ECVP 2006 Abstract

Cite as:
Inukai T, Mori T, 2006, "Top - down inhibition for an irrelevant stimulus in attentional capture" Perception 35 ECVP Abstract Supplement

Top - down inhibition for an irrelevant stimulus in attentional capture

T Inukai, T Mori

Visual attention may be intentionally shifted to a particular location (top - down attentional control), and involuntarily captured by salient stimulus properties (bottom - up attentional control). The latter phenomenon is called attentional capture (eg Yantis and Jonides, 1984 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 10 601 - 621). Recent studies showed that these two kinds of controls have an influence on directing attention to a specific location and furthermore on processing of the properties at this location. In particular, Theeuwes et al [2000, in Control of Cognitive Processes: Attention and Performance volume VIII, Eds S Monsell, J Driver (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) pp 105 - 124] reported that the top - down control allowed attention being captured by an irrelevant stimulus to inhibit processing of it so that the attention could be redirected to a more relevant stimulus as quickly as possible. In this context, we examined how attention could abandon involuntary processing. In experiment 1 we reconfirmed that only involuntary processing could produce attentional capture. In experiment 2 we found that the inhibition of processing lasted into the following stimulus. This suggests that the top - down control influences the processing not only of capturing stimulus but also of the following one, and so it inhibits the sequence of processing for a certain period.

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