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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Easel 53: The cost of threatening distractor stimuli on visual search

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People have perceptual bias toward threatening stimuli like spiders and snakes. We know that people will see and attend to the threatening stimuli more quickly than other distractors, but we do not know whether people will become fixated on this threat, or quickly avert their attention. This behavior will be measured by using different types of salient distractors to determine the “response time cost” distractors have on a visual search. We then can compare visual search performance between threatening (using images of spiders) and neutral distractors. It is expected that participants will be more fixated on threatening stimuli than neutral, resulting in increased response costs. Additionally, it is expected that better visual search performance with lower response costs will be associated with improved visual working memory capacity, after controlling for search differences and degree of spider phobia.


Friday March 17, 2017 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Leyburn Library