July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
It's about time! Capture and disengagement from temporal attentional capture and how they are affected by visual working memory capacity
Author Affiliations
  • Ayala S. Allon
    The School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University
  • Roy Luria
    The School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University\nThe Sagol School of Neurosciences, Tel-Aviv University
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 79. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.79
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      Ayala S. Allon, Roy Luria; It's about time! Capture and disengagement from temporal attentional capture and how they are affected by visual working memory capacity. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.79.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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In a number of experiments we investigated individual differences in attentional capture (i.e., the influence of irrelevant outer stimuli on attentional control). Previous findings have dissociated the initial capture effect (i.e., orienting attention to the distractor) and the subsequent release from capture process (i.e., when attention moves away from the distractor), and demonstrated that individuals with low visual working memory capacity (VWMC) show sluggish recover times from capture relative to high capacity individuals. Yet, both high and low capacity individuals were equally vulnerable to the initial capture effect. Importantly, the study tested the spatial capture and release from capture processes (because the distractor was presented in a different spatial position relative to the target). In the current study we investigated the connection between VWMC and temporal attentional capture, in which all stimuli were presented at the same location, one after the other. We tested the degree to which a distractor, occasionally presented several intervals before the target, interfered with the target processing. Contrary to previous studies, we found that low-capacity individuals displayed more capture than high-capacity individuals (an effect that was found when the distractor and the target were from different categories), but there were no differences in their recovery time from capture. When we increased the task difficulty (by using three response categories rather than using only two), we found a connection between VWMC and recovery time from capture. Namely, while high-capacity individuals recover faster from temporal capture, low-capacity individuals are slower to recover and keep being engaged by the distractor even at long distractor-to-target intervals. The present results together with pervious findings suggest that the disengagement from capture reflects an attention based cognitive ability that plays an important role in individual differences in VWMC.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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