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  • 1.
    Flykt, Anders
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Lindeberg, Sofie
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Derakshan, Nazanin
    Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK .
    Fear makes you stronger: Responding to feared animal targets in visual search2012In: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-3921, E-ISSN 1943-393X, Vol. 74, no 7, p. 1437-1445Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To investigate whether fear affects the strength with which responses are made, 12 animal-fearful individuals (five snake fearful and seven spider fearful) were instructed to decide as quickly as possible whether an animal target from a deviant category was present in a 3 × 4 item (animal) search array. The animal categories were snakes, spiders, and cats. Response force was measured, in newtons. The results showed that the strength of the response was greater when the feared animal served as the target than when it served as the distractors. This finding was corroborated by evoked heart rate changes to the stimuli. Our findings strengthen the argument that focused attention on a single, feared animal can lead to increases in manual force.

  • 2.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Campbell, Tom A.
    Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere UniversityTampereFinland.
    Vachon, François
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.
    Taylor, Paul J.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Hughes, Robert W.
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK.
    How the deployment of visual attention modulates auditory distraction2019In: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-3921, E-ISSN 1943-393XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Classically, attentional selectivity has been conceptualized as a passive by-product of capacity-limits on stimulus-processing. Here, we examine the role of more active cognitive control processes in attentional selectivity, focusing on how distraction from task-irrelevant sound is modulated by levels of task-engagement in a visually-presented short-term memory task. Task-engagement was varied by manipulating the load involved in the encoding of the (visually-presented) to-be-remembered items. Using a list of Navon letters (where a large letter is composed of smaller, different-identity, letters), participants were oriented to attend and serially recall the list of large letters (low encoding-load) or to attend and serially recall the list of small letters (high encoding-load). Attentional capture by a single deviant noise burst within a task-irrelevant tone sequence (the deviation effect) was eliminated under high encoding-load (Experiment 1). However, distraction from a continuously changing sequence of tones (the changing-state effect) was immune to the influence of load (Experiment 2). This dissociation in the amenability of the deviation effect and the changing-state effect to cognitive control supports a duplex- over a unitary-mechanism account of auditory distraction in which the deviation effect is due to attentional capture while the changing-state effect reflects direct interference between the processing of the sound and processes involved in the focal task. That the changing-state effect survives high encoding-load also goes against an alternative explanation of the attenuation of the deviation effect under high load in terms of the depletion of a limited perceptual resource that would result in diminished auditory processing.

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