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Dominique Lamy; Stimulus salience, current goals and selection history do not affect the same perceptual processes. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):5. doi: 10.1167/17.10.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
When exposed to a visual scene, our perceptual system performs several successive processes. During the preattentive stage, the attentional priority accruing to each location is computed. Then, attention is shifted towards the highest-priority location. Finally, the visual properties at that location are processed.
Although most attention models posit that stimulus-driven and goal-directed processes combine to determine attentional priority, demonstrations of purely stimulus-driven capture are surprisingly rare. In addition, the consequences of stimulus-driven and goal-directed capture on perceptual processing have not been fully described. Specifically, whether attention can be disengaged from a distractor before its properties have been processed is unclear. Finally, the strict dichotomy between bottom-up and top-down attentional control has been challenged based on the claim that selection history also biases attentional weights on the priority map.
Our objective was to clarify what perceptual processes stimulus salience, current goals and selection history affect. We used a feature-search spatial-cueing paradigm. We showed that (a) unlike stimulus salience and current goals, selection history does not modulate attentional priority, but only perceptual processes following attentional selection; (b) a salient distractor not matching search goals may capture attention but attention can be disengaged from this distractor's location before its properties are fully processed; and (c) attentional capture by a distractor sharing the target feature entails that this distractor's properties are mandatorily processed.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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