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Yoko Higuchi, Hirokazu Ogawa, Yoshiyuki Ueda, Jun Saiki; Object identities facilitate response to a target in spatio-temporal contextual cuing. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):296. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.296.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous studies demonstrated that attention could be guided to a target object when the spatial configuration of the objects in a search display was repeated (contextual cuing; Chun & Jiang, 1998). Recent studies further demonstrated that the sequence could be implicitly learned and enhance attentional processes (Olson & Chun, 2001; Mayberry et al., 2010). It is not clear, however, whether the spatial and temporal contexts are learned at the same time, or one is selectively learned when two redundant contextual cues are presented. In the present study, we developed a spatio-temporal contextual cuing paradigm to address this issue. Participants were asked to respond to a target object among the stream of distractors that were presented sequentially at different locations. In the learning phase, invariant sequences associated with a particular target were presented repeatedly. The invariant sequences consisted of six objects which were presented fixed locations in the same order. In the following test phase, both the locations and identities of the distractors (Experiment 1), those locations (Experiment 2), or those identities (Experiment 3) were randomized in the learned sequences. The results showed that reaction time became longer in the test phase than in the last block of the learning phase when the object identities of the invariant sequences were randomized (Experiments 1 and 3). In contrast, reaction time was unaffected when the object locations in the invariant sequences were randomized (Experiment 2). The participants could not recognize the invariant sequences in all experiments. Furthermore, eye movements during the learning phase showed that processing for target identities was facilitated whereas prediction of target location was not facilitated (Experiment 4). These results suggest that the participants selectively learned object identities even though both spatial and temporal information in the invariant sequence is available for a target prediction.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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