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Poster F131

Is attentional capture by a color singleton modulated by visuo-motor associations?

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Eva Masse1,2,3, Anna Montagnini2,3, Stefania Ficarella1; 1ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab, Salon-de-Provence, France, 2Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone - CNRS, Marseille, France, 3Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France

In visual scenes, relevant items are selected while irrelevant ones are ignored, thanks to attentional selective processes. However, attention can be captured by a salient, irrelevant item, which disturbs behavior in a visual search task. It was shown that perceptual saliency could be modulated by previous experience with a feature (e.g., value-association or selection history (Sha & Jiang, 2016)), but results are controversial. Furthermore, acting upon a feature is a particular, overt form of feature selection and it modulates target salience (Weidler & Abrams, 2014). In this work, we focused on the motor aspect of selection history and investigated modulations of attentional capture and motor activation by previously established visuomotor associations. Participants first learnt arbitrary color-response associations in a training phase requiring left or right index finger button presses. In a later testing phase (only executed with the right hand), the same colors and a control one served as distractors in a visual search paradigm, in which the target was now defined by its shape. We recorded behavioral performance, eye movements and muscular activity of the effectors involved. In the testing phase, we applied single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to measure the cortico-spinal excitability of the (unused) left index finger. Colored distractors significantly slowed down responses, increased error rate and induced oculomotor capture in the testing phase. Interestingly, previously targeted colored distractors enhanced the corticospinal excitability in the now task-irrelevant motor effector, when compared to the control color. These results support the hypothesis of a motor involvement in action-enhanced attentional capture.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Vision


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April 13–16  |  2024