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    Distract yourself: prediction of salient distractors by own actions and external cues.

    Havlíček, O. and Muller, Hermann J. and Wykowska, A. (2018) Distract yourself: prediction of salient distractors by own actions and external cues. Psychological Research , ISSN 0340-0727. (In Press)

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    Distracting sensory events can capture attention, interfering with the performance of the task at hand. We asked: is our attention captured by such events if we cause them ourselves? To examine this, we employed a visual search task with an additional salient singleton distractor, where the distractor was predictable either by the participant's own (motor) action or by an endogenous cue; accordingly, the task was designed to isolate the influence of motor and non-motor predictive processes. We found both types of prediction, cue- and action-based, to attenuate the interference of the distractor-which is at odds with the "attentional white bear" hypothesis, which states that prediction of distracting stimuli mandatorily directs attention towards them. Further, there was no difference between the two types of prediction. We suggest this pattern of results may be better explained by theories postulating general predictive mechanisms, such as the framework of predictive processing, as compared to accounts proposing a special role of action-effect prediction, such as theories based on optimal motor control. However, rather than permitting a definitive decision between competing theories, our study highlights a number of open questions, to be answered by these theories, with regard to how exogenous attention is influenced by predictions deriving from the environment versus our own actions.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    SWORD Depositor: Mr Joe Tenant
    Depositing User: Mr Joe Tenant
    Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2019 09:46
    Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 12:04


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