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Josef Schönhammer, Stefanie Becker, Dirk Kerzel; Attentional capture by contextual cues can cause inverse cueing effects (same location costs). Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):459. doi: 10.1167/18.10.459.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In contingent attentional capture, spatially irrelevant precues capture attention only when their properties match the task-set for the target properties. It is well-known that task-sets can be configured for the relative target features (e.g., redder) when target and nontarget features remain constant (e.g., an orange target and yellow nontargets; target consistently the reddest item). Provided a task-set for the relative target feature, cues only captured attention when they matched the relative target feature (e.g., a red cue among three orange contextual cues captured). Critically, target non-matching cues (e.g., a yellow cue among orange contextual cues) resulted in inverse cueing effects. That is, responses to the target were slower when the yellow cue was presented at the target location than when it was at a non-target location. In addition, lateralized occipital ERPs (which serve as markers for attention) showed a reverse effect of a positive voltage deflection in the time window of the N2pc (Schönhammer, Grubert, Kerzel, & Becker, 2016). Here, we examined these effects in more detail. According to an inhibition account, the inverse validity effect and the positivity might indicate that the non-matching yellow cue was suppressed. Alternatively, the three contextual cues might have captured attention because they were redder (e.g., than the yellow cue). To disentangle these accounts, we measured lateralized ERPs to the cue array when the non-matching cue was lateral and the contextual cue elements were presented on the vertical midline (or vice versa). When the contextual cues were lateral, we observed a substantial N2pc, suggesting that the contextual cues captured attention. Conversely, we obtained only a small positivity when the non-matching cue was lateral. Therefore, we conclude that the inverse validity effects and positive voltage deflections in our previous studies primarily reflect attentional capture by the contextual cues.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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