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Hanna Weichselbaum, Ulrich Ansorge; No suppression of stimulus-driven capture with distractor and target singletons of the same (color) dimension. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):457. doi: 10.1167/18.10.457.
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In visual search, presenting target and distractors at the same time, an irrelevant distractor not matching to the current search goals can capture attention in a stimulus-driven way. Recently, Kerzel and Barras (2016, JEP:HPP, 42) found that (capture by) such a distractor was successfully suppressed, unless the distractor unpredictably changed its color over the course of the experiment. This was found with a color-distractor when participants searched for a shape-target. In our study, we tested if a known color-distractor can also be suppressed when participants searched for a target defined in the same dimension as the distractor (i.e., color). In no-distractor trials, participants searched for a color target among seven gray non-targets. In the first and last blocks, in half of the trials, a non-matching singleton of a fixed and, thus, known color replaced one of the non-singletons. In contrast, in the second (control) block, distractors could change colors. This block was also used to demonstrate that results were not due to singleton search, as a contingent-capture effect based on distractor-target color similarity could be found in the second block. Results showed stimulus-driven attention capture in all blocks. In fact, the capture effect by the non-matching distractor was largest in the first block, indicating that training on the task improved distractor suppression. We conclude that successful suppression of stimulus-driven capture is impossible when the distractor is defined within the same dimension as the target.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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