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  • Luque et al JEPHPP 2020

    Rights statement: ©American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/xhp0000930

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Contextual cuing of visual search does not guide attention automatically in the presence of top-down goals

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/08/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number8
Volume47
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)1080-1090
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Visual search is faster when it occurs within repeated displays, a phenomenon known as contextual cuing (CC). CC has been explained as the result of an automatic orientation of attention towards a target item driven by learned distractor-target associations. In three experiments we tested the specific hypothesis that CC is an automatic process of attentional guidance. Participants first searched for a T target in a standard CC procedure. Then, they experienced the same repeated configurations (with the T still present), but now searched for a Y target that was positioned either in a location on the same, or on a different side, from the old T target. Results suggested that there was no interference caused by the old T-target: target search was not affected by the relative positions of the T and Y. Instead, we found a general facilitation in search times for repeated configurations (Experiments 1 and 2). This main effect disappeared when the need for visual search was eliminated in Experiment 3 using a “feature search task”. These results suggest that repeated sets of distractors did not trigger an uncontrollable response towards the position of the T; instead, CC was produced by perceptual learning processes.

Bibliographic note

©American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/xhp0000930