Testing Biased Competition Between Attention Shifts: The New Multiple Cue Paradigm

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While the classic Posner cuing paradigm has been used to study cuing of a single endogenous shift of attention, we present a new multiple cue paradigm to study the competition between multiple endogenous shifts of attention. The new paradigm enables us to manipulate the number of competing attention shifts and their relative importance. In three experiments, we demonstrate that the process of selecting one among other relevant attention shifts is governed by limited capacity and biased competition. We show that the probability of performing the most optimal attention shift is influenced by the total number of attention shifts competing for execution and that reward is a determining factor for the selection between attention shifts. We explain our results with a recent mathematical model of biased selection of response sets (the model of intention selection [MIS]). Our new paradigm offers a critical test of MIS and is an important new tool for investigating the mechanisms underlying the retrieval of response sets from long-term memory (LTM). The model (MIS) and the new multiple cue paradigm can provide a new perspective on LTM representations of response sets for instrumental action and on habitual and goal-directed processing in action control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)655–682
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Multiple Cues, Biased competition, habitual processing, goal-directed processing, selective attention

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