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Daniel Vatterott, Shaun Vecera; Hand position modulates attentional capture. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):78. doi: 10.1167/13.9.78.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Observers are faster to respond to targets near the hands than far (Reed et al., 2006), which demonstrates preferential processing of items near observers’ hands, but it is unclear if this preferential processing can override stimulus-driven attentional capture. To investigate if capture is influenced by hand position, observers completed the additional singleton paradigm (Theeuwes, 1992) with either their left or right hand near the screen. In the additional singleton paradigm, observers search for a shape singleton among homogenous distractors. Critically, on half the trials one of the distractors is a different color making it an additional singleton. Although this item is irrelevant to the task, observers are slower to respond to the target when the additional singleton is present. In the current experiments, if the attentional effects of hand position influence capture, then hand position might prevent or reduce capture when a salient stimulus appears far from the hand. Conversely, if stimulus-driven capture is impenetrable to body-based influences, , then capture would occur irrespective of the proximity of a salient stimulus to the hand. Our results confirm the former hypothesis, demonstrating that color singletons near the hand slowed response times to the target, t(15) = 2.4, p <. 05, whereas color singletons far from the hand did not, t(15) = 1.2, p > .24. These results suggest that the magnitude of stimulus-driven capture is affected by hand position.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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