The allocation of spatial attention was measured with detection probes at different locations. Response times were faster for probes at the location of the target digit, which subjects reported, than at the locations of distractor digits, which they ignored. Probes at blank locations between stimuli produced fast responses, indicating that selection was accomplished by inhibiting distractor locations but not other areas. Unlike earlier studies using location cuing with simpler stimuli, these experiments showed no attentional differences across horizontal or vertical midlines. Attention varied little with distance from the target, although blank locations far from the target were somewhat less attended than were those near the target, and attention was only slightly affected by expectations for stimulus location. This task demonstrates a form of feature-driven spatial attention, in which locations with objects lacking target features are inhibited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems