slides reduce audiences’ working memory load.

      • Xin, good point about working memory!

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