August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Attentional capture by non-biologically relevant stimuli: an illustration with car stimuli
Author Affiliations
  • Ana Julia Moreira
    Université de Lille, SCA Lab UMR 9193, Lille, France
  • Nathalie Herbeth
    Groupe Renault, Guyancourt, France
  • Nathalie Le Hir
    Groupe Renault, Guyancourt, France
  • Laurent Sparrow
    Université de Lille, SCA Lab UMR 9193, Lille, France
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 1011. doi:10.1167/16.12.1011
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      Ana Julia Moreira, Nathalie Herbeth, Nathalie Le Hir, Laurent Sparrow; Attentional capture by non-biologically relevant stimuli: an illustration with car stimuli. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1011. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1011.

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

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Studies based on reaction time have shown that highly relevant stimuli (threatening, important to survival) have a facilitating effect on the attentional system (Brosch, Sander, & Scherer, 2007; Lipp & Derakshan, 2005). Saccadic velocity is related to the activation state in visual performance tasks (App & Debus, 1998), with peak velocity being the most sensitive parameter of the saccadic main sequence regarding attentional state variations (Di Stasi, Marchitto, Antolí, & Cañas, 2013). The goal of this study was to evaluate whether non-biologically relevant and familiar stimuli, such as car exteriors, could also evoke a significant attentional capture. Cars were divided in two types: concept (C; innovative design; non-commercialized cars) and non-concept (NC; commercialized cars), as studies have already shown that more innovative designs are cognitively more demanding (Carbon, Hutzler, & Minge, 2006). In a dot probe task, two cars were shown simultaneously for 500ms, followed by a dot, with participants having to push a button depending on which side the dot appeared on. In total, 55 colorless pictures, and with 3x3cm dimensions were presented. Participants were shown three lists: list 1 (NC and C cars mixed; 18 car pairs), and lists 2 and 3 (NC and C cars separately; 17 and 9 pairs respectively). Reaction times, electrodermal activity and eye movements were recorded. A questionnaire regarding exterior car appreciation was also administered. NC cars elicited higher mean electrodermal response and saccadic peak velocity than C cars. The lack of reaction time results shows that car exteriors are not biologically relevant stimuli. However, they are still important enough to evoke an attentional capture, which is sustained by significant electrodermal response and saccadic peak velocity results. An exploratory analysis also revealed significant differences regarding different car shapes.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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