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Poster F24

Cueing Spatial Attention Within Visual Mental Imagery and Perception

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

Ms. Natalie Baer1 (, Anya Nanda2, Bingjie Kong3, Yanji Du, Alfredo Spagna4; 1Barnard College, Columbia University, 2Teachers College, Columbia University, 3Statistics Department, Columbia University, 4Department of Psychology, Columbia University

Introduction: Can auditory cues be used to direct spatial attention toward a feature of an imagined target stimulus? We tested this possibility against well-known effects in visuospatial cueing studies, by presenting either visual or auditory 7-letter words (750ms), containing a target feature in the form of a letter that protrudes above or below an imagined number line (e.g., the letter “g” in manager). Methods: Participants (n = 53) indicated whether the target letter was surpassing above or below using a button press. Visual targets were preceded by visuospatial cues. (asterisks presented on the screen for 500ms), while imagined targets were preceded by auditory cues (1000 Hz or 1500 Hz beep tones in their right or left ear). Valid cues (64 trials) oriented toward the visual or imagined hemifield where the protruding letter was presented, while invalid cues oriented attention towards the other hemifield (24 trials). Results: The 3-way ANOVA with factors Task (Visual, Imagined) x Validity (Valid, Invalid) x Cue Side (left, right) conducted on Reaction Time (RT) showed that the Validity by Cue Side, Validity by Task, and Cue Side by Task interactions were significant. In summary, we observed a facilitation effect for visual targets (valid RT: 608 ± 130ms; invalid RT: 716 ± 151 ms) and an inhibition of return (valid RT + SD: 1421 ± 280 ms; invalid RT + SD: 1361 ± 269 ms) for imagined targets. Discussion: These results suggest there are different underlying attentional mechanisms supporting visual perception and VMI, warranting future investigations.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial


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April 13–16  |  2024