New objects do not capture attention without a sensory transient

Andrew Hollingworth*, Daniel J. Simons, Steven L. Franconeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Attention capture occurs when a stimulus event involuntarily recruits attention. The abrupt appearance of a new object is perhaps the most well-studied attention-capturing event, yet there is debate over the root cause of this capture. Does a new object capture attention because it involves the creation of a new object representation or because its appearance creates a characteristic luminance transient? The present study sought to resolve this question by introducing a new object into a search display, either with or without a unique luminance transient. Contrary to the results of a recent study (Davoli, Suszko, & Abrams, 2007), when the new object's transient was masked by a brief interstimulus interval introduced between the placeholder and search arrays, a new object did not capture attention. Moreover, when a new object's transient was masked, participants could not locate a new object efficiently even when that was their explicit goal. Together, these data suggest that luminance transient signals are necessary for attention capture by new objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1310
Number of pages13
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'New objects do not capture attention without a sensory transient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this