Central-cue discriminability modulates object-based attention by influencing spatial attention

Morris Goldsmith, Menahem Yeari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of central-cue discriminability in modulating object-based effects was examined using Egly, Driver, and Rafal's (1994) "double- rectangle" spatial cueing paradigm. Based on the attentional focusing hypothesis (Goldsmith & Yeari, 2003), we hypothesized that highly discriminable central-arrow cues would be processed with attention spread across the two rectangles (potential target locations), thereby strengthening the perceptual representation of these objects so that they influence the subsequent endogenous deployment of attention, yielding object-based effects. By contrast, less discriminable central-arrow cues should induce a more narrow attentional focus to the center of the display, thereby weakening the rectangle object representations so that they no longer influence the subsequent attentional deployment. Central-arrow-cue discriminability was manipulated by size and luminance contrast. The results supported the predictions, reinforcing the attentional focusing hypothesis and highlighting the need to consider central-cue discriminability when designing experiments and in comparing experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Object-based attention
  • Perceptual organization
  • Spatial cueing
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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