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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 6/2022

01-09-2022 | Original Article

On preventing attention capture: Is singleton suppression actually singleton suppression?

Auteurs: Mei-Ching Lien, Eric Ruthruff, Christopher Hauck

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 6/2022

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Abstract

It is commonly assumed that salient singletons generate an “attend-to-me signal” which causes suppression to develop over time, eventually preventing capture. Despite this assumption and the name “singleton suppression,” a causal link between salience and suppression has not yet been clearly established. We point out the plausibility of a simple alternative mechanism: distractors might be suppressed because they are distractors rather than targets, even when non-salient. To look for evidence of salience-based suppression, we had participants search for a target shape among distractors, which sometimes included irrelevant-colored distractors. The critical manipulation was whether the irrelevant-colored distractor was salient (a color singleton) or non-salient (three non-target colored shapes; a triplet). On 30% of trials, probe letters were presented briefly inside each shape and participants were to report those letters. Probe recall below baseline indicates suppression. Experiment 1 showed that suppression was not triggered any more strongly by salient distractors (singletons) than by non-salient distractors (triplets). Experiment 2 showed that strong suppression effects developed rapidly even in the absence of salient singletons. These findings raise the thus far neglected question of whether salience plays any role in suppression.
Voetnoten
1
In many studies, the authors mentioned that singletons produce an attend-to-me signal and are suppressed, but without explicitly describing the underlying mechanism that produced the suppression.
 
2
Following Gaspelin et al., (2015, Experiment 2), we used setsize 6. This setsize has consistently demonstrated suppression in studies by Gaspelin and his colleagues (2015, 2017). In a notable exception to this pattern, Wang and Theeeuwes (2020) found suppression at setsize 4, but not setsize 6 or 10. Stilwell and Gaspelin (in press) recently pointed out the possibility of a floor effect with large setsizes, making it difficult to observe true suppression effects. When Stilwell and Gaspelin addressed the floor effect issue, they found suppression at setsize 10 in three different experiments.
 
3
We first calculated the recall accuracy for each probe location on each trial. Then, for each condition, we averaged the probe recall accuracy across all probe locations corresponding to that condition. For instance, in triplet trials, there were three probe letters at the three locations forming the triplet. Recalling one of these three probe letters would yield 33% accuracy, recalling two would yield 67% accuracy, and recalling all three would yield 100% accuracy.
 
Literatuur
go back to reference JASP Team. (2018). JASP (Version 0.9) [Computer Software]. JASP Team. (2018). JASP (Version 0.9) [Computer Software].
go back to reference Lee, M. D., & Wagenmakers, E.-J. (2013). Bayesian cognitive modeling: A practical course. Cambridge University Press. Lee, M. D., & Wagenmakers, E.-J. (2013). Bayesian cognitive modeling: A practical course. Cambridge University Press.
go back to reference Ruthruff, E., Hauck, C., & Lien, M.-C. (in press). What do we know about suppression of attention capture. Visual Cognition. Ruthruff, E., Hauck, C., & Lien, M.-C. (in press). What do we know about suppression of attention capture. Visual Cognition.
go back to reference Stilwell, B. T., & Gaspelin, N. (in press). Attentional suppression of highly salient color singletons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Stilwell, B. T., & Gaspelin, N. (in press). Attentional suppression of highly salient color singletons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
go back to reference Stoet, G. (2017). PsyToolkit: A novel web-based method for running online questionnaires and reaction-time experiments. Teaching of Psychology, 44(1), 24–31. CrossRef Stoet, G. (2017). PsyToolkit: A novel web-based method for running online questionnaires and reaction-time experiments. Teaching of Psychology, 44(1), 24–31. CrossRef
Metagegevens
Titel
On preventing attention capture: Is singleton suppression actually singleton suppression?
Auteurs
Mei-Ching Lien
Eric Ruthruff
Christopher Hauck
Publicatiedatum
01-09-2022
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 6/2022
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-021-01599-y

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