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Title: Pop-out without awareness: Unseen feature singletons capture attention only when top-down attention is available
Authors: Hsieh, P.-J. 
Colas, J.T.
Kanwisher, N.
Keywords: attention
visual attention
Issue Date: Sep-2011
Citation: Hsieh, P.-J., Colas, J.T., Kanwisher, N. (2011-09). Pop-out without awareness: Unseen feature singletons capture attention only when top-down attention is available. Psychological Science 22 (9) : 1220-1226. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Visual pop-out occurs when a unique visual target (e.g., a feature singleton) is present in a set of homogeneous distractors. However, the role of visual awareness in this process remains unclear. In the experiments reported here, we showed that even though subjects were not aware of a suppressed pop-out display, their subsequent performance on an orientation-discrimination task was significantly better at the pop-out location than at a control location. These results indicate that conscious visual awareness of a feature singleton is not necessary for it to attract attention. Furthermore, the subliminal pop-out effect disappeared when subjects diverted their attention toward a rapid sequential visual presentation task while presented with the same subliminal pop-out display. These results suggest that top-down attention is necessary for the subliminal pop-out effect and that the cognitive processes underlying attention and awareness are somewhat independent. © The Author(s) 2011.
Source Title: Psychological Science
ISSN: 09567976
DOI: 10.1177/0956797611419302
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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