Did you see that? Inhibition of return to fear-relevant targets

Yvonne Ying Wai Ho (2011). Did you see that? Inhibition of return to fear-relevant targets Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Yvonne Ying Wai Ho
Thesis Title Did you see that? Inhibition of return to fear-relevant targets
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Professor Roger Remington
Total pages 90
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Selective attention is a crucial mechanism for daily functioning, as it allows us to filter irrelevant information from information we need. One of the ways selective attention is facilitated is through inhibition of return (IOR), which refers to a reflexive avoidance of pre-attended locations. The present study investigates whether emotion could override this mechanism, specifically whether fear-relevant stimuli could hold attention and hence attenuate the IOR effect. Two experiments were conducted to address this question. In Experiment 1, fear and neutral stimulus were paired together to eliminate abrupt onset effects. These stimuli were then placed in a spatial cueing paradigm. Twenty-two volunteers and first year psychology undergraduates were tested across all conditions. Contrary to predictions, the results showed no significant difference between stimulus conditions, suggesting the IOR effect was identical and there was no effect of fear. In Experiment 2, “targetness” of fear stimuli was increased and the memory load decreased. Sixteen volunteers and psychology undergraduates were asked to complete the same task as in Experiment 1. Results supported the hypothesis to a limited extent, showing no effective capture in the fear target condition, but a delayed disengagement effect was present in the fear distracter condition. Practical implications were discussed in terms of clinical work as well as daily functions.
Keyword Selective Attention
Inhibition of return (IOR)

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Created: Thu, 14 Jun 2012, 15:25:49 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology