Memory capacity in switching search strategies: Are low-capacity individuals more susceptible to capture by distractors? Public Deposited

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  • Lien, Ruthruff, and Naylor (2014) recently reported that switching target search strategies (e.g., from identifying the letter that is uniquely colored [singleton search] to the letter that has a specific color [feature search] or vice versa) made the attentional system more vulnerable to capture by salient-but-irrelevant objects. In the present study, we examined whether this limitation in the sharpness of attentional control following search strategy switches depends on individual working memory capacity. Similar methods to Lien et al.’s were used except that we measured individual working memory capacity using a change detection task. We found that low-capacity individuals are no more susceptible to capture by distractors while switching search strategies. These results indicate that the inability of attentional control system to rapidly and fully switch between different search settings is not associated with memory capacity.
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