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The absence of a visual stimulus can trigger task-set-independent attentional capture

Kiss, Monika and Eimer, Martin (2011) The absence of a visual stimulus can trigger task-set-independent attentional capture. Psychophysiology 48 (10), pp. 1426-1433. ISSN 0048-5772.

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We investigated whether the absence of one item in a regularly spaced visual array (gap cue) captures attention in a task-set-independent fashion. Participants searched for a large target among medium-size distractors (size task) or a red target among gray distractors (color task). Target arrays were preceded by uninformative cue arrays that contained a color singleton or a gap cue. The N2pc component was measured as an index of attentional capture. Color singleton cues captured attention only in the color task, but gap cues captured attention in both tasks. For cue arrays containing a color singleton and a gap cue on opposite sides, an N2pc was triggered by the color singleton in the color task. The absence of an item in a regular array triggered task-set-independent attentional capture when it was the only unique display feature, but not when a competing set-matching singleton was simultaneously present.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Spatial attention, top-down control, event-related potentials, N2pc
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 May 2011 09:29
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 12:00

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