Selective attention, Art education
Journal/Book/Conference Title Title
Since the 1950's several psychologists have studied the subject of human selective attention [1, 2]. It has been called the 'cocktail party problem' because a good example of the exercise of selective attention occurs when a large convivial group of people come together and it is still possible for an individual to isolate from the high noise level of conversation what a particular speaker says. Thus, the psychological question is: How do humans select what they consider significant information from the vast amount of information provided to the senses by the external environment? It is known that the amount of information input to the senses by far exceeds the processing capabilities of the brain and, therefore, a means exists to filter from the input what a human considers as essential at any particular moment. In the case of vision, one must ignore most of what can be seen. Selective attention is clearly important to artists scientists and technologists, for the sense of sight plays a large role in their work. However, the kind of visual information selected and how it is used may differ greatly in these three domains. Readers of Leonardo are acquainted with the discussions of the possible differences presented by various authors.
Department of Art
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
©1976 The MIT Press
Behrens, Roy R. and Lash, Kenneth, "The 'Visual World' Program at the University of Northern Iowa, U.S.A." (1976). Faculty Publications. 9.