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Psychol Sci. 2003 Mar;14(2):91-9.

Attentional enhancement opposite a peripheral flash revealed using change blindness.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.

Abstract

We describe a new method for mapping spatial attention that reveals a pooling of attention in the hemifield opposite a peripheral flash. Our method exploits the fact that a brief full-field blank can interfere with the detection of changes in a scene that occur during the blank. Attending to the location of a change, however, can overcome this change blindness, so that changes are detected. The likelihood of detecting a new element in a scene therefore provides a measure of the occurrence of attention at that element's location. Using this measure, we mapped how attention changes in response to a task-irrelevant peripheral cue. Under conditions of visual fixation, change detection was above chance across the entire visual area tested. In addition, a "hot spot" of attention (corresponding to near-perfect change detection) elongated along the cue-fixation axis, such that performance improved not only at the cued location but also in the opposite hemifield.

PMID:
12661668
DOI:
10.1111/1467-9280.t01-1-01425
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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