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Mathieu Landry, Jelena Ristic; The influence of attentional interactions on perceptual processing. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):673. doi: 10.1167/12.9.673.
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Numerous studies of human attention conducted to date employed central spatially predictive arrows to measure voluntary orienting (e.g., Jonides, 1981). However, since central arrows were recently found to produce orienting even when they are spatially nonpredictive (e.g., Tipples, 2002), it became unclear whether the effects produced by the classic task reflected voluntary attention alone. Using a simple target detection cuing task, Ristic and Kingstone (2006) found that attentional effects of predictive arrows reflected an interaction between reflexive and voluntary orienting rather than voluntary orienting in isolation. However, it still remains unclear whether similar effects would emerge if participants were asked to perform a difficult target discrimination task rather then a simple detection task. To address this, we presented participants with spatially nonpredictive arrows (measuring reflexive orienting), spatially predictive arrows (measuring an interaction between reflexive and voluntary orienting), and spatially predictive shapes (measuring voluntary orienting in isolation). They were asked to discriminate a briefly presented and subsequently masked complex target as quickly and as accurately as possible. Both response time (RT) and accuracy data replicated Ristic and Kingstone (2006) results. Across both measures, predictive arrows produced orienting effects that were larger than both reflexive orienting elicited by nonpredictive arrows and voluntary orienting elicited by predictive shapes. These data solidify the past reports and further suggest that the interactions between the two attentional systems, in addition to enhancing target detection, also lead to facilitation in perception of target’s features.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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