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Previous studies have shown that the capture of attention by an irrelevant stimulus can be eliminated by fore knowledge of the spatial location of the relevant target stimulus. To explore whether spatial certainty is sufficient to eliminate capture, four experiments are reported in which the spatial location of the target is certain but the temporal(More)
Visual attention may be voluntarily directed to particular locations or features (voluntary control), or it may be captured by salient stimuli, such as the abrupt appearance of a new perceptual object (stimulus-driven control). Most often, however, the deployment of attention is the result of a dynamic interplay between voluntary attentional control(More)
Bacon and Egeth (1994) proposed that observed instances of attentional capture by feature singletons (e.g., color) were the result of a salience-based strategy adopted by subjects (singleton detection mode) and, thus, were not automatic. They showed that subjects could override capture by adopting strategies based on searching for specific target features(More)
Six experiments were conducted to determine the circumstances under which an irrelevant singleton captures attention. Subjects searched for a target while ignoring a salient distractor that appeared at different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) prior to each search display. Spatial congruency and interference effects were measured. The strategies(More)
There is no consensus as to what information guides search for a singleton target. Does the most salient display element capture attention, regardless of the observer's attentional set? Do observers adopt a default salience-based search mode? Does knowledge of the target's defining featural property (when available) affect search? Finally, can intertrial(More)
The literature contains conflicting results concerning whether an irrelevant featural singleton (an item unique with respect to a feature such as color or brightness) can control attention in a stimulus-driven manner. The present study explores whether target-nontarget similarity influences stimulus-driven shifts of attention to a distractor. An experiment(More)
Attentional allocation in feature-search mode (W. F. Bacon & H. E. Egeth, 1994) is thought to be solely determined by top-down factors, with no role for stimulus-driven salience. The authors reassessed this conclusion using variants of the spatial cuing and rapid serial visual presentation paradigms developed by C. L. Folk and colleagues (C. L. Folk, R. W.(More)
The role of top-down control in visual search has been a subject of much debate. Recent research has focused on whether attentional and oculomotor capture by irrelevant salient distractors can be modulated through top-down control, and if so, whether top-down control can be rapidly initiated based on current task goals. In the present study, participants(More)
The biased-competition theory of attention proposes that objects compete for cortical representation in a mutually inhibitory network; competition is biased in favor of the attended item. Here we test two predictions derived from the biased-competition theory. First we assessed whether increasing an object's relative brightness (luminance contrast) biased(More)