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Laterality. 2018 Mar;23(2):152-165. doi: 10.1080/1357650X.2017.1327539. Epub 2017 May 13.

Stronger interference from distractors in the right hemifield during visual search.

Author information

1
a Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l'Éducation, Université de Genève , Geneva , Switzerland.

Abstract

The orientation-bias hypothesis states that there is a bias to attend to the right visual hemifield (RVF) when there is spatial competition between stimuli in the left and right hemifield [Pollmann, S. (1996). A pop-out induced extinction-like phenomenon in neurologically intact subjects. Neuropsychologia, 34(5), 413-425. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(95)00125-5 ]. In support of this hypothesis, stronger interference was reported for RVF distractors with contralateral targets. In contrast, previous studies using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) found stronger interference from distractors in the left visual hemifield (LVF). We used the additional singleton paradigm to test whether this discrepancy was due to the different distractor features that were employed (colour vs. orientation). Interference from the colour distractor with contralateral targets was larger in the RVF than in the LVF. However, the asymmetrical interference disappeared when observers had to search for an inconspicuous colour target instead of the inconspicuous shape target. We suggest that the LVF orienting-bias is limited to situations where search is driven by bottom-up saliency (singleton search) instead of top-down search goals (feature search). In contrast, analysis of the literature suggests the opposite for the LVF bias in RSVP tasks. Thus, the attentional asymmetry may depend on whether the task involves temporal or spatial competition, and whether search is based on bottom-up or top-down signals.

KEYWORDS:

Hemispheric asymmetries; additional singleton paradigm; laterality; visual search

PMID:
28502226
DOI:
10.1080/1357650X.2017.1327539
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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