Task-irrelevant semantic relationship between objects and scene influence attentional allocation

Joseph C. Nah, George L. Malcolm, Sarah Shomstein

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Recent behavioral evidence suggests that the semantic relationships between isolated objects can influence attentional allocation, with highly semantically related objects showing an increase in processing efficiency. This semantic influence is present even when it is task-irrelevant (i.e., when semantic information is not central to the task). However, given that objects exist within larger contexts, i.e., scenes, it is critical to understand whether the semantic relationship between a scene and its objects continuously influence attention. Here, we investigated the influence of task-irrelevant scene semantic properties on attentional allocation and the degree to which semantic relationships between scenes and objects interact. Results suggest that task-irrelevant associations between scenes and objects continuously influence attention and that this influence is directly predicted by the perceived strength of semantic associations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13175
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

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