COMING SOON! PQDT Open is getting a new home!

ProQuest Open Access Dissertations & Theses will remain freely available as part of a new and enhanced search experience at

Questions? Please refer to this FAQ.

Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Importance of Task Set in the Orienting of Visual Attention
by Flowers, Colin S., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2020, 162; 28152169
Abstract (Summary)

Visual attention can be allocated to different locations of the visual field at different times resulting in improved processing of stimuli presented then and there. Understanding how attention is deployed is important due to its involvement in how we perceive and interpret the external world. The orienting of attention, both voluntarily and involuntarily, in response to presentations of different stimuli is investigated in the current dissertation. Chapter 1 investigated how attention is oriented in response to feature cues predicting the timing and location of a subsequent target when observers have prior knowledge of where targets are likely to appear at different times. Results show that observers can flexibly incorporate the different types of predictors in service of their task. Chapters 2 and 3 investigated whether unconsciously processed objects can attract attention involuntarily when object categories are relevant to task goals. Chapter 2 uncovered an attentional cost when stimuli with unconsciously processed category membership information were presented than when control stimuli were presented. This behavioral cost was dependent upon the category information being related to the task performed. Chapter 3 further investigated the attentional cost and demonstrated attentional capture in a temporal paradigm – showing that attention was not reallocated following unconsciously processed category information. Together, the three studies expand our understanding of how attention is oriented, both voluntarily and involuntarily, based upon task set and different types of predictors. The dissertation stresses the importance of considering the context of the experimental task when interpreting results.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Peterson, Mary A.
Commitee: Allen, John J.B., Wilson, Robert C.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Behavioral Sciences
Keywords: Attention, Attentional capture, Orienting, Spatial attention, Temporal attention, Voluntary attention
Publication Number: 28152169
ISBN: 9798691228124
Copyright © 2021 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Cookie Policy