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Attention, Perception & Psychophysics

Garrett Swan, Brad Wyble, Hui Chen
It is well known that information can be held in memory while performing other tasks concurrently, such as remembering a color or number during a separate visual search task. However, it is not clear what happens to stored information in the face of unexpected tasks, such as the surprise questions that are often used in experiments related to inattentional and change blindness. Does the unpredicted shift in task context cause memory representations to be cleared in anticipation of new information? To answer this question, we ran two experiments where the task unexpectedly switched partway through the experiment with a surprise question...
April 6, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Sarah Jayne Camp, Michael Pilling, Angus Gellatly
Object substitution masking (OSM) occurs when the perceptibility of a brief target is reduced by a trailing surround mask typically composed of four dots. Camp et al. (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41, 940-957, 2015) found that crowding a target by adding adjacent flankers, in addition to OSM, had a more deleterious effect on performance than expected based on the combined individual effects of crowding and masking alone. The current experiments test why OSM and crowding interact in this way...
April 6, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Matthew Ricci, Randy Gallistel
Subjects observing many samples from a Bernoulli distribution are able to perceive an estimate of the generating parameter. A question of fundamental importance is how the current percept-what we think the probability now is-depends on the sequence of observed samples. Answers to this question are strongly constrained by the manner in which the current percept changes in response to changes in the hidden parameter. Subjects do not update their percept trial-by-trial when the hidden probability undergoes unpredictable and unsignaled step changes; instead, they update it only intermittently in a step-hold pattern...
April 4, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Hyung-Bum Park, Weiwei Zhang, Joo-Seok Hyun
We examined the aftermath of accessing and retrieving a subset of information stored in visual working memory (VWM)-namely, whether detection of a mismatch between memory and perception can impair the original memory of an item while triggering recognition-induced forgetting for the remaining, untested items. For this purpose, we devised a consecutive-change detection task wherein two successive testing probes were displayed after a single set of memory items. Across two experiments utilizing different memory-testing methods (whole vs...
April 4, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Rasmus Lunau, Thomas Habekost
Perceptual grouping modulates performance in attention tasks such as partial report and change detection. Specifically, grouping of search items according to a task-relevant feature improves the efficiency of visual selection. However, the role of task-irrelevant feature grouping is not clearly understood. In the present study, we investigated whether grouping of targets by a task-irrelevant feature influences performance in a partial-report task. In this task, participants must report as many target letters as possible from a briefly presented circular display...
March 31, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Mackenzie A Sunday, Jennifer J Richler, Isabel Gauthier
The part-whole paradigm was one of the first measures of holistic processing and it has been used to address several topics in face recognition, including its development, other-race effects, and more recently, whether holistic processing is correlated with face recognition ability. However the task was not designed to measure individual differences and it has produced measurements with low reliability. We created a new holistic processing test designed to measure individual differences based on the part-whole paradigm, the Vanderbilt Part Whole Test (VPWT)...
March 30, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Patrick Plummer, Melissa DeWolf, Miriam Bassok, Peter C Gordon, Keith J Holyoak
Recent research has begun to investigate the impact of different formats for rational numbers on the processes by which people make relational judgments about quantitative relations. DeWolf, Bassok, and Holyoak (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(1), 127-150, 2015) found that accuracy on a relation identification task was highest when fractions were presented with countable sets, whereas accuracy was relatively low for all conditions where decimals were presented. However, it is unclear what processing strategies underlie these disparities in accuracy...
March 29, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Adam T Biggs
Visual search studies are common in cognitive psychology, and the results generally focus upon accuracy, response times, or both. Most research has focused upon search scenarios where no more than 1 target will be present for any single trial. However, if multiple targets can be present on a single trial, it introduces an additional source of error because the found target can interfere with subsequent search performance. These errors have been studied thoroughly in radiology for decades, although their emphasis in cognitive psychology studies has been more recent...
March 28, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Li Jingling, Yi-Hui Lu, Miao Cheng, Chia-Huei Tseng
Searching for a target in a salient region should be easier than looking for one in a nonsalient region. However, we previously discovered a contradictory phenomenon in which a local target in a salient structure was more difficult to find than one in the background. The salient structure was constructed of orientation singletons aligned to each other to form a collinear structure. In the present study, we undertake to determine whether such a masking effect was a result of salience competition between a global structure and the local target...
March 23, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Troy D Kelley, Daniel N Cassenti, Laura R Marusich, Thomas G Ghirardelli
The goal of this research was to examine memories created for the number of items during a visual search task. Participants performed a visual search task for a target defined by a single feature (Experiment 1A), by a conjunction of features (Experiment 1B), or by a specific spatial configuration of features (Experiment 1C). On some trials following the search task, subjects were asked to recall the total number of items in the previous display. In all search types, participants underestimated the total number of items, but the severity of the underestimation varied depending on the efficiency of the search...
March 20, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Gregory L Wade, Timothy J Vickery
Merely associating one's self with a stimulus may be enough to enhance performance in a label-matching paradigm (Sui, He, & Humphreys, 2012), implying prioritized processing of self-relevant stimuli. For instance, labeling a square as SELF and a circle as OTHER yields speeded performance when verifying square-SELF compared with circle-OTHER label matches. The precise causes of such effects are unclear. We propose that prioritized processing of label-matches can occur for reasons other than self-relevance. Here, we employ the label-matching paradigm to show similar benefits for non-self-relevant labels (SNAKE, FROG, and GREG) over a frequently employed, non-self-relevant control label (OTHER)...
March 20, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Yongchun Cai, Ci Wang, Chao Song, Zhi Li
L-shaped configuration is a commonly used stimulus configuration in studying horizontal vertical illusion. Here, we report that the horizontal vertical illusion is substantially underestimated when the L-shaped configuration is used for evaluating the illusion. Experiment 1 found that, in a length perception task, the perceived length of a vertical bar was about 10% longer than that of a horizontal bar with the same physical size. Similar amount of HVI was found in a length comparison task, in which the length of a horizontal bar was compared to that of a vertical bar and the two bars were presented separately in space or in time...
March 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Stephanie C Goodhew, Rebecca K Lawrence, Mark Edwards
There are volumes of information available to process in visual scenes. Visual spatial attention is a critically important selection mechanism that prevents these volumes from overwhelming our visual system's limited-capacity processing resources. We were interested in understanding the effect of the size of the attended area on visual perception. The prevailing model of attended-region size across cognition, perception, and neuroscience is the zoom-lens model. This model stipulates that the magnitude of perceptual processing enhancement is inversely related to the size of the attended region, such that a narrow attended-region facilitates greater perceptual enhancement than a wider region...
March 16, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Nathan L Tenhundfeld, Jessica K Witt
Distances on hills are judged as farther than when the same distance is presented on the flat ground. The hypothesized reason for this difference is because perception is influenced by the increased effort required to walk up a hill than to walk the same distance on flat ground. Alternatively, distances presented up a hill might be judged as farther for other, nonperceptual reasons such as bias from demand characteristics. To test whether distances on hills are perceived as farther or are merely judged as farther, we used a variety of measures, including visual matching and blindwalking tasks, and found similar effects across all measures...
March 10, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Ralph S Redden, Ghislain d'Entremont, Raymond M Klein
Titchener's (1908) law of prior entry states that "the object of attention comes to consciousness more quickly than the objects which we are not attending to," or otherwise, that attended stimuli are perceived earlier than unattended stimuli. Shore, Spence, and Klein (Psychological Science, 12, 205-212. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.00337 , 2001) showed that endogenous visuospatial orienting does in fact elicit prior-entry effects, albeit to a smaller degree than does exogenous visuospatial orienting. In disagreement with this finding, Schneider and Bavelier (Cognitive Psychology, 47, 333-366...
March 9, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Zhongqiang Sun, Wenjun Yu, Jifan Zhou, Mowei Shen
People automatically redirect their visual attention by following others' gaze orientation, a phenomenon called "gaze following." This is an evolutionarily generated socio-cognitive process that provides people with information about their environments. Often, however, people in crowds can have rather different gaze orientations. This study investigated how gaze following occurs in situations with many conflicting gazes. In two experiments, we modified the gaze cueing paradigm to use a crowd rather than a single individual...
March 7, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Peter A van der Helm
What is the degree to which knowledge influences visual perceptual processes? This question, which is central to the seeing-versus-thinking debate in cognitive science, is often discussed using examples claimed to be proof of one stance or another. It has, however, also been muddled by the usage of different and unclear definitions of perception. Here, for the well-defined process of perceptual organization, I argue that including speed (or efficiency) into the equation opens a new perspective on the limits of top-down influences of thinking on seeing...
February 23, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Vivian Eng, Alfred Lim, Simon Kwon, Su Ren Gan, S Azrin Jamaluddin, Steve M J Janssen, Jason Satel
There are thought to be two forms of inhibition of return (IOR) depending on whether the oculomotor system is activated or suppressed. When saccades are allowed, output-based IOR is generated, whereas input-based IOR arises when saccades are prohibited. In a series of 4 experiments, we mixed or blocked compatible and incompatible trials with saccadic or manual responses to investigate whether cueing effects would follow the same pattern as those observed with more traditional peripheral onsets and central arrows...
February 22, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Katarzyna Pisanski, Sari G E Isenstein, Kelyn J Montano, Jillian J M O'Connor, David R Feinberg
The binding of incongruent cues poses a challenge for multimodal perception. Indeed, although taller objects emit sounds from higher elevations, low-pitched sounds are perceptually mapped both to large size and to low elevation. In the present study, we examined how these incongruent vertical spatial cues (up is more) and pitch cues (low is large) to size interact, and whether similar biases influence size perception along the horizontal axis. In Experiment 1, we measured listeners' voice-based judgments of human body size using pitch-manipulated voices projected from a high versus a low, and a right versus a left, spatial location...
February 22, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Hannah L Filmer, Roxanne Wells-Peris, Paul E Dux
It was long thought that a key characteristic of object substitution masking (OSM) was the requirement for spatial attention to be dispersed for the mask to impact visual sensitivity. However, recent studies have provided evidence questioning whether spatial attention interacts with OSM magnitude, suggesting that the previous reports reflect the impact of performance being at ceiling for the low attention load conditions. Another technique that has been employed to modulate attention in OSM paradigms involves presenting the target stimulus foveally, but with another demanding task shown immediately prior, and thus taxing executive/temporal attention...
February 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
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