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Selective attention modulates implicit learning

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The effect of selective attention on implicit learning was tested in four experiments using the "contextual cueing" paradigm (Chun & Jiang, 1998, 1999). Observers performed visual search through items presented in an attended colour (e.g., red) and an ignored colour (e.g., green). When the spatial configuration of items in the attended colour was invariant and was consistently paired with a target location, visual search was facilitated, showing contextual cueing (Experiments 1, 3, and 4). In contrast, repeating and pairing the configuration of the ignored items with the target location resulted in no contextual cueing (Experiments 2 and 4). We conclude that implicit learning is robust only when relevant, predictive information is selectively attended.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713756001

Publication date: November 1, 2001

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