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Location constancy and its effect on visual selection

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The present study investigated how location constancy influences selective attention to a cued location. The relative effectiveness of target/distractor distance and target/distractor compatibility were studied under covert and overt attention conditions. Experiment 1 measured reaction time and error rates to a scaled target letter that appeared at varied locations from 0.62 to 20 deg. Experiments 2 and 3 looked at covert/overt attention when the target location was fixed rather than varied within a block of trials. Toprovide a comprehensive assessment of the two primary variables across location constancy conditions, effect sizes for these results as well as for related past research (Goolkasian, 1999; Goolkasian and Tarantino, 1999) are presented. The findings suggest that the location of the target (foveal vs peripheral) does not influence attentional patterns as much as the consistency of its location. When a target appears at varied locations from trial to trial, distractor compatibility effects are in general stronger than the effect of target/distractor distance. However, the relative importance of these two variables reverses when the presentation location of the target is fixed at a constant location.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001, USA


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