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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00426-009-0252-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A crucial prediction of perceptual load theory is that high perceptual load can eliminate interference from distractors. However, Lavie et al. (Psychol Sci 14:510–515, 2003) found that high perceptual load did not eliminate interference when the distractor was a face. The current experiments examined the interaction between familiarity and perceptual load in modulating interference in a name search task. The data reveal that high perceptual load eliminated the interference effect for unfamiliar distractors that were faces or objects, but did not eliminate the interference for familiar distractors that were faces or objects. Based on these results, we proposed that the processing of familiar and natural stimuli may be immune to the effect of perceptual load.
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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1155 kb)426_2009_252_MOESM1_ESM.doc
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- Interference from familiar natural distractors is not eliminated by high perceptual load