Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Negative priming (NP) effects from irrelevant distractors were assessed as a function of perceptual load in the processing of prime targets. Participants searched for a target letter among a varying number of nontarget letters in the center of the display and ignored an irrelevant peripheral distractor. NP from this distractor was found to depend on the relevant search set size, decreasing as this set size was increased. The authors conclude that exhausting attention in relevant processing reduces irrelevant processing (e.g., N. Lavie, 1995), leaving less distractor processing to produce NP. This conclusion is consistent with recent reactive inhibition views for NP (e.g., G. Houghton, S. P. Tipper, B. Weaver, & D. I. Shore, 1996).


Journal article


J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform

Publication Date





1038 - 1052


Attention, Humans, Random Allocation, Reaction Time, Sensory Thresholds, Visual Perception