September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
The Influence of Salience on Attentional Capture by Set-Consistent and Set-Inconsistent Stimuli
Author Affiliations
  • Charles Folk
    Department of Psychology, Villanova University
  • Charles Folk
    Department of Psychology, Villanova University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 316. doi:
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      Charles Folk, Charles Folk; The Influence of Salience on Attentional Capture by Set-Consistent and Set-Inconsistent Stimuli. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):316. doi:

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

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There is now substantial evidence that the capture of attention by salient, irrelevant stimuli is modulated by top-down attentional control settings. For example, when searching for a target defined by a particular color, irrelevant , noninformative spatial precues that match the color of the target produce cuing effects consistent with capture, whereas those that do not match the target color produce no evidence of capture. This suggests that attentional capture is not simply a function of bottom-up salience. In the present experiments, we explore the potential interaction between bottom-up salience and top-down set. Participants searched for targets of a particular color preceded by irrelevant, non-informative precues that either matched or did not match the target color. Critically, the salience of the precues was also systematically varied by adding apparent motion to the cues on half the trials. The results revealed that non-matching cues produced no evidence of attentional capture, regardless of whether their salience was enhanced with apparent motion. However, when the cues matched the target color, significant cuing effects were obtained, and the magnitude of those effects was significantly increased when the cues were rendered more salient by apparent motion. Thus, cross-dimensional bottom-up salience plays a role in attentional capture, but only for stimuli matching the current top-down set.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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