Limits...
Reduced distractibility in a remote culture.

de Fockert JW, Caparos S, Linnell KJ, Davidoff J - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: However, the Himba showed a marked reduction in overall flanker interference compared to Westerners.The smaller interference effect in the Himba occurred despite their overall slower performance than Westerners, and was evident even at a low level of perceptual load of the displays.We argue that the reduced distractibility in the Himba is clearly consistent with their tendency to prioritize the analysis of local details in visual processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom. j.de-fockert@gold.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: In visual processing, there are marked cultural differences in the tendency to adopt either a global or local processing style. A remote culture (the Himba) has recently been reported to have a greater local bias in visual processing than Westerners. Here we give the first evidence that a greater, and remarkable, attentional selectivity provides the basis for this local bias.

Methodology/principal findings: In Experiment 1, Eriksen-type flanker interference was measured in the Himba and in Western controls. In both groups, responses to the direction of a task-relevant target arrow were affected by the compatibility of task-irrelevant distractor arrows. However, the Himba showed a marked reduction in overall flanker interference compared to Westerners. The smaller interference effect in the Himba occurred despite their overall slower performance than Westerners, and was evident even at a low level of perceptual load of the displays. In Experiment 2, the attentional selectivity of the Himba was further demonstrated by showing that their attention was not even captured by a moving singleton distractor.

Conclusions/significance: We argue that the reduced distractibility in the Himba is clearly consistent with their tendency to prioritize the analysis of local details in visual processing.

Show MeSH
Examples of the shape and cow stimulus displays.In each display, the unique item was the target (square in the shape example, left pointing cow in the cow example). On half the trials, one of the remaining items (the singleton) moved back and forth. Images not to scale.
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pone-0026337-g003: Examples of the shape and cow stimulus displays.In each display, the unique item was the target (square in the shape example, left pointing cow in the cow example). On half the trials, one of the remaining items (the singleton) moved back and forth. Images not to scale.

Mentions: See Figure 3 for example stimuli. Each stimulus display consisted of four images, arranged in a rectangle subtending 10.2° horizontally and 8.6° vertically, and presented centred on a white background. Images were squares, circles and crosses (each subtending 3.9° square) in the shape condition and photographs of a cow or pair of cows (each subtending 3.9° square) in the cow condition. In the shape condition, the display consisted of a square or a circle (the target) presented among three crosses (the non-targets). In the cow condition, the display consisted of one cow pointing left or right (the target) and three pairs of cows facing forward (the non-targets).


Reduced distractibility in a remote culture.

de Fockert JW, Caparos S, Linnell KJ, Davidoff J - PLoS ONE (2011)

Examples of the shape and cow stimulus displays.In each display, the unique item was the target (square in the shape example, left pointing cow in the cow example). On half the trials, one of the remaining items (the singleton) moved back and forth. Images not to scale.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3198475&req=5

pone-0026337-g003: Examples of the shape and cow stimulus displays.In each display, the unique item was the target (square in the shape example, left pointing cow in the cow example). On half the trials, one of the remaining items (the singleton) moved back and forth. Images not to scale.
Mentions: See Figure 3 for example stimuli. Each stimulus display consisted of four images, arranged in a rectangle subtending 10.2° horizontally and 8.6° vertically, and presented centred on a white background. Images were squares, circles and crosses (each subtending 3.9° square) in the shape condition and photographs of a cow or pair of cows (each subtending 3.9° square) in the cow condition. In the shape condition, the display consisted of a square or a circle (the target) presented among three crosses (the non-targets). In the cow condition, the display consisted of one cow pointing left or right (the target) and three pairs of cows facing forward (the non-targets).

Bottom Line: However, the Himba showed a marked reduction in overall flanker interference compared to Westerners.The smaller interference effect in the Himba occurred despite their overall slower performance than Westerners, and was evident even at a low level of perceptual load of the displays.We argue that the reduced distractibility in the Himba is clearly consistent with their tendency to prioritize the analysis of local details in visual processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom. j.de-fockert@gold.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: In visual processing, there are marked cultural differences in the tendency to adopt either a global or local processing style. A remote culture (the Himba) has recently been reported to have a greater local bias in visual processing than Westerners. Here we give the first evidence that a greater, and remarkable, attentional selectivity provides the basis for this local bias.

Methodology/principal findings: In Experiment 1, Eriksen-type flanker interference was measured in the Himba and in Western controls. In both groups, responses to the direction of a task-relevant target arrow were affected by the compatibility of task-irrelevant distractor arrows. However, the Himba showed a marked reduction in overall flanker interference compared to Westerners. The smaller interference effect in the Himba occurred despite their overall slower performance than Westerners, and was evident even at a low level of perceptual load of the displays. In Experiment 2, the attentional selectivity of the Himba was further demonstrated by showing that their attention was not even captured by a moving singleton distractor.

Conclusions/significance: We argue that the reduced distractibility in the Himba is clearly consistent with their tendency to prioritize the analysis of local details in visual processing.

Show MeSH