University of Twente Student Theses


Endogenous attention and lateral interference

Harneit, A. (2011) Endogenous attention and lateral interference.

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Abstract:Lateral interference refers to the phenomenon that a target that is surrounded by other stimuli with a small interstimulus distance is more difficult to identify than a target that is surrounded by stimuli with a large interstimulus distance. In a few studies it was argued that the effect of lateral interference can be reduced when exogenously cued attention is already focused at the target-location which was ascribed to an effect of attention on early perceptual stages of stimulus-processing. However, the measures for lateral interference that were used in these earlier studies were all somewhat susceptible to influences from later stages of stimulus processing. To obtain more conclusive results with regards to the stage at which attention can modulate stimulus processing, measures derived from signal detection theory were used in the present study. Attention was manipulated by endogenous cues to prevent forward masking. As stimuli, circular arrays with a target at their center were used, interstimulus distance was varied between two values, and the endogenous cue was valid in 75% of the cases whereas it was invalid in 25% of the cases. No evidence for a reduction of lateral interference was found, what can be explained by differing efficiency of endogenous and exogenous cues at an early, perceptual stage of stimulus-processing.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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