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Lucy Andrews, Jason Braithwaite, Derrick Watson, Johan Hulleman, Glyn Humphreys; The Attentional Cost of Feature-based Inhibition. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):196. doi: 10.1167/10.7.196.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual search is improved when half of the distractors are presented, before the remaining distractors and the target are added to the display, (The Preview Benefit: Watson & Humphreys, 1997). However, when colour is shared between old irrelevant information (i.e., distractors) and new relevant information (i.e., a new target), observers show a degree of inattentional-blindness to the new target (The Negative Colour-based Carry-over Effect: Braithwaite et al., 2003). To account for these effects, the researchers argue for a multi-factor inhibitory model, in which locations and features are used to filter the old irrelevant items from attention. Here we present the first demonstration of colour-based carry-over effects under more ecologically valid dynamic visual search conditions. Furthermore, we show that the carry-over effect is greatly magnified under dynamic conditions (both common motion and random motion), relative to equivalent static search conditions. These findings support the notion of a flexible inhibitory mechanism of attentional guidance across time: when location-based information is abolished (i.e., under dynamic conditions) there is an increased weighting on the feature-based component to aid in tracking and successful filtering – however, the consequence of this is an increased degree of attentional-blindness for new target information carrying that feature. The results will be discussed in terms of their important contributions towards understanding the mechanisms that may be responsible for failures of awareness, such as instances of sustained inattentional blindness, in the real dynamic visual world.
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