Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The time-course of distractor processing in auditory spatial negative priming

  • 196 Accesses

Abstract

The spatial negative priming effect denotes slowed-down and sometimes more error-prone responding to a location that previously contained a distractor as compared with a previously unoccupied location. In vision, this effect has been attributed to the inhibition of irrelevant locations, and recently, of their task-assigned responses. Interestingly, auditory versions of the task did not yield evidence for inhibitory processing of task-irrelevant events which might suggest modality-specific distractor processing in vision and audition. Alternatively, the inhibitory processes may differ in how they develop over time. If this were the case, the absence of inhibitory after-effects might be due to an inappropriate timing of successive presentations in previous auditory spatial negative priming tasks. Specifically, the distractor may not yet have been inhibited or inhibition may already have dissipated at the time performance is assessed. The present study was conducted to test these alternatives. Participants indicated the location of a target sound in the presence of a concurrent distractor sound. Performance was assessed between two successive prime-probe presentations. The time between the prime response and the probe sounds (response-stimulus interval, RSI) was systematically varied between three groups (600, 1250, 1900 ms). For all RSI groups, the results showed no evidence for inhibitory distractor processing but conformed to the predictions of the feature mismatching hypothesis. The results support the assumption that auditory distractor processing does not recruit an inhibitory mechanism but involves the integration of spatial and sound identity features into common representations.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Notes

  1. 1.

    This conclusion is further supported by studies employing so-called “free choice” probe trials. While prime trials require a standard forced choice response to the prime target location, participants can choose to answer with one of two valid response options in probe trials. In the critical trials, prime distractor and probe target are presented at different locations and participants can decide whether to perform the former prime distractor response or a new response to the probe target location. The finding that former distractor-assigned responses are less likely to be executed in these trials has been taken as further evidence for distractor-related response inhibition (e.g., Buckolz et al., 2015; Fitzgeorge et al., 2011).

  2. 2.

    Buckolz, Fitzgeorge, and Knowles (2012) argued that a location-based “orienting inhibition” mechanism only operates in visuospatial negative priming when parafoveal stimulus locations are employed in the task at hand.

  3. 3.

    Note that this effect was found in most, but not in all auditory spatial negative priming tasks which might indicate that object file retrieval is more effectively triggered by location repetitions (as compared with sound identity repetitions) between prime distractor and probe target. Moreover, evidence for feature mismatching effects has also been reported in visuospatial negative priming (Park & Kanwisher, 1994). However, several studies found reliable spatial negative priming effects in the absence of feature mismatches (Milliken et al., 2000; Tipper et al., 1995), so that this mechanism seems to be only of minor importance in the visual modality.

  4. 4.

    Ignored repetition and control trials in Experiment 2 did not require a prime response.

  5. 5.

    Given that after-effects attributed to inhibition in vision require at least 75 ms to emerge but are present, at the latest, after 750 ms following the prime presentation (Buckolz et al., 2008), it might also be possible that reliable performance costs in ignored repetition trials (as compared with control trials) can also be obtained with interval durations in between these values. However, this assumption remains speculative. Therefore, the presumed time-course of distractor response inhibition in the visual modality can only be tentatively applied to the 600-ms RSI in the present study.

References

  1. Band, G. P. H., & van Boxtel, G. J. M. (1999). Inhibitory motor control in stop paradigms: review and reinterpretation of neural mechanisms. Acta Psychologica, 101(2–3), 179–211. doi:10.1016/S0001-6918(99)00005-0.

  2. Broadbent, D. E. (1970). Stimulus and response set: two kinds of selective attention. In I. Mostotsky (Ed.), Attention: Comtemporary theories and analysis (pp. 51–60). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

  3. Buckolz, E., Avramidis, C., & Fitzgeorge, L. (2008). Prime-trial processing demands and their impact on distractor processing in a spatial negative priming task. Psychological Research, 72(3), 235–248. doi:10.1007/s00426-007-0107-5.

  4. Buckolz, E., Edgar, C., Kajaste, B., Lok, M., & Khan, M. (2012a). Inhibited prime-trial distractor responses solely produce the visual spatial negative priming effect. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74(8), 1632–1643. doi:10.3758/s13414-012-0366-0.

  5. Buckolz, E., Fitzgeorge, L., & Knowles, S. (2012b). Spatial negative priming, but not inhibition of return, with central (foveal) displays. Psychology, 3(9), 666–674. doi:10.4236/psych.2012.39101.

  6. Buckolz, E., Goldfarb, A., & Khan, M. (2004). The use of a distractor-assigned response slows later responding in a location negative priming task. Perception and Psychophysics, 66(5), 837–845. doi:10.3758/BF03194977.

  7. Buckolz, E., Lok, M., Kajaste, B., Edgar, C., & Khan, M. (2015). The preservation of response inhibition aftereffects in a location-based spatial negative priming task: younger versus older adults. Psychological Research, 79(1), 120–133. doi:10.1007/s00426-014-0541-0.

  8. Buckolz, E., Stoddart, A., Edgar, C., & Khan, M. (2014). The error protection impact of inhibitory after-effects in a location-based task and its preservation with practice. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(6), 1721–1728. doi:10.3758/s13414-014-0701-8.

  9. Chao, H.-F. (2009). Revisiting the role of probe distractors in negative priming: location negative priming is observed when probe distractors are consistently absent. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 71(5), 1072–1082. doi:10.3758/APP.71.5.1072.

  10. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

  11. Dyson, B. J., & Ishfaq, F. (2008). Auditory memory can be object based. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15(2), 409–412. doi:10.3758/PBR.15.2.409.

  12. Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A.-G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*Power 3: a flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39(2), 175–191. doi:10.3758/BF03193146.

  13. Fitzgeorge, L., & Buckolz, E. (2008). Spatial negative priming modulation: the influence of probe-trial target cueing, distractor presence, and an intervening response. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 20(6), 994–1026. doi:10.1080/09541440701686250.

  14. Fitzgeorge, L., Buckolz, E., & Khan, M. (2011). Recently inhibited responses are avoided for both masked and nonmasked primes in a spatial negative priming task. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 73(5), 1435–1452. doi:10.3758/s13414-011-0125-7.

  15. Fletcher, B. C., & Rabbitt, P. M. (1978). The changing pattern of perceptual analytic strategies and response selection with practice in a two-choice reaction time task. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 30(3), 417–427. doi:10.1080/00335557843000025.

  16. Guy, S., & Buckolz, E. (2007). The locus and modulation of the location negative priming effect. Psychological Research, 71(2), 178–191. doi:10.1007/s00426-005-0003-9.

  17. Guy, S., Buckolz, E., & Khan, M. (2006). The locus of location repetition latency effects. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie experimentale, 60(4), 307–318. doi:10.1037/cjep2006028.

  18. Hall, M. D., Pastore, R. E., Acker, B. E., & Huang, W. (2000). Evidence for auditory feature integration with spatially distributed items. Perception and Psychophysics, 62(6), 1243–1257. doi:10.3758/BF03212126.

  19. Haworth, P., Buckolz, E., & Kajaste, B. (2014). The role of probe trial distractors in the production/removal of the spatial negative priming effect. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26(4). doi:10.1080/20445911.2014.896368.

  20. Holm, S. (1979). A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, 6(2), 65–70.

  21. Hommel, B. (1998). Event files: evidence for automatic integration of stimulus–response episodes. Visual Cognition, 5(1–2), 183–216. doi:10.1080/713756773.

  22. Hommel, B. (2004). Event files: feature binding in and across perception and action. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(11), 494–500. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2004.08.007.

  23. Houghton, G., & Tipper, S. P. (1994). A model of inhibitory mechanisms in selective attention. In D. Dagenbach & T. Carr (Eds.), Inhibitory processes in attention, memory, and language (pp. 53–112). San Diego: Academic Press.

  24. Kahneman, D., Treisman, A., & Gibbs, B. J. (1992). The reviewing of object files: object-specific integration of information. Cognitive Psychology, 24(2), 175–219. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(92)90007-O.

  25. Krueger, L. E., & Shapiro, R. G. (1981). Intertrial effects of same-different judgements. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A: Human Experimental Psychology, 33A(3), 241–265. doi:10.1080/14640748108400791.

  26. Maybery, M. T., Clissa, P. J., Parmentier, F. B. R., Leung, D., Harsa, G., Fox, A. M., & Jones, D. M. (2009). Binding of verbal and spatial features in auditory working memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 61(1), 112–133. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2009.03.001.

  27. Mayr, S., Buchner, A., Möller, M., & Hauke, R. (2011). Spatial and identity negative priming in audition: evidence of feature binding in auditory spatial memory. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 73(6), 1710–1732. doi:10.3758/s13414-011-0138-2.

  28. Mayr, S., Hauke, R., & Buchner, A. (2009). Auditory location negative priming: a case of feature mismatch. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16(5), 845–849. doi:10.3758/PBR.16.5.845.

  29. Mayr, S., Möller, M., & Buchner, A. (2014). Auditory spatial negative priming: what is remembered of irrelevant sounds and their locations? Psychological Research, 78(3), 423–438. doi:10.1007/s00426-013-0515-7.

  30. Milliken, B., Tipper, S. P., Houghton, G., & Lupiáñez, J. (2000). Attending, ignoring, and repetition: on the relation between negative priming and inhibition of return. Perception and Psychophysics, 62(6), 1280–1296. doi:10.3758/BF03212130.

  31. Milliken, B., Tipper, S. P., & Weaver, B. (1994). Negative priming in a spatial localization task: feature mismatching and distractor inhibition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 20(3), 624–646. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.20.3.624.

  32. Möller, M., Mayr, S., & Buchner, A. (2013). Target localization among concurrent sound sources: no evidence for the inhibition of previous distractor responses. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 75(1), 132–144. doi:10.3758/s13414-012-0380-2.

  33. Mondor, T. A., Zatorre, R. J., & Terrio, N. A. (1998). Constraints on the selection of auditory information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 24(1), 66–79. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.24.1.66.

  34. Neill, W. T., & Valdes, L. A. (1992). Persistence of negative priming: steady state or decay? Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 18(3), 565–576. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.18.3.565.

  35. Neill, W. T., & Valdes, L. A. (1996). Facilitatory and inhibitory aspects of attention Converging operations in the study of visual selective attention (pp. 77–106). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; US.

  36. Neill, W. T., Valdes, L. A., & Terry, K. M. (1995). Selective attention and the inhibitory control of cognition. Interference and inhibition in cognition (pp. 207–261). San Diego: Academic Press.

  37. Neill, W. T., Valdes, L. A., Terry, K. M., & Gorfein, D. S. (1992). Persistence of negative priming: II. Evidence for episodic trace retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 18(5), 993–1000. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.18.5.993.

  38. Neumann, E., & DeSchepper, B. G. (1991). Costs and benefits of target activation and distractor inhibition in selective attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 17(6), 1136–1145. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.17.6.1136.

  39. Park, J., & Kanwisher, N. (1994). Negative priming for spatial locations: identity mismatching, not distractor inhibition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 20(3), 613–623. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.20.3.613.

  40. Parmentier, F. B. R., Maybery, M. T., & Elsley, J. (2010). The involuntary capture of attention by novel feature pairings: a study of voice-location integration in auditory sensory memory. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(2), 279–284. doi:10.3758/APP.72.2.279.

  41. Ridderinkhof, K. R. (2002). Activation and suppression in conflict tasks: Empirical clarification through distributional analyses. In W. Prinz & B. Hommel (Eds.), Common mechanisms in perception and action (pp. 494–519). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  42. Tipper, S. P. (2001). Does negative priming reflect inhibitory mechanisms? A review and integration of conflicting views. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A: Human Experimental Psychology, 54A(2), 321–343. doi:10.1080/713755969.

  43. Tipper, S. P., Brehaut, J. C., & Driver, J. (1990). Selection of moving and static objects for the control of spatially directed action. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 16(3), 492–504. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.16.3.492.

  44. Tipper, S. P., Weaver, B., Cameron, S., Brehaut, J. C., & Bastedo, J. (1991). Inhibitory mechanisms of attention in identification and localization tasks: time course and disruption. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 17(4), 681–692. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.17.4.681.

  45. Tipper, S. P., Weaver, B., & Milliken, B. (1995). Spatial negative priming without mismatching: comment on Park and Kanwisher (1994). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 21(5), 1220–1229. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.21.5.1220.

  46. Treisman, A. (1993). The perception of features and objects. In A. Baddeley & L. Weiskrantz (Eds.), Attention: selection, awareness, and control: a tribute to Donald Broadbent (pp. 5–35). New York: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press.

  47. Treisman, A., & Gelade, G. (1980). A feature-integration theory of attention. Cognitive Psychology, 12(1), 97–136. doi:10.1016/0010-0285(80)90005-5.

  48. Van der Heijden, A. H. C. (1981). Short term visual forgetting. London: Routledge and Keegan Paul.

  49. Zmigrod, S., & Hommel, B. (2009). Auditory event files: integrating auditory perception and action planning. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 71(2), 352–362. doi:10.3758/APP.71.2.352.

  50. Zmigrod, S., & Hommel, B. (2010). Temporal dynamics of unimodal and multimodal feature binding. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(1), 142–152. doi:10.3758/APP.72.1.142.

Download references

Acknowledgments

The research reported in this article was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Ma 2610/2-2).

Author information

Correspondence to Malte Möller.

Ethics declarations

The authors Malte Möller, Susanne Mayr, and Axel Buchner certify (1) that all procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards, (2) that informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study, and (3) that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Möller, M., Mayr, S. & Buchner, A. The time-course of distractor processing in auditory spatial negative priming. Psychological Research 80, 744–756 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-015-0685-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Negative Priming
  • Probe Target
  • Object File
  • Distractor Event
  • Negative Priming Effect