A Multimodal Investigation of Recognition Performance for Target-Aligned but Irrelevant Stimuli


Overtly presented, but ignored visual and auditory stimuli presented within the same sensory modality are inhibited in a later recognition task if previously presented synchronously with an attended visual target (Tsushima, Sasaki & Watanabe, 2006; Tsushima, Seitz & Watanabe, 2008; Dewald, Doumas & Sinnett, 2010; Dewald & Sinnett, 2011). We extend these findings to conditions in which task irrelevant stimuli (written or spoken words) were presented in a separate sensory modality than task-relevant targets (picture or sound repetitions). A subsequent recognition task was given for the previously presented irrelevant stimuli (words). Words that had been simultaneously presented with a target in the previous repetition detection task were later recognized at chance levels, demonstrating a bolstered recognition of task-irrelevant items (e.g. target-aligned words) when compared with performance under unimodal presentation.

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