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Automatic Versus Directed Attention with Single-element and Multiple-element Precues

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Four experiments were conducted to determine whether peripheral singleelement precues (SEPs) and multiple-element precues (MEPs) would elicit similar attention effects on target identification. For an MEP, characters were presented near each possible target location; however, one that differed from the others by either colour or luminance specified the target location. At short precue-target intervals (SOAs), target identification accuracy rose more quickly with SEPs than with MEPs; at long SOAs, performance declined with SEPs, but not with MEPs. Furthermore, when validity of the precue was manipulated, an SEP attracted attention automatically even if the precue was irrelevantas to target location, whereas an irrelevant precue did not benefit performance with MEPs. Accuracy atlong SOAs with MEPs was more similarto thatproduced by a precue at fixation than to that produced by an SEP. Thus, MEPs do not elicit attention in the same manner as SEPs.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-09-01

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