Abrupt visual onsets and selective attention: voluntary versus automatic allocation.

@article{Yantis1990AbruptVO,
  title={Abrupt visual onsets and selective attention: voluntary versus automatic allocation.},
  author={Steven Yantis and John Jonides},
  journal={Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance},
  year={1990},
  volume={16 1},
  pages={121-34}
}
The hypothesis that abrupt visual onsets capture attention automatically, as suggested by Yantis and Jonides (1984) was tested in four experiments. A centrally located cue directed attention to one of several stimulus positions in preparation for the identification of a target letter embedded in an array of distractor letters. In all experiments, one stimulus (either the target or one of the distractors) had an abrupt onset; the remaining letters did not. The effectiveness of the cue was… CONTINUE READING
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In that study, subjects were in a state of diffuse attention (there were no additional cues), and therefore they had not allocated attention to specific locations in preparation for the display

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