Recent findings suggest that attentional and oculomotor control is heavily affected by past experience, giving rise to selection and suppression history effects, so that target selection is facilitated if they appear at frequently attended locations, and distractor filtering is facilitated at frequently ignored locations. While selection history effects once instantiated seem to be long-lasting, whether suppression history is similarly durable is still debated. We assessed the permanence of these effects in a unique experimental setting investigating eye-movements, where the locations associated with statistical unbalances were exclusively linked with either target selection or distractor suppression. Experiment 1 and 2 explored the survival of suppression history in the long and in the short term, respectively, revealing that its lingering traces are relatively short lived. Experiment 3 showed that in the very same experimental context, selection history effects were long lasting. These results seem to suggest that different mechanisms support the learning-induced plasticity triggered by selection and suppression history. Specifically, while selection history may depend on lasting changes within stored representations of the visual space, suppression history effects hinge instead on a functional plasticity which is transient in nature, and involves spatial representations which are constantly updated and adaptively sustain ongoing oculomotor control.

Statistical learning of target selection and distractor suppression shape attentional priority according to different timeframes

Di Caro, Valeria;Della Libera, Chiara
2021

Abstract

Recent findings suggest that attentional and oculomotor control is heavily affected by past experience, giving rise to selection and suppression history effects, so that target selection is facilitated if they appear at frequently attended locations, and distractor filtering is facilitated at frequently ignored locations. While selection history effects once instantiated seem to be long-lasting, whether suppression history is similarly durable is still debated. We assessed the permanence of these effects in a unique experimental setting investigating eye-movements, where the locations associated with statistical unbalances were exclusively linked with either target selection or distractor suppression. Experiment 1 and 2 explored the survival of suppression history in the long and in the short term, respectively, revealing that its lingering traces are relatively short lived. Experiment 3 showed that in the very same experimental context, selection history effects were long lasting. These results seem to suggest that different mechanisms support the learning-induced plasticity triggered by selection and suppression history. Specifically, while selection history may depend on lasting changes within stored representations of the visual space, suppression history effects hinge instead on a functional plasticity which is transient in nature, and involves spatial representations which are constantly updated and adaptively sustain ongoing oculomotor control.
Attention
Human behaviour
selection
suppression
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1045702
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