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Spatial and temporal attention modulate the early stages of face processing: behavioural evidence from a reaching paradigm.

Quek GL, Finkbeiner M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: In the present study, we reconcile this divide by using a continuous behavioural response measure that indexes face processing at a temporal resolution not available in discrete behavioural measures (e.g. button press).Using reaching trajectories as our response measure, we observed that although participants were able to process faces both when attended and unattended (as others have found), face processing was not impervious to attentional modulation.Attending to the face conferred clear benefits on sex-classification processes at less than 350ms of stimulus processing time.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive Science, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. genevieve.quek@mq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
A presently unresolved question within the face perception literature is whether attending to the location of a face modulates face processing (i.e. spatial attention). Opinions on this matter diverge along methodological lines - where neuroimaging studies have observed that the allocation of spatial attention serves to enhance the neural response to a face, findings from behavioural paradigms suggest face processing is carried out independently of spatial attention. In the present study, we reconcile this divide by using a continuous behavioural response measure that indexes face processing at a temporal resolution not available in discrete behavioural measures (e.g. button press). Using reaching trajectories as our response measure, we observed that although participants were able to process faces both when attended and unattended (as others have found), face processing was not impervious to attentional modulation. Attending to the face conferred clear benefits on sex-classification processes at less than 350ms of stimulus processing time. These findings constitute the first reliable demonstration of the modulatory effects of both spatial and temporal attention on face processing within a behavioural paradigm.

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Predicted x-velocity as a function of Target-Viewing Time for short (A) and long SOA (B).All values correspond to an average of the initial 20% of the reaching response. Target-Viewing Time (always preceded by 50 ms of prime processing) positively modulated participants’ classification certainty, such that the longer they waited to begin their reaching response, the faster their finger moved in the correct direction during the early stages of their movement. Error bars calculated using within-subjects SE.
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pone-0057365-g006: Predicted x-velocity as a function of Target-Viewing Time for short (A) and long SOA (B).All values correspond to an average of the initial 20% of the reaching response. Target-Viewing Time (always preceded by 50 ms of prime processing) positively modulated participants’ classification certainty, such that the longer they waited to begin their reaching response, the faster their finger moved in the correct direction during the early stages of their movement. Error bars calculated using within-subjects SE.

Mentions: To examine the nature of the three-way interaction further, we followed the same procedure as Expt 1A, fitting an individual model for the Short and Long SOA conditions. In each case, we included LiftOff Quantile and Prime Type as fixed effects, together with random slopes for LiftOff Quantile×Subject. In the Short SOA condition, likelihood testing indicated the additive model to be preferable. We observed significant effects of both LiftOff Quantile (b = 4.325 mm/sec, SE = 0.969 mm/sec, t = 4.46) and Prime Type (b = −20.691 mm/sec, SE = 0.806 mm/sec, t = −25.68). The absence of the interaction between these factors suggests congruence priming effects are unaffected by Target-Viewing Time (see Figure 6A). In contrast, the preferred model for the Long SOA condition included significant effects of LiftOff Quantile (b = 5.338 mm/sec, SE = 1.161 mm/sec, t = 4.59) and Prime Type (b = −40.812 mm/sec, SE = 1.66 mm/sec, t = −24.58), together with a reliable interaction between these factors (b = 1.372 mm/sec, SE = 0.139 mm/sec, t = 9.90). In contrast to the Short SOA condition, congruence effects for trials using a longer fixation-target SOA (Figure 6B) are strongest at the earliest Target-Viewing Times, attenuating as Target-Viewing Time increases.


Spatial and temporal attention modulate the early stages of face processing: behavioural evidence from a reaching paradigm.

Quek GL, Finkbeiner M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Predicted x-velocity as a function of Target-Viewing Time for short (A) and long SOA (B).All values correspond to an average of the initial 20% of the reaching response. Target-Viewing Time (always preceded by 50 ms of prime processing) positively modulated participants’ classification certainty, such that the longer they waited to begin their reaching response, the faster their finger moved in the correct direction during the early stages of their movement. Error bars calculated using within-subjects SE.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3585364&req=5

pone-0057365-g006: Predicted x-velocity as a function of Target-Viewing Time for short (A) and long SOA (B).All values correspond to an average of the initial 20% of the reaching response. Target-Viewing Time (always preceded by 50 ms of prime processing) positively modulated participants’ classification certainty, such that the longer they waited to begin their reaching response, the faster their finger moved in the correct direction during the early stages of their movement. Error bars calculated using within-subjects SE.
Mentions: To examine the nature of the three-way interaction further, we followed the same procedure as Expt 1A, fitting an individual model for the Short and Long SOA conditions. In each case, we included LiftOff Quantile and Prime Type as fixed effects, together with random slopes for LiftOff Quantile×Subject. In the Short SOA condition, likelihood testing indicated the additive model to be preferable. We observed significant effects of both LiftOff Quantile (b = 4.325 mm/sec, SE = 0.969 mm/sec, t = 4.46) and Prime Type (b = −20.691 mm/sec, SE = 0.806 mm/sec, t = −25.68). The absence of the interaction between these factors suggests congruence priming effects are unaffected by Target-Viewing Time (see Figure 6A). In contrast, the preferred model for the Long SOA condition included significant effects of LiftOff Quantile (b = 5.338 mm/sec, SE = 1.161 mm/sec, t = 4.59) and Prime Type (b = −40.812 mm/sec, SE = 1.66 mm/sec, t = −24.58), together with a reliable interaction between these factors (b = 1.372 mm/sec, SE = 0.139 mm/sec, t = 9.90). In contrast to the Short SOA condition, congruence effects for trials using a longer fixation-target SOA (Figure 6B) are strongest at the earliest Target-Viewing Times, attenuating as Target-Viewing Time increases.

Bottom Line: In the present study, we reconcile this divide by using a continuous behavioural response measure that indexes face processing at a temporal resolution not available in discrete behavioural measures (e.g. button press).Using reaching trajectories as our response measure, we observed that although participants were able to process faces both when attended and unattended (as others have found), face processing was not impervious to attentional modulation.Attending to the face conferred clear benefits on sex-classification processes at less than 350ms of stimulus processing time.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive Science, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. genevieve.quek@mq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
A presently unresolved question within the face perception literature is whether attending to the location of a face modulates face processing (i.e. spatial attention). Opinions on this matter diverge along methodological lines - where neuroimaging studies have observed that the allocation of spatial attention serves to enhance the neural response to a face, findings from behavioural paradigms suggest face processing is carried out independently of spatial attention. In the present study, we reconcile this divide by using a continuous behavioural response measure that indexes face processing at a temporal resolution not available in discrete behavioural measures (e.g. button press). Using reaching trajectories as our response measure, we observed that although participants were able to process faces both when attended and unattended (as others have found), face processing was not impervious to attentional modulation. Attending to the face conferred clear benefits on sex-classification processes at less than 350ms of stimulus processing time. These findings constitute the first reliable demonstration of the modulatory effects of both spatial and temporal attention on face processing within a behavioural paradigm.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus