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Effect of Cognitive Load on Distraction During Visual Search

Title: The Effect of Cognitive Load on Distraction During Visual Search.
Name(s): Michaud, Katryne, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2011
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Salient visual features have been known to capture attention, but there is disagreement regarding why these features capture attention (because of their bottom-up salience/uniqueness or the goals of the observer). To explore whether attention capture is truly a bottom-up, stimulus-driven, and automatic effect, Boot, Brockmole, & Simons (2005) added an auditory task to a traditional attention capture paradigm. In single task conditions, they found that onsets (objects that appear suddenly) and color singletons (items of a unique color compared to the items around them) captured attention. However, when participants also had to listen to the auditory task, the degree to which these distractors captured attention changed (onsets capture was eliminated while color singleton capture increased). These findings challenge the notion that capture is stimulus-driven and automatic; the search display was exactly the same in single and dual-task situations. However, it was puzzling why onsets decreased in their ability to capture attention while color singletons increased under the same dual-task conditions. Boot, Brockmole, & Simons (2005) proposed a transience hypothesis: transient singletons like an onset require cognitive resources to be recognized as being unique, while sustained distractors such as color-singletons required cognitive resources to suppress. We tested this hypothesis with onset distractors that were either the same as the other distractors in the display, or onset distractors that also had a unique shape. Contrary to predictions, neither had the ability to capture attention under dual-task load. Results do not support stimulus-driven accounts of attention capture. Theoretical and practical significance is discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_uhm-0027 (IID)
Keywords: Visual search, Attention capture, Multi-tasking
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: April 20, 2011.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Restrictions on Access:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Honors Theses.

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Michaud, K. (2011). The Effect of Cognitive Load on Distraction During Visual Search. Retrieved from