Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

Kamke, Marc R. and Harris, Jill (2014) Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 528: 1-7. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00528

Author Kamke, Marc R.
Harris, Jill
Title Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli
Journal name Frontiers in Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1664-1078
Publication date 2014-06-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00528
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 528
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.
Keyword Selective attention
Contingent capture
Spatial attention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Created: Tue, 03 Jun 2014, 10:01:13 EST by Jill Harris on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute