Can the relational account of attention explain search in natural environments and inattentional blindness? (2014–2018)
I recently developed a relational theory of attention (Becker, 2010; JEP-Gen) and subsequently demonstrated that elementary features (e.g., colours) are selected in virtue of their feature relationships to other items in the context (e.g., redder, larger). The aim of the present proposal is to further extend the relational theory to account for visual search and inattentional blindness in natural environments. In addition, the neuronal correlates for inattentional blindness will be investigated with fMRI. The proposed research has fundamental implications for theories of visual attention and awareness, and will advance our understanding of how and why we frequently fail to notice potentially important objects and events in the environment.