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Hui Chen, Liqiang Huang; Involuntary attention can modulate the disappearance in motion-induced blindness. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1221. doi: 10.1167/12.9.1221.
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Motion-induced blindness (MIB) is a phenomenon in which salient stationary (or slowly moving) objects spontaneously disappear and reappear when superimposed onto a globally moving pattern (Bonneh et al, 2001 Nature 411 798 - 801). In MIB, it remains an open question whether paying attention to these objects will increase or decrease their disappearance, as conflicting findings have been reported from previous studies (Kawabe et al.,2007; Geng et al.,2007; Scholvinck & Rees, 2009). In the present study, we investigated the attention effect on MIB with four experiments. Experiment 1 and 2 relied on the classic finding that onset draws attention more than color change. In Experiment 1, immediately following the observers’ reports of disappearance of targets, either the color of one of the three distractors around the target was changed (color change condition) or a new distractor abruptly appeared near the target (onset condition). It was found that the duration of target disappearance was significantly shorter in onset condition than that in color change condition. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that distractors in Experiment 2 were in the opposite side. The result was opposite to that in Experiment1: namely, the duration of target disappearance was significantly longer in onset condition than that in color change condition. In sum, Experiment 1 and 2 suggested that directing attention toward target led to its shorter disappearance duration, whereas withdrawing attention away from target led to longer disappearance duration. In Experiment 3-4, we further tested this notion by comparing looming and receding stimuli (Experiment 3) and by comparing motion and color change (Experiment 4), and obtained consistent results. In conclusion, more attention causes less target disappearance in MIB.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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