Attentional Interference in Moduated by Salience, not Sentience.

Christopher Wilson, Alessandro Soranzo, M Bertamini

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Spatial cueing of attention occurs when attention is oriented by the onset of a stimulus or by other information that creates a bias towards a particular location. The presence of a cue that orients attention can also interfere with participants’ reporting of what they see. It has been suggested that this type of interference is stronger in the presence of socially-relevant cues, such as human faces or avatars, and is therefore indicative of a specialised role for perspective calculation within the social domain. However, there is also evidence that the effect is a domain-general form of processing that is elicited equally with non-social directional cues. The current paper comprises four experiments that systematically manipulated the social factors believed necessary to elicit the effect. The results show that interference persists when all social components are removed, and that visual processes are sufficient to explain this type of interference, thus supporting a domain-general perceptual interpretation of interference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-65
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
Early online date1 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2017


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