Effects of statistical learning (SL) of distractor location have been shown to persist when the probabilities of distractor occurrence are equalized across different locations in a so-called extinction phase. Here, we asked whether lingering effects of SL are still observed when a true extinction phase, during which the distractor is completely omitted, is implemented. The results showed that, once established, the effects of SL of distractor location do survive the true extinction phase, indicating that the pattern of suppression in the saliency map is encoded in a form of long-lasting memory. Quite unexpectedly, we also found that the amount of filtering implemented at a given location is not only dictated by the specific rate of distractor occurrence at that location, as previously found, but also by the global distractor probability. We therefore suggest that the visual attention system could be more or less (implicitly) prone to suppression as a function of how often the distractor is encountered overall, and that this suppressive bias affects the degree of suppression at the specific distractor-probability location. Finally, our results showed that the effects of SL of distractor location can appear much more rapidly than has been previously documented, requiring a few trials to become manifest. Hence, SL of distractor location appears to have an asymmetrical rate of learning during acquisition and extinction, while the amount of suppression exerted at a specific distractor location is modulated by distractor contextual probabilistic information.

Distractor filtering is affected by local and global distractor probability, emerges very rapidly but is resistant to extinction

Valsecchi M.
;
2021

Abstract

Effects of statistical learning (SL) of distractor location have been shown to persist when the probabilities of distractor occurrence are equalized across different locations in a so-called extinction phase. Here, we asked whether lingering effects of SL are still observed when a true extinction phase, during which the distractor is completely omitted, is implemented. The results showed that, once established, the effects of SL of distractor location do survive the true extinction phase, indicating that the pattern of suppression in the saliency map is encoded in a form of long-lasting memory. Quite unexpectedly, we also found that the amount of filtering implemented at a given location is not only dictated by the specific rate of distractor occurrence at that location, as previously found, but also by the global distractor probability. We therefore suggest that the visual attention system could be more or less (implicitly) prone to suppression as a function of how often the distractor is encountered overall, and that this suppressive bias affects the degree of suppression at the specific distractor-probability location. Finally, our results showed that the effects of SL of distractor location can appear much more rapidly than has been previously documented, requiring a few trials to become manifest. Hence, SL of distractor location appears to have an asymmetrical rate of learning during acquisition and extinction, while the amount of suppression exerted at a specific distractor location is modulated by distractor contextual probabilistic information.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/830779
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