August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Learned action effects modulate salience in space: Evidence for the preactivation theory
Author Affiliations
  • Davood Gozli
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Jay Pratt
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 834. doi:
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      Davood Gozli, Jay Pratt; Learned action effects modulate salience in space: Evidence for the preactivation theory. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):834.

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

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Performing an action can reduce sensitivity to the sensory outcomes associated with the action. One explanation of this sensory attenuation effect, the preactivation account, proposes that action performance raises the activity of the internal representation of the actions sensory outcome, and that this heightened activity influences how incoming stimulus is processed. In particular, the stimulus-driven raise in neural activity is reduced for stimuli consistent with the activated representation, due to preactivation, compared with inconsistent stimuli that have no such preactivation. In this way, the stimulus-driven raise in neural activity hinders detecting a stimulus consistent with a learned action outcome. To test this account, we used a spatial attentional cuing phenomenon known as the attentional repulsion effect. In Experiment 1 we confirmed that when a cue is consistent with a learned action-outcome its effective salience is reduced (i.e., a smaller attentional repulsion effect) compared with a cue that is inconsistent with the action-outcome. Critically, the attentional repulsion effect paradigm allowed us to test the effect of action-induced activation of cue representation on the distribution of salience in space when action effects were no longer present. This was done In Experiments 2 and 3, we found that actions increase the salience of action-outcome locations even in the absence of action-outcomes. In other words, through learned action effects, we were able to generate attentional repulsion effects without the presence of the peripheral cues. These findings provide strong support for the preactivation account of action-induced sensory attenuation.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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