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Attentional capture modulation: an integrative model

Grant number: 11/20243-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): September 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Cognitive Psychology
Principal researcher:Marcus Vinícius Chrysóstomo Baldo
Grantee:Fernanda Amadei Sais
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):13/13610-1 - Attentional capture modulation: an integrative model, BE.EP.DR


The initial theories on attentional capture mechanisms by an irrelevant stimulus proposes that a stimulus is able to capture attention in a purely automatic fashion, and that the critical factor determining this attentional capture is the stimulus salience. On the other hand, there are crescent evidence on the literature of the last two decades that, at least on some conditions, the physical resemblance between the irrelevant stimulus and the target stimulus (to which the subject should respond) is a critical factor to modulate attentional capture, and that stimulus salience is even of secondary importance in such conditions. At our laboratory we have also evidences that at some conditions there are another critical factor for attentional capture to occur, ie., the discrimination difficulty. In the present work we intend to evaluate, in two experiments, the importance of these three factors for attentional capture. In Experiment 1, we will test the importance of physical resemblance between the target and the cue and also the importance of discrimination difficulty, using a task in which the cue shares and does not share a particular feature with the target and, in each of these conditions, one condition with visual noise on the screen and another one without visual noise. In Experiment 2, we will verify if the nature of the task (visual search task with a distractor stimulus and peripheral cueing discrimination task) determines what is critical for attentional capture, so that in a visual search task the stimulus salience is a critical factor for attentional capture and in a peripheral cueing discrimination task the salience of the stimulus become a secondary factor and attentional capture is modulated according to target features. (AU)

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