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Publication Detail
The role of working memory in attentional capture.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Lavie N, De Fockert J
  • Publication date:
    08/2005
  • Pagination:
    669, 674
  • Journal:
    Psychon Bull Rev
  • Volume:
    12
  • Issue:
    4
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
    1069-9384
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    Attention, Color Perception, Discrimination Learning, Humans, Memory, Short-Term, Orientation, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Reaction Time, Set, Psychology
Abstract
Much previous research has demonstrated that visual search is typically disrupted by the presence of a unique "singleton" distractor in the search display. Here we show that attentional capture by an irrelevant color singleton during shape search critically depends on availability of working memory to the search task: When working memory is loaded in a concurrent yet unrelated verbal short-term memory task, capture increases. These findings converge with previous demonstrations that increasing working memory load results in greater distractor interference in Stroop-like tasks (de Fockert, Rees, Frith, & Lavie, 2001; Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004), which support the hypothesis that working memory provides goal-directed control of visual selective attention allowing to minimize interference by goal-irrelevant distractors.
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