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Ulrich Ansorge, Tobias Schoeberl; Attention and Suppression: Awareness-Independent Same-Location Costs in Relational and Feature Search for Spatial Frequency Targets. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):943. doi: 10.1167/17.10.943.
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Visual cues capture attention when they match to the top-down search settings of the observer: Singleton cues that share a searched-for feature with a target facilitate searching for the target stimuli when they appear in the same display location as the target (valid condition) compared to when they appear in a different location (invalid condition). In contrast, when a singleton cue does not match to the top-down search settings, search can be impaired in valid compared to invalid conditions. This reversed pattern, the same-location cost (SLC), has been suggested to originate from an awareness-dependent updating of object files in working memory: Only in valid and non-matching conditions the feature of a relevant location-defined target-object file would change across time (from cue to target). But SLCs could also reflect suppression of capture. We therefore tested the object-file updating hypothesis and its dependence on awareness: We established an SLC that was independent of the participant's awareness of the cue's location (as tested in a visibility test). We further showed that the SLC was not influenced by the extent of similarity between cue/cue display distractors and target and persisted when search was relational and a non-matching cue had the exact same features as the target at the same position. In contrast, data suggested an attentional origin of the SLC as it was positively correlated with cueing effects in top-down matching conditions.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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