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Attention, Perception & Psychophysics

Taosheng Liu, Michael Jigo
Attention to a feature enhances the sensory representation of that feature. Although much has been learned about the properties of attentional modulation when attending to a single feature, the effectiveness of attending to multiple features is not well understood. We investigated this question in a series of experiments using a color-detection task while varying the number of attended colors in a cueing paradigm. Observers were shown either a single cue, two cues, or no cue (baseline) before detecting a coherent color target...
July 21, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Michel Failing, Jan Theeuwes
Previous research has shown that attentional selection is affected by reward contingencies: previously selected and rewarded stimuli continue to capture attention even if the reward contingencies are no longer in place. In the current study, we investigated whether attentional selection also is affected by stimuli that merely signal the magnitude of reward available on a given trial but, crucially, have never had instrumental value. In a series of experiments, we show that a stimulus signaling high reward availability captures attention even when that stimulus is and was never physically salient or part of the task set, and selecting it is harmful for obtaining reward...
July 21, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Garry Kong, David Alais, Erik Van der Burg
We investigated orientation categories in the guidance of attention in visual search. In the first two experiments, participants had a limited amount of time to find a target line among distractors lines. We systematically varied the orientation of the target and the angular difference between the target and distractors. We find vertical, horizontal, and 45° targets require the least target/distractor angular difference to be found reliably and that the rate at which increases in target/distractor difference decrease search difficulty to be independent of target identity...
July 21, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Bernt C Skottun, John R Skoyles
Goodhew et al. (Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 79, 1147-1164, 2017) claim we (Skottun & Skoyles) hold: (1) that it is not possible to separate contributions from the magno- and parvocellular systems to psychophysical tasks, and (2) that there are no differences between magno- and parvocellular cells. Neither of these claims is correct.
July 21, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Heinrich René Liesefeld, Anna Marie Liesefeld, Hermann J Müller, Dragan Rangelov
Sudden changes in the environment reliably summon attention. This rapid change detection appears to operate in a similar fashion as pop-out in visual search, the phenomenon that very salient stimuli are directly attended, independently of the number of distracting objects. Pop-out is usually explained by the workings of saliency maps, i.e., map-like representations that code for the conspicuity at each location of the visual field. While past research emphasized similarities between pop-out search and change detection, our study highlights differences between the saliency computations in the two tasks: in contrast to pop-out search, saliency computation in change detection (i) operates independently across different stimulus properties (e...
July 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Regan Lookadoo, Yingying Yang, Edward C Merrill
Four experiments are reported in which 60 younger children (7-8 years old), 60 older children (10-11 years old), and 60 young adults (18-25 years old) performed a conjunctive visual search task (15 per group in each experiment). The number of distractors of each feature type was unbalanced across displays to evaluate participants' ability to restrict search to the smaller subset of features. The use of top-down attention processes to restrict search was encouraged by providing external aids for identifying and maintaining attention on the smaller set...
July 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Lisa N Jefferies, Vincent Di Lollo
The main question examined in the present work was whether spatial attention can be deployed to an appropriate structural framework not only endogenously when the framework is displayed continuously, as in previous work, but also exogenously, when it is displayed transiently 100 ms before the target. The results of five experiments answered that question in the negative. We found that the onset transient triggered by a brief presentation of the structural framework did enhance the response to the upcoming target...
July 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Timothy D Sweeny, Larissa C D'Abreu, Elric Elias, Lauren Padama
At any moment, some objects in the environment are seen clearly, whereas others go unnoticed. Whether or not these gaps in awareness are actually problematic may depend on the extent that information about unseen objects is lost. Determining when and how visual awareness and visual processing become linked is thus of great importance. Previous research using object-substitution masking (OSM) demonstrated that relatively simple visual features, such as size or orientation, are still processed even when they are not visible...
July 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Geoffrey W Harrison, Jason Rajsic, Daryl E Wilson
Common-onset masking (COM) refers to a methodology where a mask can impair awareness of an object if the mask's offset is delayed relative to the offset of the object. This method has classically been used to understand how discontinuities in visual input lead to the discrete removal of object representations before they reach conscious awareness. However, COM has recently been shown to reduce the precision of conscious object representations (Harrison, Rajsic, & Wilson, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(1), 180-186, 2016)...
July 17, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Domonkos File, Bálint File, Flóra Bodnár, István Sulykos, Krisztina Kecskés-Kovács, István Czigler
The aim of our studies was to separate the effects of violating a sequential rule (genuine visual mismatch negativity; gvMMN) from the decreased activity in response to repeated stimuli (stimulus-specific adaptation; SSA) for simple and more complex stimuli. To accomplish this goal, different control procedures were applied with the aim of finding the correct control for vMMN studies. Event-related brain electric activity (ERPs) was measured in response to nonattended visual stimuli that were presented either in an oddball manner or in various control sequences...
July 14, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Jiří Lukavský, Filip Děchtěrenko
Previous studies have demonstrated that humans have a remarkable capacity to memorise a large number of scenes. The research on memorability has shown that memory performance can be predicted by the content of an image. We explored how remembering an image is affected by the image properties within the context of the reference set, including the extent to which it is different from its neighbours (image-space sparseness) and if it belongs to the same category as its neighbours (uniformity). We used a reference set of 2,048 scenes (64 categories), evaluated pairwise scene similarity using deep features from a pretrained convolutional neural network (CNN), and calculated the image-space sparseness and uniformity for each image...
July 13, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Ben J Jennings, Yinan Yu, Frederick A A Kingdom
Previous studies with emotional face stimuli have revealed that our ability to identify different emotional states is dependent on the faces' spatial frequency content. However, these studies typically only tested a limited number of emotional states. In the present study, we measured the consistency with which 24 different emotional states are classified when the faces are unfiltered, high-, or low-pass filtered, using a novel rating method that simultaneously measures perceived arousal (high to low) and valence (pleasant to unpleasant)...
July 12, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Kevin J P Woods, Max H Siegel, James Traer, Josh H McDermott
Psychophysical experiments conducted remotely over the internet permit data collection from large numbers of participants but sacrifice control over sound presentation and therefore are not widely employed in hearing research. To help standardize online sound presentation, we introduce a brief psychophysical test for determining whether online experiment participants are wearing headphones. Listeners judge which of three pure tones is quietest, with one of the tones presented 180° out of phase across the stereo channels...
July 10, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Daniel Bratzke, Teresa Birngruber, Moritz Durst, Hannes Schröter
Previous studies have demonstrated that filled intervals are perceived as being longer than empty intervals of the same duration (i.e., the filled - duration illusion). In the present study, we asked whether the motor actions involved in filled and empty reproductions (a single continuous key press vs. two discrete key presses) would affect time estimates in a similar way. We hypothesized that reproductions of intervals of the same duration should be shorter for filled than empty reproductions (i.e., a filled - reproduction illusion)...
July 10, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Roland Pfister, Lisa Weller, David Dignath, Wilfried Kunde
Motor actions are facilitated if they are foreseeably being imitated rather than counterimitated by social partners. Such beneficial effects of anticipated imitation have been explained in terms of compatibility between one's own actions and their anticipated consequences. Previous demonstrations of these effects might alternatively be explained by consistently faster partner responses for imitative than for nonimitative actions, however. This study contrasts both explanations by using virtual coactors to disentangle the contributions of anticipated action-effect compatibility and anticipated action-effect delay...
July 7, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Adam Reeves, Quan Lei
Short-term visual memory was studied by displaying arrays of four or five numerals, each numeral in its own depth plane, followed after various delays by an arrow cue shown in one of the depth planes. Subjects reported the numeral at the depth cued by the arrow. Accuracy fell with increasing cue delay for the first 500 ms or so, and then recovered almost fully. This dipping pattern contrasts with the usual iconic decay observed for memory traces. The dip occurred with or without a verbal or color-shape retention load on working memory...
July 6, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Xia Wu, Shimin Fu
Contingent attentional capture suggests that top-down attentional control settings (ACS) can enhance attentional processing of task-relevant properties and inhibit attentional processing of task-irrelevant properties. However, it remains unclear how ACS operates when a distractor has both task-relevant and task-irrelevant characteristics. In the present study, two lateralized ERP components, N2pc and distractor positivity (Pd), were employed as markers of attentional enhancement and inhibition, respectively...
July 6, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Eric L Altschuler, Abigail E Huang, Hee J Kim, Luca Battaglini, Sergio Roncato
Perceptual grouping has been extensively studied, but some areas are still unexplored-in particular, the figural organizations that emerge when bundles of intersecting lines are drawn. Here, we will describe some figural organizations that emerge after the superimposition of bundles of lines forming the profile of regular triangular waves. By manipulating the lines' jaggedness and junction geometry (regular or irregular X junction) we could generate the following organizations: (a) a grid, or a figural configuration in which both the lines and closed contours are perceived, (b) a figure-ground organization composed of figures separated by portions of the background, and (c) a corrugated surface appearing as a multifaceted polyhedral shell crossed by ridges and valleys...
July 6, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Wieske van Zoest, Stefan Van der Stigchel, Mieke Donk
Attention and eye movements provide a window into the selective processing of visual information. Evidence suggests that selection is influenced by various factors and is not always under the strategic control of the observer. The aims of this tutorial review are to give a brief introduction to eye movements and attention and to outline the conditions that help determine control. Evidence suggests that the ability to establish control depends on the complexity of the display as well as the point in time at which selection occurs...
July 6, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Belinda M Craig, Jing Zhang, Ottmar V Lipp
The magnitude of the happy categorisation advantage, the faster recognition of happiness than negative expressions, is influenced by facial race and sex cues. Previous studies have investigated these relationships using racial outgroups stereotypically associated with physical threat in predominantly Caucasian samples. To determine whether these influences generalise to stimuli representing other ethnic groups and to participants of different ethnicities, Caucasian Australian (Experiments 1 and 2) and Chinese participants (Experiment 2) categorised happy and angry expressions displayed on own-race male faces presented with emotional other-race male, own-race female, and other-race female faces in separate tasks...
July 5, 2017: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
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