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Statistical learning of frequent distractor locations in visual search involves regional signal suppression in early visual cortex

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Zhang, B., Weidner, R., Allenmark, F., Bertleff, S., Fink, G. R., Shi, Z., & Müller, H. J. (2021). Statistical learning of frequent distractor locations in visual search involves regional signal suppression in early visual cortex. In bioRxiv (p. 2021.04.16.440127). https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.16.440127 Abstract Observers can learn the locations where salient distractors appear frequently to reduce potential interference – an effect attributed to better suppression of distractors at frequent locations. But how distractor suppression is implemented in the visual cortex and frontoparietal attention networks remains unclear. We used fMRI and a regional distractor-location learning paradigm (Sauter et al. 2018, 2020) with two types of distractors defined in either the same (orientation) or a different (colour) dimension to the target to investigate this issue. fMRI results showed that BOLD signals in early visual cortex were significantly reduced…
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When visual distractors predict tactile search: The temporal profile of cross-modal spatial learning

Research
Chen, S., Shi, Z., Müller, H. J., & Geyer, T. (2021). When visual distractors predict tactile search: The temporal profile of cross-modal spatial learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000993 Abstract Contextual cueing refers to the guidance of search by associative learning of the location of task-relevant target items in relation to the consistent arrangement of distractor (“context”) items in the search display. The present study investigated whether such target-distractor associations could also be formed in a cross-modal search task in which the invariant distractor context is visual and the target is tactile. Each trial display consisted of 8 vibrotactile stimuli delivered to 4 fingers of each hand, with the target singled out by a vibrotactile feature difference relative to the homogeneous nontarget vibrations. In addition, there were…
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Multisensory visuo-tactile context learning enhances the guidance of unisensory visual search

Lab News, Research
Chen, S., Shi, Z., Müller, H. J., & Geyer, T. (2021). Multisensory visuo-tactile context learning enhances the guidance of unisensory visual search. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 9439. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88946-6 Abstract Does multisensory distractor-target context learning enhance visual search over and above unisensory learning? To address this, we had participants perform a visual search task under both uni- and multisensory conditions. Search arrays consisted of one Gabor target that differed from three homogeneous distractors in orientation; participants had to discriminate the target’s orientation. In the multisensory session, additional tactile (vibration-pattern) stimulation was delivered to two fingers of each hand, with the odd-one-out tactile target and the distractors co-located with the corresponding visual items in half the trials; the other half presented the visual array only. In both sessions, the visual target was embedded within identical…
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PD. Dr. Zhanghua Shi and his doctoral candidate Bei Zhang were invited by LMU International Office as representatives of the LMU-CSC joint program.

Lab News
PD. Dr. Zhanghua Shi and his doctoral candidate Bei Zhang were invited by Newsletter editor of LMU International Office as representative of the LMU-CSC joint program and interviewed about this program. The LMU is the first university in Germany that signed an agreement with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) in 2005. With the financial support of the CSC, more highly qualified Chinese students have the opportunity to do their PhD at the LMU or to continue their research. PD. Dr. Zhanghua Shi as a supervisor of this program and his doctoral candidate Bei Zhang as a holder of this scholarship were invited to have an interview with Newsletter editor Bernd Hilker from LMU International Office. This interview was published in the newsletter of LMU International Office.
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Escape room!

Escape room!

Lab News
Yes, after one hour, both teams from MSense lab successfully escaped the rooms! Had a lot of fun! November 2018    Escape room     Our team members worked together and successfully figured out the puzzles based on a series of consecutive clues that eventually lead us out of the room with a code.from left to right: Cemre, Bei, Rasmus, Monica, Strongway, Fredrik, Bing, Jan, Fiona, Lingyue Before the game, we were all very curious, a little scared, but also excited. A hand-drawn group photo by Cemre 
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Probability cueing of singleton-distractor locations in visual search

Probability cueing of singleton-distractor locations in visual search

Research
Observers can learn the likely locations of salient distractors in visual search, reducing their potential to capture attention (Ferrante et al., 2018; Sauter et al., 2018a; Wang & Theeuwes, 2018a). While there is agreement that this involves positional suppression of the likely distractor location(s), it is contentious at which stage of search guidance the suppression operates: the supra-dimensional priority map or feature-contrast signals within the distractor dimension. On the latter account, advocated by Sauter et al., target processing should be unaffected by distractor suppression when the target is defined in a different (non-suppressed) dimension to the target. At odds with this, Wang and Theeuwes found strong suppression not only of the (color) distractor, but also of the (shape) target when it appeared at the likely distractor location. Adopting their paradigm,…
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Sequential dependence and Vierordt’s law

Sequential dependence and Vierordt’s law

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Perceptual bias caused by sequential dependence has attracted lots of attention recently. The phenomenon is not new. For example, 150 years ago Vierordt has found a classic central tendency effect using duration reproduction. However, recently Stefan Glasauer and me looked into the original study conducted by Vierordt (1868), and found actually Vierordt wrongly used the method developed by Fechner (1860). That is, Vieordt introduced randomization in the 'method of average error' that Fechner invented. Using iterative Bayesian updating we are able to replicate the original Vierordt's results. More interestingly, we found that the randomization is the main factor that causes the classic Vierordt's law. That is, the short duration is often overestimated and long duration underestimated. We conducted a new study with two different sequences, sampled from the same distribution,…
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What you see depends on what you hear: temporal averaging and crossmodal integration

What you see depends on what you hear: temporal averaging and crossmodal integration

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In our multisensory world, we often rely more on auditory information than on visual input for temporal processing. One typical demonstration of this is that the rate of auditory flutter assimilates the rate of concurrent visual flicker. To date, however, this auditory dominance effect has largely been studied using regular auditory rhythms. It thus remains unclear whether irregular rhythms would have a similar impact on visual temporal processing, what information is extracted from the auditory sequence that comes to influence visual timing, and how the auditory and visual temporal rates are integrated together in quantitative terms. We investigated these questions by assessing, and modeling, the influence of a task-irrelevant auditory sequence on the type of "Ternus apparent motion": group motion versus element motion. The type of motion seen critically depends…
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