The relationship between action-effect monitoring and attention capture

J Exp Psychol Gen. 2015 Feb;144(1):18-23. doi: 10.1037/xge0000032. Epub 2014 Nov 10.


Many recent findings suggest that stimuli that are perceived to be the consequence of one's own actions are processed with priority. According to the preactivation account of intentional binding, predicted consequences are preactivated and hence receive a temporal advantage in processing. The implications of the preactivation account are important for theories of attention capture, as temporal advantage often translates to attention capture. Hence, action might modulate attention capture by feature singletons. Experiment 1 showed that a motion onset and color change captured attention only when it was preceded by an action. Experiment 2 showed that the capture occurs only with predictable, but not with unpredictable, consequences of action. Experiment 3 showed that even when half the display changed color at display transition, they were all prioritized. The results suggest that action modulates attentional control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention*
  • Color Perception*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Motion Perception*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Reaction Time*
  • Set, Psychology
  • Young Adult