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Tobias Schoeberl, Florian Goller, Ulrich Ansorge; Peripheral Cueing of Attention: No Selective Attention Capture by Top-Down Matching Singleton Cues in the Presence of Top-down Matching Non-Singletons. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):461. doi: 10.1167/18.10.461.
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In spatial cueing, peripheral singleton cues presented prior to the onset of a searched-for target capture attention when the cues' features match to the searched-for features of the target: Reacting to targets is faster when the matching singleton cues appear at the same location as the target compared to when the matching singleton cues appear at a different location as the target, an observation labeled the cueing effect. Importantly, when the singleton cues do not owe the searched-for features of the target (when they are top-down non-matching), cueing effects are often absent. This observation has been accommodated by bottom-up theories of attention capture by postulating 1) initial capture of attention by the salient singleton cues but 2) rapid disengagement of attention from the locations of the singleton cues if the cues do not owe the target's searched-for features. In the present study, we tested this conjecture with a novel manipulation: We presented top-down matching singleton cues (cues owing one out of two possible target colors) among top-down matching non-singletons (non-singletons which also had one of the possible target colors). If singletons received attentional priority by default and disengagement only occurred when the cues mismatched to the search settings of the observer, cueing effects should be observed with this manipulation. However, as the results showed, cueing effects were essentially absent with this manipulation, whereas regular cueing effects were observed when only the singleton cues, but not the distractors, were top-down matching. This observation is discussed in light of bottom-up theories of attention capture and of recent signal-suppression accounts.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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