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Hanna Weichselbaum, Christoph Huber-Huber, Ulrich Ansorge; Reliability of eye movements and reaction times measuring attention capture . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1009. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1009.
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Visual attention can be captured either in a bottom-up way by the properties of an object, or in a top-down manner depending on the goal of the observer. Such attention capture has been shown by a large amount of research using mostly reaction time measurements of manual responses but also eye movement parameters. Despite this, little is known about an individual's temporal stability or reliability of such effects. In order to analyze reliability of bottom-up versus top-down attention capture, we used a visual search paradigm. Participants had to search for a color-defined target and report a stimulus inside the target. Top-down matching distractors had the same color as the searched-for target; non-matching distractors had a different color than the target. In addition, we used trials with a color-singleton target and no distractor. Bottom-up capture was reflected in a difference between trials with a non-matching distractor and trials without a distractor. Top-down capture was reflected in a difference between trials with a matching distractor and trials with a non-matching distractor. Manual reaction times and target fixation latencies were fastest for trials without a distractor and slowest for trials with a matching distractor, with a significant difference between matching-distractor and non-matching-distractor trials. Furthermore, repeatedly measuring both bottom-up and top-down attention capture effects in two successive sessions (one or four weeks apart) suggests that both effects are stable across time.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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