Poster D10, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Truly Independent! Typologies of Attention at Different Levels of Processing
Mathieu Landry1, Jason Da Silva Castanheira1, Amir Raz1,2; 1McGill University, 2Chapman University
The marriage of attention and consciousness sports a complex relationship. Whereas some findings emphasize the limitations of conscious perception for unattended events, other data intimate orthogonal effects—proposing independence. This conundrum has shaped prevailing views concerning the role of attention in higher-order cognition. An overarching caveat to this body of work revolves around the construction of attention as a unitary, monolithic process; however, different typologies of attention exist. For example, orienting of attention can occur in a stimulus-driven or goal-driven manner – two independent modes of orienting. And yet, few studies have explored the dynamics of these attention systems during higher-order processing. Here we combined a double cueing procedure alongside a target discrimination task with a backward masking strategy to test the independence of stimulus-driven and goal-driven attention systems across different levels of processing, including conscious perception and metacognition. Participants provided an objective response and made a subjective judgment for each trial. Confirming that both attention systems operate independently from one another across several layers of processing, our results show additive patterns across both objective and subjective responses. Moreover, our results also show that goal-driven attention improves ideomotor precision—as indexed by smaller variance for response time distribution—whereas stimulus-driven attention does not. These findings support the notion that both attention systems independently contribute to the processing of information, from low-level sensory processing to the emergence of higher-order cognition.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial