Automatic priming of attentional control by relevant colors

Ansorge, Ulrich and Becker, Stefanie I. (2012) Automatic priming of attentional control by relevant colors. Attention Perception and Psychophysics, 74 1: 83-104. doi:10.3758/s13414-011-0231-6

Author Ansorge, Ulrich
Becker, Stefanie I.
Title Automatic priming of attentional control by relevant colors
Journal name Attention Perception and Psychophysics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1943-3921
Publication date 2012-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3758/s13414-011-0231-6
Volume 74
Issue 1
Start page 83
End page 104
Total pages 22
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Springer New York
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract We tested whether color word cues automatically primed attentional control settings during visual search, or whether color words were used in a strategic manner for the control of attention. In Experiment 1, we used color words as cues that were informative or uninformative with respect to the target color. Regardless of the cue’s informativeness, distractors similar to the color cue captured more attention. In Experiment 2, the participants either indicated their expectation about the target color or recalled the last target color, which was uncorrelated with the present target color. We observed more attentional capture by distractors that were similar to the participants’ predictions and recollections, but no difference between effects of the recollected and predicted colors. In Experiment 3, we used 100%-informative word cues that were congruent with the predicted target color (e.g., the word “red” informed that the target would be red) or incongruent with the predicted target color (e.g., the word “green” informed that the target would be red) and found that informative incongruent word cues primed attention capture by a word-similar distractor. Together, the results suggest that word cues (Exps. 1 and 3) and color representations (Exp. 2) primed attention capture in an automatic manner. This indicates that color cues automatically primed temporary adjustments in attention control settings.
Keyword Spatial attention
Attentional capture
Top-down control
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 21 October 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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