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    Contextual cueing: implicit memory of tactile context facilitates tactile search

    Assumpção, L. and Shi, Z. and Zang, X. and Muller, Hermann J. and Geyer, T. (2015) Contextual cueing: implicit memory of tactile context facilitates tactile search. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 77 (4), pp. 1212-1222. ISSN 1943-3921.

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    In visual search, participants detect and subsequently discriminate targets more rapidly when these are embedded in repeatedly encountered distractor arrangements, an effect termed contextual cueing (Chun & Jiang Cognitive Psychology, 36, 28–71, 1998). However, whereas previous studies had explored contextual cueing exclusively in visual search, in the present study we examined the effect in tactile search using a novel tactile search paradigm. Participants were equipped with vibrotactile stimulators attached to four fingers on each hand. A given search array consisted of four stimuli (i.e., two items presented to each hand), with the target being an odd-one-out feature singleton that differed in frequency (Exps. 1 and 2) or waveform (Exp. 3) from the distractor elements. Participants performed a localization (Exps. 1 and 2) or discrimination (Exp. 3) task, delivering their responses via foot pedals. In all three experiments, reaction times were faster when the arrangement of distractor fingers predicted the target finger. Furthermore, participants were unable to explicitly discriminate repeated from nonrepeated tactile configurations (Exps. 2 and 3). This indicates that the tactile modality can mediate the formation of configural representations and use these representations to guide tactile search.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Contextual cueing, Implicit memory, Attention, Tactile search, Haptics, Touch
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 14:48
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:26


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