Traditionally distracting stimuli are seen as something that hinders efficient behavior (the selective attention approach). Yet, recent research suggests a different look on distractors, namely distractor-based retrieval of previous episodes that may hinder but also may facilitate efficient behavior (the binding approach to distractors). I will discuss both lines of research and analyze how these types of distractor processing work if distractors are processed from more than one modality.
From 1997 to 2001 Christian Frings studied at the University of Münster, got his PhD at the University of Jena, his habilitation at Saarland University and since 2011 has a professorship (chair) for Cognitive Psychology at Trier University. His research program is based on the question how the cognitive system successfully selects and acts in a complex (e.g., multisensory) environment in which the irrelevant information typically exceeds the amount if relevant information.
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