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Attention, Perception & Psychophysics

Brad T Stilwell, Shaun P Vecera
Ignoring distracting information is critical for effective visual search. When individuals are cued to ignore a stimulus, they first attend the to-be-ignored stimulus before learning to reject it. Individuals can learn to overcome the initial distraction produced by the explicit cues, although this cued distractor rejection appears for only one distractor feature. Multiple distractor colors cannot be rejected effectively, even with extensive experience. We asked if this apparent limit on distractor rejection was caused by a restriction on the number of different features (i...
November 12, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Dennis M Shaffer, Kirsten M Greer, Erica Bishop, Mara Hernandez, Cage Cramer, Jackson T Schaffer, Brandon Short, Ky Mattingly, Meghan Burkhardt, Echoe Smith
Previous work has shown that people overestimate their own body tilt by a factor of about 1.5, the same factor by which people overestimate geographical and man-made slopes. In Experiment 1 we investigated whether people can accurately identify their own and others' tipping points (TPs) - the point at which they are tilted backward and would no longer be able to return to upright - as well as their own and others' center of mass (COM) - the relative position of which is used to determine actual TP. We found that people overestimate their own and others' TP when tilted backward, estimate their own and others' COM higher than actual, and that COM estimation is unrelated to TP...
November 12, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Matthew K Robison, Nash Unsworth
In 3 experiments, we examined fluctuations in working memory (WM) performance and associated changes in pretrial and task-evoked pupil diameter. Additionally, we examined whether particularly poor trials were accompanied by self-reports of off-task attentional states. The results demonstrated that task-evoked pupillary responses can be used to measure moment-to-moment fluctuations in the success of WM maintenance during delay intervals. Further, when individuals reported being in an off-task attentional state, their WM performance suffered...
November 8, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Michael J Stroud, Tamaryn Menneer, Elina Kaplan, Kyle R Cave, Nick Donnelly
For some real-world color searches, the target colors are not precisely known, and any item within a range of color values should be attended. Thus, a target representation that captures multiple similar colors would be advantageous. If such a multicolor search is possible, then search for two targets (e.g., Stroud, Menneer, Cave, and Donnelly, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(1): 113-122, 2012) might be guided by a target representation that included the target colors as well as the continuum of colors that fall between the targets within a contiguous region in color space...
November 6, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Eduardo G Vicente, Isabel Arranz, Luis Issolio, Beatriz M Matesanz, Alejandro H Gloriani, José A Menéndez, Miguel Rodríguez-Rosa, Bárbara Silva, Elisa Colombo, Santiago Mar, Juan A Aparicio
The ability of the human visual system to detect stimuli at low illumination levels provides awareness of potential risks. The influence of age and spectral power distribution on mesopic spectral sensitivity is analyzed. Two typical light sources are used, a high-pressure sodium lamp (HPS), with a higher content of long wavelengths, and a metal halide lamp (MH), with a higher content of short wavelengths. Two experiments were performed, using a two-channel Maxwellian-view optical system to measure contrast threshold under different experimental conditions...
October 30, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Susan L Travis, Paul E Dux, Jason B Mattingley
An observer's current goals can influence the processing of visual stimuli. Such influences can work to enhance goal-relevant stimuli and suppress goal-irrelevant stimuli. Here, we combined behavioral testing and electroencephalography (EEG) to examine whether such enhancement and suppression effects arise even when the stimuli are masked from awareness. We used a feature-based spatial cueing paradigm, in which participants searched four-item arrays for a target in a specific color. Immediately before the target array, a nonpredictive cue display was presented in which a cue matched or mismatched the searched-for target color, and appeared either at the target location (spatially valid) or another location (spatially invalid)...
October 30, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Yang Agnes Gao, Joseph C Toscano, Chilin Shih, Darren Tanner
Some studies have argued that native speakers of tonal languages have been shown to perceive lexical tone continua in a more categorical manner than speakers of non-tonal languages. Among these, Zhang and colleagues (NeuroReport 23 (1): 35-9) conducted an event-related potential (ERP) study using an oddball paradigm showing that native Mandarin speakers exhibit different sensitivity to deviant tones that cross category boundaries compared to deviants that belong to the same category as the standard. Other recent ERP findings examining consonant voicing categories question whether perception is truly categorical...
October 30, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Risako Shirai, Hayaki Banno, Hirokazu Ogawa
It is known that unpleasant images capture our attention. However, the causes of the emotions evoked by these images can vary. Trypophobia is the fear of clustered objects. A recent study claimed that this phobia is elicited by the specific power spectrum of such images. In the present study, we measured saccade trajectories to examine how trypophobic images possessing a characteristic power spectrum affect visual attention. The participants' task was to make a saccade in the direction that was indicated by a cue...
October 25, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Darryl W Schneider
Congruency effects in arrow flanker tasks are often larger when subjects are more alert, suggesting an unusual connection between alertness and cognitive control. Theoretical accounts of the alerting-congruency interaction differ with respect to whether and how spatial attention is involved. In the present study, the author conducted eight experiments to determine whether there is a spatial attention constraint linking alertness to cognitive control. Alertness was manipulated in color-word Stroop tasks involving stimuli that were spatially integrated (Experiments 1-3) or separated (Experiments 4 and 5), as well as in Stroop-like tasks involving spatially separated stimuli for which the irrelevant stimulus features were spatial words (Experiments 6 and 7) or arrows (Experiment 8)...
October 23, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Hannah Scott, Jonathan P Batten, Gustav Kuhn
Our attention is particularly driven toward faces, especially the eyes, and there is much debate over the factors that modulate this social attentional orienting. Most of the previous research has presented faces in isolation, and we tried to address this shortcoming by measuring people's eye movements whilst they observe more naturalistic and varied social interactions. Participants' eye movements were monitored whilst they watched three different types of social interactions (monologue, manual activity, active attentional misdirection), which were either accompanied by the corresponding audio as speech or by silence...
October 23, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Brent Pitchford, Karen M Arnell
People often inhibit or override their dominant response tendencies in order to complete tasks successfully. Exerting such self-control has been shown to influence attentional breadth differently depending on approach-motivated tendencies, as indexed by individuals' behavioral activation system (BAS) scores. Approach motivation and attentional breadth have previously been associated with frontal alpha asymmetry (i.e., lateralized cortical activity in the frontal regions) where greater left-frontal activation is associated with greater approach motivation and reduced attentional breadth...
October 23, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Candace E Peacock, Taylor R Hayes, John M Henderson
During real-world scene viewing, humans must prioritize scene regions for attention. What are the roles of low-level image salience and high-level semantic meaning in attentional prioritization? A previous study suggested that when salience and meaning are directly contrasted in scene memorization and preference tasks, attentional priority is assigned by meaning (Henderson & Hayes in Nature Human Behavior, 1, 743-747, 2017). Here we examined the role of meaning in attentional guidance using two tasks in which meaning was irrelevant and salience was relevant: a brightness rating task and a brightness search task...
October 23, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Stephen Palmisano, Rodney G Davies, Kevin R Brooks
Research has previously shown that adding consistent stereoscopic information to self-motion displays can improve the vection in depth induced in physically stationary observers. In some past studies, the simulated eye-separation was always close to the observer's actual eye-separation, as the aim was to examine vection under ecological viewing conditions that provided consistent binocular and monocular self-motion information. The present study investigated whether large discrepancies between the observer's simulated and physical eye-separations would alter the vection-inducing potential of stereoscopic optic flow (either helping, hindering, or preventing the induction of vection)...
October 23, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Edward J Golob, Jeffrey R Mock
Attention control is a core element of cognitive aging, but the specific mechanisms that differ with age are unclear. Here we used a novel auditory spatial attention task to evaluate stimulus processing at the level of early attention capture, later response selection, and the lingering effects of attention capture across trials in young and older adults. We found that the shapes of spatial attention capture gradients were remarkably similar in young and older adults, but only the older group had lingering effects of attention capture on the next trial...
October 18, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Chelsea Sanker
This paper presents a set of auditory perception experiments testing the effects of lexical ambiguity, lemma frequency, and acoustic details. In an AX discrimination task with stimuli produced in isolation, lexically ambiguous phonologically matching forms (e.g., sun-sun, sun-son) were evaluated more slowly and identified as 'different' more often than lexically unambiguous forms (e.g., cat-cat). For stimuli extracted from meaningful sentences, pairs of homophone mates (sun-son) were evaluated more slowly than same pairs of such words (sun-sun), following from the greater acoustic distance between homophone mates in several measures...
October 15, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Rodrigo Balp, Florian Waszak, Thérèse Collins
Saccadic eye movements cause displacements of the image of the visual world projected on the retina. Despite the ubiquitous nature of saccades, subjective experience of the world is continuous and stable. In five experiments, we addressed the mechanisms that may support visual stability: matching of pre- and postsaccadic locations of the target by an internal copy of the saccade, or retention of the visual attributes of the target in short-term memory across the saccade. Healthy human adults were instructed to make a saccade to a peripheral Gabor patch...
October 10, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Leia Vrancken, Elke Vermeulen, Filip Germeys, Karl Verfaillie
Early theories on face perception posit that invariant (i.e., identity) and changeable (i.e., expression) facial aspects are processed separately. However, many researchers have countered the hypothesis of parallel processes with findings of interactions between identity and emotion perception. The majority of tasks measuring interactions between identity and emotion employ a selective attention design, in which participants are instructed to attend to one dimension (e.g., identity) while the other dimension varies orthogonally (e...
October 8, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Jonathan M Keefe, Jocelyn L Sy, Frank Tong, David H Zald
The emotional attentional blink (EAB) refers to a temporary impairment in the ability to identify a target when it is preceded by an emotional distractor. It is thought to occur because the emotional salience of the distractor exogenously captures attention for a brief duration, rendering the target unattended and preventing it from reaching awareness. Here we tested the extent to which the EAB can be attenuated by inducing a diffuse top-down attentional state, which has been shown to improve target identification in an analogous attentional phenomenon, the attentional blink...
October 5, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Julian Matthews, Jamin Wu, Vanessa Corneille, Jakob Hohwy, Jeroen van Boxtel, Naotsugu Tsuchiya
In visual search of natural scenes, differentiation of briefly fixated but task-irrelevant distractor items from incidental memory is often comparable to explicit memorization. However, many characteristics of incidental memory remain unclear, including the capacity for its conscious retrieval. Here, we examined incidental memory for faces in either upright or inverted orientation using Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP). Subjects were instructed to detect a target face in a sequence of 8-15 faces cropped from natural scene photographs (Experiment 1)...
October 5, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Cécile Eymond, Patrick Cavanagh, Thérèse Collins
Our perception of the world remains stable despite the retinal shifts that occur with each saccade. The role of spatial attention in matching pre- to postsaccadic visual information has been well established, but the role of feature-based attention remains unclear. In this study, we examined the transsaccadic processing of a color pop-out target. Participants made a saccade towards a neutral target and performed a search task on a peripheral array presented once the saccade landed. A similar array was presented just before the saccade and we analyzed what aspect of this preview benefitted the postsaccadic search task...
October 4, 2018: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
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