2.6 Summary of Section 2
The results of the visual attention experiments we have considered can be interpreted as follows.
Attention can be directed selectively towards different areas of the visual field, without the need to re-focus.
The inability to report much detail from brief, masked visual displays appears to be linked to the need to assemble the various information components.
The visual information is captured in parallel, but assembly is a serial process.
Episodic detail (e.g. colour, position) is vulnerable to the passage of time, or to ‘overwriting’ by a mask.
Semantic information (i.e. identity/meaning) is relatively enduring, but does not reach conscious awareness unless bound to the episodic information.
Attention, in this context, is the process of binding the information about an item's identity to its particular episodic characteristics.
‘Unbound’ semantic activation can be detected by priming and electrophysiological techniques.