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Testing the Rapid Disengagement Account of Contingent Attentional Capture (CAC) in Patients with Frontal Lobe Damage

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Description: There is controversy over whether the capture of spatial attention is mediated by top-down attentional control settings, or whether such control settings influence the speed with which the system disengages from a capturing stimulus. The present experiment tested the disengagement account in patients with unilateral damage to the frontal lobe, who show delayed disengagement when orienting towards the visual field opposite their lesion side. Two patients with left frontal damage and thirteen elderly controls participated in a contingent capture task. A consistent pattern of results did not emerge for the two patients and consequently no empirically supported conclusions can be made regarding whether or not top-down set simply influences the speed of disengagement post attentional shift or if it preattentively prevents the allocation of attention to irrelevant stimuli.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work