August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
How implicit spatial cues affect attentional orienting: Timing is everything
Author Affiliations
  • Alison Chasteen
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Davood Gozli
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Katia Martin
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Jay Pratt
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 1036. doi:10.1167/14.10.1036
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      Alison Chasteen, Davood Gozli, Katia Martin, Jay Pratt; How implicit spatial cues affect attentional orienting: Timing is everything. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1036. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1036.

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

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Abstract

Concepts with implicit spatial meaning (e.g., "hat", "shoes", "attic", basement") can bias visual processing along the vertical spatial domain. While some studies show directional words interfere with visual processing at congruent locations, due to occupying the same spatial code (Estes, Verges, & Barsalou, 2008), other studies show that directional words facilitate visual processing at congruent locations, due to a spatial bias congruent with the word (Chasteen, Burdzy, & Pratt, 2010). We recently proposed a reconciliation, suggesting that interference and facilitation represent two temporal stages of the same type of processes (Gozli, Chasteen, & Pratt, in press). The present study further tests this proposal using a variant of the additional singleton paradigm (Theeuwes, 2010). Participants read two sequentially presented words (a context word, followed by a directional "cue" word) at the center of the display and then, after some delay, were presented with the search task. The search involved reporting the orientation of the line inside the shape singleton (square among circles) while ignoring the luminance singleton (brighter circle). When there was a short delay, directional words interfered with processing targets at the congruent location, suggesting that the spatial code implicit in the word becomes temporarily unavailable for concurrent visual processing. By contrast, when there was a long delay, directional words both facilitated processing of targets at the congruent location and increased the cost of an irrelevant salient distractor at that same location, suggesting a lingering spatial bias congruent with word meaning. These results support the role of spatial processing in conceptual understanding (Barsalou, 1999), while also revealing the important role of timing when examining the interaction between conceptual and perceptual tasks.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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