Comparing Attentional Capture By Rare And Constant, Novel, Sudden Onset Stimuli

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Attentional Capture by Rare and Constant, Novel, Sudden Onset Stimuli

Samuel Tong (450472150)

Novel and rare sudden onset stimuli are known to attract attention in different situations. Previously Yantis & Jonides (1990) have shown novel sudden onsets capture attention mainly when attention is diffuse, and Neo & Chua (2006) have shown rare sudden onsets capture attention so long as attention is not already pre-deployed to a stationary target. The current study aims to examine the interaction between rarity of a novel, sudden onset and attention pre-deployment by cues or stationary targets, and how this interaction affects the attentional capture of novel sudden onsets. In doing so, a better understanding of how these stimuli affect attentional processes may be established. Based upon the experimental findings, it is proposed that when a sudden onset stimulus is both rare and novel, the attentional capture processes when perceiving these stimuli are influenced by perceptual load and modes of attention. Implications of these findings are discussed further in the paper.

Attentional Capture by Rare and Constant Novel Sudden Onset Stimuli
Attentional capture is controlled by top down, goal orientated processes, or by bottom up, stimulus orientated processes (Wolfe, 1994, as cited by Emerson & Kramer, 1997). Stimuli that appear suddenly, or sudden onset stimuli, are known to attract attention in a bottom-up fashion (Donderi, Zelnicker 1996, as
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