Unique temporal change is the key to attentional capture


Attentional capture refers to the observation that some events break through and attract one's attention even when one is engaged in a task for which these events are irrelevant. Previous research, focusing primarily on spatial factors, has shown that a new object is more salient in this regard than an abrupt change in an object's features. Here we show that feature changes can be as effective as new objects in capturing attention, provided that they occur during a period of temporal calm. Conversely, both feature changes and new objects are far less effective in capturing attention when they occur simultaneously with other display changes, such as coincident with the initial onset of the display or with small visual transients that occur during a display transition. These results highlight the importance of considering both space and time in studies of attentional capture; the most effective stimulus is unique in both dimensions

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    oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:65816Last time updated on 6/4/2015

    This paper was published in Warwick Research Archives Portal Repository.

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