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Minmin Yan, Qing Li, Quanshan Long, Liang Xu, Na Hu, Antao Chen; Evaluative distractors modulate attentional disengagement: People would rather stay longer on rewards. Journal of Vision 2022;22(8):12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.8.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Attentional disengagement is of great significance to individuals adapting to their environment who can benefit from disregarding the attraction of salient and task-irrelevant objects. Previous studies have suggested that, in addition to causing greater financial loss compared with neutral distractors, reward distractors hold attention longer than neutral distractors. However, few studies have directly compared the attentional disengagement differences between reward-associated and loss- or punishment-associated stimuli. In the current study, we used different color singleton stimuli tied to reward or punishment outcomes; the stimuli were present in the center of the screen. Participants were required to respond to a line within the target at a peripheral location. The results showed that the response to the target was slower when the central distractor was associated with a reward than with punishment. This finding reflects that, although participants understand that reward-associated and punishment-associated stimuli have an equal opportunity for the same economic benefit, they still take longer to disengage from a reward distractor compared with a punishment distractor.
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