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ERIC Number: EJ945673
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Perceptual and Cognitive Load Interact to Control the Spatial Focus of Attention
Linnell, Karina J.; Caparos, Serge
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n5 p1643-1648 Oct 2011
Caparos and Linnell (2009, 2010) used a variable-separation flanker paradigm to show that (a) when cognitive load is low, increasing perceptual load causes spatial attention to focus and (b) when perceptual load is high, decreasing cognitive load causes spatial attention to focus. Here, we tested whether the effects of perceptual and cognitive load on spatial focus remain when, respectively, cognitive load is high and perceptual load is low. We found that decreasing cognitive load only causes spatial attention to focus when perceptual load is high and the stimulus encourages this. Moreover, and contrary to the widely held assumption that perceptual load focuses attention automatically (Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004), perceptual load exerts its focusing effect only with the engagement of cognitive resources when cognitive load is low. In sum, perceptual and cognitive mechanisms exert interacting effects and operate in concert to focus spatial attention. (Contains 4 figures and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A