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The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

Tan J, Zhao Y, Wang L, Tian X, Cui Y, Yang Q, Pan W, Zhao X, Chen A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively.Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component.These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality of Ministry of Education, Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chong Qing, China.

ABSTRACT
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

No MeSH data available.


Examples of the different types of trial.
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pone.0129533.g001: Examples of the different types of trial.

Mentions: E-prime Software (Psychology Software Tools, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA) was used to present the stimuli and record the behavioral responses of the participants. The stimuli (letters and images) were displayed on a 17-in computer screen placed about 60 cm away from the participants. As depicted in Fig 1, the stimuli were black and presented on white background. Trials began with a fixation (a red asterisk) in the center of screen for 600 ms. Then, the cue was displayed at the fixation location. In the WM group, the cue appeared only once and presented for 1000 ms, during which participants had to memorize the image cue for the subsequent memory test. In the priming group, the cue appeared twice, the first time for 150 ms and the second time for 700 ms, with a blank interval of 150 ms between them [28,32]. Participants were instructed to perceptually compare the two instances of the cue and to withhold their response to the subsequent search display whenever the second presentation of the cue differed from the first presentation (20% likelihood throughout the experiment). After a 600–800 ms blank screen, a visual search task began and at longest lasted for 2000 ms, during which the participants needed to conduct the visual search and respond accordingly. Finally, a second fixation (across) jittered for 300–500 ms, followed by a memory probe image for 2000 ms, during which participants completed a memory test.


The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

Tan J, Zhao Y, Wang L, Tian X, Cui Y, Yang Q, Pan W, Zhao X, Chen A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Examples of the different types of trial.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4476695&req=5

pone.0129533.g001: Examples of the different types of trial.
Mentions: E-prime Software (Psychology Software Tools, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA) was used to present the stimuli and record the behavioral responses of the participants. The stimuli (letters and images) were displayed on a 17-in computer screen placed about 60 cm away from the participants. As depicted in Fig 1, the stimuli were black and presented on white background. Trials began with a fixation (a red asterisk) in the center of screen for 600 ms. Then, the cue was displayed at the fixation location. In the WM group, the cue appeared only once and presented for 1000 ms, during which participants had to memorize the image cue for the subsequent memory test. In the priming group, the cue appeared twice, the first time for 150 ms and the second time for 700 ms, with a blank interval of 150 ms between them [28,32]. Participants were instructed to perceptually compare the two instances of the cue and to withhold their response to the subsequent search display whenever the second presentation of the cue differed from the first presentation (20% likelihood throughout the experiment). After a 600–800 ms blank screen, a visual search task began and at longest lasted for 2000 ms, during which the participants needed to conduct the visual search and respond accordingly. Finally, a second fixation (across) jittered for 300–500 ms, followed by a memory probe image for 2000 ms, during which participants completed a memory test.

Bottom Line: Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively.Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component.These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality of Ministry of Education, Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chong Qing, China.

ABSTRACT
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

No MeSH data available.