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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2000 Apr;26(2):834-46.

Evidence for split attentional foci.

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Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403-1227, USA.


A partial report procedure was used to test the ability of observers to split attention over noncontiguous locations. Observers reported the identity of 2 targets that appeared within a 5 x 5 stimulus array, and cues (validity = 80%) informed them of the 2 most likely target locations. On invalid trials, 1 of the targets appeared directly in between the cued locations. Experiments 1, 1a, and 2 showed a strong accuracy advantage at cued locations compared with intervening ones. This effect was larger when the cues were arranged horizontally rather than vertically. Experiment 3 suggests that this effect of cue orientation reflects an advantage for processing targets that appear in different hemifields. Experiments 4 and 4a suggest that the primary mechanism supporting the flexible deployment of spatial attention is the suppression of interference from stimuli at unattended locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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