«Subsequent search misses» represent a decrease in accuracy at detecting a second target in a visual search task. In this study, we tested the possibility to modulate this effect via inhibition of the right posterior parietal cortex trough transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The target stimuli were T-shapes presented among L-shaped distractors. The participant’s task was to detect targets or to report their absence. For each trial, targets could be represented by one high-salient target, one low-salient target, two different targets (one high salient and one low salient), two high salient targets, two low salient targets, or no targets at all (catch-trials). Offline tDCS was applied over the right (target site) or left (control site) posterior parietal cortex. Sham stimulation over the right posterior parietal cortex was included as a control (placebo). Stimulation lasted for 10 minutes. Afterwards, participants were asked to perform the experiment. Our findings suggest that stimulation did not modulate any of the task conditions, suggesting potential limitation of the study: either tDCS was not enough powerful to modulate the task performance or the task was too easy to be modulated by stimulation.
The concept of a preattentive feature has been central to vision and attention research for about half a century. A preattentive feature is a feature that guides attention in visual search and that cannot be decomposed into simpler features. While that definition seems straightforward, there is no simple diagnostic test that infallibly identifies a preattentive feature. This paper briefly reviews the criteria that have been proposed and illustrates some of the difficulties of definition.
The current study investigated the relationships between attention, word processing, and visual field asymmetries. There is a discussion on whether each brain hemisphere possesses its own attentional resources and on how attention allocation depends on hemispheric lateralization of functions. We used stimuli with lateralized processing in an attentional task presented across the two visual hemifields. Three experiments investigated the visual search for a prespeciﬁed letter in displays containing words or nonwords, placed left and right to ﬁxation, with a variable target letter position within the strings. In Experiment 1, two letter strings of the same type (words or nonwords) were presented to both visual hemifields. In Experiment 2, there was only one letter string presented right or left to fixation. In Experiment 3, two letter strings of different type were presented to both hemifields. Response times and accuracy data were collected. The results of Experiment 1 provide evidence for letter-by-letter search within a word in the left visual field (LVF), within a nonword in the right visual field (RVF), and for position-independent access to letters within a nonword in LVF and within a word in RVF. Experiment 3 produced similar results except for letter-by-letter search within words in RVF. In Experiment 2, for all types of letter strings in both hemifields, we observed the same letter-by-letter search. These results demonstrate that presence of stimuli in both one or two hemifields and the readiness to process a certain string type might contribute to the search for a letter within a letter string.