Talk | Anna Grubert

02.06.2016 18:00 - 19:30

"Rapid parallel attentional selection of multiple objects"

Anna Grubert

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birbeck, University of London

"Rapid parallel attentional selection of multiple objects"

About the talk

In a recent ERP study, we employed the N2pc component as an electrophysiological index of attentional object selection to show that when two colour-defined objects at different locations appear in rapid succession (with stimulus onset asynchronies between 10 and 100 ms), two parallel attentional foci are established where each selection episode follows its own independent time course (Eimer & Grubert, 2014). I will discuss this recent evidence for rapid parallel attentional selection, and present a series of new experiments investigating the nature of such simultaneous and independent attention allocation to multiple objects. These experiments demonstrate that efficient parallel selection is not restricted to conditions where two colour-defined targets are presented sequentially. Multiple independent and parallel attentional foci are also activated when two targets are presented simultaneously, when target objects are defined by other features than colour or even by feature conjunctions, and also when more than two targets are presented in rapid succession. We also show that such attentional control processes do qualitatively not differ from single-object selection, can be strategically controlled, and are sensitive to temporal sequence information that is inaccessible to conscious report. Together, these findings reveal the dynamic nature and flexibility of attentional selectivity in time and space.

About the speaker

Anna Grubert is a postdoctoral research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, UK. She completed her PhD in the field of experimental cognitive psychology in 2010 in Switzerland (University of Fribourg) where she also received her licentiate (University of Berne). Her research mainly focuses on the top-down control of visual selective attention. In her experiments she combines behavioural and electrophysiological (EEG/ERP) measures to investigate the organisational and temporal properties of voluntarily guided attentional selection and the respective links between visual attention and working memory. 


Lecture Hall G (Psychologicum)

Faculty of Psychology
University of Vienna
Liebiggasse 5 (3rd floor, left wing)
A-1010 Wien