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Memory-driven attentional capture is modulated by temporal task demands

Dalvit, Silvia and Eimer, Martin (2011) Memory-driven attentional capture is modulated by temporal task demands. Visual Cognition 19 (2), pp. 145-153. ISSN 1350-6285.

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Previous research has shown that attention is biased towards items that match the current content of working memory (memory-driven attentional capture), but it remains unclear whether this effect is automatic or under voluntary control. Participants memorized a colour for subsequent recall and searched for a target shape among distractors that included a colour singleton which matched or mismatched the memorized colour. Search displays were presented for 200 ms or until response execution. Display duration was blocked or randomly intermixed for different participants. Reaction times (RTs) were slower on trials with memory-matching distractors, reflecting memory-driven attentional capture. Only with blocked display durations, this effect was much smaller for short than for long displays. This demonstrates that attention tasks are prioritized and shielded from interactions with working memory when this is required by high temporal task demands, and suggests that memory-driven attentional capture is controlled by top-down processing strategies.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Attentional capture, selective attention, working memory
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2011 14:58
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 15:26

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