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Todd A. Kelley, Steven Yantis; Learning to attend: Effects of practice on information selection. Journal of Vision 2009;9(7):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.7.16.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Though practice can lead to improved performance in many domains, it is currently unknown how practice affects the deployment of selective attention to filter distracting information. We conducted a series of experiments to address this issue by examining how performance on a task changed after repeated exposure to distractors. Distraction initially slowed response time during task performance, an effect that diminished with repeated exposure to the distractors. When the distractors were consistent in appearance, the practice effect developed quickly but was stimulus-specific. When the distractors were more variable in appearance, the practice effect developed slowly but transferred more readily to other conditions. These data indicate that practice with overcoming distraction leads to improvements in information filtering mechanisms that generalize beyond the training regimen when variable distractor stimuli are experienced.
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