IRRELEVANT SINGLETONS DO NOT CAPTURE ATTENTION BUT AFFECT PERCEPTION

  • Tomer Carmel
  • Dominique Lamy

Abstract

There is ongoing debate surrounding the questions of whether and how salient visual information can be ignored when it is irrelevant to the observer's attentional set. While some authors have shown that in search for a color-defined target, an irrelevant-color precue delays response when it appears at the same location as the target than at a different location, others have reported no effect for irrelevant-color precues. Our objective here was to determine the boundary conditions of this same-location cost. While a same-color precue captured attention to its location, there was a same-location cost when the target and precue colors did not match. However, the cost emerged only when the exposure duration of the precue display was long enough. These findings suggest that the cost is not a form of inhibitory process independent of attentional set and is unrelated to perceptual masking.

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