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Threat captures attention but does not affect learning of contextual regularities.

Yamaguchi, Motonori and Harwood, Sarah L (2017) 'Threat captures attention but does not affect learning of contextual regularities.' Cognition and Emotion, 31 (3). pp. 564-571. ISSN 0269-9931

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Some of the stimulus features that guide visual attention are abstract properties of objects such as potential threat to one's survival, whereas others are complex configurations such as visual contexts that are learned through past experiences. The present study investigated the two functions that guide visual attention, threat detection and learning of contextual regularities, in visual search. Search arrays contained images of threat and non-threat objects, and their locations were fixed on some trials but random on other trials. Although they were irrelevant to the visual search task, threat objects facilitated attention capture and impaired attention disengagement. Search time improved for fixed configurations more than for random configurations, reflecting learning of visual contexts. Nevertheless, threat detection had little influence on learning of the contextual regularities. The results suggest that factors guiding visual attention are different from factors that influence learning to guide visual attention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Fear; Learning; Visual Perception; Attention; Female; Male; Young Adult
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 14:00
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:02

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