We continue to investigate the topic taken up in the previous part of the article. And we also remind you that the best way to quickly and accurately do your homework is to pay for an essay and get a first-rate paper that will be highly appreciated by your teacher.
The Effect of Word Superiority
One of the striking examples of the descending processes in cognition, described at the end of the nineteenth century, is the so-called "word superiority effect." The effect is that if we show a person a set of letters organized into a word for a very short time, or in conditions of noisiness, or in conditions with subsequent masking, we can see them twice as much as if it were just a random set of letters.
In this form, the phenomenon was described by the American James McKean Cattell in 1886, who studied psychology in Germany. In the 1970s, the phenomenon began to be studied in another experimental model. Scientists compared the conditions and effectiveness of recognizing a letter in a word in comparison with the conditions when this letter is presented alone. It turned out that in a word, a person identifies it more effectively if a letter is shown quickly or with a subsequent "mask", for example, a number of grids that interfere with identification. It would seem that one letter is easier to see, but experimental data contradict this. It is easier to see a letter that is surrounded by others, forming a word with it.
This phenomenon was explained in several ways. The most verified method confirmed by most data was invented by American psychologists David Rumelhart and James McClelland, who proposed a neural network approach to cognition, applying to its analysis the methodology of neural networks modeling human cognition as the interaction of several layers of simple elements, interconnected and activating each other. What did they propose?
We can imagine that we have a layer of elements that identify individual pieces of letters: circles, lines, semicircles, etc. There is a layer of elements that recognize whole letters. And there is a layer that recognizes the words. Naturally, the elements of letters are connected in numerous ways with all letters, and the letters are associated with all the words which they are part of.
Let us suppose we are shown a word. And a blot has fallen on one of the letters. What is happening? Due to the remaining letters of the word, which will be activated by the incoming signal and which, in turn, activate the third layer of words, we can get feedback. Maybe we cannot see the letters, but the word is activated correctly. Due to the descending influences directed downwards, we can see what the letter was, even if we could not see it.
However, this principle does not work in the case with homework. It does not appear where we do not see it at once, because there are no additional information layers behind. But there is a way out. You can order an essay on the uk cheap essay writing service and stop worrying about it.
Ways to Work with Information
The effect of word superiority is not observed in all conditions. We try to show words by letters, but at a speed of about ten letters per second. At this speed, we have a special kind of visual error. We skip some elements of the series. If you show a series of ten black letters and say: "Name two letters of gray color that will be in this row" – a person will call the first letter easily, and the second one – with a small probability if it is in the range of half a second after the first one. This phenomenon is called "blinking of attention".
We have decided to show the words, checking whether such "failures" will remain in the attention if one of the letters of the word can in principle be skipped, having received another meaningful word. Incidentally, an interesting fact was found. If you do not tell a person that they are given a word, they will not notice it at all, and the failures in attention will be the same. If a person is warned about the presence of a word, they will not make a mistake, even if you again offer a random set of letters.
In this case, we are dealing with descending processes of a completely different kind. Not just with the influence of the elements of our experience already stored in the system on what we can perceive or see, but the influence of the way we are used to work with this information. We are told: "Read the words" – and we can grasp flying letters quickly, even if they do not form a word. We are told: "Name as many letters as possible," and we will not see that there is a word there. We will name the letters and skip them where there are rigid, albeit modulated limitations in work of our attention (such as "blinking attention").
Strategies for Solving Perceptual Problems
Such methods of organizing work of the visual system are called strategies for solving perceptual problems. We use the word "task" because in such difficult conditions of perception the image is not given by itself: we need to see and notice. Applying different strategies in solving the same problem, we can achieve fundamentally different results and, for example, avoid errors of attention. Thus, descending influences on the processing of visual information are, at least, of two kinds.
On the one hand, this is our past experience, expectations associated with it, attitudes imposed by it. On the other hand, these are the ways to solve visual problems that we apply and which, in the final analysis, are organized in accordance with our past experience. But, importantly, it is not ready yet. We are compelled to apply, build, and actively search for them – perhaps in accordance with the clues given to us.
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