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Karen Borrmann, Nadine Furtado, Avi Chaudhuri; Attentional processes involved in facial attention capture. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):284. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.284.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Faces have been shown to hold an attentional advantage over non-face objects under certain conditions, and have even been demonstrated to overcome a number of situations associated with inattention. These phenomena are generally explained by way of an ability of facial stimuli to capture attention. We present evidence that sheds light on the type of attentional processes involved when task-irrelevant face stimuli influence the allocation of attention between simultaneously presented stimuli. Using an attentional cueing paradigm, we found that task-irrelevant face stimuli, but not simultaneously presented task-irrelevant object stimuli, act as exogenous cues for attention. However, this face advantage disappears when the competing, task-irrelevant cues are presented without reaching awareness, suggesting that attention is explicitly, not implicitly, guided to face stimuli.
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