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Title:Contributions of Task-Representation in Attentional Inhibition
Author(s):Levinthal, Brian Ross
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lleras, Alejandro
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Recently, a new literature on inter-trial effects in visual search has demonstrated that recent experiences produce dramatic changes in future searching behavior. This dissertation includes five experiments designed to determine the extent to which an observer's knowledge and intentions may modulate the influence of recent events on future behavior. Experiment 1 provided evidence that participants are capable of remembering and applying biases formed by recent experiences with at least two separate features. In Experiments 2A/B, 3A/B, and 4, the likelihood of future search targets was manipulated (i.e., one feature or dimension was more likely to define a target). These experiments demonstrated that observers did not always use knowledge of upcoming events to guide their searching behavior (equal inter-trial effects for two dimensions in Experiment 2A/B and for two features in Experiment 4), although it was possible for them to do so when this knowledge could be more-easily applied (inter-trial effects modulated when the set of target-defining features was restricted in Experiment 3A/B). In Experiments 5A/B/C, the value of future events was manipulated via rewards. In Experiments 5A/B, features were associated with a high-, medium-, or negative-reward. Inter-trial effects were eliminated, but a persistent bias was observed for the high- and negative-reward features. In Experiment 5C, the negative-reward condition was removed and inter-trial effects returned, suggesting that observers were sensitive to the valence associated with features. In sum, the experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that an observer's intentions may modulate the effects of recent experience, but only when they choose an appropriate search strategy (e.g., one that is sensitive to the ecology of their environment).
Issue Date:2009
Description:90 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3363016
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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