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“School of Cognitive Sciences”

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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 7600
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   Contingent capture does not require spatial shifts in attentional focus
1.  S. Shahab
2.  M. Ghorashi
3.  B. Bahrami
4.  E. Eich
5.  V. Di Lollo
  Status:   In Proceedings
  Proceeding: 43rd annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society Kansas City
  Year:  2002
  Supported by:  IPM
Contingent capture is often observed in studies of visual search in which a target must be found amongst distractors. In such studies, a distractor captures attention when it shares the targets defining characteristic, resulting in slower identification of the target. According to the spotlight theory, this temporal deficit is due exclusively to the time taken by an involuntary shift in the focus of attention to the distractor location, thus necessitating a second shift to the location of the target. We eliminated spatial shifts in attentional focus by using a display with distractors presented in a central stream, followed by a target in the same location. The substantial contingent capture obtained with this paradigm suggests that spatial shifts in attention are not the sole source of delay. Rather, the evidence points to the time taken to process distractors that share the targets distinguishing characteristic as a second, independent, source of delay.

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