Parallel processing (psychology)

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In psychology, parallel processing is the ability of the brain to simultaneously process incoming stimuli of differing quality.[1] Parallel processing is a part of vision in that the brain divides what it sees into four components: color, motion, shape, and depth; these are individually analyzed and then compared to stored memories, which helps the brain identify what you are viewing.[2] The brain then combines all of these into the field of view that you see and comprehend.[3] Parallel processing has been linked, by some experimental psychologists, to the Stroop effect; this is a continual and seamless operation.


  1. ^ LaBerge, David; Samuels, S.Jay (1974). "Toward a theory of automatic information processing in reading". Cognitive Psychology. Elsevier BV. 6 (2): 293–323. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(74)90015-2. ISSN 0010-0285.
  2. ^ Hinton, Geoffrey (2014). Parallel models of associative memory. New York: Psychology Press. ISBN 978-1-315-80799-7.
  3. ^ Wässle, Heinz (2004). "Parallel processing in the mammalian retina". Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 5 (10): 747–757. doi:10.1038/nrn1497. ISSN 1471-003X.