Priming of Pop-out does not provide reliable measures of target activation and distractor inhibition in selective attention: Evidence from a large-scale online study

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Abstract

Lamy, Antebi, Aviani, and Carmel (2008) reported that in a simple search task where participants located an odd coloured circle, the inter-trial relations could be used to derive robust and independent measures of target activation and distractor inhibition. When a target feature repeated there was a benefit, and when the previous target feature became the distractor feature there was a cost. These two measures correlated and were taken to reflect a measure of target activation. When the distractor feature repeated there was a benefit and when the previous distractor feature became the current target feature there was a cost, these two measures correlated and were taken to reflect a measure of distractor inhibition. In the current study we examined the same colour search task online on a large group of 312 participants. The results revealed significant effects of target and distractor repetition and switching. However, the correlations reported by Lamy et al. (2008) were non-significant. Instead we found the correlations between the two measures of repetition and the two measures of switching.

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