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William Kendall, Kelsey Chan, Alan Kingstone; The effect of camera presence on arousal, attentional control and inhibition . Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):646. doi: 10.1167/14.10.646.
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Previous research has shown that the presence of a camera can have various profound effects on human behavior, from increasing privacy-related behaviors (Caine, K., Sabanovic, S., & Carter, M., 2012) and pro-social behaviours (van Rompay, T. J., Vonk, D. J., & Fransen, M. L., 2009) to reducing scores on a memory test (Constantinou, M., Ashendorf, L., & McCaffrey, R. J., 2005). In each of these examples, the camera acted as an implied social presence, producing results similar to human observation. More recently, these findings have been extended to the field of visual attention. Risko and Kingstone (2011) showed that the presence of an eye-tracker leads to changes in looking behaviour. However, looking behaviours are only one measure of attention, and the field contains several other well-established behavioural paradigms. For this reason, we tested participants on a battery of tasks measuring various aspects of visual attention, either in the presence of a camera or not. The battery was comprised of a single- and dual-task version of an attentional capture task, cueing and gaze-cueing tasks, a visual search task, and the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). Across these four different visual attention tasks, any effect of camera presence served solely to reduce the response latency of the participants rather than impact the automatic or controlled allocation of visuospatial attention. The single exception to this pattern of results was in the inhibitory control of the automatic capture of attention by a distractor under a condition of high (dual-task) load. These results suggest that the presence of a camera may operate by increasing arousal, thereby reducing reaction time. However, when combined with a cognitive load manipulation, the capacity of attentional inhibition is reduced and so capture by distractors becomes pronounced.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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