Dimension-Specific Control of Visual Attention by ProQuest


The color singleton had a relatively small effect on search performance, regardless of distractor ratio, when observers had encountered it during practice, but it had a relatively large effect on performance when they had not encountered it during practice. [...] the magnitude of the latter, distraction effect depended on the frequency of the color singleton's appearance:

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group when first given Shepard and              the words were the same in the two                 participants to search for a unique
Metzler’s (1971, Science 171:701)               contexts would indicate the moment                 form (a circle presented among dia-
mental rotation task. However, when             of the occurrence of synesthesia. The              monds) and to discriminate the orien-
given 20 min to meditate beforehand,            results indicated that the colors did              tation of a line segment that appeared
one group of monks demonstrated a               differ, supporting the theory that word            within the singleton. Critically, on
marked improvement in both men-                 synesthesia is related to the total AV             some trials another singleton ap-
tal rotation and the memorization of            percept, not to early processing of the            peared in an irrelevant feature dimen-
novel images. This particular group             auditory component. Moreover, the                  sion (one of the diamonds appeared
practiced a form of meditation known            results also showed that early multi-              red, while the remaining shapes ap-
as Deity Yoga, during which they                sensory integration occurs before the              peared green). Previous research by
visualize—some say “become”—                    induction of the synesthetic experi-               Theeuwes (1992, P&P 51:509) dem-
a deity who possesses superhuman                ence. —S.G.                                        onstrated that observers cannot ignore
attributes. The reciprocality of this                                                              a salient color singleton, even though
phenomenon remains merely a logi-                   ATTENTIONAL CONTROL                            it is irrelevant to the task—an effect
cal possibility: Someone needs to test                                                             that has often been interpreted as at-
whether 10 years of spatial vision test-        Dimension-Specific Control
                                                                                                   tentional capture. However, the criti-
ing, plus a 20-min warm-up, can give            of Visual Attention                                cal findings reported by Müller et al.
your average psychophysicist an edge            Müller et al. (2009). Attentional capture by       demonstrate that the magnitude of
toward becoming a deity. —J.A.S.                salient color singleton distractors is modulated
                                                by top-down dimensional set. JEP:HPP, 35, 1.       this capture effect can be modulated
                                                                                                   by both the extent to which observers
            SYNESTHESIA                            One of the most heated debates in               are set to suppress the singleton and
Linking Words and Colors                        the study of visual attention over the             their incentive to use this strategy.
Bargary et al. (2009). Colored-speech sy-
                                                past decade has concerned whether                  Müller et al. manipulated the extent to
naesthesia is triggered by multisensory, not    attention can be controlled in a purely            which observers were set to suppress
unisensory, perception. Psychol Sci, 20, 529.   bottom-up, or stimulus-driven, fash-               the singleton was by varyi
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