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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. Abstract There has been a longstanding debate as to whether salient stimuli have the power to involuntarily capture attention. As a potential resolution to this debate, the signal suppression hypothesis proposes that salient items generate a bottom–up signal that automatically attracts attention, but that salient items can be suppressed by top–down mechanisms to prevent attentional capture. Despite much support, the signal suppression hypothesis has been challenged on the grounds that many prior studies may have used color singletons with relatively low salience that are too weak to capture attention. The current study addressed this by using previous methods to study suppression but increased the set size to improve the relative salience of the color singletons. To assess whether salient distractors captured attention, electrophysiological markers of attentional allocation (the N2pc component) and suppression (the PD component) were measured. The results provided no evidence of attentional capture, but instead indicated suppression of the highly salient singleton distractors, as indexed by the PD component. This suppression occurred even though a computational model of saliency confirmed that the color singleton was highly salient. Altogether, this supports the signal suppression hypothesis and is inconsistent with stimulus-driven models of attentional capture.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 31, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023