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Brad Wyble, Charles Folk, Mary Potter; Attentional capture by images that match a conceptual target set. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):939. doi: 10.1167/12.9.939.
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It is well established that stimuli can capture attention if they possess a target defining feature such as color or motion. The present study explored whether images belonging to a conceptually specified target category, such as Sports equipment can also capture attention. There were 29 different categories, which were used to create 80 trials for each subject. Each subject saw each target image only once during the experiment. In a task involving central RSVP of images and peripheral distractor images (see figure 2), a potent capture effect was found for distractor images containing category relevant versus category irrelevant information. The timing of this capture effect matched that of simpler features from Folk Leber & Egeth (2002), with strong capture when distractors appeared 200ms prior to the target, and weak capture when presented simultaneously with it. A subsequent experiment confirmed that this capture effect is spatially specific. These data suggest that attentional control settings can extend beyond simple features to conceptual categories with novel exemplars.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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