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Amit Yashar, Tal Makovski, Dominique Lamy; The role of motor response in feature repetition priming: Encoding of search-relevant information is not contingent on links between features and motor responses.. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):390. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.390.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It has become widely acknowledged that our goals and actions greatly influence the representation of our visual world. For example, simple motor actions, such as pointing or grasping, can modulate the way we perceive and attend to our visual environment. In the present study we investigated the role of motor responses in the modulation of attentional allocation by implicit short-term memory. Numerous studies have demonstrated that what we attend to at a given time affects how our attention is deployed in the few moments that follow. For instance, Maljkovic and Nakayama (1994) showed that when searching for a discrepant target among homogenous distractors, performance is better when the target and distractors features remain the same than when they switch, an effect known as priming of pop-out (PoP). We recently showed that in addition to attentional processes PoP affects motor response preparation/selection (Yashar & Lamy, 2011). Here we demonstrate that motor response is not necessary for encoding of search relevant attributes in pop-out search. In three experiments, observers searched for a colored singleton target. On response-trials, they responded to the target’s shape, whereas on no-response trials, they passively looked at the display. Observers were faster to respond when the color of the target repeated from the previous to the current trial, even when the previous trial was a no-response trial. This effect resulted mainly from distractor inhibition, and disappeared when the display in the no-response trial lingered for 1000 msec. These results suggest that the process of encoding search-relevant attributes in pop-out search is automatic and is not contingent on the production of a motor response. These findings are inconsistent with claims that repetition of search-relevant attributes in visual search mainly affects response-related processes.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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