May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Neural correlates of inhibition to individual members of complex visual categories that have been recently rejected as distracting
Author Affiliations
  • Alejandro Lleras
    Psychology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • JeeWon Ahn
    Psychology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Brian Levinthal
    Psychology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Diane Beck
    Psychology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 235. doi:10.1167/8.6.235
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      Alejandro Lleras, JeeWon Ahn, Brian Levinthal, Diane Beck; Neural correlates of inhibition to individual members of complex visual categories that have been recently rejected as distracting. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):235. doi: 10.1167/8.6.235.

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Abstract

Recent work on inter-trial effects has shown that experience with a target-absent display can strongly modulate attentional selection on an upcoming trial by virtue of inhibiting the visual feature that defined the absence of the target. For example, if participants are looking for a color-oddball target, experiencing a trial in which all items are green will lead participants to inhibit selection of green items on a subsequent trial. This effect is known as the Distractor Previewing Effect (DPE). Prior research has shown that this effect can occur not only at the level of basic visual features but with fairly complex visual discriminations, as for instance, when participants are asked to find the odd-gendered face on a display containing male and female faces. Here, we extend these previous findings to show that the DPE can modulate responses to all members of a category that has been recently rejected and tagged as “distractor” and we examine the neural correlates that accompany this category-wide inhibition of attention. Participants were asked to find the “category oddball” in a display containing faces and houses. We chose these categories because of the well-known and distinct neural regions responsible for processing these stimuli. Behaviorally, we showed that responding to an oddball “face” target was delayed by 96 ms when “faces” had been tagged as distractors on the previous trial (compared to trials on which “houses” had been the tagged as distractors on the previous trial). Similarly, RTs to oddball “house” targets were slowed by 69 ms when “houses” had been recently tagged as distractors. This attentional inhibition was observed even though specific faces and houses where never repeated in the experiment, suggesting generalized category-wide inhibition. Using fMRI, we examined the correlates of this inhibition in the FFA and PPA, as well as fronto-parietal attentional control regions.

Lleras, A. Ahn, J. Levinthal, B. Beck, D. (2008). Neural correlates of inhibition to individual members of complex visual categories that have been recently rejected as distracting [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):235, 235a, http://journalofvision.org/8/6/235/, doi:10.1167/8.6.235. [CrossRef]
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