The effect of stimulus novelty on saccade trajectories

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Description: Previous research indicates that when attention is focused in advance at a target location, irrelevant abrupt onsets can capture attention if they occur on a low percentage of trials, but do not capture attention if they occur on every trial. The current study used saccade trajectories to determine whether the lack of attentional capture with high-frequency abrupt onsets reflects top-down inhibition, or whether it reflects a reduction in subjective salience due to the incorporation of the onsets into a "neuronal model" of the task (Sokolov, 1975). It was hypothesized that top-down inhibition would produce deviations of the eyes away from the location of the abrupt onset distractor, whereas a reduction in subjective salience would result in no significant saccadic deviations towards or away from the distractor. Results for the high frequency condition provided no evidence of saccadic deviation, consistent with the Sokolovian interpretation, and inconsistent with a top-down inhibition account.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work