JAY PRATT, Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Title: Capturing visual attention: The role of objects, ideas, events, and nothing
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2016-2017
Abstract: Attentional capture is said to occur when any sort of event in the visual field reflexively generates a movement of attention to the location of the event. The first part of the talk will provide some evidence that objects in the visual field may be both more important (possibly explaining a discrepancy that dates back to the modern start of the field) and less important (possibly undermining one of the core tenets of object-based attention) than previously thought in terms of the role they play in attentional capture. The second part of talk will provide some evidence that the associations between actions and outcomes (i.e., ideas, in the ideomotor sense of the word) can exert strong influences on attentional capture. No tenets of any particular subfield of attention will be harmed in this section. The third part of the talk will highlight the over-reliance of visual field events to study attentional capture, and then, counter to most of the prevailing literature, will provide evidence that the capture of attention can occur at locations where nothing at all happens. Together, the experiments presented in this talk will show the complexity of the interacting processes that combine to move attention from one location to another.
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