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Interdisciplinary Network of Researchers in Touch

Program detail

Thursday 25th July, 2019

18:00-19:00: Posters & wine in Social Space, A22(Don’t) look over there! Can cueing enhance the filtering of visual distractors when making tactile judgements?

Poole D, Poliakoff E

Selective attention involves both the amplification of task relevant, target information and the suppression of irrelevant, distracting information. Cueing participants to the upcoming location of a target can enhance subsequent responses to that target (e.g. Posner, 1980). However, a remaining question is whether distractor suppression can be enhanced using cues in a similar way. Participants (n = 54) were instructed to attend to a tactile target presented at threshold level and to ignore visual distractors which could appear from one of four locations in the lower visual field. Interference effects were reduced when participants were cued to the distractor location compared with non-informative cues. Interestingly, this effect was only observed when the location of the distractor was blocked across trials. When distractor location varied trialwise, interference effects were comparable between cueing and non-informative conditions. These findings suggest that distractor suppression can be enhanced when the location of the distractor is predictable, but not using symbolic cues alone.

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