Feature specificity in attentional capture by size and color

Harris, Anthony M., Remington, Roger W. and Becker, Stefanie I. (2013) Feature specificity in attentional capture by size and color. Journal of Vision, 13 3: 12.1-12.15. doi:10.1167/13.3.12

Author Harris, Anthony M.
Remington, Roger W.
Becker, Stefanie I.
Title Feature specificity in attentional capture by size and color
Journal name Journal of Vision   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1534-7362
Publication date 2013-05-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1167/13.3.12
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 3
Start page 12.1
End page 12.15
Total pages 15
Place of publication United States
Publisher Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Top-down guidance of visual attention has classically been thought to operate in a feature-specific manner. However, recent studies have shown that top-down visual attention can also be guided by information about target–nontarget feature relations (e.g., larger, redder, brighter). Here we recommend a minimal set of cues for differentiating between relational and feature-specific attentional guidance and examine contrasting predictions for the guidance of attention by size and color stimuli in a spatial cueing paradigm. In Experiment 1 we demonstrate that in search for size, when both feature-specific and relational strategies are available, participants adopt a relational search strategy. Experiment 2 shows that when feature-specific information is the only reliable information to guide attention to the target, participants are able to adopt a feature-specific set for size information. Finally, in Experiment 3 we extend our paradigm to differentiate between feature-specific and relational strategies in search for color. Together, these experiments help to clarify the conditions under which different attentional guidance strategies will be employed, and demonstrate a useful minimum cue requirement for differentiating between these two forms of top-down guidance. Implications for current theories of attention are discussed.
Keyword Attentional capture
Spatial cueing
Feature attention
Abrupt visual onsets
Control settings
Selective attention
Contingent capture
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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