Congratulations to Jennifer-Ashley Hoffmeister and collaborators for publishing their paper titled, “Diversion of Attention Leads to Conflict between Concurrently Attended Stimuli, Not Delayed Orienting to the Object of Interest” in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience!
The control processes that guide attention to a visual-search target can result in the selection of an irrelevant object with similar features (a distractor). Once attention is captured by such a distractor, search for a subsequent target is momentarily impaired if the two stimuli appear at different locations. Here, we show that such delayed orienting to the target does not underlie the behavioral cost of distraction. Observers identified a color-defined target appearing within the second of two stimulus arrays. Overall, the results show that the behavioral costs of distraction are caused by perceptual and postperceptual competition between concurrently attended target and nontarget stimuli.
Read the full paper here.