August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Looking for color while searching for onsets: The efficiency of top-down search sets is influenced by task context
Author Affiliations
  • Florian Goller
    Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Ulrich Ansorge
    Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Austria
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 1006. doi:10.1167/16.12.1006
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      Florian Goller, Ulrich Ansorge; Looking for color while searching for onsets: The efficiency of top-down search sets is influenced by task context. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1006. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1006.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

According to the contingent-capture theory (Folk, Remington, & Johnston, 1992), irrelevant onset cues capture attention only if the searched-for target is also defined by its onset. If the target is defined by color, onset cues should not capture attention because such cues do not match the top-down control settings to search for the target's feature (i.e. color). Yet, the corresponding evidence stems from onset cues of a target-similar color. Such onset cues potentially match to two control settings: one for onsets and one for color. As a consequence, a match of the cue color to the control settings could have contributed to attention capture by onset cues, or might even explain it. In a series of experiments, we tested this possibility and found stronger attention capture by onset cues with a target-similar color than by onset cues with a target-dissimilar color when search was for onset targets. In addition, we found attention capture by target-similar color cues, but not by target-dissimilar color cues during search for onset targets. Based on these and related findings, we conclude that color-based contributions to top-down contingent attention capture by onset cues is due to the participants' context-dependent use of the most efficient control settings.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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