Attentional capture by visual singletons is mediated by top-down task set: new evidence from the N2pc component
Kiss, Monika and Jolicœur, P. and dell'Acqua, R. and Eimer, Martin (2008) Attentional capture by visual singletons is mediated by top-down task set: new evidence from the N2pc component. Psychophysiology 45 (6), pp. 1013-1024. ISSN 0048-5772.
To investigate whether attentional capture by salient visual stimuli is mediated by current task sets, we measured the N2pc component as a marker of the spatial locus of visual attention during visual search. In each trial, a singleton stimulus that could either be a target (color task: red circle; shape task: green diamond) or a nontarget (blue circle or green square) was presented among uniform distractors (green circles). As predicted by the view that attentional capture is contingent on task set, the N2pc was strongly affected by task instructions. It was maximal for targets, attenuated but still reliably present for nontarget singletons defined in the target dimension (even when these were accompanied by an irrelevant-dimension singleton), and small or absent for equally salient irrelevant-dimension singletons. Results demonstrate that attentional capture is not a purely bottom-up phenomenon, but is strongly determined by top-down task set.
|Keyword(s) / Subject(s):||Attention, attentional capture, visual search, pop-out, cognitive control, event-related potentials|
|School:||Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences|
|Date Deposited:||05 Jan 2011 10:11|
|Last Modified:||11 Oct 2016 12:00|
Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.