student profile: Ms Kim Ransley


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Spatial asymmetries in visual attention

Supervisors: Sally ANDREWS , Alexander HOLCOMBE

Thesis abstract:

Our visual experience of the world feels continuous, yet, in certain laboratory conditions, participants fail to report some items that are clearly presented within their field of vision. It is generally accepted that these errors occur because some limited resource is exhausted at a processing stage that is necessary for awareness. Yet the source of this resource limitation, and the processing stage at which is the resource is exhausted, remains elusive. In this thesis, I investigate a particular failure of awareness that occurs when two target letters embedded in dynamic streams of distractors are briefly presented at the same time in different spatial locations. This paradigm shows remarkable consistency in the spatial pattern of errors that participants make, and it has been suggested that this may reflect a functional strategy used by the brain to prioritise information at a key processing bottleneck. I investigate this claim, and conduct research to investigate other aspects of the limitation, such as the processing stage at which is occurs, and the connection with the well documented attentional blink phenomenon.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Ransley, K., Goodbourn, P., Nguyen, E., Moustafa, A., Holcombe, A. (2018). Reading Direction Influences Lateral Biases in Letter Processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. [More Information]

2018

  • Ransley, K., Goodbourn, P., Nguyen, E., Moustafa, A., Holcombe, A. (2018). Reading Direction Influences Lateral Biases in Letter Processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. [More Information]

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