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​​Psychology Seminar | Don’t Be Surprised: Unexpected Stimuli Capture Attention and Impose Costs Within and Across Sensory Modalities 

Published on: 09-Oct-2018

EventDon't Be Surprised: Unexpected Stimuli Capture Attention and Impose Costs Within and Across Sensory Modalities
Speaker
Christopher Lee Asplund, Ph.D.
Yale-NUS College
Date9 October 2018, Tuesday
VenueHSS Conference Room (HSS-05-57)
Time11:45am – 1:00pm
All are welcome to attend the seminar.

Abstract
Our world is a busy place, and far more insights and sounds reach us than we can possibly process. We use attention to select and enhance some of these inputs. Although we often control our attention voluntarily, it can also be powerfully captured by unexpected events in our environment. For example, the presentation of a novel, unexpected and task-irrelevant item (a “surprise”) can grab our attention, briefly rendering subsequent items undetectable. In this talk, I will discuss how we have used “Surprise” paradigms to explore auditory and visual attention, including both dissociations between them and interactions across them. The visual Surprised-induced Blindness (Asplund et al., 2010) and auditory Surprised-induced Deafness (Obana et al., in prep.) paradigms involve similar deficit timecourses and some shared neural correlates, but their effects have starkly different initial severities and habituation profiles. Furthermore, their severity is not correlated across individuals, yet an auditory surprise can induce a visual deficit and vice versa. I will discuss how these findings inform our theoretical and practical understanding of the trade-off between staying on task and attending to what is new.

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