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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2013 Nov;142(4):1028-46. doi: 10.1037/a0030362. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

The cost and benefit of implicit spatial cues for visual attention.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto.

Abstract

Processing concepts with implicit spatial meaning or metaphorical spatial association has been shown to engage visuospatial mechanisms, causing either facilitation or interference with concurrent visual processing at locations compatible with the concepts. It is, however, unclear when interference or facilitation should be expected. It is possible that both effects result from the same processes that interact differently with different visual tasks (e.g., facilitating detection and interfering with discrimination). Alternatively, the 2 effects might represent different temporal stages of the same kind of processes, which can interfere with a congruent visual task at early stages but can cause facilitation at later stages. Finally, the 2 effects might be due to the differences in the underlying representations of concepts, particularly the differences between abstract and concrete concepts. Results of the present study are consistent with the view that interference and facilitation represent 2 temporal stages of the same kind of processes. In addition, the results reveal the unexpected importance of using multiple conceptual categories (as opposed to a single category) in observing the time course of the effects.

PMID:
23106305
DOI:
10.1037/a0030362
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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