Specificity and persistence of statistical learning in distractor suppression. Academic Article uri icon


  • Statistical regularities in distractor location trigger suppression of high-probability distractor locations during visual search. The degree to which such suppression reflects generalizable, persistent changes in a spatial priority map has not been examined. We demonstrate that suppression of high-probability distractor locations persists after location probabilities are equalized and likely reflects a genuine reshaping of the priority map rather than more transient effects of selection history. Statistically learned suppression generalizes across contexts within a task during learning but does not generalize between task paradigms using unrelated stimuli in identical spatial locations. These findings suggest that stimulus features do play a role in learned spatial suppression, potentially gating the weights applied to a spatial priority map. However, the binding of location to context during learning is not automatic, in contrast to the previously reported interaction of location-based statistical learning and stimulus features. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

published proceedings

  • J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform

author list (cited authors)

  • Britton, M. K., & Anderson, B. A.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Britton, Mark K||Anderson, Brian A

publication date

  • March 2020