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Effect of object onset on the distribution of visual attention.

Authors
  • Cole, G
  • Gellatly, A
  • Blurton, A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2001
Volume
27
Issue
6
Pages
1356–1368
Identifiers
PMID: 11766930
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

There now exists considerable evidence to suggest that the appearance of a new object in the visual field captures visual attention. One of the consequences of this attentional capture is that the object initiates a redistribution of attentional resources across visual space. This is classically observed in the precuing paradigm in which the onset of an abrupt cue influences the processing of a subsequently presented target. The present research describes a new phenomenon that occurs as a result of a new object appearing in the visual field. A stimulus presented in a region of space adjacent to a corner of an onsetting object receives an enhancement of processing relative to a stimulus presented adjacent to one of the object's straight edges. With the use of 2 converging methods, evidence is presented that suggests that the effect is a higher order attentional phenomenon whereby greater resources become directed to the corners of objects.

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