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More efficient shielding for internal than external attention? : Evidence from asymmetrical switch costs

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Abstract
At present, the process of switching attention between external stimuli and internal representations is not well understood. To address this, Verschooren, Liefooghe. Brass, and Pourtois (2019) recently designed a novel paradigm where participants were cued to switch attention between external and internal information on a trial-by-trial basis. The authors observed an asymmetrical switch cost, which was larger when switching toward internal than external material, even though participants performed internal trials faster. In the current study, we sought to establish the cause of this asymmetry by adjudicating among predictions from three theoretical accounts: associative interference, priming, and memory retrieval. After replicating the original asymmetry (Experiment 1), we demonstrated that trial-by-trial carryover of attentional settings is not a necessary precondition (Experiment 2). The results from Experiment 3 indicate that the cost asymmetry can be best explained by an associative interference account, against a memory retrieval one. Together. these results therefor provide evidence in favor of an associative interference account and document that shielding attention for internal representations from external intrusions is more efficient than the other way around. This finding advances our understanding of a core aspect of cognitive flexibility and the relationship between external and internal attention. More research on this question and novel ones raised by it are necessary, however.
Keywords
WORKING-MEMORY, COGNITIVE CONTROL, TASK SETS, INFORMATION, INTERFERENCE, PERCEPTION, STIMULUS, CORTEX, MIND, attentional flexibility, cost asymmetry, internal attention, external, attention, associative interference

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Citation

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MLA
Verschooren, Sam, et al. “More Efficient Shielding for Internal than External Attention? : Evidence from Asymmetrical Switch Costs.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE, vol. 46, no. 9, 2020, pp. 912–25, doi:10.1037/xhp0000758.
APA
Verschooren, S., Pourtois, G., & Egner, T. (2020). More efficient shielding for internal than external attention? : Evidence from asymmetrical switch costs. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE, 46(9), 912–925. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000758
Chicago author-date
Verschooren, Sam, Gilles Pourtois, and Tobias Egner. 2020. “More Efficient Shielding for Internal than External Attention? : Evidence from Asymmetrical Switch Costs.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE 46 (9): 912–25. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000758.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Verschooren, Sam, Gilles Pourtois, and Tobias Egner. 2020. “More Efficient Shielding for Internal than External Attention? : Evidence from Asymmetrical Switch Costs.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE 46 (9): 912–925. doi:10.1037/xhp0000758.
Vancouver
1.
Verschooren S, Pourtois G, Egner T. More efficient shielding for internal than external attention? : Evidence from asymmetrical switch costs. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. 2020;46(9):912–25.
IEEE
[1]
S. Verschooren, G. Pourtois, and T. Egner, “More efficient shielding for internal than external attention? : Evidence from asymmetrical switch costs,” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE, vol. 46, no. 9, pp. 912–925, 2020.
@article{8676430,
  abstract     = {At present, the process of switching attention between external stimuli and internal representations is not well understood. To address this, Verschooren, Liefooghe. Brass, and Pourtois (2019) recently designed a novel paradigm where participants were cued to switch attention between external and internal information on a trial-by-trial basis. The authors observed an asymmetrical switch cost, which was larger when switching toward internal than external material, even though participants performed internal trials faster. In the current study, we sought to establish the cause of this asymmetry by adjudicating among predictions from three theoretical accounts: associative interference, priming, and memory retrieval. After replicating the original asymmetry (Experiment 1), we demonstrated that trial-by-trial carryover of attentional settings is not a necessary precondition (Experiment 2). The results from Experiment 3 indicate that the cost asymmetry can be best explained by an associative interference account, against a memory retrieval one. Together. these results therefor provide evidence in favor of an associative interference account and document that shielding attention for internal representations from external intrusions is more efficient than the other way around. This finding advances our understanding of a core aspect of cognitive flexibility and the relationship between external and internal attention. More research on this question and novel ones raised by it are necessary, however.},
  author       = {Verschooren, Sam and Pourtois, Gilles and Egner, Tobias},
  issn         = {0096-1523},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE},
  keywords     = {WORKING-MEMORY,COGNITIVE CONTROL,TASK SETS,INFORMATION,INTERFERENCE,PERCEPTION,STIMULUS,CORTEX,MIND,attentional flexibility,cost asymmetry,internal attention,external,attention,associative interference},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {912--925},
  title        = {More efficient shielding for internal than external attention? : Evidence from asymmetrical switch costs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000758},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2020},
}

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