Learning to attend in sensorimotor tasks

Research Area: 
B: Attentive Systems
01.11.2013 until 31.12.2018

Successfully performing a sensorimotor task means attending relevant and ignoring irrelevant information. In well-known sensorimotor tasks, long-term memory (LTM) specifies which information is relevant and where it can be found. During learning and automatization, LTM thus becomes progressively more important for attentional selection, i.e. LTM determines where-to-attend, -look, and –act.
However, important issues concerning “learning-to-attend” during sensorimotor tasks are still unanswered. Which prerequisites are necessary for the development of LTM-based attentional selection? Which benefits and costs arise from LTM-based attention selection? Is it possible to accelerate attentional learning, e.g. by guiding attention to important locations during training? To answer these and further questions, the project investigates eye movements as proxy for visual attention in real-world and computerized sensorimotor tasks under various task constraints. Results help understanding the interplay of attention, gaze, and memory for efficient action control. Insights might help improving the teaching of new skills and designing assistive devices.