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Hermann J Müller

Hermann J Müller
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich · Psychology

PhD

About

534
Publications
65,278
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13,893
Citations
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October 2000 - March 2015
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Position
  • Professor of Experimental Psychology

Publications

Publications (534)
Article
Salient but task-irrelevant distractors interfere less with visual search when they appear in a display region where distractors have appeared more frequently in the past (“distractor-location probability cuing”). This effect could reflect the (re-)distribution of a global, limited attentional “inhibition resource.” Accordingly, changing the freque...
Preprint
Full-text available
Static statistical regularities in the placement of targets and salient distractors within the search display can be learned and used to optimize attentional guidance. Whether statistical learning also extends to dynamic regularities governing the placement of targets and distractors on successive trials has been less investigated. Here, we applied...
Article
Full-text available
Using a combination of behavioral and EEG measures in a tactile odd-one-out search task with collocated visual items, we investigated the mechanisms underlying facilitation of search by repeated (vs. nonrepeated) spatial distractor–target configurations (“contextual cueing”) when either the tactile (same-modality) or the visual array (different-mod...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Fatigue and low sleep quality in multiple sclerosis (MS) are closely related symptoms. Here, we investigated the associations between the brain's functional connectivity (FC) and fatigue and low sleep quality, to determine the degree of neural distinctiveness of these symptoms. Method: One-hundred-four patients with relapsing-remitti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Salient but task-irrelevant distractors interfere less with visual search when they appear in a display region where distractors have appeared more frequently in the past (‘distractor-location probability cueing’). This effect could reflect the (re-)distribution of a global, limited attentional ‘inhibition resource’. Accordingly, changing the frequ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cognitive complaints of attention/concentration problems are highly frequent in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Functional connectivity in the cingulo-opercular network (CON-FC) supports cognitive control, tonic alertness, and visual processing speed. Thus, those complaints in SCD may reflect a decrease in CON-FC. Frontal whit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Duration estimates are often biased by the sampled statistical context, yielding the classical central- tendency effect, i.e., short durations are over- and long duration underestimated. Most studies of the central-tendency bias have primarily focused on the integration of the sensory measure and the prior information, without considering any cogni...
Article
Visual search is speeded when a target item is positioned consistently within an invariant (repeatedly encountered) configuration of distractor items ("contextual cueing"). Contextual cueing is also observed in cross-modal search, when the location of the-visual-target is predicted by distractors from another-tactile-sensory modality. Previous stud...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been widely reported to show atypicalities in predictive coding, though there remains a controversy regarding what causes such atypical processing. Suggestions range from overestimation of volatility to rigidity in the reaction to environmental changes. Here, we tested two accounts directly using...
Conference Paper
Background The ‘cingulo-opercular’ network (CON) functional connectivity (FC) decreases in aging and mild cognitive impairment. However, little is known about the cross-sectional differences or longitudinal changes in CON FC in subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Frontal white-matter tracts such as the forceps minor exhibit alterations in SCD and,...
Article
Observers can learn locations where salient distractors appear frequently to reduce potential interference—an effect attributed to better suppression of distractors at frequent locations. But how distractor suppression is implemented in the visual cortex and within the frontoparietal attention networks remains unclear. We used fMRI and a regional d...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are thought to under-rely on prior knowledge in perceptual decision-making. This study examined whether this applies to decisions of attention allocation, of relevance for ‘predictive-coding’ accounts of ASD. In a visual search task, a salient but task-irrelevant distractor appeared with higher probab...
Article
Salient-but-irrelevant stimuli (distractors) co-occurring with search targets can capture attention against the observer’s will. Recently, evidence has accumulated that preparatory control can prevent this misguidance of spatial attention in predictable situations. However, the underlying mechanisms have remained elusive. Most pertinent theories as...
Article
Full-text available
This commentary highlights that some of the remaining discrepancies in the attentional-capture debate can be resolved by a simple assumption: observers do not use the priority map when this map is useless to solve the task. Rather, whenever search targets are known to be non-salient, observers resort to a previously postulated alternative search st...
Article
Full-text available
In visual search tasks, repeating features or the position of the target results in faster response times. Such inter-trial ‘priming’ effects occur not just for repetitions from the immediately preceding trial but also from trials further back. A paradigm known to produce particularly long-lasting inter-trial effects–of the target-defining feature,...
Article
Full-text available
Research on attentional control within real- world contexts has become substantially more feasible and thus frequent over the past decade. However, relatively little is known regarding how these processes may be influenced by common naturalistic behaviors such as engaging in physical activity, which is thought to modulate the availability of neurom...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Scenes with more perceptual detail can help detect subtle memory deficits more than scenes with less detail. Here, we investigated whether older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) show less brain activation and more memory deficits to scenes with more (vs. scenes with less) perceptual detail compared to controls (CON). Method...
Article
It is unclear how the brain reaches the correct balance between temporal and spatial processing necessary to perceive motion across space. Here, we tested whether visual motion area V5/MT+ plays a causal role in Ternus illusion. Ternus displays can be perceived as showing either group motion or element motion and are empirically useful for dissocia...
Article
Full-text available
Illusory figures demonstrate the visual system's ability to integrate disparate parts into coherent wholes. We probed this object integration process by either presenting an integrated diamond shape or a comparable ungrouped configuration that did not render a complete object. Two tasks were used that either required localization of a target dot (r...
Article
Full-text available
Visual working memory (VWM) is typically found to be severely limited in capacity, but this limitation may be ameliorated by providing familiar objects that are associated with knowledge stored in long-term memory. However, comparing meaningful and meaningless stimuli usually entails a confound, because different types of objects also tend to vary...
Article
Full-text available
Does multisensory distractor-target context learning enhance visual search over and above unisensory learning? To address this, we had participants perform a visual search task under both uni- and multisensory conditions. Search arrays consisted of one Gabor target that differed from three homogeneous distractors in orientation; participants had to...
Preprint
Observers can learn the locations where salient distractors appear frequently to reduce potential interference - an effect attributed to better suppression of distractors at frequent locations. But how distractor suppression is implemented in the visual cortex and frontoparietal attention networks remains unclear. We used fMRI and a regional distra...
Article
The integration of fragmentary parts into coherent whole objects has been proposed either to rely on the availability of attentional resources or to arise automatically, that is, from preattentive processing (prior to the engagement of selective attention). In the present study, these two alternative accounts were tested in a group of neglect patie...
Article
Full-text available
Visual information processing requires an efficient visual attention system. The neural theory of visual attention (TVA) proposes that visual processing speed depends on the coordinated activity between frontoparietal and occipital brain areas. Previous research has shown that the coordinated activity between (i.e., functional connectivity, ‘inter‐...
Article
Full-text available
Attentional orienting towards others’ gaze direction or pointing has been well investigated in laboratory conditions. However, less is known about the operation of attentional mechanisms in online naturalistic social interaction scenarios. It is equally plausible that following social directional cues (gaze, pointing) occurs reflexively, and/or tha...
Article
Full-text available
The coefficient of variation (CV), also known as relative standard deviation, has been used to measure the constancy of the Weber fraction, a key signature of efficient neural coding in time perception. It has long been debated whether or not duration judgments follow Weber's law, with arguments based on examinations of the CV. However, what has be...
Article
Full-text available
Looking for goal-relevant objects in our various environments is one of the most ubiquitous tasks the human visual system has to accomplish (Wolfe, 1998). Visual search is guided by a number of separable selective-attention mechanisms that can be categorized as bottom-up driven – guidance by salient physical properties of the current stimuli – or t...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigated whether alertness training in healthy older adults increases visual processing speed (VPS) and whether functional connectivity in the cingulo-opercular network predicts training gain. Using the theory of visual attention, we derived quantitative estimates of VPS before and after training. In Study 1, 75 healthy older...
Article
The integration of fragmentary parts into coherent whole objects has been proposed either to rely on the availability of attentional resources or to arise automatically, that is, from preattentive processing (prior to the engagement of selective attention). In the present study, these two alternative accounts were tested in a group of neglect patie...
Article
Full-text available
Contextual cueing refers to the guidance of search by associative learning of the location of task-relevant target items in relation to the consistent arrangement of distractor ("context") items in the search display. The present study investigated whether such target-distractor associations could also be formed in a cross-modal search task in whic...
Article
People can learn to ignore salient distractors that occur frequently at particular locations, making them interfere less with task performance. This effect has been attributed to learnt suppression of the likely distractor locations at a pre-selective stage of attentional-priority computation. However, rather than distractors at frequent (vs. rare)...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) can predict the progression to mild cognitive impairment. Visual memory deficits in mildly impaired patients relate to decreased activity in brain regions beyond the medial temporal lobe, such as the parahippocampal place area (PPA). PPA's response to visual scenes is weaker in healthy older than younger adults bu...
Article
Full-text available
Although humans are well capable of precise time measurement, their duration judgments are nevertheless susceptible to temporal context. Previous research on temporal bisection has shown that duration comparisons are influenced by both stimulus spacing and ensemble statistics. However, theories proposed to account for bisection performance lack a p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Visual information processing requires an efficient visual attention system. The neural theory of visual attention (TVA) proposes that visual processing speed depends on the coordinated activity between frontoparietal and occipital brain areas. Previous research has shown that the coordinated activity between (i.e., functional connectivity, ‘inter-...
Article
Full-text available
Visual search is facilitated when the target is repeatedly encountered at a fixed position within an invariant (vs. randomly variable) distractor layout—that is, when the layout is learned and guides attention to the target, a phenomenon known as contextual cuing. Subsequently changing the target location within a learned layout abolishes contextua...
Article
Full-text available
Although time perception is based on the internal representation of time, whether the subjective timeline is scaled linearly or logarithmically remains an open issue. Evidence from previous research is mixed: while the classical internal-clock model assumes a linear scale with scalar variability, there is evidence that logarithmic timing provides a...
Data
Supplementary Material for Decreased Cingulo-Opercular Network Functional Connectivity Mediates the Impact of Aging on Visual Processing Speed (http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.09.014)
Article
Full-text available
Visual working memory (VWM) is typically considered to represent complete objects—that is, separate parts of an object are maintained as bound objects. Yet it remains unclear whether and how the features of disparate parts are integrated into a whole- object memory representation. Using a change detection paradigm, the present study investigated wh...
Article
Full-text available
Visual search is facilitated when observers encounter targets in repeated display arrangements. This ‘contextual-cueing’ (CC) effect is attributed to incidental learning of spatial distractor-target relations. Prior work has typically used only one recognition measure (administered after the search task) to establish whether CC is based on implicit...
Article
Many attention theories assume that selection is guided by a preattentive, spatial representation of the scene that combines bottom-up stimulus information with top-down influences (task goals and prior experience) to code for potentially relevant locations (priority map). At which level(s) of priority computation top-down influences modulate botto...
Article
Full-text available
Invariant spatial context can guide attention and facilitate visual search, an effect referred to as "contextual cueing." Most previous studies on contextual cueing were conducted under conditions of photopic vision and high search item to background luminance contrast, leaving open the question whether the learning and/or retrieval of context cues...
Preprint
People can learn to ignore salient distractors that occur frequently at particular locations. This distractor-location probability-cueing effect has been attributed to learnt suppression of the likely distractor locations at a pre-selective stage of attentional-priority computations. An alternative, post-selective account would be that distractors...
Article
The ability to selectively encode relevant information (filtering ability) is crucial to make best use of the severely limited space that visual working memory (VWM) provides. This review considers why filtering ability is important, how it is measured, and it discusses how filtering might be implemented computationally at the cognitive and neurona...
Article
Full-text available
The current study, set within the larger enterprise of Neuro-Cognitive Poetics, was designed to examine how readers deal with the ‘cut’ – a more or less sharp semantic-conceptual break – in normative, three-line English-language haiku poems (ELH). Readers were presented with three-line haiku that consisted of two (seemingly) disparate parts, a (two...
Preprint
Distracting sensory events can capture attention, interfering with the performance of the task at hand. We asked: is our attention captured by such events if we cause them ourselves? To examine this, we employed a visual search task with an additional salient singleton distractor, where the distractor was predictable either by the participant’s own...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although time perception is based on the internal representation of time, whether the subjective timeline is scaled linearly or logarithmically remains an open issue. Evidence from previous research is mixed: while the classical internal-clock model assumes a linear scale with scalar variability, there is evidence that logarithmic timing provides a...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established that statistical learning of visual target locations in relation to constantly positioned visual distractors facilitates visual search. In the present study, we investigated whether such a contextual-cueing effect would also work crossmodally, from touch onto vision. Participants responded to the orientation of a visual targe...
Article
Haiku has been shown to be fruitful material in investigating the manner in which we come to appreciate poetic and literary texts, providing a promising path for understanding the neuro-cognitive processes of poetry reading. The latter accolade, by way of our first study, has now found further evidence in our second series of tests, which repeated...
Article
Aging impacts both visual short-term memory (vSTM) capacity and thalamo-cortical connectivity. According to the Neural Theory of Visual Attention, vSTM depends on the structural connectivity between posterior thalamus and visual occipital cortices (PT-OC). We tested whether aging modifies the association between vSTM capacity and PT-OC structural c...
Article
Full-text available
In mammals, the hippocampus, entorhinal, perirhinal, and parahippocampal cortices (i.e., core regions of the human medial temporal lobes, MTL) are locally interlaced with the adjacent amygdala nuclei at the structural and functional levels. At the global brain level, the human MTL has been described as part of the default mode network and amygdala...
Article
Illusory figures demonstrate the visual system's ability to integrate separate parts into coherent, whole objects. The present study was performed to track the neuronal object construction process in human observers, by incrementally manipulating the grouping strength within a given configuration until the emergence of a whole-object representation...
Article
Full-text available
Observers can learn the likely locations of salient distractors in visual search, reducing their potential to cause interference. While there is agreement that this involves suppression of frequent distractor locations, the results are mixed regarding the stage of suppression: the search-guiding priority map or, respectively, the distractor-definin...
Article
Searching for targets among similar distractors requires more time as the number of items increases, with search efficiency measured by the slope of the reaction-time (RT)/set-size function. Horowitz and Wolfe (Nature, 394(6693), 575–577, 1998) found that the target-present RT slopes were as similar for “dynamic” as for standard static search, even...
Article
If a target is repeatedly encountered within a stable search array, target detection is accelerated over time. Nonetheless, participants fail to identify repeated search layouts in recognition tests. This dissociation has motivated the assumption that search and recognition performances are driven by two distinct memory components. Search facilitat...
Article
A core distinction in Anne Treisman’s feature-integration theory (FIT) is in that between parallel and serial search. We outline this dichotomy and selectively review the reasons why it has largely been abandoned in the visual-search community—namely, its theoretical dispensability, failure to find reliable yardsticks for differentiating parallel a...
Preprint
Full-text available
In mammals, the hippocampus, entorhinal, perirhinal, and parahippocampal cortices (i.e., core regions of the human medial temporal lobes, MTL) are locally interlaced with the adjacent amygdala nuclei at the structural and functional levels. At the global brain level, the human MTL has been described as part of the default mode network whereas amygd...