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Adaptation facilitates change detection even when attention is directed elsewhere

Morgan, M. J. & Solomon, J. A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9976-4788 (2020). Adaptation facilitates change detection even when attention is directed elsewhere. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, doi: 10.3758/s13414-020-02092-1


After several seconds of adaptation to a visual array of randomly oriented Gabor patterns, observers can detect and localise a change in the orientation of one of these Gabors, even when the change is preceded by a blank inter-stimulus interval (Morgan & Solomon, 2019a). Previously, we reported that the ability to detect this changed element was unaffected by distracting observers’ attention away from the adapting stimuli by making them look for rare conjunctions of shape and colour at the central fixation point. That finding is replicated in the current paper, and augmented by a demonstration of the attentionally demanding nature of the conjunction search: it significantly impairs discrimination between adapting arrays in which either many or few items briefly lose contrast. Consequently, we can be certain of adaptation’s immunity to the withdrawal of attention, when assessed objectively (i.e. with a performance-based metric).

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article published in Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Accepted Version
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