The influence of baseline directional differences in pseudoneglect on distractibility

Thomas, Nicole A., Aniulis, Ellie, and Nicholls, Michael E.R. (2016) The influence of baseline directional differences in pseudoneglect on distractibility. Cortex, 77. pp. 69-83.

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Neurologically normal individuals demonstrate a reliable bias to the left side of space, known as pseudoneglect. The magnitude of this attentional asymmetry varies, depending on factors such as location within the visual field. Prior research has shown that the presence of distractors in the upper visual field increase leftward biases. The current study investigated whether brief distractors in the periphery, which recruit exogenous attention influence the strength of pseudoneglect. In addition, to further investigate the interaction of vertical and horizontal attentional asymmetries, a vertical landmark task with horizontally presented distractors was also performed. Experiment 1 findings illustrated that single visual field distractors led to stronger leftward biases, when compared to dual visual field distractors. Results also indicated that upward biases for vertical lines were unchanged by horizontal distractors. A baseline landmark task was included in Experiment 2 to allow for participants to be separated into left- and right-responder groups. Results showed that upper space distractors increased the magnitude of asymmetries scores depending on the baseline direction. Left-responders showed increased leftward biases and right-responders showed increased rightward biases when distractors were presented in upper space. As in Experiment 1, horizontal distractors did not influence upward biases. Furthermore, horizontal and vertical asymmetries were not correlated in either experiment. The current results demonstrate a novel influence of distractors on individual differences in pseudoneglect, which is consistent with the suggestion that a subset of individuals show reliable rightward biases. This highlights the importance of accounting for baseline attentional asymmetries.

Item ID: 52442
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1973-8102
Keywords: distractibility; upper visual field; individual differences; line bisection; asymmetry
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) DE150101108
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2018 05:11
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520401 Cognition @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5202 Biological psychology > 520203 Cognitive neuroscience @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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