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Unconscious Cueing via the Superior Colliculi: Evidence from Searching for Onset and Color Targets.

Fuchs I, Ansorge U - Brain Sci (2012)

Bottom Line: When using color change cues instead of abrupt-onset cues, the cueing effect also vanishes (Experiment 6).Together the results support the assumption that unconscious cues can capture attention in different ways, depending on the exact task of the participants, but that one way is attentional capture via the SC.The present findings also offer a reconciliation of conflicting results in the domain of unconscious attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria. isabella.fuchs@univie.ac.at.

ABSTRACT
According to the bottom-up theory of attention, unconscious abrupt onsets are highly salient and capture attention via the Superior Colliculi (SC). Crucially, abrupt onsets increase the perceived contrast. In line with the SC hypothesis, unconscious abrupt-onset cues capture attention regardless of the cue color when participants search for abrupt-onset targets (Experiment 1). Also, stronger cueing effects occur for higher than lower contrast cues (Experiment 2) and for temporally, rather than nasally, presented stimuli (Experiment 3). However, in line with the known color-insensitivity of the SC, the SC pathway is shunted and unconscious abrupt-onset cues no longer capture attention when the participants have to search for color-defined targets (Experiment 4) or color-singleton targets (Experiment 5). When using color change cues instead of abrupt-onset cues, the cueing effect also vanishes (Experiment 6). Together the results support the assumption that unconscious cues can capture attention in different ways, depending on the exact task of the participants, but that one way is attentional capture via the SC. The present findings also offer a reconciliation of conflicting results in the domain of unconscious attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experiment 3. (a) Depicted are schematic examples of trials. The top row depicts an opposite-polarity cue at the same position as the target (black cue and white target). The bottom row shows a DP cue in the Mulckhuyse condition (where cue and target always shared the same contrast polarity). Note, that the depicted luminance of the items is just for illustration purposes and does not equal the original luminance. Furthermore, the cues, targets, and outer rings were presented at an increased distance to the centre compared to all other experiments. (b) Depicted are the mean RTs and standard errors of the mean (error bars) of all participants for the short (left panel) and long SOA (right panel). Results are plotted for all conditions separately (see figure legend).
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brainsci-02-00033-f004: Experiment 3. (a) Depicted are schematic examples of trials. The top row depicts an opposite-polarity cue at the same position as the target (black cue and white target). The bottom row shows a DP cue in the Mulckhuyse condition (where cue and target always shared the same contrast polarity). Note, that the depicted luminance of the items is just for illustration purposes and does not equal the original luminance. Furthermore, the cues, targets, and outer rings were presented at an increased distance to the centre compared to all other experiments. (b) Depicted are the mean RTs and standard errors of the mean (error bars) of all participants for the short (left panel) and long SOA (right panel). Results are plotted for all conditions separately (see figure legend).

Mentions: The general procedure was similar to Experiment 2 (see Figure 4a). Crucially, the distance of the two outer rings as well as that of the targets to the centre was increased (i.e., 10° to the left or right of the centre). This was necessary to adjust our procedures to the known retinotopy of the naso-temporal retino-tectal projection asymmetry. Again, half of the participants were instructed to search for black targets (l = 23 cd/m2), the other half for white targets (l = 122 cd/m2) against a gray background (l = 72.5 cd/m2). Additionally, all participants searched for targets under the exact same luminance conditions as in the study of Mulckhuyse et al. [15] in a separate block. This condition will henceforth be referred to as Mulckhuyse condition. In this condition, cues always shared the same contrast polarity and strength as the target (l = 12.7 cd/m2) against a dark background (l = 4.6 cd/m2). Therefore, in Experiment 3, the variable cue condition was realized in three steps: same polarity, opposite polarity, and Mulckhuyse condition. Again, cues were presented equally likely at the same or a different position as the target. In 20% out of 480 trials in the subliminal cueing task no target was shown (catch trials). The cue report task was conducted in four blocks consisting of 40 trials each (160 trials in total), directly after the unconscious cueing task. Monocular viewing conditions were established using an eye patch. The placement of the patch over the left or right eye was fully balanced over participants. Furthermore, the position of the patch was switched after the first half of the trials of each condition.


Unconscious Cueing via the Superior Colliculi: Evidence from Searching for Onset and Color Targets.

Fuchs I, Ansorge U - Brain Sci (2012)

Experiment 3. (a) Depicted are schematic examples of trials. The top row depicts an opposite-polarity cue at the same position as the target (black cue and white target). The bottom row shows a DP cue in the Mulckhuyse condition (where cue and target always shared the same contrast polarity). Note, that the depicted luminance of the items is just for illustration purposes and does not equal the original luminance. Furthermore, the cues, targets, and outer rings were presented at an increased distance to the centre compared to all other experiments. (b) Depicted are the mean RTs and standard errors of the mean (error bars) of all participants for the short (left panel) and long SOA (right panel). Results are plotted for all conditions separately (see figure legend).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4061783&req=5

brainsci-02-00033-f004: Experiment 3. (a) Depicted are schematic examples of trials. The top row depicts an opposite-polarity cue at the same position as the target (black cue and white target). The bottom row shows a DP cue in the Mulckhuyse condition (where cue and target always shared the same contrast polarity). Note, that the depicted luminance of the items is just for illustration purposes and does not equal the original luminance. Furthermore, the cues, targets, and outer rings were presented at an increased distance to the centre compared to all other experiments. (b) Depicted are the mean RTs and standard errors of the mean (error bars) of all participants for the short (left panel) and long SOA (right panel). Results are plotted for all conditions separately (see figure legend).
Mentions: The general procedure was similar to Experiment 2 (see Figure 4a). Crucially, the distance of the two outer rings as well as that of the targets to the centre was increased (i.e., 10° to the left or right of the centre). This was necessary to adjust our procedures to the known retinotopy of the naso-temporal retino-tectal projection asymmetry. Again, half of the participants were instructed to search for black targets (l = 23 cd/m2), the other half for white targets (l = 122 cd/m2) against a gray background (l = 72.5 cd/m2). Additionally, all participants searched for targets under the exact same luminance conditions as in the study of Mulckhuyse et al. [15] in a separate block. This condition will henceforth be referred to as Mulckhuyse condition. In this condition, cues always shared the same contrast polarity and strength as the target (l = 12.7 cd/m2) against a dark background (l = 4.6 cd/m2). Therefore, in Experiment 3, the variable cue condition was realized in three steps: same polarity, opposite polarity, and Mulckhuyse condition. Again, cues were presented equally likely at the same or a different position as the target. In 20% out of 480 trials in the subliminal cueing task no target was shown (catch trials). The cue report task was conducted in four blocks consisting of 40 trials each (160 trials in total), directly after the unconscious cueing task. Monocular viewing conditions were established using an eye patch. The placement of the patch over the left or right eye was fully balanced over participants. Furthermore, the position of the patch was switched after the first half of the trials of each condition.

Bottom Line: When using color change cues instead of abrupt-onset cues, the cueing effect also vanishes (Experiment 6).Together the results support the assumption that unconscious cues can capture attention in different ways, depending on the exact task of the participants, but that one way is attentional capture via the SC.The present findings also offer a reconciliation of conflicting results in the domain of unconscious attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria. isabella.fuchs@univie.ac.at.

ABSTRACT
According to the bottom-up theory of attention, unconscious abrupt onsets are highly salient and capture attention via the Superior Colliculi (SC). Crucially, abrupt onsets increase the perceived contrast. In line with the SC hypothesis, unconscious abrupt-onset cues capture attention regardless of the cue color when participants search for abrupt-onset targets (Experiment 1). Also, stronger cueing effects occur for higher than lower contrast cues (Experiment 2) and for temporally, rather than nasally, presented stimuli (Experiment 3). However, in line with the known color-insensitivity of the SC, the SC pathway is shunted and unconscious abrupt-onset cues no longer capture attention when the participants have to search for color-defined targets (Experiment 4) or color-singleton targets (Experiment 5). When using color change cues instead of abrupt-onset cues, the cueing effect also vanishes (Experiment 6). Together the results support the assumption that unconscious cues can capture attention in different ways, depending on the exact task of the participants, but that one way is attentional capture via the SC. The present findings also offer a reconciliation of conflicting results in the domain of unconscious attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus