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Spatial attention increases performance but not subjective confidence in a discrimination task

Wilimzig, Claudia and Tsuchiya, Naotsugu and Fahle, Manfred and Einhäuser, Wolfgang and Koch, Christof (2008) Spatial attention increases performance but not subjective confidence in a discrimination task. Journal of Vision, 8 (5). Art. No. 7. ISSN 1534-7362. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:WILjov08

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Abstract

Selective attention to a target yields faster and more accurate responses. Faster response times, in turn, are usually associated with increased subjective confidence. Could the decrease in reaction time in the presence of attention therefore simply reflect a shift toward more confident responses? We here addressed the extent to which attention modulates accuracy, processing speed, and confidence independently. To probe the effect of spatial attention on performance, we used two attentional manipulations of a visual orientation discrimination task. We demonstrate that spatial attention significantly increases accuracy, whereas subjective confidence measures reveal overconfidence in non-attended stimuli. At constant confidence levels, reaction times showed a significant decrease (by 15–49%, corresponding to 100–250 ms). This dissociation of objective performance and subjective confidence suggests that attention and awareness, as measured by confidence, are distinct, albeit related, phenomena.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/8.5.7 DOIArticle
http://www.journalofvision.org/content/8/5/7.abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:Copyright © 2008 ARVO. Received January 22, 2008; published May 19, 2008. We thank H. Lau, C.-Y. Chou, and several participants of ASSC 11 for their feedback. This research was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Mathers Foundation and the NIMH.
Group:Koch Laboratory, KLAB
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NIHUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:spatial attention, awareness, reaction times, confidence
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:WILjov08
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:WILjov08
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/8.5.7
Official Citation:Wilimzig, C., Tsuchiya, N., Fahle, M., Einhäuser, W., & Koch, C. (2008). Spatial attention increases performance but not subjective confidence in a discrimination task. Journal of Vision, 8(5):7, 1-10, http://journalofvision.org/8/5/7/, doi:10.1167/8.5.7.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10976
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:21 Jun 2008
Last Modified:13 Mar 2017 22:57

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