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ERIC Number: EJ932344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
The Role of Relational Information in Contingent Capture
Becker, Stefanie I.; Folk, Charles L.; Remington, Roger W.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v36 n6 p1460-1476 Dec 2010
On the contingent capture account, top-down attentional control settings restrict involuntary attentional capture to items that match the features of the search target. Attention capture is involuntary, but contingent on goals and intentions. The observation that only target-similar items can capture attention has usually been taken to show that the content of the attentional control settings consists of specific feature values. In contrast, the present study demonstrates that the top-down target template can include information about the relationship between the target and nontarget features (e.g., redder, darker, larger). Several spatial cuing experiments show that a singleton cue that is less similar to the target but that shares the same relational property that distinguishes targets from nontargets can capture attention to the same extent as cues that are similar to the target. Moreover, less similar cues can even capture attention more than cues that are identical to the target when they are relationally better than identical cues. The implications for current theories of attentional capture and attentional guidance are discussed. (Contains 3 footnotes, 1 table, and 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia