The attentional window modulates capture by audiovisual events

E. van der Burg, C.N.L. Olivers, J. Theeuwes

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Abstract

Visual search is markedly improved when a target color change is synchronized with a spatially non-informative auditory signal. This "pip and pop" effect is an automatic process as even a distractor captures attention when accompanied by a tone. Previous studies investigating visual attention have indicated that automatic capture is susceptible to the size of the attentional window. The present study investigated whether the pip and pop effect is modulated by the extent to which participants divide their attention across the visual field We show that participants were better in detecting a synchronized audiovisual event when they divided their attention across the visual field relative to a condition in which they focused their attention. We argue that audiovisual capture is reduced under focused conditions relative to distributed settings. © 2012 van der Burg et al.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e39137-e39137
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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