August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
How robust are negative attentional templates?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sizhu Han
    Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany
  • Anna Schubö
    Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This research was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation—project number 222641018—SFB/TRR 135, project B3)
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5350. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Sizhu Han, Anna Schubö; How robust are negative attentional templates?. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5350.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

It is well accepted that attention can be facilitated when the feature of an upcoming target is known, but results on whether prior knowledge about distractors enhances visual search are mixed. In the present study, we aimed to replicate the beneficial effects of negative templates in the difficult search condition. To do so, we used symbol cues to indicate the color of the target or distractor. We also included a neutral cue as a control condition. Task difficulty was manipulated by increasing the set size of the target/distractor colors (from 2 to 4). Our results showed a general increase in RT with increasing the colored set size, indicating a successful manipulation of task difficulty. In addition, positive cues led to benefits compared to neutral cues in both easy and difficult search conditions, which was consistent with previous literature. However, no beneficial effects of negative cues were found in the easy or difficult search condition. Analysis of individual data further showed that participants’ search strategies were less consistent in the difficult search condition. These findings suggest that the intention to use negative cues in the difficult search condition may vary from person to person.


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