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Dana Hayward, Jelena Ristic; Alerting trumps space and time in social orienting. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):569. doi: 10.1167/12.9.569.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Attentional selection is influenced by the reliability of the cue in signaling events in the environment (i.e., alertness), its utility in indicating the spatial location of events (i.e., spatial predictability), and its utility in indicating the timing of events in the environment (i.e., temporal predictability). We investigated the role of each of these components in social orienting. Participants were presented with a central eye gaze cue and were asked to detect peripheral targets. Alertness was manipulated by altering the cue’s reliability in signaling the appearance of a target (low reliability; high reliability). Spatial utility was manipulated by altering the cue’s predictiveness of the target’s location (nonpredictive; predictive). Temporal utility was manipulated by altering the cue’s predictiveness of when within a trial the target will appear (nonpredictive; predictive). This design allowed us to measure the isolated and combined contributions of alertness, spatial predictability, and temporal predictability on the magnitude of social orienting. We found that attentional effects were enhanced under conditions of high alertness, regardless of the cue’s spatial or temporal utility. Cue’s spatial predictiveness also led to the enhancement of the attentional effect, however the level of alertness modulated this result. Finally, the manipulation of the cue’s temporal utility did not affect the magnitude of social orienting and furthermore did not interact with the cue’s spatial utility or its alertness. Together, these data suggest additive effects of spatial and temporal orienting, and point to the critical role of alertness in social attention.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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