Honors College Thesis

 

An Electrophysiological Study of Involuntary Attention Capture in a Go/No-go Paradigm Public

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/7d278v79z

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  • The present study examined whether attention capture is driven by object saliency or contingent on top-down control setting using a go/no-go paradigm. Specifically, we investigated whether salient color singletons capture attention only when the target itself is also a singleton. We used a go/no-go task. Participants were told to search the target display for a letter in a specific color and indicate its identity if it was present (“go” trials) and withheld their response if it was absent (“no go” trials). On every trial, this target display was preceded by a non-informative cue display containing a color singleton. The key manipulation was whether this irrelevant singleton contained the target color. We used the N2pc effect as a measure of attentional allocation. N2pc effects were obtained for all color singletons in the cue displays, even those that did not have the target color. This even held when we switched to a non-singleton target display (Experiments 4-5), suggesting capture based on stimulus salience. Intriguingly, whereas the robust N2pc effects indicated capture by salient stimuli, behavioral effects on response time suggested the opposite conclusion. These findings suggest that the irrelevant color singletons captured attention only briefly, releasing attention before the target arrived.
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