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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.


Mean reaction times (RTs) as a function of perceptual load and validity when the cue was held in WM and when it was merely identified.*p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.
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pone.0129533.g002: Mean reaction times (RTs) as a function of perceptual load and validity when the cue was held in WM and when it was merely identified.*p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.

Mentions: Performance was accurate in both the search task (mean 97% correct across WM group and mean 96% across priming group) and memory task (93% correct, WM group only). In the priming group, response on search trials were withheld as instructed (mean 97% correct). We analyzed mean RTs of the correct responses in all groups, using a 2 (group: WM, priming) × 2 (load: low, high) × 2 (validity: invalid, neutral) repeated-measures ANOVA. The results indicated a significant main effect of perceptual load [F (1, 36) = 635.19, p < 0.001], with slower RTs on high perceptual load than on low perceptual load trials. There was also an interaction effect between group and load [F (1, 36) = 5.98, p < 0.05]. The load effect was significant both in the WM group [F (1, 36) = 246.01, p < 0.001] and the priming group [F (1, 36) = 403.45, p < 0.001]. Crucially, the interaction between group, perceptual load and validity was significant [F (1, 36) = 3.38, p < 0.05]. A further breakdown of the interaction showed a reliable interaction effect between perceptual load and validity in the WM group [F (1, 17) = 7.18, p < 0.05] and not in the priming group [F < 1]. Specifically, in WM group, the validity effect on RTs (invalid minus neutral) was significantly present at low perceptual load [F (1, 17) = 13.87, p < 0.01], not at high perceptual load [F < 1]. Fig 2 depicts this pattern of performance.


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)

Mean reaction times (RTs) as a function of perceptual load and validity when the cue was held in WM and when it was merely identified.*p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0129533.g002: Mean reaction times (RTs) as a function of perceptual load and validity when the cue was held in WM and when it was merely identified.*p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.
Mentions: Performance was accurate in both the search task (mean 97% correct across WM group and mean 96% across priming group) and memory task (93% correct, WM group only). In the priming group, response on search trials were withheld as instructed (mean 97% correct). We analyzed mean RTs of the correct responses in all groups, using a 2 (group: WM, priming) × 2 (load: low, high) × 2 (validity: invalid, neutral) repeated-measures ANOVA. The results indicated a significant main effect of perceptual load [F (1, 36) = 635.19, p < 0.001], with slower RTs on high perceptual load than on low perceptual load trials. There was also an interaction effect between group and load [F (1, 36) = 5.98, p < 0.05]. The load effect was significant both in the WM group [F (1, 36) = 246.01, p < 0.001] and the priming group [F (1, 36) = 403.45, p < 0.001]. Crucially, the interaction between group, perceptual load and validity was significant [F (1, 36) = 3.38, p < 0.05]. A further breakdown of the interaction showed a reliable interaction effect between perceptual load and validity in the WM group [F (1, 17) = 7.18, p < 0.05] and not in the priming group [F < 1]. Specifically, in WM group, the validity effect on RTs (invalid minus neutral) was significantly present at low perceptual load [F (1, 17) = 13.87, p < 0.01], not at high perceptual load [F < 1]. Fig 2 depicts this pattern of performance.

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.