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Multisensory enhancement of attentional capture in visual search

Matusz, Pawel J. and Eimer, Martin (2011) Multisensory enhancement of attentional capture in visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 18 (5), pp. 904-909. ISSN 1069-9384.

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Multisensory integration increases the salience of sensory events and, therefore, possibly also their ability to capture attention in visual search. This was investigated in two experiments where spatially uninformative color change cues preceded visual search arrays with color-defined targets. Tones were presented synchronously with these cues on half of all trials. Spatial-cuing effects indicative of cue-triggered capture of attention were larger on tone-present than on tone-absent trials, demonstrating multisensory enhancements of attentional capture. Larger capture effects for audiovisual events were found when cues were color singletons, and also when they appeared among heterogeneous color distractors. Tone-induced increases of attentional capture were independent of color-specific top-down task sets, suggesting that this multisensory effect is a stimulus-driven bottom-up phenomenon.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Attentional capture, multisensory integration, bottom-up salience, visual search
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2011 15:51
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 12:00

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