Visual imagery influences attentional guidance during visual search: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence
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Recent behavioral studies have shown that color imagery can benefit visual search when it is congruent with an upcoming target. In the present study we investigated whether this color imagery benefit was due to the processes underlying attentional guidance, as indicated by the electrophysiological marker known as the N2pc component. Participants were instructed to imagine a color prior to each trial of a singleton search task. On some trials, the imagined color was congruent with the target, and on other trials, it was congruent with the distractors. The analyses revealed that the N2pc was present when color imagery was congruent with the search target, and absent when it was congruent with the distractors. Further, there was preliminary evidence that attentional guidance depended on the vividness of color imagery and the frequency at which participants implemented the imagery instruction. Overall, the results of the present study indicate that color imagery can influence the attentional guidance processes underlying visual search.
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