Rapid Acquisition but Slow Extinction of an Attentional Bias in Space Yuhong V. Jiang et al. . Leona Ryan, Jenna Gathercole , and Ben Bordeaux. Research Topic. Does previous experience unknowingly affect where we direct spatial attention in visual search tasks
Leona Ryan, Jenna Gathercole, and Ben Bordeaux
Does previous experience unknowingly affect where we direct spatial attention in visual search tasks
How quickly does the learned bias disappear when no longer present
Previous research has shown that attention is frequently driven by experience
(Chung & Jiang ,1998)
People can incidentally learn that there is a consistent association between a target’s location and its spatial context
(Chung & Jiang ,1998)
Several studies have shown that participants locate a target more quickly when it appears in a rich location than in a sparse location
(Geng & Behrmann, 2002)
Logic: In this experiment, the authors collected data from participants doing a visual search task. The Task was to find a stimulus among many distractors. The experiment was done in 2 phases, one in which the stimulus was in a rich quadrant 50% of the time, and in the second phase the stimulus was evenly distributed.
Research Question: How long will the advantage remain present once there is no longer a rich quadrant
Hypothesis: The authors expected response time to be faster in the rich quadrants than the sparse quadrants, even after the target is equally likely to appear in each quadrant
A correct response was followed with a pleasant tone and an incorrect response with a buzz
The response was followed by a brief timeout, and the next trial would begin
Each subject completed 60 trials of practice, 576 trials of training, and 576 trials of testing
Finally, the subject was questioned about their knowledge of experimental manipulation
Training: RT was faster when the target appeared in the rich quadrant than in the sparse quadrants.
Testing: RT was faster in the previously rich quadrants than previously sparse quadrants.
Exp 1 training phase (uneven)
Purpose: To test the adjustability of experience-driven attention in response to cue changes
Previous experiments tested the influence of primacy in developing a bias towards that information instead of information learned later in the task
Could changes in cue location throughout an experiment affect reaction time and learning a new bias later on?
Epoch 1: RT was faster when the target appeared in the rich-first quadrant
Epoch 2: RT was not significantly faster than the always-sparse
Epoch 3: RT was significantly faster when the target fell in the rich-first quadrant
The authors’ hypothesis was supported, the rich quadrant caused the advantage to remain, even after the target was evenly distributed
This attentional bias occurred rapidly and remained for many trials, and even for many days
Most participants were not aware of the experiment manipulation, even though their attention was highly affected by it
Looking for a clock in the classroom
Driving in a car/traffic lights