Spatial negative priming: In touch, it's all about location.
Wesslein A-K., Spence C., Mast F., Frings C.
Spatial negative priming (SNP) refers to the finding that responses to stimuli that are presented from previously ignored locations are slowed relative to responses to stimuli presented from previously unstimulated locations. To date, this effect has been demonstrated in vision, audition, and touch. Importantly, however, the cognitive processes involved differ between vision and audition. Although SNP is attributable to feature mismatch in the auditory modality, it is primarily caused by response inhibition in vision. To date, the locus of SNP in touch has not been established, though recently it has been shown that tactile SNP is not modulated by feature mismatch. Here, we demonstrate that in touch, as compared to vision and audition, SNP is more sensitive to the location features-and not solely to the response and stimulus features. Thus, in stark contrast to identity-based negative priming, in which responses to previously ignored stimuli (based on the stimulus identity) can be explained by the same mechanisms in all three sensory modalities, SNP would appear to be caused by different processes in each sensory modality, thus suggesting that the processing of the spatial properties of distractors is modality-specific.