Sanocki and Epstein (1997) provided evidence that an immediate prior experience of a scene, as a prime, can induce representations of its spatial layout, facilitating the subsequent spatial processing of objects in the target scene. In their experiments, observers responded to target scenes by indicating which of two critical objects was closer in the pictorial space. Reaction times to target scenes that were preceded by same-scene primes without the critical objects were faster than reaction times to target scenes that were preceded by different scene or control primes (geometrical figures). By manipulating the nature of the prime and the interval between prime and target, and by cueing the position of the critical objects, we obtain evidence that the facilitating effect of the same-scene primes can also be explained by the sudden appearance of the critical objects in the target scene. In same-scene conditions, the critical objects cause a local onset, whereas in different-scene and control conditions the entire target scene causes a global onset. As a result, the local onset in the same-scene condition produces a shift of attention towards the critical objects, resulting in faster processing of the critical objects.