Abstract Subjects reported either the colors or shapes of two simultaneous masked letters. Our first study found that they were less accurate when the reported features were identical ("repetition blindness," or RB), while repetition along the unreported dimension had no effect. Three follow-up studies confirmed that when the same dimension was judged (overtly or covertly) for both stimuli, performance was only affected by repetition along that dimension. However, when different dimensions were judged for the two stimuli, performance was affected by repetition on both dimensions. These findings support new conclusions about both RB and visual attention. First, RB depends critically on visual attention, rather than simply on the stimulus presented or the overt response required. Second, while attention can be restricted to a single visual dimension, this is efficient only when the same dimension is selected for both objects. Selecting the color of one object and the shape of another simultaneous object results in both dimensions being accessed for both objects.