August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Fast Task-Irrelevant Learning: How different types of attention and task-relevance impact memorization of rapidly presented images.
Author Affiliations
  • Aaron Seitz
    Psychology, University of California - Riverside
  • Virginie Leclercq
    Psychology, University of California - Riverside
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 691. doi:10.1167/12.9.691
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      Aaron Seitz, Virginie Leclercq; Fast Task-Irrelevant Learning: How different types of attention and task-relevance impact memorization of rapidly presented images.. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):691. doi: 10.1167/12.9.691.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Task-irrelevant learning (TIL) refers to the phenomenon where the stimulus features of a subject’s task are learned when they are presented at times of behavioural relevance. Here we present results of a recently discovered fast-form of TIL (fast-TIL), which can be observed with as little as a single trial of exposure. We first observe that a sudden onset of a behaviorally relevant event disrupts fast-TIL. One hypothesis is that the sudden onset of the relevant event exogenously draws attention, disrupting TIL. This result raised the question of the role of attention in fast-TIL: does attention modulate fast-TIL, and how? Posner proposed three different networks of attention: orienting, alerting and control. To study the role of orienting and alerting in TIL, we conducted different studies. First, experiments of fast-TIL using arrows as behavioral relevant targets were conducted to study the role of orienting of attention. The results indicated that attentional orienting aids in the memorization of images presented at times with the relevant target event. These results support the hypothesis that the orienting attentional system plays a role in TIL. Secondly, two experiments of fast-TIL were conducted in which the attentional state of participants was manipulated by using an alerting cue. The results indicated that an alerting cue plays a significant role in the encoding of images presented at times with the relevant events, cue and target, but in different ways. The presentation of an alerting cue increased the ability to recall information presented after this signal. However, memorization of cue-paired stimuli was suppressed. These results support the hypothesis that the alerting attentional system plays a role in TIL. Overall, our results demonstrate that multiple aspects of attention can operate in a beneficial manner in TIL, but that all relevant events are not equal in their impact on encoding processes.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012

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