Event Title

Feature-Based Contingent Attention Capture is Altered by Context

Mentor 1

Adam Greenberg

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

29-4-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

29-4-2016 3:30 PM

Description

Attention allows us to filter large amounts of incoming sensory (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.) information to focus on what is relevant at any moment. For example, finding a red-shirted friend in a crowd is accomplished by filtering on the color red; but, this process is susceptible to errors when similar colors are present (e.g., a dark red-shirted stranger). Errors like these cause capture of attention by an irrelevant item because, in this example, the dark red shirt is similar to our friend’s red shirt. We are interested in how our top-down set (the subject’s internal definition of the target) changes depending on the context in which it appears. We developed two experiments to explore the bounds of our top-down sets in a common contingent attentional capture paradigm. Our participants are presented three adjacent streams of letters and identify a target-colored letter whenever it appears in the central stream. Experiment 1 attempts to distract participants by presenting letters of two colors in the adjacent streams: either the target color, or a threshold color (the nearest color that the participant reports as different from the target color). We hypothesize that participants’ top-down sets will become narrower when there is a large proportion of threshold letters and wider when there is a small proportion. Thus, threshold letters will only capture attention when they are rare. Experiment 2 is similar, but letter colors change stepwise from the target color toward the threshold color, over the course of many trials. We predict that participants’ top-down sets will broaden to incorporate these small color steps, such that the threshold letters will now capture attention whenever they are present. These experiments will deepen our understanding of the dynamic nature of top-down attentional sets, which may inform the design of our world through art, architecture, and engineering. Funding: US-Israel Binational Science Foundation Grant No. 2013400 (A.S.G)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 29th, 1:30 PM Apr 29th, 3:30 PM

Feature-Based Contingent Attention Capture is Altered by Context

Union Wisconsin Room

Attention allows us to filter large amounts of incoming sensory (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.) information to focus on what is relevant at any moment. For example, finding a red-shirted friend in a crowd is accomplished by filtering on the color red; but, this process is susceptible to errors when similar colors are present (e.g., a dark red-shirted stranger). Errors like these cause capture of attention by an irrelevant item because, in this example, the dark red shirt is similar to our friend’s red shirt. We are interested in how our top-down set (the subject’s internal definition of the target) changes depending on the context in which it appears. We developed two experiments to explore the bounds of our top-down sets in a common contingent attentional capture paradigm. Our participants are presented three adjacent streams of letters and identify a target-colored letter whenever it appears in the central stream. Experiment 1 attempts to distract participants by presenting letters of two colors in the adjacent streams: either the target color, or a threshold color (the nearest color that the participant reports as different from the target color). We hypothesize that participants’ top-down sets will become narrower when there is a large proportion of threshold letters and wider when there is a small proportion. Thus, threshold letters will only capture attention when they are rare. Experiment 2 is similar, but letter colors change stepwise from the target color toward the threshold color, over the course of many trials. We predict that participants’ top-down sets will broaden to incorporate these small color steps, such that the threshold letters will now capture attention whenever they are present. These experiments will deepen our understanding of the dynamic nature of top-down attentional sets, which may inform the design of our world through art, architecture, and engineering. Funding: US-Israel Binational Science Foundation Grant No. 2013400 (A.S.G)