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Cognitive Flexibility and Visual Search

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abstract
The goal of the current study was to test whether learned states of task switching flexibility are associated with increased distractibility in a feature search paradigm. This study investigated this research question through the use of a visual search task that required participants to use feature search mode. A task switching manipulation was also added, such that participants switched between two tasks either seldom or frequently in each block of trials. Participants had to search for a known target shape among an array of four different shapes while ignoring a singleton distractor. On 23% of trials, probe letter stimuli appeared for only 100 ms, and participants were asked to report which letters they remembered seeing. This capture-probe paradigm afforded a means of distinguishing which locations participants processed information from and which were suppressed (Gaspelin et al., 2015). Results confirmed previous findings regarding feature search mode and supported the guided search model, but not the signal-suppression hypothesis. Most importantly, though, results showed that cognitive flexibility for task switching is not domain general. Participants in a more flexible task switching state did not differ in their ability to suppress a salient distractor from those in a more stable state.
subject
capture probe paradigm
cognitive flexibility
feature search
guided search model
visual search
contributor
Key, Julianne (author)
Sali, Anthony W (committee chair)
Dagenbach, Dale (committee member)
Jennings, Janine M (committee member)
Egner, Tobias (committee member)
date
2020-08-28T08:35:32Z (accessioned)
2020 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
2022-08-27 (liftdate)
embargo
2022-08-27 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/96961 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Cognitive Flexibility and Visual Search
type
Thesis

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