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Our visual system is constantly confronted with more information than it can process. To deal with the limited capacity, attention allows us to enhance relevant information and suppress irrelevant information. Particularly, the suppression of salient irrelevant stimuli has shown to be important as it prevents attention to be captured and thus attentional resources to be wasted. This study aimed at directly connecting failures to suppress distraction with a neural marker of suppression, the distractor positivity (Pd). We measured participants' EEG signal while they performed a visual search task in which they had to report a digit inside a shape target while ignoring distractors, one of which could be a salient color singleton. Reports of target digits served as a behavioral index of enhancement, and reports of color distractor digits served as a behavioral index of failed suppression, each measured against reports of neutral distractor digits serving as a baseline. Participants reported the target identity more often than any distractor identity. The singleton identity was reported least often, suggesting suppression of the singleton below baseline. Suppression of salient stimuli was absent in the beginning and then increased throughout the experiment. When the singleton identity was reported, the Pd was observed in a later time window, suggesting that behavioral errors were preceded by failed suppression. Our results provide evidence for the signal suppression hypothesis that states salient items have to be actively suppressed to avoid attentional capture. Our results also provide direct evidence that the Pd is reflecting such active suppression.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of cognitive neuroscience
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Errors or mistakes committed by health professionals which result in harm to the patient. They include errors in diagnosis (DIAGNOSTIC ERRORS), errors in the administration of drugs and other medications (MEDICATION ERRORS), errors in the performance of surgical procedures, in the use of other types of therapy, in the use of equipment, and in the interpretation of laboratory findings. Medical errors are differentiated from MALPRACTICE in that the former are regarded as honest mistakes or accidents while the latter is the result of negligence, reprehensible ignorance, or criminal intent.
Research that involves the application of the behavioral and social sciences to the study of the actions or reactions of persons or animals in response to external or internal stimuli. (from American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed)
A measure of PATIENT SAFETY considering errors or mistakes which result in harm to the patient. They include errors in the administration of drugs and other medications (MEDICATION ERRORS), errors in the performance of procedures or the use of other types of therapy, in the use of equipment, and in the interpretation of laboratory findings and preventable accidents involving patients.
Neuropeptide hormones that play a role in regulating a variety of behavioral and physiological processes in response to motivational stimuli.
Errors in metabolic processes resulting from inborn genetic mutations that are inherited or acquired in utero.