Adults without mental retardation commonly fail to notice nominally obvious aspects of naturalistic scenes (Becklen and Cervone, 1983). We replicated and extended this effect to adults with mild mental retardation. Adults with and without retardation viewed a 60-second videotape of an amateur basketball game. They were instructed to press a button whenever the ball was passed. At one point, a woman carrying an open umbrella walked bodily through the ongoing action. Becklen and Cervone found that only 35% of adults without retardation noticed this unexpected event and that noticing was not predicted by task performance prior to the woman's appearance. In the present study noticing rates for subjects without retardation were similar to those reported by Becklen and Cervone and noticing by subjects with mental retardation was at least as high. Task performance for subjects with mental retardation was significantly lower than that of subjects without retardation, but noticing was not predicted by task performance (prior to the unexpected event) for either group. Results were interpreted in the context of an ecological approach to attention.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||American Journal on Mental Retardation|
|State||Published - 1993|