In a task in which the observer must detect a signal at two locations, presenting a precue that predicts the location of a signal leads to improved performance with a valid cue (signal location matches the cue), compared to an invalid cue (signal location does not match the cue). The cue validity effect has often been explained with a limited capacity attentional mechanism improving the perceptual quality at the cued location. Alternatively, the cueing effect can also be explained by unlimited capacity models that assume a weighted combination of noisy responses across the two locations. We compare two weighted integration models, a linear model and a sum of weighted likelihoods model based on a Bayesian observer. While qualitatively these models are similar, quantitatively they predict different cue validity effects as the signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) increase. To test these models, 3 observers performed in a cued discrimination task of Gaussian targets with an 80% valid precue across a broad range of SNR’s. Analysis of a limited capacity attentional switching model was also included and rejected. The sum of weighted likelihoods model best described the psychophysical results, suggesting that human observers approximate a weighted combination of likelihoods, and not a weighted linear combination
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